Powertap - how do you do yours?

Wrath Rob
Wrath Rob Posts: 2,918
edited December 2011 in Road buying advice
I'm starting to set my goals for next year and part of this includes some racing, aiming to get to 3rd cat next season. As part of this I'm going to start a proper training regime and I've already been doing some interval training and hill sessions. As part of this I've hit the limits of heart rate monitoring (slow response when on short intervals etc) and so I'm thinking of investing in a Powertap early next year.

For those of you that have already got one, what did you do? Buy the hub and then get someone to build it into a wheel? If so, did you get a front wheel done too? If not, did you buy a ready made wheel-set and from where? Or is there something else out there?

Finally, any tips for getting the most out of them?
FCN3: Titanium Qoroz.

Comments

  • napoleond
    napoleond Posts: 5,992
    I bought a rear only from cyclepowermeters
    I bought and followed the Training and Racing with a Powermeter book (an essential purchase)
    I uploaded the data to WKO+
    I used it with disc covers on my TT bike with great success.
    I used it for training and racing.
    I wouldn't buy another as it went in for repair 4 times in 3 years. I'd rather save up and get a 2nd hand SRM.

    Hope this helps
    Insta: ATEnduranceCoaching
    ABCC Cycling Coach
  • okgo
    okgo Posts: 4,368
    Hey Rob,

    There is a few on ebay, one of which is built onto a Cosmic Carbone for about £600, looks decent value, as they seem to sell for around £500 on a boggo open pro!

    How do you think you will improve with it? I'm curious as we obviously have similar goals, but I've not even used a HRM yet!
    Blog on my first and now second season of proper riding/racing - www.firstseasonracing.com
  • SBezza
    SBezza Posts: 2,173
    I bought a complete wheel from cyclepowermeters on an Open Pro, if I was road racing I would want a lighter wheel, so would then probably want a crank based PM. Like NapD I use mine when TTing with wheel covers. Again as per NapD I upload my data to WKO, but I also send them to my coach for analysis. I use a Garmin 500 for data collection.

    I have had mine for a year now with no issues, apart from a broken spoke.

    Training with a PM is more precise, but you can quite easily do decent training on just HR alone, you just need to be aware of the limitations, an interval less than 20 mins and HR is not a good indicator, just go on RPE instead.
  • rozzer32
    rozzer32 Posts: 3,826
    I had a powertap but got rid of it, had too many problems with it, not reading values, then reading values, then being out. In the end I gave up on it even after it had been back for service/repair.

    If I was to get a power meter again I'd get either get an SRM or Quarg. Although as I run speedplay I'd quite fancy the new speedplay based power meter that is meant to be hitting the market next year.

    The racing and training with a power meter book is a must though!!
    ***** Pro Tour Pundit Champion 2020, 2018, 2017 & 2011 *****
  • fish156
    fish156 Posts: 496
    I bought mine form a LBS and had it build it into a training wheel.

    I use a Garmin Edge 500 to gather data. Original LYC died after a couple of years - but is very poor in comparrison to the Garmin anyway.
    I use Golden Cheetah to look at the data.

    Haven't had any problems with the PT itself. Recently replaced the original bearings as there was some play developing.

    I use mine solely for training. It's relatively heavy & built into a basic wheel that I'm happy to ride in all conditions.

    When it comes to replacing it, I'd probably go for a crank based system so I'd be more likely to gather race data, unless the long awaited pedal based systems receive rave reviews.
  • Tom Dean
    Tom Dean Posts: 1,723
    rozzer32 wrote:
    If I was to get a power meter again I'd get either get an SRM or Quarg. Although as I run speedplay I'd quite fancy the new speedplay based power meter that is meant to be hitting the market next year.

    If you mean the Garmin system, it's not going to be Speedplay pedals: http://sites.garmin.com/vector/#easy
  • napoleond
    napoleond Posts: 5,992
    There's a cleat based one from Brim Brothers in the pipeline to be used with all major pedal types.
    Insta: ATEnduranceCoaching
    ABCC Cycling Coach
  • amaferanga
    amaferanga Posts: 6,789
    NapoleonD wrote:
    There's a cleat based one from Brim Brothers in the pipeline to be used with all major pedal types.

    Last update says they're aiming for a 2012 release (so that'll be December 2012 if you're an optimist or 2013 for everyone else) and that it will be priced competitively (so that'll be about the same as the offerings from Polar and Garmin). Still it does look interesting and doesn't have the crank paraphernalia of the Look and Garmin efforts.

