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Wahoo Fitness adds Pioneer’s advanced pedaling metrics to ELEMNT/BOLT

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Today Wahoo and Pioneer announced a bit of a partnership that will bring Pioneer’s advanced power meter pedaling metrics onto the Wahoo ELEMNT and BOLT head unit lineup. These metrics have long been only available on Pioneer’s head units, and roughly rival what Garmin has done with Cycling Dynamics (though, I’d argue Pioneer’s are far more detailed).

In addition to this Wahoo-specific announcement, Pioneer also announced new power meters as well as a new head unit of their own. And in an indication of Wahoo and Pioneer growing closer, that new head unit uses…a Wahoo mount. But more on all that over in my complete Pioneer post here.

In any case, this will be a relatively short post, because at the end of the day we’re just talking about new data fields and the ability to capture that data. Thus, onwards!

The Wahoo Update:

Starting in early October, Wahoo will roll out the firmware update for all ELEMNT and BOLT users. This update will include the ability to add pedaling monitor data fields to your Wahoo GPS, just like any other data fields.  In order to see the data fields though you’ll need to have a Pioneer power meter paired, and have done so using the Pioneer-specific power meter broadcasting mode:

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In fact, fun tidbit: You can even change modes from the Wahoo unit now:

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This firmware will be backwards compatible to ANY Pioneer power meter ever made. So no matter how old your Pioneer power meter is, it’ll immediately start working with Wahoo’s update.

Once you’ve done the pairing you’ll see new options in the Wahoo companion app:

2018-09-17 09.16.14 2018-09-17 09.16.29 2018-09-17 09.16.33

By default, it’ll toggle the new Pioneer metrics on automatically, but you can go ahead and dive into them and configure/change which metrics you want.

After that’s configured you’re set to go out and ride. So I did just that yesterday morning. Here’s what the data looked like on the screen (to the best of my mid-ride photography capabilities).

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In case it’s hard to see on my photo, here’s a non-exciting screenshot from a PowerPoint presentation:

image

These new metrics show you the pedaling power force throughout the stroke as measured by Pioneer’s power meter. This below slide explains a little bit behind that.

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While I generally question whether or not there’s huge value in these sorts of metrics (be it from Pioneer, Garmin, or others), there’s definitely value in being able to see them beyond just one company’s head units.

And in fact, I think to some degree the lack of usefulness of these metrics is tied to how challenging it is to view them on various training platforms (again, beyond that single company’s own sites).  Hopefully, this helps to open that door a bit more.

As part of this, you’ll soon see the Pioneer CycloSphere training platform listed among the places you can send your training data from the Wahoo ELEMNT/BOLT (just like other platforms such as TrainingPeaks or Strava).  That will allow you to dig into the advanced metrics in more detail on the platform that was originally designed for it.  Of course, other platforms could implement support as well, as they’d receive the data automatically within any uploads sent to them.

The beta app version I was using for yesterday’s test ride didn’t have the ability to upload the data enabled in it yet, so we’ll have to save that for down the road.

Wrap-Up:

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I think it’s great to see this level of integration, especially for existing Pioneer users.  The fact that this will be backwards compatible for all Pioneer power meters ever made is awesome.  Of course, there was no reason not to do so, but somehow them actually doing it just gives everyone warm-fuzzies.

Of course, it’ll be interesting to see where the Wahoo/Pioneer partnership goes from here.  Wahoo has a pile of partnerships within the software realm (like Best Bike Split for example), but somehow this seems a bit more than that. Perhaps it’s Pioneer using Wahoo’s mount, or that the new Pioneer CA600 hardware-wise looks a heck of a lot like a BOLT.  Not sure.

In any case, look for this update to hit your Wahoo device by early October.

With that – thanks for reading, and don’t forget to hit up all the other Interbike coverage here. And follow on Twitter for plenty more tidbits

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69 Comments

  1. Any chance of pioneer opening up their private ant protocol or are they still keeping it a secret with this change being they are sharing with Wahoo?

    • Would indeed be nice if they let platforms other than CycloSphere use the pedaling data as Ray says but would prefer that they open up both their private ANT and the format of their activity files with the pedaling data to everyone.

    • I talked to them about it this afternoon. They aren’t opposed to it, once finalized by the ANT+ TWG.

