I have a Dilema and need some ideas. I have put and order in for a Powertap. It has been on backorder since February 2010. I understand the benefit of training with this piece of equipment, but my question is... Would I be better off sticking with the Powertap and wait for it or should I build up a tubular set and race on tubulars this season?
A tap is nice to collect some data during races but you don't need to be watching power during a race. I would say build your Tubulars but use the tap a few times though out the season to analyze your data.
Those Powertaps are about to ship out. We started to get the wheelsets we ordered in February this week. I'd stick with the PTap for now. You'll get more speed and endurance out of proper training than you can with wheels. And you can always rent the wheels.
1. get the tubulars, they will ride amazing, but if you can't afford the tires if you get a flat forget it.
2. get the powertap, then buy a set of Notubes cx rim strips, put them in your wheels with stan's Notubes sealent, and make your tires tubless. If you run a true tubeless tire (stans or hutchinson) you can run low pressure like a tubular and get almost the same feel.
dave's options make sense to me - the one thing I'd disagree with is the current hutchy tires working well on converted wheels. see this article for tire recommendations. hutchinson is reworking their bead though. Their tires do work really well on a stans rim though, as do many others.
The SRM Is nice in that you can have race wheels and training wheels and still get the data from both scenarios. Not having your race numbers is like having a huge blind spot in your overall fitness profile.
Also - lots of elite/pro sponsorships dictate the wheels we have to ride. Sometimes powertaps are not an option, like with Shimano sponsorships.
do you have a set of reasonably light clincher wheels you can convert to tubeless? that's another option, not to complicate the problem. I'd say it would depend on whether you're confident you are the type of person that would really utilize this data and know how to do it. It's more of a training vs. racing question right? You'd probably use the training wheel more if you use the power data, but it doesn't help if you are being passed by everyone because you're racing at high pressure or pinch flatting.
it's also worth saying that you could get tubular wheels (even used) for far lower than a powertap.
i have read more than once that tubeless and cyclocross dont mix. the low pressure will make the tire burp very easily from what people are saying, and if you're on the heavy side dont even think about it. in my opinion tubeless is half-stepping. you're either all in with tubulars or all out on clinchers.
also, apparently you get far more accurate readings at the crank with the SRM then you do at the hub. powertaps look more like consumer level weekend rider-ish, while the powermeter looks super high tech and very pro. i would rather buy something like that from a company like SRM who are only doing one thing very well and not one like saris who sell car racks and trainers and everything in between.