any word on the ibike unit?

Discussion in 'Power Training' started by mmerchant, May 17, 2006.

  1. ahaile

    ahaile New Member

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    Have you seen the wattage list discussion from over the summer? Topica is down right now, so I can't give you a direct link, but if you google "wattage topica ibike" you should be able to find the thread in the archives.

    Two more weeks with the ibike and I'm still happy. It has some quirks, the biggest being the data dropouts and the rarer high wattage numbers. I ran some calculations on my ride files in excel, and it looks like I lose data usuallly between 2 and 4% of the time, with the occasional exception, like one ride that had a lot of brand new chip seal, and another crit that had a section of cracked road, both of which were about 9%. A couple other quirks I haven't seen mentioned before: the windspeed appears to read high on my unit, claiming a higher wind speed than ground speed even when I've clearly got a tailwind. Also, during high accelerations, the hill slope number tends to climb artificially. Neither of these anomalies appear to affect power readings, however. I suspect that the power algorithm is based off of stagnation pressure in the anemometer and combined gravity+acceleration forces in the accelerometer.

    One last note. I wrote the ibike people with some suggestions on how to make the unit better for serious power training, and they told me they were waiting until interbike to announce some improvements that would "delight" me. I've got my eyes peeled ...
     


  2. NGART

    NGART New Member

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    Hi,
    here are my personal test results on the ibike® power-meter :

    1. Technical data

    Altimeter Yes

    Heart-rate coded : No :mad:

    Cadence No (!!):eek:

    Speed Yes

    Power-Meter : no given accuracy

    Measurement principle :Barometric pressure vent

    Training Tool : No

    Backlight : No :rolleyes:

    PC Software : ibike®

    2. Set-Up power-meter

    - ibike handle-bar mount and speed sensor needs to be installed

    - Personal data (weight rider + bike) and bike data needs to be entered

    - Setup procedure needs to be done (2 measurements for incline and 1 setup for wind speed / approximately 30 seconds)

    - Handling of menus: confusing menus (5 buttons with different functions depending on screen)

    Conclusion: Easy installation (Can be done by user), but confusing menus



    3. PC software

    iBike® software

    - Installation via CD

    - No software registry needed

    - Chart and zoom function of all registered parameters (charts are not scalable)

    - No summaries available :eek:

    - No diary function :mad:

    - Only one athlete software

    Conclusion: Easy installation, but very poor analysis software with no summaries

    4. Power-Meter field test

    - Complex screens, navigation only hard to understand

    - Important parameters on different screens

    - Wattage numbers are far too low (max. and avg. numbers)

    - Current altitude offers wrong values

    - Speed, time and distance is ok

    - Intermittent failure in wattage (0 watts)

    Uphill :

    - ibike® watts are too variable and a bit too low

    - ibike® also shows intermittent failure in wattage (0 watts)

    - Altitude registration of ibike® is completely wrong (see current altitude values)



    Downhill :

    - ibike® shows very often 0 watts independent while pedaling

    - ibike® shows much too low wattage numbers

    - ibike® registers altitude wrong (see current altitude values)

    Flat :

    - ibike® watts are much lower than PT or ergomo or SRM

    - in drafting position ibike® watts are sometimes down to 0 watts

    - back and front wind influence the measurement of ibike®



    5. Summary test results

    Power measurement of ibike® power meter has strong variation and shows too low wattage readings

    . ibike® power meter is not accurate enough for structured watt-based training

    . ibike® altimeter shows wrong values for current altitude

    . ibike® power meter is a non valid power meter and offers inconsistent wattage readings

    . ibike® is not useful for watt-based training and racing

    Have a great day,
    Cheers,:)
     
  3. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    Wow! Thanks for the comprehensive report.:cool:
     
  4. jslopez93

    jslopez93 New Member

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    Any chance we can see the actual files and the test parameters?

    BTW all you had were statemensts and not really test results. I'm not saying that some of your conclusions are wrong (as I cannot dispprove some of them without having the proper tools) but at least back it up with something.

    I have an ibike and some of these statements are simply just not true:
    - Conclusion: Easy installation (Can be done by user), but confusing menus
    A- Menus are fairly straightforward in my opinion. Maybe a quick look at the manual is in order cause interface pretty darn simple

    - Complex screens, navigation only hard to understand
    A- Refer to the above

    - ibike® shows very often 0 watts independent while pedaling
    While the accuracy of the numbers has still not been publicly tested , a properly set up ibike (in my case at least) does work in the sense that if you pedal numbers do go up. These numbers also seem logical to one's effort and have been consistent over the few weeks that I've been using it.

