Wednesday, June 21, 2006

iBike Pro

I've done a lot of research on training and racing using a power meter. I'm sold on the fact that it's a more accurate way to dose your training than heartrate and has other advantages. Not wanting to drop $2000+ on an SRM, I researched the iBike Pro. Theoretically, it should work pretty well. If you know the forces against you (air resistance/wind, gravity, inertia, and mechanical losses), it should be a small step to calculate your power output. The trick is getting good input from all the different sensors.

The short version:
Air resistance coefficient: from coast-down test
Mechanical losses and rolling resistance: from coast-down test (perform in most common riding position for that day)
Headwind/tailwind: from pressure port on front of meter on handlebars
Gravitational resistance: clinometer data combined with altimeter data inside unit along with weight input by user
Inertia: accelerometer inside unit

The ship date has been postponed several times in the last 6 months due to changes and/or updates with the unit. An e-mail from John Hamman, one of the product's developers, stated that he has found a correlation with SRM data that varied less than 1%. If that's true, the iBike Pro will be a huge success at $350 and will do to training with power what Polar did with heartrate training in the 80s and 90s.

News I received this morning said the unit should ship within a week, but I've heard that before, so I'm not holding my breath.

I e-mailed CyclingPeaks software and found out that they will be supporting downloads from the iBike Pro, but it might take a few weeks for them to get that set up.

I have one on order, I just hope I get to see it soon, but I said that 6 weeks ago!