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PowerPod In-Depth Review

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Back this past fall the PowerPod power meter was introduced on Kickstarter and funded within a few days.  It started shipping a few months later, within a week or two of their planned date (a rarity these days) in late November, and I’ve been testing it out on numerous bikes since then.

The PowerPod comes from the folks behind the iBike, though, they see the PowerPod as a new brand/product identity.  With the Velocomp iBike, it was a full head unit, versus this is just the power portion that can connect to other ANT+ head units (and soon Bluetooth Smart too).  This makes it far more appealing to the legions of Garmin, Polar, and Suunto fans (among many other brands) that want to use their own head units.

Of course, anytime a new power meter comes onto the market at a low price – it’ll attract all sorts of attention, mostly around accuracy (deservedly so).  The PowerPod gets a bit more attention due to the nature of the device measuring power differently.  Unlike a Quarq, SRM, or PowerTap (and many more brands), the PowerPod doesn’t measure power with strain gauges.  Instead, it uses wind measurement and accelerometers to determine power.  As such, some have argued it shouldn’t be called a ‘power meter’, but I think that’s basically just trying to be elitist.  At the end of the day, the term is ‘power meter’, not ‘strain gauge power meter’.  I don’t particularly care how it gets the job done, as long as it’s accurate.  It can use tiny gerbils with magic wands and helmets on their heads for all I care.

Of course, accuracy is the most important thing.  And if it’s not accurate 100% of the time, then it needs to be predictable as to what situations it’s not accurate in.  Just like other power meters have known conditions that are challenging (be it rider, environmental, or otherwise).

So that’s what I set out to do – figure out if this sub-$300 device works, and if so – how well does it work.  Let’s begin.

(Oh, and for those curious, I did indeed pay for my own PowerPod, as a backer of the original Kickstarter campaign.)

Components:

In my case, I didn’t quite get a full branded box.  Rather I got a non-branded box.  No worries, it’s all the same minus the outside paper shell.

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Inside you’ll see what are essentially five components: PowerPod itself, micro-USB charging cable, hex-wrench, mount, and thumb screw for mount.  It says ‘Limited Edition’ simply because it was one of the Kickstarter units.  Aside from the red printing on the front, there’s no difference to units bought outside of Kickstarter.  It just makes Kickstarter people feel warm and fuzzy inside.

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The mount is a standard GoPro mounting adapter.  This is awesome because it allows you to use any GoPro compatible mount that you find.  Just be aware that you want sturdiness in your mount.  So don’t go all willy-nilly with a plastic mount since it’ll flex.

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You’ve got two screw options when you tighten the PowerPod to the mount.  One is to use the standard GoPro thumb screw, or, you can use the hex wrench with a non-thumb screw.  Both when properly used will get it more than tight enough, but the thumb screw is better if you plan to move the unit around a bit (or take it off quickly).

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Note though that you really want the unit to stay in the same position for each bike, and part of that is the flat edge seen on the two GoPro prongs.  This helps ensure it’s flat on flat, versus the more standard rounded edges of the GoPro prongs.

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The PowerPod charges with a standard micro-USB charging cable – just like every cell phone on earth except the iPhone.  You can plug it into any USB port on earth as well.  It’s all about earthliness here.

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As for the PowerPod itself, you’ve got a single button and a single light.  The bigger of the two white dots is the button, whereas the smaller dot is the LED light.  This allows you to change modes to pairing, calibration and power it on/off.

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But the most important thing here is the front wind port.  This is where the magic happens.  Or rather, where wind goes in to make magic happen.

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This port takes in the incoming airstream and measures it, it then compares it against your speed from the ANT+ speed sensor and is able to determine power output.  It also contains an incline sensor, accelerometer, and barometer.  This allows it to determine pressure changes as well as elevation changes.  Further, with the PowerStroke enabled it can use the sensor information to measure the barely visible shifting/tilting of each pedal stroke as you ride.

Note that while some have had issues with past Velocomp products and rain getting into the wind port, I haven’t seen that be an issue here (and I’ve definitely had rain rides).  The PowerPod folks say this is because they changed the inlet port on the PowerPod to be a bit ‘uphill’, so that rain doesn’t collect there versus the perfectly flat port in the past.

Installation and Configuration:

First thing up is getting the unit mounted to your bike.  It includes the mounting hardware for this, which is basically just a standard GoPro mount.  Simply use the two hex screws and a wrench to secure it on.  Be sure though that you place it somewhere that cabling won’t get in the way.  You don’t want wind being blocked by cables that move around.

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Next, you’ll need to ensure you’ve got a speed sensor (or a combo speed/cadence sensor).  For now, that sensor must transmit over ANT+.

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With the hardware physically installed, you’ll begin by pairing the PowerPod to the speed (or combo speed/cadence) sensor.  Note that you’ll want to avoid other riders with a sensor during this pairing process, so you don’t get your wires mixed up.  To start pairing, simply hold down the button (bigger white thing) for about 4-5 seconds.  It’ll then blink as it finds the sensor.

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Once it’s found the sensor it’ll illuminate and be ready for a brief calibration ride.  For the calibration ride you just need to go out and ride 5 minutes.  Ideally this would be without numerous stops or wonky terrain (i.e. cobbles).  Though they say that a stoplight/sign here and there won’t kill you (and it’s true, it seems mostly fine).  But I’ve had the best calibration results when it’s just clean open road.

Before you begin riding though, you’ll want to pair the unit to your head unit of choice (via ANT+).  In my case, I’m using a Garmin Edge, but you can use anything that can show an ANT+ power meter.  Simply go into the pairing menu and search for a new power meter.

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It’ll find the unit, and you can name it as you see fit.  Ignore the calibration button – it won’t do anything here for you (and PowerPod simply throws away the request from the Edge).

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Instead, to calibrate we’ll head out for that ride.  Now what’s cool here is that as you ride the percentage complete of the calibration ride shows on your head unit.  So for that 5 minutes you won’t get your actual power value, but rather you’ll get the % complete (0 to 100).  So a few seconds in it might show a value of ‘3’, meaning, 3% complete.  It’s kinda brilliant.

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Once it hits 100%, it’ll immediately switch over to showing your actual power output.  And with that, you’re done.

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It used to be with the older iBike products that you had to do an out and back course, but that’s all gone.  Just ride and be done.

Note that for data recording purposes I’d recommend doing the calibration ride before starting (recording) on your Garmin, so you don’t have a weird incline mountain graph thing at the start of your ride.

With calibration complete – we’re ready to start using it day in and day out.

Basic Usage:

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When it comes to using the PowerPod, most people will use it with a head unit to display power (since the unit has no display).  However, you can technically use it without a head unit, as it records all rides internally for later download (see software section later).

We already paired up the unit in the previous section via ANT+ to my Edge bike computer.  But it’ll work with any ANT+ head unit (Garmin, CycleOps, Mio, Wahoo, Recon Jet, older Suunto watches, and numerous others).  Soon, they’ll also be releasing (likely April) the dual ANT+/Bluetooth Smart version, which will then work with Bluetooth Smart watches and head units (i.e. those from Polar, Wahoo, and newer watches from Suunto).  Note though that the Bluetooth Smart version will require an ANT+ speed sensor.  However, many Bluetooth Smart speed sensors these days are dual ANT+/Bluetooth Smart anyway, so that’s likely not a blocker for most.

You can name the sensor anything you’d like.  In this case, I’ve just named mine to keep it simple.

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After the calibration sequence, power will display on the unit in wattage, based on the data fields you’ve selected.

However, one notable thing is that by default PowerPod has what’s called ‘Dynamic Power Smoothing’ enabled, which means that they automatically smooth power numbers when in steady state riding – but then dynamically increase when you get to a sprint.  While this works well, I’m not a fan of it because I like my power data ‘untouched’ when it hits my head unit.

After all, all major head units have smoothing options on them already (i.e. 3-second, 10-second, 30-second).  And these options don’t ‘impact’ the recorded data.  I get why PowerPod has this feature (a holdover from the iBike days when they were their own head unit too).  But for me personally, I just want a clean data stream.  If you want, you can easily disable it using the Isaac software:

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Note that the PowerPod does not transmit or display cadence or speed values.  Those will come from either your GPS (speed) or existing sensors (cadence).  It just sends total power.  Also, it will not send left/right power either.  I wouldn’t expect it to, but just clarifying that to minimize questions on it.

From a basics standpoint, it’s pretty straightforward – it displays power as you go along like any other power meter over ANT+.  Here’s a video I shot during a ride demonstrating the basics of this.  In this case, Dynamic Power Smoothing was enabled:

Note that you do need to be aware of the wind port up front.  It’s important that doesn’t get blocked by cabling (brakes/shifting), or anything else (a basket, handlebar streamers, action cam, etc…).  I’ll show you in the accuracy section what happens if it does.

When it comes to power & charging, the unit will automatically power off after 20 minutes of inactivity, so it’ll save power.  To turn it back on you’ll just tap the little button on it.  The light will illuminate and you’re good to go.

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Remember that because it depends on your speed sensor – if that’s missing, misaligned, or otherwise dorked up/dead, then the PowerPod won’t work.  This is notable if your magnet gets slightly out of alignment and misses every few revolutions, as the numbers will impact power readings (significantly).  If you were to have a mental troubleshooting step, the first one would almost always be to validate the speed sensor is happy.

The easiest way to do so is lift your rear wheel off the ground and spin it.  Validate on your head unit (paired to the speed sensor) that the speed value is present, and is ‘clean’.  By ‘clean’, I mean that it increases and decreases in speed smoothly, and doesn’t show any drops/jumps (indicating a missed magnet pickup).

For most people though, that sort of thing really only happens when you do maintenance on your bike, or travel with it.  Or, if your bike falls over/crashes, gets extensive mud on it, etc…  So it’s not something you really need to worry about day to day.

If you want to switch the unit between bikes you can do so.  It supports four bike profiles, which allow you to pair to four different bike speed sensors.  So you’ll want to have one speed sensor per bike, as this is how it knows which bike it’s on. You can validate/check these settings in the Isaac app, for example if you setup a new bike profile you can validate the default weight assumptions – and even retroactively fix a ride.

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Note that you’ll want to be consistent in how and where you move the unit to between bikes, since positioning can affect accuracy.

Lastly – charging.  To charge it you’ll just plug in a micro-USB cable into the charging port, and it’ll illuminate a red blinking light indicating it’s charging.

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Note that I’d recommend picking up an ultra-long cable, or cable extender.  This way you can just wheel your bike near an outlet and bring the cable to it.  You can find this 3 meter (9ft) extender USB long cable on Amazon for about $6.

Plus, I find having a USB extender around the house is always useful.

Power Accuracy:

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Of course – what folks really want to know is how accurate the thing is.  After all, there’s been years of ‘complicated’ tensions with its predecessor.  Some of those complications have been mixed with the previous head unit, versus the accuracy of unit itself.  Or, they were influenced by setup and configuration aspects (which, in my opinion is still a valid complaint).

If you were to sum things up – I’d put it in the camp of: It can indeed be very accurate, but, it just takes a little more care and focus to get those results.  Not excessive focus, but focus nonetheless.

We talked earlier about calibration – so for the results below I’m focused on things after calibration.  I’ve picked four rides out below, all on road bikes (though, actually all on different road bikes).

All of my bikes have at least 2, if not 3-4 power meters on them (direct force power meters), such as Quarq, PowerTap pedals, PowerTap hubs, and various other units.  Using only a single additional power meter makes it difficult to know who is right, and who is wrong.  Yes, even the most expensive power meters out there can be wrong.  Figuring out which one and when they are wrong is the hard part.

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I’ll note that I did try it out on my triathlon/TT bike, but saw somewhat mixed results*.  The reason there is that I didn’t/don’t have a great solid/steady mount for the PowerPod.  I could place it on my aerobars, but the challenge there is that you get a bit of residual ‘bounce’/’sway’ on the aero-bars, which hoses up readings.  Additionally, hand movements in that area can easily block the wind sensor.  The company is aware of this limitation, and is working on getting a mount option for triathlon bikes.  So until that happens, I’d stick with road bikes.

*Update Apr 23rd, 2016: PowerPod now has a dedicated TT/triathlon bike mount.  See my full post on it here.

Ride 1: City & Forest Loops Ride

We’ll start out with a fairly straight forward ride.  This goes through the city out to a major park nearby, where there’s roads that are closed to traffic and only available for cyclists.  This route is useful because the city portion allows me to validate stop/go type activities, whereas the loops allows more steady-state riding.

Note for these graphs, like always, I’ve added a 30-second smoothing factor, otherwise you get this:

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So instead, it makes it more readable, like below.  Also note that the numbers you see in the upper right corner are the instant numbers at wherever my mouse is.  They are not averages.

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As you can see above, things in general seem to align quite well among the four power meters.  Actually, there were five power meters on the bike, but my graphing tool was duplicating the color for the PowerTap G3 as well, so I removed it for now.  But it mirrored the others as you’d expect from the G3.

Zooming in for a second, we’ll look at one of the sprint portions.  In this case, I’ve smoothed it to a rolling 5-second average.  As is pretty common on brief sprints, you’ll see power meters give fairly different results.  However the PowerPod tends to overestimate them in some cases I’ve seen, like you see below (the PowerPod is the top track).

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Now for this particular ride Power Smoothing was enabled, so you see a bit more ‘stability’ in the plot lines (like), especially in steady-state riding (but notice how above, it reacted instantly for the sprint).  In Ride 3 sample data, I’ll show it disabled.  Nonetheless, for below, while delayed due to the smoothing, it actually gets the plot line correct.  Note the scale, all of these units are within a fairly tight range – very normal for power meters in multiple locations on the bike.

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Here’s another random snippet from later in the ride, as I accelerate from a light, then ease up a bit, and then accelerate again.  You do see that at that mid-point it doesn’t quite nail that section, going a bit low there.

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In looking at the map for that ride, that section has some slightly rougher roads.  Nothing I’d consider massive, but notable.  This sorta speaks to some oddities I see when the road conditions change a bit.

Ride 2: Palma Majorca Mountain Ride

For this ride I did a two hour out and back section along a rather mountainous road. This route is interesting because of both the numerous climbs, but also the steep descents.  Further, the  winds (upwards of 20-30KPH) that changed direction depending on the rock faces I was up against.  As such it helped to validate how well the unit performed in wind.  For this ride I only had two power meters on, the PowerTap P1 pedals and the PowerPod – however, as you can see, they had beautiful alignment for the entire ride.

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Notice that little tidbit of mis-alignment at 1:03ish?  That’s a very brief rougher road section, where I saw the PowerPod spike a bit.

On this ride I had the Dynamic Power Smoothing enabled, so you see a bit of perceived ‘lag’ present for more steady-state increases/decreases.  But not for sprints where it follows beautifully until I start to taper off.  At which point the Dynamic Power Smoothing kicks in and shows it a bit smoother than it really was, as seen below:

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Now throughout this ride the wind position was changing, as was my position (sitting up on climbs, lower down on descents). As you can see, there was no tangible impact to accuracy in doing so.

As a side note for this windy ride, it’s actually cool in that in the Isaac software you can crack open the wind analysis panel and dive into aspects such as the wind speed it measured (versus your ground speed):

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While the menus and such within the app are kinda old-school, and desperately need a UI update – the underlying information is super cool, and there’s tons of items you can dig into beyond just wind speed.

Ride 3: Bois de Vincennes Loops

Next, another ride around through the city to Bois de Vincennes for loops.  This time I was aiming to find some other cyclists to ride with.  To begin, the overview.

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If I dive down and increase the chart sampling to 5s, you’ll see the over-estimation of power as I noted a few times.  In this case, Dynamic Power Smoothing is disabled.

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But as I noted earlier – it doesn’t always overestimate.  For example here’s another sprint a short bit later, this one a little easier, and you see that it’s much closer.

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As I did loops around Bois de Vincennes, I found a small group of cyclists to latch onto.  Would this impact power accuracy if I stayed in their draft zone?  Nope.  You can see this below:

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The first portion of the above graph is me catching up to a group ahead (you see it at about 350w-400w), and then I catch up and pull back into the group, at which point I’m riding wheel on wheel without any issues or oddities in power.

The above three rides are fairly indicative of what I’ve seen repeatedly – that as long as you’ve got things setup initially correctly – you’re good to go.

Ride 4: Adjustment Ride

One challenge I’ve seen a few times is what happens if you don’t seem to get a good calibration ride initially.  I’ve found that if I get a ‘clean’ calibration ride without any wonky stops/rough roads/etc, it works great.  But, if I get stuck at numerous stop-signs or have weird roads, then the calibration is off, and it takes a long time to fix itself.  For example, try to make sense of the ride below.

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If you look carefully you’ll see that the pattern is indeed there, but it’s sluggish and not super-accurate (sometimes overshooting).  But you do notice over the course of the ride that it does get closer and closer.  Not accurate, but closer.

I’ve moved the unit around a lot on different bikes – mostly because I was curious how this would impact things.  What I find is that unless I get that clean calibration (5 minutes worth), then the above is very much the norm.  However, if I get that 5 minutes done right – then life is grand.

Now I mentioned earlier that the unit seems to ‘heal’ itself when it knows its astray.  Whether that is because you’ve changed some aerodynamic element significantly, or because you’ve changed surface areas (which impacts rolling resistance assumptions).  One particular example of this that I think is fun to show is the accidental placement of an action camera partially blocking the sensor.  I had gone out for a ride and plopped a Garmin VIRB XE on the front K-Edge combo mount I use (combo GoPro/Garmin).  It’s there, but I don’t the GoPro portion every ride.

However, what I didn’t think about when I put the camera on is that it actually blocked the wind sensor port partially (perhaps 30% blockage).  Obviously, enough to totally hose up the existing aerodynamic profile.  So as I started riding I saw massive power numbers – like 1,500w.  Yet, over the course of 15-20 minutes, those power numbers slowly got back down to reality, and then shortly thereafter they matched the other 3-4 power meters on the bike.  It was incredibly fascinating, as I didn’t change anything physically on the bike – I just kept riding.  Here’s the graph below:

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(Note: You see massive gaps as I was stopping and going getting photos of other things, but it’s interesting how at about the 8 minute marker you see it start to re-align, and by 12 it’s fully aligned.)

Finally, one area that doesn’t work well is cobbles.  I recognize this is largely a European problem, and not so much a North American one – but, it’s a valid problem for me since my streets are littered with them.  In my testing, the unit simply doesn’t produce accurate power when riding cobblestones.  Within seconds of hitting such a patch of roadway, the unit pretty much shrugs and gives up.  It’s like this emoticon: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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You’ll see the power ‘fall out’ of the bottom, meaning that it just drops to a non-valid number, in my case usually about 100w.

For their part, the folks behind PowerPod say that they are aware of the issue and do plan to address it via a firmware update.  They essentially need to collect lots of cobblestone data to understand how to interpret it (they record data at 800 times a second, so sampling isn’t the issue).  But they lack the cobbles of Roubaix in Florida (where they are based), making the task slightly more difficult.

As for rougher ground that’s not cobbles, I’ve seen somewhat mixed results.  In most cases I have no issues, but in some semi-rare scenarios I see similar ‘dropping’ patterns.  I know that others have had success here in often challenging chip roads seen through much of the southern US – so perhaps it’s something with my particular roads that causes this.

Finally – you can find all the files I’ve used in this section here in this Zip folder, for those that want to do their own analysis.

Advanced Software Features:

The PowerPod doesn’t need any software configuration by itself to work.  However, you can actually do quite a bit of configuration with their Isaac application.  That app is a holdover from the iBike side of the house.  But since the PowerPod software-wise looks and acts like a Newton, the app works with it as well.  There’s boatloads of options here – and while I can’t cover all of them, I’m going to pick out some of my favorites.

To use the software, you’ll simply connect the unit via micro-USB cable to your computer.  You can then download all rides this way.  Every ride you take/make is recorded.  So it’s easy to download them later.

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Next up is the ability to really dial down your specific settings on the unit.  Things like your weight, bike weight, and even rolling resistance if known:

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Next, if you have an existing power meter, you can take a given ride’s data and basically use that profile in conjunction with the PowerPod ride data to ‘correct’ the PowerPod data for future rides.  Think of it like a full-ride calibration sequence.  It’s really rather cool.

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Of course, if you already have a power meter on your bike, then it’s unlikely you’re going to use a PowerPod too.  And it’s not as though you can then move the PowerPod to another bike – since that would throw away the calibration profile for that bike.  But perhaps if a friend loaned you a pair of power meter pedals, that might be good enough.

The software is chock full of analysis that you can do, from aerodynamics results to rolling resistance details.  Over the years many have noted that you could start to do some pretty interesting analysis if you had a PowerPod combined with a traditional power meter.  You’d use the PowerPod for the aerodynamic data stream, and the power meter as the ‘known truth in changing aerodynamic positions’.  The software supports these types of comparisons:

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Speaking of which, the PowerPod folks note that they’d love to be able to transmit the PowerPod aerodynamic data out over ANT+ (or Bluetooth Smart) in a standard way, if such a profile existed.  Today, no such ANT+ profile exists for aerodynamic data, so they’d have to do it in a private way (less appealing).  But with Garmin Connect IQ supporting private ANT data streams, it’d be straightforward for the PowerPod development team to start transmitting aerodynamic data to your watch (which Connect IQ will start recording on certain devices by the end of the month).  And even without recording, they could display real-time aerodynamic feedback as you make position changes out on the bike.  Pretty fascinating stuff – but at this point the PowerPod folks are awaiting whether there is demand for it.

Lastly, there’s PowerStroke.  This allows you to do analysis of your cycling stroke.  Essentially, analyzing which areas of the stroke your power comes from.  To enable this, you’ll need to buy their upgraded software package ($99, or was $49 for Kickstarter backers).  It’s basically a software unlock option (just as it was on Newton).  Note that you will need a cadence sensor with it.

Once unlocked, you’ll head out and ride like normal.  Afterwards, you’ll go ahead and be able to download the information using the Isaac software.  You’ll start by specifying where the cadence sensor was, as it needs that information to accurately determine stroke information.

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From there, you can slice and dice up your ride and look at the whole of it, or just portions.  You can see the top portion is showing wasted motion (mostly side to side) within my riding.  While the bottom is showing the actual pedal stroke.

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Note that this is NOT Garmin Cycling Dynamics (however similar it may be in certain aspects).  Nor can it transmit said data to Garmin Cycling Dynamics.  That’s because Garmin makes that profile private (private ANT), versus a public profile.  Said differently: It’s not because PowerPod doesn’t want it (or 4iiii or PowerTap or ROTOR or Brim Brothers or whomever), but because Garmin doesn’t want it (and because ANT+ hasn’t enabled an open profile for it).

Still, it’s interesting data to analyze.  At this time I don’t have a Garmin Vector set with Cycling Dynamics (or Pioneer Power meter with their similar metrics) on any of my bikes to compare the differences though, so the closest I can get is simple left/right balance with something like the PowerTap P1’s – but that’s not really measuring the same thing.

For those curious – I am a fan of reducing the hardware cost of devices, and allowing users to ‘buy-up’ software options that appeal to them, when they want them.  While I think $99 is a bit high for this functionality (I thought $49 was rather fair), I still like the idea of being able to purchase features I want on the fly.  I’d love to see the major watch vendors adopt this strategy for more inexpensive watches, allowing users to unlock features at a premium.

A quick note on trainers and the PowerPod.  The unit both does and doesn’t work on trainers.  It works by using a known power curve for a given trainer, and then taking the wheel speed and re-transmitting out your power value.  You’d specify the trainer within the Isaac software:

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As you can see – there’s quite a nice list of them.  However the majority of them do require some sort of fluid trainer, or if a mag trainer to have a known resistance setting.  You can see this below in which profile you choose:

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This is virtually identical to how apps like TrainerRoad, PerfPro, Zwift and others work: Known power curves.  Any given speed gives you a specific power level.  The challenge with this is that it’s not quite precise unless there is a calibration procedure that takes into account your tire pressure.  If you use the same tire pressure and the same number of turns of the knob each time it’ll at least be consistent (but may be offset).

Triathlon/TT Bike Combo Garmin Mount:

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Section added April 23rd, 2016

PowerPod has released a combination mount for triathlon/TT bikes that holds both the PowerPod and a Garmin device (quarter-turn mount).  Alternatively, the PowerPod mount can also be used to hold a GoPro, or other GoPro mount compatible item (i.e. Cycliq Fly12, Garmin VIRB X/XE, etc…).  Obviously, if it’s holding something else, then it can’t be holding the PowerPod.  still, it gives you flexibility.

I’ve written an entire separate post on the product, which you can read here.  It runs $59, so a bit on the higher end.  But it is machined aluminum and made in the USA by a small boutique mount company that typically does stuff for pro cycling teams.  On the flipside, it’s perhaps a touch bulkier than the newly released BarFly TT/triathlon combo mount.  But since that’s plastic, it may have more flex than the PowerPod mount design, which could introduce accuracy issues with the PowerPod (I haven’t tested that mount yet though).

Summary:

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Overall, I’ve found that the PowerPod can be solidly accurate in most situations, assuming you are aware of the limitations – or aware of changes to configuration that could impact it.  Further, it’s ability to seemingly ‘heal’ itself does act as a bit of a safety net should the aerodynamic profile change significantly enough to otherwise impact power readers.  I’d sum it up as: If you do a clean calibration ride – things are impressively accurate across a wide range of riding environments and positions.

At $299, it’s somewhat right on the border of the price scales.  I think at $249 or even $199 – it’d be a runaway winner.  But at $299, it gets awfully close to 4iiii selling their Precision (left-side only) for $399.  Of course, left-only power meters have limitations too, but I’d say in general there are less limitations there than with the PowerPod.  On the flip side, the PowerPod can generate some fascinating aerodynamic data that if used properly could really do some interesting position analysis.  Also, the PowerPod is more movable than the 4iiii unit, which is glued to your crank arm.

