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Power meter

Old 11-12-12, 09:00 PM
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sstang13
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Power meter

I'm thinking about getting a Garmin Edge 500, but probably only if I can get a power meter. My base training for the winter basically revolves around HR, cadence and watts. But what I just learned today is that power meters clean out the wallet.. that saddens me. And I don't think that I have a thousand dollars to spend on a power meter. Now this may seem like a dumb question, but are there any alternatives to spending a ton of money? I don't mean to buy something that's 20 bucks but are there any 'cheaper' items that would work to give me power display while I ride? Or if there are any sellers on ebay/amazon etc., and how to find any?
Any feedback is greatly apreciated, thanks!
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Old 11-12-12, 09:05 PM
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used wired ptap wheel. I just sold a wireless ptap hub for $400. you can definitely get in for less than 1000$
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Old 11-12-12, 09:06 PM
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honestly the best options are powertap, quarq and srm. You'll find sub 1000 for old powertab's/wired ptaps. you might also be able to find a use wired srm for under 1000. those are your best bets, and stay away from ibike!!!!!!
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Old 11-12-12, 09:11 PM
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Good, fast, cheap. Pick two of the three.

Quarg got started because the founder couldn't afford an SRM. It took him something like 2-3 years of effort to build his own powermeter. It was good (for him) and cheap. It did not arrive fast.

You absolutely want reliable. Nothing is worse than spending a lot of coin only to find out that the thing doesn't work reliably. I've only had two types of power meters but I can speak well for both - a PowerTap (I had one in 2007 I think) and a wired SRM (came factory on a 2008 bike). The PTs and SRMs are both very reliable with small but documented issues.

Try to get them used. You may be able to find a wired SRM for under $800. You may be able to find a PT under $600.

SRMs allow you to keep your bike otherwise the same - same wheels, frame, etc. PTs force you to replace one rear wheel but you can move them from bike to bike.

Warning: maintaining an SRM costs money too. Expect to replace a wiring harness every year ($70), solder in new batteries (batteries for my SRM are $20 and $6).

The PT comes with software, at least mine did. I bought WKO but now use Golden Cheetah (which is free and is Mac compatible). The SRM has software that is all but unusable in my eyes (I have bad eyes though).

Power is not all it's cracked up to be. My results didn't change significantly until I lost a dramatic amount of weight (and about 10% power across the board). Even with a lower FTP, lower max power, I raced significantly better.

If you're in Ontario and you do a lot of indoor training you can get a Kurt Kinetic trainer and use the watt/speed relationship to estimate power. I don't have one but apparently you can predict power output based on speed reasonably well. If you're looking to test to measure your fitness then you may be able to rent a spot on a trainer or even a PT wheel.
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Old 11-12-12, 09:11 PM
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used power tap. They just redid the whole product line this past season, so do your research and get something a year or two old for cheap.

And I love it. Power keeps me honest during threshold intervals. Its nice to see what happens when I race too, but I practically never go by power in a race unless I'm TTing.

Last edited by kindablue; 11-12-12 at 09:15 PM.
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Old 11-12-12, 09:52 PM
  #6  
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Originally Posted by carpediemracing View Post
If you're in Ontario and you do a lot of indoor training you can get a Kurt Kinetic trainer and use the watt/speed relationship to estimate power. I don't have one but apparently you can predict power output based on speed reasonably well.
And there is this coming soon for the Kurt Kinetic owners.
http://www.kurtkinetic.com/inride

I'm probably going to get one for trainer use...especially since I already have a KK R&R.
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Old 11-12-12, 10:00 PM
  #7  
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Originally Posted by jsutkeepspining View Post
honestly the best options are powertap, quarq and srm. You'll find sub 1000 for old powertab's/wired ptaps. you might also be able to find a use wired srm for under 1000. those are your best bets, and stay away from ibike!!!!!!
I read something like that, it was the cheapest most unrealiable one, and I even saw an app on my iPod for it...that's sad, apparently a free app on a 2008 3G iPod can do the same as some $1000 items on the market.

Originally Posted by carpediemracing View Post
Good, fast, cheap. Pick two of the three.

Quarg got started because the founder couldn't afford an SRM. It took him something like 2-3 years of effort to build his own powermeter. It was good (for him) and cheap. It did not arrive fast.

You absolutely want reliable. Nothing is worse than spending a lot of coin only to find out that the thing doesn't work reliably. I've only had two types of power meters but I can speak well for both - a PowerTap (I had one in 2007 I think) and a wired SRM (came factory on a 2008 bike). The PTs and SRMs are both very reliable with small but documented issues.

