02
Dec
08

Ergomo experiments

I’ve long thought that while the head unit on the Ergomo Power Meter is by far the best of the batch, it also has got to be one of the most vexing products to ever hit the market. The bb has to be installed just right, or you’ll risk damaging it, or getting false data. Two of my Ergomo’s work just fine (I think), but I’m suspicious about the bb on my P3. It seems to ‘lose watts’, or drop wattage over time. I need to know if it’s a bb problem, or if it’s something else.

So, with the help of Ergomo wizard Stuart Lynne, a Canadian, I’m going to embark on some experimentation and see just how close an Ergomo, a power-tap, and a CompuTrainer are, when put under the same loads. We’ll use the CT as the standard, make sure it’s adequately calibrated, and I’m going to use the same wheel for all three sets of tests, a Bontrager Aeolus 6.5 with a PT 2.4 SL on it. The Ergomo’s all have different K factors, and it’s getting hard to remember them all, but I’m going to use Jeff Hovorka’s formula of 1K is around 3.5w, so hopefully we’ll be able to create K factors that will set the Ergomo’s up to be about 2% higher than the loads from the CT and Ptap. I’ll try to post results, but we’ve started a user’s group on google to sort of help keep the Ergomo going. Most of the problems relate to either batteries in the head unit, or BB’s that break down. Apparently, there’s a hobby industry that believes they can fix the bb’s, so maybe I can keep this thing going for a while.

The real solution, though, is be the Quarq Cinqo. I already have two, and have two more on order. They’re absolutely wonderful, but now it’s the Garmin 705’s screen that leaves me with some wants. So, merge the Quarq Cinqo with their Qranium, which will have open-source firmware and will allow for a lot more screen flexibility, options, and calculations, and I won’t need the Ergomo’s at all. This will be the crank/head unit that will have everything in one package. On that program, I really can’t wait until April or June, when the Qranium should become available. Patience, Rich, Patience. Quarq made it worth their wait, and even then, they made you a beta-tester, so you got the jump on all the others…

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