And what about comparing to the $99 PowerTap PowerCal? I see better accuracy with the PowerPod than the PowerCal.  The PowerCal is great for ride total averages and longer durations, but it’ll struggle a bit on very short intensity efforts.  On the flip side, it does include heart rate data – so it’s not a bad option if you’re really just looking for generalizations.

Now some of you already have a power meter, and I think that’s where PowerPod could really be fascinating if they enable real-time broadcasting of aerodynamic metrics.  The combining of a direct force power meter with the PowerPod really gets you the best of all worlds, but the only realistic way to evaluate changes to position is to see them real-time on the bike while riding.  Such changes are often as minor as moving hands a few millimeters, so you need to see and feel what they look like, and not have to wonder if it’s different on the next ride.

Finally – I think the direction the company is taking overall with shifting away from head units is very compelling.  Especially if their manufacturing costs allow them to reduce the price of the unit a bit more and appeal to more people (at both ends of the rider tech spectrum, advanced and entry).  With that – thanks for reading!

Wanna save 10%? Or found this review useful? Read on!

Hopefully you found this review useful.  At the end of the day, I’m an athlete just like you looking for the most detail possible on a new purchase – so my review is written from the standpoint of how I used the device.  The reviews generally take a lot of hours to put together, so it’s a fair bit of work (and labor of love).  As you probably noticed by looking below, I also take time to answer all the questions posted in the comments – and there’s quite a bit of detail in there as well.

I’ve partnered with Clever Training to offer all DC Rainmaker readers an exclusive 10% discount across the board on all products (except clearance items).  You can pickup the PowerPod from Clever Training. Then receive 10% off of everything in your cart by adding code DCR10MHD at checkout.  By doing so, you not only support the site (and all the work I do here) – but you also get a sweet discount. And, since this item is more than $75, you get free US shipping as well.

PowerPod (select drop-down for ANT+ or ANT+/BLE version)
PowerPod TT/Triathlon Combo Garmin Mount

Additionally, you can also use Amazon to purchase the unit (though, no discount on Amazon).  Or, anything else you pickup on Amazon helps support the site as well (socks, laundry detergent, cowbells).  If you’re outside the US, I’ve got links to all of the major individual country Amazon stores on the sidebar towards the top.  Though, Clever Training also ships there too and you get the 10% discount.

Thanks for reading!

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590 Comments

  1. Ivan

    Pretty much my thoughts, was looking forward to reading this. I think in one section you’ve typed powercal and not powerpod though: “the combining of a direct force power meter with the Powercal really gets you the best of all worlds”.

    Reply
  2. Greg

    How would this work on a mountain bike? I dont like the crank arm meters as I hit rocks and they come flying off and then I am out 400$.
    How long is the charge?

    Reply
    • peroni

      If this is struggling with cobblestones I don’t see how it could work reliably on a mountain bike on dirt roads

      Reply
    • Tim

      I have to wonder if the aerodynamics of mtn biking would make for more variable challenges too…

      Reply
    • Actually, mountain bike situations are very different from cobblestones. On cobblestones vibration is particularly severe because of the roughness of the cobbles, the speed of the bike, and the high pressure of the tires. On mountain bikes the roads are rough, but the speeds are lower, the tires are softer, and MTB suspensions further soften the ride. So, the overall result is less “noise” in the vibration. In fact, we get excellent results on MTB rides.

      Reply
    • Paul S.

      I actually took mine out on my mountain bike yesterday for the first time. The initial calibration was … interesting (Isaac displayed a near 50% grade at the beginning, and the wattage was pretty hilarious). It eventually settled down, and the numbers toward the end looked realistic, especially on the 1/2 mile at 10+% major climb (I always do the easiest of my standard rides the first time in the spring). Of course, I have nothing to compare the wattage with. If you want to see it, it’s here. Based on my experience with my touring bike this winter, it’ll get better with another ride or two. But I’ll have no real idea if it’s right or not.

      The roads, however, were fantastic, if a little soft in places. PA DCNR hasn’t yet done it’s spring road destruction, so there was very little gravel. In a month or two they’ll come and lay down a heavy gravel layer on many of the roads, making them treacherous. When that happens the PowerPod might have more trouble (and I’ll be doing a lot of braking on the descents, rather than letting it fly like yesterday).

      Reply
    • PowerPod lasts about 20 hours of riding between charges.

      PowerPod works very well in MTB situations, and the GoPro-style mount design is solid.

      Reply
    • A primary challenge on many MTB rides are hills, where opposing wind is less (slower bike speeds) and gravity (hill slope) is dominant. When wind speed drops aerodynamic effects are not as important (opposing wind force drops roughly as the cube of the bike speed).

      Reply
    • For the first 8 minutes of each ride, PowerPod will automatically recalibrate itself. If you haven’t removed the PowerPod between rides then it will be “right” from the instant you start riding. If you remove PowerPod from your bike between rides, do your best to mount it in exactly the same way when you reattach it, so that its angle to road is the same. If the angle is different then you can get high or low power for the first few minutes.

      Reply
    • Paul S.

      This is why you really need to inscribe a line on the side with a “Best results when this line is level” on it. That way there’s a quick visual way to check that nothing has changed in between mountings of the PowerPod. I will be moving mine around frequently now that the weather has broken and I’m using all three bikes regularly.

      Reply
    • Greg

      Does the suspension matter at all? Will the front suspension or rear seat pivot mess with the power meter?

      Also, how clear does this need to be of wires and such as I have hydro brake lines which are not exactly thin along with shifters and and a lockout cable?

      Reply
    • You’ll want to position PowerPod so that cables don’t obstruct the wind port. There is an optional Garmin/PowerPod Combo mount that should do the trick, if you can’t find a place on your handlebars for the normal mount to attach.

      Power is most important on a mountain bike during climbing, where most riders lock out their suspensions. PowerPod works particularly well in climbing.

      Reply
    • George

      I have had a 4iiii powermeter on my mountain bike crank (XTR) and my daughter’s (XT) since last year when they shipped.

      I haven’t hit the sensor on anything yet (around 2000 miles). It’s on the inside of the crank arm towards the middle.

      I’m not disparaging the PowerPod just pointing out that I haven’t had any problems in real-life riding with a crank based powermeter on my mountain bike.

      Reply
    • lyrictenor1

      Do we know which version of the Cycleops Fluid 2 it used for the power curve in trainer mode? It’s known that Cycleops has revised the Fluid 2 power curves over the years, and both Zwift users as well as the TrainerRoad developers have discussed issues with this. Any info on which version of the Fluid 2 power curve is used for the PowerPod when in trainer mode?

      Reply
    • We’ve got multiple curves for the Fluid 2 trainer. Unfortunately Saris doesn’t say how they modified their trainer over the years so we can’t tell you which one is correct for you. If you’ve been riding outdoors with power then our recommendation is to ride indoors at a known, perceived level of effort, then set PowerPod to match the power output consistent with your perceived effort.

      Reply
    • lyrictenor1

      Thanks much for the quick reply!

      Reply
  3. Peter

    Thx for the review. One question though.

    What is the effect of having Dynamic Power Smoothing turned on in the Powerpod and the use of following data fields on Garmin edge 810: Actual Power, Power 3s, Power 30s? Would it be better to turn off DPS in the Powerpod or can/should DPS be switched off in the Garmin Device for those data fields?

    Reply
    • Particularly when starting out with a power meter, the wattage numbers can be confusing: depending on the setting of your bike computer, the numbers too jumpy or too syrupy. Dynamic Power Smoothing (DPS) provides stable watts information during long intervals, and nearly instantaneous response during power surges. When using a Garmin, we recommend setting the Garmin to Actual Power, so that you won’t get any additional time delay due to additional filtering in the Garmin. If you set the Garmin to longer filtering then the power numbers will become really time delayed.

      As Ray points out, if your prefer your Garmin filtering then you can use Velocomp’s free Isaac software to turn DPS off.

      Reply
    • Peter

      So, in other words … If I want have Actual Power AND Power 3S AND Power 30s visible at the same time on my Garmin screens it is advised to turn off DPS in the Powerpod via Isaac.

      If I only want to see Actual Power on my Garmin screen it is better to have the DPS enabled in Isaac.

      Reply
    • Yes, if you’d like to have Actual Power, 3S, 10S and 30S displayed in your Garmin, I would turn off DPS in your PowerPod.

      If you have only Actual Power displayed on your Garmin, then DPS would be a good choice. You’ll get the benefit of your multiple power displays, but in a single number.

      Reply
    • OregonIan

      To clarify for John, DPS is a smoothing feature and setting your Garmin to “Actual Power” with DPS enabled will not show actual power, it will show power as filtered by the powerpod. If you need or want actual unfiltered power recorded to your Garmin you should disable DPS.

      John is saying that the best way to use a single number is to enable “actual power” on the garmin (which just displays the numbers straight as they come from the ANT+ stream) and enable DPS, which is still filtering but on the PowerPod. Your Garmin never sees the real power numbers.

      Reply
    • Very true, but…

      No power meter sends “real” power numbers. All power meters do some kind of filtering internally before sending their averaged readings by ANT+ to the bike computer.

      To the best of my knowledge we are the only PM that tells users exactly how we process our data before sending it, and why. DPS processes the raw data to deliver the benefits of smoothness and responsiveness, which we think is essential for effective use of power numbers.

      Note too that bike computers ALSO process the power sensor numbers they receive. This means that what the cyclist ultimately sees on the bike computer screen is a mish-mash of unknown filtering in the power sensor itself, and then more filtering in the bike computer.

      With PowerPod set to DPS, and the bike computer set to “Actual Power”, the user knows exactly what is being displayed, and why.

      Reply
    • As John noted, there are two levels of potential smoothing.

      All ANT+ power meters trigger either based on time or revolution (i.e. crank revolution), and transmit that power at a timeframe of choosing. Some will average out within the crank revolution, others will transmit last known at the point of reading. I haven’t seen any material difference between the methods in analysis though (at the 1s+ level). Sub-1s is a different ball game, but not something anyone is doing over ANT+ yet unfortunately.

      Next, comes head units. All head units on the market today that record power do so at 1s resolution. Even if you set Smart Recording on a Garmin, it will override you in the background and set 1s for connected power meters.

      There’s no smoothing on the part of the Garmin there. The one edge case is if a power meter drops out there used to be some firmware version that would repeat last known. But I believe all units currently just go back to zero.

      My recommendation is if you have a Garmin unit, then turn off DPS and use the 3/10/30s smoothing options on the unit. This preserves the original data as transmitted by the PowerPod, and still gives you smoothing to work with. Data preservation helps for apps beyond the unit itself, when it comes to power analysis.

      Reply
    • For experienced power meter owners and users, the additional detail available from “original”, unprocessed PowerPod data can definitely add value, so Ray’s recommendation makes great sense.

      Over 80% of PowerPod purchasers are first-time-ever power meter owners. These customers aren’t just buying a new power meter; they are buying-in to a completely new metric and way of understanding their cycling. It’s sometimes difficult to imagine the world from a “newbie” point of view. “1S/3S/10S/30S smoothing? What is that? Which metric should I use? All of them? Do I have to look at 4 numbers at once?” Or, “Why are my power numbers jumping around so much?” Or, “I just stomped on the pedals and nothing happened!” All of which leads to, “Is my power meter working? Why did I get myself into this”?

      We hope that DPS helps make riding with power easy and fun, particularly for cyclists who are new to power riding and training.

      Once the rider becomes more familiar with power, then DPS can easily be turned off if desired…which isn’t something that can be done with any other PM of which we are aware.

      Reply
  4. Matthew Neugebauer

    Thanks Ray for posting this! I’ve been eagerly awaiting this review and you delivered!

    I’m very intrigued by this option, but my main concern is regarding different riding positions. You mentioned that you did a hilly ride sitting up, and the descent in a lower, more aero riding position … but I tend to change positions frequently.

    For example: in one 15 minute time span it’s common for me to be riding on the ‘hoods’, then in the ‘drops’ , and then the most aerodynamic position I can achieve on my road bike (resting my elbows on the handlebar tops, gripping imaginary aero bars). I’ll also occasionally get into the “super-tuck” you see pro’s do in long descents (essentially laying on the top-tube gripping the drops).

    I don’t recall you specifically referencing these variations in your review. Was that something you did much testing with?

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Please take a peak at response #22, which I believe answers your question.

      Reply
    • Matthew Neugebauer

      So are you implying that “performance watts” are then aggregated with human provided power?

      Asked a different way: If by a riders efficient riding position he is able to lower drag by X watts, while physically applying Y watts to the pedals… is the power displayed then X + Y ?

      Reply
    • Changren Y.

      @Matthew:

      After testing PowerPod on at least 10 rides, i think i can answer your question. Your main concern regarding different riding positions is valid. The drag coefficient (CdA) configured in PowerPod is static, and that is based on the rider’s height, weight and the ride position. If you switch positions frequently during your ride, you will not get a consistent power number.

      In my commute this morning, i decided to test the effect on ride positions on PowerPod. In the chart below, i did most of the ride on the hood. In the first four and a half minutes, PP was reporting higher power number than the Quarq Riken AL. I attribute this to PP doing its self-calibration. After that, the power numbers match relatively well. At around the 15:00 mark, i decided to ride in the drops. Because the drag coefficient (CdA) is static in PP, when i rode in the drops, my actual CdA was lower than the CdA configured in PP for riding on the hood. As expected, PP reported higher average power number than the Quarq PM (249.7W versus 233.5W). For the segment immediately after, i intentionally sat up and rode hands-free, thereby significantly increasing the actual CdA. PP reported way lower power numbers than what i was actually producing (170W vs 223.4W). I know no one rides sitting up hands-free but i did that just to see what effect it would have on PP.

      Reply
    • Changren Y.

      @Matthew:

      After testing PowerPod on at least 10 rides, i think i can answer your question. Your main concern regarding different riding positions is valid. The drag coefficient (CdA) configured in PowerPod is static, and that is based on the rider’s height, weight and the ride position. If you switch positions frequently during your ride, you will not get a consistent power number.

      In my commute this morning, i decided to test the effect on ride positions on PowerPod. In the chart below, i did most of the ride on the hood. In the first four and a half minutes, PP was reporting higher power number than the Quarq Riken AL. I attribute this to PP doing its self-calibration. After that, the power numbers match relatively well. At around the 15:00 mark, i decided to ride in the drops. Because the drag coefficient (CdA) is static in PP, when i rode in the drops, my actual CdA was lower than the CdA configured in PP for riding on the hood. As expected, PP reported higher average power number than the Quarq PM (249.7W versus 233.5W). For the segment immediately after, i intentionally sat up and rode hands-free, thereby significantly increasing the actual CdA. PP reported way lower power numbers than what i was actually producing (170W vs 223.4W). I know no one rides sitting up hands-free but i did that just to see what effect it would have on PP.

      link to dropbox.com

      Reply
    • PowerPod, in combination with a DFPM, quantifies the performance advantage of different ride positions.

      1) Riding in the drops provides about a 6% performance advantage (less effort to achieve equal speed) compared to riding on the hoods.

      2) Riding on the hoods provides a whopping 27% performance advantage compared to riding “sitting up”. This is why you’d never do a time-trial with a cruiser bike… :-)

      Most people ride in their usual position most of the time; in our experience, over the course of a typical ride changing ride positions has less than a 2% overall effect on wattage.

      Reply
  5. Steve

    Is the data available in Garmin Connect, if using it with a Garmin Edge?

    Reply
    • Power, speed, cadence, and HR data are available in Garmin Connect. Proprietary data including wind speed, hill slope, CdA and PowerStroke data are available through Isaac software only.

      Reply
    • Matthew Neugebauer

      So are you implying that “performance watts” are then aggregated with human provided power?

      Asked a different way: If by a riders efficient riding position he is able to lower drag by X watts, while physically applying Y watts to the pedals… is the power displayed then X + Y ?

      Reply
    • Correct! It’s a different way of thinking (thanks, Osman!) but the metric has real value.

      Reply
  6. DMR

    Thanks for the review, Ray. Fascinating stuff.

    One thing that I cannot get my head round is how the PowerPod could or should deal with freewheeling, especially downhill. The Garmin speed sensor on my rear hub would be telling the unit that I am moving (possibly even accelerating) and the PowerPod will be registering an air flow (possibly even an increasing flow) but how on earth can it tell whether I am peddling and therefore whether I am actually laying down any power? I might be sprinting like a maniac or I might have tucked into a full-on aero position for all it knows. Is it basically just guess work based on the change in elevation?

    Je suis confused!

    Thanks,
    David

    Reply
    • Matthew Neugebauer

      I think the answer is cadence. A cadence sensor is required – and powerpod will know if you’re not pedaling.

      Reply
    • DMR

      That could be it, thanks, but I couldn’t find a mention of needing a cadence sensor in the review. I am sure all will become clear!

      Reply
    • Imagine you are riding downhill in your normal position, not pedaling. Your applied power (force) is zero, but because you are on a downhill gravity is accelerating you–gravity provides the propulsion force for you and your bike. Opposing the propulsive force of gravity are the slowing forces of wind and friction. When you are not pedaling (no cyclist power), the (favorable) force due to gravity is exactly balanced by the opposing forces of wind and friction, and the sum of all forces (hill slope, bike acceleration, wind, and friction) is zero, which is what PowerPod measures. It truly is a bit magical to see this actually work on a bike ride.

      But you are also correct that if you deviate from your normal ride position (say, go into a tuck), you will go faster, because your aerodynamic drag is less. If you are not pedaling then cadence will be zero and PowerPod will still show zero watts. But if you don’t have a cadence sensor, PowerPod will interpret your increased speed as being the result of your more aerodynamic position, and will show you the watts you are effectively generating from being more aerodynamic. Osman I. calls this “performance watts” and it is a great concept.

      Reply
    • Paul S.

      I think it’s just left out; I’m pretty sure his “First Look” review mentioned it. The effect is almost immediate; stop pedaling, and the power drops to zero. The brief PowerPod instructions only mention the speed sensor, but it does record cadence (and HR) on board.

      Reply
    • Yes, it’s immediate. No problems there. You can see that in the graphs above as well when I descend or otherwise stop, they all match.

      Also – the unit does not need a cadence sensor for regular operation, only for PowerStroke. For example – the ride I did in Mallorca had just a speed sensor on the bike.

      Reply
    • A cadence sensor is not required for basic operation, but having cadence does help in some circumstances (see below for a detailed explanation).

      Cadence is required for the PowerStroke feature.

      Reply
    • DMR

      Ahh, so what you’re saying is that a cadence sensor should be in play to deliver best accuracy on applied power. Also, I am really wishing I had paid closer attention in school Physics lessons now!

      Thanks for the response!

      Reply
    • Changren Y.

      John, you mentioned “having cadence does help in some circumstances”. I don’t have a stand-alone cadence sensor as cadence is provided by my DFPM (Quarq Riken AL). Is PowerPod able to get the cadence from the Quarq PM? I attempted to pair the Quarq PM with PowerPod and it appeared to have successfully paired (solid green LED) but i didn’t see any power or cadence information from the PowerPod ride file.

      When pairing multiple sensors (speed, cadence, DFPM) to the PowerPod, should the sensors be paired one at a time? That is, i enable pairing mode on the PowerPod, pair it with the speed sensor, disable the pairing mode, then i re-enable pairing mode again, and pair it with another sensor…etc,

      Reply
  7. Paul S.

    “So you’ll want to have one speed sensor per bike, as this is how it knows which bike it’s on.”. So it chooses profiles automatically based on the speed (or cadence) sensor, or do you have to always change profiles with Isaac?

    Reply
    • You can set up as many as four different bikes on PowerPod, using the “Profiles” feature accessible through Isaac software. After setting up your bikes, when you’re ready to ride PowerPod will scan the wireless IDs it has stored, and select the profile that matches the speed sensor ID it finds.

      Reply
    • Paul S.

      Great! That’ll make things easier.

      Reply
  8. peroni

    Interesting article for an interesting product. Thanks Ray.
    Will it be available at retailers in Europe?

    Reply
    • PowerPod is available now from bike dealers in France, Spain, Italy and Germany. More coming very, very soon! It is also available online from several EU websites.

      Reply
    • peroni

      Thanks, I haven’t found a single online website yet.
      Will you be listing them at powerpodsports.com?

      Reply
    • Yes, PowerPod is available also at powerpodsports.com

      Reply
    • Orci

      Could you name dealers for Germany?

      Reply
    • graham R

      any canadian online/local retailers as well?

      Reply
    • Pierre

      In the first ride article there were two links to european dealers
      link to ibike-shop.nl
      link to les3sports.com

      Reply
    • Martin Björgvik

      Tried to contact les3sports.com but still no answer over a week ago since I sen´t them a question :(

      Reply
  9. Bryce

    Yep, I think you nailed it to where this would have an extremely beneficial niche in the market. Aero testing! In training for a long course tri or time trial, the data you could gain with a direct force power meter and this powerpod would be awesome. You could even get that real time during the event too. However, if I am thinking about this correctly, wouldn’t two head units be needed for this real time analysis?

    Reply
    • Only one head unit, if, they were to create a Connect IQ app for it. That way you’d just add another data field to your existing head unit.

      To me, that offers attraction for the product at both the higher end and lower end.

      Reply
  10. sucameli

    bonjour Ray peut on synchronise le capteur de puissance avec un capteur de vitesse garmin sur le moyeu de la roue arriere
    en vous remerciant

    Reply
    • Bonjour. No issues with using the new magnetless Garmin speed sensors. Works easily.

      Reply
  11. Paul S.

    “While the menus and such within the app are kinda old-school”… Oh, God, yes. The installation process was especially old school, and reminded me of the old Mac OS. It’s been a long time since a piece of non-Apple software asked me to reboot (twice!). (Even better might be to just make PowerPod itself look to the computer like a standard USB drive when plugged in, like Garmin does.)

    Reply
  12. Paul S.

    “Lastly, there’s PowerStroke.” So in the selections for where the cadence sensor is mounted, I don’t see a “mounted on the left crank arm” as all of mine are, since now I have Garmin’s separate magnetless speed and cadence sensors on all three bikes. So does PowerStroke work with this type of sensor?

    Reply
  13. Diego Prado

    Just one question, what about dust? I’m intending to use it in a dusty MTB environment and nothing is mentioned in the review. is there any moving part. it is necessary to clean it?
    Thanks!!

    Reply
    • There are no moving parts. If your PowerPod gets dirty, simply rinse out the wind and USB ports under the kitchen tap, then dry it off.

      Reply
  14. Greg

    Please add a connect IQ app to pull of the other info like wind speed and such to the garmin head unit!

    Reply
  15. Chris Pallotta

    Love your site, DC. Your writing style is fun, but I find the grammatical mistakes, run-on sentences and often confusing sentence-structures to be distracting.

    Reply
    • G

      and you’re a pompous dick no-one cares about

      Reply
    • Julien

      ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

      Reply
    • bob

      Really? Grammar, spelling, who cares. This is a technical review of a product, not an english class. This is what is wrong with people these days. They care more about style over substance.

      You want style go read GQ. You want the best product review on the planet, come here. You must be one of those people that point out spelling errors on the espn comment section also.

      There is a big world outside, start living my friend. Look, there’s a forest made of trees.

      Reply
    • Chris Pallotta

      Hey, Guys. Thanks for the comments on my post. Seems like I struck a nerve, but it’s great to see that DC has such loyal readers. He’s earned it. In many ways I agree with you (well, maybe not the pompous dick part!) as yes, content is far more important than style. There’s no other cycling site that provides better useful, in-depth content than DC.

      I do stand by comment, though, that the writing problems are distracting for me and that they extend past just an occasional misspelling. I do understand, though, that many others may disagree. Nonetheless, if this article were presented as it is and also in an edited version, I’d venture that most would prefer the cleaned-up version.

      Hey, some of us work to perfect our cycling whether it’s our technique or our equipment. Attention to detail and going that extra mile are core principles for many a cyclist. The DC Rainmaker site itself is almost legendary for its attention to detail. If time and financial constraints allowed, why not smooth out some of the rough edges?

      It’s like a great bike built to perfection by a master, but the bar tape was installed by an amateur. Not a big deal to fix. Not something everyone would notice. But something that arguably takes away from the overall package. Great bikes deserve great finishes. Great writing deserves great editing.

      Reply
    • This is the first time I’ve made postings on this site but I can tell you that responding to the many excellent questions takes a lot of time, not just to understand what’s being asked, but then to write thoughtful responses.

      I know that Ray has been testing PowerPod since November. It is obvious he is careful and thorough in his work, and I am impressed by how well he has understood, tested, and clearly presented the many facets of PowerPod.

      Writing about technology is not easy but in terms of substance I find his review of PowerPod to be fair, honest, and complete. And independent, too: I had no clue what he was going to say about PowerPod until the review was posted. (By the way, his honesty sometimes hurts; Ray has not been enthusiastic about some of our earlier-generation products) :-)

      This is a site where substance reigns supreme, and when he takes over for David Pogue I’m sure he will have an editor, too!

      Reply
    • Adam

      Honestly if you want to see articles run on sentences and complex sentence structures you can take a look at some New York Times articles. I’m analyzing a section of one for a linguistics class right now and DC Rainmaker’s sentences are far more restrained in that aspect.

      Reply
    • Thanks for the feedback all.

      Typically with posts, I do an initial draft, and then Randy Cantu (who has written here before, but mostly edits posts behind the scenes), takes the drafts and edits them and cleans them up. He focuses on basics, rather than changing my writing style too much.

      Sometimes after he edits, I add additional text – which is usually when I get intro trouble. Mostly because I’ll publish before he wakes up – often in an attempt to get content to you sooner.

      That said, the length of the posts makes it so that both him and I still miss things. Heck, I’ll sometimes find a typo in an in-depth review 3 years later that has thousands of comments that nobody caught. Length probably makes us both blurry eyed – especially on reviews when I really just want to be done with it. Sometimes people also e-mail me using the contact form on the sidebar, which is always appreciated. So if there’s something that’s odd, that’s always a route to me. I read all e-mails that come in, usually within a couple minutes.

