My wireless iSport review

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My wireless iSport review

Postby jazclrint » Mon Mar 22, 2010 10:20 pm

I am technically inclined, and no dummy (debatable), so I was excited to be able to afford an iSport. However, it is no where near as plug and play as I was lead to believe. The directions, while detailed, are not completely correct. I had access to 2 sets of directions ("Fast Start" and iSport directions) and they do not appear to match, and one of them is not completely right, which makes it wrong. Step 1-15 in the "Fast Start" directions should be deleted. All it did was cause confusion and cause the iSport to lock up because I aborted the wind cal (more on that later). Since it was the first time I had used it I didn't know it automatically did a wind cal. Also, I had played with it, went past the first Scan screen, and could not get it back. You should just go straight to the fast start menu and find "scan" in the setup menu later (It's in there a ways). Personally, I think iBike should add a "scan" step in the fast start menu. Also step 2-4 is wrong. You click up twice to get to fast start; no need take the stupid battery out. Then you click the center button, hit an arrow to get yes, and center button again. BUT, unlike the set-up menu, it stays at that screen, you must click up into the menu. Then step 3-4 is also wrong. CAL RIDE is not 2 clicks up, fast start is. You have to cycle all the way through the menu back to tilt, then CAL RIDE is 2 clicks past tilt. I honestly would still not have this thing working if I had just not stumbled into things by accident. Not that it is working, 100% yet. The direction are definitely something to be desired. The biggest issue, however, is the visual presentation. Making it look friendlier and less confusing would go a long way. There is a reason other speedo directions look like they do. Also, even though I got a deal, if you are going to give me directions that are obviously done on a word program and then photocopied, please, at least, don't make it also obvious that they were written by a physics or engineering major. Go find an Art or Graphics Art major at your local college and let them have at it.

Now my functional rant. Why in the world would you give an abort option of wind cal if all it does is lock the thing up when you use it!? I have had to take the battery out 3 times now in one week because the thing locked up. 2 were because I aborted wind cal. The reason was because I was not going to ride, I simply wanted to check the time, or mileage, and didn't want to wait for the wind cal to finish. I didn't need it. But, I've learned my lesson. Then, today, for no reason it refused to scan or find my speedo sensor after I got to work, and with the speedo number blinking as well. I had to yank the battery and reset the date and time for the 3rd?/4th? time in the past 5 days. I'm not sure why, but the night before this the altimeter (which i had set after the last battery pull) had me at -315ft, when I am at 215ft. I'm not sure what happened there, maybe I reset something and for got to go back and redo it. But that is really far off. Also, I really don't think the menus are prioritized right, but that's more of a personal thing. It would be nice if they were more consistent though. They seem to change randomly, until you've gone through them 18 times, and learn their secrets like an old Nintendo game. I thought my ergo brain was bad with menus, but this thing takes the cake. It is also WAY more complicated too. But, my ergo brain had a backlight, no reason this shouldn't, accept for cost maybe. And only 2 profiles!? Really? The CS600X has 3, and as powerful as this thing is, it should have 4. If I am going to pay this much for a speedo, I'm only going to buy one. I know if I upgrade to the iPro I can have infinite profiles, but even then it still only stores 2 at a time on the iBike itself. 3 might do it most people though. Commuter, road, mountain. Also, how do I force it to turn off?

The coolness factor is off the charts with this thing, and I see the support you folks give, and that's really why I haven't tried to send it back, but it does not live up to the easy of use it was made out have. I'll continue to post good and bad. But I'm sure it's going to be all good from here on out. I've got all the hard work done. Losing 30lbs should be easy compared to this. :D
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Re: My wireless iSport review

Postby Russ » Tue Mar 23, 2010 6:15 pm

jazcirint,

I can only comment on some of your points, not having an iSport model but here goes....

The altitude change is probably do to the barometric pressure changing while the unit was off.
Do some searches on barometric altimeters if you need to understand this.

You can turn the unit off by going into setup and scrolling left or right until you see the battery voltage displayed, then press the center button for off (or again for back on).

I have a backup ipro for my iaero and do not have the hang problem when I interrupt the wind cal. So this makes me wonder if you 'deal' was a used or old stock unit with far downlevel firmware. If so, you can send the unit to Velocomp for an upgrade or buy the USB dongle to do it yourself (as I understand it, for the iSport - verify this before buying though). However the USB dongle is included in the price of an upgrade to the ipro or iaero so consider that too.

Search around on this forum, there is a lot of advice on how to use the iSport (and iBike in general) for many cases and situations, the time reading is well spent.

