Author Topic: VR Training  (Read 18800 times)

TimC

  • Bike pilot
Re: VR Training
« Reply #25 on: November 09, 2015, 09:31:31 am »
I've had some issues with ANT+ dongles and I now have mine on a short USB extension cable, which seems to have sorted things satisfactorily.

Re: VR Training
« Reply #26 on: November 12, 2015, 07:57:25 am »
Well, after long internal discussion, I decided on Tacx as providing the best value Ant+ trainers with deals available at the moment (Genius for £470), but noted their annoying pricing and description policy which has you paying for just about everything Tacx, although the option of going Trainer Roads / Zwift is more appealing. Tacx VR software is unlikely to run on the Atom based netbook I use for the purpose.

Then, to decide on the model.  The Vortex Smart is by far the cheapest, but not too different in tech from my Satori, and I'd rather like to improve. The Bushido seemed best value, but again the Genius seemed to be a substantial improvement. However, you still need to buy the Tacx PC connection kit for another >£100 or at least a dongle, then you have to go with 3rd party software. So, I ended up with the Ironman Smart from Rosebikes (god bless the euro rate!) which has both the software and a VR film chucked in to the deal, for around 500 notes (deal appears to have disappeared with the last one in stock, soz)

Now winging its way through DHL tracking system, in Koln right now.

TimC

  • Bike pilot
Re: VR Training
« Reply #27 on: November 13, 2015, 06:07:13 pm »
The FE-C upgrade to my original-model Bkool trainer has transformed its usability. I would imagine you could pick one up on eBay for ~£150, and I think Bkool still sell it as the Classic for about £280. OK, there's no Bluetooth Smart, but it allows TR and Zwift etc to control the trainer very well. I do envy the better TACX trainers' ability to drive the wheel, simulating downhill, but, really, where's the need for that when you're training?

Re: VR Training
« Reply #28 on: November 13, 2015, 08:38:05 pm »
Bkool appear to sell only 2, the smart pro (same cost as mine) and the dumb one, didn't know there was another option, I discounted second hand as this year's models seem to be ahead in most respects and didn't know viable options existed. My main reason for settling on the Tacx was the greater flywheel weight (and the downhill drive sounded cool, ok)

Re: VR Training
« Reply #29 on: November 14, 2015, 11:24:14 am »
I tried to do my FTP test on my Tacx Neo last night and found a problem (well reported on the internet).

The software should tell the neo through the FE-C protocol to swap from ergo mode to slope mode.  This does not seem to happen and I suddenly found myself trying to push about 600W and increasing!

Machine works perfectly in every other respect but this.  I will therefore do my FTP with the Tacx ipad training app.

Re: VR Training
« Reply #30 on: November 14, 2015, 11:59:04 am »
I tried to do my FTP test on my Tacx Neo last night and found a problem (well reported on the internet).

The software should tell the neo through the FE-C protocol to swap from ergo mode to slope mode.  This does not seem to happen and I suddenly found myself trying to push about 600W and increasing!

Machine works perfectly in every other respect but this.  I will therefore do my FTP with the Tacx ipad training app.

Hah! me too! I thought it might be lack of calibration of the devicce with TrainerRoads. I think it did change to slope mode, but about 20%! I also noticed that on the first 5 min run, at first it took all resistance away. I stopped, poked a few things, and then all of a sudden it came in at max resistance.

At the end, I switched into a manual control (which still seemed to be more than the alleged 3%) and carried on. I reckon 160 is my current FTP. It was interesting to have my suspicion confirmed that my Garmin Oregon apparently under-reports cadence, using that I had to spin at (what I reckon) is > 100 to show 90. Will have to check one against the other.

TimC

  • Bike pilot
Re: VR Training
« Reply #31 on: November 14, 2015, 01:12:05 pm »
Is this a problem with TR controlling just TACX trainers, or any trainer? I last did an FTP test using my Arione Digital rollers, so it'll be interesting to do it on the turbo.

simonp

  • Omnomnomnipotent.
Re: VR Training
« Reply #32 on: November 14, 2015, 01:15:50 pm »
I've done FTP tests on TR but only in BlueTooth mode. It has worked fine apart from the first one in which TR crashed 15 minutes into the test effort.

TimC

  • Bike pilot
Re: VR Training
« Reply #33 on: November 14, 2015, 01:21:32 pm »
I was just reading on FB that the new TR Windows Beta is very, very slow and causing huge stutters in Sufferfest video playback, so avoid!

simonp

  • Omnomnomnipotent.
Re: VR Training
« Reply #34 on: November 14, 2015, 01:28:52 pm »
I've discovered TR have an ask a cycling coach podcast. Been interesting and useful so far.

Re: VR Training
« Reply #35 on: November 15, 2015, 12:21:46 pm »
I suspect this is a problem only with Tacx smart FE-C compliant turbos.  The problem is not the recording but the change from ergo mode to slope at the change over and it affects all ftp workouts both from Trainerroad itself and when using various videos.

