Smart trainers and software

thatmdee
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Re: Smart trainers and software

Postby thatmdee » Thu Jan 04, 2018 5:26 pm

I've moved to a combination of Zwift and TrainerRoad.

I did a 20 minute FTP test with TrainerRoad, and got 209w -- up from 180w approximately 8 weeks ago in Zwift. Pretty happy with that. I didn't mind the workouts in Zwift, but after reading about TrainerRoad and hearing the podcast, it seemed a little more professional, polished and structured.

Not wanting to just stare at a graph (except for an FTP test -- so I can maintain focus), I decided to run it alongside Zwift. I bought a second ANT+ dongle, and unpaired the Neo as a controllable trainer in Zwift, and just added it as a power source. The Neo is paired as an ANT+ trainer in Trainer Road on the other ANT+ dongle.

Zwift runs in a window on the top 3/4 of my TV, and TrainerRoad runs in minimal mode on the bottom 1/4 of the screen. I wrote a small .NET app that uses Windows APIs to remove the border from the Zwift window, and positions it on the top 3/4 of the screen. The two apps together now seem fairly integrated and unified.

Having said that, this morning I had 2 dropouts around 15 - 20 minutes into my workout. No issues previously when just using Zwift. I'm guessing possibly the extra ANT+ dongle is the culprit. I'm not sure if now I should run a powered USB hub down underneath the Neo, and plug in both ANT+ dongles to try and fix it.

I've started on the Mid volume Sweet Spot base training plan. Once I finish the first block, if I'm handling the training stress okay, I might tr moving up to High volume.

g-boaf
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Re: Smart trainers and software

Postby g-boaf » Thu Jan 04, 2018 8:05 pm

thatmdee wrote:I've moved to a combination of Zwift and TrainerRoad.

I did a 20 minute FTP test with TrainerRoad, and got 209w -- up from 180w approximately 8 weeks ago in Zwift. Pretty happy with that. I didn't mind the workouts in Zwift, but after reading about TrainerRoad and hearing the podcast, it seemed a little more professional, polished and structured.

Not wanting to just stare at a graph (except for an FTP test -- so I can maintain focus), I decided to run it alongside Zwift. I bought a second ANT+ dongle, and unpaired the Neo as a controllable trainer in Zwift, and just added it as a power source. The Neo is paired as an ANT+ trainer in Trainer Road on the other ANT+ dongle.

Zwift runs in a window on the top 3/4 of my TV, and TrainerRoad runs in minimal mode on the bottom 1/4 of the screen. I wrote a small .NET app that uses Windows APIs to remove the border from the Zwift window, and positions it on the top 3/4 of the screen. The two apps together now seem fairly integrated and unified.

Having said that, this morning I had 2 dropouts around 15 - 20 minutes into my workout. No issues previously when just using Zwift. I'm guessing possibly the extra ANT+ dongle is the culprit. I'm not sure if now I should run a powered USB hub down underneath the Neo, and plug in both ANT+ dongles to try and fix it.

I've started on the Mid volume Sweet Spot base training plan. Once I finish the first block, if I'm handling the training stress okay, I might tr moving up to High volume.


Firstly, well done on the extra almost 30w. That's a huge gain! 8)

You shouldn't need to use any extra ANT+ dongles or extensions - I'm using the tiny little Garmin ant+ antenna connected to the USB port of the Lenovo Yoga laptop/tablet that I've got running PerfPro Studio. I have no drop outs from that. It's probably about 1.5m away from the Neo. I think it might be something to do with the second dongle, perhaps the extra connections are confusing things.

thatmdee
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Re: Smart trainers and software

Postby thatmdee » Thu Jan 04, 2018 8:42 pm

Thanks.. I'm putting some of the FTP increase down to practice and a pacing strategy. I started with 180 / 0.95 = 190w over a 20minute interval, so aimed to pace at 195w (to give me an FTP of 185w. an increase in 5w). Somehow I managed to pace at 220w for the 20 minute interval without blowing up too quickly.

