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Quarq Exogram Power Meter

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Initial thoughts? Well, it doesn't look as gaudy as SRAM cranks usually do. The claim is that accuracy is ±1.5%. That's closing in on SRM's scientific....well it's getting closer by a little bit. A bunch of the pieces are internal to the crankarm: will this be good as it will provide protection for some bits from crashes and weather, or will it make it a bugger to repair when things go all pear shaped? SRAM says you can change chainrings to your heart's content. SRAM has added "PowerBalance", left/right measurements through the first half of the pedal stroke on each side. So that now makes 3 companies (not counting Brim Brothers until they're about to go to market) on board with independent measurements of left and right power output. Of course the crank goes with a GXP BB. I admit I've been carrying a bias against GXP BB's since they had a history of lasting not long at all, but I've not used the latest gen stuff.

The big question is how much will this cost? I also wonder about measurement precision over time. It seems that Quarq hasn't gotten rid of all issues, but I don't think any PM's are issue free.

To the training expert: Alex, your thoughts? How do you rate Quarq versus the other PM's? If the accuracy proves to be as stated (BTW, I'm not sure whether the marketing heads mean accuracy or precision, and they may not be sure either. Frankly I couldn't care less about absolute accuracy, but precision and relative accuracy are über important. I know your thoughts so far on left/right power measurements, but using it during injury recovery seems like an application that could be valuable. I think we only discussed it in terms of deficit, not specifically a transient deficit due to injury. I think we're all going to have to see what comes of left/right power measurements and their application.

Couldn't SRAM at least do this crank set with dark decals? What happened to classy?

SRAM's apparently not hip to BLE right now, so it's definitely not a given that BLE will be the transmission standard of the future for wireless bike computers and baubles.

SRAM is claiming this crank set is stiffer than the Dura Ace alloy crank, but does it really matter? Cranks have been stiff enough for a long time. I'm still waiting for that published research that correlates crank or frame stiffness with increased performance.

To give context, at this the power meter field is:
  • SRM
  • Quarq/SRAM
  • Power2Max (not yet in the US)
  • PowerTap
  • Look/Polar
  • Garmin Vector
  • Brim Brothers (????)
  • Ergomo (on life support and in need of euthanizing)
  • iBike (not achieving its original promise)

How long until we see a Quarq Exogram PM test? For that matter, how long until we see the super PM test with all the players?

Ok, my post meandered a bit.
post #2 of 18

Listed on this site as $1995 for GXP and $2045 for BB30. I guess that is a bit much for me.

 

 

 

 

post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Felt_Rider View Post

Listed on this site as $1995 for GXP and $2045 for BB30. I guess that is a bit much for me.

 

 

 

 


It'll be interesting to see where the real world pricing ends up.
post #4 of 18


 

Quote:

Originally Posted by alienator View Post

To the training expert: Alex, your thoughts? How do you rate Quarq versus the other PM's?


As a coach, I am comfortable with the data from my clients using SRM, Quarq or Powertap.  Of course we apply common sense to the data to pick up on any issues that can sometimes happen (e.g. someone's not properly setting torque zero, or the slope needs checking).

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by alienator View Post

To give context, at this the power meter field is:

  • SRM
  • Quarq/SRAM
  • Power2Max (not yet in the US)
  • PowerTap
  • Look/Polar
  • Garmin Vector
  • Brim Brothers (????)
  • Ergomo (on life support and in need of euthanizing)
  • iBike (not achieving its original promise)

 

Some slides from my recent power meter seminar:

 

Slide-PowerMeters.jpg

 

Slide-PowerMeters-feature.jpg

Slide-PowerMeters-considerations.jpg

Slide-PowerMeters-preferred.jpg

post #5 of 18
Quote:

Originally Posted by Alex Simmons View Post

 

As a coach, I am comfortable with the data from my clients using SRM, Quarq or Powertap.


Have you ever encountered the abnormally high torque (and hence power) values the Quarq I had use of occasionally threw out?

