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PowerTap’s new hubs, Bluetooth Smart Trainers, iPad apps, and more

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Over the past five days PowerTap has released a slew of new products – some big ones, and some smaller updates. But, all definitely worth talking about. Before getting into it, as I’ve noted on a lot of recent posts involving the company, the organization over the PowerTap products is now called ‘PowerTap’, instead of CycleOps. Just an FYI in case you get all tangled up below.

The company has been making products for 15 years, and had this pretty cool display case of all their units – from the first units on the left side to the most recent prototypes at the far right corner. It’s like a museum in a box. Or rather, three museum boxes.

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New PowerTap GS Hubs:

First on the docket are new PoweTap hubs. They’ve now partnered with DT Swiss to add the PowerTap GS line. The GS line with DT Swiss is really about increasing some of the performance and durability metrics of the PowerTap brand. The ‘S’ in the name represents ‘straight pull’.

From a technical specification standpoint, here’s the quick rundown:

– DT Swiss 240 straight pull hub shell, and DT Swiss bearings
– 24-spoke rear, 20-spoke front
– Shimano/SRAM or Campy compatible
– 320 grams rear / 107 grams front
– Power accuracy of +/- 1.5%
– Field-serviceable electronics (meaning, removable cap)

Below you can see the PowerTap GS (that’s the DT Swiss one). On the left is a shell, whereas on the right is the full put together hub including all parts (an unbranded prototype):

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If you were to extract the hub out part by part you can see what it looks like from right to left – ending with the fully put together product on the left:

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Comparing the the PowerTap G3 line (left) with the PowerTap GS line (right), you’ll see that the caps are similar (and interchangeable), but the bodies differ a bit.

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It’s important to understand the G3 line isn’t going away. Nor is this replacing it. It’s simply an additional option on the table – hence why it’s called GS and not G4. An option that comes at a higher price point at $1079 (versus the $799 for the G3 these days). The GS will be available later this calendar year around the holidays.

My overall guidance for those looking at PowerTap hubs is purchase whichever hub suits your stylistic preferences. Again, the G3 isn’t being discontinued, replaced, phased out, or anything else implying any of those things. If this were a car company, PowerTap simply decided to start making SUV’s as well as trucks. Different target audiences. They’ve got the same technology in them, and the G3 is rockin’ for the price today – so you won’t go wrong with either.

New PowerTap Bluetooth Smart interchangeable hubcaps:

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(A development cap, showing the insides)

Next on the docket will be upcoming Bluetooth Smart caps for the PowerTap G3 and GS. And in fact, older PowerTap non-G3/GS units can be sent in and have the caps added via a shim process that PowerTap can do.

The Bluetooth Smart caps will be Bluetooth Smart only (thus not ANT+), but can be easily swapped back and forth between ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart.

Short of having a combo-chip like what Stages does, this is the next best thing. I wouldn’t advise anyone go out and purchase a full Bluetooth Smart-only power meter these days, as there’s simply no head units that can support it today. But having the ability to swap the cap out is pretty cool long-term and gives folks tons of flexibility.

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In many ways this is inline with what Polar and Garmin have said as well. Polar announced yesterday further details of their Bluetooth Smart pod upgrade program for their power meter, while Garmin has stated that should they eventually offer a Bluetooth Smart pod, then it’ll simply be a case of swapping out the pod (similar in function to PowerTap’s caps).

Right now the only reason you’d want Bluetooth Smart in your power meter is if you really wanted to train with your phone with power and didn’t want to use an adapter on the phone. There’s no advantage beyond that (actually, there are some disadvantages).

Of course, this begs the question of what PowerTap is planning as far as Bluetooth Smart head units go. In talking with PowerTap’s Jesse Bartholomew, he noted:

“We’re very interested in a Bluetooth Smart compatible Joule, but at the moment the technology that allows for master capability (which is needed for pairing to sensors) really isn’t commercially available. In our opinion, requiring the phone to be present for pairing or data transfer of any kind seems inadequate. Also, the data transfer rates supported by Bluetooth Smart are not sufficient for sending a complete ride file post-ride. We’re in the process of evaluating the options for overcoming these hurdles.”

