Power meter vs smart trainer. Best bang for the $$$?

A light bike doesn't replace good fitness.

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AJS914
Posts: 1753
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:52 pm

by AJS914

I only have a Smart Trainer right now. Going forward I could see where I only do structured intervals inside and then when I go outside I just ride, attack hills and Strava segments as I like, and enjoy the ride.

I'm not racing so all of this is for fun.

I did buy a wheelset with a Powertap but I haven't set it up yet and it's been snowing for six weeks anyway.

by Weenie


alcatraz
Posts: 570
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2016 11:19 am

by alcatraz

DurianGrey wrote:
Mon Jan 22, 2018 5:57 pm
Sounds like you already made your decision, but I'd go with the powermeter and a dumb trainer, here's why: It's going to drive you nuts when one day you make a huge effort, win a race, or roast your buddies outside and can't compare that effort to what you do in front of the TV.
Good point.

I'm just wondering, given someone owns the precision equipment like kickr+quarq, can such two widely different environments really ever be compared to gauge finish line sprints and such?

I will get a PM (probably left side only because I like light weight and occasionally swapping to an MTB spider to take climbing strava KOMs).

Point is. Won't I be able to switch the power feed from the tacx to the crank pm indoors aswell as outdoors? That would mean the power data would be more comparable and trustworthy as you say, no?

As far as purchases go I only really committed to not going lower than 300$ on the trainer. Seems this one will leave more options open for the future without being crazy loud. I don't think it was wasted money. I understand the idea of going dumbo though and I like the idea's simplicity. Put the money in the bike instead in accessories used a fraction of the total riding time.

Thank you everyone for all the replies. Now I'm hunting a Cannondale SI SL (1/2) crank to put a power meter on.

/a

alcatraz
Posts: 570
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2016 11:19 am

by alcatraz

AJS914 wrote:
Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:26 pm
I only have a Smart Trainer right now. Going forward I could see where I only do structured intervals inside and then when I go outside I just ride, attack hills and Strava segments as I like, and enjoy the ride.

I'm not racing so all of this is for fun.

I did buy a wheelset with a Powertap but I haven't set it up yet and it's been snowing for six weeks anyway.
That sounds a lot like my aim. I'm happy you took the time to help me out. Cheers!

AJS914
Posts: 1753
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:52 pm

by AJS914

Responding to the previous post.

If you use a power meter with your trainer, you just run them both at the same time and compare. Then you'll know how much they vary from each other and you can adjust your training power targets accordingly. For example, the trainer may read 5 watts high so you'll know to set the trainer power targets accordingly.

When you are using the trainer, you could control it with an ipad or phone over bluetooth. You can record power and heart rate off of your power meter on to your Garmin which can sync with Strava.

During the training you can display the power meter power on the Garmin and the trainer power on the ipad or phone which will show you in real time how different the two devices are reading.

Don't make it too complicated. Get started, test your FTP. Study and read books. Design some power workouts based on your tested FTP. Learn and get faster.

DurianGrey
Posts: 31
Joined: Tue Jun 13, 2017 9:57 pm

by DurianGrey

alcatraz wrote:
Tue Jan 23, 2018 1:20 am
DurianGrey wrote:
Mon Jan 22, 2018 5:57 pm
Sounds like you already made your decision, but I'd go with the powermeter and a dumb trainer, here's why: It's going to drive you nuts when one day you make a huge effort, win a race, or roast your buddies outside and can't compare that effort to what you do in front of the TV.
Good point.

I'm just wondering, given someone owns the precision equipment like kickr+quarq, can such two widely different environments really ever be compared to gauge finish line sprints and such?

I will get a PM (probably left side only because I like light weight and occasionally swapping to an MTB spider to take climbing strava KOMs).

Point is. Won't I be able to switch the power feed from the tacx to the crank pm indoors aswell as outdoors? That would mean the power data would be more comparable and trustworthy as you say, no?

As far as purchases go I only really committed to not going lower than 300$ on the trainer. Seems this one will leave more options open for the future without being crazy loud. I don't think it was wasted money. I understand the idea of going dumbo though and I like the idea's simplicity. Put the money in the bike instead in accessories used a fraction of the total riding time.

Thank you everyone for all the replies. Now I'm hunting a Cannondale SI SL (1/2) crank to put a power meter on.

/a
Uh, sure? Of course you could do this, I thought you weren't trying to spend a lot of money. By all means, if you can, scoop up a smart trainer, a crank-based PM, and a set of powertap P1s for when you travel :)

3Pio
Posts: 829
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2016 7:13 pm

by 3Pio

Had similar dilema few months ago, and at the end i went with Kinetic Road Machine Inride version (just 30 eur more then regular one).

Road Machine is silent, robust and i like the feeling i have. Maybe worth buying Rock N Roll version (probably better in term of less soreness for rides longer then 1 hour).

Noticed that i like training with power (TrainerRoad), few weeks ago bought Favero Assioma Duo PM pedals..

Definetely better money spend than spending for Smart Trainer (which i doubt that can be even not so good choice for training with Trainer Road compared to Dumb).

Im sure feeling i got from riding inside in term of power, i'll be able to use outside as well.. So beside indoor, usefull help outdoor as well..
Last edited by 3Pio on Fri Jan 26, 2018 3:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Geoff
Posts: 5014
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2003 2:25 am
Location: Canada

by Geoff

+1 for the powermeter that you can run 'in the real world'.

yltman
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Nov 21, 2017 12:50 pm

by yltman

consider buying only power meter
you'll not ride inside in summer time
you can train in the winter with so called dumb trainer and power meter

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