First power meter - guidance and feedback please

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MichaelB
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First power meter - guidance and feedback please

Postby MichaelB » Tue Nov 21, 2017 7:38 am

Hiya, looking finally after much debating and putting off on getting a PM as a sort of training tool (won’t be full on serious as in training to go racing, but more of a semi-focussed training tool) much to Alex’s disgust :-). Only have one bike, so swappability is not a factor.
Other key constraint is budget. Limiting to $750 ( or thereabouts).
So that means I’m looking at the single sided pedals - Powertap P1, Assimo UNO and maybe Vector 3.
For the crank based, if a special occurs, the NGeco may squeak in, or the FSA Powerbox (A$690 ish) gets in. Can’t use the PT C1 as it doesn’t fit on my cranks (checked the compatibility chart).
Other options are used or NOS. One NOS example that looks good is a Quarq Riken that is BNIB and even is the right BB and compact. Current landed price would be about A$660.
Bit late to the party for a forum members cranks that would have been good, but the bug hadn’t bitten then. :roll:

Let me know thoughts on recommendations and use history.

Oh, I use SPD-SL pedals, so if there was a sham I pedal version, I’d probably go with that !

Ta
Michael

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Alex Simmons/RST
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Re: First power meter - guidance and feedback please

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Tue Nov 21, 2017 8:13 am

I'm not disgusted! lol

If you can at all manage it within your budget, I'd suggest trying to avoid single sided. It just ends up leaving unanswered questions.

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Re: First power meter - guidance and feedback please

Postby Jawa » Tue Nov 21, 2017 8:31 am

One tip that was given to me before I just made the investment is be sure your willing to actually use and train with it correctly. There’s too that ride with them but don’t actually use them for what their intended for. They just like the idea they have one but do nothing with the data

Now FWIW, I just picked up the Powertap P1S pedals. Having not owed a power meter before I cant compare to others but so far (a month odd) have had no issues. What sold me was the price which I paid like $630 odd and the portability as I plan on getting a new bike soonish and wanted to have the ability to switch between that and my current bike that will sit permanently on the trainer. Likewise there’s no torque setting faff like others. All in all, it performs as should. Also used them in the recent MS to the Gong ride, 90km in the pouring rain and had no issues.

TBH, im sure there’s those that don’t like them. They are a bit on the heavy side and a bit chunky too but you soon forget about it.

Im not smart enough to comment on performance data accuracy etc just yet as im still getting myself up to speed on learning to ride to power. But google a few reviews or search youtube and you won’t really find much on the negative side

Oh yeah, your first FTP test will be hell too :P

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Re: First power meter - guidance and feedback please

Postby madmacca » Tue Nov 21, 2017 9:00 am

You may want to look at Watteam Powerbeats - dual sided power for $500ish, and compatible with SPD-SL, although you may want to check out compatibility with your cranks.

Dernydriver raises the issue of single-sided power. While left-right imbalance may lead to incorrect reporting of power, IMHO this is really only an issue if that imbalance is inconistent over your power curve (eg. a tendency toward right-leg dominance becomes more pronounced at very high power levels). PM's like the Vectors and Assioma's are upgradeable to dual-sided power if the budget later becomes available. This would give you most of the benefits of training with power now, and the increased accuracy when you can afford it later.

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MichaelB
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Re: First power meter - guidance and feedback please

Postby MichaelB » Tue Nov 21, 2017 9:09 am

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:I'm not disgusted! lol

If you can at all manage it within your budget, I'd suggest trying to avoid single sided. It just ends up leaving unanswered questions.


:D Your input to others has been very valuable and one of the reasons for delaying the purchase (making me think about it), but you also raise a very good point. I had an MVA 32 years ago which left me with a slightly shorter L femur with 15 deg outwards rotation. I tend to limp ever so slightly when tired, so maybe it's something that I need to consider.

So, budget wise, dual sided is the pedal option the most budget sensible option ? What other low cost true dual side PM's are out there ?