Sorry you are having troubles (most of us have some startup and learning curve problems though).
Regards,
Russ
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Re: My wireless iSport review

Postby Velocomp » Tue Mar 23, 2010 6:55 pm

One of the problems with improving things is keeping the improvements up to date.

We have updated instructions as we change things but it's impossible to retroactively update instructions. I'm sorry for the inconsistencies you've noticed.

We've had zero reports of "lock-up" problems prior to yours. So, something else may be going on...

Russ is correct about the baro sensor; we are not responsible for mother nature's changes... :-)

Backlight would drain the battery even faster, not a popular thing on this forum!

If your CS600X did 1/10 the computations of the iBike it would have run out of memory all ready.

To turn off your iBike go to Setup/batt. Click the center button to force your iBike off.

I lost 37 pounds with the help of my iBike and the main thing I noticed was that I got faster and lighter!!!
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Re: My wireless iSport review

Postby jazclrint » Sun Mar 28, 2010 2:55 pm

I got this brand new in the package and it has the lastest firmware. I just got a real good deal on it. It is possible that the "locking up" I've experienced is user error, but I don't think so. I just wait for the auto wind to finish now. Thanks for the off instructions. Doesn't help when it's locked up, but should in other ways. I don't own a CS600X, but I compared the two before making a purchase. Back light drain, I can understand. Let me just point out on the Ergo brain you had to turn it on first, which meant you had to go to a certain menu and then press hold a button to activate it. Then it only came on when you hit a button (which I had integrated into the ergos). It was on for only a few seconds (and always about a second or 2 too short). If you did it this way it wouldn't drain the battery for anyone who didn't want to use it. I live in Maine and the days are short in winter and spring, so it becomes VERY useful to have a backlight. But that's just my 2 cents.

The altitude keeps dropping by 500 ft or more. Someone made the argument that barometric altimeters are more accurate than GPS. I would say that is completely wrong. No GPS I know of would tell me I am 334 ft below sea level. It's getting a bit old to have to go in and reset every few days. A default setting for starting altitude would be nice. People who race at different places have to reset the altitude anyway. Just saying.

I have checked the archives, other wise I would not have known how good the support is.

I went and did another cal ride after I figured out my handlebar bag was causing enough of an airflow disturbance that I was getting "0 mph" for wind speed. Then I went to do a fitness test, and with 3 minutes left to go I held the center button down too long and "abort test" started flashing. Not knowing how to cancel it I left it alone, and then it aborted anyway. Also, all of that ride data was not recorded. I really wasn't happy. It was my fault aborting it, but also all that data was never recorded. Well it kind of is because it shows up on the odometer, but I'm not sure I should have to memorize the odometer readings to get ride info from the fit test. I did notice however, that it was not always reading 0 watts when I was coasting down a hill. Often times it was reading as much as 150 to 200 watts. I'll dig around for solutions to this.
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Re: My wireless iSport review

Postby jazclrint » Sat Apr 03, 2010 11:21 pm

This is a bit late, but the I believe I figured out what I was doing wrong on the wind cal abort. I would click it to abort and thought the blinking meant confirm so I would hit the center button again. I believe this lead to the lock up. I have successfully aborted the wind cal a few times now.

I've finally completed a fit test and my first training ride. I think the went well, and I am getting happier with my iSport everyday. I still read watts on while coasting down hill. But it's while I'm tucked, so maybe that's why. I still need to do a coast down though. I know those Schwalbe Marathon Crosses are not the smoothest rolling things in the world.

On the subject of training, I've merged two training programs to get what I feel is a good basic training program for me. I had already purchased "Ride Fast" by Eric Harr. It's got a lot of good stuff in it, but man there are some big holes (and I believe typos) in it at the same time. Don't buy it. It's not worth it. I'll let you borrow mine, seriously. It does set out a good schedule that includes gym type work outs that you can do at home, which I have been looking for, for a long time. Combine that schedule with the "Training with Power" book and interval programming that is already in the iSport and I am quite happy with the training program I've got taped to my wall.

Oh, and I've cheated a bit. I got a Topeak Xtender to lift the iSport further up above my handlebar bag so I can get readings on my commute. This also gave me room to mount my Garmin Quest next to it. This also means I can transfer my wireless iBike mount (and the Garmin mount too) to my Mt. bike, which uses the same degree of rise, in a matter of minutes and not have to buy a new wireless mount. It's the best $15 I've spent this year. I've got pics up here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Pittsfiel ... 3191184425 . I don't have a speedo sensor for my Mt. Bike yet. But I'll probably get one next week.

