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Cycleops lost a sale with me. I pulled the trigger on a Tacx Neo and it is being shipped from Performance as we speak. I have a Cycleops fluid trainer, and two Cycleops PT hubs, so my loyalty was theirs to lose. It’s a shame.
But I have had interruptions on Zwift, usually when my wife calls my iphone and my Macbook Pro kills the Zwift App to connect–now I disable my phone before I ride; and it is so demoralizing. I’ve also had my laptop battery die mid race and had to stop to plug in. It only takes a few seconds to fall off a group and have the whole race or ride spoiled. I can’t imagine spending that kind of coin on a trainer only to have it fail on one of the key activities that I use the trainer for, which currently is Zwift. For me, it was the key issue in my decision to buy a different kind of smart trainer. I specifically waited for the Hammer to come out because I wanted to stay with a company that had delivered pretty solid products. Hopefully the Tracx Neo will work out for me. I am very sorry for you folks who are struggling with this. To non-riders or casual users, this seems like a true first world problem. For folks who are stuck having to ride indoors and Zwift is one of the few things that can make it bearable, I feel your pain.
The co-worker I ride with got his Neo last week to replace the Magnus he was using. Unfortunately right out of the box it started making a horrible clicking noise when in T15, T14 & T13. We spent two days trouble shooting, switching cassettes etc and now he is basically going through the same tech support process the rest of us are with the Hammer. I just hope he ends up with better results.
@John Carpenter That’s why I waited for the Hammer to come on the market in the first place–I’ve heard issues with the Neo’s quality control. Fortunately, I ordered from Performance and they are usually good with accepting returns if I got a dud. Seems like there is no perfect solution right now from the major smart trainer manufacturers. It’s still bit a a niche market, strange gnomes like us willing to spend 1200-1600 on a trainer to ride indoors. The mass market is pushing towards that Peleton and other spin type cycles.
I guess I would go with the Kickr 2 as the best solution for a Zwift-heavy training and riding schedule (assuming you don’t have a crank-based PM).
I would probably have gone with the Kickr 2 had I not gotten a sponsorship deal on the Hammer. To be honest, the Hammer seems to work quite well when combined with a crank-based PM. I still have faith that Cycleops will eventually release a workable firmware that addresses the issues. I’m confused as to why it is taking so long though.
I’m more or less happy with it as long as nothing goes wrong with my Quarq or SRM. The third bike, however, I might end up using with the classic trainer instead.
I used to think the power dropout and stoppage issue was Zwift-only, but since have had it happen (in a less overt fashion) on Virtual Training as well.
I am a coach at an indoor facility that will probably eventually have a bunch of smart trainers rigged to some sort of mass workout system (whether Zwift implements this in a useable way, I don’t know yet, but Perfpro already does). At this time I would have to recommend against the Hammer, simply because we cannot expect that users would also have powermeters on their bikes.
Another thought is that Zwift appears to have been developed using the Kickr, and its firmware seems to lean towards the error side of “too much” power as opposed to the Hammer’s “too little”. I’d like to see both of them go towards the center instead. I can only speculate about what is really under the hood with Zwift, but races seem to indicate that even tiny momentary power spikes (both up and down) can have a large effect on the outcome of races.
For what it is worth, I have run my Stages PM on my Garmin and the Hammer PM consecutively on Zwift so I could document the zero watt issues to send to Cycleops and the two track within 2-4 watts of each other up and down except at max power on a sprint, the Stages would be 8-10 watts less.
I’ve had no issues since using the Stages (I run it on Bluetooth and everything else on ANT+). I hope the carbon arm for SRAM works as well when I get it.
I started using the Cycleops Hammer and Zwift for the first time in late Feb of this year and out of the first 10 or so rides, I experienced the power suddenly dropping out 3 or 4 times. I then starting calibrating the Hammer every 5 or so rides using their Cycleops Virtualtraining software (you don’t have to sign up or pay for it to calibrate your trainer) and I also stopped using my Garmin heart rate monitor and I have now had 30+ rides without any drop out at all. I’m not sure if any of those things really did anything but if you are not calibrating the Hammer regularly maybe give that a try. I also hung the ANT+ dongle off a chair (it is on an extension cable) near the trainer and it had previously been laying on the floor.