    - in drafting position ibike® watts are sometimes down to 0 watts
    A- check your set up. there was one test that said that the ibike underreported watts when behind just one person but definitely not zero

    - inconsistent readings
    if this were true then I would probably have extreme spike and lows for the last few weeks I've been using it. Unfortinately I'm still as suck at sprints as I used to be and my FT still is around the same number

    Software isn't comprehansive that I agree with but as I understand it, so are a lot fo the competitors. I use cyclingpeaks with the ibiek files I get and I get a clear and consistent picture of where I stand.
     
  5. Foothills Rider

    Foothills Rider New Member

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  6. stevevinck

    stevevinck New Member

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    As I reported before , there is only one problem with the Ibike , which is the loss of data due to rough roads

    If put on the MTB (suspension) there's almost no loss of data

    The numbers are very consistent !!

    They will adres the issue after the interbike show
     
  7. NGART

    NGART New Member

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  8. tbowren

    tbowren New Member

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    Thanks for that pdf. It was very informative. I've looked around the net for some good comparisons like that and this tells the story very well.

    I'm sure people can question correct setup protocol's and argue details, but to my eyes the Ergomo data look's much more useful for training.

    Now I just have to keep saving.
     
  9. ahaile

    ahaile New Member

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    Just a bit of info: supposedly ibike is going to be releasing a new bar mount that enables wireless HR and cadence. It's an odd strategy -- putting the electronics in the bar mount -- but that's their plan. We'll have to see how it works out. Who knows what the price will be, given that they charge $50 for the current dumb mount

    Don't forget to calibrate the barometric altimeter by inputing your starting altitude.

    Hmm, I have to disagree here. I find the menus too simple. I want richer display options (like elapsed time and watts!) but the options the unit gives are kind of cookie-cutter.

    Agreed. I wish they just bundled CyclingPeaks, but perhaps ergomo has an exclusive license on that.

    Dollars to donuts that your tilt calibration is off, especially since you were seeing 0s on climbs. The manual has instructions on how to double check it. Incidentally, I think this is one of the ibike's weaknesses -- it's extremely sensitive to being level. If the mount shifts even the slightest, so little you would never notice on any other device, then the watts are seriously skewed. Same thing if you happen to hit a pothole and your bars slip downward in the stem even a fraction of a degree.

    There ya go.

    I'm no ibike chearleader, but a lot of people seem a little eager to disregard it out of hand. This is partly the ibike people's fault. Rather than market it as being "as good as an SRM" they should have just said "a remarkably effective way of measuring power." It's the old overpromise/underdelivere verses underpromise/overdeliver problem.
     
  10. ahaile

    ahaile New Member

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  11. Foothills Rider

    Foothills Rider New Member

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    Not only tilt, but occasional coast re-caibration. I had become a bit lazy, perhaps not recalibrating when I should have, until it occured to me I have lately also seen 0's downhill while pedaling. To show the effect of recalibrating, my local 2X20 route...last 3 days on that course (most of them are just deadly consistent with the first 2 below), but the last one is after recalibrating coast today...Seems to support that not recalibrating when seeing 0's pedlaing downhill might very well lead to under-reporting by the iBike (which is then corrected by re-calibrating...)...

    Run 1 early last week -
    Peak 20min (222 watts):Duration: 20:00

    Work: 266 kJ

    TSS: 29.9 (intensity factor 0.948)

    Norm Power: 237

    VI: 1.07

    Distance: 6.522 mi

    Min Max Avg

    Power: 0 453 222 watts

    Speed: 0 24.8 19.6 mph

    Pace 2:25 0:00 3:04 min/mi

    Run 2, late last week
    Peak 20min (202 watts):Duration: 20:00

    Work: 243 kJ

    TSS: 29.8 (intensity factor 0.945)

    Norm Power: 236

    VI: 1.17

    Distance: 6.909 mi

    Min Max Avg

    Power: 0 431 202 watts

    Speed: 6.7 31.4 20.7 mph

    Pace 1:55 8:56 2:54 min/mi

    Run 3, today after e-calibrating coast
    Peak 20min (244 watts):Duration: 20:00

    Work: 292 kJ

    TSS: 41 (intensity factor 1.109)

    Norm Power: 277

    VI: 1.14

    Distance: 7.034 mi

    Min Max Avg

    Power: 0 548 244 watts

    Speed: 10.2 30.4 21.1 mph

    Pace 1:58 5:53 2:51 min/mi

    The AP of 244 and NP of 277 on that route today were PB's (yeah, I know...). I'll do my 5 sec, 1 min and 5 min test routes tomorrow to look for differences there, as well, but the take home message for me was that a little clues like occasional 0's while pedaling downhill may be screaming loud messages to either recalibrate tilt (mine was still OK) or recalibrate coast...

    But, I believe most posters the past 24 h are all correct...yes, 0's pedaling downhill can occur; yes, it probably means it's time to re-calibrate, and yes, it might very well be the reason the unit was under-reporting watts.

    And I'm probably the newest guy in the universe trying to get used to training with watts. So, if I've made a really basic mistake, then I thank all in advance for your help in showing me my errors. I really do learn a lot from reading all of your posts, and I'm frankly very, very appreciative of what you know, and how you use it.

    Bill
     
  12. jslopez93

    jslopez93 New Member

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    I had one really poorly reported ride with the ibike, I was in a hurry for my birthday ride challenge and did a quite calibration before the ride. Later on I got consistent number but zeros for pedaling downhill. That being said it was fairly obvious and a quick 20 sec calibration later all was good.

    What would be good is if the ibike could somehow do a self check to see if the coast down is still accurate but the mathematics behind figuring that out is beyond me.

    There are a lot of ibike haters out there and I really don't understand why. It has it's shortcomings but to the credit of the ibike people, they are transparent and quite accesible so you know that the issues are at least being worked on.
     
  13. otb4evr

    otb4evr New Member

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  14. Squint

    Squint New Member

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    Some people are sick of all the marketing hype that permeates the bike industry. It gets worse when desperate and/or gullible people pick up on it and something cult-like forms. Then you get group defiance of all reason and logic.

    If you instead spent all the time and energy hoping and wishing for an accurate affordable powermeter working a second job delivering pizzas, you could have made enough money to buy a powermeter that actually works.
     
  15. jslopez93

    jslopez93 New Member

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    Jim, not talking about logical poeple asking for more proof, heck I'm one of them.

    On the other hand if you look around you'll see a long of hate going around... :p
     
  16. ahaile

    ahaile New Member

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    You might have seen and done this already, but if not, check out the last step in the coastdown instructions of the manual (p. 22 step 14 in my version). You can check your coastdown by watching the values in the coastdown setup screen. The one time I got a bad coastdown, I caught it with that. Anecdotally, I've been impressed with the consistency of my coastdown numbers, as I was worried that this would be a source of variability and error. When I do a coastdown with tires at 120 psi, I get about 8.6 (unitless) for rolling resistance. With 100 psi, I get 9.0. I'm impressed the unit can tell the difference.

    If some of you have heard of the idea of "80/20 solutions" -- 80 percent of the benefit at 20 percent of the cost -- I think of the ibike as kind of a 90/40. 90 percent of the benefit of a "real" powermeter at about 40% the cost. For the purists (Squint, I'll look into that pizza job right away!), that last 10% is worth the extra 60% cost. For me, the verdict is still out on the unit. I got it for a low enough price I can still turn around and ebay it.

    Forget the marketting hype and just look at the technology. All the ibike is is a cyclecomputer with a windpressure sensor and an accelerometer. It's not even a HRM, doesn't have cadence, and isn't wireless! IF they can get that to work and report fairly accurate power numbers, then these things should be producible at well below the $400 current price. My ideal scenario is that they work out the issues with this unit, then market the technology to everyone else, and soon we have $100 powermeters widely available. That's a good thing, no?

    EDIT: for some people, $100 powermeters might seem a bad idea. Their powermeter makes them feel special, more serious, smarter than other riders. To them, I say phooey.
     
  17. jslopez93

    jslopez93 New Member

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    I guess I want to be clear not on whether it's working (it when in coast down set up and I'm not coasting is between -20 to 20 units) but hot much exactly -20 to 20 means to me in terms of how accurate the device will be.
     
  18. otb4evr

    otb4evr New Member

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    Understood.

    I just ignore the people that have either spewed venom over everything or who talk out of their a**...

    Jim
     
  19. larrynipon

    larrynipon New Member

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    I have an iBike as well as a Powertap. I've got the PT AND iBike setup on a Lemond Tete de Course. The iBike is also set up on a Six13 by itself. I have FSA K-Wing bars on both. The bars represent a mounting issue. I've tried 2 solutions, but both have the same problem...DURING the ride, the Tilt parameter apparently changes. BOTH mounts are rock solid. At the beginning of the ride, the iBike and the PT track pretty well. As the ride progresses, the readings were becoming less consistent. When I returned home, I checked the Tilt number and it indeed had changed...dramatically. When I checked the tightness of the screws, they apparenly had loosened. If a screw on one side loosens more than anther, that would in fact alter the Tilt setting.
    Has anyone else encountered this problem?
     
  20. stevevinck

    stevevinck New Member

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    In your second photo it appears that the ibike is pointing towards the ground , maybe that gives bad results
     
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