Power meter: Cycle computer or smart phone

Giant Power meter: cycle computer or smart phone?

  • Wahoo bolt

    Votes: 6 75.0%
  • GARMIN which?

    Votes: 3 37.5%
  • Smartphone iphone 11

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Other?

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    8

pb63

Über Member
Location
Beford
Hi all,

I'm soon to be taking delivery of a shiny TCR advanced pro1 which nicely comes with Giants duel sided power meter. This will be my first foray into power. Up until now I've been fine using my iPhone with various apps to track heart rate, speed, distance etc and nav. It's been fine and I've never felt the need to get a Garmin or wahoo.

However, now with getting a bit more of a serious bike and with power meter, i think now might be the time to get a specific training computer?

From what I've read so far, wahoo bolt for ease of interfaces and smart phone connectivity, Garmin for a bit more technical use. It all comes down to user for preference and each have their pro and cons.

Also, are there any reliable phone apps for power meters? Giants app seems to be a bit hit and miss, although happy to hear others experiences. Perhaps they've ironed the bugs out now? Seems a shame to have a smartphone which I'm carrying anyway which I'm sure is more than capable of recording and analysing power data and not being able to use it.... Screen quality is so much better than standalone cycle comps. and my experience to data has been great with polar beats, OSM maps etc.
 

Mark pallister

Senior Member
Most people use a cycle computer to record there power meter data and then sync to a app
strava is probably the favourite,or garmin connect to analize the results
head unit on the bike is just designed for on the fly data
 

mattobrien

Veteran
Location
Sunny Suffolk
I would alway counsel someone not to buy a power meter unless they are training (and racing) with power. Otherwise it’s just another number to look at that doesn’t really have much relevance to what you’re doing at the time.

That said, I’ve always found the Garmin connect app good for analysing data post ride (I don’t have any experience of Wahoo in this regard). Nowadays I use Training Peaks for on going analysis and individual session analysis.
 

13 rider

Guru
Location
leicester
If you intend to train to power outside so you need to see real time data a head unit is the answer . I'm a bolt user so my vote is a bolt simple to use no experience of Garmin's so can't comment
As a TCR owner I also think good bike choice
 

cougie uk

Über Member
I think a PM is better for training on a turbo indoors or to pace to in racing.

Definitely a bike computer. Save your phone battery for emergencies.
 

Darius_Jedburgh

Looking for the lost chord.
A dedicated bike computer - Wahoo or Garmin makes no difference - will always be better than any phone, and why would you want several £000 hanging off the front of your bike? (Unless you are a millennial who can't live without looking at an app?)
 
OP
P

pb63

Über Member
Location
Beford
Thanks, so smart phones still don't have the capability it sounds like then. Surprised someone hasn't cracked the shortcomings. Our phones do so much nowadays, killing off the MP3 player, the digital camera and much more. They are more than capable of doing on the fly data so wonder why they dont yet?

Haha, no I'm no millennial (wish I was!):wacko: . I've had my iPhone mounted on my stem for a few years now. No problems so far, no crashes (touch wood) either. if I did, not the end of the world for me personally. I'm carrying my phone anyway, is the way I've seen It until now.

Battery life has been very good as long as you manage screen brightness and screensave when you don't need to see anything on the longer rides. I don't think I've come back with less than 60% and that's after some long rides 70+miles. Always start with a full battery as a matter of course.

I've been training with HR, but appreciate the delays and potential inaccuracies of this method, so rather than replace want to back it up with training in power. The giant TCR comes with this equipment, so I would like to utilize it and learn something new if I can.

Thanks for your input so far :smile:
 

Dogtrousers

Kilometre nibbler
Thanks, so smart phones still don't have the capability it sounds like then. Surprised someone hasn't cracked the shortcomings. Our phones do so much nowadays, killing off the MP3 player, the digital camera and much more. They are more than capable of doing on the fly data so wonder why they dont yet?
A few reasons.
Robustness - a bike computer is stuck in a very vulnerable position, potentially in the pouring rain for long periods. Bike computers often have loops for fitting lanyards to protect against mount failures. Phones don't
Connectivity - ANT+ is a popular wireless protocol not universally supported on phones
Battery life - cycling activities can last long enough to drain a phone battery. And then you have neither GPS nor phone.
Redundancy - you want your phone for emergencies.

None of these is an absolute killer reason and there are many people like yourself who use phones mounted on the bars for navigation without a problem. So if you can find an app that will display your power then you'll probably be fine to carry on.
 
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