01 Mar Keeping our Cycling Tech Working for Us
By Celeste Merey
It’s not uncommon to have tech anxiety in the world of cycling. These days it seems impossible for cyclists to ride without something that is battery-powered. From electronic shifting to GPS bike computers, power meters, smart watches, heart rate monitors and tracking devices in our helmets, it’s hard to remember to keep everything charged!
Even when riding indoors there’s a lot to think about with a smart trainer, likely communicating with a tablet or laptop (for joining T Train classes virtually of course!), and possibly those Bluetooth headphones.
Many of us know how things work until they don’t. Companies are not quick to suggest their products may fail so finding ways to troubleshoot can be hard. Here are three common actions you can take to prevent, assess, and restore things when your smart cycling products fail:
- Simplify: What data do you want to see and where do you want to see it?
Depending on how many gadgets you have, you might have multiple things that send data (such as a smart trainer or power meter) and multiple things that receive data (such as Zwift on a tablet or a Garmin bike computer). Simplify what data you want to see, and where, and stick to it. The communication signal can become “interrupted” if a device decides to pick up a signal, effectively stopping it from going to your preferred reader. So, don’t put Zwift on your iPad, iPhone and apple tv and launch all three while riding your smart trainer. Pick one device to receive your trainer info and stick to it week after week.
- Name your device
Once you pick your reader, it’s a good idea to name the sender. A smart trainer will often appear as a number – 123456 – and it’s a good idea to rename this. For example, if I want to use my Garmin computer to read my power meter, rename your power meter on your Garmin to Celeste Power Meter. Take the time to (painfully) enter the proper name and you won’t get it mixed up with another device in the future.
- Use the original manufacturer app to calibrate devices
Each smart trainer and power meter manufacturer has its own app. It’s important you install this app on your phone or tablet and use it to check on your device occasionally. Use this app to calibrate your device for the highest accuracy. The app will also check for firmware upgrades. If there is an upgrade available, take your time and only do the upgrade when the signal won’t be interrupted. Make sure your device does not go to sleep halfway through the upgrade. This includes the Garmin Connect App.
Need more help? Don’t hesitate to reach out: ([email protected]). There is a level of complexity to making all your technology work, and I’m here to help. I offer virtual or in-person service to help answer your questions, review your home setup, or troubleshoot tech issues, including smart trainer and Zwift set up and even assistance picking out and purchasing devices.