Tuesday, August 09, 2022

Garmin Edge 1040 Solar - Power Guide

How do you like your cycling computer to tell you how hard to work on your ride or race? Power Guide does exactly that. With some setting up as guided below, your Edge1040 (Solar or non-Solar) is a secret device in your cycling mission.

This is absolutely new feature that came with the Garmin Edge 1040 Solar (and non-solar) - the like-for-like PacePro plan that is available on the FR245, Fenix6, Marq and above. The Power Guide. This feature allows owner of the Edge1040 series the ability to plan their ride and pace it through using power as a metric. Of course for this to work you need to have a power meter and you know your Functional Threshold Power (FTP). I had the opportunity to test this out in a planned weekend ride to Bentong and back. A nice route with a climb at the start and end, and flat fast section in between.

Bentong ride created and planned. Syncing to my Fenix7xSapphireSolar and the Edge1040Solar
This option appears when you click on the Power Guide, apart from being able to access it below

100km ride

Creating your first Power Guide
If you have the Edge1040, this feature will automatically appear on your route option. If you have not created a route, you can create one or use any existing route. 
See the "Create Power Guide"
The first prompt that will come up is the bike gear weight. It gives a very generic range, and you are able to enter any other weight if your bike doesn't fit into the bracket
Then the next window will auto populate all the info. I highlighted two items here - effort and also terrain type. Changing the effort level will significantly change the estimated ride time, which meant your power guide will also change accordingly. Changing terrain type will also change the Power Guide. Minor changes I noticed when you adjust your bike/gear weight, but of course if you were to bias your weight significantly, it will change as well. Other items like your FTP is auto-populated if you have the number, or there is an option to allow for adjustment where needed.
setting it up. Gravel/unpaved will change your expected time range pretty significantly
Once the data is corrected, the time changes assuming the same effort to cycle the distance.

Changed to Road and the time changes (max) from 5hours to 4hours15mins. A saving of 45mins at easiest level/worse case scenario

Further adjustment on the weight of the bike doesn't change the final time. You will now see the power guide profile, and it also populate an overall 62% FTP effort to complete the ride. Very do-able.
The power profile is now populated

Looking at the Power Guide, it seems that I will have a tougher  push at KM80 where it will be up a 10-11% grade and I know exactly where this will be - the climb up back to McD Genting Sempah and to the turnoff at the Gombak-Bentong workshop. 

Fun time ahead
Next move is basically to send the Power Guide to your Device and you are all set to go once they all sync. Just remember to sync your devices!
You can do it directly from Garmin Connect.

The two peaks is at the top of Genting Sempah
If you ever need to change anything after syncing, you can still do it separately. I've tried it to simulate the power changes and it's pretty straight forward with guided prompt.
Any chances, even last minute, can be managed.

Sync - again for any changes!

If you click on the upper right button, you will see what is being lined up for syncing
Putting Power Guide To Use In Real life
The Power Guide works really well when I placed it through the pace. As I set the guide to be neutral (aka not pushing) with expectation of ride finish between 3:15 and 4:15. I actually finished the ride from HOA to Bentong and back within 4:15, including stop time.
4:09 moving time

68% FTP average. Power Guide marked it at 62% @4:15

The info was shown on the Edge1040 and takes the guessing game out as it is displayed in a glance. You can see from the screen grab below is the guide is requesting for a 160w but I was pushing at 215W with the section split high on 201w. What this really meant is that I was pushing higher than expected. Which is ok as I am going what I could hold confidently. On longer ride, strategizing and managing the workout demand is highly recommended. 

Since using the Edge1040Solar for a numbers of outdoor rides, and creating these Power Guide even right before the ride starts (and it actually allow mid-ride adjustment depending on how you feel), I find myself not having to guess through the ride and elevation profile. Previously the ClimbPro (when it works on my older Edge1000, i believe this is device problem) was good. But with Power Guide and the Climb Pro, it takes the experience to a different level
Ijok-Tanker Hut 100km. Flat fast same FTP all the way

Ijok-Behrang 140km. Undulating, Power modulation moves between climb grades
With Port Dickson Triathlon coming up. I've also loaded the PD Tri route and has created the Power Guide. I set it to 90% of my FTP, and estimated 1hour of finishing. My best timing on this route was 1:08 in 2020 right before pandemic. The effort set was at 95% with lower FTP. I guesstimate I will finish in similar timing if all plans goes accordingly.
PD Triathlon 40km Power Guide with elevation profile. Approx 400m elevation over 40km, pretty decent fast course

90% FTP effort all the way

What Power Guide does is to help you strategize your ride in even more details. It actually break down the sections per climb and elevation grades. It provide an estimated effort you need to push to keep up. The PD Power Guide resulted in a 63 split; It is like I have a 63  sections to study. A first pass (glance) showed nothing significantly longer than 400m of climbs, with appropriate downhill which really makes PD a fast course. Highest elevation per section seems to be 25m only and typically works out to a 5-7degree climbs; significant enough if you were not prepared in your hill attacks.

The numbers below may look gibberish to many, but to data-whores like me, it is very useful to pinpoint where the potential tipping point could be. As an example a burst of 270% FTP for 30m at Split 26 circa KM 18 could be critical as it precede a 700m of flat that needed 90% FTP. If you lose momentum to ride over this small (30m) bump, you will lose speed to benefit from this flat portion, which is then followed by a fast downslope section of 400m (Split 28)

Now, what is left is to work the plan during PDTri with the Power Guide from Edge1040Solar. With proper preparation and mental clarity to trust the device guiding, I am sure I will be able to ride over this source like I did in 2020.

Hope today's sharing gives an insight into the new capability of the device. I will continue to explore and provide feedback as it comes. It's been a month plus and I've yet to charge the Edge1040Solar and I till has 39% of juice left in the device. Very decent with some time gain back due to Solar Charging. 
Power Guide, ClimbPro and Navigation all in one screen. What more does a Cyclist want?

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