I don't get PowerMatch

OK, using a Cyclops H2 (soon to be H3) and a Stages Left crank arm Gen2.

Last year I did all of my training and testing indoors with the H2 only, no power match, no use of the stages, I didn’t even have a battery in it all winter. Fast forward to today and a week away from starting my second year of training I decided to give this power match thing a try and am a bit disappointed and/or confused. I run TR paired via BT, and then Zwift paired via ANT at the same time to compare my power numbers just for reference.

I’ve paired the H2 via the Saris PWR ANT in Zwift, and then paired the H2 via BT in TR, as well as pairing the Stages via BT in TR and setting Powermatch to Auto. Initially (for the first 20+ minutes) my Stages reads about 10w higher than the Hammer, not 10%, but 10w, so if TR is showing my power (above where it says target power) at 145w for the warmup, Zwift (aka the Saris) is showing 132-135. If TR then goes to a 209w interval, Zwift shows me in the high 190s. Eventually the two get closer together.

Then the problem is with the thing holding intervals. Just using the H2, the trainer holds the interval power beautifully, ramps up quickly, and I finish close to target power. Using Powermatch, the ramp up is slower, the power doesn’t hold as smoothly so it has me +/- 15%, and then my power is just off for the interval. I’m attaching a few sample workouts with explanations and hopefully someone can explain if I’m doing this wrong, or not understanding the data, because so far the whole idea of using my Stages to control my workouts seems like it will just lead to a bunch of half assed intervals and poor results.

This workout I just did today, used Powermatch for the first 3 intervals, switched to trainer control at 38:30, the first 3 intervals were pretty MEH as far as power being on target, was much closer with the H2 alone in the last 2.


This was Mount Field from last week done with just the H2


This was Mount Field from last week done with Powermatch and the Stages

Please help me understand what I don’t understand, everyone raves about Powermatch but I don’t get it because it seems to be ruining my intervals, at least the shorter ones, and that’s going to be a lot of my focus this winter

Not everyone loves it… in fact, some hate it.

1 Like

I misspoke. But I do hear lots of people talk about it as the “right way” to train. I certainly didn’t miss out on much last year without it but wanted to give it a chance. Just wasn’t sure if my frustration was merited or if the Powermatch method is really supreme and I just am focusing on the wrong thing. To me missing a 30 second interval where I should be doing 475 by almost 50w with Powermatch compared to missing it by only 20w with just my trainer, I don’t see why Powermatch is better. Maybe not in these types of workouts?

PowerMatch is better because you’re training with the same numbers you’ll see outside (because it’s the same power source). That’s literally the appeal—it’s just nice to see the same numbers indoors and out. As far as I know there’s no other real benefit.

Also, Stages is just erratic on the trainer. I use PowerMatch and deal with the same thing. But ultimately it’s worth it for the consistency indoors and out.

2 Likes

Just thinking out loud. Maybe when you do your FTP test, make 2 recordings and then manually calculate with your power source and let trainer road use the trainer. The data from other sources (outside rides) will probably be all wrong though.

I don’t know, really. All I can say is that PowerMatch is very slow. I’m getting the H3 too, and hope it’s good, but I don’t know what else to say. All these “glowing” reviews about trainer accuracy, and then you get the trainer and find that it’s not working as well as the reviews. I don’t know what else to say. I’m hoping the H3 is good, but I just don’t know.

My thing is if it stops me from getting the quality of my workouts then it’s not worth it. It feels like with Powermatch I have to hunt for the right power a bit, whereas with just the trainer it gets there way quicker and not only do I spend more time at Target power I also don’t induce extra fatigue by every interval starting off with ups and downs. I like consistency too but if you compare my warmed up hammer to my hammer they’re damn close

Honestly I did all my training with the H2 only and it was fine, consistent, painful. I don’t do intervals outside so that aspect of consistency between my power meter and trainer doesn’t matter, my PM is mostly used outside to gauge current effort and overall ride effort. I’m not making decisions for target power based on small increments, if I see a hill or something I want to get up quickly I think “it’s going to take me x time and I can hold between say 300-350w for that time, it never comes down to fine details like should I do it at 300 or 310w

1 Like

Man, a little fluctuation up and down throughout your interval isn’t going to hurt the quality of your workout. Your power is actually fluctuating the entire time you’re on the trainer anyway, but power smoothing makes it look super sharp.

