The built-in cadence meter on the Kickr works well only if the cadence is reasonably steady. When I suddenly kick up the cadence in a workout it is very eratic. So I got the Wahoo cadence meter & attached it to the pedal. I then turned off the internal cadence meter on the Kickr. BUT, it will then often automatically turn the internal meter on the trainer back on and the external meter off and it is again erratic (working out with Wahoo SystemX). Suggestions?
Hey! Welcome to the forums @Alan_K !!
Are you saying that during a workout SYSTM switches from your purchased wahoo cadence sensor to the Kickr’s “built-in” cadence?
If so, that’s a problem and you might need to submit a support ticket.
You can do that here:
Contact the Minions
But, if what you’re saying is that when you start up SYSTM and go to settings the default cadence is on the Kickr’s “built-in” one and you have to manually switch that to the one you’ve installed on the crank then that is actually pretty normal. It might help to spin the cranks a few times before you start up SYSTM as that “wakes” up the sensor and might give it priority over the Kickr’s “built-in” one (which is really just a pretty good estimation/calculation and not an actual sensor, which explains why it’s erratic with sudden changes but decent when things are steady)
That’s exactly what I’m saying. Before the ride I activate the cadence meter then manually turn off the wahoo built-in one and turn on the external one. It works fine until it doesn’t. When I stop to see what happened the built-in default cadence meter has been turned back on and the external one is off. Aaargh.
Yeh, it shouldn’t be doing that. At the start of a ride, once you have selected the sensors you want to use (and deselected the ones you don’t want to use) it should stay that way until the workout is over. You may have to do that each time you start a workout but it definitely should NOT be switching sensors on its own. Let us know what support suggests for you.
in the meantime: some basic troubleshooting: make sure your Kickr has the latest firmware, and, if the Kickr is prior to V5 that you’ve done a spindown calibration (every couple of weeks after a 10 minute warmup). Make sure you’re using the most current version of the SYSTM app as well as the Wahoo Fitness App.
Is this happening over Ant+ or Bluetooth? What r u using for SYSTM (Mac (intel or silicon) Windows, Android, iOS.
Thanks Glen. It’s the newest Kickr, just a few months old. The firmware was recently updated. I’m using it on a PC Windows 11 with the Wahoo Direct connect. The System software is V 7.51.1 which was just recently updated. It’s on bluetooth. There is no other app running in the same room. No nearby router.
So I am at a loss then. Have the minions (ie Support) gotten back to you yet?
I thought a direct conversation would be best so I will wait until tomorrow to call.
Is it possible that something is wrong with your external cadence sensor? If it’s the kind attached to the crank or your shoe, I wonder if sudden increases in cadence might move the battery or something and cause it to shut off for a moment. Are you able to try it outside? What happens?
LOL. It was 17 degrees when I got up this morning.
Okay. Not outside then. How about connecting the external sensor only to a bike computer while everything else (except the external sensor) is connected to SYSTM? Then see if you get drop outs on your bike computer when you do whatever seemed to cause that on SYSTM? To make that a good test, make sure to connect to your computer using Bluetooth not Ant+.
Pete. Don’t know what you mean by a bike computer. I have the software open on my PC.
Do you have a Garmin Edge or a Wahoo Bolt to record your rides when you ride outside? That’s what I mean.
I think if would be helpful to make sure the problem you’re having is with SYSTM and not with your cadence sensor. Thus, I think it would be worth connecting the sensor to another device that can read it and report it out.
I don’t. Outside I just use a speedometer. I’m not at all competitive. Outside riding for me is purely recreational. Indoor training is to enable me to ride distances at a decent pace outdoors. It also keeps me alive. Since I’m over sharing, at close to 70 and with severe heart disease I’m thrilled to still be riding.
I’m glad you’re riding! I could probably come up with other ways to sort out what’s happening with your sensor, but I’m not sure it’s worth the trouble. But I do have a couple more thoughts:
Unless you’re getting up to cadences well over 135 rpm, the KICKR (with the most current firmware—see 2nd comment) works quite well. It measures cadence by detecting power fluctuations in the pedal stroke. With a moderately smooth stroke, power is lowest when the pedals are in the 6 o’clock/12 o’clock positions. So the KICKR counts those and calculates cadence. I share that because if the measurement is erratic when you pick up your cadence, that might be because your pedal stroke isn’t sufficiently smooth. The KICKR doesn’t require perfection or anything close to it, but does require the power profile to be recognizable as a normal pedal stroke. If an unsmooth pedal stroke at higher cadences is the cause of the erratic readings, the solution is to skip the external sensor and do the Elements of Style workout several times (over a few weeks) to learn how to do a good pedal stroke. Then with practice, I suspect you will get more comfortable at higher cadences, better at it, and the measurement will become less erratic.