Translation: The chipsets that offer dual-mode ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart master are in a bit of a pickle today. The chips that everyone has been waiting on are just now making it to the market after nearly a year delay. Other companies that are doing dual ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart master devices are either having to put two chips in the device, or having a situation where a single chip can only be used for one portion at a time (like the Motoactv).

In any case, the estimated MSRP of the PowerTap G3/GS Bluetooth Smart cap will be $129 – but that price could fluctuate in the coming months as the product is brought to market.

New PowerTap Trainers:

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In addition to Bluetooth for the PowerTap hubs, they’re also bringing out a new PowerBeam Pro Trainer with Bluetooth Smart capabilities. The new Bluetooth Smart trainers will be sold alongside the existing ANT+ PowerBeam Pro’s.

Currently the plan is to have these available in time for the upcoming North America winter season in the next 2 months or so. They will be compatible with the iPad app below natively, not requiring the ANT+ dongle. It didn’t sound like they’d be fully compatible with other KICKR apps today, as it sounds like there’s a bit of work that needs to be done on standardization between the implementation of the two device platforms in order to make that happen (for Bluetooth Smart). But longer term that’s the goal.

There’s no ‘upgrade’ path from the ANT+ version to the Bluetooth Smart version short of swapping out the entire resistance unit. However, PowerTap stressed they see little reason to swap out today, since from their perspective ANT+ PowerBeam’s would actually give you more compatibility due to the standards that are being put in place over the next month or two.

Next up, they’ve added a new unit to the lineup – the Silencer. This direct drive trainer is a fair bit quieter than the LeMond trainer that it might be compared to. However, unlike the LeMond this won’t have any method of transmitting data from it (ANT+, Bluetooth Smart, or otherwise).

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Additionally, the Silencer will allow you to adjust resistance using a small lever that you can attach to your handlebars (the LeMond is wind-driven, so you just go faster to increase resistance). The Silencer will retail for $659 without a cassette, and $729 with a cassette.

Perhaps the coolest changes are those coming to the remainder of mid-range trainers (and higher) in the lineup. They’re getting two key changes that rock. The one I’m most excited about is a resistance knob that automatically ‘snaps’ when you reach the proper pressure (tightness). The knob is built to basically make a popping sound so you can’t over tighten it. This has the bonus in that it gets your calibration value pretty consistent ride after ride – even if you don’t calibrate the unit using the software (not applicable to those units that don’t have software functionality – but ideal for things like TrainerRoad compatibility that depend on proper tightness).

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Next the units have changed out the locking/tightening mechanism on both sides. On the riders left side they’ve made a simple two-stage lock adjustment for quickly removing the unit.

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And on the right the unit has more of a lever to lock it in place. The cool part is inside that lever is a spring that helps snap it in place.

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Here’s the whole area of change:

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New iPad Trainer App (compatible with more than just CycleOps):

Last but not least they’ve got their new iPad training app. In playing with it briefly – it’s very cool and quite polished. The app is most unique in that it’s not only compatible with all of the CycleOps trainers – but also compatible with the Wahoo KICKR. Finally, it’ll actually work with any power meter and/or ANT+ speed sensor as well.

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For those CycleOps trainers that are Bluetooth Smart, you can connect the app straight from your BT4.0 compatible iPad right to the trainer without any further accessories. But for all previous ANT+ enabled trainers, you’ll need the ANT+ adapter from Wahoo Fitness. If you have one of the newest iPad’s with a Lightning port, you’ll need that adapter too – seen below with both adapters.

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The app has a few core modes today – mostly becoming a blend of desktop apps from CycleOps/PowerTap in the past. First up is the video training mode. In this mode the unit will utilize the existing online database from CycleOps of online videos. This is pulling from the same fairly large database that their CycleOps Virtual Trainer software suite pulls from today.

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As you ride, the unit will automatically progress the video forward based on your actual speed. Along the left you’ll have common metrics like power, cadence, HR, etc…

Next we’ve got the ability to ride a given route that’s been published to the site. You can search for routes or races and then the iPad software will control the resistance on the tainer unit accordingly.

