Avio PowerSense Powermeter - owner first impression

Hi all - Mike here from Avio (hence the name)

We’ve read through each and every comment and reply to comments on here and on other threads too and seen that we do seem to have a batch issue and we’re pretty sure it’s to do with power management (battery stuff).

In concentrating on solving this issue we’d like a little more info on the problems you’re having (more the environmental setup and battery setup)

A few questions to which the answers are proving useful if you can helpl:

-What state is the battery in when you’re getting these consistently (20/30w) differences?
-Have you changed the battery and did it sort the problem, if not what happened?
-If you have access to the app - what the the unloaded Force number tell you?
-Some of you have a Factory fitted PowerSense and have attempted to Calibrate the pre-calibrated unit yourself (apart from probably/definitely causing an accuracy issue) can you go though and check the 10kg loaded figure your getting? then check the ACTUAL weight of your device? Got any scales?

We need to you to be happy with your purchase - The 6 of us are genuine about this and not just some shysters trying to sell you stuff.

Help us get on top of this please.

M.

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Given that advice given on your own web site says calibrate every week and offset every ride its a bit rich to now say that doing this causes problems. I also discovered from your facebook page that you should wait 10 seconds after zeroing, nothing on your site or previous advice says that.
I started to get strange readings and constant dropping out after less than 30 hours of use. I put this down to the cold weather, but when I got a total drop out with no connection I changed the battery. I then started to get readings that were all over the place so I followed the advice on the video on your site to recalibrate using a 10 Kg weight. The last few rides have ad no dropping out and have produced power reading lower than before but consistent and believable than those from the unit direct from the factory.
It would be nice if Avio gave consistent and standardized advice. If calibrating the device yourself is not a good idea then remove the video would be a good start.

Hiya @Mike-from-Avio ,

Firstly, thanks for engaging and accepting that things are less than optimal for some of us.

In terms of calibration mine was a factory fit item so all I have ever done is zero offset. I do agree with @troutmask that some of the information on the website needs clarifying as people often get confused between calibration vs zero offset. (I assume I will NEVER have to calibrate my device with a 10kg as it was done at your factory).

I think some information/clarification on the rider dynamics options in the app and also how a left only PM can read off due to leg imbalance would also be useful. Your product might be accurate to 3% but if the rider has a 55/45 imbalance its going to read significantly different.

Mine has been back once as it lost all power after being stored on my bike in a colder garage (and wouldn’t turn on even with a brand new battery) but was returned after testing. It died again at the end of a long ride on Saturday but a battery change got it up and running again. I haven’t run a comparison test since mine was last returned as your guys had already tested it against a SRM in house.

Happy to run some more tests myself though and I will capture the app info later.

Out of interest have you run any tests to assess accuracy when using oval chainrings?

Don’t doubt that at all. Could you give us an update on how things have gone since the product launch? as a small company has it been a challenge to cope with the demand and all that brings?

Just to clarify, I know the difference between calibration and offsetting. Here is the original advice from Avio’s FAQ that still appears on the website but seems directly contradictory to what Mike says
" Is there any general maintenance I need to do?

There are a couple of things you can do to ensure PowerSense works at its full potential.

We recommend you zero-offset before every ride, and calibrating once a week would be beneficial. Regarding cleaning – PowerSense is pretty tough, but try not to catch it with a jet-wash! (Not that you should be jet washing your bike anyway as it’ll blow the grease from the bearings)."

Hi

Small company trying to do something that isn’t easy - but we’re pretty sure that after three years of developing under the radar and staying away from the likes of crowdfunding stuff so we don’t let people down we’ve made a really good product.
That being said it’s clear that whereas we don’t have alot of support issues - it’s important that for each person that gets one, we understand that for them it’s basically a 100% failure (they only have one unit right?).

You’re right with the imbalance thing. Accurate to 2% actually means repeatable to a known power within 2%. Other companies are very vague with that kinda jargon.

Oval chainrings -
Cadence isn’t really a given number and changes during a single stroke - its because power meters need velocity to calculate power not just a cadence number (ie. 85rpm). As the oval chainrings affect (quite substantially) the crank velocity during the stroke, it’s known that a spider or crank based system can be affected by up to 5% up or down.

There’s a number of reasons we added Rider Dynamics to our app.
The oval thing is one of them.
Another being - if a rider goes down to his local gym and jumps on a wattbike and sees, Oh dear I’m 46/54…then it’s only fair that the rider can have a play with their pm to reflect.

Since launching we’ve been incredibly well received by riders and the community of riders as a whole. Maybe not so much by the power meter industry (for obvious reasons) but we love that people, on the whole, want us to succeed.
This does mean however that orders for PowerSense have gone through the roof and our new distribution agreement (which is amazing - Raleigh are gods) has us working really hard. We really need to knuckle down on the customer support thing though. I promise we are getting better - but please be a judge for that yourself.

We’ll follow up with you privately to get you sorted but the out of house experiments you guys are doing does help - feel free to dig around and mess about with it a bit. If anything breaks, we’ll sort you out no worries.

Factory fit units will never need to see a 10kg weight again in their lives ‘technically’. Feel free to do it as many times as you like however providing the weight really IS 10kg (postage scales are you friend here)

M.

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You’re right there.

It’s coming down. On earlier units calibrating would have maintained better stability with the system although this isn’t really the case anymore due a change which means it’s not really necessary.

We get that you’re going to be miffed off with live content that isn’t relevant anymore - we’ll look at that this week.

M.

EDIT
It’s down - calibrate only once from now on.