I need an extra dongle though because I'm running two applications at once?.. I can have one ANT+ dongle picking up data from multiple broadcasted devices (HR / Chest Strap, Power, Speed/Cadence), but an ANT+ dongle can only be used by one application at once.

Or alternatively, I run Zwift with ANT+ paired as a 'power source' only (no controllable trainer), and then control the trainer using TrainerRoad via bluetooth on my phone.

The main reason I went with 2 x ANT+ instead was because the guided text in TrainerRoad seems quite helpful, and if run TR in minimal mode, the text overlays Zwift, so I'm much more likely to read it.

thearthurdog
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Re: Smart trainers and software

Postby thearthurdog » Tue Jan 09, 2018 5:19 pm

I have recently retired my Elite Muin and bought an Elite Direto. I run Zwift through a laptop. In terms of training I do a lot of Zwift racing or do the the custom workouts available through my coaching business (DRP Coaching). I am a genuine time crunched athlete, so for me indoor training is an absolute winner! Zwift makes the experience a pleasure and I am very happy with the new Direto.
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eeksll
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Re: Smart trainers and software

Postby eeksll » Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:11 am

g-boaf wrote:
Tim wrote:Thanks for that.
I'm sitting it out waiting for Dell to release their new 15" XPS laptops.
Apparently equipped with a GTX 1060 GPU and 5K display.
That's the thinking at the moment and I need a new laptop soon.
It won't be cheap.


Did you mean 4k? 5K display on a laptop?! :shock:

Edit: Yes, apparently that will happen. :o Makes my 27" Cinema Display at 2560x1440, and even the work 30" Cinema Display at 2560x1600 seem way outdated.


I think the high res laptops have been a thing for a while and they are not bothering with super high res computer monitors. I have a 3200x1800 on a 13 inch laptop for work, its a bit of a pita to use external monitors at 1920x1080 as windows or the apps in windows don't cater for the difference very well.

thatmdee
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Re: Smart trainers and software

Postby thatmdee » Thu Jan 11, 2018 7:12 am

Now running Zwift and Trainer Road on my TV successfully without dropouts using 2 ANT+ dongles. It works well. I get the structured training plans of TrainerRoad, and Zwift to look at (I could just watch videos with TrainerRoad, but I like focusing on the road in Zwift, and it requires less mental energy when doing harder efforts than following characters, a plot, etc on a TV show or movie).

I ended up with a USB extension lead, with a cheap passive USB hub on the end (this one: https://www.officeworks.com.au/shop/off ... -jb4pusb2b), with both ANT+ dongles plugged in. This is sitting directly under my Neo.

It's hardly surprising that I was getting dropouts with 2 x ANT+ dongles for receiving signals -- then the following -- Neo power, Neo speed/cadence, Tickr (broadcasts ANT+ and Bluetooth), phone with bluetooth earphones, 2.4 GHz wifi network (I had already changed the channel), separate smart trainer sitting 1m away.. So many devices it seems dropouts were inevitable.

g-boaf
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Re: Smart trainers and software

Postby g-boaf » Mon Jan 29, 2018 9:41 am

Any thoughts/ideas on tall desks that don't take up too much room?

I'd like to get one set up that goes against the wall to hold the laptop computer and a network switch / firewall and have the trainer/bike set up as close to it as possible.

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Tim
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Re: Smart trainers and software

Postby Tim » Mon Jan 29, 2018 11:02 am

I'm using what is called a hospital over-bed table.
This sort of thing; https://www.ebay.com.au/i/182900685783?chn=ps
It only has to carry my laptop and I can wheel it up to the front of the bike, just in front of the shift levers and operate the mouse or keyboard on the go, if need be.

