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Re: Controlling the Kickr via external power meter now possible [Nate Pearson] [ In reply to ]
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Will do on emailing your support thanks.
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Re: Controlling the Kickr via external power meter now possible [Felt_Rider] [ In reply to ]
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Just curious as to what people are doing now. With the latest firmware for Kickr installed (.32) is the best thing to check the box for letting external PM control the Kickr in BOTH the Wahoo fitness app, and Trainerroad? Or just Trainerroad?

Also, is it best to do a spindown before every ride? and if so, with a cold Kickr or only after a warm-up?

I'm using a Quarq Red 22 with temperature compensation built in. Thanks!
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Re: Controlling the Kickr via external power meter now possible [Horchata] [ In reply to ]
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Horchata wrote:
Just curious as to what people are doing now. With the latest firmware for Kickr installed (.32) is the best thing to check the box for letting external PM control the Kickr in BOTH the Wahoo fitness app, and Trainerroad? Or just Trainerroad?

Also, is it best to do a spindown before every ride? and if so, with a cold Kickr or only after a warm-up?

I'm using a Quarq Red 22 with temperature compensation built in. Thanks!

I'm not sure what is the best pre-ride protocol is for warm up. Like you I am using a Quarq (ELSA) and it stays indoor on my trainer bike. It doesn't seem to drift so I am not sure why it is necessary to go through the spin down if the Kickr's resistance is governed by the application through a more dependable power meter source. That being the case I zero the offset of the Quarq and start the workout in either TrainerRoad or PerfPro.

This is probably what frustrates me the most about Wahoo. It seems like they could have come out with some helpful guides on their webpage on best practices and settings for users to get the best possible workout. Even when I talked with their technicians in the beginning of the year trying to figure out these things I would get a different answer each time as to when and how long one should warm up the equipment before doing the spin down. Often it would be different than what was posted on their website.

Now that I have a lot of confidence in the Quarq controlling the effort based on comparing post ride data I've settled in to being a happy Kickr user. It is a lot more pleasant not having an extensive warm up of equipment when I am time crunched and I can now use one source of data and my actual FTP number in the applications without having to do a lot of trickery to get the training and recording of data correct.

I think you should be able to do the same.
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Re: Controlling the Kickr via external power meter now possible [Felt_Rider] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks, that's all really helpful info. Have you been using the Kickr with the box checked for using external PM in both the Wahoo app, or just in TR? I've heard of people doing both and others just checking it in TR but not in Wahoo.

The thing I've noticed when using my Quarq to control the Kickr is that when I am in ERG mode I don't feel like there is as much inertia/road feel, sort of a feeling like I am constantly pedaling uphill or that the Kickr is slowing my cadence down constantly. I theorize that is because TR is constantly applying the brakes to get the Kicker aligned with my Quarq... wondering if you've noticed that or if you have any suggestions. I wonder if its worse for Kickr units that run very high relative to external PM, which mine does (30-45 watts in most instances - and its not constant either, it changes with how many watts I am putting out).
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Re: Controlling the Kickr via external power meter now possible [Horchata] [ In reply to ]
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I have it checked for using the external power meter in all applications, but since I don't initiate the Wahoo app it doesn't seem to matter. In fact when the Wahoo firmware first came out and I applied it to the Kickr and after that point the power meter control seemed to work regardless. It was working in TR before TR even came out with power meter control option. So it seems that with the firmware applied my power meter sensor is now applied to the Kickr and works all the time. But through trying a lot of different settings I have not seen a difference one way or another.

Maybe others can chime in if they have noticed a difference.

Because my pedal style is far from being smooth and the Quarq is showing constant variability the Kickr is also constantly trying to adjust. What I have noticed that the Kickr is typically to the higher side of my interval wattage in ERG, but at the end of the interval it typically averages out to be right on the interval target. There are some other little issues that happen randomly as well. Like it will go 20+ watts higher at the start of some interval applying the brake to compensate for the interval jump. I just bite my tongue and bear the discomfort until it adjust down to the target. So there are some little things like that, but overall I feel like it is working well for training.
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Re: Controlling the Kickr via external power meter now possible [Felt_Rider] [ In reply to ]
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I've had a similar experience. At the start of an interval the Kickr is usually to the high side of the interval wattage in ERG, then there is this sort of game where TR is trying to adjust the Kickr to try to get it in line with where the interval should ultimately land at wattage wise. Ultimately, for me it makes for a less smooth feeling interval than if I was running the Kickr on its own without my PM controlling it. Very frustrating. Maybe TR has improved its algorithm as I have admittedly used standard mode for the last few months out of frustration (and thus turned my Kickr into a dumb trainer).

At least a few months ago the braking sensation that I was getting when using external PM to control the Kickr in ERG mode was so bad that my cadences would always slow down until I was down in the 60s range. I was generally pretty tired going into the workouts so I didn't have the energy to spin, but it always felt like I was fighting to get the cadence back up. That's when I went to standard mode just to get my workouts done.

Thanks for your input.
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Re: Controlling the Kickr via external power meter now possible [Horchata] [ In reply to ]
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I haven't had the chance to upgrade my kickr yet as I don't have an Iphone. I have vectors on my bike that control the kickr through TR and now just use the resistance mode instead of ERG mode since you get a big spike in power at the start of an interval when in ERG mode which can be quite an issue especially when you are doing VO2max and anaerobic intervals, the intervals are usually hard enough with out a spike in power at the start, the last thing I need is to push through an extra 100w for 5-10sec at the start of an anaerobic interval.
In resistance mode I can create much smoother power through the intervals in a session than what ERG mode can, so really I could just use a fluid trainer with TR and my vectors and get exactly the same result, defeats the purpose of having this expensive kickr really
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Re: Controlling the Kickr via external power meter now possible [Brad81] [ In reply to ]
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Brad81 wrote:
I haven't had the chance to upgrade my kickr yet as I don't have an Iphone. I have vectors on my bike that control the kickr through TR and now just use the resistance mode instead of ERG mode since you get a big spike in power at the start of an interval when in ERG mode which can be quite an issue especially when you are doing VO2max and anaerobic intervals, the intervals are usually hard enough with out a spike in power at the start, the last thing I need is to push through an extra 100w for 5-10sec at the start of an anaerobic interval.
In resistance mode I can create much smoother power through the intervals in a session than what ERG mode can, so really I could just use a fluid trainer with TR and my vectors and get exactly the same result, defeats the purpose of having this expensive kickr really

Exactly what I could have written. Yeouch!! That first few seconds of a high L4 to L5 interval combined with a spike is absolutely brutal - IMO. I've tweaked my knees coming from low rest resistance to that spike. I tell you the other thing I have experienced in both TR and PP at random times is the resistance not easing up once the interval is done. That too is painful when suffering badly and barely making to the end of the higher intensity interval and then resistance is held another 30 seconds or so past the interval. That too is brutal.

I may need to add some intensity ramp segments of a few seconds in front of the training intervals so that the Kickr has some time to adjust rather than having an abrupt rest to interval jump.
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Re: Controlling the Kickr via external power meter now possible [Felt_Rider] [ In reply to ]
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Felt_Rider wrote:
Brad81 wrote:
I haven't had the chance to upgrade my kickr yet as I don't have an Iphone. I have vectors on my bike that control the kickr through TR and now just use the resistance mode instead of ERG mode since you get a big spike in power at the start of an interval when in ERG mode which can be quite an issue especially when you are doing VO2max and anaerobic intervals, the intervals are usually hard enough with out a spike in power at the start, the last thing I need is to push through an extra 100w for 5-10sec at the start of an anaerobic interval.
In resistance mode I can create much smoother power through the intervals in a session than what ERG mode can, so really I could just use a fluid trainer with TR and my vectors and get exactly the same result, defeats the purpose of having this expensive kickr really


Exactly what I could have written. Yeouch!! That first few seconds of a high L4 to L5 interval combined with a spike is absolutely brutal - IMO. I've tweaked my knees coming from low rest resistance to that spike. I tell you the other thing I have experienced in both TR and PP at random times is the resistance not easing up once the interval is done. That too is painful when suffering badly and barely making to the end of the higher intensity interval and then resistance is held another 30 seconds or so past the interval. That too is brutal.

I may need to add some intensity ramp segments of a few seconds in front of the training intervals so that the Kickr has some time to adjust rather than having an abrupt rest to interval jump.


I've actually seen the "erg doesn't adjust" bug when coding in Tour de Giro. We'll send the thing a "adjust erg setting to ___W" ANT+ packet and it will acknowledge successful receipt, but then won't change the physical resistance.

I've got a couple interval workouts I've built, and it's a workout-killer if the thing doesn't adjust going into or coming out of a hard interval.

The best "fix" I've got is to send the change requests intermittently, not just when the workout changes, but that can cause issues too. The kickr is a bit of a diva.

Your solution of having a ramp is good too: Assuming TR sends the same "set erg mode level" packet once per workout-level change, then it forces it to send a pile of them going into and out of the hard interval, increasing the likelihood one of them will stick (90% of them usually do, but if the one that misses is the start or end of an interval, :sadface:)

STAC Zero Trainer - Zero noise, zero tire contact, zero moving parts. Suffer in Silence starting fall 2016
Last edited by: AHare: Aug 20, 15 4:44
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Re: Controlling the Kickr via external power meter now possible [AHare] [ In reply to ]
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AHare wrote:
The kickr is a bit of a diva.

All of your post was very insightful for how this trainer works with the applications.
That comment had me laughing. It seems like a great description. :-)
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Re: Controlling the Kickr via external power meter now possible [AHare] [ In reply to ]
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AHare wrote:
I've actually seen the "erg doesn't adjust" bug when coding in Tour de Giro. We'll send the thing a "adjust erg setting to ___W" ANT+ packet and it will acknowledge successful receipt, but then won't change the physical resistance.

I've got a couple interval workouts I've built, and it's a workout-killer if the thing doesn't adjust going into or coming out of a hard interval.

The best "fix" I've got is to send the change requests intermittently, not just when the workout changes, but that can cause issues too. The kickr is a bit of a diva.

Your solution of having a ramp is good too: Assuming TR sends the same "set erg mode level" packet once per workout-level change, then it forces it to send a pile of them going into and out of the hard interval, increasing the likelihood one of them will stick (90% of them usually do, but if the one that misses is the start or end of an interval, :sadface:)


I've been lurking here for a while now, it's an interesting thread on the 'inner workings' of the KICKR. There's a KICKR app in the App Store I wrote a while back as a bit of a side project. Would be nice if Wahoo setup a dev forum themselves...

I've seen the same "erg doesn't adjust" connecting via BTLE. My initial approach was to set the Erg power once at the start of each interval, excluding ramps where the power was set continuously (say 5-10 times per second). This worked well for the constant intervals, but resulted in the ramps being delayed (slope of set power not matching actual power), the KICKR was not keeping up with the erg power values I was sending it. Once a ramp finished, it would take some time (say 30sec) for the KICKR to catchup. Current solution is to simply send a set erg request at a lower frequency (1-2 times per second); this seems to work ok, although has the potential to introduce some small delay to the start of intervals.

I imagine TR similarly limits the number of set erg requests being sent to the KICKR, so adding a ramp before an interval may not fix the issue you are seeing. But based on my observations it's the KICKR doesn't lose requests, it simply struggles to keep up with them, so sending a "pile" may not help things.

Power match type capability is something I was thinking of adding a while back, but this thread has kind of convinced me it may be a can-of-worms and I'd assume Wahoo (via firmware) would be better able to support this.

FWIW, I found the Wahoo API (iOS and Android) really easy to work with. Appreciate this isn't available on desktop environments, and if dealing with ANT+ is anything like writing custom *.fit files, well you have my sympathies.
Last edited by: lock_: Aug 20, 15 18:34
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Re: Controlling the Kickr via external power meter now possible [lock_] [ In reply to ]
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A "pile" for me would be 1-2 updates per second. I learned very quickly that ANT+ devices don't like it when you send requests (calibration requests, erg adjustments, sim-mode adjustments) before they've acknowledged the previous one. The kickr (not to pick on it, it's the only sim-mode device I've got) would frequently stick to a single sim-mode slope setting in my first implementation because I was just hammering it at 4-5hz without waiting for acknowledgement packets.

Writing custom ANT+ code is an big pain. It seems like it shouldn't have to be (it's little 8 byte packets getting sent and received), but their API is just kinda weird. That said, it is possible that ANT+'s SDK has improved since TdG was under heavy development. As a part-time dev, I never had the time to write a nice wrapper I was happy with.

I wonder if Wahoo's phone driver just sticks your calls in a FIFO queue and unloads it at whatever the update rate is. It'd be fun to queue up 1000 calls that set up a sine wave (peak every 100 calls) in erg mode or something and see how long it takes in the real world for the device's resistance to go from peak to peak.

STAC Zero Trainer - Zero noise, zero tire contact, zero moving parts. Suffer in Silence starting fall 2016
Last edited by: AHare: Aug 20, 15 19:11
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Re: Controlling the Kickr via external power meter now possible [AHare] [ In reply to ]
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I can barely grasp what you guys are talking about in the challenges, but I am appreciating the dialog that helps me understand those challenges. Though I have been quite turned off by the "silence is golden" and the "we will only talk to you if you open up a work ticket from our website and even then we will barely talk to you" approach of Wahoo customer service, I will say the one thing they seemed to do right it create a trainer that can be tweaked by outside developers through writing code that has allowed users to improve the trainer from its natural state.

Although there are challenges for application developers at least there is an open environment to make those potential improvements.

This is a good feature for the Wahoo Kickr compared to some "smart" trainers that use exclusive software and have no flexibility, such as, the Elite Muin trainer. Seems like a good trainer, but I prefer a more open environment for guys like you to be creative in improving the training experience for us.
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Re: Controlling the Kickr via external power meter now possible [Horchata] [ In reply to ]
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Horchata wrote:
I've had a similar experience. At the start of an interval the Kickr is usually to the high side of the interval wattage in ERG, then there is this sort of game where TR is trying to adjust the Kickr to try to get it in line with where the interval should ultimately land at wattage wise. Ultimately, for me it makes for a less smooth feeling interval than if I was running the Kickr on its own without my PM controlling it. Very frustrating. Maybe TR has improved its algorithm as I have admittedly used standard mode for the last few months out of frustration (and thus turned my Kickr into a dumb trainer).

At least a few months ago the braking sensation that I was getting when using external PM to control the Kickr in ERG mode was so bad that my cadences would always slow down until I was down in the 60s range. I was generally pretty tired going into the workouts so I didn't have the energy to spin, but it always felt like I was fighting to get the cadence back up. That's when I went to standard mode just to get my workouts done.

Thanks for your input.

We need to tweak our power match algorithm to take into account cadence. We've had a group of users who respond to more resistance by lowering their cadence. If you do that, we think you're farther behind the target and add more resistance after seven seconds, then the user lowers their cadence even more because they feel more resistance. This continues until you get pissed off and give up.

To get past this flaw in our algorithm keep your cadence consistent even if you feel more resistance.

The other choice is to use a constant offset. So if you know your Kickr reads 20 watts higher than your Quarq you can set it to have a 20 watt offset. That way you don't have the constant changes of power but you will be able to work in ERG mode.

CEO at TrainerRoad
Co-host of the Ask a Cycling Coach Podcast
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Re: Controlling the Kickr via external power meter now possible [AHare] [ In reply to ]
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We've seen the same thing where we get an acknowledgement from the Kickr but it doesn't really change. We need to start an ANT/BT (mental) support group :).

We've been at this for almost four years now and we've just recently rewritten our entire bluetooth/ANT layer with everything we've learned. That layer is going to be in our new desktop app and ported back into our iOS app this fall.

To be fair to Elite, they recently opened up their API to software companies.

CEO at TrainerRoad
Co-host of the Ask a Cycling Coach Podcast
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Re: Controlling the Kickr via external power meter now possible [Nate Pearson] [ In reply to ]
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Nate Pearson wrote:
We need to tweak our power match algorithm to take into account cadence. We've had a group of users who respond to more resistance by lowering their cadence. If you do that, we think you're farther behind the target and add more resistance after seven seconds, then the user lowers their cadence even more because they feel more resistance. This continues until you get pissed off and give up.

To get past this flaw in our algorithm keep your cadence consistent even if you feel more resistance.

The other choice is to use a constant offset. So if you know your Kickr reads 20 watts higher than your Quarq you can set it to have a 20 watt offset. That way you don't have the constant changes of power but you will be able to work in ERG mode.

Thanks for that feedback Nate. That's really insightful and helpful. That would be really cool and interesting if you could take cadence into account in power match. I probably do respond to more resistance by lowering my cadence. If the algorithm was updated to smooth this that would be really cool.

I did toy with the idea of using constant offset, but the problem is that my Kickr is not off from my PM by a consistent # of watts. It seems to increase depending on how many watts I am pushing (closer when I am 100 than when I am at 270).

I also wanted to clarify that I wasn't blaming TR's algorithm for my issue. You guys have gone above and beyond to patch a problem that isn't even yours. My frustration is squarely directed with the Kickr's power measurement.
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Re: Controlling the Kickr via external power meter now possible [Horchata] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks man :).

I think what we're going to do is if someone cadence changes by X amount we're not going to apply a new offset. This will give the Kickr more time to adjust its own internal resistance and hopefully let everything settle a little more.

The end result will be that it will only change the resistance if you've been super smooth for a good 10 seconds; meaning power, cadence and target haven't changed drastically.

CEO at TrainerRoad
Co-host of the Ask a Cycling Coach Podcast
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Re: Controlling the Kickr via external power meter now possible [Nate Pearson] [ In reply to ]
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I think i mentioned this cadence and erg issue previously.

My "smooth" cadence is around 97-99 in erg mode.
If i try to go a higher like 100+ the kickr seems to have a little trouble keeping up with my lack of smoothness at that rpm.
This often results in a lower average power for the interval.
In fact i can trick the software by ramping up rpm and then reducing rpm at the lower erg torque and get an ease up.
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Re: Controlling the Kickr via external power meter now possible [lennyk] [ In reply to ]
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lennyk wrote:
I think i mentioned this cadence and erg issue previously.

My "smooth" cadence is around 97-99 in erg mode.
If i try to go a higher like 100+ the kickr seems to have a little trouble keeping up with my lack of smoothness at that rpm.
This often results in a lower average power for the interval.
In fact i can trick the software by ramping up rpm and then reducing rpm at the lower erg torque and get an ease up.

Have you told this to Wahoo? They might be able to update their firmware to better support this.

CEO at TrainerRoad
Co-host of the Ask a Cycling Coach Podcast
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Re: Controlling the Kickr via external power meter now possible [Nate Pearson] [ In reply to ]
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Huge glitch tonight. Doing ramps (Keeler Needle) and TR (or Wahoo or some other evil evil party) decided not to reduce wattage after the last 140% ramp. So rather than sitting there for a few seconds it sat there for 4 and 1/2 minutes. No amount of stopping and starting would convince it to give me a break.

It is quite common, in my experience, for it to miss a change for 20 seconds (either at the start or end of an interval) but 4 and 1/2 minutes?

My kids learnt some new words tonight...
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Re: Controlling the Kickr via external power meter now possible [iSam] [ In reply to ]
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iSam wrote:
Huge glitch tonight. Doing ramps (Keeler Needle) and TR (or Wahoo or some other evil evil party) decided not to reduce wattage after the last 140% ramp. So rather than sitting there for a few seconds it sat there for 4 and 1/2 minutes. No amount of stopping and starting would convince it to give me a break.

It is quite common, in my experience, for it to miss a change for 20 seconds (either at the start or end of an interval) but 4 and 1/2 minutes?

My kids learnt some new words tonight...

A crafty marketing person might say, "It's not a glitch. We are pushing you to train harder." :-)
That must have been brutal. I know when this Kickr and application interval hold over has happened to me at or near 120% FTP every second feels like an hour of brutality as if the clock has stopped. Good job working through it.
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Re: Controlling the Kickr via external power meter now possible [Felt_Rider] [ In reply to ]
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i just purchased a kickr and i'm already frustrated. here is my setup.

stages PM
garmin cadence sensor
wahoo kickr
gs6 android
gtab android
garmin edge 800
laptop with bkool free (will upgrade to premium if i like it)

all i want to do right now is have this thing work.

problems:
1) i've updated the firmware. currently when riding erg mode i put the power to 300 and no resistance changes.

2) i run ultegra di2 10sp and the gearing is skipping oh so slightly.

3) neither my phone or my edge 800 is picking up the stages

4) where is the box that lets you have the external power control the kickr?

5) the wahoo fitness app sees my power and cadence, but both are "unknown" vs garmin and stages.

appreciate any help. just read through dcrainmaker and some of this thread, but there are 40+ pages so i kind of gave up.

john

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Re: Controlling the Kickr via external power meter now possible [ahhchon] [ In reply to ]
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Quote:

3) neither my phone or my edge 800 is picking up the stages

I forget if the edge 800 is on the list of "doesn't play nice with stages" PMs, but a buddy of mine has a stages which seems to have serious range issues when talking to his Timex head unit, my garmin 310XT, my suunto USB movestick, or his garmin ANT+ USB stick. Just for a session, try putting your edge 800 on the floor, extremely close to the stages (under the bottom bracket is good) and see if it picks up there.
Edit: He just talked to stages, and apparently "some of the tabs in the case are broken".

Another test that might affect all ANT+ devices: try to minimize your use of other 2.4ghz devices: no nearby microwaves, wifi, bluetooth, etc. Most consumer radio/wireless devices use the 2.4ghz spectrum, and can interfere with each other.

I _think_ the box to check is in the wahoo app on your phone, but I'm not sure. I'd definitely focus on your non-wahoo connection problems before fine-tuning the control settings.

STAC Zero Trainer - Zero noise, zero tire contact, zero moving parts. Suffer in Silence starting fall 2016
Last edited by: AHare: Aug 25, 15 17:31
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Re: Controlling the Kickr via external power meter now possible [ahhchon] [ In reply to ]
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Does your stages work outdoors with your 800?

I have had a 500, 510, 910, and now a 920 that all connect to my Kickr. And I have used them with a borrowed Powertap and my Vector PM.

What are you using to control the Kickr right now?
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Re: Controlling the Kickr via external power meter now possible [Nate Pearson] [ In reply to ]
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I rode Morgan this morning, had to take a rest after 7th interval,
When i tried to restart it would apply full brake, paused then tried again, would allow pedals to spin up to around 200w then grind to full brake.

This is the second time happening to me, cant remember where the logs are stored.
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