Cupcakes > PowerTap

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Oscar Wilde once said, “Seriousness is the only refuge of the shallow.” I’ll let you make of that what you will, but there is a serious issue to be discussed today, and that is why cupcakes are greater than your PowerTap.

My good friend, a disc jockey by passion and sales guy by trade, asked me earlier if I had heard of the butt dyno. I had not.

“It’s a race car term,” he tells me. “A lot of people spend a shit ton of money getting there car ‘dyno’d’ where they figure out exactly how much horse power and torque they have. Contrary to a traditional dyno, the butt dyno is free and is the ‘feeling’ of how fast the car goes while you drive it. It’s like using the seat of your pants to determine how fast your rig is.”

“OK, great,” I said, “but how accurate is it?”

“That’s not the point. If it ‘feels’ faster, that’s all that matters.

I was digging where this was going.

He continued, “So, people that use power taps and heart rate monitors and all that crap…fuck that! Did you ‘feel’ faster today?”

“So how does this relate to cupcakes?” I asked.

“Cupcakes go straight to your ass and it’s a fact that a bigger ass generates more watts. Plus, it would be better to eat cupcakes all day and go riding and see how you ‘feel,’ rather than being hooked up to your PowerTap all day, because the PowerTap doesn’t give you ‘feel.'”

“Look,” he says, “A lot professional race cars, when they are getting set up, aren’t setup as fast as they could theoretically be. For example, the theoretical limit for speed in a corner is related to tire grip, steering Ackerman, weight, ballast, all this shit. And if an engineer, on paper, set it up to the theoretical limit, the driver wouldn’t go as fast. Instead the car has some ‘give’ built into it. The car is allowed to slide a little, allowed an extra hop or two. This makes it faster because when you add the human element, data and numbers and graphs are not as important. Like if a robot was riding a bike, cupcakes wouldn’t matter.”

“Fuck your power tap. Fuck your heart rate monitor. Eat a cupcake. Put on some house music and go ‘feel’ it.”

I leave you with one parting question:

If you own a PowerTap, how does it make you “feel”? If you don’t own a PowerTap, how do you think it would make you “feel”?

Top answer gets a sticker pack.

Cheers to cold beers.

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About Cupcake

I don’t have a beer gut, I’ve developed a liquid grain storage facility.

96 Replies to “Cupcakes > PowerTap”

  1. I don’t have one – it’d make me feel like a dumbass for spending that much money on something when I could just go ride. For that money I could get another bike. I used to work with a guy that refuses to ride if his PowerTap isn’t working. He gets mocked mercilessly.

  2. Have never owned a PowerTap. (never cared enough about that crap).

    How would it make me feel to own one? You mean besides poorer?

    I can buy a shit-ton of beer/whiskey with that kind of $$. And have a lot more fun riding my bike w/o looking at some stupid screen, telling me how much I suck.

  3. if you own a powertap you should feel like the putz who didnt pony up for an SRM. dont you know the more $ you spend, the faster you are.

  4. It would make my fat slow ass “feel” like I ate a lot more cupcakes than I should have. One of my many reasons for not owning one.

  5. I would probably feel nothing if I had a powertap, because the only way I’d have one would be OVER MY DEAD BODY.

    When you’re racing, if there’s no one in front of you, you’re winning, right? Does it matter how many watts it took you to get there or what your average speed was?


    If you didn’t win, you just need to ride faster more often.

  6. PowerTap?

    Does that shoot beer down yer throat?
    If so, I think I’d like it. It’d make me feel like a billion mucks.

  7. Maybe it’s because there are trainers that can store electricity, but measuring wattage production would make me feel like Professor X ain’t got shit on me. Magneto-core, son. PowerTap that ass.

  8. As a beer drinking dutch singlespeeder a Powertap would totally make me feel inadequate….

    But(t) dyno (pun intended) is more my thing.

  9. I thought bacon = power tap. wait its gay to use a power tap on a cross bike right. my bad

  10. Did someone just say cupcakes ??

    Add the word “beer” and I am officially in love

    Beer and cupcakes = Kryptonite.

    And I love that Wilde quote. I am soooooo going to use that from this point on.

  11. gecko, wow you must tear up the racing scene. just ride off the front and go faster than everyone else, huh? go ahead and give that a try, then shower me with your podium pics and carry the prize money to the bank in a wheelbarrow.

  12. Did I say how far off the front you need to be to win?

    NO. You could only be ahead by inches, but you still win.

    Did I say that it was ME winning the races?


    However, I DID ride off the front once in a collegiate XC MTB time trial. It was pretty cool.

