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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Who here has an iBike power meter? Which model do you have and do you like it? I need to up my game with a power meter but can't swallow the cost of a Powertap. The reviews for the iBike seem positive and the price is right.

Thanks for your feedback.
 

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Sorry this doesn't answer your question, but regarding the price of a Powertap, I got a used PT wheel on ebay for around 400 last year. Not too bad. Plus, I can use it on the trainer unlike the iBike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah looking into the iBike I was starting to wonder if it would be compatible with a trainer, and it didn't look like it was. The plus side is that it only costs $149 right now though.
 

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I had one on a road bike....it was ok...but....
It doesn't compensate for headwind....so if you're using it on an mtb, it won't compensate for mud, time not pedaling, etc.
It is basically guessing on the power.
You get what you pay for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
the mayor said:
I had one on a road bike....it was ok...but....
It doesn't compensate for headwind....so if you're using it on an mtb, it won't compensate for mud, time not pedaling, etc.
It is basically guessing on the power.
You get what you pay for.
I am not trying to question you, but on their website they specifically mention that it accounts for wind speed. Was there an earlier model that didn't perhaps?
 

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The older one didn't do head wind....and I have not tried the newer model.
But it does not show true power....I just looked at the newer models...looks like you have to calibrate it.After watching the vids....I'd say it's still just guessing.
Again...if you're using it off road...it's just guessing because of different resistance on different surfaces.( I tired it on a cross bike vs a SRM...huge difference in numbers)
On long road rides ( a couple hours)...it was close as far as average power.
On shorter rides or rides where you were working on shorter efforts ( sprints,etc)...it was way off.
Even found a few new reviews where they said it was right about 90% of the time....
 

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I figured I would chime in here and clear up a little bit of confusion in this thread. My name is Boyd Johnson and I am a product engineer for iBike. I helped to develop the newest version (gen3) that is our current model.

The iBike has always measured wind speed, it's one of the most crucial measurements for computing power. You may have been thinking of the Hac4 computer which would try to calculate power based on speed and gradient of road. That one could work well for consistent climbing, but not for anything in a pack or with accelerations.

The iBike has shown to work very well, in fact if you go to the newest issue of Velonews you will see a big write up of some current power meters. The author had some doubts when he first tried the iBike, but admitted that he was very impressed with how well it calculated the power (at only $200).

Now, for a mountain bike, I don't want to promise that it will work in all circumstances. If you are on consistent ground consistency, and if the trail is not overly technical (singletrack is fine), then you should get a good reading on your power. If you are going between mud, water, hard packed dirt, and grass all in the same ride, the changes in crr might be too great to accurately calculate power.

For road training however, even in a pack, the iBike has proved again and again that it reads power right in line with power meters costing thousands of dollars more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So a mountain bike on a fire road would be fine? How does it know or calculate the differences in each tire's rolling resistance? If I train with one set of wheels but race with another does it know the difference? I can tell you I can tell the difference when I pedal between those two wheels.

Thanks for your input.
 

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Unfortunately they're basically useless for mountain biking. I seem to remember even reading them saying as much on their own website, though probably a little less negatively worded :)
 

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you can get a used wired powertap wheel for cheap on eBay i got an entire wheelset for $500 last summer for my wife’s bike.

you’re going to need something that measures power/watts with strain gauges like the powertap, SRM or Quark not some guestimate.
 

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I guess I should have said it didn't do headwind WELL. I don't think it took short and or side gusts well.I also got funky readings while riding in a pack.

My experience with power meters( which, with 50 cents, will get me cheap cup of coffee):
I had the very early Power Taps . The early ones had their problems( since fixed)and their wasn't a lot of info out there...but it was an eye opener. I liked it.

But I quit racing for a while and got rid of it. When I started racing again...I looked at cheaper ways. I demo'd the Polar...no thanks. I looked at the Hac...expensive guesser. And bought the iBike.

The iBike...like I said...was ok. But it was guessing. I'd say it was right about 80-90% of the time. And after you use a good meter...YOU can guess better than that.And unless you are riding on smooth hard dirt...it is going to be way off. It won't factor in wheels/tires ( unless you calibrate it)You are buying a cheap meter/expensive bike computer. If you are really cash strapped and ride road only...I'd say maybe..but if you're that strapped...use the money for rent.

Like others have said, you can buy cheap used Powertap units...or you can go real cheap and deal with the iBike's short comings.It does sort of work in specific situations.

No matter what route you go, remember that there are many championships that are won every year by folks who don't own or use power meters or h/r monitors...they just go out and train.
And the main thing I found out about myself with a power meter is how much I suck.
 

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HAL 9000 said:
my SRM must be defective it keeps giving me the same readings

Mine does the same thing.
I called SRM tech support...who informed me it was a "feature" that would keep the user from being delusional and expecting a Pro contract just because they bought a power meter.
So far, it has worked for me.

Although...here on the interweb, I can brag about how my ftp is 759 watts and I weight 122 lbs.Maybe they should install that "feature" on all bike forums
 

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I had one....it was just too finicky; was always wondering how accurate it was; and on downhills it recorded watts even if I wasn't pedaling (this was due to the aerodynamic drag coefficient being off, but I couldn't' get it to show zero watts no matter what I did). Then the speed stopped working, randomly. No matter what I did I couldn't' get it to register speed, and of course without that it couldn't calculate watts. Neat idea, but in reality it wound up being more of a headache than anything else.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks for all the the input. It seems I will save my pennies for something better or just continue to train with HR and RPE.:thumbsup:
 

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pop_martian said:
Thanks for all the the input. It seems I will save my pennies for something better
trust me you can get a used wired powertap wheel for under $500 if you search on ebay for a few weeks.

yeah i know $500 is a lot of money but to get the correct training data it will be well worth it rather than just using the HR monitor.
 
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