Elite Drivo + TrainRoad - are my expectations unrealistic?

A light bike doesn't replace good fitness.

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savechief
Posts: 323
Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2011 2:36 am

by savechief

I used my Drivo for the first time two nights ago with a simple 2x20' custom workout from TrainRoad:

5' @ 130W
20' @ 200W
5' @ 130W
20' @ 200W
5' @ 116 W

The Good:
1) My average and normalized powers for each of the 5 segments are nearly spot on to the target powers. For both 20' intervals, my average and normalized powers were 199W vs. a target of 200W.
2) My Stages power meter (I was monitoring 10 second average power on a Garmin Edge 500) had average and normalized powers that were extremely close (1-3W) to the average and normalized powers from the Drivo.

The Not-So-Good:
1) I guess that I was expecting the fluctuations from the target power to be less than what is shown on the picture below. I pictured the spread being much tighter, never deviating more than 3W either way. Perhaps my expectations were too high, I don't know. I felt like at times I got into this yo-yo effect of the trainer trying to get me back to the target power after I had a change in cadence. Smoothing in TrainerRoad was set to 7 seconds. For reference, the FTP line is currently set at 235W.

Image
Time VXRS Ulteam (7.16 kg)
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=120268

by Weenie


Languid
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2011 12:41 pm

by Languid

I have had similar experiences. Coming from a Kickr which was always producing perfect flat lines, this was a bit of a shock for me. It is indeed the cadence changes which cause it to ramp up and down and, as Elite support have told me, it is because the Drivo samples power and cadence at a ridiculously high rate and any small changes in cadence are adjusted for. For me, it feels as if it either reacts far too quickly, or far too slowly to changes in cadence resulting in "walls of death" occasionally where you get stuck in an oscillation of: decreasing cadence/increasing power/so your cadence drops/so the power increases. As you say, the interval averages normally are bang on so I have almost begun to accept it's other foibles.

I think TrainerRoad removed it as one of their supported/approved trainers recently until they have had a chance to investigate it a bit more.

Until then just try and keep a steady, smooth cadence. In a way it is probably more realistic than a fully digital flat line power output so it may have it's advantages, despite feeling a bit stupid for a smart trainer at times.

Delorre
Posts: 966
Joined: Sat May 24, 2014 12:09 pm

by Delorre

savechief wrote:I used my Drivo for the first time two nights ago with a simple 2x20' custom workout from TrainRoad:

5' @ 130W
20' @ 200W
5' @ 130W
20' @ 200W
5' @ 116 W

The Good:
1) My average and normalized powers for each of the 5 segments are nearly spot on to the target powers. For both 20' intervals, my average and normalized powers were 199W vs. a target of 200W.
2) My Stages power meter (I was monitoring 10 second average power on a Garmin Edge 500) had average and normalized powers that were extremely close (1-3W) to the average and normalized powers from the Drivo.

The Not-So-Good:
1) I guess that I was expecting the fluctuations from the target power to be less than what is shown on the picture below. I pictured the spread being much tighter, never deviating more than 3W either way. Perhaps my expectations were too high, I don't know. I felt like at times I got into this yo-yo effect of the trainer trying to get me back to the target power after I had a change in cadence. Smoothing in TrainerRoad was set to 7 seconds. For reference, the FTP line is currently set at 235W.

Image


Have to say, i'm also a bit disappointed with that behaviour of my Drivo. I'm not using it with trainingroads, but I'm using my garmin 520 to control the trainer and follow workouts created with Garmin Connect. Result is the same : constant fluctuations up to + and - 20 watts, even with a "perfect" stable cadance. Even more anoying, if I set a target range between 240 and 260 f.ex, avg power is like 235 due to fluctuations were the power drops a lot of times below 240, or even 230, but never goes up to more than 260. The fluctuation are also not very pleasant. When riding on rollers, you also have fluctuations, but that's mostly 'you' applying more of less power at some times, here, you are constantly aware of those unwanted and uncontroled fluctuations. I end up with not using target powers anymore in workouts, but try to reach target power simply adjust the levels and changing gears. Once +/- on target, things are smooth, as in level mode, he trainer doesn't ajust to anything. Not very "smart", because you have to keep an eye on the chrono to now when to change to an other level, it's not convenient for short and frequent intervals, but far more pleasant in ride feel.

I hope a firmware will be available to make the Drivo less sensible.

Delorre
Posts: 966
Joined: Sat May 24, 2014 12:09 pm

by Delorre

Languid wrote:Coming from a Kickr which was always producing perfect flat lines, this was a bit of a shock for me.


I tought Kickr only shows and report 'target power' , not real power, so it's normal you get perfect flat lines. Reality is certainly not that flat, although flatter as with the Drivo I guess.

savechief
Posts: 323
Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2011 2:36 am

by savechief

So I did a second ride last night with the exact same 2x20' workout. I changed a few things (probably should have done one at a time, but oh well):
1) I controlled the workout from my Android phone through ANT+ FE-C rather than my Macbook Air with an ANT+ dongle
2) I installed the Elite My Training app on my Android phone, linked to the Drivo, then went to the Advanced Configurations section and set smoothing to 10 (default is 2)
3) I used the external cadence sensor that is included with the Drivo

In the end, the graph *looks* much better, but I'm not sure that the actual ride experience was substantially different. Again, however, the average/normalized powers were pretty much spot on to the target power. To be clear, I'm pretty satisfied with the actual ride experience. I can feel the fluctuations in resistance in response to my cadence changes, but I don't think I find it too bothersome, and I'm guess this would be the case for all smart trainers anyway.