    And I did it WITHOUT a power tap.

    My point is that if you want to be the fastest, you don’t need a powertap, you just need to ride faster, longer, more frequently, and eventually you WILL be the fastest.

    “How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice.”

  13. “How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice.”

    Cab fare helps also. Otherwise it’s a long walk.

  14. @Ken

    10 bucks that wasn’t a woman.

    If it was, I need to reevaluate my sexual ID.

  15. This whole posts’ thought process would run through my head every day in the shop when I would hear the replays of the thursdayshoprideworldmuthafuckingchampionships night ride shenanigans.

    ” I was trying to keep my watts up blah blah blah, my heart rate zone was whothefuckcares, and then I couldn’t upload the data from my garminbecauseineededtoexaminethedatafromtherideshitfuckall ”

    ” I woulda won but ….”

    I sat and listened, drank the beer and ate donuts. Didn’t have cupcakes, but them donuts had some sprinkles, and everyone knows sprinkles make you faster.

  16. @ab

    Saying sprinkles make you faster is like saying the sun is hot.

    It’s 9:32 PM where I am right now.

    I’mma go have a big bog bowl of Neapolitan ice cream amd I’mma gonna pour so many sprinkles on it that I win the next 7 TdF’s.

    Now take that to the bank.

  17. well I would get a power tap (the SRM actually) but my crabon/crabon Cervelo TT bike with a crabon/crabon rear disc wheel and aero handlebars is back-ordered at the factory and besides I can’t decide on the pink pearlescent or flaming eyeballs paint upgrade. And some times I have trouble reaching my sippy drink.

  18. not sure wtf a power tap is, but a bike computer should be the clock at your house when you get back from a ride in relation to how long before happy hour

  19. I feel like the obvious response for all of us who don’t own a powertap should be…it makes me feel like I wasted a year supply of cupcake money on a computer without internet connection to check

  20. I’d like to try out a power tap (or other wattage measuring device) someday so I could compare my stats to random twelve year old girls in France. Because I am quite certain that’s what I’m bringing to the table.

    (No offense meant to the dozens of 12 yr old French badass chicas who read this site on the regular. Much respect.)

  21. @bj

    Bwhahahahahahahahahahahhahhahahahahahahhahahahhhhahahh !!!!!!

    That made my fucking day.

    Much respect.

  22. Got schooled a year or two ago by an up and coming junior racer. Me and my bro racing in the 70’s apparently didn’t know shit compared with the techno guys today. All I know is our coach said to keep the group ahead of you limited to ten (you could count on your fingers) and you might do good in the end. Felt good to cross the line seeing no one else once in awhile, Power Tap that.

  23. “How do you think it would make you “feel”?”

    I think that I’d feel a sense of shame, that I’d laid out the equivalent of the GDP of several African countries, (excluding all the aid money that goes straight to the pocket of the current benevolent dictator/warlord & his cronies), to validate myself as a cyclist.

    I’d feel uneasy that I’d bought more expensive complex electronic crap that is going to fuck out & will end up in a landfill, because we don’t repair electronics anymore, that’s for stone age devices like bicycles that you take to your local Blacksmith to repair, (all you crabon aficionados stay off my case).

    Hmm, things are getting a bit misty around the edges as I settle down in my rocker, (all you punk kids get Offa my lawn!!), I can remember when my company got their first IBM XT PCs, the memory chips used to give up on a regular basis & we had several algorithms that we’d run to locate the faulty chip & the replace it.

    A few years later they’d just junk the entire motherboard & now they’ll junk the whole fucking computer.

    My bicycles are some off the few honest devices that I own & I’m fucked if I’m going to put that shit on them!

    Sorry, what were we talking about? I must have dozed off..

  24. @Hurben.

    That was the greatest brain-fart I’ve encountered.

    Bravo man. Bravo.

  25. I ride. Sometimes I ride like a madman. I own a reconditioned Garmin that I leave at home more often than not. I even like cupcakes every now and again. Should I be embarrassed that I have no f-ing clue what a power tap does?

  26. Oh, I just read the other posts and realized I can write “fucking” without having it deleted. I’ve conditioned by my local mtb site.

  27. …i’ve always needed air in my tires & oil on my chain & beyond that, i figured the rest was up to me…

    ..i know guys who could refer back to their computers & tell you their heart rate for a particular climb on a particular ride they took 8 months ago compared to their heart rate 1 month ago on the same fucking climb & i’ve never really understood the over-fascination with all the electronic gadgetry…

    …amazing stuff in one sense but damn, son, eat a cupcake & enjoy your ride…you will feel it & that’s a guarantee…

    …btw…fuck strava…

  28. I always thought a Power Tap was a mash-up of a power nap and a “nooner”. I went home, met the wife and had a lunchtime “Power Tap”.