I managed my FTP by manually altering the resistance as soon as I hit the slope section.  New FTP is 201 which seems about right.

Re: VR Training
« Reply #36 on: November 19, 2015, 05:34:04 pm »
Well this is fun.

First, the good things about my Geni-arse. The large flywheel is excellent, and actually justifies  my choice, unhappy as I am about the software and working together. The drive feature is surprisingly good, too; I didn't expect that. The 20% slope capability actually means it is smoother on the lower gradients.

But the fucking software is just shite. All of it. Just shite. I've got enough working to see how good it will be if I can ever get it tuned properly, the Sufferfest/TrainerRoad combo is excellent. Or would be if it worked. Tacx? must have been bought out by Dyson.

My only laptop powerful enough to manage the Tacx software is my work laptop, I've had to get virtualisation running on it so that it is hidden from big brother, but that's worked OK.

Re: VR Training
« Reply #37 on: November 19, 2015, 05:55:01 pm »
Tacx software is rubbish and should never be used. 

I don't think that there is anything Tacx does that others do not do better.
both garmin (520/1000) will drive the trainer through FE-C if you want a simple workout. 

Trainerroad has a workout designer feature if you want to do your own workouts.  if you want to ride uphill whilst watching a video then try Fulgaz for ios or veloreality.

I have tried the Tacx software over the years and would never pay again for it.

Re: VR Training
« Reply #38 on: November 20, 2015, 12:00:56 am »
Well, I wasn't intending to pay for it, but it was obvious I needed at least an ANT+ Dongle. so the Rose Bikes deal gave me the Genius + Dongle + Software + 1 Tacx film all for the price of the (discounted) trainer in the UK, which is much the same as the bkool price.

However, tonight, I managed to get TrainerRoad going with Sufferfest Downward Spiral !!!

All worked pretty well, all in all. The workout is here. That problem at the start of the second intervals? Well, if you let up, the FE-C appears to compensate and ups the resistance way beyond anything I could recover from at that stage. As I found out, the only thing to do is Not Let Up  :sick:

Output power felt about right, too, but what do I know?

Have to try some others, too.

simonp

  • Omnomnomnipotent.
Re: VR Training
« Reply #39 on: November 20, 2015, 12:51:50 am »
That's Erg mode for you. It can help to change down. But the whole point of load restricted electronic trainers is to make you do the workout as designed. TR workouts are designed as %FTP so if the workout is either too hard or too easy then the FTP value (default is 200W) is likely wrong. You can adjust the FTP manually or adjust the workout intensity in real time. Or do an FTP test but that's hard work.

Alternatively switch to resistance or slope mode and then the effort require is set by you and how hard you work.

TimC

  • Bike pilot
Re: VR Training
« Reply #40 on: November 20, 2015, 06:14:26 am »
That looks ok, Ham, except that (as Simon suggests) you may have the FTP set just a little too high! I've found that in Erg mode the ability of the system to compensate for low cadence in a high-ish gear is limited, and it will simply demand more power than the schedule asks for. That's ok when it's a rest period, but in the intervals it can be a real problem if you let the cadence drop! So a judicious use of gears is helpful. Once you get the hang of of it, the power-achieved trace should very closely match the power plan. Your trace looks more like what I get on the rollers, which is essentially resistance mode, so I'm directly determining how much power I put out and trying to match it to the plan.

Re: VR Training
« Reply #41 on: November 20, 2015, 07:42:10 am »
Ham, Your figures look very similar to mine https://www.trainerroad.com/cycling/rides/2530264-Sufferfest-Do-As-You-re-Told
I had my FTP at 210 which was inherited from the previous trainer. I have it now at 201 after an FTP test. 

The beauty of the ERG mode is that you do not have to change gear at all throughout the hour.  However if you are in a high gear it is difficult for the trainer resistance to go low enough for you to spin during the recovery sessions and gives little leeway in the intervals.  I have taken to doing virtually all my workouts in 34 /20.  This allows me to spin easily in the recovery sections and the turbo is quite capable of ramping up the resistance in the intervals!

When you come to do the FTP test there may be a bug!  At the start of the FTP section the trainer has to switch from ERG mode to slope mode so that you determine the power.  On my neo Trainerroad tells it to switch to a 3% slope but the Neo seems to interpret this as about 25%!  So you go from recovery to pushing out about 600W in 10 seconds and grind to a halt!!

What I had to do was in the first couple of seconds of the FTP section dial back the resistance to a manageable level.  This shouldn't make a major difference.

Your machine may be different but just a warning.

