Tag Archives: Garmin

Strava Segment: Pilot Road Golf Course Climb

The Pilot Road Golf Course Climb Strava segment is one I have ridden many times, but one of which I have never paid much attention. It got my attention about a month ago when riding with my pals from Sunshine Cycle Shop on a Saturday morning shop ride. Then my attention was sealed when I saw John James give it a good effort. I knew I would have to go for the KOM.

The first time I noticed that a segment existed there was when Neal Herring attacked me that Saturday morning. Zac Webb had suddenly upped the pace and I jumped on his wheel. I was pretty tired having just raced on Zwift the day before. Then Neal came sprinting around me and I was left dragging myself behind them.

I made my plans to go back to the location and give the segment a try. Before I could do so, I noticed that John James tied for the KOM. I got to thinking that he might have been out to give Neal his comeuppance after attempting to attack on the shop ride. He bested Neal by over 10 seconds on his attempt. Now I was intrigued.

I wanted go into my first attempt turning the pedals with purpose. Needless to say, I took the KOM, but also opened a can of worms. My winning time was 10 seconds faster than John’s. You can read about it here: Strava App of Garmin. I knew immediately I was going to have to try it again to vindicate my effort.

So it was that I took off at lunch on Friday with plans to head up to Asheville with the Beautiful Redhead. Saturday was our 23 wedding anniversary and we figured a trip up to the mountains and the Blue Ridge Parkway was in in order. The temperature was nearly 10 degrees cooler there.

However, I had a window of time to jump on the bike and go out to Pilot Road to give the segment a try. I was curious to see how it would go. It was hitting 90 degrees and the sun was bright. I had only ridden once this week… so I could be fresh or I could be sluggish.

There was only one way to find out. I followed the same route I did the previous week when the Strava phone app recorded a 46 second time. This time I was running both the Strava app and the Garmin.

My purpose was to 1) see if the Strava app was consistent — if wrong, and 2) compare the two options to see in which one I had the most confidence. Of course, that would only work if I could replicate my earlier effort. The ideal situation would be that I would ride an equivalent route and get a similar time on the Strava app while getting a time close to that on the Garmin.

My legs were feeling good and I was ready for the test. I let the terrain help me build momentum after turning onto Pilot Road. I kept looking for the break in the trees and then the tree line that indicated the start of the segment.

At that point it was time to just put my head down and push. Right off the start I knew I lost some time as an off camber right turn caused me to let up on the wattage. I got back into it up the graduate climb into the left turn that indicates the start of the steeper grade.

This time as soon as I started to feel the resistance building in my drivetrain, I hit the shifter to ease on my gears. It didn’t really seem to matter as the grade still made my cadence drop. I kept pushing until I thought I was nearing the segment end. With my heart rate hitting 180 bpm, I let off and coasted.

Looking back I realize that I let off sooner than the line. That — and the problematic left turn — probably caused me to land the 47 second time that showed up on my Strava app. However, that was only 1 second off the earlier Strava app time.

My first question was answered. It appears that on this segment the Strava app was at least consistent. It was yet to be seen if the Garmin would match.

I loaded the .fit file to Strava and awaited the result. There it was… 49 seconds. So, the Garmin recorded a time 2 seconds slower than the Strava app.

So, the bad news was that my 46 second time was taking advantage of wonky mobile phone GPS readings. The good news was that I still landed the KOM! It was nice to be vindicated by getting the top spot, even if it was slower.

48 seconds? I think I could do it. When I look at the video, I can see a couple of places where I left time on the road. I think I could do it faster…

It also means that someone else could probably do it faster.

Strava app or Garmin

People, it is hot as blazes here in Greenville, SC. We are in the midst of a week of temperatures in the upper-nineties. Those of you who live in this area know that means humidity is also on the rise. It can sometimes be suffocating and makes you question the sanity of riding your bicycle.

After work yesterday I decided that it had to be done. It was one of those times when my emotions said, “Oh, just take the day off. You’re not feeling very strong right now. You need the rest.” My reason argued back, “The reason you feel this way is because you haven’t been on the bicycle since Saturday. You need to get your body moving again!”

I listened to reason and pulled together my gear for the ride. As I did so, I thought through my objectives for the ride. The goal would be to get out there and get my legs loose. If I felt good, I would head over to a segment I had seen John James attempt. It could be a good one for some video to make a new Strava Segment installment.

