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Pioneer Power Meter owners: zero calibration question

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Pioneer Power Meter owners: zero calibration question

Old 06-30-15, 01:17 PM
  #1  
nemeseri
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Pioneer Power Meter owners: zero calibration question

I'm on the edge to pull the trigger on this, but I need one last piece of info before that.

Based on what I read, there are two crank based system with temperature auto-correction (in my price range). One is pioneer that can be taught to record zero's up to 6 different temperature / elevation combos and auto correct based on this data-set.
What's not clear is whether it's available for garmin users or I have to use their head unit to get this feature? Can someone help me with this?

I learnt from DC Rainmaker's review, that temperature and elevation can be a very real issue for power meter accuracy. He reported 50-70 W difference with Quarq over 20F temperature change. And that's huge.

The other system is Stages. I'm more into Pioneer's PM now because of the dual side recording, but I'd rather have a one sided power meter than 10-20% difference in watts due to temperature / altitude changes (or several calibration on longer rides).
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Old 06-30-15, 03:48 PM
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I don't know this for sure, but I would imagine that it probably does record the calibration in "power meter" mode the same as it does in "pedaling monitor" mode. I am using the Pioneer head unit though. It stores the last 6 temps provided they are different enough, maybe around 4 degrees C, I don't remember. It's in the manual, which is available online from Pioneer's website. Also, you are aware that the new Quarq RS that mate up to the 4 arm rings have temp compensation now too, right?
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Old 06-30-15, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Silvercivic27 View Post
I don't know this for sure, but I would imagine that it probably does record the calibration in "power meter" mode the same as it does in "pedaling monitor" mode. I am using the Pioneer head unit though. It stores the last 6 temps provided they are different enough, maybe around 4 degrees C, I don't remember. It's in the manual, which is available online from Pioneer's website. Also, you are aware that the new Quarq RS that mate up to the 4 arm rings have temp compensation now too, right?
Do you have any temperature drift issues with the pioneer?

I read about the new Quarq, but given that now you can split your pioneer into two separated L or R power meter if needed combined with the $999 price, I think it's an unbeatable deal.
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Old 06-30-15, 04:12 PM
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Yeah, it's no question that the Pioneer is a smokin deal. I don't think you can just split them and get two powermeters for the price of one, if that's what you had in mind. I personally got the Pioneer head unit for free so it was a no-brainer. I have not had drift issues with the Pioneer but I also have not had drift issues with my older Quarqs too because I zero it often during rides, and it is pretty rare that I ride in big temp swings. The Quarq isn't a BAD deal either, considering that you are also getting a whole new crankset for the price as well. You may, however, also need a new bottom bracket and the entailing cost/potential bottom bracket issues like squeaking, etc.
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Old 06-30-15, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Silvercivic27 View Post
Yeah, it's no question that the Pioneer is a smokin deal. I don't think you can just split them and get two powermeters for the price of one, if that's what you had in mind. I personally got the Pioneer head unit for free so it was a no-brainer. I have not had drift issues with the Pioneer but I also have not had drift issues with my older Quarqs too because I zero it often during rides, and it is pretty rare that I ride in big temp swings. The Quarq isn't a BAD deal either, considering that you are also getting a whole new crankset for the price as well. You may, however, also need a new bottom bracket and the entailing cost/potential bottom bracket issues like squeaking, etc.
I didn't know that's possible, but since they released the new updated version, it's on their website as an option (scroll down a bit):
Pioneer cyclesports | SGY-PM910H2 | Pioneer power meter

