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Power meters - is 1 enough?

strangestevestrangesteve Posts: 6
Sorry for the provocative thread title
I kind of know the answer but would appreciate some feedback from users

I dont think I 'need' a power meter but I do have a curiosity

My background is of an enthusiastic sportive and leisure rider who is considering taking up racing and/or time trialling for a bit of fun and to push myself a bit further

The difficulty Im having is that I dont see where the power meter fits into my own cycling life

Even the
bargain power2max comes in at enough money to make me flinch

But my difficulty is that as far as I see it the important miles are those that I do in the winter and spring on my duff bike
I have a shiny bike for sunny days which would be my best bike for races

So do you guys put the power meter on your winter hack for training?
Or put in on your race bike for efficient racing?
Or do you just have 2 of them paid for my your sponsors for each bike :)

The only current power meter that could be easily swapped is the Powertap
However if I use it in the winter on a decent build it will get trashed, and if I use the winter spec cheapo build on a race bike it will weigh a tonne

Crank systems just wont get swapped over either will they?

So what do you do in practice?

Cheers

PS for the serious stuff Ive just bought the training with a power meter bible for my summer holls reading

Posts

  • amaferangaamaferanga Posts: 6,789
    I have a Powertap. Through the spring, summer and autumn I will swap it between my race bike and training bike. Through the winter it stays on my race bike that spends its winter on the turbo. Riding outside through the winter I don't do any intervals which is where the power meter really comes into its own for training purposes - I don't quite see the need for a power meter if you're just doing steady endurance or tempo riding. A lot of my winter miles are on fixed anyway.

    And if you have amassed even just a few months worth of data you'll have a pretty good idea of the 'stress' of a given ride so you can enter TSS or Bikescore manually for the purposes of the performance management chart.
    More problems but still living....
  • jocksyboyjocksyboy Posts: 135
    or alternatively don't bother............. if you have plenty of cash then Ok I'm sure we would all like one but is it necessary- No!
    When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. ~H.G. Wells
  • BeaconRuthBeaconRuth Posts: 2,086
    My background is of an enthusiastic sportive and leisure rider who is considering taking up racing and/or time trialling for a bit of fun and to push myself a bit further

    The difficulty Im having is that I dont see where the power meter fits into my own cycling life
    If you can't see how a powermeter fits into your cycling life then why do you need one? Because they're the latest must-have accessory? If you haven't yet done any racing then I really strongly suggest you get out there and see how you get on in time trials and road races and decide whether you want to become a keen racing cyclist. You don't need a powermeter to tell you whether you can hang onto the back of a road race or whether you're competitive in time trials. And you certainly don't need one to become a better leisure rider, unless you like using a sledgehammer to crack a nut? :wink:

    One powermeter was more than I needed - my SRMs have been gathering dust for the last 12 months - and that's speaking as someone who successfully coaches many riders who use powermeters. I don't need a powermeter to tell me whether I'm fit or not and measuring my power output accurately is the last of my problems in my current branch of cyclesport (cyclocross).

    Ruth
  • jibberjimjibberjim Posts: 2,810
    The only current power meter that could be easily swapped is the Powertap
    However if I use it in the winter on a decent build it will get trashed, and if I use the winter spec cheapo build on a race bike it will weigh a tonne

    Both Quarq and Power2Max can be rapidly changed between bikes in the same time as a powertap - particularly if you choose your cranks to be ones quick to change.
    Jibbering Sports Stuff: http://jibbering.com/sports/
  • BarbarossaBarbarossa Posts: 248
    Powertap wheels come up regularly on fleabay for about £450 for a Pro+ and £550 SL+. Make sure you know the difference between the wired, 2.4GHz wireless and ANT+ wireless versions.
  • amaferangaamaferanga Posts: 6,789
    jibberjim wrote:
    Both Quarq and Power2Max can be rapidly changed between bikes in the same time as a powertap - particularly if you choose your cranks to be ones quick to change.