Try to get them used. You may be able to find a wired SRM for under $800. You may be able to find a PT under $600.

SRMs allow you to keep your bike otherwise the same - same wheels, frame, etc. PTs force you to replace one rear wheel but you can move them from bike to bike.

Warning: maintaining an SRM costs money too. Expect to replace a wiring harness every year ($70), solder in new batteries (batteries for my SRM are $20 and $6).

The PT comes with software, at least mine did. I bought WKO but now use Golden Cheetah (which is free and is Mac compatible). The SRM has software that is all but unusable in my eyes (I have bad eyes though).

Power is not all it's cracked up to be. My results didn't change significantly until I lost a dramatic amount of weight (and about 10% power across the board). Even with a lower FTP, lower max power, I raced significantly better.

If you're in Ontario and you do a lot of indoor training you can get a Kurt Kinetic trainer and use the watt/speed relationship to estimate power. I don't have one but apparently you can predict power output based on speed reasonably well. If you're looking to test to measure your fitness then you may be able to rent a spot on a trainer or even a PT wheel.
You say PT's require to replace the wheel, would I have to buy a second wheel to match at the front? I have a black wheel, green trim on my bike, that wouldn't look good in my eyes.

And I use training peaks, is the PT workable with that?

+ I am not going to worry about weight, I've been the same weight throughout my life (meaning, I don't really gain or lose based on what I do or eat, just a tall lanky kid, when the day comes though, I'll chack that out). Plus I have an indoor trainer from my coach that he is lending me, and when he decides to sell them, I'll get a deal on it, it's a cycleops fluid 2.

Ps. Thanks for the replies everyone.


Edit: What website can I find these deals on? Everything I search comes up the same stuff, and I can't find anything I'm looking for.

Last edited by sstang13; 11-12-12 at 10:08 PM.
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Old 11-12-12, 10:52 PM
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if u buy a ptap hub, you can use your current wheel. If u buy a whole wheel with a ptap hub then u need to use that wheel.
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Old 11-13-12, 11:42 AM
  #9  
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I bought my wireless powertap wheel from a friend who was switching to a crank-based system (forget if it was SRM or Qarg). Didn't care that the rear wheel no longer matches the front one. He got funds towards the new gear and I got what I wanted for a good price. Only downside is if you need to switch wheels, you have to decide between power or no power. As for accuraccy, I think you want ride-to-ride consistency over lab-level precision; the PT seems to be quite good enough.

The Edge 500 is a good cyclecomputer even without power, and will work with anything supporting the ANT protocol.
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Old 11-13-12, 03:21 PM
  #10  
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What about this one: http://www.clevertraining.com/p-5438...heel-only.aspx

It's a front wheel so it seems it wouldn't work as well as a back one, and it doesn't seem like its a power meter because its only $300 (they don't come that cheap) unless I'm getting a great deal. Is this a power meter and do I go for it or no? Thanks.
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Old 11-13-12, 03:22 PM
  #11  
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There's a Quarq on Slowtwitch right now for a Grand.

http://forum.slowtwitch.com/gforum.c...=unread#unread
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Old 11-13-12, 05:50 PM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by sstang13 View Post
What about this one: http://www.clevertraining.com/p-5438...heel-only.aspx

It's a front wheel so it seems it wouldn't work as well as a back one, and it doesn't seem like its a power meter because its only $300 (they don't come that cheap) unless I'm getting a great deal. Is this a power meter and do I go for it or no? Thanks.
No, no, no. Front wheels only roll. You put power to the rear wheel via the pedals, chain, and gears. That's where the power meter must be.
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Old 11-13-12, 06:07 PM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by MrTuner1970 View Post
No, no, no. Front wheels only roll. You put power to the rear wheel via the pedals, chain, and gears. That's where the power meter must be.
That's what I was thinking, it didn't make sense...it wouldv'e been nice to get a $300 power meter though!
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Old 11-13-12, 09:35 PM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by sstang13 View Post
You say PT's require to replace the wheel, would I have to buy a second wheel to match at the front? I have a black wheel, green trim on my bike, that wouldn't look good in my eyes.
So, wait. You are looking for the best deal possible...but refuse to ride mismatched front/rear wheels?

If you use a Garmin head unit that won't match the PT wheel either.

