General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Power Meter choices Rss Feed  
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2014-02-10 9:43 AM

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Subject: Power Meter choices
I am sure this is a popular question/subject, but I will throw it out there anyway....(no I didn't bother to search old threads)
I have been researching and have narrowed it down to two main choices, Quarq Sram Red 22, and Power2Max, with a remote 3rd choice of Garmin Vector.
Current ride is a P3 with Sram Red RDR and Force FDR BB90 (I believe?).
I like the idea of being able to Change out Chainrings if I go with the P2M.
From what I have read the Quarq is a "step up" from the other 2 possible choices
Money is always a consideration, but the 3 are fairly close in cost,
Quarq $2000 +/-
P2M $1500 +/- with new chainrings etc
Vector $1600 +/-
So for an extra $400-500 for Quarq not that big a deal all things considered.
My other questions/concerns are the unknown costs and upgrades I will end doing or "having" to do depending on which product I choose.
1) If I choose Quarq will I need to change out front/rear DR's?
2) If I choose P2M I am thinking of changing CR to 52/36, again question #1 applies (FDR/RDR?)
3) Garmin Vector none of this applies and I can swap between TT and Road bike. (drawback, pedal is a prone area to damage) plus I will most likely end up going compact or semi compact also $$$
Of course if it were spring and I wasn't snowed in, I probably wouldn't be having this conversation right now, I would be out riding my current setup

Look forward to all the input
Boom


2014-02-10 9:46 AM
in reply to: boomer2it

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Subject: RE: Power Meter choices
We posted basically the same question at the same time. Any reason you are not looking at Power Tap? At $700 you could set up two wheel sets for the price of a Garmin Vector.
2014-02-10 9:50 AM
in reply to: boomer2it

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Subject: RE: Power Meter choices
I've had a few power meters and right now have a Quarq Cinqo on my Felt tri bike and a Power2Max on my Specialized road bike.

Neither of them require anything further. I use Ultegra FD and RD on both bikes and have compact cranks on both bikes.

I like the Power2Max a touch more only because it does a rudimentary L/R percentage of power that the Quarq does not.

If you pay attention and have one of the crank sets the Power2Max uses, you can pick one up for $700 like I did. Otherwise the P2M and Quarq are in the same ballpark.

Look for used here, on ST and on ebay. You can save about half even after sending it back to the factory for a once over.

If Garmin had their Vector pedals down around $1000 I probably would have them. At $1700ish, it's not even tempting.

2014-02-10 9:54 AM
in reply to: swiss tri

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Subject: RE: Power Meter choices
Originally posted by swiss tri

We posted basically the same question at the same time. Any reason you are not looking at Power Tap? At $700 you could set up two wheel sets for the price of a Garmin Vector.


I had a powertap for the set of wheels on my road bike.

I use a different set of wheels for inside on the rollers
I use a different set of wheels for races
I use the training wheels for century rides.
I have two different rear wheels (90 and 60) for races depending on what mood I'm in and what the conditions are.

Either I would have to get three/four or would have to change out tires regularly. I have a different set of wheels for the rollers for a reason, I don't like changing tires that much.

Plus if you have a crank based powermeter, you always have the same powermeter. If you have two different wheels, one may read slightly differently than the other. Might not mean much to most but it would bug me to no end not knowing.

2014-02-10 10:48 AM
in reply to: 0

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Subject: RE: Power Meter choices

Daniel - What head unit are you using with your devices? I am slowly starting to transition away from Powertap. I have read (and I don't know where) that you needed to have a cadence sensor on your bike with the Quarq if you were intending to use it on the trainer or the computer will go to sleep (with both Cycleops & Garmin). Is that true? Also would you know if that is the case with the Power2Max. From DCRainmakers review. I am think that this is the way (for me) to go.

Thanks



Edited by jhouse4 2014-02-10 10:49 AM
2014-02-10 10:57 AM
in reply to: jhouse4

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Subject: RE: Power Meter choices
Originally posted by jhouse4

Daniel - What head unit are you using with your devices? I am slowly starting to transition away from Powertap. I have read (and I don't know where) that you needed to have a cadence sensor on your bike with the Quarq if you were intending to use it on the trainer or the computer will go to sleep (with both Cycleops & Garmin). Is that true? Also would you know if that is the case with the Power2Max. From DCRainmakers review. I am think that this is the way (for me) to go.

