You roll up to the start of your local crit or Tuesday night world championship and everybody and their mother has a power meter. Every season it’s gotten worse. What started a few years ago with a few dudes talking “wattage this and wattage that” has turned into every nitwit discussing their FTP, critical power, and 5 second max. Every time you hear these dummies talk you want to smash your face into your color coordinated stem cap.

Back in the golden days everyone used to talk about the sweet smell of tubular glue and the finer points of road rash debridement, now all anybody talks about is strain gauges, normalized power, and the delayed release of Garmin’s Vector pedals.

Not Serious Enough

You start to feel a few pangs of guilt for not “taking your training seriously enough to invest in a power meter” but at the same time you enjoy the satisfaction that comes from spanking other riders that have a power meter, a feeling that you would of course have to relinquish if you purchased one for yourself.

You’ve heard all the great reasons for training with power but are still unconvinced of the power meter’s magical ability to transform you into a leg ripper and race winner. What you need is an authoritative document that lets you off the hook; one that gives you compelling, empirical evidence supporting your decision to NOT purchase a power meter. This blog post might be just what you’ve been waiting for.  Without further ado…

Top 5 reasons To Not Purchase a Power Meter:

  1. Because it’s fun to ride an old bike with 32 spoke wheels and toe clips, then dominate other riders that think they’re god’s gift to chamois cream because they spent $3k on an SRM.
  2. Because your best friend Billy Bob has never done an interval in his life, thinks power meters are for sissies, and still poaches Strava KOM’s in his sleep. He said all you have to do to get fast is ride really hard all the time and if you’re not winning it’s because you don’t know how to “suffer” enough on the bike.
  3. Because you already have a heart rate monitor that tells you exactly how fast your heart is beating when you blast past that dude on the bike trail wearing skinny jeans and a V-neck.
  4. Because you don’t need a power meter to tell you how much you suck. Being faced with how little power you actually produce might be the straw that breaks the camel’s back and forces you to recognize that you won’t ever go pro. As long as you don’t buy a power meter, there’s still a chance you could go pro.
  5. Because when it comes to cycling you’re a bit of a Luddite (except for your deep dish carbon wheels, those are different because they sound pretty). Numbers and data kill everything you love about riding a bike. Riding and racing your bike is an opportunity to escape the constant hum of technology (except for your iPhone recording every second of your ride so you can pimp it on Strava as soon as you get home). The moment you begin adding more connected technology to your bike you might just stop enjoying cycling altogether.

So there you have it, the top 5 reasons NOT to buy a power meter. Save your money, divert more of your paycheck to your 401k, and rest easy knowing that you made the right decision

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Nate Dunn, M.S.
Data Driven Athlete