General Discussion Triathlon Talk » One-sided power Rss Feed  
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2016-06-20 8:49 AM

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Expert
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Pfafftown, NC
Subject: One-sided power
What's the skinny on one-sided power? I can't imagine it's totally useless......but, it seems to get bad reviews.

Is it better than no power at all?

OK.....if you use other metrics (HR....cadence...RPE)?

Does it really fluctuate from one side (being weaker or stronger) that much?

In a HIM or IM.....what's the absolute worst case scenario (epic failure)?

The cost of these is so far apart (one-sided v. two-sided) that you can't blame a guy for looking at the least expensive units. I have a (possibly) HIM coming up in a few weeks.....and I've also wondered if I could use the PM.....if I bought it, now. I'd have about 6wks to dial everything in. I have the race I'd really like to use it for.......7wks later (Sept).

I want to do an IM in 2017. Should I just wait and bite the bullet on a two-sided unit, this winter? I just bought a road bike, so the additional price for a two-sided unit is not in the cards right now.


2016-06-20 8:52 AM
in reply to: nc452010

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137
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Birmingham, Alabama
Subject: RE: One-sided power
Every time I ask this question I get one of two responses: 1) "One sided power is a waste of money. It's nearly useless because you don't know if your power is balanced." or 2) "It doesn't really matter that much."

I still have bought a PM yet, but asking this question never seems to get me any closer. I hope you get the answer you're looking for though (and not a series of confusing opinions).
2016-06-20 9:10 AM
in reply to: marti038


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Subject: RE: One-sided power
Originally posted by marti038

Every time I ask this question I get one of two responses: 1) "One sided power is a waste of money. It's nearly useless because you don't know if your power is balanced." or 2) "It doesn't really matter that much."

I still have bought a PM yet, but asking this question never seems to get me any closer. I hope you get the answer you're looking for though (and not a series of confusing opinions).


my money is all on a series of confusing opinions. it's the same one gets when posting any swimming question.
2016-06-20 9:31 AM
in reply to: nc452010

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Elite
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PEI, Canada
Subject: RE: One-sided power

Originally posted by nc452010 What's the skinny on one-sided power? I can't imagine it's totally useless......but, it seems to get bad reviews. Is it better than no power at all? OK.....if you use other metrics (HR....cadence...RPE)? Does it really fluctuate from one side (being weaker or stronger) that much? In a HIM or IM.....what's the absolute worst case scenario (epic failure)? The cost of these is so far apart (one-sided v. two-sided) that you can't blame a guy for looking at the least expensive units. I have a (possibly) HIM coming up in a few weeks.....and I've also wondered if I could use the PM.....if I bought it, now. I'd have about 6wks to dial everything in. I have the race I'd really like to use it for.......7wks later (Sept). I want to do an IM in 2017. Should I just wait and bite the bullet on a two-sided unit, this winter? I just bought a road bike, so the additional price for a two-sided unit is not in the cards right now.

The answer to almost all of your questions is... "it depends".

If you happen to be someone whose L/R balance is consistent across different intensities / cadences / levels of fatigue, etc then it will be perfectly fine.  If you aren't then things could start getting wonky on you.  The trouble is that as a first time PM user, you just don't know.

What PMs are you looking at that you see vast differences in price?

2016-06-20 9:37 AM
in reply to: axteraa

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Expert
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Pfafftown, NC
Subject: RE: One-sided power
The vast difference in price is 1-sided v. 2-sided.

1-sided I've seen as low as $400. I haven't seen a two-sided version for less than $900.

Am I looking in all the wrong places?
2016-06-20 9:41 AM
in reply to: nc452010


261
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Subject: RE: One-sided power
powertap chainring or powertap wheel are less than $900

I ordered a stages on closeout for $349. That price point I'll live with the left only limitations


2016-06-20 9:41 AM
in reply to: nc452010

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Elite
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Subject: RE: One-sided power
2016-06-20 9:57 AM
in reply to: axteraa

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Expert
2852
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Pfafftown, NC
Subject: RE: One-sided power
You are correct (P2 - FSA Gossamer).

