Just last week, we discussed Campy powermeter patents we had uncovered. And now, we may have already spotted the result… Could this be the upcoming carbon Campagnolo Super Record power meter crankset? If so, it is so stealthy that it would be easy to miss. So stealthy in fact, that the Lotto-Soudal team didn’t really even try to hide it.
Campagnolo’s prototype Super Record power meter crankset?
Let’s start this discussion off with a question. What pro today does NOT train with a power meter? The answer is no one.
Yet, when we took a look at the new disc brake-only 2020 Lotto-Soudal Ridley Helium SLX & Noah Fast bikes of John Degenkolb, Caleb Ewan, Philippe Gilbert, Matthew Homes, Tosh van der Sande & Tim Wellens that Ridley sent us…
…there was something missing.
Only Gilbert’s bike was sporting an obvious power meter, in his case a rechargeable battery SRM spider mated to a carbon set of Campy arms.
The other three all have what looks like a standard Campy Super Record carbon crankset fitted to their bikes (along with the SR12 EPS groupset), but with a K-Edge Pro Braze-on Chain Catcher including its optional Universal Cadence Magnet that K-Edge calls “compatible with Shimano, SRM, Quark [sic] and most power meter systems requiring magnet”. But we don’t see any of those power meters on any of these bikes.
Now there are a couple of possibilities here. The least interesting & probably least likely is that Lotto-Soudal mechanics may have swapped in Campy cranks for this photoshoot to please the Italian drivetrain sponsor. But SRM does still appear to be a team sponsor after all, and the fact that there is still the SRM power meter on Gilbert’s bike would make that a strange move. Another could be that a new SRM power meter is coming soon, and those prototypes were swapped out to take these photos? The team does note using PC12 power meters & head units, which is not a current product name – perhaps mixing PC8 together with Campy 12?
Or, this might just be the new Campy power meter…
When we looked into the Campagnolo patent filing last week, it did appear that Campy intended to hide all of the electronics, including strain gauges & power source within the hollow arms of their carbon cranks (even wireless charging). So perhaps all those guts are tucked inside these cranks.
If that is the case, this would be the most cleanly integrated crankset power meter I have seen. I have ridden thousands of kilometer on the standard Super Record crankset on my own personal road bike. And if this one has a power meter inside, I can’t tell the difference.
Of course all of the photos provided by Ridley were careful not to reveal the backside of the left crank arm, or even the back of the driveside crank & spider. But this screengrab from a video of Degenkolb’s Noah Fast still doesn’t show any obvious differences.
When the team was at an early December training camp in, at least the guys in the front of the group were still riding the noticeably blocky SRM power meter.
But a few weeks later when the entire team came together for their first rides in their new 2020 team kit, it was less clear. Degenkolb on his new bike for example, has a smoother looking crankset, while still sporting the SRM PC8 head unit. It’s less clear under Ewan, next to him.
In any case, something is going on with the Lotto-Soudal team bike photos. And Campagnolo does have a bunch of new power meter patents floating around. So are these the next gen power meter, or just some team mechanics’ sleight of hand…