Hammerhead Karoo: performance link up with Xert

Hammerhead links up with Xert

You probably know that Hammerhead is having a great deal of success with their Karoo 2 bike head unit, which may well give the Garmin Edge 530/830 a run for its money. But you probably hadn’t even heard of Xert and are bemused that Hammerhead chose it to be one of its first 5 partner integrations.

What is Xert?

I use Xert every week to check on aspects of my performance and progress. It’s a great tool that takes a different and, I would argue, more correct view of power. It works on either cycling power or running power but not (yet) both together on the same account although HR based efforts of any sport can be taken into account. So, if you’re a triathlete, like me, it doesn’t fully work but it’s very interesting nevertheless and when you have a running injury it switches to fully-correct cycling awesomeness 😉

Xert still gives you your FTP if you want it but it prefers to work on its proprietary MPA metric – Maximum Power Available. On any given day at any given instant in time, MPA has already factored in fatigue, recovery and the usage of your limited anaerobic energy reserves. One way of thinking of it is that your FTP will be different tomorrow because of the fatigue of today’s workout. Similarly, on your 6th interval, it will effectively be lower than your first interval. So, the clever maths shows you things like how your FTP trends daily and highlights your breakthrough efforts in the workout. For the Garmin environment, there are training plans and executable smart-Xert workouts as well as  STRAVA segment pacing tools that adjust the target power output if, for example, you do those first 15 seconds too hard. Things like that.

Anyway, Hammerhead syncs your ride data to Xert and I don’t know if any of the fancy plan/workout stuff is planned to be later implemented on the Hammerhead android environment (I suggested that to Xert ages ago). Xert is a paid-for service and if you are a triathlete then you might want to give it a miss until the two/three sports are modelled together (they are working on it).

Hammerhead Karoo 2

Hammerhead’s Integration Partners

Hammerhead is very good at route capturing as a whole offering and, I would argue, they also have the key links already well in place with their hook-ups with STRAVA, Komoot and RwGPS.

Similarly pulling structured workouts from TP probably covers the most performance cyclists following a plan (Todays Plan and Final Surge are smaller).

When it comes to syncing completed workouts then, I guess, those 5 are a great start; especially STRAVA, RwGPS and TP.

Other Hammerhead News

If you want a Karoo 2 then it’s still a case of getting your name on the waiting list (probably for a March delivery). That said, there are still firmware updates coming thick and fast and today’s include these

  • Interactive post-ride map summary
  • Improved functionality to stop an incorrect end-of-ride accidental deletion (I thought this was already near-impossible to do?)
  • LR power balance data fields added (although there’s a good chance your PM reports the wrong LR info)
  • Reduced Garmin Varia radar bleeping (Yay! I asked for that a month ago, thank you)
  • Button-only navigation #HandyWithGloves


I produced a detailed Hammerhead Karoo Review for the gen 1 unit and the new one is pretty much the same (smaller with a beeper). I’ve been using Karoo 2 for several months and will refresh that review periodically.

More: Here from Hammerhead

More: Here from Xert (Baron Biosys)

Note: For the technically minded, Xert’s MPA i similar to the W’ (W’ Bal) concept in the standard FTP modelling.


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