    • Eli

      Aren’t opposed to opening up their private ant or only when the new ant+ protocol comes out they aren’t opposed to using the new ant+ protocol? (meaning their private one will always be secret)

  2. Brett

    Nice to see this partnership. I like my Pioneer PM, but not much of a fan of the head unit. It’s clunky and the touch interface is often frustrating to use (i.e. scrolling). My only real use of the pioneer head unit is to perform the occasional firmware update. Are you aware if the Wahoo computer will be able to do these firmware updates?

  3. Peter

    It’s great to see this integration across brands. I was recently in the market for a new power meter and was considering the Pioneer. I liked the idea of their analytics but wasn’t a fan of their head unit so decided to go with Stages LR which doesn’t have these options. Had this been available I think I would have gone with the Pioneer.

  4. Jon

    Since cycling dynamics is open source now, any word on whether Wahoo is looking at adding it as a feature?

    • Brett

      My understanding is that adding ‘cycling dynamics’ is really up to the power meter companies (Stages, Pioneer, Cycleops, etc.) to implement first. That is, wahoo can add it, but there’s no way to make use of it without the PM having the firmware to do so. I only know of Garmin Vectors having the ability to make use of cycling dynamics (…My knowledge may be out of date).

      I’d guess that a partnership with wahoo means that Pioneer is less likely to implement Garmin’s cycling dynamics in their own products (to help sell wahoo head units).

    • They need to agree on a standard before anyone implements it. Notice the ANT+ bike power TWG Meeting? link to thisisant.com

      cycling dynamics isn’t open or you would see it here: link to thisisant.com

    • Jon

      Sorry, I should have been more clear in my question… I’m curious if Wahoo has any plans to support reading cycling dynamics information transmitted by a compatible power meter such as the Garmin Vectors. My concern (if you can call it that) is that their partnership with Pioneer means they are betting on Pioneer’s solution, and that they may never support cycling dynamics.

    • Jon

      Interesting. I had thought it was finally agreed on. I stand corrected!

    • It has been agreed upon, it just hasn’t been published.

      Hang tight…

    • Eli

      So why the big meeting? Seems too much secrecy

    • Eli

      Does it have all the data that pioneer currently broadcasts in the new standard? anything else? anything not there?

    • It’s the same meeting that’s been on the calendar for every ANT+ Symposium. Most of the TWG’s meet in person during the Symposium, been that way for a decade.

      That also meet as often as every month too, if needed.

  5. Christian

    Seems like everything get upgraded as I’m in the market for things. I was looking into the P1 pedals, but had a feeling something better was coming out soon. Currently not riding on 11s, but these have definitely moved up on my list.

  6. Dmitry

    All pedal pms has cool power metrics except pt. Its sad :(.

  7. Martin Robinson

    I’d always hoped that Wahoo would display the Garmin cycling dynamics ( I have an Elemnt and Vector 3s). With this announcement, I’m guessing that won’t happen now.

  8. Stephen G

    Any idea when Wahoo will support Assioma’s advanced pedal metrics?

  9. Tom

    Hi Ray,
    Have you tested it with a single-leg Pioneer power meter? I’d be interested to know what new metrics are available for that. Does it do the force vector chart for just one side?

    • Mike D

      I’m also interested in this question — are there any new features for those of us who own Bolts and left-side-only Pioneer power meters?

  10. Tom W

    Maybe now Wahoo will concentrate on fixing some of the Elemnt Bugs, in particular for me, the having to bluetooth off to upload workouts via wifi.

    I do hope some work is going into a replacement for the Elemnt (Bolt is fine for now) if they truly want to eat into Garmin’s market share. For the last 18 maths it seems it’s been all about trainers.

  11. Phellan

    Hi Ray just to clear things a bit up do you know that if the firmware update is also going to work with previous ant+ pioneer models??? I mean if with my only ant+ pioneer power meter I am going to be able to see the advanced pioneer metrics in the elemnt.
    Also if the new CA600 will be compatible too and will show the advanced metrics with the older models.
    Thnks in advance

  12. Teddy

    Is your photo freely available?
    I found your shots below site
    link to biciclettadimattino.com

  13. mitch

    Seems that update just rolled out. Is there anything you need to do on the power meter to get it to broadcast in over the private ant protocol? My bolt only seems to be picking up the standard ant+.

