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VirtualPower vs. Power Meters

Looking for more information on what differentiates power and VirtualPower-based workouts? You're in the right place.

VirtualPower Defined

VirtualPower turns your indoor non-smart trainer into a power meter. Just hook up an ANT+ or Bluetooth Smart speed sensor and select your trainer in the VirtualPower settings. When you start to ride, your speed will be converted to power based on the known power curve for the trainer.

How VirtualPower Works

As your wheel speed increases, so does your power. Each trainer has a unique speed-to-power ratio, otherwise known as a resistance curve. This allows us to plug in your current speed and display watts. We've built this into our software, so it happens on the fly and is seamless to you.

Training with Power

Training with power means using a device that directly measures power, such as a power meter (e.g., PowerTap, SRM, Quarq) or a smart trainer (e.g., KICKR, Computrainer, Powerbeam Pro).

VirtualPower vs. Power - Which is the right choice for me?

The main factor to consider when choosing between power and VirtualPower is cost.

Power meters and smart trainers are, simply put, expensive! If you're not ready to shell out USD$600-3,000, you'll want to use VirtualPower. Power meters are great to race and train with, but if you're not quite ready to make the leap or just want to get a feel for training with power, VirtualPower is a great option. 

We think VirtualPower is a much better way to train than by heart rate or RPE. Heart Rate based training often "lags" behind actual efforts since the heart needs time to respond, usually 90 - 120 seconds, but when it comes down to it, a power meter will still be more accurate than VirtualPower.

Is my trainer compatible?

If you're a cyclist planning on using VirtualPower, a power meter, or a smart trainer, check with our list of supported devices and trainers.

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