Once a source of "Not all you want to know about Texas Adventure Racing," but now just some "leisure" adventure through the eyes of "The K-SPoT"

Monday, February 01, 2016

Stages Power Meter vs. Trainer Road and Zwift

So, it's been a while since I did a pretty plots blog, so here it is! I recently joined the power meter crowd (yes, finally!) and wanted to see how the power estimations of Trainer Road and Zwift compared. Note that I am using the Tacx Booster on setting 2 along with a speed/cadence sensor--both Trainer Road and Zwift use published power curves for the Tacx Booster to estimate power generated based on speed. First off is Trainer Road vs. Stages. The comparison here is really good! The averages actually are pretty spot on. Stages data has more variability, which I think should be expected. But in all, Trainer Road seems to have this one dialed in.
 On the other hand, Zwift is way off. I kinda suspected this because I was barely getting winded while pumping out 270 watt sets. As shown in the plot below, power can be off by as much 60 watts! Yes, Zwift makes you seem like a monster, but it is not real. Especially, during three sprints (the three spikes around 12 to 15 minutes) they diverged quite a bit--Zwift seemed to plateu before 400 watts, but Stages went all the way to 800 watts. I believe the latter because I was mashing super hard and it seemed that Zwift just flatlined.
Again, I want to emphasize that these findings are solely based on using the Tacx Booster and Stages FSA EVO386 crank power meter--your results will most likely vary. Well, there it is.  Enjoy at let me know what you think!


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