Monday, January 7, 2008


Some more help for this rookie, please.

SRAM PowerLinks
I've read conflicting reports on teh internets that I can put a PowerLink on an Ultegra 10 speed chain. Some say that SRAM has only made PowerLinks up to Shimano's 9 speed chains. Others say that Wipperman Connex will work. And still others say that they've successfully installed PowerLinks on Shimano 10 speed chains. So what do you recommend?

Also, will a standard chain breaking tool work or will I need to get a specific one for the Shimano 10 speed chain?

Power Meters, PowerTaps
How do you get a measurement of your power?

I'd like to get baseline power measurements without spending a lot of cash. Ideally, it would be a series of time trials at 1, 6, 12 and 30 minutes over the course of several days. Does somebody have a power meter, or is there a power meter setup at a local bike shop for a reasonable fee?


  1. Ok, here goes:
    Sram does do powerlinks in both 9 and 10 speed. The 9 speed might work with a 10 speed chain but it's wider than 10 speed plates so I'd think it would cause issues. Something to try, I guess.

    Their 10 speed powerlink is more of a permanent deal. I have no idea why they went this route, but it's a "tool-less" way of just installing a chain. However, if you need to shorten the chain, you need a chain tool anyway. So I would stay away from the 10 speed Sram powerlink. Myself, I use a 10 speed Wipperman Connex link. I've had it for about 3 years on multiple, multiple chains - Wipperman, Campy, and Shimano - it just works well. The catch is you have to install them in the correct orientation, otherwise they'll give you trouble on the 11/12 tooth cogs.

    With regard to the chain tool, there's supposed to be a 10 speed version that has a skinnier push pin, but I've never seen them labeled. Plus, if all you're doing is popping out the links to install a Connex link, it won't matter if the push pin is wider than 10 speed. But to be safe, when you get a chain tool, just ask to see if it's 10 speed compatible.

    I honestly don't think there's a cheap way to do power measure. One of the cheapest I've come across is a $50 cyclo-computer that attaches to Kurt Kinetic trainers. But then you'd have to have one of their more expensive trainers that work with that puter.

    If you had a Polar watch system, the 720 or similar tier version, you can add a power sensor dealie for like $300.

    The whole purpose of training with power is to get consistent readouts of your workouts. The best cost to results ratio product is probably the PowerTap. You can use it year round on any bike, any time, the only drawback being in a TT if it's a regular spoked wheel. It's software is supposed to be the best, I've heard, and the accuracy is really good. It's pretty costly at around a $1k, but like I said, it's the best cost to results ratio.

    I think you can get a power test with Kent at HighGear, but it'll cost ya. And that's just one session, so what can you do with that? You need repeatable workouts to really get the advantage of power training.

    Sorry for the bubble burst, man.

    Cheap way; find a stretch of road that's clear of traffic and stop signs, pick a starting point, start your stopwatch, go hard, and record your distance at the end of your designated time. That's your power interval. If you do the same exact course/setup/conditions and cover more distance, you put more power to the pedals. So you could spend a bunch of time behind the airport with a spray-paint can (try not to get shot) and mark a starting point and baseline endpoints for your different interval lengths. Up to maybe 10 minutes if I remember, that was about the longest interval I could do there. But then repeating the same weather and traffic conditions would be hard.

    Either that or just ride with someone of similar strength and do race intervals against each other. You'll both feel like throwing up after, but that's how you get stronger.

    Ok, it's my bedtime, what am I still doing typing???

  2. Dang! I owe you at least a super burrito for that reply.

    Looks like the Connex is the way to go.

    I was afraid that you were going to say that about the power meter. Foo. I'll probably try the airport thingy as I don't know who to ride with at my strength. Heck, I don't know my strength!

    Thanks for your thoughts.

  3. I think one of you owes me a burrito for reading that response.

  4. You wanna train with power? Meet me at the U.P. bike rack at 11:45 tomorrow morning. I'll show you power.

  5. Oh, and I think for $50 dollars or something (I did it for $25 on special) you can get a test like this. You could do like 3 or 4 a year to chart progress or something. I thought it was pretty cool. This was January 2006. It was done by Steve Massara. He's smart.

  6. You got it, punk! Old Yeller and I will see you there.

  7. IMHO....

    1. Brady should buy a PowerTap. Then bring it down to Kansas City so I can test it out for the rest of the Spring and Summer.

    2. or...Brady should buy ME a powertap so I can test it out for him to see if it works or not.

    3. gotta see if I can get a powertest here...

  8. Sorry Murphini. Got lots of stuff on the list before a powerTap. Instead, why not treat yourself to a fresh can of spray paint from Hobby Lobby to mark up Switzer Road? Cheap and good.