pedal_powertap_p1_rear

Already the leader in hub based power meters, PowerTap is ready to take a pull at the front of the power market once again. To get there the Wisconsin based company is simultaneously launching new branding, an improved website, but most importantly – two new power meter platforms. Entering their product line along side of the current hub based power meters like the G3 and GS, PowerTap is looking to cover all of the power bases with the new P1 pedal based power meter, and the C1 chain ring based unit.

Adhering to the PowerTap ethos of accuracy, simplicity, and value, the new options will make PowerTap one of the only companies to offer power measurement at 3 different positions on the bike…

pedal_powertap_p1_top pedal_powertap_p1_profile

Built around a Look Keo compatible cleat interface, the new P1 power meter is PowerTap’s answer to a “plug and play” system of measurement. The ability to simply install the pedals on any of your bikes without the need to calibrate them or account for the installation angle. Offering independent measurement for precise left/right pedal dynamics, both pedals use a AAA battery that will provide around 60+ hours of battery life.

Like the new C1 power meter below, the P1 pedals are both Bluetooth SMART and ANT+ compatible making them perfect companions for the PowerTap Joule or smart phone based training apps.Weighing in at 398g per pair; the pedals add about 118-150g per pair compared to Shimano Dura Ace, Campy Record, or Keo Classic pedals.

chainring_powertap_c1_sidechainring_powertap_c1_angle

On the crank side of things, PowerTap has decided to utilize a chainring based system for the C1 power meter. Utilizing chainrings from FSA that are built to accept the PowerTap system, the chainring/power unit bolts to 5×110 BCD cranks and will be available in multiple chainring configurations (50/36, 52/36, and 53/39). Also Bluetooth SMART and ANT+ compatible, firmware updates are carried out with OTA (over the air wireless), and the entire system runs on CR2032 batteries which should provide around 200 hours of battery life. While the chainrings are specially shaped to fit the power meter, the actual electronics are sandwiched between the crank arms and the chainrings so that worn rings can be replaced in the future. Compared to standard FSA chainrings, the system adds 288g fully loaded.

Pricing for the P1 set is estimated to run about $1,200 while the C1 complete set will run about $700.

Other news from PowerTap includes the new G3 Disc hub which sees a dramatic 180g weight reduction over the previous model (now 350g). Available in 24 and 28 straight pull versions, the hub is compatible with 142×12 or 135mm QR. The 6 pawl freehub design is offered in Shimano/SRAM or XD, and the hub requires a proprietary disc rotor that is available in 160mm. Also compatible with Bluetooth SMART and ANT+, the hub is a perfect complement to the PowerTap Joule GPS+ which adds Bluetooth SMART connectivity as well.

powertap.com

24 COMMENTS

  1. Pedal strike.

    Also hard to tell if those chainrings are replaceable and if so how much the replacements cost. I also wonder how flexy it is considering how the chainring is no longer directly attached to the original crank spider, but a secondary spider that bolts onto the original spider.

  2. They need a direct mount option for MTB or a pedal option for MTB! I suppose 4iii and stages are looking better and better!

  3. The chainrings are replaceable. You just have to use the specially made FSA chainrings. If you switch to a different model chainring, say from 52-36 to 50-36, you need to send your power meter back for recalibration.

  4. @Myke I think it’d have to be chainring based. Size/Thickness is too critical for MTB pedals and MTB pedals are generally thinner than road pedals. A direct mount chainring+powermeter for SRAM or Cinch cranks would be super sweet though.

  5. No 4 bolt road option is rough, plus not being able to swap chainrings easily. The data quality is surely better than a Stages but only enough to matter for a smallish portion of users – especially the users at that price point. Pedals look like possible hot stuff, but reduced cornering clearance will have to be well reviewed before I’d put any money on them. Crits are already sketchy enough.

  6. I like the direction the C1 system is going, but I noticed the absence of a cyclocross gearing (something like 48/36 or 46/36). Seems that the crossers would benefit most from a chainring power measurement system because they often have more wheel sets than roadies or MTB riders which prevents them from using a hub-based system.

  7. Interesting model, they claim elsewhere they still believe the hub is the best place to measure power (it probably isn’t) so this is adding products, not an improvement in power measurement or advancing technology. Does this mean they don’t actually think the hub can compete with the newer pedal and crank systems coming to market. At some point somebody will put the rings and pedals on one of the crank systems and get three different numbers. Four if they run a hub at the same time! Then what? If Powertap devices don’t all read the same their credibility gets a knock. Will be interesting to see how competing with themselves as well as the other alternatives works for them.