The Quest setup is a little convoluted where the built in antenna was removed by a 3 yr old a ways back. Not that it would have held up to flopping around on the trails anyway. So I have an external antenna for it, and it's a little gommy. This works ok today and will be good enough for mapping the trails in my area. But I like the looks of the new Garmin Dakota 20. It can use Garmin ant+ sensors and can also be used for cars, motorcycles, and hiking. It seems to be more tracks orientated as well. I wonder if it will pick up the iBike sensors? I figure I could have Heart and altitude displayed on the Dakota, and Speed/Power/Cadence displaying on the iSport all at the same time, as well as a good sized map. It basically seems to do everything the the 705 does accept display power; but I'd have to spend $100 for the GT upgrade to get that anyway. And the cost is the same as a 305 to boot.
It's on my wish list anyway. :D

That's all I've got for now,
Rich
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Re: My wireless iSport review

Postby jazclrint » Sat Apr 03, 2010 11:33 pm

Oh, I forgot to mention about the wattage readings in fit train mode. You'll see 3 dots where the wattage bar usually is. One dot is on the left, one in the center, and one on the right. If you are at your target wattage all you will see is dots. If you are below, you will see bar go from the center dot and head towards the left; and visa versa for if you go above target wattage. There is a definite lag time and it seems the bar graph reacts faster than the current wattage reading, but they are almost never in sync. But it worked well enough and I got a proper workout.

Rich
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Re: My wireless iSport review

Postby jazclrint » Wed Apr 14, 2010 9:32 pm

Workout number 2 on using the fit train mode. I must say it's really annoying i can't look at other info while I am in this mode. And, of course, the lightest interval always came up as I was going up the hill, and then higher as I was going down the back. But I was doing a fat-burn level 0 workout based on a 1.93 w/kg fitness level. Not a big deal, but it's pretty funny to see 250-300 watts produced when your target is 97 watts, and you are going as slow as you can. I did some experimenting and noticed I'd get a much closer to 0 watts going down hill if I was on the top of the bars instead of the hoods. And no, I have yet to do a coast down test. Saturday or Sunday should be a good day for that.

Oh, and what's up with losing your ride when you switch from one profile to the other, and then go back to the original. I came home from work, switched to profile 2 messed around a bit, and realized I didn't have all the information I needed so I went back to profile 1 and my commute was gone. Poof. [sigh]
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Re: My wireless iSport review

Postby racerfern » Thu Apr 15, 2010 12:37 am

jazclrint wrote:Workout number 2 on using the fit train mode. I must say it's really annoying i can't look at other info while I am in this mode. And, of course, the lightest interval always came up as I was going up the hill, and then higher as I was going down the back. But I was doing a fat-burn level 0 workout based on a 1.93 w/kg fitness level. Not a big deal, but it's pretty funny to see 250-300 watts produced when your target is 97 watts, and you are going as slow as you can. I did some experimenting and noticed I'd get a much closer to 0 watts going down hill if I was on the top of the bars instead of the hoods. And no, I have yet to do a coast down test. Saturday or Sunday should be a good day for that.

Whenever I'm following a fit train or any regimented training, I have to think carefully about where the ride is going to happen. Yup, you might find yourself pumping out watts that just weren't planned for. Attached is the excel file that CoachBoyd made. It defines the wattage percentages at each type of interval and for each level of fitness.

jazclrint wrote:Oh, and what's up with losing your ride when you switch from one profile to the other, and then go back to the original. I came home from work, switched to profile 2 messed around a bit, and realized I didn't have all the information I needed so I went back to profile 1 and my commute was gone. Poof. [sigh]


In the auto industry we use FAD, "functioning as designed". Somewhere in the owner's manual it states that switching from one profile to another will zero out the ride and start a new one. You've got to be a bit more careful with your iSport since you can't download the ride data. Be ready to write down your totals.
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Re: My wireless iSport review

Postby jazclrint » Thu Apr 15, 2010 11:45 pm

Thanks for the info. That last bit was more of a rhetorical question, and of course I did it again tonight, but oh well, I'll learn. I've got the iSport all setup on my Mt. Bike. I'm going for a ride tomorrow with my college club. We'll see what happens.

As far as training and routes, I've been doing a lot of exploring of routes since I just meved to this town last year and spent the summer in Alaska. But, it's something I'll have to get used to because Maine is just hilly, and randomly so. But it would be really nice if I had access to other information while in fit train mode, such as hill gradient.

