Bike gadgets and apparel

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Well if you are getting back into cycling, it’s a great time to instrument up and DC Rainmaker has the best reviews and for apparel the most important thing is a good big with a good pad

  1. Bike computer. I have an old Garmin Edge 800, but many folks are loving the new Wahoo Elemnt Bolt. This is also the computer that Brad likes 🙂
  2. Bib. There are many, but I’ve used Castelli for years. The Aero is a decent value at $150 or so and the Mondiale is a splurge at $300, but I’m sure you feel fast!

But the coolest thing to figure out are the sensors and mounts. The main thing to decide is if you want just ANT+ or want Bluetooth LE as well for maximum compatibility. I like the idea of BLE so:

  1. Scoshe Rhythm+. An optical wrist band, so no more chest straps and it is dual ANT+/BLE. This thing works really well if you don’t have an Apple watch 🙂
  2. Speed/Cadence. The Wahoo BlueSC2+ is both but is bulky. If you want small, then the Garmin is tiny and uses accelerometers and no magnets but is ANT+ only. Or, you can if you have a Shimano Di2 system, you can get an ANT+ and BLE transmitter so you get both gearing (with Garmin 810 or later) as well as cadence, so you only need speed.

Then there are the expensive items, Power Meters. The main issues are reasonable cost (that’s relative, these are $600-$2K items), but then there is portability and battery life not to mention accuracy. The big issue is left/right differences and weather it is measuring just one side. And it is literally raining crank arms, so a complex market:

  1. PowerTap hub. The grand daddy of them all, but you need to change your hubs, which is you have a fancy wheel set (Topolino, ENVE) could be. a problem. Also you have to swap wheels if you have have lots of bikes. If you want these, you need to build a wheel set, so for instance, the ENVE 3.4 Disk for just the rears are $1K.
  2. PowerTap P1 pedals. The easiest to move, just move the pedals, but you had better like Look style pedals. it is however DC Rainmakers favorite. At $1.1K, they are expensive, but reliable and of course dual feet. These are about a 250 gram penalty over basic pedals, but work super well. Main thing is easy to assemble and works seamlessly with a Garmin 800.
  3. Chainring systems. PowerTap C1, Power2Max and Quarq units all in the same boat according to him, the main issue is compatibility with the rings you have and of course, it is way harder to move them to different bikes.
  4. Stages. Obviously cheaper at $600 since it is left only (but you can also get the Powertap P1S for the same price). But you also get to use your own pedals for those of us who like something else (like Shimano) or Speedplay (for float).
  5. 4IIII Precision. The new kid on the block and just $400 for a single side, so a value leader, but new.

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