    • Yup, you’ll need to change your Pioneer unit back to the default of the Pioneer broadcast variant.

    • Paul

      Hi Ray, I have single leg pioneer power meter and changed the mode to pedal mode using the wahoo bolt head unit. Now the bolt doesn’t pick up the meter at all. Should this have happen or do you need the dual sided system to use the pedal mode function. Thx

  14. Colin

    Hi there. Do you know how the pairing works with the pioneer? I already have it paired with the pioneer in ANT+ prior to this update… do I need to pair using the Pioneer proprietary signal now? There is no option to change the PM to this at the moment with the Wahoo so I guess I’ll need to do it with the pioneer head unit first?

    Once paired will the Wahoo let me change in either direction (ie both pioneer -> ANT+ and ANT+ -> pioneer)?

    Ta 🙂

    Col

  15. Jeff

    Having an issue with this. When I updated my Elemnt Bolt last night, it asked me if I wanted to put my power meter into Pedaling Monitor mode, which I did. It seemed to work fine and I put it away for the night.

    Today when I went to ride my computer wouldn’t pair with my with my computer, so I decided to unpair it and re-pair it, should be simple, right? Wrong. Now it when I go to pair my power meter and computer, it won’t even show up as available to pair.

    I have taken the batteries out and let the PM reset, and have also attempted to change it manually via the button inside the crank side part of the PM, but it will not change out of pedaling monitor mode.

    Any suggestions? Anyone else having issues with this?

    • Dave Morse

      Same issue with a left side only

      Flashing green light suggests it changed modes
      But won’t pair now

    • Chris

      Same issue. Seems the PM went into pedal monitoring mode on both sides and won’t or isn’t broadcasting to re-pair with either my Bolt or computer with ANT+ adapter and Trainerroad.

      With the new firmware updates to the PM themselves the push button to switch modes no longer works it seems either.

      Hopefully we don’t have to find a Pioneer computer to change the mode and then re-pair. If so I hope there is a software/computer with ANT+ fix released as well.

    • Jeff

      From my research last night, it looks like we need a pioneer head unit to get it out of Pedaling Monitor mode. I think this is a major flaw in the update on Wahoo’s side to allow people to move it into pedaling monitor mode when they won’t be able to get it out if without the Pioneer head unit.

      Ray: I think you should call this out that you should NOT move it to pedaling monitor mode if you don’t have access to a Pioneer head unit

      Look at page 15: link to pioneerelectronics.com

    • Jeff

      Update: Spoke with Wahoo and Pioneer.

      Pioneer says that it should work in Pedaling Monitor mode and are going to try and test it on their end via the steps that I gave them of how mine failed. They are also working to figure out a solution so that we do not need the Pioneer head unit to fix it.

      Wahoo says that this is a known bug that has been raised by a few people already and is being actively worked by development.

      Waiting on follow up from both but I will update when I hear back from them.

    • Colin

      I think it’s worse than that Jeff! I have borrowed a friends Pioneer head unit and the behaviour is as follows:

      *The bolt will connect to the PM in ANT+, but even without my intervention the PM will switch to pedalling monitor. This has been repeated many times (by using the pioneer head unit to convert it back)
      *Once in Pedalling monitor mode the bolt will not connect to the PM
      *If immediately on connection I use the menu on the bolt to request pedalling monitor mode the bolt says it is trying to do this, but it never confirms. After this it still won’t connect to the PM. Using the pioneer head unit confirms that the PM is now in pedalling mode.

      So there is no way for me to get power data now. As soon as the bolt talks to the PM it will make it go into pedalling monitor mode, but there the bolt will then no longer talk to it.

      What a load of rubbish!! Major fail by Wahoo 🙁

      Please Wahoo – don’t become Garmin 🙁 🙁

    • Jeff

      That’s good to know. I tried to take my bike to the shop last night but the owner who handles all PM stuff is out of the country so I wasn’t able to even attempt.

      If you haven’t, I would call Wahoo or at the very least reach out to support online (link to support.wahoofitness.com) and let them know your experience. Hopefully they can get a bug fix within a few days as I’m sure we aren’t alone in this.

