Saris’ new CycleOps Virtual Trainer software is compatible with their Power Beam Pro or trainer cycle and lets you upload video and GPS data captured on the ride and recreate it on screen.
An online counterpart lets you pick from other folk’s uploaded routes or upload your own, including the video. Or, you can create your own routes on Google Maps or Google Earth and put that GPS data into VT. It’ll then add the proper elevation info and match the resistance. This lets you plot in an upcoming race and (virtually) train on the actual course.
On screen, you can watch it in Google maps mode or video mode, and all speed, power and other data is displayed on screen.
Video is broken down as frames per second and paces itself with how fast you’re riding on the trainer. Video and route data are stored in the desktop app on your computer, so you’ll have to run a video out to your big screen if you want to totally immerse yourself in the moment.
Software is synced with your Power Beam trainer via an ANT+ USB dongle. The software will merge GPS data and video in its own editor, or it can pull combined data from GPS-equipped cameras.
The software will retail at $349 if you already have a Power Beam. It’s available this fall, and starting then all Power Beam trainers and their 400 Pro Indoor Cycle will ship with the software. Prices for that start at $1,299, and they’ll have a bundle with the trainer, software and Joule GPS for $1,599 with HR strap. PC only at launch, Mac to follow.
They’re looking at online virtual races against a friend in real time, but there are some licensing and other issues holding that up at the moment.
New Joule computers are offered in two models. The smaller one measures power and other basic metrics (17 functions). The larger Joule GPS adds location tracking and things like ascent and other location based goodies, pedal balance and more power metrics (35 functions). Prices are $169 and $269 and includes a stem/bar mount and an out front mount that puts it in front of the stem. Screens are customizable, and the Joule GPS upgrades to a dot matrix screen with more custom options and a rechargeable battery.
The data from the computer can be uploaded into their Power Agent software (free download, PC or Mac) and exported into an all important Strava friendly format (GPX). They’re working on getting it to send data directly to Strava, and Training Peaks and MapMyRide, too. They’re looking to have that worked out by the time the devices launch in September.
The new PowerCal uses a chest strap HR monitor to deduce power based on their years of tracking power. While its more accurate in the controlled environment of an indoor trainer, they’ve developed algorithms to come close in the varying conditions of real riding. It’s not as accurate as their PowerTap hubs, but it’s only $99. It communicates power and HR data via ANT+ and has an optional speed sensor ($139 for the complete set) for the bike if you’re not using it with a GPS cycling computer. It’s aimed at the entry level power user that’s more curious about training with it but doesn’t want to commit to more expensive parts for the bike. Because it’s ANT+, it’ll sync up with other brand computers and watches that read power.
They actually showed this last year, but the original version would have required a calibration session at shops. Dealer feedback said that wouldn’t fly with consumers, so they worked with their data more and now it requires no set up whatsoever. You put it on and go, no need to enter height, weight, gender or anything. We’ve got one of these to test.