PowerMatch Experiences

It’s not about whether to use PowerMatch or not, it’s about using the “AUTO” or “MANUAL” settings of PowerMatch. I have no plans to “DISABLE” PowerMatch, but I’m curious if Auto or Manual is more accurate and consistent. Its my experience so far that the Auto PowerMatch is struggling with changes and I’m hoping Manual will be more reliable.

Just two quick questions. Is the new powermatch code in the PC version of TR as well? I only see mention of people using iOS and Android. Also, if powermatch worth it with a Tacx Neo? You can’t calibrate the Neo and it is supposed to always be within a couple of percent.
Thanks

  • Yes, I believe it is in all app versions.
  • Yes, the Neo is likely “accurate” and has no calibration, but that is no guarantee that it will match the power from your power meter. Power meters often DO NOT match power on smart trainers, regardless of the claims of accuracy by both parties.
  • If you plan to use the power meter data outside, that is the main reason to use PowerMatch when training inside.

Ebbetts will probably tell you a little bit regarding the big disparity for spikes. Something like Bluebell or Dade or Spencer where you level out at a higher power could show you the behavior between the two when power spikes from 40% to 120% then levels off for a minute or two. I think you’re going to find that it’s not consistent. Whether or not it’s “good enough” for you is, obviously, up to you.

My Powermatch experiences have largely been very good. That said, have you tried pairing the Quarq to the Kickr Snap via Ant+, using the Quarq to control power via the Wahoo App, then having the Kickr report power to your device via Bluetooth? It’s effectively the same thing as powermatch, but removes TrainerRoad from the equation. Some people like that option better; I’ve found it a little bit more cumbersome to set up and maintain than just using Powermatch in Auto.

No I haven’t tried that and is sounds like a pain to set up, especially since I have one bike that I take on and off the trainer weekly. Thanks, that may be an option, but I don’t want to go down that route.

I’ve found Wahoo’s “Control with ANT+ power meter” to be unreliable.

4 Likes

I have Taylor -2 (VO2 Max 30 sec) and Clark (SS with 12 sec stomps) next week so those may be telling workouts.

1 Like

It seemed reliable to me, but even with Erg mode power smoothing turned off, I got exceptionally smooth power graphs and display, which I didn’t like as well as the “real” graph using powermatch.

It’s actually quite easy to set up, no more diffcult than calibrating your PM. It’s simply a “switch” on the Wahoo App. Open the Wahoo App prior to each ride and make sure it’s switched on, and it should work. You’d also have to ensure that Powermatch was turned off in TR. There were a couple of times when one of the apps updated automatically that it restored defaults and I’d have to set it back up again, but we’re talking about a minute or two before the ride.

I simply don’t use it because it didn’t solve the problem I was having with display power from my pedals; because with Powermatch in Auto, it just works when I start pedaling; and because of the graphic display smoothing I mentioned above.

Anyway, it’s an option.

1 Like

Roughly 1 out of 10 workouts the Kickr would fail to use my power meter, and revert to using the internal optical sensor as reference for power. You have to dual record to detect the issue.

2 Likes

That would be an issue, for sure, considering the difference between my PM and Kickr seems to be ~10W or so at threshold. Maybe I’ll use that as my excuse for failing so many of those suprathreshold workouts. :laughing:

1 Like

not exactly sure what is being graphed… curious about your explanation for the early/late intervals around 175W (roughly between 5-15 minute marks, and 45-55 minute marks). The early interval is a little under target, and the late interval is a little over target.

PowerMatch aside, WTF was my Kickr Snap doing when I started my cool down :man_shrugging:. Thanks Kickr for starting my cool down with a 27 watt increase!

1 Like

The smooth line is the Kickr Snap in ERG. The jagged line is my Quarq as an observer (controlling nothing) and reporting my “actual” power to my head unit. I’m guessing the early stuff is because I didn’t warm up the Kickr Snap and do a spin down calibration (had done one 12 hours prior).

Ok, looks like you have NOT turned off Erg power smoothing using Wahoo app?

everything you are posting reinforces a few of my basic beliefs about training:

  • use your power meter both inside and outside
  • don’t set a goal of doing everything possible to match actual power to target power, as its already better than what you can achieve outside
  • we have no clue what amount of smoothing Wahoo is doing, and the default Wahoo option is to falsely report smooth power
2 Likes

I don’t use the Wahoo app for anything, should I be? I do everything through the TR app (calibration, spin down, etc.).

At a minimum I’d turn off Erg mode power smoothing, the occasional advanced spindown, and periodically check for firmware updates.

But beyond that I’m not convinced of the Wahoo app’s value. Although you have a Snap and I have the big brother direct drive model.

2 Likes

Just did now. So doing this will make my power line inside of TR more representative of my actual power? Then I assume if I want power smoothing as a visual target number I do that inside of the TR app? If I understand correctly with this set up, I will have a jagged line inside of a TR workout (actual power) but I can use 3 second power smoothing in the TR app to display a smoother number?

yes. TR power smoothing doesn’t affect the real-time display of power in the graph, it only affects the number reported (if you set to 3 seconds, I believe it does 3 second averaging of power data).

2 Likes

Thanks @bbarrera that’s helpful and I didn’t know that. It will also make it easier to compare the power lines of my future tests between the Kickr’s ERG and my Quarq.

How do you know if powermatch was used? I have powermatch in “Auto” mode since on one bike I have a power meter and I don’t have one on my other bike (two trainer setups in two cities, Tacx Neo in both places). Is there any way to tell if powermatch was used after the fact? Or should I just force it to “On” or “Off” when I switch bikes? Also, if I have multiple power meters on multiple bikes it seems like the accuracies of the power meters could stack up against me. In other words, I did my last two ramp tests on the same setup. In the last test my FTP increased by 8W. However, that increase is less that the potential accuracy difference between different bikes. So, the workout intensities between setups could be 2-4% apart unless I take my Assioma pedals back and forth between setups. Does that make sense?