Power meter - turbo 'warm up'

Unless I am going mad, my power on my turbo can take time to warm up - often 15-20minutes.

Basically for the same cadence in the same gear my power goes up (to the expected level). So spinning along it drifts upwards from 120 to about 150 - my easy pace.

Power meter is pedals. And elite direct drive turbo.

Anyone else get this? I thought it used to take a couple of minutes but the effect was too small to notice, but now it’s really noticeable, to the point of being annoying. Any ideas if I can do anything about it?

Time to get a new bike?



I’m wondering if it is something to do with the fluid in the direct drive changing viscosity with temperature. And if so is there something I should do about it? Elite suggest their turbos should be maintenance free

No, I’m pedals + elite Zumo. I’m almost always in Erg mode, but when I’m racing in manual Ive not seen what you describe.

Email the support address, they’re fairly responsive imo.

Are you using PML?

I’ve got a Kinetic fluid turbo & as time goes by my cadence/speed must lower to keep the same power output from my Assioma pedals.

It seems counter intuitive that as the fluid warms up the power reqd to maintain speed lowers.

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Thanks. What’s PML?

So same effect then - bizarre

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this is exactly what it is. As the fluid warms up the resistance they can offer changes. So much that I think TR advocated for before doing a WO or especially power test to get off after the Warm up and readjust the pressure on tyre (if using a wheel on trainer) and rechecking tyre pressure. Im sure there was something else to it as well to do with power match feature (matching a trainer and power meter on bike) but Ive not had a fluid trainer for a long time so cant remember what it was.

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Power Meter Link.

The trainer reads power values from the pedals, not its own internal function, so it will always give a more reliable power reading.

You can set it up with the Elite app.

I don’t think this is a fluid resistance trainer, I think it’s direct drive.

Direct drive trainers still need to be warmed up though, eg Wahoo recommend doing the rolldown calibration after riding for 10 minutes

the direct drive is fluid resistance (as I understand it). The direct drive is the connection and the fluid provides the resistance inside the turbo.

In my case I only use power from the pedals to my garmin watch, so no reading from the trainer as well unfortunately.

Thanks though.

Which elite is it? The Zumo upwards is magnetic, I’m not sure they do a direct drive with fluid.

If the pedals are ant+ the trainer can get the signal too.

Looking at the web I am an antique - you can’t buy it anymore or anything like it.

The closest is the Turno - but it has no smart features, or any ‘features’ - you just get on it and pedal.

Works for me :slight_smile:

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Time for a new turbo with the bike Jgav is planning for you :wink:

I had some luck with Tacx when I told them my secondhand fluid trainer had detonated the Dutch support guy sent me a replacement resistance unit internationally free of charge. Elite have sent me a replacement motherboard foc too.

Is it the Muin? Whilst direct drive, it was effectively the same as the old wheel on fluid trainers. Even though the “smart” versions output a power number, Zwift still see that trainer as zPower as it’s just an estimate.

I had exactly what you described on my old elite fluid wheel on trainer. I did testing on TT1.0 that demonstrated the effect when I finally got a power meter. It makes sense to me that as the fluid warms up the resistance it offers reduces. Think of honey as an example. When cold it’s almost solid and hard to move. Warm it up, and it is much more pliable and offers less resistance.

As others have said, with fluid trainers you definitely needed to have a warm up before starting a full session. And even erg based smart trainers frequently needed a warm up and spin down, as referenced above in relation to the Kickr (that’s gone with the latest v5 though). I just take power from my P2M in all cases (I have power match activated on trainerroad, zwift uses my P2M, etc). And that’s with an H3 that doesnt need a warm up / spindown apparently.


Interesting. Thanks. Yes I think it is a muin.

If ‘normal’ I will just adapt to it.

Now what’s really interesting is that as I warm up with my turbo my power numbers drift upwards for the same RPE, at the same cadence. So man and machine have truly become one :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

That’s got me thinking. I deffo get drift of power (up and down) for the same cadence. I’m on a dumb turbo, but single sided crank based PM, so i guess it’s the software making up the gaps in the data? It can drop by a good few watts at a time though.