ErgVideo 2 – First Impression

6 01 2009

I just got the IM 70.3 Muskoka ErgVideo, which is my first ErgVideo. I also have the IM Louisville IRCV (Interactive Real Course Video), from RacerMate (the company who builds the Computrainer).

Before I even start, let me tell you that I only installed the ErgVideo and rode it for 6 minutes, as I had already done my bike (1 hour and 20 min with 8 x 20 sec Power Intervals/2 min recovery) this morning and I will swim tonight. So, with that in mind…

Unlike IRCV, ErgVideo uses a different  approach to build the course.  It uses an “.erg” file that is synchronized with the actual video. The erg file is build based on the power that was generated by the original rider when riding the course. IRCV has a course build based on the grade of each segment. So what?

  • No SpinScan: Because ErgVideo forces the computrainer to keep a power output proportional to the power generated initially, it can’t calculate your SpinScan. SpinScan is calculated based on the power you generated at each 15 degrees of your pedal cycle, but because on erg mode it changes the resistance to match the pre-set power output, it can’t really tell your efficiency. 
  • Pre-set Effort: in order to make the ride possible for any rider, you can scale the power required to keep up with the original rider. Here is how it works, based on your Functional Power Threshold (FTP) you entered the level of effort that you would like to obtain at the end of the workout. ErgVideo then uses the inputed data and compares to the rider FTP, then for each part of the ride it will proportionally adjust the power you need to generate. 
    • The good: you will be forced to maintain the pace (not effort) of the original rider (unless you set the same FTP as the original rider), so you can’t really rest when you want! If you are training to that specific event, you will learn the course, and be prepared for the difficult spots.
    • The bad: you are not simulating the effort you will require to finish that course, as you are manipulating the intensity, plus you wont have the same weight as the original rider, so you even if you had the same FTP, the effort required would be different. The other disadvantage is that you can’t really plan a strategy for the ride, you must go as hard as the original rider had chosen to go when he/she was riding it.

After trying it out (6 minutes!), I believe that the biggest benefit would be building your plan based on the 9 Pack Video, which would include different rides (base, hill repeats, etc). In that case you would have a different video for each workout, making it quite interesting… but that would cost $300+ for all 9 videos!

In summary,if you want to prepare for a specific course “and” you have the option between ErgVideo and IRCV, I would suggest the latter, as you can pace yourself like you would in the real race. But, if you want to have videos to play while you doing you interval training, then ErgVideo is a pretty cool option.

Again, this is my first impression, I may be missing the point. There are options to build the course (i.e. repeat certain parts X amount of times) that I’m not quite sure how to best use. Ideally I would like to have parts of the video to use with my Power Intervals, Short and Long Hill intervals, etc. But not sure I can do that with one video… I only used it for 6 minutes! 🙂

BTW, I was under the impression that the ErgVideo Software would come with an Automated Threshold-power testing protocol:

  • From the ErgVideo Website: “New Software Release: ErgVideo 2 is here! Fully Automated Threshold-power testing protocol”
  • From the ErgVideo Manual: “Your Actual Threshold Power is a physiological measure which you can determine through testing, or by estimating the average power you could sustain over an hour. ErgVideo 2.0 includes this capability with special testing ErgVideos.”

What was not clear to me was that you need to BUY the actual videos in order to have the Fully Automated Threshold-power testing protocol! It is not a feature on ErgVideo 2!!! If you read the home page, the next bullet is even about the integration to iTunes and Windows Media Player, which is clearly a feature that comes with ErgVideo 2, not a specific video! After reading the manual I understood what they meant… I have to say, I was pretty disappointed with that.

If you read this, please read ErgVideo 2 – Second Impression!



One response

8 01 2009
ErgVideo 2 - Second Impression! « Hans Winter’s Weblog

[…] I rode the Muskoka Half Video from ErgVideo for 6 minutes and posted my First Impression. Today I had planned a Brick workout (1 hour bike, 20 minutes run), using the same […]

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