1st Ride
Image

2nd Ride
Image

The problem that I have now is that some setting for the external cadence sensor is not accurate, as the automatic sync to Strava said that I did 52.6 miles during the 55 minute session. For the next ride, I will keep the smoothing at 10, go back to control through my Macbook Air, but I will rely on the internal cadence sensor just like I did for the first ride.
Time VXRS Ulteam (7.16 kg)
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=120268

tilf
Posts: 36
Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2017 10:56 am

by tilf

I think the KICKR smoothes. Think of how much your power changes throughout one circle of the pedals. When I had one and looked at data from my crank based power meter it was nowhere near as smooth as mine reported. Your workout isn't based on instantaneous torque -- that's what lifting is for. As long as ~3s averages pretty close and doesn't vary too much (what I see there looks fine), you should be fine. Your smoothing is probably the same thing Wahoo does.

Calvaroz
Posts: 37
Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2014 1:41 am

by Calvaroz

I use exclusively my elite drivo with my android phone. On my macbook air it has a lot of issues getting the right resistance and throws random resistance peaks in the middle of a recovery/z2 portions.

I first thought it was the ant+ dongle connection but even with a 3m usb extension cable and the dongle next to the drivo, i still have those peaks.
i tried disconnecting my quarq but that did nothing.

the android phone( S7) works ok, so i haven't look further.

It gets the cadence anyway without the external cadence so it didn't stayed long, never got it to work properly.



the bright side is that it works really well with zwift. i hope that trainerroad gets a fully functional update on mac os.

liketoride
Posts: 302
Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2012 3:05 am

by liketoride

I am having the same problem in zwift workout mode that there is in TR. how did you get it to work in zwift?

liketoride
Posts: 302
Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2012 3:05 am

by liketoride

I can tell you that I have used the kickr2 and the drivo in zwift workout mode and the real power is. It as flat as the kickr2 thinks but it is much better in workout mode than the drivo. I just like riding the drivo better than the kickr2

notcharlieparker
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2017 8:03 pm

by notcharlieparker

I have an Elite Drivo and I am ready to toss it. Power readings are inconsistent. Resistance levels vary where I am either chasing my desired power level or fighting a knee damaging resistance that only decreases after disconnecting the power. Bought it in December and didn't really use it until this month. Elite has sent an automated response in Italian and the US distributor, Todson, has not yet been responsive either. Figure I'll sell it and either get a kickr or Neo and hope for a better experience. There is no firmware update option on the ipad app. The elite windows only software is horrific and I'll probably resume indoor training on my rollers with my powertap pedals as the PM. $1300 down the drain.

vmcnees
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri May 18, 2018 4:44 pm

by vmcnees

This looks to be an old post, so the issues with the Drivo have not changed in 5+ years. I have to agree with notcharlieparker. Even with power smoothing the power graph looks like a seismograph. Both the power and cadence have what appears to be random peaks. I can hold a steady cadence and the Garmin 820 graph is perfectly flat. The Drivo, with or without the external cadence sensor, will register up to 140rpm for a couple of seconds. I created a 60 min 1% grade workout, and over the hour the graph and feel of the trainer fluctuated about every 10 min. The graph looked like a single heart beat every 10 or so, to give a visual. I picked up the Drivo in March, luckily at MEC who have an outstanding return policy. I feel after 250Km on the Drivo, that’s enough playing about. I’ll try the Neo next.

wintershade
Posts: 123
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2018 7:12 pm
Location: San Francisco, CA

by wintershade

The KICKR smooths. Ride your kicker with a set of power pedals or a power crank, and compare that to the numbers your KICKR is reporting back to you.

I recently upgraded from a KICKR to a NEO and was initially dissapointed in how jumpy my power files looked on the NEO, until I realized the KICKR was giving me whitewashed data.

jfranci3
Posts: 354
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:21 pm

by jfranci3

vmcnees wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 6:08 pm
This looks to be an old post, so the issues with the Drivo have not changed in 5+ years. I have to agree with notcharlieparker. Even with power smoothing the power graph looks like a seismograph. Both the power and cadence have what appears to be random peaks. I can hold a steady cadence and the Garmin 820 graph is perfectly flat. The Drivo, with or without the external cadence sensor, will register up to 140rpm for a couple of seconds. I created a 60 min 1% grade workout, and over the hour the graph and feel of the trainer fluctuated about every 10 min. The graph looked like a single heart beat every 10 or so, to give a visual. I picked up the Drivo in March, luckily at MEC who have an outstanding return policy. I feel after 250Km on the Drivo, that’s enough playing about. I’ll try the Neo next.
Does the cheaper, Direto have the same issue?

by Weenie


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