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Power meters for track

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Old 01-21-18, 03:45 PM
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fletch01
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Power meters for track

I have been using a power meter on my road bike for 5 years or so. I want to have a power meter that I can use on my road bike and my track bike, the obvious choice would be a pedal based power meter.

I am looking at the Favero Assioma DUO Power Meter Pedals, they are Look type cleat compatible. I have never used these I have always had the Shimano SPD type.

Is there anyone out there that has experience with this type of cleat on the track? Ideally a sprinter ( I am masters 4 with a reasonable power output 10" 1450 watts and peak 1800+ )

I use straps on the track to ensure I never pull out of the pedal.

I know the best power meter for the track would be an SRM but the price is too high and I can't find any second hand ones they are rare.
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Old 02-24-18, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by fletch01 View Post
I have been using a power meter on my road bike for 5 years or so. I want to have a power meter that I can use on my road bike and my track bike, the obvious choice would be a pedal based power meter.

I am looking at the Favero Assioma DUO Power Meter Pedals, they are Look type cleat compatible. I have never used these I have always had the Shimano SPD type.

Is there anyone out there that has experience with this type of cleat on the track? Ideally a sprinter ( I am masters 4 with a reasonable power output 10" 1450 watts and peak 1800+ )

I use straps on the track to ensure I never pull out of the pedal.

I know the best power meter for the track would be an SRM but the price is too high and I can't find any second hand ones they are rare.
I'm surprised more people, the power masters, didn't jump on this one. But I'm glad this is a discrete forum bucket. Did you figure this out? If you want to skip my banter and go directly to the URL I posted below, here is DC Rainmakers's review on the 3 available pedal meters:

https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2017/09/...s-assioma.html

I'm coming from road and had to go through the thought process as well. I gave up on finding a common solution across all my bikes. I have a Quarq for Specialized on my Venge road race bike, Stages crank meter on my training road bike, and the new Shimano 9100p dual-crank system on my TT. On my BMC Timemachine I use the Stages Shimano Dura-Ace track power meter, and on my Fuji Track Elite, I have the SRM track science. You can absolutely spend enough money on power meters for multiple bikes to almost buy a new bike. :-) I tried the Garmin Vector 2 pedal meters for a while, and really loathed the fact that I had to use the Look Keo cleats...then I need a third pair of shoes! It's bad enough to have Speedplays on my TT and track bikes, and Shimano SPDs on my road bikes...I will likely transition to all Speedplays. If someone came out with a great pedal meter that used Speedplay, that would have been a selling point for me, but that would requires some more miniaturation of the technology.

But if you are looking for a solution that will work for road and track, I think you're only option is the pedal meter, right? We have the Garmin Vectors, the PowerTaps, and the Favero. Check out this article that compares the three:

https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2017/09/...s-assioma.html

You gotta love DC Rainmaker. He's generally very thorough in his reviews.

K-
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Old 02-24-18, 11:41 AM
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Here is a relevant thread on the topic. It was a few pages back: Training and Racing with Power Meters and other computers

I've used power meters on the track since 2010. And in 2009 I used a PowerTap head unit with no power, just speed and cadence. I've been watching this sector for a while. I've owned 3 track SRM kits over the years (even ditching power for a while (I still don't think it's needed for sprinting)).

My advice:

Save up and buy exactly what you want ONCE. Don't gamble on a power meter based on marketing brochures and websites. As Public Enemy says, "Don't believe the hype." Get real-world opinions. There is a LOT of hype in the bike power meter world. There even exists a wind-based power meter that is technically a power meter, but it's not what people expect.

There is no power meter that is perfect for both road and track (that I'm aware of).

Every power meter has compromises. Find them. This is where people get disappointed. Find out if the compromise that a PM offers is a deal-breaker for you.
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Old 02-24-18, 11:49 AM
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Fletch, if money is a factor for you and your bike budget isn't high, you can get 95% of the data using:

- SRM PowerControl 7 head unit (that samples every 0.5")
- ANT+ Speed Sensor
- ANT+ Cadence Sensor
- ANT+ HR Monitor

All for less than $500 new.

As a sprinter, you can make all of your evaluations and decisions based on the data offered above. It will cost you another $1,200 - $1,800 to get power data to add to that.

Yes, power would be nice, but for sprinters, the benefit per cost is low. Most of your decisions will be made based on cadence and speed. Speed and cadence will illustrate your progress. HR will show your fitness. Power just shows how strong you are, but even the power curve changes when you change gearing. So, it's difficult to compare efforts over time if the gears are different.