(AT) Jawa - thanks for the feedback. P1's have had some good feedback (have read nicobec's experiences with them)

(AT) madmacca - Have seen the Watteam Powerbeats, and thought about them, but not a fan of the pods, but will have a closer look again, thanks.

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Re: First power meter - guidance and feedback please

Postby MichaelB » Tue Nov 21, 2017 9:11 am

Oh, if anyone has a s/h unit for sale, my requirements are :
- BB30 compatible,
- compact spider,
- 172.5mm arms preferred (175mm OK)
- Spider for Specialized s-works crank is also acceptable rather than whole crank.

ta

Oh, have spied on fleabay a Quarq Riken (predecessor to the DZero) BNIB (and all the right features too - BB30, compact & 172.5mm arms) for ~ $660 landed - is that a good deal ?

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Re: First power meter - guidance and feedback please

Postby madmacca » Tue Nov 21, 2017 11:35 am

Michael,

In your research, I assume you have seen this:
https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2017/11/pow ... ition.html

The Powerbeat v2 was released this year, so if you looked at them a while ago, they may be worth another look. Although they still feature pods.

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Re: First power meter - guidance and feedback please

Postby march83 » Tue Nov 21, 2017 11:48 am

Used quarq elsa/riken or power2max s-type. Fits your budget, highly proven and robust.

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Re: First power meter - guidance and feedback please

Postby MichaelB » Tue Nov 21, 2017 12:14 pm

madmacca wrote:Michael,

In your research, I assume you have seen this:
https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2017/11/pow ... ition.html

The Powerbeat v2 was released this year, so if you looked at them a while ago, they may be worth another look. Although they still feature pods.


I did re-read this WatTeam in-depth Gen 2 review when you mentioned it. My current cranks are Spesh S-works carbon (older 20012 style) so from what I read they are not compatible . Yet.
Also noted the data reading inaccuracies with the system at some extremes (not that I'm likely to have those as much), but it's still something that bothers me.

@march83 - have my eye on a couple atm, but thanks for feedback.

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Re: First power meter - guidance and feedback please

Postby kb » Tue Nov 21, 2017 2:20 pm

MichaelB wrote:Oh, I use SPD-SL pedals, so if there was a sham I pedal version, I’d probably go with that !

Vector 1&2 (but not 3) have an SPD-SL compatible replacement pedal body but it would put you over budget
Image

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Re: First power meter - guidance and feedback please

Postby eeksll » Tue Nov 21, 2017 2:35 pm

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:I'm not disgusted! lol

If you can at all manage it within your budget, I'd suggest trying to avoid single sided. It just ends up leaving unanswered questions.


hmmm and I had my eye on stages.

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Re: First power meter - guidance and feedback please

Postby MichaelB » Tue Nov 21, 2017 3:13 pm

eeksll wrote:
Alex Simmons/RST wrote:I'm not disgusted! lol

If you can at all manage it within your budget, I'd suggest trying to avoid single sided. It just ends up leaving unanswered questions.


hmmm and I had my eye on stages.


I have a work colleague that had a Stages (bike was stolen), and whilst it worked OK, it did have more issues that it should have. On a Quarq now and that was replaced under warranty by SRAM, but overall reliability is better.

The only dual sided option that gets close to my budget is the Assimo Duo, but even shopping around, that's $1k, and any other dual option is $250 on top of that, so well outta my budget.

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Re: First power meter - guidance and feedback please

Postby PiratePete » Tue Nov 21, 2017 3:41 pm

@MichaelB - chiming in because I've just taken the PM plunge too. But what inspires me to throw my two bob in is a test I did yesterday and the results.

Firstly, I'm a distance rider, not competitive (except needing to KOM most Strava Segments). I injured my knee earlier in the year and have been off the bike for a few months. My Sports Medicine Doc planted the idea of a dual sided PM in my brain as the human body makes all sorts of compensatory changes to enable you to keep going forward. So I need to know what the body is doing, so I need to measure it. I opted for a pair of PowerTap P1 pedals.

