I bought a Power2Max power meter last week. After training hard for the last couple of race seasons, I figured the next logical step was to use objective performance data to improve my training and racing.
Earlier this winter, I spent several weeks researching a range of brands. In the end I chose Power2Max because: 1) it has great user reviews, 2) is reasonably priced, and 3) can be used with training and racing wheels since it is a crank-based power meter.
I trained twice this week with the power meter installed. The value of the power meter is not the device itself or the power outputs it records, but rather the ability to interpret the data and create training plans around it.
I have downloaded a software program called Golden Cheetah for data analysis. Its not easy at all. I expect I'll need several weeks, if not longer, to figure out all the charts and data cuts.
I am also reading a book titled "Training and Racing with a Power Meter." I actually started reading the book before I purchased the power meter, and I was even more convinced I need the device.
One of the first things a new power meter user needs to do is a FTP (functional threshold power) test. Its a 20-minute threshold ride to test the user's power output. The resulting wattage sets the benchmark for calculating power zones and improvements over time.