      One thing I haven’t tried, is a factory reset on my Wahoo. I’m extremely hesitant to do this as I’ll have to re-configure all the pages from memory and that sounds both annoying and daunting.

    • Colin

      I’ve raised a wahoo ticket as below. Really annoying. I was really looking forward to using the extra screens – now I cannot use the PM at all!!!!!

      The new firmware is advertised as providing additional functionality with pioneer power meters, but it is quite the opposite – it renders you unable to to use it at all 🙁
      I have borrowed a friends Pioneer head unit and the behaviour is as follows:
      *The bolt will connect to the PM in ANT+, but even without my intervention the PM will switch to pedalling monitor mode. This has been repeated many times (by using the pioneer head unit to convert it back to ANT+)
      *Once in Pedalling monitor mode the bolt will not connect to the PM at all (but pioneer head unit will connect to it just fine)
      *If immediately on connection I use the menu on the bolt to request pedalling monitor mode the bolt says it is trying to do this, but it never confirms. After this it still won’t connect to the PM. Using the pioneer head unit confirms that the PM is now in pedalling mode and works fine with this head unit.
      So there is no way for me to get power data now. As soon as the bolt talks to the PM it will make it go into pedalling monitor mode, but then the bolt will then no longer talk to it.
      When will this be fixed? I am left with no power data now!!

    • I’ve talked to Wahoo in-person today about it (their CEO), and their staff should be posting here shortly on the current status and plan going forward. :-/

    • Colin

      Thanks Ray. If ever you chat to him again could you ask if they’ll ever get the ‘max average power’ fields to work correctly. I frequently see awesome values whilst out riding, only to be cruelly denied when I upload and STrava and Training peaks both confirm I am still decidedly average. Example attached for amusement (I cannot really do 414W for 30 minutes, only about 350W in reality!!!!)……

      Col.

    • While Wahoo works hard to test and ensure any updates release as smoothly as possible, there’s always a chance that a small portion of users may experience issues. Soon after the October 1st update for the ELEMNT and ELEMNT BOLT, we were alerted to a limited number of failures when updating the ELEMNT BOLT and quickly identified the root cause. The update for the ELEMNT BOLT has now been pulled to prevent any further problems while we work to resolve this issue. If you’re having trouble after the October 1st update with either your ELEMNT BOLT or Pioneer Power Meter, please contact Wahoo support at link to wahoofitness.com

      Wahoo Fitness sincerely apologizes for any inconvenience.

    • Colin

      Is that a reference to the issue reported in link below where people’s devices are ‘bricking’ in a limited number of cases rendering the bolt completely useless and needing to be sent back?

      link to groups.google.com

      Are you also aware of the issues reported here whereby although the device has updated successfully no one actually seems to be able to communicate with a pioneer power meter following the update?

      Is there a timescale for when this will be fixed?

    • silca pump

      Ok so I have two Pioneer single sided PM’s (left crank) on different bikes. After this big wahoo update they both could not be found by my wahoo bolt. I tried everything, changed batteries, rest my bolt and repaired everything but no dice. Thankfully I have a friend with a pioneer head unit that I borrowed and used to switch modes and got both to work with the wahoo again. I have no idea what to tell you if you cant find a pioneer head to use with the single sided left crank PM’s. The right crank units have a button that lets you switch modes but the left aide does not.

    • Chris

      Ability to use the button inside to switch modes was removed in a Pioneer firmware update.

      This was the first thing I tried.

      Still no reply from Wahoo online support from my request yesterday.

    • Collin,
      Wahoo support is on top of the situation and can answer any questions by contacting us at link to wahoofitness.com

      Chris,
      Please allow one business day for a response via email.

      We’re sorry again about the experience and appreciate your patience as we work to resolve these issues.

    • Jeff

      Wahoo is sending me a new unit with the update properly installed.

      Reason is that apparently it’s a big update and if the update doesn’t fully install it causes this problem of being unable to recognize the private ANT. So until I get it, I’ll still use my Wahoo but don’t have power or cadence data.

    • Paul Batchelor

      Jeff, did the new unit fix the issue? Thx Paul

    • Jeff

      Still waiting on the new unit, should come on Tuesday and will test then.

