Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Power Meters

I really want to invest in a power meter, but I am completely torn on the models available. There are 3 main contenders: SRM (~$2000), PowerTap (~$900), Polar (~$350).

I'd love to get the SRM, but it is simply out of my price range. The PowerTap unit is built into wheel so it is easy to transfer between bikes, but probably not something to race on (unless you build it into a race quality wheel, which I wouldn't). The Polar unit goes with the Polar heart rate monitor I already own. It attaches to the bike, which means I could race with it, but couldn't easily transfer it between bikes.

I would get the Polar in a heartbeat (ha!) if it wasn't for some questionable reviews I have read. The measurement method it uses is more error prone and it is generally considered to be less accurate. People have also claimed that it can be difficult to install and keep working, but I don't necessarily believe that.

So, it's down to choosing between the PowerTap and the Polar. The Polar is significantly less money, but I don't know if I want to take the risk on an inferior product. I'm confused.


At 11:37 PM, Blogger Jim Carson said...

The skinny on the polar is it's a bit sloppy and relies on the chain being in a certain block of space that the magnet can pick up. However, since your gearing setup is very reasonable, it might be worth looking into.

Does the $900 for the PowerTap include the wheel build, or is that just for the unit? (And does it seem strange that one component could cost 1/3 of your bike?)


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