Up to 15% off clothing - ends midnight Monday!

Save up to 15% off Autumn/Winter 2021 clothing. Apply your code during checkout to receive your discount.
CLOTHING5 for 5% off £50 spend
CLOTHING10 for 10% off £100 spend
CLOTHING15 for 15% off £150 spend.

SHOP NOW >

To improve your shopping experience today and in the future, this site uses cookies.
I Accept Cookies

Your guide to training with Power meters | Power up your training

Words by Will Crump

on 06/08/2021 12:00:00

Cycle-Computers

Are you wondering which tool is the ideal cycling accessory to train with? Whether you’re training for a short sprint or an endurance sportive, a power meter is an accessory that will immediately validate your training by taking it to that next level. However, power meters can come in all different shapes and sizes, can be located on different parts of the bike whilst all reading data differently - so how do you pick which power meter will be best for you?

To start with, we shall look through the benefits of training with a power meter by looking at some of the Maths and Science behind the technology so you can get a better understanding of what they are. Afterwards, we shall go through the different types of power meters, how they calculate the data and the advantages and disadvantages.

Power-meters

Overview -

Discipline - All

Usage - Enhanced training & fitness

Key brands - Single Crank, Dual Crank, Pedals, Chainring

Features

  • - Easily connectable to Cycle Computers using ANT+
  • - Small, lightweight and doesn't affect aero performance
  • - Data is accurate but calculated in different ways
  • - More efficient to train with than a HRM
  • - Good to workout your training zone to calculate race pace
Shop our range of Power Meters here

How do Power meters work?

Power-meters

Power meters work by measuring the force in torque, thanks to strain gauges that deflect, and combining it with angular velocity which gives you the power output in Watts. Riders mainly use their power meters to workout their FTP (Functional threshold power) which is effectively a measure of how much power you can hold over one hour… a pretty gruelling test on the legs!

Power (W) = Force x Distance / Time

What is a Watt? A Watt is effectively the energy that is required to move a set mass a certain distance so athletes will want a higher average watt output as it means they can cover more distance over a set amount of time. These statistics all come in handy when training for a race - even if the event is a short or long distance event! However, power meters can have varied accuracy depending on where they’re placed on the bike

Why would I want to train with a Power meter?

Power-meters

The main benefit of training with a Power meter is that it can give you up to date, relevant and realistic figures whilst out on the move if you pair it, using ANT+ connection, with your Cycle Computer. Unlike a heart rate monitor, a Power meter shows the exact work you’re doing at that moment whereas muscle fatigue and other factors can all have an effect on your BPM making it a more inaccurate statistic.

Once you have completed an FTP test and trained with a Power meter and its data for a few weeks, you can start to construct a training plan dedicated to you and the event you want to annihilate. When training for a long distance endurance event, knowing what your average pace and average power can come in extremely useful, giving you an advantage over other riders who won’t have a clue.

What power meters are out there and where are they placed on the bike?

Power-meters

Single sided crank power meter - These do exactly what they say on the tin… usually located on the crank opposite to the driveside, these power meters are small, convenient and don’t cost over the moon. The downside to these, even though they are accurate - they only calculate one leg's performance meaning you won’t get a completely accurate reading overall as having a 48/52% balance across legs isn’t uncommon. Ride on more than one bike, luckily with crank mounted power meters, you can easily interchange them between bikes in a matter of seconds.

Dual sided crank power meter - Often found on many higher end road bikes as standard, double sided crank meters use the same technology as single sided crank meters but you have the ability to measure both legs output in Watts and take an average from the two readings which makes your training and statistics just that small touch more accurate whilst being incredible value for money!

Shop our range of 4iiii Power Meters here

Power-meters

Pedal mounted power meters - Also a popular choice in the market, Pedal power meters give the rider an easy option to measure their power whilst on the bike and easily swap pedals between bikes. Power meters like this can also be single or double sided again so it is just worth checking what you’re running on your set up!

Garmin-Rally

Garmin Rally RK200 Power Meter Pedal

The Garmin Rally RK200 power meter pedal system offers accurate and detailed training data; using left/right balance to provide more than just power and cadence data. Analyse power application, pedal position and much more.

  • Battery life: up to 120 hours
  • Maximum rider weight: 105 kg
  • Adjustable release tension
  • Cleat type: KEO
  • Weight: 326 g
£969.99 - Shop now

Chainring - Located on the chainring and regularly seen on older high spec models, Chainring power meters use the same formula and system that crank power meters used but just located in a different area! As there is only a chainring on the drive side, you only get one accurate reading from your right leg but the meter will often use an algorithm to guess the output of your opposite leg.

Shop our range of Power Meters here

Find your nearest Rutland Cycling store