Accurate Road Simulation with NEO Smart Trainer

Krank
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Accurate Road Simulation with NEO Smart Trainer

Postby Krank » Fri Jan 01, 2016 1:16 pm

Hello All and Happy New Year!!

I do acknowledge that the best form of training to activate the correct and most efficient muscle pattern during the pedal stroke is when riding outdoors. However, this ideal environment cannot not always achieved because of weather, locality, traffic, safety, etc. Enter indoor training (and in my case, the NEO Smart indoor trainer with direct drive).

My goal is to accuratley simulate inertia/road training as best I can on the NEO by activating the correct muscle activation pattern using my strongest and most efficient muscle groups with correct timing of the pedalling torque profile. By achieving this goal, I will be recruiting the same muscle group within the same timing pattern when out on the road, thereby maximising my power output to the ground. I read with interest the following thread on power output difference when riding outdoors when compared to indoors -
http://www.timetriallingforum.co.uk/ind ... pic=104861

Post # 29 also refers to the torque crank angle - muscle type activation profile.

The following rider observations were noted in this thread:-
- For outdoor power to be maintained close to what is felt outdoors, more work is required in other parts of the pedal stroke which increases fatigue and hence similar and road power not being able to be held for as long.
- Riders on indoor trainers who observe no drop in power or even generate a higher power may have a 'better' pedal action.
- The flywheel does not match the same momentum of a rider and their bike when riding outdoors.
- When the flywheel trainer is pedalled hard (especially out of saddle) the flywheel and everything attached to it (legs, drivetrain, etc.) will accelerate much more quicker.
- This unnaturally rapid acceleration does not allow the legs to apply as much force/power on the downstroke, shifting more of the workload to the weaker, less efficient muscles that push and pull through the deadspots.
- The timing of the indoor flywheel pedalling torque profile is wrong when compared to the outdoor pedalling torque profile (being sinusoidal with the peaks corresponding to efforts of the large and efficient muscles).
- Muscle activation is determined by crank angle, so any change in the pedalling torque profile (flattening out peaks and filling in troughs of the sinusoid) changes the patterns of muscle activation.
- After transitioning from outdoor training to indoor training (due to seasonal activity), Power is lost because the body needs to adapt to a different / weaker muscle recruitment / less efficient pattern.
- After transitioning from indoor training to outdoor training (due to seasonal activity), Power is lost because of lost adaptations to outdoor riding.
- Indoor riding results in unnatural muscle recruitment by forcing oneself to push and pull through the enhanced dead spots of indoor riding and requires extra concentration.
- Fewer distractions can produce better pedalling "quality" to achieve better torque application in each pedal stroke.
- A completely generic and correct simulation of outdoors should have it taking exactly the same amount of time to coast down as a rider would take outdoors with the same parameters for CdA, Crr, etc. as used in the simulation.

The following is what TACX have responded in relation to accurately simulating road feel:

"A virtual flywheel dynamically controls the brake force. This means that the resistance is calculated and adjusted continually to simulate natural road resistance. Whereas other trainers use a flywheel to pass the dead centre, the NEO uses calculations to predict the movements of the bike and simulate the action of a flywheel. The inclusion of FAST technology means the NEO carries out a 1000 calculations per second to predict the rider's movement. The virtual flywheel can generate a variable inertia effect, allowing it to simulate the bike movements of all cyclists up to a specific bodyweight (125 kg max.) in a highly accurate manner. When calculating the brake resistance required, all physical formulas a cyclist encounters on the road are applied to create a situation that is as realistic as possible. Air and rolling resistance, gradient percentage, weight, air pressure, wind speed, temperature, altitude, inertia and brake properties are all taken into account and calculated hundreds of times per second to achieve a realistic feel."


Does anyone know if TACX allow their settings to be customisable that will assist in producing accurate simulation to road (including CdA, Crr, etc.)?

Can the NEO deliver accurate inertia road simulation with the NEO Smart Trainer?

What indoor training methods have you used to ensure you activate the correct and most efficient muscle pattern during the pedal stroke?

How do you know you are actually activate the correct and most efficient muscle pattern during the pedal stroke?

Interested to read any other thoughts you may have on anything I have posted above.....



