General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Power or Race Wheels Rss Feed  
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2013-07-18 11:27 PM


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Subject: Power or Race Wheels
So I've got enough saved up for either a set of race wheels or a powertap. Whichever I decide upon, it'll probably be the end of 2014 before I'll be in a position to get the other. Looking for some opinions, I know y'all have some.

Will training with power winter/spring yield better results on the road in 2014 than a set of race wheels? Logs are up to date. I'll average about 21mph on a reasonable 40k course. I didn't really improve all that much between last year and this year on the bike but I didn't exactly focus on riding either, splitting all three disciplines pretty evenly until June due to the crappy Spring weather.



2013-07-19 2:03 AM
in reply to: ziggie204

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Subject: RE: Power or Race Wheels
Without a doubt, if I was in your shoes I'd be looking at a power meter.  I've yet to invest in a power meter and I really wish I had one.  I think that what it would add to my weekly training regimen would far outweight a set of race wheels.  I do have race wheels including a disc which is very nice but at the end of the day I think I would be faster with better training tools. 
2013-07-19 2:13 AM
in reply to: ziggie204

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Subject: RE: Power or Race Wheels
Get a powertap and also order a disc cover for it for $100.  When you can save up another $400 or so, look for a used front wheel or a new FLO front and you'll be good to go.
2013-07-19 2:52 AM
in reply to: Jason N

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Subject: RE: Power or Race Wheels

Originally posted by Jason N Get a powertap and also order a disc cover for it for $100.  When you can save up another $400 or so, look for a used front wheel or a new FLO front and you'll be good to go.

+1

2013-07-19 10:48 AM
in reply to: axteraa

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Subject: RE: Power or Race Wheels
I am actually in the exact same position you are looking at a set of flo wheels or a power tap set. My issue was if I train with it I want to race with it so would have to go the route mentioned above do a flow 60 front and a cover for the tap. I originally wanted to go with a stages however for my two bikes I would need a full crank.

Anyways I agree with most that a power meter will be the best option and it seems as though the front wheel and a cover for the tap is also the best route with that unless a stages would work for you?
2013-07-19 10:59 AM
in reply to: Exige

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Subject: RE: Power or Race Wheels
If you're training with power on two bikes, go with the power tap and the wheel cover, done.


2013-07-19 11:27 AM
in reply to: ziggie204

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Subject: RE: Power or Race Wheels
Sorry to highjack, but I have a related question. Buying used powertap wheels on Ebay seems very risky. Does anyone have advice on what to look for (damage wise) when buying a wheel on Ebay or CraigsList?
Thanks in advance
2013-07-19 11:39 AM
in reply to: ziggie204

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Subject: RE: Power or Race Wheels
Originally posted by ziggie204



Will training with power winter/spring yield better results on the road in 2014 than a set of race wheels?




In conjunction with a good power-based training plan, a power meter is a smart investment, and the way I'd go -- actually the way I HAVE gone... ;-)

I'll second the suggestion to invest in a disc cover and then look for a good second-hand front wheel.

Ken
2013-07-19 11:40 AM
in reply to: ziggie204

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Subject: RE: Power or Race Wheels
You will be able to use your power data each day you train, analyze it and train better, which will help you improve your bike fitness. The wheels will help you on race day only, not to train better. If you want to buy speed for race day, you can either rent wheels or as many suggested get a cover for you back wheel for about $100.

I'm in this exact same situation and I think I will go for power meter + cover.
2013-07-19 11:43 AM
in reply to: djmtrier

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Subject: RE: Power or Race Wheels
Originally posted by djmtrier

Sorry to highjack, but I have a related question. Buying used powertap wheels on Ebay seems very risky. Does anyone have advice on what to look for (damage wise) when buying a wheel on Ebay or CraigsList?
Thanks in advance


I'm looking at thi option too, but this will be my first powertap + wheel I'm buying an I'm scared of being ripped off. It will be great to see what we have to look for when buying these things on eBar or if we should not even consider it.
2013-07-19 11:54 AM
in reply to: axteraa

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Subject: RE: Power or Race Wheels
Originally posted by axteraa

Originally posted by Jason N Get a powertap and also order a disc cover for it for $100.  When you can save up another $400 or so, look for a used front wheel or a new FLO front and you'll be good to go.

+1




X2
Good luck with your new wheel set up


2013-07-19 12:12 PM
in reply to: Jason N

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Subject: RE: Power or Race Wheels

Originally posted by Jason N Get a powertap and also order a disc cover for it for $100.  When you can save up another $400 or so, look for a used front wheel or a new FLO front and you'll be good to go.

