My Sram crankset broke so I was Forced to look for alternatives. In the past I have been quite frugal with my cycling-related purchases. I have managed to buy just one big ticket item a year. I already bought a new frame, but I have been meaning to get a power meter for a while now. So now as the opportunity arose I went ahead splurged on a Rotor 3D+ chainset with a Power2Max power meter. As it turns out this investment has been well worth the money.
Now to be perfectly honest if there had been a cheap second hand crankset option available I would have probably just replaced the existing chainset. In the end powermeters cost quite a bit of money and I had already spent my yearly toy budget. Arguably upgrading my wheelset or to an electronic groupset would have actually helped me ride faster. However that is not what I was after.
Thing is I’m (or at least have been) a SRAM guy and eTap is just too expensive. So moving to electric shifting is really not an option yet. I have previously given some thought to getting a carbon set of wheels. However I just do not like the idea of brake pads eating into carbon at all. My first carbon wheel(s) will probably have disc brake hubs or no brake surface at all (track). Secondly and more importantly I’m focused on improving my fitness rather than just going really fast on race day.
So I started revisiting online forums where I had read about powermeters in the past. I had always thought I would buy a Stages, but now with the broken chainset that did not sound appealing. After reading it seems that the consensus is that P2Max is the no nonsense alternative. It isn’t the cheapest, but should be fairly easy to setup and should work reliably without too many problems. So it really came down to picking the cranks to go with the power meter.
As I had just had a carbon cranks fail the light FA crank option did not appeal to me. Cheap alloy Gossamer alternative wasn’t doing it for me either. Rotor however has had a reputation as stiff ‘pro’ choice and I already had Rotor NoQ rings so that was the obvious way to go.When the chainset finally arrived I was gobsmacked. The detailing on the Rotor cranks is something else. I doubt they will perform any better, but the sharp look and immaculate finish truly impressed me.
There are lot of stories abound on how difficult the crank installation was going to be. The hard part was being brave enough for installing. While the BSA bottom bracket and crank installation was fairly straight forward there were some surprises. It was not clear how tight I should install the Rotor spider locknut. Also I knew the Q-factor (width of crank) was going to be different, but somehow I just didn’t understand how much of a difference it makes to the cleat angles. The power meter was easy enough to configure on my Garmin 500.
Now on to the experiences. I haven’t ridden all that much yet, but what I’ve witnessed has been positive. Power meter has allowed me to ensure my workouts aren’t too hard or too easy. I have had a tendence of pushing myself too much or slacking off so this is really a good sent. I’m yet to define my ftp, but just making sure I keep over 200 watts all the time has already helped and I keep constantly riding way new personal records. The only downside with stiff Rotor cranks is that now I may actually feel some flex in the chinarello frames.
The next step is to start working out a training plan…