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Power Meter Solution for 2 Road Bikes?

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Power Meter Solution for 2 Road Bikes?

Old 07-16-21, 01:44 AM
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Fastfwd01
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Power Meter Solution for 2 Road Bikes?

For starters, I'm not completely convinced that I 'need' a power meter. I'm not sure the expense is really worth it, but I am a Strava (premium) user and I do sort of enjoy the stats. I am motivated by seeing the numbers and if it would help promote my fitness goals then maybe I should be at least paying more attention to what it would take to achieve that.

If I just had one bike to setup this may be less of a problem, but I ride my 2015 Cannondale Synapse aluminum 105 for the vast majority of my miles. I also have a 2015 Cervelo R5 Dura Ace that I try to preserve for the occasional weekend ride and events like century rides, etc.

I can do some wrenching on my bikes, but digging in to this has my head swimming. I know that pedals would be the easiest solution for swapping between bikes, but I'm not sure how much swapping would be advisable. I could understand making a swap with the change of season, but swapping pedals a couple times per month seems like that might not work out in the long run.

I also run SPD pedals on my bikes. I really only go for distance and so far I've just favored the SPD. I just can't imagine going on a 100 plus mile ride and being in the middle of nowhere stranded on those road bike shoes that you can't walk in. I've got a nice pair of Sidi mountain bike shoes that seem plenty stiff. I would consider switching to road, but that's an added expense to the mix in the least to buy new shoes and switch to road shoes. I'm aware that Garmin has the Rally XC pedal option, but man those cost almost as much as my Cannondale cost me back in 2015.

I might also consider that both of these bikes are getting to be a little older now too. I could conceivably keep maintaining them for the rest of my life, but I'm sure at some point I'm going to get an itch to try something else. That just lends more to the argument for going with pedals.

Otherwise, these are the best 'solutions' that I've found so far. I actually asked the sales dept at Power Meter City and these were their recommendations based on what they sell.

For the Cannondale with the BB30 FSA Gossamer cranks:
Stages FSA SL-K BB30 Power Meter Or power2max NGeco ROTOR ALDHU Road Power Meter Crankset

For the Cervelo:
Power2max NGeco ROTOR 3D+ Road Power Meter

Those could total between $1k and $1.3k to setup both bikes and that's not even providing a true dual sided power measurement if that is even important in the first place.

I'm a little surprised that there isn't a less expensive option for the Cannondale. I'm not entirely sure why I would spend $540 for a single sided crank arm solution when I might just upgrade my entire crankset to a 105 with whatever adapters the BB30 might require? My old FSA cranks have seen quite a few miles at this point. Something like this: PRECISION PRO Ride Ready Power Meters

I do see that there is information that the Shimano crankset power meters just aren't very good on the drive side. They're probably just 'too stiff' for a power meter gauge to work. The 105 is probably the worst from a design standpoint as far as that goes because it is just so beefy.

I could also skip the Garmin pedals and go with these instead:

Favero Assioma DUO Power Meter Pedals

Just find some nice road shoes and only swap for the occasional event.

I apologize for the long post. I guess I probably have to decide for myself if it is worth it or not to a large degree. I am curious what others might have to say about this particular situation. Some of you guys know way more about this than I do.
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Old 07-16-21, 05:15 AM
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Favero's are excellent, and very easy to transfer between bikes.
The new Garmin's look excellent as well,
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Old 07-16-21, 05:40 AM
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If you have the resources, put meters on both bikes. If not, buy pedals and transfer.

Better yet, just use the good bike all the time. Sell the beater to pay for the new pedals.
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Old 07-16-21, 06:43 AM
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I have Faveros and love them, but I understand your hesitancy if you love your SPDs. In terms of moving them bike to bike, it really is as easy as switching any set of pedals. I'm using mine for a road ride Saturday and a gravel race (fast gravel, no single-track or water) Sunday.

You can't make them as walkable as an SPD, but a set of cleat covers does help.
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Old 07-16-21, 07:00 AM
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I would just get a single-sided meter on your Cannondale, for example a Stages or a 4iii. You are right that the dual-sided crank meters on Shimano have problems.

Any extra step you need to do before a ride just adds resistance to riding, its better to have as few steps as possible. So I would skip the pedal swap. I also am with you on SPD, hate those road shoes.

