PowerTap Standard Heart Rate Monitor

DESCRIPTION

You can capture the average and maximum power, speed, heart rate, and cadence as well as total time, distance, and energy expenditure.

The Power-Tap Standard system includes:

  • Computer
  • Hub (or pre-built wheel)
  • Heart rate monitor chest strap
  • Receiver
  • Downloading memory for ride data storage

  • USER REVIEWS

    Showing 1-9 of 9  
    [Mar 23, 2012]
    john cahalane
    Racer

    OVERALL
    RATING
    2
    VALUE
    RATING
    2
    Strength:

    Great when it works.
    Love to be able to see what I'm actually doing out there regardless of weather conditons.
    Really helpful comparing to past rides to see state of fitness.
    Useful for setting up training programs. Recovery rides, constant state rides and interval rides really assisted big time using this product.
    Product support folks are helpful and friendly.

    Weakness:

    In the past lots of issues trying to get head unit to be recognized by SW. Sometimes takes 4 or 5 reconnects before it works. Maybe the new SW version fixed it as it hasn't happened lately.
    Manuals are poorly written.
    Battery eater.
    Used it a few times this spring batteries died but it was working fine until it battery issue. Replaced the batteries now wattage has jumped way high ( reading 50 - 90 watts high). Can't zero torque and support said I" d have to pay $350 to get it fixed. I only have had it around a 1.5 years. Living in NH I probably rode way less than a years worth (I'd estimate 2 or 3 days a week from April - October) of riding that warm weather folks get in. I can't believe it is hosed in such a short time. Way too much money to be spending every 2 years to keep it running.
    Heart monitor often messes up.
    SW is pretty poor.

    I wouldn't recommend this to anyone until they get a more reliable product.

    [Apr 11, 2006]
    Doug
    Cross Country Rider

    OVERALL
    RATING
    1
    VALUE
    RATING
    1
    Strength:

    Watts are useful if the damn thing actually was reliable.

    Weakness:

    Unreliable. I have had nothing but problems with the Powertap. I bought a new old stock hub/wheel and computer. First I could not download any data. Saris sent me replacement USB cradles and head units that did nothing to solve the problem. My coach gave me an old head unit (yellow) with firmware version 1.88. It worked great for a month then stopped recording data. Powertap sucks. I asked for a complete replacement and all I get are exchange head units that don't even work.

    Stick with HR unless you can afford $2500 for an SRM

    [Aug 16, 2006]
    larry distefano
    Cross Country Rider

    OVERALL
    RATING
    4
    VALUE
    RATING
    4
    Strength:

    Review is for a Power tap pro hub laced to a bontrager race lite rim.
    accurate power output
    customer support
    durability: I commute to work regardless of weather. At 1st I was scared that the hub would give me problems in the rain/slush. I have yet to have any problems with the hub. Regular service every 6 months, no wear issues.
    Easy install & setup

    Weakness:

    I think that after uploading latest firmware, head unit stopped working. Customer service sent me a replacement within 3 business days.
    Download cradle no longer recognized the new head unit. Customer service sent me a replacement within 3 business days.
    HR data cuts out at time & uncoded strap
    Analysis software is weak. New software requires a subscription. Software from training peaks is much better.
    Weight. this thing is so far removed from my race wheels but the weight is a small price to pay to get power data.

    Anyone interested in improving their training should look at on of these. Spend the extra money & get the pro sl version.

    Similar Products Used:

    polar

    [Aug 10, 2001]
    Bob Brewer

    OVERALL
    RATING
    2
    VALUE
    RATING
    1
    Strength:

    Repeatability is good. This is as important to me as the absolute accurracy of the system. The etune support was very fast & good overall. I hope Graber is as good.

    Weakness:

    Forget the unit if it rains. I've had to return 2 computers, 1 receiver, & 1 hub. This was a major inconvenience. But, as noted above the support was always good.

    Because of the trouble & the returns I'm not anxious to spend another $750. If Graber continues the good support that Etune had & improves the reliability than I would be tempted to get another TPT.

    Similar Products Used:

    Polar HRM

    [Aug 22, 2001]
    Donal Fitterer
    Racer

    OVERALL
    RATING
    3
    VALUE
    RATING
    3
    Strength:

    Great idea. Professional looking product. Displays power

    Weakness:

    Intermittant. Sucks batteries. Download software needs work.

    I would really like to see this product succeed. The unit has been very tempermental during my training races. It did not download the last hour of my training race. Not sure what the glitch was. The software could show more information. Doesn't show time in HR zones. I will write more as I gain experience. Bought it used. Should be a new unit coming out soon.

    Similar Products Used:

    Polar XV downloadable HRM

    [Dec 18, 2004]
    Kyle
    Cross Country Rider

    OVERALL
    RATING
    3
    VALUE
    RATING
    3
    Strength:

    Accurate
    Seems water resistant
    Can use the wheel on multiple bikes

    Weakness:

    Software doesn’t work
    Auto-start doesn’t work
    Cyclocomputer-only mode doesn’t work
    Wires, zipties, and more wires
    Not the lightest thing in the world
    Uncoded heart rate monitor
    Horrible documentation
    Can’t use multiple wheels on one bike


    This is a review for the Pro unit. Firmware v2.02/Software v.1.04

    Overall, I’m quite happy with this gadget. It consistently runs 5w higher than my CompuTrainer @200 watts, giving me confidence in its accuracy and consistency. Also, I’ve gotten caught in a number of hard rainstorms and it hasn’t skipped a beat, suggesting the engineers have dealt with the unit’s water seal problems.

