Results 1 to 24 of 24
  1. #1
    Chris Bling
    Reputation: dustyduke22's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    1,001

    New question here. Powertap Mountain Bike hubs

    Hey Everyone,

    Just wanted to say hi and ask a quick question.

    How many of you guys use Powertap hubs on your mountain bikes? I recently became a dealer for them and was wondering if many folks use them or are there other brands out there that are superior. I have some experience with their road hubs but none with the Mtn. hubs.

    Thanks in advance!
    The obsession of wheels fused with the passion of cycling
    Affordable Custom Wheels

  2. #2
    mnoutain bkie rdier
    Reputation: rydbyk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    2,768
    PMs in mt biking are much less common than on the road. While it would be nice to have access to a power meter while mtb'ing, it is more of a luxury than 'necessity'.

    Also, as you know, maintaining any sort of consistency while training with power while mountain biking is really challenging due to the short bursts of power needed to climb techy steep sections etc.

    .02

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    76
    I have had my PT for nearly 4 years. Solid performer, hate riding without it.

    Tracking and analysis of power data I consider not to be a "luxury".

    People who are trying to hold a certain power etc on single track are doing it wrong. Maybe you can look at power on a long bit of fire road etc and pace from there but otherwise it true benefits are all in post training/racing analysis.

    Because of the highly variable nature of mtb means that power recording is probably more essential than road cycling for example.

  4. #4
    mnoutain bkie rdier
    Reputation: rydbyk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    2,768
    Quote Originally Posted by TapewormWW View Post
    I have had my PT for nearly 4 years. Solid performer, hate riding without it.

    Tracking and analysis of power data I consider not to be a "luxury".

    People who are trying to hold a certain power etc on single track are doing it wrong. Maybe you can look at power on a long bit of fire road etc and pace from there but otherwise it true benefits are all in post training/racing analysis.

    Because of the highly variable nature of mtb means that power recording is probably more essential than road cycling for example.
    Interesting. Nearly every coach around here hates to have their clients train with PM on an mtb vs them loving their clients using a PM on their road bike.

    I could see how a PM on an mtb in Florida would be great

    Trying to keep 200 watts avg for 2 hours in San Diego mtb terrain would be nearly impossible. Way too steep and often way too unpredictable. Averaging 200 watts for 2 hrs on the road is much more manageable imo.

    Maybe it is just more frustrating to the coaches than the rider sorta thing..

    As far as quality goes, I think the newer ones are more bomb proof than the past models. Also, PMs that are not hub based may be worth looking into, but I am not sure that helps the OP since he seems to be a wheel builder.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: WR304's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    3,589

    Powertap Mountain Bike hubs

    Powertap really need to get on and release a Powertap GS MTB hub. An MTB Powertap hub with DT Swiss star ratchet freehub, more robust bearings, DT 142x12mm thru axle and XX1 freehub body compatibility without needing aftermarket parts would be a lot more attractive as a mountain bike option than the current Powertap MTB hub, especially if they can make a smaller, lighter brake rotor to go with it.

    What's nice about the Powertap hub on an MTB (when it works) is that you get speed from the hub so don't need a seperate speed sensor mounted on the bike.

    This is an old post with some offroad power data and examples in.

    MTB power meter thread.

    .

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    76
    @Rydbyk that probably arises from the coaches and the trainees lack of knowledge surrounding what power data can yield for us. Again, recording and detailing the demands of single-track and other technical work help to shape training. As for holding "x" watts for a given period this may be required if the analysis of files/testing determines it. It's very easy to do, its called "riding on the road" (that can be a dirt road too). I don't know why but this seems to blow some mtbers minds.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    147
    I agree with WR304.

    I would own a powermeter for MTB use to track TSS, view event specific demands, look at quadrant analysis, etc. But the PT road hubs I've owned, while they take a lot of abuse and function well, would have a hard time surviving in an MTB environment. Even on gravel my current PT road hub mounted on my cyclocross bike isn't sturdy enough. Bearings get worn quickly and play in the hub or end caps shows up soon in demanding conditions.

    The proprietary disk rotors would be a pain, and the interchangeability for different hub standards just isn't there. I know only some hubs offer this so I can't blame PT too much.

    The best solution for MTB would be a bombproof pedal based system, if one could be developed. Until then who knows. Things are changing fast.

  8. #8
    mnoutain bkie rdier
    Reputation: rydbyk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    2,768
    Quote Originally Posted by TapewormWW View Post
    @Rydbyk that probably arises from the coaches and the trainees lack of knowledge surrounding what power data can yield for us. Again, recording and detailing the demands of single-track and other technical work help to shape training. As for holding "x" watts for a given period this may be required if the analysis of files/testing determines it. It's very easy to do, its called "riding on the road" (that can be a dirt road too). I don't know why but this seems to blow some mtbers minds.
    Gotcha. I really wanted to do my training primarily on my mtb when I decided to finally get a PM a couple of seasons ago. The problem was that the coaches I spoke to did not seem to have a clue with regards to creating PM based training programs geared towards Mtb racers.

