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Power pod review power meter

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Power pod review power meter

Old 09-18-18, 08:04 PM
  #26  
sierrabob
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I have another suggestion: manually enter the pairing code, if possible. Get it from your bike computer perhaps?

Also, make sure that your sensor settings are not somehow forcing Bluetooth. That would be a problem for your setup.

Finally, I think replacing the battery will be the ticket. ANT+ draws a bit more energy than BT, especially in a multiple receiver config involving bike computer and powerpod across the length of the bike frame.
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Old 09-19-18, 08:28 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by khutch View Post
...
1) sierrabob's suggestion to move the PP close to the sensor
2) try to pair to the GSC-10 sensor
3) replace the battery

Thanks for listening and making suggestions.
Thank YOU for your posts. Looking forward to your next update.
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Old 09-20-18, 07:16 AM
  #28  
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OK, good news on the PowerPod front!

There is a tech support email link on the Velocomp website. I used that to report my problem and never got a reply. However, being an impatient type I also joined their support forum, was approved within a few hours, posted the problem there, and was talking to a support tech by email within one day. It is quite possible they never answered my initial request because they realized that both requests were from the same person for the same problem. But, if you are having trouble getting support for them I would suggest joining their forum and posting the problem there in addition to emailing them directly. Once I got their attention they were very responsive and made some good suggestions.

In the end I managed to solve the problem on my own by doing something I found mentioned in a post from another owner and which is buried in their owners manual in a section that talked about a problem different from the one I was having. It is curious that they did not suggest that to me but perhaps that would have been their next suggestion.

There are three different resets that you can do on a PowerPod and the speed sensor you want to use with it. Velocomp's goto response is that you need to do a reset on the speed sensor. Sure, put the blame on the other guy! But apparently this works in most cases. They suggest you put the speed sensors battery in backward for ten seconds but I prefer to short out the sensor's battery contacts with a strip of aluminum foil instead to avoid any possibility of applying reverse voltage to it. Either way you decide to do this it shorts out the sensor battery terminals and discharges any internal capacitors. That way when you replace the battery correctly the sensor does a full power on reset and comes up in a known good state. This may solve an oddball problem but it was not sufficient by itself with the issue I was having.

There is a software reset of the PP that you can do from their Isaac software. This resets the internal software registers to a known good state and this too is a good thing to do when you are having problems but once again it was not sufficient in this case. I actually did this reset before I did the sensor reset.

There is also a PP hardware reset that you can do which will put the hardware into a known good state. You hold down the button for about ten seconds to do this. After a few seconds you get the green pairing flashing but don't let go, keep holding it down. Eventually you get a red flash that indicates the reset has been performed, now you can release the button. Within 30 seconds of doing this I had paired my PP to my Duotrap S speed/cadence sensor and to my Lezyne head unit.

Clearly the PP hardware reset was required in my case but since I had already done the first two I have no way to know if either or both of the other resets were also required to fix the problem. If you are having trouble setting up a PP you should not give up until you have done all three. Since the PP hardware reset is the easiest of the three to do, I would do that one first but be sure to do all three if your troubles persist after doing one or two.

The new bike has no lights and it was dark by the time I got this done last night so I have not tested the PP fully yet. I feel hopeful about the next steps now that I have it paired.
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Old 09-21-18, 06:38 AM
  #29  
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And last night I was able to remount it on the bike and take it for a spin before sundown. For now all is good!
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Old 09-21-18, 07:09 AM
  #30  
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Just curios, why is such a device necessary when most of the sites will estimate power albeit post ride. I can see if you are all pro and need every last watt squeezed out of the machine (you+bike mechanics), but for a ride in the park...what am I missing.

Don't get me wrong, I love tech, but what is the real purpose, can it be affordable/accurate and what are the options? Reading the article, only leads me to believe that unless you go for strain gauge/torque sensing tech and spend tons you don't get the accuracy. I think there was one part of the article that recommended a device on both sides of the crank...doubling the cost. What is the value of having that tight of accuracy for tons of money?

My use case is to estimate the amount of me vs. assist from my hub motor (I have my own game of how far can I go in my head all the time), but I've found that without a device (torque sensing) correlating that data is fleeting. To that end, I've given up and I just rely on the web sites to compute the number, then I estimate the difference between the site and the actual battery power used.
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Old 09-21-18, 07:22 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by rmueller View Post
Just curios, why is such a device necessary when most of the sites will estimate power albeit post ride. I can see if you are all pro and need every last watt squeezed out of the machine (you+bike mechanics), but for a ride in the park...what am I missing.

Don't get me wrong, I love tech, but what is the real purpose, can it be affordable/accurate and what are the options? Reading the article, only leads me to believe that unless you go for strain gauge/torque sensing tech and spend tons you don't get the accuracy. I think there was one part of the article that recommended a device on both sides of the crank...doubling the cost. What is the value of having that tight of accuracy for tons of money?

