Cycling Dynamics for Assioma Power Meter Pedals Released, New Pedal Bodies Too

Yes, the long and oft talked about day is finally here – Favero has pushed out a firmware update enabling Cycling Dynamics on their popular Assioma power meter pedals. It’s been a multi-year journey that first started in Garmin’s camp, then the ANT+ camp, and then ultimately culminating in the Favero camp. The update is available via the Favero Assioma smartphone app, which you can wirelessly update your pedals from.

Of course, at present this still requires a compatible bike computer to display/record the metrics, and despite ‘Cycling Dynamics’ being an open standard now for a year, only one company has implemented it in their products: Garmin.

And even that has some limitations, which we’ll dive into down below. Still, for those that want these advanced pedaling metrics (or know what to do with them), then your day has arrived.

The Tech Details:

I suppose I should start off with how you can benefit from a racing or training perspective from Cycling Dynamics. But since that explanation isn’t available from anyone in the industry, I’m going to just explain what is, and isn’t, Cycling Dynamics. First off, let’s start with what isn’t classified as Cycling Dynamics, as these baseline metrics have been around ages in the power meter world and despite occasional attempts by companies to rebrand them otherwise, they’re basically standard issue metrics on ANT+ power meters (more on Bluetooth in a moment):

Power (Total): Your total power being transmitted – e.g. 227w
Power (Balance, left/right): Your power balance between left and right side – e.g. 46%/54%
Cadence: Your pedaling revolutions per minute – e.g. 94rpm
– Torque Effectiveness: How much of the pedal stroke is actually contributing to going forward (versus lifting up on the pedal) – i.e. 74%
– Pedal Smoothness: How smooth your pedal stroke is all the way around – i.e. 82%

All of the above have been around prior to Cycling Dynamics and are available on many power meters and a number of head units. Again, standard issue stuff on the ANT+ side of things. Nitpickers corner note: Technically some power meters transmit torque, but from a user standpoint you see power/watts, not torque.

Next, we’ve got the things defined as ‘Cycling Dynamics’. By and large these mirror the same pedaling metrics that Garmin first introduced years ago with the original Vector pedals. Other players in the industry (most notably Pioneer) have similar metrics to these, in some cases leveraging the same names and other cases with slightly different names and metrics. Here’s the short version (and the long version):

Platform Center Offset: The position on the across pedal spindle (basically if your foot pushes on the right or left edge of pedal)
Power Phase: Where the majority of your power output is within the pedal stroke (phase)
Rider Position: Whether you are seated or standing

If you were to look at what a typical Garmin Vector pedal set would show from a Cycling Dynamics standpoint, here’s what it would show after the fact (you can also view these same stats mid-ride as well):

And here’s the greater graph view:

Oh, and a summary section in your ride summary:

But this isn’t about Vector 3. Which means you may be asking yourself: Is what Favero implemented the same as what Garmin implemented? And the answer is ‘no’ on two different accounts. The first piece to understand is that two years ago Garmin ‘handed over’ the Cycling Dynamics bits to the ANT+ Power Meter Technical Working Group (TWG). Basically the equivalent of giving that team the ‘code’ for cycling dynamics. The ANT+ Power Meter TWG is comprised of all of the industry players for power meters (or those with interests in power meters). This includes boatloads of companies, including Quarq, PowerTap, Favero, Garmin, and even Wahoo Fitness (since they have head units that would capture that data). There’s many more players than just those few, but just to understand it’s not a Garmin-only thing.

Once that hand-off occurred the ANT+ Power Meter TWG then spends ‘some time’ (read: like a year) figuring out how they might want to change that original ‘gift’ from Garmin to include things other companies are planning. For example, Pioneer might have wanted to add in specific metrics that better supported their power meter pedaling metrics. The companies then go back and forth until a true standard is agreed upon. Despite how absurdly long this process usually takes, it’s a core reason why the ANT+ power meter standard is so much more reliable from a spec standpoint than that of the Bluetooth Smart power meter variant.

As a result of that, the spec changed slightly from what Garmin had initially handed over, to what’s been adopted as part of the general power meter ANT+ spec (cycling dynamics isn’t its own thing, but rather just part of the normal ANT+ power meter device profile). As such, it means that what Garmin implemented 5 years ago as part of the original Vector pedals isn’t the same. And in turn, for bike computers and such way back then, those won’t be compatible with the new spec, as Garmin has to update them to handle the new power meter spec.  But more on that in a second.

