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Power Meters--- which is best.

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Power Meters--- which is best.

Old 09-09-04, 06:56 PM
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The_Convert
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Power Meters--- which is best.

Hey-

I was looking at getting the polar power kit to go with my HRM. But, at $300 I knew it was too good to be true. I found out from internet/ LBS owners that it caused chain suck, had glitchy spikes, and not accurate. So, in my search for one I came on two others. The powertap hub @ $700ish seemed good except for the fact that you can pretty much only use it on your training wheels omitting the valuable info from a race. I also saw the SRM system which seems to be some sort of bottom bracket/ crank combo. I can't imagine you needing to buy a crank from them... am I just reading something wrong? Are those really the only three options?
Any info appreciated
Thanks
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Old 09-09-04, 07:43 PM
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pinky
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There's the Ergomo BB, that runs around 1200-1300, though I don't think its DA 10 compatible.
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Old 09-09-04, 08:01 PM
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Originally Posted by The_Convert
Hey-

I was looking at getting the polar power kit to go with my HRM. But, at $300 I knew it was too good to be true. I found out from internet/ LBS owners that it caused chain suck, had glitchy spikes, and not accurate. So, in my search for one I came on two others. The powertap hub @ $700ish seemed good except for the fact that you can pretty much only use it on your training wheels omitting the valuable info from a race. I also saw the SRM system which seems to be some sort of bottom bracket/ crank combo. I can't imagine you needing to buy a crank from them... am I just reading something wrong? Are those really the only three options?
Any info appreciated
Thanks
i have the Polar power meter. it actually is pretty accurate. I have a friend who has an SRM, which is the Gold Standard of power meters, and my data was within 2 or 3% of his data. It did take me quite sometime to get the bugs worked out; whereas the SRM is pretty good from day one.

One thing that makes SRM really nice is the sampling, it takes a reading every 2 secs. The Polar can do it as often as 5 sec. You, the user, set up the sampling rate (5,15, or 60 sec sampling rates). This gives you a variety of ways to extend your memory. When I have a long race or ride, (5+hrs) I set my Polar to sample at 15 secs, that then gives me almost 15hrs of storage. The 5sec race gives you just under 5hrs of history. Sampling more often gives you great data, because you aren't cutting off peaks; but it can skew your data if you aren't careful to get enough sample data (statistical reasons here).

If you are worried about money the Polar is a good way to go. If I had my druthers, and money, I'd go with the SRM. They're hard to find used, and new they're expensive. The Powertap is alright, but I don't like how it measures it's data. It's known to give a large margin error. The Ergomo is supposed to be the most accurate, but it only measures on one side of the crankarm, so it can't tell you how you compare from one side of your body to the other.

Hope this helps.
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Old 09-09-04, 08:38 PM
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Well, I hadn't heard of the ergomo and it sounds like the best of all. Can run my own crank, high accuracy, use any wheels, no chain suck, resonable ($1300), sweet computer, sweet software (mac compatible!! whohoo!) Just have to find out if it is Dura-ace 10 compatible.
Does anybody have this ergomo? How is it?
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Old 09-09-04, 09:12 PM
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The Ciclosport 434, 434m and HAC4 also measure watts and come standard with the computers. They are not as accurate as the Polar but within 5-7%.
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Old 09-09-04, 09:49 PM
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Originally Posted by cyclingute
i have the Polar power meter. it actually is pretty accurate. I have a friend who has an SRM, which is the Gold Standard of power meters, and my data was within 2 or 3% of his data. It did take me quite sometime to get the bugs worked out; whereas the SRM is pretty good from day one.
What bugs are you refering to? I was looking forward to buying it as well... but it's too costly for me right now. I'm still young anyway and will go into the army soon, which means I might not have so much time for my bike. So I'll be leaving the new polar power meter to rust if I buy it now.
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Old 09-10-04, 06:13 AM
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I have used a powertap powermeter for the past 5 seasons. I have an original "tune" system and a newer model from Graber/Saris/Cyclops. The older systems were hydrophobic and the new system has a better seal system to keep out the water.The customer service has been great. I have installed several polar powermeters, and they can be difficult to set and polar's customer service can be less than good. I have a very good friend who owns an SRM and he had some waterproof issues originally, but they have beeen solved and he is happy with the system.
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Old 09-10-04, 07:09 AM
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Graber is coming out with a new and improved PowerTap for 05 that should be available within the next couple of months. Many of the short comings of the original models have been addressed. Big improvements are:
1 It's lighter (a lot lighter) at around 420 grams. Not as light as a Record or DA hub but light enough to race.
2 It's much more water resistant as now all the sensitive electronics are sealed inside the hub. The only portion of the electronics not inside the water tight hub is the battery.
3 It's available in either a Campy or Shimano spline. No more screwing around with conversion cassettes that offer less than stellar shifting if you run Campy.
4 No more cup and cone bearings. The new model has cartridge bearings on both ends of the hub.

The price will be a bit higher but still well below what an SRM goes for and still cheaper than an Ergomo.

I should also add that I've been on a PT for the last two seasons and love it. I couldn't imagine going back to HR on my training plan.
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Old 10-28-04, 10:01 PM
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The HAC4 is USELESS as a 'Power Meter" It uses an algorythm to create its estimate of 'Virtual Power". I have it and am pissed that I did not go for a Powertap from the get go.

Here is direct copy from the manual. "NOTE: The displayed power measurements are approximate. The measurement are made in consideration of average friction, good road conditions, and the set weight. The power can be measuerd more accurately when ascending(accuracy + or - 20W if the wind is strong then the measurements may vary more from the actual power). If the tour is flat, then the average output is displayed (accuracy + or - 40W). During descents P -> 0.

Other issues to the HAC4 is that you need to buy a $60 add on if you want cadence. The adapter and software to download it to the computer is another $110.
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