    The downsides?

    First, you tell yourself that you’ll just take it off if you want to race something lighter or more aero. You won’t. You’ll get addicted to all the charts and graphs. Weight weenies beware.

    As of the writing of this review, the software no longer works. It takes a while to get them to admit it, but XP Service Pack II killed it. New software is in development and should be shipping in Jan ’05, but they’re a little stingy with it—only agreeing to send me a copy after two weeks of email negotiations. Another option is to buy the much better Cycling Peaks software ($30ish) and use that.

    The auto-start function doesn’t actually work in the current firmware version, so if you stop for a while you have to push the button to get it going again and I tend to forget.

    The cyclocomputer-only mode is a bit of a joke. Download the PDF manual, look at the photo, and tell me how you’d get a magnet close enough to the pickup to register. I suggested to the (very nice) lady in customer service that I’d need a magnet the size of the one Bugs Bunny uses to pull the buttons off Elmer Fudd’s suspenders. She did not disagree. I have a call in to ACME.

    Be prepare for your bike to be completely covered in wires and zip-ties. Even the handlebar unit is held on with zip-ties. For $800, you’d think they could give me a mount as nice as the one that came with my $10 CatEye…

    The heart rate monitor is uncoded, so if you ride with anyone else with a HRM, it won’t work properly. On the other hand, I do enjoy leaving my chest strap at home and monitoring my training partner’s HR on my PowerTap. I think he’s getting suspicious why I always know the exact moment to attack.

    Finally, the documentation for the unit is just awful. Blurry photos combined with incorrect, incomplete, out of date, and disorganized information. I mean, you’ll figure it out, but it will be despite the manual, not because of it. Honestly, it’s so bad I almost offered to re-do it for them for a free unit.

    Bottom line, though is it’s a nice unit at a decent price point and I’m expecting it to do a lot for my biking.

    Oh, and one last thing. I had Dave Thomas at SpeedDream build the wheel for me. Not too expensive and about as light as you could hope for…



    Similar Products Used:

    None

    [Aug 02, 2003]
    M
    Racer

    OVERALL
    RATING
    2
    VALUE
    RATING
    3
    Strength:

    When it works it's nice. Software works well, downloads work well.

    Weakness:

    Had the product for less than 3 months. The hub went bad, returned it to Graber (I had to pay all shipping/ins. there). They had it for two weeks before and I finally had to call them to ask what the deal was. They sent it out that day. Got it back and it did not work. They're customer service does not go out of their way to make sure your satisfied. I'm looking into SRM for the next power meter. More expensive, but it may be worth it.

    If Graber gets it together and starts acting like they really want to ensure their customer satisfaction, then I'd consider them again. Currently I would not consider purchasing another power tap. I know of 4 other people in my small town that have dead hubs in less than 4 months. Apparently the vacumn portion of the hub goes bad easily.

    Graber needs to pick up the shipping both ways, provide loaner units while in repair. Especially if a unit is a few months old and they're going to have it for two weeks.

    Similar Products Used:

    Polar

    [Aug 06, 2001]
    Chad
    Racer

    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    3
    Strength:

    Measuring all the important cycling data that a cyclist needs. It is the equivallent of having a computrainer for every ride. It is less expensive than a SRM Power meter system.

    Weakness:

    The hub/wheel that is required for the unit to work is particularly heavy. Not exactly a race wheel. Cadence readings will very at times when riding on roads with high frequency bumps. The downloaded information doesn't corralate with the imformation that is on the computer display. There seems to be a discrepency.

    I think it is a great product. Measuring your training by watts is a great way to see your improvement. In my opinion the Power tap is a system that is better used when you are riding alone than when you are on your group hammer ride. It is great to see the results from your group ride, but there are more veriables when you are on your group ride than when you are training alone. When you train alone you can do the same ride again and again so that you can see what your improvements really are. One last thing, Power Tap warned me that the hub doesn't really like to be used in wet condition, but I haven't had any problems so far. This is a great product for cyclist that want to take it to the next level.

    [Jan 13, 2006]
    Krista Park
    Racer

    OVERALL
    RATING
    2
    VALUE
    RATING
    2
    Strength:

    This review is for the Power-Tap Pro.
    It is accurate, when you get one that works (my husband's works, mine didn't).

    Weakness:

    My hub had an intermittent problem. I would be in the middle of a TT race effort and it would start displaying incorrect (very low) wattage, not due to interference or low batteries. I spent two week troubleshooting the problem because it was intermittent (it didn’t happen every ride).
    Horrible customer service (I sent my entire wheel back via Fed Ex 2-day one month ago and I still do not have it back. I was told they would fix it in two days and ship it back via Fed-ex 2-day. I have been on the phone with Saris six times, it does absolutely no good.)
    Horrible documentation, I think it was translated from another language, the pictures were copied multiple times and no one proof-read it.
    Auto-start doesn’t work.
    Power-Tap software is not very good; I purchased Cycling Peaks software to use instead.
    No altimeter.

    consider the SRM
    or
    ergomo pro (http://www.bicyclepowermeters.com/)

    I agree with a review below. Saris should provide shipping. Saris should provide a loaner while the unit is being repaired, especially if a unit is new and they are going to have it for four weeks.

    I have to give it a really low rating as it has not worked correctly. On the other hand, my husbands actually works, so I'll up it a bit.

    Similar Products Used:

    No other Power Meters. I use the Polar 720i Heart-rate monitor for my altimeter on-road and for all info off-road.

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