Issues switching from CycleOps Powerbeam Pro to Hammer Direct Drive



I have been using Zwift for a year on a CycleOps Powerbeam Pro.  I initially tested my FTP when I started and got around 240.  I did the 12 week FTP builder and rode a lot in Zwift and got my FTP up to 314 (I thought).

I have ridden on the Hammer Direct Drive 3 times now and my wattage is substantially lower.  Also, races, where I used to be competitive, are now disasters, with me placing lower than I ever did on the Powerbeam Pro.

So, my questions are - which trainer is correct?  If it is indeed the Hammer, then what was wrong with the powerbeam?  Are the recognized issues with either trainer in Zwift?

Basically, I am trying to find out if I am a pretty strong rider (on my old trainer) or a pretty poor rider, based on the new trainer.

Thanks in advance.

I own a Hammer and also a 4iiii power meter. The Hammer is fairly close to the power meter at wattages over 250 watts.

My guess is the Powerbeam Pro is overstating power. An FTP of 314 is high and the sort of FTP that you build up to over several years of training. How do you go in out door events? An FTP of 314 would have you finishing in the front pack of most Fondo / longish type events.

All you’ll need to do is drop down a grade in Zwift racing. Hopefully you’ll be competitive again.

On a side note. This is the problem with racing on Zwift for those of us with power meters and or fairly accurate smart trainers. We come up against older model smart trainers and or badly calibrated smart trainers and get our butts kicked by people who we would drop in the real world.

Anyway, enjoy the Hammer. Make sure you’re running the latest firmware. It was updated recently.

On the powerbeam pro you really have to ride at a pretty high wattage for at least 5 minutes before calibrating. If you don’t do this then your wattage will be stated quite a bit higher than it should be because your trainer was calibrated to your tire when it was cold. I found this out after I had been riding on the power beam for 2 months and it was pretty demoralizing when I realized my ftp was 15-20 watts less than I thought it was.

Thanks for the comments.  

I seems pretty clear that the FTP reading of the powerbeam was way too high.  I actually don’t race in the real world so have no way of tracking how I rank against ‘real’ riders.  I have won a few B races in Zwift, but I wonder the trainer mis-calibration would affect racing??

Oh well, I thought I was a really strong rider until a week ago - reality bites indeed!

I just purchased the Hammer and I found my power numbers dropped quite a bit and it does make me feel bad seeing the drop, but I do want realistic numbers otherwise I’m just fooling myself and cheating other riders that are spot on with their numbers.  I plan to run my Garmin pedals at the same time for experiment to see if they correspond, but from the numbers I normally do outside in the real world, the Hammer seems closer to reality.  Guess it just shows that I need to keep working away and driving that FTP ever higher!  

Good luck Kevin!  

Yeah, that’s a good point, Kevin. People are always just worried in racing about people who are using classic trainers with Z power, yet there are probably tons of people who have inaccurate power numbers because they don’t properly calibrate their wheel-on type smart trainers. 

Thank you so much for all the comments.

I’m planning on doing a new FTP test this weekend which should give me a fair assessment of where I am.  

The good news is that I will be training harder than previously which should make me fitter!