    If I had a Power Tap I would discover that I’m a big pussy, so when I compare to others, then I’d feel bad about myself, so I’d go drink a bunch of beer, then I’d see I would be getting slower, then I’d feel even worse, then I’d go drink more beer, then I’d see I’d be getting even slower, then I’d feel even MORE worser, then I’d drink MORE beer and sell my bike and quit riding. BUT, I’d sue Power Tap and Strava for making me feel bad about myself.

    SO, if I ever want to QUIT riding (and get rich), I need to create a Strava account buy a Power Tap…

  29. I don’t own a Powertap, but know lots of people that do. I don’t know how it would make me feel if I had one, but they sure make me feel great when I get to lace them up. That son, is a good chunk of commission.

  30. An amateur having a powertap is like a broke man hiring an accountant to tell him how broke he is. That is a paraphrase of something Bob Roll said. He added, buy a sturdy bike with 36 spoke wheels and ride it tell they collapse and you will be fast.

  31. PowerTap? WTF, can’t I just couple GPS track and my weight to get the same info (if I cared)?

    If I ever get rich, I’ll buy stupid stuff like this, use it a couple of times, then leave it in its’ box.

    Shit I don’t even have a simple computer on my bike…

  32. Sadly, I have to admit that I fully relate to this piece, although instead of cupcakes, I do prefer either honey sticks or chocolate donuts. I ride a variety of bikes, from full carbon racing to full steel 1950’s single speed, and I don’t have a computer on any of them. I don’t use a heart rate monitor either. I figure if my heart is still beating, I’ll still be pedalling, if it’s not, well, chances are I’ll be flat on the ground somewhere and certainly not worried about my power output on a bike. By not using a computer, every ride, no matter the duration or how I feel, is a PB. I certainly don’t need a powertap to tell me that riding bikes makes me feel happy!

  33. I don’t know what a Power Tap is, but it sounds suspiciously like horse shit. I do know that I’m going to take my 8 speed out today. I also know that I will, at some point, drink beer. As for cupcakes, we’ll see what the day presents, but I’m game.

  34. Powertap > cupcakes, only because they take batteries, and as a father of 3 kids I live for buying batteries. I go to the store that sells batteries and they so happen to have beer and chilli/cheese nacho’s…
    Announcing “were out of cupcakes” would never work, but “who stole the last battery out of the computer mouse, TV remote,…” I get to go to the store….
    Ironicly the battery in my P/T died on last nights ride, now I get to “double up” , at trip to the “battery, beer, nacho” store , and the bike shop….

  35. I’ve never owned a powertap or Heart Rate Monitor. If you’re using one of those devices you better be faster than me or I’m going to make shit out of you. None of my bikes have devices on them that measure speed or distance. None of that crap matters. Cupcakes matter. Oatmeal Raisin and Chocolate Chip cookies matter. Post ride burritos matter. Any ride where a beer or flask in the pack would be out of place is no ride I wanna be on. Sit up in your saddle and smell the flowers. Look up from your handlebars and watch the trees go by. The data you capture is forgettable. Trailhead beers with you pals, now that’s the stuff worth remembering.

  36. I do not own a powertap, but if you can hook it to a keg I would be deeply interested.

  37. If it were all about numbers, we’d never race, right. We’d just look at who makes the most watts… We race because of that human element, because it’s real.

  38. I’m kind of an off road guy. My buddie, who describes himself as a “Roadie Boon” would say something like “It’s training if you are using a Powertap, otherwise it is just a ride.” Maybe someday I will understand.

  39. Sounds to me that your aren’t telling us the entire story. Tell us really why you don’t like powertap?

  40. Cupcakes? My rides are fueled by donuts!

    15 mph on singletrack feels faster than 40 on straight pavement.

    I pity the fool with a powertap.

  41. I own a wireless Powertap SL (Campy cassette). It’s laced with 32 spokes to a bomb proof Mavic Open Pro rim. I run 28mm Conti tires on it. It is far and away the most effective training tool I have ever used. The numbers don’t lie. “How you feel,” is a lousy way to gauge effort. Your feelings have as much to do with how well you slept, what you ate and how many espressos you have in you as it does with the amount of work you are doing. If you want to get fast, using a PowerTap and following a solid program will get you there.