Thanks




I've used a Garmin 310, 500, 800 and 810 at one time or another.

You have to have the speed sensor with either of them. Not for cadence, as I don't have a magnet for the GSC-10 on my pedal crank and both the P2M and Quarq do cadence, but for indoor speed.

The Garmins don't go to sleep as long as you have some power reading going on and the clock is going. If the timer is paused it'll shut off after the time out period.

Note: The 810 does not auto pause indoors even with the speed sensor on the back wheel. I have to use the 800 inside if I want auto pause.




2014-02-10 12:50 PM
in reply to: boomer2it

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Subject: RE: Power Meter choices

Any reason you can't go with a Quarq Riken which retails for around $1500 to make your choices more compareable?  The chainrings can be swapped out without impacting calibration, so I'm sure you could order it with 11 speed rings.  Probably cheaper than getting the Red22 Quarq.

Anyway, I have a Quarq 975 and am pretty happy with it.  I had a PT before which I gave to my GF.  I wanted a crank based PM to give me alternate wheel choices for training, tri racing, general road racing, and climbing only road races and TTs.  Swapping the crank between my road bike and TT bike is really easy.  Takes about 2 minutes on average, about 1 minute if I was in a rush.  That's generally faster than I can swap pedals.

1.  You shouldn't have to swap out any of your derailleurs.  I use Ultegra on my TT bike and Force on my road bike and my Quarq works fine on both.  

2.  Chain ring size has no bearing on what type of derailleurs you need.  They just need to be adjusted properly.

3.  I'm not sure about the durability issues of the Vectors, but I think they did say that if the transmitter pod thingy gets broken, you can order a new one for a fairly reasonable cost.  Something like $50?  Now if the strain gauges in the pedals break, that's likely a different story, but at the same time, normal pedals can usually take a real beating.

 

2014-02-10 1:12 PM
in reply to: Jason N

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Subject: RE: Power Meter choices
Option I haven't seen mentioned yet is Stages Cycling.

Note: I don't work for them nor do I have any financial interest.

I have a Stages on the road bike and a PowerTap on a Boyd Cycling aero wheel on the tri bike. Since I was getting the wheels new, the PT upgrade wasn't as much since they were building up the wheels.

The Stages is about the cheapest real-power meter you can get, the big limit on them is that if you have carbon crank arms, they won't have a model available. They are coming out with more and more options for cranksets,

Note that there is no left/right leg power split, since it only measures left leg power. If you are highly imbalanced, accuracy will suffer, since it assumes you have equal power.

I've tested both power meters simultaneously on a trainer at home, recorded and plotted the data over an hour ride at various power levels. The differences were minimal, and seemed mostly due to update rate differences between the two devices. Once some smoothing filtering was applied (2-3 second averaging) the plots were pretty much on top of each other.

2014-02-10 9:06 PM
in reply to: 0

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Subject: RE: Power Meter choices
Yeah I 2nd Stages if it fits your bike. I heard good things about it but when it came time to order, the thing didn't fit my bike (Felt B16) due to the back brake hitting it, so that went off the list. I don't know which power2max you're planning on getting... but I got the 3D Rotor one (work with Shimano BB) with a Praxis chain ring and it works just fine. Total was $1200 shipped (no tax) and I got it about 3 business days later. It estimates left/right but who knows if it's right. I started out at 50/50 in the first few weeks but now my left is ~4% over right on average. Don't know if that data tells me anything but I guess it's something to look at and think about as I'm working out.

I have an indoor trainer wheel, my outdoor training wheels, and now I have race wheels coming in. People kept telling me to get a Powertap but I wanted power in all 3 situations. Vector looks nice but the price + new shoes + it looks to be damage prone steered me away.

Edit:

Just saw your extra questions. I went from a semi-compact to a full compact (50-34). I didn't even need to adjust the FD at all. I was a little surprised but it all worked out. You won't need to replace them at all but you may need to adjust them. Don't be afraid you try to install yourself. A few youtube videos later, I had a Duraace BB installed and a P2M crankset installed within about 25 minutes. Just be sure you use it on the trainer first to make sure you did it right Oh yeah...invest in a bike torque wrench. Mine paid for itself with not needing to go to the bike shop and know I can ensure I have my cages torque right before races. I was in awe on how many of those come off during a race.

