When I began coaching in 2010, I leaned hard on each of my clients to get a power meter; here was my pitch.

“Yes, I know you’re already using a heart rate monitor, but precisely measuring your training intensity with power is the surest way to improve on the bike; plus, it’s incredibly fun.”

While power meters have become an indispensable training tool since they were introduced nearly 30 years ago [1], their widespread adoption has come with a cost.

In the same way the smartphone has cannibalized much of daily life [2]; left unchecked, the power meter tends to devour all cycling experience in its path.

Power meters provide instant feedback on the bike and limitless opportunity for post-ride analysis, but they also introduce a destructive cycle of constant comparison and non-stop performance judgment.