Thursday, November 26, 2015

E-Motion Rollers Wireless Control Beta - First Glance

Update 1/8/2017

After talking to Inside Ride and understanding what happened in terms of the IR Beta unit not making it to the market I will hopefully be able to get one of the Elite controller units in the near future and give it a try. 

Update 7/10/2016:

I am sad to report that my latest attempts to use the wireless controller on the rollers has been difficult and on each attempt I have had to stop the workout because the resistance was too high while in ERG mode. I have also had difficulty in consistently getting the rollers setup quickly with either TrainerRoad or PerfPro. Once paired and the resistance control working along with the intervals I noticed wattage was quite different between the ANT+ controller wattage and a PowerTap G3. 

Also I have not seen any updates from Inside Ride either in firmware updates or news in many months. It makes me wonder if they have given up on the concept of the wireless controller or what is going on. On the purchase page there is very little description of the controller and for using with training applications and the only thing I see at this time is an option to pick wireless resistance on the roller purchase. No other description about using it for ERG mode. 

Like It?

Please Note: InsideRide Wireless Controller is still in Beta and is not quite posted as the public release model. However, it is available for purchase in an early adopter program as they continue to refine this product.

Now that I am getting an understanding on pre-workout setup protocol and the biggest surprise was that the TrainerRoad power meter control option seemed to work just as it does for the Kickr, I am really happy. More tests need to be done though, but at first glance I am very happy with today's trial use. I am also very grateful that the guys at InsideRide responded with patience while I was trying to get an understanding of some things. Some of it still not quite pairing or working out for me, such as, the O-Synce ANT+ remote is still not pairing for me, but that is not as important as using the rollers in ERG mode and trusting the data at the end of the workout and what I upload into WKO to track training.


Installation was probably the easiest part for me compared to understanding how to pair up sensors and setting up in the training applications. InsideRide supplies the two tools necessary to install and it took me no more than 20 minutes or so to attach. 

More about installation here:

Two tools and bolts provided

The mechanical resistance selector to be removed

First, remove the rear bumper roller

Next remove the two screws holding the mechanical selector

See Inside Ride directions for attaching the controller. There are two screws that will line up with the previous screw holes. One is located inside the electronic housing and is accessed by removing the four screws on the cover plate. One of the screws is shown above.
Before replacing the rear bumper roller center the sticker on the flywheel

First Thoughts:

I have to admit that I first struggled to get this device up and running. The first part was not understanding the differences between this controller and something like the Kickr since it is direct drive and the bike is fully supported on a solid sturdy base. The E-Motion rollers obviously have the weight of the user, the bike weight and the tires that create rolling resistance that will play a role. Kind of like the Computrainer has a press on force for the tire where the user will torque down to a certain amount that will also play a role in how accurate the Computrainer's data will be in comparison to the user's power meter. It took a few emails for me to understand that the magnet was off the flywheel which is zero resistance, but there is still the rider and bike that causes some base level of resistance. In order for this controller to work for me I needed to get the resistance even lower in order for ERG to work in TrainerRoad where there are very low wattage targets for warm up and in between interval rest low wattage. Most of my custom and TR provided workouts have wattage warm up and rest targets at or below 100 watts.

In order for me to get ERG mode to work in TrainerRoad I switched down to my 30 ring and put it on the 28 cog, which is the lightest gear available on my bike. This allowed the roller resistance to be down low enough to register in the TrainerRoad target. I pretty much left it on that gear until the target increased a bit and then switched up a couple of cogs. I could have just left it in the easiest gear and the controller would have adjusted. 

Summary Important Note: Switch to your easiest gear in order to get to a base level of resistance that will align more with the warm up low watt TrainerRoad targets and pretty much you can leave it in that gear for the most part. I suppose if you are a more advanced cyclist with a race level fitness these results will vary as would the starting base gear.


Pairing in general was pretty easy, but at this point that too has varied for me. This may not be necessarily an InsideRide issue as it also happens to be my older laptop that requires the use of an ANT+ USB stick and also is using a Bluetooth 4.0 USB stick. All of these things will play a role in pairing. In my case I had to unplug the Wahoo Kickr so that the application would not pick it up. I found that I could not just unpair it. I had to unplug it. Also for the test today I could not get the specific E-Motion Roller selection in the public version of TrainerRoad to pick up the wireless controller. In previous short tests it picked it up in less than a second or two, but for some reason today it would not pick it up at all. For today's test I was able to pair it up quickly in TrainerRoad Beta as a Wahoo Kickr and that worked just fine. But this was interesting because in the TR Beta I could not disable the power meter control and the greatest thing happened as an end user that could happen. The power meter control worked with the E-Motion / TrainerRoad combination. 

Why am I so giddy about that?
Because as a user (not a blog reviewer) I want my data of my power meters because I trust my power meters more than I trust algorithms written into applications and trainers for virtual power. This is exactly what makes me a happier user for the Wahoo Kickr and having power meter control set the intensity of the workout in relating with the TrainerRoad workout and with the trainer to set resistance. For those of us use that use power meters outdoors and perhaps test our fitness levels with those power meter it is important that the data is close enough to trust as we track in training programs like WKO, Golden Cheetah, Training Peaks or other programs. Or even sending to coaches so that they can give good coaching advice.

In the IR E-Motion Test Tool the PowerTap G3 sensor is recognized as is the EMR (E-Motion Roller) wireless ANT+ controller. 2000 as noted in the screen shot is the magnet in a fully off position with no resistance other than the rolling resistance from the rider and bike. The E-Motion Test Tool is not necessary to use before using the training application like TrainerRoad. The next two images are just to show what the Test Tool looks like.

TrainerRoad picked up the E-Motion Rollers as Wahoo Kickr, but this worked just fine. Also the PowerTap G3 is selected and it was also used as the Speed.

TrainerRoad Workout Test:

 Pictures may tell a better story.

Pushed up from TrainerRoad to Strava

A glance at the basic metric comparisons in WKO - Match up pretty good

As recorded in TrainerRoad. (The spikes and drops are a result of me stopping and getting off the bike and restarting.)

As recorded from the Powertap G3 to the Garmin Edge 800 (The spikes, drops and stops are more notable, but did not make a difference in the overall training metrics between the two recordings.)

WKO Multi Range File Analysis comparison between the data matches, but then again it should because the external power meter was in control and the E-Motion Roller Wireless Controller did a pretty good job keeping pace with the power meter dialog to TrainerRoad and TrainerRoad directing the resistance on the controller. 

It appears to track a bit under the TR target, but that is okay with me. What is more important is how good is the data recorded. Well since it is controlled by the G3 and recorded based on the G3 I trust the data.
This is from the PowerTap recorded to the Garmin Edge. Notice that it compares exactly with the TrainerRoad  Summary. That's because the power meter control option in TrainerRoad seems to work with E-Motion Roller Wireless Control. Perfect!!

Bike Used:

LOOK 585

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