My use case is to estimate the amount of me vs. assist from my hub motor (I have my own game of how far can I go in my head all the time), but I've found that without a device (torque sensing) correlating that data is fleeting. To that end, I've given up and I just rely on the web sites to compute the number, then I estimate the difference between the site and the actual battery power used.
rm
if you don't plan on doing any specific training, a powermeter is an expensive speedometer
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Old 09-21-18, 08:39 AM
  #32  
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@rmueller, are you asking about the usefulness of a power meter? I'm not training for anything currently, but I'm thinking of doing the Dirty Dozen ride in Pittsburgh in November. I don't have a power meter, and I'm not about to get one soon because I don't want to spend the money. But the power estimates from the GPS apps are useless, because they don't know what the wind was like. My times vary a lot on my commute, and the variation is due to wind more than anything else, because it's a flat, windy route. Or perhaps you're asking about this particular type of power meter. If it's not reliable, then I agree that it's useless.
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Old 09-21-18, 10:19 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by rmueller View Post
Just curios, why is such a device necessary when most of the sites will estimate power albeit post ride. I can see if you are all pro and need every last watt squeezed out of the machine (you+bike mechanics), but for a ride in the park...what am I missing.
the reason I got a power meter was to keep track of my training stress. If it's too high, I need to cut back. It is also useful to tell if I'm getting too far into the red. Most of my structured training is on a trainer in my basement. If I'm doing a lot of road riding, then I modify what I'm doing on the trainer.

I got an old power meter that doesn't talk to my gps, so for now I'm estimating training stress on trainerroad for my road rides. Strava is bad at estimating power, from what I have seen comparing what I have seen on the power meter head unit and the same ride on Strava.

The value of the power meter is that I can now estimate my power output from my perceived level of effort quite a bit better.
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Old 09-21-18, 10:37 AM
  #34  
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Gotcha...makes sense to take into account all the dimensions for the measurement. I've used HR as my indicator for stress, I'm sure its part of the equation for estimating. Crap, now I'm going to have to figure out how to fit a power meter into my 'Barbie Doll' trike budget, since I might actually benefit from knowing what power I'm putting in and how much assist I'm needing (goal is to go as far as possible on limited assist - mostly hills). I'm old and out of shape, so knowing limits and gains is important at this point in the game.
ron.
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Old 09-21-18, 11:43 AM
  #35  
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I understand that a heart rate meter is a good approximation of power. If I had a power meter, I wouldn't use it as a gauge of putting in too much work. I would use it to gauge too little work. I'm a bit lazy on the bike. Since heart rate monitors are cheap, I might end up buying one. Or an Apple Watch.
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Old 09-21-18, 02:43 PM
  #36  
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Not hijack the thread, but it's all in the same direction...The arm band HR monitors are way more comfortable than the chest straps. One could argue the accuracy is better for the chest strap since it actually makes an electrical connection to the body and the arm band uses flashing led's...but the tech has gotten way better for the led devices; Wahoo and Scosche, don't know about Polar or Garmin, are using way better sensor tech. I have the Wahoo, works for me. The Scosche Rhythm my wife uses has all kinds of settings, records sessions on the device and can do heart rate intervals. I'm pretty sure the new Apple Watch does a lot of what the Rhythm does and uses the same sensor; plus you get an Apple Watch.

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Old 09-22-18, 08:50 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
I understand that a heart rate meter is a good approximation of power. If I had a power meter, I wouldn't use it as a gauge of putting in too much work. I would use it to gauge too little work. I'm a bit lazy on the bike. Since heart rate monitors are cheap, I might end up buying one. Or an Apple Watch.
I often use a heart rate monitor on my bike when out for an exercise ride. And in winter often use one on an exercise bike at the health club.

There have been a few times where my heart rate monitor told me that I was working too hard to climb a hill, BPM was over my max so I stopped to take a break or instead walked the bike up the hill slower than I had been pedaling.

Although the health club exercise bike also gave me wattage, I never really cared what the wattage was because I was more interested in the heart rate. The way I look at a heart rate monitor is that it is like the tachometer in my truck. My truck has an automatic transmission, so a tach really is not needed, but I like to be able to see how fast the engine is turning over.

If I was a pro athlete, I could see where a wattage meter would be important. But if I used that data as part of a training tracking system, I would want something more accurate and more precise than an air pressure sensor on my bike to estimate head wind, I would want something connected to my drive train to tell me how much torque I was applying to the wheel.


Originally Posted by rmueller View Post
Not hijack the thread, but it's all in the same direction...The arm band HR monitors are way more comfortable than the chest straps. ...
I have never had any discomfort from the chest strap.
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Old 09-22-18, 11:13 AM
  #38  
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If you are doing serious training then a power meter is a good thing to have. Not essential even then but very helpful. How? Don't ask me, I don't do that! Training websites and cycling coaches can tell you all about that if you want to know.

For me, well, I am an engineer, a geek, a nerd. If there is a gadget that will measure just about anything then I want it! I just like having the data available. If I go out and have a good day, or bad, looking at the data will at least tell me how good or how bad or even that what seemed like a bad day was actually fairly good because I did not notice how much the wind affected me or how soft the trail really was. It might even suggest that I check my tire pressure on inspect my bike for problems. I'm not expecting to make extensive use of the data but being me I know that I will enjoy having it and will make some use of it. One thing that I do hope to do with it is to get a baseline of the rolling resistance of the tires I have been using for years and then compare them to the resistance of the knobby off pavement tires that came with my new bike. Hopefully that data will be useful when I go out next year and try to get some 50-55mm tubeless 29er tires that are as efficient as my beloved tubed Vittoria 38's. The PowerPod can also give you aerodynamic data but if you really want the best available aero data then you should get their new, and more expensive, AeroPod product which has to be used in conjunction with a DFPM.

If you wanted to measure your effort versus your motor assist effort you would need two power meters. You could do that with a traditional DFPM and a PowerPod because the first would measure your effort, the second would measure the total power. The motor power would then be the difference. You could also do that with some kind of Wattmeter you could put between the battery and the motor plus a DFPM or a PowerPod. There may be devices like that on the market.

For casual training the simple HR monitor may be all you need. Cycleops even makes one with a power measuring function, their Power Cal. If you want to try that you should read the DC Rainmaker review and make sure it will be suitable for your use. I have been using one for a few years and I have barely looked at the power data because it doesn't tell me anything I really want to know. It is not much more expensive than a regular HR monitor however and in terms of heart rate it is as useful as any of the others. I have enough experience with my HR on rides that I find it a useful indicator of how hard I am pushing myself and how much conditions are affecting me. I also find it useful when riding with friends. As hard as it is for me to believe this I have one riding buddy who is weaker than I am. I know that if my HR stays much over 120 I will be pushing him too hard.

But if you don't want any of that then you don't need no stinking power meter! You can have a fine life and a great ride without one.
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Old 09-22-18, 11:42 AM
  #39  
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from what I have seen on my trainer, heart rate is a really poor measure of power. I suppose if all you do is steady-state, but that seems unlikely for most of us.
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Old 09-22-18, 01:38 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
from what I have seen on my trainer, heart rate is a really poor measure of power. I suppose if all you do is steady-state, but that seems unlikely for most of us.
Here's a page with data comparing heart rate to power level for a rider over the course of a 1+ hour ride that included hills.

Heart rate vs. power chart

The writer notes that the heart rate tracked the power level in a nearly linear relationship, with one exception; as he says, "notice how after the climb, the heart rate is considerably higher than what it should be according to the linear relationship that’s being shown, and it remains high for about quarter of an hour."
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Old 09-23-18, 10:44 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
from what I have seen on my trainer, heart rate is a really poor measure of power. I suppose if all you do is steady-state, but that seems unlikely for most of us.
Fully agree. If I stop at a Burger King or McDonalds and have a couple breakfast sandwiches, my next hour and a half will have a much higher heart rate with lower speed.

I rely on the heart rate monitor to tell me where I am relative to my full capacity, but my full capacity varies by lots of factors during the day and from day to day.

Since I do not use it for any form of comparison training from one days data to the next, it is more than adequate for my purposes.
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Old 09-23-18, 11:19 AM
  #42  
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People used HR for a long time, because that's all they had. It works to some extent. It's pretty inaccurate though.
Originally Posted by Trakhak View Post
Here's a page with data comparing heart rate to power level for a rider over the course of a 1+ hour ride that included hills.

Heart rate vs. power chart
There is obvious hysteresis in all of that data, not just the hill. The trace as the rider increases power is significantly different than the one when they reduce power, in every case. That's why I don't consider heart rate to be a good analog for power. It also doesn't show the variation from day to day. People who use both can tell if they are having a bad day from the relationship. That was discussed in the comments to the article

I am always curious why the obvious line that one would draw through a scatter plot is not the one that is found by a linear regression. I would say in this case it's some data that should have been thrown out, because it's pretty clear that a good regression would have a lower slope. Maybe it's the messy point cloud at 140bpm/200 watts that is being over-weighted.

You can get a linear regression from data that is sampled from a circle. But it doesn't mean anything.
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Old 05-24-19, 06:34 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
Very interesting. I want to know how accurate it is. If it's nearly as accurate as the other power meters, this could represent a big change in things.
Well no power meter can be totally accurate, and power meter maybe the wrong term, more a pressure meter, or torque meter as normal power meters cannot take wind into consideration.

I like the idea of this meter as you buy a new bike, no hassles and a matter of just unclipping it.

Also reviews are stating it's pretty accurate, certainly good enough and accurate enough out of the box for the average bike rider to use.
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