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PowerMatch: Using Power Meters with Smart Trainers

PowerMatch is a feature from TrainerRoad that allows you to use your power meters to control the resistance on your smart trainer. Additionally, you can manually adjust the power readings on your smart trainer to more accurately measure power while you train. 


How PowerMatch Works

PowerMatch allows riders to display and record power readings from their power meter and still benefit from the automatic resistance control of their smart trainer. It lets riders get consistent power readings from their power meter both indoors and outdoors without having to give up the benefits of their smart trainer.

Put simply, PowerMatch will use the power readings from your power meter to control your smart trainer. TrainerRoad will measure the power offset between your power meter and smart trainer and will adjust the resistance of your smart trainer based on that offset in power and the current interval target.

PowerMatch will work with any smart trainer that works in ERG mode with TrainerRoad.

What is the "power offset" you're talking about?

The reality of the power-device world is that different devices will often display discrepancies in their readings. For example, an output of 200 watts on a power meter may equate to an output of 220 watts on a smart trainer. These two devices would have an offset of 20 watts at that level of output.

PowerMatch effectively neutralizes this offset. 

Using PowerMatch with iOS

TrainerRoad's default PowerMatch setting is to use the power from the power meter to control the smart trainer's resistance. Simply pair the power meter and smart trainer, make sure PowerMatch is set to "Auto", and TrainerRoad will take care of the rest!

Note that the power meter will display as your power source in your Online Career.

Additionally, the offset between the power meter and smart trainer will be measured and adjusted (if necessary) every ten seconds as per the default settings.

 

Disabling PowerMatch

If you wish to disable PowerMatch, you may do so within the pairing screen of your smart trainer.

Disabling PowerMatch will prompt TrainerRoad to display and record power readings from your power meter if both a power meter and smart trainer are paired at the same time.  ERG mode is still available; however, the smart trainer will use it's own power data to calculate resistance instead of the data from your power meter. If there is a discrepancy in power readings between the smart trainer and power meter, disabling PowerMatch can make it look like you are constantly above or below the power target. 

Currently, the option to "use cadence only" from a power meter is not available in iOS. 

 

 

Apply Consistent Offset Between Trainer/Power Meter

If you know the power offset between your trainer and power meter and do not wish for TrainerRoad to continuously measure and adjust this, you can input this offset to be applied to the entire workout. You can do this within the pairing screen of your smart trainer.

 

Using PowerMatch with Desktop

TrainerRoad's default PowerMatch setting is to use the power from the power meter to control the smart trainer's resistance. Simply pair the power meter and smart trainer, and TrainerRoad will take care of the rest.

Note that the power meter will display as your power source in your Online Career.

Additionally, the offset between the power meter and smart trainer will be measured and adjusted (if necessary) every ten seconds as per the default settings.

If you wish to disable PowerMatch or apply a consistent offset, you may do so under your Profile tab.

Disabling PowerMatch will prompt TrainerRoad to display & record power readings from the power meter if both a power meter and smart trainer are paired at the same time. According to our device paring hierarchy, the power meter will take precedence over the trainer.

If you don't want to use PowerMatch, and you'd like power readings from only your smart trainer, unpair your power meter.

If you know the power offset between your trainer and power meter and do not wish for TrainerRoad to continuously measure and adjust this, you can input this offset to be applied to the entire workout.


Why Does My Power Appear Less Smooth with PowerMatch Applied?

Those well-versed in smart trainer usage will be very familiar with the smooth nature of graphed power in ERG mode. This power appears so smooth primarily because of natural smoothing that the sizable flywheels of many smart trainers applies.

Many strain-gauge power meters measure power directly from the pedal, crank arm, or crank. This method of measuring power is more sensitive than what most smart trainers use, and thus, even riders with the smoothest pedal strokes will notice "jumpier" power readings. This is nothing to worry about so long as the fluctuations are not drastic.

Power Graphed with only Smart Trainer

Power Graphed with PowerMatch (Smart Trainer + Power Meter)

Despite these graphs appearing sightly different, both users got the same training benefit from these intervals. The top profile simply doesn't represent the actual fluctuations in power as clearly as the bottom.

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