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As you ride the route, it’ll also update your location on the map using Google Earth:

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Note that today they don’t have an ability yet to directly download your own/past GPS/GPX files to the iPad unless you use the fee-based desktop software first to upload them to the service. Then the iPad can download them from the service for free. It sounds like they’re working out how to make that process a bit more seamless (and free). If they can sort that out, it’d actually make for the first iPad app on the market to actually control the KICKR while riding a full GPX/GPS file (CycleOps/PowerTap, Tacx, CompuTrainer and others have had that for a while). So, it’s technically possible today, it just takes some hoops to get through.

Next we’ve got an interval/workout mode. In this mode you can go ahead and define different workout segments and target power levels. The app will walk you through the workout. You’ll notice that if you’ve got your own movie files on your iPad you can watch those from the upper left corner. I also like that you can skip intervals – something most apps don’t permit you to do.

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You can see here in the settings page how we’ve got the CycleOps IC300 trainer paired via ANT+, and can pair additional sensors as well down below (Bluetooth Smart and ANT+). The app supports creating multiple bike profiles as well, so sharing it within your household is pretty straight forward (or, amongst the N+1 ideal number of bikes you personally own).

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Upon completion of workouts, they’ll show up in the workout history page on the unit.

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Additionally, you can export out the files easily to a number of different web services out there.

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Last but not least is pricing information. The app will be $6US a month, paid via the Apple subscription model. Or, you can buy a whole year for $56US.

The cool part is they’re allowing a two-week trial of the app before paying. Though, as part of that trial they are going to limit you to only a few short online videos and other limitations, which I think is fair – and still pretty cool.

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The app will be out on the Apple store at the end of September, just around the Interbike timeframe. Additionally, they’re working on an Android version as well.

Also, the desktop app that I’ve previously reviewed will be moving to a subscription model as well, and it too now also supports the Wahoo KICKR. If you’ve got a CycleOps trainer today, or the KICKR and are trying to figure out if it’s compatible – this page here is probably one of the clearest compatibility pages I’ve seen in the sports technology industry.

Welcome to Eurobike week! This week during Eurobike I’ll be tweeting from the exhibition show floor quite a bit, as well as posting frequently. Here’s a quick and handy link to all Eurobike-related posts.

86 Comments

  1. NewClydesdale

    So is the Silencer magnetic?

    Seems like it would be tricky to get it to work with Trainer Road etc if you can vary the resistance.

    Reply
    • Jesse Bartholomew (PowerTap) replied

      Yes, the Silencer is magnetic with 5 settings.

      Reply
  2. Marco

    Love how they put you on as an endorsement to their virtual training suite.

    link to virtualtraining.cycleops.com

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      It's funny, I had forgot they asked to use that quote until just a few minutes ago when finding the link.

      No worries - any company is free to use any quote from my posts (review or otherwise). After all, I published it. I don't ever provide "private quotes" for companies, nor ever get paid. Simply put, if anyone wants to requote anything I've posted, I'm cool with that (and most companies, like CycleOps, do ask first).

      Reply
  3. Chris

    I am scarring myself since I may actually be looking forward to indoor training. So excited to see all the players popping up in this market and sharing their apps with different hardware. Makes dropping some cash on a kickr easier.

    Reply
  4. Marco

    Is there an option to calibrate the trainer from the App? Noticed that the desktop version will no longer be free but have to pay monthly subscription to get the virtual routes (10$/month).

    Reply
    • Jesse Bartholomew (PowerTap) replied

      Calibration is supported in the tablet app.

      Virtual Training was never free but we did bundle it in select trainer and indoor cycle packages.

      Reply
    • Important explanation, we will put it on the websites too:

      You are able to use Desktop version for free and YOU ARE ABLE TO CREATE VIRTUAL ROUTES FOR FREE. You have to pay subscription for indoor training only - it means when you want to connect your trainer and go ride.

      So, you can pay tablet version only and use desktop for import of GPX, TCX, FITfiles and creating of routes. These routes you will upload on VirtualTraining portal and you can download it into tablet... for free.

