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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After a bunch of searching, I don't even know what the right search terms are.

I'm thinking about getting a power meter to help in leg balance during some rehab. Post surgery years ago, my base rehab got me going, now, if I do something a little different (play with kids in pool), I get knee swelling and other aches (sciatic pain). My physical therapists sees a significant imbalance in my muscles. I'm working on their program, and it is already helping.

I also did a professional fit where they had me on a computrainer. Noticed that I am a little out of balance too.

So, I'm thinking that I may want to get a power meter to help while on my trainier to verify that I am spinning smoothly and not favoring a leg too much.

Is that something I can get out of a power meter?

I'm leaning toward a powertap. I can stick that on my indoor bike for a decent price. I also see some used computrainers...

Before I drop any coin, will I be able to achieve my golas of monitoring balance between my legs?
 

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Some of current the quarq models have a calculated left/right power. Though I don't know what bike cpu's can display that. Otherwise the only advantage I can think of for a power meter to try to correct the imbalance would be for single leg drills.

I had knee surgery and due to the immobilization brace I had to wear 24x7 for however many weeks I lost like 40% of my quad in that leg. I think you can still see a slight size and shape difference, but otherwise I current don't have any issues that I know of. That was back in 2008 and pretty much the reason I started cycling.

In the real world out on the roads, you can basically be giving the same effort and your power tends to jump around a bit. You pretty much need to be on a trainer/rollers or on a decent steady climb to see fairly steadly power numbers. Atleast that has been my experience.

I train with power and would not go back unless I was no longer training. So basically I'd give you the same answer I would give anyone that asks about powermeters. If you want to geek out on some data, and get more out of your training (assuming you apply that data to your training), then it is very much worth it.

As for fixing your imbalance cycling wise, I would probably seek out a physical therapist's who has a cycling focus or speciality.
 

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Before I drop any coin, will I be able to achieve my golas of monitoring balance between my legs?
Left-Right measurement is over hyped as something of importance.

I had a a lower leg amputation in 2007. I came back and beat my previous power output bests and race capability, set a national record in masters team pursuit both before (2007) and after the amputation (2011).

Do I have a left-right variance?
Yes. Even if I had both legs, it is normal to be asymmetrical in power output. It's also normal for that asymmetry to be variable. My left and right thighs have a large difference in circumference (10cm) but really we are not typically force limited in cycling, so it's not exactly something to hold you back.

Does it matter?
Not really. Focus on improvement with as many legs as you have.

If you are really interested in the left-right information, then there are various means of measuring it.

Keep in mind that most power measurement devices on the market that provide such a feature (e.g. Wattbike ergo bike, Computrainer indoor trainer, and some models of Quarq & SRM power meters) are not really measuring left leg / right leg, but rather the forces and speeds applied during the down-stroke phase of left side v right side. That's a different thing to understanding what each leg is actually doing (as it's really a measurement of the net torque of both legs). Powertap power meters do not provide this feature.
 

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After a bunch of searching, I don't even know what the right search terms are.

I'm thinking about getting a power meter to help in leg balance during some rehab. Post surgery years ago, my base rehab got me going, now, if I do something a little different (play with kids in pool), I get knee swelling and other aches (sciatic pain). My physical therapists sees a significant imbalance in my muscles. I'm working on their program, and it is already helping.

I also did a professional fit where they had me on a computrainer. Noticed that I am a little out of balance too.

So, I'm thinking that I may want to get a power meter to help while on my trainier to verify that I am spinning smoothly and not favoring a leg too much.

Is that something I can get out of a power meter?

I'm leaning toward a powertap. I can stick that on my indoor bike for a decent price. I also see some used computrainers...

Before I drop any coin, will I be able to achieve my golas of monitoring balance between my legs?
A powertap won't do left/right balance. You need a Garmin and a quarq/Rotor/P2Max. More importantly, its not worth chasing.

I have twice broken my left leg and rehabbed back to full strength. The first time I did it badly the second I was able to get back to full strength in less than a year. If you have left/right strength imbalance and you want to remedy it, PT is the best thing you can do. Stretch, do you exercises and you'll get back pretty quickly. Use HR and RPE to limit max exertion on the bike until both legs are back to equal strength.

I will add that I found a set of Powercranks to be very helpful in rehab. I wouldn't use them to go faster, but works hip muscles that are hard to otherwise target equally.

Of course, if you want to get a Powermeter, they can be very helpful in getting faster and then a Powertap works great.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Great feedback... thanks. Bottom line, it isn't worth it. Proper PT is.

Seems like my hips are the main problem and ... of course... my CORE. I came back from the last knee surgery nicely, but my desk job and some other bad habits got me where I am.

I'm just so bored not riding...
 
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