First Power meter suggestions

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
cdncyclist
Posts: 65
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 12:10 am

by cdncyclist

A lot of declarative statements on here without reliable evidence to back them up. My comments - and these are for a first time power user (although probably relevant for more):

- there are no data as far as I am aware that a difference in precision (i.e.1% vs. 1.5% vs. 2%) has any impact on training. Reliability (i.e. giving the same reading for the same power output is what you need, but precision is secondary
- I am aware of no data that more 'advanced' features has an tangible impact on training / performance. Perhaps if you have an injury, or have a major musculoskeletal imbalance maybe L and R are valuable (although even then, this is speculative). All the other 'extra' features also sound cool, but not clear what to do with the data or how it helps
- while reliability is important, I contend with some of the declarative statements being made. I started with stages (simple, cheap, low weight), and then got a second one - zero problems over 3 years of use. And you see people with strong preferences giving completely opposite recommendations - they can't both be right! Experiences differ, there are pros and cons of every system. Think about what works best for you.

Finally, the biggest difference you will see is moving from training without power, to training with it. What tool you use, and the difference among those tools, are very very tiny compared to this difference.

Anecdotally I started with stages - cheap, simple, light. As I progressed and trained more with power, looked at the various systems, I didn't change anything, and have stuck with it (I can't see any advantages to more complex systems) - and instead spent the money on getting a coach so that I can fully take advantage with training with power - a far far better investment than more costly tech!

by Weenie


merser
Posts: 31
Joined: Sat Jun 24, 2017 8:05 pm

by merser

cdncyclist wrote:A lot of declarative statements on here without reliable evidence to back them up. My comments - and these are for a first time power user (although probably relevant for more):

- there are no data as far as I am aware that a difference in precision (i.e.1% vs. 1.5% vs. 2%) has any impact on training. Reliability (i.e. giving the same reading for the same power output is what you need, but precision is secondary
- I am aware of no data that more 'advanced' features has an tangible impact on training / performance. Perhaps if you have an injury, or have a major musculoskeletal imbalance maybe L and R are valuable (although even then, this is speculative). All the other 'extra' features also sound cool, but not clear what to do with the data or how it helps
- while reliability is important, I contend with some of the declarative statements being made. I started with stages (simple, cheap, low weight), and then got a second one - zero problems over 3 years of use. And you see people with strong preferences giving completely opposite recommendations - they can't both be right! Experiences differ, there are pros and cons of every system. Think about what works best for you.

Finally, the biggest difference you will see is moving from training without power, to training with it. What tool you use, and the difference among those tools, are very very tiny compared to this difference.

Anecdotally I started with stages - cheap, simple, light. As I progressed and trained more with power, looked at the various systems, I didn't change anything, and have stuck with it (I can't see any advantages to more complex systems) - and instead spent the money on getting a coach so that I can fully take advantage with training with power - a far far better investment than more costly tech!


Nicely put mate, I appreciate it. I think I'll go and have a look at a couple of different ones.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

kulivontot
Posts: 1170
Joined: Sun May 16, 2010 7:28 pm

by kulivontot

There's a whole bunch of powermeters and they're very different. Answer some questions and we can better make recommendations.

How many bikes do you have? What's your budget? What kind of riding do you do? Do you have a coach? Are you the kind of data nerd that sits down after every ride and checks your strava analysis afterwards or moreso the type of person that just checks the ride distance / elevation total? What is your current crankset / bottom bracket?

merser
Posts: 31
Joined: Sat Jun 24, 2017 8:05 pm

by merser

cdncyclist wrote:A lot of declarative statements on here without reliable evidence to back them up. My comments - and these are for a first time power user (although probably relevant for more):

- there are no data as far as I am aware that a difference in precision (i.e.1% vs. 1.5% vs. 2%) has any impact on training. Reliability (i.e. giving the same reading for the same power output is what you need, but precision is secondary
- I am aware of no data that more 'advanced' features has an tangible impact on training / performance. Perhaps if you have an injury, or have a major musculoskeletal imbalance maybe L and R are valuable (although even then, this is speculative). All the other 'extra' features also sound cool, but not clear what to do with the data or how it helps
- while reliability is important, I contend with some of the declarative statements being made. I started with stages (simple, cheap, low weight), and then got a second one - zero problems over 3 years of use. And you see people with strong preferences giving completely opposite recommendations - they can't both be right! Experiences differ, there are pros and cons of every system. Think about what works best for you.

Finally, the biggest difference you will see is moving from training without power, to training with it. What tool you use, and the difference among those tools, are very very tiny compared to this difference.

Anecdotally I started with stages - cheap, simple, light. As I progressed and trained more with power, looked at the various systems, I didn't change anything, and have stuck with it (I can't see any advantages to more complex systems) - and instead spent the money on getting a coach so that I can fully take advantage with training with power - a far far better investment than more costly tech!


Nicely put mate, I appreciate it. I think I'll go and have a look at a couple of different ones.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

topflightpro
Posts: 829
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 2:35 am

by topflightpro

There have been multiple studies questioning the accuracy, precision and reliability of Stages. Here is an article about one of them: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28482367.

That said, while there are tradeoffs with all of them, PowerTap and SRM have an established history of producing reliable and accurate products. I've used both.

Quarq is hit or miss - I went through three of them over 18 months before selling the fourth one, where as my wife has had no issue with either of hers - though I think many of the past issues have been rectified with the new D-Zero.

Used SRMs are still a good value and the price is coming down on them given all the competition in the market.

c60rider
Posts: 361
Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2017 11:12 pm

by c60rider

Had a quarq sram red 10 running on my campag 11 speed for my first power meter and that was 4 years ago and been faultless in that time. That's probably going to kill it :unbelievable:

merser
Posts: 31
Joined: Sat Jun 24, 2017 8:05 pm

by merser

c60rider wrote:Had a quarq sram red 10 running on my campag 11 speed for my first power meter and that was 4 years ago and been faultless in that time. That's probably going to kill it :unbelievable:


Hahahahha almost guaranteed!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

cdncyclist
Posts: 65
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 12:10 am

by cdncyclist

topflightpro wrote:There have been multiple studies questioning the accuracy, precision and reliability of Stages. Here is an article about one of them: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28482367.

That said, while there are tradeoffs with all of them, PowerTap and SRM have an established history of producing reliable and accurate products. I've used both.

Quarq is hit or miss - I went through three of them over 18 months before selling the fourth one, where as my wife has had no issue with either of hers - though I think many of the past issues have been rectified with the new D-Zero.

Used SRMs are still a good value and the price is coming down on them given all the competition in the market.


Sure, but 2 points - the abstract (I didn't read the entire article) stated precision is high among all - which is arguably the most important metric for training with power (i.e. if a PM systematically reads 'low' or 'high', it won't impact training effect). Further, this is a surrogate endpoint - the key outcome is how variations in the tool used might impact performance. Given the variability in actual power output during an interval, I am not sure that greater precision or accuracy in the powermeter is the rate limiting step for achieving a target power (at least for me!).

I agree there are tradeoffs with all of them, but there are a lot of marketing messages that aren't definitely backed up.

Aeo
Posts: 20
Joined: Wed May 25, 2016 2:06 am

by Aeo

Instead of challenging Stages on the price tag, half-truths and doubt is peddled.
People are seriously suggesting SRM for a first power meter in 2017.

moonoi
Posts: 490
Joined: Sat Nov 21, 2015 3:04 pm
Location: Earth

by moonoi

Don't know where you are based, but I'd consider a Pioneer Dual Sided. I picked one up from Bikebug in Australia with the Pioneer bike computer for free, and with the current exchange rate came in at just over $1000 US.

I've used Quarq, Stages and Rotor and all of them have been within 5% of my TACX Neo when running them on the trainer, so in my case it doesn't matter which one, each on is accurate enough and provides consistent repeatable data, it just depends on your requirement and budget.

That said on the warranty front, Quarq took 5 months to replace a faulty unit, at least in the end they swapped it out for the newer DZero.

