Outdoor powermeter use, talk to me about data fields

Only ever used a PM for indoor use (powertap P1) . Recently sold it and put the money towards a tacx flux for indoor training. but now I have an Avio PowerSense (single sided crank PM) on my ‘good’ bike I can use it for outdoor stuff, so a whole field of data is now available to me on the garmin, but I need advice as to what fields will give me the most useful info.

I usually ride long distance events, and tend to ride by my perception of effort, but I would like to add some scientific rigour into this!

So, what fields do you use and why? and what will help me pace myself well on a 200k solo this weekend?

I use a Quarq with a Wahoo Bolt.

Page 1=Power (set to 3s avg) at the top. Under that is:
Speed and distance. Under that is:
Elapsed time and Time of day (clock). Under that is:
Cadence and Kj

Page 2=Grade, VAM, Elevation, Feet climbed, Feet descended

Page 3=map

Honestly, I only really reference power, time distance when training and racing for pacing and keeping track of the race progress. The rest of it is just there. But, Kj is nice to keep track of calories for longer races (road/gravel events).


Why did you sell your P1 pedals rather than just use them outside?

I normally stick to 3s power and either %FTP or Power Zone if I just want an easy guide to where I’m at. If I’m trying to do intervals outside I also put on last lap NP to ensure I’m hitting something close to my target.

For pacing of a solo ride, pick a IF you think you can maintain and then use a %FTP or smoothed power value to stay in the range.

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Good advice there thanks.

I sold the powertap because I moved up from a dumb turbo to a direct drive smart turbo, and apart from that I ride SPDs everywhere. The bike my crank PM is on now is my long distance road and gravel bike. I just swap wheelset depending on the discipline and add or remove bits such as clip on bars etc.

I have 3s power in big bold font at the top. Pick a power target based on the distance you are going and limit your effort to that.

For 100 mile rides somewhere in the 70-80% of FTP range. Longer go lower, shorter go higher. Generally try to prevent yourself from ever going over FTP. Assuming you have the nutrition and muscular endurance you can go all day.

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On my front page I have 6 fields on 4 rows.

Row 1. 3 second avg Power
Row 2. Heart Rate
Row 3. Distance traveled and Elapsed time of ride
Row 4. Cadence and Time of Day

I know my power and HR zones so I target numbers, not %'s. I usually ride for a pre-determined time. The distance traveled and cadence are for interest only. Time of day is so I get home before sunset for evening rides.

All the other stuff goes on other pages which I will view if the interest arises or I am out of town using mapping.


Im with you, very similar set up…
power, HR, RPM, speed, distance and time of day… then on to the weird and wonderfull, TSS and Power Zone
but with a wahoo, you can zoom in on the fly and only look at the top fields. Ie nothing but power.

other pages:
one for averages and random info I may want to look at , but not stare at.
Map (for navigation)
Strava Segments - cause we all like to go hunting
And my track/Velodrome page (no power) - HR, Cadence, Speed, Max speed (last lap) Max cadence (last lap) Average speed (last lap) average cadence (last lap) and time (last lap) this is more for looking at specific efforts, as I hit lap at the end of each effort/ drill


I ride long events also (have a 300km ride this weekend).

Page 1. Power (3s), HR, cadence, speed, distance and elevation. (Also distance to next waypoint if I am following a course).
Page 2. Time of day, normalised power, calories, temperature, battery. I probably only have to refer to page 2 once an hour or so.
Page 3. Map
Page 4. Elevation graph.

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Garmin Edge 530 520.

First screen:

Second screen:


Third screen:


Fourth screen:

I use the last one when pulling on a group ride, because I don’t want to miss a turn and I want to keep a constant speed.

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Leaked spy shots? :wink:

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LOL, polishing my ‘trade show tech crystal ball’ after meeting a Garmin ANT+ product manager yesterday

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Interesting, I see that most of you use the same data fields as I do but with mainly the addition of 3s power. I think I will add that to my main screen but also create another page with IF, %FTP, av Pwr and av HR etc.

As I said above, I’ve ridden most of my long distance stuff by ‘feel’ so I have a pretty good experience of listening to my body and how it reacts to increasing fatigue, it will be interesting to note how that relates to the numbers I’m seeing on the screen as the hours rack up.

My main field is 3sec power but I also use 30 sec power to help keep my power output a little smoother.

Personally I found 3 sec was “too jumpy” to help me hold a certain power, say 220 watts. After playing around I settled on 10 sec as best tradeoff to help me hold a target power.

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My main screen:

  • NP (normalized power)
  • Power
  • Average power
  • Speed
  • Average speed
  • Heart Rate
  • Cadence
  • Distance
  • Ride Time

Second screen (for doing intervals on the road)

  • Interval time (started by hitting the lap button)
  • Average power
  • Power
  • Speed
  • Cadence

Third screen – bunch of other specialized fields

  • Grade
  • TSS
  • etc, etc

After using my PM outdoors I agree that 3s is hard to use, especially in rolling, variable terrain. I’ll try 10s next time.

IF and TSS were good, it felt like I was totally beasting myself, and I was!

IF 0.84
TSS. 550!

Time for bed!

If you are using a 10s average - does that mean that every 10s is about how often you check what the 10s Watt average is?
I’m still trying to get my head around how you use a PM/Bolt outside on long/slow rides.

From top to bottom for training:
3s power
lap time
speed/avg speed
HR/avg HR
Avg power/time of day

For road racing
3s power
elapsed time

For TT
3s power
Elapsed time
Speed/avg speed

During racing I don’t use any other screen, and just need to be able to glance down and see only what I need. For training, I’ve a bunch of other screens set up according to theme. I’ve one giving info on temperature/sunset times etc, one for navigation, one for training loads. But most of that stuff I’ll only look at once I get home and have uploaded.

interesting tip about kJoules, @Landis . How do you adjust your nutrition according to that value?

I use it along with my BMR to keep from overeating off the bike. For example, my BMR is 1850-ish and if I do a 2000Kj ride I know my daily calories need to be close to 3850 to maintain weight and stay fueled when doing a bit of intensity or racing.