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Friday File, November 20, 2015

We’re excited to report that the Firmware Upgrades for PRECISION, Viiiiva and Cliiiimb were released this week. If you have not yet seen an email from us, or had prompts on your phone, you can access the over the air feature upgrades here. Here’s what you’ll gain with the latest upgrades:

4iiii App
Version 1.16.0 on iOS / Version 1.2.0 on Android

  • • This app is your gateway to emailing stored Activity Logs to your preferred training app or site and the 4iiii web store.
  • • You can now Customize the Names of both your Viiiiva and PRECISION, which makes it easier to recognize your devices.

Viiiiva Heart Rate Monitor (HRM)
Firmware version 2.0.0

  • • Tap to Pair is just that – tap your smartphone to your Viiiiva for instant, super simple pairing in any crowded ANT+ or Bluetooth Smart environment.
  • • Activity Logging (also known as file save, memory and store and forward) lets you save data directly on your Viiiiva HRM even when you aren’t carrying your phone. It holds up to 65 hours of ANT+ sensor data.  Activity Logs can be emailed via the 4iiii app to your chosen training software. Of course, you can also see your data in real-time if you have your Sportiiii, smartphone or other compatible displays like smart watch, or bike head unit with you.
  • • The upgrade’s improved heart rate algorithm gives you superior R-R (beat-to-beat) measurement for determining Heart Rate Variability (HRV) and your level of activity readiness. Highly responsive heart rate sensing allows you to see quick changes in your performance (eg. Intervals).
  • • 10x increase in sensitivity to pick up even the lightest of heart rates.
  • • Indoor gym Fitness Equipment compatibility connects you to ANT+ enabled cardio equipment.
  • • Viiiiva is the bridge that connects the 4iiii iOS Cliiiimb app (version 2.2.0) to 4iiii heads up audio visual coach, Sportiiii. With audio and visual cues, Sportiiii is a great tool to keep you in your zone training, and king of your mountain on Strava segments.

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PRECISION Power Meter
Firmware version 0.3.0

  • • Two battery improvements: You’ll go further with PRECISION’s 25% improved Battery Life and the Battery Status Indicator will alert you when it’s time to change your battery. Pay attention when your battery status shows as ‘low’ because that means you’ll have about 20 more hours before it’s time to change out the 2032 coin cell.
  • • Improvements to Zero Offset allow for robust and reliable handling of calibration values, thus maintaining accuracy.
  • • The Adjustment Scale Factor was introduced to address the fact that PRECISION is (currently) a left-only power meter, and not everybody has a 50/50 left-right balance. Perhaps from training on some different equipment, you know that your left leg is actually weaker and you have a 45/55 left-right balance. Doubling the power from your left leg (as per PRECISION and all single sided power meters), gives you a total power of only 90% of what you’re actually putting out. In order to adjust for this, you can simply set the scale factor to 50/45=1.11111. 50 because 50% is your desired reading for PRECISION (half of your total power output), and 45 because your left leg is actually only putting out 45% of your actual total power. This scale factor can also be used to match PRECISION’s output to other training equipment you use.

And now, as we share this much-anticipated release, we wish a Happy Thanksgiving to our US neighbours who will celebrate next week. While you’re all prepping for turkey and the trimmings, we offer you a wintery toast with our hometown’s world famous McKay’s Ice Cream.

Cheers!

 

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Friday File, November 13, 2015

A couple of general updates for you today:
– Upgrades for 4iiii app (iOS and Android) are still under review at the app store and we anticipate approval any day now.  We will release FW upgrades for both Viiiiva and PRECISION as soon as we receive this.
– Right side PRECISION continues to test well.  As you’ve seen in (DC’s blog), this product is a different configuration to our left side PRECISION and is now solidly progressing through all of our quality assurance and development gates.  Timelines will be announced as soon as we have them and, as per usual, you’ll receive information via this Friday File and direct-to-consumer emails.

Got our first taste of winter coming in from Canmore this morning.  Late Fall in the Rockies!

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Friday File, November 6, 2015

4iiii’s Viiiiva and PRECISION app upgrades have now been submitted to the app stores. Notifications on your smartphone will confirm when downloads are available.

This week, we reached out to power guru Hunter Allen for his off-season riding wisdom in the hope of helping your transition to the great indoors training and build on the momentum from your steady summer riding.

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Hunter is a legendary cycling coach, co-author of Training and Racing with a Power Meter and Cutting-Edge Cycling, co-developer of TrainingPeaks’ WKO+ software and founder of Peaks Coaching Group. You can download his free How to Start Training with Power ebook.

“I got into cycling because my parents didn’t want to get me a motorbike,” laughs Hunter who made his early beginnings in BMX at the age of 11 and later joined the professional Team Navigators where he raced for 17 years in Europe, South America, the USA, and Canada, and accumulating over forty career victories.

