Friday File, May 29, 2015

A few points for you today re our factory installation, shipping charges and a “calibration reload” scenario being experienced by some customers. We are working hard to catch up from the manufacturing delay we experienced last week and hope to be caught up soon.

The factory installation program is focused on getting PRECISION on your own crank AND minimizing the amount of time that you are without your equipment.

When we process your order, we assign you a rough installation window.

  • Shortly before that window date, we’ll send you a pre-installation kit and shipping package/information. The pre-installation kit allows you to determine the optimal placement of the unit as we need to make doubly sure that there is enough clearance between the power meter and your bike’s frame.
  • Once you’ve marked the position for the installation, you send us your crank arm using the pre-paid shipping pack.
  • When we get your crank arm, it enters our Factory where we install PRECISION and then ship it back to you.

As you know, as part of our Factory Install, we currently cover the shipping costs to get your cranks to our factory. We also still subsidize the shipping of your crank back to you, which is why your shipping charges are minimal. Separate to shipping, however, is the fact that there are times when your country of origin also charges taxes and duties. This does not apply to North America thanks to NAFTA but each other country has separate rules and we continue to investigate ways to reduce all fees for you. FedEx also charges a convenience fee for expediting international deliveries, which, unfortunately, cannot be avoided.

A few customers have reported that they are getting cadence numbers, but either no or extremely high power numbers. This may happen when PRECISION loses its factory calibration values (not to be confused with the values shown when you zero your PRECISION using your head unit or mobile app). This problem can be fixed by reloading the factory calibration values through our 4iiii app, which is available for both iOS and Android

Connect to your PRECISION using the app, once you’ve installed it. Then use the appropriate menu option (Factory Restore on iOS, and Restore Factory Calibration on Android) to reload the values. With that step completed, zero your PRECISION and go for a ride!

See you next week!

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Friday File, May 22, 2015

Today’s update is all about our production and your cranks. A few of you are noticing accuracy and/or battery concerns with your PRECISION. While the overall percentage of issues is small, any problems at all are important to us and are being thoroughly investigated. We believe that a software fix will address the matters and it is our priority to have that out as soon as possible.

Our production flow has been slower than anticipated and thus, our ‘In Factory’ dates are behind. We have already contacted customers who have cranks here or en route and will continue with other updates through this Friday file. For those of you who expected to be in factory by now but do not yet have ship kits, please know that we are intent on not having your crank here any longer than required so will only bring your crank in once we can process it. If you need to alter your factory dates once you receive your ship kit you certainly may do so by contacting us at cranks@4iiii.com.

The PRECISION Pre-order Factory Install Tracker has been revised to give you the percentage of:
1. Scheduled installation (grey) of pre orders – up to March 31
2. Total ship kits sent to date (gold)
3. Customer cranks received at 4iiii Factory (black)
4. All cranks received at 4iiii Factory including those ordered via the crank program (green)
5. Orders fulfilled (red)

We are working diligently to close the gap between the black line (cranks received) and the red line (cranks out) which clearly shows the production delay. There are many of you who have been sent ship kits but have not yet shipped your crank to 4iiii. Gold line shows kits out vs the black line represents cranks received. We respect that our schedule may not suit yours and invite you to advise us of any changes so that we can keep the production flow going.

Check out our map to see where PRECISION is in the world – already 20 countries and counting!
Have a great weekend!
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Friday File, May 15, 2015

Some app info and training wisdom for you this week!

The 4iiii app supports the 4iiii Viiiiva heart rate strap, PRECISION power meter, and Sportiiii heads up display. Both the 4iiii app on iOS, and the 4iiii Gear Configuration app on Android are where you go to:

  • pair ANT+ sensors through your Viiiiva to your smartphone,
  • configure your Sportiiii (4iiii iOS only).
  • gather information about your device including the current firmware version and your serial number for Viiiiva and PRECISION, reloading PRECISION calibration values,
  • zero (calibrate) PRECISION,
  • get the latest PRECISION and Viiiiva, over-the-air firmware updates,
  • customize your device name (for PRECISION, coming for Viiiiva)

The iOS app also functions as a head unit for all your Bluetooth Smart sensors. It’s able to connect to Bluetooth Smart-compliant foot pods, bike speed/cadence sensors, power meters, or heart rate monitors. The app will also allow you to display all data coming from your devices and record .fit files for your coach and fitness programs. You can also access your ANT+ device data in real time on your phone if you’re using the Viiiiva.

