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-   -   Power Meters (Why?) (https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=1186728)

Rajflyboy 10-27-19 12:44 PM

Power Meters (Why?)
 
I donít race bikes. Why do I need one?

dedhed 10-27-19 01:27 PM

You don't

shelbyfv 10-27-19 03:31 PM

Only if you are fast enough to warrant buying a Trek.

spelger 10-27-19 03:42 PM

I don't race bikes either but if i could afford a power meter i would likely buy one. I only compete against myself. I ride because i like to and i like to improve. A power meter is something that can better gauge improvement compared to just time and distance because it takes other factors into consideration (indirectly).

Homebrew01 10-27-19 04:19 PM


Originally Posted by Rajflyboy (Post 21182317)
I donít race bikes. Why do I need one?

A power meter is a measuring device. Some people like to measure, others don't.

Even if you race, you don't need one.

PepeM 10-27-19 04:29 PM

Fun toy. Nobody needs one. I have a few.

N00b_Cyclist 10-27-19 04:32 PM

I had to buy pedals regardless...so I figured why not just snag some with power meter? No real reason other than that. Might come in handy down the road.

DrIsotope 10-27-19 04:34 PM


Originally Posted by Homebrew01 (Post 21182597)
A power meter is a measuring device. Some people like to measure, others don't.

Even if you race, you don't need one.


Originally Posted by PepeM (Post 21182618)
Fun toy. Nobody needs one. I have a few.

As a guy with a PM on every bike, I 100% agree.

But they are very handy to have, if even only for use as a fuel gauge.

Rajflyboy 10-27-19 06:20 PM

Good point as use for a fuel gauge

I like Trek. I’m just shocked at how many of them I see on road and trail.

kcblair 10-27-19 06:25 PM

I have one, cause I got a deal and I like collecting data. KB

Hammer_Head 10-27-19 06:32 PM

Prolly get a used one cheap if interested, but not sure if you want to commit big time.

honcho 10-27-19 06:53 PM

I'm still waiting for power meter pedals usable with mountain style spd cleats so I can put two sets on our tandem to figure out our individual contributions. Supposedly, such pedals are coming "real soon now." Neither of us is willing to move to road shoes/cleats. There's no need for knowing, just info that would be fun to know.

burnthesheep 10-27-19 07:14 PM

Toys are fun. We never really grow up. Good enough?

BlazingPedals 10-28-19 05:54 AM

How do you know you're dialing it up to 400W if you don't have a power meter?

Rides4Beer 10-28-19 07:03 AM

Using it as a fuel gauge is very helpful, especially if you do a lot of climbing. I ride with someone who has one, and when he's staying on a power goal for a long ride, he'll back off more on the climbs than I would if I were riding by myself. Just gauging off of his effort has helped me from going too hard.

biketampa 10-28-19 07:04 AM


Originally Posted by Rajflyboy (Post 21182317)
I donít race bikes. Why do I need one?

you donít need one. Itís nice for training and can help with training but you can also train by HR or RPE or you can just ride your bike however you want and have fun.

CAT7RDR 10-28-19 07:24 AM

As a recreational rider, I see no need for one and money can be better spent on other essential gear.

I ride the same route every other Sunday so I can track improvement by reviewing my times as data points and calculate VAM since this is a heavy climb ride.

hubcyclist 10-28-19 07:38 AM

I use power meters to train and I do race, but I personally think a lot of non-racers could benefit from power meters if they are enthusiastic about fitness and improvement. Just from a simple level, calorie tracking is far more accurate with a power meter than by using HR or other estimates that are often waaay off. I also think that just having an idea of what one's FTP is and using the power meter as a pacing tool could be helpful for a lot of folks.

I see a lot of people always asking about wheels and such to gain speed, but if people invested in a power meter (cheaper than a lot of wheelsets people look for) and incorporated at least a little structure to riding they'd probably see bigger gains in their riding experience than they would through wheels.

jadocs 10-28-19 08:09 AM


Originally Posted by hubcyclist (Post 21183352)
I use power meters to train and I do race, but I personally think a lot of non-racers could benefit from power meters if they are enthusiastic about fitness and improvement. Just from a simple level, calorie tracking is far more accurate with a power meter than by using HR or other estimates that are often waaay off. I also think that just having an idea of what one's FTP is and using the power meter as a pacing tool could be helpful for a lot of folks.

I see a lot of people always asking about wheels and such to gain speed, but if people invested in a power meter (cheaper than a lot of wheelsets people look for) and incorporated at least a little structure to riding they'd probably see bigger gains in their riding experience than they would through wheels.

Bingo especially the last part.

wphamilton 10-28-19 08:31 AM

You need a power meter if you want to objectively measure your efforts in a repeatable, precise manner. Less commonly, if you need to relate your efforts to some measure of speed.

If you're training seriously but not racing (and if someone has to ask "why" they'll never understand), it just depends on how precise you want that data to be.

Phil_gretz 10-28-19 09:31 AM

On the plus side, one can only improve what can be measured. So power data are useful to some.

On the negative side, collecting and not using data is like collecting Precious Moments figurines. It might make you feel better at first, but after a while, the collection becomes less than useless...

PepeM 10-28-19 09:34 AM


Originally Posted by Phil_gretz (Post 21183529)
On the plus side, one can only improve what can be measured.]

Was it impossible to improve one's power output before the invention of the power meter then?

bbbean 10-28-19 09:43 AM


Originally Posted by Rajflyboy (Post 21182317)
I donít race bikes. Why do I need one?

Who said you do?

Riveting 10-28-19 09:46 AM

Training on a bike without a power meter is like going to a gym that has no weights listed on any of the equipment. In either scenario, it's still possible to train by feel, but it's a lot easier to make small incremental improvements when you know exactly how much effort your putting out, relative to the previous workouts in your training program.

gregf83 10-28-19 10:00 AM


Originally Posted by PepeM (Post 21183536)
Was it impossible to improve one's power output before the invention of the power meter then?

Plenty of ways to measure power without a power meter. Timing yourself up a hill of known height is the traditional way. I don't know what riders did before the invention of watches. Tougher to measure time with a sundial :)


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