I have to admit I was greatly disappointed when I first picked up the first power meter by Shimano as it had Bluetooth however was only enabled for firmware updates. This meant I had to go through the hassle of using an external ANT+ dongle on my computer whenever I was doing my workouts on TrainerRoad or Zwift. This also meant I was unable to use the mobile apps for my power meter, as I am huge fan of TrainerRoad and their mobile app as I have been subscribing to their training programs for months now.
Well to to my surprise as I updated my Shimano Dura-Ace FC R9100-P Power Meter Hollowtech II Crankset
(yes the name is a mouthful) to the latest firmware 4.1.7 I found that it now broadcasts on Bluetooth® LE (Formerly known as Bluetooth Smart). This is fantastic for me and I do reckon for everyone else out there as this means we are now able to pair our smartphones, bike computers and computers using Bluetooth to record data.
So what does this mean to me and perhaps other weekend worriers out there. Well for starters it means we can now enjoy a bit more ease when it comes to training indoors using out mobile phones; personally I will just run TrainerRoad on my phone and have my bike on the Elite Direto ( Perhaps one the most value for money Smart Trainers in the market) while I watch Netflix on the TV. This eases matters for me as I no longer need to drag the trainer to my computer for every workout.
As for every athlete out there using a Suunto Sport watch this will be a whiff of fresh air as the Shimano R9100-P will now finally be an option on the list of power meters to purchase. The Suunto Ambit 2 was perhaps the last device made by the company to use ANT+ connectivity, as of 2015 Suunto completely dropped the use of ANT+ on all their devices.
I did a test yesterday to check the stability of the Bluetooth and I have to say I’m pleased with the results. I paired my Elite Direto and Shimano Dura Ace R9100-P Power Meter to my mobile phone (Running Android OS). Launched Trainerroad and had a fantastic workout. It was very straightforward without any issues.
If you have yet to update the firmware of your power meter then all you need to do is download the Shimano E-Tube Project for your respective device. There is a separate app if you wish to run it from a Tablet. The app is available on the Google Play Store as well as the Apple App Store.
I hope this article would be of help to my fellow cyclist out there. Do comment and let me know how your experience with the Shimano Power Meter has been.