Again, the quick timeline overview:

August 2014: Garmin introduced Cycling Dynamics to Vector 1
September 2017: Garmin opens up Cycling Dynamics to ANT+ Power Meter Group (and TrainerRoad adds it in beta)
July 2019: Favero adds Cycling Dynamics to their Assioma pedals (this post)

First, let’s talk about what Favero has and hasn’t implemented with their slightly differently branded ‘IAV Cycling Dynamics’, here’s the three main components of cycling dynamics:

Platform Center Offset (PCO): Not implemented on Favero Assioma
Power Phase: Yes, implemented on Assioma
Rider Position: Yes, implemented on Assioma

So in this case, Favero isn’t providing PCO, but is providing the remainder of metrics. Platform Center Offset is typically used in bike fit type situations where you might adjust the cleat positioning slightly to get you more centered. It’s somewhat peculiar that Favero selected not to adopt this, since this is actually one of the aspects that’s had some uptake in terms of usefulness of the greater cycling dynamics suite.

To that end, Favero does have an explanation:

“For the moment, we have decided not to include the PCO Dynamic, since part of the resources that would be used to return
this parameter with such precision as to make it really useful for the analysis of the position of the foot are currently used in
the IAV Power accuracy assurance system.

 

So, even if technically possible, we preferred not to implement this metric. Instead, we kept all the resources employed to
ensure the accuracy of power measurement with any style of pedaling. We believe that this is the best choice and more faithful
to our motto “Ride Hard Facts”.  We certainly do not rule out the implementation of other advanced metrics.”

So, to translate that into simple English: “Our internal hardware doesn’t support it.”

They’re basically saying that the internal bits that would normally do that work are already busy maintaining accuracy, and thus they can’t dedicate that capability to PCO.

Thus, here’s what those same charts look like for the Favero Assioma pedals instead:

And again, the graph view. Here you’ll notice that it does record zeros across the board for the red/orange lines of platform center offset, rather than a null figure. By the way, here’s a simple indoor activity showing that data on Garmin Connect in case you want to zoom around, and another outside.

And the ride summary section:

So which head units support the ANT+ Cycling Dynamics variant that Favero is using? At this point, just newer Garmin units – not the broader list of units that Garmin has supporting the older version of Vector-based cycling dynamics. They are as follows as of today (these may change/be expanded):

– Garmin Edge 520 Plus
– Garmin Edge 530
– Garmin Edge 820
– Garmin Edge 830
– Garmin Edge 1030
– Garmin Forerunner 935
– Garmin Forerunner 945
– Garmin Fenix 5 Series
– Garmin Fenix 5 Plus Series
– Garmin MARQ Series

Additionally: One person has since reported success with a base (non-Plus) Edge 520 and another reported success with an Edge 1000. I have not independently confirmed that or seen those files, but I have requested confirmation from Garmin if those should be working.

Now you may be asking – why not some other older units? Well, as noted – while the name ‘cycling dynamics’ remains the same, the underlying code isn’t. In fact, even Garmin started changing their own Vector pedals last fall to dual-transmit on both the legacy Garmin-only Cycling Dynamics and the newer ANT+ spec Cycling Dynamics (ensuring that if customers had older head units they originally bought for Vector 3 usage, it’d still work just fine).

On one hand, it’d be easy to get mad at Garmin for not updating every older device to support the new ANT+ variant of Cycling Dynamics. But one has to remember, Garmin handed over the spec two years ago. It’s basically taken Favero (or anyone else) that long to adopt it. Had Favero moved quicker two years ago, Garmin likely would have updated older units at that time (since most of the units listed above weren’t even out then). At this point though, that water has kinda passed under the bridge.

And to that end, it’d be just as easy for Wahoo or anyone else  to add it too (Lezyne, Stages, etc…). After all, Wahoo added support for Pioneer’s advanced pedaling metrics last fall, which has the vast majority of the core concepts of Cycling Dynamics. Albeit, it doesn’t sound like Pioneer participated in any of the ANT+ Power Meter TWG meetings around the topic, from talking to them last fall. So they might be the odd man out right now.

I’ve reached out to Wahoo to see if they still plan on supporting the ANT+ variant of Cycling Dynamics, I’ll post back once I hear back.

Oh – and remember this is all only over ANT+. The Bluetooth Smart power meter device profile doesn’t have an equivalent standard on it. Some vendors have done vendor specific things, such as ROTOR and Polar together, but nothing industry standard at this point. Which is also a good reminder to ensure that if you’ve got your Favero Assioma pedals paired to your Garmin, to be sure it’s over ANT+, else you won’t see these metrics over Bluetooth Smart. It lists the pairing type in the sensor settings (it’ll say ‘ANT+ or BLE’).