Speed is the ultimate metric. Max Speed and Average Speed. This is how we are judged

time = velocity/distance. The distance is set by your event.

Cadence is king. Pay keen attention to it. This is how you get your speed. There are right and wrong cadences for optimal results for a given effort.

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Old 02-24-18, 12:20 PM
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DC Rainmaker does do some very thorough reviews. But, he's a road TT specialist and to my knowledge doesn't mention track type efforts in his reviews..

I think track sprinting types of efforts, with regards to max torque, torque spikes, effort duration etc, are not considered in his evaluations.

This is essentially like reading a review of someone who took a Honda Civic on a road trip as you consider it as a foundation for an amateur race car

He could help identify some compromises (e.g. User cannot replace the battery or fit/finish issues.) But, like OP is doing, asking if anyone has used the product like (s)he plans to use it is best.

For example, the Stages PM system got a fairly positive review:

For me, I have no issues in using any of the power meters I’ve used in this review – including the Stages. I do in fact from time to time pick different ones, and the data is generally similar enough that there’s no discernable difference. Further, in some situations (such as nonstop climbing with shifts in temperature), the Stages simply performed better than two other units.
and it seemed like Stages would be the next great Track Power Meter. That hasn't been the case. Many of who have tried it on the track have decided to not use it for various reasons.

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Old 02-24-18, 01:34 PM
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On a related note, I just got an email from SRM entitled, "Design a Payment Plan with SRM" and inside, "Train now. Pay later."

Jeeez this is messed up for so many different reasons.
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Old 05-24-18, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by carleton View Post
Fletch, if money is a factor for you and your bike budget isn't high, you can get 95% of the data using:

- SRM PowerControl 7 head unit (that samples every 0.5")
- ANT+ Speed Sensor
- ANT+ Cadence Sensor
- ANT+ HR Monitor

All for less than $500 new.

As a sprinter, you can make all of your evaluations and decisions based on the data offered above. It will cost you another $1,200 - $1,800 to get power data to add to that.

Yes, power would be nice, but for sprinters, the benefit per cost is low. Most of your decisions will be made based on cadence and speed. Speed and cadence will illustrate your progress. HR will show your fitness. Power just shows how strong you are, but even the power curve changes when you change gearing. So, it's difficult to compare efforts over time if the gears are different.

Speed is the ultimate metric. Max Speed and Average Speed. This is how we are judged

time = velocity/distance. The distance is set by your event.

Cadence is king. Pay keen attention to it. This is how you get your speed. There are right and wrong cadences for optimal results for a given effort.
Dear Carleton could you please give example of ANT sensor working with SRM PC7 computer? I have difficulties pairing it with Garmin sensor.
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Old 05-24-18, 05:31 PM
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Bontrager Speed and Cadence sensors work as expected. I've used them with two different PC7s.

https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/e...nsors/p/09814/

I bought mine at a local shop that carries Trek bikes.

What Garmin sensor do you have?

You might have to plug the head unit into your computer and fool around with the settings and make sure that it's not looking for a SRM crank (that also serves as the cadence sensor).

EDIT:

It's not a well-known feature, but it works. Even the SRM sales rep didn't know that it would work when I mentioned it on the phone.

Attached is a pic of the setup on my Snyder. You can barely see the PC7 on the handlebars (blue). You can see the ANT+ cadence sensor on the left chainstay. You can't see the speed sensor on the left fork.
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IMG_8999.jpg (728.0 KB, 465 views)

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Old 06-21-18, 03:19 AM
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Thanks Carleton,
I've tried to fiddle with srmwin on windows10 but couldn't install drivers for SRM PC7. So I've found old garmin gsc10 and it pairs fine in 'duo SC' mode.

I couldn't pair newer type of Garmin sensors
buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/p/146897
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Old 06-21-18, 05:08 AM
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I have the Favero Assioma Duo pedals and could not be happier. It also allows me to transfer them to my spare bike or road bike, so I'm always training on the same powermeter.

One of my coaches is the big data nerd for WKO+ (who helps them develop metrics etc) and he's really happy with the reliability of data we're getting from them on the track.

ETA: I use straps (BLS velcro) and put out 1700w peaks (1550w 5sec).

From everything I've heard, Stages is pretty useless for trackies, especially sprinters. Sprinters have very different needs than enduro riders.

