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Powertap SL - Any advantages to the wired model?

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Powertap SL - Any advantages to the wired model?

Old 04-09-08, 09:45 PM
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beebleb
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Powertap SL - Any advantages to the wired model?

Hi all,

I'm considering buying a Powertap; and I'm a little bit unsure about getting a Pro, SL or 2.4.

What I'm wondering if whether anyone has used both the 2.4 and the SL and whether the SL has any advantages. For instance I've heard that cadence pickup can be a bit lagged and/or inaccurate with the 2.4.

Thanks!
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Old 04-09-08, 10:09 PM
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I have a 2 year old wired SL, had it since November, I bought it used off eBay and replaced the head unit and hub batteries. No problems. Use it on two bikes.
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Old 04-09-08, 10:16 PM
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I have had 2 wired SL's and they both have been trouble free. More importantly they have been "drop" free. Not saying the wireless has any drop signal issues but I figure the wired one kinda guarantees against it.
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Old 04-09-08, 10:38 PM
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Originally Posted by garysol1 View Post
I have had 2 wired SL's and they both have been trouble free. More importantly they have been "drop" free. Not saying the wireless has any drop signal issues but I figure the wired one kinda guarantees against it.
+1. Most of the people I know with wireless talk about drops, I've not had any in 4000 miles with the wired SL.
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Old 04-09-08, 10:46 PM
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The only drops I've experienced on my Ptap SL (wired) is HR monitor dropouts (brief) and that happens only in cold (sub 40F) weather, and seems to be much more common when I'm wearing a nylon outer shell. In other words once you lose the layers and it gets warmer than 45-50F, it stops all together. Over the winter the other data never dropped at all. Display fades to the point of difficult legibility in sub 35F temps, but the data gets recorded and is always there (just some HRM dropouts). In regular temps, the unit has been flawless to date. Very happy with it, seems very accurate, Saris software runs great on my Mac.
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Old 04-10-08, 03:34 AM
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Ah, thanks PCAD, that last point about the Saris software running great on my Mac is def. important.

Well, it's looking like a wired Powertap SL might be the way forward. Cheaper too of course.
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Old 04-10-08, 04:17 AM
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Originally Posted by patentcad View Post
The only drops I've experienced on my Ptap SL (wired) is HR monitor dropouts (brief) and that happens only in cold (sub 40F) weather, and seems to be much more common when I'm wearing a nylon outer shell. In other words once you lose the layers and it gets warmer than 45-50F, it stops all together. Over the winter the other data never dropped at all. Display fades to the point of difficult legibility in sub 35F temps, but the data gets recorded and is always there (just some HRM dropouts). In regular temps, the unit has been flawless to date. Very happy with it, seems very accurate, Saris software runs great on my Mac.
I also run wired ptaps, my hr loses signal just nlike pcad says above, but, when I'm climbing-because there is very little wind, it picks up the HRM. That's when I need the info as well.
Pcad, have you tried adjusting the cpu so you can see it better in the cold? If you have it on the stem, you can't adjust the angle, but you can on the handlebars, just a thought as I was having similar problems 'til I tried that.
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Old 04-10-08, 05:56 AM
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I've messed around with the display, it just gets faint in the cold. But I can generally still read it, even though it's not always easy. I tend to not use the Power Tap when it's below high 30's anyway, I figure it's not great for battery life, etc. So it's not perfect, but really, that's about the only flaw I've come across since November. Great gizmo, using it daily now. I may eventually send it off to Saris for a re-build or buy a newer head unit, but if it's only a problem between late November and late March, that's not a big deal. I can use it in the cold on occasion, the fading numbers on the display aren't a big problem, seems to bother me more than the Power Tap. Like I said, even when the display is quite faded it is readable and the data gets recorded.

Frankly I'm very puzzled people whine about Power Taps being not good enough and go over to SRMs. But I never used an SRM. Can't afford $3K per bicycle for that set up anyway, this works for me.
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Old 04-10-08, 06:48 AM
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I have 2 wireless powertaps that have been sent back to cycleops to get upgraded antennas. They both perform very well now. I would assume any newly manufactured hub would work very well for you.
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Old 04-10-08, 06:49 AM
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I have had a SL 2.4 for about 6 months and have had one dropped signal for about 30 seconds...

But then again I live in a pretty rural areas...

I hate wires. Whether on my bike or mp3 player...
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Old 04-10-08, 06:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Jim Bonnet View Post
I have 2 wireless powertaps that have been sent back to cycleops to get upgraded antennas. They both perform very well now. I would assume any newly manufactured hub would work very well for you.
+1

I had one of the original production PT 2.4s and had to send it back for a more powerful antenna. Since Saris made the replacement, it has worked perfectly. I initially bought the wireless because (1) I hate wires, (2) I use it on three bikes and did not want to buy two additional wired mounts at $70 a pop, and (3) I know at least two people who had to replace the wired mounts after damaging the wires.

Either way, I think you'll be happy with your purchase.
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Old 04-10-08, 07:11 AM
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I've heard the current wireless models are just about flawless. It would be pretty cool to be able to move it between bikes so easily too though.
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Old 04-10-08, 07:13 AM
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Originally Posted by patentcad View Post
I've messed around with the display, it just gets faint in the cold. But I can generally still read it, even though it's not always easy. I tend to not use the Power Tap when it's below high 30's anyway, I figure it's not great for battery life, etc. So it's not perfect, but really, that's about the only flaw I've come across since November. Great gizmo, using it daily now. I may eventually send it off to Saris for a re-build or buy a newer head unit, but if it's only a problem between late November and late March, that's not a big deal. I can use it in the cold on occasion, the fading numbers on the display aren't a big problem, seems to bother me more than the Power Tap. Like I said, even when the display is quite faded it is readable and the data gets recorded.

Frankly I'm very puzzled people whine about Power Taps being not good enough and go over to SRMs. But I never used an SRM. Can't afford $3K per bicycle for that set up anyway, this works for me.
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Old 04-10-08, 10:40 PM
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Originally Posted by waterrockets View Post
I've heard the current wireless models are just about flawless. It would be pretty cool to be able to move it between bikes so easily too though.
I bought a SL but Hed gave me a wireless by mistake (I told them about it when it arrived). It's less than 4 months old, and I haven't experienced a drop, not one, other than some heart rate drops, which I don't really care about. When I do triathlons, I use my Suunto for HR anyway. When I train, I used the Saris strap because my charts are so much prettier with the red heart rate lines.
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Old 04-10-08, 10:50 PM
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Don't be fooled about the wired version. the harnesses can be pinched or ruined very easily. i went thru 2 of them. and I was very careful on install. But overall no drops in power. I hated having wires tho.
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Old 04-11-08, 12:27 AM
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Originally Posted by patentcad View Post
The only drops I've experienced on my Ptap SL (wired) is HR monitor dropouts (brief) and that happens only in cold (sub 40F) weather, and seems to be much more common when I'm wearing a nylon outer shell.
If it's dry then the issue could be a static charge buildup. My old Polar HR would drop out in the summer but only if I wore one particular jersey and only on decents. It was the material flapping against the chest belt (if I flattened it with my hand the HR worked again)... probably building up static.
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Old 04-14-08, 02:10 AM
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Thanks guys, I ended up with an old yellow-hub Powertap Pro. Seems pretty good so far, aside from a few small dropouts (HR more often than not). At least it drops, my old Polar used to spike in the same spot (near some high voltage power lines).

The 2.4 looks great. The Powertaps seem to hold second hand value pretty well, so a new 2.4 could be the next upgrade Maybe the next revision of it if it happens.
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