How reliable are power meters?

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Trev The Rev
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Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 09:10 am

How reliable are power meters?

Postby Trev The Rev » Fri Oct 26, 2012 08:39 am

Please post your experiences with power meters, both good & bad.

danowat
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Joined: Mon Apr 19, 2010 13:58 pm

Re: How reliable are power meters?

Postby danowat » Fri Oct 26, 2012 08:53 am

Go on then, I'll bite.........

Units - Powertap SL+ on Mavic open pro rim, cost £500, 10 months old, few thousand miles
Quarq S975 , cost £1200, 4 months old, few hundred race miles

Bad points - Quarq had a problem at 8 hours into a 12 hour TT, coincided with heavy rainfall, possibly water ingress, sorted its self out after a few on the fly zero resets, Powertap has been faultless (apart from a broken spoke....)

Good points - Every training session is a quality targetted session, post race power data good better than time for a guide on how the event went, power based pacing invaluable (for me) on long(er) events.

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springtide9
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Joined: Sat May 08, 2010 23:30 pm

Re: How reliable are power meters?

Postby springtide9 » Fri Oct 26, 2012 08:57 am

Bought a Powertap Pro Rear Wheel. New from Wiggle for £580 in April 2012 (6 months old). Prices appear to be falling, and I wonder when we'll see the first sub £500 new complete wheel. The cheapest so far I've seen is £560 from Wiggle (one of their % off offers)

The build of the wheel was far from idea, which caused the wheel to have to be returned and rebuilt. I had been told from the servicing centre that Cyclops were changing their partner that they used to build the wheels up for them.

As for the electronics, it's been faultless since new.. it's not missed a single beat: Power, Speed and Cadence all working as it should (combined with Edge 800).

Due to the issues with the wheel build, I had the opportunity to visit the UK service centre and talk to the staff (due to a mix up on their behalf)... they were very helpful and lent me a wheel (due to the mix up) while mine was being rebuilt by Strada Wheels. The PT Service centre is small, and I saw the queue for the PT repairs/services. Considering the number of staff allocated to PT Servicing, the queue was small (very small) - hence I can only assume they are very reliable.
I think as someone has previously pointed out, the PT's can be expensive to repair if the 'tube' goes. I can only assume this is the strain gauge, which I assume is the expensive bit of the hardware (and not serviceable)

Plus Points to having Power data:
I haven't even started a proper training plan, but the power data has been fantastic. I am much much better at pacing nowadays (even without the PT), and having the power data means I can really push myself (as in, I know that I have previously achieved, so force myself to either repeat or better).
I can see when I start a proper power based training plan, it will be invaluable.
Simon

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Alex_Simmons/RST
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Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2007 08:19 am

Re: How reliable are power meters?

Postby Alex_Simmons/RST » Fri Oct 26, 2012 09:18 am

Have owned 12 Powertaps and 5 SRMs.

Most of the Powertaps eventually died over the years, a few still work. All were models that used the wiring harness.
SRMs all work perfectly, one is approaching 10 years old.

MarkAshton
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Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2012 08:57 am

Re: How reliable are power meters?

Postby MarkAshton » Fri Oct 26, 2012 11:21 am

1 PT over 2 years. Return to be fixed 4 times.. Think its pot luck, and they dont tend to like rain. I am sure they all have their issues (like any technical bit of kit). I am also sure they will continue to get better. It probably wont be long before bikes come with pre-fitted power measuring devices...

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springtide9
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Joined: Sat May 08, 2010 23:30 pm

Re: How reliable are power meters?

Postby springtide9 » Fri Oct 26, 2012 13:45 pm

MarkAshton wrote:1 PT over 2 years. Return to be fixed 4 times.. Think its pot luck, and they dont tend to like rain. I am sure they all have their issues (like any technical bit of kit). I am also sure they will continue to get better. It probably wont be long before bikes come with pre-fitted power measuring devices...


You probably already know this, but will share anyway..

When I was talking to the guy in the PT Service Centre, he recommended if replacing the battery / opening up the unit, to use:

http://www.maplin.co.uk/contralube-770- ... Butane+Gas

He just put a little bit of grease around the battery/electronics area, as well as around the cap (after a good clean of the seals). He mentioned that they were very sensitive to water/moisture, and in most cases grease around the cap will keep out the water/moisture, but additional grease around the battery area just protects the electronics a little bit more (if a tiny bit managed to creep in)
Simon

fish156
Posts: 483
Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2010 18:10 pm

Re: How reliable are power meters?

Postby fish156 » Fri Oct 26, 2012 14:23 pm

  • PowerTap PRO+. 3 years. Have had to (self) replace bearings once. LYC died after a couple of years, but turned out to be a blessing in disguise as the Garmin 500 is a far superior unit with its customisable display and programmable workouts. Trained on in all conditions.
  • PowerTap G3. 6 months. Have had to update FirmWare to ensure PT "wakes up" consistently. Summer training & racing wheel.

Apart from that, both units have been trouble free and (in my opinion) beneficial to my training.

Bigpikle
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Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 21:10 pm

Re: How reliable are power meters?

Postby Bigpikle » Fri Oct 26, 2012 17:26 pm

generally very good IME
Your Past is Not Your Potential...

mattshrops
Posts: 1150
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Re: How reliable are power meters?

Postby mattshrops » Fri Oct 26, 2012 19:00 pm

Havent had mine very long. couple of months. No probs as yet. I feel as if my training is now a lot more focused and specific to my goals. Trying hard to get my head around the more technical issues in the Allen and Coggan book.
Oh yeah, bought the hub only and my lbs built my wheels with Mavic open pros. So far so good.
Death or Glory- Just another Story

neeb
Posts: 3579
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2003 19:01 pm

Re: How reliable are power meters?

Postby neeb » Sun Oct 28, 2012 10:33 am

Powertap G3, about 3 months use so far. No problems that weren't solved by changing the battery, although it did seem to go through the first one fairly quickly.


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