Tip of the day: To keep your battery fresh for your ride, take it out of the PRECISION pod while you’re traveling as continual bumping will wake up the unit. This will be improved in a future over-the-air upgrade.

And now, some wisdom from one of the world’s top power gurus, Hunter Allen. We are pleased that we will be featuring Hunter’s tips on a regular basis. Here’s the first:

“Traveling gives me a unique insight into how the people of this country are so very different – each bringing their own perspectives to cycling, power training and endurance sports.  We are similar though in that we have strengths and weaknesses, are limited in our training time, respond somewhat similarly to training stimuli and all want to improve.  These similarities are the key reasons why training with a power meter can help us to improve our cycling.  In my travels, I have met pro road cyclists, track athletes, ultra endurance mountain bikers, triathletes, recreational riders and many others,  each asking me questions about how they can best use their power meter to optimize their training time, optimize their chronic training load and also optimize their individual intervals as well.   The knowledge of using a power meter for optimization is one of the top asked questions that I get at my seminars and book signings.   Sure, everyone wants to hear about this pro or that pro and see how to analyze their power file in the TrainingPeaks WKO+ software, but the general theme is always around optimization.

After you have had a power meter for at least six to eight months, you will have plenty of data to review in order to find trends based on the training response to your training dose.   We each have limited time to train – you’ll make the best use of your time if you are focused during those key training hours.”   Read more at: http://www.hunterallenpowerblog.com/2011/03/power-of-knowledge-and-knowledge-of.html

Friday File, May 8, 2015

Still on the theme of how to ride with power, one of our resident cyclists and self-proclaimed ‘enginerds,’ Keith, reminds us of the importance of establishing FTP (Functional Threshold Power) at the beginning of your training period.  Determining this measurement of fitness now will give you your baseline as you set up training zones, and will help you get to where you want to be this season.

There are a variety of great sources for calculating FTP – here’s one approach from our friends at TrainingPeaks:   http://help.trainingpeaks.com/hc/en-us/articles/204071934-How-to-Calculate-Threshold-Power-Heart-Rate-or-Pace

We’re pleased to announce that TrainingPeaks is also keen to support your on-going training efforts.  All PRECISION customers will receive 30 Days Trial of TrainingPeaks Premium along with a download of the e-book “How to Start Training with Power.”  Both will be invaluable resources for you as you set your cycling goals. (Those of you riding with PRECISION will receive an email with the online link and code.)

Speaking of goals, many of our own staff are focused on doing either the tri or duathlon in support of Joe’sTeam.ca.  It’s one of those exceptional fundraising organizations, founded by Joe Finley, an ‘ordinary Joe’ who left this world an ‘extraordinary Joe.’  

What are your goals?  We’d love to hear more about your plans and achievements and the motivation behind them.  Are you entered in races, or riding for fun?  Training with a coach or without?  Tell us about your own goals and stories. You can share them on Facebook at Facebook.com/4iiiicom.

Lots of wide open spaces for cycling in the foothills this weekend. Remember to celebrate a mom on Sunday!

(PS: Go Flames Go!)

4iiii Update, May 1, 2015

Some new PRECISION riders are using bike power for the first time and have sent us great questions that we’ll do our best to answer in these blogs. This week, we will address the ever-confused issue of calibration/zeroing/re-zeroing. The whole concept is really much easier for you, the user, than it first seems. Here’s the simple summary:

PRECISION power meters use proprietary strain sensors that provide you with accurate power measurements. Initially, PRECISION needs to be “taught” how to translate a certain force to a specific power value. We do this initial set up for you in our factory with certified weights and we refer to it as Factory Calibration. This calibration procedure generates a linear function (also known as a calibration curve) which is unique to your PRECISION and crank combination. The calibration values on the 4iiii calibration card you receive with your pod denote the two values associated with the curve obtained at the factory. They will not change over the course of PRECISION’s life.

