Elite Qubo Smart Digital B+ Calibration

IMG_5671 copy
We have some things to learn!

The Elite Qubo Smart Digital B+ has a difficult calibration process.  This could be seen as a good or bad thing depending on what you use this trainer for.  Also, some of you may not be concerned about power accuracy.  I have received those comments from viewers on my youtube channel and I understand them.  A Smart Trainer that costs near $400 would be appealing for the cyclists that just wants to fight off the Winter doldrums.  This user isn’t concerned about accuracy and only cares that they can keep up some sort of fitness over the winter.  This article is aimed at helping the user who wants to get the most out of this trainer.

Support the site and purchase your Elite Qubo Digital Smart B+ from Athleteshop.com using my affiliate link.  I will admit, the navigation takes a minute to load up.  You need to go to the website, head to cycling, then select trainers.  You can get some really good deals in Europe right now.

Want to skip all the reading?  Watch my video clip below. There is one error in my video.  I used another trainers factory P values.  My factory P1/2/3 are actually 265 watts, 259 watts, and 155 watts.  Also, don’t forget to subscribe when you are at my channel.

Overview

IMG_5669-2This trainer is calibrated differently than most trainers.  Most trainers that I have worked with use a spin down calibration to reference on an internal map.  The Elite trainers use an internal map that the user can adjust using the My E-Training App.  Getting into their App can be a bit of a pain and lengthy process and I’ll put links below that have alternative ways to calibrate.  I wasn’t pleased with how long this process took, but I do appreciate the fact that the user is in control of the power output and calibration.

The base line power curve for this trainer is posted in the image below.  You can see that it looks very similar to a standard Mag trainer’s virtual power curve.  That makes sense because this is really just a smart mag trainer.  I discuss how this smart mag function works in the Elite Digital Smart B+ Part 1 Review article and video.  Everything below the red line cannot be achieved.  That is the trainers base curve according to wheel speed.

Slide1 copy
I mapped out the base line for this trainer

The green shaded area is what the trainer can add for resistance. (The green shaded area is just a representation).  I do not have the time to validate the upper portions of this trainer. It would be really cool if the companies did that for us.  I only validate the power output at 8.5mph under slow wheel speeds and the maximum power output at high wheel speeds.  Validating additional speed points would take a lot of time.   I don’t have that kind of time right now.

Influences

There are a few considerations for influencing factors with the Elite Qubo Digital Smart B+.  The first consideration is the way you ride this trainer.  The Qubo Digital is a wheel on design much like other trainers in this price range, but the similarity ends there.  This trainer has a swing arm design.  Instead of moving the roller to the wheel, the users weight is pushed back on the roller.  This influences the power readings on this trainer.

Rollers have a similar problem (Look at the Emotion Rollers above at only 10mph).  A rider’s total weight, to include the bicycle they are riding, need to be taken into consideration when calculating virtual power curves.  For instance, a rider that is 132lb/60kg on aluminum rollers will have a different power output at 20mph than a rider who is 198lb/90kg.  This is something I have calculated and built myself.  This difference could be as much as 4o watts.  This is due primarily to increased friction the heavier rider is adding with tire contact on the roller.

This means rider weight is a consideration for this trainer.  Riders that are different in weight will get different readings from the factory map.  It is important to understand that and know that this trainer will only be accurate for a small slice of the people.  That would be the rider Elite used to build the power map for this trainer.

My E-Training App

Getting into the My E-Training App took too long.  Elite really needs to look at building a utility App that will allow users to get to work right away.  Their current App requires an account which means we have to build another username and password to remember.  The customer doesn’t need this if they just want to map their trainer.  A utility App similar to the Wahoo Fitness Utility App would be perfect.  You are in and out quickly without having to do all of this signing up.

I recommend not using the My E-Training App unless you have a power meter.  Elite states that very clearly in the setup process.  I posted those messages above.  A power meter is required to get accurate numbers.  This doesn’t mean you can’t change your power map.  You can still change your map in the App, but it is better to use the windows software.  The Windows programs that Elite has are much quicker.  This is helpful if the user doesn’t have a power meter and adjusts power numbers from feel.

