Rather do 2 FTP tests or use PowerMatch

I have read quite a few articles and also blog posts on this and was wondering what’s your view on this is.

I am training exclusively indoors on my TacX Neo. I am very satisfied the training experience and therefor somewhat reluctant to changing anything. Outdoor rides are pretty much fun rides with the misses or the mates. Not using any powermeters or the like.
With the outdoor training feature on the horizon (wahoo) I am thinking about shifting some share of my training to outdoors (mostly the long endurance rides and TSS-fillers). As I currently don’t own a powermeter I am thinking about getting one. Money is not so much of an issue. Focus is on reliable and consistent metrics.
I am aware that whatever PM I will buy it will still measure different to the Neo. Guess that’s the nature of it. One solution to fix the issue could be using PowerMatch. Which I don’t want for different reassons. Mostly due to stuff I have read about it causing delays and an overall less enjoyable training experience. So I wondered wether it would make sense to just test FTP twice (like on 2 following days or so) in order to get one value for indoors (NEO) and one for outdoors (PM). I personally do not mind testing (actually enjoy it) but am not too sure wether I am missing something important.

So again - what are you guys thinking about it? Also any PMs you would recommend?

Thanks in advance for your response. And please forgive me if I do not reply to every comment. That does not mean I do not appreciate your insight. But rather agree and have nothing to add. :slight_smile:

For what it’s worth I have had no issues with power match. Exactly the same experience as using erg driven by the trainer power. The only difference I have noticed I put down to the more varied data from the PM than the smoothed output from my trainer. I know some people do have issues but I would defintiely give it a go, at least for a ride. It’s far preferable than testing twice!

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Thanks for your reply. What PMs and Trainer are you using mate?

Tacx Vortex Smart (not really recommended but does the job) with Favero Assioma duos (100% recommended) FWIW I’m also using ant+, I find bluetooth gives a slightly less reliable experience with powermatch for some reason. The resistance seems to surge and relax a little whereas it’s constant on ant+

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powermatch works perfectly for me too, another assioma user.

but even on the same equipment, your FTP is probably going to vary inside to outside anyway (think i read on here by around 10%?) so you would have to do your second test outdoors

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I use a Kickr Core with a p2max NG Eco power meter (I recommend both) with power match and I only have issues with micro intervals in ERG and those arguably should be done on resistance mode instead. Otherwise it I has been perfect. It you buy a power meter, just use it for everything. It is so much easier and convenient than trying to do some other workaround.

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Have always used Powermatch since day 1, going back 4yrs (?) now. Anyway, Kickr gen1 for a few years. Neo1 since then. Both bikes have Power2Max Type-S. Again, never any issues!

Use the on bike power meter indoors and outdoors which will give you meaningful and consistent numbers for comparison between indoor and outdoor workouts.

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I have a Stages power meter and a Direto. I tried power match a few months ago, but there seemed to be too much fluctuation in power match + erg mode for steady state efforts at threshold. So I just use the Direto indoors with Trainer Road. Luckily they both show power within a few watts of each other. I keep an eye on my Stages power using my Garmin head unit. I check the average power for intervals near threshold and near VO2Max. I do this by pressing the lap button on the Garmin at the start and finish of each interval and check the “last lap power” field on the Garmin and compare it to the average power on TrainerRoad. Most of the time they are in sync (0-5 watts) but they will creep out of sync at times. So before an FTP test I will calibrate both of them with a good 10 min warmup.

So my suggestion if you find yourself with similar circumstances is to do an FTP ramp test with both, pressing the lap button on the Garmin at each minute and check the results on both devices to see how they compare. One test, but results for two power meters :slight_smile:

I use powermatch with a KICKR Core and a Quarq PM. Never had anything but good/normal experiences. I used to use a Stages PM with an original KICKR, again powermatch was all good.

As far as moving to outdoor training goes in your post, I wouldn’t be remotely concerned of using a PM for the endurance rides and TSS “fillers”. If you want to incorporate long endurance rides, you’d be better off riding by heart rate than power, quite honestly.

I found that not only did my outdoor PM (Garmin Vector) not match my indoor power (Kickr) but that even allowing for the differences my outdoor FTP is higher than indoors. Guess due to some mix of better cooling, more movement on the bike, and better motivation (never done an outdoor FTP test, am deriving my FTP from suitable race efforts such as TTs and long climbs).

Powermatch would address the first difference but not the second, and would also involve the hassle of continually moving pedals back and forth between my outdoor bike and the the old bike that sits on the trainer (not to mention burning through batteries a lot quicker). So I decided that being aware of the differences was sufficient and not to bother doing any more. Which works fine for me as my outdoor rides are typically either group rides and races where I’m pacing by feel not power, or workouts such as long endurance rides where I’m not overly fussed about hitting a very precise target power.

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It is pretty commonly known and accepted that you can lay down more power outside (up to 10% more in some cases) than you can inside, and it is for the reasons you describe. Everyone notices and feels this difference. The guys have mentioned this on the podcast before, too. They said to continue training indoors with your measured FTP, and then use outdoor riding to set your PRs and what not.

Perhaps @chad could share some insight for using your indoor FTP outdoors and how that fits into the fitness adaptations you’re looking for.

PM recommendation: Quarq

When I initially got my PM (April 2019) and tried to use PowerMatch I hated it. Mostly because I was so used to the “feel” of my Wahoo. Luckily, my Wahoo and PM were within 1% after numerous workouts and comparisons. However, after months of slowly introducing myself to workouts with Powermatch, I’ve grown not only to like it, but prefer using it. I would recommend Powermatch to anyone and say only that there is a slight adjustment period. Additionally, I feel Powermatch is more realistic to outdoor power, which is much less smooth.