      Reply
    • Malcolm replied

      Do Jesse and Petr explanations below mean the following:
      a) in order to ride a virtual route on either the desk top or the PC, you must be connected to the internet EVERY time you ride? You can not merely download the video and other data once and then do the same ride at a later time? High bandwidth costs (not applicable in the USA perhaps) means I would rather only download a few videos once and then reuse them. This appeared possible previously but not with the new business model/setup. Is that correct?
      b) and following on from the above, if I were to purchase a Powerbeam Pro trainer which comes with the VT software, but NOT with a Joule GPS head unit which allows me to control the unit, my understanding now is that I am not sure there is much I can do with the system? I can't control its resistance without a PC but I would need a subscription to do that? I have been considering this trainer precisely because I would be able to use it without a head unit and control it from the PC for no additional cost... Am I correct in my interpretation?
      c) If one only has the trainer, not head unit, no internet connection (but I do have a PC and the ANT dongle) what can I and can I not do? Its not clear to me...

      Sorry for a host of questions - I have been tracking the Cycleops Powerbeam trainer for a while and had settled on it as my number one choice. I am hoping it still is the ideal choice but I am concerned it may not be. Perhaps you can allay my (and other potential readers) concerns.

      Reply
  5. Logan Roy

    Dos the PowerTap GS hub also have the same internals as the DT 240's?

    Reply
    • Jesse Bartholomew (PowerTap) replied

      Yes it does.

      Reply
    • Logan Roy replied

      Will these be offered with centerlock or 6 bolt disc brake mounts, as well as a mountIn bike version

      Reply
    • Jesse Bartholomew replied

      We're working on it but it's not as easy as it may look due to our electronics cap being right where the disc bolts would be.

      Reply
  6. Tim

    Does adding the "end cap" to an older (non-G3) hub -- say a Pro hub from 2010 -- essentially swap all of the electronics out? i.e. would I then need the G3 cap wrench and use CR2032 batteries instead of the old dual-battery approach?

    Any idea (estimate) on what that service costs? (for ANT+ swap, or the new BT swap). I thought I'd seen people state that PT could swap a non-G3 to G3 in the past for ~$350, but I never tried to confirm.

    Reply
    • Jesse Bartholomew (PowerTap) replied

      There options for this, yes. Best to give us a ring to discuss details.

      Reply
  7. Ben

    Hi Ray, interesting stuff. You say: "I wouldn’t advice anyone go out and purchase a full Bluetooth Smart-only power meter these days, as there’s simply no head units that can support it today." But isn't the RFLKT a head unit that can be used?

    Reply
    • Tim replied

      Only with an iPhone acting as translator... (right?)

      So for people training and racing with their power meter it may not be so good to require them to carry their phone with them during all events -- including racing where it may even be technically against the rules.

      Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      The RFLKT doesn't actually receive BLE, it routes through the phone.

      Reply
    • Ben replied

      Ok, that's right, for racing I can understand, as a cycling amateur (doing the occasional winter triathlon - frozen water ;-) ) I didn't think about that.

      Reply
  8. Eli

    Why would they go BLE only when adding BLE to the devices? Would seem like supporting both would be a much better route to take

    Reply
    • Jesse Bartholomew (PowerTap) replied

      Good question- we're working on a dual mode version but it will take much longer to rearrange the electronics to fit. As is, we could swap the ant radio in the hub for a Bluetooth 4.0 one.

      Reply
    • Eli replied

      Waiting on the dual mode chipset to release so you don't need as many chips?

      I have an Elite+ hub hooked up to an Edge 810 now so have a feeling I'll be Ant+ for awhile. Don't see just adding BLE for a large sum of money as BLE is just a nice to have to link to my cell phone. (well once I upgrade from the GS II) Its more a future proof thing. Why bet on Ant+ or BLE when you can do both?

      Will the new hub have user replaceable bearings? I heard the pre-g3 hubs didn't have user replaceable bearings as doing that would damage the torque tube, but don't know about the g3 or this new hub.

