Pioneer vs 4diiii dual-sided powermeter

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
wintershade
Posts: 233
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2018 7:12 pm
Location: San Francisco, CA

by wintershade

The more I dig on Stage v3, the more compaints I read about it. The comments section on DC Rainmaker's review are pretty rough. https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2018/02/sta ... eview.html

Given I have a smart trainer, maybe Pioneer is the way to go after all. I mean, I don't actually use bluetooth when riding outdoors (prefer ANT+ to pair with my watch and Wahoo simultaneously), and reliablity of the Pioneer actually seems excellent vs hit/miss with Stages. Why must there be so many options.......

BdaGhisallo
Posts: 2260
Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2004 1:38 pm

by BdaGhisallo

wintershade wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 2:25 am
The more I dig on Stage v3, the more compaints I read about it. The comments section on DC Rainmaker's review are pretty rough. https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2018/02/sta ... eview.html

Given I have a smart trainer, maybe Pioneer is the way to go after all. I mean, I don't actually use bluetooth when riding outdoors (prefer ANT+ to pair with my watch and Wahoo simultaneously), and reliablity of the Pioneer actually seems excellent vs hit/miss with Stages. Why must there be so many options.......
More options are better. Just think if there were fewer options and Stages was it!

by Weenie


spdntrxi
Posts: 2777
Joined: Sat Jul 20, 2013 6:11 pm

by spdntrxi

I just got a Pioneer NDS arm for my gravel bike... using vector3 pedels now, but eventually those will go on whatever superaero bike I get in the near future. Besides I might want to wear more appropiate shoes for gravel and I can do it with V3s.

Bluetooth would nice, but not required. I'm likely never to use anything but Garmin head units for the forseable future.

TobinHatesYou
Posts: 3603
Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2017 12:02 pm

by TobinHatesYou

I am surprised by the claims of signal dropouts on the Gen3s. I run a Stages in a very difficult environment...indoors with 3 bike computers, 2 other power metering devices, an HRM, an iPhone and Apple TV both running off a WiFi router in a counter only 6 feet away. ANT+ runs at 2.457GHz, though my WiFi is set to channels 1+5, so it doesn’t interfere. I never experience dropouts with the Stages...it has been extremely reliable.

wintershade
Posts: 233
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2018 7:12 pm
Location: San Francisco, CA

by wintershade

Thanks for the feedback Tobin.

I've had the Pioneer running on my bike few a few rides, and am not super pleased so far. The biggest issue with my specific unit is the power is reading about 5-10% below my Assioma pedals and Tacx Neo (which are consisent with each other). I've tried calibrating the Pioneer with my Wahoo head unit, but that doesn't seem to have made an impact. A related, highly annoying issue, is that you kind of need the Pioneer head unit to connect to the brains of the device (since there is no Bluetooth/App). I took the Pioneer on only 1 outdoor ride and thought I was getting drop-outs, but the data was clean. It's more just that it takes a couple seconds for the power number to populate on my Wahoo after coasting. It's almost like there is a lag.

Sooooo, all that is to say, I'm leaning toward returning the Pioneer and giving G3 Stages a go. The Stages sensors are also a lot less bulky and ugly.

wintershade
Posts: 233
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2018 7:12 pm
Location: San Francisco, CA

by wintershade

Called my Pioneer dealer, and apparenly Pioneer just released a new version today which is Bluetooth ready, and it even has the torque monitoring that works with Wahoo! When will this come out? I think I should just wait for that!

https://www.pioneerelectronics.com/PUSA ... OWER+METER

AnonymousRacer
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Nov 16, 2015 1:48 am

by AnonymousRacer

I was in a similar situation about a month ago. For me it was between the Stages G3 Ultegra LR PM and the 4iiii Ultegra LR. Both are priced about $1,000.

I reached out to 4iiii and they signaled they were having issues with the drive side. I will say they were very responsive to my questions (responded within 24 hrs).

I also reached out to Stages and they were responsive within 24 hrs.

