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Power Tap(8 posts)

Power Tapupandcomer
Dec 3, 2002 11:02 AM
Does anyone here have any experience with the power tap? What are the pros and cons?
re: Power TapTrekFurthur
Dec 3, 2002 11:32 AM
I've been on one for about 8 weeks now and used it also at the beginning of the season. I've enjoyed using wattage to gauge my interval intensities and see the progress of my training; I feel like I"m getting more from my workout, due to the precision of this instrument. I do not have the software, so I can't comment on the download features, but it's a great training tool.

The only downside I can come up with at the moment is the weight; expect to add close to a pound to your typical rear wheel. This is not that bad of a feature for a training tool, though.
re: Power Tapmtber
Dec 3, 2002 2:10 PM
Im in the same boat as Trek - I just started using one and do not have the software. To me the software is just kind of a 'gee whiz' add on that I would prob stop using after the 1st few rides. The unit itself will store max and avg power, speed and HR and I think (haven't tried it yet) will do so for a few intervals.

The unit seems very precise and is relatively easy to use once you get used to the fact that your power output will jump around a lot more than your HR. This is actually a good thing as it will teach you to maintain a steady power output. Although it is too early in the season to start intervals, I anticipate that the powertap will be most valuable for intervals. I feel that I get quite a bit of overshoot when I use HR for intervals (ie I start out way too hard in order to make my HR get into the correct zone, then need to back off quite a bit).

No cons except for high $$, but you may be able to pick one up on ebay. Oh and be careful when washing your bike or riding in heavy rain - I got some water in my computer which took quite a while to evaporate out. Didn't ruin anything, though.

I am hoping to train my hardest and avoid OT this season - last season was a disaster due to unrecognized OT. Good luck.
Right on trackTrekFurthur
Dec 4, 2002 7:41 AM
The Powertap will record and store up to nine discrete intervals--this is a great function, and indeed the PT really shines when you begin interval workouts. The RPE and HR issue that MTBer brings up is exactly what the PT helps the athlete avoid--wattage is instaneous, so you learn to really refine your interval to be a very steady-state workouts (hint: use cadence to help you stay in a tighter wattage zone). The steady nature of wattage intervals makes them much harder workouts than HR intervals, because you have to back off during HR intervals to stay in your zone (see MRTBer's discussion).

I would love to have the software and feel like I would use it quite a bit to see what's going on in my intervals; however, I don't think it's necessary to get the most of the unit.

Also, as MTBer says, don't get the unit wet; for rain rides, I stick my training wheels back on. However, the PT also makes doing intervals on a trainer really easy, as it necessarily reads from the rear wheel. At this point of the year, most of my workouts are on the trainer, and my training is much more precise as there are fewer environmental factors to influence my workout when I'm indoors. The unit works equally well on the road though.

Hope we're helping.
re: Power Tapupandcomer
Dec 4, 2002 7:51 AM
Thanks a lot for the info boys. Actually the other question I had was, How does the PT correct for the lost power in the drivetrain and read the actual power you're putting into the crank? Or does it?
Dec 4, 2002 9:57 AM
re: Power Tap
not sure what happened there...mtber
Dec 4, 2002 10:00 AM
but I was going to say that you might try contacting one of Graber's tech support people:
800-783-7257 or try this link:
Not worth worrying aboutTrekFurthur
Dec 4, 2002 10:20 AM
Graber claims the unit is within, I think, 5%; many engineering minded consumers have found it within 1%. Nothing's perfect, but we'll probably never know the difference.