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!

emma

Precision update March 20 2015

As mentioned last week, our Factory Install program is now underway and we are currently processing pre-orders placed in September.  Please watch your emails from our team (cranks@4iiii.com) to confirm your mailing address and keep the shipping process flowing.  A few of you in the front of the queue have yet to respond to our initial email so please be sure to double check your spam/junk folders and get back to us asap.

We are managing installs chronologically, based on your order date. To see which order month we are processing at any given time, check out our Factory Install Tracker at 4iiii.com/precision.

Now that we have launched our Factory Install program, we have also implemented our regular Precision price of $399.00 US.  This will replace our pre-order offer of $349.00 effective at 12am March 22 and will apply to orders placed online as well as those ordered through Clever Training.

Many of you are still very interested in our beta Crank Purchase program so please continue to check the online list for available Shimano models.tracker

 

Precision update March 13th 2015

Our Precision Factory Install has begun! We’re thrilled to announce that Precision Shipping Packs are now on their way to you on a first-ordered, first-served basis! You’ll see one happy product manager below!

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We will begin with pre-orders that came in September 2014 and ramp up quickly to deal with everyone as fast as possible. While we can’t disclose positioning of actual order numbers, we are setting up a Factory Install Tracker to give you a window into the weekly progress. With all the excitement for Precision, our Customer Service team is swamped so please refer to this tracker next week for your timing information.

Here’s how it will work.

  • When you’re next in the Factory Install queue, you will receive an email from cranks@4iiii.com asking to confirm your mailing address. This is when you will know that your install is imminent!
  • Once we receive your address confirmation, your Shipping Pack will be mailed to you.
  • When you get the Pack, please follow the step-by-step instructions and send your crank back to us asap via the pre-paid FedEx arrangement. The Shipping Pack has everything you need to get your crank to us simply and quickly. All you’ll have to do is include your crank, add your serial number, the date and your signature, and drop off the pre-paid shipping package to your nearest FedEx location.
  • FedEx has quoted us the following shipping times: Inbound from US to Canada: 3-4 business days. Inbound from the UK, Australia and Canada: 4-5 business days.
  • Factory Install turnaround is 2 days.
  • Once the Factory Install is complete, your Precision crank will be FedEx’d back to you and you start riding with Precision. Outbound shipping timing is quoted as: To US: 2-3 business days; to UK, Australia and Canada – 3-4 business days.

As for the drive side Precision, we’ve had to refine our right side solution and anticipate that we will start to install the right side cranks in 6 – 8 weeks. Many of you who have already ordered Left+Right have asked if you can get the left installed first and then the right side when it is available. Absolutely! If this option suits you, we will happily install your left only crank and then process the right as soon as it is available. And yes, we will pay the shipping both times. Please know that you retain your place in the factory install queue regardless of whether you have ordered the left only or left+right.

We’re pleased that so many of you are taking advantage of our beta Crank Purchase Program. Availability of various product models does change, so you’ll find the current list of available products at 4iiii.com/crankprogram

On a separate note, check out the latest post re 4iiii on dcrainmaker.com. Ray brings a thorough and informed voice to our industry which benefits us all.

We’ve also been informed that 4iiii is part of the ‘exciting wearables companies to follow’ list: http://ekneewalker.com/blog/fitness-tracker-wearables/ It’s always great to be recognized alongside so many top companies.

Thank you!