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Team ZWatt offering power meter cranks under $200 as long as you’ll be their guinea pig

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If power meter prices are in a race to the bottom, Team ZWatt might have just won. Fortunately, the feature set isn’t taking the same trajectory, and with this new offering you get continued updates so they keep improving with use.

The catch? You need to transmit your ride data once a month through their app and stay connected with a very small monthly fee. They have two options, a left-side crank-arm based unit to fit Shimano cranks, or a spider-based meter attached to a FSA crankset. They’re already well on their way to being fully funded, and a stretch goal could yield a carbon mountain bike option, too…

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The Zimanox model puts the strain gauge and transmitter on a Shimano-compatible arm (shown at top) and can be had for as little as $189 (€170). The Zpider (shown above) packs the hardware into the spider and mounts them to an FSA Gossamer BB386EVO crankset but uses Shimano’s asymmetric 4-bolt BCD, so you’ll need to run Shimano chainrings. This one’s $299 (€270) and bumps the feature set a little by measuring both right and left legs. See chart below for details. Both are initially only coming in 172.5 arm lengths.

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This one’s the carbon mountain bike stretch goal and measures torque in the spindle, presumably similar to how Rotor’s InPower system works. It shows one manner of charging the system, the other being a magnetic plug that helps keep the system completely enclosed and waterproof.

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The product has been in development for quite some time, during which they’ve tested against the Garmin Vector. The power data is shown for both above on a sample ride.

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Data is transmitted with both BLE (Bluetooth) and ANT+, so it should work with virtually any cycling computer or smart phone app. Speaking of apps, they’ve tested it with Strava, TrainerRoad, Zwift, Kinomap, Sufferfest and many other popular ones.

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Now, about that catch. In exchange for getting the low introductory price, they want your ride data to help them refine and update the software. It’ll also be used to develop new features like pedaling style coaching, surface roughness measurements, air time, etc. And as a “subscriber”, you’ll be able to vote particular development goals up or down, helping ensure you get what you want out of the equipment over time. If ordered during the Kickstarter campaign, the monthly fee is just $4.95 (€4.46), for a maximum of two years. After two years, you’ll get all future updates for free forever.

Ready to be part of the first-ever crowd source power meter program? Check their Kickstarter campaign here.

TeamZWatt.com

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xxx
xxx
6 years ago

so its 200 USD + 120USD ie 320USD power meter
still a good price, but its hard to say how good without testing it of course.. and once you’re testing it, you’re already paying the 320USD total (over 2y)

Somehow i’d rather pay more right away (say 400+ for a stages) and know exactly what im getting

The Zwatter
The Zwatter
6 years ago
Reply to  xxx

Hey xxx,

The power meters are performing as good as other ones on the market today. The testing part is to make them even better, or if possible, the best on the market.

DC Rainmaker tested one of our PMs and wrote an article about it. If you’d like to see how it performed: http://www.dcrainmaker.com/2016/08/hands-on-team-zwatt-launches-subscription-based-power-meter.html

Cheers,
Team Zwatt

Collin
Collin
6 years ago

I got on the Zwatt email list and I wanted to participate for their beta stuff, but the $5/month thing seams pretty dumb to me/praying on the get now/pay later crowd. It is cheaper but not by much compared to a stages and being one of the first to run stages, version 1.0 is never a success (everyone who had one from the first batch at my LBS had to return/replace there PM shortly after delivery. Several even had it come off.)

The Zwatter
The Zwatter
6 years ago
Reply to  Collin

Hey Collin,

We chose the subscription model so we can offer the power meters at a lower initial price and to cover some future costs (such as upgrading the firmware). We’ve been successful so far in creating accurate power meters (you can see how they perform in DC Rainmaker’s blog post about us) and they perform (at least) as good as alternatives on the market today.

I hope you change your mind though!

Cheers,
Team Zwatt

Crash Bandicoot
Crash Bandicoot
6 years ago

$318 not bad, I’ll give it a go just for kicks in my TT bike but considering you can get a 4iiii 105 crank arm for $350 that’ll work on everything Shimano I’m not sure it’s really that great of a deal

The Zwatter
The Zwatter
6 years ago

Hi Crash Bandicoot,

Ah, yes, but we offer an additional service where we improve the firmware of the power meter based on crowd-sourced data from hundreds or (we hope) even thousands of cyclists. And the updates also continue well after each cyclists has fulfilled his testing duties :).

Plus a variety of other features.

Cheers,
Team Zwatt.

Robin
Robin
6 years ago

I’d suggest people read DCRainmaker’s initial review of one of the Zwatt offerings and how the Zwatt power meter’s data compared to two other power meters he used.

JBikes
JBikes
6 years ago

“zwatt”
I’ll say it. That just rolls off the tongue, right? Sadly it sounds very similar to another word.

myke2241
myke2241
6 years ago

Haha, beta testers should have free access. But if you’re hurting for a PM…..

xc-fr
xc-fr
6 years ago

the zspider for race face next sl cinch (mtb) 2×11 please 🙂
i would sikp my cycleops then.

it’s a pity that it’s not for mtb’s from the beginning.

alvis.
alvis.
6 years ago

So we have a crap power meter that we’d like you to pay to improve. Good deal. Testing against another power meter is not testing just proof they are both as inaccurate as each other. Junk science junk engineering.

The Zwatter
The Zwatter
6 years ago
Reply to  alvis.

Hey Alvis,

It’s fair enough if you don’t believe in using power meters or their accuracy. However, the science behind them is solid. One of our power meters was tested by DC Rainmaker against the PowerTap G3 and PowerTap P1 and the performance was close to identical. There are cyclists out there who use power meters and get a lot out of the experience – in terms of training and results.

Cheers,
Team Zwatt

Lost Kiwi
Lost Kiwi
6 years ago

I am quite interested in the MTB version, but hesitant to back as there is zero information about it. Zwatter you may want to give some basic details, spider interface, approx weight, material, crank arm length, pledge commitment if the stretch goal is meet. I would also think that applying the fully waterproof magnet charging system to the crank which is most likely to see water and mud would make a lot of sense.

The Zwatter
The Zwatter
6 years ago
Reply to  Lost Kiwi

Hey Lost Kiwi,

More info on the MTB version will come when enough people will show interest. This is because a version of the Zpindle is already in pre-production for a big brand. But go to our KS and show your interest, the pledge is quite cheap – at least 35 DKK / ~$5 / ~5EUR.

Here’s a little more info from our KS:

“Most of the testing so far has been on variations of the ZPINDLE power meter. This has been tested over more than 2 years in various configurations with different types of crank sets mostly on MTB where the challenges are tougher. As part of B2B customer tests, several crank set manufacturers engineering groups have tested various solutions as well.”

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