New Pedal Bodies:

Oh, this is a quickie – but Favero has also released new pedal bodies for the Assioma lineup. These are just the pedal shell portion, not the entire spindle/etc. There are precisely two differences with them:

1) They’re now painted black (specifically, the springs)
2) The units have a widened tension adjustment range from 8Nm to 20Nm.

The first change was made by Favero to have a “more elegant look”, while the second change was basically made to address concerns that sometimes the Assioma pedals were a bit hard to clip in/out of. While I personally never had that complaint, I’ve certainly seen numerous comments to that effect.

Here’s my holding the new pedal body (left) compared to my well worn older pedal body at right. You basically pop out the spindle of the old body and place it in the new body. You’ll still have the small pod just like before. This is only swapping out the body portion.

Favero now lists the black pedal bodies (as they are referred as) on their site under accessories, for 49EUR per pedal (so basically 98EUR for the set).

Wrap-Up:

I suspect for most Favero Assioma users that don’t read this post, they’ll probably never even know to update their firmware on their pedals. But for those that do – you’ve now got some new metrics to play with. Still, even for that subset – I don’t see this as life changing for most people. Just like Garmin Vector’s Cycling Dynamics, I haven’t really figured out how to actually use it from a training and racing standpoint.

Sure, there are some fun tidbits around seated and standing power averages and such – but ultimately the novelty mostly wears off on those bits. I’d have loved to see either Favero or Garmin (or anyone) fully document how to use these metrics in a training standpoint (in terms of specific workouts that do improve your overall strength). TrainerRoad had seemed like they might do that two years ago when they first added Cycling Dynamics into a beta app for Interbike 2017. But their support today wouldn’t likely work for Favero Assioma, since it’s based on the old Vector code and not the ANT+ standard (best I can tell). It’s also limited to the iOS app with an ANT+ adapter. TrainerRoad has indicated they plan no future Cycling Dynamics expansions or functionality (as of publishing, but they are active in the forum on that thread).

Still, it’s a good checkbox sales item for Favero. It’s been two years since the Assioma pedals came out, and they are without a doubt the best value on the market for a power meter pedal – coming in at $649 for the dual-sided Duo, or a bit more than half the price of dual-sided Vector 3 ($999). Really the only complaint left on the Assioma pedals would be aesthetic, in getting rid of the external pod and going to a sleeker looking single-component pedal. I don’t foresee that happening near term, but it gives us something to aim for. Or they could shift directions and focus on another pedal type – but that road is fraught with 3rd party challenges.

In the meantime – go forth and get your pedals updated. I’ve been running the new firmware for about two months now with Garmin head units (since it’s the only one that supports it) without any apparent issues. I haven’t recently tested other head units.

With that – thanks for reading!

DC Rainmaker:

View Comments (202)

  • Hi
    since last week I have been unable to view Cycling Dynamics data. Power and cadence are recorded with no issues but somehow in the last 4 rides there are no Cycling Dynamics data. I use a Garmin Fenix 5 plus and/or Strava.
    Did some updates cause the issue?

  • Hi All,

    my assioma has several issues after i 've moved my bike:

    garmin 920 correctly recognize it but calibration fail with 65535 error. no watt detected during activity

    my android app by favero can't connect to it

    Led seems to blink in a wrong way, during a zwift ride sometimes they were on for several seconds and then completely off.

    Is there an hard reset or something i can do?

    i suppose is not a battery problem, they were full before my 10 minutes travel..and my bie has been far from my paincave only 2 days.

  • Are Favero going to bring out an Assioma with MTB Shimano SPD pedals, to suit the existing pod and shaft, as the Shimano SPD Patent expired 4th June 2019

    • Thanks for the fast reply!
      The SRMunit looks like it has looked at the Favero pedal as It also has a rechargeable battery and no electronics in the pedal body, but 50% more expensive!

    • I don't expect anything near term, but I suspect 2020 could be interesting with lots of players, namely starting with SRM and what they announced at Eurobike in that realm.

  • Looks like some of the resellers (Amazon, CleverTraining, bike-components) ran out of Stock for the Faveros. Is it possible that there is a new version on the way? I want to buy a pair of the Assioma Duo and now think about to postpone my investment. Any thoughts on your side?

    • I raised a query with you earlier in the thread re. choosing between Favero and Garmin. I have gone for the Favero's, I ordered last Wednesday and have been told today that they are being dispatched tomorrow.