    I wonder how the training varies from road vs mtb when the use of a PM is implemented. Clearly they are not identical.

    Dunno.

    I have the G3 on my road bike and love it....when the battery is not shot in the hub..which happens way too frequently now...argh!

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    76
    I don't ride the mtb anywhere as much as the road or TT bike, but I haven't had to change the batteries in two years... But it is an older model.

    The analysis of data especially from races should paint a clear picture as to where training needs to be focused. A very simple way of doing this is post race (once you've returned to the land of the living) note where you think you blew up, faded, cramped etc.

    Then when you have the power file obtain the best power peaks during the race as well as the 5-10-15 (depending on length of race) bursts of power for various durations. Depending on the overlap of these or whether they are spaced out should help paint a picture of how that power tracked during the race. Then with the notes above should be able to see whether the RPE or self-reporting matches what actually happened.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jcm01's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    216
    I love having power data for MTB rides. In addition to what TW says above, having power data allows you to objectively quantify the workload of every ride (via Training Peaks or whatever software you enjoy). Whether I am on the road or MTB, I want to know what type of effort I put in and a power meter helps you gauge this.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation: wetpaint's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    219
    I have a Powertap on my mountain bike and if I did it again, I would have gotten an SRM. I had the luxury of paying to have it rebuilt after only 1.5 years, the new hub it nearly out of the acceptable zero offset range already and Saris just blew it off as nothing to worry about.

    That said, I love having power on my mountain bike, I don't really do my intervals on it, but it's worth it for racing to get the data or just using for temp or dirt road rides.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    76
    ^ I concede I would do the same and make it 3 SRMs in the collection. The mtb PT is good... but the SRM would be better.

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation: WR304's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    3,589

    Powertap Mountain Bike hubs

    Quote Originally Posted by wetpaint View Post
    I have a Powertap on my mountain bike and if I did it again, I would have gotten an SRM. I had the luxury of paying to have it rebuilt after only 1.5 years, the new hub it nearly out of the acceptable zero offset range already and Saris just blew it off as nothing to worry about.

    That said, I love having power on my mountain bike, I don't really do my intervals on it, but it's worth it for racing to get the data or just using for temp or dirt road rides.
    If the zero offset on the Powertap hub is only drifting a little it can be manually recalibrated without needing to replace any parts. I live just down the road from the UK Powertap service centre so was able to take it there and have my hub adjusted when the calibration was getting too far out of range.

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    1,644
    Reports form some friends are all positive on the Stages PM. One on a Sram crank (road), one Shimano (MTB), and one Sram (MTB). Easy swap too.

  15. #15
    LMN
    LMN is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    3,433
    Catharine has been using Stages PM for the past couple of months with a lot of success. So far they appear to be best PMs I have used.
    "The best pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die." Steve Prefontaine

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jcm01's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    216
    I too have a Stages. Great PM. Sure, it has a few drawbacks when compared to a top of the line SRM, but these drawbacks aren't deal killers and the Stages is 1/3 the cost! Highly recommend.

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation: WR304's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    3,589

    Powertap Mountain Bike hubs

    Have you seen the Verve Cycling power meter? I don't know if there will be a mountain bike version but that is roughly a Stages power meter integrated into both left and right crank arms:

    http://www.bikeradar.com/road/news/a...st-look-39319/

    Edit: If you've got a Stages power meter how well does this new Stages app work with its high speed data collection option? Does it produce useful information?

    http://www.bikerumor.com/2013/12/17/...nk/#more-71044

    .

  18. #18
    FasCat Coaching
    Reputation: sprocketjockey9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    1,129
    I've got a stages XTR on my current set-up and used it all of last season & it'll be ready for next season. It's reliable, light & provides consistent data. All that I can ask for. Prior to that I've had a quarq, Powertap mtb & even an ergomo (that thing displayed TSS/IF before people even knew what it was).

    Power data on the dirt is critical & I think you are seeing the majority of pros start to realize that. Yeah its tough to read a screen when you are slamming the singletrack, but its super useful. DH riders have been using it for a while with SRM, stages, etc to determine those weaknesses and thats over a few minutes of track. Figuring out what you need to work on over the course of 90-120 minutes or even longer for endurance is the most basic of training needs. How can a coach (or a rider) worth his salt not want to use the tool that would best provide that information?
    FasCat Coaching
    Personalized Coaching for All Cyclists

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation: WR304's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    3,589

    Powertap Mountain Bike hubs

    Quote Originally Posted by sprocketjockey9 View Post
    Yeah its tough to read a screen when you are slamming the singletrack, but its super useful.
    If you've got a Garmin Edge head unit the text size gets smaller the more items you have displayed. On my Garmin Edge 500 I tend to go for power at the top of the screen with only one or two other items (speed and time) displayed underneath. That makes for a larger figure which is easier to read with a quick glance.

