In my blog of August 28th, Strava application debate, I touched on Power meters. I said that I would return to the subject, and thus here we are. So, what are my initial thoughts on Power Meters? Well, before I go any further, they do cause a bit of an argument. As cyclists, we all love to think that we know best. Our bikes have a lot of components, and we all like to argue that we have chosen the best out there. Best value, best looking, best weight/performance ratio etc. Well, that hornet’s nest is well and truly kicked over with Power Meters.
Thoughts on Power Meters
Firstly, which one do you buy? Crank mounted, pedal mounted, bottom bracket or hub incorporated? All have their pros and cons. My research on that will carry on, and I will refer. Now, I think hub mounted looks the best result. However, all have their pluses and minuses. I want to be more generic about their use though. I, like many ride my bike to enjoy it. If you only ride your bike to compete, the argument for power meters is simple. Which one should you buy, not should you buy one. That is 100% clear. Power meters will increase your performance, guaranteed.
Experience of Power Meters
So, what I have done in my, yet primitive research. Well, I have been out training with a friend who swears by them. We weigh the same, are the same height, and ride similar bikes. So, in theory my output and his should be similar. We follow his power meter. I have yet to buy one. So, what have I discovered, and has it altered my thoughts on Power Meters.? Firstly, training has become more intense. You are ruled by the numbers. Interval training is a good example. I have not tried it on any Galician climbs yet, only on flattish roads. Maintaining the wattage on 1-2 minute intervals is a tough job. Your body says no, the numbers say carry on. Without doubt, I have seen a marked improvement in my strength and ability to hold the speed. I am becoming a stronger rider in a short space of time. Huge uptick for power meters from me. But…
Negative Thoughts on Power Meters
This is a simple answer. The enjoyment is taken away from riding. It’s all about the numbers. Maintain X watts for Y amount of time. Repeat. Great, but I am human, not a computer. I have feelings, and I love riding my bike. I like to chat; I like to stop for a coffee and shoot the breeze. I don’t want to talk endlessly about watts per kilo over a milky white. I am one of the 90+% of cyclists who ride because we love it. Not because we want to win trophies or grab KOM on Strava. We simply are cyclists, nothing more. So, what are my final thoughts on Power Meters after a month of “using” one? I will carry on “borrowing ” my friend’s one once or twice a week. Let’s see if I feel the same if I start to really get my legs strong thanks to the Power Meter training. Will the bug bite? I will keep you informed.