      While I’d love to have more editors in the process, it’s tough to expect folks to turn around and edit stuff at all hours of the night on-demand to publish minutes later. Cheers.

      Reply
  16. Greg

    Here is another scenario for you – I often pull a child bike carrier behind the bike. The power meters on my road bike would be able to measure this added strain of me pulling the kids.

    Would this unit capture the right power with a trailer attached? Will it be able to assume the speed, cadence, slope and wind to figure this out? I imagine the combined cadence/speed and slope would give this.

    Reply
    • All you will need to do is update your PowerPod with the total weight of everything, including you, your child, your bike, the bike carrier, and any other gear.

      Reply
  17. Mikkel Holme

    Surprisingly interesting product. Ray, do you have idea if altitude will affect it (your Majorca ride seems to indicate it won’t) as the air is thinner?

    Reason I ask is that I will be riding the La Marmotte sportive this summer, which goes up to 2500 meters (Galibier).

    Reply
  18. Dan Lipsher

    Thanks, Ray. Great review as always. You mention that you have to pair the PoweePod woth a speed sensor, but later note that “the PowerPod does not transmit or display cadence or speed values. Those will come from either your GPS (speed) …” So, will PowerPod work without a separate physical speed sensor?

    Reply
    • PowerPod actually measures air pressure (not wind speed). Since air pressure changes naturally with altitude (air pressure is less at higher altitudes), PowerPod will correctly compensate for reductions in wind resistance that results from higher altitudes. Check out a ride just posted on our Facebook page, done in Mexico City (starting altitude 7300 feet) where the rider used a Newton (PowerPod’s identical technology twin) and an SRM to climb 2000 feet of vertical. The two PMs were with within 1 watt of each other.

      link to facebook.com

      Reply
    • PowerPod requires an ANT+ speed sensor. ANT+ cadence is nice but not necessary.

      Reply
  19. Dennis

    Not clear how power pod would work with bikes on indoor rollers or trainers without power option?

    Secondly, I probably missed something in the review but If wind has a lot to do with powerpod readouts, how could it work indoors on trainers (non power equipped)??
    Thank you

    Reply
    • PowerPod has an indoor trainer feature. Basically, you tell PowerPod which trainer/rollers you use. PowerPod measures the rear wheel speed and then, using the manufacturer’s speed/power curve, reports how many watts are required to achieve the measured wheel speed.

      When riding indoors, the outdoor sensors (wind/baro/accelerometer) are not used.

      Reply
  20. Robert

    I am assuming the PowerPod will not work with an indoor training since there is no wind wheras other crank based or wheel based do.

    Reply
  21. Robert

    Thanks John, my feed was a little delayed. Great to see it works inside and outside.

    Reply
  22. “It can use tiny gerbils with magic wands and helmets on their heads for all I care.”

    Now that you’re the Gerbil king has more adventures to go on!
    Fly away to faraway lands and to the setting sun!
    So many enemies and battles yet to fight!
    For Lemmiwinks the Gerbil King’s tale is told throughout the night!

    Reply
  23. Josh Wingell

    I went on my first ride with my kickstarter backed PowerPod yesterday on a rare 75 degree day in early March in Massachusetts. I noticed a few drops to 0W as I was pedaling steady. It was fairly windy out, and I have a GSC-10 that I plan on giving some attention to before my next ride by adjusting the distance to the magnet. Could the GSC-10 be the culprit for the 0W drops?

    I also had some stops during my calibration. That’s city life for you. Would I be better served to re-calibrate the unit with some flat, open road?

    I’ve never had a power meter on my bike before. I have used my Tacx Vortex Smart with Zwift, but the feel of the road is so different. So it was hard to trust the Power Pod on my ride yesterday. I know that strain gauges technically aren’t measuring power, either, but the tech seems less prone to error than measuring air pressure. Seeing this review today put my faith in the Power Pod again, though. :-)

    Reply
    • Josh Wingell

      Here’s my Strava ride. Funny to see the 0-100W straight line at the start!
      link to strava.com

      Reply
    • Nice weather!

      When speed equals zero power will be zero, so check to be sure that your GSC-10 speed sensor is working well; Ray has some good ways to check its operation.

      If you’d like us to check your ride file, please install Isaac and then email your PowerPod ride file to technicalsupport@velocomp.com

      Reply
    • Josh Wingell

      Will do! Thanks for participating here!

      Incidentally, I really shouldn’t be surprised that this works well. I’ve been a car tuner for a while, and they come up with some really odd ways of measuring the mass air-flow of the air entering the engine. Look up how a Karmann Vortex MAF works. A cylindrical pole is inserted in the air flow and vortices are generated in the air stream because of the pole, and a microphone picks up the sound of each vortex passing it. The number of vortexes per second is directly related to the mass of the air flowing through the sensor. And it works very well. So well that you can inject gasoline into an engine based on the calculation and not have it blow up. :)

      There are odd ways of measuring all sorts of things. But it doesn’t mean that they aren’t accurate!

      Reply
    • Your power data looks fine, and it must be great to have such good weather!

      Reply
    • Nagy Zoltán

      Just a typo. He is Karman, originally written as Kármán.

      Reply
  24. ken

    What is the total weight of the whole installation? mount + pod?

    #SelfConfessedWW

    Reply
    • About 65 grams.

      Reply
    • ken

      Any plans on a simple clip or attachment that makes it always on the same position if we regularly remove it?

      Example: garmin half turn mount; my garmin always at the same position even if i removed it after every ride.

      Also, any plans for a mobile phone (with micro usb to micro usb) to pull data from the pod? The idea of lugging the bike near a pc is quite daunting.

      Lastly, can the pod be charged using a mobile battery pack?

      Reply
    • The handlebar mount is very good, as long as you’re careful follow the instructions and to gently rotate the PowerPod forward whenever you reattach it to the mount. That puts it at the same angle. The optional Combo Garmin/PowerPod mount is even better; it seems to lock in perfectly every time.

      I’ve spent a lot of time in pro team cars, lugging around my laptop just to pull off rider files as soon as the race finished… :-)

      Remember, it’s not necessary to download ANY data from PowerPod. It’s strictly optional.

      Sure, the PowerPod can be recharged from any mobile battery pack that has a USB outlet.

      Reply
    • OregonIan

      I’m thinking about using it for endurance MTB racing, and maybe for bike touring. Can it continue to operate while it’s charging?

      Also, I haven’t seen any mention of battery life. Could I do a 24 hour MTB race on a full battery?

      Reply
    • Peter

      Would you consider the Optional “Velocomp Combo Garmin/Powerpod” being better over the “Garmin Cycling Combo mount for Edge Virb” (plastic I guess) or the “K-edge Garmin combo mount” also taking into account the accuracy (vibration, position,…) of the Powerpod?

      link to wiggle.com
      link to wiggle.com
      link to powerpodsports.com

      And if so (Velocomp Combo mount being better), Is it available in BE/NL somewhere as I notice shipping cost is 50$ to ship from US to BE (which is almost more than the value of the mount itself).

      Reply
    • As Ray’s review notes, PowerPod has to be stiffly attached, so plastic mounts won’t work well. Any mount made from machined aluminum should work well.

      Reply
  25. Benjamin Gordon

    Great review Ray. Pretty impressive to see how well this does without a direct measurement. I bet a lot of long distance triathletes with be interested in pairing it with another power meter for aero measurements.

    Reply
    • Mike Hensen

      agreed, I’m totally surprised by the unit’s accuracy, it’s quite amazing

      Reply
    • I’d agree that if they can sort out the mount aspects, that a typical triathletes training routes are near a perfect match to this. In that I mean that on a triathlon bike you’re unlikely to be doing cyclo-cross style changes in terrain (well, not on purpose anyway).

      Reply
  26. Don

    Ray,

    Two questions:

    1. How does it deal with bugs, dirt/grime getting inside the air hole? I’d imagine over time it needs cleaning?

    2. Since it calibrates with the speed sensor, I’d imagine it can do indoor trainer rides. How accurate was it there?

    Reply
    • If dirt or grime gets into the wind port, simply rinse PowerPod with some tap water, then dry it off.

      Reply
    • Don

      John,

      Yes, but if a bug gets in there, will it mess up the readings? Would there be any way to tell there’s an obstruction while on the ride?

      Reply
    • Well, the truth is, we don’t know if a bug would screw-up wind readings, because in 12 years we’ve never seen that happen!

      Certainly, if an obstruction were big enough the wind readings could be affected adversely, and on the ride you’d see watts drop suspiciously. After the ride a blocked wind port is easy to spot in the Isaac ride file data, and Isaac includes a tool that can “repair” such things.

      But that doesn’t mean that Isaac is “buggy” software! :-)

      Reply
  27. Ken

    John Hamann – Thank you for weighing in with answers to the various questions; however, as more comments come in, your, “See post #__” no longer applies since the post #s change. Please answer the question in your reply, even if it’s somewhat repetitive.

    Ray – Another great review; thanks! Who’s road bike was used in the above photos? With ONLY two head units it can’t be yours. 😉

    Reply
  28. Marcos

    Hi Ray,

    What about when we are drafting in a group ride?

    Thank you,

    Reply
    • André Lemos

      Read the whole article, it’s there.

      Reply
    • It’s within the section under ‘Power Accuracy’, and then Ride 3: Bois de Vincennes Loops.

      Reply
  29. Gonzalo

    Ray

    Do you know the Mathematics behind the aerodynamics and rolling resistance calculations?

    Gonzalo

    Reply
  30. Sjoerd

    I also backed the kickstarter for the PowerPod so I have been using it for about 3 months now and frankly it’s been nothing than a ~€ 400 disappointment.

    I life in a very windy part in the Netherlands and the poweroutput during head- and tailwinds at the same heartrate differs hugely.

    Recently I did a 20 minute FTP test, according to the PowerPod I produced around 170 watts on average, which is quiet a bit lower than what my trainer expected. He estimated at least 250 watts and during similar tests on my Tacx Flow (not the most accurate when it comes to power, but still) I produced around 270 watts. So I went to link to bikecalculator.com and entered my ride data, I used 2 different windspeeds because the exact windspeed for that area at that time of day is a bit hard to find. The results can be found in this screenshot:
    link to dropbox.com
    vs powerpod:
    link to dropbox.com

    I’ve already had some email contact with the powerpod people and made some adjustments, but nothing that solved my problems yet and frankly I’m at a point at which I don’t think it will ever work as intended.

    Reply
    • Sorry you’re having issues; there is no reason head winds and tail winds should be problematic. Please email me at jhamann@velocomp.com and I will help sort this out personally.

      Reply
    • Sjoerd

      John thanks for replying, I’ve send you an email.

      Reply
    • I’m on it…

      Reply
    • Sjoerd

      I’m happy to say John and the guys at PowerPod are really making an effort trying to fix my problems.

      They explained a great deal and emailed an edited profile for me to use on the PowerPod. We’ve agreed I’ll do a couple of rides with this profile and send the ride files their way so they can analyze them.

      My faith in humanity has been restored! 😉 I’ll probably post some updates here the coming weeks so maybe it can help other people as well.

      Reply
  31. Shane O Sullivan

    I got a power pod a few weeks ago but too suffered the high watts at the start of a cycle last week that eventually settled down. You mentioned about the 5 min calibration but I can’t seem to manually enable it? Or do you just accept it will autocalibratw ape as you cycle?

    I have a feeling the calibration is directly linked to the incline/gyroscope sensor as the GoPro bracket angle can vary.

    Reply
    • PowerPod measures slope with high precision. Whenever the PowerPod is removed and reattached to its mount, if it is not reattached at exactly the same angle then slope measurements will be different for the first 8 minutes, while the PowerPod automatically recalibrates itself. There’s no need to enable a manual calibration.

      So, you’re correct that the GoPro angle is critical. The instructions ask users to gently rotate the PowerPod forward into the same position when reattaching, then to tighten the bolt.

      This can be tricky at first, but after a few times most people get the hang of it.

      Reply
  32. Jesse

    Question – I have a question as to how readings would be affected in riding in a group setting. If you are sitting in the middle of the pack I would believe that the data would not be the same as riding alone?

    Reply
    • When riding in a pack, the opposing wind force is reduced by the riders ahead of you, who are doing the hard work of pushing the wind out of your way… That’s why riding in the pack is easier! :-)

      PowerPod measures the actual opposing wind, which will be less in the pack than when riding solo. So, wattage will be lower in the pack. Ray’s review talks about this some.

      Reply
  33. Peter K

    What an exciting product- quite frankly I’m sold- so where can we buy this in the UK?

    Also as a cyclist and wind sports enthusiast it would be great to see a simple ‘true wind speed’ data field, it looks like you can pull this out of the software afterwards but any plans to add this to private ANT or bluetooth to see live?

    Reply
    • UK dealers are coming soon, but as of today not quite ready to go. In the meantime you can buy from http://www.powerpodsports.com, or you should be able to find EU websites where PowerPod is available.

      Yes, you can get “true” windspeed from Isaac. We’re still sorting out the level of interest in having extra data information.

      Reply
    • peroni

      The only site I found so far in Europe is a French shop which lists it as out of stock.

      It would be good to have some solid info on where to buy it.
      Ordering it from US is not a cheap option, import takes and shipping can amount to 30% of the total price!

      Reply
    • A combination of the PowerPod and Xert would be very interesting. We could combine data from the PowerPod, together with course information and Xert’s fatigue-modeling to enable pacing information to be calculated in real-time.

      We have the foundation of this already in Xert Mobile, our Android-app that interfaces with ANT+ sensors. We’d need to simply develop an optimization algorithm using the data we collect from the PowerPad, the course data and the athlete’s fitness signature.

      Reply
  34. Peter

    In your review you have following statements:

    “One challenge I’ve seen a few times is what happens if you don’t seem to get a good calibration ride initially. I’ve found that if I get a ‘clean’ calibration ride without any wonky stops/rough roads/etc, it works great. But, if I get stuck at numerous stop-signs or have weird roads, then the calibration is off, and it takes a long time to fix itself.”

    “If you do a clean calibration ride – things are impressively accurate across a wide range of riding environments and positions”

    I have two Questions on this:

    1. How would you notice that you did not do a ‘clean’ calibration ride and so the Powerpod is not accurate? Can you notice this on the behavior of the Power numbers shown on my Garmin or can you only see this when analyzing in Isaac?

    2. How can you do a re-calibration of the Powerpod? Can this be done by using the button on the Powerpod and then do a new ‘clean’ calibration ride?

    Reply
    • The sign of a suspicious calibration is that, no matter how carefully and consistently you reattach PowerPod, for the first 8 minutes the watts will be crazy high or crazy low (as was the case in one of Ray’s rides). It’s pretty obvious, but it settles down quickly

      That said, we think we might be able to do something to mitigate even this problem and we are investigating now.

      In the mean time, if you want to do a completely new calibration, you can use Isaac to reset PowerPod to an uncalibrated state, then do a new pairing and 5 minute ride.

      Reply
  35. Akim

    Feel sorry for these guys. They obv started development back in the $1000/powermeter days and now this device will never sell sadly :(

    Reply
    • Strange, $128K worth of Kickstarter people already bought it. It’s also the lowest cost power meter device on the market shipping today (aside from the PowerCal as noted). Or did I miss something?

      Reply
    • bob

      not to mention it has a ton of different benefits over other power meters on the market. Movable, not dependent on cranks, different data such as windspeed.

      I was on the fence when I read the kickstarter. But after reading the review and the comments, I think this could have be a really unique product.

      I am not a TT guy, but if I were I would have one of these today. As a normal cyclist, at this pricepoint, I am considering it. As Ray said, if it were 150 or 200$ I would be buying it today.

      Reply
  36. Jon S

    I’ve been waiting for this review and hoping it would deliver. From everything I’ve read here it pretty much has.

    I run quite a few different bikes and wheelsets, and so the ability to swap from bike to bike with ease is key for me. So far it seems it’s only the Powertap P1 pedals that offer a similar level of ‘swappability’ and they’re 4-5 times the price.

    At the moment the only thing holding me back from buying is the lack of a UK stockist and the issues around fitting to a TT bike. Has anybody tried/succeeded in mounting them to an aero cockpit?

    Reply
    • We’re working both on UK dealer distribution and on a PowerPod TT mount. Both coming soon, we hope!

      Reply
    • Jon S

      Thanks John. I look forward to it.

      Reply
  37. Ivan

    I’m currently using my Kickstarter Powerpod on a Tarmac running 23c tires, presumably the extra smoothing a larger tire at lower pressure gives would help increase the accuracy over rougher ground?

    Reply
  38. Ben

    Hey Ray, great review! Is ordering from powerpodsports.com the only place to get this or will Clever Training have it soon? I’d love to support you through CT if I could.

    Reply
    • Yup, they should have it listed shortly (likely today, assuming all works out).

      Reply
  39. Scott E

    Very impressive, and it seems like it did well through the range of scenarios.

    Curiosity question. How viable would it be to mount the device on the seat tube? As in where the water bottle mount exists. I understand how a cable or camera could alter the air pressure flow having close proximity, yet wonder if the airflow/pressure is that much different interior to a road bike frame.

    Riding with a light, camera and head unit on the front is already a bit of a cluster. I’d accept a known margin of error assuming it was somewhat consistent by doing the offset math in my head while turning the cranks.

    Reply
    • We’ve never tried a seat tube location but I suspect strongly the wind values would be excessively variable and turbulent, due to the motion of the legs around the tube.

      Reply
  40. Mark

    Thank you. This is the review I was waiting for. Looks like it will suit me well.
    Swap between a couple of bikes, taking the PowerPod and my Garmin, with just an extra ANT + Speed Sensor for the second bike – some each has a unique profile in the associated software.

    Also thanks for the clarify, in the comments, that the crank mounted cadence sensor is ok, though the software screen shot only mentions left/right chainstay.

    Reply
  41. Roy

    Fantastic review. For someone like me who’s more recreational and rides on smooth roads of Japan, the accuracy is enough, especially at the price point. If it was $50 cheaper, like Ray suggested, it’ll be much more attractive and potentially bring in more customers. But that just leaves room for sales and discounts once production & distribution are firing on all cylinders. Really happy I got in on the Kickstarter campaign, and am just waiting for the dual ANT+/BLE version. Any updates on that?

    Reply
  42. John

    Couple of questions.

    1. Do you have to do a 5 minute calibration ride everytime you go out or only once?

    2. Can the calibration ride be done on a turbo trainer or does ‘air’ need to be passing through the system to calibrate? I ask because it seems it needs a smooth ride to get calibration spot on. If it needs air, is there anything stopping you just going round and round in a circle on a flat bit of road?

    Reply
    • 1. The 5 minute calibration ride only has to be done the first time you ride outdoors. You don’t need a smooth road and you don’t have to ride around in circles (unless you’d like to).

      2. When riding indoors, there is no 5 minute calibration ride. You set PowerPod to indoor trainer mode, then just ride.

      Reply
    • John

      OK thanks John.

      I actually like the look of this. For most people i think this is all you need.

      Reply
  43. Mikkel Andersen

    Has anybody had any luck finding a dealer within the EU?

    Reply
    • peroni

      Cool, masecori-shop.de seems to be the only European shop with the device actually in stock (if what they claim is true).

      Price is a bit too high but hopefully once it gets more popular its price will drop below 300€

      Reply
    • They have PowerPod in stock

      Reply
    • Orci

      I saw this too but 400€ is a currently a deal breaker for me.

      Reply
    • It’s important to remember that USA pricing does not include the (high) VAT tax imposed by EU countries; VAT alone adds 20%+ to EU PowerPod price (vs 0% tax added for interstate shipments in the USA).

      Also, shipping of one PowerPod to the EU from the USA (where PowerPod is manufactured) is expensive: $50 for an insured, trackable package.

      The EU imposes additional certification and packaging costs not found elsewhere.

      Finally, in the EU the required warranty is 2 years, vs. one year in the USA.

      So, it is significantly more expensive to buy (and sell) products in the EU. I’m not arguing that the 400 Euro price is “good”; I’m simply reporting that PowerPods sold in Europe have additional costs that are not found elsewhere.

      Reply
    • Orci

      John I understand your argumentation and you nearly talked me into buying.
      But what really made me buy was the price drop to 349€.

      Now I need a head unit which can display power.

      Last year I was sure I would by the Wahoo Elemnt but the current delay and the size make me overthink.
      Best would be if Garmin would add power to Edge 25 but this seems unrealistic. Ray asked them several times (link to dcrainmaker.com). Would be my preferred solution.

      Reply
    • Boris

      But how is posible that Stages Rival GXP have same price like PowerPod on EU shops? And diference in US is 100USD? And they have same cost of import and shiping.

      Reply
    • The product you are referring to is in the “closeout/cosmetic blem[ish]” portion of their site. Looks to me like they are trying to unload it.

      Reply
    • Boris

      It not important if they trying to unload it. Thing is that prices for all power meter are same in EU like US + tax in many cases even less, but price for PowerPod if you don’t calculate tax is aditional 27% more +19% what is tax in Germany for example. And example was Stages witch have seam tax and expense when they import to Europe.

      Reply
    • Victor

      Boris,

      I tried to point out here (post 289) to John before that by applying industry best-practice to his European pricing, he could sell a lot more in the Europe Union. He is certainly smart enough to understand this, but his reply here was evasive/defensive. My personal interpretation : he is, at this point in time, less interested in the European consumer / market.

      If you know someone travelling to the US… Or, indeed, go for a power meter supplier who is European-minded.

      Reply
    • The only place where we can set price is on our website http://www.powerpodsports.com. PowerPod sells there for $299, and we charge $50 for tracked-package international shipping (we don’t get any deals from international shippers), bringing the total cost to $349. Remember that shipments from the US are subject to local duty/VAT. Also, products purchased from the USA have a one year warranty.

      In Europe PowerPod is sold by independent distributors, who set prices in their local markets. Most have a price of 369 Euros (VAT included). On an apples-to-apples basis (ex 20% VAT, price in dollars), that translates to an equivalent US price of $350.55. So, the European price is essentially identical to the US price and, in fact, the Euro units are a “better deal” because they have a two year warranty, as well as local support.

      Sure, if you happen to be traveling to the US you can save money (as long as you get your PowerPod through customs duty/VAT free when returning).

      And yes, if there is a sale that’s more savings, too, but we are not aware of any place globally that has PowerPod on sale.

      All of this said, I will certainly pass along your comments to our European distributors.

      Reply
  44. Ed

    Hi

    I am slightly confused how the PowerPod accounts for different bicycles. if I put down 300W on a hybrid with heavy tyres and 300W on a carbon road bike I will be going significantly faster on the latter, but as far as the pod is concerned all its sees is higher wind speed and a higher speed from the speed sensor. How then can it tell that the power would be the same in both situations?
    thanks
    Ed

    Reply
    • Using Isaac you’ll set up each of your bikes with a separate “profile”. The hybrid bike profile will have higher rolling resistance because of the heavy tires and terrain, whereas the road bike will have much lower rolling resistance because of the skinny tires and smoother roads. Each profile will be stored in your PowerPod, and using the “Automatic Profile Selection” feature built in to PowerPod, PowerPod will automatically figure out which bike is being used.

      On your hybrid, watts will increase, in part, because of the higher rolling resistance of fat tires; on the road bike, your watts will increase more because of higher bike speeds and more wind resistance.

      Reply
    • Ed

      Thanks John. I was aware of the different profiles, and used those examples as an extreme case to make my point clear. my question really stemmed from the fact that I have two identical road bike frames with different rims and slightly different tyres. One is slower than the other to the tune of c. 2-3km/h but the aero position and componentry are otherwise the same. Am I right in saying that the power pod can only calculate the difference by inputting different parameters into Isaac before use?

      Given that I do not yet have Isaac, how detailed are the parameter inputs that are required to calculate power? Does it allow you to differentiate tyres/rims/hubs by brand, or just by weight or width? All clarification gratefully received.
      Thanks
      Ed

      Reply
    • Ed: this is a really interesting situation. If everything is identical on the bike except rims and tires, then you can use Isaac to quantify the difference in rolling resistance between bikes, which turns into the faster bike. Basically, you’d record PowerPod ride files with both bikes, then using Isaac figure out the difference in rolling resistance that accounts for the higher speed. This would be a bit tricky to do but, because we would learn from it as well, we would help with the analysis.

      Reply
    • Peter V.

      Was thinking exactly the same. Also how does it know if in aero positio or not, this also gives different speed with equal watts.

      Reply
    • PowerPod does not know if you’ve changed ride positions (how could it?), but unless you’re changing from say, riding on the hoods to going to an aero TT position, there won’t be a huge variation in watts.

      What we’ve found through the years is that most people ride in the same position most of the time, so that overall differences between opposing force and applied force power measurements are minimal.

      Reply
    • Neil Jones

      I came here with a similar question, but I still don’t understand the answer. I ride a hybrid with 35c knobbly tyres. I can understand that the device will be able to produce an output for my power relative to (x), but I don’t understand how it calculates how many watts (x) equates to. From what I’ve read I understand the I would need to create a bike profile including bike weight and presumably my weight, but short of Isaac having rolling resistance data for 1000s of different tyres in its database, I just don’t understand how it “knows”, for example, how many watts I’m putting down when road is level, speed is 25km/h and “wind in” is 25km/h.

      I’ve asked this a couple of times in emails to PowerPod but didn’t get any response – as the time I’m willing to allow Limits to come up with their PM is running out then I’d really like to understand if this is a viable Option B for me.

      Reply
    • We have a resource available where you can learn better how the PowerPod (and Newton) technology works, available here:

      link to ibikesports.com

      If the link does not answer your questions then please email me at jhamann@velocomp.com

      Reply
  45. Jan Petter Jetmundsen

    How will this work in a pure bluetooth smart environment? Would the powerpod “swallow” the data from the cadence and speed sensors? Since the powerpod does not retransmit the data, and bluetooth smart does not allow multiple connections, would you need dedicated speed/cadence sensors for the powerpod?