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tomee
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Re: Smart trainers and software

Postby tomee » Mon Jan 29, 2018 11:07 am

I run Zwift and TR together. Zwift on laptop and TR on android phone and notice on the laptop i always get ANT+ dropouts a lot more than the phone.
its using a genuine Garmin usb dongle and the andorid phone just uses its inbuilt ANT+ chip.
https://zwiftalizer.com/ is pretty cool to look at logs of your ant+ signals.


g-boaf wrote:Any thoughts/ideas on tall desks that don't take up too much room?

I'd like to get one set up that goes against the wall to hold the laptop computer and a network switch / firewall and have the trainer/bike set up as close to it as possible.


funny you say that as i just built one with the help of my brother in law.
I wanted something the same as the Wahoo desk but didnt want to pay the $300 they were asking. Used bits that were laying around and i just bought the adjustable legs.


Originally i was going to use a wood table and then use a router to make some channels where the electronic devices sit in. Instead my brother in law had aluminium rails he wasn't using so we decided to use that instead.
ImageIMG_20180126_181406 by Tom, on Flickr

cut the rails to each edge of the table would have one
ImageIMG_20180126_184127 by Tom, on Flickr

Like the wahoo desk it had holes cut out so you could fit cables or ANT+ dongle through it so i did the same to the rails
ImageIMG_20180126_190911 by Tom, on Flickr

filed down the edges so cables couldnt get cut on it
ImageIMG_20180126_191819 by Tom, on Flickr

drilled holes and counter sunk screws to attach to table
ImageIMG_20180126_185000 by Tom, on Flickr

tabletop done
ImageIMG_20180126_193031 by Tom, on Flickr

attached adjustable legs. 70cm-1m
ImageIMG_20180127_150727 by Tom, on Flickr

i put foam strips in the rails so that the tablets could sit snug without being accidentally knocked out
ImageIMG_20180127_152300 by Tom, on Flickr

iPod with ANT+ dongle
ImageIMG_20180127_153045 by Tom, on Flickr

ImageIMG_20180127_153057 by Tom, on Flickr

rail at the rear can also hide away cables
ImageIMG_20180127_153142 by Tom, on Flickr

ImageIMG_20180127_153242 by Tom, on Flickr

finished
ImageIMG_20180127_153407 by Tom, on Flickr

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queequeg
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Re: Smart trainers and software

Postby queequeg » Mon Jan 29, 2018 11:26 am

g-boaf wrote:Any thoughts/ideas on tall desks that don't take up too much room?

I'd like to get one set up that goes against the wall to hold the laptop computer and a network switch / firewall and have the trainer/bike set up as close to it as possible.


I went with the Wahoo Fitness Desk, since I am terrible at building things myself and didn't have any of the tools for that kind of thing

It's an expensive option for a desk, but it works really well.

DC Rainmaker did a review https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2015/12/wahoo-kickr-desk.html
'11 Lynskey Cooper CX, '00 Hillbrick Steel Racing (Total Rebuild '10), '15 Cervelo S5

g-boaf
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Re: Smart trainers and software

Postby g-boaf » Mon Jan 29, 2018 11:38 am

Cheers everyone - I did discover the hospital over-bed table in further searching, that will do the job but I don't want to have my training cave looking like a hospital. ;) They are cheap though and multi-functional.

I found this as well: http://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/adjus ... oUjsvkrKUk

Unfortunately it's in Canada but it does have the "industrial" look that I'm after.

It might be possible to hack something together with the Ikea SVARTÅSEN laptop tables and modifying the leg of the table to make it taller. Starting to seem like an off the shelf Kickr table or the overbed table will be a lot easier.

http://www.ikea.com/au/en/catalog/produ ... #/60242176

Tim wrote:I'm using what is called a hospital over-bed table.
This sort of thing; https://www.ebay.com.au/i/182900685783?chn=ps
It only has to carry my laptop and I can wheel it up to the front of the bike, just in front of the shift levers and operate the mouse or keyboard on the go, if need be.


