advice on used power meter

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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Location: Oakland, CA

by tacostand

I'm interested in getting a power meter and wondering how reliable a used powertap (or other power meter) might be. If I go used, I would probably try to pick up a Powertap on craigslist mostly because they're the most available. Depending on the model, there are usually a few for sale for $300-600. I've heard people suggest it's important to send used power meters back to the manufacturer for calibration and trying to get a sense of how necessary this is. I'm unlikely to go through the trouble of boxing and shipping a used power meter to have it calibrated - so if this is really necessary, I'd rather keep saving for something new. But if I could be something used with reasonable accuracy for ~$400 to try out that would be great. Thoughts?

by Weenie

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jekyll man
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by jekyll man

Secondhand powertap?
Don't bother

It'll likely cost you as much to get it working properly as it would a new one.
Even when they "calibrate" correctly I've had them churning out utter crap.
Only way you know is when you compare side by side data with a crank based system.
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by eyedrop

I bought a used Zipp carbon powertap wheel on ebay for $400. Ended up having to send it in for calibration which cost me $350. I did get a nice wheel on the whole deal, but ended up wearing the wheel out eventually. Now I have it built into an alloy training wheel which should be more reliable.

I suggest getting a brand new Powertap G3 and building it into a quality alloy wheelset. Powertap has excellent customer service, and very good accuracy. You really cant go wrong with a Powertap. Mine has been flawless for 2 years since the calibration.. If you get a used one, make sure it has been serviced recently...

If your a real weight weenie and want to sacrifice a small amount of accuracy and can deal with left-only power, a Stages would be a better bet. Ive heard great things about them...

Either way, you need to get a power meter!!!

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by Rick

My powertap has been reasonably reliable, but not without issues. And it has reached the end of its life. I would stay away from any used PM just because of the potential for problems. Who needs that kind of hassle?!?!

Unless it is a case of you personally knowing te prior owner or something like that that gives you reason to believe it is OK.

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by mrlobber

I would have no problem buying used P2Max, for instance. But there is a reason they rarely pop up for sale... because owners are happy with them ;)

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by Geoff

Used SRMs are just a good idea...

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by AZR3

I bought two used P2M and both have been rock solid, couldn't ask for more!

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by wetpaint

I wouldn't buy a used Powertap based on the repair costs. I've bought 2 used SRMs and a Quarq witH good results.

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by nobuseri

Bought a couple used Quarq Red cranks. No issues with them so far. As with anything used, how used it is and maintenance/upkeep activity will play a big part in how long it will last.
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by tinozee

My red quarq has been solid for a few years, would buy another one.

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by AJS914

I was thinking about a powerpod to get started with power. One issue for me is that the Campagnolo crank options are so expensive.

The dcrainmaker review makes it sound good enough for I'm sure will be modest needs. ... eview.html

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Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2014 1:12 pm

by Stueys

After trying pedal based power and talking to people in my club I've come to the conclusion that crank based seems to be the one reliable source that no-one complains about. Whether that's srm, quarq or p2m, the users generally seem happy. I moved onto power2max from a pedal based system, rock solid so far and p2m are at a good price point for new.

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by quadlt250

I've had a used Stages, 2 used Red Quarqs, and used Powertap G3. All have been perfect, so far. And within ~5% of each other when I have done testing. Maybe I just lucked out though. Powermeters have definitely been getting a lot more reliable the past couple years. I (obviously) would not have a problem recommending picking one up used.

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Joined: Mon Aug 30, 2010 10:18 pm

by kramnnim

I think Quarq will still do a "out of warranty replacement" for $500. The replacement unit will have a full 2 year warranty. So if you buy an old Cinqo and it stops working after a few months, you still might spend less than you would have if you bought a new one...

by Weenie

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by moonoi

AJS914 wrote:I was thinking about a powerpod to get started with power. One issue for me is that the Campagnolo crank options are so expensive.

The dcrainmaker review makes it sound good enough for I'm sure will be modest needs. ... eview.html

I have a PowerPod, and once setup it works great for the money, and it's certainly interesting to see the wind speed. Others in my club have one as well, along with a crank based PM, and report similar results to Ray in his review of it. I was also able to mount it on my TT bike without issue as well.

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