  8. The point isn’t to compete against themselves. It’s to create more options for people who like the Power Tap brand and supporting a USA based company. If anything, it will help push technology further as competitors will be gunning to come out with the next best option. That’s how most tech based industries work.

    Anyone training with power will know that you use the numbers based off of a singular power unit against itself. That’s how you can truly measure if your performance has increased. Most units will be within a close enough measurement range that even if you say have a power tap on one bike and pedals on another, you will know what your power output should be and you can accommodate for if you know pedals are 10 watts off from the hub, etc.

    Honestly, it doesn’t make sense to run a hub based power meter as well as pedals and a crank (on the same bike). They will give you similar or close readings, but each unit will have it’s own range of accuracy and the strain gauges will be measuring different torque points on the bike.

    Nothing is more frustrating than the guy who walks into the shop with a power tap hub, vector pedals, and then he’s using a power based trainer. The complaint is that the numbers don’t match on each platform. They are different products and each have their own range of accuracy.

    Personally I’m still a fan of the hub based power meter. It’s out of the way and less likely to get damaged in a crash situation, but to each their own. I’m still glad to see that there are new products coming out that will ultimately give customers better options.

  9. @Rye. that’s bollocks. accuracy is accuracy. The guy with the hub/pedals/trainer is right to expect the numbers to be the same. How does he train and improve if they are different? Which one is his true ftp? which one will tell him if he’s redlining on a climb?
    What you are saying is that it doesn’t matter what numbers any device is showing. I know that nobody will actually ride with multiple devices but they make claims of accuracy. So is it or isn’t it? Does it measure accurately the power input of the rider? If it does then all devices of the same accuracy will show the same. I can assure you coaches with multiple athletes, teams and even anybody wanting to take part in power pissing competitions on Strava need true accuracy and repeatable data. If Powertap offer multiple devices and claim they measure power input accurately regardless of how and where they do this measurement the numbers should be the same.

  10. Tyler: I asked PowerTap this exact question last fall because I am sick and tired of waiting around for an option for my disc CX bike (that I use also as a road racing bike in summer). The short answer was: “not soon”, owing to clearance / tolerance issues of having to fit stuff into the hub shell. Also even their 160mm hub uses a proprietary rotor, which sucks; I’d rather use my centerline rotors, thanks.

    The chainring solution is one that I’d want, but the having to send back to the factory for recalibration is a showstopper. I’m already swapping from 46/36 in CX season to 50/34 in road season.

    What I really want is a crank or spider based option that broadcasts ANT+ and Bluetooth LE/Smart, and can be used on carbon cranks (because I don’t want to ditch my very nice S-Works crank just to install a Stages). Quarq doesn’t broadcast Bluetooth LE, which IMO means it’s not future-proof against upcoming apps for smartphones, wearables, etc…, SRM is mad expensive and no one else has the configuration I want.

    I recognize I’m a minority use case here, but this is why I once again won’t be buying another power meter this year until all of these questions are worked out.

  11. @ alvis, Rye et al

    Accuracy isn’t accuracy, in the same way that statistics need to be interpreted. Power output, speed etc. can be perfectly accurate for a single instance but that is not how we read that info on the screen. This is most obvious with cadence as a metric. Depending on what lag time is set, the algorithm used and the sample rate, you’d get different spikes if you over laid data from a bunch of computers you’re running at the same time, particularly at the points where one would coast/ suddenly start pedaling again. We can’t read the computer in nano seconds, we have to smooth it out to make the data functional. It would be different if we were sending guided missiles, but we’re not!

    These have been used in comparison to hubs, SRM , stages (at the same time) and the data published; they show promise. Especially as they work with carbon cranks and cost $700!

    Surprised no-one jumped on the ‘what, no 130BCD for the serious athlete ? ‘ 😉

  12. @alvis: Even if the three power meters from PowerTap are perfectly accurate and have equal precision, they will not read the same because they are each measuring power at a different point in the drivetrain. Once you throw in the other factors that cause power readings to vary–individual differences in strain gauges, differences in otherwise identical cranks, and etc–expecting identical results from multiple power meters is foolish. All of those uncertainties and differences add up to the uncertainty in the measurement that a given company claims for a given power meter.

    What a rider should expect from a power meter is good accuracy and excellent precision.

  13. thanks Tyler, that’s worth a look. I’d still much rather find an elegant, integrated crank solution since my primary CX bike now serves as my road bike / road racer, too, and I already have 3 wheelsets for it.

    The chainring based system from PT was exciting, but I need to be able to swap rings without sending it back to the factory.

COMMENT HERE: (For best results, log in through Wordpress or your social media account. Anonymous/fake email comments may be unapproved or deleted. ALL first-time commenter's posts are held for moderation. Check our Comment Policy for full details.)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.