So you’ve been riding a while. Getting faster and stronger. You’ve spend a bit of cash on a nice bike and some flash kit. Now you’re thinking about powermeters. Some of your stronger mates have them. The pros all use one. Why not you?
Surely getting a powermeter will turn you into a pro? You’ll be smashing all your local segments and dropping your mates up every climb, right? Well, no. Not exactly.
My winter bike has a PowerTap G3 Hub. Rock solid reliability!
I’ve ridden with power for a while now so let me tell you a thing or two if you are thinking of going down that road.
Will a powermeter make you faster? No. Do you need one in order to improve? No. You could spend the same amount of money on a slick set of deep section carbon wheels that WILL make you instantly faster (marginally). But…
A powermeter used in conjunction with proper training will absolutely make you faster and stronger on the bike – and will continue to do so for as long as you continue to use it effectively.
You need to be a “numbers person” and focused on training by numbers. There is a LOT more data than just a simple power number generated by your powermeter (check out software such as Golden Cheetah). Otherwise, your flashy new powermeter will just give you another (very expensive) metric or three to display on your head unit.
Used properly, a powermeter can help you race smarter, pace yourself better, ride long climbs more efficiently and give you a far more in-depth analysis of your performance after a race or training session. They can transform your training and give you absolute proof of improvement that is traceable over time.
Here’s my simple three step plan for anyone seriously considering buying a powermeter for the first time:
1) Buy the book The Power Meter Handbook by Joe Friel or Training and Racing with a Power Meter by Andrew Coggan and Hunter Allen.
2) Read it cover to cover. Every. Single. Page.
3) Then go ahead and read it again.
If you are still keen to buy a powermeter and use it wisely after that, then go ahead and pull the trigger! If not. Well, there’s always those nice wheels you could splash on. The next step is deciding where you want to measure power (Pedals? Cranks? Hub?) but that’s a whole other topic!