Powercal useful estimates?
I was in the market for a new Heart rate monitor and found that the Powercal was only $10 more than the premium Garmin heart rate strap so I bought one. I've read the reviews on it and most seem to say that for efforts over a minute it's fairly accurate. I just don't see how it can come close using only heart rate change.
So what are peoples opinions? Good estimate for longer efforts or just a bunch of worthless numbers?
Haven't heard of it before, but it looks interesting. I suspect it will probably be more accurate than Strava's power estimates based on nothing more than GPS data.
The real question is how much you intend to use the numbers from this thing. Based on your post, it seems like you decided the extra info was worth $10, and so therefore will really only casually be using the information, at most. That seems like the intended market for it, really.
IMO, maximum utility from a power meter really comes from hiring a coach who is trained to analyze the data, and develop training efforts for you to train most effectively. But something like that really requires a REAL power meter.
I have one. I use when on the fat bike. If you set it for 3 or 5 second avg it gives you an ok ball park number. Mine is consistently lower than my SRM and Stages so I created a formula to fix it.
For long duration rides pretty close to a real power meter numbers. For shorts bursts it lags as it should because HR base. I would give it 2 out of 5 stars. It is good enough to get you feet wet with a Power Meter.
As far as PM's only mattering if you have hire coach. That's not really true. Training and racing with power is life changing. If gives you a definitive advantage over people who do use a PM. When the season starts I know where I stand in fitness and freshness. While racing I know exactly were sweet spot is, how hard I can hit climb, and what I have in tank towards the end. A real PM is worth every penny IMO.
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if you read carefully, I prefaced my statement with "IMO, maximum utility..." regarding PM's. I understand what you're saying, but I have also seen what a good coach can tell you about the numbers that PM spits out, and use those numbers to give you something directed to do to get faster. It dwarfs what most people use those numbers for.
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