Edited by Blastman 2014-02-10 9:11 PM
2014-02-11 5:38 AM
in reply to: boomer2it

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Subject: RE: Power Meter choices
I have a Quarq Cinqo on Rotor 3D cranks, but will take advantage of the upgrade program to get the newer Elsa. I don't mind power taps at all (used to have one myself and my wife is riding her power tap wheel on her road bike), but I simply have too many good wheels that I like to use to go that route, something to keep in mind if you have multiple wheels already.

The new Quarq doesn't need to be calibrated if you swap out rings, so that makes them very user-friendly. And the Elsa and Red22 cranks both will give you left/right power balance (the less expensive Riken will not).

You won't need anything if you go the Quarq route, same goes for the P2M. Except maybe the bottom bracket… don't know what you have on your bike right now… :-)

My choice would be Quarq, only because of the fantastic customer service and quality of the product.
2014-02-11 5:57 AM
in reply to: audiojan

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Subject: RE: Power Meter choices


I own a Quarq an a PT

If the wheel swapping thing is not an issue I would go PT. SImple, reliable. I have had my PT for 4 years and it has been rock solid.
If you want to swap wheels/tires I would not go PT. I put my PT on my road bike and I use the Quarq on my TT since I swap race/road train/trainer wheels constantly.

What I love about the Quarq is the great customer service and the transparency of the numbers. If you need very accurate numbers, go Quarq. Because you can see the numbers. They provide diagnostic tools that allow you to see if the calibrating is correct or not. I don't believe anyone else does this. If you are just doing 4hrs Z2 rides...don't need it. But if you plan to do any aero testing : accuracy is a must.

I really love the Garmin concept. But as a person who has bought an FR60, FR70, 310xt, 910xt, Edge 500, Edge 800 and has had to return ALL except the 800, I am not going to give Garmin my $1500 just yet. If in 3 years people are still happy with their Vectors, I may try them. I really love the concept and maybe they are more quality conscious on this type of product.

If Quarq is not out of budget, I would try P2Max. I smell solid engineering. If I decide to go shorter cranks, I may try P2Max

I love the Stages concept, but I know I have a l/r leg imblanace and I know other people that do as well. If you are sure you don't have one, by all means. If absolute data accuracy is not important, by all means. But as I have seen in my data and another BTer here, our l/r shifts at different power levels so using it for something like aero testing is far from ideal.



2014-02-11 6:33 AM
in reply to: marcag

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Subject: RE: Power Meter choices

Originally posted by marcag I own a Quarq an a PT If the wheel swapping thing is not an issue I would go PT. SImple, reliable. I have had my PT for 4 years and it has been rock solid. If you want to swap wheels/tires I would not go PT. I put my PT on my road bike and I use the Quarq on my TT since I swap race/road train/trainer wheels constantly. What I love about the Quarq is the great customer service and the transparency of the numbers. If you need very accurate numbers, go Quarq. Because you can see the numbers. They provide diagnostic tools that allow you to see if the calibrating is correct or not. I don't believe anyone else does this. If you are just doing 4hrs Z2 rides...don't need it. But if you plan to do any aero testing : accuracy is a must. I really love the Garmin concept. But as a person who has bought an FR60, FR70, 310xt, 910xt, Edge 500, Edge 800 and has had to return ALL except the 800, I am not going to give Garmin my $1500 just yet. If in 3 years people are still happy with their Vectors, I may try them. I really love the concept and maybe they are more quality conscious on this type of product. If Quarq is not out of budget, I would try P2Max. I smell solid engineering. If I decide to go shorter cranks, I may try P2Max I love the Stages concept, but I know I have a l/r leg imblanace and I know other people that do as well. If you are sure you don't have one, by all means. If absolute data accuracy is not important, by all means. But as I have seen in my data and another BTer here, our l/r shifts at different power levels so using it for something like aero testing is far from ideal.

Excellent review!