    That being said…

    Mine is for sale. I simply don’t have enough time to “train” any more. With two jobs, two kids and wife, I am lucky to get in 3-4 hours a week on the bike. So, instead of training, I play… I bought a $60 pawn shop BMX bike, and I chase my kids around the neighborhood. I granny gear up hills, and hollar out loud on the way down. My belly is bigger. My thighs are smaller. My pace is decidedly slower.

  42. I used to ride a Look 595 Ultra. Loved it/hated it. It had a computer. Then a wireless computer, then a wireless computer with cadence, then a wireless computer with cadence and a heart rate monitor. Then I sold that frame to get my steel steed. Now all that crap sits in a drawer in my garage. I enjoy riding more nowadays and when people ask me what my speed was/is I tell’em where I started and what time. Let them figure out the math! I’m riding!

  43. @54

    How about we just fucking ignore each other ??

    I’m man enough for that, are you ???

    Post #45 was a joke. And I truly hope Angry Buddhist understands that better than the limited mind that you possess.

  44. …tell ya what, t3…you wanna ignore me, that’s your prerogative so you go ahead & undoubtedly we’ll find out where you’re really ‘at’…

    …personally, i’m not gonna agree to a goddamn thing with you…i think you got your feelings hurt over something that involves one of your little pals which is a situation you really know nothing about because you’ve heard one side of a biased story…

    …btw, do i honestly need to point out that any of this has absolutely nothing to do with being ‘man enough’ ???…rather antiquated perspective there, ya ???…

    “Post #45 was a joke…”…yep, you proved my point…classy stuff that…

  45. Do all you want. Power tap if it gives you a sense of measurement. The oddity is that for all of our individual efforts, there exists one primal and unescapable fact. Time will kill you. It wears down mountains, kills kings, makes old man dicks into dingalings. Typically, one rises to power through excellence, and attains a peak of performance. Then, that slave unto himself constantly chases the unattainable dream of their prior excellence, ” I remember back when…..”. I know this, I climb a huge hill once a year. On a fixed gear just to really make everything slow down. My knees crack, my right achilles tendon screams, and I wonder sometimes when that giant bloated feeling in my chest will take me down. I ask my wife when I meet other men my age, ” Do I look that old?”. She smiles and says “Hell no. What are we riding tonight? Fixed or geared?” Power tap your ass off. It’s like drinking non alcholic Jack D, or fucking your teddy bear. It’s private, pointless, and you know damn well in your heart if you gave it your all. As in life, you don’t need a machine to answer the voice in the back of your haed.

  46. PS Triple T comment way out of line. Haters gonna hate, but damn, leave the loved ones out of it.

  47. Like BJ, I bring about as much as a 12 year old to the fitness party. A Power Tap would be silly. I used a HR monitor for about a year back in the racing days, and learned what my body was telling me. The battery died and I never got around to replacing it. Eventually, I pulled all of the computers off of my bikes. It’s better that way. I use a tracking app on my phone, but that’s just for giggles. It’s not really a training aid, since I don’t train. Just ride. Unless you’re a pro (or have a shot at being one), it’s better to just enjoy riding.

  48. “…some ‘give’ built into it…”

    Like a good steel frame?

  49. …wow…hog’s ship is kinda listing to port these days as it’s being besieged from every direction by one controversy after another…

    …the ‘armstrong / bruyneel / ferrari / et al / usada’ affair…(we’ll see how that plays out…or not)…

    …the schleck brothers (& others) are looking to abandon ship, contracts or no, amidst lots a’ hurt feelings over ‘il giro’…

    …hog ain’t gonna make the big show for the first time in years…

    …the now settled chris horner/tour team brouhaha was a ‘played out in public’ battle…

    …few team wins this season, the fact of which was well noted in the cycling press…

    …this –

    …am i missing anything ???…

    …radioslack-nissan-trek went from the ‘dream team’ to a seemingly constant nightmare & ‘le tour’ is only just now about to start…

    …guess we’ll see how resilient these guys are…

  50. @Crank

    I withdraw my comment regarding power tapping and give a heart felt apology to anyone offended.

    Except for bgw. Fuck him and all he stands for.

  51. …you, sir are awesome for this site because you’re fucking hilarious…

    “…a heart felt apology to anyone offended…except for bgw…fuck him & all he stands for…”…nice touch…

    …dunno if i feel totally excluded or totally included but, hey, thanks for thinking of me…

    …have a great day !!!…

  52. Watts/Scmatts…
    If I owned one, I’d “feel” like the racer I’m not.
    Ever get dragged out onto a ride you didn’t really think you had any business being on? That is, you’re super tired, or sick, or hungover, or haven’t ridden for a while, blah blah? Anliked then you end up riding like a superbeast? No explanation.
    Ever prepare and get psyched for a ride for a long time and then not be able to get it going? Y’know, sand-filled legs, machine-gun heart rate, always off the back? Nope. No answer for that one, either.
    You have good days, you have bad days.
    Unless you’re training for the Olympics, don’t overthink that shit.