I’m just saying there’s a felt difference. I feel like the all trainer control is smoother overall, quicker to respond, etc. it settles in to target power sooner but with my stages it takes much longer for it to get to that power and makes the workout feel choppy.

I’m gonna try again with Perkins -1 tomorrow that’s a 2 hour with a lot of subtle changes at lower power

1 Like

I can’t speak for the H2 but my Kickr V1 swings wildly, so power match is required. It starts high then goes low. The next day may be entirely high or entire low. I’m not talking a few watts neither. Think over 30w over or under. The variance also changes depending on the spindown. Do one spindle now and it’s high after. Do another within an hour and it’s low after.

1 Like

Yeah, I get it, and I don’t disagree. But honestly I think pure ERG rides that lock you in make for lazy training. This is personal preference, but I not only have to work on holding my power with PowerMatch enabled, but I have to pay closer attention to my pedalstroke, cadence, and other aspects of the ride that aren’t there in a significant capacity with straight ERG.

So, for me, it’s more accurate (or “consistent” may be the better word here), and it makes me focus more on all aspects of the pedalstroke. I’ll take that over smoother intervals that feel better.

1 Like

The all trainer reacts faster, yes.

Also if the trainer software has a power match to a power meter that also is faster than going through TrainerRoad powermstch. The slowest is through The software like TrainerRoad or Zwift.

My Kickr V1 takes about 5 seconds to ramp up and down. Powermatch with wahoo software directly adds about 3 seconds to that. With 3rd patty software it takes about 15 seconds. It’ll bounce up and down by 20W-50W before it settles down and wiggles by about 5-10W over and under as long as I hold a smooth peddle that is.

Doing tabatas would be impossible, but 30 second anaerobic intervals are doable they just take forever to ramp up to that power and then coming down, on Zwift I sometimes miss a star because ERG can’t settle the power in the zone Zwift wants within the interval. I do also notice that it gets worse if I try to shift manually. It’s like whatever offset was stored To guesstimate the resistance level gets confused and adds another .10-20 seconds to hit the power target within 10w.

1 Like

Oh I don’t care about smooth. I just want fast. I can’t do tabata style workouts now, not with ERG. I also don’t know what gear to use for power as my cadence indoors is totally different than my outdoor cadence as well as riding style.

Yeah it’s lazy but I watch tv and almost never pay attention, especially since I do 20+ minute intervals of steady power, lately. frowning: I just want to pedal and not stare at a gauge, just watch tv.

So you’re concerned about the image on the left vs the one on the right, even though the outcome (interval power) came out on target? OCD? :joy:

I think a couple of other comments above have hit the nail on the head.

From personal experience with a a stages PM, I would also say that it gave more erratic power readings (more spikey power plot) vs my current favero assiomas.

Using power match with my Kickr, the assiomas report much smoother power and also react to ERG changes much better than the Stages did.

1 Like

I’m more concerned with those first 3 blocks of today’s workout and how long they took to settle in to their pace by which time I missed the target power for the interval by 50w and only by 20w with the delay of all trainer. For longer intervals it evens out

I want consistency I just want to understand. Is the “power” reading in TR the current right now power or is it based on something else?

You mean the power you see reported at any given moment in time? That depends on your settings for power smoothing.

You set it to 0 seconds, it should show your the power right now, but it will fluctuate a lot. If you set it to 10 seconds, you’ll get a much smoother plot, but the power you see reported may not be the power you are currently pushing, it’s an average of the last 10 seconds.

I go with 3s smoothing, I also use 3s power avg on my Garmin when I ride outdoors

Which Kickr?

This is what mine look like on something I did this weekend.

When it should look like the below, but it doesn’t hit until 17 seconds into a 32 second interval, at which point it missed the upper peak completely and landed in the middle.

56%20PM

Mine is a Gen 2 Kickr with Favero Assioma on power match.

Here a snip of a recent workout, 1 min @140%, 15s off, 30s 120%, 15s off etc…

Not much time here between transitions, but everything is pretty stable as far as I’m concerned

3 Likes

That is pretty quick. I wish my V1 reacted even half as quick as yours. I’ll see what happens with the Saris H3 when it arrives.

Ok I will switch smoothing to 3 seconds to match my Wahoo and Zwift, but currently it was set to 5 so pretty close.

And what about as far as missing power on intervals like those 30 second 478w sprints yesterday. It seems to take longer for ERG to do its thing with the stages, it spikes up, then down, then slowly goes back up, all of which takes like 10 seconds, more than twice as long as with H2. Is there anything I can do about that?