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Power newbie

I need some help. I got in on the Stages order, and a couple of weeks ago, went to my local LBS to have the power meter installed on my bike. They helpfully paired it with my Garmin, showed me the app for my phone and how to battery check from the phone and calibrate from phone or watch. I've had a few rides since then and all have been plagued with drop outs where I lose power and cadence readings from my Garmin. Sometimes this lasts for a few seconds, sometimes 30s or longer and it's frequent... almost constant actually. Sometimes when this happens, and I'm frustrated, I drop my arm down by my crank and the readings come back... this could just be a coincidence. I'm a little person on a little bike - I really find it hard to believe that the problem is proximity.

All of my rides have been on the trainer... either on my Kickr at home, or taking my dumb trainer to the Spin studio. Last Wednesday, with some help from Google, I took a bunch of measures to try and make it better: updated the firmware on my power meter, turned off blue tooth on my Garmin, re-connected Garmin & Stages via ANT+, and headed off to Spin class with a dumb trainer... so no chance here that it's competing signals with the Kickr, or my phone (left in the car), or my Garmin. Same problem.

So what am I doing wrong?
KenElPescadoPelado

Comments

  • Options
    Call this in as a question for Ben & Ray - maybe add the firmware versions of each.

    However, here's what I can add. Assuming it's a Garmin 920? The connection with it and a Stages is notoriously finicky. I used to see this a lot with my watch and a Stages when I had one on my TT bike on the trainer.

    At home things like wifi, microwaves, cordless phones, can cause interference. Does it seem better when you're at the spin studio? Can you try setting up at the far end of the house from these things to see if it improves? Do you see drops when recording on your phone, or with Zwift/TR?

    Ideally, you'll verify it's just the usual Garmin/Stages goofiness, and it will only be a minor inconvenience during indoor training. You could just use something else to record the rides inside. Alternatively, the dedicated Garmin bike computers don't seem to have this problem with the Stages (better ANT antenna than the watch?), so you could just pick up an Edge 500/510/520 and use that.

    First #BAAW Badge Recipient
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    I don't wish to badmouth a team sponsor but... Stages doesn't play nicely at all with the 920. And my wife's 510 experiences some level of dropout also (but not AS bad as the 920).

    I had one on my new bike and after a week returned it because it simply wasn't a functional power meter.
    AaronWebstey
    Beer-fueled triathlete
  • Options
    Thanks for the feedback guys. So it seems my 920 is part of the problem... whether it's Stages not playing nicely or Garmin being a bitch, I'm not sure.

    I took your suggestion @simonsen77 and connected my power meter to my training app (Virtual Training) to record power. The pic shows the VT recording of power on the top and Garmin's now-you-see-it-now-you-don't reading on the bottom.



    I will give Stages a call and maybe go for a short ride outside to see if it's a problem outdoors as well. Maybe. I think it's supposed to rain until May and I haven't taken the new bike outside yet.

  • Options
    The winning power meter will be the one who stops trying to make software. Make the best hardware and a decent API, fire 75% of your software team, charge 10% less than your best-in-class, and watch it happen.
    KenElPescadoPeladoMartin
  • Options

    The winning power meter will be the one who stops trying to make software. Make the best hardware and a decent API, fire 75% of your software team, charge 10% less than your best-in-class, and watch it happen.

    Outside of PowerTap/cycleops, does any main player have a software team? I'm pretty sure my P2M doesn't have anything, nor does quark or stages. They all let your head units deal with that. Thus the beauty of Ant+ or BTLE standardization. Have the PM kick out a stream of data and let the computer makers figure out how to read it.

  • Options

    The winning power meter will be the one who stops trying to make software. Make the best hardware and a decent API, fire 75% of your software team, charge 10% less than your best-in-class, and watch it happen.

    So, Quarq?

  • Options
    @idking90 I went with P2M. @AaronWebstey did say the one who charges 10% less. That ain't quarq.
  • Options
    Initially, Quarq was. I'd also add that I could not make P2M's highest end work in my MTB. Quarq was more seamless, as they're tied in with a hardware company thus have more options.
  • Options
    Obviously, someone was drinking on a school night last night. What the hell was I talking about? I haven't even used a power meter since about 2008
    Tad_Machrowicz
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    sometimes the bluetooth being on in your laptop can cause drop out issues. i had similar issues where everything was dropping when i first started zwifting. i did some reading and the ANT+ dongle doesn't like the BT on the mac. so i just turned off BT and never had any issues.


    unofficial non-general counsel for TRS Racing and other TRS-related entities
  • Options
    I had 2 bikes with Quarq crank power meters. Had my Edge 510 in front of my torpedo bottle way out front, no issues. My new bike I got a stages and had the same drop out problems. I tested the mount for the garmin, and found I had the get a mount for the handlebar. I got @jamoozle to get it for me when I was out there last spring. I can send you a pic when I get home, maybe monday. Cured the problem pretty much, although still fluctuates now and again. Not bad, just not as nice as the Quarq I was used to. Power reading is a little different between the 2, but I don't care as you just use the numbers on the one you are using anyway.