      Reply
    • Jesse Bartholomew (PowerTap) replied

      It's literally a physical space constraint. We're not purposefully delaying anything. We're simply doing what we can when we can. Any device that broadcasts ant and ble do so with two separate radios. We simply do not have room in the cap for this approach without taking time to redesign which we are in the process of doing. For those that really want ble connections to their phone (they're out there) the new cap is an option.

      We don't like bearings to be replaced in the field more for the sake of the bearing than anything else.

      Reply
  9. Tim

    I know I may be reaching but, would could the Bluetooth be put in an older wired PowerTap? Even pay an exchange fee would be good. I also have a Power Cal and love the ease to use. Used it in a duathlon this weekend, worked great. Thanks

    Reply
    • Jesse Bartholomew (PowerTap) replied

      Yes but you'll need to give us a call for specifics.

      Reply
  10. Wawan Setiawan

    Alright!!! Virtual training is finally supporting Kickr now. Got to check it out.

    Reply
  11. Chris

    Great update on some exciting new options!

    "The GS line with DT Swiss is really about increasing some of the performance and durability metrics of the PowerTap brand." What are the main differences between the G3 and the GS?

    Thanks,

    Reply
  12. Jase

    How much better is the DT Swiss hub on the new GS compared to the G3 Hub?
    Wondering what the overall performance comparison could be...

    Reply
    • Jesse Bartholomew (PowerTap) replied

      Besides a better wheel build (stiffer) the hardware durability of the GS hub will be better. Currently the G3 will last 3 years before bearing and free hub body service is needed, the GS will extend that to 5+ years of trouble free use.

      Reply
    • Eli replied

      Shouldn't that service interval be more milage or time on bike based rather then time based? (or maybe battery change interval) My powertap Elite+ hub is almost 4 years old now and has ~10,600 miles done in ~767 hours (I'm slow) but I know someone who does ~15,000 miles in one year so would seem like his hub would wear faster then mine.

      Does that servicing have to be done by Powertap? If so shouldn't the current price of that service be known? (Thinking it could make the GS hub cheaper in the long run)

      Reply
    • We prefer "years" vs. miles. Intuitively you would think higher miles = more issues and that certainly be the case but our experience is that counting years vs. miles takes into account time sitting in a basement or garage unused. This can be harder on any bike or bike part that high mileage. I know this is debateable and we have various ways of looking at this internally but since our warranty is expressed in years our expected lifespan is communicated the same way. Regarding costs, it really depends on what needs service and why.....(in warranty or not etc., availability of replacement parts, major platform changes, desired upgrades.....)

      Reply
  13. Jeremy

    The PowerTap app really looks nice. There does seem to be a lot of polish, like you said. However, maybe it's just me, but the fact that the KICKR is shown as "KICKER" on the app is slightly bugging me. :P

    Reply
  14. Charlie Revell

    Any ideas if that new tensioning system for the Turbo's will be available aftermarket? The one on my is not great a the moment! Jet Fluid Pro seems to be lots or no resistance when setting it up (or maybe im just not good at it!)

    Reply
    • Let me get back to you on this one.....need to double check a couple dimensions etc. The bracket on the trainers with the new clutch knob have the resistance unit bracket positioned a little differently since they also now accommodate 29er's.

      Reply
    • Ok got an answer sooner than I expected for a Friday afternoon! Yes, the new clutch knob will be available as an accessory sometime in the next few weeks.

      Reply
    • Charlie Revell replied

      That was quick, fantastic stuff. I will keep my eye out for it leading into the turbo season then! Thank you.

      Reply
    • Brian Landers replied

      Would the aftermarket clutch knob work on a late-2012 Powerbeam Pro? Probably the only thing I (strongly) dislike about my PBP is the tension system.

      Reply
  15. RoadRunner

    Ray, is it your sense that the problems with BTLE standards and chips explain the delays with Polar/Look, or is it that Polar are dragging the chain? I guess you will be able to hit them up for sure at interbike, but they must know the delay is costing them big time.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Absolutely. It's not just CycleOps/PowerTap - it's everybody. You may have wondered why there have been virtually no new devices on the market since last fall that feature both ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart. This is the reason. It was supposed to come out last summer/fall, and now it's just hitting the market.

