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Been training and racing with power on the road bike for 5 years and on the mountain bike for the past 2.

Power training is simply the best way to train. Power training is also completely different for mountain bike racing versus road.

I think power training on the mountain bike is more than ready for prime-time. While it's exploded on the road because the bikes are so light, they can easily add the power meter's without a weight penalty; it will most likely creep into mtb racing soon enough. The Saris powertap are now Ant+ compatible allowing you to use them with the gamin 705 or other Ant+ compatible computers. They are still new, but those that are informed and want to perform are going to be using power training on the mtb
 

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KERKOVEJ said:
Fun workout, eh Jeff? I blew myself to bits last week with that one ;)

Another :thumbsup: for training & racing with power. It doesn't change the way to train, it just objectively keeps you on track and lets you know how well you are (or are not) progressing. Them things are brutally honest!

Not cheap and come with a big initial learning curve, but worth it's weight in gold. Don't tell saris I said that.

BTW, I just updated my disc MTB PT hub to ANT+ sport. System integration! GPS, power meter, coach, all in one little gizmo.
 

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to further expand on the OP's question...i am curious about this, maybe those of you who currently is power as a training tool can chime in?

can you weigh the cost of investment on the feedback gained from power as a training tool?

i know for a bunch of us broke @sses reluctant to pull the trigger...how would you prioritize power after the fact? versus say, heart rate, etc.

put yourself in our shoes (the broke @sses) and weigh in on that ~1k investment.

super curious....thanks in advance!
 

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lukewiens said:
to further expand on the OP's question...i am curious about this, maybe those of you who currently is power as a training tool can chime in?

can you weigh the cost of investment on the feedback gained from power as a training tool?

i know for a bunch of us broke @sses reluctant to pull the trigger...how would you prioritize power after the fact? versus say, heart rate, etc.

put yourself in our shoes (the broke @sses) and weigh in on that ~1k investment.

super curious....thanks in advance!
The answer to that is going to depend largely on the priority you place on becoming the best (as measured in speed, power, race results) cyclist within your reach. Even with a power meter there is a steep initial learning curve and to get the most out of the PM and speed up that learning process you'd want a coach to go with it.

How much does your bike cost?

For myself it's a no-brainer. I knew that 8 years ago and was getting my hands on the first PTs and Polars (don't go there!) available. Within a year of training with power my training habits changed drastically, and for the better. They don't sugar coat things with subjectivity!

Getting power on an MTB is not a no-brainer. If you have a bike you can run vbrakes on then you'll be able to pick up a used PT no problem. If you want disc brakes, the new PTs are shuwweeeeet but not cheap. I would not recommend any other brand of PM on an MTB.
 

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Dave has pretty much said it all.

Don't underestimate the benefits of a good coach, in fact I recommended a very good friend of mine to contact Dave about coaching. It was my buddy's first year with power and I knew I couldn't coach him (we have known each other for too long) and trg with power really does have a steep learning curve if you want to use it effectively and also optimize your time.

You didn't mention if you had a coach or not, something to think about is "Should I spend my money on a wattage device or on a great coach?" a great coach is money well spent.
 

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It's pricey!

lukewiens said:
can you weigh the cost of investment on the feedback gained from power as a training tool?
Cost depends on how many bikes you plan to train and race on, and how willing you are to do specific workouts without the power. Most likely, you're going to need to outfit two bikes with power - a MTB and a road bike, which will run you about $5k to get the good stuff. If you have other bikes you like to race and train on, you are eventually going to outfit them with power, too.

So, you can end up spending a fortune on power meters. Also, I don't think it makes a lot of sense to invest in power meters unless you plan to hire a coach to make sense out of all the information, and build a training plan for you.
 