As others have suggested, if you don’t use Powermatch, when you take the FTP test simply have your PM report to your head unit, then take 75% of your highest 1 min power. This way you’ll have an FTP for you PM in case their is a vast difference.

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@MI-XC Thanks for your comment. If I may ask, what model are your you using?

I ride/race MTB only, so I have the XX1 Eagle PM. However, I’ve heard great things about the road versions as well. Quarq is a very respected and accurate platform.

https://www.quarq.com/product/sram-xx1-eagle-quarq-dub-power-meter/

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Today’s FTP test using the Kickr Snap’s Erg while simultaneously recording my Quarq PM to my Wahoo Bolt head unit. I then put both power graphs into DCR’s Analyzer tool to compare. This way I can use my PM outdoors without relying on Powermatch to control Erg during a ramp test. As you can see both track very close so in my case it doesn’t matter either way.


Thanks for your efforts mate @MI-XC . I think this is the way to go for me. Only thing left for me to figure out is what PM to purchase.

Thanks again! And happy training.

I’m guessing you are talking about the amount of smoothing applied to the power value that is displayed?

by default i think the trainer makes it look like your power value is more consistent than it actually is. if you prefer that, you could always change the display for the quarq so that it reads in a similar way.

BUT (and correct me if I’m wrong) the power smoothing setting doesn’t affect the control of the trainer in ERG mode, ie it still responds at the same speed

There is the smoothing that can be disabled via the Wahoo app. This makes the power appear unnaturally smooth when graphed.

However, there is an adjustment period to ERG mode for many riders. There is a tug of war going on between your legs and the ERG which initially feels unnatural. As you get accustomed to ERG mode, your reactions become smaller and smaller and as a result you fight the ERG less. Also, you learn/understand how the ERG reacts to your inputs. Your power output and graphs will become smoother as well.

I’ve recently made the move from Stages power meters (on two bikes) to Favero Assioma Duos, and am so glad I did. I’m 100% happy with the Assiomas - especially the positive way they interact with TR’s PowerMatch (something I felt the Stages always struggled with). Here’s my review of the Assiomas I posted on the website of the retailer I bought them from:

The Assiomas are a seriously good product. I mean, seriously good. They’re superbly engineered, solid, reliable, accurate and consistent. I’ve moved from Stages (Dura Ace L on one bike, Ultegra LR on another), and the Assiomas are without doubt far superior in every respect.
I use TrainerRoad paired with my Cycleops Hammer for my indoor workouts, and have never been really satisfied with the way the Stages interacted with the TR app – especially their PowerMatch function. I always had the feeling that I was forever chasing the prescribed power targets, with PowerMatch constantly lagging, rising and falling in its adjustments. It always felt as if there was insufficient resistance coming from the Hammer due to the constantly off-putting fluctuations. (One good thing about all that was that it made me work on developing a smooth and efficient pedalling technique.) I’ve experienced quite a few issues as well with activating, pairing, calibrating and updating the Stages’ firmware – especially using the Stages app. I’ve also lost the battery cover (and battery) while out on a ride, and experienced water ingress and loss of power readings during rainfalls. It was time for a change.
The consistently good reviews, together with the relatively low price, persuaded me to go for the Assiomas. I’ve not been disappointed. Fitting, activating, pairing, and calibrating them is the very essence of simplicity. I switch them between bikes regularly (different crank arm lengths on both bikes) and have never had a problem with getting everything set up. So easy, so quick, so reliable. The Assiomas can be fitted, configured (for different crank arm lengths) and calibrated in no time at all using either a Garmin (I use a 520 and/or an 820) or the Favero app. A couple of minutes, job done.
On the turbo, using TrainerRoad, they’ve been an absolute revelation. From the very start, the Assiomas have interacted superbly with TrainerRoad’s PowerMatch, and have transformed my indoor workouts. There’s no lag or perceptible changes as the app controls the turbo’s resistance. The Hammer now has a truly solid, consistent and realistic feel to it – much more like riding outdoors.
Out on the road, and the Assiomas provide good, accurate, consistent data. They feel so good under foot as well. I’ve had to make the move from Shimano pedals/cleats to Look cleats in order to use the Assiomas. This was my only (minor) reservation about buying them. I’ve always used Shimano SPDs and have never had any cause for trying any other sort. However, I was immediately struck by how good the Assiomas felt while riding. They have a really good, solid feel to them, and you can really feel all your efforts driving through the pedals and powering you along. Clipping in and out is easy. I’d read quite a few user reviews that expressed how hard it was to unclip – even with the tension adjuster fully backed off. However, it transpires that Favero have taken these concerns on board and have introduced a lower tensioned spring. Apparently, earlier versions had silver springs (higher tension), while the newer versions have lower tension black springs. Mine have the new black springs.
Charging the Assiomas is, as you would expect, ridiculously easy to do, thanks to the magnetic chargers that connect to the pods first time every time, no dramas, no fuss.
I’m so pleased with the Assiomas. Favero have produced a brilliant product at an excellent price. I love everything about them, they’re so good. Thank you Favero. Other companies take note: this is how it’s done.

I can’t recommend the Assiomas enough. So reliable, and quick and easy to swap between bikes. An excellent product.

okay, sure. but how does that change depending on the power source that you are using? in what way does it “feel” different?