We are ready to start our big FTP study and the participants are rolling in. We wanted to share some more information about the whole background and why you should care.
Team ZWATT has launched a year-long study where participants will do a monthly 20-minute FTP test. We will use that data to study and develop a bunch of new things like software algorithms for better power meters and new user training metrics. In return for the hard work, participants will get our crank-based power meter at a very low price. You can join in here.
We have always been about innovating and moving the technology forward. You saw us doing the cool magnetic charger and rechargeable batteries before anyone else in the power meter industry. If you do MTB, you may know of power spikes. That happened a lot for some power meters and you may also have noticed that we solved that problem for both our own products and the brands we supply technology to.
Team ZWATT was also first with the monthly fee-based concept for power meters. You may or may not like to have the same options for paying for your power meter as when you buy a phone… But we came up with the idea and are happy to see other brands picking it up, like paying something extra after the purchase to get full functionality and so forth. That is innovation and we like it. We still have the lowest power consumption in the industry and a few other things that you may not notice, but this is how we like to move the technology forward every day.
The data coming out of a power meter is standardized by BLE and ANT interest groups, which is good and the way it should be. That is why all power meters come out with the same basic data. Some head unit manufacturers add more smartness and that is great. With the FTP study, we want to add even more. We want that data to help you train even smarter.
This new study is really inspired by talking to a clever guy helping out a Danish top-level coach some years back. We want to dive into his findings and some related things and see if we can make that into something for everybody. This is the secret algorithm we want to develop. And if we succeed, you will hear a lot more about that for sure. This will be another first in the industry.
When talking about power meters, accuracy and consistency are important. For power-based training, what you (usually) do is to pedal at various power levels all defined as some percentage of your functional threshold power (FTP). So how accurate does a power meter need to be in order to do that in a sensible way?
Well, that would depend on how accurate the FTP number is in of itself. That is one of the other things we are going to find out in the FTP study. Would a 0.1% power meter make sense? How many FTP tests do you need in order to get decent “accuracy” on that number? We are super curious.
The debate over single-sided versus dual-sided power meters is also interesting. We have developed both types and done a lot of testing on this, but only with we riders. Now having the full group of the FTP study doing similar tests, we should be able to learn a lot more about that. One of the things we think we have noticed is that as you get tired your power shifts to one side. But how much is that for an average rider? And how tired do you need to be for that to matter? When is single-sided actually plenty good enough?
We have a number of other ideas for things we will be looking for in the data we collect. This includes some of the more advanced things like peak torque angle and development of that. The pedal smoothness number and how that can be used.
Some of you enthusiastic users have chipped in with your suggestions – and thanks for that. Like how temperature affects things (there is actually a temperature sensor in the power meter). Other suggestions include looking at indoor versus outdoor FTP tests – can you even compare. Those are really good suggestions and we will be adding them to our wish list of things to learn from the study.
It’s not too late if you want to participate in the study. But be aware that we require you to do an FTP-20 test every month. That is hard work. But also, a great challenge for yourself. And maybe that is what you need to get in shape. If we can help you help us help you – we can’t ask for more.
Special Study Pricing: €250 upfront plus a monthly fee of €10 for 12 months.*
*Total Price: €370. The study is limited to 100 riders and it’s first come – first served.