Had them for a week, and have done about 170km so far with them paired up to my Wahoo ELEMNT, all good. Difficult to find tools to intemperate the data particularly L/R data. The best tool I've found (also the most expensive) is Training Peaks WKO4 ($179USD). I can see both on the bike, and more interestingly on the screen the imbalance. On the bike I can correct it with manual thought or attention.

But yesterday I did an experiment, nothing directly related to my knee, I used to be a moderator on the now defunct CycloGPS forum, and on this forum there were a small number of members who had PM's and issues with connection to there GPS, data dropouts, etc, etc. So given that I had zero issues with the PowerTap P1 and the Wahoo ELEMNT, I pulled out my old Magellan Cyclo 505 and paired it up before going for a 30km ride. Both ELEMNT and 505 collecting data side by side. For the record the 505 worked just fine.

However, it only outputs total power data, and does not split up L/R. Watching the screen and looking at the data when back at home it gave no insight as to what was happening down in the engine room. Total wattage is fine, but without that balance data I think it's bordering on useless for someone like me.

I would suggest if your willing to spend the money on a traditional single output PM, do yourself a favour and cough up the extra to do the job properly. It's worth the extra.

I now wonder if I've always had an imbalance? And I can see that when just grinding along is when I have the biggest issue of a lazy leg.

Also of great interest is the data showing where in the revolution the power is generated or wasted (not lifting the leg).

pushys.com.au is the Australian service provider for PowerTap, I purchased the P1 set from them for $1299. They are heavy, but not noticeable when riding. They operate on a AAA battery in each one, a lithium AAA is recommended and apparently lasts 60 hours. I like this option given that if one does fail during a ride, a AAA alkaline can be purchased at any servo, better than button batteries. Saturday I rode about 60km in heavy rain, time will tell if there's quality issues with the construction, right now I'm too chicken to take the battery out to see if it's wet, I'm hoping not.

Looking at the data in general, I wonder why I've taken so long to add one to the bike. Just for managing fatigue alone, but seeing real data rather than cooked up statistics regarding intensity, fatigue, short and long term stress etc. For me Left/Right insights are invaluable right now.
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Re: First power meter - guidance and feedback please

Postby MichaelB » Tue Nov 21, 2017 4:26 pm

Well bugger me. Saw a crankset PM (Quarq Riken) that fitted the bill, and it was on ebay for US$500 + postage. Thought I'd chuck in a sill bid of US$400 and watch the rejection fly in.

Nope :shock:

Accepted ...... Oh dear .....

Now, just see if I can negotiate postage down a bit ...

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Re: First power meter - guidance and feedback please

Postby eeksll » Tue Nov 21, 2017 4:38 pm

oh dear! :P

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Re: First power meter - guidance and feedback please

Postby MichaelB » Tue Nov 21, 2017 4:56 pm

Yep !!! A good oh dear though. Trying to negotiate reduced postage.

I hear you Pirate Pete, but budget wouldn’t stretch to double though. Maybe next PM I buy

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Re: First power meter - guidance and feedback please

Postby nickobec » Tue Nov 21, 2017 6:21 pm

@MichaelB was going to suggest if you don't have disc brakes a Powertap hub would fit your needs, my old Elite+ never missed a beat, just need to replace the rim after 20,000km.

But congrats on the Quarg

PiratePete wrote:right now I'm too chicken to take the battery out to see if it's wet, I'm hoping not.

Do it, and if wet, shove the pedal in a jar of rice.

I have a pair of P1, first pair rode in plenty of rain, then a real soaking including a 5km descent with a centimetre of rain on the road. A few days later started playing up, remove battery it was damp. Replaced under warranty (old distributor), that pair lasted less than six months, bearing issue, took pushys almost 4 months to replace under Powertap 2 year warranty.

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Re: First power meter - guidance and feedback please

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Tue Nov 21, 2017 7:35 pm

madmacca wrote:While left-right imbalance may lead to incorrect reporting of power, IMHO this is really only an issue if that imbalance is inconistent over your power curve (eg. a tendency toward right-leg dominance becomes more pronounced at very high power levels).