    Reply
    • PowerPod will get its speed/cadence information, in ANT+ mode, from a “dual band” BLE/ANT+ sensor (such as Wahoo Blue SC), then send its power data “out” in BLE form. The BLE receiver will pick up PowerPod power data, along with BLE speed/cadence data.

      Reply
  46. lio

    Hello,

    Impressive product and very interesting concept behide the main idea. My question is if you can use a ANT+ grarmin watch (like 920xt) to also collect the ‘live’ data during a ride. And a second one. Concerning the friction, if i understood properly you make some assumptions depending on which terain you are planning to ride. If the terain changes dramatically (like from smooth to not so smooth road) will this affect the meassurments that you will get?

    Reply
    • ryanovelo

      This exact issue is covered in the article.

      Reply
    • Yes, 920XT will work.

      The roughness of terrain will, of course, have an effect, but it’s difficult to predict the amount. For example, if you ride your mountain bike on streets to your favorite off-road trail, when you get on the trail the rolling resistance will be higher. But most likely your bike speed will be lower (rolling resistance is proportional to speed) and very likely you’ll be climbing hills, too, so that the primary place your power goes is to overcome gravity. So, it is entirely possible that PowerPod will still be spot-on.

      Reply
  47. ryanovelo

    I have to admit, when I clicked into this article I didn’t expect to read every word as the science and inner-workings of power meters is something I’d rather read late at night to put me to sleep. However, I did find this article to be extremely interesting. I love how they’ve taken a traditional measurement method and turned it on its’ head. Great job guys.

    For someone like me who doesn’t ride a ton and doesn’t currently measure power, this is perfect. If it ever drops down to the $199 range I’m in.

    Reply
  48. Greg

    How long is the shipping time for the US if we order this today? Is there a backlog? Wondering if I do this today, will it come to NY by next week?

    Thanks

    Reply
    • If you order immediately (it’s noon here in Florida) we will ship today.

      Otherwise, your order will go out on Monday.

      Reply
    • Seth

      John – When will the Bluetooth version be available? I don’t have a Garmin and am interested in using this with a Suunto Ambit3, which doesn’t support Ant+.

      Reply
  49. rumpole

    This is a great idea-love the notion of switching between bikes. I’m signed up for a longer event in a few months, and need to start thinking about quantifying TSS on different bikes. (Have a C1 on one bike, but thinking mainly of using a commuter as part of a training plan and would love to be able to calculate stress scores better than merely guessing.).

    Torn between this and the powercal. Also — I’m assuming the power file imports into Golden Cheetah, right? (what format is the file?) It’s just if you want the additional bells and whistles (cda, etc) that you need Isaac?

    Reply
    • Yes, you can import into Golden Cheetah from your Garmin file. Or, you can use Isaac, export a .csv file, and import that into GC. Yes, the extra “whistles” require Isaac :-)

      Reply
  50. Brian

    Can’t believe nobody asked this question yet (unless I missed it)…

    Ray – When are you going to put it on a chest harness, connect a footpod (for cadence/speed – or just gps speed), and get the holy grail of running power? :-)

    Reply
    • Paul S.

      Probably wouldn’t work very well, although Ray has a Stryd to compare with, I believe. The major power losses in cycling (climbing, wind, drive train/tire/hub friction and braking when that happens) are different from the losses in running (where the speed is much lower, so wind isn’t that much of a factor; the major losses are probably due to vertical bounce and losses in the shoe strikes, but also climbing when that’s happening, and going downhill is completely different). The physical model built into the PowerPod isn’t likely to apply well to running at any speed.

      Reply
    • The ANT+ footpod is technically a separate profile from the ANT+ speed/cadence sensor, so the PowerPod doesn’t look for that. Like speaking Japanese vs Korean.

      Reply
  51. Steven Lee

    for the PowerStroke software, I noticed that the set up includes a question about the location of the the cadence sensor. What happens if you use the magnet-less Garmin cadence sensor?

    see: link to dcrainmaker.com

    Since the sensor is on the crank, it really isn’t above or below the chainstay.

    Reply
    • Set the PowerStroke option to “Above the chain stay”. Then, when starting a new ride, position the left crank so that it is slightly above the chain stay. Then, just ride :-)

      Reply
    • Stephen

      What about the Trek/Bontrager “Duo Trap” sensor….where the unit is seated in a “pod” molded into the chainstay and the antenna is oriented horizontally right in the middle?

      STP

      Reply
  52. Oriol

    I will buy it for sure if the price was 200 and it supports connect iq for slope and wind. Will be awesome. Please make it happen.

    Reply
  53. Peter

    Hello!

    I have one practical question. How can you efficiently avoid all the cables going in the way? In picture 25 for example, it looks like Ray is using a Di2, which makes things easier. But if you have mechanical sifting, it is a bit more crowdy there. When you fit the PM, do you need to fit it very close to the center or is it ok if you fit it where the grip of the handle bars is ending (it is less crowdy there). Which is the dimensions of the Powepod? I would like to know basically which is the distance that the ‘hole’ is from where you fit it in the bike and how ‘front’ is comparing with the axis that you fit it. I really want to know that the cables will not pose any problem before making the order.
    Thanks a lot

    Reply
    • You can place PowerPod anywhere on the handlebars. You’re correct that you need to position it so that the wind port is not obstructed.

      PowerPod wind port is about 3″ below the bottom of the handlebars and the wind port is about ½ inch in front of the handlebars.

      There an optional Garmin/PowerPod mount available that will place the PowerPod well in front of any cables.

      Reply
    • Peter

      Thanks a lot for the answers! What about the position of the powerpod in the handle bar. Does it affect at all if its close to the center or a bit far from it? I mean, should it be as close as possible to the central part or it doesnt matter?

      Reply
    • Position the PowerPod so that its wind port is not obstructed, anywhere on the handlebars you wish.

      Reply
  54. Dermot O'Riordan

    Thank you as always. Very tempted by this for my commuting bike.

    If I were to borrow the PowerTap P1 pedals from road bike to “calibrate” it, how does that actually work?

    Does it calibrate it within its own software, or does it update what the unit actually transmits over ANT+ eg to the Garmin and thus into Garmin Connect?

    Thank you again

    Reply
    • You don’t need to calibrate PowerPod with any other power meter. After you ride 5 minutes PowerPod self calibrates, and you can fine-tune any of its settings (such as rider weight) using Isaac software.

      Reply
    • Dermot O'Riordan

      Thank you for that. I was talking about the “fine tuning” step. If I were to do that in “Issac” software does the device get updated so that what it broadcasts on ANT+ is “fine tuned”?

      Ray referred to “fine tuning” using another power meter.

      Thank you again

      Reply
    • You can use a DFPM to “fine tune” the CdA and Crr values stored in the PowerPod profile. The effect of this is to make the PowerPod readings as close as possible to the DFPM readings. Of course, this assumes the DFPM is properly calibrated… :-)

      Reply
  55. Havelaar

    Ray’s reviews are already very “powerful”. But commentators like John Hammon really add a significant amount of “Performance watts” to them!

    Ray, I understand from previous posts that you use an app from Ifor Powell to compare power meter data. With a smartphone on the handlebars, would it be possible to see the data of both the PowerPod and a conventional powermeter at the same time live in that app in order to identify “performance watts” (as John called them above) generated from different riding positions and bike setup?

    PowerPod might be appealing to me, if I could use it as some kind of windchannel replacement and gain useful inside from it (i.e. above the changes in resistance that you already feel without the need of any measurement, such as the obvious difference between upright and aero position).

    Reply
  56. Krishnakumar Sridhar

    I am a ibike newton 5 user for past two years and quite happy with it. My question is, can i create two profiles for the same bike and do the calibration ride for two profiles with one on hoods & another one with aero bars and choose use the manual profile selection & ride with Aerobar profile while doing TT?

    Reply
    • EB

      I’ve done similar with the Newton, in my case varying wheels and clothing. The problem is the automatic profile switching as the ANT+ sensor stays the same, so you have to remember to manually switch it. I assume if will be the same with the powerpod

      Reply
    • PowerPod does not have a way to manually switch profiles during a ride.

      Reply
    • EB

      Can you switch profiles in Isaac before the ride?

      Reply
    • Yes, you can use Isaac to manually set the profile prior to the ride.

      Reply
  57. EB

    I’d also support integration with connect IQ, in fact I think I suggested it on the iBike forums when Garmon announced it.

    I have a newton+ and have used it in an Ironman and a 70.3. The live reminder of air drag and the live time gain is really helpful with staying in position. I would get a Powerpod if you did this and made a TT mount.

    As well as being neater it would obviate the need for a phone and Newton Tracker, whilst allowing a display that includes a backlight!

    Reply
    • EB

      As a secondary suggestion: I am guessing there is similarity in the firmware of the Newton & Powerpod and so you might be able to use the similar code for both? If so you could offer an upgrade of Newtons so they could transmit the interesting data. This would allow us to hide the Newton and use the Remote Wind Sensor whilst using again head unit. There would be about of a weight gain, but it would provide a nicer upgrade path.

      Also, I haven’t read the Connect IQ library yet, but if it allows access to ANT transmissions, could you not relatively simply transmit the information and make a very clear description of how it is formatted so third parties could make the Connect IQ apps?

      Reply
    • Yes, Newton and PowerPod are kissing cousins of each other… :-)

      We will investigate Connect IQ possibilities later this year.

      Reply
    • EB

      Thanks John!

      Reply
  58. Avi

    Hi Ray,
    thanks for putting this post together. there was a picture of your Cervelo bike half way through. What is the unit attached to the back of the seat post? Is this is a rear light?

    Thanks
    Avi

    Reply
    • It’s the Garmin Varia regular lights. Just testing them out.

      Reply
    • Avishai Moscovich

      Thanks!

      Reply
    • Avishai Moscovich

      Which mount are you using (b/c the seat post on the Cervelo P3 is not round)?

      Reply
  59. Stephen

    Fascinating stuff.

    Would “fine tuning” the profile in the Isaac software improve accuracy or have other benefits over just doing a good calibration ride? This feature is mentioned only in passing in the review.

    STP

    Reply
    • PowerPod is set up for a rider 5 feet 11″ high, weight 180 pounds, bike + gear weight of 25 pounds. If you’re close to these parameters you’ll get nearly zero incremental benefit using Isaac. If you are significantly different from this (for example, we have a PowerPod user who is 6′ 8″ and weighs 230 pounds) then adjusting PowerPod with customized parameters will help.

      Reply
    • Stephen

      @ John Hamann….

      Thanks for the quick response….on a Sunday, no less!

      I’m 6,’ 175 lbs. Bike + gear is probably between 20-25 lbs depending on the ride. So it sounds like I probably fit the base profile.

      I appreciate your contributions to Ray’s blog, but for ongoing support and community “discussions,” this isn’t the best platform, as I’m sure Ray would agree. Is there a user support site for the PowerPod and iBike products?

      STP

      Reply
    • You’re profile is perfect for PowerPod!

      Absolutely, there is a place where you and everyone else can ask all the questions you want about PowerPod. And hopefully you’ll get answers just as quickly. Here is the link:

      link to ibikeforum.com

      Reply
    • Stephen

      Thanks. Open in another tab and reading right now.

      STP

      Reply
    • 747

      Well, actually I am 245 lbs, but it was easy to adjust my profile using the Isaac software. I would highly recommend using the free Isaac software to input accurate weight (FULLY dressed with helmet, shoes, snacks, phone, tube,etc) and the accurate bike weight (w/ full bottles, tool bag, lights, etc) and manually enter tire circumference and pressure from the wheel with the speed sensor. As the PowerPod is doing a lot of math to calculate the power, take the time to do this so it’s inputs are accurate. All these adjustments take 1-2 minutes to input in Isaac and about 2 seconds to transfer to the PowerPod-very easy.

      Reply
  60. Matt Evans

    I ride a cyclocross bike in the UK for mixed road/bridleway use (think dirt tracks alongside golf courses etc), mostly doing only one hour rides. Tracks are a fair bit more bumpy than “gravel” roads but not like cobbles as such.

    If John reads this, is the unit likely to encounter problems?

    Reply
    • We’ve had lots of cyclocross users get great results. It’s not about the bumps but much more about the speed, tire pressure and size. CX bikes have fatter tires and lower tire pressures, so vibration is less.

      Reply
    • Matt Evans

      Thanks, I have 33mm tyres on my bike typically at 30-35ish psi (harder than typical cx I know but this is because around half the time I’m on road) so sounds like could be worth a go

      Reply
  61. Greg K

    Am I correct in assuming this won’t work well indoors on a trainer? If it’s factoring wind intake in the calculation, I’d be concerned since I’m stationary and my fan could do impact it.

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Paul S.

      As it says in Ray’s review above, it uses power vs. speed curves indoors, and it gets “speed” from your speed sensor. Your fan won’t affect it because it’s not using wind speed indoors.

      Reply
  62. Hi All-

    Just as a quick update that Clever Training has now listed the PowerPod for sale. As with all items, you can save 10% (and get free US shipping) by being a DCR reader. In this case you can simply use the DCR coupon code DCR10MHD upon checkout. Linkage here: link to clevertraining.com

    Enjoy!

    Reply
  63. Michael Zielinski

    Great review. I also own a powerpod and like its flexibility.

    Reply
  64. Peter

    Ray,

    Questing concerning Garmin Edge 810 Head Unit and Power data fields via Powerpod:

    Assume we have in our Garmin in the activity profile one screen with cadence, speed, actual power, Heartrate (screen 1) and in another screen (same activity profile) we have actual power, power3s, power10s (screen 2).

    During the ride you only show screen 1. Could it be due to some background filtering on screen 2 that a small time lag in screen 1 could be seen (although screen 2 is not really active)?

    Or will the data fields, filtering from screens which are not shown do not (or should not) have an impact on the Power display on the active screen?

    Thx,
    Peter

    Reply
    • No impact from other screens. Often times in videos I just use bigger screens so it’s easier to see. But my normal ones have all of them.

      Remember screens are just moment in time visual things, and have no impact on actual recording or recorded data.

      Reply
  65. Peter K

    looks like Powered has shown up on Amazon UK- http://www.amazon.co.uk/PowerPod-attaches-handlebars–no-change-bracket/dp/B0071KX55O/ref=sr_1_8?s=home-theater&ie=UTF8&qid=1458250057&sr=8-8&keywords=powerpod

    The pictures are right in the search but wrong on the product page… Any idea if this rice point is going to stick or will come down with UK suppliers etc?!

    Reply
  66. Dan Perry

    This may not be the place to ask this but I’m having trouble finding the information in one place –
    I am new to road biking (8 months) and am gradually upping my performance needs.
    I don’t currently own a bike computer or power meter.
    I will be purchasing a Garmin because my phone battery cant keep up with my navigation/recording needs (I see you have several articles I should read on that topic :) leaning towards 1000 for its navigation and battery life).

    My question; is there any benefit to getting a Newton vs. a PowerPod if I will be using a Garmin?
    The Newton is slightly more expensive, has fewer mounting options, and the features seem identical if I don’t need its display.
    Thanks!

    Reply
    • If you’re purchasing a Garmin then the PowerPod is the best choice for you.

      Reply
    • 747

      You would either:
      1. buy a Newton
      OR
      2. buy a Garmin Edge AND a PowerPod

      I have a Garmin Edge 520 paired to miy PowerPod. I would buy a 520 over a Garmin Edge if you want a great computer. As I don’t use any Nav functions on my computer I cannot comment on those features on a 520 vs a 1000.

      Reply
  67. Orci

    Does the PowerPod provide any kind of water resistance?
    Or do I have to rescue it from the rain.

    At least John Hamann mentioned to clean the wind port with water.

    Reply
  68. Tom B

    I was thinking about purchasing the PowerPod, and measuring power on my regular commutes to work. The cycle parking is not that secure so I would not want to leave any gadgets on the bike. It looks like the mount for PowerPod would require me to unscrew the fixture and then realign the PowerPod again every day when I want to remove it for security reasons. Obviously a power meter like a crank is still quite easy for someone to steal, but it looks like PowerPod could be stolen without any tools if I don’t take it off every day?

    How easy is it to remove and reinstall again?

    Also, any information on what the UK pricing will be? I could buy from clevertraining.com and get hit by the import taxes, or am I better off waiting a bit?

    Thanks

    Tom

    Reply
    • PowerPod uses a GoPro-style mount, so removing PowerPod from your bike is as simple and fast as unscrewing the GoPro mounting bolt.

      To reattach it you’ll simply rotate the PowerPod forward gently until its rectangular tab is stopped by the mount, then tighten the GoPro bolt.

      If you’re willing to wait a few weeks then there may be additional UK buying options for you.

      Reply
    • TomB

      Thanks John, that’s very useful. Unscrewing the bolt shouldn’t be a problem!

      Reply
  69. Ryan M

    You mention that the powerpod doesn’t handle TT bikes well. Are you attempting to mount it on the extensions? I’m hoping to be able to get this to work on my TT bike, I ride in a “praying mantis” like position, and my base bar will easily accept the solid gopro style mount the powerpod ships with. This would work, no?
    Also, just a huge thank you. I read your blog almost daily, and have gotten to the point where I don’t spend any money on anything until I sneak a peak what your thoughts on it. Keep it up!

    Reply
    • I was attempting to mount it there. Previously they made a mount that went onto the stem, but that wasn’t for the GoPro mount style, but rather their previous unit.

      It’d probably be better on the base bar, since that’s far more stable. My only concern would be how precisely your hands sit on the bars. If everything is ‘above’ the aerobar, it’s likely not going to impact wind going into the unit. But if you tend to wrap to the left/below the aerobars, then it might. I suppose as long as you calibrated in that position it should work out.

      Reply
    • Ryan M

      I don’t think air flow will be an issue. My aero bar extensions are angled up about 40 degrees, leaving (I hope) more then enough “clean” air for the power pod to sit in. I’ll be using this in my road bike as well, so hopefully I’ll be able to notice if there are any major differences between the two set ups.

      Reply
  70. Marty

    Ray, I live in an area that is mostly flat and has a tendency to be windy. I do most of my riding solo and some group. Most time in aero position. Not competitively riding right now but want to get more efficient. Is the power pod a good place to start?

    Reply
    • My main concern would be mounting to the tri bike (since you mentioned aero), otherwise I don’t think you’d see any issues.

      Reply
    • Marty

      Do you think the 4iiii might be better for the extra $100

      Reply
  71. PK Steffen

    I was an early adopter and had issues with my Garmin speed/cadence sensor talking to the Powerpod. John was incredibly helpful, emailing back immediately and even calling me on the phone multiple times. They have excellent customer service.

    I think it needs to be said that with some speed/cadence sensors there were issues. I bet they have figured it out, but be aware that to get it working you may need to spend more by buying their speed/cadence sensor or another one they recommend. I swapped out two Garmin speed/cadence sensors that I own to no avail. I purchased them a couple years apart from different vendors and both worked flawlessly. After neither of them communicated with the Powerpod consistently, I decided to move on and John was incredibly kind to refund my money. I switched to a Stages power meter which doesn’t need to be recharged, starts automatically and removes the need for a cadence sensor because it does it as well. It cost a couple hundred more, but it worked out of the box.

    I’m sure John will respond about the sensor issue and whether they have solved it. I felt compelled to share my story after someone else said they had similar issues. John is a class act, super smart and he stands behind his product one hundred and ten percent. It is a great idea, but just didn’t work with my setup.

    Reply
    • Paul was close to being customer #1, and he’s right that we had unexpected surprises with a few customers, particularly with some variants of the GSC-10 sensor. Most GSC-10 sensors work perfectly fine with PowerPod, but it looks to us like some of their older ones (manufactured prior to 2013) aren’t as beefy in their transmission capabilities.

      FYI: Garmin now has a new magnet-less sensor series and our experience is that they work perfectly with PowerPod, particularly when the speed sensor is on the front hub.

      Reply
  72. Steve B

    I apologize if this has been asked already but will the Powerpod work well with the integrated Duotrap speed/cadence sensor on my Trek Domane?

    Reply
    • Yes, it should work just fine.

      Reply
    • 747

      John Hamann is a class act and really stands behind his product. My friend and I both purchased PowerPods. Regarding speed sensors, the only way both my friend and I could get our Powerpods to read the speed sensor was to buy a new Garmin 12104 magnet-less speed sensor installed on the front wheel hub (note-this requires you to remove your GSC-10 and also mount the 12104 cadence sensor on your left crank). So, you need both magnetless Garmin sensors in the 12014 package. It runs $60-70 for the set.

      Between our 2 bikes, we tried both our Garmin GSC-10s, his built in RideSense on his Giant bike and both of us mounting the Garmin 12014 to the rear hub. All of the above combinations resulted in failed speed sensor communications with the PowerPod. We saw the PowerPod incorrectly read 0 watts for over 11% of our ride distances due to this. The only way it worked was to install the new Garmin 12104 speed sensor to the front hub and cadence sensor to the crank.

      John is patient and straightforward to deal with and even sent replacement units to help verify our findings. After now running the PowerPod + Garmin 12104 on the front hub for over 15 rides plus one race, it has performed perfectly.I really like analyzing the data in Isaac and also like seeing my pedal stroke and bike movement (wasted motion) animated data with the PowerStroke upgrade. In my case, due to my height (6 foot 8) and weight (245lbs). I have custom 200mm cranks, require forged chainrings (i bend stamped/machined ones), and have hand-made high-strength wheels/hubs . So all other power meter options were not available to me. Only the PowerPod or pedals were options for me. A pair of pedals is $1,300 vs $300 for the PowerPod. For the $1,000 savings I am quite happy. Even needing to spend $70 in new sensors makes the PowerPod 67% less cost than the pedals.

      I would recommend that if you buy a PowerPod, you test it thoroughly with your speed sensor. To do this, view the ride data in the free Isaac software included, with smoothing set to 0:00 to check for speed sensor dropouts (sharp icicle-like speed drops to 0 mph repeatedly during a ride- I saw as many as 70 dropouts per ride). If you only see the speed only go to 0 mph when you know you had stopped, great, your sensors are fine! But, if you see numerous unexpected drops to 0mph, then you may need to use the Garmin 12104 mounted to the front hub, or look at other issues like your speed sensor battery life, magnet distance, etc.

      Every new product has teething pains and to get upset or blame the company for a first generation release is just not fair to them. I applaud them for releasing a power meter that is both affordable and works with any ANT+ head unit. I am still happy I bought the PowerPod and recommend it to anyone, so long as you verify your speed sensor operation before relying on the power data it will show. And, I will tell you if you do have issues, John Hamann and his company will be wonderful to work with.

      Reply
    • Marty

      Thanks for the insight

      Reply
    • Terry Steer

      Interesting post. I too am experiencing prolonged periods of 0 watts being displayed. I have my Garmin speed sensor mounted to the rear hub. I will move it to the front hub and check the results.

      I hope this works as I’ve been a little underwhelmed up till now.

      Reply
    • Send an Isaac .ibr ride file to jhamann@velocomp.com and we will help figure out what is going on.

      Reply
    • Terry Steer

      Thanks John,

      sent a few files through to your email just now.

      cheers

      terry

      Reply
    • Terry Steer

      It seems that moving the speed sensor to the front hub has solved my issues as well. I completed a a 77km ride with no drop outs and John looked through the .ibr file for me and confirmed that all was ok.

      Thanks to 747 for the original post and John for following up.

      cheers

      terry

      Reply
    • Terry Steer

      While moving my hub based speed sensor to the front hub worked perfectly for a few rides, things seem to have gone amiss.

      I’m a little confused about what the issue is.

      I have a garmin 520, and I’m seeing a lot of low wattage or zero wattage displayed on the 520 again after a few rides where it looked really solid.

      Reading Ray’s review again, I wonder if some of this is related to the roads I ride on. Many of them aren’t super smooth, being of blue metal and tar construction. Perhaps similar to the chip roads Ray mentions. Also, there are quite a few bumps etc.

      Where it starts to get confusing for me is that the garmin seems to be having issues receiving data, or powerpod issues in sending it and the garmin is just displaying what it receives. I say that because if I download the file off the powerpod, it seems to have all the power data in it.

      The garmin though doesn’t seem to have received all the power data, and when it uploads to garmin connect or Strava it shows the data with low readings and large gaps.

      Any thoughts?

      I also cannot get my wahoo magnet less cadence sensor data into the powerpod. Issac shows the sensor is connected and has the sensor Id displayed, but I keep getting 0 cadence when I display the file in Isaac. I’ve tried to re-pair the sensors multiple times and at multiple stages during rides.

      Reply
    • The best way to handle these kinds of detailed questions is through technicalsupport@velocomp.com

      Reply
  73. Patrick kleine

    To day first time out with THE powerpod very happy all what is whriten is true iTS a great device

    Reply
  74. Robert

    Does PowedPod measure only front wind or also somehow side wind or perhaps even back wind?

    Reply
    • PowerPod captures the opposing wind that slows the cyclist’s motion. For example, if the rider is traveling down the road at 30 km/h, into a head wind of 10 km/h, the total opposing wind reported by PowerPod will be 40 km/h. If the rider turns around and rides at 30 km/h, the opposing wind reported will be 20 km/h.

      Cross winds have a component of wind perpendicular to the direction of motion. PowerPod captures some portion of those winds too, allowing since they also have some effect on watts.

      Reply
  75. hank

    Can PowerPod tell the difference between power in and out of the saddle when climbing or sprinting?

    Is PP taking into account cadence sensor when available to calculate the power more precisely? (I know its needed for power stroke function)

    Can I mount the PP upside down on my bars since I have short stem and not much space between bars and head tube?

    How much memory this unit have? How many hours or riding can we record? and if the battery discharge(red light) will it remember the ride data and profiles?

    Reply
    • 747

      The only one I am answering is , Yes, it clearly measures when you are in and out of the saddle as well as when you are braking. In Isaac software you can see the sections of your ride where you are seated, out-of-saddle and braking denoted as different colors. It is very accurate.

      Reply
    • When cadence equals zero then power must be zero. PowerPod uses this fact as applicable.

