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Cost of power meter

Old 08-23-09, 01:25 AM
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tadawdy
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Cost of power meter

I'm not a racer, so a power meter, while obviously a useful training tool, for me would mostly just be a really cool toy to have. I have looked around a bit, and have been staggered by their prices. A Powertap seems way out of my budget. But there are other companies that make them.

Are any of the others good, and how much does a whole system actually cost? How much would I have to invest (minimum) to get a working, dependable, power meter on my bike? As far as I can tell, you need the hub and the computer, and even the Powertap versions of these are more than I could currently spend (it seems the lowest end powertaps w/computer could be had for about $1000 give or take). Does the hub have to built into a certain wheel, or can it be put into any wheel? This would obviously jack the price up a whole lot.

Just something I am investigating. Doesn't seem like something I will be able to do right now, but I don't know about more affordable options.

edit: what about something from ibike sports?

Last edited by tadawdy; 08-23-09 at 01:32 AM.
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Old 08-23-09, 03:55 AM
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The powertap hub can be laced into any rim you want.

My question is why would you really want one if a) you don't race and b) it's not withing your budget at present?

The ibike doesn't work in certain conditions and and there are accuracy problems (although much improved I'm told)

I guess if it's just to have a cool toy then accuracy isn't so much an issue and this might be the best option for you.
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Old 08-23-09, 08:07 AM
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The Polar version works. Latest iteration is the CS600X with Power. About $650.
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Old 08-23-09, 09:18 AM
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Wouldn't a GPS based cycling computer do something similar?
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Old 08-23-09, 10:19 AM
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My question is why would you really want one if a) you don't race and b) it's not withing your budget at present?
It would just be a cool thing to have. You're right, though, that it'll probably have to wait. I was just trying to get a feel for what's out there, that works, other than the one brand.
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Old 08-23-09, 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by tadawdy View Post
It would just be a cool thing to have. You're right, though, that it'll probably have to wait. I was just trying to get a feel for what's out there, that works, other than the one brand.
They are cool.

Honestly, in terms or accuracy and ease of use SRM, Quark and PowerTap are the only choices right now but come at a premium.

All of the others have their own quirks or shortcomings but are far more budget friendly.

The most important thing for the later is that they be consistent for you. If they are the numbers will be useful to you but not comparable to others using more accurate equipment.

I'd suggest that a post in Road Riding, where there are a lot of member who are users of the products you are interested in, would yield more results.
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Old 08-23-09, 06:18 PM
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I think competitive cycling has a powertap on sale for $650 or so.

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Old 08-23-09, 06:19 PM
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Old 08-23-09, 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by ukmtk View Post
Wouldn't a GPS based cycling computer do something similar?
No - the GPS can measure how fast you ride and how much you climb, but it can't tell how aerodynamic you are on the bike.

Powertap and SRM power meters work be measuring how much force you put into the pedals. Powertap measures it in the rear hub, and SRM measures it in the crank. Powertap is $$, SRM is $$$$.

Polar makes a power meter that measures chain tension based on how much it sags. It's had mixed reviews.

iBike makes one that estimates power by measuring how much air is running over the bikes. It's not measuring power in the same way the others are, and you should look around for reviews if you're thinking of buying.
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Old 08-24-09, 02:56 AM
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The good news is that the cost of reasonably good power meters should only go down from now on. If I was you I'd wait.
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Old 08-25-09, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Bob Dopolina View Post
The powertap hub can be laced into any rim you want.

My question is why would you really want one if a) you don't race and b) it's not withing your budget at present?

The ibike doesn't work in certain conditions and and there are accuracy problems (although much improved I'm told)

I guess if it's just to have a cool toy then accuracy isn't so much an issue and this might be the best option for you.
I have a Quarq and the iBike iAero - here is a comparison of the two. iBike is pretty damn good. The graph is of an interval day which was windy and I thought would throw the iBike for quite a loop - apparently not. The iBike does, however, take some finesse to set up. The only question (to me) is whether that time is worth another 1000$. If you have any questions about the two let me know.
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Old 08-25-09, 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by tonski View Post
I have a Quarq and the iBike iAero - here is a comparison of the two. iBike is pretty damn good. The graph is of an interval day which was windy and I thought would throw the iBike for quite a loop - apparently not. The iBike does, however, take some finesse to set up. The only question (to me) is whether that time is worth another 1000$. If you have any questions about the two let me know.
Doesn't the iBike have problems with 1) rainy conditions and 2) peak power during things like sprints?
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Old 08-25-09, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Bob Dopolina View Post
Doesn't the iBike have problems with 1) rainy conditions and 2) peak power during things like sprints?
1) I've never personally had a problem with it - I think this depends on placement. My Dad has had a few problems because the Wind port gets clogged (on occasion). My iBike points downward slightly, his points up with his stem.

2) It actually compensates very well. I did high-power low cadence and low-power high cadence tests in the graph above and they're very similar. The intervals aren't very long. In sprints I can get mid 1350-1370 reading from the Quarq and the iBike will ramp up averaging about 20 watts fewer. The difference is the phase (if you remember AC circuits from physics). The iBike will be about .5 second slower ramping up and falling down - during a sprint I always fail to look at my power anyway, I have better things to worry about.

If you'd like something tested I'd be more than happy to be a lab rat for it.
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