To be fair, there might be another way. I have been too busy with work and conferences to contact InsideRide. I will contact them when I return back to NYC next week and will report back. I was just hoping that someone else might have experience and/or know how to do it to save me a little time.
Geeze, I’m so accustomed to software charging subscription fees that I didn’t bat an eye at fifteen bucks per year.
The app is also more than a remote control, so even though free would be better, I’m not complaining.
@Teuthis I aknolwledge that it has the capability to do more than update the software, but do you use it for more than software updates if you are using TrainerRoad?
I’m still figuring out the best applications for all its functions, including erg vs. resistance mode on TR.
For example, I’m used to a dumb fluid trainer with progressive resistance on TR.
The rollers in dumb mode have a low floor, but a low ceiling, so no good. In resistance mode, I can set the right ceiling, but then the floor is too high for 100w recoveries at a comfortable wheel speed. And I’ve done sweet spot or threshold workouts in erg just fine, but I’ve yet to see how the smart control handles sprint-ish intervals, where resistance might be better.
So to answer your question: I’m still figuring it out with respect to TR. But in general, I appreciate the usability of the app in that if I don’t wanna boot up the computer, I can set the rollers to erg and watch TV, for example. Moreover, if there’s a software problem anywhere (see my previous posts), the app helps me see whether it my computer or the rollers being wonky.
This is the message that I received from InsideRide re: updating the firmware without having to purchase their App (note the App is an annual purchase model for the same functionality as what is provided for free for the Tacx Neo and the Wahoo Kickr…both trainers are of roughly equal cost. I followed up this email inquiring why they are charging for what is free in competitor products. Insideride has not yet responded.)
The new app has two main purposes: To replace the remote and to simplify firmware updates.
If you’re satisfied with the remote and are not having any issues with Trainer Road, there is no real benefit to updating the firmware.
However, if you are keen to do it, we do have an alternate method which is free, but more complicated.
The instructions and firmware are attached. You’ll need to download a free app called nRF toolbox for either ios (Apple store) or Android (Google Play)
Problem solved, it seems!
As to why they charge, I have no idea, but can only speculate that they are a small company, perhaps without an on-staff IT department? So they need to outsource the app responsibilities (I’m just guessing out my ass here)?
Like I said before, apps want money. I found a nutrition app that I liked and had to pay $30.00 (on sale!) to get the ads removed and get a bit more mostly useless functionality. And compared to what I pay yearly for TR, Zwift, and Strava, the $15 was nothing.
@Teuthis I here ya on all the app subscriptions. I subscribe to TR, TP, Strava, BestBikeSplit, RideWithGPS, and ALOmoves yoga
I also forked over the $15 for the app - I justified it by telling myself that the smart power upgrade with remote was $15 more, so it all comes out equal. That being said, if the app still has the same capabilities when the subscription renews as it does now…I probably won’t resubscribe. Hopefully the current version was just the MVP they needed to get into the market to replace the remote, because right now it’s not great. I’m looking forward to seeing some upgrades.
Upgrades would be awesome. A subscription (as opposed to one-time cost) should come with increased functionality.
My InsideRide E-Motion rollers came in today. Here are my initial observations.
A few notes and some context for starters:
- I’ve been riding rollers for years, so I am very familiar with the technology; I have 4 other sets of rollers as well, 3 Kreitler (awesome rollers), and the Elite Arion Digital Smart B+ rollers (horrific), as well as a Wahoo Kickr (which I use with my road the TT bikes)
- I’m using a track bike (i.e., no brakes, fixed gear, single speed); using what would be considered smaller, training gear ratio at 48:15t. Normally on the track I’d be using 51:15 or 52:15.
- I’m using clinchers on this particular track bike, inflated at 120psi
- I weigh 175lbs, 5’ 11"
Setting up the rollers was easy; they were pretty much assembled with their resistance unit already attached (thank goodness they ditched the Elite resistance unit); and all I had to to do is adjust them to match my bike’s wheel base
I downloaded the new app, connected to the rollers; no firmware update was required, and then connected to my bike’s power meter (Stages Dura-Ace Track power meter)
I got on the rollers, spun a bit in resistance mode and validated that the the app was indeed using my power meter, as I had my Garmin computer running as well;
Key learning here: the low power floor of this unit, for my gearing, weight, tire PSI, etc, at 90 RPM is 190 watts! I thought it would be lower than this actually. I was hoping for something like 160w at 90RPM, which is more in line with my Kreitler 3" rollers. This is a problem for using the InsideRider rollers as an exclusive track bike training tool, because it means I can’t do any low endurance or recovery intervals at normal RPM, or low power high cadence intervals; this is a known issue with training with a fixed gear/single speed bike, unless you run a very low gear, which would be unrealistic and defeat the purpose of training on a track bike; I also validated this by unplugging the resistance unit; so for my high cadence work, I will just use my Kreiter 4.5 inch drum rollers…back to the bread an butter of track rollers
Another interesting observation: the cadence in the InsideRide app was showing double the actual RPM; so as i was spinning at 90RPM, it showed 180, and when I spun up to 160 it showed 320RPM and so on; not sure if that is a bug or a compatibility issue with my power meter
I shut the app down and launched TrainerRoad; i connected to the rollers, and connected to my power meter, but clicked the cadence only option (given that I pull cadence from my power meter not a separate cadence sensor)
Key note after talking to Larry at InsideRide; when connecting to the rollers in TR, when you click on the InsideRide device in the app, be sure to disable power matching, otherwise some weird things will happen, as both TR and the rollers will be trying to power match at the same time (this was noted above already); I didn’t do this at first, and it caused some very weird behaviors, like when I slowed my cadence down the resistance would go up, etc.
