Subscribe Subscribe | Subscribe Comments RSS
running biking athletics training swimming exercise

It’s common to see cyclists in the ProTour peloton use power meters to help monitor performance while out on the road, but regular athletes are still unsure if it’s worth the investment.

You can find power meters starting at $200, but it’s not uncommon to see some models top $4,000 — and the power meters used by the pros are obviously top notch.

If you’ve been thinking about investing in a power meter but don’t know the basics, I’d recommend reading this article written by the fine folks at Fit Werx (article originally posted at BeginnerTriathlete).

The power meter doesn’t care about hills, wind, temperature, indoors, outdoors, or any environment you’re riding in. It will always measure the actual power you’re producing on the bike regardless of the conditions. Most power meters will include heart rate straps so you can watch your heart rate response compared to power. Go out and ride at a constant power level for 20 minutes and heart rate can climb nearly the entire time. Harder intervals such as three minute intervals at VO2max power will see heart rate climbing quickly the entire interval and never leveling off.

I find myself dragging people through the wind quite a bit, and I’ve always been curious about wattage and overall power, so a power meter is the ideal tool.  I’m still unsure if I’m willing to spend a few hundred dollars just to see how much harder I’m pedaling than Ted when we’re riding in Coyote Hills — but it could be very interesting to use one of these gadgets some day.

If I could ever learn how to avoid sinking like a rock in the pool, I’d probably be more willing to one day get a time trial bike and attach a power meter.  Until then, I’ll just have to keep dreaming…

Editors note:  That is an engineering marvel!

Leave a comment

Name: (Required)

eMail: (Required)