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Alternatives to Polar Software — Reader Comments

Peter S on Polar power measurement

Read about your thinking about Polar, power, PC. I've got some experience I'll share.

I use the CS600X, the CS600, and power sensors on three bikes. I use a Mac, and hate the idea of PC virtualization.

Still; it's worth it. The reason is the PC-only program SportTracks, where programmers writes plugins that are light years ahead of anything else in training analysis; folks like you and I, that rides a bike and are programmers, more or less. Often for free, or for a tiny amount of money. That's where I want my money to go.

Sure, some quirks show up since it's spare time programming, but for me there's no going back to stone age programs/webs like Garmin, Polar, etc.

The second reason is Polar hardware. It's ugly, but have unique stuff since ages, like HRV, L/R balance, round-pedal-rating, etc. Don't get too excited about L/R though, you'll quickly note it's almost useless unless you've got some really nasty unbalance. But real time round-pedal-rating is huge; it'll teach you things that would take ages without the instant feedback.

SportTracks/Polar will take some of your time, true. Cycling sure does too. But quality is what's good in life, not cheap-fast-good-enough, IMHO. I'll rather have a chick with some quirks that's out-of-this-world-lovely, than an average boring easy-going.

Study the dumps if you'd like an impression, seen anything like it? No, I don't work for SportTracks/Polar.

DIGLLOYD WIMF: Peter is apparently not married.

I agree on the “stone age” comments on the current state of software. I don’t mind paying for software, that’s not an issue for me when value is provided.

In the past with much less experience, I’ve had my pedal stroke analyzed; it was very good left/right. Since I can out-spin most everyone I see on the road, I really doubt that I have much to gain from pedal analysis.

My needs are basic: weight, time, ascent, heart rate, power tell me about all I need to know, since I train on the same courses over and over. And it’s all about climbing. I keep all my data in a spreadsheet, and my predictions on climbing time have been proven out over the season, correlating to a high degree with predicted, only I did a little better as fitness improved.

I want a good display that I can see under most lighting conditions on the bike, I want fast and simple download, and I want to be able get statistics and a basic graph up instantly. That’s about it. I do not want to spend hours analyzing stuff that is unlikely to help me. I’d rather spend that time on the bike, training.

Wind and aerodynamics are not a variable for my benchmark climb. And since I do mostly (steep) climbing, aerodynamics necessarily play second fiddle to weight, which is why the Lightweight Obermayer wheelset is ideal: ultra low weight of 987g, along with very good aerodynamics.

Look Keo Power pedals with Polar head unit and transmitters
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