One of the most exciting launches of the show season was this product – the ergomo. The following is the basic product description and specification and this is a version of their own press release. However, If it lives up to their claims it sounds like a massive leap forward in power measuring devices. Hopefully we’ll have one to test soon.
About ergomo and SG Sensortechnik GmbH & Co. KG
It all started in 1997: Siegfried Gerlitzki, a busy graduate engineer and enthusiastic cyclist, wanted to continue to improve his cycling performance. He delved intensively into training planning, talks with sports physicians – and discovers that the most important measurement parameter is missing: the (pedaling) force of the cyclist, as measured in watts. Starting with the knowledge that the shaft distorts slightly during pedaling (due to the torsion effect), Siegfried constructs an ingenious optical-electrical system that measures force and thus performance with great precision. Partnering with his friend, software developer and very successful coach, Hunter Allen, ergomo advances to become the “secret weapon” of ambitious cyclists.
In 2005 Siegfried partners with Matthias A. Gärtner, investor and serial entrepreneur and the company, SG Sensortechnik GmbH & Co. KG, is now jointly owned by Siegfried and Matthias. The system is completely revamped and its performance substantially improved. One of the obvious advantages it has is it needs no special crankset or rear wheel needed.
More and more cyclists (road & MTB) and triathletes are starting to use power meters (which deliver real-time watt readings) in their training and during competition, and to satisfy the demand for a high quality, accurate, comprehensive and yet affordable system Active Sports is now launching ergomo.
ergomo is not only a power meter. It is a lot more than that. In fact, it is the first single system which provides the cyclist with all the important data necessary to optimize his/her performance, including:
Power in watts
ergomo, developed and manufactured in Germany, has been in development since 1997 and has for the last 5 years been used and tested by a small number of cyclists in the US and Canada. The system has undergone significant testing under all types of conditions – from road racing in packs to Ironman racing in the heat, winter training in rain and snow, to very challenging mountain bike races, such as the 200 mile race in Costa Rica “La Ruta de los Conquistatores“.
It is available for road use (“ergomo Pro”) as well as indoor spinning cycles (“ergomo Spin”). ergomo measures the current power output of the cyclist right where it is developed – in the bottom bracket. The ergomo sensor is built into the bottom bracket where it is sealed against dirt and moisture. This makes ergomo the best solution for all year riding, under all conditions. For road as well as MTB.
ergomo does not need special crankarms but uses regular ISO, ISIS or Octalink arms. This means that the cyclist can keep his/her existing crankset. For cyclists who wish to upgrade to a better crankset, ergomo is offering a carbon fibre crankset (available in compact and standard configurations), which is available as an option (170, 172.5 and 175 mm arms). The system does not need a special rear wheel. And any type of wheel can be used which is a very important consideration for cyclists who use different wheels for training, racing and time trials (disc wheels for example).
Lightweight. Compared to a bike without sensor and computer, ergomo adds only approx. 100 grams to the overall weight of the bike. The system has an original Polar chip built into the computer. It is compatible with Polar Coded Transmitters (heat rate belts) so interference with other cyclists’ heart readings is eliminated. ergomo is also compatible with other transmitters than Polar.
Although compact and light, the computer features a very large display which – on a single screen – shows all the important readings. If the cyclist needs more information it is very easy and intuitive to toggle between the various information screens.
Interval Training. A unique feature of ergomo is that you can simultaneously view the current and the average watts for each interval. That makes it easy to compare the average watts of the interval with the current performance and thus achieve optimal training results. It is possible to store up to 340 hours of training and racing data (at 30 second intervals between the readings from the sensor), or 8 hours at 1 second intervals.
It’s not that complicated, honest.
Developed in conjunction with the power training experts of Peaks Coaching Group in the US and the leading American training exercise physiologist Dr. Andrew Coggan, the computer and ergoRacer software package features new methods for evaluating training efficiency, including “Training Stress Score (TSS)”, “Normalized Power (NP)”, and “Intensity Factor (IF)”:
TSS measures your stress load during the ride – in relation to your Lactate Threshold power. This will help you understand how much “training stress” you can handle on each ride and over time.
IF is the ratio of your NP to your lactate threshold power, as defined above. Through IF you get a statement about the intensity of the effort relative to your own personal abilities. With help of the IF you can control and manage your training zones. For example you can monitor endurance fatburning as well as short and highly intense sprint intervals.
NP is the wattage you would be producing if you were pedaling steadily and applying power smoothly. Cycling is a highly “variable” sport, and many times your Average and/or Actual Power does not always tell the whole story. ?NP is calculated using a special formula that both smoothes and weights your power output to better reflect the physiological (especially metabolic) “costs” of variable-intensity efforts. While competing in a criterium, for example, your Average Power might be 200 watts, whereas the NP is 250 watts because of the frequent high intensity sprints after each corner.
The computer can be used with up to 99 different bikes. This enables riders to equip two or more bikes with ergomo sensors and still use only one computer. When updates for the computer are launched by ergomo the cyclist can obtain them via the Internet and download them into the computer. This enables the cyclist to always stay up to date with the latest feature developments. The very comprehensive software package, ergoRacer® (available for Windows), was developed in cooperation with Hunter Allen and his team from CyclingPeaks Software. The result: an analysis and training instrument for targeted performance enhancement for recreational and serious cyclists, professional cyclists, and coaches. The software makes it easy for coaches and their athletes to store, analyse and exchange training data.
Prices (recommended retail prices including VAT):
ergomo Pro complete system (for road use) £1,099
Extra Pro sensor £599
Carbon crankset (optional) £299