2.4 PT Dropouts



Addict07

New Member
Mar 1, 2007
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powertap said:
To be clear there is no interference issue, it is an RF power issue on the hub end of things. This is why position of the Computer is important in this particular case as the hub cannot be moved.

Despite this obviously being a unit in need of repair, I'll offer some additional experimentation ideas since you seem to be game.
  1. Put the computer on the stem or the left part of your bar (in the photos you don't have anything there) The antenna in the computer is somewhat positional, this is why putting it in the back packet may not work so well. In addition, the computer doesn't like to be too close to humans.
  2. Try putting it back int he saddle pack WITHOUT anything else in it (no CO2, tube etc)
  3. Mount the CPU on your top tube.
Again, these aren't things that we would have the typical customer do but in the name of experimentation it could be interesting.

Jesse Bartholomew
PowerTap Product Manager
Jesse: Thanks for participating in this forum. I am curious about how these problems have been handled. Obviously this has been a bumpy new product launch for your company and as you can see from the numerous threads on this site and others, the 2.4 is starting to develop a bad reputation through word of mouth.

Why didn't you guys just recall the early units? I'm assuming you can trace the RF power issue to a range of serial numbers or other identifying characteristics? Why are you letting these end up in customer hands, where they then get built into wheels and then cause an immediate poor purchase experience when they don't work? Then when we contact customer service, after explaining the problem, why are we instructed to buy new batteries instead of just shipping it back to you? Then when ultimately the new batteries and trying to "refind" the hub don't work, why are we expected to ship the wheel back on our dime, when it's your quality problem? And instead of immediately shipping me a new, working unit, I have to go without any data for 2 weeks or so until you repair the original unit and send it back to me. I dropped $1500, why am I being inconvenienced?

I read all about Saris' supposedly great customer service, and while your people are pleasant enough to deal with, I find your process completely lacking. I know all the things I mention above cost money for Saris to do, but for most of us, the $1500 we spent on this is the largest cycling investment we have other than the bike itself. We chose your product over an Ergomo, and most of us could even afford an SRM if we really wanted to. I can't believe we are being treated as if we bought a malfunctioning $20 light.

Not to dump on you personally, I'm sure these are all management decisions...
 

kennybear

New Member
Jul 10, 2006
22
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0
I was ready to buy a powertap 2.4 but I just ordered a Ergomo, I just don't have the time to pretest the pt for Saris.

Addict07 said:
Jesse: Thanks for participating in this forum. I am curious about how these problems have been handled. Obviously this has been a bumpy new product launch for your company and as you can see from the numerous threads on this site and others, the 2.4 is starting to develop a bad reputation through word of mouth.

Why didn't you guys just recall the early units? I'm assuming you can trace the RF power issue to a range of serial numbers or other identifying characteristics? Why are you letting these end up in customer hands, where they then get built into wheels and then cause an immediate poor purchase experience when they don't work? Then when we contact customer service, after explaining the problem, why are we instructed to buy new batteries instead of just shipping it back to you? Then when ultimately the new batteries and trying to "refind" the hub don't work, why are we expected to ship the wheel back on our dime, when it's your quality problem? And instead of immediately shipping me a new, working unit, I have to go without any data for 2 weeks or so until you repair the original unit and send it back to me. I dropped $1500, why am I being inconvenienced?

I read all about Saris' supposedly great customer service, and while your people are pleasant enough to deal with, I find your process completely lacking. I know all the things I mention above cost money for Saris to do, but for most of us, the $1500 we spent on this is the largest cycling investment we have other than the bike itself. We chose your product over an Ergomo, and most of us could even afford an SRM if we really wanted to. I can't believe we are being treated as if we bought a malfunctioning $20 light.

Not to dump on you personally, I'm sure these are all management decisions...
 

Alex Simmons

Member
Mar 12, 2006
2,471
20
38
kennybear said:
I was ready to buy a powertap 2.4 but I just ordered a Ergomo, I just don't have the time to pretest the pt for Saris.
You'll just need a PT then to calibrate the ergomo...;)
 

kennybear

New Member
Jul 10, 2006
22
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0
I take it that you don't like the ergomo...

ric_stern/RST said:
and hope you don't have a left/right leg imbalance, which changes with changes in power...

ric
 

cPritch67

New Member
Apr 12, 2004
285
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0
Jesse
Not intended to hijack or take this off topic, but Saris CS is closed for now. Just did my first ride on my 2.4 and am trying to dload the file into Power Agent - the pc recognizes the computer, and simulates dloading, but no file or data shows up in the download window. Any clues? I've had a variety of user error issues with the SL and the PT300, but never this issue. I ran all of the tests and they all worked.