      The chipsets that they (and everyone else) have been waiting for have literally been delayed one month after another - with continued promises of "three months from now". It's slowing a number of folks in the industry from releasing products. The only alternative is dual chip (not ideal for a lot of reasons, battery inclusive).

      The challenge is even if the chipsets just hit the market now, now that finally allows the companies to begin work on integrating them. So it's not an instant thing.

      Reply
    • Just for clarity and total transparency here are the hurdles CycleOps and PowerTap (and probably others) have with Bluetooth 4.0 or Bluetooth Smart as it is marketed: (this is an over simplification but might be interesting to some of you). Keep in mind it is our firm belief that these are all just initial growing pains and it will all get sorted very quickly but it does have a bearing on what we're seeing or not seeing in the market:

      1- Unlike ANT+ Bluetooth operates with a "master" and "slave" relationship. For simplicity let's assume that *usually* means sensors are slaves and head units or phones are masters. Masters and slaves require developers to use different technology (hardware and firmware). The slave solutions have been available for quite some time so you see lots of Bluetooth Smart sensors out there including the PowerCal and our speed/cadence sensors. Master solutions are NOT commercially available that is why you don't see any head units that are Bluetooth Smart compatible. 2 categories of exceptions here- the iPhone 4s or newer and the latest iPads kicked things into high gear but Apple being Apple created their own Master solution which anybody with Apples development budget can do. The main chip-set supplier recently made hardware available which got everybody's hopes up but they didn't release the software stack so nobody can do anything with them yet. That means nobody has even started developing, let alone building or testing.

      2- The second hurdle which is really far less challenging than the first is related to how to get both ANT and Bluetooth Smart in all devices, which seems to be the best approach at the moment. There are som business decisions that need to be made when contemplating this one but basically there are two options everybody is faced with- wait for a as of yet available dual-mode chip with one radio that can simultaneously broadcast ANT and Bluetooth (this is actually pretty cool) or take a "brute force" approach and use two radios which has the downside Ray identified with battery consumption being the major one but there are also cost constraints and physical packaging (this approach takes up more space but in the big picture it's really not that much unless you didn't plan on doing this which is where we are at with the G3 and GS caps- possible but takes a little time and honestly we've yet to decide if we should make this invasive change now or just wait for the much more elegant single radio solution).

      3- One of the major surprises regarding Bluetooth smart and something not many are discussing is the woefully inadequate data transfer rates supported. There has been some rumors this might be addressed and solutions seem possible but nothing concrete or confirmed as of yet. This puts another big challenge in front of master devices or head units that are trying to do it all and be ultra flexible etc. This is why we're seeing Bluetooth 3.0 (this the old Bluetooth we all know and have used knowingly or not) and wi-fi being used again on head units.

      Hopefully this doesn't come off as a rant but I felt the issue needed a little more explaining.

      Reply
    • Jose M replied

      @Jesse Bartholomew

      I guess you're talking exclusively to Nordic? Texas Instruments has had Bluetooth Smart Master mode in their CC2540/1 chipsets and software stack for a long long time - well over a year.

      Reply
    • We use Ti and Nordic.

      The Ti solution you mention doesn't support all the bike related characteristics. (power).

      Reply
  16. Brian

    Any thought from Cycleops now that they are going to charge for use of the Virtual Training program whether they will support Google Street View like other virtual trainers in addition to their normal Google Earth? I for one got my software with the Powerbeam. I am looking forward to further enhancements of the software even though now i will have to pay a yearly fee.

    Reply
    • We've looked into it but for now it seems to choppy (the resolution at street view level doesn't seem good enough).

      Reply
  17. thru-axle? sram xx1? I do not see updates on the hub for mtb sram 11 speed and thru-axle...

    Reply
  18. Kriss

    As a user that bought a powerbeam pro with the bundled virtual training .... will that suite continue to get "free" upgrades, etc... Or at some point will I be forced over into the subscription model?

    Reply
  19. Steve

    Regarding the Silencer
    Has anybody seen/have noise comparison data between the Silencer and the Lemond Revolution?
    Does anybody know what the weight of the Lemond Revolution flywheel is?

