Six reasons you SHOULD NOT use a powermeter recently published an article titled “Six reasons why you should use a power meter.” Now I must confess I ride with power pretty much 100% of the time. That said, I would never recommend anyone buy one. So in rebuttal to that article, here are my six reasons you SHOULD NOT BUY a powermeter…

1) It can suck the joy out of cycling. It’s easy to get drawn into the numbers and focus on nothing else while out there on your bike. Just look at the thousands of photos of Chris Froome staring blankly at his head unit. Hell there’s a whole website devoted to it! Look up and enjoy the view. Focus on how you’re feeling. Ride hard and embrace your time on two wheels.

Look up and enjoy the ride!

2) You’ll always be disheartened by your watts. Your FTP will never be high enough and your peak sprint wattage will never be sharp enough. You’ll read up on pro cyclist’s power numbers. You’ll compare your numbers to your mates. There’s no joy in that.

No matter how high, that number will never satisfy…

3) It’s expensive. Sure the price of powermeters has fallen over the past few years, but they are still a relatively expensive addition to your bike. That money could buy many a round of coffees at the cafe stop for your buds! Or a weekend away with the other half. Or a second bike in some cases!

4) You may become THAT guy (or girl) who talks nothing but watts, FTP and power zones. Nobody wants to be caught sitting next to that person at the cafe. It’s boring. I know it, you know it. Nobody likes EITHER of these two douches:

5) It’s just another gadget you need to charge. You already need to ensure your phone is charged, your Garmin too, plus your Di2 battery (or four SRAM eTAP batteries). Do you really want to have yet another gadget attached to your bike that you need to plug in? No, you don’t.

6) You don’t get paid by results. If you want to improve, riders have being doing it for decades without the use of any fancy gadgets. Want to know the secret to getting faster? Pedal hard. Recover. Then pedal harder next time. Repeat until you’re fast enough!

So there you have it. Put your credit card away and step away from the laptop. No matter what these websites tell you. You don’t really want or need that powermeter.


10 Comments Add yours

  1. typevertigo says:

    Very well said. I’ve been mulling over getting a power meter and its related gubbins (mainly a GPS computer and sensor package) for a while now, and while it’s steadily gotten more affordable, I just can’t get over the price of admission. Your post details the knock-on effects of having such information at hand, and the depressing concept of making never-ending comparisons. Thanks to you I’d probably just ride more. Cheers

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Riding more is usually a very good option! :-)


  2. Anthony says:

    Certainly numbers and data can be both beneficial and disheartening. I have not yet gotten a power meter–and I am not sure I will ever get one. I experience the same things when I look at my Strava data. I wonder if I am slower than the time before (which would be cool is Strava compared previous journeys over the same segment–they probably do on the one you have to pay for–I digress.
    However, last year’s poor rides have made me feel that I might need some more data to get better this year. Then again, one person told me the secret was to ride more.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Depends on the data I guess. Just having power data certainly won’t make you any faster. The best use of power is to combine it with a very structured training plan, even better if on the turbo (holding steady power outdoors is very hard).

      Outdoors I tend to ignore power numbers unless I am pacing/pushing up a climb. I look over the numbers a little bit on Strava after. It’s good as you can see if you pushed more power over a segment – rather than just being faster due to other factors. I try not to obsess too much these days!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. road_THEORY says:

    I like it. Each to their own and all that, but I don’t do power, heart rate, any of that. I ride on feel. I either feel great or crap. I have no doubt a power meter would make me a faster cyclist but I just can’t be bothered!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jo Wiggins says:

    I spend too long after a ride with the basic Strava info, I couldn’t cope with any more! I know I’m weak, I know I’m slow, I definitely don’t need another gadget to confirm it. 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha so true! I’ve got an expensive pair of pedals that tell me I’m a weakling…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. says:

    I’m soon (hopefully) getting the upcoming iSquare power meter. As I’m already not into interval training, but more into riding for exploring views and streets. However, I find it interesting to have one to compare better with my peers of different weight classes. Not that it matters. It doesn’t. But with an affordable power meter, I’ll take it. I’d also use it to compare different mountains, which in turn helps me to plan our group holidays.

    Liked by 1 person

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