Anyone train using power meters?

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  • Anyone train using power meters?
  • Premier Icon LeeW
    Subscriber

    I’m thinking of moving on my training by using a power meter, I want something for the road bike but am undecided as to what would be the best. Powertap wheelset, Sram Qwark crankset or wait for the Garmin Vector pedals?

    I’ve heard conflicting reports about the Garmin pedals. but they seem to be at a relatively reasonable price for this type of product.

    Can anyone offer any experiences/advice of the above product? Or have I missed anything?

    epo-aholic
    Member

    i use a turbo trainer with a power flywheel, unfortunatley i cant afford (or indeed really ‘need’) a powertap or srm but i have mates who train with both. One swears by srm the other by powertap, powertap potentially works out cheaper, get an ant+ version and a garmin edge for under a grand, the srm will set you back more than double that! Personally i’d stick with one of the tried and tested above as i’ve heard the pedal-style measurement can be problematic.

    cynic-al
    Member

    Njee20 knows about this IIRC?

    quarq are very good, you can swap from training to racing wheels with no problems. I have had mine for more than a year with no problems. It is easy to keep track of calibration and change it as you want. Batteries are easy to replace. SRM are similar apart from the fact you need to send it away for a change of batteries unless you want to solder it yourself.
    Powertaps are potentially cheaper, but it is a problem if you want to use it for racing and training because you cant change the wheels to suit the ride you are doing. You can not adjust the calibration yourself on the powertap. My powertap and quarq return almost identical power readings (within 1 watt normally)
    The garmin vector pedals have one huge problem- they are an unknown. It would be best to let others buy and use them for a year to find out whether they are accurate and reliable.

    Premier Icon convert
    Subscriber

    I have 3 bikes with the now defunct Ergomo BBs. I would have to get far more serious again about my racing to buy new but the current setup is not going to last forever so have thought about this.

    I like being able to switch around my wheels a lot so I can’t make powertap make sense for me. SRM has always been just a bit too much cash for me to justify. On paper the Garmin vectors looks like a win being able to swap bikes so easily. I’d wait a year after release before going for them though to let the early adopter check the reliability.

    When I bought in 2006 Ergomo was the only setup with normalised power shown on the headunit and it’s a number I find invaluable on the road – have the others caught up and display that now?

    iDave
    Member

    A consistent problem with power meters is that users fail to calibrate them. I know of one guy who had 4 years of data and it was pretty much worthless.

    I find them great for looking at data after training and races, but not for referring to during a session.

    Premier Icon MSP
    Subscriber

    The garmin vectors still look quite expensive, over a grand, it would be interesting to know how the manufacturing costs stack up, could the prices drop if they think they can sell them in volume, or is that just currently the price of the technology with manufacturing volume making little difference.

    I have been using virtual power on training road, with my turbo and garmin sensor for the past couple of months, and its is quite interesting, I can see how beneficial it would be to train according to power zones, seems a better measure than heart rate. Not sure calibration would be massively important for an amateur, as long as figures were consistent.

    Still all that being said they are still too rich for my wallet.

    LabMonkey
    Member

    Do it, you won’t regret it. Buy what suits your needs best – lots of wheels, then buy a crank/pedal system, if you just want one set of wheels, then a hub based system is a good option too.

    Calibration ensures the data os consistent from day to day – very important.

    Premier Icon LeeW
    Subscriber

    Thanks for the advice, I’m 100% certain calibration will not be an issue. I think I’m only looking for analysis after training sessions, I don’t think I could focus on power output and staying upright whilst out on the bike. 😕

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    I find them great for looking at data after training and races, but not for referring to during a session.

    This is how I tend to use mine (PowerTap), particularly as a lot of my riding is commuting into London, but it’s excellent for retrospective analysis, as well as for intervals and what not.

    IMO the problem with PowerTaps is that they’re heavy, so you either have a heavy wheel to race on (if you road race), or a light race wheel to train on. Or 2 hubs.

    If I was buying now I’d get a Power2Max chainset, more versatile than a hub system and cheaper than Vector pedals, Quarq or SRM. In fact I’m planning to sell my PowerTap wheel to change, on the very rare occasions I use my ‘normal’ rear wheel (which is only a Race X Lite) the bike just feels so much nicer to ride, but I don’t like not having the data.

    You won’t get any feedback on Vectors as they’re still not out, and delayed until the summer currently. Doubt you’ll see them before 2013 myself. They look good, but they are expensive.

    a number I find invaluable on the road – have the others caught up and display that now?

    Yep, they’ll all do that.

    I went for a crank based system as I have a nice set of wheels I don’t want to change and want the flexibility of being able to change wheels in the future. Also Powertaps have a reputation for unreliability. Maybe the latest models will be different.

    Garmin Vector is vapourware just now and the release date keeps getting postponed. Notice the Garmin pro team aren’t using it.

    SRM are the gold standard for crank systems but were out of my price range so I got a Power2max. P2M are a new German outfit. I’m happy with my unit but like any power meter you have to get to know its strengths and limitations. The P2M takes about 10-15 mins to settle and is more affected by temperature changes than an SRM however it auto calibrates when you free wheel so that’s not a big problem unless you’re on a big alpine climb.

    I’m just getting started with mine but its good for judging the effort for hard 2-4 min intervals where HR is useless and also good for keeping up a constant effort for long threshold sessions.

    LS
    Member

    6 years of Powertap use here, several different hubs (8 I think in total) as I’ve chopped/changed/upgraded over that time, and one total failure, sorted under warranty.
    Can’t recommend them highly enough as a training tool. You can use them for racing too, before I got one built into a 50mm carbon I used disc covers on an SL/Open Pro and set PBs at four distances. Im not really a RRer so using an Open Pro wheelset was never a disadvantage, they were only for training.
    One on the summer bike, a cheaper one on the winter bike and the carbons for racing at the moment. Either bought cheaply or s/h, still less than a set of SRMs.

    MrSmith
    Member

    Or have I missed anything?

    asking your coach if it’s worthwhile him/her having the data.

    Rorschach
    Member

    Me using a power meter is about as much use as employing an accountant to tell me how poor I am. 😉

    LS
    Member

    asking your coach if it’s worthwhile him/her having the data.

    If you’ve got half a brain then a PM allows you to coach yourself quite effectively. If you’re not interested in numbers or physiology, then fair enough, you need to find someone who can interpret the data for you.

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    Me using a power meter is about as much use as employing an accountant to tell me how poor I am

    Don’t pass that off as your own! Lifted from the Velominati.

    Rorschach
    Member

    If you steal from one author it’s plagiarism; if you steal from many it’s research

    damo2576
    Member

    Me using a power meter is about as much use as employing an accountant to tell me how poor I am

    But is it? Maybe the accountant would tell you how to get rich? Or at least help you!

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