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Garmin Power Meter

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Garmin Power Meter

Old 12-01-21, 09:42 PM
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kevdun
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Garmin Power Meter

Hello, first time user here. My question is does anyone know of a Free App that can be used with a Garmin Power Meter? I was looking at their newer power meter pedals but was hoping to use a free app to see the Watts from it. Garmin's Connect App doesn't actually do this. Its for calibration and other things. Otherwise you have to also purchase one of their bike computers.
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Old 12-01-21, 09:54 PM
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Cyclist0108
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https://www.goldencheetah.org

RideWithGPS

Strava
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Old 12-02-21, 12:15 AM
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You're considering buying a power meter and all you want to do with it is look at some number in Watts with whatever random app you can download for free? I suggest putting a bit more thought into what you actually want to do with those numbers, like recording then for training and/or testing (fitness, aero) and/or monitoring power over the course of a ride for pacing. Then you can come back and ask what free (or even paid, possibly better) apps are out there that can show and record the sensor data, load interval workouts, analyze the power distribution of your rides, or estimate your drag coefficient.
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Old 12-02-21, 12:30 AM
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Originally Posted by surak View Post
You're considering buying a power meter and all you want to do with it is look at some number in Watts with whatever random app you can download for free? I suggest putting a bit more thought into what you actually want to do with those numbers, like recording then for training and/or testing (fitness, aero) and/or monitoring power over the course of a ride for pacing. Then you can come back and ask what free (or even paid, possibly better) apps are out there that can show and record the sensor data, load interval workouts, analyze the power distribution of your rides, or estimate your drag coefficient.
Yes I want to be able to see the Watts, see a power graph over the course of the ride, stay in certain zones, certain levels to help out with intervals. I am just not sure if there are any apps out there to do this, free or sure even paid. I don't know this stuff nor do I have any friends who know cycling stuff, hence this forum to ask. If I see one I could check out what it offers, or maybe they are all junk, just wondered if anyone knew this.
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Old 12-02-21, 12:32 AM
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kevdun
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Thanks I will check out the goldencheetah site.

RideWithGPS

Strava[/QUOTE]
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Old 12-02-21, 01:10 AM
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What are you using to record your ride?
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Old 12-02-21, 08:37 AM
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Originally Posted by atwl77 View Post
What are you using to record your ride?
Sorry I don't have much experience with this, currently nothing, would I also need something to record the ride in addition to a power meter?
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Old 12-02-21, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by kevdun View Post
Sorry I don't have much experience with this, currently nothing, would I also need something to record the ride in addition to a power meter?
Even though you're just getting into it, and have only a little knowledge, you made a smart choice in getting a power meter (PM). PM's are a great tool, and you don't have to get all fancy to use it. Just look at the power you're putting out while you're riding for a certain duration, and make small incremental improvements (like 5-10watts more) in your power output for that duration, every week or two, or whatever works for you. And do this for lots of different durations, like 10 seconds, 30 seconds, as well as 1, 5, 10, 30 and 60 minutes. And just try to hold a steady and maximum power that you can sustain for each those durations. A lot like going to the gym and incrementally increasing the weights you're using, depending on the number of reps your doing for that set. I've had a PowerTap G3 hub PM for the last 7 years, and used it to build up to 1,000 watt sprints for a few seconds, as well as 233 watts for an hour (aka your FTP60), and I'm sad when I have to ride one of my other bikes that doesn't have a PM. Just review your power curve and look at what you've done in the recent past, and make small improvements, week after week, month after month, year after year.

But IMHO, forget about phone apps (for various reasons like connectivity issues to the PM, phone battery life, phone screen visibility in the sun, and the phone screen getting broken easily even in a minor fall, or if the bike falls over while just leaning on something) and just get an entry level Garmin bike computer, like the model 520 with grayscale screen and no touchscreen, that's what I have. It's pretty small and durable, and the battery for the first few years lasts a long time (10-15 hours as I recall), much longer than your phone ever will with the display on bright). The 520 will effortlessly connect to the PM via Bluetooth, do all the ride recording, GPS navigation (if that's something you need), and show the live power meter data on screen (I like to show the 3 second avg.), and then when the ride is done and you just hit save, and it'll effortlessly, and in the background, upload all the ride data (via your phone's Blutetooth) and then send it to Strava (once you set that up) where you can quickly analyze the data and your power curve, or you can also send the data to GoldenCheetah and do more serious analysis, if that's your thing, but it's not entirely necessary. the Garmin bike computer will also connect to a Bluetooth Heart Rate Monitor (HRM) chest strap if you happen to care about your heart rate, which I would recommend to a newbie trying to baseline their new cycling fitness for the first year.

Last edited by Riveting; 12-02-21 at 11:51 AM.
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Old 12-02-21, 11:04 AM
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You'd be better off with a modern bike computer that has power meter support, especially if you care about performing intervals. There probably are some free phone apps that track intervals but they would be somewhat obscure compared to fully featured, dedicated bike computer options. TrainerRoad has one, but they're a subscription service and I don't know how useful the app is outdoors. I do know that without ANT+ support on the phone, it and most other apps could only double the power of one of my PowerTap pedals and not get true dual-sided data. That was a huge downside for me.

For simple recording there's free apps like the Wahoo Fitness app, which can sync to lots of different third-party sites like TrainingPeaks and Strava. Golden Cheetah is an analysis program for PCs that can download rides from Strava, but you can't use it when riding outside. Strava used to be able to record rides with sensor support, they ripped out all of it before backtracking and restoring part of the functionality since, but I don't recall the app ever understanding zones or intervals while recording. Plus it was a terrible battery drain. Most of Strava's training and analysis functionality requires a subscription. When I had a free trial, I found their performance metrics utterly useless or worse, so I don't see any value to paying for that.
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Old 12-02-21, 11:37 AM
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I have a Garmin Rally power meter pedal RS100 (shimano compatible). Very happy with it for about five months now. I use it in conjunction with a Garmin 130 Plus head unit. The head unit sits on the bars and provides a real-time read on what the pedal is broadcasting. The head unit provides the data collection on the pedal during use, then performs a synch with Garmin Connect (cloud platform) for further reporting and other platform synchs, like Strava. In line with comments above, I don't think Strava yet supports the data collection process from any power meters (coming soon, umm hmmm). I have not yet seen any other "in flight data collection & display" solutions, especially not free ones. What some folks are saying above has merit - if you're looking a measuring instrument (pedal) that costs more than most bikes in America, you probably want a complete configuration with a Garmin head unit that exposes all the data you can get from the sensor. To be more specific... if you're dropping $600, don't get cheesy on the other $150...
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Old 12-02-21, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by kevdun View Post
Sorry I don't have much experience with this, currently nothing, would I also need something to record the ride in addition to a power meter?
Most people in here have bought a Garmin or a similar kind of bike computer. That's why you aren't getting a lot of app recommendations. I'm sure there are lots of apps that can do what you want, I just don't know which ones.

Power meters are really useful for cyclists, but they take some work to use. It depends what you want to do with it, but for most things most people want to do, it's useful to record the details. I was doing 309 watts for 1 second, then 259, then 411. You use software to analyze the details and tell you what you want to know. If you don't have a record of what you did, it's harder to answer a lot of questions.
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Old 12-02-21, 12:37 PM
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If you can afford a Garmin power meter pedals you can probably afford a head unit to connect with it. With or without a power meter, a head unit is really useful. I own a Wahoo Element Bolt and a Garmin 530. I like both, though I give the edge to the Bolt as it has buttons on top and the buttons on the side of the Garmin are a pain to use.
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Old 12-02-21, 05:58 PM
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Thanks!

Thanks Everyone for some information and tips here!! You have all been really helpful! Thanks again.
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Old 12-02-21, 06:07 PM
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Threads like these.. I wonder how bad these types of knockoffs really are or if completely usable for the OP's purpose
https://www.amazon.com/CooSpo-Comput...085DL1DG5?th=1
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Old 12-03-21, 06:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
Threads like these.. I wonder how bad these types of knockoffs really are or if completely usable for the OP's purpose
https://www.amazon.com/CooSpo-Comput...085DL1DG5?th=1
Wow, $70. That's cheap. The most basic Garmin device that would compare is the Edge 130 Plus at $200.

If all you're doing is displaying basic metrics and uploading your rides to Strava/etc to crunch the data, most of the extra features on more expensive Garmin/Wahoo head units are probably worthless anyway.

On the other hand, I'd be a little leery of connecting my bluetooth/wifi to a cheap knock-off device like this.
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Old 12-03-21, 11:41 AM
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I've had a few CooSpoo chest straps, they work the same as the Garmin ones.
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Old 12-03-21, 11:59 AM
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how long do they last Seattle Forrest ?
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Old 12-03-21, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Badger6 View Post
how long do they last Seattle Forrest ?
I think I had them for around a year, before giving them away to declutter last year. I got another chest with sensors for skiing and realized I don't need several of them.
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Old 12-03-21, 12:35 PM
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Good to know
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Old 12-03-21, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by kevdun View Post
Sorry I don't have much experience with this, currently nothing, would I also need something to record the ride in addition to a power meter?
Wait, you have a powermeter, but nothing to record the data with? 🧐 What have you been recording your rides with previously?

Get yourself a Garmin GPS head unit, create a Strava account (or use Garmin Connect). Many people don't like the touch screen Garmin models (830 and above) but I've never had any issues.

The Garmin will allow you to see power / zones / averages on the go, then you can analyse the data afterwards on your software of choice.
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