      Before ordering I contact Favero and asked about the compatibility with an Edge 1000 head unit... the response was:

      "Dear Andy,
      thank you for your kind request and interest in our product.
      I confirm you that at the moment Garmin hasn't released yet the firmware update of Garmin 1000 that allow to read the standard Cycling Dynamics, but I suppose they will do soon!
      Concerning all the other metrics (Power, Cadence, L/R Balance, TE and PS), they are perfeclty displayed on your Edge 1000.
      I remain at your complete disposal for any further request.
      Best regards,
      Elia Lorenzetto
      FAVERO ELECTRONICS srl

      I then asked... "Are you developing a pod-less version? I would not want to buy and then find in 6 months you have a version with the sensors built into the pedal!"... the reply was:

      "I can tell you that Assioma will remain our flagship product for quite some time yet!"

      So order placed £630 with free shipping for the Duo. A good price I think for a solid bit of kit.

    • Yeah, seems like they updated stock today. Yesterday afternoon they were out of stock. Thank you for your thoughts!

    • No new products planned.

      But...your comment caught my curiosity. Some poking later...the system now shows the units in-stock. ;)

  • Hi Andi use Assioma Duo with Garmin 820. For what is worth power dynamics display just fine on my Garmin. U just turn them on in sensor menu once u have pedals paired with it

  • Hi DCR

    I am in the UK and I am interested in buying Assioma pedals, principally on price and because of all the reported issues with Vector 3's. Currently in the UK the prices are now more or less the same, so then for me it id down to reliability but both you and GPlama suggest the V3s are now issue free. So which should I go for?

    I have a Garmin Edge 1000, and I think you can not get the Assioma version of cycling dynamics to work with the head unit - is that correct? If not then that might push my to the V3s despite my reservations.

    Any help greatly appreciated.

    Cheers.

    • Either one is fine. You'll save some cash on Assioma, Vector is prettier. And you'll probably never use Cycling Dynamics on either. :)

      I use a blend of Vector 3 and Favero Assioma for accuracy testing. As noted in this thread elsewhere, I'd been on a run of mostly Favero until one set went sideways last week. So back to Vector 3 on my main test bike, and an extra set of still happy Assioma's as my swap-in for testing other things.

    • Shane (GPlama) uses his Assioma's in most of his power meter accuracy comparison/test videos. That should tell you something.....

      Cycling Dynamics....Meh! Nobody even knows what they mean and what they are good for.

  • Any Suunto Ambit 3 users here? I updated my firmware and the pedals have been reading massively too low ever since. Seem to be OK when I hook them up to Zwift so I assume there’s some kind of compatibility issue. I just did 125km ride and got a TSS of 32!!! Help! I’ve sent a support request but no joy yet.

    • thanks. tried but no success. then contacted Favro support and immediately got version 4.05, which solved the issue.

    • i just got my pedals last week (UNO version), updated the firmware and pair it and everything and it is showing half the watts too.

      any idea how to resolve this?

    • I *think* I might have fixed it by unpairing and re-pairing the pedals with my watch... Have a go and see if it works for you!

    • the same happened to me, apparently it reads exactly 50 % (I have an Assioma Uno, I discovered it the hard way, in a race just after firmware update, after going wayyy to hard because of the low numbers I was reading ...). I have not yet sent a support request as this week was the main holiday season in Italy :)

    • james, Michael,

      For me after completely letting the pedal drain and then charging overnight seems to have solved the issue. Since Aug 18th, both pedals have been discharging at the same rate.

    • Same here. The First Time happened on the right pedal. This Time on the left. I did get 7 Hours out ofthem this charging Cycle. That is a real issue. You cant rely on them because when you get the battery Low Warning it Takes just Minutes and than they die. They wanted to improve battery Management with the update. The opposite did happen for someone users. Or it has nothing to do with the software what i dont hope...

    • i am also seeing high battery drain issues. it was fine while on v3 firmware, and although i upgraded to v4 when it came out, i've only been seeing issues since then. last week the right pedal drained really quickly. i charged both back up completely. this week the left pedal drained completely, during a 30 min workout, it went from "yellow" whatever level that is, say 40%, to garmin giving me a "power meter battery low" warning after 10 mins of the workout or so, then after 15 mins of the workout, the left pedal died! this is highly odd.
      i have charged up again and now have turned off cycling dynamics on the garmin to see if that helps.
      https://www.strava.com/activities/2697283447

    • Definitely something interesting going on. The below is the case after 6 days and 4 hours of riding after charging.

    • No worries at all Ray, I didn’t expect you with the busy schedule around this time :).

      Thanks for the suggestion. After going back to original xpedo cleats and ruling them out, I’ll contact Favero for a solution and I’ll include the set you attached with a couple of my “before-after” rides as well.