FWIW, Assioma's max out around 190rpm or so, so if you want really reliable cadence measurements over that, also use a cadence sensor.
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Old 08-06-18, 04:54 AM
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Check out the PowerPod. I have one I use on my track bike. Given the very controlled conditions on a track (Read up on how it works and my statement will make sense) it seems accurate. Very similar numbers as I get from my track bike and smart trainer.
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Old 08-06-18, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by southernfox View Post
I have the Favero Assioma Duo pedals and could not be happier. It also allows me to transfer them to my spare bike or road bike, so I'm always training on the same powermeter.

One of my coaches is the big data nerd for WKO+ (who helps them develop metrics etc) and he's really happy with the reliability of data we're getting from them on the track.

ETA: I use straps (BLS velcro) and put out 1700w peaks (1550w 5sec).

From everything I've heard, Stages is pretty useless for trackies, especially sprinters. Sprinters have very different needs than enduro riders.

FWIW, Assioma's max out around 190rpm or so, so if you want really reliable cadence measurements over that, also use a cadence sensor.
Just started using the faveros, seem pretty good so far, fool-proof even, which is nice. Got some g-race straps to try as well, if I decide to try sprinting.
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Old 08-06-18, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by colnago62 View Post
Check out the PowerPod. I have one I use on my track bike. Given the very controlled conditions on a track (Read up on how it works and my statement will make sense) it seems accurate. Very similar numbers as I get from my track bike and smart trainer.
Maybe on an indoor track. Those are few and far between. On an outdoor track, it would function like any other road based power meter, and even on an indoor track, it still pales in reactivity to a crank or pedal based meter tailored for track.
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Old 08-07-18, 10:15 AM
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The PowerPod is the iBike wind-based power meter, just rebranded and updated.

This is arguably the worst power meter for the track.

Yes, it's technically a power meter that calculates how much you have exerted to propel the bike, but it's probably awful for track because:

- There is more drafting in track than with general road riding or time trialiing (its target market group). For a PM that's based on how much wind touches it, this probably throws off readings.
- It will not measure sprinting spikes (standing starts, rolling accelerations, etc...).

I can take a butter knife and put it in a box labeled "Screwdriver" and sell it as a screwdriver. It could technically be considered a screwdriver for some selected scenarios. That doesn't make it a good screwdriver for all scenarios.

DC Rainmaker's review: https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2016/03/...th-review.html

Keep in mind, he's a road TT specialist.
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Old 08-09-18, 06:34 AM
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Originally Posted by southernfox View Post
I have the Favero Assioma Duo pedals and could not be happier. It also allows me to transfer them to my spare bike or road bike, so I'm always training on the same powermeter.

One of my coaches is the big data nerd for WKO+ (who helps them develop metrics etc) and he's really happy with the reliability of data we're getting from them on the track.

ETA: I use straps (BLS velcro) and put out 1700w peaks (1550w 5sec).

From everything I've heard, Stages is pretty useless for trackies, especially sprinters. Sprinters have very different needs than enduro riders.

FWIW, Assioma's max out around 190rpm or so, so if you want really reliable cadence measurements over that, also use a cadence sensor.
Stages are great for bunch racing. Our meters just don't work well for standing starts. I'd love feedback on what you've heard that makes our meters so useless!
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Old 08-09-18, 06:52 AM
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Originally Posted by JimiMimni View Post
Stages are great for bunch racing. Our meters just don't work well for standing starts. I'd love feedback on what you've heard that makes our meters so useless!
...useless for elite sprinters. And you kinda identified it.
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Old 08-09-18, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by southernfox View Post
...useless for elite sprinters. And you kinda identified it.
It's not an issue for elite sprinters, it's fundamentally (like at the whiteboard level) not as good for track as other options. All disciplines of track racing.

Originally Posted by JimiMimni View Post
Stages are great for bunch racing. Our meters just don't work well for standing starts. I'd love feedback on what you've heard that makes our meters so useless!

The premise (as I understand it) of the Stages power meter is that:

- For most people, both right and left legs do the same amount of work.
- On long rides, averages are OK.

Track is fundamentally different. The training efforts can be measured in fractions of seconds, not several minutes or event hours during a crit race or road ride.

Even pursuit specialists want to know how and what they do from the instant that the start whistle blows. Given the opportunity, a data analyst (the rider reviewing his/her files) would rather have data as close to real-time as possible.

Yes, every power meter averages data that they send to the head unit. Some more than others. Stages averages data more than others.

This averaging is fine for road riding where smoothing/averaging can be over several seconds. But, most trackies would benefit from more granular data.