      Are you suggesting that PowerPod be mounted such that it is above the handlebars (instead of its default position below the handlebars)? If so this will work, but be aware that, in rainy conditions, water will likely enter the wind port and block the wind sensor, because when mounted upside down the wind port won’t be able to drain water.

      As an alternative, you can use the Combo Garmin/PowerPod mount, which will place your PowerPod well in front of your head tube.

      You can record up to 768 hours of rides in PowerPod’s internal memory. If the battery goes low PowerPod will “close” the current ride file and remember the data from all files stored in its memory.

      Reply
    • Ken

      Hi John,

      What if sometimes the crank arm is aligned with the cadence sensor (freewheeling) for a short while?

      In my Garmin data, I can see the cadence goes up 150 to 200rpm… Would this screw over the power data?

      Reply
    • hank

      I got software and indeed saw all aspects of recorded power data,nice work.
      My friend had your Newton unit for long time,and said it work very well before he spend “big bucks” for other impractical power units. Its how I got my interest in your unit.
      WOW 768 hours of data!!!! Superbly stunning figure!that is some 13k miles, worth whole season of miles… I think I be definitely buying one.

      By any chance do you know when new unit with Bluetooth be available? and will it be able to send/upload data via Bluetooth to PC ?
      or will you guys make option in the software to send data via ant+/BL to PC ? That would be really great then!
      Can we upgrade our unit to Bluetooth one later?
      How Power Pod is with heat or cold? I’m riding in NY (I rode in -5 F wind hill once this year), but when I ride in Arizona heat I have to tilt my computer away form direct sunlight so it don’t overheats and thermal protection message appear.
      Will you offer battery replacement service in future as well?
      Thanks a lot….

      Reply
    • Well, you’ll get the same odd cadence data recorded in the PowerPod file, but this likely won’t have any effect on power data, unless you happen to be in an aero tuck on a downhill, in which case your PowerPod performance watts will be non-zero.

      Reply
    • Bluetooth should be coming next month. It will transmit power data via Bluetooth, but the PowerPod ride data (wind, slope etc) will be available only through USB connection. There are different electronics in the BLE version of PowerPod, so an upgrade isn’t possible.
      We’ve had several riders use PowerPod in cold weather (20F is the coldest I’ve seen this year) without problems. Hot weather should be no problem. The rechargeable batteries have a long life; we have many Newtons in service for 4 years now with their original batteries. If the battery does wear out you will be able to have the battery changed by us.

      Reply
    • Rob

      After you have the BLE version will you be working on an app to control some of the settings that can currently only be adjusted on PC software (eg smoothing on/off)?

      Reply
    • Yes; we developed much of the basic controls when we did our iPhone work a few years ago.

      Reply
    • hank

      so which is it ? 20 hours or 768 hours? kinda HUGE DIFFERENCE. Is it because of recording time intervals of 1s, 2s ,5s ,ect….? Can you specify the recording times? Its important then to upload data often or Can I just enjoy using it without worrying about memory ? Will Power Pod still transmit power data to my bike computer after its memory is full?(assuming its 20 some hours? ) (I just don’t won’t to be finding out that in the middle of gran fondo, the pod will just shut off )
      Ant+ versus BLE version is that BLE signal capability, plus access to other functions thru the phone app? but the power functionality stays the same I assume?
      are there any instruction manual? with specifications ect. that we can read?

      Reply
    • Maybe the place to start is…what is the recording capacity of Stages, PowerTap, SRM, Pioneer, etc? The answer is…zero! All competitive products do nothing more than send their power data to a bike computer. The recording capacity is therefore determined by the bike computer.

      We originally designed PowerPod to be competitive with “the other guys”…later on, we decided to add in the exclusive ability to download ride data separately.

      The PowerPod ships with about 155 hours of ride memory at its 1 second recording rate. This translates into 26 hours if the optional Powerstroke feature is added. If you choose to have Powerstroke installed then there is no option to record at a “slower” rate.

      Yes, PowerPod will transmit its data without limitation, no matter how full its internal memory is. BLE has no effect on ride memory.

      You can learn more about Powerstroke. Click on the “Newton 6 Powerstroke Instructions” tab:

      link to ibikesports.com

      Reply
    • hank

      Thanks for your responses John, I appreciate it.
      You write:If you choose to have Powerstroke installed then there is no option to record at a “slower” rate. Can I check it “on” or “off” in the Issac program and send it to Power Pod before I ride?

      Reply
    • When the Powerstroke feature is enabled it is turned on 100% of the time. We do not, at this time, have a way for the user to turn it off using Isaac.

      Reply
  76. Stephen

    Just got an email from Clever Training that the Powerpod is on sale for $250….went to the site AND there’s an additional 10% off if your a member of the “DCR club” (or whatever they call it–the $4.99 subscription fee to get Ray’s discount. So for $225 this has reached the point where it’s a no-brainer in my situation–wanting to get started with basic PM training and not happy with any of the other alternatives out there–for a whole variety of reasons.

    And there’s no real downside with CT’s return policy.

    Watch for me at the TdF… ;-).

    STP

    Reply
  77. 747

    Regarding the amount of onboard storage, I have seen less than 20 hours of riding before the PowerPod memory is full. I do have the PowerStroke upgrade that records data at a high definition rate and that may increase storage, not sure. I have to erase rides from memory to make room for new ones about every 5 rides.

    Reply
    • Power stroke records data 16 times per second, sixteen times more often than the “normal” PowerPod. There also is overhead for each ride. So, your PowerStroke ride time seems normal. Also, make sure to erase your memory after downloading your Powerstroke rides.

      Reply
  78. 747

    I have no issues with the storage- it works great. When I first got the PowerPod, I would download and look at every ride on Isaac when I got home, now I rarely do. The unit works great during a ride even with full storage. I agree with John, the storage is a big bonus, but any perceived “lack of storage” is not an issue as I find it more than acceptable. I find myself now looking at power live during a ride ( 3 second, 30 second and Normalized) and then a ride summary on Strava or Garmin Connect when I get home. It takes about 3 minutes to download and clear the device if the memory does max out- no biggie. Total flexabity.

    Reply
  79. Jonathan

    In post #200, 747 had mentioned the ability to manually enter in wheel size information. Does PowerPod save and use that information to calculate the speed that the speed sensor is sending it? I have a discontinued speed sensor (Motorola Bike Speed & Cadence Sensor for MOTOACTV) that I am using with my ANT+ cell phone along with “a Training Tracker” app by Rainer Blind. This seemed to be the only app that would let me calibrate the speed sensor, but only on the cell phone side. I dont think the calibration data parameter can be sent to the speed sensor. So far with testing the speed sensor is still sending out raw data. Once the PowerPod gets the ANT+ speed data, will it “fix” it and then rebroadcast it along with the power information? Thank you!

    Reply
    • Paul S.

      “Speed sensors” are misnamed. They’re actually wheel rotation sensors. It’s the head unit, whatever it is, that computes speed/distance from rotations. Isaac can set the wheel circumference per profile, and the PowerPod can use that to compute ground speed, but that’s independent of what your head unit is telling you. It does report ground speed and distance in the data recorded when imported back into Isaac, and you can change that by changing the circumference. So far as I know, PowerPod is sending only power data to the head unit, and doesn’t rebroadcast anything. The only other information that I’ve ever heard that power meters send is that some send cadence data as well.

      Reply
  80. Thomas Wylie

    Hey Ray (or powerpod team),

    You say that it is dependant on a speed sensor, how much does the accuracy of the speed sensor impact the accuracy of the power reading. For example I have a garmin speed sensor (one of the magnetises ones that straps to your hub), this is set to auto calibrate via the GPS from my Fenix 3. However people have complained about the accuracy of the GPS on the Fenix 3 so the calibration could be off (and i’ve always found it odd that you have a speed sensor for better distance/speed accuracy but that thing is calibrated according to the GPS which has poorer speed/distance accuracy).

    Do you think this would affect things? Would you recommend measuring my wheel circumference?

    Thanks,

    Tom

    Reply
  81. Daniel

    Very cool – ready to pull the trigger on this!

    If I don’t need Bluetooth connectivity, is there any other benefit (such as future software compatibility/upgrades) in waiting for the new powerpod to ship next month?

    Thanks!

    Reply
  82. Mitch W

    Hello Ray and PowerPod,

    I am very impressed with the power pod from all that I have read. Biking is a very expensive hobby, and devices like this are really cool for those of us with a high-end tech appetite, and a low-end cash flow. I currently use a PowerCal, but would like to have something with more accurate numbers to use to train and race with. The powerCal numbers (as you have mentioned in your reviews) are fair (and a great intro into power) but too jumpy and imprecise to use as a guide for racing.

    I am very interested in this product, however, as I currently have no cycling computer (I usually strap my Fenix 2 on my handlebars), I am also very interested in the Ibike Newton 6.

    I understand it’s limitations as a cycling computer, and at $399 (plus mount) it’s still a bit too high for me to justify, especially given the lack of certain functionality (namely stand-alone GPS), but if it were to have a similar drop in price….

    Since Mr. Hamman has said these items are “kissing cousins”, and the PowerPod is on sale, will the Newton have a “relative” sale price?

    Should I just go with the PowerPod, and pair it with my F2?

    (currently the Newton is not listed on clever training, and there seems to be no sale at Ibikesports.com for any product).

    Reply
    • Newton price was reduced $100 late last year, so it already is “on sale”. The Newton includes a “dual” mount and speed/cadence sensor, so there is nothing extra to buy.

      Newton now includes Newton Tracker (GPS) capability, so if you have a smartphone you’ll be able to get GPS when you download Newton rides into Isaac software.

      Reply
    • Hi John,

      Thank you do much for replying and for being so involved in the forum in general. It’s really helpful, and provides proof of your legendary customer service that I have read about in many reviews.

      The mount I was referring to was the TT mount.

      Also, just to get a bit of clarification, you wrote that “Newton now includes Newton tracker (GPS) capability”…is this now in the included firmware, or is it still an add on?

      (Just to be clear it’s not a deal killer for me, as I can still broadcast the power data to my fenix and record power and GPS there, and use the Newton as my display while riding.)

      Reply
    • We include the NT upgrade as standard on the Newton. Yeah, the TT mount is a bit more expensive, because we have to buy it from a supplier.

      Reply
    • I wanted to provide an update. I have had the Newton 6 for a few weeks now, gone on several rides, and, while this is more a powerPod focused forum, I would like to share my opinion.

      Couldn’t be happier. Great company. I received the product in 1 day (doesn’t hurt that we reside in the same state).

      Easy to mount and setup via Isaac. I did the 10 minute out and back calibration ride for “best accuracy” performance.

      Power numbers seem a bit low, but remain utterly consistent across various efforts (which I value much, much more). Not to mention that the watts I am comparing to have come from the PowerCal (which I believe is probably about as accurate as Strava’s after the fact watt estimates. I.E. not great).

      Dynamic Power Smoothing: I was shocked to find (given Ray’s review) that I love the Dynamic Power Smoothing option. This may be a difference between PP vs Newton, however. The DPS limits the jumpiness of normal power meter numbers while providing one second responsiveness for sprints and 0 watt effort. I can see hard efforts instantaneously. Here’s where the difference lies:The Newton (and the PP) record all the data and it can be viewed raw after your ride. Most people using the PP don’t care about recording on the unit, and instead want to broadcast power to a head unit. Thus, the head unit would record overly smoothed numbers, so they broadcast the raw numbers and rely on the head unit to smooth them. For Newton users, like me, the head unit and power meter are one. I get the best of both worlds. The unit broadcasts numbers that are more meaningful than 3-30 second smoothing, and records at 1 second (16x per second w/power-stroke enabled) intervals.

      Interchangeability between bikes will be great. I have a TT bike and road bike, and will soon be moving close enough to commute to work. I can’t wait to see power while I commute.

      Auto hill feature. As soon as you start taking on an ascent, Newton automatically changes its display to flash between speed and slope. Really cool. There are other cool display features as well, such as wind directional indicator, power up/down indicator. There are other great things such as being able to see wind speed and slope in general.

      Customizable displays. While there is some level of customization, it is very limited; most things can’t be changed. However I probably wouldn’t change much anyway. Just when I press total I wish battery wasn’t the first screen (should be ride totals), and enviro didn’t go straight to temp (would be more useful to skip right to the screen that shows wind and slope in one!). Other than that the display features are great. Lots of data, and very easy and intuitive to find what you need while riding 20mph.

      I wish there were a way to upload ride data without plugging it in. That is the biggest pitfall of the device. Perhaps there will be more Bluetooth connectivity (and an Isaac online/mobile platform) in future iterations. In the same vein, I wish there were a more seamless transition to get ride info onto strava. A manual import of the file is necessary, as there is no background transfer (a la Garmin Connect).

      Customer service: Saved the best for last. Can’t say enough here. Tom G. has been a big help (hope you’re listening Mr. Hamann). I had some questions and they are extremely quick to respond in a friendly, professional manner with expertise and know to get the information you need. Mr. Hammann reported on the comment thread that the Newton was equipped with firmware that would allow the Newton Tracker mobile app to provide GPS. Unfortunately, mine did not arrive with such firmware. This was quickly and easily sorted out. Great job in this respect. I like doing business with a company that is responsive and helpful. Mr. Hamann’s participation in this thread seems a testament to this commitment to customer service. It makes me want to become a repeat customer.

      Sorry for such a long post. Hope this might help someone else who is considering a purchase. Like I said in the beginning. Couldn’t be happier, no regrets, great device.

      Reply
    • Wow, thank you very much!

      Newton is PowerPod’s “big brother” and you’re correct that, with the power measurement and bike computer functions fully integrated (no ANT interface to slow down power data transmission), the Newton provides incredibly fast response to changes in power.

      It’s nice, too, that you are enjoying features such as hill slope and wind speed display.

      And I’ll make sure Tom knows about your post…I agree completely with your comments about his support!

      Reply
    • siegfried pittet

      Hello John,
      I was very excited about your product so I purchased 1 unit last month but I am very unhappy that I can not mount it on my TT bars and that your mount is outrageously expensive. I heard that you provide outstanding customer service, so tell me what I am supposed to do now with this unit that I can not use on my triathlon bike without spending a fortune for another mount.
      Thank you.

      Reply
    • Our TT mounts are made out of small “bricks” of aluminum, CNC machined into the right shape for TT bikes, and then anodized black. It is a really expensive process but it results in a very high quality, very stiff, very durable mount. The mount price is comparable to other machined aluminum mounts that are in the market.

      Please email me at jhamann@velocomp.com and we will figure out something.

      Reply
  83. Greg

    Just ordered last night. At this price, no brainer

    Reply
  84. Jeff G

    >they could display real-time aerodynamic feedback as you make position changes out on the bike. Pretty fascinating stuff – but at this point the PowerPod folks are awaiting whether there is demand for it.

    i am sure there will be.

    infact i would imagine an aeropod – a stand alone drag coefficient device – that could display on a connect iQ app
    (whilst your torque based power meter dealt with power) would be a great seller.

    Reply
  85. Kristen

    I just set up my power pod, ran the 5 min calibration and went for a ride. Impressed so far! I tweaked the position to put the unit where I’d like to keep it long term on the handlebars after that calibration and ride. Angle and position of power pod are now different. Do I need to reset and recalibrate the unit?

    Reply
    • The next time you ride your watts will be wacky (either high or low, depending on how you repositioned your handlebars) for about 8 minutes, then will settle in normally. After that, you will be good to go for all your subsequent rides.

      Reply
    • Stephen

      John Hamman said:

      >>The next time you ride your watts will be wacky (either high or low, depending on how you repositioned your handlebars) for about 8 minutes, then will settle in normally. After that, you will be good to go for all your subsequent rides.<<

      Sounds like it's not necessary, but for us OCD types, is it possible to erase the calibration and start over?

      STP

      Reply
    • If you insist you can reset your profile using Isaac command “Device/Setup/Reset Profile/Reset Profile 1”.

      If would not do this, however.

      Reply
    • Kristen

      Awesome! Thanks John. On your advice, I went back out today, and observed just that; 0 watts for ~ 8 mins, then power was back to being displayed on my Edge. The “healing” Ray refers to in his review. Good to go! Thanks again.

      Reply
  86. Chris E.

    First of all, thanks for the great in-depth review, and thanks to John Hamann for all the insightful responses to everyone’s questions!

    I just have a question regarding Powerpod and speed/cadence sensor compatibility. I read in one of the comments that there were issues regarding the Powerpod not working 100% with the Garmin GSC-10 speed/cadence sensor. Will using the GSC-10 be a problem? I use an old Garmin Edge 705, which is not compatible with the new Garmin speed and cadence sensors, so I wanted to make sure the Powerpod will work with what I have before I buy it.

    Thanks,

    Chris

    Reply
    • Most customers use the GSC-10 without problems. I have used mine for about 9 months. It should be ok…

      Reply
    • Brian J.

      Chris, I have the exact setup you do. Edge705 (wow, there are a few of us left!) and GSC10. Mostly, though, I use my Fenix 3 except when I need mapping or turn-by-turn. The Powerpod paired right away with all three devices, without a hitch.

      Like you, I was concerned about the reported issues with the GSC10, as I didn’t want to give up 705 functionality. That said, I spun the bike with the F3 and 705 in hand and found I could pick up speed well beyond the 10′ benchmark.

      I have done a couple of short rides and the power numbers are what I expect. So far, pretty happy and impressed.

      Reply
  87. Ken

    Ray mentioned that it will auto power down after 20mins of inactivity.

    So if i were to have a coffee break on a ride that last 30mins, do i need to power it on again?

    Also, will this make the powerpod recalibrate again for 5mins?

    Reply
  88. 747

    If the PowerPod auto-powers down after 20 mins, just press the power button once, light turns solid green. Ensure your computer shows it connected and ride. It does not recalibrate or do anything strange, it just starts working immediately. If it is really bright out, shade the unit with your hand as the green light can be hard to see in bright sun.

    If I am in doubt that it’s on, I press the button before I leave a regroup to see solid green light. Note: pressing power button for a second or so DOES NOT power it down, it just ensures it’s on and reconnects to sensors and your computer if it had became disconnected. So even if you are riding, you can press the button to see the solid green light as a reassuring check that it’s connected and working.

    One other note: When I was having speed sensor connection issues and I noticed my Power drop to 0 watts, I would press the power button, it sometimes flashed green indicating it could not find the speed sensor, then would eventually turn solid green once it reconnected. This was a good test ensure it’s connected. Now with my Garmin 12104 speed sensor on front wheel, if I press the PowerPod power button while riding, I always get the solid green, meaning it’s connected and working.

    Also note: To power off/reset the device completely, hold the power button for more than 10 seconds. After than you can quick press the power button again to get the solid green light. I have only had to do that once early on when my Garmin would not connect to it. I have never had to do it since. So if your Garmin “loses the connection” to the PowerPod, try that.

    Reply
    • Good advice from 747, with one significant correction:

      If you press-hold the PowerPod button for 10 seconds, this executes a “hard reset” (reboot) of the PowerPod. Hard-reset operation does not shut down the PowerPod; rather, it restarts the unit. After a Hard Reset the PowerPod does not shut off.

      Note that if you do a Hard Reset in the middle of the ride then you risk losing your ride data (the same way that you’d lose a word file if rebooted your computer abruptly).

      Unless your PowerPod becomes totally unresponsive, there is no reason to do a Hard Reset.

      Reply
  89. victor

    Why are the European prices double the US price? (399 Euro vs 249/225 USD)

    Reply
    • There are three things going on here:

      1) A US-based business is having a sale (which ends soon). That is their right…

      2) Euro prices include duty and VAT; US prices do not include taxes so they are at least 22% lower

      3) Euro prices also account for a Euro warranty (2 years vs 1 year in the US), shipping and import costs of getting the product from the US to Europe, exchange rate costs, and the cost of local support.

      Reply
    • victor

      John,

      Thanks for the quick reply.

      I appreciate the shipping, import, duty, VAT and exchange costs. If I add up all these costs for a single unit as a consumer, they add up to around 100 Euro. So, I’d still save 100 Euro ordering from Clever US rather than a European retailer. And I imagine bulk shipping and importing would be less costly per unit.

      Retail discounts are more the norm than the exception in Europe. I researched some other US companies pricing, and a 100% markup from the US to Europe seems uniquely high in the industry. Maybe something to look into.

      Regards
      Victor

      Reply
    • Orci

      I had a similar question some time ago.
      Bought mine for 349€ in Germany at the end.

      If it is cheaper for you to buy it from the USA then do it. You are free too.

      Using my PowerPod now for the first 4 days and I must say that I am totally satisfied till now.

      Reply
    • The only prices we set are those shown on powerpodsports.com. Everywhere else it is up to the seller…

      And remember, when there is a sale…then by definition that is a “better than usual” price!

      Reply
    • John Kensek

      I so want to pull the trigger on buying a powerpod since I have been training with out power. I need this on my road bike and my time trial bike. Ray said something about a new mount that is being worked on for time trial frames, any idea when this will release? I also assume that this is pretty easy to switch between bikes, I will just need to keep in mind in needs about 5 minutes to calibrate. Is that correct?

      Reply
  90. TomB

    For one of my bikes, I use clip on tri bars and wear an aero helmet for TTs, and ride it without for the rest of the time. Will I need to go and manually tweak the CdA settings in Isaac when I change the bike set up? Or do I just wait the 8 minutes for Powerpod to work out that something drastic has changed when I change bike set up?

    Reply
    • Using Isaac you can set up two separate profiles for your bike…for example, profile 1 for your TT bike, and profile 3 for your road bike. You will then use Isaac to set the profile you are riding with on each day’s ride.

      Reply
    • Orci

      Hey John,

      just some questions about profiles:
      The first time after my first ride the Isaac software asked me something about a wireless item (?) and if I want to save it.
      I guess this question is about if I want to connect the speed and cadence (?) sensor to my PowerPod profile, correct?
      If I use different speed/cadence sensor combos does the PowerPod select the corresponding profile automatically?
      If I use the same speed/cadence sensors on all of my bike should I then save the sensors to the profile? And does the PowerPod always uses the profile I set in Isaac?
      Would be nice if have some clarification about this.

      Thanks, Orci

      Reply
    • When you download your first ride, your profile not only includes your calibration information but also the wireless IDs associated with it. Isaac is simply asking if you want to update your profile to include the wireless ID information (yes…).

      If you set up a different profile with different sensors, PowerPod will automatically figure out which bike you’re using, by comparing the broadcasting IDs to the IDs stored in your profiles. PP will select the profile that matches the wireless IDs.

      If you use the same sensors on all your bikes you can still have multiple profiles, but using Isaac you will have to manually select the profile to use with the bike you’re riding today.

      Reply
    • Mshynson

      After reading the review and all the positive comments here I’m planning on buying a PowerPod. Is the new BLE version going to have any additional features/improvements other then BLE connectivity? Don’t want to buy the current version only to have a better version available a month later.
      Thanks

      Reply
    • PowerPod ANT+/BLE will have no changes other than the addition of BLE connectivity.

      Reply
    • nbourbaki

      With the discount at Clever Training this is very enticing. How far from the center of the handlebars does the PowerPod drop? I’m trying to judge placement on my bike and I want to make sure I won’t have any cables blocking the device.

      Reply
    • The wind port is about 1 ½ inches below the centerline of the handlebars. You can position the PowerPod on either side of the handlebars, wherever clearance is best.

      Reply
    • Brian Jeffrey

      I mounted mine successfully between the center headset clamp and my clamp-on aerobars using the included handlebar clamp. The distance from the bottom/underside of the handlebar to the bottom of the PowerPod is 2.875″

      Reply
  91. hank

    my “Mystery Box?” is on its way :) with the promotion and discount(-thanks DCrainmaker) its nice deal, worth checking out. Buying this thing is unique experience I must say. Its like buying cat in the bag, hoping that when I get it, it will do what I think it should do.Why? Because no one bothered to write any INSTRUCTION/USER MANUAL FOR IT!!!!!!!! Your web page has nothing about it either. It seems you guys have great costumer service based on wasting your own time answering hundreds of questions about the “black box” basic functionality and operation( and subsequently my time and other potential buyers as well, by making me look on posts and forums to find out powerbox and software functionality ).Maybe user manual will be included in the box? Who knows? that is just another question….. and the never ending post log continues……

    Reply
    • Thanks for the support!

      Fwiw – when I type in Google: “powerpod power meter manual”, I’m brought to this page:

      link to powerpodsports.com

      Which in turn, has a link to the manual here: link to ibikesports.com

      Alternatively, if I just go to their main home page, and click the Hamburger up in the upper left corner and click on Support, the Installation guide is there, as is a Tips & Troubleshooting guide. All of which are in a variety of languages. link to powerpodsports.com

      Enjoy!

      Reply
  92. Ken

    The manual mentioned, “ONLY if you are using the PowerPod combo mount, use Isaac to select PowerPod Profile 2 using the command below.”

    If I am using K-Edge (Or any other brand) combo mount, do I do the same?

    Reply
    • Yes, if you’re using a mount that positions PowerPod in front of the handlebars, use profile 2.

      Whatever kind of mount you use, make sure it is made of machined aluminum. Plastic mounts are too flimsy and won’t work with PowerPod.

      Reply
  93. daniel

    New powerpod is out of the box and charging!

    What are the minimum requirements to run Isaac software?
    I haven’t been able to locate the info in the box or on the ibike website.
    Trying to get the cheapest laptop I can for temporary use… my old Mac is too outdated to work with Garmin Connect but I want to make sure whatever I get will also work with Isaac until I can afford a proper computer.

    Reply
    • Very cool!

      Here are the minimum computer requirements:

      Macintosh:

      Intel Mac
      Mac OSX 10.4 or higher, 512MB RAM memory

      Windows:
      Windows XP, Service Pack 2, Windows Vista, Windows 7, 8 or 10, 512MB RAM memory

      Reply
  94. Changren Y.