Ability to use both the left and right sensorsas separate power meters


Equip to a second bike, use to improve both legs during training,
use for one leg only for pace control during a race, and more. The device has a wide range of uses to fit your goals.
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Old 06-30-15, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by nemeseri View Post
I learnt from DC Rainmaker's review, that temperature and elevation can be a very real issue for power meter accuracy. He reported 50-70 W difference with Quarq over 20F temperature change. And that's huge.
Several of the current models of power meters have improved their temperature compensation. That said, the real lesson is that if you're going to be experiencing wide swings in temperature, manually trigger a re-zero every once in a while. That applies whether you have an older or newer model of a power meter.
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Old 06-30-15, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by RChung View Post
Several of the current models of power meters have improved their temperature compensation. That said, the real lesson is that if you're going to be experiencing wide swings in temperature, manually trigger a re-zero every once in a while. That applies whether you have an older or newer model of a power meter.
I know that's necessary, but sometimes it's simply impossible (for example when you climb constantly). I love to be in the mountains and even in the bay area it's not uncommon to see wide temperature changes because of the micro climates. So I'd rather have something that has some sort of auto temperature compensation. And even if stages isn't considered to be the most accurate because doubling the left power, it might be still better than to deal with continuous calibration and drifting.
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Old 06-30-15, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by nemeseri View Post
I know that's necessary, but sometimes it's simply impossible (for example when you climb constantly). I love to be in the mountains and even in the bay area it's not uncommon to see wide temperature changes because of the micro climates. So I'd rather have something that has some sort of auto temperature compensation. And even if stages isn't considered to be the most accurate because doubling the left power, it might be still better than to deal with continuous calibration and drifting.
It's not, lol.
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Old 06-30-15, 05:40 PM
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If the question of accuracy even enters your mind, don't bother with a stages.
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Old 06-30-15, 05:46 PM
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I live in Berkeley so I'm pretty aware of the temperature swings we see here, and the climbs. There are very few climbs I can think of that are so continuous that you can't trigger a manual re-zero. The amount of variation you can see in a one-sided PM is greater than that -- plus, from a data quality point of view it's actually pretty handy to know that a re-zeroing occurred at a specific point. Relying on automatic temperature compensation "smooths" the zeroing so you can't tell exactly when it's happening.

I'm pretty familiar with the temperature issues. I did the original analysis of the Stages and PT and Quarq for Ray Maker, and identified both the temperature drift problems with Ray's Quarq and was the first to identify the cadence/power problems with the Stages. Ray's situation in terms of temperature change was extreme -- he kept his bike in his heated apartment, and the tests were done at close to zero celsius. He was supposed to re-zero each of the PMs a few minutes after leaving the apartment but he forgot, and didn't do that until he got out to the test venue. If you go back to the original data sets, you'll see that after that initial zeroing, the Quarq became much more stable, but the Stages continued to drift a tiny amount. That's what I mean when I say that it's sometimes handy to know for sure when a zeroing occurs rather than to allow for automatic compensation that sometimes lags and takes a couple of minutes.

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Old 06-30-15, 05:53 PM
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There's also a data dropout problem with Stages, water intrusion, etc., etc.
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Old 06-30-15, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by RChung View Post
I live in Berkeley so I'm pretty aware of the temperature swings we see here, and the climbs. There are very few climbs I can think of that are so continuous that you can't trigger a manual re-zero. The amount of variation you can see in a one-sided PM is greater than that -- plus, from a data quality point of view it's actually pretty handy to know that a re-zeroing occurred at a specific point. Relying on automatic temperature compensation "smooths" the zeroing so you can't tell exactly when it's happening.

I'm pretty familiar with the temperature issues. I did the original analysis of the Stages and PT and Quarq for Ray Maker, and identified both the temperature drift problems with Ray's Quarq and was the first to identify the cadence/power problems with the Stages. Ray's situation in terms of temperature change was extreme -- he kept his bike in his heated apartment, and the tests were done at close to zero celsius. He was supposed to re-zero each of the PMs a few minutes after leaving the apartment but he forgot, and didn't do that until he got out to the test venue. If you go back to the original data sets, you'll see that after that initial zeroing, the Quarq became much more stable, but the Stages continued to drift a tiny amount. That's what I mean when I say that it's sometimes handy to know for sure when a zeroing occurs rather than to allow for automatic compensation that sometimes lags and takes a couple of minutes.
Nice points, thanks! I appreciate your opinion on this and it pushed me towards pioneer.
About the climbs: Mount Tam has wide temperature swings in the morning especially early spring. If you start from SF and head over to Marin, you can experience swings too (especially summer). On the peninsula there can be 20F change between coast and inland (think about half moon bay vs. los gatos). etc. And obviously it's not just the fact that you can't stop during a ride, but also that you have to think about it. I feel better that you think it won't cause a big issue.

I just placed an order to get my new crank and I think I'm going to order the power meter on my way home to get things started.

Last edited by nemeseri; 06-30-15 at 06:32 PM.
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Old 06-30-15, 06:41 PM
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You know you can just buy the Pioneer mounted on the crank from Pioneer, right? Good choice, BTW, now buy the head unit and you'll be all set!
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Old 06-30-15, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Silvercivic27 View Post
You know you can just buy the Pioneer mounted on the crank from Pioneer, right? Good choice, BTW, now buy the head unit and you'll be all set!
Yeah... but it would be much-much more expensive... I can get a dura ace crankset for $370 online and the installation kit for $999. The factory mounted pioneer costs $1849..
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