Lemond Wattbox

(malcolm may (WCC) C) #1

I have a lemond revolution, and have ordered the wattbox with the goal of getting on zwift.

Is anyone using this set up, and will it be compatible? I don;t see any mention of the trainer on the site. 


As an aside, the wattbox has been delayed for over 3 months and Lemond have stopped responding to queries. If this system won;t work it will be an easy decision to cancel the order. 

(Matt Canna) #2

You need the wattbox for power, unless you have access to another power meter.  The lemond revolution is a wheel off trainer so a speed sensor is out of the question.

The wattbox being at like 270 to 300.  You might want to get a stages or similar powermeter at price of 400 to 600.


(Scott) #3

The Wattbox works fine. We recommend a cadence sensor if you want to zero your power when you stop pedaling (e.g. cadence = 0). See FAQ on page 9 - Why does my computer show power even when coasting?

You can find it under the “smart trainer” selection of our Getting Started guide.


(malcolm may (WCC) C) #4

Thanks to both. My cadence is easily picked up. My speed sensor has stopped picking up entirely and I wonder if its a conflict between the garmin cadence / speed and the generic bontrager speed sensor picking up the revs on the fly wheel. I have a powertap wheel. And a lemond revolution.

Stages prices range from $699 to $899 depending on crank arm model, and the wattbox is $249. Significant for me.

Thanks both for the quick response. I want to solve my issues before winter. I’m tired of watching pixel people ride past me while I sit at the side of the road

Unfortunately Lemond does not seem able to supply the wattbox and my decision is whether I bother waiting, or just use a dumb trainer with my powertap hub. 

(Scott) #5

The dumb trainer with PowerTap hub will work great and you’ll be able to maintain consistent power data indoors and out. The LeMond might have a better ride feel, but the wattbox does not make it an interactive trainer that offers resistance control - it only broadcasts watts. 


(Matt Canna) #6

Heck for the cost of 300 you can almost buy an interactive trainer.  But 300 bucks can buy a great used trainer.


The powertap is the way to go, just make sure you get a trainer tire on your wheel.  Also the powertap since your using will be consistent out on the road when you get outside in the fresh air.

Oh you might want to check out the BKOOL, interactive trainer. http://www.bkool.com/turbo-trainer

(malcolm may (WCC) C) #7

Thanks, I’ll give it a look


(Matt Canna) #8

http://www.tacx.com/products/trainers/vortex-smart  this trainer is decent cost.  300 towards this would be a better investment.

(malcolm may (WCC) C) #9

While I am past 61, I am clydesdale heavy and still pull 1500 + watts. I struggle with trainers that are built for ‘normal’ people They tend to degrade. 

(Andrew Jarrod) #10

Not many trainers will cope with that kind of power.  Have you thought of hooking yourself up to the National Grid and selling the power you are generating :wink:  Should be able to afford a Neo by the end of the week !


(malcolm may (WCC) C) #11

Haha. I wish. However you can only work with what you have. I like to surge and sprint. I love to ride up hills. Big people have an advantage in generating power, but a huge disadvantage over the weight we have to shift. So my power is only useful if I weigh 150 pounds. I may be that weight after they cremate me. Until then I need to use equipment that works. And of course power like that runs out real quick, but not before its ripped the heart out of the equipment.

(Michael Hancock (Quarq)) #12

I use a LeMond Revolution. I pre-ordered it before the first generation was released, and to this day it’s the only trainer I can stand. I put a lot of miles in on the trainer every year (6 days a week, 7 months a year), and if I ever mange to kill this thing I will definitely try to get another one.

I also own the LeMond PowerPilot, which now sits in a box on a shelf somewhere in the garage. The only part that is still used is the speed sensor, which I managed to get to pair with one of my Garmin 500s (but not the other 500 or my 800).

For power, I have a Quarq S975, Quarq Riken, Stages Rival, and a SRM. Think I’m set there.

DC Rainmaker said there was considerable smoothing going on in his semi-review, (http://www.dcrainmaker.com/2014/02/random-things-did-this-past-weekend.html) so you might want to consider that if you’re the sprinter type.

If it were me, I’d cancel the order and go with a Stages or another one of the cheaper crank arm or pedal powermeter systems out there. That way you can use it on the road and on the trainer. The 10 speed Rival Stages arms are $400 (https://store.stagescycling.com/stages-power-meters-c33.aspx), and the other ones aren’t that much more expensive. eBay has tons of new and used powermeters from just about every manufacturer.

I wouldn’t be married to the WattBox, because there are far better options out there.

(malcolm may (WCC) C) #13

Thanks. I cancelled it yesterday. I was of the mind that there isn’t enough communication coming out of their business. My senses were jangled.

I love the revolution. I have a powertap wheel which I am sort of married to, and am looking to keep the prices down. As a fixed budget retiree its not as simple as it was a couple of year ago. :slight_smile: No complaints, but just a budget. Some would say measuring power at my age is a total waste anyway, but its one of the math joys of riding and fitness for me. 

I’ll look at other options. Right now I am having trouble getting my zwift working. I can’t pick up the speed sensor - when I used to be able to - and I end up sitting by the side of the rode while I pedal. How are you set up? Is the power enough? I also have the 510, and joule 3.0 as options. Do you have any suggestions to make the revolution work?

