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.
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.
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.
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.