Power smoothing when using smart trainer and power meter

Hey folks,
Question for you: I recently got a power meter and did the pairing and calibration process in the current version of the Mac program. My smoothing is set to 3 seconds. When I trained with just my Wahoo Kickr, I didn’t have any issues, but not that I have my power meter paired, the power is really jumpy (which is making even an endurance effort hard because it’s so spikes!). Am I doing something wrong? I tried increasing to 5 seconds, didn’t help any. [Update: I turned my power meter to cadence only and the problem went away]

If there’s anothet post on this, happy to be pointed there (my search didn’t yield any hits).


The Wahoo app defaults to “Enable Power Smoothing in ERG Mode”. It 8s a VERY aggressive smoothing and effectively lies by showing power smoother thanks possible for a human to produce.

I suggest turning off the setting in the Wahoo app. Read your power meter as a full PM in the TR app, and get used to jagged power graphs, because they are real.


It’s more than rolling averages, smoothing, which is what you typically see on a head unit or other applications/trainers. The straight jumps between high low intervals gives that away. 8s? It is a bit generous. Looks more than 30 secs for the most part. The worst part of this is that the raw data is not preserved.

I used to think the line should just be straight and kept looking for ways to make it straight. At some point I just let the thought go. I spent way too much time trying to fix something that wasn’t going to happen. As long as your lap power is close to the target power then everything is working. I have a Quarq power meter and an original Kickr paired to a Mac laptop, 3s smoothing. My graphs looks like a bunch of up and down lines, but my lap power matches my targeted interval power. The work is being done, you will not a straight line.


@mcneese.chad - how do you turn off power smoothing in the Wahoo app?

@SDooley - do you still use your power meter for your ramp test? I just did one, and it wasn’t keeping on the power, sometimes 10 watts higher or lower, despite an even cadence (was holding 105 rpm for most of it), and I think it messed up my end result as a consequence. I am thinking of just using the Wahoo power gauge for the next ramp test.

Watch at this point in Shane’s vid, and it shows the steps.

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I’ve only done two ramp tests, but each time I used the same set-up, Kickr and Quarq (3 sec smoothing and power match on). I still get the up and down lines, but I feel the tests were spot on. I prefer the 8 min or 20 min tests myself. I feel like my VO2 is a limiter in the ramp test. After a race I have in a few weeks I’m going to do both, but a week apart and see what happens.

When you switched to cadence only you essentially went back to not using the power meter and just the Kickr.
I went through the same thing trying to figure it out. The spikes I was experiencing were not simply because now I was seeing the actual data though. I had power match turned on in both the wahoo app and in Trainerroad. For some reason when both were on it was like they were fighting each other. I assumed that I had to set it in the wahoo utility for it to work properly but I was wrong.
My suggestion would be to just use power match in Trainerroad and turn it off in the wahoo utility and see if it makes a difference. You still won’t see absurdly smooth kickr-like power but it will hopefully help with the crazy spikes if you are experiencing what I was.
People on here were very helpful but incorrectly assumed that the variations I was seeing were just the expected (and completely normal) fluctuations of reading from an actual power meter.

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That is how the human body works, you are not a machine. It is not uncommon to be 10+ watts up or down of the target power because it is impossible to constantly hold a power number. The smooth line you have been seeing in the past is just a visual representation and not what power you were actually doing.