Product Reviews · Strava

Wattsboard Review – Get The Most From Strava and Your Power Meter

 

If you are a cyclist who is looking to get the most out of your activity data, then finding extensions for Strava is important. We have covered popular Strava add-ons before and each one is designed for different users. Thankfully because cycling is such a popular sport many of the extensions are built specifically for cyclists. While some extensions like SmashRun and Strafforts are designed for runners, others like Veloviewer and WattsBoard are designed for cyclists.

wattsboard fatigue chart

This review covers Wattsboard, a web app designed for getting more out of your ride data. The free version of WattsBoard does this pretty well since it provides data analysis on your most recent 50 rides. Of course many athletes will have a training cycle that includes much more than 50 rides, but realistically your most recent 50 will serve as enough to analyze and plan your current fitness and rides. 

WattsBoard is a helpful summary of both power zones and your fitness and freshness profile. Fitness and Freshness are based on details similar to those of Strava, although it goes beyond the stats you can get for free on Strava. This is nice since the free version of Wattsboard, and 50 rides analyzed, is going to be cheaper than the $60 a year that Strava charges. 

The ProVersion of Wattsboard costs $40 a year, so comparing it to Strava premium it may be a steep price to pay. Consider that it ONLY monitors rides and not runs or other activities, and this simply might be too steep of a price for a specialized tool. If you have friends or a team that wants to use WattsBoard though, then getting a Coaches account will save some money. Coaches accounts let them get their athletes onto the Pro version and provides a 30% discount to Wattsboard compared to just buying individually. 

How Accurate is My FTP?

Finding your FTP can also be a bit of an issue. Each bike setup and monitoring tool will often have it’s own way of generating this, though for the most part they are based on a standard power curve. If you want to take an FTP test Peloton offers one as a part of their Power Zone training, and Strava will provide one for your based on your recent 6 weeks and year of activity. You can compare the Strava FTP to Peloton FTP with our other article. Most cycling computers also will have a functional threshold power calculation.

WattsBoard will not help with determining how accurate your FTP measurement is. You are able to avoid importing certain rides though, and this may be a good idea if you split your riding across different setups. Even a well calibrated power meter will shift over time and the likelihood that an indoor trainer with pedal power meters measures precisely the same as an outdoor bike with a crank based power meter. Which one is more accurate, a crank power meter or a pedal power meter? Will a Peloton FTP match that of your outdoor bike setup? For the most part no, these two will never match up. This can be a real rude awakening if you have been cycling primarily on an exercise bike that turns out to be poorly calculated.

The chart below is WattsBoard’s summary of a Max Power Profile. It is taken with almost 100% of rides done on a Peloton indoor bike. While the rider is in good shape, it is highly unlikely that Cat4/Cat5 is anywhere near the expected fitness level, so expect that the categorization is skewed based on how precise your setup is.

power meter chart from wattsboard

The important thing to remember is that your FTP is dynamic and will change over time. If you take a few days off your FTP should not decline, and to some extent a few days rest will likely increase your FTP. But if you take too much time off, say a month or more, then your overall muscle and cardio fitness will begin to decline and your FTP will drop. This is especially important to consider if you are using training zones or trying for a new best. Going out too hard on a ride, at or above your FTP from 3 months ago when you know your training has declined, is a sure way to bonking hard. 

 

 

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