General Discussion Triathlon Talk » I now own a Power Meter.... now what? Rss Feed  
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2013-07-31 8:57 AM

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Subject: I now own a Power Meter.... now what?
I know the first few answers will be read this book.. and ride like crazy. But being new to this whole thing what exactly should I watch for or do first? How often do I need to "calibrate" the power meter? How do I calibrate a Power Tap Pro+?



Some details to maybe help with the information

Only a cyclist

Have a used PT Pro +

Use a Garmin 500 to pick up the data - any suggestions on screens I should now use?





Thanks for all of your comments.



2013-07-31 9:03 AM
in reply to: Dlaxman31

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Subject: RE: I now own a Power Meter.... now what?
im in the same situation as you. got the book, and i'm reading it. seems like the first step, as you said, is to ride more so you get an idea of your power profile and where your strength/weaknesses are. so i figure at least two months of just riding before i can even begin to think about picking apart data.

as far as calibrating.. the PT unit is supposed to auto calibrate i think without using the headset like a garmin or joule. if you get non zero torque values when idle it might need something done though. all i've been able to find is "call powertap" for calibration help, apparently they haven't gotten around to adding that part to the owners manual yet.

the only screen i added to what i already show is 3s average power. some people also use 30s average power if they are using their headset for intervals.
2013-07-31 9:07 AM
in reply to: Dlaxman31

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Subject: RE: I now own a Power Meter.... now what?
On your Garmin:

Hold bottom left button until menu comes up
Settings
Bike Settings
Choose the bike you're using (probably Bike 1)
arrow down to Ant+ Power Meter
arrow down to Calibrate
press bottom left button
Wait until a number appears in the Calibration field. Sometimes immediately, sometimes it take a few seconds.

I do that before every ride. Also the Garmin will auto-calibrate when you coast for 10 seconds so that's a good thing to do occasionally during your ride so it can be temperature corrected as you go along.

Ride for a month or so until you get a good idea of what wattage you tend to put out and when.

2013-07-31 9:22 AM
in reply to: DanielG

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Subject: RE: I now own a Power Meter.... now what?
I recalibrate before I ride, too. Once it says "calibration successful" you're good to go. There's also Garmin's help online.

Calibrating your power meter with the Edge 500 ensures accurate power readings. Prior to beginning the power meter calibration, ensure your power meter has reached the temperature you will be riding in.

To calibrate your power meter with Edge 500:

Power on your device
If needed, refer to the FAQ, How do I pair my power meter with Edge 500?
Press and hold MENU
Select Settings
Select Bike Settings
Select Bike Details
Select Bike # (choose a number corresponding to bike with power meter)
Press BACK
Select ANT+ Power
Activate your power meter*
Select Calibrate
Wait to see Calibration Successful
Select Save

Your device will now provide you with greater accuracy in power meter data. For maximum accuracy, calibrate your power meter with your device before each bike ride.

*To activate your power meter refer to the power meter owner’s manual (typically this involves spinning the wheel or the crank either frontwards or backwards).
2013-07-31 10:12 AM
in reply to: Dlaxman31

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Subject: RE: I now own a Power Meter.... now what?
2013-07-31 10:25 AM
in reply to: michael_runs

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Subject: RE: I now own a Power Meter.... now what?
Originally posted by michael_runs

This thread may be helpful:

http://forum.slowtwitch.com/gforum.cgi?post=4688778;sb=post_latest_...

Considering it's the same person posting the same question:


2013-07-31 10:30 AM
in reply to: BrianRunsPhilly

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Subject: RE: I now own a Power Meter.... now what?
Originally posted by BrianRunsPhilly

Originally posted by michael_runs

This thread may be helpful:

http://forum.slowtwitch.com/gforum.cgi?post=4688778;sb=post_latest_...

Considering it's the same person posting the same question:


Correct. Figured I'd try this in the "other forum"

Thanks for the help guys. Calibration tip was key.
2013-07-31 10:51 AM
in reply to: Dlaxman31

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Subject: RE: I now own a Power Meter.... now what?
Setting up the screen you want on the 500 will take a little thought. I have the 800 and here is how I have it set up. It might be a little different as to how many data point you can have on the 500, but you get the idea

Screen 1:
Speed
3Sec Power
HR and cadence
elapsed time and distance

Screen 2:
Time of day
lap time
average and power/normalized power
% grade and calories

Screen 3 is the map
2013-07-31 11:14 AM
in reply to: Dlaxman31

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Subject: RE: I now own a Power Meter.... now what?
You will notice your power number jumps around a lot. To help smooth it out, I set mine to 10s power. I had to upgrade the firmware on my Garmin 500 to get the 10s power setting. The updated firmware gave several other power settings TSS,IF...etc plus a few more pages for your data views.