For example, a pursuiter would want to know exactly what happens during a standing start at the beginning of 4K just as much as a Team Sprint Man 1 rider. Going out too hard in the first half lap can destroy a 4K effort. Not going hard enough might limit cruising speed.

Mass start efforts have lots of things to be measured. Basically, watching how "matches" are burned to win inter-race or final sprints and what it takes to bridge gaps or take laps.

SRM is the PM against which all others are compared and even they have been resting on their laurels. They haven't significantly iterated on their track PMs in 10 years or more.

There is a "race to the bottom" in the PM world right now where everyone is trying to make the cheapest power meter. This is the wrong approach, IMHO. Basically, you wind up just cutting features.

As evident in bike shops and tracks around the world, trackies (and cyclists in general) have no problem spending money. Offer more features to differentiate yourself in the market...not lower prices. Someone will always go lower than you, but everyone can't offer more features than you.

My ask: We don't need a less expensive power meter. Make the best power meter possible and people and teams will buy it. Make a power meter than caters to track athletes. Don't just make a road PM then say, "Oh, and it'll fit on a track bike, too." We aren't dumb
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Old 08-09-18, 10:50 PM
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Originally Posted by southernfox View Post
...useless for elite sprinters. And you kinda identified it.
Just wanted to make sure that was the only criticism. It's completely accurate, unfortunately.

Originally Posted by carleton View Post
It's not an issue for elite sprinters, it's fundamentally (like at the whiteboard level) not as good for track as other options. All disciplines of track racing.

The premise (as I understand it) of the Stages power meter is that:

- For most people, both right and left legs do the same amount of work.
- On long rides, averages are OK.

Track is fundamentally different. The training efforts can be measured in fractions of seconds, not several minutes or event hours during a crit race or road ride.

Even pursuit specialists want to know how and what they do from the instant that the start whistle blows. Given the opportunity, a data analyst (the rider reviewing his/her files) would rather have data as close to real-time as possible.

Yes, every power meter averages data that they send to the head unit. Some more than others. Stages averages data more than others.

This averaging is fine for road riding where smoothing/averaging can be over several seconds. But, most trackies would benefit from more granular data.

For example, a pursuiter would want to know exactly what happens during a standing start at the beginning of 4K just as much as a Team Sprint Man 1 rider. Going out too hard in the first half lap can destroy a 4K effort. Not going hard enough might limit cruising speed.

Mass start efforts have lots of things to be measured. Basically, watching how "matches" are burned to win inter-race or final sprints and what it takes to bridge gaps or take laps.

SRM is the PM against which all others are compared and even they have been resting on their laurels. They haven't significantly iterated on their track PMs in 10 years or more.

There is a "race to the bottom" in the PM world right now where everyone is trying to make the cheapest power meter. This is the wrong approach, IMHO. Basically, you wind up just cutting features.

As evident in bike shops and tracks around the world, trackies (and cyclists in general) have no problem spending money. Offer more features to differentiate yourself in the market...not lower prices. Someone will always go lower than you, but everyone can't offer more features than you.

My ask: We don't need a less expensive power meter. Make the best power meter possible and people and teams will buy it. Make a power meter than caters to track athletes. Don't just make a road PM then say, "Oh, and it'll fit on a track bike, too." We aren't dumb
Your understanding is slightly askew. Our meters broadcast at 4Hz, but head units only receive samples at 1Hz. In that case, you're right, it's because road: you have to have enough memory to hold a LONG road race file. That's where the majority of sales go, so that's the market that is catered to. In short, no, we don't average anything more than anyone else does. Not sure where that came from. Maybe it's the actual mechanics of our measurement getting confused. But here's the rub, until you have a head unit that samples at 4Hz, or greater, you're never going to get that granular data, from any meter. Then additionally you have to write a program that will read all of those data points, and not smooth anything. I dunno if you've ever looked at unsmoothed data, but it's hard to find anything of value in that morass of jumbled lines.

And yes, the left/right balance isn't perfect, however, very, very, very few people are more than 5% out of balance. And for what it's worth, there isn't a body of research that shows 50/50 symmetry is important. More power is important, regardless of how it's made. We have examples of riders that used some of our early L/R cranks and tried to keep a 50/50 balance, and got no better, and even worse in some cases. None of the athletes that made symmetry a priority improved, if that tells you anything. I don't have the citation on me, but Georgia Tech published a paper a while back to he effect that whatever your pedal stroke is naturally is the one that will produce the most power for you.