Here’s one of Hunter’s favourite indoor routines: Sweet Spot with bursts and Tractor pulls

  • Warm up
    • 15 minute warm-up (60% of FTP) with 1 x 3 minute effort at 100% of FTP watts to wake up the system
    • 5 minutes easy at 60% of FTP
  • Main segment
    • Nail it at 88-95% of FTP for 2 x 20 minutes, do a burst every 2 minutes to 120% of FTP, hold for 10 seconds, come back to 88-93%
    • Rest at 60% of FTP for 5 minutes between each 20 minute effort
    • 10 x Tractor Pulls! These are big gear intervals (53:13) – starting at 50 rpm at a slow speed of 8-10mph. Stay seated for each one, and keeping abs tight and hands on the drops. Try to rip the handlebars off the bike!!! STOP the effort when you reach 85-90 rpm. Recover at 80% of FTP between each for 3 minutes.
  • Cool down
    • 10 minutes easy spinning at 60% of FTP

Since retiring from professional cycling, Hunter has become a USAC elite-level coach, a certified nutritional consultant, a certified yoga and tai chi instructor, personal trainer and a fitness and wellness entrepreneur. To date, this Bedford, Virginia resident has coached more than 400 athletes spanning Olympic, pro and weekend warrior levels, with a philosophy based on leveraging power output.

“Power has really revolutionized how we train for cycling,” says Hunter whose cycling training business includes more than 50 coaches across the United States. “Nowadays, athletes can be very sophisticated about their preparation to ensure the highest level of efficiency. With power data, its possible to train for specific races, courses and even isolated trail features.”

While Hunter sees tremendous performance benefits in using power meters, he also believes power makes riding more fun.

“What’s neat about riding with power is that, in addition to helping cyclists improve, it also adds a very fun dimension to biking,” he tells. “Just when you think you’ve got everything figured out, you add a power meter to your bike and all of a sudden you discover a whole other world. This invigorates a lot of cyclists because it makes things new again.”

When asked what one tip he’d like to share, Hunter is quick to say: “Invest in yourself. We can all spend money in a lot of different ways but to invest proactively in your fitness and seek good advice makes a lot of sense,” tells the coach who frequently leads winter cycling camps in California and Spain.

“Many people think that having a coach is unattainable and limited to the elite but really, it’s probably the best investment you can make in yourself if you want to see meaningful results,” he concludes.

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Friday File, October 30, 2015

Next week, the pending upgrades for Viiiiva and PRECISION will be submitted to the app stores. Right side development continues to go well.  We extend great thanks to our beta testers who continually help us to keep things on track.

Along with designing and developing apps and products, a new 4iiii kit design is also in the works. Most cyclists, by personal admission, are quite fashion centric and happily immersed in this sub culture. So, if you love anything about existing industry kits and want to share, send your comments our way to cranks@4iiii.com.

 

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The 4iiii Technologies team took a short break to enjoy some Halloween fun!

Given that the Halloween weekend is upon us, you may be replacing your kit for a themed costume. There are still a few final opportunities to be active on the bike and smell the fresh air before indoor training really settles in. In Mason, Ohio catch the After Dark Cincy 3 – Kings CX race and in New York, the Tour de Frights ranks as a fun Halloween themed cycling event.

Whether you’re out there cycling for speed, fun or both, make sure to ride safely.

And, if you’ve already transitioned to indoor cycling and need tunes to help you get into the mood for spooky cycling, check out this Hallowe’en Cycling Mix (60 minutes).

T’il the next Friday File, happy trick-or-treating!

Team 4iiii Technologies
P.S. If you’re you an enthusiastic 4iiii product user with a great story to share, let us know at info@4iiii.com.

Friday File, October 23, 2015

Firmware upgrades for Viiiiva and PRECISION are on track and testing is nearing completion. The updated apps will be submitted to the app stores shortly and, as always, active customers will receive direct email notifications regarding the release. We’ll also update you on the Friday File.

As PRECISION customers move their performance to a whole new level with the addition of power data, here’s a view of a dedicated cyclist. Meet mathematician Paul Savala, a keen numbers guy who used his brain as much as his legs to win his first race.