Thanks again!
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Re: My wireless iSport review

Postby jazclrint » Sat Apr 17, 2010 12:12 am

I've more wrong instructions. From the iSport document I just opened on the iBike webiste the section on coast downs reads:

"1) Perform Initial Set-up and Tilt Calibration procedures.
2) Acclimate iSport to outdoor riding temperature.
15) Enter set-up mode. Scroll to “offst”. With the iSport acclimated to outdoor temperature and in a place with no wind, press center button. Offset number will settle near zero. NOTE: PERFORM WIND OFFSET CALIBRATION PRIOR TO EACH RIDE.
3) Wear usual biking clothes. Ride on a reasonably flat-to-uphill road, in your usual cycling position. For best results perform coast-downs when the outdoor wind is calm and where there is light traffic.
4) While in setup, go to “Coast” screen. Click center button to start coast-down. Screen says “fast”.
5) Accelerate to 20 mph, until screen says “coast”. Stop pedaling immediately. Stay in cycling position. Coast-down until screen says “done coast”.
6) If message “bad coast” appears at the end of the coast down, check tilt calibration and wind offset, then repeat.
7) NOTE: The “Est CdA” menu can be used at any time to override coast down results."

First off, there is no "offst" in the set-up menu. There's "CAL Wind", which I have to assume is what was meant. And secondly "Coast" is not in the set-up menu. You have to go into the set-up menu, then into the "User" menu and it's in there. You literally cannot perform a coast down test following these instructions. Not cool!

And where are the instructions/map telling me what all of these things in all of the screens mean? I'm going to go look in the iPro instructions.
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Re: My wireless iSport review

Postby NCH1 » Sat Apr 17, 2010 12:32 am

Are using the correct firmware instructions?. If, by the ibike website you mean the ibike store then the instructions you downloaded were from firmware 310+ in May 2009. If your ibike is not almost a year old then it is likely you need to download the correct firmware instructions from the ibike forum at Board index>Technical support>Installation instructions and videos.

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Re: My wireless iSport review

Postby Velocomp » Sun Apr 18, 2010 9:30 am

jazclrint wrote:I've more wrong instructions. From the iSport document I just opened on the iBike webiste the section on coast downs


We try to keep things up to date. The iSport directions you've accessed were written last summer. They should have been deleted a long time ago but are gone now.

Depending on the kind of iSport you have consult the Fast Start Wired or Fast Start Wireless instructions.

You can also look at the detailed iBike instructions. Though many of the detailed instructions are for iPro and iAero owners, the same principles apply and you can learn more about the operation of the screens.
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Re: My wireless iSport review

Postby jazclrint » Sun Apr 18, 2010 11:56 am

NCH1 wrote:Are using the correct firmware instructions?. If, by the ibike website you mean the ibike store then the instructions you downloaded were from firmware 310+ in May 2009. If your ibike is not almost a year old then it is likely you need to download the correct firmware instructions from the ibike forum at Board index>Technical support>Installation instructions and videos.

Nik


Yep that's the issue. I didn't even bother to check. I've got "reL 4_17". Egg on my face.[sigh] Now I have to read the firestorm of replys below. Such is life.
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Re: My wireless iSport review

Postby jazclrint » Sun Apr 18, 2010 12:07 pm

Velocomp wrote:
jazclrint wrote:I've more wrong instructions. From the iSport document I just opened on the iBike webiste the section on coast downs


We try to keep things up to date. The iSport directions you've accessed were written last summer. They should have been deleted a long time ago but are gone now.

Depending on the kind of iSport you have consult the Fast Start Wired or Fast Start Wireless instructions.

You can also look at the detailed iBike instructions. Though many of the detailed instructions are for iPro and iAero owners, the same principles apply and you can learn more about the operation of the screens.


Looks like I should learn english as well. Yes, I got the Fast Start Wireless instructions, and have commented on those above, so I won't repeat myself. However, I did just download the iPro/iAero instructions. Holy cow! I haven't read the whole thing yet, but an iSport specific version of those is what I would have expected to come with my iSport.

P.S. The old iSport pdf is still up on the website under downloads. Probably the website hasn't updated yet but I thought I'd mention it.
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Re: My wireless iSport review

Postby Velocomp » Sun Apr 18, 2010 1:32 pm

"P.S. The old iSport pdf is still up on the website under downloads. Probably the website hasn't updated yet but I thought I'd mention it."

If you could point us to the links where this old information is available we'll get it taken care of.
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Re: My wireless iSport review

Postby jazclrint » Mon Apr 19, 2010 9:29 pm

'98 ProFlex 5500c under construction
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