I wasn't aware I could purchase 2-sided power for $600. If that's the case, I'll get right on that.

Thanks.
2016-06-20 10:04 AM
in reply to: nc452010

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Extreme Veteran
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Subject: RE: One-sided power

I have a Power2Max on both by road and tri bike.  Worth every penny.

2016-06-20 10:07 AM
in reply to: GAUG3

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Elite
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PEI, Canada
Subject: RE: One-sided power

Originally posted by GAUG3

I have a Power2Max on both by road and tri bike.  Worth every penny.

Me too.  I'm fortunate that I can swap it between the two bikes (and my wife's two) so I only need the one.

2016-06-20 11:59 AM
in reply to: axteraa

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Expert
2852
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Pfafftown, NC
Subject: RE: One-sided power
Let me ask another (I'm PM-ignorant) question......

Initially, the allure of the PM is for HIM and IM pacing. I'm sure I'd learn to use it for training and that it would probably benefit me more in that capacity. But, for these examples.....let's leave the scope to pacing - only.

Let's assume a hilly HIM bike course with one killer hill (1 mi.) of 6% grade and several large-ish rollers (4500'). For this example.....how confident would you feel using RPE v. your PM? How about a flat IM course (coastal......almost completely flat)?


2016-06-20 12:20 PM
in reply to: nc452010

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Elite
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PEI, Canada
Subject: RE: One-sided power

Personally I find a PM most useful in the first 20-30 mins of a HIM in that it keeps me from starting out too hard.  Without one I would have to consciously think about backing off and be careful on the hills (especially if early).  I think I would be ok but having used a PM for a few years, I feel like I've got a decent correlation between my RPE and power now.

2016-06-20 7:57 PM
in reply to: #5187696

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370
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, North Carolina
Subject: RE: One-sided power
Why not get a wheel with power? Could swap between bikes as needed. Does eliminate the snazzy race wheel option.
2016-06-21 7:15 AM
in reply to: Nick B

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Expert
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Pfafftown, NC
Subject: RE: One-sided power
I already have race wheels.....and they don't (mfr) utilize non-proprietary hubs.
2016-06-21 11:21 AM
in reply to: nc452010

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Not a Coach
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Media, PA
Subject: RE: One-sided power

You may have already considered and discarded the idea, but just in case:

Sell the race wheel to help fund a PT rear wheel + cover.

2016-06-21 11:39 AM
in reply to: nc452010

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Expert
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Fort Wayne, IN
Subject: RE: One-sided power
I have Garmin Vector 2 pedals. Generally speaking, my balance is 49/51 to 51/49. I rarely have greater differences than that, at least on average.


2016-06-21 12:13 PM
in reply to: nickster

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194
100252525
, North Carolina
Subject: RE: One-sided power
The big deal of having an imbalance is if you are inconsistently imbalanced or hugely imbalanced. A huge imbalance will show up in other ways too like pain in your knee or hip similar to a bike fit issue.

For triathletes, we generally will only get imbalanced on higher intensities like sprints but that is because we don't need to sprint so we don't train it that often so it's not an issue.

I have been using a Vector 2s this season. It is one sided and really it is not a big deal at all. In the end, power is power and while yes, dual sided is better, single side is not a big deal. the main thing to look for is consistency.
2016-06-21 12:42 PM
in reply to: 0

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Subject: RE: One-sided power

Originally posted by triathlonpal07 

For triathletes, we generally will only get imbalanced on higher intensities like sprints but that is because we don't need to sprint so we don't train it that often so it's not an issue.

This is a mighty broad brush to paint given you have absolutely no data to back it up.

ETA: Might want to take a look at post #18 by WattMatters who links many scientific studies on pedaling forces and asymmetry.



Edited by Jason N 2016-06-21 12:51 PM
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