What's new

Power Meters


Maximum Pace
Jan 14, 2007
I've never had much interest in these (due to cost, mostly), but recently am studying up a bit as one of my training partners swears by his.
I joined the Training With Power community on mixi and looking around a few of the forums.

Anybody here using one?

I've read that the Polar one is not so good but for the price it looks like it is good enough. I may keep my Polar 720 afterall.

Garmin. Would be nice to be able to use my Garmin 705 as well if there is a cheap alternative to the...


How can the price be justified. To pay for that I'd be using up too many watts and probably die of a heart attack.
As one of my old coaches used to tell me, wanna go faster? Race as much as possible. Those things are way expensive. I'd put the money into entries into races every weekend. Meet more people that way.
I agree with the racing as much as possible but that is very expensive too with most races costing 7000 or more to enter. A day at a race depending on how far away sometimes sets me back over 15000yen. Thinking about that makes me not want to buy anything.

The Polar power sensor can be bought for $180ish if you shop around... I am also curious as to how many watts I put out. Having the data available may help me a little more. A good second hand one may even be sufficient.

I used to rely on the heart rate monitor to tell me if I was working hard or not, but I've found that my aerobic fitness is now very good and I may be getting lazy by just using heart rate as a measure of effort.

I've been losing weight over the last year, and I know that if I lose it too fast I'll be losing power as well. My sprint power seems to be weaker lately than it did earlier in the year... but how can I be sure?

It may take me another year of research... I may not get one at all.... (I'm cutting back on all kinds of expenses to save lately. Next will be my gym membership, but going to try and keep that till after the Tokyo Marathon.

The good thing about new toys for your cycling is it gives you another excuse to go riding. :bike:

As for racing next year.

I'm intending on entering the following.

1) March: Points race X 6 sprints in Shimofusa. Really shows if you've been training through the winter or not.
2) Tsukuba Circuit 8 hour enduro. (Golden Week). TCC needs to enter in this.
3-8) Nikkan SportsTour of Japan 5 race series:(JCRC) All of them if my work schedule doesn't interfere. (may miss the Miyakejima one).
9) Tour of Japan Tokyo stage. (May). (Nikkan Sports)
10) Omiya Keirin (August or September).
11) Seo Festival. (November)
12) Tokyo Enduro
13-15) Saitama Criteriums (JCRC)

Those alone will cost a small fortune.
I want to buy a new bike too!!!

Racing every Tuesday night for free makes it all worth while.

I'll just do this as a research exercise for a while to learn about them...as I can't justify spending any money...
Hi there,

I too have been thinking of the polar power meter - especially now with the yen-dollar exchange rate.

A friend of mine had lot's of problems with the polar set-up but got it working eventually.

If you just want to know your power output that's easy enough. I wrote an entry about it on our team's blog:


It's perhaps not an amazingly accurate way of calculating power. However, for comparative purposes, if you have a favorite climb you can measure power output quite easily every month or so to gauge your fitness.

I'm interested to use power as I find HR fluctuates quite a bit with things like weather (how hot or cold it is) and how many beers you've had the night before!

If you do go with polar, I'd be interested to know how it works out.


I haven't used one, but maybe consider the iBike. It has mixed reviews, but the concept does sound intriguing. Also, you can get an idea of what your optimal aero position on the bike is using it.

That's right , I have considered the polar, it's inaccuracy, which i believe is considerable, is unimportant, as long as it is consistent, so you can measure the change of bike setup/ training technique.

Are there many non type A's that ride bikes further than the shops.

I had the Polar cs600, without the powermeter option, for about a week earlier this month. I bought it online from Wiggle in the UK. The 200 and 400 series polar cycle computers sold here in Japan have pretty terrible reviews by a lot people on sites like RBR; the 600 has so-so reviews by a few people. But I went for it anyway because it was on sale and about half the price of the cs400 in the shops here. I can tell you that it was a pretty lame little unit. The buttons on the sides are extremely poorly designed and constructed. They have a vague feel, stiff without any responsiveness and I would often push one of the opposing buttons by mistake, trying to squeeze that pod shape.. It never did recognize the HR sender and only picked up the speed sensor intermittently. In short, it didn`t work. It seemed like a really crappy piece of equipment, which is not at all what I expected from the pictures of it and Polar`s name. I returned it and got the VDO Z3 instead, which is completely the opposite to the Polar cs600: A precision instrument that set up effortlessly and works (so far) perfectly.
If you`re thinking about having the Polar cs600 shipped to you in Japan (I don`t think you can get it here and it`ll be about 75,000yen anyway, as the cs400 is 50,000) you will be gambling. . .
The alternative

For 1.650 JPY you can do a power test on a hometrainer at the National Gymnaisum in Yoyogi, check out this website: http://www.tef.or.jp/tmg/guide/consul.html#kenko

Actually I never did, but Stephane from NFCC went there last year:
Unfortunately his blog is in French. [This is the other language than Latin spoken in the Asterix comics].

Instead of making the investment for the equipment and being unable to interprete the results, let the pros do to the work for much less money. You need to make a reservation one month in advance, but you can do one test for example very two month to check your progress.

We will do a POSITIVO ESPRESSO TEAM check at the start of the season in March and one more at the end of the season. Going with more riders is probably more fun than going alone.
For 1.650 JPY you can do a power test on a hometrainer at the National Gymnaisum in Y

Thought about a power meter off-and-on for the last few months, but can't really justify the price (for $2000 or whatever, would rather do a cycling holiday in Europe). Honestly, it would be wasted on me anyway, because I couldn't be bothered to set up a proper training schedule to take advantage (at least, that's been the case with my HRM).

The ancient gym bikes in the local city sports center display watts, and as those are what I use for intervals, it works out fine. They seem roughly accurate and consistent from session to session, which is the important thing. I have a vague idea of my FTP thanks to those... (Pete, you would have watts on the bikes at the gym, right?)

I'd echo Davad's comments about the Polar computers--I have the cs200 or cs400 (can't remember which), and frankly it's terrible for the price (even for the overseas price that I paid for it). Speed and cadence sensors were constantly failing (no matter how closely adjusted), and eventually I just took it off the bike. HR works fine, but I'd have done better to just get a wris****ch-style HRM and stick with good old Cateyes for the bike stuff.
I think my gym cycling machines max out at 225~250W and they cause alarm bells to go off when I put the cadence over 100rpm so I don't use them for training, just for warming up.

Chances are I won't be getting a power meter but I'd like to be conversant about them just to increase my own knowledge. That alternative mob mentions looks good, I'd like to give that a try as well.

I'm interested in all facets of performance testing and I'm sure if a doctor or medical clinic opened up a section for testing sports (specifically cyclists) they'd have people lining up daily. Full blood haemocritic, lactic acid tolerance, Vo2 Max tests etc...

I get my haemocritic done evey April with work's annual check up. I saw the blood bank bus today and almost went in their to let them take a sample. I know they give you a small report (or they used to). However, the last time I gave 400cc I passed out... :eek:

When I was 17 in Australia I was fully tested at Sydney University and have always wanted to do that test again. It was a full on athletes test-flexibility/agility/strength/endurance...
Top Bottom