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Power meter - Advice wanted
CREATED: 09/12/12 by tgalbert REPLIES: 11
tgalbert's ravatar tgalbert    JOINED: 9/30/10    POSTS: 405
Power meter - Advice wanted
POSTED: 9/12/12 11:42 AM

Time to start training with power so I can be almost as fast as some all the kids in this club.

I'm looking to pick up an SRM crank-based power meter but I'm interested to hear what the rest of you think.

The power meter will be on a Cervelo P3, and I have a Shimano group set. Probably going to keep with my Garmin Edge 500 as my head unit.

Any recommendations on which crank set I should consider?


(thanks for all the help)

karlaj's ravatar karlaj    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 215
RE: Power meter - Advice wanted
POSTED: 9/12/12 11:55 AM

Why SRM instead of quarq or powertap?

tgalbert's ravatar tgalbert    JOINED: 9/30/10    POSTS: 405
RE: Power meter - Advice wanted
POSTED: 9/12/12 12:07 PM

I think it was a result of population sampling - the handful of people I've talked to have said get SRM if it's in my means. However, I haven't ruled out Quarq yet. The biggest issue of contention seems to be about battery replacement, which Quarq takes the cake in.

This is why I'm trusting the infinite knowledge of the DCT peoples to inform me. This whole power thing is new to me, so I can use all the info I can from real users.

Powertap - yea... I swap my wheels around too much to justify building a wheel that I'd have to train and race on.

What are you thoughts, Karl?

kst718's ravatar kst718    JOINED: 8/29/11    POSTS: 110
RE: Power meter - Advice wanted
POSTED: 9/12/12 12:44 PM

Why not a pedal-based system, like the Look KEO? Easy to swap between bikes and you can measure left vs. right power.

asovonick's ravatar asovonick    JOINED: 6/3/09    POSTS: 213
RE: Power meter - Advice wanted
POSTED: 9/12/12 1:02 PM

Jason has a SWEET picture, that is one mean looking monster.

I started using the Power2Max meter, it works great and is $1k cheaper.

tgalbert's ravatar tgalbert    JOINED: 9/30/10    POSTS: 405
RE: Power meter - Advice wanted
POSTED: 9/12/12 2:04 PM

We should all have monster pix.

Good points by all. I'm interested in why you all chose or lean toward one product over another. Why X instead of Z? Accuracy, user ease, interface, flashy design and purdy colours, etc....


kst718's ravatar kst718    JOINED: 8/29/11    POSTS: 110
RE: Power meter - Advice wanted
POSTED: 9/12/12 2:33 PM

This is a really helpful discussion, since my boyfriend and I are just beginning our research on this topic (aww, his & hers power meters!). My biggest criteria are ease of use and cost, with ease/flexibility winning. After all, even if a power meter is "just" $500 but I need to pay someone to adjust it when I switch wheels, then that's no fun. (Like many triathletes, I have multiple bikes and multiple wheel sets strewn about the apartment.) Hence the interest in a pedal-based system -- even I know how to change pedals! Another thing to consider is interoperability -- everything else I use is Garmin. The downside of the Look KEO is it's Polar based. Garmin's pedal-based system isn't released yet, after two delays and counting. Hmmmm...

This article looks like a good overview of the options available now:

bsull184's ravatar bsull184    JOINED: 2/6/10    POSTS: 283
RE: Power meter - Advice wanted
POSTED: 9/12/12 3:20 PM

I have a powertap. I'd prefer a Quarq. Two in fact, one for each bike. It's a bit of a pain to get the powertap wheel ready for a race (changing training tires for race tires, putting on a wheel cover). But I also bought a brand new powertap wheel for $1000 less than a Quarq, so I console myself Scrooge McDuck style by swimming around in a thick pile of $1 bills after every time I'm forced to change the tire on it.

I hear SRM is the "gold standard", and you certainly pay for it. But the battery lasts for ~1000 hours and you have to then ship the entire crank back to them to get it replaced. That's a dealbreaker for me. I like repairing my own stuff whenever possible.

karlaj's ravatar karlaj    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 215
RE: Power meter - Advice wanted
POSTED: 9/12/12 4:05 PM

Andy, thanks--and I haven't even thrown up Power2Max since I wasn't sure they'd fully deployed in the US. But there you go. Another crank-based power option.

Polar pedals, yeah, I haven't heard many people talk about them. They're hella pricey. No connecting to a garmin 500, though.

Swapping wheels -- I guess you can make an argument there that it's a pain, but swapping tires and putting on a disc cover (wheelbuilder) is pretty cheap vs. race wheels and an SRM. IMHO.

I find that I'm cheap (another Scrooge McDuck), so I would heavily factor price for the purpose. Does it give me accurate #s? Ok, that's got to be the bare minimum, and most of these systems probably do that. Now what does the next $500-$1000 buy me? Convenience? Meh, I'd need #s more than worrying about how hard/easy swapping wheels, cranks, or pedals would be.

merlinkim's ravatar merlinkim    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 304
RE: Power meter - Advice wanted
POSTED: 9/12/12 4:41 PM

If you're training and racing on the same bike, I understand the appeal of SRM/Quarq. For me, I use a Powertap so I can swap between my road and tri bikes. I'd rather change tires and deal with wheelcovers than swap cranksets.

I don't understand the premium with SRM over Quarq other than it's German and was the first reliable unit out there. I don't know of the battery replacement difficulties between the two, so can't help. The only thing I would recommend is to get 110mm BCD if you can, so if you decide to go compact, that's an option available to you.

re Look Keo, I'd shy away, if only because that's a lot of electronics that's exposed to a lot of impact abuse (curbs, etc.).

howarda20837's ravatar howarda20837    JOINED: 6/29/12    POSTS: 16
RE: Power meter - Advice wanted
POSTED: 9/13/12 8:17 AM

I'd vote Powertap as well, it's easy to switch between bikes if you also have a road bike. I don't think putting on a cover is that hard and you get most of the benefits of a real disc. Plus if you already have a rear race wheel you could sell that and offset a lot of the cost for the power meter.

wbdowntown's ravatar wbdowntown    JOINED: 3/28/12    POSTS: 131
RE: Power meter - Advice wanted
POSTED: 9/13/12 8:40 AM

I bought a used powertap wheelset on ebay for $700 two years ago. It's served me well for two years pumping out more data than I can process. Just upgraded to the 45mm Enve Wheels with G3 hub (got a special deal through a coaching service which sold me). So now I have two sets to swap between road and tri bikes. I had also considered a Rotor crank with Quarq power meter (if I had unlimited funds this is the way I would have gone). Even though SRM is the recognized 'gold standard' not being able to service it myself is a deal breaker.

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