Once outside of our factory, your PRECISION sensor – just as all power meters – will have its own signature response to environmental and temperature changes. This is normal and very similar to how you need to reset your weigh scale to ‘zero’ before each use. The changes can shift slightly upwards or downwards which “offsets” the calibration curve established in factory and causes you to obtain higher or lower values than you actually want. So, in order to get the best and most accurate power reading, your power meter needs to be zeroed before a ride and after any large temperature fluctuations. Note: Most (if not all) head units refer to this step as ‘calibrate’ although some will name the action ‘zero’ or ‘re-zero.’ All head units that support power will have this easy-to-use utility that is activated with only a push of a button

When you successfully zero PRECISION, you should see two numbers alternating on the screen of your head unit or bike computer. Normal ranges for these numbers are between 8000 to 11000 and 18000 and 21000.

If you get numbers of 999 or -999, that means the unit isn’t settled or the crank arms are in the wrong position. To correct this, eliminate any wind or movement factors and try again.

For more information on this and specific zeroing step, please read the PRECISION User Manual at 4iiii.com/PRECISION

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4iiii Update, April 24, 2015

Having spent four sun baked days amidst thousands of cyclists in Monterey last week, our team had yet another opportunity to connect with excited riders.  Here are some fun facts from Sea Otter:

61% at this show are Mountain Bikers; 39% are Road Bikers.  Men make up 62% of visitors while 38% are female BUT more women raced at this year’s event than ever before.

Our resident Mountain Biker Janelle had this to say about the Cross Country Course:

“This was the perfect example of where riding with power data is highly beneficial.  The course was really fast and long (24 miles) with a 3500’ elevation gain, so the leaders would have been grinding through it at their optimal power level.”

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Some of your recent questions have also led us to recap PRECISION fun facts.

  • PRECISION is lightweight (10 grams / .36 ounces) and small (< 38mm x 27mm x 7.5mm)Precision on left crank
  • Yes, it transmits via both ANT+ and Bluetooth Low Energy.  This means that PRECISION is compatible with over 80 existing ANT+ bike computers, apps and displays including 4iiii Sportiiii.
  • When you send us your crank for Factory installation, your time without your crank should only be 7 – 12 business days (2-3 shipping in, 3-5 days install, 2 -3 days shipping out).  We won’t ask you to send in your crank until we are ready for it, so you won’t be without your crank any longer than necessary and, we will happily adjust your install dates to suit your race, cycling trip, etc. if you let us know your timing.
  • Just a reminder that if you send us your pre-owned cranks from North America and Mexico, you are covered under the NA Free Trade Agreement and will not be charged duty or taxes.  If you live elsewhere, you will be subject to varying amounts of tax depending on your country’s regulations.  We are actively working with our international partners to get you more specific information and will keep you posted.
  • PRECISION is super easy to use and gives you practical, straight-forward power and cadence (i.e. pedaling rate) data.  Data can be automatically transmitted to your display (watch, bike computer, and/or phone) in real time and also uploads to your favorite app (eg. Strava or Training Peaks) for post ride analysis.  Remember, you can also use your 4iiii Sportiiii to monitor power and cadence from your PRECISION.  Your Viiiiva Heart Rate Monitor can be used alongside your PRECISION as well.

4iiii Update, April 17, 2015

Now that our Factory Install has ramped, and more and more of you are riding with PRECISION, we’re keen to bring you some perspectives from the power world.

The North American cycling season is clearly underway if the excitement at the Subaru Sea Otter Classic is any indication.  Sea Otter is known as the celebration of cycling and is pretty much the North American season opening.  Our crew is there in Monterey, CA this week meeting with road cyclists and mountain bikers alike who are giving the thumbs up for the $399US PRECISION price point.  Just as exciting, is the overall enthusiasm for power as a key metric for riders of every level, not to mention their coaches.

We recently spoke with Junior Performance Triathlon Coach Bart Ujack who has an enviable track record with junior draft legal racing and was the 2013 ATA Elite Coach of the Year.  Bart summed up power this way:  “There’s no question that understanding your power has become a game changer.  Plain and simple, it keeps you from wasting energy and burning matches.  Get the power profiles from winning races and you’ll also know the minimum requirements for staying in the lead pack.  With the data in front of you, you can analyze the information, train to that standard, and then meet or exceed your goals.  Ideally, I’d get all riders to train with power!”