Thanks
Chris
 

Ergoman

New Member
Feb 21, 2007
127
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Alex Simmons said:
You'll just need a PT then to calibrate the ergomo...;)

Contrary to popular opinion, the Ergomo is self-calibrated by the offset procedure which requires no weights or tools and can be done in about 15 seconds before every ride. The accuracy of the offset number can also be checked by simply turning left and right cranks and observing power readings.

The Ergomo may give funky readings if a rider pedals with one leg only; however, in normal use, the left-leg thing is a non-issue. After a couple of thousand miles with an Ergomo Pro and many checks against other meters, I've concluded that Ergomo provides an extremely accurate, consistent and reliable indication of power. It also has a lot of nice features that other powermeters don't.

Disclaimer: I don't sell or have any financial interest in Ergomo, and in fact I don't like the company (U.S. distributor) too much. I'm not a coach or trainer and I'm not pedaling any kind of services.
 

ric_stern/RST

New Member
Nov 11, 2002
3,866
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www.cyclecoach.com
Ergoman said:
Contrary to popular opinion, the Ergomo is self-calibrated by the offset procedure which requires no weights or tools and can be done in about 15 seconds before every ride. The accuracy of the offset number can also be checked by simply turning left and right cranks and observing power readings.

as seen by the many posts of this nature on the Wattage forum, the Ergomo does not self-calibrate (no power meter does). The offset procedure is for zeroing, not calibrating (i.e., when no torque is applied to the bottom bracket it reads zero).


I've concluded that Ergomo provides an extremely accurate, consistent and reliable indication of power. It also has a lot of nice features that other powermeters don't.

unfortunately, no one else has concluded this. Again, i point to left/right leg differences and which change as power/fatigue change.

ric
 

cPritch67

New Member
Apr 12, 2004
285
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cPritch67 said:
Jesse
Not intended to hijack or take this off topic, but Saris CS is closed for now. Just did my first ride on my 2.4 and am trying to dload the file into Power Agent - the pc recognizes the computer, and simulates dloading, but no file or data shows up in the download window. Any clues? I've had a variety of user error issues with the SL and the PT300, but never this issue. I ran all of the tests and they all worked.

Thanks
Chris

Jesse
Please disregard this email - I tried it again and it worked.

Chris
 

Ergoman

New Member
Feb 21, 2007
127
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ric_stern/RST said:
as seen by the many posts of this nature on the Wattage forum, the Ergomo does not self-calibrate (no power meter does). The offset procedure is for zeroing, not calibrating (i.e., when no torque is applied to the bottom bracket it reads zero).




unfortunately, no one else has concluded this. Again, i point to left/right leg differences and which change as power/fatigue change.

ric

A poor choice of words on my part. The Ergomo does not "self-calibrate" but is capable of being "zeroed" to the calibrated value tested by an independent calibration lab. The actual error in my particular unit (according to the signed and stamped certificate that comes with it) ranges from .06% to 0.36 % across a range of power from 100 to 1000 watts. The Germans are pretty serious about this stuff, and I believe them. If I can easily zero my Ergomo to that degree of accuracy, I'm happy that it's calibrated. What is a calibration other than testing to a known standard? The known standard in this case is the independently calibrated BB unit, and since it's not sensitive to temperature, and unlikely to be physically damaged, I'd say it's as reliable as hanging weights from pedals.

As far as the left leg thing, I can only point to my own experience riding the Ergomo on and off various trainers that provide power info. The same speed always give the same power, regardless of the time I've been on the trainer, the only exception being some slight drift that is attributable to the warming or cooling of the trainer or trainer/tire interface. Of course, the maximum time I can manage on a trainer is less than two hours, so if you ride longer than that, maybe you'd see differences due to fatigue. On the other hand, why would one leg fatigue quicker than the other?

Again: I have nothing to sell, and I'm not affiliated with Ergomo in any way. I just don't like to see a good unit bashed for reasons that are not realistic. To be fair, there are some cons to Ergomo, including the need for a precise installation, difficulty swapping from bike to bike and weak documentation.
 

ric_stern/RST

New Member
Nov 11, 2002
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Ergoman said:
A poor choice of words on my part. The Ergomo does not "self-calibrate" but is capable of being "zeroed" to the calibrated value tested by an independent calibration lab. The actual error in my particular unit (according to the signed and stamped certificate that comes with it) ranges from .06% to 0.36 % across a range of power from 100 to 1000 watts. The Germans are pretty serious about this stuff, and I believe them. If I can easily zero my Ergomo to that degree of accuracy, I'm happy that it's calibrated. What is a calibration other than testing to a known standard? The known standard in this case is the independently calibrated BB unit, and since it's not sensitive to temperature, and unlikely to be physically damaged, I'd say it's as reliable as hanging weights from pedals.

I'm sorry, but there have been many posts on the wattage list where people have had to calibrate their Ergomo with a Power Tap or SRM, because the K Factor (i think it's called) was incorrectly set.

Irrespective of whether the Germans are serious about engineering or not (i think Beerco may chirp in on this) there's plenty of inaccurate SRMs that come directly from the factory.

As far as the left leg thing, I can only point to my own experience riding the Ergomo on and off various trainers that provide power info. The same speed always give the same power, regardless of the time I've been on the trainer, the only exception being some slight drift that is attributable to the warming or cooling of the trainer or trainer/tire interface. Of course, the maximum time I can manage on a trainer is less than two hours, so if you ride longer than that, maybe you'd see differences due to fatigue. On the other hand, why would one leg fatigue quicker than the other?

at a constant load (i.e. power output) my speed on a trainer can drift significantly depending on how long i ride the trainer for, and what the ambient temperature is.

ric
 

RChung

New Member
Sep 12, 2006
306
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Ergoman said:
The actual error in my particular unit (according to the signed and stamped certificate that comes with it) ranges from .06% to 0.36 % across a range of power from 100 to 1000 watts. The Germans are pretty serious about this stuff, and I believe them. If I can easily zero my Ergomo to that degree of accuracy, I'm happy that it's calibrated. What is a calibration other than testing to a known standard? The known standard in this case is the independently calibrated BB unit, and since it's not sensitive to temperature, and unlikely to be physically damaged, I'd say it's as reliable as hanging weights from pedals.
Riders with two ergomos have reported far larger differences between their two units than 0.36%.
 

jbvcoaching

New Member
Dec 28, 2005
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ric_stern/RST said:
Just curious, what did you find?
That using generalizations based on nationality is usually a pretty bad way to choose a powermeter.

Believing your pm is accurate usually lasts until the first few attempts to verify accuracy. Some people take a little longer to convince. Which is why I think it's quite clever that some of the current products can't be compared with reality. Or, to paraphrase Robert (who I don't just think is smart because of his surname), they have no 9 key.
 

powertap

New Member
Oct 13, 2006
15
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It certainly is easy to say that we've had a "bumpy" product launch if you're only looking at the anecdotal data posted on various forums. But, considering the number of units currently in the field and the technology in play things could be worse. That being said, whether there is an issue on 1 or 1,000 hubs we want to understand it and solve it. Period.

We can't understate the difficulties involved with that "understanding" statement. RF is a tricky technology. From the beginning we have been testing each and every hub that leaves our facility but what we've learned is that depending on the test we can miss things. In our case it was the overall RF power vs. the characteristics of that RF. Unfortunately, a recall is not possible in this case because the variability is not associated with a bad lot of parts or a new operator in production, it's much more subtle than that. We can say that a very small number of units are suspect and that an even smaller number will be suspect moving forward.

As always, we stand behind our products and if anybody is experiencing issues please contact our customer service department at 1-800-783-7257. Regarding Adict07's particular experience, replacing batteries is a standard trouble shooting tactic worth the effort. Return shipping is commonly a burden shouldered by the consumer and spelled out clearly in the warranty. If you feel this to be unfair I would recommend taking it back to your dealer for them to handle the return.

Just because we provide "the value priced power meter" doesn't mean we offer value priced service. $1500 is still a lot of money and we respect that. We also appreciate the constructive criticism and will work to improve our processes in the future.

Jesse Bartholomew
CycleOps Product Manager



Addict07 said:
Jesse: Thanks for participating in this forum. I am curious about how these problems have been handled. Obviously this has been a bumpy new product launch for your company and as you can see from the numerous threads on this site and others, the 2.4 is starting to develop a bad reputation through word of mouth.

Why didn't you guys just recall the early units? I'm assuming you can trace the RF power issue to a range of serial numbers or other identifying characteristics? Why are you letting these end up in customer hands, where they then get built into wheels and then cause an immediate poor purchase experience when they don't work? Then when we contact customer service, after explaining the problem, why are we instructed to buy new batteries instead of just shipping it back to you? Then when ultimately the new batteries and trying to "refind" the hub don't work, why are we expected to ship the wheel back on our dime, when it's your quality problem? And instead of immediately shipping me a new, working unit, I have to go without any data for 2 weeks or so until you repair the original unit and send it back to me. I dropped $1500, why am I being inconvenienced?

I read all about Saris' supposedly great customer service, and while your people are pleasant enough to deal with, I find your process completely lacking. I know all the things I mention above cost money for Saris to do, but for most of us, the $1500 we spent on this is the largest cycling investment we have other than the bike itself. We chose your product over an Ergomo, and most of us could even afford an SRM if we really wanted to. I can't believe we are being treated as if we bought a malfunctioning $20 light.

Not to dump on you personally, I'm sure these are all management decisions...
 

cuocciom

New Member
Jan 13, 2006
16
0
0
powertap said:
It certainly is easy to say that we've had a "bumpy" product launch if you're only looking at the anecdotal data posted on various forums. But, considering the number of units currently in the field and the technology in play things could be worse. That being said, whether there is an issue on 1 or 1,000 hubs we want to understand it and solve it. Period.

We can't understate the difficulties involved with that "understanding" statement. RF is a tricky technology. From the beginning we have been testing each and every hub that leaves our facility but what we've learned is that depending on the test we can miss things. In our case it was the overall RF power vs. the characteristics of that RF. Unfortunately, a recall is not possible in this case because the variability is not associated with a bad lot of parts or a new operator in production, it's much more subtle than that. We can say that a very small number of units are suspect and that an even smaller number will be suspect moving forward.

As always, we stand behind our products and if anybody is experiencing issues please contact our customer service department at 1-800-783-7257. Regarding Adict07's particular experience, replacing batteries is a standard trouble shooting tactic worth the effort. Return shipping is commonly a burden shouldered by the consumer and spelled out clearly in the warranty. If you feel this to be unfair I would recommend taking it back to your dealer for them to handle the return.

Just because we provide "the value priced power meter" doesn't mean we offer value priced service. $1500 is still a lot of money and we respect that. We also appreciate the constructive criticism and will work to improve our processes in the future.

Jesse Bartholomew
CycleOps Product Manager

I have to agree with other posters. I have received polite, and usually helpful information from Saris, but I am still experiencing the problems and frustrations that began with my PowerTap Pro SL over a year ago.
1. It's true that Saris has sent me three or four (?) replacement modules for my Pro SL. However, not one of them has worked as advertised. Most have developed problems within weeks of delivery. The one I'm currently using doesn't record heart rate at all, and it drops data for a few seconds every few minutes. It's far and away the best one I've used. I sent another module back to Saris along with:
2. Because I believe in power training and because I'm an optimist (or fool), I recently purchased a PowerTap 2.4. Yes, I rode it ~60 miles and it recorded about 10 of those miles generally in 5-20 second segments. I followed all the Saris recommendations: relocated the module, replaced all batteries, prayed. Nothing worked. I returned the unit to Saris this week along with #1.
I want to say good things about the PowerTap. I want to say that it improved my training (true) and that it helped me achieve better race results (probably), but I could not recommend PowerTap to other riders.
3. If Saris has development problems, then develop rather than market. Many cutting-edge companies have gone under by marketing products that simply were not ready for public consumption. I'm not a professional that gets a new powermeter each time the old one fails. I work hard and I train as hard as I can. I expect a product that I paid $1500 for to do the same.
Mark Cuoccio
 

cPritch67

New Member
Apr 12, 2004
285
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0
Pleased to report that after the first ride with the 2.4, just under 3 hours. I experienced no dropouts for power, heart rate or cadence (using optional wireless sensor).
I took delivery after Saris implemented "improved QC testing protocols".
I know one ride doesn't speak volumes in terms of long term reliability, but I am very pleased so far.