I just tried what Robert suggested above. It didn’t work.
I’ve tried all combinations now with calibration via CVT or via Android app, with and without an extension cable to my ANT+ dongle, with and without ANT+ HRM connected to Zwift and with and without ANT+ connected to my cadence meter.
The only thing I haven’t tried as calibration via Apple products.
Same issue for me. My power drops to zero under certain situations, like going downhill to a sudden short, steep climb like the ramp in London. it is frustrating and keeping me from doing Zwift races. I emailed support and got back, " we are aware of a communication problem with Zwift".
Anyone have any word if there is an update coming to solve these problems? If not I’m thinking of returning this trainer and getting a Kickr or ponying up a little more for a Neo (which is what I probably should have done in the first place)
The drop outs and having the avatar stop was getting really annoying last night. When you pony up this much cash for something you expect it to actually work.
I have a Stages crank arm I am going to put on my trainer bike and see if this helps.
I got this on 6-2-17 from Cycleops/Saris:
“We are always working on new firmware for our devices to better the experience for all of our customers using these products. We do have a current firmware that is in the testing phase that hopefully will be released shortly to address interaction issues with Zwift.”
New firmware has been released yesterday evening US time.
Tried it on London. It may have reduced the power drop issue, but it is still early to tell definitively.
According to firmware release notes:
31.032 (Current), released June 21, 2017
I hope this fix the power drop issue.
I’m still having power drops with the new firmware, even after calibrating the trainer. They seem not quite so severe as before but they are still there.
My observations on the new firmware:
The rolldown calibration procedure is the same. Rolldown times seem the same.
On Zwift, the immediate difference seems to be that I am using a gear that is closer to reality than before. It used to be about a 5 gear (smaller) difference between Zwift and outside. Now that’s more like a 2 gear difference.
After three tries to climb the London escalator, all three of them (including a try where I even went harder than I was supposed to for my day’s ride) failed. I came to a dead stop with 0 watts at exactly the same spot on the ramp as before. I was pushing massive torque into a clamped-down machine at about 45rpm and not moving at all in game.
So they addressed “some” stuff, but not the main issue.
I have been using my Stages PM for a couple of months and have had zero dropped watt issues, so the firmware update was no longer on my radar. After I changed from the Shimano groupset and crank arm to the carbon SRAM arm I did notice there was a lag starting up of about 3 seconds that the alloy arm did not have, the same is true when riding outside. After you get going there is no longer any noticeable lag.
Just for fun I hooked my PM up to my Garmin to compare to the power readings on the Hammer. I no longer had a cadence sensor on my bike so I had to connect the crank arm to Zwift for the cadence reading (I used bluetooth for that connection).
The two power meters were almost identical with max power being exactly the same and I never experienced any zero watt issues including on the Escalator. I’ve ridden a half a dozen times that way now just to see what would happen and have only once experienced a partial watt drop on a flat section after the firmware update.
I hope for everyone else they get the firmware issue resolved sooner rather than later and they probably need to hear that this round did not fix it.
I tested my Hammer vs both of my Stages pms and the Hammer reads about 20 watts lower. I was glad I did because my rpe for my efforts was high. The Hammer does work really good with the Stages, no drop outs on the escalator or radio tower. I guess I’ll just keep using it with the Stages.
Gosh I was on the verge of buying a Hammer this week. May need to look at something else!
I’ve been struggling with the same things, however, I did a search for Lag on the Zwift support hub and there seem to be other trainers with possibly similar issues. I’d give them a gander before making a decision.
I’m currently finding that using my Hammer with a Stages Power meter works much better, especially on the escalator.
It is possible that the last Firmware release from Cyclops did not address our issue at all. They may still be struggling with It, at least that is what I am hoping.
I just got a hammer 3 days ago. Got everything all hooked up with Zwift. First 2 rides, things worked great, although I questioned how accurate my readings were. Flat surface, 90rpm, 50/14 and it said I was going 19mph? Anyway… Tonight tried a race for the first time. Box Hill… I could spin 110rpm and it showed me going 4-5 mph. Shifted down twice. Cadence dropped to around 85. Speed went up to 7mph. Then “POOF” trainer completely let go. No resistance. Freewheels in both directions. I looked down because I thought I snapped the chain… Nope. I sure hope they have an answer…