I created a test TrainerRoad workout that started at 130w and then increased power by 5w until 300w or so;
Same observation as above, while in ERG mode; at 90 RPM, my wattage stayed at 190w at a target power of 130w and higher, until I started to get above a target power of 190w, after which the resistance unit started to kick in; I could hear it go on and off to change the resistance based on fluctuations in my cadence;
The resistance unit is definitely not as reactive and fast as my Wahoo Kickr, which is expected. I could feel the resistance fluctuate quite a bit, as it tried to compensate for my changes in cadence/speed. Overall it appeared to maintain the target power as an average; but the modulations in resistance seemed a a bit on the high side to me
Bottom line, I really like the rollers, especially the design of them with the bumper wheels and the sliding drums…almost immediately I could tell that they were much easier to ride and keep stable than normal fixed rollers. I got off the seat a few times, but I haven’t tried anything crazy yet. However, I will likely use them more with my road bike than my track bike, mainly because I can’t ride in low endurance or recovery zones on them with a normal track bike gearing. I may still do some interval training on my track bike with them, and just deal with the fact that I’ll have to spin at 60-80 RPM to get down to the lower power zones.
@krispenhartung - that “power floor” situation where it won’t go below 190w sounds like exactly what I was experiencing last week. After talking to the folks at InsideRide, they said what is happening is that while the unit “thinks” it’s in the lowest resistance position, the magnet is actually still too close to the flywheel…they provided a new calibration value (based on the 4-digit serial number you see in the app, or when you pair the trainer, i.e. ANT+ FEC-4231 in my case) which I input using the app, and since then, everything’s back to normal - I can spin down to ~100w now at 85-90rpm, which is low enough for TR recoveries. I’d suggest giving them a call, you’ll probably get it figured out pretty quick.
What gearing are you in when spinning at 100w?
Pretty low…36x25 I think? I’m finding that erg mode on the InsideRide isn’t quite like erg on my kickr in that I still have to shift sometimes, but with I can hit the targets
Bingo, That’s the difference. I am using 48:15. At 90 RPM at zero resistance on the rollers I’m going 22mph. This is with the resistance unit unplugged, or plugged in at zero resistance. I just talked to them and he doesn’t seem to think that the problem you had is with this newer unit.
Ok, this is hot off the press after talking with InsideRide. You may have noticed in the new app that in settings there is a calibration screen and another screen for tweaking factory values. Well apparently, those screens are supposed to be locked out and in the next version of the app they will be gone. Ooops! However, I think what happened in my case is I was messing with that calibration and accidentally changed the offset value. This changed the default resistance value for zero resistance. I just changed it to 0 offset and was able to average about 165w at 90 RPM, which is pretty close to my Kreitler rollers with similar sized drums. But for those who get the app later, they won’t have to worry about this because that screen will be locked out
Thanks for the awesome info, @krispenhartung!
The E-motions were my first set of rollers and my first smart trainer, and it’s good to hear that someone else has noticed the same erg-ness that I did without any experience to compare to.
Thanks as well for the scoop on the calibration screen. I got in there once, and boy did I make a mess. I think I got it back to normal, though.
Cool, glad to help! Yeah, I am sure they will save a lot of user grief when they eliminate that screen. Of course, I actually like tweaking and messing with things, once I understand what they are doing!
Their advise on auto calibration was good as well. With the new non-Elite resistance unit, manual calibration, spreadsheets, plugging on P1,2,3 values, etc, etc, is all out the window and unnecessary now. They suggested that before each ride you let the unit auto calibrate. Make sure it is connected to your power meter, go into the app, go into resistance mode and do a zero resistance 2 min easy spin. In that amount of time, it will analyze your power meter data and re-calibrate the resistance unit. None of this will work in ERG mode, so make sure you are not in ERG mode when you auto-calibrate.
I am sure I will have more observations once i start using the rollers for some actual workouts. I plan on doing some 1-leg cadence drills tomorrow, and then this weekend I will pull up Rouvy (sorry TR, I’m a polyamorous training app user! LOL) and do some virtual routes with video and see how the rollers do on some GPS based virtual terrain, climbs, etc. I may use my road bike for that!
Interesting about the calibration being locked out in the app - I hope that doesn’t mess me back up, since I’ve been careful about checking that the unit is at the calibration value InsideRide gave me before each workout. It’s been working awesome since I’ve been doing that, for example, this morning’s workout (Kaweah):
That ERG power line looks pretty good to me, so my worries are gone. I think once the unit auto-calibrates, all is good.
New question on Inside Ride Rollers and power match. I’ve read through the thread above. I have favero assioma duo pedals and the inside ride smart rollers. Question is what is the best way to pair it all up?
Inside ride suggests turning off TR power match and pairing rollers to powermeter, letting rollers set the resistance according to what powermeter reads. (this means the rollers are getting the power info from TR and then deciding how to adjust their resistance to make the powermeter match the w/o) seems like an extra step to me…
TR suggests using TR power match, it seems this has lead some to have a battle over which is controlling the resistance, TR or inside ride, with resultant more severe power spikes.
I initially paired TR to the power meter and the rollers with TR power match on. I didn’t pair the pwoermeter to the rollers. (this way TR is deciding how to adjust the resistance to make the powermeter match the w/o) seems like one less step…
I’ve tried both ways. It seems to me that using TR power match over Inside Ride, is a better experience, any other thoughts?