Snap giving low/variable power readings... Buy a power metre or direct drive?

The Issue:

My power readings on my Kickr Snap have seemed 20-30watts lower since the day i got it (2019 model). This doesn’t bother me for training on trainer road as it’s consistent, but i think its causing a disadvantage when riding on zwift.

The resistance at a given wattage also seems to fluctuate unless i perform a MINIMUM of a 10 min warm up, set tire pressure, turn the knob 2+ full times and then do a spin down to get less than 15 seconds - EVERY time before i even start riding.

Both of these things are becoming quite tiresome when my window to use the trainer 4x week in the mornings before work is already short.

So my i’m wondering if a Stages power metre will be more accurate and require less time setting up before each ride, as i think you can just use that as the power source?

Or is it better to just sell the Snap and buy a direct drive which will be more accurate and require less trouble before each ride?

Does anyone have a similar experience / solution? I am in lockdown atm so the added time before rides is fine. I have a while to choose before i become pressed for time again.

Thanks

If you don’t have a PM how are you able to determine that it is 20-30watts low? a PM is ultimately going to be the best choice, direct drives are not necessarily accurate either

I was able to maintain a much higher output on a wattbike and when using my friends garmin vector pedals at a given heart rate. I tested on the Kickr Snap when i got it and the same exertion / heart rate came at a significantly lower power output - (Keeping variables as close as i could - sleep, fatigue, rest, cooling etc)

Its definitely more accurate after i get the tyre really warm and perform a proper spin down but sometimes time doesn’t allow this.

If you can use the same power meter outdoors as well, definitely go for that option.

(I may be a weird case though as I have access to a Kickr but spend 99% of my time on rollers with a powertap hub :smiley: )

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It might be more consistent and faster if you pumped up the tires before the warmup.

Pump tires to chosen pressure
Warmup
Run calibration
Keep riding without getting off

The next day you pump the tires and then start riding. After 10 minutes calibration should be pretty close to yesterdays assuming the temperature if your house is the same. And you could still calibrate if you like after 10 minutes without having to get off.