Before you worry about comment 1, make sure you have the most recent firmware for your KICKR. To do taht, you need the Wahoo Fitness app (not SYSTM). Connect your KICKR and check the firmware. It will indicate if you need to udoate it. You do that through the app too. If you don’t know how, ask and I or someone else can explain.
I’ll be 70 in a few months. I’ll just point out that you can enable riding distances at a decent pace outdoors by riding and training outdoors. If tracking performance via the use of various sensors when training indoors helps further your goals, that can also be done outdoors. To this end, I ride with a power meter, speed/cadence sensor, and a HRM on all outdoor rides.
The problem can be connectivity.
If the signal from the cadence sensor isn’t good and doesn’t remain consistent, I think SYSTM can sometimes drop it for the Kickr instead if it detects that is remaining stable.
Before migrating to the Bike I had a Kickr Core and an external cadence sensor. If the battery was getting low in the cadence sensor I could often start a workout with that set as the cadence source and find it flip to the Core during the workout.
Thanks for the responses. I did a ride this morning. First I removed the external cadence monitor and focused on smooth pedaling. It wasn’t perfect but you’re right in that I notice the problem mostly when I’m jumping from very high to much lower cadence in the training program. My guess is that with the wheel still spinning very fast from the high intensity part of the workout when I drop into a recovery period the wheel isn’t really engaging with the chain and my spinning is MUCH less smooth for those moments until the wheel and chain catch up to each other. I think the direct measurement of the cadence meter would be more ideal but I’ll see how this works for a bit if I can smooth my spinning.
Glad to hear it. Whenever you switch from fast to slower cadence, there will be a short period of not really engaging the drivetrain while the flywheel slows down. I usually stop pedaling for a a few seconds while the flywheel slows. Some people shift into a higher gear to speed up the rear axle. That doesn’t quite seem worth the trouble to me. But whatever you do, it sound like the main problem is solved.
Just to chime in about the “smooth pedal stroke” aspect being a potential reason for the large fluctuations, AND that it possibly causes total drop-outs of the cadence/power readings:
I’ve seen quite a lot of those drop-outs on many recent rides, and it has puzzled me a bit.
I assumed there was a more dependable cadence sensor on my KICKR BIKE than something that just senses the top/bottom strokes of the pedal, based on smooth strokes.
That’s pretty disappointing to me. It’s not whether or not I have a smooth stroke that I feel any need to defend or not (been cycling for a long time, I THINK I have a reasonably smooth stroke, but maybe not? And maybe less smooth than it once was, if age and nagging hamstring and back issues are impacting that??)
But a cadence sensor of magnetic type is pretty ubiquitous and fairly dependable, and wouldn’t be temporarily confused if we ease up after sprints, hard efforts, etc, and especially since the KICKR Bike is really NOT very easy to hit targets without searching (at least that’s my experience), it would have been nice to separate the cadence to a distinct input of exactly where the pedal crosses a set point, and NOT have it be what sounds to me like a possible “moving target” based on the pedal stroke being “nearly perfect.”
I’ve done Elements of Style and several Cadence Builds type sessions and they are helpful for sure, so not resisting those suggestions at all.
I just wish the KICKR Bike was a bit easier FOR ME to stay right on “target,” whether that is power or cadence. I turned on Power Smoothing just about a week or so ago, partly in response to suggestions to that effect as I was preparing to do my first Half Monty and then did the Full Frontal (4DP) four days later. (FF was absolutely BRUTAL for me! Probably my hardest 1 hour ride I ever did, and that’s saying a lot. I really did give ALL on every effort, and was totally wiped before I got half through the 20min, barely hung on, lost 15pts on FTP from the HM results. Ah, well.)
Even with Power Smoothing, I still feel that my cadence readings bounce MUCH more than what is really happening with my cadence, and as a result, so do the power numbers. (Or maybe that’s exactly backwards!)
I do LIKE the KICKR Bike VERY MUCH! But I would like it MUCH MORE if it wasn’t so much “circling the wagons” and trying to zero in on targets till it settles on a proper resistance, especially with short effort times.