Krank

Krank
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Re: Accurate Road Simulation with NEO Smart Trainer

Postby Krank » Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:55 pm

Any thoughts on activating correct muscle groups with use of indoor trainers in general and not just with The NEO?


keank

macca33
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Re: Accurate Road Simulation with NEO Smart Trainer

Postby macca33 » Sat Jan 02, 2016 7:39 pm

You may be overthinking this whole cycling thing at the minute mate - why not just get out and ride your bike???
CAAD10 Berzerker & Focus Mares CX & Jamis Xenith Elite

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3DKiwi
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Re: Accurate Road Simulation with NEO Smart Trainer

Postby 3DKiwi » Sun Jan 03, 2016 4:41 am

I'm in the process of upgrading my indoor trainer from a Cycleops Fluid 2 to a Wahoo Kickr Snap. The Kickr Snap should arrive on Tuesday. I had thought about a Tacx Neo but after reading about numerous problems with their trainers in their own forums and elsewhere I've gone with the Kickr. The Kickr I gather is widely regarded as having one of the best road feels around.

If you're going to get into this level of detail you're probably better off using a power meter on your trainer. For example my 4iiii power meter (Left hand crank) provides torque effectiveness and pedal smoothness data live on my Garmin. When I'm doing one leg drills on my trainer by adjusting my pedalling action I can see what produces a more efficient pedalling action and more power. Left hand only since it's a crank based power meter but you can replicate the pedalling action on the right hand side easily enough. I produce more power when I pedal using a "Wagon wheel" type motion where I'm trying to keep the power on the entire 360 degrees for both legs.

Have fun.

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Alex Simmons/RST
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Re: Accurate Road Simulation with NEO Smart Trainer

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Sun Jan 03, 2016 6:48 am

Krank wrote:I do acknowledge that the best form of training to activate the correct and most efficient muscle pattern during the pedal stroke is when riding outdoors.

Why do you think this?

Don't conflate efficiency with performance and what training is most effective.

Krank
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Re: Accurate Road Simulation with NEO Smart Trainer

Postby Krank » Sun Jan 03, 2016 7:30 am

Thanks guys.

3DKiwi - Yes, I thought long and hard about the NEO vs Kickr choice and I too read all of the forums outlining the earlier issues. These earlier issues have all been rectified by TACX in their latest releases and I was not prepared to put up with the constant high pitched whining sound and the need to always calibrate of the Kickr. It is great that you are able to increase pedal efficiency for producing better power output. Can you elaborate more on how you maintain the "wagon wheel" type motion to retain power on entire 360 degrees for both legs?

Alex - I would have thought outdoor riding forces you to naturally maintain an efficient pedal stroke, coupled with natural inertia loading, etc...Happy to be corrected here..

Krank

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3DKiwi
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Re: Accurate Road Simulation with NEO Smart Trainer

Postby 3DKiwi » Sun Jan 03, 2016 11:24 am

Krank wrote:Thanks guys.

3DKiwi - Yes, I thought long and hard about the NEO vs Kickr choice and I too read all of the forums outlining the earlier issues. These earlier issues have all been rectified by TACX in their latest releases and I was not prepared to put up with the constant high pitched whining sound and the need to always calibrate of the Kickr. It is great that you are able to increase pedal efficiency for producing better power output. Can you elaborate more on how you maintain the "wagon wheel" type motion to retain power on entire 360 degrees for both legs?

Alex - I would have thought outdoor riding forces you to naturally maintain an efficient pedal stroke, coupled with natural inertia loading, etc...Happy to be corrected here..

Krank


Yeah the Kickr high pitch scream is annoying hence the reason I bought the Snap. I calibrate my power meter every ride after a 5 minute non recorded warm up so doing a spin down calibration on the kickr snap won't be much of a drama.

The Wagon wheel technique is just a full 360 pedalling action where you're active scraping across the bottom quadrant then pulling up before pushing down. Your legs fell like they're fixed to a big wagon wheel and your fett are going in big circles rather than up and down. The motion is very smooth and you're not grinding down too hard with your quads although that's where the majority of your power is coming from. If you unclip one foot and then pedal for say a minute you'll know what I'm referring to as you have to apply constant tension all the way around. This is where the torque readout on my Garmin comes in as it shows how efficient you are. For this sort of training all you need from your trainer is constant tension. A lot of the Trainerroad workouts have pedalling technique drills that get you pedalling applying tension all the way around. Cyclo-Core training spends a lot of time on efficient pedalling techniques with plenty of drills in their training.

Krank
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Location: Melbourne VIC

Re: Accurate Road Simulation with NEO Smart Trainer

Postby Krank » Sun Jan 03, 2016 11:34 am

sounds great 3DKiwi.

Good choice on the SNAP.

I will check out Cyclo-core.


Krank

andrewpaddo
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Re: Accurate Road Simulation with NEO Smart Trainer

Postby andrewpaddo » Sat Mar 12, 2016 5:55 am

my advice is go the kickr. - to put up with a bit of noise, which will probably be masked by a decent fan then the wahoo will do everything the Tacx will but at $700 bucks cheaper. Ive just been stung over $400 getting the thing from Wiggle.com.au . unfortunately I missed the fine print re customs.

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