    Just installed the PowerPod. After being paired with the Edge 520, I notice there is “calibrate” function, just like any other power meter. What does the “Calibrate” function do for PowerPod?

    Reply
    • The “calibrate” function on Garmin has no effect on PowerPod. The only thing you need to do after setting up your PowerPod the first time is ride for 5 minutes; the PowerPod calibrates itself and then remembers its setting.

      Reply
    • Changren Y.

      Thanks for the quick reply. Another question I have is regarding calibrating PowerPod with DFPM, which in my case is a Quarq power meter. Do I pair the PowerPod with my Quarq PM to get the power and cadence data recorded into PowerPod? Or do I import a ride recorded by my Garmin Edge 520 (paired with the Quarq PM) using Isaac, and then somehow merge the same ride recorded by PowerPod?

      Reply
    • When you do your PowerPod pairing make sure all your sensors are awake, including your Quarq. PowerPod will record both its data and the Quarq data. When you download your PowerPod ride into Isaac you’ll see the Quarq data too.

      BONUS: in Isaac you can use the “File/Merge…” feature to add your Garmin data into the ride file. When you do your GPS data will also be included in your PowerPod ride file!

      Reply
    • Changren Y.

      Easy enough. Thanks a lot again for your super quick response.

      Reply
    • Changren Y.

      I thought i was able to pair up my Quarq Riken AL with the PowerPod. I woke up the Quarq Riken AL and then enabled pairing mode on the PowerPod. I could see the green LED blinking and then becoming solid green, indicating successful pairing. But when i imported the PowerPad ride data after a ride, i don’t see the DFPM option in Isaac. Is there a way to figure out what devices have been paired with a certain profile in Isaac?

      Reply
    • Changren Y.

      Isaac does not appear to support reading the FIT file from my Edge 520. I tried several times before doing a merge with a TCX file. With the TCX file, i was finally able to see the options for DFPM.

      Reply
  95. Carl W

    This is an incredibly exciting product, I read the review and then went and bought one straight away. Can’t wait to give it a try.

    My primary use for it is for aero testing on a TT bike. I read the warning about mounting on a TT bike, but I think I can mount it in a way that’s as solid as regular drop bars. Caveat emptor, if it doesn’t work, I will just use it as a power meter on my road bike.

    There is one main thing I’m wondering about. I plan to use it with another power meter (possibly two in fact) to measure CdA changes, but I’m a little confused about the calibration and “healing” I read about. In order for this to work, the PowerPod “calibration” would need to remain static, so I could measure differences between power meter and PowerPod power deltas and be able to attribute the size of those deltas to changes in CdA. So I need to be able to calibrate or set the CdA to a fixed value and then leave it at that. Is that how it works, can I do that?

    Reply
    • Wow, you’re going to be having some fun!

      We have a combo Garmin/GoPro TT mount going into production in early May. (Ray should be receiving a prototype of it today!).

      CdA measurement is covered in one of the instruction manuals in Isaac, available from the Help menu. Or, here is a link to it:

      link to ibikeforum.com

      Make sure that you have been riding your PowerPod for around 10 minutes before doing any super-sensitive measurement like CdA. This way, you can make sure your PP is dialed-in for best slope accuracy.

      Reply
    • Changren Y.

      When setting up a profile in Isaac, the last step (for a brand new profile) is to choose between “Better Accuracy” and “Best Accuracy”. According to the description for “Best Accuracy”, the PowerPod will do a 10-minute calibration. I tried it yesterday and the calibration appeared to take the same amount of time as the normal calibration.

      Also, i choose “Best Accuracy”, does it mean that for every ride, the PowerPod will be doing a calibration (aka, the bike computer showing power starting from 1 until 100)? Or is that a one time thing only?

      Reply
    • “Best Accuracy” is something that is reserved for the Newton. It doesn’t hurt to select that button, but it has no effect on PowerPod operation. 1–>100W calibration happens only once.

      Reply
    • Carl W

      Thanks, John. I can wait until I get hold of the software, but the link on the forum doesn’t seem to work. It downloads a 522kb PDF file, but the file is corrupt and won’t open. It could just be my connection to it I suppose, but I thought I’d let you know :)

      Reply
    • Very strange…this file was downloaded 601 times previously.

      I checked and you’re right that it had somehow become corrupted. It is fixed now, same link as above.

      Reply
    • Carl W

      Thanks again John, I’ve got the PDF now, all good.

      The Isaac software looks cool, I’m looking forward to having a go with that. Ideally I would like to be able to take measurements in the field, using two Garmins – one paired to the PowerPod, one paired to my DFPM. This will work if I can get the PowerPod NOT to dynamically change what it thinks my CdA is. Can it do that? i.e. broadcast a power number over Ant+ using a static CdA? That way I can ride in position A and observe the difference in reading between the two. Then I can change position to B and do the same ride and again observe the power reading from the two different meters. And then draw conclusions based on whether the difference increases, decreases or stays the same. Possible?

      Reply
    • PowerPod holds a constant internal value of CdA, so you should be able to do precisely what you want.

      This sounds like some good experimenting!

      Reply
  96. Bryan

    I just read the review and went out and bought one!

    I weigh around 131 pounds and have a light bike – so I don’t fit the “standard” profile settings. Respecting that I can update this data in Isaac, but how much of an impact on the accuracy will it be for someone far from the standard?

    Reply
    • This is a really great question. If you live in a flat place (such as Florida) without hills, then weight differences do not have much effect. If, however, you’re doing a lot of climbing, where weight does matter, then you’ll most definitely want to use Isaac to adjust your weight.

      Reply
    • Hermi

      Is it sensible/desirable to tweak the installed factory settings for weight, ftp etc *before* performing the calibration ride, or afterwards?

      Reply
  97. ftk

    aw dang, just got my new PowerPod and was looking forward to trying it out, but it came with a busted USB port

    Reply
    • We’re good but most definitely not perfect. I am sorry to hear that your PowerPod has a problem.

      Please contact technicalsupport@velocomp.com and Tom will take care of you immediately.

      Reply
    • ftk

      Thanks John, I did contact tech support and appreciate the offer of assistance. I may try to exchange it with the vendor so that it doesn’t mess up my ability to return and/or use up the return deadline waiting for the unit to get shipped back and forth

      Reply
    • Changren Y.

      John, how long does it typically take after emailing tehcnicalsupport@velocomp.com to get a response? I have a busted USB port in my PowerPod and it’s no longer getting power or talking to the computer. Thanks!

      Reply
    • Typically, within 1 or 2 hours.

      Copy me on your email and I will get things moving jhamann@velocomp.com

      Reply
  98. AndrewC

    I also pulled the trigger on this based on the sale plus the DCR discount, will report when I get it.

    Reply
    • TomT

      Just ordered this after reading the review. Very excited to pair this with my new Wahoo ELEMNT and sensors.

      Reply
    • AndrewC

      I received it but unfortunately my back went out and I had to stop riding for a month. Once it healed up I was able to pair the PowerPod with my Garmin Edge 500 with the old-style Speed/Cadence sensor, which some people have been reporting issues with. I had none. On the initial ride I did notice the odd power reading at the start of the ride after I initiated calibration, but after that is has worked fine, though it seems the battery does not hold a charge that long when it’s not in use; I charged it up when I received it, then it sat for a month; I did 3 short rides then went to start a 35-mile ride and found the battery dead. My Garmin battery never gets below 90% even if it sits over the winter.

      So far, other than the battery charge issue–and I see from other comments there is a charge indicator update coming–I have had no issues. Just downloaded Isaac to change the profile to match my weight/bike/etc. better. Now I just have to learn how to use/interpret power numbers!

      Reply
  99. Changren Y.

    I have been using PowerPod for several days. It took several days before i thought i got a pretty good calibration. When calibrating it, i tried to find the smoothest roads with the least number of stop signs in my neighborhood. Trust me, it’s not easy to find a nice pothole-free and bump-free road in Seattle. Immediately after calibration, i went riding in around the neighborhood and the power numbers from PowerPod (paired with an Edge 800) and those from a Quarq Riken AL power meter appeared to match quite well. This morning, during my commute to work, i noticed that occasionally, the power numbers from PowerPod would drop significantly (i observed at one point it was close to 90w difference), even though i was putting out the same effort. This would happen several times during the commute. If you are interested, here’s the power comparison between the Quarq Riken AL and the PowerPod:

    link to ibikeforum.com

    I made sure the PowerPod was properly tightened to the included handlebar mount so it was definitely not loose during the ride. There was nothing obstructing the flow to the wind port. I was riding in the same position (on the hood) when i observed the drop.

    If the power numbers from PowerPod is consistently lower or higher than the Quarq Riken AL, i would have been OK with that. However, my observation is that on the climbs, PowerPod is showing much higher power numbers and on relatively flat road, i am getting lower power numbers (sometimes significantly lower). If i do not have another power meter to compare with, i would not have discovered the PowerPod power numbers being all over the place. At this point, i can’t say i would recommend this product to someone getting this as their first power meter because it’s quite difficult to tell if the device is properly calibrated.

    Perhaps the calibration in my PowerPod still off. My current calibration was the 5th i have done since i installed it on Tuesday. I have done several factory resets just to get a clean start. To calibrate PowerPod with the power numbers from the Quarq power meter, i did an out and back ride (must be more than 1 mile). During this, i realized if you are going to do an out and back ride for calibrating purpose, you better make sure your starting/finishing point is the end of the trip and you won’t be moving the bike beyond the finishing point. Because if it is not – there is no way to manually turn off PowerPod – it will continue to capture data, even though you may have ended the activity in your Garmin. When you select that PowerPod ride file in Isaac to check the calibration, Isaac will complain your ride is not out and back. I had to estimate where the out and back ride ended and used Isaac to trim off the extra. It would be really nice if the PowerPod firmware can be updated to allow a button press to end a ride, instead of waiting 20 minutes for the device to go to sleep.

    I am going to go for another ride tomorrow with the Quarq-Riken-AL-calibrated PowerPod. Hopefully i will get more consistent result.

    Reply
    • PowerPod was designed to provide an easy way to enjoy accurate and consistent power, without a lot of setup and tweaking.

      Most people don’t have two power meters but if they do, it is, of course, possible compare readings and, using combined sensors of both the DFPM and PowerPod, to get some really interesting data and insight.

      We really did not intend the PowerPod experience for this level of fine tuning. That said, PowerPod tweaking can be done in Isaac but, frankly, it takes some care and experience to do it correctly.

      I adjusted your settings this morning (returning the important wind setting to the factory default value). You can read about it here:

      link to ibikeforum.com

      Your ride was 24 minute long and the PP was recalibrating itself internally for the first 8 minutes. So, you had 16 minutes of comparative data. NP, TSS, IF scores are identical between the 2 PMs, average watts within 2% and max watts within 6%. Pretty good, I think.

      You mention “inexplicable drop in Power numbers”. Actually, it is very explicable, a result of one of your tweaks. An important thing changed was setting PowerPod filtering time to zero (factory default is Dynamic Power Smoothing). Unfiltered power numbers are inherently VERY JUMPY–and note that PowerPod is the only PM that allows the user to set the internal filtering. That is, your bike computer filtering (such as 3 seconds) is ADDITIONAL filtering of the numbers sent from the PM–but the PM has ALREADY done its own filtering.

      Reply
    • nbourbaki

      PowerPod ordered from Clever Training. Looking forward to using power to improve my cycle fitness.

      Reply
    • Thanks for the support nbourbaki!

      Reply
  100. Mike

    Just pulled the trigger.
    Lets see if they work upside down, in Australia

    Reply
    • Funny you should say that…when the PowerPod first happened, we tested the concept by taking a Newton and turning it upside down, so that it would transmit its power data but we would not have any bike computer screen. Worked perfectly… :-)

      We are equally confident that PowerPod will work with southern atmosphere wind and gravity!

      Reply
    • Mike

      I’d love to give you an update, but it seems you have had a run on sales.
      I purchased through Clever Training, to support DCR, but they have since come back saying that they are not expecting to be able to ship till mid May…… :-/

      Reply
    • My understanding is that there is some sort of component delay issue for production of more units, causing the brief slow-down.

      Reply
    • Mike

      John,
      any update on production/supply??

      Reply
    • Jin

      I used to just one months powerpod
      Read the review here ordered
      But that was the moment the error code to transfer the file to the program today, Isaac,
      And powerpod does not turn on.
      I want to resolve this problem quickly

      Reply
  101. Victor

    PowerPod ordered from CleverTraining with the VIP program.
    Ray, which mount(s) can you recommend for the Garmin 520 / PowerPod combo?
    Thank you!

    Reply
    • Thanks for the support via CT!

      For the PowerPod with a Garmin combo, I’d be more likely to go K-Edge, because of the stronger support that you’ll get there versus a plastic based mount.

      Reply
  102. Ken

    I just got the powerpod and I have linked it to my Garmin CSC-10 sensor and also my Edge 510 computer. I have done the 5mins calibration ride yet. Is that ok?

    Reply
  103. Carl W

    My PowerPod arrived yesterday from Clever Training, 5 days from ordering to the UK. Brilliant. Looking forward to having a play with it.

    One area I’m having a bit of difficulty with, in thinking about how I want to try to use it (to measure CdA changes in the field using a second Garmin and DFPM).

    I read that if you’re riding around on a road bike and switch between hoods and drops, the PowerPod can compensate for that. Presumably to do this, it must change its view of what your CdA is? But John you stated that it’s internal view of CdA is constant. At the moment I don’t understand how the two states can coexist – 1) ability to detect and compensate for position changes (hoods to drops scenario) and 2) Ability NOT to compensate for position changes for CdA testing…?

    Reply
    • James W

      Hi Carl,

      Out of interest, how much extra did you have to pay to cover the VAT/duty costs when you got a unit shipped to the UK? 5 days for delivery is amazing!

      Reply
    • Thomas Wylie

      Hi James, I was expecting it to be quite a lot (as they recently tried to charge me £80 on a £200 wetsuit. However when it arrived the fedex guy just handed it over. Not sue if this was a mistake but either way I’m happy!

      Reply
  104. Guido

    I got my Powerpod via Clever Training. Thank you, Ray! Everything, the setup, connecting to my other sensors and head unit, the calibration process, went fine. The little poster that came with it was really helpful and easy to understand.

    Unfortunately, things changed when I hit the software side. I am using a Mac running El Capitan. I can install the Isaac software 4.0.0 (is this the latest version? I had to Google it since the download page simply returns a “No results found”). However, it is not able to connect to the Powerpod and locks up.

    Any ideas how to fix this?

    Thank you!

    Reply
    • Guido

      Never mind, I am using Windows in a virtual machine. Problem solved.

      Reply
  105. Ric

    Do it show you the cx in real time?
    I wouldn’t like to wait to download on the computer.

    Reply
    • Changren Y.

      No. Unless Velocomp comes out with a Connect IQ app – assuming you are on a compatible Garmin computer – to retrieve that information from PowerPod.

      Reply
  106. rjdennis

    installed powerpod, with elemnt, wahoofitness cadence and speed sensors on my easyracers goldrush, seems to work well and I would say that I am truly dc rainmaker compliant. A question: is it better to have 3, 5 or 20 second data reported in real time?

    Reply
    • Changren Y.

      When I’m on my training ride, I have 3-second and 30-second Power averages displayed.

      Reply
  107. Ken

    Is it ok for not screwing it in all the way?

    Reply
    • As long as the PowerPod cannot rotate in the mount fixture you will be OK.

      Reply
    • Ken

      Hi John, the PowerPod is great! Been using it to measure my ftp for the first time. It really works, I tested it together with a P1 pedals from a friend.

      Though, if I keep taking it off and putting it back on, will the screw becomes loose after many times doing that?

      I take it off after every ride to charge and the download the ride data onto Isaac.

      Reply
    • Changren Y.

      Right now the only way to get data out of the PowerPod is via the micro USB port. My first few days with a PowerPod, I probably plug/unplug on average 10 times a day. On the 4th or 5th day, the micro USB port gave up and refused to charge or talk to the computer. I suspect a loose connection with the circuit board inside the PowerPod. I am a bit concerned the replacement PowerPod, when it gets here, may suffer the same fate with repeated use of the micro USB port.

      Reply
    • I’ve been using test units for about 8 months now, without any problem, but I do find that I am careful not to put any undue stress on the connector. It is the case that the USB plug, once inserted into PowerPod connector, is a gigantic lever arm.

      It seems like plugging/unplugging 10 times a day is an unusual use case. Each ride should be only one plug/unplug…

      As is the case with all things electronic, a little TLC is always appreciated.

      Reply
    • The mount system is designed so that the aluminum brackets squeeze against the plastic tabs of the PowerPod. There should be no issue with the screw coming loose.

      Reply
    • Changren Y.

      John, i was plugging/unplugging about 10 times a day the first few days because i was doing repeated calibrations/factory resets and also retrieving ride data from PP after each test ride. I do know that i was very careful with the connector, as with all my other USB-equipped devices. This is actually the first time a micro USB port has failed on me. A couple of users on the ibikeforum appear to have similar issue with the micro USB port on PowerPod.

      Reply
    • OK, just curious.

      There have been a very few, isolated problems with the USB connector (remember: this is a brand new product)! Obviously we will take care of these problems under warranty.

      Reply
  108. frank andreasen

    will it work on a MTB with the slower speed and lots of small clibs up and down ?

    Reply
    • Yes, no problem. You’ll spend most of your power climbing, where your front suspension is locked-up, and PowerPod will tell you exactly what is going on.

      Reply
    • frank andreasen

      sound incredible if it will be useable on MTB
      have you done testing on MTB ?
      i have allready a stages powermeter on my roadbike but still needs something on my MTB and my second roadbike and this could look like the thing
      but as you can tell im kind of skeptical

      Reply
    • In principle an MTB bike is no different from a road bike, except for initial settings (bike weight, tire size, road type), all of which can be adjusted easily in Isaac. Once these few changes are made you’re good to go!

      Reply
  109. Changren Y.

    Just curious, does the Garmin speed sensor actually transmit current speed to the head unit, or is it just sending RPM to the head unit, and the head unit, based on the configured tire size for the speed sensor, calculates and displays the current speed? I’m trying to figure out how PowerPod is able to determine the current speed when it’s paired with a speed sensor.

    Reply
    • I’m not an expert on this, but I believe the ANT+ sensor transmits the time elapsed between successive wheel revolutions. This, effectively, measures the “RPM” of the bike wheel. The elapsed time information, in combination with the tire size, determines bike speed.

      Reply
    • Changren Y.

      I think you are right. I just read Ray’s review on the Garmin speed sensor and it sends out wheel RPM.

      link to dcrainmaker.com

      So that makes me wonder, how PowerPod determines the wheel size during the initial calibration. Does it assume it is 700×23? If my tire size is 700×33, which probably has a larger circumference than a 700×23 (2096 mm), would that affect the calibration? Would that also affect accuracy of the power data because PP must be paired with a speed sensor to function?

      Reply
    • This discussion is going pretty far “into the weeds” and might better be handled in ibikeforum.com

      Reply
  110. TomB

    I have a pretty simple question. I just want to re do my calibration because I did not have the Powerpod rotated all the way forward, and it is hard to reproduce the original position. When I reattached it, I saw the 8 minute recalibration happen, but I still see power that is generally too high. And in Isaac it looks like I am always riding in a headwind.

    After holding down the button for 4 seconds, I get the flashing green light, then a solid green. According to the instructions, if I press the button again I should get a yellow light. But I just switch the green light off.

    I am tempted just to hard reset and start over, but it would be nice to understand what is happening.

    Reply
    • Changren Y.

      Once a speed sensor is recognized and saved to one of the four profiles in the PowerPod, you won’t be able to do the initial calibration again. Pressing and holding the button for 4 seconds activates the pairing mode, which doesn’t do anything in your situation because your speed sensor has already been paired.

      If you want to do a factory reset, you can press and hold the button for about 10 seconds. Or you can do the same thing in Isaac with the PowerPod connected

      Reply
    • Changren Y.

      I should add that a factory reset will erase all the profiles in your PowerPod, thereby removing any paired speed sensor.

      Reply
    • The 5 minute calibration is a one-time process. Once it is completed your PowerPod will not go in to calibration mode unless its profile parameters are restored to factory values.

      Using Isaac, go to “Device/Setup/Reset Profile…” Click on the Profile you would like to reset (I’m guessing it is Profile 1). This will put your PowerPod back into factory mode and initiate the 5 minute ride mode. You also will have to re-pair your PowerPod.

      Reply
  111. Sean

    How would this do on gravel roads? I’m training for Dirty Kanza, and am riding a lot of pretty rough gravel. I put money down on the PowerBeat, but since it’s delayed, I don’t want to wait. Will this suffice?

    Reply
    • We’ve already shipped thousands of PowerPods and we haven’t had to stop production or announce a replacement program; that should say something… :-)

      The cobblestone problem Ray mentions happens when vibration is very severe…resulting from a stiff road bike, highly-inflated skinny tires, fast riding, and super-rough pavement (i.e. cobblestones). If even one of these factors does not apply to you then you should be OK.

      Reply
    • Sean

      John,

      Thanks for the quick follow-up. The gravel roads around here are way rougher than cobblestones, but I think I’ll get it anyway, since I also ride paved roads. I’ll probably just take it off for the race regardless. My bike is a carbon frame Salsa Warbird but I’m on low-pressure tubeless 38s so the ride isn’t too crazy, except in the crazy parts. :)

      Reply
    • Since gravel has “give” in it (that is, it is not glued in by cement) it actually isn’t quite as vibration-inducing as cobblestones, which have no give in them. I predict you will be OK

      Reply
  112. Stephen

    Just installed my Powerpod and tried to do the calibration. I’m either missing something obvious, or the 1-page instruction sheet is missing something.

    1. No problem mounting PP to bike.
    2. PP paired with speed sensor right away.
    3. PP paired with Edge 500 right away.
    4. Edge 500 said power meter detected…Calibrate?
    5. I first said “NO” because I thought I read that somewhere.
    6. Seeing nothing but my “regular” screens on the Edge 500.
    7. Stopped, answered “Yes” to the calibration question. Edge says “Calibration Successful” and a “0”. There’s an empty progress bar on the screen, so I started riding, but nothing changed.
    8. Rode back home and wrote this.

    What am I (or the instructions) missing?

    I’ll try again tomorrow. Unless John or someone else is reading this at this instant and sends an answer.

    The Instruction sheet seem to be missing any steps for doing the calibration ride and SEEING it on the screen.

    Do I have to set up a “Power” data field on the screen first? Is that the missing step?

    STP

    Reply
    • I think Ray’s review points out that the “Calibrate” button on the Garmin has no effect on PowerPod. This is, in fact, the case. You don’t have to calibrate the PowerPod with any Garmin buttons.

      Do the following:

      1) Wake up your speed sensor
      2) Wake up your PowerPod. If PP has been paired successfully to your speed sensor the light will show solid yellow (this is in the instructions). If not, go to step 7)
      3) Wake up your Garmin, and make sure you configure it so that it shows power in one of its windows
      4) Pick up the rear end of your bike and spin the rear wheel (or whichever wheel the speed sensor is mounted on), while the bike is not moving down the road, and confirm that speed is being shown in the Garmin’s window. If not, go to step 7)
      5) If you do see speed in your Garmin window then your speed sensor is working properly and, after a few seconds, the PP light will flash yellow
      6) If the light flashes yellow all is well. Stop spinning the wheel, wait five minutes (so that PP will clear its memory) then do your five minute ride. During the 5 minutes your Garmin will show power slowly increasing from 1 to 100W. If not, go to step 7)
      7) If any of the steps above don’t work then contact technicalsupport@velocomp.com

      Reply
    • Stephen

      Hi John,

      Thanks for the QUICK response. As I mentioned in the last line of my post, I thought about having the POWER field showing on the Garmin and I went back out and configured the Edge 500 to show that. Sure enough, I started at 1 watt and went to 100 and the power numbers kicked in. I was rushing through the whole procedure and didn’t have time to post my results and I apologize for wasting your time on that point.

      I’m a complete novice to power, so just seeing the numbers was new to me. I’m not completely certain that I have done everything correctly, but I was seeing peak power numbers much higher than anything I had ever seen while on a Computrainer at a local cycling/coaching studio. My FTP is nothing to brag about–about 170 and during Computrainer sessions I’ll see a “peak” effort of 350-400 IF I really push it for a short time. I was seeing peaks of 700-900 when I pushed hard up a hill in a big gear. Overall it felt like the Powerpod was reporting numbers quite a bit higher than on the Computrainer. My calibration ride (again, rushed) was just around the neighborhood, so I’m wondering if I did that correctly. I’m sure all this will sort itself out as I gain experience. I also think I need to retape my bars to make sure all the cables are completely out of the way of the wind port.

      Next step will be to get the Isaac software installed and working. Per your previous comment, I take it even if I didn’t calibrate properly the Powerpod will eventually sort itself out again–no need to reset everything.

      Again, sorry for the false alarm and for not duplicating the instructions perfectly! Positive aspects were the Powerpod paired with my Trek “Duotrap” speed/cadence unit and the Edge 500 quickly and with no hiccups whatsoever.

      STP

      Reply
    • Stephen

      John,

      Just an edited re-post of my first submission on the iBike Forums, where I’ll be taking my questions from here on out, as it seems a more appropriate place to figure out things.

      Edited post:

      I’ve done two rides of 40-45 miles with the meter. I’ve got it paired to a Garmin Edge 500 as well as a Garmin Forerunner 920XT. First ride the numbers were WILDLY divergent between the two devices and the 920XT seemed to drop out after the first part of the ride.

      Second ride the two Garmin’s recorded very similar (if not identical) data. Only thing I’ve noticed is that at the beginning of the 2nd ride the first 10-15 minutes were recording very, very high numbers, before settling down into a power range that seems more realistic. I only have my power numbers from my Computrainer session experience for a subjective feel for what is correct or not though.

      I seem to remember reading somewhere that if the Powerpod isn’t attached to the bike in the exact same position as it was in the test ride, you’ll get wonky results at the beginning of a ride until the device figures out what’s up, so that may be the case here.