Riding Garminless.

Riding Garminless.

The bike was ready. I loaded the GoPro and then turned on my Garmin. Drat! The Garmin was showing the low battery warning. It must have been that the cord was not correctly attached.

Well, that would mean no Strava Segment video. I needed the data captured by the Garmin to create the overlay on the video. This time I would not attempt to use the older Garmin 705 that I have. Last time I tried that it didn’t stay connected to my power meter. This ride would have to be a Strava iPhone app ride.

I’m not a fan of using the app for recording my rides. Why? First, I get no power, heart rate, or cadence readings. Since I use the Strava training program, I need that data in order for the ride to count when measuring my fitness/freshness. The ride counts as a rest day no matter how hard I ride.

Second, I just don’t trust it. iPhone GPS signals can be notoriously flaky. This is accentuated even more when it is in your back jersey pocket while you’re riding through varying terrain covered with shade trees. In the high-stakes world of Segment Hunting, this can be problematic.

I don’t have a lot of proof on this. It is more a bias on my part. There have been some attempts I’ve seen on Strava recorded on apps that have stretched my willingness to believe. However, more often than not the times are pretty close to reality — and times recorded by devices such as the Garmin. Still, in the back of my mind, there is always a question mark.

A primary objective of the day was finding roads with shade!

A primary objective of the day was finding roads with shade!

So it was that this question mark popped up at the end of the sentence of my ride. I left the house seeking routes that provided as much shade as possible. That actually led me toward my original objective: Pilot Road Golf Course climb.

As I neared the start, I decided to give it a go… Garmin, video or not. You come down a slight descent as you hit the line. I was in my 53×11 and cranking hard at that point. Of course, I was flying blind and had no idea of speed, wattage, etc. However, I felt fast.

I was able to keep my momentum up a gentle incline through a wooded area and into a pretty noticeable left hand turn. Then I hit the more drastic part of the grade. I had not shifted out of the 53X11 and slowly I began to feel myself begin to bog down. However, I was able to keep the wheels turning and by the finish, I felt pretty good about the effort.

Taking a break over beautiful Greenville.

Taking a break over beautiful Greenville.

Later in the ride while stopped along the side of Altamont Road taking a picture of downtown Greenville, I looked at the Strava segment list of my ride. There the app listed all the segments I had passed through during my ride to this point (one of the nice things about the app). I did a double take!

The app told me I had covered the .3 mile distance in 46 seconds. This would be nearly 10 seconds faster than the time I saw John James score a couple days earlier. Hmmmm, typically, John and I are pretty close on these shorter distances (while he cleans my clock on the longer ones).

Sure enough, it wasn’t long after I got home and finalized the ride that John added a comment to my ride on Strava.

Wow, I would like to believe your KOM is correct, but that seems off. 26.9 avg up that at 578. I did 22.8 at 575.

The truth is I agreed with him. Though while I might question the data of the effort, I wasn’t ready to give up on the time of the effort. The iPhone GPS might provide flaky speed data, but the time covered from point A to point B is more absolute. Granted, if the phone incorrectly marks point A and point B, that could be a problem.

So, I replied…

That is estimated power. I didn’t have my Garmin. I’m curious to see what it would be with my Garmin. I’m not really claiming that KOM until I can give it a go with the more data.

I could tell John was analyzing my effort because he came back with another retort to my attempt.

Somehow you sprinted over 38 mph up hill.

I agree that was suspect. However, there is an explanation and also something else to consider. The higher speed reading was a small spike in speed. It also was not at a time when I was going up hill. It was during the period where I was descending. I will grant you that 38 mph is most likely incorrect, but a 33 to 35 mph speed at that point was very possible.

Then Matt Jaeggli chimed in.

I tried it for the first time this morning. Came into the corner where it starts at 33 and I consider myself a pretty decent descender/cornerer.

Man, now they were ganging up on me! The problem is, I completely understood their skepticism. I was skeptical! However, the major point for me was how close was the effort to being accurate?

That sounds more reasonable, Matt. The point is this, the phone often gives wonky readings, but for the most part is NORMALLY within a second or two of a Garmin recorded effort. Time between point A and point B is what it is regardless of speed readings between. I just know I uncorked on that segment and until I can go out and give the same effort with my Garmin, I’m leaving this one as a place holder. 😉

Do I really think I covered that segment in 46 seconds? No. However, do I think I got a good time… even a KOM winning time? I sure do. The ultimate question for me is how close was I to that time? Could it be that I will go out with the Garmin and find out that I actually did surprise myself and land a 46 second time?

