So is the new Ergomo any good?



DRAwpt

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There seems to be a lack of enthusiasm for it at Topica, so are there any opinions here?
 

WarrenG

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DRAwpt said:
There seems to be a lack of enthusiasm for it at Topica, so are there any opinions here?

It looks like I'll be testing one pretty soon. The computer part of it looks like the best of all available. We'll see.
 

Woofer

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DRAwpt said:
There seems to be a lack of enthusiasm for it at Topica, so are there any opinions here?
I really don't know what list you are reading because Hunter and a few other fellows gave it a resounding endorsement after he did La Ruta de Los Conquistadores on one. A couple of fellows with new ones have been complaining mightily about download issues. They may just be the minority - the only ones speaking out about it are more likely to be the ones with an unsatisfactory experience, otoh, Hunter's software is bundled with it, then on the other other hand, maybe every one else is happy with it and silent.
 

jerryz

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I really love mine. I've been using for about 6 weeks now so I guess I was a pretty early adopter. I've used for everything from regular training and rides to a double with a friend the other weekend. It has handled everything I've thrown at with amazing steadiness. I took it on the double just to see if I could cause some problem. But even on that very long rise I found the rolling IF and NP very handy for pacing purposes since I was on foreign territory. Mine has been rained on and temps up iinto the 80's already. SO far it works really really well.

I also have a Powertap pro and the power measurements between the 2 devices are well within the margin of error. They are on 2 different bikes, but my I have done LT tests with both now and the results correlate extremely well.

Put me down as heartily endorsing it..... Oh and I have a PT Pro with 3 harnesses for sale. In case anyone is interested
 

acoggan

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WarrenG said:
It looks like I'll be testing one pretty soon.

I take it that proposal from UC-Davis to Ergomo got accepted?

Anyway, since you're a big guy and a sprinter, there's a limitation to the CyclingPeaks/Ergoracer software of which you should be aware: it will only display/accept power values between 0 and 2046 W (which is 2^11-1). Anything above the upper limit will be knocked down to that value, thus potentially underestimating your true peak/maximum power. I pointed out this problem to Hunter and Kevin fairly early on, but by the time I discovered it they had already committed to the very compact structure of the .wko file format, and it was too late to change (early PowerTap users may recall how the Microsoft Access database of .csv files would grow to many megabytes and so would be very slow to load...this was one of Kevin's motivations in writing CyclingPeaks as tightly as he could). SRM users who can generate >2 kW can avoid the problem by using their software (but only if you download using it, not via CyclingPeaks), but if you're using an Ergomo or PowerTap, there's nothing that you can do (although come to think of it, I'm not sure either of the latter will generate power values that high in the first place...anybody recall what their limits are?).
 

Woofer

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acoggan said:
SRM users who can generate >2 kW can avoid the problem by using their software (but only if you download using it, not via CyclingPeaks), but if you're using an Ergomo or PowerTap, there's nothing that you can do (although come to think of it, I'm not sure either of the latter will generate power values that high in the first place...anybody recall what their limits are?).
I've seen higher wattage numbers on my PowerTap CPU - when a wheel went bad but the manual says the max is 1999 watts.

The manual also says the max cadence is 140 when almost every I download has a higher maximum cadence.
 

DRAwpt

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acoggan said:
I take it that proposal from UC-Davis to Ergomo got accepted?

Anyway, since you're a big guy and a sprinter, there's a limitation to the CyclingPeaks/Ergoracer software of which you should be aware: it will only display/accept power values between 0 and 2046 W (which is 2^11-1). Anything above the upper limit will be knocked down to that value, thus potentially underestimating your true peak/maximum power. I pointed out this problem to Hunter and Kevin fairly early on, but by the time I discovered it they had already committed to the very compact structure of the .wko file format, and it was too late to change (early PowerTap users may recall how the Microsoft Access database of .csv files would grow to many megabytes and so would be very slow to load...this was one of Kevin's motivations in writing CyclingPeaks as tightly as he could). SRM users who can generate >2 kW can avoid the problem by using their software (but only if you download using it, not via CyclingPeaks), but if you're using an Ergomo or PowerTap, there's nothing that you can do (although come to think of it, I'm not sure either of the latter will generate power values that high in the first place...anybody recall what their limits are?).
For those who don't have the SRM budget, but would like to train and race on a powermeter, what is your opinion regarding this device. I won't have to worry about hitting 2000 W :). I was thinking of either a powertap or ergomo. It just appears that on the Topica forum that the SRM is the gold standard, and the Ergomo is not even worth discussing.
 

Squint

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I remember some discussion about downloads not working and the numbers not lining up with someone's PT, probably due to the fact that only the left leg is measured by the Ergomo (yet they claim 1.5% accuracy).


DRAwpt said:
For those who don't have the SRM budget, but would like to train and race on a powermeter, what is your opinion regarding this device. I won't have to worry about hitting 2000 W :). I was thinking of either a powertap or ergomo. It just appears that on the Topica forum that the SRM is the gold standard, and the Ergomo is not even worth discussing.
 

jerryz

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Squint said:
I remember some discussion about downloads not working and the numbers not lining up with someone's PT, probably due to the fact that only the left leg is measured by the Ergomo (yet they claim 1.5% accuracy).
I keep hearing people worry about that. I have both and find no real difference between the two in terms of measured power. I suppose if you have truly uneven pedal stroke with your left (?) leg producing all of your power and the other just along for the ride then it wouldn't work. But at least in my case that hasn't proven true. This last week I have ridden a little easier than normal due to a calf injury and while I haven't benchmarked from this last week they are about where I would expect them to be with with regards to the injury.

In fact this is a question I have for Andy, is there really a lot of people that widley variable pedal strokes between each leg in terms of power? That seems counter intuitive. since the other pedal has to get either pushed or pulled down. So it would seem that the amount of force applied to each pedal would have to nearly the same in order keep the pedals turning over. Or have I missed something obvious.
 

scotmart

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DRAwpt said:
For those who don't have the SRM budget, but would like to train and race on a powermeter, what is your opinion regarding this device. I won't have to worry about hitting 2000 W :). I was thinking of either a powertap or ergomo. It just appears that on the Topica forum that the SRM is the gold standard, and the Ergomo is not even worth discussing.
I'm not sure where that impression comes from (the Ergomo not worth being discussed on topica).

In any event, I have been riding one of the new Ergomo's for a few weeks now and like it a lot. I have a SRM also, but wanted to switch to a compact chainring, which meant a whole new SRM.

I rode with both meters for the first week, and saw essentially no difference between the reported watts. I'm sure there are those out there that have a more significant l-r imbalance such that the accuracy (compared to another meter) may be off. Even in that case though, it's only an issue if you want to compare to someone else's numbers (which despite almost everyone denying wanting to do, everyone really does =), and even then, the discrepency is not likely to be that large. The results would still be repeatable, and trackable for you (assuming your r-l imbalance stays constant).

I haven't had any download issues. There was a new firmware release just after I got mine. There wasn't any noticable change in function or display of the computer, so maybe that was to address the download issues.

The computer's functions are great. The interval function is much better than any of the others (having average and current watts display at the same time is great for longer intervals, and for 'carrot on a stick' shorter intervals). Altitude/grade is a fun extra function. The display is large and easy to read (they even gave the cover a slight bulge so it can be read regardless of sun angle). If they had only done a flush mount like SRM it would be perfect (the length and width are basically the same as the PC5, but it's twice as tall, and it mounts on top instead of flush, so it sits way high on your bar.)

It's also nice not having to worry about re-setting the zero-offset whenever the temp changes.

Scott
 

WarrenG

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acoggan said:
... there's a limitation to the CyclingPeaks/Ergoracer software of which you should be aware: it will only display/accept power values between 0 and 2046 W (which is 2^11-1). Anything above the upper limit will be knocked down to that value, thus potentially underestimating your true peak/maximum power.

Hmm, maybe I shouldn't bother with it then. I'll be happy if I see a 14xx or 15xx for a few seconds. Who knows? I intend to test the question about leg balance-that the ergomo measures only the left leg (more or less) and I'll use the Polar to indicate just how bad the balance has to be before the ergomo is telling me something that is misleading. Hopefully I can put it on my track bike too for a 200mTT and some sprints I'll do at the end of March at the track.
 

scotmart

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WarrenG said:
Hmm, maybe I shouldn't bother with it then. I'll be happy if I see a 14xx or 15xx for a few seconds. Who knows? I intend to test the question about leg balance-that the ergomo measures only the left leg (more or less) and I'll use the Polar to indicate just how bad the balance has to be before the ergomo is telling me something that is misleading. Hopefully I can put it on my track bike too for a 200mTT and some sprints I'll do at the end of March at the track.
Of course your Polar (just like spinscan) doesn't really tell you what your legs are doing...

Scott
 

acoggan

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WarrenG said:
I intend to test the question about leg balance-that the ergomo measures only the left leg (more or less) and I'll use the Polar to indicate just how bad the balance has to be before the ergomo is telling me something that is misleading.

I don't think you really need to conduct such a test. The Ergomo does only measure the power generated by your left leg, and then simply doubles it under the assumption that you're perfectly balanced. So, if your Polar says that you're usually, say, 48/52 right leg dominant, then the Ergomo will underestimate your actual power by 4%, etc.

Of course, you still might want to ride around with both of them on your bike for a while, just to determine whether or not they give comparable power readings. I'm just saying that you probably don't need to bother trying to emphasize/deemphasize your left leg, since the results are entirely predictable a priori.
 

WarrenG

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scotmart said:
Of course your Polar (just like spinscan) doesn't really tell you what your legs are doing...

Scott

I don't understand what you're saying.
 

DRAwpt

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scotmart said:
I'm not sure where that impression comes from (the Ergomo not worth being discussed on topica).

Scott
I did a search for "ergomo" and the last post was dated 09/16/04.

Anyhow, thanks for the input. I may pull the trigger later today...:D


 

acoggan

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WarrenG said:
I don't understand what you're saying.

Neither the Computrainer nor the Polar powermeter can really distinguish between what your right and left legs are doing, as they simply measure the summed output of both. For example, you might appear to generate more power with your right leg because you pull up more with your left, or vice-versa.
 

acoggan

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DRAwpt said:
I did a search for "ergomo" and the last post was dated 09/16/04.


The Topica search function doesn't let you access any posts made in the last (calendar?) year. Thus, the only way to find any comments made about the Ergomo between 9/16/04 and today would be to go through the posts one-by-one.
 

scotmart

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WarrenG said:
I don't understand what you're saying.
The Polar, and Computrainer's SpicScan, just give you a net power. The 'left' and 'right' just coorespond to the power produced during those phases. Your left leg will be a combination of the positive torque your left leg makes minus the negative torque your right generates (from having to lift the right on the upstroke).

So if your Polar tells you your left is weaker, that may be true, but it may also be true that it is stronger, but you produce more negative torque on your right upstroke (relative to the left in relation to your right downstroke), such that the net torque is lower.

To actually know what is happening you need to measure each foot independently (by using force measuring pedals for example.).

In one of Burke's books he said that everyone they have measured has had a negative torque on the upstroke at sustainable intensities. The degree varies, but it's there. He also said that as intensity increases towards maximal, and especially when all-out sprinting, some people generate positive upstroke forces. In the context of the Ergomo, that means that for all out sprints (if one is also generating positive torque on the upstroke), it may underestimate your power output (since it won't 'see' the torque generated by the right upstroke), regardless of what it does at lower intensities.

Of course this will only really matter if you want to compare your numbers. For an individuals training plan, it shouldn't matter.

Scott
 

Woofer

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DRAwpt said:
I did a search for "ergomo" and the last post was dated 09/16/04.

Anyhow, thanks for the input. I may pull the trigger later today...:D


I get every topica email sent directly to my email account and I only delete the way off topic discussions. There has been plenty of activity talking specifically about the Ergomo this month, and last year. The topica search function sometimes sucks. If I use my email search function, this matches my recollection of Ergomo discussions. There are email discussions of the Ergomo as recently as Feb 2 and Feb 1.
 

acoggan

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scotmart said:
In one of Burke's books he said that everyone they have measured has had a negative torque on the upstroke at sustainable intensities. The degree varies, but it's there.

I'm sure you're clear on this point, but everyone may not be, so just to be sure: negative torque does not necessarily mean that you're being ineffcient by actively "fighting yourself" when pedaling. All it means is that you're not pulling up with enough force to get your foot/leg out of the way of the rising pedal.