Cycle trainer brand Kinetic are launching the inRide Watt Meter which they are calling “the world’s first Bluetooth Smart trainer-based power meter”.
The system uses the new Bluetooth Smart communication protocol found in iPhone 4s and iPad 3 to pair a heart rate monitor and a power sensor pod with the new Kinetic inRide iPhone App (available for iPhone 4s and iPad 3 only; it’s not an iPad-specific App) to measure wattage with a Kinetic fluid trainer.
Kinetic’s accurate fluid trainer power curve allows precise wattage readings for any given speed. We mentioned this when we reviewed Kinetic’s Road Machine turbo trainer; the silicone in the fluid chamber is unaffected by heat so you get consistent resistance whatever the air temperature and however long your training session – so the speed you get out mirrors the power you put in.
As well as the Road Machine, the inRide system is compatible with the fantastic Rock And Roll, which we’ve also reviewed, and the Pro trainer, which we haven’t.
Proprietary firmware in the inRide Sensor Pod measures speed and cadence and uses a simple equation to convert that into wattage. That data is collected along with your heart rate information and displayed on the paired iPhone 4s or iPad 3. After your session you can upload your training data to a website or email the file to a coach.
• Power (current, avg, max)
• HR (current, avg, max)
• Calorie burn
• Heart rate and watt training zones
An auto coast-down calibration keeps the accuracy precise, no matter what tyre and tyre pressure you are using.
Bluetooth Smart communication ties the components together, avoids crosstalk with other devices, and eliminates the need for additional phone dongles. The Minoura Live Training App we told you about last week, for example, which allows you train by power using a Minoura trainer and an iPhone or iPad, uses ANT+ and that requires the use of a dongle.
Kinetic reckon the inRide Watt Meter matches other power meters on the market for accuracy and repeatability.
The inRide system isn’t available yet, but it will be in the autumn costing £175.
Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over the past 20 years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for seven years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a youthful 45-year-old Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.