Power2max vs Pioneer Ultegra

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JBeauBikes2
Posts: 29
Joined: Wed Jun 28, 2017 5:00 am

by JBeauBikes2

I bought a new Felt FR2 that came with a left-side only Pioneer power meter last week. I already have a Power2max that was on my old bike with rotor 3D+ cranks so I'm going to sell one and keep the other.

If I kept the Pioneer I'd be inclined to upgrade with right-side power as well. Is anybody able to give a good comparison of dual-sided Pioneer vs Power2max?

Does anybody use the pedaling dynamics feature of the Pioneer and like it?

From my first couple of rides with the left side Pioneer, it seems like it loses power readings during sprints or long climbs, does having dual-sided Pioneer change that?

Can you get the full use out of the Pioneer system without their head unit?

by Weenie


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reknop
Posts: 273
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2015 10:15 am

by reknop

JBeauBikes2 wrote:Can you get the full use out of the Pioneer system without their head unit?

Nope only with the Pioneer SGX-CA500 you can get the HD Power Metrics.

JBeauBikes2 wrote:Does anybody use the pedaling dynamics feature of the Pioneer and like it?

I use it, and for example I could see the impact of a proper bike-fitting on the angle and size of the power vectors (before and after the fitting). It is perfect for data-driven cyclists


JBeauBikes2 wrote:Is anybody able to give a good comparison of dual-sided Pioneer vs Power2max?

I have a left side Pioneer for over a year now, and currently riding a dual sided Pioneer to see what extra information this gives me. However I think you can already have good fun and results with a single sided power meter if you use it in a structured way.


JBeauBikes2 wrote:From my first couple of rides with the left side Pioneer, it seems like it loses power readings during sprints or long climbs, does having dual-sided Pioneer change that?

Drop outs is not quite normal and upgrading to a dual won't affect it. You can try to change the battery (level might be low) and perform a magnet calibration and zero offset. See if that resolves the issue, but otherwise I would contact your local bike shop or Pioneer distributor. All technology can break ... :)
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GothicCastle
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by GothicCastle

I’m not sure what “seems like it loses power” means, but that would be unusual. I have two Pioneer units and don’t remember ever having such an issue over the last few years. If you really are seeing data dropouts, verify it with a different head unit. If they persist, get the power meter serviced.

Needing the Pioneer head unit is one of the significant weaknesses of the Pioneer power meter. They really need to add a Bluetooth api for configuration, etc. Without the head unit, the meter just acts as a standard Ant+ meter (which is how I use the Pioneer units and which is perfectly fine).

I think there is a way to update the meter firmware using some janky Windows-only desktop software, but the easiest way to do it is via the head unit.

The advanced pedaling dynamics require you to switch the power meter into “pedal monitor” mode, after which it broadcasts the advanced data on a private ant channel that their head unit can pick up. It should be noted, though, that while the pedaling dynamics are interesting to look at, they are of little practical use for regular peoples’ training. If you want the pedal dynamics, I believe you need the magnets installed and calibrated.

The Pioneer head unit is perfectly functional, but just ok. I used it for about a year before switching back to a Garmin. It records all the standard Ant+ data well and syncs to Strava, etc... via their janky Cyclosphere site. I switched back to a Garmin because I use workouts and navigation, one of which is very clunky on the Pioneer and the other is absent.

Regarding dual-side power, again, while fun to look at, it provides little practical training benefit for regular people. I don’t own one, but I thought Power2Max wasn’t actually dual-sided; it just infers the power. I could be entirely wrong on this. Over three years, I haven’t had any issues with the Pioneer meters, either in single- or dual-leg mode.

Happy to chat about my experiences offline.

moonoi
Posts: 436
Joined: Sat Nov 21, 2015 3:04 pm

by moonoi

Depends on what you want, the main difference between Pioneer Dual Sided and Power2Max is that the Pioneer will give you true left/right power, the Power2Max gives you estimated Left/Right power.

As to how useful it is, as others have said in normal circumstances it isn't really, but I have found the Pioneer to be useful since coming back from injury, having a big imbalance that it is helping me to correct and manage, with left side only I probably wouldn't have been aware, and I don't know how well the estimation on P2M L/R readings would have picked that up.


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EvilEuro
Posts: 172
Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2009 10:03 am

by EvilEuro

GothicCastle wrote:Regarding dual-side power, again, while fun to look at, it provides little practical training benefit for regular people. I don’t own one, but I thought Power2Max wasn’t actually dual-sided; it just infers the power. I could be entirely wrong on this.


I was going to type something up about this, but DC Rainmaker just addressed this issue in his in-depth review of the P2M NG Eco. So I'll be lazy and cut and paste the pertinent information:

So why don’t I care about left/right power balance (which the ECO lacks)? Well because in the case of how the Power2Max measures it, it’s not real. It’s actually not left/right balance, but rather whether you’re pulling up or not. You can easily trick this by simply single-leg pedaling, and you’ll note the unit totally misses that. Compare this to true left/right balance capable units like the Verve Infocrank, ROTOR 2INPower, PowerTap P1, Garmin Vector, Favero Assioma/Bepro, and so on – which actually measure the left and right sides.

sib
Posts: 124
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2015 2:03 am

by sib

EvilEuro wrote:
So why don’t I care about left/right power balance (which the ECO lacks)? Well because in the case of how the Power2Max measures it, it’s not real. It’s actually not left/right balance, but rather whether you’re pulling up or not. You can easily trick this by simply single-leg pedaling, and you’ll note the unit totally misses that.


Can someone explain this to me?
What happens, for example, if I were to use platform pedals - would the p2m still not be able to give left/right balance?

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reknop
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by reknop

moonoi wrote:As to how useful it is, as others have said in normal circumstances it isn't really, but I have found the Pioneer to be useful since coming back from injury, having a big imbalance that it is helping me to correct and manage, with left side only I probably wouldn't have been aware, and I don't know how well the estimation on P2M L/R readings would have picked that up.


I also know someone who has used a Pioneer Dual system to come back from injury. Specific training was needed to get the left and right side back in balance.
Another scenario is where someone wants to improve its pedaling technique (so the more professional data savvy rider). However as stated before using a single system in a structured way will give you a lot of fun and results.
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Antoine
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Location: France

by Antoine

sib wrote:Can someone explain this to me?
What happens, for example, if I were to use platform pedals - would the p2m still not be able to give left/right balance?

https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2015/03/the-power2max-type-s-power-meter-in-depth-review.html
"Just for clarity, here’s how it works. It takes your down stroke on (for example) the right side and assumes that all power delivered during that phase is ‘Right only’. Once that occurs, you’re now pressing down on the left side, so it then assumes that all power exerted is coming from the left side. Where this logic falls apart is any up stroke power, which isn’t taken into account for left/right usage (it is in total power of course)."
Image

Acutally it is quite useful to me, I have some muscle imbalance and the P2M shows me wich leg is not working enough.
I hold my feet more vertical on the weak leg and its better.

sib
Posts: 124
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2015 2:03 am

by sib

@Antoine, thanks for that!

by Weenie


RJKflyer
Posts: 53
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:53 pm

by RJKflyer

Bottom line is that P2M measures torque (and hence power) via a single source (strain gauge or whatever) in the spider - hence it has one source of data.

It then determines from which 'side' that torque is being delivered using its cadence measurement (and obviously uses that to get power - i.e. rate of torque).

Having said all that, it's about the only IT/technology device that I've bought in the last 5 years that has been flawless. And the L/R estimation is good enough for me in normal use - yes you can 'trick' it, but why would you want to...?

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