(Michael Hancock (Quarq)) #14

I’d be happy to try.

Let’s start with the speed sensor issue, since that would be the cheapest to resolve. As I mentioned, I use the LeMond sensor, which is a proprietary ANT+ sensor that somehow paired with 2 Edge 500s for me, but won’t be recognized by a 3rd or an Edge 800. I went at it from several directions, but eventually just dedicated a specific Edge 500 to trainer use. For that reason, I wouldn’t suggest it.

I was likely one of the first ones to use a 3rd party (Bontrager) speed sensor with the Revolution to pick up the flywheel magnet. This was in the very early days of the Revolution. It was an inelegant solution (as I had it installed) which required extra stuff to be mounted to the bike that weren’t used during non-trainer riding. Once I got the LeMond sensor somewhat working, I abandoned the Bontrager sensor. Now that I think about it, I could have done it better. I think if you zip-tied the speed sensor to a piece of flat, 1/8"-1/4" plastic that bolted to the WattBox mounting tabs on the Revolution, you wouldn’t have useless stuff attached to the bike. Might take some work to get the alignment right, but the plastic would be easy to work with and cheap. The sensor would also be protected from the elements, which might extend its life. The concept is still rolling around in my brain, but it might be the direction I go if the LeMond sensor stops working.

No matter how it’s mounted, the sensor needs to be properly aligned with that magnet on the flywheel. The battery needs to be good. Sounds obvious, but that’s our starting point.

On your Garmin GSC10 speed/cadence sensor, remove the battery. This will prevent it from pairing with the Garmin head unit. This is temporary until the other speed sensor is set up.

On the Garmin head unit, hopefully you have the ability to create multiple bike profiles. If so, I’d create one named “trainer”. Then I would select to pair up a “speed-only” sensor. If everything is aligned, it should pair. As a good practice, I would write down the ANT+ ID of the speed sensor for future troubleshooting.

If the 3rd party speed sensor is working, you can install the battery back in the GSC10 and it shouldn’t interfere with your speed readings while you’re under the “trainer” profile.

I use my power meters for cadence, which is another feature they provide. I imagine you’d want to use the GSC10 if possible. To do this, I would see if it would pair as a “cadence only” sensor. It may mess up everything you just did, requiring you to repeat the process, but it’s worth a shot.

I wouldn’t completely disregard the crank or pedal-based power meter option just because you have a Power Tap. DC Rainmaker has been known to run 3 or 4 (crank, crank arm, pedal, and wheel) simultaneously for comparison purposes. What crankset do you have? Slightly used ones pop up all of the time on eBay and other outlets for relatively cheap, which should fall within your budget. Keep your eyes open and you might catch a deal.

That said, zPower will likely be closer to reality for a direct-drive trainer like the Revolution than for a roller-based trainer. Mainly this is because a whole lot of variables in setup are removed. In addition, the trainer’s resistance isn’t based on a fluid or magnetic unit, which can fluctuate significantly over time. The Revolution can be affected by temperature, air pressure, and obstructions to the fan, but not as significantly. Overall, I’ve found the power profile to be pretty consistent over time based on multiple LeMonds, their indicated speeds, and the powermeter-measured wattage.it took to maintain those speeds.

Hope this helps, and let me know how it works out.

(malcolm may (WCC) C) #15

Thanks. I am a long way along many of these things. My next step was pulling the battery and seeing if I got a better result. My preference is to stay with the lemond trainer as I do like it and I can push it hard. I could never do that with the bolt in wheel types. I do have the different profiles in my 510. I also have an old 500 that I retired due to abnormalities with the GPS. I can resurect that. I am less concerned about watt accuracy indoors. I just want to be able to ride on zwift. I can put the wheel on outside.

 I have a new ultegra 11 speed crankset

I’ll let you know

(malcolm may (WCC) C) #16

Still unableot get the garmin to register the speed sensor. Disconnected the gsc10 took the battery out. No change. Detached hte gsc10 and tried to get it work with the lemond magnet on the trainer. No joy. Found my old 500 and am charging it again to see if its an issue with the 510 update. 

However the speed sensor doesn’t work with my joule 3 either, so I suspect somehow, its stopped working of its own volition.  This is a real pita. I’ve been working on this on and off for months.

(Michael Hancock (Quarq)) #17

Interesting that the re-paired GSC10 wouldn’t pick up the LeMond magnet when you held it next to it. Was the light flashing as the magnet went around?

(malcolm may (WCC) C) #18

nope. Like a dead zone. 

(Michael Hancock (Quarq)) #19

Any luck?

(malcolm may (WCC) C) #20

Nope. I had ot put my bike on the road today, so haven’t tried again. I never saw the red light, and wonder about that. I also had trouble syncing my garmin today, and wonder about that.

I pulled the freehub off and checked to see if there was anything I had done wrong. Its hard to screw that up, so I hadn’t. As I am having trouble with my garmin, I am thinking that is an issue. Though when I originally had it working, it was with a joule 3.  So I am not confident its a garmin issue.

Clearly I can’t sign up and pay until I can play.  But I can still ride outside, so will perservere. Something is missing.