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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I'm looking for some opinions on whether using a Powertap or SRM is a good idea for races. More specifically, my question is if there is a huge MARGINAL benefit to having wattage measurement during races as opposed to just training. I have no experience with either tool, so your informed advice is appreciated.

The purpose of my question is to know if a SRM-style tool would be a better choice for me. If having power measurement for races is really important, it seems that an SRM-style tool is a little cheaper (Quarq for $1500) than 2 powertap SL hubs, 1 training wheel build, and 1 carbon tubular race build. I already have suitable race and training wheels sans Powertaps.

For what it's worth, i competed in a race today and I felt that:
1. I wouldn't have looked at a powermeter readout DURING the race because of the tight pack.
2. An extra 1/2 pound for something i wouldn't look at during a race might be foolish.

What do you think?
 

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Without getting into the value of looking at the numbers, don't you race cat 4 in central park? Until you are doing hill climb or hilly road races at a reasonably high level, that extra weight is close to meaningless. The extra cost of building up two sets of wheels is also a bit silly, can't you build up one decent set of wheels and use that for training and racing?
 

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Race data is some of the most important you'll collect. Mostly for post-analysis and seeing what happened before you cracked or whether you didn't do well because you were feeling weak or whether the race really was especially difficult. Some may feel that the power reading might limit them, for them, they're better off taping the display. Others like to use the readout useful for metering their efforts e.g. off the front or on a long climb. But the most important is post-race analysis.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the info guys. I already have a set of carbon tubular race wheels and ksyrium elites for training and regular rides.

Do you think the Quarq makes more sense in my case?
 

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I use my Powertap in races and my wheel set is both a race and training set...The data is very valuable, but sometimes it feels like you did a whole lot more work in the race than the data actually tells you :)

As for the Quarq, it's still a bit unproven for my liking.

I'd say either go with the SRM or get a decent wheel set built up around a Powertap hub and get rid of all but one extra set of wheels. It's really not that much extra weight to run a Powertap wheel...by bike with full SRAM Rival, 32 spoke DB rear, 28 spoke DB front comes in at 17 pounds 6 ounces...with plenty of room to go lighter if I actually had money and that's with the Powertap, computer, bottle cage, etc...on the bike.
 

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It's a great idea for races. You'll be surprised at some of the efforts you can put out during race conditions. Of course there are always scenarios like Wookie described. :)
Weight penalty is of no consequence unless you're as light as you can possibly be, IMO.
 

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If...

pretender said:
If I had invested in a power meter, damn skippy I'd want data from races.
If i had invested in a power meter, I'd punch myself in the neck for having more money than sense.

But that's just me.

If you paid for one, yeah, use it in a race. It's more about what you're doing, than how much your bike weighs anyway.
 

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It is useful for post race analysis such as knowing the max power generated during an attack and for how long the duration. Or how many matches or "frequency," you have burned through. Knowing the average power in the entire race may give you an idea how intense the race is. Or understanding why in a 3 hour race you got dropped during the first 2 hours.....because in the first hour your average power is already close to your threshold power already....:) You have been outclassed.... Of course, the ever old school and forever optimists may tell you that you didn't race smart enough to hide yourself in the pack and etc.
 

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If...

function said:
Race data is some of the most important you'll collect. Mostly for post-analysis and seeing what happened before you cracked or whether you didn't do well because you were feeling weak or whether the race really was especially difficult. Some may feel that the power reading might limit them, for them, they're better off taping the display. Others like to use the readout useful for metering their efforts e.g. off the front or on a long climb. But the most important is post-race analysis.
If you're looking at the display of whatever bike computer you have (power meter, HRM, or other) during a race. You're doing it wrong.

Head's up boys and girls during racing. Look down when you're training alone.
 

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You like assuming things

magnolialover said:
If you're looking at the display of whatever bike computer you have (power meter, HRM, or other) during a race. You're doing it wrong.

Head's up boys and girls during racing. Look down when you're training alone.
... Or you're pacing yourself on a long solo break.
 
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