There is only one way to find out.

Garmin Edge 500 bike mount video

My morning didn’t go so well. My time on the trainer left me feeling pretty sore. Then I settled down to watch UNC play Kentucky just to find my Heels losing badly (though they came back gamely toward the end).  It was a bit of a bright spot to see a package delivered to my front door.  I figured it would be my new Garmin Edge 500.

Comparing the Garmin Edge 705 with the 500

Comparing the Garmin Edge 705 with the 500

I opened the package and let it charge while I finished watching the game. Then it was off down stairs to mount it on the bike. If the rest of the experience goes as well as that installation, I’m sure I will be very happy with the computer.

As you can see in the above picture, it is much smaller than the 705.  That is the first positive when it comes to mounting the device.  However, the best thing about it is the way the new twist-disk attaches to the bike.

Instead of the cable ties that you had to use to connect the click on 705 mount, the 500 gives you a number of rubber bands (much like come with bike lighting kits).  These bands can be secured to the four corners of the disk (disks have corners? well these do) and wrap around the stem.  No more cutting cable ties if you want to move the computer from one bike to another.

Speaking of multiple bikes, the 500 came with two mounts.  So, I can have one on my white TCR Advanced and have another one ready for when I build up my black TCR Advanced frame.  Nice.

You can watch the below video to see exactly what it looks like and how it works.  It is pretty slick.  I like it.  Of course, I’ve got to take it out on a ride for the final test.  I’ll be reporting more here later.

Right now, I have to head out for a progressive dinner with the beautiful redhead’s family.  I’ll have to give the Garmin Edge 500 a further test tomorrow.  Thanks, Garmin!

More on the Garmin 705

I know I gave my final word on the CinQo and Garmin a couple of posts ago.  However, I had some follow up questions come my way from someone interested in the combo.  His questions centered around the Garmin rather than the power meter.

Since I took the time to craft the e-mail, I figured I would put it out on the blog just in case someone else has similar questions.  If you have any questions about the devices or the combination of both, I will be glad to try to get the answers for you.

The only issues I have had with the Garmin is when I have tried to put a que sheet on it and follow it on a long ride (we’re talking ride lengths of 4+ hours).  It is as though the computer can’t handle it and it freezes.

I have had no problems at all with the CinQo and the mapping conflicting.

The reason I like the Garmin is:

1.  the point-to-point directions
2.  the ability to use the mapping function to follow rides afterwards
3.  the fact that it collects data from my HR monitor and power meter
4.  the way you can configure the screen to show different fields of data

Your friend had something happen to him that has happened to me.  When you use the Garmin with the speed sensor on the back wheel, sometimes the connection between the two gets broken.  This happened to me mostly if I had not been on the bike in a day or two.  The way to avoid it is to make sure you pair the devices before you get to the race location – or at least 30 feet away from other riders.

Anyway, if you do not pair the two together before you go into a group situation, you can end up picking up someone else’s speed sensor.  However, that is alleviated when you use the CinQo.  You don’t have a speed sensor in that case.  CinQo becomes your cadence sensor and the Garmin uses the GPS for measuring your speed.  You don’t have to have the little speed sensor on the chain stay.

Obviously, everyone has their personal habits that are different from others.  Perhaps you would want to use the combo in a way I have not and therefore could experience an issue.  However, I can say that I have reached the point where I don’t even think about it.  It is second nature.

Let me know what you end up doing!

Glad you enjoy the video.  I am hoping to get out there tomorrow night at Donaldson Center and get some there.

Of course, I am simply giving my experiences with these devices.  Other user experiences may vary.

My final word on the Quarq CinQo & Garmin 705

I’ve had several different contacts recently concerning my Quarq CinQo and Garmin 705 combination.  It finally drove me down to the basement to do some testing to see if there is a lag in the processing of the data.  I also had to ask myself that if there is a lag… do I really care?

Quarq CinQo Saturn

My SRAM S900 Quarq CinQo Saturn

Some information about me so you understand where I am coming from as I write this.  I am a Category 4 racer.  I do not have a training plan or a coach.  I have a power meter because I love playing around with data.  I am also interested in building a power profile for future training.