You don't really need power data all the time, so starting with just one bike will be fine in my opinion. You want it on the one you are using the most often so you can start to get an idea of what various power values feel like. If you end up being super-stoked about it you can always outfit the second bike later.

If you by chance have 175mm cranks I have a used Stages Ultegra crankset sitting in my garage I would sell for cheap. My bike fitter talked me into 170mm cranks.
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Old 07-16-21, 07:04 AM
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If you're measuring total power, you're fine; unless you've got some very specific application, dual-sided doesn't really offer much benefit beyond sating L/R balance curiosity for the first couple of rides.

I would also echo the notion that you should cover both bikes with their own power meters if you can. Swapping pedals isn't that big of a deal, obviously, but it is an obstacle and we can sometimes use even minor obstacles to talk ourselves out of something if we're already on the fence (though maybe I'm just speaking for myself).

And yeah - ride your Cervelo, dude! If you want to avoid taking it out in the rain and sloppy weather, that's cool, but there's not much reason to "preserve" it otherwise.
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Old 07-16-21, 07:09 AM
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I run Garmin XC200 SPD power meter pedals. A little pricy, but they work great. I don’t need to swap them between bikes since I’ve got a Stages power meter on the other bike. But it could be done without much trouble…just need a standard 15mm wrench (no need for a slim pedal wrench).
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Old 07-16-21, 08:00 AM
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Thanks for the input. I can see there will be divided opinions, but I have to agree that the impediment to getting everything together to ride being further burdened by a pedal swap could be the bridge too far. I've just started really getting back into the swing how much of a hassle a ride is to get everything together to make it out the door. That's why I was looking at what the most affordable options for each bike might be.

I might also consider just rigging up the Cannondale for a power meter to start with. I have been riding my Cervelo more this year for basic miles while I've been tinkering with dropping the bars and tweaking the seat position, etc. I just prefer to not risk the Cervelo on my rather boring solo bike trail miles. It gets a little too much negative attention unfortunately too. If you've seen the movie Road House with Patrick Swayze it's somewhat of a similar vibe. You wouldn't want to know how much. That Cannondale is a workhorse that seems relatively invincible. I don't mind the scuffs and scratches it picks up nearly as much with as many miles as I can throw at it.

If I do decide to just rig up one bike I might still lean toward the pedal options. If I only swap for events when it might play a more significant role to monitor my effort then maybe that's a game plan. I'm just a little reluctant to pick one of the more pricey proprietary solutions for the Cannondale. I'm a little surprised I can setup the Cervelo for less money. I know I could probably strip the parts off and sell them if I ever move on from the Cannondale too, but that might leave me with the extra expense of setting up another bike with power.

I could do the Power2MaxNGEco on the Cervelo and get one of the one sided pedal options for the Cannondale too as another possibility. That would give me an upgrade path (dual or road with the Garmins) for the pedals and not obligate me to the Cannondale.
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Old 07-16-21, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by MattTheHat View Post
I run Garmin XC200 SPD power meter pedals. A little pricy, but they work great. I don’t need to swap them between bikes since I’ve got a Stages power meter on the other bike. But it could be done without much trouble…just need a standard 15mm wrench (no need for a slim pedal wrench).
I am really interested in getting a set of the XC200's. I'm currently using XTR SPD pedals right now.

Did you notice the stack height difference when you set yours up?
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Old 07-16-21, 08:11 AM
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I have several Powertap G3 wheels. I think those were a fantastic solution and much cheaper than current meters. If you found a good used rear wheel with a Powertap G3, that is an alternative. But, you are probably going to have to learn how to replace the bearings yourself. It is not hard. I recently picked up a spare wheel for about 300 bucks with aero spokes, alu nipples, and a 45 mm carbon rim. It just needed new bearings. This is one alternative if you are handy. Swapping a rear wheel is pretty quick.

I looked at these mtb pedals and considered

https://www.iqsquare.com/

I also considered SRM MTB pedals but very expensive

https://powermetercity.com/product/s...r-meter-pedal/
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Old 07-16-21, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
If you're measuring total power, you're fine; unless you've got some very specific application, dual-sided doesn't really offer much benefit beyond sating L/R balance curiosity for the first couple of rides.

