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Recommendations for PowerTap Wheel

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Recommendations for PowerTap Wheel

Old 01-11-06, 01:56 AM
  #1  
vbclown
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Recommendations for PowerTap Wheel

Hi... I'm an overweight rider who purchased a bike and trainer to begin my journey to better fitness. I started at 305 lbs (at 5' 10) and am down to about 290, mainly through a better diet and workouts on the trainer.

One thing that always helps to motive me is quantitative progress, so I've been loging my health stats in FitDay, and tracking my rides with a Polar heartrate monitor and the Polar software.

I'm interested in adding a powermeter, and was considering the PowerTap SL/Pro/or standard. My bike is a 2005 Trek Pilot 5.2, it has Bontrager Race Lite wheels with 24 spokes in the rear wheel. I've been told that the wheelset is beefy enough for my size, and to date I haven't had a problem with it (although I've only done about 3 rides outside, and 30 rides on the trainer).

I'd like to get a second rear wheel built up with one of the PowerTab hubs, and put another Shimano Ultegra 12-25, 10 speed cassette on it, so that I can just change rear wheels to us the PowerTab wheel as my training wheel. What would be a good rim/spoke config for the PT hub that would be comparable to my current wheel and durable enough for me? Any suggestions on the SL vs. Pro Hub? Any recommendations on where to buy it?

Does the chain wear-in with a particular cassette so is it a bad idea to swap wheels+cassettes with the same chain? (in reality all my riding is training so the bike is only likily to get used with the PT based wheel).

Yes, I do know that my current bike is way overkill for my current riding and fitness, and yes I know a power meter isn't that nessesary for my current fitness either. I do appreciate any suggestions.

Thanks!

Jason
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Old 01-11-06, 06:03 AM
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I use a PowerTap Pro laced to a Mavic CXP 33 wheel. Not the lightest combo on the planet but completely bomb proof, which is what you want from a training wheel.

As for the difference between the Pro and the SL it's just the weight. The SL is lighter and with CF you get the bling factor. I felt that the weight savings vrs the cost was not worth the investment so I went with the Pro.

As for changing wheels, don't sweat it, I do it all the time and it's fine.
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Old 01-11-06, 06:59 AM
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2Rodies - Does the Pro have all of the components inside of the hub like the SL? Just kind of curious. I just ordered my PowerTap SL on Monday. I didn't have much of a choice of which one to get though. I run campy and I wanted to be able to use a campy cassette not a conversion.
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Old 01-11-06, 09:44 AM
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Well that's the same issue I ran into as I run Campy also. The SL offers a Campy compatible hub while the Pro you have to buy an aftermarket cassette that is a Shimano/Campy hybrid. The cassette is cool in one respect and this is the gearing is 25/11. Other than that the units are identical from what I've read (and I could be totally wrong here) but the SL is lighter. Two thinks led me to the Pro. First I got an incredible deal used, 450 w/second bike kit and rear wheel shipped, and at the time they had stopped selling the SL due to some q/c issues. If I were buying one today and had to pay retail I think I'd still opt for the Pro. I don't race on my PT I only train on it so the weight really doesn't matter to me.
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Old 01-11-06, 10:07 AM
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WOW, that is an awesome deal. I would have went for the pro as well in that situation. The price difference for me really wasn't all that bad so it was easier to justify the sl over the pro. Paying retail I doubt I would have bought a powertap at all. I may change my opinion on that once I have some time using it though.