Why this power meter?  I was drawn to the Quarq CinQo because of the price, Quarq’s innovative approach to application development, and the fact it would work with my Garmin 705.  Since I already owned my Garmin, it made the price point on the CinQo very attractive.

I do not regret getting my Garmin 705.  I know that there are people who down it as a power collection computer because of some of the algorithms used.  However, as a cycling computer it is pretty stout.  I’m not just talking about the GPS portions.  If I were to buy another cycling computer, it would be another Garmin.

So, what about the two of them together?  What about this lag that people are complaining about?  I went to discover what was up.

First, I have been riding with my new CinQo power meter and Garmin 705 computer with updated firmware for several rides now.  Second, I have gone into my “lab” to test and see if I could isolate a consistent delay in data making its way to my Garmin.  I’m now ready to give my opinion.

In real life, I have to admit that I just don’t notice it.  My approach to data is to go out and ride.  When I’m done, I move the data to my laptop and then analyze what I’ve collected.  I notice no lag at all in that case.

Yes, there have been times when I will bottom out at the end of a downhill and then kick up a new incline.  I will look down at the computer and then start pedaling.  I came to notice that I would not see the data appear on the screen until I had completed one full revolution with each crank arm.

So, I moved it into the lab.  I put the bike on my stand, held the Garmin in one hand, and then started turning the crank with the other.  Let’s see what happens.

I started the crank at dead top center.  On the Garmin I saw a blank line where the power would be displayed. I turned one revolution.  The Garmin registered a zero, but no number.  Hmmmm.  I tried it again and this time did two revolutions.  After the first revolution the zero appeared and after the second the power reading came up.

Wow.  That was a delay.  Now, that didn’t seem to be consistent with what I was seeing out on the road.  Then I stumbled on something.

After bringing the crank to a stop, I started the revolution more quickly.  This time the Garmin was registering a zero before I started to turn the crank.  No sooner had I finished one revolution than I saw the power data appear on the Garmin.  I repeated this several times and could not even time the delay with my stop watch.

What appeared to be happening is that the Garmin would “go to sleep” after a time of inactivity from the CinQo.  When this happened, there was a more substantial delay (we’re talking around 1.5 seconds).  However, when the Garmin was “awake” I couldn’t get the watch started and stopped fast enough.

Quarq tells me that the CinQo starts sending the data at the conclusion of the first revolution.  This will always be the case as long as they are using the ANT+ protocol.  So, if you want power data collection as soon as you move your foot a fraction, I guess the CinQo isn’t for you.

The Garmin 705 appears to take about a half second to display the data (when it is awake – as it would be in most cases when on a ride).  If you take that half second and a quarter second for the CinQo to calculate and transmit, you will be looking at the potential of three-fourths of a second delay.

So, what is my opinion?  If I were to go out to buy a power meter, I would do the same thing again.  The cost of the CinQo is a big factor to me, but so is the fact that they are building their system for growth.  If I don’t like the Garmin, there are other computers I can connect it with — even the iBike.  There will be even more to come.

I ride with friends who have Powertaps.  One particular riding buddy is a very similar rider to me (a much more experienced rider, but very close in build and riding style).  It is very interesting to see how similar our data is in WKO+ following a ride.  I am confident my system is doing as good of a job as the Powertap system.

What about the SRM?  Well, they aren’t letting me test their meter and I can’t afford it.  I do like the SRM for one of the same reasons I like the CinQo over the Powertap – it is crank mounted and not part of the rear hub.  However, I cannot say that I have compared the two in any way.

Here is the bottom line for me.  I have had absolutely zero problems with the construction or capabilities of my CinQo.  The Garmin is a known item that might do so many things well it isn’t necessarily the best for collecting data.  To me, its other positives outweigh that negative.  I have been given no reason not to be happy with my Quarq CinQo.

The apparent lag?  I know it might be important to some people, but I just don’t care.  Perhaps if I were a professional it might be a bigger deal to me.  However, for an amateur like me, I highly recommend this system.

The Quarq CinQo has given me consistent data for multiple months. I can say that the data I’ve analyzed has told me a lot about myself.  I have adjusted my riding to strengthen my weak points and been encouraged by the gains I’ve seen.