I would also echo the notion that you should cover both bikes with their own power meters if you can. Swapping pedals isn't that big of a deal, obviously, but it is an obstacle and we can sometimes use even minor obstacles to talk ourselves out of something if we're already on the fence (though maybe I'm just speaking for myself).

And yeah - ride your Cervelo, dude! If you want to avoid taking it out in the rain and sloppy weather, that's cool, but there's not much reason to "preserve" it otherwise.
I have (dual) Garmin Vector 3's on my Emonda SL6. I don't know if this is normal or not, but my power balance (L-R) runs anywhere from 51/49 to 54/46. On an absolute basis that means that (on some days) you could be reading as much as 8% more (or less) power on a single sided pedal vs what you would read on dual sided pedals.

To me the absolute #'s are of less consequence, but changes over time are of some consequence. So you go out and do an ftp test (for example) on a 54/46 day and you could get a number that is 6% different than what you get on a 51/49 day. That is not the end of my training world, but it would bother me.

dave
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Old 07-16-21, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by DaveLeeNC View Post
I have (dual) Garmin Vector 3's on my Emonda SL6. I don't know if this is normal or not, but my power balance (L-R) runs anywhere from 51/49 to 54/46. On an absolute basis that means that (on some days) you could be reading as much as 8% more (or less) power on a single sided pedal vs what you would read on dual sided pedals.

To me the absolute #'s are of less consequence, but changes over time are of some consequence. So you go out and do an ftp test (for example) on a 54/46 day and you could get a number that is 6% different than what you get on a 51/49 day. That is not the end of my training world, but it would bother me.

dave
I understand. That's why I said that reading total power was the important thing; the Power2Max meters that he mentioned are spider-based and read total power, rather than doubling the power of one side, like Stages, 4iiii, etc.
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Old 07-16-21, 08:34 AM
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Originally Posted by KJ43 View Post
I am really interested in getting a set of the XC200's. I'm currently using XTR SPD pedals right now.

Did you notice the stack height difference when you set yours up?
This is an interesting question. I didn't realize the pedals were any higher than the Shimano XTR SPDs I'd been running. But a day or two before installing the pedals, I had lowered my saddle and it ended up being a little too low. I was in a hurry and decided to adjust it again later and then kept forgetting. Then I installed the pedals. Next ride I thought to myself "Why is my saddle not too low now?" And then I realized the pedals must be a bit higher than the Shimano pedals.

I'd guess maybe 4-5mm higher, but don't know for sure. So yes, I did notice they were a bit taller but it certainly wasn't bothersome. A saddle height tweak should be all that's required to get back to normal.
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Old 07-16-21, 08:43 AM
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The solution here is getting two, left-side crank power meters, probably from either 4iiii or Stages. $300 - $400 apiece, call it $800 all-in, and you’re done, keeping your shoes and no swapping between bikes. What’s this thread about?!
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Old 07-16-21, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Fastfwd01 View Post
Thanks for the input. I can see there will be divided opinions, but I have to agree that the impediment to getting everything together to ride being further burdened by a pedal swap could be the bridge too far. I've just started really getting back into the swing how much of a hassle a ride is to get everything together to make it out the door. That's why I was looking at what the most affordable options for each bike might be.
Swapping pedals is easy, particularly if you make sure to lube the threads and particularly if you do it frequently. The longer the pedals are on the bike, the harder it is to unfreeze them, in my experience.

I swap pedals all the time - it takes a couple of minutes. One bonus is that if you've done it enough times, you remember automatically which direction is "tighten" and which is "loosen", making the job even easier.

(I swap because I only have one PM set of pedals, so they go from bike to bike. But also because I tend to use road pedals on my gravel bike when riding on pavement and SPDs when riding on gravel, because my daughter rides some of my bikes when she's home and she likes flat pedals, etc.)

If you want to stick with SPD pedals, then go with the Garmin SPD-compatible pedals. One sided is good for almost everybody. https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/p/658586.

Also, pedals move easily to your new bike when n+1 time comes, and n+1 always comes.
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Old 07-16-21, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
The solution here is getting two, left-side crank power meters, probably from either 4iiii or Stages. $300 - $400 apiece, call it $800 all-in, and you’re done, keeping your shoes and no swapping between bikes. What’s this thread about?!
OP isn't sold on single side measurement. Is interested in other options.

