With all the cycling power meter options out there, do you really need one?
The short answer is no.
Here at Online Cycling Gear Australia, we aim to offer our customers not only the most stylish cycling jerseys and kit around, but we also aim to help you become a better cyclist. Using a power meter will make you a better cyclist, for sure, but do you really need one?
For the ordinary cyclist, a power meter isn't necessary at all. If you don't intend to measure your performance on the bike and if you are not involved in trying to improve your performance then purchasing a power meter is a waste of your money. Money that could be used to purchase some cool looking new kit.
What if you do want to measure performance on the bike? Well, if you do then a power meter is a great tool and something you should consider purchasing. But for most of us, we need to ask one simple question.
Do we really need one, or do we just want one?
But everyone else has one, and all they talk about is watts
Sure, the proliferation of power meters onto the bikes of weekend warriors has been swift. Just 5 - 6 years ago the power meter was something usually only seen among the pro peloton.
Nowadays they are everywhere with every man and his dog waxing lyrical about how many watts they put out over a certain climb, time period or Strava segment.
Not a coffee stop goes by without someone in the bunch mentioning something about watts. In years past it was heart rate but that sort of talk is so 2012.
Times have changed and so has the game. It has changed the game of cycling performance training for the pros and that mindset has trickled down to the weekend warrior for sure.
Apps such as Strava and Zwift are becoming synonymous with cycling more and more and data capture goes side by side. But you still don't need one.
If measuring your progress on the bike is not something you do. If you are not engaged in a dedicated training program or actively working to improve your performance on the bike then just like using a heart rate monitor all you are doing is capturing numbers. For what end?
Don't get me wrong. Looking at the numbers you produce over a given ride or Strava segment is interesting, especially if you have something to compare your numbers too. Something like a friends power numbers or maybe a pro riders numbers. But that's all it is, interesting. Unless you are striving to improve those numbers in the future.
I'm not telling you not to buy a power meter. If you like looking at data and want to have some fun with your numbers or see how they change over the course of time then sure get one.
If, however, you are considering getting one because everyone else has one then we strongly suggest you spend your money on something else. Something that will actually improve your ride-to-ride performance without active dedication on your part. Like a new set of wheels, tyres on some cool looking kit.
I'd be very interested to see how many of our customers have a power meter and for what purpose you use them for. Maybe I am wrong and a power meter is as necessary as clipless pedals. I'd love to hear your thoughts. You can let me know in the comments on Facebook or over on Instagram.
Until next time,
Ride safe and stay upright.