Tis spring in the foothills – ie no snow on the ground! Where will your personal power take you this weekend? _NIE9295

 

PRECISION update April 10 2015

Our letters with projected factory installation dates have now been sent to individual customers and we hope that this gives you the planning information you need!  If you have ordered from 4iiii or Clever Training and have not yet received our notice, please double check your filter for an email from cranks@4iiii.com or write us at the same address and we will happily resend.

Many of you have commented on the delays on specific cranks. We originally planned a ‘self install’ PRECISION that physically fit those models first listed in our posted crank compatibility chart.

Since that time, to keep our commitment to our customers to provide $400 power, we introduced a PRECISION “factory install” program which has a wider form factor and fits onto wider left cranks.  To take care of as many riders as possible we are fulfilling those orders first that fit the current plastics and we have new housings, that will be moving to production in June, to conform to narrower cranks and right side cranks. We apologize to those that are affected by this delay.

Thanks to one of our customers, we have a new clearance measurement trick for those of you who have ordered through our beta Crank Purchase Program.  Obviously you don’t have your new cranks to measure so use a AAA battery to check the clearance between your existing cranks and your bike frame.  As you identify your flat install surface, simply move the battery (which is 10mm thick vs the 7.5mm of PRECISION) and slide it along the crank.  Note the place at which the battery hits either side and mark that on the measurement chart we provide to you.  This will give our Manufacturing team all the information they need for ideal placement of your PRECISION.

We’ll be at Sea Otter next week, riding with PRECISION.  Come visit us at booth #414!

 

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PRECISION update April 3, 2015

You have been asking, waiting and trusting that your 4iiii PRECISION would reach you in time to ride with power this summer…..and it will!  Production has ramped up well and we can now share projected dates with everyone.  You have taken the plunge to be the first to ride with a highly accurate and affordable power meter and we appreciate your continued enthusiasm.

By May 21 we project that your current orders for PRECISION on the following crank types will be either on your bike or in transit to you from our factory:

  • Shimano 105 5800, 5700; Ultegra 6800, 6700; Dura-Ace 9000
  • SRAM Rival OCT
  • Cannondale SI, SL, SISL, SISL2

New orders on these models will hit production mid May.

For those of you riding with Shimano 7900, 9800, 7800, FSA Energy, and SRAM x1, we anticipate that you will be on the road with PRECISION by June 21, ahead of the Fathers’ Day Weekend.  (That will make a lot of 4iiii fathers happy too!) Drive side orders will hit production mid June! Order now to hold your place in the queue.

Watch for your email early next week from cranks@4iiii.com.  (PLEASE check your spam filters to ensure you don’t miss it.)  It will tell you which week to expect your PRECISION to be installed.    If you know that you can’t be without your crank during that designated time, we will happily adjust the schedule to suit you and add another rider to the queue.

It’s a sunny Easter long weekend here in Cochrane.  We wish you all good riding, safe travels, and lots of mini eggs… if Sam hasn’t eaten them all!

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PRECISION Update Friday File March 27, 2015

We’re pleased to announce that the first PRECISION cranks went out this week and we continue to sync with customers re incoming shipping.  This phase of the process has ramped up as anticipated with a keen focus on quality assurance steps.   We are moving forward as planned, putting extra people and equipment in place so that we can maximize our output of PRECISION.

 

We now have a view of manufacturing dates so we will be reaching out directly to all current customers giving realistic delivery dates by April 9.  If you have not heard from us as of April 10, it means that we have an incorrect email address for you and will need you to contact us at support@4iiii.com.   (Remember to also check your spam folder.)

 

As part of servicing the exceptional interest in PRECISION, we are also adding to our Customer Service team.  If you happen to know an avid biker and/or runner in the Cochrane area who wants to work with passionate customers (like you!), check out this position at 4iiii.com/careers.  We’re really proud of our dynamic team and look forward to welcoming more active enthusiasts to our group.

 

And finally, we’re pumped to congratulate our PRECISION Product Manager, Emma, who won her age category at the 2015 Banamex Ironman 70.3 in Monterrey, Mexico.  Yes, she was riding with PRECISION!

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