With all the existing and emerging powermeter options, it is common for a rider to have multiple powermeter devices, whether is be an on-bike powermeter or a smart trainer. It is important to know what to do with multiple sources of power data to ensure the best experience across all of your powermeter platforms.
There are a few factors that can be considered when looking at and comparing powermeter data, whether that be between indoor and out door rides, or between different power meter units. We bring these items up for consideration as they can help explain why power curves may appear different under different conditions, and from different devices.
Some notes about our 4iiii Power meters:
- Our power meters pull raw data, which is not smoothed out in any way. We leave the option to smooth the data out with you, when you select how you would like to view data on your head unit.
- Our Power meters are placed on the crank arm to ensure that the data can be very accurate, measurable and repeatable when you are riding in the same environment, and under similar conditions. To ensure that every force put into your crank is measured, our patented 3D Strain Gauge technology measures power by using the lateral bend, pull, and twist of your crank. This means that throughout your ride, your power numbers will reflect the changes to your pedal stroke no matter how you are riding.
- Our powermeters are manufactured and tested using extremely precise procedures to ensure they meet our high +/- 1% accuracy tolerance. You can find more information about our 3rd party tested accuracy claims here.
- Our left side powermeter has the option to add in a scale factor through our 4iiii app. This can be used to fine tune the power numbers that are being put out by the devise. This is especially helpful to help normalize total power numbers, when a rider puts out different power numbers with each leg.
Consider the following when riding the same power meter indoors vs Outdoors:
- Indoors have a more controlled environment with no wind, steady temperatures, and with trainers, bikes are in a locked in position.
- Outdoors there are a lot more variables to consider, Wind, Riding Style, Terrain etc.
Consider the following when comparing the same power meter on different bikes:
- Bike/Frame Material - Steel, Aluminum and carbon fibre all have different properties, and all can have different effects on power.
Consider the following when comparing different power meters on the same bike on an indoor ride:
- Location - Power taken from the pedals, Crank Arm, Bottom Bracket, Rear Hub, or on a trainer all face different stressors, and can yield different power results.
- Bike/Frame Material - Steel, Aluminum and carbon fibre all have different properties, and all can have different effects on power. Even things like tire choice can have an impact on the power that may come from a power meter that is mounted on a bike trainer.
- Environment - Sometimes the environment that your indoor trainer is in, can negatively impact your data. Signal disruption could be a cause for drops in your power meter data.
- Brand / Software algorithms - Power meters made by different companies measure power on different parts of the bike, and as such need to consider and account for different factors in their software / algorithms.
- Riding Style / Left Right Balance
- Heart Rate - This is a variable factor that can be influenced by a number of things, including level of rest, Hydration, stress, heat etc.
- Perceived Level of Exertion - is just that perceived. It is a good measure of effort when there are not tools, such as Heart Rate Monitors or Power meters, to objectively show the level of effort being undertaken.
Power Meter Considerations:
- Calibration: When was the last time your power meter was calibrated? Calibrating your power meter before each ride ensures the unit is recording effectively and accurately.
- Battery Power: Sometimes a reset, and installing a fresh battery into an electronic devise can work wonders. Its always a good practice to be aware of battery level, and when they are getting low, replace them.
If you are finding that your 4iiii powermeter is reading slightly different from another powermeter, we do have a solution for power matching. We suggest determining the percent difference from your 4iiii powermeter to another powermeter, and using the scale factor setting in the 4iiii App to adjust the power output of the 4iiii powermeter to match that of your other powermeter. The most important aspect of a powermeter is consistency, and as long as your powermeter devices are reading consistently, you can accurately compare them to one another, even though they may differ slightly.
Ie. if you find that the 4iiii powermeter on your is reading 5% lower than your trainer, set the scale factor to 1.05. This will then match all 3 power devices and give you a more seamless training experience across the different powermeter platforms.