Name: Paul Savala
Age: 31
Race Bike: Lynskey Cooper, titanium road bike with PRECISION power meter on left crank and Garmin Edge 500 head unit.
Profession: PhD student in Mathematics at the University of Iowa; part-time blogger
Cycling History: Bike racing for three years; recently upgraded to Cat 4
Why Cycling? In high school, I tried a bunch of sports like baseball and weightlifting. Because of my smaller physique, I was having a hard time thriving in those sports. One day, a friend invited me for a bike ride and it was an immediate fit for me.
What’s your motivation?
As an analytical person, I love the structure of competition and training. It’s an aspect of my life I can control and push myself in. Cycling also makes me a healthier human being.
What secret formula did you use for winning your first career race in July 2015:
As you can read on my blog titled “How to Win Without Being Fast”, I’m extremely strategic in choosing which races I enter and make sure they complement my strengths. I carefully study each racecourse I compete on and try to plan my training to emphasize the key course features. Training with PRECISION has been essential to making sure I train exactly the way the course will challenge me. That means that if a course ends with a huge hill, then I’ll make sure all my training rides end with a heavy load. The combination of all these elements, from the races I chose to my training approach and tools made a huge different for me this summer.
How has riding with a power meter changed how you train and race?
Monitoring my power has been key to helping me get stronger, faster and smarter about my training and racing. Overall, having PRECISION has motivated me to be more strategic about my cycling and given me the data to quantify my efforts and improvement.
How do you integrate all your training and racing data?
I use Golden Cheetah. I’ve written a blog post on how I do this.
Why a blog?
It started as a tool for cataloguing my race experiences. It’s evolved into extensive discussions about how I make the most of my training and racing – especially using the power meter.
Favourite ride?
I enjoy all the fall riding in the Midwest US. The colours are bright and the air is crisp.
Bucket list?
Everywhere! I’d really like to bike in Belgium and experience the deep cycling culture there.
Fall and winter training?
Like most North Americans, I’ll be hitting the trainer to get ready for next season. I’ll continue to use my PRECISION throughout the off season.

If you’re you an enthusiastic 4iiii product user with a great story to share, let us know at info@4iiii.com.

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Friday File October 16, 2015

Firmware upgrades for both Viiiiva and PRECISION are now in final testing along with updated versions of the 4iiii Android and iOS apps.

The Viiiiva heart rate monitor upgrade will soon give you a convenient 4iiii tap-to-pair function, which does just that – it lets you tap your smart phone to your Viiiiva for immediate pairing.  Great for hassle-free starts.

The upgrade will also feature a new heart rate algorithm that is more responsive and even better for tracking Heart Rate Variability (HRV).  In addition, Viiiiva’s file save functionality will simply store and forward your data.  This means that if you don’t have your phone and/or display unit (watch, bike head unit, etc.) with you during your activity, you can still save the data files and access them later.  Viiiiva will collect and store data from the Viiiiva heart rate monitor as well as any ANT+ foot speed and distance, foot cadence, bike speed, cadence and/or power sensor paired to the Viiiiva.  You ride, run, walk, or hike and then, when you want it, your information will be available for download through the 4iiii app to your phone or computer.  Easy. And if you happen to be on a great outing with your phone, watch or hub, the Viiiiva will still give you your as-it-happens real-time data.

Still part of the new upgrade, the Viiiiva will serve as a bridge to fitness equipment so that you can collect data while at the gym and later transfer it via the 4iiii app to your choice of training software.  The best of all worlds.

Moving onto cycling specifically, the PRECISION firmware upgrade will further increase battery life and also include a low battery indicator.  This battery alert will be transmitted to the 4iiii app as well as any ANT+ head unit paired with the power meter.  Additionally, an ‘advanced settings’ screen will let you match PRECISION’s output to other devices, should that be part of your regime.

All in all, the goal of these new features is to help you get the most out of your 4iiii devices and your activities.  Watch for in-depth instructions in the coming weeks.

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Friday File October 9, 2015

Heading into the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend,  here’s a PRECISION update and some race talk from the couch for you.

Testing of dual side PRECISION is going very well and is currently targeting early 2016 production.   Firm dates will be announced as soon as they are confirmed.) In the meantime, check out a sneak preview posted today on DCRainmaker’s blog!

Next week we’ll be posting information about the upcoming PRECISION firmware release.  The upgrade offers new usability features and also addresses the unusual pedalling styles exhibited by a few riders.  This will be helpful to those of you who are comparing multiple power meters.   It should be mentioned that for those who only use power-based training plans, an unusual pedalling style is of no consequence because PRECISION measurements are consistent and relative from day to day.

Now, if cracked ribs and separated shoulder have you stuck on the couch like our Cross Crasher Karel, here’s a view of what’s happening in the global cycling world. The inaugural Abu Dhabi Tour is underway and well worth checking out (http://www.abudhabitour.com/home.php).  The race is mostly a sprinter’s delight with flat finishes, racing through unique landscapes that aren’t often seen in pro cycling.

Keener triathletes are also chomping at the bit to see the results from the Ironman World Championships in Kona.  The big race is tomorrow with many athletes braving the choppy waters, the heat and the wind of the event.  Kona is one of the rare events on the tri calendar that is renowned for windy conditions – to the extent that disc wheels are prohibited.  Slowtwitch.com has fantastic coverage from the week leading up to the big event.

