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New to the sport and recently just purchased a Speed Concept 7.5
Looking to purchase new (shorter) cranks and wanted some thoughts on if a power meter was really necessary?
I train on a kickr so I am used to riding with power. While I have only raced 2 sprints, I fell in love with the sport and am eager for more of a challenge. Definitely want to race at the Olympic distance and quite possibly venture into half.
So with that being said, for those of you that have a power meter, do you find it beneficial to your race success? If so, how? If not, why not?
I appreciate your time and help!
Yes to shorter cranks (I use 145's) and yes to power meters. Like my Garmin radar-rear tail light, I don't leave home without it ;-)
When conditions are challenging, which pretty much defines a race, I use the pm to stay in range of what I know that I can maintain. Unlike a bike race, the run is still lurking and without a pm, I would be prone to leaving too much on the bike course and bonking on the run.
DFL > DNF > DNS
I find them absolutely helpful! I train with power so I know the types of ranges I should be hitting in a race and in training. I find it helps me make sure I'm not burning matches early in a race (or on punchy hills) and keep a steady effort. One thing I have learned as I used it longer is to display my average AND normalized power. Indoors the values are nearly identical as I virtually do zero coasting. Outdoors you have steep downhills, stop signs, traffic, etc - and seeing normalized power helps you understand the true effort your legs have been putting out.
In a recent race, after not having raced in a long time, I aimed for a Zone 3 power target (sweet spot) for an OLY distance race. The race had rollers, but some shorter climbs where I could have easily been above my FTP. I used the power meter to make sure I stayed below FTP on those climbs, saving my legs for the run. Without a power meter I would have been stuck guessing where I was - and while I have a pretty good feel for different levels of effort it is not always perfect.
So the answer is YES, power meters are awesome and beneficial. Now - you are limited in terms of which ones work with the short cranks. On my bike I have Garmin vectors (the original version, working fine for me) but what I've found as I am researching setting up a 2nd bike I acquired --- unless you go with pedal power the crank based aren't really out there for the super short cranks. I ride 145s on my triathlon bike, and even finding ones down to 155 is really hard. Stages only makes down to 165mm as the shortest. You need to get creative with ROTR to consider getting anything with shorter cranks.
What crank length are you looking for?