Power Discrepancy Troubleshooting Tips

The thing about training with power is that it’s amazing… until it isn’t. I have never encountered a rider who trains consistently with power who has not had a frustrating experience with power reading discrepancies and inaccuracies at least once. There are now so many options on the market with slick innovations such as Bluetooth connection, yet, ANT+ and wired systems, though dated, were super reliable. I still use my very old school Computrainer with its unsightly wiring, but love it because it’s refreshingly consistent! That said, it’s certainly louder than say, a Wahoo. To be sure there are trade-offs to innovation.

Now that most of us have moved indoors and are riding on our own or joining the virtual TTrain classes on offer, maximizing our home set up is crucial. If you’re having technical issues, booking an appointment with our team tech guru Celeste Merey, is a great option, but give these troubleshooting tips a try first.

Things to consider:

Remember that every time you transfer energy there will be a loss, so it is normal to see a higher wattage at your foot (on pedal-based PMs) than, for example, on a hub-based PM. The further away from your foot your PM is, the more losses there will be so it is normal that the wattage reading will be lower. Begin by pairing your device with your Garmin or a trainer app if you’re using a smart trainer and always calibrate (zero offset) before every ride for the most accurate readings. Note that Garmin devices are very sensitive, and if you are connecting through Bluetooth, it’s not uncommon that other Bluetooth devices to interfere. Always turn off competing sources.

  1. Be sure installation is correct and all pieces are snug.
  2. Update your firmware (it’s a good idea to do this regularly).
  3. Push your power with some hard efforts a few times and then recalibrate. This can help ensure all the pieces are firmly in place and will warm things up! (PMs respond to changes in temperature, so if you’re in a cold room, generating heat can literally warm up your device).
  4. Change your batteries. Many riders underestimate how long their batteries will last.
  5. If you’re riding a smart trainer such as Wahoo, be sure that the erg mode is off as it can interfere with the data you’re trying to collect.

According to Celeste Merey, specificity is a crucial consideration. She explains: “There are more power meters on the market than ever before, however, like any piece of technology, they may vary in terms of quality, and most are not simply plug-and-play. Getting to know the nuances of your specific power meter or smart trainer can go a long way in avoiding frustrations, and in having a quick and easy setup and maintenance process that you can rely on day after day.”