iBike preliminary review

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.

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madcow
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by madcow

Thanks for the review.

The following clip was something I hadn't considered. Now I really want to get mine mounted.

"While on the ride I discovered something very cool about the iBike. While coasting, I got deep in the drops. Instantly the wattage display went from 0 to 30 – I was saving 30 watts over my hoods position. In other words, I was coasting faster than the iBike expected, so it assumed I must've been pedaling. I can envision doing a coast down on my TT bike, then swapping positions or equipment. If I can coast with a positive wattage, then I'm more aero. Instant wind tunnel! As an alternative, you can access the drag numbers by downloading them to a computer (you can't see these numbers on the unit). At present these numbers are unitless, but iBike promises a future firmware upgrade that will convert the data to standard CdA numbers. If you're wondering what CdA is, that's the number that the pros pay $1000 an hour at the wind tunnel to measure."

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Amadeus
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by Amadeus

Madcow,

Please keep me posted!
Like to hear your reviews.
I am very interested.

Thanks upfront.
My bike is Italian so it is Nervosa and of course has Anorexia I like them thin!
GIOS "New" Carbon Ultra 2006 Campa Record+Special parts.
GIOS "New" A90 2008 Campa Record+Special parts. My winter and vacation bike.

5am
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by 5am

I've got one and share entirely the views of the review on nyvelocity.

For me the achilles heal of this device is the mount. Right now it mounts only on standard handlebar. Unless the mount is VERY secure, even very slight movements in the mounting bracket will throw off readings during and between trips. (It's mentioned in the manual.) I ride on bumpy urban roads so this is a constant issue for me with my non-standard size carbon handlebars. I've jury rigged a mounting setup but I'll admit it doesn't seem to be entirely bullet proof as in the middle of a ride my readings sometimes go awry and I have to stop and find a place to re-run the "coast-down" test to recalibrate the power readings. (Coast down test requires that I ride from a standing start to 20 mph and when the meter says "coast" I stop pedalling and allow gravity to slow me to less than 8 mph. Easily said, sometimes not so easily accomplished.)

The software is easy to use and review trip data, but at this point it's very basic. Sometime in August or September, cyclingpeaks is expected to be compatible with the ibike.

The device currently lacks heart rate and cadence data to go with the power data, but at some point the manufacturer expects to offer a mount that will record HR and cadence. Hope they get that mount out soon.

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madcow
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by madcow

I finally got mine installed and a short ride on it. As a power guesstimator, I was hoping it would be nice but not really expecting it to be.

Power output was pretty close to the power tap. Looks like within about 5%.

I didn't think it was working right at first, but after a firmware update, it now seems to function right. Once I figured out that the windspeed it shows is not the actual windspeed while at rest, that reassured me a bit that it was functioning.

Gradient seems to work well. What I was most impressed with was it's ability to register changes quickly. It makes changes faster than most wireless comps.

Setup was quite easy.

I took it on a few bumpy(chipseal) roads, and didn't have any problems with it. Maybe I just got lucky, only more rides will tell.

The ability to see power savings by changes in position was really quite useful. The difference between my hoods and drops is 18watts.

So all in all, I think this is pretty nice. I will continue to test it for a while. But certainly for the price it seems like a nice piece.

My biggest complaint, was that on the main screen you can display 3 items. I could not get it to show Spd/Power/Clock. In the speed/power mode you get to see calories. Not that it's a big deal. But the clock is my most used feature in a comp. Since I ride before work, it tells me when to turn around and when I'm already late.

Auk
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by Auk

Thanks for the update madcow, and please keep them coming, as I'm sure many of us will be awaiting the updates.

2002SaecoReplica
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by 2002SaecoReplica

Very nice MC! Makes me want to get one more and more.
- Zipp rims will break if you look at them too hard
- R-Sys wheels will spontaneously explode
- The ZG crankset will never, ever exist
- Everyone needs Lightweights, even if they're fat and old
- Parts actually made of metal are SO 10 years ago

Skillgannon
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by Skillgannon

That article's certainly interesting - it seems that the accuracy has been improved from initial reports. That said though, any clima of aproximatley 5% accuracy from that data cant really be said, because you've already got the inherent innacuracy of the powertap. But still 10-12% accuracy is pretty good for 400 bucks USD.

rruff
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by rruff

madcow wrote:I took it on a few bumpy(chipseal) roads, and didn't have any problems with it. Maybe I just got lucky, only more rides will tell.


Thanks for the report Madcow! Performance on rough roads seems to be the major problem noticed by some people. Maybe you could seek out some really rough roads to see if you could ellicit some erratic readings?

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Amadeus
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by Amadeus

Thanks for thr review.

Keep us posted please!
My bike is Italian so it is Nervosa and of course has Anorexia I like them thin!
GIOS "New" Carbon Ultra 2006 Campa Record+Special parts.
GIOS "New" A90 2008 Campa Record+Special parts. My winter and vacation bike.

feathers mcgraw
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by feathers mcgraw

iBike says an oversized mount is on the way. The regular mount stays put pretty well, especially if you use some rubber/double stick tape underneath.

I've had the data go blank on rough roads, but nothing extended. Much less than PT transmission dropouts.

As for accuracy, yes, it's impossible to say for sure since I'm assuming the PT is infallible. My original point, which I may not have stated too well, is that even a mediocre powermeter is more accurate than perceived exertion, and would be a good training aid.

Trying it out on the TT bike tomorrow.

Anyone use it in a pack/drafting yet?

Skillgannon
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by Skillgannon

I think a pack is where you'll find it has the majority of its problems. But would still be interesting to see the effects of frontal windspeed (for example) in a pack being diminshed by riders affecting your power output. For that matter, come to think of it, for that exact same reason it might just work :?

rruff
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by rruff

Skillgannon wrote:I think a pack is where you'll find it has the majority of its problems. But would still be interesting to see the effects of frontal windspeed (for example) in a pack being diminshed by riders affecting your power output. For that matter, come to think of it, for that exact same reason it might just work :?


It should be fine, since lower pressure in the draft should accurately relate to a lower stagnation pressure... which is what it measures to get aero drag.

I'm really amazed that it works as well as people are saying. I thought the hardest part would be getting accurate measurements of stagnation pressure, acceleration, inclination, etc... and getting an accurate calibration with a simple coast down test. I mean, this stuff has to be pretty precise. But if they have that worked out, I think this device has a lot of promise.

cees
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by cees

well i for see many problems
as a example when you have full water bottles and empty them
there gone be weight differance in climbs and decending
also i for see pack rding problems
altough based on calc you can come close (because its pure since) also with a cost down test you can clalc things but in racing that another thing also example change wheels with flat other roll coeff do not have time for roll down test then there gone be off
etc etc.

for simple test it will do i think
but you can do gthe same with any other speedometer and calculator
if you have a gps you can do the same i think if you put in the dynamic pressure in the calc
cees
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Skillgannon
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by Skillgannon

Cees - in the article at nyvelocity - it discusses Water bottle problems and says that while it cant be fixed, including one water bottle if you usually start off with two or half if you start off with one all the time willhelp balance out your readings. Remember, this is a 400 USD peice of equipment, and as I mentioned before, it probably has about a 10-15% accuracy level. It is designed for a perfect world, and generally, if you flat in a race, well, you'd take it as a given that your power datas not going to be accurate, and usually, its the least of your problems. Works better than flatting a back powertap though.

Understand where your comming from, but its better than guestimation.

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