By the way, we DO make a track specific power meter. They've won at least a handful of Master's Worlds titles. But again, because of the way our meter works, we can't really capture the standing start high-torque, low-RPM stuff, which is a bummer.
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Old 08-10-18, 05:48 AM
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Jimi, you used the pronoun "We" a lot in your reply. Are you with Stages?
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Old 08-10-18, 06:28 AM
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Originally Posted by topflightpro View Post
Jimi, you used the pronoun "We" a lot in your reply. Are you with Stages?
Yup.Ironically I trouble shoot power meters all day, then come here and talk about them in my free time.
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Old 08-10-18, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by JimiMimni View Post
Yup.Ironically I trouble shoot power meters all day, then come here and talk about them in my free time.
Dude, the track power meter market is wiiiiiide open.

The British, Dutch, and I think Australian have all been photographed with prototype or custom power meters.

There are needs that simply are not being met in the Track sector. Mostly with head units, but also with the power meters themselves.

Track always gets hand-me-down tech from the road/TT world. I wish it were not this way.

Let's list some very standard track gear that is old, hand-me-down tech:

- Shimano Dura Ace 7710 (OCTALINK!) track cranks.
- Shimano SPD-SL 7819 pedals (to put straps on)
- SRM Track PM
- EV-ER-RY cycling head unit on the market. Every. Single. One.
- Zipp track wheels
- Mavic track wheels.
- Chainrings.
- Cogs.
- Chains (most are simply BMX chains. The KMC-K710 is a beefy street freestyle chain.)
- LOOK 496, Felt TK1, etc...are all adapted from road TT frames (it's true...look it up ). I would venture to guess the same goes for Avanti.
- BTs current designs are dated.
- EVERY home trainer (of whatever style). I don't think any are purposely designed to accommodate track bikes. This usually comes via some hack.

I could go on.

I think 3T Scatto bars are the only significantly advanced track-specific product introduced to the market in the past 10 years. Seriously.

Last edited by carleton; 08-10-18 at 10:16 AM.
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Old 08-10-18, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by JimiMimni View Post
And yes, the left/right balance isn't perfect, however, very, very, very few people are more than 5% out of balance. And for what it's worth, there isn't a body of research that shows 50/50 symmetry is important. More power is important, regardless of how it's made. We have examples of riders that used some of our early L/R cranks and tried to keep a 50/50 balance, and got no better, and even worse in some cases. None of the athletes that made symmetry a priority improved, if that tells you anything. I don't have the citation on me, but Georgia Tech published a paper a while back to he effect that whatever your pedal stroke is naturally is the one that will produce the most power for you.

By the way, we DO make a track specific power meter. They've won at least a handful of Master's Worlds titles. But again, because of the way our meter works, we can't really capture the standing start high-torque, low-RPM stuff, which is a bummer.
Symmetry is raised in the discussion not as important for power generation, rather for power measurement when measuring only one side and averaging. Especially when testing has shown that the balance can fluctuate depending on your level of effort.

Years ago, there were reports of a dual sided unit under development at Stages. Can you elaborate why this wasn't followed through to market (I haven't looked at the product recently, so apologies if it has been since released).

PS full disclosure - I am an SRM fanboy and own numerous units both wired and wireless across my bikes including two track units. All bought second hand and all but one still going strong!
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Old 08-10-18, 10:15 AM
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Even the software is ham-handedly adapted.

I'm not familiar with every software offering out there. I haven't used Training Peaks in a few years. But, all of the training logs and fitness prediction software is all for the road/TT/whatever...but not Track. Same goes for the hundreds of apps in the app stores.

This is why I developed and published my small apps...out of sheer need to solve an easily-solved problem for track cycling participants.
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Old 08-10-18, 10:28 AM
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I've even had conversations with engineers at Wahoo Fitness (coincidentally based here in Atlanta) about their Kicker trainer. With some small adaptations, they could have easily added the ability to, by design, mount track bikes as well.

Nope. Not gonna happen.

Same for CycleOps. I've talked to engineers there, too. ONE small change could open up their spin bikes to elite trackies and compete with the Watt Bike.

Nope.


I know that the bike industry is competitive. But, straight up ignoring this entire segment of the population is nuts.
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Old 08-10-18, 10:44 AM
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Back to Stages in particular:

I watched a national-level elite woman race at DLV try to setup her Stages to record a weekend of pro racing. It wanted to attach to her cell phone via BT. Cell phones (obviously) aren't allowed on the track.

She really wasn't aware of what she needed or how to configure it to record the data she wanted.

She wound up giving up and raced all weekend against other elites and had no data to show for it.
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