      I really don’t have any other specific questions or comments, but am interested in pointers, if there are any, on how to proceed in learning how to use the P-pod and power in general. My next step is to figure out how to upload ride files into the Newton software and see what I can see there.

      I’m really impressed with the device so far. To my novice way of thinking, it somehow makes TOTAL SENSE to approach this measurment problem indirectly, so to speak. It just seems a much more elegant way to do it, considering Sir Isaac’s third law! For sure it opens the way to a much simpler manufacturing, installation and maintenance method. Yay, math!

      STP

      Reply
  113. lyrictenor1

    Sorry if you already saw this; I accidently posted it as a reply to someone’s elses question by mistake.
    Do we know which version of the Cycleops Fluid 2 it used for the power curve in trainer mode? It’s known that Cycleops has revised the Fluid 2 power curves over the years, and both Zwift users as well as the TrainerRoad developers have discussed issues with this. Any info on which version of the Fluid 2 power curve is used for the PowerPod when in trainer mode?

    Reply
  114. Bryan

    Hi John

    I have received the PowerPod and have taken it out for about 8 rides and really enjoying it.

    Question on those who ***interchange wheelsets on the one bike***.

    I have two sets of wheels as follows:
    – A pair of climbing wheels (Mavic R-RYS with 25mm clinchers); and
    – A pair of aero wheels (Bora 1 50mm tubular with 22mm front/25mm rear).
    (Both wheels weigh almost the same)

    Obviously the aero wheels are much more aero… so how do we “tune” the profiles in ISAAC to cater for this effect on the PowerPod readings?

    I remember reading somewhere that you can update the CdA setttings (which I know nothing about btw).

    Would you be able to give me some advice so I can get more “accurate” readings between the two sets of wheels.

    Reply
  115. Brian

    I’ve had my PP for a few weeks now and wanted to offer my endorsement. I keep the unit permanently mounted on my training ride with it mounted using the standard mount next to my aero extensions. I’ve done a few OAB rides of 10-30 miles (an easy OAB from yesterday is below, tweaked) with some solid climbs to dial in the settings with Issac, followed by some 80-100 milers to see the result. Nice device so far with impressive results, especially considering the cost. I’ve been jumping between the PP dynamic smoothing and using Garmin moving averages with raw data, and I’m still on the fence about that.

    I’m considering the Powerstroke option with faster sample rate and many analysis benefits, an will be curious how that impacts realtime display. I have concerns about battery impact since, from my understanding, there is no way to toggle it on and off within Issac. John, can you comment on what might be expected?

    Reply
    • Powerstroke will have negligible effect on battery life because there is very little battery power required to write data into the flash memory.

      Reply
  116. Mark

    Thank you Ray and all the commenters.

    This thorough review, and the recent sale + discount code at Clever Training, was enough for me to swallow the fairly average USD to AUD exchange rate and a PowerPod is now fastened firmly and without obstruction to my handlebars in Tasmania.

    Simple set up straight out of the box, a quick smooth ride to run the calibration, and I have power data that is consistent and ‘feels’ like sensible numbers to me. I know that’s just the start, but it’s a good start.

    I’ll get a better feel for it over some of my favourite rides this weekend and then get my head around the value of the software to fine tune it.

    Reply
  117. nbourbaki

    Received the PowerPod from CleverTraining this week. Installation was a breeze. Took it out for a calibration ride, worked perfectly. Went out for my long ride yesterday and 10 minutes into the ride my Wahoo Speed/Cadence sensor just fell off the bike. Found it, reattached it and I was expecting my PowerPod would need another calibration, but while it started out way too high in the 600w range, over the next 5 minutes it readjusted and started putting out realistic power numbers. No hassle, it readjusted by itself. Very cool.

    I’ve got it paired with my Garmin 500 and I love having wattage number on Garmin and power information to analyze my ride. Great investment, simple to install and use and highly recommended.

    Reply
  118. Ismo

    Another happy Powerpod owner here: I just could not resist the recent discounted price in Clever Training.

    The installation and setup was very easy, although I had to do the 5 min ride twice, because I changed my profile details in Isaac after the first one. I have done only a few rides with the PP, but so far I am very happy. The power figures are perfectly in line with the powertap G3 I have on my other bike.

    Reply
  119. malcolm may

    Why is it always assumed that the ‘error’ or variation with measurement, is with the new power meter, and not the one going before?
    Yep, I know its an old thread, but I just bought the power pod. I also have the powertap wheel.
    But this is convenience. And its indoor use for zwift and my lemond revolution, is a hopeful bonus.

    Reply
  120. Andrew

    Have there been any updates on when the ant+/Bluetooth power pod will be available for Kickstarter backers?

    Reply
  121. Allen

    Hi – Have the question re: PowerStroke that Steven / Stephen asked back in March.

    I have a Trek DuoTrap S/C sensor so can’t set the option to above nor below the chainstay b/c it’s seated IN the chainstay. What do I do? Is PowerStroke not an option then?

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Powerstroke will work. You custom set the angle in Isaac software using the “Edit Profiles/Powerstroke” window. Instructions are included in the window.

      Reply
  122. We’ve had a ton of requests for a video showing how to set up PowerPod on a second bike, so we made one. The video doesn’t have Ray’s high “Production Values” but hopefully it does the job… :-)

    link to youtu.be

    Reply
  123. ftk

    I got my PowerPod with the bad USB port swapped out (Kudos to Clever Training for the smooth exchange and cust service) and have had a chance to take the PP out on a number of rides. It did take a bit of tweaking through Isaac, but after a few rides was able to get some good power numbers out of it that are reasonably close to my DFPM.

    Unfortunately, doesn’t look like this will work well for the cross/gravel bike I purchased it for. While on the paved road, I get decent results, but as soon as I hit the gravel, the power numbers reported are significantly under-reported. I’m guessing the PowerPod doesn’t adjust to the changing road conditions (or doesn’t adapt fast enough), and reports the power assuming a paved surface instead of the higher friction unpaved surface.

    John, do you have any suggestions on making this mixed road scenario work better?

    Reply
  124. Aaron

    Thanks so much for an awesome review. Very informative. Question: Did you do anything to calibrate the PowerPod beyond the 5 min ride? I’m surprised that your results were so close to the other power meters with just that small amount of calibration. I would have expected the need to enter rider and bike weight, road type, wheel circumference, rider position etc.

    Reply
    • No, that’s it. I purposefully didn’t do extra software calibration, as I wanted to see how close it was out of the box.

      About half-way through my testing I changed the default weight for me. But the default is within a few pounds of me anyway, so there’s little difference there.

      Reply
  125. Ken

    Hi John,

    A few Qs:

    1. Today I rode 80km and in between, I stopped for a coffee break. It was over 20mins so PP went to sleep. When I download the data, now I got 2 ibr files for 1 ride. How do I merge them to be one ride?

    2. In relation to Q1, is there anyway for me to pause the PP?

    3. After the 80km ride, I tried to “stop” my PP from recording. I pressed and hold the button for a few seconds and then the light starts blinking green/yellow. When I am home and attached the PP to my computer, while downloading the ride data, a window popped up, asking me about a new ID and if I wanna attach it to the profile that I am using (I only got 1 bike). I clicked yes. Does that mean I am doomed? :) Or what does the long press on the PP do?

    Reply
    • Use Isaac to download both files. Open the first file, then use the Isaac command “File/Combine-Split/Append File…” to add the second file to the first.

      There’s no way at present to “pause” the ride file. There is a simpler solution, which we will get to work on and post in a firmware update.

      PowerPod stops recording whenever speed sensor readings stop. There’s no need to press/hold the button.

      Isaac has your one-bike profile stored. After storing the profile you did a Scan to add the wireless IDs. Isaac was asking you if you wanted to add those IDs to your profile. Saying “yes” is fine and won’t hurt anything.

      Reply
    • Stephen

      In post # 406 John Hamman said:

      >>There’s no way at present to “pause” the ride file. There is a simpler solution, which we will get to work on and post in a firmware update.

      PowerPod stops recording whenever speed sensor readings stop. There’s no need to press/hold the button.<<

      John,

      How does this behavior affect the data transmitted to ANT+ head units? All of the 4 longish rides I've done with the Powerpod have been split into 2 segments, with a lunch/coffee/social break somewhere during the ride. In all those cases, when I've gone to restart the ride, I've had to turn the Powerpod back one–or I've thought I had to. All my .FIT files for these rides seem to have power data for the entire ride. So it sounds like the Garmin just adding data streamed from the Powerpod without regard to how Powerpod/Isaac are segregating it into two separate files.

      I HAVE noticed (with my very limited experience) that the power numbers are wonky for the first few minutes any time I have to start the Powerpod up–and that shows up in my Garmin files too. This kind of supports the notion that the Powerpod just "starts over" if it is left long enough to turn off, but the Garmin/ANT+ devices don't care–they are keeping their own files on rides which can have multiple segments. And if there's a way to conjoin the Powerpod files in Isaac manually AND an improvement to that on the way, it's sounds like a non-issue in my case.

      STP

      STP

      Reply
    • What is happening is that your initial 5 minute ride (which established the tilt calibration factor) was probably done with PP in a different position than you are using now. When you stop for a break PP splits into a new ride file and goes to the initial tilt calibration factor. It takes 8 minutes for this initial factor to be corrected by your actual ride data.

      Here is a link that tells you how to correct this (last post in the thread):

      link to ibikeforum.com

      We are working on a fix for this issue.

      Reply
  126. Robert

    I am interested in buying PowerPod and I think I understand everything about it and it suits me, but there is still one thing that I do not understand.

    Example:
    I am riding at on flat steady lets say 32 km/h holding my hands on bars, then moving my hand on a more aerodynamic position on drops and tucked in. Speed increases to lets say 35 km/h. Cadence is the same (using bigger gear) or cadence is increased. I assume there is no difference. Now, normally the PowerPod should say that I am pedalling at higher watts, but I am not, as the air resistance is smaller, and although I am faster, I am pedalling at same Watts.

    What will the PowerPod show me? Increased watts or the same watts (as he somehow sees that the aerodynamics have changed)? If he can see the changed position on a bike, how is that possible?

    Can also someone tell me, in which stores in EU can PowerPod be purchased and that they ship to other countries as well? I am from Slovenia.

    Reply
    • This is an interesting question, and we give credit to “Osman I” for a very good concept called “Performance Watts”.

      You’re correct that, in an aero position, PowerPod will show higher watts than what you are applying, because you are more aero. But what PowerPod shows you is your “performance watts”; effectively, the power displayed accounts for the power you are applying PLUS the power you are “adding” to your performance because of your more aero position. The sum of applied watts plus aero watts is your total performance.

      Two places where you can buy PowerPod in EU are amazon.de, and wattmetry.cz

      Reply
    • Robert

      Performance watts is therefore not the problem. But the problem might be, how to calculate or better said how to measure FTP on test ride for 20min. Should one then always be on the hoods or the drops so that FTP would be most accurate.

      And later on, also intervals upon FTP are a bit difficoult when doing intervals upon percentage of FTP.

      I ride apr. 70% on hoods and 30% on drops. How should one take FTP test upon PowerPod? If do both (on hoods and droops) then later on specific time in intervals the percentige will be wrong.

      Any ideas?

      Also I came across a shop in France that sells PowerPod, but am not sure if it is original PowerPod, as the black one has green logo written on it (and not the red one as original product is). Can you please confirm to me, if it is original (your) PowerPod, of a fake one?
      link to les3sports.com

      Reply
    • Since you ride most of the time on the hoods, then during your FTP test I would ride 100% on the hoods.

      There is about a 5% difference in CdA between hoods and drops. If, during intervals, you ride 70% on hoods and 30% on drops, I estimate the total watts difference to be around 1.5%; that is, your indicated watts will be about 1.5% higher than your actual watts. This measurement is within the error bounds of any power meter, so you will be OK.

      Reply
    • Sorry, I also meant to mention that the shop is legitimate. I don’t know how they got a green logo but we will get them to change it to red… :-)

      Reply
    • Robert

      Regarding the shop in France that sells PowerPod? I am not sure if it is original PowerPod, as the black one has green logo written on it (and not the red one as original product is).

      Can you please confirm to me, if it is original (your) PowerPod, of a fake one?
      link to les3sports.com

      Reply
    • It is a legitimate shop. We will get them the correct image.

      Reply
    • AG

      Hi John

      What would be the effect of using the powerpod on a much more aerodynamic recumbent bike rather than an oldfashioned road bike?
      Would the Powerpod adjust by itself (and how?) or would it be possible to adjust manually for the better aerodynamics?

      E.G. with 200 watt on a normal racing bike I would reach a speed around 35kmh, on my recumbent the same power would result in 43kmh.

      Reply
    • mal may

      What is the goal when installing the pp on th ebars? Is it have the word powerpod, parrallel with the ground?

      There are many comments about the change of position impacting the result, but I haven’t seen any target placement direction.

      Thanks.

      Reply
    • You most certainly can use PP on a recumbent bike. There are two things you’ll need to do:

      1) After setting up your PP so that it has a clear view of the wind, you’ll need to do an out-and-back ride, about 4KM each way, then use Isaac “Analyze/Check Calibration” to get the correct wind scaling factor

      2) You’ll need to ride with your recumbent at around 43KM/h for a few kilometers, download the ride file, then adjust CdA (likely down) so that you are getting around 200W.

      If you decide to proceed then send me the ride files and I will help.

      Reply
    • The word “PowerPod” needs to be somewhat parallel to the ground (+/- 20 degrees) so that its tilt correction algorithm works properly. Other than that there are no restrictions.

      Once you get it set up you are good to go. Change of Position refers to the rider changing position during the ride (such as from hoods to drops). PowerPod is set so that the normal ride position is on the hoods; you can change the normal ride position in Isaac. Once this is done you’re all set.

      Reply
    • Robert

      Once you set it on a second bike and then again back on first bike, how important it is, that it is set exactly as it was originally mounted? Can it be a little of (as you said parallel to the ground but can vary +/-20 degrees) of it must be exactly as previously, otherwise it should be calibrated again?

      Reply
    • malcolm may

      Thanks.

      And how do I get the lemond revolution powercurve added to the inddor setting. Its only got the smaller trainer.

      the revolution is here
      link to powercurvesensor.com

      thanks

      Reply
    • PowerPod measures slope with very high precision, so it’s important to get it back to the same angle. If you have a separate mount for each of your bikes, and if you create a separate profile for each bike, then PowerPod will automatically readjust itself when you switch bikes.

      Whenever you attach your PowerPod to your mount make sure to rotate it forward gently until it reaches the “stop”, then tighten down the GoPro screw. This will minimize watts variation.

      For the first 8 minutes of each ride, PowerPod automatically readjusts itself if there is any change in mounting angle.

      Reply
    • We will have to do this in Isaac. When we do, Isaac will notify you that new trainer curves are available.

      Reply
    • malcolm may

      Thanks.

      Is that a once in a while thing? A once a year thing? A weekly thing?

      I am interested in using this indoors.

      Thanks

      Reply
    • Robert

      Thank for info regarding shop in France. So let me just make sure that I understand. There is no PP with green logo and if I order black PP from that shop I will receive black with red logo on it?

      Reply
    • Correct, you will get a black PowerPod with a red logo.

      Reply
    • This happens periodically…whenever we can get Travis to put us at the top of his list! :-)

      Reply
    • Robert

      John,

      Do you know when the photo on the french shop site will be changed? From green to original red. That way I will be sure that it is the right one, and it is original PowerPod.

      I will buy PP once the photo will be changed :)

      Reply
    • This is not our site and I have no idea why the image is green, but I assure you it is a legitimate site and the PowerPod you receive from them will be the standard red color.

      I will do what I can to get them to post the correct image but, in the mean time, go ahead and order from them. If they send you anything other than what you expect we will take care of it under warranty. :-)

      Reply
    • Robert

      It is just interesting as from where did the photo with the green logo took place, if there exists no PP with green logo. Either there exists PP with green logo or someone has played graphical with computer. I just feel more comfortable if there will be the exchange of photo.

      I know it is not your shop, but please tell me, if you have warned the french shop of the mistake, and what did they tell you? Will they change it and when?

      I don´t doubt, that you would take care of it, if anything would be wrong with the purchase, but that will take a lot of time (sending back, additional transport expence, receiving again, …).

      Just one more question about PP handlebar mount. I plan to have on every bike a mount of its own. You said that in that case it is no problem with the repeatedly positioning, and it is not necessary to make test ride every time. I do not own a GoPro mount and camera, therefore I do not know the mount system. Is there a knot (reaching the “stop”) as to where you know how far should one angle it, and you can not go over it?

      Your words:
      “Whenever you attach your PowerPod to your mount make sure to rotate it forward gently until it reaches the “stop”, then tighten down the GoPro screw. This will minimize watts variation.”

      Reply
    • It is a Photoshop-added logo. I know this because I took the photo! I honestly do not know why the logo is green…

      I have already emailed the correct image with red logo to the relevant parties. I do not when the image will be changed, but I have asked them to change it.

      The mount supplied with PowerPod is designed with a stop, so that the PowerPod attaches at the same angle on a given bike.

      Reply
  127. ftk

    John, are you getting my emails? Haven’t received any responses from you since you initially looked at my gravel road file and talked about having me collect more data for you guys to potentially implement road change detection into the PowerPod. Would love to see this happen as it would greatly improve the utility of the PowerPod when any off pavement riding is involved.

    Reply
  128. JulesC

    Interesting device. I have a power2max direct force power meter. Could combining it with this device help me measure differences in cda from different positions on my TT bike? I’m about to start toying around with field tests of various tweaks to my position and was going to use Aerolab for virtual elevation tests but if this device could estimate cda for a given wattage acurately, would it do a better job?

    Reply
  129. Changren Y.

    After using PowerPod for a few weeks, i think have a fairly good understanding on how to set up/configure it and how well it works. I have two bikes, a Specialized S-Works Tarmac that i use for road racing/dry commuting and a Focus Mares CX that i use for cyclocross racing/wet commuting. The Tarmac has 700x23c tire up front and 700x25c in the rear. The Mares has 700x33c knobby tires. Both these bikes are equipped with Quarq power meters. There are two reasons why i purchased PowerPod: To analyze the effect of ride position and to have a portable device capable of recording power when i am riding on bikes without any power meter.

    Setting up PowerPod (PP) on the Focus Mares, to the point that it is producing relatively similar output to the Quarq power meter took quite a bit of effort. After initial 5-minute calibration and initial setup in Isaac to configure the proper weight/height/ride position), the power numbers produced by PP were occasionally off by more than 100W. I did some adjustments in Isaac on my own to modify the profile in PP but it didn’t appear to improve it much. The power numbers reported by PP were still quite a bit off. Based on the PP ride file (merged with a TCX file with actual power numbers from the Quarq PM) i provided, John was kind enough to adjust the various settings (drag coefficient, rolling resistance…etc) so that PP was finally reporting power numbers that align relatively well with the Quarq PM. For the Tarmac, it also took several tries on my own before i was able to dial in PP.

    I have the help of my direct force power meters to tell me PP was not reporting the right power numbers. For users with PPs as their sole power meters, how do they go about to properly calibrate them? This leads me to the following questions:

    1. Who are the target users of PP? First time power meter owners expecting to use it for power-based training? Or someone like me who wants to complement his existing direct force power meter?

    2. How is someone who does not own another power meter be able to determine if his PP is properly calibrated? Or does it matter if PP is properly calibrated?

    3. Do current/interested PP users realize that the power numbers reported by PP is affected by ride positions? If your PP is set up, for example, for you to ride on the hood, riding in the drops will cause PP to report higher wattage while riding with your hands on the bars will cause it to report lower wattage.

    These seems to be quite a bit more caveat in using PowerPod as a power meter than other direct force power meters.

    Reply
    • ftk

      Changren, I have a similar setup to you – both a road and CX bike. It was also my experience that a fair amount of tweaking is needed to get numbers that correspond with a DFPM. More so on the CX bike, probably since it is further out of the norm for what the PP is optimized for. Luckily I have a DFPM that can be transferred between my bikes for comparison.

      I think for people like us that currently use a DFPM, we care about matching up the numbers so that we can have an apples to apples comparison when looking at the data. But, really the more important thing is whether the numbers are consistent as a relative measurement for training because even DFPMs of different makes don’t come up with the same absolute numbers. So someone using just the PowerPod with a road bike without calibrating to a DFPM will probably be fine, even if the numbers aren’t directly comparable to a DFPM.

      Having said that, DFPMs are a lot closer to plug and play. The PowerPod does seem like it needs at least a couple of automatic analysis in Isaac to get good results. And if you go off the main use case of road bikes on pavement, it can be challenging. As I mentioned in another post, it’s not working great for me when I go on mixed surface rides on the CX bike. I really hope that Velocomp can get the off road surface compensation added in the next firmware.

      BTW, what calibration numbers did you end up with on your CX? I’m running Aero .447, Wind Scaling 1.118, CdA 0.400, Fric 4.772, Crr 0.0065

      Reply
    • What power meters (including PowerPod) must provide is consistent performance. Consistency is the key for training and improving.

      Accuracy has always been, and always will be, a matter of near-religious debate. To wit:

      Take any of the “inexpensive” PMs on the market today (all of which measure one leg only), and try some experiments with them. You’ll find you can easily produce accuracy errors of +/- 30% or more. All day long. But tell a one-leg PM owner that it isn’t accurate 100% of the time, and you’ll have a fight on your hand.

      “Gold standard” strain gauge meters have their own challenges… When was it last calibrated? Did temperature vary during the ride (say, climbing a mountain)? Was a zero offset done before riding? Are you sure the offset “took”? Did its offset drift during the ride? How would you know if it did? Has its linearity been compromised by water or by thousands of miles of riding? Were you doing sprints intervals (not a good idea if you want optimum accuracy)? Fortunately, none of these questions are relevant because I paid $1,200 for my strain gauge meter; therefore, it is PERFECT!

      Ray (a veteran of all these battles) mentions how difficult it is to compare PM accuracy. He is absolutely right; every power meter makes assumptions and has circumstances where it does not work “perfectly”.

      The good news is: most people just want to ride their bikes better, and power meters are a huge key to unlocking better performance.

      PowerPod is easy, flexible, affordable, and dependable, on any bike. Sure, if you twiddle PowerPod’s “knobs” you can make it more accurate on your MTB or cross bike.

      But not more consistent.

      Reply
    • Changren Y.

      @ftk: Geometry-wise, there really isn’t a whole lot of differences between a “normal” road bike versus a CX bike. I can certainly set up my stem/handlebar on my CX bike to ride in the same position as my road bike. The main difference in my opinion is use of the knobby tires in my CX bike.

      In my daily bike commute, i see many road bikes with tall head tubes and stems/handlebar set up in such a manner that the cyclists are almost sitting up when they are riding on the hood. I am certain they are no more aero than me riding on the hood in my CX bike. When a PowerPod user normally ride in the drops but that drops position is equivalent to me riding on the hood, should that user be setting up PowerPod to ride in the drops or on the hood?

      The current calibrated numbers for my CX bike:
      Cm: 1.020
      Aero: 0.885
      Wind Scaling: 2.106
      CdA: 0.420
      Fric: 11.752
      Riding Tilt: -0.7
      Crr: 0.0054

      Reply
  130. Bobby

    I’m interested in getting a power meter that I can easily switch between bikes and not break my bank and this appears to be ideal. I just have one question, could I calibrate the unit before a race and then simply jump on my bike and ride during the race? Or would I have to calibrate it for the first 5 mins of the race?

    Reply
    • Yes, your scenario will work perfectly. Leave the PP on your bike, and when you start your bike segment simply click its button to wake it up.

      Reply
    • Changren Y.

      Based on my short experience, each time I start a ride, it does not matter if the position of PowerPod has changed or not, it will do a self-calibration for the first 4 – 8 minutes of the ride.

      Reply
    • Yes, PowerPod always does a calibration check at the beginning of a new ride. But if the PP has not been taken off the bike, then there is nothing to recalibrate, and it will work from the get-go. This is the scenario that Bobby described.

      Reply
    • Changren Y.

      Mine does not behave like the way you described. Even though PP has not been taken off the bike, PP still did a 8-minute recalibration. How does PP determine when to do a recalibration? If i start the ride on a slight incline, which means the tilt % is no longer what’s saved in the profile, does that make PP do a recalibration?

      Here’s a ride where PP did a 8-minute recalibration in the beginning of the ride:
      link to dl.dropboxusercontent.com

      Reply
    • Well, we do know how the firmware and algorithms work… :-)

      Assuming you leave the PP on the mount, it is firmly attached, and nothing rotates on your handlebars, you should get good results at the beginning of the next ride.

      If you want send your .ibr ride file to jhamann@velocomp.com and I will take a look.

      Reply
  131. If you’re interested in learning more about some of the advanced settings of PowerPod, and how it can be used with a DFPM, we’ve made a video. You can find it here:

    link to youtu.be

    Reply
    • Changren Y.

      Excellent video! Thanks! It will be super helpful for folks trying to tune their PowerPods.

      Reply
  132. Robert

    John, I would just like to ask if PowerPod from these sites in EU, are already PP with ANT+ and Bloototh conectivity? Or are they still only ANT+?

    link to les3sports.com

    link to amazon.de

    Reply
    • BLE won’t be shipping until late June. These sites are taking pre-orders.

      Reply
    • Dan

      I am ready to pull the trigger on one of these and plan on getting it through clevertraining. I was going to get it now until I saw that a dual band version is coming in a month. Of course I find the answer after I read all 455 comments!

      Is the pricing supposed to be the same on the new version? Do you know when CT will have the new version up (as I would like to get the discount and support DCR)?

      Also, one of my tri-bikes has 650 wheels, I assume that setting would be made in Isaac as the calibration ride probably won’t figure that out and throw off the calibration as it thinks I am going faster than I really am? Or will it?

