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Power Meter or Track Bike?

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Power Meter or Track Bike?

Old 04-24-13, 03:10 PM
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Commodus
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Power Meter or Track Bike?

I've had a good offer on a bunch of old motorbikes I own, so I have some extra cash coming my way...I've decided to treat myself to some bikey crap.

First, I was thinking power meter. A lot of the fast guys I ride with have 'em, and everyone seems to say it's the best money you can spend on your riding. But, I live 20 minutes away (by bike) from a great velodrome, and the other group of fast guys all ride the track through the winter.

So...what would you do?

Thanks,
C
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Old 04-24-13, 03:11 PM
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Does the track have rental bikes?
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Old 04-24-13, 03:12 PM
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Both (go with used).
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Old 04-24-13, 03:16 PM
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I opted for track bike. This means nothing for you though.
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Old 04-24-13, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by mattm View Post
Does the track have rental bikes?
It does actually, but at $10/rental I figure it'll add up to the cost of an entry level track bike pretty quick.

Originally Posted by canam73 View Post
Both (go with used).
I'll probably go used regardless, I'm just trying to impose a budget.

Originally Posted by wens View Post
I opted for track bike. This means nothing for you though.
Why not? Why'd you opt for the track bike?
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Old 04-24-13, 03:30 PM
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If you've never done track, I'd say try it out first before buying a bike for it.
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Old 04-24-13, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Commodus View Post
I'll probably go used regardless, I'm just trying to impose a budget.
As you race you will want to be able to swap wheels around, which probably means quarq. With the new models out a lot of people are upgrading and deals on the old ones are around, but even used that still means ~$800-1100. So if that is out then opt for the cheapest PT wheel you can get your hands on. Wireless is nice, but whatever, it will be temporary because you will want a crank (or pedal?) based meter soon enough.

I know nothing of track bikes because the closest track is still a haul and outdoor so summer only. But I still want one.
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Old 04-24-13, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by mattm View Post
If you've never done track, I'd say try it out first before buying a bike for it.
Right right, good advice.
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Old 04-24-13, 03:53 PM
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Are you prepared to train and use a powermeter properly? Otherwise, just get a track bike and enjoy.
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Old 04-24-13, 04:12 PM
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I'd say track bike I love accumulating more bikes!
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Old 04-24-13, 04:17 PM
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If you want to work on tactics, there's really nothing better than track.

If you want to work on training, there's really nothing better than a power meter.

Both need to be utilized with some thought to get the most out of them.
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Old 04-24-13, 04:57 PM
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I'd go with a track bike unless you are prepared to really get serious about training, eg time off the bike staring at a screen analyzing data and learning about how to best work with the information coming out of your power meter.

Track is fun, Burnaby is fun (Seattle resident here), and of the two, were you want to get your money out of your purchase, a track bike will devaluate a less rapidly than a power meter.
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Old 04-24-13, 05:04 PM
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ge a track bike with a power meter
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Old 04-24-13, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
If you want to work on tactics, there's really nothing better than track.

If you want to work on training, there's really nothing better than a power meter.

Both need to be utilized with some thought to get the most out of them.
this seems like sound advice imo
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Old 04-24-13, 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
If you want to work on tactics while cross-eyed due to oxygen deprivation, there's really nothing better than track.

If you want to work on training, there's really nothing better than a power meter.

Both need to be utilized with some thought to get the most out of them.
Fixed for me.

There's nothing to compare to a track bike. If you want to race better, work on speed, think about gearing and cadence, work on confidence, on executing tactics when cross-eyed due to oxygen debt, there is nothing like the track.

On the road I never suffer like I did on the track. In fact I forgot what it was like to suffer so much. I tried to suffer on the road after that but it was mainly in service of other riders, never for myself. On the track, with such short race, such short "intervals" (between laps or turns or whatever), you work hard all the time. You're spinning all the time. You have to respond quickly and decisively.

I spent a summer (2009) driving 3 hours each way to a track, midweek. I'd leave at 4-4:30, get home at 1-2 AM and be looking at work at 8 AM. After 25 years of racing on the road the track taught me, in a few short months, all about suffering, about not coasting 3 times in a summer of racing on the track, about the unimportance of equipment (except wheels). I rode a 7 lbs straight gauge tubed frame/fork/headset (headset was 100g) which I had to bend to get the rear triangle to get to 120 mm (it was 100 mm when I got it - a bit smushed as a front wheel fit perfectly in the dropouts). The whole bike was 17 lbs, give or take, and it didn't matter. As long as the frame has proper track geometry you'll be fine.

I put a speedometer on the thing only because I wanted to see my max speed. I had no other anything, no cadence or whatever.

I'd try the track (good point, whoever made it) then if it seems doable then I'd get a whatever track bike.

I wish there was a track 20 minutes away. I'd be at it whenever I could get to it.
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Old 04-24-13, 06:01 PM
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Guess I'll be living the dream next year...

New 250m velodrome set to open in 2014, for the Pan Am games, about a 30min drive for us...

We'll definitely be checking it out...
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Old 04-24-13, 06:02 PM
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So Commodus, are you prepared to sign your pledge papers that if allowed to have a power meter you will only train with it in a manner deemed appropriate by the senior members of this forum (and subject to change without prior notice)?
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Old 04-24-13, 06:07 PM
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^ I never signed that paper. I just look at the spiky graphs the thing makes.
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Old 04-24-13, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by carpediemracing View Post
^ I never signed that paper. I just look at the spiky graphs the thing makes.
Ohhhh it makes spiky graphs??

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Old 04-24-13, 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Commodus View Post

Why not? Why'd you opt for the track bike?
Because I highly doubt you have the same priorities, goals, and background as I do. I got a track bike because riding on the track is a metric crapton of fun and I wanted one. I'm also a little afraid of power without a coach, but the conclusion I probably should be drawing from that is that I should get a coach. Regardless, it's really neither here nor there for you deciding which you should get.
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Old 04-24-13, 11:28 PM
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<---- total data geek

Originally Posted by thechemist View Post
Ohhhh it makes spiky graphs??

chemist fumbles for wallet
lol word

I still agree w Ex: Decide if you would rather invest in skill or fitness, then choose the track bike or the power meter, respectively.
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Old 04-25-13, 05:00 AM
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Always choose skill over fitness early on.
Get a PM next time.
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Old 04-25-13, 06:45 AM
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I'd point out that the track bike isn't just about skill, it learns you speed like nothing else. Well maybe like motorpacing or racing. There are a lot of stories of "I was a Cat 3-4 until I started doing track now I'm a 2" kind of stuff.

If I had a gazillion dollars I'd build a track around here, just off the highway, so that people up here could partake.
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Old 04-25-13, 06:56 AM
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I say go with the PM then rent the track bike.

I'm guessing track bikes go for about $700. That means you have to go to the track 70 times before that $10 per visit rental equals a bike. How often do you plan to go there?
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Old 04-25-13, 07:44 AM
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Track bike for sure. I spent many years racing track 2-3 times a week at Northbrook, Kenosha, and Indy. Such great training and racing. Nothing like learning how to position during a miss-and-out to make sure you're around at the end. Sprint workouts during a points race don't get much better. Tactics during a 20+ scratch race, etc. I really miss the track.
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