Since the beginning of the year I have been pretty busy and I have bought a new TT bike, bought a power meter, rode my first TT of 2017, rode my first 2-up and completed my third Sufferfest Tour of Sufferlandia.

However this post as is about how, as you acquire more technology things often become harder and more complicated. I am specifically referring to the different numbers put out by my smart trainer  -a  Gen 1 Kickr and my power meter – a dual Powertap P1 pedals.

I was very undecided on which power meter I was going to buy, or even if I needed one. I knew it would be pedal based as I have at least 3 bikes (4 actually)  and they all use different crank sets. I was undecided between the Garmin Vector and the Powertap P1. I fancied the Garmin Dynamics you could get with the Vector but was put off by the idea of paying £40 for a torque wrench. I saw a one day offer on ProBikeKit for the P1s with 10% off and I pulled the switch on that one very quickly.

powertap-p1-pedal-03They installed seemlessly, are easy to change around and I am very pleased with them. If I had to start again I would probably buy the single pedal next time as all my rides indicate I am pretty well balanced between left and right feet and as long as the readings are consistent then I am happy.

I was reading about a new manufacturer who is bringing out a PM for £250 and I might buy that and leave it on the TT bike.

My FTP was 252 on the Kickr and and I wasn’t ready to do a FTP test in mid-March because of various illnesses so I guesstimated how my FTP had changed by matching the FTP shown after a TrainerRoad session and that produced by the Garmin. That seemed to indicate that my new FTP based on the P1 readings would be ~235. Not too much of a disapointment as I had always assumed that the Kickr might be on the high side.

The next step was working out how to use the Kickr for training using three different software packages  – TrainerRoad, Zwift and the Sufferfest app. Out of those TrainerRoad is by far the most important to me. The Sufferfest app is good but as I have most of the videos anyway I don’t really need to use the app. I do like the yoga videos that are also available as as they are alll timed around 15 minutes long so they  are quite functional. However I am not likely to use the training plans and there is no workout creator. I have never raced on Zwift but I have done quite a few group rides and I do all my FTP tests on there as I really like the average power display. If I want to get an FTP of 250 then I know I need to keep an average power of ~265 throughout the test.

My FTP is held in four different places. A setting in TrainerRoad, on the Garmin, on Strava and in Golden Cheetah and I would also use it to drive the Kickr from Sufferfest and Zwift. I experimented with Powermatch in TrainerRoad and that seeemed to work well. It takes the P1 power reading and causes the erg to run at whatever power the session requires. That meant that I could adjust my FTP to 235 in the four places listed above. However it does not help with Zwift or Sufferfest as they do not have a similar utility with them. I am pretty certain that I can run the Kickr from the P1 pedals and that will drive Zwift and Sufferfest but as I do not have a current subscription to either I have not tested that.

I am working to TSS now and I would to say I have a CTL of 90-100 but it normally hovers around the low 40s. That is really indicative of my training as I dont go outside that often. Maybe once a week for a 3 hour ride which gives about 180 TSS. As I don’t train on Fridays and miss Wednesdays quite often due to other commitments, hitting 350-400 TSS a week is all I can manage.

That will change in 2019 when I retire.