What experiences do people have with indoor/ outdoor training and Garmin vs wahoo head units

I have had a coach for the past year and as of august 28th I will be back on TrainerRoad after a years hiatus, and will be doing the majority of my rides outdoors but want consistent power data whether using power match on the trainer or riding outside with the same power meter.

I currently have an element bolt head unit and I have noticed large differences in power between my wahoo data and Strava data on outdoor training rides.

When using a wahoo head unit TrainerRoad receives its data through Strava then interpreted that data to update your ride profile.

When using a Garmin head unit TrainerRoad receives its data directly from Garmin through Garmin connect.

What are peoples experiences between the two platforms. Based on replies I will either stick with my current set up or switch to The Garmin ecosystem

Below are pics from a recent 6 hour gravel ride (TR, Wahoo Bolt, Strava). They are all very similar but not exactly the same. TR must be doing more than just pulling Strava data because they don’t match. The differences are insignificant though.

Ive only ever used Garmin but my TR account syncs from both GC and Strava. IME strava always records less than GC; I think strava always rounds down, autopause in GC and Strava may be different too and how they both deal with 0s may be another difference. When ever I do a non stop ride like a TT they (TR, Strava and GC) are almost identical. My guess is on a non stop ride the wahoo will be almost identical too and its settings could probably be tweaked for other rides to be the same as a Garmin. I think I’ve heard though the Wahoos suffer under trees more (check if thats true though don’t take my word for it). If you are purely on road I’d just tweak the Wahoo appropriately.

Somethings not right, I’d contact Wahoo support.

I’ve tried Bolt and Stages, and what I found is that my Garmin 530 does a better job of supporting outside workouts because of this default screen:

Default Workout Comparison Tempo

Really easy to follow a workout from Garmin or TrainingPeaks with the 3-sec red/yellow/green moving power triangle at the top, and the real-time power graph at the bottom (I think it shows 4-min, about 2-min past and upcoming 2-min). The other advantage of TrainingPeaks is you can easily change a workout to a range, for example my coach assigns endurance workouts at 66-79% which show up as a green zone of 180-215W at my current FTP.

TrainerRoad changes that slightly by using lap power instead of 3-sec power, however the bottom graph is the same.

In my experience those graphs make it easy to follow workout intent while dealing with inevitable power up/downs due to terrain or traffic. Just a quick glance down to see where you are in a workout.

There is another real-time power graph for free riding or during a workout:

Workout Details Power Graph z2

Blue is zone2/endurance, green is tempo, etc.

1 Like