They say that ignorance is bliss.  Perhaps I am just ignorant of some major flaw in the product.  I have not experienced anything close to being what I could call a flaw or failure.  I am a very happy Quarq – and Garmin – customer.  Someone is going to have to have a pretty strong argument to make me otherwise.

It was like an evening time one day classic

Last night I managed to get out on a group ride. Wednesday was a short spin for me, but that was the first time back on the bike since Sunday afternoon. It has been even longer since I had ridden in a group.

This was just an unofficial ride with some friends. Eight of us headed off toward the base of Paris Mountain and over near Travelers Rest. We would turn around out there and then head up Paris and then back home.

John James was out of the blocks fast. Matt Tebbetts, Matt Turner, and I were hanging on. Before long, we were away from the other riders.

Understand, this is not a No Man Left Behind kind of ride. It varies in purpose. Sometimes in the past it has been a conserve and then see if each member of the group can get his personal best up Paris. At other times it is simply a hammerfest to see how many riders are left at the end.

This ride was one of the later. Turns out John was working to keep his average power for the ride over 250 watts. Several times I looked down and saw numbers of 300 to 400. On one section where John and I were pulling up the road together I saw sustained wattage of over 500.

The four of us went looping through some roads between Furman and TR. On the way back, we turned onto the Swamp Rabbit trail and did some rough riding in honor of the classic going on over in Belgium. That was a lot of fun.

As we flew along the road we had John, Matt Tebbetts, and I in POA Cycling kits. Matt Turner was the odd man out with Les Amis colors. John slid back to me once and said, “I feel like we are away off the front in some one day classic.” If so, Mr. Turner was in trouble. Actually, he was riding very well and had put a hurting on me during a couple of pulls.

As we neared the base of Paris for the climb up, we saw Mike, Art, and Blair going toward Altamont on the Frontage Road. By the time we got there, they had already turned up for the climb. Too soon it was going to be our time to follow them.

I knew there would be no personal best for me tonight. My hope was that I could just make it to the top without the other riders creating to big of a gap on me. As soon as we turned up I knew that was going to be tough.

Before long it was just a line of red going up the climb as Tebbetts, John, and I got around Mike and Blair. Art was no where to be seen. I didn’t expect that we would catch him before the top.

Tebbetts kept talking about how he would see us at the top. I was jokingly accusing him of sandbagging. I know he wasn’t. The issue is that he just can’t stand not being with the leading group. He was going to work to stay there regardless of how he felt.

John and I were starting to get put into trouble as Matt just kept tapping out a steady cadence. Then John eased up a little to recover some energy. Then he moved to the front and created a gap between the other two of us.

When we got to the wall, I was behind the other two guys. I could see both guys ahead of me. John was going to get to the top first. Matt had a pretty good gap on me as well. Perhaps if he slowed I could catch him before the top.

I shifted to a slightly harder gear and slogged along after them. Matt beat me to the top, but I had gained on him enough to cross the line close to his rear wheel. Still, it was a bad night with a time of 13 minutes.

After waiting for Turner to join us at the top, we started down the other side. Now the group was larger with Mike, Blair, and Art joining us for the ride down. Blair and John took to lead. The rest of us followed.

Blair then went way off the front. I could tell that most of the riders decided that we were not going to allow him to make it to the bottom first. Turner moved up and started pulling us through the rolling sections. By the time we reached the downhill portion, he had brought us even with Blair.

There were several attacks before the final turns, but then it was just Blair on the front with me right on his wheel. I sat there and let his draft suck me down the road. No need to work here. It was just a matter of waiting for the right moment to go around him.

We made a right turn and then started into the final left sweeping turn. I slipped out of his draft and put the hammer down. My bike went by him with ease. It is amazing what the draft can do for you. I came through the final right turn onto the straight with lots of speed.

I’m sure I was hitting close to 50 mph at that point. My WKO+ says I registered 71.8 mph as my max speed. Obviously, the satellites got mixed up on that one! Looking back at my Garmin I see that it registered a top speed of 50.18.  Hmmm, I wonder what makes the big discrepancy?

There was one little sprint to close out the night. Once again I got in Blair’s draft and nipped him at the line. Then John came flying pass me saying as he passed, “I’m not trying to be a pill, I’m just trying to keep my power average high for the ride.” I took a breath and jumped on his wheel.

We finished together and had amazingly similar power averages. He uses a Powertap and I use a Quarq CinQo coupled with the Garmin 705. He is about 5 pounds lighter than I am, but was putting out more at some points. Had we switched power systems, I believe the results would have been the same.