 

http://www.trainingandracingwithapowermeter.com/2011/02/prediction-of-muscle-fiber-type-from.html

 

Personally, I would never buy/recommend a Quarq until 1) that mystery was solved, and 2) they came up with an easier way to A) disable the auto-zero function and B) change the slope.

post #6 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by acoggan View Post


Have you ever encountered the abnormally high torque (and hence power) values the Quarq I had use of occasionally threw out?

 

http://www.trainingandracingwithapowermeter.com/2011/02/prediction-of-muscle-fiber-type-from.html

 

Personally, I would never buy/recommend a Quarq until 1) that mystery was solved, and 2) they came up with an easier way to A) disable the auto-zero function and B) change the slope.


I've never seen torque spikes, BUT I've never gone searching for them so it's possible they are there and I never noticed (though they would surely show up in the VE graphs wouldn't they?).   I might have a look when I get home.

 

Changing the slope on the Quarq couldn't really be any easier, but by "easy" you probably meant a method that doesn't require an iPhone.  What's REALLY nice is that despite testing both my Quarq's on multiple occasions and the odd chainring swap (same brand slightly different size), I've never needed to change the slope.  It just works.

post #7 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by lanierb View Post


I've never seen torque spikes, BUT I've never gone searching for them so it's possible they are there and I never noticed (though they would surely show up in the VE graphs wouldn't they?).   I might have a look when I get home.

 

Changing the slope on the Quarq couldn't really be any easier, but by "easy" you probably meant a method that doesn't require an iPhone.  What's REALLY nice is that despite testing both my Quarq's on multiple occasions and the odd chainring swap (same brand slightly different size), I've never needed to change the slope.  It just works.


1. VE wouldn't necessarily show the artifacts I observed. That is, while the power was abnormally high given the recorded cadence, it wasn't high in absolute terms, such that a second-by-second VE calculation would at most have shown only a tiny upward blip. 

 

2. If changing the calibration of a powermeter requires buying/borrowing additional equipment, it ain't "easy", at least not as easy as pushing some buttons on the handlebar computer.

 

post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by acoggan View Post


Have you ever encountered the abnormally high torque (and hence power) values the Quarq I had use of occasionally threw out?

 

http://www.trainingandracingwithapowermeter.com/2011/02/prediction-of-muscle-fiber-type-from.html

 

Personally, I would never buy/recommend a Quarq until 1) that mystery was solved, and 2) they came up with an easier way to A) disable the auto-zero function and B) change the slope.


FWIW, I've had a similar issue (occasionally) with my SRM.  Sometimes after coasting, there will be crazy high cadence and power reading for a few seconds.  It used to be worse before having the dual reed switch installed.

 

post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by acoggan View Post


Have you ever encountered the abnormally high torque (and hence power) values the Quarq I had use of occasionally threw out?

 

http://www.trainingandracingwithapowermeter.com/2011/02/prediction-of-muscle-fiber-type-from.html

 

Personally, I would never buy/recommend a Quarq until 1) that mystery was solved, and 2) they came up with an easier way to A) disable the auto-zero function and B) change the slope.


I can't say it's jumped out at me, but then in most cases maximal F-V testing is not a priority for my Quarq using clients due to the nature of their target events (compared to the way it might be more of a priority for a track racer, and they all use SRMs anyway).  I don't see any unusual mean maximal power curves though, although that is not evidence of absence.

 

As for the slope thing, yeah, same applies to Powertap, can't change that at all.  I think at minimum if you can at least validate the slope then that's a good start.  As for auto zero, it's my understanding it's not really "auto" in that it still requires the user to perform a task in order to zero.  That may create other issues of course.

 

I had an online chat with a local user of a P2M unit, who tested the variance of torque zero when clipped in and unclipped and he did notice that despite trying to not apply pressure it did sometimes give a different reading of a unit or 2, which in case of a P2M would seem a significant amount.  The worry with that unit (aside from the torque zero drift issues) is one does not know when a zero is happening (and hence if it's happening under valid circumstances).

post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by acoggan View Post

1. VE wouldn't necessarily show the artifacts I observed. That is, while the power was abnormally high given the recorded cadence, it wasn't high in absolute terms, such that a second-by-second VE calculation would at most have shown only a tiny upward blip. 