 

x3

 

and to the other question.  a power meter (with associated training and use) will do more for your ultimate performance than wheels.  You can probably pick up a good used wireless powertap wheel for ~$600.  watch your local craigslist.

2013-07-19 1:31 PM
in reply to: morey000

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Subject: RE: Power or Race Wheels
Not sure where you live but many bike shops rent out race wheels. I also know that Ironman sanctioned events partner up with a company whom you can rent wheels from.

I would definitely get a power meter and figure the wheels out later. I'm currently looking into power meters after hearing how much everyone loves training with them.
2013-07-19 1:35 PM
in reply to: ziggie204


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Subject: RE: Power or Race Wheels
#1 Power
#2 Power
#3 Power

I bought a powertap last year and it's been a great addition to bike training, and has definitely improved my results. Makes indoor training very, very good as well, and bridges the gap between indoor and outdoor training.


I purchased a disc cover and FLO front wheel as well.


As cool as the FLO wheel is, I've used it ONCE for race day. Whereas I use the Powertap every time I ride. As highly as I think of the FLO wheel, I can't help but cringing at the bang for the buck factor given that low rate of use.


No contest here - skip the fancy pansy looking race wheels, and get a power-device first.
2013-07-19 1:49 PM
in reply to: djmtrier

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Subject: RE: Power or Race Wheels

Originally posted by djmtrier Sorry to highjack, but I have a related question. Buying used powertap wheels on Ebay seems very risky. Does anyone have advice on what to look for (damage wise) when buying a wheel on Ebay or CraigsList? Thanks in advance

Anytime you buy something from ebay, especially a used electronic device you're taking a risk.  For something like a power meter I would at least like to know who the seller is.  For example, someone well known on this site or on slowtwitch selling a PM in the classifieds I would trust a lot more than some random person on ebay.

Better than that though, I would prefer craigslist where you should be able to meet the seller and see/test the wheel in person.

While you can ask for mileage or if it was in a crash or not, take that answer with a grain of salt as 75% of sellers either blatantly lie about that or stretch the truth.  Other than that, the only real thing you can look for is if the wheel is true and the PT still works.  Open up the battery cover and make sure it screws on tightly and there is no corrosion or anything funky going on where the battery sits.

2013-07-19 2:56 PM
in reply to: ziggie204

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Oakville
Subject: RE: Power or Race Wheels
Lots of posts so far in favour of the power meter, so I guess I will be the contrarian.

I was in the same position as the OP last Fall and went with the FLO 60/90 combo and a Wheelbuilder cover and don't regret my decision.

BUT... I do 80 to 90% of my training using virtual power on Trainerroad and mainly compete in Sprint distance races with one Olympic planned for later this summer.

My average speed over 3 Sprint races so far this year has increased 3.7 km/hr compared to my average speed for all Sprint races last year.

I believe the FLOs are the main factor, but to be fair the Jorge winter program along with a new aero helmet, Conti GP 4000s tires and latex tubes all helped.

Having said that, if I ever sign up for a HIM or an IM then the first thing I would buy is a Powertap, for training purposes and for race day execution.




2013-07-19 3:04 PM
in reply to: morey000

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Subject: RE: Power or Race Wheels
Originally posted by morey000

Originally posted by Jason N Get a powertap and also order a disc cover for it for $100.  When you can save up another $400 or so, look for a used front wheel or a new FLO front and you'll be good to go.

 

x3

 

and to the other question.  a power meter (with associated training and use) will do more for your ultimate performance than wheels.  You can probably pick up a good used wireless powertap wheel for ~$600.  watch your local craigslist.

X whatever with the caveat that you need a plan.  Otherwise it's just an interesting toy

2013-07-19 3:24 PM
in reply to: 0

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Subject: RE: Power or Race Wheels

Originally posted by Scott71 My average speed over 3 Sprint races so far this year has increased 3.7 km/hr compared to my average speed for all Sprint races last year. I believe the FLOs are the main factor, but to be fair the Jorge winter program along with a new aero helmet, Conti GP 4000s tires and latex tubes all helped.

Wind tunnel testing and physics would say that your 3.7 km/hr gain was not mostly due to your wheels.  Almost certainly less than 1 km/hr.  Your aero helmet likely contributed the about the same gains as your wheels, and your tire/tube combination may have been an even bigger improvment depending on what you were using before.  That still leaves about 1-2 km/hr improvement due to your fitness gains...which would likely trump any single factor you mentioned.

All that said, the key to being as fast as possible is to take advantage of every edge you possibly can.  .3 km/hr here, .4 km/hr there...train hard...and all of a sudden boom...big difference in speed.



Edited by Jason N 2013-07-19 3:26 PM
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