I’ve been using TR for around 2 years using a KICKR. I got a Stages PM during the Summer and have just started using the Stages and Powermatch so that inside / outside power would be consistent. After recovering from the drop in FTP (KICKR reads higher!) I’ve now done a few workouts using Powermatch.
Generally seems to work ok and of course I was expecting the power graph to get a lot jerkier compared to the false smoothness of the KICKR.
However, I have noticed that whilst the power is generally in the ball park of the target power the power does often drift up and down quite a bit, sometimes by 15 watts or so. I do try to keep cadence constant (unless Coach Chad tells me to increase it) and based on user recommendations I use the small chainring and a straight chain line in the rear. Looking at the intervals, the variance evens out and I am there or there abouts but often under or over by a few watts e.g. 196 / 193 or 206/200.
BUT when I look at the powerzones I spent nearly 11 mins in Threshold for a Sweet Spot workout. When I checked my previous Ericsson rides (using KICKR as power source) there was hardly any threshold zone and much more time spent in SS
My question - is this variance normal for PowerMatch and I shouldn’t sweat the small stuff or am I compromising my workout because I am spending time working in the wrong zone?
Would be grateful for the thoughts of more experienced Power Match users?
I use a powermeter and this is the same for me , IMO this is normal . I have found the more your pedal stroke technique improves the better this gets . Obviously at lower power this is easier to attain than at higher ( closer to FTP) power. Bear in mind that if you have a single sided powermeter and you have a big difference in power between two legs you will need to focus on putting more power on the weaker leg
I think this is the biggest controllable variable for the smoothness here. Most modern smart trainers and power meters will work well with power match. There are a few exceptions (search for the consistently troublesome setups here on the forum) but in general you should be able to achieve a graph that keeps you in zone more and more as you refine and smooth out your pedal stroke.
I’m using a pedal based power meter - so it should have the highest variance on a per pedal stroke basis but have spent a fair amount of time working on my pedal stroke and following what @Chad refers to as kick and pull drills.
Even with this I still see power numbers into the threshold range when doing sweet spot. Below is a workout that should have had 83 minutes in sweet spot, but I actually only did 52:44 there, with the majority of the missing time going down into tempo and the rest sneaking up into threshold. I don’t sweat the differences here because I’m staying close and my averages roll along very well - even though I spent more time below the official SS zone you can see that I actually was slightly over the expected average power
Thanks for the responses, guys. Reassured that i am not alone in seeing these results.
I am sure that my pedalstroke could be smoother. I also do have a habit of shifting around a bit and occasionally get out of the saddle which can cause power fluctuations. Sometimes, though the power drifts off target when I feel | have an even cadence. Perhaps that’s just the nature of PowerMatch. Glad to see nothing looked too out of kilter.
I have noticed exactly the same with my powertap GS and kinetic smart trainer. I have set the powermatch to ’auto’, but the power still fluctuates quite a lot. Has anyone tested if setting the powermatch to ’fixed’ changes anything?
Ericsson spends a lot of time at 94% FTP which is just below the SweetSpot/Threshold breakpoint of 95% FTP. Without the power smoothing of the Kickr, it is normal to have a substantial time at 95% or higher when the target is 94%. I don’t think this is anything to worry about.
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