Re: VR Training
« Reply #42 on: November 20, 2015, 09:32:48 am »
From what I can gather, TR depends on Tacx calibration; my previous attempt to run the Tacx software on a low powered netbook was doooomed, dooomed. Tacx seems to run happily (FCVO happy) in a VM on an underpowered i5 which is the most powerful laptop I have which has got me to this point. The calibration completed better, I have yet to discover whether that turns into less powering on TR in certain recovery sections.  Certainly, the Tacx demo video worked in tune with the landscape but I don't suppose they use the FE-C connection to communicate with their own devices.

I've been running the training in 52-12 or thereabouts, which may be part of the problem with the modulation, I'll experiment with different rings. Certainly the first attempt at FTP screwed up badly, but I suspect the real number shouldn't be too much different as I at least completed that last session. Been fun looking around at other output on TR site, and I'm going to have a go with that veloreality, that looks like efficient coding.


Re: VR Training
« Reply #43 on: November 21, 2015, 12:44:44 pm »
Well, SF Angels last night was not as much of a success. Granted it is probably a harder workout, but the 250W was much harder than the 250 or whatever on Downward Spiral. Changed to resistance mode and I could put out a reported 250 much easier and in line with my expectations. But, as I haven't got a control unit going for the unit yet,  changing the resistance proved to be too much of a faff.

Played with gears, and there may be an optimum combination, but I haven't found it yet. I can't quite match cadence and power. Either I have to spin too slow, or can't spin fast enough. Some playing is called for.

Re: VR Training
« Reply #44 on: November 21, 2015, 02:54:15 pm »
If it is FE-C then within a the range of adjustment the resistance in erg mode should auto adjust to compensate for cadence change. I am very impressed with mine how quickly it does change and recalibrate for changes in cadence.

simonp

  • Omnomnomnipotent.
Re: VR Training
« Reply #45 on: November 21, 2015, 03:02:34 pm »
In my FTP test on Tuesday on the Kickr I felt very much between gears at the power I was producing. However in Erg mode I can ride in pretty much any gear I want over a very wide range of power outputs.

Re: VR Training
« Reply #46 on: November 23, 2015, 08:27:54 pm »
Well, it is becoming clearer.

Yesterday, I ran the Garmin with the mobile app to calibrate, I think it did a better job. 52-something like 18 (straight chain line) selected and left all the time. Apart from anything else, the calibration module says "Too tight" and "Too loose" to tell you how to fix, which the PC version doesn't.

I then went into another Downward Spiral with an FTP of 189 turned up to 105%, and tonight a Very Dark Place back at 200 and 100% (although I changed after it started which appears not to be properly reflected.

It would be interesting to see how the power output measures against reality (I suspect it is overstated) but the software definitely controls it properly now, and I can only assume it is reasonably right. I also have to conclude that my FTP may be higher than 200, as you can see HR is never over 160 which seems to suggest I need to be working harder :(

Also, spinning at low power is interesting because of the heavy flywheel effect, which means I have to work on a smoother pedalling technique as any unevenness is very noticeable. However, the feel in general is much better than the Satori.

Getting there.

Re: VR Training
« Reply #47 on: November 23, 2015, 09:32:11 pm »
Last night i stayed in to avoid the freezing roads late on and had a go on the turbo. Seemed unhappy on 50:15 (275W) and on 50:17 (220W), but the turbo wheel has a silly cassette with no 16 cog. I'll either have to buy/build another cassette or get stong enough to push the 15 for a session.

Re: VR Training
« Reply #48 on: November 24, 2015, 07:00:28 am »
I had decided to do some serious zone 1/2 training over the winter to increase my endurance, combine this with a set of sweetspot sessions and then one sufferfest a week. 

Unfortunately changing to the studded tyres left me with a zone 3/4 workout on the way to work with the extra power, so I did a different flatter run to work and then set up my own zone 1/2 workout on trainerroad.  This worked really well with 1 hour on the turbo trying to achieve a steady heart rate in the 120-130 range.  I set the power to what I thought was a reasonable % of FTP for an hour and just pedalled whilst watching netflix.  When my HR drifted up I dropped the percentage by a few points.  Very enjoyable session and surprisingly achey at the end of what I thought would be a fairly easy session.

I am finding the whole ergo setting on the trainer very good and much easier to use than the old systems for indoor training when really all I want to do is put my legs through a workout whilst I dissociate and watch TV.

Re: VR Training
« Reply #49 on: November 24, 2015, 10:29:29 pm »
Well, what a difference a week makes.

Now I understand what's going on I went back to the FTP workout and went through it successfully. Compare that to the previous FAIL.....

It turns out that it switches into resistance mode ok, but set the resistance at about 15% rather than 3%! With my added knowledge I was able to reduce the resistance to the point I was comfortable at 90 rpm (couldn't quite get that so I was spinning at about 100) and it turns out that as suspected my FTP is higher than 200 :( Damn.

I might have been able to put out more power, I didn't feel on the edge, but HR seems to be high enough and the puddle was big enough to feel that's a sensible number for the moment.

Have to re-do some Sufferfest now with the changed FTP.