    • Colin

      Hi Jeff. Have you had something to confirm your replacement has shipped? I’ve provided proof of purchase and shipping details etc, but not heard anything back 🙁

    • Jeff

      yeah they sent me a tracking number

    • Paul Batchelor

      Thanks Jeff, I have contacted Wahoo and I’ll see what happens. Pretty impressed with how they are handling your situation.

    • Jeff

      Got my new device last night from Wahoo and it paired with my PM in pedaling monitor mode. Good luck guys

    • Paul

      Great news. Mine is on its way. Must say great service from wahoo to resolve their issue so quickly.

    • Colin

      My replacement unit arrived today – good news is that it connects fine to the pioneer. The really disappointing news is that the replacement unit is clearly a used unit. The front of the unit has fine scratches, and the back of the unit has some really obvious damage!!

      I’ve been really careful with my original unit, but now I’ll end up with one like this! I attach a photo of the damage. Hopefully the previous owner was careful, especially when you see issues like the buttons wearing through and leaking being reported….

      🙁

    • Colin,

      Thanks for letting us know. We saw your ticket and are taking care of it.

    • Colin

      Thanks Wahoo.

      An incredibly quick and awesome response to the ticket this evening – I feel a bit bad now for posting the picture here!

      On the plus side the pioneer stuff is working flawlessly and the display of extra data is awesome. Really pleased to have all this in the bolt now so I can get the full data from the pioneer!!

      Thanks.

      Col.

  16. Dieter w

    Same here. But the support of wahoo is awesome. Credits on social media i will give if they fix my issues very soon!

  17. Jon

    You’re not alone in thinking this useless. I’v been trying to convince people in the industry the opposite of that for years. For road and tri, sure, it’s probably not necessary.
    There is absolutely a need for these metrics in high power short races like BMX and track. Seeing high def detailed torque values of the first three or four pedal strokes of a gate start would help people I coach tremendously. It would also be nice to use in cyclocross races where most powermeters can’t catch all of the data due to operating at 1hz and not even activating during a lot of very small efforts.

  18. Chris

    Help! I’m having great difficulties in getting my Element Bolt and Pioneer dual sided power meter to function properly. All was working well up until Tuesday last week after which the Bolt reverted to “pedalling mode” and the power meter switched itself to pioneers pedalling mode. I went into the local bike shop who switched the power meter back to Ant+ dual sided and was briefly able to connect the power meter noting that the left and right side efficiency display wasn’t working properly. A new screen page also appeared on the Bolt (as shown in your article). The bolt will now not detect the pioneer power meter. My initial thoughts are that there are some major glitches with the software upgrade and integration with Pioneer. It would be interesting to know if other riders have encountered the same issues.

    • Colin

      Hi Chris – did you read any of the earlier posts on this page? A number have people have already reported this issue, Wahoo have responded and people are now awaiting resolution (a new unit having registered the issue with Wahoo and provided proof of purchase….)…..

    • Chris Joyce

      Hi Colin – yep – wahoo have already responded and will be shipping a replacement unit with full software update. Now I’ve just got to find my receipt…

  19. Mike D

    I’ve been following the posts here, and I get that people are having issues, and that sucks.

    Just wanted to add, for those who may be worried about updating, that after waiting a couple of days and reading this thread, I updated my Bolt to use with my left-side-only Pioneer PM, and haven’t had issues. The key might be that, based on the issues other are reporting, I didn’t try to do anything to activate any new features — I didn’t try to disconnect/re-pair or activate any new modes, just kept on using it. It seems like it works as it always has — no new fancy pedaling metrics or anything, but at least it broadcasts power to the Bolt, which is a better experience than some are having. So far, so good.

    I’m hopeful that those of you with issues are getting your issues addressed, I had good luck the one time I had to deal with Wahoo customer service.

    • Colin

      Hi Mike – good to know yours is still working! Wahoo did suggest in my support ticket that it was an issue to due only a partial download / update of the pioneer functionality causing the issue…

      I don’t think people can update at the moment anyway as wahoo pulled the pioneer update on the 3rd October, so any anyone trying to update after that point will get the prior version (ie without pioneer functionality….) so shouldn’t;t have a problem….

    • Mike D

      Pulling the update was probably for the best, given what I’ve been reading! Good luck.