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@Mike-from-Avio
I have just replied to your email / support ticket, but figured I would share here so that others can see if they have the same symptoms. Batteries are new, I have tried about 5 different ones so far, from different suppliers. In the log files the battery level is always 255. In addition, my crank is a carbon crank with a factory fit and calibration. I did re-calibrate myself, but then I sent it back to be re-calibrated by the factory. My device will usually over-read at the start of my workout whilst I am warming up at low watts, but then it will under-read by 10-30% at about 250 watts.

I want to help, so just let mew know how I can.

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hi friends,
it’s posible apply Avio Powersense to cranck using another glue different of Fitting Kit ?
or it’s apply without Fitting Kit using one weight of 10 kg and calibrate it ?

No. Aside from the warranty stuff that goes with not using non-recommended glues with Avio PowerSense, the glue itself needs to possess what we refer to as Glass-like properties.

Essentially when you bend the cranks with your body you need the PowerSense unit and subsequent bonded sensor inside to bend with it. As you can imagine, this is not very much bending at all to transfer.

We’ve found excellent results with the exact glues we put with the product in the fitting kits and also equivalent results when your unit is fitted by a shop, plus you’re much more likely to get a nicer aesthetic result there.

Calibrating with a known 10kg weight.
You have to do this yes, and with our glues. It’s the only way to guarantee a solid and perfect result.

We’ve made Powersense as a unit VERY affordable, and the fitting kits even more so - to not use the fitting kit by way of saving a bit of cash to us just doesn’t seem worth it knowing what can happen if you fudge the setup.

M.

Have sent my meter back to Avio after discussing it further with them. Will be interesting to see how the replacement behaves :slight_smile:

It’s back! In less than a week. All clean, sparkly and calibrated.

Hopefully I’ll be able to test it this weekend.

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How did you get on?

Sad to report that I’ve slacked off on testing it - no serious opportunities to ride the bike that it fits which is itself now away being serviced ahead of a sportive at the end of the month and my club’s training camp in early May. I will be using it for those events, so should have lots of lovely data to share in a few weeks.

Been away a while due to new job, both a blessing and a curse!

Mine was Ok for a while then decided to stop transmitting power completely on my ‘A’ race :scream::triumph::rage:

A reset got it working eventually, and it has been Ok so far now that the weather has improved. All my historical issue appear to have revolved around periods of cold weather though…

I am waiting to get my crank back, it seems that at a last they can see the problem, unfortunately no fix for it. Hopefully they can come up with something they can deliver remotely.

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I’m back! With Data! I’ll just post the analyzer links and you can draw your own conclusions but this first one, a sportive in the UK, is pretty damning as it has a huge drop out:
https://analyze.dcrainmaker.com/#/public/70eac464-3d10-480e-7e51-c990b5703e6e
I think I calibrated at the start, about 15 minutes in, then again at the halfway feed station and that was it.
The following are all from my club training camp. This first one has a bit of a blip where I forgot to restart the Garmin to which the Avio was paired, but ignore that part:
https://analyze.dcrainmaker.com/#/public/c98318f7-78b2-4861-4889-7c8528a1ef3e
https://analyze.dcrainmaker.com/#/public/724a7d68-ca70-41f8-5664-7f7a197c7f91
https://analyze.dcrainmaker.com/#/public/6974a009-3cdf-416d-5fee-ac355ca59bb0
https://analyze.dcrainmaker.com/#/public/d191b69a-fae6-4c31-783b-ecfca238ed17 (not good - huge difference during the big climb)
https://analyze.dcrainmaker.com/#/public/ddaf3e53-a080-42b8-5dde-1a53ff171e53

Really I should have been pairing each meter with a different head unit on each day for a better test, but I wanted to watch my watts on my familiar P1s and keep an eye on my intensity factor during the camp so that I didn’t blow up :sweat_smile: so the P1s were on the Wahoo the whole time.

Also calibration on a Garmin watch is hell. I get it to pair, hit calibrate, fails with an error code and the meter is now not connected. Try this again a few times, normally get a successful calibration on around the 10th attempt. This is really bad user experience - I got called out a few times for faffing around with this meter and just gave up at several ride starts and coffee stops.

Also, in case it seems like I’m ragging on Avio: I think what they’ve achieved so far with a handful of people is impressive even though the early results aren’t fantastic. As Ray Maker observed in a recent podcast, Stages (I think) said that when you’ve made 1000 power meters you realise that you didn’t know how to make 100, and when you’ve made 10,000 you realise that you didn’t know how to make 1000 and so on. Of course, I don’t make these things myself so maybe I’m just naively optimistic :sweat_smile: but I think the future might be bright as long as they keep up the support and development.

I have my crank back, so at least I can use my good bike. No fix and nothing promised ever, maybe in 6 months time they will work out something. I wish them luck, but I don’t think they have enough resources behind them to move fast enough. Is suspect with the Raleigh tie up they will become even more swamped. I would not recommend them for any kind of exotic crank. Hopefully they can turn it around.

My first shop fitted Avio didn’t read at all but Shai (Avio) quickly sorted that. After that it seemed to be wildly affected by temperature dropping out a fair bit or reading superman. Shai done a fresh install and it seems to have sorted it. The first batteries in that fresh install didn’t seem to last long, a sign I think was the meter dropping out into a cold wind. It still drops out in those conditions but the new unit seems to recalibrate to temperature quicker and I am getting none of the Superman readings. I was then out for a month due to circumstances beyond my control and expected dead batteries again but ( as it’s warmed up perhaps ?) I’ve been delightful surprised and feel it is matching my perceived effort. For the money paid for the Avio I am pretty happy and may get another one for my other bike.

Mine functions a lot better now the weather has improved, and also now I always wait a good ten seconds after zeroing before I clip in.

Was going to buy a second one but had clearance issues so just got a 4iii instead, will be interesting to see how the two compare.

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