That was a big effort. It was easily harder than any Donaldson Center ride I have been on this year. Come to think of it, that was probably the most effort I have put out in an hour and a half for a long, long time. You know what? It was a blast!

The other side of the mountain was all that I could see

Had George Hincapie not gone down in the race yesterday, it would have been a perfect day!  The bad news is that he got caught in the crash coming into the final sprint of the Tour of Flanders.  The good news is that he is all in one piece and will be able to put this behind him for Paris-Roubaix.

After lunch, I could not resist getting back on the bike and heading out for a ride.  The original plan was just to go out for an hour ride keeping under a certain wattage.  I even got the Garmin out and set the alert to let me know if I started going over.  My Quarq CinQo was sending the data and the Garmin was my nanny.

I then headed out on the Hour of Power route.  Seeing how that I would end up being out too long if I did the whole route, I took a short cut and headed down West Darby Road.  Unfortunately for my hour goal, I decided to see where West Darby led me instead of taking the traditional turn away from the road.  Turns out Darby ends in State Park Road.

I turned right on State Park and could see Paris Mountain on my left.  I kept moving along and realized that if I stayed on State Park Road, I would end up out in Travelers Rest.  Now I was already an hour out and needed to start heading toward home.

I turned onto a road that I had never been on and wasn’t even sure where it would take me.  All I knew is that it was taking me toward the mountain.  Ah! then I came upon Little Texas Road.  Now I realized I would be able to work my way to Poinsett Park which would put me on Frontage Road and I could then head down Old Buncombe to Downtown and home.

Around the mountain.

Around the mountain

All the while, I was trying to keep my wattage under 218 watts.  That was hard!  There was one spot on Little Texas where the grade was steep enough that with a head wind coming at me, I simply could not avoid setting off the alarm or I would have fallen over!

That one hour turned into 2 hours and 30 minutes.  I enjoyed every minute of it.  I’ll do this one again… but probably not with that alert set!

Quarq CinQo & Garmin Edge 705

Ah, Christmas Eve.  I’m sitting here with a cup of coffee enjoying my recliner.  It is about 40 degrees outside and if the rain stays away, I plan to go out and ride bikes with my 8 year-old son (whom long time readers will know as “Thing Two”).  Right now though, I figured I would put up a video that should have gone up over a week ago.

This video shows the process for starting up your Garmin Edge 705 and receiving data from a Quarq CinQo power meter.  There is also some shots of cycling in the Upstate and finally showing the data on CyclingPeaks WKO+.  I think I call it TrainingPeaks on the video, but that is the online service.

I realize that there are differences between the CinQo and other power meters.  Data is sent several times a second and future firmware updates are supposed improve that as well.  The Garmin gets some complaints because of the algorithm they use when recording the power data.

For a rider such as myself, that doesn’t bother me.  I am looking for consistency.  I have found this combination to provide exactly what I’m looking for at a price that well worth it.  The fact that the Garmin doesn’t have to have the CinQo to be a useful cycling computer is a plus.

Any tech weenie cyclist would love to have either of these components under their tree.  Learn more about the CinQo at Quarq.us and the Garmin at Garmin.com.  If you have experience with these devices working together, I’d love to hear about it.

Quarq CinQo and Garmin Edge 705

For over a year I’ve been thinking of getting a power meter. Recently I finally made my choice and ordered a CinQo power meter by Quarq (www.quarq.us). Perhaps I’ll discover some limitations in the device, but so far… I’m quite happy.

My interest in the CinQo started when I learned it would work with the ANT+ Sport wireless protocol. I also liked the fact that it was integrated into the crank leaving me free to change out wheels should I desire.

I made contact with Quarq to see if I could beta test their power meter with the new Garmin Edge 705. Things were looking good as Garmin agreed to allow me to use their new computer for the test. I was pretty stoked about being able to be one of the first to review the 705 and the CinQo.

Soon, I had two 705’s from Garmin, but no CinQo. The release of the power meter kept being delayed. Finally, the CinQo was available, but by that time Quarq was not willing to allow me to beta. They offered to allow me to go on the waiting list, but no test for me.

Then I learned that the first CinQo’s would only work with standard cranks. I had purchased (what I thought would be) a compatible SRAM S900 compact crank. Now nearly a year later, the opportunity came to purchase the standard crank with the CinQo installed directly from Quarq.

