Over the natural evolution of cycling, there (inevitably) arrives the stage whereby cyclists decide to invest in a power meter. This typically happens after you get the hang of a bike computer and are eager to push yourself to the next level of performance. While riding regularly will gradually make you a stronger rider, you eventually start to hit a ceiling. This is where targeted training plans (bolstered by a power meter) could come in handy.
So, want to take your cycling to the next level and ride like the pros? At NOMAD, we stock a range of pedal-based power meters to get you there.
What are power meters?
Once the reserve of professional riders, power meters are gaining momentum among amateur cyclists. In a nutshell, a power meter is a device that measures the power output of a rider. Power output is measured as a calculation of torque (how hard you’re pushing the pedals) multiplied by cadence (how fast the pedals are turning – or revolutions per minute).
The purpose of a power meter is to give you real-time data so that you can judge how you are riding. This is more accurate than just watching your cadence, heart rate, and speed because, with these metrics, there is a bit of lag involved, especially when climbing. Power meters, on the other hand, give you results instantaneously. This is useful when you’re deep in your training sessions - both on the road and indoors. In these scenarios, the purpose of a power meter is to help you pace yourself more accurately. This, in turn, when scaled up to a competition equips you to work out a strategy based on your ride data and not just blindly trust in your own raw power and will. When combined with reliable tactics, this could ultimately improve your performance.
Power meters are most commonly fitted to five installation locations on a bike: Via the rear wheel hub, bottom bracket, chainring, crank arm, and pedals. In the case of the latter, the device uses a strain gauge to measure the forces being applied through the pedals. They then measure this force and combine it with other metrics to calculate your power. Pedal-based systems are easy to fit and change between bikes. Seasoned riders swear by power meters to train and race effectively, and more and more cyclists are recognizing the benefits of training and racing with power.
For example, the GARMIN Rally RS200 power meter pedals are impeccably designed. They are the first Shimano-native power meter pedals, meaning they can be used with Shimano SPD-SL cleats, which makes them a solid option if you’re already sporting Shimano road pedals.
These rally power meters have undergone rigorous testing to ensure accuracy and reliability. Featuring a superior design with sensors housed inside, these sleek pedals install like any pedal. And they’re quick to transfer between bikes. In addition to total power and cadence, the Rally RS200 measures much more. These metrics help you tailor your training around your specific weaknesses and strengths to help you improve. But that’s not it. With these power meters joining you on your rides, you have the option to measure power from your left leg versus power from your right leg to get an advanced look at how symmetrically you’re producing power. Cool, right?
The bottom line?
If used correctly, and on top of a robust training plan, power meters can seriously transform your riding. When it comes to the question of value, these can be expensive add-ons to your kit, but the long-term rewards will far outweigh the short-term costs if you are prepared to do the leg work. By following the data, understanding its value, and tweaking your regimes, you can get faster and stronger on the bike. No more aimless training sessions. With a power meter, get ready to knuckle down and ride with purpose to crush your cycling goals.
So, what are you waiting for? Take your riding to the next level. Shop power meters at NOMAD.