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thanks for the replies folks! :thumbsup:

i am gathering that the variables in the question, "is power worth it?" is dependent highly on the individual and their current financial situation.

i guess i will just dive into my personal situation...and if you are willing, maybe you can expand on a couple of things (or a couple varying scenarios).

i place a high priority on race results and the effectiveness of my training. with that said, using heart rate coupled with day to day RPE (and just an underlying feel), being self coached i have developed an effective means of generating good training response and doing away with "junk miles". now i suppose that given this baseline, it would be impossible to determine whether or not power based training would provide enough "gain" to make it worth while/$...because i simply wouldn't know until i tried it.

my initial investment wouldn't be too bad...which is why i am considering it. knowing myself, i would dive into the world of power training resources to teach myself (after conquering the depths of computer programming...i would take the self coached route first).

so i guess maybe share your experience of before and after? the contrast between where you were before training with power and the gains/improvements you saw after? and how much of a financial impact did it have given your personal situation?

i know this is long winded...maybe i am just bored. but again, thanks in advance for your input!
:D
 

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lukewiens said:
so i guess maybe share your experience of before and after? the contrast between where you were before training with power and the gains/improvements you saw after? and how much of a financial impact did it have given your personal situation?

:D
You are right, all of this stuff is highly individual. There's lot's of racers out there who are freakishly good and have never seen or heard of a wattage device and maybe don't even own a watch.

Do you need wattage, no. Do you want wattage, yes. Would it make you a better racer, only one way to find out.

I'm sure that's not the answer you are looking for but it's the best answer I have. Hopefully someone else will throw out an opinion.
 

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A PM for endurance seems like a no-brainer.

I would love to have a power meter during an endurance mountain bike race. Because the efforts are longer and smoother, I think having a power meter in an endurance race would be the ultimate weapon. It is essentially a 5-8 hour (or longer) breakaway. Definitely late in a race when you are feeling sorry for yourself it can be a very potent motivator for you to peg it right at the level you know you can, probably collected from a nice long tempo ride or previous races. This is how I use my PT for climbing and in breakaways in road races. If I did more than one endurance mtb race a year, this is the first thing I would invest in for upgrading my mountain bike.
 

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HatTrick said:
I would love to have a power meter during an endurance mountain bike race. Because the efforts are longer and smoother, I think having a power meter in an endurance race would be the ultimate weapon. It is essentially a 5-8 hour (or longer) breakaway. Definitely late in a race when you are feeling sorry for yourself it can be a very potent motivator for you to peg it right at the level you know you can, probably collected from a nice long tempo ride or previous races. This is how I use my PT for climbing and in breakaways in road races. If I did more than one endurance mtb race a year, this is the first thing I would invest in for upgrading my mountain bike.
That is one of the great uses for a power meter on the mountain bike. I've personally used my power meter to pace myself for success in 24 hour races and marathon/100 mile races. It really helps when you can pace yourself on the long climbs and flats to keep yourself from dipping into the anaerobic zone and burning through your matches.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Good stuff everyone thanks for the feeback. I use one myself, but I haven't seen many others out there. I use MTB powertap with disc. I have a PT for my training wheel on my road bike and a PT on my race wheel. I don't like to leave home without it :) . I got the PT for the Mountain bike for the 24hrs of jays peak. There is a long sustained climb and wanted to keep my effort below threshold on it, and save some energy for later in the race. I totally think it is worth the investment, pony up the few extra bucks for the WKO or physfarm software for nice charts of training stress, recovery, and performance prediction. Both are right on.
 

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strader said:
What about SRM? They go for pretty cheap on ebay these days. Are they not durable enough for mountain bike use?
First there's the crank and BB limitations - but those are manageable.

The problems I've seen: even after recalibration at the factory, they ready 10-20% higher than a PT, but not consistently so. They are quite temperature dependent. At a 24 hour race power went up dramatically when it got cold at night - when in reality it dropped. I also seem to recall a lot of interference from the small ring.

These are issues I saw on one unit for one rider. It took two trips to SRM for repairs and calibration during the period and neither time was it improved. That year's worth of data is full of personal bests - or is it?

We were unable to get that thing to work consistently (we'd given up on accuracy). One year I used a Polar system. It did the same thing...lots of PBs from that year. It is really misleading to have that much bad data. In my book the PT is the gold standard.
 

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About 90% of my total training is done on the road bike with the SRM. All my mtb training rides and racing are gauged by a Suunto T6 heart rate monitor.

Hey, how do you like the T6 and does the perceived level of exertions on the watch compare to the actual power data? Have you used both at the same time? ie: using your T6 while riding with the SRM. I've got the SRM on my road bike and need to get power into my XC and endurance regime. Without spending a big wad on a new mountain SRM, or gettting a rear power tap wheel, the T6 seems to be the most resonable when comparing costs. Your thoughts?
 
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