limits power meter solo

Training with power has traditionally been the exclusive realm of the well-supported or well-off athlete due to equipment costs and gear limitations. While costs of equipment have been coming down as power meter companies have recognized a greater market in less-resourced amateurs, the technology remains prohibitively expensive to many and continues to be limited by component integration.

LIMITS was designed to address the challenges of existing power meters by remaining non-integrated into existing components, being compact and inexpensive ($249 on the Indiegogo), and by being easy to install onto any bike with pedals. It almost sounds too good to be true.

Meet the power meter to rule them all after the jump…

Rather than integrating into an existing component system, which can be limited to certain disciplines depending on the component, LIMITS is a completely independent unit. Riders simply install the LIMITS unit between their pedal and crank arm, sync it up… and that’s it (there is a dummy LIMITS unit for the drive side). No need to build a wheel or install a new crank set.

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The unit is waterproof and shock resistant. It also measures cadence via inclinometer (so additional magnets are unnecessary) and compensates for temperature in readings from strain gauges inside the unit. It is compatible with both Bluetooth and ANT+ readers. While it appears that installing LIMITS increases your Q-Factor 15-20mm, that really seems to be the only effect on performance- and that seems like a small price to pay to not be limited in training by wheel set, crank type, or pedals.

Available in black or silver, LIMITS power meters start at $249 for the Indiegogo campaign, though the early bird offer will get you in at $190. You have just over a month left to pledge, and finished products should be shipped in December. For more information, check out LIMITS on Indiegogo.

 

43 COMMENTS

  1. If they really wanted to ‘own’ the market (provided the product works as advertised), they should make the retail price the same as the initial offer price, about $250. You could outfit 3-4 bikes for the price of one typical competitors unit. They would win the internet…

  2. they say that it is JUST ANT+, which is fine for this price. They actually make it sound like the wider Q-Factor is a good thing. Riiiight. The biggest thing is that I don’t think this will only work with pedals that have external slots to use with the 15mm pedal wrench. That means no higher end Shimano, Look, etc pedals that can only be installed with an internal 6/8mm hex.

    I have a hard time believing that a company nobody has ever heard of can make a product that is smaller, cheaper, and better than every big name out there in the power game.

  3. Absolutely none of this is a good idea, so let’s ask people to give us money to make a business of it!

    Ignoring the horrible Q factor, the fact that pedals will inevitably seize on it, and the absurdity of developing a product like this from scratch through crowd funding, I can’t wait to see one snap in two when someone gets on it.

    It’s hard to believe anyone who rides a bike will think the Q factor isn’t a big deal. They make 10mm pedal extenders, try them out and educate yourself.

  4. Glad to see my initial reactions reflected here. Holy Q factor! I still think 4iiii precision will be hard to beat in this price range.

  5. No 1/2″ option. Dang. I was hopeful someone was finally recognizing the growing need for a power solution on one-piece-crank cruiser bikes. I really need to know how much power I am using on the way to the bar.

  6. It isn’t possible to provide a hole for removal of hex wrenched pedals. The hex used to remove the power meter it self looks to be 6mm, so you’d not be able to get anything bigger than 4mm to fit inside the 6mm and actually spin.

    Additionally, if you try to remove a snug Shimano pedal with a 6mm wrench, you’ll shear the wrench. It’s pretty startling. So that’s something else this… thing has got going for it.

  7. Obviously q factor is a big issue. Maybe short custom spindles for speedplays could make this work and keep normal q factor.

  8. As soon as I saw the meter, I knew there would be lots of whining about Q-factors. Get a fat bike people! Adding 15mm to a Q-factor ain’t nothing.

    And it would keep your shoes from rubbing the anodizing off of your cranks. Bonus!

  9. Have they addressed the issue of extra strain being placed on the crankarm by making it a longer lever? I know that there have been a number of (good) cranks that have snapped close to where the pedals attached, I think that this would just make it more likely.

  10. Cool start… But yeah – Qfactor LIMITS this product so much. Why doesn’t someone make a crank boot style power meter that slides over the end of the crankarm?

  11. Cool idea. Just license it to pedal manufacturers and they can build it into the pedal. Q factor problem solved. Personally, I don’t get real worked up about Q factor. My mountain bike has a wider Q factor than my road bike. I don’t notice any difference.

  12. Q factor, much like crank length is a non-issue for most, and as far as pedal strike, Garmin and Polar and any crank based strain gauge, for that matter, are at risk. At $200, the crash replacement is likely to be real fair. I venture to guess that in the future, more non-racers will want power, and will be ess concerned about clipping a crit corner. I see the price dropping in all makers of powermeters in 5,4,3…
    Star Stevenson MSPT
    Physical therapist, 4:22 mile run, Cat 3 road, in cycling crazy Sonoma County.

  13. Neat. These companies better sell what they can, while they can.

    Shimano will put out an integrated power crank and that will be it (its already been spotted). Retrofits? Sure, but in the end, the Shimano and SRAM (and maybe Campy…carbon???) will rule the market. The existing companies can try to undercut, or just be the suppliers. Shimano can ensure volume and slip it into the existing profit margins of their Di2 group.

  14. I’m a little skeptical that this product will hit the market, so i’ll hold onto my money until it hits retail. As for the Q-factor, I think it’s not going to be a problem for most people. I inadvertently bought the wider Q SRAM XX1 cranks on my MTB and I didn’t notice a difference at all.

  15. Well Quarq is SRAM and it’s good but not cheap (I’ve been on a Quarq for three years). Lowering the price is clutch. I want all my bikes to have power.