Asymmetry is normal, and variable asymmetry is normal.

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Re: First power meter - guidance and feedback please

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Tue Nov 21, 2017 7:41 pm

MichaelB wrote:So, budget wise, dual sided is the pedal option the most budget sensible option ? What other low cost true dual side PM's are out there ?

While it turns out you've got a meter on the way, what matters more is that your total power is measured correctly. That's several times more important than having independent left and right side measurement.

So any quality crank or hub based meter would be fine. Obviously a second hand and out of date model is a risk but the price is right and it should be fine. Good luck with it.

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Re: First power meter - guidance and feedback please

Postby MichaelB » Tue Nov 21, 2017 8:23 pm

Thanks to all those that chimes in with sage advice. All welcomed and taken on board, and going the S/ H route is a bit of a risk, but it wasn’t planned that way !!

The next step would have been the Powerbox, but there you go.

And as Nicobec mentioned, if PT made a disc hub, I probably would have seriously looked at that as well.

Time will tell how well I use it, but initially the specific goal in mind is getting a better handle on managing/pacing myself through the TdU stage (168km and over 2,200m of climbing - most of any of the stages that I have done to date) as there is most of the climbing in the 2nd half.

Have Joel Friels book on the way to guide me a bit, but I’m sure there will be plenty of questions along the way, so I apologise in advance for potential silly questions :)

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Re: First power meter - guidance and feedback please

Postby PiratePete » Tue Nov 21, 2017 9:28 pm

nickobec wrote:
PiratePete wrote:right now I'm too chicken to take the battery out to see if it's wet, I'm hoping not.

Do it, and if wet, shove the pedal in a jar of rice.

I have a pair of P1, first pair rode in plenty of rain, then a real soaking including a 5km descent with a centimetre of rain on the road. A few days later started playing up, remove battery it was damp. Replaced under warranty (old distributor), that pair lasted less than six months, bearing issue, took pushys almost 4 months to replace under Powertap 2 year warranty.


Great...

If I find it's wet then they can replace them straight up. If water can penetrate they're not fit for purpose IMHO. I did place a liberal amount of grease on the battery lid thread as I had read your post regarding your water ingress issue, thanks for the heads up and advice.
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Re: First power meter - guidance and feedback please

Postby MichaelB » Wed Nov 22, 2017 1:11 pm

Mr Friel's book has arrived, and Ch. 1 is already read.

Whether I get that serious and use the PM 'properly' remains to be seen, but I'll be edumacated and hopefully will ride better for it. :mrgreen:

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Re: First power meter - guidance and feedback please

Postby nickobec » Wed Nov 22, 2017 3:18 pm

MichaelB wrote:Mr Friel's book has arrived, and Ch. 1 is already read.

Whether I get that serious and use the PM 'properly' remains to be seen, but I'll be edumacated and hopefully will ride better for it. :mrgreen:


I found the Friel book heavy going after a few chapters.

Would highly recommend
Training and Racing with a Power Meter by Andrew Coggan and Hunter Allen

I do need to go reread again, as my training has fallen apart lately (a bit like my body)

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Re: First power meter - guidance and feedback please

Postby Arbuckle23 » Wed Nov 22, 2017 8:49 pm

MichaelB wrote:Whether I get that serious and use the PM 'properly' remains to be seen, but I'll be edumacated and hopefully will ride better for it. :mrgreen:


Please update this thread as you go along Michael. As a person who does not race, but rides purely for the pleasure and to be fit into my old(er) age. I am keen to see what you get out of using a Powermeter.

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Re: First power meter - guidance and feedback please

Postby Zippy7 » Wed Nov 22, 2017 10:43 pm

+1 I'd also be interested in hearing about your usage of the power meter.
I was very tempted to buy a stages crank PM, but upon thinking about it, I don't think it would make much difference to me. My friends look at their bike computers when riding, I only use my wahoo to log the ride on strava. I tend to pace myself based on how I think my legs are feeling, or on the flats, I might look at my current heart rate to determine how much slack I have left.
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