    Reply
    • I can tell you the noise comparison between the Silencer and the LeMond are not even close although it isn't really a fair fight with the LeMond being a wind based resistance and the Silencer being magnetic.

      Inertia (largely driven by flywheel weight) is comparable between the two.

      Reply
  20. Eli

    Are bearing replacements something that Powertap must do? As in when the bearings wear out will following instructions like: link to amplewritings.blogspot.com
    cause the accuracy of the powertap to be invalid?

    Reply
    • We really prefer that we perform bearing replacements. There isn't anything related to the power measurement specifically that can become an issue during the bearing replacement (unless your bearing replacement methods involve a hammer) but there are some unique aspects the PowerTap design such as a magnet orientation on the axle that can make things tricky. The new PowerTap GS is even trickier as you need to remove the pawl ring in order to get at one of the bearings, this is standard on all DT Swiss hubs but the fact that that pawl ring tightens into our torque tube assembly is another reason to leave it up to us. On top of all that, we re-calibrate every system that gets serviced by us and provide other nice touches like truing the wheel and making sure batteries are fresh and firmware is up to date.

      Reply
  21. I just got my powertap back from its upgrade from PRO+ to G3 internals. The turn around time was so fast and Powertap is easy to talk with. They basically replaced everything but the hub shell. Im happy. :)

    Reply
    • Jesse Bartholomew (PowerTap) replied

      Glad we could help! We truly do pride ourselves on customer service and have a pretty amazing team. It's not always easy but it's top of mind every day we come into the office.....

      Reply
  22. @Jesse Bartholomew - will it be possible to install the new aftermarket clutch knob on a late-2012 Powerbeam Pro? I've had all kinds of trouble with the tension system on mine.

    Thanks!

    Reply
  23. Jon Sharpe

    That GS hub looks great. Would love to get one of those built into my Shimano rear wheel but its a 20 spoke. Will the GS be 24 spoke only? Any plans to produce a 20 spoke version?

    Reply
  24. IronNico

    Hello,

    I just tried to pair my Kickr and the Virtual Training Desktop (Demo) but it looks like my ANT+ USB stick I received with my Garmin 910XT can't pair with the Kickr... Therefore, I can't try out the virtual course =(

    Any idea on how to fix this ?

    Thanks,
    Nico

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Is your KICKR's firmware up to date (via iPhone/iPad)?

      Reply
    • IronNico replied

      Yep, I've just done it via my gf's iPhone 4S... Is it supposed to pair via the Garmin ANT Agent ? Or another sw ?

      Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      No, not via ANT Agent, via the CycleOps software. If ANT Agent is running, it'll generally block the CycleOps software. So exit out the ANT Agent and give it another whirl.

      Reply
    • IronNico replied

      I still get the same message: "You have connected older version of ANT+ USB Stick. This version is not compatible with program. For continue you have to connect any ANT+ USB stick in version 2"

      Might it be because I use the demo version ?

      Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Ahh, looks like you somehow have a really old ANT+ USB stick. Strange, I thought those were all gone by time the 910XT's came out. Unfortunately, you'll need to pickup one of the newer ANT+ USB sticks.

      (Though, the CycleOps guys can correct me here if it should be working with ANTUSB1, though most apps don't.)

      Reply
    • As Ray indicated you do need a USB 2 version of the stick but alternatively, if you have a WIndows 8 PC with integrated Bluetooth Smart you could also try that. You can also get a Bluetooth Smart USB stick and connect that way.

      Reply
  25. Eli

    There are 3 versions of the USB stick, 1, 2, and the new tiny one. Sounds like the software doesn't support version 1 and you'll need a newer stick. (Not sure why as the only change I know about is support 8 Ant+ channels over 4 and don't see why you'd need more then 4) You would think they would mention that issue on their web site but they don't: link to virtualtraining.cycleops.com

    Reply
    • Eli replied

      I was wrong. ANTUSB2 added:
       Background scanning
       Continuous scanning mode
       High density node support
       Improved channel search
       Channel ID management
       Improved transmission power control
       Frequency agility
       Proximity acquisition

      If you want detail about the technical differences: link to thisisant.com

      ANTUSB2 came out in mid 2010

      Reply
    • Version 2 of the stick is significantly better which is why the Virtual Training App. is only compatible with it or newer sticks like the tiny little one which we are now offering. Sorry for not calling that out more on the site.

      Reply
    • we'm going to add this information on website. Thanks for feedback!

      Reply
  26. FuelForThought

    When will the Powertap GS be released? I want one.

    Reply
  27. Jonathon

    Hi,

    I've just one some question regarding:
    THE SILENCER DIRECT DRIVE MAG TRAINER.

    I'm someone who uses a lot of resistance when indoor training to emulate hard uphills and exhaust my muscles for sprints in training. To what degree does resistance occur in this product? If I were to set it to maximum resistance with the resistance controller will it be likely that I will struggle (Which I'm hoping for!)

    Reply
    • The Silencer can sustain about 700 watts. Keep in mind many other trainers report a max wattage but it isn't sustainable, it's a peak which will take into account acceleration.

      Reply
  28. F. Austin

    I'm interested in purchasing a Power Beam Pro Ant+ and I currently have a Garmin 800 head unit and am happy with it. Does the Joule GPS offer any control funtion of the Power Beam on the bike while mid workout (change wattage during intervals for example), is there another reason to purchase a Joule unit along with the trainer?

    Reply
    • Yes, you can control the PowerBeam's resistance via the Joule GPS quite easily via an additional dashboard during workouts.

      The other cool feature the Joule GPS offers is the ability to do a ride outdoors and then simply convert that to a trainer workout. This is done right on the device and doesn't require a download etc.

      Reply
  29. Matt Dreyfuss

    Ray, any word on when the GS is going to be released?

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Not sure. But, I know that the Bluetooth caps started shipping a few weeks ago. Maybe Jesse can clarify on the GS units.

      Reply
    • Matt Waite (PowerTap) replied

      We are looking at a March 2014 launch for the PowerTap GS.

      Reply
  30. Mark G

    Is there any way to control the PowerBeam’s resistance other than via the Joule GPS or PC? maybe my Samsung GS3 Android phone with ANT+ stick?

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      You can use TrainerRoad, Kinomap, or Virtual Training apps. Kinomap works on iPad. And I think Virtual Training is now on Android too.

      I'm not aware of any other Android apps.

      Reply
    • Petr replied

      VirtualTraining works on both iPad or Android.

      Reply
  31. Chris

    Are there any ipad apps that show interactive videos that change according to speed, using an ant+ adapter? I don't need nor want it to change resistance on the trainer (don't have a compatible trainer). I have the garmin speed/cadence sensor and just want to use an ipad as a video. Similar to Outside Interactives runner app.

    Reply
  32. More a comment for Jesse.

    The more and more I read about Vectors I'm starting to lean back towards PowerTap.
    I currently have a Track version built into my Velocity training wheels (track bike) as I race on a Zipp Disk and an old SL+ into my road wheels. I'm looking to build a new bike with Enve 3.4's so the GS model look like a good choice. My question (as I noted you can convert old hubs to new caps) - if possible would be great as then I can use the same head unit (thinking Garmin 1000) and get rid of all the wires and yellow CPU's off the other two bikes. Your thoughts please and the all important 'costs ??' AND do I need to send everything back to the States or can somebody do it here in Australia.

    I look forward to your response and any advice / help

    Tim ........

    Reply
    • Matt Waite replied

      Hi Tim,

      THanks for the support! We can upgrade your wired hubs to ANT+. We have a service center in Australia. Please contact Monza for costs and shipping details.

      Monza Imports
      74 Alfred St
      North Melbourne VIC 3051
      Australia
      Tel +61 03 8327 8080
      Fax +61 03 9328 1080
      bicyclesales@monzaimports.com.au

      Reply
  33. KS Biohazard

    I had my Pro wired hub upgraded to ANT+ this past few weeks. I got it back on Saturday and it works like a charm. Aaron at Saris was great to work with. I love it, no wires and works great.

    Reply

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