And finally on home turf, a 4iiii relay running team will compete in the Grizzly Ultra Marathon in Canmore, Alberta this Sunday. The team will take on the five legs of pretty technical terrain, running a combined 50km.  Our motivation is simple:  run enough to justify a trip to the Poutinerie (aka the restaurant that serves poutine) post race!  This day’s activity will also serve as a great antidote for our big turkey dinners on holiday Monday.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you north of the 49th!

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Friday File, October 2, 2015

It’s been a busy week at 4iiii and it included a terrific ride in the Rocky Mountains with Ray Maker of DCRainmaker.com. We enjoyed the views and golden larches around Lake Louise and Moraine Lake, and chatted about bikes and power meters. The perfect day for keen cyclists.
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With the falls colors comes the approach of winter (at least up here), and gearing up for the indoor training season. This always means trainers and motivational tools like BKOOL, ZWIFT, TrainerRoad, and epic videos from The Sufferfest. It’s also the season for the 2016 Outside Magazine Winter Buyers’ Guide and we’re pleased that PRECISION was featured as part of the indoor training section along with BKOOL.

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Regardless of the turning leaves, however, there are those of us who aren’t quite ready to throw in the outdoor towel just yet and are still racing cross! If you are in the Calgary area, Dark Knight takes place at Canada Olympic Park on Saturday evening. It’s always an entertaining family spectacle with night-time racing, flaming obstacles and costumes. Some of the 4iiii crew will be there getting our cross on, so come watch the fun.

Friday File, September 25, 2015

You definitely know it’s cross season when conversation turns to pumpkin spiced lattes, modular clothing and embrocation cream. For those of you south of the equator, you’re leaving these favs behind but for us up north, road racing is over, cyclocross is in full swing and riders are out to ride for fun before winter arrives in earnest.

The most marked difference between summer and fall riding in our part of the world is the need for different clothing systems. Rides can start in very chilly morning conditions and end in almost summer-like heat in the afternoon. Dressing in tights and winter riding boots (fatbikers rejoice!) for the morning will leave you sweltering later on in the day. Obviously, the reverse is also true and dressing in a jersey and shorts might be comfortable in the afternoon, but you’ll have to suffer through the morning to the heat of the day.

Without question, the key to transitioning between seasons, regardless of your hemisphere, is the modular clothing system. Ideally, this consists of arm warmers, leg warmers (or knee covers), shoe covers and full-fingered but light gloves. The most important component is a nice, light vest with pockets. This combination leaves you toasty-warm in the morning, but the shoe covers, leg warmers and arm warmers can be removed at various times to always maintain the perfect body temperature. The vest we talked about is required because you need the pocket space to stow all of this extra gear later in the day.

The other approach is to use embrocation cream directly on your skin when you don’t have room to stash your clothing pieces. Creams, such as that made by Mad Alchemy provide a nice warming sensation by increasing blood flow to the anointed areas. I use the medium strength on my legs and hands – it’s kind of like having a cushion of warm air around your exposed skin. Caution should be taken as embrocated areas feel like they are burning when hit by intense sunlight. You’re best to only use the cream on long rides when the forecast is for overcast skies. And whatever you do, don’t get the cream in your eyes. One last tip is to wipe applied areas with dish soap before showering. This helps to remove the cream that can burn a little when hot water hits.

Happy riding and remember to use your lights as the days get shorter!

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Friday File, September 18, 2015

Bullish (aka positive, thriving) seems to be a good word to summarize 4iiii and the cycling industry this week!

We’re happy to confirm that PRECISION’s right side solution is testing this month.  No release dates yet but we’re very pleased with the results thus far and will keep you updated via this blog.  (Current customers will also receive direct emails when we have a firm date.)

With some 1400 brands and 25,000 attendees at Interbike, the annual business-to-business show was solid proof that the cycling industry is on a proverbial roll.  Throughout the show week, we featured PRECISION at both the outdoor demo and exhibit areas.  Kip, our President and CEO, was part of our 4iiii crew:
“We’re excited that we’ve been able to develop an excellent power meter at a price point that gets more people riding with reliable power.  Cycling is one of those sports where it’s all about the collaborative effort and we’re as committed as ever to growing the overall industry by delivering really strong, relevant products.”

A big event at Interbike 2015 was the Cliff Bar CrossVegas race.  It jump-started the 2015-16 UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup and was the first CX World Cup event outside of Europe.
http://www.cyclingnews.com/races/crossvegas-2015/preview/
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As part of the event, Liv sponsored the Women’s Wheelers & Dealers Race in which our own PRECISION product manager placed 7th.  (See pic below)  Emma’s success was no doubt due in part to the Ridley X-Trail 2016 bike that our friends at Cross Bike Review  set her up with.  Huge thanks to the Scott, Inga and Joe, the beauty, brains and brawn behind the wise as well as spirited reviews of all things cyclocross.

Photos:
Janelle riding on golden hill
Emma in Crossvegas
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