  16. Where are you guys getting this “most people” metric lol? As far as I know, 90% of people interested in training with power either race or want to race. 15-20mm more q-factor is huge to us! I’m not talking about fat biking or recreational cycling, I’m talking about people who put in 15+ hours a week and have their fit dialed to the point that if something is off by a whisker it will cause issues. And I won’t even address cornering and pedal strike. Let me guess the replies “just don’t corner so hard”, yeah ok.

  17. Indiegogo flexible funding, for a product where no independent third party has validated the prototypes? Good luck with that.

  18. Battery type and location? Not much room between spindle and outer case. Antennae and Ant+ RF transmission through metal case?

  19. @Rico
    You don’t think anybody ever puts in 15+ hours a week on their fat bike? Or MTB? I ride 15+ hours a week quite often, and don’t even ride a road bike with their narrow Q-factor. My Q-factor changes daily depending on what bike I take out.

  20. Not every rider needs a narrow Q-Factor. That is prevailing logic dictated by marketing and PMs who need to streamline production. Sure it works for some (5’3″ pro roadies) – but if you are tall have turned out, large feet, wider is better for your knees in a lot of cases. Pedal strikes – really? The body / brain has an amazing ability to adjust to subtle changes after time…unless your technique is poor of course. Cheers to these guys for making something regular people can afford. It’s really funny how folks get so “attached” to bike industry buzz words…

  21. @Rico: Did you really just criticize others for saying “most people” then throw out a made up metric (90%)? Oh the irony.

    And regarding pedal strike, toss the Garmin pods on a bike and see how far you have to lean the bike before they hit the ground. If you can lean your bike that far into a corner…well, you can’t, not without being in the process of crashing.

    All of that said, I’m sticking to Stages.

  22. Many of you have brought up Q Factor as the primary issue. However most people Pronate (which is to pedal with there heel in) which typically causes you to strike your heel on the derailleur or chain stay. The way to address this is to move your cleat in and your foot out (which is already done for you with this system). However for those that do not Pronate the Q factor can be adjusted at the cleat by moving the cleat out and the foot in. There will be some that this system does not work for but most can be accommodated.

    Regarding the compatibility with certain pedals. The claimed hole in the unit will never be big enough to accommodate the 8mm hex on the back of most high end pedals. That being said, when considering the current pedal power based offerings, this still offers a significant advantage which is pedal options. Granted not all pedals will work but now you can run your Time’s, Speedplay’s, Shimano’s and MTB or Road where as right now your only pedal based power systems are KEO cleated.

    The only real concerns I have at this point is impact resistance. The reason impact is a concern is the high leverage the part has to overcome. The pedal is not threading into the crank. The part the pedal is threading into is separate from the outer body which threads into the crank. Since there is no sold connection other than a bonding agent and since the pedal is moved further away from the crank (which increase the leverage over the interface) there a greater chance for failure at the connecting point. The other concern I have is the pedal is more inclined to strike the ground in a corner due to the pre-mentioned.

  23. @Star Stevenson MSPT Physical therapist, 4:22 mile run, Cat 3 road, in cycling crazy Sonoma County – So some people with certain physiological conditions needs pedal extenders. How is that relevant?

    Waiting for stupid answer in 3,2,1..

  24. @ProFittingSolutions: “However most people Pronate (which is to pedal with there heel in)”

    I don’t think “pronate” means what you think it means.

    I also don’t think “there” means what you think it means.

  25. Hahah you guys got so mad. So now the argument in favor of this thing has switched from “most people” don’t need to “some people” don’t need a narrow Q factor. Sweet thinkin bros. Also when did I bring up garmin? Uhhh.

    Kay guys, quit changing the focus away from what you know I am trying to say, and admit that this is a stupid location for a power meter. Either that or market it to people with wide stance who need pedal extensions, or mountain bikers or whatever fat bike concoction is up next year.

    How can you trust a company with a claim like this – “LIMITS allows the cyclist to ride with a stance width that is comfortable and so allows the knee to track on the most vertically linear path as possible, it stands to reason that this action will put power directly down through the pedal.”

    Let’s see the testing! haha

  26. The problem with moving you cleats out (shoes in) is that if you contact the large circumference of the meter, it will make power readings very inaccurate. And it will scuff up your pretty shoes.

  27. Q factor aside, if you take a look at their proposed timeline it looks to me like they are figuring on product launch in about a year or less. How is that possible? Given the time it’s taken other very well funded, very knowledgeable companies to roll out consumer ready power meters, I’m just not sure this is going to happen. R&D aside, they need logistics, suppliers, not to mention the integrated Q/A processes that are embedded in every one of those steps and take months to sort out. I’m probably wrong here, but their projection seems really really optimistic.

  28. Wow, all of you people complaining about Q factor, come on… You could have a custom made set of pedal spindles that are shorter, and still have a cheap and universally useable power meter. Q factor, no problem. Big picture! If I were the developer of this excellent concept, phase II of my business plan would be shorter pedal spindles for all major brands.

  29. The terms “Q-factor” and “tread width” are not interchangeable. Q-factor refers to the distance between the cranks, whereas tread width is the distance between pedal centres. Surely anyone who actually knew what they were talking about would have come across this distinction!

  30. I think that a lot of people are now interested in power because of smart trainers. I never knew anything about my wattage until just a couple of months ago. I have never raced, but I am a serious recreational rider. My training since getting back on the bike 10 years ago while in my mid-40’s and now being in my mid-50’s was to ride farther and harder. Now, when the winter is over, I’m going to want to know my power numbers on my “real” rides. I am interested in something simple and inexpensive and within 5% accuracy would also be fine as long as it is consistent. In my 20’s I laid my bike down and pedaled hard around curves! In my 50’s….not so much! If there was something available in the 100 to 200 dollar range that was fairly accurate, I would go for it.

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