I went with Stages because:
- They are in the US if there are any issues it's only a few states away from me
- They are on the 3rd generation, which aside from the comments on DCRainmaker website, I have not heard any negative things.
- The product was available (4iiii appears to still be out of stock)


First Impressions (and this is my first power meter, but I have been on road bikes half my life training with heart rate (I'm just under 30)).
- I had issues with my bluetooth (phone and Bolt) finding the power meter. I gave up and tried the following day by bringing the bike about 20 feet away from any other electronic device. Also by clearing all my remembered bluetooth devices. That finally worked.
- I'm finding that with my Elemnt Bolt, I can't get a zero offset for both arms. I contacted Stages and they say it should work, and that I should see two - three digit numbers for the offset on my screen. However when I offset from the Bolt, I only get one - three digit number, which I assume is the left arm. I haven't reached back out to them, as for now I use my phone to zero offset.
- I might be seeing a single spike. On two similar rides I've done, I went for a sprint at the end and both times I got readings above 1300 watts. On one hand maybe it's right - the spikes are in the same location (a slight uphill sprint), and the spikes are about the same 1300 watt range. My only disbelief is that I didn't think I could push that many watts in a sprint. My max sprint on Zwift is around 1200 watts. So maybe it's right.
- Most importantly the power meter has been consistant, even with the spike mentioned above. I get similar reads when i'm using Zwift (connect to Wahoo Kickr Snap).
- Battery Compartment on the non-drive side is a little bit finicky. It takes extra caution to place the seal when closing the cover. Sure I have to make sure it's good when I change the battery but it doesn't require any extra headaches.

I've only done maybe 50 hours on it so can't comment beyond my initial impressions.

Long story short - I'm happy with the purchase. I will need to do more research on the spike in power that I'm seeing, but I'm not too concerned with it.

I didn't consider the Pioneer because it's bulkier, and also was not interested in getting the Pioneer Computer.

I'm also in the Bay Area - East Bay.
formerly known as airsoft510

TobinHatesYou
Posts: 3603
Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2017 12:02 pm

by TobinHatesYou

Interestingly enough, Pioneer just updated their PMs for BT compatibility, and also their advanced pedaling analysis can now be sent to Wahoo head units. They still require a magnet for cadence, but all of a sudden Pioneer is relevant again.

GothicCastle
Posts: 216
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2016 1:52 am

by GothicCastle

TobinHatesYou wrote:
Wed Sep 19, 2018 1:05 am
They still require a magnet for cadence, but all of a sudden Pioneer is relevant again.
I’m fairly sure Pioneer does not require the magnets for cadence.

TobinHatesYou
Posts: 3603
Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2017 12:02 pm

by TobinHatesYou

GothicCastle wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 4:21 am

I’m fairly sure Pioneer does not require the magnets for cadence.
I’m fairly sure the cadence magnet is required for the torque vector / pedaling analysis.

GothicCastle
Posts: 216
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2016 1:52 am

by GothicCastle

TobinHatesYou wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 4:35 am

I’m fairly sure the cadence magnet is required for the torque vector / pedaling analysis.
Yes, required for the pedal dynamics. But not for regular use in power meter mode (power/cadence/balance).

For the group, you can run the pioneer units in one of two modes: 1) pedal monitor, which broadcasts the power and vector data over private Ant+, requiring a compatible head unit and 2) power meter mode, which behaves like any other power meter, broadcasting on standard Ant+.

After experimenting with the pedaling dynamics, I found them interesting but not useful for training and I switched my two Pioneer units over to plain old power meter mode.

moyboy
Posts: 402
Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2016 12:19 am

by moyboy

Totally agree, not having BT was a non-starter. With the new Wahoo data fields there are more options now. Finally
TobinHatesYou wrote:
Wed Sep 19, 2018 1:05 am
Interestingly enough, Pioneer just updated their PMs for BT compatibility, and also their advanced pedaling analysis can now be sent to Wahoo head units. They still require a magnet for cadence, but all of a sudden Pioneer is relevant again.

rlpaul
Posts: 176
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2008 9:25 pm

by rlpaul

@AnonymousRacer

FWIW, most people tend to be faster on the road than indoors. So a 100w difference in max power is plausible. Could also be a difference in smoothing. You can see this in DCR's reviews. Different power meters smooth out peaks differently.

I'm currently using a Stages Gen 2, since it was inexpensive. Coming from an original Quarq *ahem* it's way more reliable. It's not perfect, although head unit makes a difference too. Garmin Edge way fewer to no drop-outs vs my Fenix watch. Since the Stages is sending out the same signal regardless, this is an issue with the head unit, not the power meter. I believe Garmin showed dropouts on Edge 830 devices on Stages, but no dropouts on, say, the 1030. Supposedly there's a firmware fix for this, but I run a Garmin 130 currently and have no issues.

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