watteam powerbeat powermeter for carbon crankarms

Powerbeat, the stick-on powermeter that retails for just $499 and measures individual left and right side output, is finally shipping. Watteam tells us the first batch has left their factory and is en route to round one pre-orders.

Along with the news, they sent this image of the unit installed on a carbon crank arm. When they first announced the product in summer 2014, it also showed use on carbon cranks. But, as things developed, it scaled back to say the first generation units would be for alloy cranks only. Now, they’ve ALMOST switched back, stating that modern SRAM and FSA cranks will indeed be able to show accurate results…

UPDATE: See clarification on carbon crank compatibility below.

watteam-powerbeat-stick-on-alloy-crankarm-power-meter01

Last year, they upgraded the design and switched to a rechargeable battery to make things smaller and more user friendly. That switch ended up delaying the original shipment when they found a fault from a battery supplier, but that was remedied quickly and now they’re headed for customers.

The design adheres a strain gauge to the arm, which feeds data to a transmitter affixed to the pedal’s spindle. The transmitter also houses the battery, so you simply unplug the strain gauge and plug in the charger, all without removing any parts from the bike. The entire system is meant to be user installed following their app’s guide.

watteam-powerbeat-stick-on-crankarm-power-meter02

As for carbon crank compatibility, here’s what Watteam’s Omri Zerach had to say:

“If you have a modern FSA cranks (SLK or K force) or SRAM crank (Red or Force), you’re welcome to use the device with them. You’ll need to download the App and just choose the crank manufacturer and model you’ll be using.

“By modern carbon crank arms I mean 2012 models and newer. The POWERBEAT will be offered for sale also to owners of older versions of these four cranks. However, while the output will remain consistent and repeatable, the accuracy might in some cases not be as high as the market’s standard. A cyclist wishing to keep his older arms, however, will still gain a valuable training tool that will allow him to compare and track his own efforts and measure his fitness over time, thanks to the consistency the device shows.”

UPDATE: Omri replied to clarify that carbon crank compatibility is in testing now with an announcement expected in a few weeks. The quote above was intended for us here at Bikerumor when testing our own review unit, not the general public, so both Watteam and us apologize for any confusion. So, for now, best to stick with alloy cranks unit the official announcement and final testing results are made public.

watteam-powerbeat-stick-on-crankarm-power-meter01

Interested? If you’ve got hollow alloy cranks from FSA, Rotor, Shimano or Cannondale, go for it. Or, fudge the selection on their website to use it on carbon cranks…until they update the site and the app to accommodate them and provide proper setup.

Watteam.com

22 COMMENTS

  1. I am always drawn in by these articles about new power meters until invariably the price, “ONLY $499!” Woah! So inexpensive! Wait, no. That’s still a huge amount of money for a completely optional thing.

    • pretty much
      250 usd would start to see large adoption. and dont forget that you need a phone or some bike computer that cost about as much …

      • Actually, polar used to have one that used chain frequency based power meter 5-10 years ago. Adoption rate was slow, but it was sold. Like all other polar stuff, it was only compatible with their computers.

        As for handlebars, theres a new wind based one that you bolt to your bars. DC rainmaker reviewed it and it actually got “somewhat” okay numbers. Better than I expected but had issues. The other issue is its not compatible with riding inside, where riding with a PM is the most useful.

      • without sounding like a smart arse it would depend on which colony. One for the record “metre” is a unit of distance whereas “meter” is something you measure something with.

        Actual I’m sounding exactly like a smart arse or is that “ass” 🙂

      • Power2Max has two Campy power meters: a four arm for $1490, and one for the traditional Campy fitment at $1290.

        What’s unintelligent about using Campagnolo cranks?

  2. I assume it was a joke but shouldnt it theoretically be possible to measure power from seat and handlebars (only together). Every reaction has an equal and opposite etc

  3. Great news that it’s finally shipping. I for sure won’t be an early adopter for a new power meter, but Powerbeat might be an option later this year.

  4. It’s always amusing to see the comments about price, no body interested in true accuracy or performance?

    Nobody question how this stick on device can do what a power2 max/srm/powertap etc does at such low levels of technology. All the guys at those companies must be complete idiots compared to the Watt team folks.

    You can learn to play a toy $50 guitar but Fender will still sell $5000 versions for reason. With power meters it’s the same, you can get toy and I agree$499 is a lot for a toy or real training device where $1500 bucks is money well invested but you gotta know what to do with it.

    If you’re judging by price you don’t what you’re doing.

    • “Nobody question how this stick on device can do what a power2 max/srm/powertap” it works with a strain gauge, and yes they do “stick-on “. The reason this is cheaper is that Watteam’s solution does not involve buying a new crank arm or cracnk from Shimano9FSA, SRAM, Campy).

      • apple to apples here guys. strain gauges are applied with very deliberate, specific and tedious process which involves (1), prep surface (2) pre-treat gauge (3) placement of gauge (4) secure gauge by pressure/clamp setting (5) heat epoxy/adhesive applied (6) oven curing (7) slow temp curing and (8) eventually wiring the guage to the circuit. This is far from pealing a sticker and putting them on your existing cranks. as @alvis stated, there are reasons for the increase in price when you look across the market from manufacturers. Some companies are better and more experienced with producing power meters that utilize strain gauges. …to that point, why should/would someone buy a $4000 titanium handmade frame when you can get the “same” product mass produced by a factory in Taiwan for $700?

        • Thanks Chris, spot on. But also you only measure the strain in the material the gauge is stuck to. This will be different in every material equating to a different load and perceived power in every material in the stack. Youngs Modulus is key

  5. hopefully much better as stages where you get what you paid for.

    i like to see that the market grows and i’m sure, that we get competitive powermeters for that price at some time. perhaps from powerbeat, who knows.

    unfortunately not suitable for mtb in this configuration.

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