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  1. #1
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    In an ideal world would you use the same type of PM on every bike?

    If you had to pick a power meter for yourself or an athlete, who was looking to put power on multiple bikes, would you advise him to put the same type on each bike?

    Reason I'm asking is I am picking up a new bike which does not have a PM. My current bike has a Quarq Esla. I want to have consistent reading between the bikes so I am wondering if it is advisable to get an Elsa for my new bike also? Obviously I want consistency first and foremost, absolute accuracy is of less importance. I don't want to think my FTP, or zone, on one PM is significantly different than the other.

    thanks for any input.
    Last edited by vivid; 12-11-2015 at 02:55 PM.

  2. #2
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    Yes. I don't think you NEED an expensive Elsa unless $ is not a problem. A Riken would do the same thing just a touch heavier and less expensive but same readings which is the point.

  3. #3
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    I would if money wasn't an issue.

    Since it is, I have a wired SRM, a powertap g3, and a power2max. Fortunately they all read really close to each other, so much that I can't tell a difference. Would have thought the G3 would have been a little lower, but genuinely can't tell.

  4. #4
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    Best is probably using the exact same PM on all bikes. Different examples of the same PM can vary by a few percent. Or perhaps use only one for periodically quantifying progress (FTP etc). The differences in the others are likely small enough to matter when training.

    See DC Rainmaker's site for comparisons between PMs.
    ... 'cuz that's how I roll.

  5. #5
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    SRMs on all my bikes. If only I were riding them....

  6. #6
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    I don't and wouldn't worry about it. As long as it's there and working properly it's close enough for us mortals. I have a couple different kinds and they read close enough to one another where I can't tell them apart.
    use a torque wrench

  7. #7
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    Two power meters that are the same brand, model and were made the same week can still read differently. By getting two of the same model you eliminate the error due to differences in design but not individual unit variability or defects.

  8. #8
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    Thanks all,

    So if money is no object SRM on all bikes. But in reality all PM's are close enough to not worry about it. But if you are super anal and want to eliminate some drive train loss, probably best to stick to the same kind of PM EG all DS cranks, or all pedals.

    that all makes sense.

    @looigi, DC Rainmaker's site is amazing and I read it extensively when I bought my Quarq.

  9. #9
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    If I had one I would want the Garmin pedal type as it would be easy to remove and to pass on to somebody who wants more stuff.

  10. #10
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    There are other things to consider in the world of Power meters than just relative measured power output in my opinion. Durability/suitability for the environment and the type of training of interest are a couple. From the reviews I have seen they are all pretty much within a couple % of one another. 2% of 300 watts is 6 watts, not enough to worry about for me when training or pacing.
    Nothing succeeds like excess

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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikeLayne View Post
    If I had one I would want the Garmin pedal type as it would be easy to remove and to pass on to somebody who wants more stuff.
    I wouldn't touch the Garmin stuff. Powertap pedals sound awesome except for having three different shoes and liking the pedals I have.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by pedalbiker View Post
    I wouldn't touch the Garmin stuff. ...
    Explaining why might be helpful to those trying to decide.
    ... 'cuz that's how I roll.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by looigi View Post
    Explaining why might be helpful to those trying to decide.
    For me I have crossed off the following for some good and occasionally trivial reasons:

    SRM - price
    Vector - fragile pods and torque specs negate easy bike swap, price.
    Stages - just don't like the idea of doubling left side power. I'm sure in reality it makes little difference but I can't seem to get my head around it.
    Pioneer - magnets on the frame. Don't want to risk a chain drop and that then causing loss of power due to the magnets coming off.
    Powertap G3 - becomes expensive when considering the wheel that goes with it. I would also then have one hub based and one crank based PM. Two different ends of the drivetrain.


    My current top 3 are:

    Quarq - same as what I have now. A little more expensive that other options.
    Power2Max - No much to say apart from it's not a quarq. Great reviews, price and crank options.
    Powertap P1 - Apart from proprietary cleats (which really irks me as a way to make more revenue), and relatively short battery life, these seem great. Can swap from bike to bike in a minute or two. Would even work on my kickr and Trainer Road.

  14. #14
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    DC Rainmaker's take on the 2015 PM market landscape HERE.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by looigi View Post
    Explaining why might be helpful to those trying to decide.
    As others have mentioned, check out the DC Rainmaker site, he has the most comprehensive reviews out there (not being argumentative, his are just the best I've found. If there are others, please share). The annual power meter roundup is a good summary of what's out there (link in Woody's post). However, if you've narrowed the field, you may want to read the in-depth review of the specific power meter you're considering. For the Powertap pedals, that's here.

    If you're not into details, you can skip to this line in the review (obviously toward the bottom):
    As for pedal based power meters on the market today however, I donít see much competition Ė the PowerTap P1ís simply win.
    The paragraphs after that explain why he feels this strongly.

    It can also be illuminating to peruse the comments on these reviews. I noticed several complaining about their Garmin's & wishing they'd waited for the P1's.
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  16. #16
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    I only know one guy with a power meter and he has the Garmin duel pedal system. I think he paid like $1800.00 for it but he enjoys having it. He has higher expectations from cycling then I do and he is trying to use the information to his improvement. I don't really care that much myself. I ride quite a bit and am fit enough for any ride I might want to go on. I am good with that. I use the 50/50/10 plan which I invented. 50% easy, 50% moderate, 10% hard. The numbers do not add up but my training plan does not add up to much either.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by RL7836 View Post
    As others have mentioned, check out the DC Rainmaker site, he has the most comprehensive reviews out there (not being argumentative, his are just the best I've found. If there are others, please share).
    There is my blog item, which Ray has in the past referenced in his previous annual reviews:
    Alex's Cycle Blog: Which power meter?

    My last update was September 2014, and there has been a fair bit of new model activity and introductions since then. However the discussion on the broad principles of power meter choice and factors to consider still stand.

    At some stage I'll do an update, but Ray's efforts are a stand out source of info.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by looigi View Post
    Explaining why might be helpful to those trying to decide.
    It's well documented on the webs.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by looigi View Post
    Explaining why might be helpful to those trying to decide.
    Finicky pedals to set up and seem prone to issues which one could find using Google.

    I have the PowerTap pedals and they are slap on and forget and easy to change between bikes.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikeLayne View Post
    If I had one I would want the Garmin pedal type as it would be easy to remove and to pass on to somebody who wants more stuff.
    Garmin's stuff only appears to be easy to swap on the surface. It's actually kind of a pain in the ass, especially if you have different types of crank arms.

    Stages or other crank are replacement are (in most cases) easier to swap, but you would have to have identical cranks.

    Wheels have similar challenges in that you are stuck using the same wheel type on every bike. If that works, it works. It wouldn't work for me.

    The new Brim Brothers thing looks intriguing, as it goes on your shoe(s). It would be exactly the same on every bike, assuming you have speedplay zero's on all of them.

    As far as having the same (type) PM on every bike, I can't imagine that level of consistency is necessary for the average amateur athlete.

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