I have had both and currently am with PT.

I had an early generation Quarq and suffered through some reliability issues. From what I understand these are now completely resolved.

 

I love my PT and for the money you can't go wrong.

My humble opinion is that *I* would not chose a power meter that has not been around the block a few years. I would consider Quarq, PowerTap or SRM as they are long in the tooth as far as duration in the market. For those on a lower budget, get a PT.

 

2014-02-11 7:41 PM
in reply to: marcag

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Subject: RE: Power Meter choices
Originally posted by marcag

I really love the Garmin concept. But as a person who has bought an FR60, FR70, 310xt, 910xt, Edge 500, Edge 800 and has had to return ALL except the 800, I am not going to give Garmin my $1500 just yet. If in 3 years people are still happy with their Vectors, I may try them. I really love the concept and maybe they are more quality conscious on this type of product.





I own the 910xt, edge 810, and the vectors and haven't had to return a thing. Really like the vectors and changing them from my tri to my road cycle is super slick.. I recommend them however the price is a little steep...
2014-02-12 10:15 AM
in reply to: swiss tri

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Subject: RE: Power Meter choices
Originally posted by swiss tri

We posted basically the same question at the same time. Any reason you are not looking at Power Tap? At $700 you could set up two wheel sets for the price of a Garmin Vector.


That is the way I went. When the price dropped last year I bought one built into a training wheel, And now I am going to start thinking about race wheels.
2014-02-12 10:33 AM
in reply to: katan2212

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Subject: RE: Power Meter choices

I own the 910xt, edge 810, and the vectors and haven't had to return a thing. Really like the vectors and changing them from my tri to my road cycle is super slick.. I recommend them however the price is a little steep...


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2014-02-12 11:21 AM
in reply to: boomer2it

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Subject: RE: Power Meter choices
A crank based power meter can be swapped between compatible bikes (same bottom bracket, same chainring size) remarkably quickly, likely faster than swapping pedals so the 3rd point about the benefit of Garmin Vector portability between bikes is equally applicable to the crank based meters. Also, if one of your bikes is a cross bike, do you really want to ride in the mud with a Look Keo style cleat?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ibycOXD-Mw0



2014-02-12 12:02 PM
in reply to: Jayabusa

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Subject: RE: Power Meter choices
Does anybody with Vectors find that they give lower than average wattage? I've found quite a few complaints online on this subject. I've never actually used them though.

Happy Quarq owner here. Purchased used (now being tempted by Quarq to upgrade for a reasonable price) for slightly more than a PT
2014-02-13 6:54 AM
in reply to: rjrankin83

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Subject: RE: Power Meter choices
People are talking about how quarq customer service is so good - you'd only know that if there were issues. I've had two PT's for four years and have never had an issue with either one - no need for customer support (but I hear it's ok too).
2014-02-13 7:30 AM
in reply to: natethomas2000

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Subject: RE: Power Meter choices

Originally posted by natethomas2000 People are talking about how quarq customer service is so good - you'd only know that if there were issues. I've had two PT's for four years and have never had an issue with either one - no need for customer support (but I hear it's ok too).

Not necessarily. My "issue" was confirming I was ordering the right type. Several years later and haven't had to contact them since.

2014-02-13 7:56 AM
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Subject: RE: Power Meter choices
Originally posted by natethomas2000

People are talking about how quarq customer service is so good - you'd only know that if there were issues. I've had two PT's for four years and have never had an issue with either one - no need for customer support (but I hear it's ok too).


Powertap customer service is very good.
Last year I was having issues with my PT reading low intermittently on the trainer. They were very responsive and aknowledged 'weirdness' could occur in some "auto-zero" situations.

Quarq just go out of their way to make things easy. I lost the magnet during a ride, call, they dropped one in the mail within hours.
I called one day to ask what I needed to do to move my Q from one bike to another, the guy asks "do you have a magnet for the second bike ? no ? here let me send you one, no charge." They just go out of their way

I spent a lot of time last year figuring out discrepancies between my Computrainer, my Quarq and my PT. The great customer support from both organizations allowed me to figure out the quirks with both power meters. They all have their quirks it seems.



Edited by marcag 2014-02-13 7:57 AM
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