Power is the best way to gauge training effort and therefore train effectively, and the PowerTap seems the easiest way to get that all-important information, but do we agree?

Sitting at the top of CycleOps? PowerTap range, this version features a lightweight hub, wireless connectivity to the head unit, and uses 2.4GHz data transmission to avoid information break-up. Total cost is £1,000.

Comprising nothing more than a hub and head unit, there is very little to fitting the SL 2.4, providing you have the hub built into a wheel ? a £70 additional cost when built into a Mavic Open Pro rim. The wheel works like any other and doesn?t need any form of sensor or sender to communicate with the handlebar-mounted head unit. Of course, a chest strap is supplied to give heart rate readings.

Already paired with the CPU, the chest strap and hub work from the first time you switch them on, and the set-up, date/time and wheel size can be entered either from the head unit or via your home computer ? a CD comes with the software.

It?s hard to imagine a way CycleOps could make the set-up or operation simpler; the

computer operates in a very clear and straightforward manner and displays all the relevant info. In fact, the only criticism could be directed at the size of the display, as it can be hard to see in the rain or low light conditions ? but that?s hardly a deal breaker.

Having used all of the power systems available, the PowerTap is the most user-friendly and

the 2.4 Wireless the best of the best. There may be more expensive options, but after just one ride, the SL 2.4 is clearly the best if you don?t have a sports science degree.

Contact: Paligap 0117 982 3673. www.paligapltd.co.uk

Alternatives

There are three main options from CycleOps: the Pro with a sturdy hub, wired connection and 2.4 heart rate transmission at £600; the SL hub is lighter but still wired and costs £800; and then there is this version. Several other manufacturers, such as Bontrager and Zipp, offer the PowerTap technology built into wheels.

Cyclops PowerTap Sl2.4 wireless