Flashing With Windows

There is an alternative to using the My E-Training App.  However, you must have a Windows computer.  You can use two programs.  The first program helps get you into the speed window that the map uses.  The second program lets you change your P1, P2, and P3 numbers.  Those numbers dictate what the Elite Qubo Digital Smart B+ will display for power when you are riding Zwift, The Sufferfest Training center, or TrainerRoad.  Well, any cycling App really.

Screenshot 2017-01-12 16.04.18
This is all you need to flash your trainer on the go. It is the Real Trainer Calibration Wizard.

Elite Windows Calibration Tool FE-C Download: Helps guide you to the speed levels for P1, P2, and P3.

Elite Windows Real Trainer Calibration Wizard: Helps flash your P1, P2, and P3 on your Elite Trainer.

Understanding P1, P2, and P3

Here is how this P1, P2, and P3 basically work.  You are setting wattage values for the position of the magnets on the flywheel for a certain speed of the flywheel.  It is important to understand these P values if you are adjusting by feel using one of the many training Apps out there.  Zwift is probably the best place to go off of feel, because they simulate hills and the flats better than anyone out there.

Screenshot 2017-01-14 12.30.05
Representation of Power Map

P1 = High Climbs wattage, riding at 20kph

P2 = Mid Climbs wattage, riding at 30kph

P3 = Flat Roads wattage, riding at 40kph

In my video, I stated that my P values where 171, 186, and 155.  That was the wrong trainer I was looking at utilizing the software.  My factory P1/2/3 values for the Elite Qubo Smart Digital B+ are 265, 259, 155.  Again, this gets very confusing so you really need to pay attention to the details and which trainer you are selecting.

Changing P1/2/3

screenshot-2016-10-13-19-22-06Here is what happens when you change your P values.  Say you are riding in Zwift.   On the flats  your trainer is reporting 350 watts.  You are beating the hell out of the strongest club rider in your local group.  There comes the realization this is not an accurate wattage number for your capabilities.  You need to drop that number to something more realistic.  We must go in and change P3.  We do that by decreasing the P3 value by 30 watts or more.  The same goes for the climbs.  I would recommend changing P1 and P2 at the same time unless you really want a more precise feel.  Here is the formula below:

  1.  Decrease the P1/2/3 numbers to decrease the reporting wattage values in Zwift.
  2.  Increase the P1/2/3 numbers to increase the reporting wattage values in Zwift.

It is as simple as that really.  The difficult part is constantly going back and tweaking your numbers.  It could take up to 10 minutes each time you flash your trainer using the software.  This is why I recommend the Windows software.  It gives you access to your trainer’s map right away without having to go through the lengthy calibration process with the Elite My E-training App.

Other Uses

C1rcO7bXEAA_5m6I found one other use for this trainer.  The Elite Qubo Digital Smart B+ has the swing arm design.  This means you can fit a wide variety of wheel sizes on this trainer.  I plan on doing the Tour of Sufferlandria on February 4th and my oldest daughter always want to ride with me.  The Kids BMX BIke fits very easily.  We will change out the knobby tires on her bike with recumbent bike 16 inch tires (Maybe?).  This has the potential to work.  I’ll update this article when I do it and possibly make a how-to-video on setting it up.

Summary

This is a decent smart trainer for the price.  It takes some work to get your numbers reporting correctly.  The Power Meter will take the guess work out of your power numbers.  You can link your power meter to this trainer using power match.  Power match negates the need to do the complicated calibration.  This is why power match is a very popular capability for indoor training Apps.  Of the top three Apps right now, The Sufferfest Training Centre is the only one not running Power Match.  The Sufferfest Training Centre will have power match in 2017.

Stay tuned as I take this trainer through the gauntlet and see how it sounds and performs under my testing protocols.  Will this trainer be competitive when looking at the TACX Vortex Smart?  I will follow up in the coming weeks with a head to head match up between the TACX Vortex Smart and the Elite Qubo Digital Smart B+.  Which one stands out as the better purchase for you.

Don’t forget to check out Elite Qubo Digital Smart B+ Review Part 1: The Build

Aaron Johnson

Aaron Johnson

Aaron served in the military for 20 years. Multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. He retired from the military after 20 years of service to take care of our three small children in 2013 as a Stay At Home Dad.

athletictechreview has 60 posts and counting.See all posts by athletictechreview

12 thoughts on “Elite Qubo Smart Digital B+ Calibration

  • January 29, 2017 at 5:42 am
    Permalink

    Hi,

    The strange thing is though, that when using version 1.0.10.0 of the Real_Trainer_Calibration software and the latest version of My E-Training App the standard P values are 171, 186, and 155. So my question is now what P values are the correct ones to use?

