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Tacx Vortex / P1 pedal questions
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I have a tacx vortex and p1 pedals that I usually use with trainer road. Couple questions:

1: Even though TR is in erg mode, more often than not, I have to change gears to be able to hit the target power, particularly when going from low to high(er) power. Similarly, I am often unable to get down to the really low power numbers unless I slow my cadence way down.

Is this normal on a mid range trainer like the vortex?

2: I usually use my garmin edge to calibrate the pedals before starting my workout. I always ride for about 10 minutes first, then stop to calibrate. I calibrate the vortex about every 2nd or 3rd ride, even though I don't use it for power. I've noticed that if I calibrate on the edge, then immediately calibrate again (and again, and again), I usually get a different value for the first couple before it settles in. So, it might look like: 2, 3, 4, 2, 2, 2.

Is this normal for the p1 pedals?

TIA
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Re: Tacx Vortex / P1 pedal questions [ssh1406] [ In reply to ]
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1. Not normal, you should be able to maintain your cadence and resistance should adjust automatically to the set power # within seconds.

2. Normal.


ssh1406 wrote:
I have a tacx vortex and p1 pedals that I usually use with trainer road. Couple questions:

1: Even though TR is in erg mode, more often than not, I have to change gears to be able to hit the target power, particularly when going from low to high(er) power. Similarly, I am often unable to get down to the really low power numbers unless I slow my cadence way down.

Is this normal on a mid range trainer like the vortex?

2: I usually use my garmin edge to calibrate the pedals before starting my workout. I always ride for about 10 minutes first, then stop to calibrate. I calibrate the vortex about every 2nd or 3rd ride, even though I don't use it for power. I've noticed that if I calibrate on the edge, then immediately calibrate again (and again, and again), I usually get a different value for the first couple before it settles in. So, it might look like: 2, 3, 4, 2, 2, 2.

Is this normal for the p1 pedals?

TIA
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Re: Tacx Vortex / P1 pedal questions [ssh1406] [ In reply to ]
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Are you using powermatch in trainer road? If so, then you don't ever need to calibrate the trainer. (Power match is a constant calibration, using your pedals as a 'known good'.)

If erg mode is working, changing gears in the middle range of resistances (perhaps 150-300W) will not do anything. As long as the trainer can apply more/less resistance, then shifting to a harder gear (at constant cadence, thus more power) will trigger the trainer to ease resistance and bring you back to its target wattage/set point.

I have occasionally had this same trio (vortex/P1/TrainerRoad) at jumps not apply enough resistance, sometimes taking several minutes to bring up to the correct setpoint. I.e.: recovery at 100W into 300W will jump me to 250W, then slowly add resistance until it finally gets to 300W. If I shift to a harder gear, I can momentarily increase power, but then the vortex drags me back to wherever it was previously. I think this is a failure of powermatch. It might be calculating the calibration curve correctly at lower wattage, but is wrong after big jumps. Thus, it takes several minutes to slowly recalculate. (If the workout is a slow build: 100,120,140...300, it tags on perfectly.)
The flip side of this matches your first point as well. After the final hard interval into a ~100W cooldown, it'll only take me down to say: 140 or so, regardless of the gear. I know that the trainer is capable of applying less resistance, since once the workout ends, it kills control over the trainer and I am suddenly spinning free at 80 or so. Either the powermatch is again acting up, or the trainer has a minimum value of resistance it can apply. I don't know.

I'd say on average, this trio works as expected 3 out of 4 rides, and in that 4th, it is only 1 or 2 intervals that messes up. Very annoying, but not enough to push me to drop $$$ on a kickr2 or neo...yet.
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Re: Tacx Vortex / P1 pedal questions [ssh1406] [ In reply to ]
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All in all - Vortex power and resistance numbers are based on the tire contact based readings. They can drift quite a bit depending on the temps, etc. I gave up after a while and just went with a fluid trainer plus my P1s.

Next races on the schedule: St George 70.3, IM Boulder
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Re: Tacx Vortex / P1 pedal questions [mediocreat3] [ In reply to ]
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I'm having the same issues, and it's driving me batty. Warm ups seem to work fine on TrainerRoad, but without changing gears I can't hit the high or low power figures. I've tried starting the trainer first, then iPad - vice versa, etc. I can't figure it out. Love to hear any solutions.
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Re: Tacx Vortex / P1 pedal questions [mediocreat3] [ In reply to ]
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I also use a Vortex and P1 pedals with TrainerRoad and noticed this same phenomenon last year where I would have to shift to hit the really high and really low targets. I opened up a support ticket with TR, and the guy from TR was actually really helpful in having me run a few workouts with a few different combinations of setups- i.e one with just the Vortex, one with the P1s connected without power match enabled, one with power match enabled, etc, to figure out what was going on. In the end, he determined that the offset that PowerMatch was creating between the Vortex and the P1s was gradually growing larger and larger as the workout progressed, leading to a smaller and smaller band between the power floor and ceiling. His suggestion was to get a new trainer, since mine was already out of warranty.

Here is the full explanation from my support ticket, if you're interested:

"TrainerRoad tells your trainer to set 200 watts worth of resistance. Your trainer then uses your power meter to see how many watts of resistance it is creating. Normally this would work fine, except it looks like in your easiest gear your Vortex isn't be able to create much more than 200 watts worth of resistance. Unfortunately, TrainerRoad doesn't get a message from your trainer saying "Hey, that's all the resistance I can do!" Instead, our PowerMatch feature thinks that your trainer's version of 200 watts is different than your power meters; thus an automatic offset is created in order to get things lined up. Unfortunately this offset only grew larger and larger since clearly your trainer wasn't able to respond properly to the 200 watt power target.

After a few minutes of letting this offset grow out of control, even changing into a bigger gear won't be able to fix the situation! This is also the reason why you weren't able to hit those lower targets during subsequent rest intervals!"
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Re: Tacx Vortex / P1 pedal questions [TheMan232] [ In reply to ]
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TheMan232 - did you also have a Vortex? I went through the same back and forth with TrainerRoad support and seem to remember just sorting it out on my own by troubleshooting the startup sequence of iPad vs. trainer. I gave up for awhile there and went back to my dumb trainer, trying the Vortex Smart again and it's just not hitting the numbers. I looked through my past TR workouts and my notes say that if I just use the trainer power, everything was spot on. So I will try that again, turning powermatch off and just observing the difference. Then maybe try to use a manual power offset and see how that goes.
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Re: Tacx Vortex / P1 pedal questions [mattyboy] [ In reply to ]
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Yes, I also use a Vortex.

I tried using a manual offset, but I found that the offset would fluctuate depending on the power target- in other words, as the target power increased, so too did the offset need to increase. So I would have had to either set the offset to match the high power targets and live with incomplete recoveries, set it to the recoveries and miss the high targets a little bit, or set it somewhere in the middle and have neither one match correctly.

I ended up abandoning the P1 and Vortex combination and just using the power that the Vortex broadcasts to TrainerRoad when I am indoors, and only using the P1s on my road and tri bikes for outdoor rides.
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Re: Tacx Vortex / P1 pedal questions [mediocreat3] [ In reply to ]
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I had a lot of issues with my vote and P1 pedals. It was more in the vortex being buggy. Sold it and use a direct drive dumb trainer now. I have to shift, but never have to worry about random glitchy issues messing up a workout.
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