    No-one has shown that these actually work yet though.

    I'd probably buy a Power2max crank system for now (not much more than a complete Powertap Pro+ wheel) and consider a pedal-based system in a couple of years time if they're shown to actually provide good data.
    More problems but still living....
  • SBezza
    SBezza Posts: 2,173
    amaferanga wrote:
    I'd probably buy a Power2max crank system for now (not much more than a complete Powertap Pro+ wheel) and consider a pedal-based system in a couple of years time if they're shown to actually provide good data.

    Might want to have a read of this.

    http://www.bikeradar.com/blog/article/t ... dals-32678

    Bit surprised at the amount of shift in the Power2Max cranks. I know TarmaxExpert did some good testing of them, but this sort of information puts me off them (I was actually thinking about them, though the price seems to be going up all the time with them). I would probably save a little extra for SRM's or Quarq.
  • Wrath Rob
    Wrath Rob Posts: 2,918
    Quarq with FSA SL-K Light compact cranks: £1,650

    You can get 2 PT Pro's built into wheels for that. Less if you pick up a 2011 model or even less if you go 2nd hand. That's a race and a training wheel.

    Is a Quarq really that much better, especially as since the quality of PT's has (apparently) improved in the last few years?
    FCN3: Titanium Qoroz.
  • amaferanga
    amaferanga Posts: 6,789
    SBezza wrote:
    amaferanga wrote:
    I'd probably buy a Power2max crank system for now (not much more than a complete Powertap Pro+ wheel) and consider a pedal-based system in a couple of years time if they're shown to actually provide good data.

    Might want to have a read of this.

    http://www.bikeradar.com/blog/article/t ... dals-32678

    Bit surprised at the amount of shift in the Power2Max cranks. I know TarmaxExpert did some good testing of them, but this sort of information puts me off them (I was actually thinking about them, though the price seems to be going up all the time with them). I would probably save a little extra for SRM's or Quarq.

    I'd just spotted that after browsing the Wattage list. I'd be interested to know why the P2M and Quarq seem to suffer from temperature-related drift to a greater extent than PowerTaps appear to. One of the guys posting on the Wattage list seems to have issues with his Quarq as well.
    More problems but still living....
  • Wrath Rob
    Wrath Rob Posts: 2,918
    okgo wrote:
    How do you think you will improve with it? I'm curious as we obviously have similar goals, but I've not even used a HRM yet!
    Found an interesting article with some good links at the bottom here: http://www.cyclingpowermodels.com/Train ... Power.aspx

    Some are quite technical but the Joe Freil one is the most accesible.

    Essentially it boils down to identifying where you are right now, i.e. your power decay curve through testing yourself for your various CP (critical power) levels, then looking at where you want to progress, e.g. working on a weakness or focussing on a strength. You then tailor your training to improve those areas specifically, whilst maintaining the others. Power based training is a very, very effective way of doing this. Once you've completed a 4 week training cycle you can then re-test yourself to see the improvement and re-baseline your next training block with the new values.

    You can do this with a HRM as well but as your HR takes up to 30s to respond to increased exertion, shorter intervals are hard to do. Power is an immediate response and so much better. Your HR can also be affected by many other factors, humidity, tiredness, a close call with a car and so while good, is less accurate. A power meter also helps meter your performance in a TT, and I've got some plans there next year too.
    FCN3: Titanium Qoroz.
  • bigpikle
    bigpikle Posts: 1,690
    got my PT last Jan built into a wheel by Derek at Wheelsmith, and couldnt be happier :D

    He built me a robust wheel, not the lightest, but its done 10,000km this year since I got it without an issue. I keep looking at options, including an SRM or a 2nd wheel built into a lighter Velocity rim etc, but cant seem to decide whats best. The crank systems all seem to have their quirks and while the P2M looked good value I cant see the current version being good enough frankly. Cant fault my PT and might get a new G3 in a light wheel for events and mountain trips and keep the original as a training wheel.

    Good luck and make sure you get the Coggan book before you spendout, to ensure its what you want to use. Its much more involved than training with an HRM if you want to really get the value from it. I'd be lost without mine really though...
    Your Past is Not Your Potential...
  • Wrath Rob
    Wrath Rob Posts: 2,918
    Thanks all for the responses. I'm not going to invest until early next year so it sounds like I need to get the book first and do some reading, work out a training plan and then make the purchase, if it still stacks up.
    FCN3: Titanium Qoroz.