    Reply
    • January 29, 2017 at 7:04 am
      Permalink

      Hello Jordy! Yes, I need to update the article soon. I have gone back into the software and the numbers 171, 186, and 155 are also the same ones on my trainer. However, I have no idea why the program was giving those numbers when I was first messing with the calibration. This could be a problem with their software. I am thinking the program was still displaying a value from the Turbo Muin even though I was connected to the Qubo Digital Smart B+.

      Reply
      • February 2, 2017 at 3:38 pm
        Permalink

        Hi Aaron,
        Thkx for the response! I have used the standard P values 171,186 and 155 and it looks like they are giving me more actual power readings in Zwift. I weight 65kg and my length is 1.82 cm. Can you confirm that these P values are closer to reality then the other ones?

        Reply
        • February 3, 2017 at 12:03 pm
          Permalink

          Hello Jordy, that depends really. The numbers I displayed about are for a heavy rider about 80kg. I think the numbers that were set for the Qubo may be for a 60 to 65kg rider. Do you mean your power readings are too high?

          Reply
          • February 4, 2017 at 9:13 am
            Permalink

            Hi Aaron,
            No the power readings in Zwift are now a lot lower then they where before. Because i don´t know what the numbers where before using the calibration tool (they are not displayd anywhere) i hope these are now setup correctly for me.

          • February 4, 2017 at 12:16 pm
            Permalink

            If you moved the numbers up and down, and that corresponded to the drop or increase in power numbers in Zwift; you did it correctly.

  • February 18, 2017 at 5:56 am
    Permalink

    Hello Aaron, this is a most helpful article, for which thank you very much. I am a 187cm rider for 70kgs and I believe I need to adjust the values to something that corresponds to the fact that I climb nicely (for me) on Zwift, usually a steady 250watts approx, but struggle to keep pace on the flats. I attempted to flash these values through the app (don’t have ANT+ yet): P1 230, P2 225 P3 155. Having done that I checked the values and I too found that they were still stated as the original defaults. Haven’t yet ascertained what difference it will make in Zwift. That too is an issue due to the sheer number of dropouts between the Qubo and the app via Bluetooth. I suppose you were using ANT+? I have just done a ten minute FTP builder warmup as an indicator of the number of drops I’m suffering. The result: 24. This must cost me a lot of time and watts over the duration.

    Reply
    • February 18, 2017 at 8:06 am
      Permalink

      Hello Nicholas, it does cost you some watts when you have communication drops like that. If you are running bluetooth, then I would look for the cause of interference. The primary cause is the Wifi router. Bluetooth, ANT+, and the Wifi router all run at 2.4ghz. However, you Wifi router is pushing A LOT of power. This leads to jamming of the bluetooth signal. I would look to distance yourself from your Wifi router if possible. That will help clean up the communications from your device to your trainer. I also had issues flashing my Qubo. It took many attempts to get the trainer flashed. I didn’t have time to investigate why it was taking so long as I needed to move on to the next review. However, it can be difficult.

      Reply
    • March 9, 2017 at 3:50 am
      Permalink

      The P numbers that show up during calibration are default values stored in the app and they ARE NOT the current values in the resistance unit. Consequently, after you write new numbers into the unit, there is no easy way to verify they have been successfully flashed. The only way I know to check it is to ride the trainer at 40kmh (with zero resistance) and see what the virtual power is…it will be the same as the P3 value.

      Reply
  • February 24, 2017 at 4:22 pm
    Permalink

    Great article – and hopefully works for the Elite rampa too..
    I’ve just realised that my router, ios device and trainer are all within 1M of each other….I often seem to get dropouts/weird speed variation in group rides, that I don’t get in workout mode/riding alone.

    Reply
    • February 24, 2017 at 4:43 pm
      Permalink

      Yeah, that is going to cause some jamming since the Router is pushing out higher power on the same 2.4ghz frequency as your trainer and sensors.

      Reply
  • March 15, 2017 at 3:03 pm
    Permalink

    Can anyone give a p-values indication for a 72kg rider? I don’t have a powermeter so everything would be usefull. Thanks

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Translate »
%d bloggers like this: