General Discussion Triathlon Talk » I just bought a powertap!! Rss Feed  
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2013-12-02 9:08 PM

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Subject: I just bought a powertap!!
I just realized that I have no idea how long these should last. I can't believe I didn't think about this before I pulled the trigger
How many miles should I expect to get from this? It was significantly cheaper (for me) than a crank based power meter. I'm wondering though if
these are at least as durable? What are your experiences? It's a used rebuilt pro w/ brand new G3 internals btw.


2013-12-02 9:26 PM
in reply to: littlewj

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Subject: RE: I just bought a powertap!!
thousands of miles. Had mine for 5 yrs and it is still going strong.
2013-12-02 9:43 PM
in reply to: littlewj

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Subject: RE: I just bought a powertap!!

I bought my PT in 2006 and in 2008 had issue with hub and had to buy a new hub at great discount as they no longer had parts to fix mine which meant I went from a wired to wireless system.  In 2009 I got a Quarq. I use PT on trainer as my trainer wheel and will be using it with my new 150 cranks.

Customer service is great and they are super at problem solving.

2013-12-03 8:54 AM
in reply to: KathyG

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Subject: RE: I just bought a powertap!!

Originally posted by KathyG

I bought my PT in 2006 and in 2008 had issue with hub and had to buy a new hub at great discount as they no longer had parts to fix mine which meant I went from a wired to wireless system.  In 2009 I got a Quarq. I use PT on trainer as my trainer wheel and will be using it with my new 150 cranks.

Customer service is great and they are super at problem solving.

Question for you Kathy and any others, I'm considering either the Powertap, Quarq, or Stages. I do want something I can swap between bikes. I think I can easily with all three (PT would use a wheel to swap).  A friend just told me the PTs were a pain and had a lot of issues compared to Quarq and Stages. 

Any ideas?

2013-12-03 8:56 AM
in reply to: turtlegirl

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Subject: RE: I just bought a powertap!!

I've had my PT for 4+ years and my wife has had hers for 2.  Zero issues with either of them.  Change the batteries in them once in a while and they are happy.

2013-12-03 9:39 AM
in reply to: axteraa

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Subject: RE: I just bought a powertap!!

Originally posted by axteraa

I've had my PT for 4+ years and my wife has had hers for 2.  Zero issues with either of them.  Change the batteries in them once in a while and they are happy.

I've got two, one on a training wheel I bought used, and one on a racing wheel. Only problem I ever had was not being able to find that plastic tool to change the battery.



2013-12-03 10:01 AM
in reply to: turtlegirl

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Subject: RE: I just bought a powertap!!

Use multiple bikes best choice is something easy to change which for me would be PT or perhaps the new pedal based systems.

Using multiple wheels on same bike, I'd go with crank based system like a Quarq.

I know some folks who are good at mechanical stuff can change quarq from one to another bike  in 5 minutes but that is above what I want to do on an ongoing basis.

2013-12-03 10:15 AM
in reply to: littlewj

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Subject: RE: I just bought a powertap!!
I have two powertaps and am very happy with them. I have them on HED Jet 90's (TT and Tri) and HED Jet 50's (Road racing). You should be able to get many, many years out of it. The new G3 is even better in that if you have an issue you can just send the cap in to get it fixed (or so they say).

What software are you using with it and did you buy any books to help understand the data?
2013-12-03 10:32 AM
in reply to: littlewj

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Subject: RE: I just bought a powertap!!

I put about 18k miles on my PT before going to a quarq and gave the PT to my GF...which she is still using.  I have never had to "baby" it...I used it in wet weather and washed my bike without thinking twice about it.

As for the other question about swapping PMs between bikes, I would say as long as everything is compatible, they are all easy to change.  I swap my Quarq between my road and tri bike all the time.  I've also removed pedals before so here's how I would rank the ease of swapping.

1.  Powertap being the easiest.  Takes literally less than a minute with no tools required.
2.  Likely Stages assuming you already have the drive side portion of the crank on both bikes and are just swapping the non drive side PM arm.  My guess the swap would take about 2-3 minutes, and maybe 1 minute if you were in a rush. 
3.  Quarq would be a very similar process as the Stages swap, except you simply need to pull the drive side of the crank out from one bike and put it in the other bike.  That process is as easy as it sounds...pull out and put in.  Maybe an additional 30 seconds.
4.  This may surprise people, but I would rate swapping pedals as the most time consuming swap.  It requires you to remove 2 pedals, and 2 pods (receivers), then put back on 2 pedals and 2 pods.  That's 8 separate steps.  If you read DC rainmakers reviews on the Look power pedals and the Garmin Vectors...he also shows that the installation process isn't super simple.  Probably something you can get good at over time, but far from simply untightening the pedals and tightening them back on to another bike. 

 

2013-12-03 2:55 PM
in reply to: MonkeyClaw

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Subject: RE: I just bought a powertap!!
Originally posted by MonkeyClaw

I have two powertaps and am very happy with them. I have them on HED Jet 90's (TT and Tri) and HED Jet 50's (Road racing). You should be able to get many, many years out of it. The new G3 is even better in that if you have an issue you can just send the cap in to get it fixed (or so they say).

What software are you using with it and did you buy any books to help understand the data?


I just downloaded today Training and Racing with a Power Meter. I hope that will at least get me a basic understanding and a starting point. As far as software is concerned, I haven't given that any thought yet. What are the options? I'm using Trainer Road right now because of winter. It's great because it gives me my target wattage (I did do the ftp test). But when spring hits I'll be outside for all of my riding. Should I continue to use the Trainer Road workouts or is there something else I should be following when I get outside? Also, will my indoor watts match my outdoor watts? I know my heartrate is different for indoor/outdoor rides in relation to my RPE.
2013-12-03 3:49 PM
in reply to: littlewj

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Subject: RE: I just bought a powertap!!

Originally posted by littlewj
Originally posted by MonkeyClaw I have two powertaps and am very happy with them. I have them on HED Jet 90's (TT and Tri) and HED Jet 50's (Road racing). You should be able to get many, many years out of it. The new G3 is even better in that if you have an issue you can just send the cap in to get it fixed (or so they say). What software are you using with it and did you buy any books to help understand the data?
I just downloaded today Training and Racing with a Power Meter. I hope that will at least get me a basic understanding and a starting point. As far as software is concerned, I haven't given that any thought yet. What are the options? I'm using Trainer Road right now because of winter. It's great because it gives me my target wattage (I did do the ftp test). But when spring hits I'll be outside for all of my riding. Should I continue to use the Trainer Road workouts or is there something else I should be following when I get outside? Also, will my indoor watts match my outdoor watts? I know my heartrate is different for indoor/outdoor rides in relation to my RPE.

Golden Cheetah. It's free and works well. I don't think you're watts will be exactly the same indoors and out, but there shouldn't be that much of a difference, power is power. If anything, I've noticed I feel a little stronger outdoors, probably because I'm moving and not sweating puddles. I definitely think it's easier to sprint to higher power outdoors, but I've also done a 20 minute TT (ok, it took 22) and the power is fairly close. In my opinion, it's easier to get a structured workout on the trainer, but I have a hard time sitting on it for more than an hour and a half. Plus you're not working on bike handling. So long rides and group rides outdoors are fun and take care of those needs.



2013-12-04 9:22 AM
in reply to: littlewj

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Subject: RE: I just bought a powertap!!
Originally posted by littlewj

I just downloaded today Training and Racing with a Power Meter. I hope that will at least get me a basic understanding and a starting point. As far as software is concerned, I haven't given that any thought yet. What are the options? I'm using Trainer Road right now because of winter. It's great because it gives me my target wattage (I did do the ftp test). But when spring hits I'll be outside for all of my riding. Should I continue to use the Trainer Road workouts or is there something else I should be following when I get outside? Also, will my indoor watts match my outdoor watts? I know my heartrate is different for indoor/outdoor rides in relation to my RPE.


Training and Racing with a PM is a great book. There is also a shorter, easier to read book called The Power Meter Handbook by Friel. These are great places to start.

I'm not familiar enough with TR. Can you download workouts from outside? If so, it should be fine. I believe it has analysis and ATL/CTL. I use Golden Cheetah and Training Peaks to track everything, although most of my analysis is done using Golden Cheetah. My main windows are the performance manager and power curve (mean maximal power? I can't remember the name...). The nice thing is that it will estimate your FTP based on the historical data. Tons of other stuff to play with also.

I've found indoor power is the same as outdoor, but it is harder to maintain it mentally. The more you ride your trainer, the easier it will get to match indoor and outdoor power. The flywheel on a trainer helps maintain wheel momentum while the resistance makes it dissipate more quickly. Flywheels are notoriously too light. This makes riding the trainer a bit more like climbing than time trialling but again with practice, you will get used to it.

There are lots of plans out there. The biggest thing is to keep riding, ride hard sometimes, ride easy sometimes and enjoy your time on the bike (which often means a TV in front of the trainer). Now that you have real power, you can tell if you're going too easy or hard. Keep time on the trainer interesting by doing intervals - either structured via a plan, or drinking game-style while watching certain shows.

One last thing - power data is collected and aggregated over time. The more you collect, the more accurate your analysis can be. Don't read too much into the data until you've collected it for a couple of months. It's still useful of course, but analysis is more accurate the more data you have.
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