    Kevin Brydges
    You're the rig guy? You don't look like you worked on rigs....
  • Options
    I have a stages and 520.. I have trouble getting a constant reading on my 520, but it works perfectly with the ant+ dongle and zwift.. I use a barfly TT mount towards the end of my aero extension
  • Options
    Thanks for this feedback. I'm going to put my Garmin in a bottle cage at Spin class tonight and see how it fares. Obviously that's not a solution but if it's still dropping out, proximity isn't the problem!

  • Options
    @kjrunnin Stages/Garmin can sometimes be a bad combo with exactly the same issues you're describing; we just brought in Quarq cranks for a customer because he got so fed up with his Stages and sold it off for a couple hundred bucks.

    I'm on Power2Max on my TT and road bikes and have no complaints.
    kjrunninAaronWebstey
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    jamoozle said:

    @kjrunnin Stages/Garmin can sometimes be a bad combo with exactly the same issues you're describing; we just brought in Quarq cranks for a customer because he got so fed up with his Stages and sold it off for a couple hundred bucks.

    I'm on Power2Max on my TT and road bikes and have no complaints.

    You mean "stages" is the bad combo.

    "Friends don't let friends buy stages"
    MattMartin
  • Options
    I'm holding out hope that I'll be able to find a workable solution. I put my Garmin in a bottle cage at Spin class last night and had zero issues with drop outs. Now I need to figure out if I can mount it in a useful place and get the same consistency. I'm disappointed that just wearing my Garmin on my wrist doesn't seem like it's going to work.

  • Options
    A dedicated bike computer should be a good solution. Even without the dropout issues it's nice to have a screen front and center to see the numbers.
    First #BAAW Badge Recipient
  • Options
    If I were going to throw more money at this, what would people recommend? DC Rainmaker's review of the Wahoo Elemnt BOLT had me wanting to pull out my Visa the other day but then I thought maybe I should wait and see what people's experiences with it are. Or wait for the Stages Dash because surely that has to work well with their power meter.

    M Ware

  • Options
    kjrunnin said:

    If I were going to throw more money at this, what would people recommend? DC Rainmaker's review of the Wahoo Elemnt BOLT had me wanting to pull out my Visa the other day but then I thought maybe I should wait and see what people's experiences with it are. Or wait for the Stages Dash because surely that has to work well with their power meter.

    Just get rid of the stages and buy a quarq or srm. A lot of people like the power tap pedals but I'm not convinced of their durability and accuracy. They seem to read a bit high.
  • Options
    edited March 16
    The bolt looks interesting.

    With our team discount, a Bolt + Stages is still probably less than a Quark or P2M. A head unit should cut down on dropouts, resulting in a perfectly acceptable setup.


    First #BAAW Badge Recipient
  • Options
    If you were to go with Powertap P1 pedals, they are taking trade ins of your current power meter in exchange for a discount of up to 30% through the end of the month. I inquired about my Stages and they offered 20% off. I didn't pull the trigger, but was just curious. My Stages is the Ultegra version and about a year old so perhaps yours would get closer to the 30%.

    That's not a cheap solution, but since I am spending your money what's a few 100 more dollars.
    kjrunninKenElPescadoPelado
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    Rash said:

    If you were to go with Powertap P1 pedals, they are taking trade ins of your current power meter in exchange for a discount of up to 30% through the end of the month. I inquired about my Stages and they offered 20% off. I didn't pull the trigger, but was just curious. My Stages is the Ultegra version and about a year old so perhaps yours would get closer to the 30%.

    That's not a cheap solution, but since I am spending your money what's a few 100 more dollars.

    Or you - or anyone else! - can buy my brand new in box Power Tap P1S pedals that I got on staff-deal and then decided against! Just $650 Canadian!
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    F @jamoozle I would take them, but I am still leary about switching pedals. I run speedplay like @kjrunnin and I would have to get 2 pairs of shoes. My FL bike is quarq with speedplay

    Kevin Brydges
    You're the rig guy? You don't look like you worked on rigs....
  • Options
    Little late to this convo, but I had similar issues with my Garmin 920XT and Stages power meter when I first installed it on my bike. The solution ended up being that the bloody aero bars I have were interfering. Seriously, this is what was happening. They are not carbon so every time I used the aero bars the signal would drop out; as soon as I sat up and used the base bar the signal was fine. I was wearing my Garmin facing inwards on my wrist at the time and by simply moving it to face outwards the problem has disappeared. We also tried a mount between the aero bars but this didn't work either.

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