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  1. #1
    the_rydster
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    CS600 power vs S725 power

    I currently have an S725 Polar bike computer and was wondering if the upgrade to the power sensor is comparable to the WIND sensor available with the CS600?

    Buying a new CS600 is an expensive proposition...although not as expensive as an SRM (are the crank arms made of gold?)! It is cheaper for me to get the add on for the S725.

    Is the older S725 power sensor system as good, in terms of reliability and accuracy? This is quite important to me.

    Buying a true power sensor is kind of unjustifiable for me. SRM looks like the best system, but the Ergomo seems like a cheaper alternative...although I hear it only measures torque on the left side?

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: shawndoggy's Avatar
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    I'm going from memory here....

    The old polar power unit, if properly setup, can be pretty accurate -- i.e. to the level of a properly set up SRM or powertap. The downsides of the unit are (a) setup, which can be tricky, and (b) sampling rate. There's a good setup guide out on the web. You can't do anything about the sampling rate, which is stuck at 5 seconds on the old polar system. 5 seconds is fine for measuring longer efforts, but tends to get inaccurate for measuring shorter ones (i.e. think of trying to figure out 1 minute power from 12 samples vs 60 samples).

    On the new system they wisely went to a 1 second sampling rate, but strangely did not increase the computer's memory, so you can only get a two hour ride on the watch before the computer starts automatically stretching out the sampling rate. Sorta lame, that, since most people serious enough to train with power also tend to do longer rides.

    The other knock for both systems is that they can tend to give inaccurate numbers if you use a trainer. That's a deal killer for me, since I do a lot of trainer work, but not everyone does...

    If it were me and I wanted to try out training with power and I already had the S725, yeah, I'd give the old power unit a go. I think they go for $200 or so on ebay, so it's by far your cheapest option. If you decide that you'd like a bit more detail, get a powertap. Used PT Pros are going for $500 or so, and even a brand new SL can be had for around $1K with a built wheel.

    (disclosure: I've never ridden the polar system (or SRM or Ergomo) and I have two powertaps, a Pro and an SL)

  3. #3
    What? Me worry?
    Reputation: StillRiding's Avatar
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    The Polar CS600 is now going on eBay new for about $460 and used/like new for just a little over $400. There is no bigger bang for the buck in power meters.

    A properly installed CS600 is accurate and consistent in my experience after about three months of ownership. Works fine on a trainer too. I also own an Ergomo which cost roughly three times the price of a CS600. The Ergomo displays, interval functions and bundled (old bundled) software are superior, but not so much as to justify the cost difference. The WIND wireless setup and heart monitor on the CS600 are flawless, and the heart rate functions and analysis in the software are without peer. The WIND capability alone would probably make it worthwhile to go with a CS600 over an upgrade to an S725.

  4. #4
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    After a lot of research I decided to take the plunge and installed a CS600 with power yesterday. The great info. on this forum and elsewhere helped with the installation issues, but I noticed intermittent drop-outs of power and cadence readings for no reason, even though the CS600 reported it was finding the sensors. More surfing led me to: http://www.cyclingforums.com/t391098.html which describes the problem in detail.

    In short, the CS600 works fine, but the new Power WIND module is experiencing random drop outs of cadence/power readings for long periods of time. Some report this may be due to a faulty battery pack, but others feel the module itself is the problem. Polar is aware of this and has apparently sent replacement power modules out that still misbehave, and they also apparently haven't figured out what the actual problem is.

    So.... buyer beware till this gets fixed by Polar. As for me, I am boxing up my CS600 and Power module and returning it. Will probably look into an Ergo or PT now.

    Regards;
    SteveO

  5. #5
    Bickety bam!
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    If..

    Quote Originally Posted by the_rydster
    I currently have an S725 Polar bike computer and was wondering if the upgrade to the power sensor is comparable to the WIND sensor available with the CS600?

    Buying a new CS600 is an expensive proposition...although not as expensive as an SRM (are the crank arms made of gold?)! It is cheaper for me to get the add on for the S725.

    Is the older S725 power sensor system as good, in terms of reliability and accuracy? This is quite important to me.

    Buying a true power sensor is kind of unjustifiable for me. SRM looks like the best system, but the Ergomo seems like a cheaper alternative...although I hear it only measures torque on the left side?
    If buying a true power sensor is unjustifiable, why by one at all? What are your goals? Are you racing or just training? My firm belief is that if you are racing, and training at a high level, get one, it will be a darn useful tool. If you don't race, but want to train hard for say, mountain centuries, or something like that, then take a pass on the power measuring devices. If you're just riding, forget it altogether, that's just my take on it. For example, I am a current category 2 racer in the US, don't use a power measuring system at all, or a HR monitor for that matter, and have been doing pretty good. Could I be doing better if I used something like a powertap or other? Probably, but I'm doing OK now, and just don't care that much.

  6. #6
    jaded bitter joy crusher
    Reputation: Fredke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swkelleher
    I noticed intermittent drop-outs of power and cadence readings for no reason, even though the CS600 reported it was finding the sensors.
    I had this problem with my new WIND power module. I called Polar, who recommended that I return it for warranty service. A week later I received a new power module and haven't had any dropouts since then. I've done rides up to 5.5 hours with no problems.
    Anything that doesn't take years of your life and drive you to suicide hardly seems worth doing. ---- Cormac McCarthy

    A man can get disouraged many times, but he is not a failure until he begins to blame somebody else and stops trying --- John Burroughs

  7. #7
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Well, I really wanted this product to work, so I sent my CS600 and Power WIND module to Polar for warranty work. After nearly a month I got it back and installed the replaced Power WIND module on my bicycle. When I turned the cranks, nothing happened... no cadence lights, no power lights and the CS600 would not recognize it. No amount of tinkering would make it work, and I measured power right up to the plug that enters the Power WIND paddle.

    Even if this product really does work, it's obvious Polar's quality control for the Power WIND module stinks and I'm tired of being a beta tester. I am returning mine for a refund.

    Steve

  8. #8
    What? Me worry?
    Reputation: StillRiding's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swkelleher
    Well, I really wanted this product to work, so I sent my CS600 and Power WIND module to Polar for warranty work. After nearly a month I got it back and installed the replaced Power WIND module on my bicycle. When I turned the cranks, nothing happened... no cadence lights, no power lights and the CS600 would not recognize it. No amount of tinkering would make it work, and I measured power right up to the plug that enters the Power WIND paddle.

    Even if this product really does work, it's obvious Polar's quality control for the Power WIND module stinks and I'm tired of being a beta tester. I am returning mine for a refund.

    Steve
    Wow! That's amazingly bad luck for one person...two Polar CS600s in a row that don't work, one that's supposedly double checked by Polar, and Polar takes a month to do a simple turn around. That sucks!

    Contact me privately if Polar won't give you the refund you want. Maybe we can do business.

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