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Power Meters. Watts the big deal?!

If you have ever heard a roadie talking about how many “watts” they can put out or read an article about how many watts you can save over an hour, then you have heard of a power meter before indirectly- but what are they? They are a device usually located on the crankset or rear hub that measures the amount of effort (intensity) you are transferring into turns of the crank. You subconsciously increase or decrease this number by changing your cadence and gear. This amount of effort is measured in watts and is a great way to measure your improvement on a bicycle over time.

We know what you’re thinking- why do I need a power meter? Great question, thanks for asking! Unlike heart rate monitors, which are great for telling you the amount of effort you are putting in (how hard you are trying), these give you a measure of how much you are actually getting out of your input, in other words, an output. Duh.

We see people all the time invest thousands of dollars into really expensive wheels, frames, tires, etc….hoping it will make them faster. Although these nicer parts will make the riding experience more enjoyable they do little in terms of sheer performance. You can buy a small amount of speed with nice parts, but, the biggest improvement comes from the rider getting more effecient. And what better way of improving than being able to measure your intensity on a bike? A Powa-meeta baby!

The two most popular brands we sell here at Lifecycle are Quarq and Powertap.



The Quarq is a crank based power meter and retails for around $2000. They have many different versions and are ideal for racers or those who have more than one wheel-set. The other power meter we sell here is the Powertap. This is a hub based power meter and is a great way to get into the power scene without dropping as much money. For around $900 you can be bragging about your watts with the best of them.

For more information or questions feel free to come down or give us a call.