Using the PowerTap system in training and, more importantly, during races, has saved me much heart ache on the bike; measuring my performance is something I absolutely need while I am cycling! When I was an amateur and beginning professional, I had a tendency to day dream on the bike and not notice when my power was dropping. All of a sudden, I would be crawling along and not even realize it. I would only pick up the pace when competitors would inevitably pass me.
I began working with PowerTap my first year as a professional and used their hub and Joule GPS computer during an actual race my second year. The difference in my biking was night and day as I was able to monitor my output of watts rather than try to do it by feel. The result was being able to race my race meaning I didn’t have to catch up to overcome my occasional day dreaming; over one hundred miles is a long distance to stay focused on the bike! I could keep a consistent pace based on what was discussed with my coach and what I performed in my cycling class rather than trying to guess my way around the course.
Watching the PowerTap computer while racing gives you something to do, along with hydrating and fueling. You can also study the data after the race via computer download and analyze where you were powerful and when you were struggling. You can keep track of your distance traveled which is also useful during a race. I never race without my PowerTap hub and Joule GPS computer; it is that important!