RPE between Garmin Vector 3 dual pedals vs. 2018 Wahoo Kickr

Hi all,

I’m not sure where to start with this, I will be messaging TR support about it later but I wanted to see what everyone else’s thoughts were about a RPE discrepancy between Garmin Vector 3 pedals and my 2018 Wahoo Kickr.

For the last month I’ve noticed that when I had power match on auto and my Vectors reporting power, I would get strange power fluctuations during the workout. These aren’t like the normal variations you see with power meters, e.g. target is 200 with the power fluctuating between 190 and 220. In my case there would be a noticeable drop in effort along with power dropping sometimes as much as 40% off target, after less then a second the effort picked up and the power would climb to well over 25% over target. I would bounce back and forth like this during the interval and it was terrible, it felt like I was trying to ride up and down small hills, but not knowing when the grade goes down or how far it goes up.

My workouts for the last month have been very difficult and I attribute that to the increased RPE with my Garmin pedals. Today I turned off the pedals on TR and went with my 2018 Kickr’s power reading, the difference was very noticeable and I ended up bumping up the difficulty by about 5% on Kaweah with lower RPE than other easier workouts I did with my Garmins.

I have two major questions:

  1. I calibrated both the pedals and the Kickr, how accurate are they going to be with each other and does the Kickr regularly report lower power than pedal-based power meters?
  2. If the power reported between the Kickr and Garmins aren’t too far off, could the reduced RPE on the Kickr be due to the more consistent pedaling as opposed to the “rolling” effect while using the Garmins?

Thanks!

I train with dual V3 and a kickr 2016 but i never use powermatch so i have a quite long datalog of power readings from both devices. In my experience the average power readings between pedals and trainer are within 1-2% which i find to be very good. I calibrate my pedals before each ride but only calibrate the trainer on special occasions.

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record the outputs on different devices and compare. Easiest with dcrainmaker’s PM comparison tool

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I’m betting you’re not getting power reported by your right pedal. Can you look at your power files and ensure you’re getting both L/R data? Or try some ILTs and see if power drops to zero on the right pedal? You can also look in Garman connect for the pedals and make sure the right pedal is linked.

Went through very similar issues with RPE and wonky power reporting with my V3s, turned out when I changed batteries I forgot to repair the right pedal and that caused all kinds of problems. Have you replaced batteries recently?

Yet another reason not to mess with dual sided PM.

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You might be having connection issues so the power is dropping to zero. Check your batteries: https://support.garmin.com/en-GB/?faq=DIq9EtNhPH0qDSoqFyZWg8&productID=573589&tab=topics

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Wow, this has been a nightmare. I’ve been trying to use the Garmin Connect app to link the right pedal, it keeps getting unlinked and I have to re-link every time I restart the app.

Also, TR support says that the right pedal reports to the left pedal and the data is transmitted to TR from the left pedal, so pedaling on just the right pedal wouldn’t report anything. Does that sound right?

No, it reports power to the left pedal, and the left pedal reports both right and left power. If the right pedal is unlinked, the V3 has an algorithm to report power, but it’s way off without the right pedal input. I estimated it was 10-20% too low, making my SS workouts feel like threshold plus.

If you do ILT on your right foot when the pedal is linked, you get accurate power from just the right pedal, as reported through the left pedal.

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Thanks again for the quick reply! I’ll see if I can link the pedal with my Garmin head unit.

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