    With the Garmin's digital display the screen angle makes a difference too. At certain viewing angles the display becomes invisible. Either one of the bolt on out in front mounts or a wedge underneath the Garmin stem mount to angle the screen for your eyes helps with this. I have a wedge under the Garmin stem mount as an out in front mount fouls the brake and gear cables on my mountain bike.

    Having a higher smoothing figure on the display (I use 10s average) gives more of an overview so that you don't have to constantly watch the display. A quick glance when possible is usually enough, although you still have to be careful not to get distracted from what's ahead.

  20. #20
    FasCat Coaching
    Reputation: sprocketjockey9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    1,129
    To clarify that comment I meant the data as a whole, rather than data on the screen..

    I like to display intensity factor (IF) as one of the biggest items on the top of my 800, with time below that as a race screen. It's much easier than using watts or any smoothing. You don't have to do any math in your head either. Simplified it's the percentage of threshold that your ride as a whole is. Its pretty static once you get rolling. It's also pretty easy to glance down every few minutes and notice if that number is going down (power dropping) up (power increasing) or staying relatively still (good pacing)
    FasCat Coaching
    Personalized Coaching for All Cyclists

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    76
    Sorry, slight derail here... For those with the Stages any data comparison with another powermeter, ie: SRM or Powertap?

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jcm01's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    216
    Quote Originally Posted by TapewormWW View Post
    Sorry, slight derail here... For those with the Stages any data comparison with another powermeter, ie: SRM or Powertap?
    I have Stages on the road and SRM on the MTB. What do you want to know? I like them both. Probably like SRM a bit better but what can you expect for 3x the cost They both give me the data I need to train more effectively so I'm happy. The one interesting thing I have found is according to the SRM meter, my power is about 10% higher in general. If I ride a flat road on both bikes doing an all out 20 min. effort, the MTB with the SRM will typically show 10% more power. I have also compared Strava segment times off road with the SRM vs a different MTB I no longer have that was equipped with a Stages. Assuming I completed the segment in the same amount of time (give or take a second), the MTB with the SRM will show higher power. SRM thinks this might be due to a leg imbalance. For example, if my left leg/right leg split is 45%/55%, then at say 200W, my left leg is generating 90W and my right 110W. The SRM will show 200W of course. But the Stages will take the 90W x 2 = 180W. There is your 10% difference. It's really not a big deal actually. As long as the Stages gives me consistent, reliable data, that is all that matters.

  23. #23
    mtbr member
    Reputation: WR304's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    3,589

    Powertap Mountain Bike hubs

    Quote Originally Posted by sprocketjockey9 View Post
    To clarify that comment I meant the data as a whole, rather than data on the screen..

    I like to display intensity factor (IF) as one of the biggest items on the top of my 800, with time below that as a race screen. It's much easier than using watts or any smoothing. You don't have to do any math in your head either. Simplified it's the percentage of threshold that your ride as a whole is. Its pretty static once you get rolling. It's also pretty easy to glance down every few minutes and notice if that number is going down (power dropping) up (power increasing) or staying relatively still (good pacing)
    That's quite a "big picture" approach. I'll give it a try and see how I get on once I have a working powermeter again.

    For most of December I've just been riding with perceived exertion, which is ok apart from my tendency to end up riding at only one of two speeds - hard or really hard. The main benefit I found with a powermeter was that it acted as a reminder to show some restraint and stop myself getting carried away.

  24. #24
    FasCat Coaching
    Reputation: sprocketjockey9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    1,129
    Well, you can't dive too deep into visually looking at power on the mtb while racing or on trails. At least I can't. I don't want to be figuring out i should be doing x watts of y threshold and converting that into percentages in my head (Living at altitude and racing at altitude Threshold changes depending on how high you are racing). Especially if i've done a hard effort up a hill or been easy for a bit. By rolling up Intensity factor on my display, I know that I should be able to do x% of FTP for specific duration. Then I can glance down and go yup, i've been slacking and lets roll this up. OR realize maybe i've been going too hard.

    the big picture approach lets me realize i can expend energy where I should (on climbs) and conserve a bit where I need to (descents, etc). It's not perfect by any means, but I've found it pretty useful in this manner.

    I do take the time and review my data in wko post race to make training adjustments, but that should be a given. I still have some self semblance during a race that I may only be able to burn so many matches depending on the efforts & durations.
    FasCat Coaching
    Personalized Coaching for All Cyclists

Similar Threads

  1. Powertap Hub and their lifetime
    By dstorjoh in forum XC Racing and Training
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: 10-23-2013, 05:59 PM
  2. PowerTap Disc SL 2.4+
    By jmilliron in forum XC Racing and Training
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: 08-21-2013, 07:24 AM
  3. SLX vs XT hubs for all mountain. A vote.
    By aBicycle in forum All Mountain
    Replies: 31
    Last Post: 02-14-2013, 07:57 PM
  4. Replies: 55
    Last Post: 12-20-2012, 11:28 PM
  5. Anyone ever run a Powertap on a SS?
    By asmallsol in forum Singlespeed
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 02-27-2011, 06:32 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •