Today's world of cycling is dominated by data — namely, power data. Unfortunately, power meters are expensive, and not everyone has one. So, we created VirtualPower to solve this problem.
How VirtualPower Works
VirtualPower allows riders to derive power readings without a power meter. Each trainer make, and model has a unique speed-to-power ratio (also referred to as the trainer's "power curve").
TrainerRoad takes speed readings from a rider's speed sensor and uses those speed readings to calculate VirtualPower based on the trainer's power curve. We'll use a fictional trainer ("Trainer X") as a hypothetical example to explain this further. It takes 20 miles per hour to output 250 watts, 21 miles per hour to output 255 and so on on "Trainer X".
TrainerRoad will be able to calculate your VirtualPower as long as you have a speed sensor connected and the make/model of your trainer input in our software. TrainerRoad has power curves for most trainers currently in production. Additionally, we do our best to add the power curves of new trainers that arrive on the market.
How Accurate is VirtualPower?
The answer to this question depends on the power curve of the trainer you're using. Some trainers have a more accurate and true-to-road curve than others.
This is why consistency is the most important variable when training indoors. Even if your VirtualPower readings are not 100% representative of your outdoor power, you can still reap the benefits of training with power as long as you use the same trainer and VirtualPower curve for each workout. Doing so means your results will be comparable, and you'll be able to track your progress.
Learn more about VirtualPower and check your trainer's compatibility.