After a series of price drops that brings their hi-def power meter system’s starting point down to a very beginner-friendly $499, Pioneer is adding training features to help those power noobs take advantage of the new resource.
Pioneer Training Assist is a free firmware update for their SGX-CA500 that helps anyone learn to train with power. It then takes advantage of their Cyclosphere “app” to provide post-ride analysis, so you can make sense of the data.
“We’re fortunate that we’ve got the technology, mobile app and cloud system on the back end to show all of the information a rider needs for us to offer training guidance,” says Pioneer’s Russ Johnston. “It makes it easy to offer and end to end solution for the rider.”
To start, you simply set up your training plan on their smartphone app, sync it with the cycling computer, and roll out…
There are 28 modules across three programs – introduction to various training segments, power development, and pedaling dynamics development. Basically, the first segment erases the need for you to learn about intervals, watch how-to videos or program a training cycle.
Now, you simply select a training type and it’ll give you a synopsis of the what and why that type of training is helpful. Then the CA500 will tell you what to do while you ride. Once the ride is done, you simply upload the ride data to their cloud and it’ll show how you did compared to the workout targets.
This should work great for beginners that will see massive improvement from any structured workout programs. Just run through the programs in order to build upon the prior workout. Once you’ve worked through the program, there’s no prescription for long-term training cycles, so you’ll have to pick each workout separately and piece together your own plan. But you can adjust the intensity of any of them as you progress. So, lets say you want to get faster and stronger and found an interval workout you like. Once you’ve done it a few times, set the limits a little higher and it’ll push to you improve.
Which is where Training Assist translates to the more advanced athlete. Two additional features make it easy to set a workout to match whatever your coach is prescribing. Interval Timer and Threshold Training let you create a specific workout that’s synced directly in the computer and all you have to do is press start. The post-ride analysis lets you determine your MMP (Mean Maximum Power), which is your average for a specific time period across all of your rides. The Challenge Menu lets you select a time interval (say, 3 minutes), and it’ll show your MMP for that interval time, and then you can try to beat it. Or, you can change the settings to have you trying for a higher level.
The update is available now and works with Pioneer’s single- or dual-leg power meters. And their cycling computers work with any ANT+ power meters, so you can use Training Assist with other brand PMs, to0.