Stages are inaccurate and unreliable.
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Old 07-16-21, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
I understand. That's why I said that reading total power was the important thing; the Power2Max meters that he mentioned are spider-based and read total power, rather than doubling the power of one side, like Stages, 4iiii, etc.
Sorry - I misunderstood what you were saying. You were contrasting dual sided power vs. something that measures total power without separating one pedal from the other (rather than single pedal vs. dual pedal power measurements). My error.

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Old 07-16-21, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by MattTheHat View Post
This is an interesting question. I didn't realize the pedals were any higher than the Shimano XTR SPDs I'd been running. But a day or two before installing the pedals, I had lowered my saddle and it ended up being a little too low. I was in a hurry and decided to adjust it again later and then kept forgetting. Then I installed the pedals. Next ride I thought to myself "Why is my saddle not too low now?" And then I realized the pedals must be a bit higher than the Shimano pedals.

I'd guess maybe 4-5mm higher, but don't know for sure. So yes, I did notice they were a bit taller but it certainly wasn't bothersome. A saddle height tweak should be all that's required to get back to normal.
That's kind of what I was thinking. Just bring my saddle up the same amount as the stack height increase.

I do some trail riding too, including some semi rocky singletrack and might see a bit more pedal strike, but considering that the majority of my riding is on pavement, or fireroad I don't see it will be an issue.
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Old 07-16-21, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by KJ43 View Post
That's kind of what I was thinking. Just bring my saddle up the same amount as the stack height increase.

I do some trail riding too, including some semi rocky singletrack and might see a bit more pedal strike, but considering that the majority of my riding is on pavement, or fireroad I don't see it will be an issue.
I haven't noticed a problem riding on the road. I occasionally get show rub in corners but the added height might actually help that. I had a slight shoe rub in a corner this morning but so far I only recall two (the shoe both times, not the pedal).
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Old 07-16-21, 09:16 AM
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Just another plug for pedal-based powermeters is that they give you an accurate measure of cadence for free. Not from personal experience, but I suppose that crank-based pm do also. Maybe also true for those on the spider? But not on the hub.

Last edited by MinnMan; 07-16-21 at 09:20 AM.
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Old 07-16-21, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
Just another plug for pedal-based powermeters is that they give you an accurate measure of cadence for free. Not from personal experience, but I suppose that crank-based pm do also. Maybe also true for those on the spider? But not on the hub.
Yeah, the crank/crankarm-based PMs provide cadence. My understanding is that the PTap hubs can also infer cadence through little surges, and that it actually tracks pretty well most of the time.
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Old 07-16-21, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
OP isn't sold on single side measurement. Is interested in other options.

Stages are inaccurate and unreliable.
Uh, the very first sentence in the OP says they’re not sold on power meters at all, and for a total PM noob with cost concerns, fitting single-sided is a great place to start. For the OP’s anticipated usage scenario, single sided power is just fine, and should the usage expand to regimented power-based training demanding more specific data, single-sided systems are expandable to dual-sided. Let’s not put the horse before the cart, here.

Stages are accurate and reliable enough to be used by pro teams, standards well beyond the OP’s interest, demands, and need. Further, to the limited extent which Stages does have accuracy issues, it’s to do with measuring crank-side power on Shimano hollow cranksets, which certainly seems to be *another* good reason for the OP to just run left side power meters.
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Old 07-16-21, 11:28 AM
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It's easy to swap pedals. The more you do it, the easier it gets. Worst part is getting grease on your hands/arms if you are a bit careless.
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Old 07-16-21, 01:09 PM
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I don't think the concern was that it's difficult to change pedals, it was longevity if he's doing it every time he wants to ride the other bike.
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Old 07-16-21, 01:25 PM
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Another endorsement for the Faveros. I've been riding them for a year and sometimes swap them between bikes. Really good product. The other advantage of pedal-based PMs is that if you get a new bike or new crankset in a few years, you can just move them over, no problem. GPlama has a hack to convert Faveros to SPD using Xpedo pedals: https://gplama.com/2019/12/11/favero...-gravel-power/
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