      Thanks again!

    • Hi Lhsan-

      Unfortunately I just haven't had the time to touch them since they found themselves in timeout on the table. With Eurobike and pre/post-EB events, it's been flat out.

      I completely agree with you that what you're seeing sounds exactly like what I'm seeing/saw where it just skewed all wonky. Here's a super clear set showing how horribly out of whack it became: https://analyze.dcrainmaker.com/#/public/74c15dd6-e159-4daa-41e6-0da9e2b015ee

      Feel free to mention my name (and that set) to Favero - maybe it'll help push them into replacing your pedals. I doubt it's an over-torquing thing. Mine just started randomly one day.

    • Ray,

      I don’t expect you to, what with the events and changes coming to the family and all, but have you had a chance to check into the pedals power discrepancy issues?

      Just like @Peter H’s pedals, mine developed an 8-10% balance discrepancy overnight.

      I got a new bike two weeks ago, and transferred the pedals to it. I had a bike fit, got new cleats (Look keo bi-material gray (not the “grip”ones) from xpedo cleats), very small cleat position adjustment was made. Right from the start, the pedals were reporting 46-54 power balance, while up until that time it has always been an even split or 49-51. I gave it about 100+ miles or so to see if it is me getting used to the new bike, but it didn’t change.

      I now moved the pedals to the old bike and it still is reading/reporting 46-54 overall balance, going into 45-55 at times.

      Just to rule everything I can out, I’ll go back to Xpedo cleats at their old position (again the position adjustment was very small) and check over a couple of days before contacting Favero for assistance.

      I don’t have any other means (smart trainer, power meter to borrow, etc.) to check what Favero pedals are reporting, but I don’t think I developed an 8-10% power discrepancy overnight.

      Failing everything, I guess I’d like to know if it is possible to damage the pedals by over torquing during installation. I really don’t think I did exceed 40Nm (really difficult without longer leverage than what included 8mm Allen key provides), but I’d like to know if I did..

    • Thanks, I'm interested to see what you find.
      I used different new pair as a test, and those also came in at 50/50.
      Mine still, regardless of how I ride always report 52/48.
      A friend's two+ year old pair get me 51/49.
      So:
      Mine 52/48 even after an adjustment post-static weight test
      Friend's old pair: 51/49
      New: 50/50
      New 50/50.

      I do a zero0offset before every ride, and again after warming up.

      The most troubling part of this is that Favero's engineers claim that the new 50/50 and my 52/48 are both correct. That can't be true, only one of them can.

    • I wish I had some advice there, but honestly I don't know. I haven't tried troubleshooting mine yet. They're relaxing on the table for a bit.

    • I believe that I have a similar , evolving problem with my right pedal. A little bit ago, I started getting 52/48 on the balance. My right leg has always been stronger, and is slightly longer. If I ever had an off balance setting it was 49/511 or 48/52. Every ride now is at 52/48, even if I intentionally favor the right. After a lot of back & forth with Favero's CS, I did a static weight test. I had to adjust he right pedal by 1.2%, but I still get 52/48. I borrowed a friend's Assiomas, and on a long ride with varying terrain, I had 50/50. Favero's engineers analyzed both data sets and told me that both are correct.

      I am very frustrated, since I have proved that there is a problem with my right pedal, yet I'm told that it is fine.
      I had the same problem with my left a year ago, which eventually ailed and was replaced.

      The only solution offered is for me to send (at my expense) the pedals back to Italy for testing.

      Any advice?

    • No, it was just a wonky right-side 20% higher thing. Not sure if it's transient or permanent, just don't have time at the moment to troubleshoot it or 'lose' data tests/sets with bad data. :(

    • Ray,

      Would the right pedal problems include faster de-charging? Mine seems to develop a case of hungriness after firmware update.

      Thanks

    • Sorry, I got sidebar'd when I had to pull off the Favero Assiomas on my primary bike (still have another set of them on an indoor bike), due to the right pedal being weird all of a sudden (I don't have time to troubleshoot right now, as I'm in peak testing trainer season).

      That aid, I've got another go of the indoor bike tomorrow which does have a happy set of Assiomas on them, and already set aside the Edge 520 for it.

  • I'm on an original 520 and don't see the cycling dynamics options under the sensor config, and nothing related showed up on Garmin Connect after completing a ride on the latest firmware. Removed / added back the sensor with the same results. Missing this isn't enough of a reason for me to upgrade my head unit but it's another item on the list for why I should upgrade sooner than later.

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