This past weekend I was at a training camp and I was able to use a computrainer some. I was very impressed at what my coach was able to tell me after a short period of time using it. I think being able to use the powertap and then sending him my information each day is going to be very beneficial.
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Old 01-11-06, 10:13 AM
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you appear to have some coin to spend on this. A very nice setup would be Powertap SL laced to a Zipp404 clydesdale rim.
I just got a Powertap SL with a regular Zipp 404. I went with a more expensive rim because I will race with the powertap, and I just didn't want to add a lot of weight to the bike.
Zipp 404's are not really necessary for fitness riding, but heck neither is a power meter.
Another option would be keep your existing wheels and add a power unit to your polar setup. Less expensive, and accurate enough to measure your progress.
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Old 01-11-06, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by LowCel
WOW, that is an awesome deal. I would have went for the pro as well in that situation. The price difference for me really wasn't all that bad so it was easier to justify the sl over the pro. Paying retail I doubt I would have bought a powertap at all. I may change my opinion on that once I receive it though.
Well I really like mine. One of my team mates has the top of the line SRM. We've done side by side comparisons and the two units are virtually spot on in their power readings. Each has there own advantages, SRM + any wheelset including race wheels/totally wireless - PRICE! They are more than double the cost. PT + any bike (with addition of second bike kit) super easy to set up and Price. - Stuck with one wheelset weight hard wired, software sucks. Dollar for dollar though I think it's a better deal, I have three bikes that I regularly use and I can just swap the wheelset and bingo I'm in business.
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Old 01-11-06, 10:25 AM
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The SL is supposed to have a much better seal on it (I believe the electronics are completely sealed off). It uses the carbon fiber on the hub as a 'window' of sorts to transmit through.
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Old 01-11-06, 10:38 AM
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I believe I remember R600DuraAce mentioning he had a powertap in his infamous thread. Maybe you should talk to him.....
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Old 01-11-06, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by pinky
The SL is supposed to have a much better seal on it (I believe the electronics are completely sealed off). It uses the carbon fiber on the hub as a 'window' of sorts to transmit through.
Well there you have it, there is more of difference than the weight. So I'm guessing then the internals are different from the Pro also?
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Old 01-11-06, 10:52 AM
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Here I'll stop being lazy and look it up myself. Here's the link then go to comparison chart. There are some subtle but important differences between the SL and the Pro.

http://cycleops.com/products/powertapsl.htm
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Old 01-11-06, 10:53 AM
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Yeah, I need to pm R600 Dura Ace to find out where the dial is to dial up the power to 400 watts.

I did get it up to 950 watts on my first trip out, attacking on a small rise. I was really bummed though when I down loaded the data, my time at 950 was so short you didn't even see it on the graph unless you turned the smoothing way down.
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Old 01-11-06, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
Yeah, I need to pm R600 Dura Ace to find out where the dial is to dial up the power to 400 watts.

I did get it up to 950 watts on my first trip out, attacking on a small rise. I was really bummed though when I down loaded the data, my time at 950 was so short you didn't even see it on the graph unless you turned the smoothing way down.
First thing you gotta do is ditch the software and pony up the 75 bucks for the CyclingPeaks software. The factory software is just this side of useless. Their new beta software that you can dl from the website is better but still not as good as the CP stuff.
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Old 01-11-06, 11:00 AM
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thanks. I think I'll get that as soon as it goes on next months credi card bill.
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Old 01-11-06, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by 2Rodies
Well there you have it, there is more of difference than the weight. So I'm guessing then the internals are different from the Pro also?
That's my understanding. Because of the CF "windows" they were able to move the transmitter, etc further inboard which reduces moisture problems. I don't believe there's any functional difference between the Pro and SL as far as accuracy of the strain gauges, etc.

The weight on the SL is nice. For comparison I used to train with a Shimano WH-550 rear wheel... the PowerTap SL wheel (32H, Mavic Open Pro) is within a few grams of the 550's weight.

The one caveat for new SL owners is that the aluminum freehub has big noisy pawls in it. Due to the vibrations from those pawls when coasting many users find the need to put a piece of foam between the sensor and frame. Otherwise, when coasting the sensor stops reading speed and then the headunit stops collecting data (if you configure it to record based on speed instead of HR).

Another vote for CyclingPeaks. The new PowerTap software looks good but it's not ready and I wouldn't want to wait for it if I had a SL on my bike.

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Old 01-11-06, 11:22 AM
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What Polar HRM do you have? You could save some scratch by going with their power meter, which works for the 725 and a few other models. It's harder to install apparently.
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Old 01-11-06, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by SpongeDad
What Polar HRM do you have? You could save some scratch by going with their power meter, which works for the 725 and a few other models. It's harder to install apparently.
I have the 725 and considered getting their power attachment. I did some research and talked to some people that owned them. Unfortunately most of the people seem to be unhappy with the accuracy of them. For me if I am going through the trouble of having my training set up to use a power meter I want it to be as accurate as possible (without spending several thousand dollars).
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Old 01-11-06, 11:41 AM
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Im going with a PowerTap SL laced to a silver 32spoke openpro.. I've debated the ZIPP thing over and over.. If I like the data and opt to ride key races with the PT where weight of bike is important I'll probably spring for a race set and another SL hub. For now training and information gathering is the plan.
Cheers
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Old 01-12-06, 07:00 AM
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I'm going with the same wheel, except I'm going with a black open pro. I am going to be picking up a couple hundred grams but I'm sure it will be worth it. I still haven't decided if I will use it in races or not. I plan on using road races as a form of training to help me prepare for mountain bike racing so it would probably be a good thing to have all of the ride information to upload to my coach..
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