Well time to set new goals (and of course) buy new hardware. The bike world has been moving fast since I last looked at it two years (?!!) ago. Here are some highlights and things to really want.
- Shimano Dura-ace Di2 9070. A long name for the update to the Shimano shifting group. It is now 11-rings in the rear and allows up to four (?!!) different shifting buttons just about anywhere and you can program it anyway you like. With the internal battery, it is lighter than the mechnical group and even handles compact or regular front rings. Pretty much a got to have for the kind of person who has $4K (?!!!!) burning a hole in their pocket.
Now on to other gizmos, power meters. I tried the old Polar power thing that measure strain of the chain. I actually got it working. Now there are a plethora and you can even rent them so that might be super helpful since they cost a literal fortune. There are some good overview articles from fitwerx.com and especially cyclingpowerlab.com. Looking at this, the best idea might be to rent a PowerTap SL for the summer and if you win the lottery. In priority order based on low weight penalty and lower price.
- Stages Power Meter ($900). Sometimes it is good to skip a cycle or too. The main issue with this is that it only measures the left leg, so if you have more power in the other leg, there is bias (ah the geeks love this kind of stuff). It adds only 20 grams to the overall system. They also have a two year accidental damage insurance. Pretty cool. The dcrainmaker says it isn't as accurate as way the Power2Max. At the price, it would be great as an option and it does support the Dura Ace 9000 crank. Lava also did their testing
- Garmin Vector ($1500). People have been waiting forever for this, but it is basically a Look pedal with a straing gauge in it. It is $1500 and should come out in September. The big advantage of course is that it is in the pedals so super easy to swap and change and works with any crank. Awesome if true but also scary as in a crash guess what normally hits?
- Cyclops PowerTap G3 ($1300) which is 325G and is just a 85 grame penalty but does affect aerodynamics. Some folks think it isn't as reliable and it means a dedicated wheelset. A 71 gram penalty.
- SRM ($4K). This is a german company and it makes a $4K system in the crank. Works well. It is the gold standard of power meters and works the best and is you buy an crankset with it already installed. About a total 80 grame incremental penalty. Perfect for those of you who just got your new Tesla S and have more money to burn 🙂
- Polar/Look Keo Power Pedals. Lke the Garmin but uses proprietary Polar protocols, so last on the list. Long live open protocols and ANT+.
These have pretty big weight penalties
- Quarq ($3K). This is now owned by SRAM so you have to use an FSA or SRAM set. Has about a 228 gram penalty
- Power2Max ($1.5K). This is also crank based and quite a bit cheaper at $1.5K or about around the price of a PowerTap. DCRainmaker found it quite reliable and it doesn't limit you in terms of wheelset. It makes sense but it does have a 206 gram weight penalty
- iBike. This isn't really a power meter, but measures how fast you are going and other variables and estimates your wattage, so not clear it is worth it.
Then there is the issue of training software and coaching. These days (unlke when I started), this is so easy with the internet and internet coaching: