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  1. #1
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    Using power meter first time, get it for training on road or racing on mtb?

    Planning on using a power meter this Winter and into 2014 to complement my Garmin HR input. I'm a Cat 1 mtb and do most training on a road bike (rarely race road, I'm a 35+ B), race a 29er HT but ride a FS and SS and CX for fun and some training to switch things up.

    I use eggbeaters on all my bikes for convenience and because my Specialized carbon mtb shoes fit so darn perfect.

    Question for you based on my limited budget (meaning I won't be buying a PM for every bike) and needs: would you wait for the Garmin power meter pedals coming out for mtb, presumably an Exustar design, and swap them from the training road bike to the race-day mtb bike?

    a) Do you use a power meter on a mtb for race day?

    If "no" then should I just get a Stages road crank arm or dedicated road wheel using the $625 hub and use the PM strictly for training?
    Last edited by westin; 08-26-2013 at 08:54 AM.

  2. #2
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    Since you said that you do most training on your road bike, I would go for a Stages PM on the road bike. It will be a PITA to switch pedals between your bikes and you probably won't do it that much. It is also a whole lot easier to train by power on your road bike since you don't have the spikiness of a mtb ride.

  3. #3
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    I am sort of in the same boat. Race Cat 1 mountain, but do most of my training on the road bike. I got a powertap hub. I do most of my power training on the indoor trainer during the winter months when there's snow outside, so I just put the wheel on as it starts to get cold out. I use a regular road tire on it instead of one of the trainer specific ones, so if I want to ride outside I don't need to swap wheels or tires.

    As skibum said, no use in a power meter on a mountain bike unless you're riding it on the road, or have particularly flat trails.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by eness215 View Post
    ...no use in a power meter on a mountain bike unless you're riding it on the road, or have particularly flat trails.
    Hmm...not sure I would agree with this...Any power data is always better than no power data, regardless of the terrain

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by eness215 View Post
    As skibum said, no use in a power meter on a mountain bike unless you're riding it on the road, or have particularly flat trails.
    There is certainly value in having power data on a mtb. It is just much more difficult to train with that data than on a road bike. I would love to have power on the mtb, but if I had to choose I would pick road power.

  6. #6
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    Thanks to all for the constructive input!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by skibum1321 View Post
    There is certainly value in having power data on a mtb. It is just much more difficult to train with that data than on a road bike. I would love to have power on the mtb, but if I had to choose I would pick road power.
    This I agree with!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by skibum1321 View Post
    There is certainly value in having power data on a mtb. It is just much more difficult to train with that data than on a road bike. I would love to have power on the mtb, but if I had to choose I would pick road power.
    This^^ Fwiw..I have ptap g3 on road bike for training and nothing on mtb. I hear they are coming out with an $800-ish mtb crank pm soon that look appealing to me. Time will tell...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by rydbyk View Post
    This^^ Fwiw..I have ptap g3 on road bike for training and nothing on mtb. I hear they are coming out with an $800-ish mtb crank pm soon that look appealing to me. Time will tell...
    Stages already has: Stages Power models.
    Granted that is only measuring the left side and doubling it. I've heard that it works pretty well for road bikes, but I've heard mixed reviews on mtb. The reviews I read said that if you descend left foot forward then you may see some spikes in your data. I'm torn because something is better than nothing, but if you can't trust your data is it really worthwhile?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by skibum1321 View Post
    There is certainly value in having power data on a mtb. It is just much more difficult to train with that data than on a road bike
    This, I have power on my road and MTB, I don't think I'd want to give up either. I hardly ever do intervals on my MTB, but the race data is worth having it on the bike.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by skibum1321 View Post
    Stages already has: Stages Power models.
    Granted that is only measuring the left side and doubling it. I've heard that it works pretty well for road bikes, but I've heard mixed reviews on mtb. The reviews I read said that if you descend left foot forward then you may see some spikes in your data. I'm torn because something is better than nothing, but if you can't trust your data is it really worthwhile?
    I have Stages on both my road and MTB. On the road is has been pretty much flawless, like you said. Also like you said, I ran into an issues on the MTB because I am a left foot forward descender. However they have released several new software versions and with each release, it gets better and better. It is at the point now where I might get 2-3 power spikes over the course of a 2 hr. ride. While not perfect, that's not enough to change my average watts on the ride what-so-ever, so I'm pretty pleased and could recommend Stages for MTB as well.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by westin View Post

    Question for you based on my limited budget (meaning I won't be buying a PM for every bike) and needs: would you wait for the Garmin power meter pedals coming out for mtb, presumably an Exustar design, and swap them from the training road bike to the race-day mtb bike?
    I would be surprised if it took less time than a year for the MTB pedals to come out. I mean just look how long they took with the road ones.

    If your budget is $1700 (the price of the vector) why don't you buy a powertap/stages for your road bike and a powertap/stages for your mountain bike? I know the crank based power meters are nice (I have a quarq on my mtb) but I think the hub or stages arm is worth the weight penalty if that's where your budget puts you.

    MTB powertap is $790 so is the road one. Stages is usually around that price too. Just get whichever you like, both sounds better than a single one. Otherwise get whichever you want to do more training on. Keep in mind the power meter is especially good for intervals so if you do all intervals on mtb but do base training on road bike its maybe better to get the mtb version as you can still do base training power tests on the mtb every once in a while.

    One downside to the Stages is if you are doing isolated leg training is that I don't think you can really do it with the stages, but you can with a powertap.

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