Frankly, the way the deal worked out, I almost went the PowerTap route. Their ANT+ Sport version is supposed to come out this winter. However, the fact that I would have to purchase a whole new set of wheels kept bringing me back to the CinQo. Why didn’t I just get an SRM? $$$$$.

Now that I have it. I’m loving it. Once the guys at Sunshine Cycle Shop had my crank put in the frame things were just about ready to go. Some advice should you get the CinQo…

1) Read the directions. Make sure you upgrade your Garmin to the latest firmware.
2) Pay attention to the illustrations in the manual.

Once I had the firmware updated I was ready to get the two devices to talk to each other.

1) Click on “Settings” in your Garmin menu screen. Follow the menu through the “Profile and Zones” to the “Bike Profile” choice. Once there, make sure the “Power” check box is checked. Then go back out to “Settings”.

2) Choose the “ANT+Sport” option.

3) Click on “Accessories”.

4) Here is where I messed up earlier. I left the “Cadence Sensor Present?” choice as “Yes.” This needs to be turned off or you may get some really weird speed readings.

5) Make sure the “Power Meter Present?” choice is “Yes”.

6) Turn the crank backward about five times and then click on the “Restart Scan” button. You should see a message saying “Power meter detected”.

7) You can then “Calibrate” the unit by clicking on the button, or you can simply turn the crank backward five times to zero out the unit to the factory calibration.

8) Hop on and ride! You’ll see your power come up in the field you designate to show the power. Actually, you could fill the screen with current, average, and max power fields.

9) Upload your information from the Garmin to your computer. I have a copy of Ascent for Mac and WKO+ for Windows. The data is great for both.

The Quarq CinQo appears to be a pretty solid option for people looking for a lower cost option for measuring power. Time will tell whether it holds up to a full season of cycling. The construction seems solid and I’m looking forward to what it can do.

Riding with the Edge

I guess the title of this post should be “Riding with the Edge.” I’m talking about the Garmin Edge 305. It is the cyclometer that has replaced my old combination cyclometer and heart rate monitor.

The device is really quite neat. It combines a cycling computer with a heart rate monitor and GPS. All you have to do is snap it on your bike, acquire the satellites, and start riding. No wires or magnets needed. Of course, I got the 305 which has a cadence meter. You have a wireless device near your rear wheel that measures the revolutions of your wheel and pedals. Still, there are no wires and the look is very clean.

What I like: I like the ability to have all my functions on one device. It allows me to have one less thing to worry about. The mount is solid and I’m not concerned about it falling off like my last heart rate monitor!

I also enjoy all the data it gives. One thing my last HRM monitor did not do was tell me my max heart rate during a ride. I would have to keep an eye on it to get a sense of what it was. Now, I just hook the device to my computer (MAC or PC) and it will upload all kinds of info to either the desktop software or a number of online data recording sites. Currently, I am using MotionBased.com.

Obviously, the biggest change with this device is the fact that it is GPS enabled. This means that when I ride, all the coordinates of that ride get stored in the Edge. When this data is transferred to my computer, it can be overlaid on Google maps and other GPS mapping software. I’m still learning how to make the most of this, but it is fun to play with.

Rather than spending all my time now on the neat features, I’ll start adding some as I ride. Unfortunately, that could be at least a week. Had to go to the doctor and he says that because of a procedure I had done, I will have to stay off the bike for at least a week.

What I don’t like: Granted, I don’t know everything about the device yet, but there are really two things that pop out to me right away. One, the device does not appear to store the total miles ridden. It does have a history of your rides, but you have to clear those out at some point. Unless you are faithful uploading the data, you could lose your total seat time on the bike. So far I’ve logged 219 miles with the Edge. That brings my total on my Allez to 2912 since August 2006. I had figured I would hit 3000 before August 2007, and it is looking like that will be easy!

Two, one of the things I thought would be really cool is the ability of the Edge to record elevation. The device has both GPS and a barometric altimeter. This is supposed to mean that you get extra accurate elevation readings for your ride. Not so. I have not had a ride yet where the altimeter didn’t go crazy on me. Fortunately, Motionbased.com has the elevation readings for most of the world. So, they will use the coordinates from the device and match it with their maps in order to correct the problem. Obviously, I’m not the only person with this issue.