Neat construction.

queequeg wrote:I went with the Wahoo Fitness Desk


Thanks - I'll keep that one in mind.

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ft_critical
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Re: Smart trainers and software

Postby ft_critical » Mon Feb 19, 2018 12:17 pm

Okay so I am in the game.

Elite Direto
Zwift and Elite My eTraining

Bit of a SAGA. So I am upgrading from my Cyclops Fluid 1 with PowerTap P1 Pedals.
The PowerTap Pedals have the AAA battery mounted under the pedal and I would clip them in Crits every now and then. Finally, they succumbed to a ‘common’ issue which is the pedal bearings give up and the pedal slides up and down the axle – not that handy… Under warranty they gave me a credit which I used to purchase the Direto, after a small side trip to a Kickr.

I run my old HP Pavillion Computer in my shed beside the house, 2x fans, portable AC, stereo… very comfy. Summertime though, the tin shed gets the morning sun and is 30+ by 10am in spite of the AC.

SAGA 2, welcome to the National Broadband. I ran a signal booster pre NBN and that worked fine. However, the release of the NBN means my booster no longer works and I can’t seem to buy a replacement (maybe I am just irritated that I have to NBN at all). So the signal is sometimes too weak to Zwift so I end up running of my work iPhone with the hotspot switched on. This works seamlessly so I shouldn’t complain, just weird that I now have to do that.

The smart trainer is a massive improvement for Zwift Game play over the dumb trainer. On the dumb trainer you had to anticipate the wattages all the time and often overestimated and ended up off the front or underestimated and ended up off the back. Either way it resulted in unnecessary effort. The flywheel effect of the trainer is also great, it means you can back off a little without power immediately dropping. Much more realistic.
I love Zwift. People complain that it is not real or people cheat…. I only do the races myself. But it really pushes you to the limit which is exactly what you want. Whilst it doesn’t translate perfectly to road/crit racing, using it in combination with actual racing is really beneficial. I think in Zwift you have to work harder for the whole race than you do in real races, but the variance (think NPower, Avg Power) is not as big. So it is more like a TT in that respect.
Setup of the Direto was super easy, maybe 10min. The My ETraining app is not good. You get a free 1yr subscription. I was hoping to use some of the video climbs, but they are EUR14 each even after the subscription. The user uploaded video climbs are free but they are not curated (i.e., seem a mess).

SAGA3. I originally received a Wahoo Kickr. I had wanted the Kickr2 but they sold out so I got the 3 with the Campy freehub adapter… Hang on, it doesn’t fit. The 3 no longer supports Campy. Certainly not Campy 10sp. So it went back and I went with the Direto.

Why not replace the pedals. To be honest, I have a good power profile from the two years on the P1 pedals. But any power based training I do, will be on the trainer.
My honest experience (uncoached) with power based training is that you don’t push yourself hard enough. So you turn up to a race and you are under done. The best training for racing is… racing, against the people you need to beat, or people slightly better.

g-boaf
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Re: Smart trainers and software

Postby g-boaf » Thu Feb 22, 2018 8:52 am

I still reckon there is something a bit wonky with the settings in PerfPro Studio for the Tacx Neo. If my legs give up and I stop pedaling, even with letting it stop, the resistance when I start pedaling again doesn't come on in a linear fashion as I've been used to (on a Computrainer), it's full force immediately. Makes it a bit difficult, but it works and I'm getting results from it.

I haven't actually been using the trainer much at all, just once this week for the first time in ages. I guess if the weather gets worse (or when it gets cold) it'll get more use.

Neddysmith
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Re: Smart trainers and software

Postby Neddysmith » Thu Feb 22, 2018 11:25 am

I just started looking into getting a trainer for some additional training efforts when im unable to get out on the bike and especially over the those colder, wetter winter months.

Anyone using something like Lemond Revolution with zwift or the like?

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