It'll take time to get used to pacing with power. At first your power will be all over the place, it will smoothen out as you learn to pace yourself better.
2013-07-31 11:56 AM
in reply to: Dlaxman31


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Subject: RE: I now own a Power Meter.... now what?
Bite the bullet and test your full 1 hour FTP.
2013-08-01 6:48 AM
in reply to: Clempson

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Subject: RE: I now own a Power Meter.... now what?
what is the consensus on how accurate programs like golden cheetah are on calculating your FTP? does it come anywhere close? i know a test is the best thing... but is using the calculated number as a go by for the test or training until then acceptable?


2013-08-01 9:49 AM
in reply to: Clempson

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Subject: RE: I now own a Power Meter.... now what?
In my experience it takes about 2 months for GC to create a reasonable estimate of your CP curve. If you can fit a couple of Time Trials in it will help.

IMO Power test is the best method for FTP. Be aware that you will get better at pacing your power tests, so your first few tests will not be the most accurate estimates of your actual FTP.

2013-08-01 10:03 AM
in reply to: Clempson

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Subject: RE: I now own a Power Meter.... now what?
It's always been low for me. I think some of those lower effort club rides are responsible.

Nothing beats the real test. TrainerRoad is good for this, too.
2013-08-01 11:15 AM
in reply to: BrianRunsPhilly

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Subject: RE: I now own a Power Meter.... now what?
Originally posted by BrianRunsPhilly

It's always been low for me. I think some of those lower effort club rides are responsible.

Nothing beats the real test. TrainerRoad is good for this, too.

yea im finding the opposite. my trainer rides on trainer road are slack efforts compared to my outdoor rides, at least in forming my CP curve, but they do parallel it in a lot of cases. i guess its probably because for longer time periods it is averaging the rest periods with my intervals when im on the trainer. my group rides are all very hard efforts the whole time almost with intense sprints thrown in. i blew away all my virtual power records 5 min and under on my first outdoor ride with the powertap.

i was expecting a 20-30 watt hit to my FTP using my powertap vs trainer road's virtual power... but what im actually looking at so far... which can only increase with better max values... is about a 15 watt gain. seemed odd, but i've never used power in an outdoor setting before so maybe not.
2013-08-01 11:20 AM
in reply to: Clempson

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Subject: RE: I now own a Power Meter.... now what?
This is a good read regarding testing for FTP:

http://alex-cycle.blogspot.ca/2008/05/the-seven-deadly-sins.html

Shane
2013-08-01 11:24 AM
in reply to: Clempson

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Subject: RE: I now own a Power Meter.... now what?
Originally posted by Clempson

Originally posted by BrianRunsPhilly

It's always been low for me. I think some of those lower effort club rides are responsible.

Nothing beats the real test. TrainerRoad is good for this, too.

yea im finding the opposite. my trainer rides on trainer road are slack efforts compared to my outdoor rides, at least in forming my CP curve, but they do parallel it in a lot of cases. i guess its probably because for longer time periods it is averaging the rest periods with my intervals when im on the trainer. my group rides are all very hard efforts the whole time almost with intense sprints thrown in. i blew away all my virtual power records 5 min and under on my first outdoor ride with the powertap.

i was expecting a 20-30 watt hit to my FTP using my powertap vs trainer road's virtual power... but what im actually looking at so far... which can only increase with better max values... is about a 15 watt gain. seemed odd, but i've never used power in an outdoor setting before so maybe not.

That;s interesting. I also don't do virtual power - it's all PT numbers, even on TrainerRoad, so maybe that's more apples to apples. When you say you ride harder in a group, could part of that increase be due to drafting? That bit of rest in a pack definitely helps. Riding outdoors definitely feels easier, usually because I'm melting when on the trainer. And I agree, I find it much easier to sustain high power outdoors than on the trainer. I can easily top 350 watts on a hill outdoors, but I don't think I've come close to that on the trainer.


2013-08-01 11:26 AM
in reply to: gsmacleod

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Subject: RE: I now own a Power Meter.... now what?
Originally posted by gsmacleod

This is a good read regarding testing for FTP:

http://alex-cycle.blogspot.ca/2008/05/the-seven-deadly-sins.html

Shane

good info, thanks for sharing
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