Am I doing this right?  I just took a look through about 25 Quarq files, including some sprint workouts and crits and races, and I looked at the quadrant analysis charts and looked for high AEPF values.   The highest value I could find was about 700N.  (I weight about 175 lbs.)   Most of my files top out at around 5-600N.

 

Edit: Looking through a few more files and finally found one that looks totally different and has a few spikes at 1000-1100N and....... turns out the file is from my Powertap not my Quarq.  I'm guessing it's most likely an artifact from the virtual cadence though and not a real torque spike.

post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkrenik View Post


FWIW, I've had a similar issue (occasionally) with my SRM.  Sometimes after coasting, there will be crazy high cadence and power reading for a few seconds.  It used to be worse before having the dual reed switch installed.

 



That's not the same issue. The Quarq I had was grossly overestimating torque, and hence power, when resuming pedaling - cadence was reported correctly. When an SRM double-counts (or more rarely, triple-counts) a pedal revolution, cadence and power are doubled (or tripled), but the torque is correct.

post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Simmons View Post


I can't say it's jumped out at me, but then in most cases maximal F-V testing is not a priority for my Quarq using clients due to the nature of their target events (compared to the way it might be more of a priority for a track racer, and they all use SRMs anyway).  I don't see any unusual mean maximal power curves though, although that is not evidence of absence.

 

As for the slope thing, yeah, same applies to Powertap, can't change that at all.  I think at minimum if you can at least validate the slope then that's a good start.  As for auto zero, it's my understanding it's not really "auto" in that it still requires the user to perform a task in order to zero.  That may create other issues of course.


Thanks. It could very well have just been the demo unit Quarq lent me, but they claimed to have given it the once-over before sending it out to be sure it was functioning correctly.

 

(Since mine was from the 1st couple of years of production, I suppose another explanation is that they changed something in the hardware or firmware along the way w/o telling anyone, but we'll presumably never know.)

 

As for the auto-zero, it kicks in whenever you backpedal "enough" (not 4 revolutions...that's the average the auto-zero is based upon, but they don't have to be consecutive revolutions.)

 

post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by lanierb View Post

Am I doing this right?  I just took a look through about 25 Quarq files, including some sprint workouts and crits and races, and I looked at the quadrant analysis charts and looked for high AEPF values.   The highest value I could find was about 700N.  (I weight about 175 lbs.)   Most of my files top out at around 5-600N.



Sounds normal. So, either your unit doesn't produce the same artifacts, or none of the files you examined had situations where cadence increased from a very low value to a normal value quite quickly.

 

(It would be interesting to do a F-V test using your crank to see if you get a straight line, as you should, or a curved line, as the Quarq I had produced.)

post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by acoggan View Post



Sounds normal. So, either your unit doesn't produce the same artifacts, or none of the files you examined had situations where cadence increased from a very low value to a normal value quite quickly.

 

(It would be interesting to do a F-V test using your crank to see if you get a straight line, as you should, or a curved line, as the Quarq I had produced.)

I'm happy to give it a try.  The biggest problem is the head unit I think.  I normally use a Garmin 500, but that only records a data point once per second.  Does anyone happen to know an iPhone app that will record Ant+ data at high resolution?  (I have the Wahoo Ant+ receiver.)
 

 

post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by lanierb View Post

I'm happy to give it a try.  The biggest problem is the head unit I think.  I normally use a Garmin 500, but that only records a data point once per second.  Does anyone happen to know an iPhone app that will record Ant+ data at high resolution?  (I have the Wahoo Ant+ receiver.)
 

 


(Sorry, upon review I realize that I misinterpreted what you meant.)

 

1 s recording is less than ideal, but if combine a few efforts you should be able reconstruct your F-V curve well enough to see if it is linear.

 

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