Stages are awful, my Campagnolo SR Stages eats batteries within a few days, even if it's not used and now they are claiming it is low quality batteries that are the issue. Bearing in mind that the battery that shipped with the unit was DoA and I've only used Panasonic or Energizer batteries from reputable stores since, I don't believe them. On the other hand my Ultegra Stages has been faultless.

Rotor were great when I broke the o ring on the battery door and FedEx'd me a new door and o ring at no cost.

wai2fast
Posts: 30
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2006 4:04 am
Location: NYC!

by wai2fast

For your first PM, I would recommend the Powertap hub-based option for the simple reason that it just works. It's completely dummy proof and easy to flip if you should decide riding with a powermeter isn't for you. I think crank-based, like Quarq and SRM, are awesome, but it's more of a commitment and might take more effort on the setup/calibration side.

wwnick
Posts: 106
Joined: Wed May 10, 2017 8:49 pm

by wwnick

dude dont get a stages until they bring out double sided model
single sided is a joke
or a powertap, you will hate being limited to wheel that it is built on (this is from experience)
and rather than asking "what my first" you should be looking at what is my "last", ie not having to get something better later on.
PM is worth more than anything, frame/wheel upgrade etc. so spend the cash, a P2Max is less than 1/2 price of aero ( :lol: ) frame

p.s. pioneer look good also and are cheap

jlok
Posts: 713
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2015 3:30 am

by jlok

Since diff. power meters have diff. strain gauge locations, you have below points to consider:

1. Do you care which pedal to use? (PowerTap P1 / Vector 2 pedal type vs the others)

2. Portability: do you plan to use the PM on more than 1 bike? (Pedal type PM is easier to move between bikes, specifically the P1)

3. Dual or sum of left/right or single-sided? (more of budget issue I think)

4. Do you need Bluetooth connection?

Check out dcrainmaker.com the most comprehensive PM reviews are there.

Used Vector 1/2 and Quarq DZero, like the left/right individual measurement of Vector and simplicity/ease of use/price of Quarq Dzero.
Giant Propel Advanced SL Disc 1 / BMC TM02 < Propel Adv < TCR Adv SL Disc < KTM Revelator Sky < CAAD 12 Disc < Domane S Disc < Alize < CAAD 10

angrylegs
Posts: 137
Joined: Mon May 21, 2012 2:32 pm

by angrylegs

I've been using a Quarq powermeter on Rotor 3D+ cranks and Q rings for the past 5 years. Raced on the setup for a couple seasons. Fantastic. I've never had any issues with the Quarq. Easy battery change and simply always works. Power seems accurate enough (I agree with the above post that if you're in the ballpark you're good to go for training - you want consistency and reliability over accuracy, all things being equal).

I'm considering another bike build and I want 2-sided power reading, so after a lot of research I'm going with Rotor's 2inPower cranks and Q rings. I don't want to be switching out pedals between bikes, so I don't need a pedal solution. Rotor over the years has had absolutely fantastic customer service which I admit influenced my decision. Price is not bad either.

I'd go with Quarq again with no hesitation. I'm happy too going with Rotor. I don't want a pedal solution due to pedal wear and pedal issues (my Keo's over the years have eventually needed replacement - I understand you can replace the Keo Power pedal parts, but I don't want to get involved with that). Some solutions are clunky imho (pedal pods and whatnot) so sometimes it comes down to ascetics (I've never liked SRMs look, for example, but agree that they are bombproof and reliable). The post above me is good to help narrow down the solution for you.

by Weenie


cdncyclist
Posts: 65
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 12:10 am

by cdncyclist

wwnick wrote:dude dont get a stages until they bring out double sided model
single sided is a joke
or a powertap, you will hate being limited to wheel that it is built on (this is from experience)
and rather than asking "what my first" you should be looking at what is my "last", ie not having to get something better later on.
PM is worth more than anything, frame/wheel upgrade etc. so spend the cash, a P2Max is less than 1/2 price of aero ( :lol: ) frame

p.s. pioneer look good also and are cheap


I recognize that providing opinion is the purpose of this forum, but declarative statements without evidence or even exposition doesn't add all that much to the discussion

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post