    While I'm sure they are easy to swap over I doubt it'd be as quick as swapping a PT wheel. Can the cranks be removed without tools?
    More problems but still living....
  • jibberjimjibberjim Posts: 2,810
    amaferanga wrote:
    jibberjim wrote:
    Both Quarq and Power2Max can be rapidly changed between bikes in the same time as a powertap - particularly if you choose your cranks to be ones quick to change.

    While I'm sure they are easy to swap over I doubt it'd be as quick as swapping a PT wheel. Can the cranks be removed without tools?

    TarmacExpert of these parts has used all 3, he reckons it takes him much the same time. Here's a video of someone doing a Quarq:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ibycOXD-Mw0

    The video in its entirety is only 68seconds long.
    Jibbering Sports Stuff: http://jibbering.com/sports/
  • amaferangaamaferanga Posts: 6,789
    That's pretty quick - still not as quick and easy as a PowerTap though. I'd have 2 bikes that could be used in less time than that (the one with the PT and another without) :wink:
    More problems but still living....
  • PokerfacePokerface Posts: 8,640
    It's true, a PT wheel is faster to swap over. But a decent crank-based system is 'almost' as fast to swap over.

    Plus a crank-based system has the benefit of being able to be used in more situations. FOr instance, I couldn't realistically use a PT wheel to race on the road or in TTs.


    Having said that, I used a Quarq system for the past few months and what a piece of censored ! Faulty readings constantly and had TWO units fail on me in quick succession. It's gone back to be exchanged for an SRM instead (worth paying extra for reliable readings).



    To the OP - no, you don't need a power meter. However, I would suggest that once you decide to get serious about training, it can be a useful tool to help direct your training and give you better results (that can be tracked). No guarantees, but most people would probably say it helps. As Ruth says - get out there and try some races to see where you currently stand first though.


    (I can attest that through a combination of using a power meter, a coach and a lot of hard work, I've gone from being dropped early in races to finishing on the podium). Can't say which one of those played the biggest part though) :)
  • P_TuckerP_Tucker Posts: 1,878
    I've got 3 powertaps. Take THAT, poverty.
  • StageWinnerStageWinner Posts: 202
    P_Tucker wrote:
    I've got 3 powertaps.

    Is that because you needed more than one to confirm you were censored ?
  • For some people a power meter is essential to be able to set targets and improve, for others its a waste of money. Pointless getting one if you don't have a coach who knows how to use one, though if you are in the former category, the tacx turbo trainers are worth considering, so long as you don't pay too much attention to the absolute numbers.
  • Crank systems just wont get swapped over either will they?
    This is how long it takes to swap over a crank system on a modern BB set up:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ibycOXD-Mw0
  • nmcgannnmcgann Posts: 1,780
    I have 2 PTs (old wired versions on open pro rims). One swaps between my summer and winter road bikes and the other lives on my TT (+turbo) bike and has disc covers. That combination works for me since I use power measurement during races.

    Power measurement is a useful tool and gives a way of eliminating a lot of variables when analysing a performance on the bike, but it's not a must-have for a self-coached athlete.
    --
    "Because the cycling is pain. The cycling is soul crushing pain."
  • wait for the pedal based system to come out..
  • P_TuckerP_Tucker Posts: 1,878
    P_Tucker wrote:
    I've got 3 powertaps.

    Is that because you needed more than one to confirm you were censored ?

    No, I knew I was censored anyway. But I like numbers to tell me exactly how censored I am.
  • amaferangaamaferanga Posts: 6,789
    wait for the pedal based system to come out..

    Doubt swapping pedals over will be any quicker than swapping cranks.
    More problems but still living....
  • Thanks for the comments
    Its always good to see a thread develop with a bit of discussion :)

    I still dont think Im going to buy one
    Clearly I have other priorities in my training before getting to that level

    But I have often wondered how those of you who used power did it in practice with your race bikes and training bikes
    I can see a need for a power meter on each but something light for a race bike doesnt easily sit with being thrashed through rain, sleet and salt in the off season

    Many thanks
  • amaferanga wrote:
    wait for the pedal based system to come out..

    Doubt swapping pedals over will be any quicker than swapping cranks.

    I think it is, and a whole lot cleaner too.
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