You should really evaluate your priorities. You wouldn't be the type of guy to miss a training ride because he can't find socks to match his kit would you?
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Old 11-13-12, 10:03 PM
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Lol carleton, nice avatar!
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Old 11-13-12, 11:00 PM
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I ride with DT Swiss rear wheel with PT and stock front wheel. Feels good man.jpg
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Old 11-14-12, 06:50 PM
  #17  
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Originally Posted by carleton View Post
So, wait. You are looking for the best deal possible...but refuse to ride mismatched front/rear wheels?

If you use a Garmin head unit that won't match the PT wheel either.

You should really evaluate your priorities. You wouldn't be the type of guy to miss a training ride because he can't find socks to match his kit would you?
No I did a little thinking after I just blurted that question out and realized that when the tires are spinning 30km/h, it doesn't matter.. Plus I'd much rather have a mismathced tire than mine..

And no, I am also the guy that rides a blue frame on a completely original black/green bike:

Sorry about the bad set up, I was completely unaware about photos as it was my first day I got the bike, and I was very excited, only to come on BF and learn the real way to take a pic, I'll be sure to update this next year!
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Old 11-14-12, 09:53 PM
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What's your thought about this? Powertap real? That'd be an insane deal!!

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Zipp-303-Cli...21014930819%26

Or these ones: http://www.ebay.com/itm/CINQO-Quarq-...item27cceaaca5

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Quarq-CinQo-...item2a25e9137b

Last edited by sstang13; 11-14-12 at 10:13 PM.
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Old 11-14-12, 10:46 PM
  #19  
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the first is on a very old powertap hub, and the rim has a crack

the second is a compact, 170mm long, and uses standard MegaExo BB

the third is a standard, 175mm long, and uses a BB30. The second couldn't be more different from the third. Do you even know what you want? Those are ebay current bids, and both will end up at least $950.
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Old 11-14-12, 10:56 PM
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Originally Posted by echappist View Post
the first is on a very old powertap hub, and the rim has a crack

the second is a compact, 170mm long, and uses standard MegaExo BB

the third is a standard, 175mm long, and uses a BB30. The second couldn't be more different from the third. Do you even know what you want? Those are ebay current bids, and both will end up at least $950.
So I guess none are good? And ya I want a power meter but I admit that I don't have a clue what I'm looking at. Some people here know what kind of bikes are just by looking at them, or anything on a bike and find out what it's brand is just by looking at it. I'm not like that, that's what I ask you guys here.
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Old 11-14-12, 11:03 PM
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buy the 2nd edition of the Coggan & Allen book, sign up on the wattage forum, do a search on all the power meters

at the very least, you should know the length of your cranks and whether your bottom bracket is standard English of BB30

we are not here to hand-wring you, or at least we won't unless if you pay some of us a consulting fee
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Old 11-15-12, 06:07 AM
  #22  
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You just missed a Powertap SL+ wheel on ST for $550. I mentioned it in that newjunior thread. It sold in a couple of days. If you are serious, you need to be diligent, and be ready to buy immediately. This is a ripe time to pick up used equipment as the seasons are ending everywhere. The holiday shopping season is also ripe for deals. I got my Quarq for 25% off from an authorized dealer last year during a Black Friday sale.

A Garmin 500 will work with any wireless ANT+ power meter.
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Old 11-15-12, 06:51 AM
  #23  
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At your age and stage in this sport a PM is not a necessity...

You are just starting out, don't be in a super huge rush to get that PM. At least make sure you know what you need and what you are getting. I'm running PT's and couldn't be happier. They are reliable and provide me with all the numbers I need. Since returning from California I haven't used the PT and really haven't missed it. The batteries died while I was away and I haven't had time to swap them out. Also, at this time of the year my rides after work are in the dark so it's all perceived exertion and then the weekends are group rides. There isn't a ton of focused interval type training going on, just lots of tempo riding and low cadence work (all based on HR)...

Now when I move indoors the PT will be on the trainer...That's where I see the most benefit because it keeps me motivated...

Just step back a bit and think. I was like you a few years back. I was on a team and the pseudo coach said you need a PT, so I bought one, but never really used it to it's potential until last year. Power meters are only useful if you know WTH you are doing, if not it's just a fancy computer...
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Old 11-15-12, 08:03 PM
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I will talk to my coach and see what he thinks, should've a long time ago. Thanks anyway, this helped, if I do end up getting one. Even if my coach says no, if I have the money to spend one day, I might just get one. I need a job first..
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