  53. “If you ain’t first, you’re last”

    With the exception of a few hundred riders in the world, PowerTap will tell everyone else “You ain’t ever gonna be first”.

  54. The Creators gave us all a Chamois Dyno:

    Mouth closed whilst riding = aerobic

    Mouth open whilst riding = anaerobic

    PQui has no powertap

  55. The legendary ‘butt dyno’ is, shall we say, poorly calibrated. A tiny 4-cylinder motor with a huge turbo *feels* fast – because of the huge surge in power as it hits – but will get stomped every time by a large v8, which *feels* slower.

    Same with bikes – just because you think you’re riding fast, doesn’t mean someone’s mom on a beach cruiser won’t pass you.

    If you race, then a PowerTap makes sense, as a training tool. It will make you faster. Maybe not as fast as a top pro, but faster than you were before. If you don’t race, and you have a PowerTap, you’re a geek.

  56. @Mack, after much scrutiny, you are deemed winner. Send us your contact info for your sticky pack.

    Everyone else, go eat beer and drink cuppycakes. Enjoy the goddamn night.

  57. Big ups to the winner!

    @Wack, leap onto that podium, (NO MAN! BLACK Shorts only!, this ain’t no Sausage Fest!)

    @TeamFubar, take spot #2

  58. owning a powertap would automatically put me in the category of a “shit-giver.” and no one wants to be the guy who cares more, even if you’re the one with the powertap. face it, you’d rather be the stevil of your crew. more cred. way more fun.

    thus, owning a powertap would make me feel fucking broke and sober. so not cool.

  59. I’m with buck, Where’s my fucking cupcake ???

    Fuck the 1/2 nudie calendar, fuck the stickers, fuck the whatever.

    Where’s my cupcake ?

    And I expect lots of sprinkles.

  60. My butt dyno said I sucked last night.

    As did the fact that I was last in line, the whole ride.

    Irrefutable then, as both indicators pointed to the same thing….

    I’d rather spend more on say, a nice ti Form Cycles frame, than less on a frame so’s as to afford to truly know how badly I suck.


  61. TTT, Your dues aren’t paid. Dues get paid, each and every day. You’re entitled to nothing until you show that sweet tooth of yours big fella.

  62. And Hurben is right. Fubar came in at number two and it was literally a coin toss..

    Send us your info as well, this coffee’s got me feeling generous this Friday morning.

  63. Data = information. Information = power. Man craves power more than sex. Therefore, man craves data more than sex. It’s just human nature.

  64. “…in the beginning…”, man had only two forms of information in his brain he paid attention to…

    “…me want food…me want sex…”

    …once he figured he could get more sex with more food, he really started thinking for himself…

    …after that, it’s a long story…

  65. I struggled with buying an SRM for 2-3 months last spring as they were all the rage in the small cycling community where I live (The island off Canada’s far East coast). When the tossing and turning got real bad as I had the cash lined up and could pull the trigger, I opted not to get it.
    I gave using a cycling computer for a season or two as I got caught up in the numbers and would feel bad about myself. I took something I loved, cycling, and turned it into something I almost hated (immature, yes, but at least I’m being honest).
    The power system would do the same thing ten fold. I know when I am having a good bad, or a bad day. The last thing I need it a screen telling me I’m weak as that would crush my cycling confidence.

    SO far, this season has been been my best. Most kilometers logged and some days I feel awesome, other days I feel like crap, but I’m enjoying it more than I have in a long time. No power measurements, no intervals, no anything. Just going out for rides with my usual cycling buddies and chasing them around. I love it.

  66. If I had a one it would make me feel like an overpaid douchebag who wastes time analysing stats in a room by myself all the while missing the point that biking is about spinning your legs so you can drink more beer and not get fat.

  67. The last thing I need is an expensive machine telling me what I already know.

    That I am old, slow and a fat fuck.

    All I really need is to accept what I’ve become. And that comes free.

  68. And oh. By the way.


    Dinner last night was a bag of Chips Ahoy cookies and a shitload of cheap beer.

    And I’ve done that so many times in my life that my dues are paid in full until 42 years after I die.

  69. @TTT

    It’s called an opportunity to grow as a person & appreciate lifes rich diversity.

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