      Reply
    • Hi Dan-

      Thanks for the support! You can actually pre-order the dual version via CT now. When you click on the link (to the left, or at the bottom of the post), then there’s a drop-down box on the PowerPod page. Just select the dual version there.

      link to clevertraining.com

      Cheers!

      Reply
    • Dan

      Haha. Genius. Thanks Ray.

      Do you know anything regarding the 650 wheels aspect of my question? If not, John probably knows.

      Reply
  133. Robert

    Regarding PowerPod on a second bike. It is said that you need a second speed sensor so PowerPod can know that different bike is being used.

    What about cadence sensor? Can cadence sensor be the same on the first bike as well on the second bike? Normally it would be mount off first bike to the second bike.

    Reply
    • The Automatic Profile Selection feature requires speed sensors with unique IDs for each bike. The cadence sensor can be the same.

      Reply
    • mal

      I set it up on two different bikes and it identified both

      Reply
  134. Jin

    I used to just one months powerpod
    Read the review here ordered
    But that was the moment the error code to transfer the file to the program today, Isaac,
    And powerpod does not turn on.
    I want to resolve this problem quickly

    Reply
  135. Please email technicalsupport@velocomp.com and we will help you as soon as possible.

    Reply
  136. ftk

    I’ve moved my PowerPod from my cross bike to my road bike, and I have to say that in this more typical usage with a road bike on paved roads, it’s working very well. I’ve gone on rides solo and drafting in small to large groups, and the power data tracks remarkably well with my DFPM. I find the drafting detection and compensation pretty impressive. Hopefully, the same can be done with road surface compensation in the future!

    Reply
    • We are working on some amazing improvements…stay tuned!

      Reply
    • Changren Y.

      @ftk: How you tried riding in multiple positions (in the drops, on the hood with elbows bent, on the hood, on the bar) and if you did, have you noticed any significant differences among those positions when it comes to PP power numbers? Ray wrote in the review there “was no tangible impact to accuracy” but that is not my experience. If you are interested, you can read more about it here:

      link to ibikeforum.com

      Reply
    • Changren Y.

      @ftk: I have included the screenshot of a power meter comparison (it’s a feature in Isaac). The top chart shows the power differences in watts. The middle chart compares the power numbers between Quarq Riken AL (white) and PowerPod (green).

      Reply
    • Changren Y.

      @ftk: Just so you think the PowerPod is not calibrated properly for my bike, here’s the same power meter comparison for another ride with no change in ride position (i was riding on the hood almost the entire ride).

      Reply
    • Changren Y.

      @ftk: Here’s a higher res version of the first screenshot i posted. The first 8 minutes of the ride, PP was probably doing recalibration. After that, whenever i rode in the drops, whether it was on the flats, on the climbs or descending (when i was pedaling), you can see PP reports significantly higher power number. The only time when PP seems to agree with Quarq Riken AL is when i was riding on the hood.

      Reply
    • Robert

      This difference in watts on different positions on a bike (hoods, drops) is my main concern, and the only reason why I am still deciding on whether to buy PowerPod at all.

      I agree it is great device. Works great. Lacks on gravel, but don’t care, as I ride only on paved roads, But for difference on different positions on a bike I do care. Especially if I would to do interval training upon it. In that case I need to know my FTP on the hoods and FTP on the drops (and possibly in other aero positions). And during interval, when I change position, every time I need to adjust the effort into % of FTP in that given position.

      Any advice and solution? To do interval training only on hoods or only on drops is not exactly an option (especially on sub-FTP)

      Reply
    • Orci

      I mean power is nothing that is measured digitally no matter what power meter you use. So there is always a frequent change in values and Garmin offers different averages.

      I can not pedal in a way that I hit a certain % FTP exactly. This works best on my Tacx while i controls the resistance to a certain level. But out in the open I always have some tolerance and this is ok for me.
      So if I change my riding position I just add some watts to the tolerance and done.

      I don’t remember who wrote it but I agree that it is more important that the measurements are consistent and not accurate (also most people have not opportunity to very if it is accurate).

      Maybe the PP is not the right power meter for you if you have requirements other power meters might better fulfill.

      Reply
    • ftk

      @Changren – I’m sure there must be differences riding in different positions. However, I ride mostly on the hoods and use my PM mostly to gauge average power on a ride and pace myself on climbs, so this limitation doesn’t affect my use that much.

      Reply
    • Robert

      I agree that the most important thing is that the measurements are consistent.

      Pacing uphill will also be no problem, as it is at small speed and on hoods. Regarding down-hill I simply do not care, the data is not important for me, as it is not part of a interval, and mostly I do not pedal at all.

      In doing intervals on flat is the only thing that this difference will affect me. I normally have two positions. On the hoods and on the droops. The question is, how big will approximately the difference be? Lets say at 35km/h or at apr. 200 watts. How much in watts?

      I have read an article that at 40km/h with bent torso and arms (better position than on drops), you can save 25watts. What difference can be expected in my case? Any ideas, experiences?

      Reply
    • Changren Y.

      @Robert: In the ride I posted, one which I rode in the drops quite a bit, here are the average speed for some segments that I am 100% certain I rode entirely in the drops:

      Between mile 8.3 – 10.2 with headwind:
      Quarq: 172.1W
      PP: 246.3W

      Between mile 26.8 – 27.8 with tailwind:
      Quarq: 247.4W
      PP: 344.9W

      Between mile 33.6 – 34.6 with tailwind:
      Quarq: 254.4W
      PP: 381.9W

      Between mile 38.4 – 39.7 (3% uphill then -4% down) with tailwind:
      Quarq: 266.8W
      PP: 365.6W

      Reply
    • Changren Y.

      @Robert:

      In contrast with this segment that I rode entirely on the hood.

      Between mile 12 – 14 with headwind:
      Quarq: 154.5W
      PP: 157.5W

      So you can see PP is properly-calibrated for riding on the hood. I can’t explain why there is such a huge difference between PP and Quarq Riken AL when I was in the drops, we are talking about almost 100W difference on average among the four segments I selected.

      Reply
    • Changren Y.

      In comment #476, I meant to write average “power” instead of average “speed”.

      Reply
    • Robert

      Thank for the comparison. It is indeed a huge difference. I recon that these segments were on flat and not downhill.

      The problem is that intervals will be ridden combined on hoods and drops, so one must have both (on hoods and drops) FTP measured, so when position changes, one must calculate in your head on how many watts to ride.

      Reply
    • Changren Y.

      @Orci: I somewhat agree that if a power meter is not accurate, it should at least be consistently inaccurate. If you are willing to accept PP’s limitations and caveats, PP may indeed be the right power meter for you, if it’s producing consistent wattage.

      I am fortunate that I have two DFPMs To compare PP with. My one-month experience in using PP with the two DFPMs (Quarq Elsa RS and Riken AL) is that sometimes PP can be frustratingly inconsistent. Take my ride to work this morning as an example. On the surface, the numbers appear to match really well with PP reporting average power of 158W versus 161.4W by the Quarq PM. But there is a section between 8 – 11 minutes of the ride during which PP inexplicably has quite a bit lower number, 131.2W vs 157.8W. And right after soon, PP started to match well with the Quarq PM again. In the middle of one of my other rides, PP was reporting average power of less than 100W. I have been training with power meters since Stages PM became available several years ago, I know the difference between a 100W and 200W effort so i know PP was not reporting the correct wattage.

      For me personally, PP is not useful as a power meter because it’s inconsistent and it’s too dependent on ride position. When I train, I don’t ride in the exact same position. If somehow Velocomp is able to create a Garmin Connect IQ app that will display real-time aerodynamic feedback, as Ray mentioned in his review, that will make it more useful than it is now to me.

      Reply
    • Changren Y.

      @Robert: Other than the segment between mile 38.4 – 39.7 which involved a small climb follow by a descent, the other three segments were on flat roads.

      Reply
  137. Steven

    Is it possible to see the battery status in percentage (either through the software or on a garmin edge)?

    Reply
    • Not at this time. We plan to add a low battery indicator on to the status light.

      Reply
    • Robert

      Will low battery indicator be then added as a software update, or as a new version of PP?
      And when do you plan to do so?

      Reply
    • This will be a free firmware update, available for all PowerPod owners. Should be updated soon.

      Reply
    • TWD

      Hi John Hamann,
      I attempted to sign up for your ibike forum to bring this issue to your attention over there, but the system would not allow it.

      I purchased a Powerpod from Clever Training about 2 months ago. The unit now will not charge and gets EXTREMELY hot when plugged into a computer to charge. Please advise. Thank you.

      Reply
    • Please email technicalsupport@velocomp.com. Tom will help you out!

      Reply
  138. lauri

    Any info about bluetooth smart connectivity?

    Reply
  139. Trying to argue that the Powerpod shouldn’t be called a power meter while calling strain gauges power meters is absurd. Strain gauges measure strain, not power. Strain is essentially the deformation of a material (i.e. your crankarms) due to a force that is applied (i.e. your pedaling). Power is calculated, just like with this device. Anyone who argues that this should not be called a power meter because it doesn’t have a strain gauge is not elitist, but ignorant. Or at least a traditionalist who calls it that because that’s traditionally how power meters have been made.

    As far as the Powerpod goes, great review! I have a gravel road bike and we have a lot of dirt roads on Kauai, so I doubt this is the device for me given what you said about cobblestones.

    Reply
  140. Brantel

    John, Can the Powerpod share the ANT+ sensors that I already have paired to my GarminEdge 520?

    Reply
    • Paul S.

      ANT+ sensors don’t care about how many receivers are listening. So yes, you can use the same sensors. I do it all the time.

      Reply
  141. Changren Y.

    After a windy Saturday ride in which PowerPod’s wattage was all over the place, i get this ride today (headwind) when i intentionally did the entire thing in the drops and guess what, PowerPod matches almost lockstep with the Quarq Riken AL. From 02:00 to 18:00, the average power difference between the two was only 0.4W.

    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Reply
    • Robert

      So how to understand now this?

      Does this mean that PowerPod was looking for on what to adapt in the first few minutes, and “saw” that you were on drops, therefore it has aerodynamically comply to this position, and would go off chart if you would to move to the hoods?
      Is it perhaps because of the steady wind, if the last ride was windy from all over the place?

      John, any explanation?

      Reply
    • Changren Y.

      @Robert: At this point, PowerPod is just too inconsistent for me to use as a power meter. Unless Velocomp plans to release a Connect IQ app to display real-time aerodynamic data, this is going back to Clever Training.

      Reply
    • Robert

      If such app on Connect IQ would be made, how would that even work?
      Would you have more datafields at the same time for different positions or how?

      And John, is it in your plan to make such app for Connect IQ?

      Reply
  142. Terry Steer

    Has anyone seen behaviour where the signal is not being sent to, or not being received by the Garmin? I just completed a ride where i had more 0w or — on my Garmin 520 than actual wattage readings, yet when I downloaded the file from the PowerPod, the data looks to be complete.

    I still can’t get the PowerPod to pick up my cadence, though I can live with that.

    cheers

    terry

    Reply
    • mal

      yep. In conversations about that right now.

      Reply
    • Changren Y.

      @Terry: The Garmin Edge 520 is known to have occasional connectivity issue with ANT+ devices. Sometimes, my 520 would drop all ANT+ devices simultaneously. Sometimes only the power meter. The ANT+ devices will usually reconnect within a minute in my case. Do you have another bike computer to test with? If you do, you can pair it with PowerPod and go for a ride. If both bike computers are disconnecting from PP at the same time, then your PP may indeed be the culprit.

      Reply
    • 747

      When your Garmin shows 0w then starts showing watts and fluctuates between 0 and actual watts, you may have a speed sensor dropout issue. The PP is notorious for speed sensor dropout issues, which I and others have experienced. The fix I and others found was to have a Garmin hub-mounted speed sensor and attach it to the front wheel. The ANT+ receiver in the PP is very weak and in some installations it cannot read a speed sensor mounted near the rear of the bike. This loss/instability in speed sensor connectivity causes 0w drops and can make your average wattage for a ride appear too low. Look at your Isaac ride file, turn off smoothing and zoom into 15 minutes blocks and look for icicle-like speed drops to 0 mph. I still love my PowerPod, but the speed sensor drop issue was a tough one.

      Reply
    • Terry Steer

      I had this problem earlier, 747, and I moved my sensor to the front wheel. Its mostly ok, but I occasionally get the 0w issue. When I look into the issac ride file i don’t see mass reporting of 0w. These aren’t drop outs that last a second or so, they can last 30 seconds to well over a couple of minutes as reported by the garmin file.

      I looked at my speed with the smoothing off and did see some of the icicles heading downwards, not to zero, but from something like 35 to 17 back to 35.

      I’m really confused now

      Reply
    • Send me a ride file and I will take a look. jhamann@velocomp.com

      Reply
  143. Mike

    Ray – and others please support this open letter to the Makers of PowerPod – If you agree :)

    Have looked for a while at a practical way to get CdA feedback “on the fly” while riding in TT/Tri/Pursuit positions. Came across the Powerpod product. I appreciate the current target is to offer a low cost power meter and that you may sell product for that purpose. However PowerPod is a very immediate opportunity:

    Powerpod has windspeed sensing plus accellerometers. If these data channels were integrated with a Direct power meter it would be possible to dynamically calculate CdA. The implementation could most easily leverage the Garmin Connect IQ platform where there is already a sample app that attempts to provide rolling CdA feedback without having access to wind speed. (Noticing that most Pro cycling teams use Garmin 520’s as head units this year (2016).

    This would be much more immediate and practical compared to wind tunnels (mega expensive) Alphamatis (Just expensive) Track testing with spreadsheet analysis (slow / cumbersome), open road analysis inaccurate / cumbersome

    Imagine a TT bike with a PowerPod, Direct force Powermeter and a Garmin 520/1000 Head unit running an IQ app to generate a CdA number that is smoothed at either 3, 5 or 10 seconds.

    This would provide a personalized real time wind tunnel environment and allow for dynamic feedback on position changes, hand positions, head position as well as numerically comparative feedback on equipment, helmets etc.

    An app running within a head unit collects wind speed, direct power, speed and acceleration to calculate and display CdA on the fly. CdA is both immediate feed back to head unit and stored in ride file for analysis. The science and formulas sits well inside current known estimation methods for bike speed so validity is high. All that is missing is a reliable air speed sensor (Powerpod) and an app (Garmin IQ)

    Everyone wins:

    Rider – Gets optimized quickly with real data feedback on CdA
    Velocomp – Sells a Powerpod device (Plus a Garmin IQ app
    Garmin – Sells a 520 or 1000 head unit
    Direct force power meter supplier sells a PM

    The target market is every bike rider seeking maximal speed in single start events, that includes Pro and National teams, Individuals and groups in Time trial, Triathlon, Track cycling. Its a big segment from Pro to Weekend warrior. And we all know TT riders are OCD when it comes to optimization….

    Garmin App development is supported by Garmin. The first CdA app already out: link to apps.garmin.com

    It would be great if PowerPod and/or an app developer got onto this. There is both a sales opportunity and an opportunity to democratize drag optimization (Currently still too expensive for most of us to rent a wind tunnel.

    Please join in on the conversation, this could be really cool,

    MK

    Reply
    • Yup, I totally agree. It’s why I talked exactly about such an idea mid-way through the ‘Advanced Software Features’ section. 😉 (link to dcrainmaker.com)

      But, definitely good to see more thoughts on it.

      Note that as of today they wouldn’t yet be able to record the CdA data to a file, since Connect IQ hasn’t enabled that (supposedly ‘summer 2016’), but, at the very least they could display it today. And quite frankly, when it comes to aero testing, it’s usually more useful to see it in realtime than afterwards anyway.

      Reply
  144. Keniii

    Hi Ray, great review, i recently bought a powerpod and very pleased with its performance but i cannot get my heart rate monitor to display when downloading a ride in Isaac.
    I would be most grateful for any help.

    Reply
    • Changren Y.

      @Keniii: Did your pair your heart rate monitor with PowerPod?

      Reply
  145. Keniii

    No i haven’t, not sure how to do that.

    Reply
    • Changren Y.

      @Keniii: Wear your HRM and make sure that it’s transmitting (you should see your HR in the bike computer). Spin your wheel to wake up the speed sensor that’s already paired to PowerPod. Press and hold the button for four seconds on PowerPod until it starts to blink. Your PowerPod should recognize that the speed sensor is already in one of the four profiles and it should save the ANT+ ID of your HRM in the same profile.

      Reply
    • keniii

      Thanks for the info, mutch appreciated

      Reply
  146. Cameron

    does speed have to be measured by a speed/cadence sensor or can it be paired with an ANT+ GPS device for the speed input?

    Reply
    • Changren Y.

      @Cameron: No.

      Reply
    • Changren Y.

      You need at least a speed sensor. The cadence sensor is optional. If you have it, it will improve the accuracy of PowerPod by letting it know when you’re coasting.

      Reply
    • Cameron

      @changren thanks

      Reply
  147. Chris

    First off, I’d like to say great review – after reading this I went and bought a PowerPod. It arrived earlier this week but i’m having trouble setting things up. It’s synced up to my Garmin speed/cadence sensor and also my edge 1000.

    The problem is that when I go for a ride it doesn’t calibrate itself. It remains on 0% and after about 20 minutes its still showing 0% on my Edge. During this time I’ve got a flashing red light.

    Please help.

    Thanks
    Chris

    Reply
  148. Martin

    after successful pairing with a speed sensor and the light turns solid green. Should the green light STAY on while you ride?

    Reply
    • Changren Y.

      @Martin: if you’re referring to the initial setup, after pairing with a speed sensor, the light will stay solid green until you start to move, which triggers the 5-minute calibration, causing the light to flash yellow. Once the calibration is done, it should go off for the rest of your ride.

      Reply
    • Martin

      Actually thinking when I start to ride typically after the setup and calibration rides. I am having difficulty just starting the thing. I set it up OK and did a ride, the sensors all show up in Isaac. I am a bit confused on what to do just to go for a ride. if I just push the button once then it lights up green solid and then goes off–is that normal or should the light remain lit while riding? I have reset now 2x and I still can’t get it to show power for the first few minutes of the ride. I finally just gave up this morning only to find that it started working magically several minutes into the ride.

      It seems to struggle getting re-connected to the sensors and also my garmin 735XT–does sometimes and doesn’t some times–I can’t quite yet figure out the pattern. Thanks for any input.

      Reply
    • malcolm may

      I am having the same ‘problem’. I get the green, then it never goes into calibration mode.

      So I ride and worry about it later.

      Reply
    • Note: I wouldn’t 100% blame the PowerPod for any FR735XT sensor not re-connecting. I’ve seen one case now with the FR735XT where it didn’t re-connect to my power meter, despite other units connecting no problems. Odd.

      Reply
    • Paul S

      It shows nothing or it shows zero? The PowerPod recalibrates itself for the first 8 minutes of every ride. If you haven’t got it angled exactly as it was the last time you used it, it can easily show you zero for the first 8 minutes. You’ve got to be very careful about how you attach it to the GoPro mount, especially if you move yours between bikes like I do. Even though I try to be careful, even now I’ll occasionally have rides with zero during the first 8 minutes (or larger than normal wattage during the first 8 minutes). You can always fix it after the ride with Isaac. I generally “Analyze Newton Settings…” to calibrate the altitude and then “Analyze Route…” to fix the first 8 minutes if they were weird. The great portability of the PowerPod comes with a bit of a cost.

      The green light should go off and stay off.

      Reply
    • Martin

      Thanks Paul,
      I assumed the light would stay on and thus thought the unit was off. This led to lots of re-pairing, re-charging, etc. I will try again tomorrow. I just have one bike and have been very careful to mount the same way including pushing it forward as recommended. It would be nice to have some way of knowing the unit is on and functioning properly so one would know something else was the issue. When I stop for a rest, do I just tap the button again to be on the safe side in case it has gone to sleep?

      Reply
    • Orci

      Was also a little confused that the light goes out.
      But you see the power values on your head unit.

      Best working procedure for me after sleep was waking up speed and cadence sensor and after that push the button on the PowerPod.

      Reply
    • Martin

      It does appear to be the connection to the 735. I started the pod, turned green and then headed out. No power data on display. I stopped at about a mile in and went into settings on the watch and it finally connected after several attempts. Stayed connected for the rest of the ride. I downloaded the file to Isaac and can see that it recorded power from the start. Also, despite no change to the bike or mount and care to make sure it was all the way forward in the mount, it still recorded crazy power readings for the first 8 minutes again and then settled in. Taking longer to get it working properly, but hopefully I am close.

      Reply
    • Changren Y.

      @Martin: The occasional recalibration during the initial portion of the ride is what I have experienced too, even though there has not been any change in the position of mount or the position of PP on the mount. PP is definitely not plug-and-play. It takes a bit of effort to get it working properly. Fortunately John Hamann is always willing to help PP users with calibrating their PPs.

      Reply
    • Martin

      One of the things I noticed about the “re-calibration” efforts of the powerpod is that it really mucks up the calorie burned count in Garmin Connect. I am guessing that Garmin uses HR, etc in the absence of a power meter for its calculations. My last 2 rides of 14 and 25 miles had the shorter one with 2x the calories burned–both were flat rides with about the same effort. In one case the PP spiked up to 4,000 watts at one point and the average was skewed very high. Not really a big deal as long as it settles down at some point, but I am closely tracking calories for weight loss and depend on accurate calories burned to know how much I can eat! :)

      Reply
    • Robert

      You are probably talking for the re-calibration vhen the PP was removed and then placed back on the mount (even if it was put back in the “same” position), right?

      When the PP is left on between the rides, readings in the beginning of the ride are probably not that extreme, are they?

      I plan to charge it when it is mount on the bike

      Reply
    • Martin

      Yes, I am talking about the initial “8 min” or so that it “re-adjusts” after being moved. I rode this morning and it was pretty stable from the start even though I had removed it to connect to the Isaac software. Back on same bike, same mount and same position.

      I am still having issues with connecting to my garmin 735XT. Even though it connected before I started, it dropped the connection within a few minutes. I had to stop the ride. Start a new one on the garmin and this time I went into the settings section for sensors and connected the powerpod there. It then worked flawlessly for the 2 hour ride. Not sure if this is a garmin issue or a powerpod issue, but it is frustrating regardless to have to stop and start a new ride.

      Reply
  149. Hi All-

    Just as a quick heads up, Clever Training Europe is now offering the PowerPod. This means it’s available within Europe inclusive of free shipping. Also, the usual DCR 10% discount still applies here, using coupon code DCR10MHD. Since shipping within Europe, VAT is inclusive.

    The unit: link to clevertraining.co.uk

    Cheers.

    Reply
    • Robert

      Are you kidding me. I ordered PowerPod yesterday and it was already shipped. For 399 EUR
      :(

      Reply
    • 747

      After using my PowerPod for over 3 months and 60+ rides, I experienced my second erratic 0-watt failure of the unit.

      Powerpod was all charged up, started ride as normal, green light solid, paired with Garmin 520, start pedaling and see Power readings as 0w or fluctuating between 2-11w for 30 minutes. I then did the 10-second PP reset-same issues. Then about 45 minutes into the ride after a brief stop at a traffic light, it mysteriously started reading watts that “appeared” normal, but soon it became clear they were all wrong- then started dropping out again. Yes, the unit was charged,and I spun up speed and cadence first, then powered on the PP, got solid green light, and saw it pair successfully with my Garmin Edge 520. I have ridden with it on over 60 rides, so I am well versed in how it “should” work.

      This is the second time this failure occurred and there is only one 5-step solution to get it working again. 1. Connect to Isaac and perform a Complete Factory Reset, 2. Reload my rider profile in Isaac, 3. re-pair with my speed and cadence sensors, 4. re-pair with my Garmin and 5. perform a calibration ride. It’s like you are starting all over again from scratch. That whole process is a pain. I did all that and it is working fine again on last night’s ride. If you experience this, you may want to try the same- it has worked for me twice.

      So, I would say I still love the PP “when it works”. But I would now sum it up as having 2 annoying issues: 1. speed sensor dropout issue with 0/erratic watts I and others have seen (fixable only by having a speed sensor mounted on front wheel hub) and now 2. the “erratic 0w failure” (fixable only via the 5-step Factory Reset)

      The real issue with #2 is, if you do what you have always done, properly turning on/pairing the PowerPod and riding, you won’t know until you’re on the road that the unit has failed, needing the 5-step Factory Reset. And since you are already on your bike, you can’t fix it with your PC and Isaac so you end up with no Power readings for the entire ride.

      Sadly, the Garmin 520 is having its own release issues as I and many riders are seeing, so even the biggest tech companies can have product launch issues. Hopefully, as John the PowerPod team develop future versions they can address these issues.

      Reply
    • Changren Y.

      @747: I didn’t have the 0w issue. I have the sometimes erratic watts issue. It was too inconsistent to function as a power meter so I’ve just returned it to Clever Training.

      Reply
    • The hard reset should have no effect on the behavior you are describing.

      Please send a ride file to jhamann@velocomp.com

      Reply
  150. Latha

    Thank you for a fantastic review. When I use it on trainer I need to set the indoor trainer mode on. Do I need to turn it off before going for a ride outdoors or would it automatically sense wind speed and work outdoors?

    Reply
    • You will need to reset it to outdoor mode with Isaac. We had the wind speed outdoors idea many years ago, but people with fans blowing on their indoor trainer fooled it into thinking they were riding outdoors… :-)

      Reply
  151. I was just checking to see if the Bluetooth smart units are still on track to ship in the next two to three weeks? Thanks!

    Reply
    • Everything is available…except the BLE chip :-(

      No word on when this part will arrive. We are pushing as hard as we can.

      Reply
  152. Brian Chesteen

    Just ordered a Powerpod off of CT, since I am a Garmin 520 user with Garmin sensors, I really had no reason to wait for the BLE version (please correct me if I missed some reason why I should wait).

    Being a tech geek, I am looking forward to using the PowerPod and the software.

    I am definitely a newbie road cyclist so I felt like this was the least expensive way for me to get into the power meter business.

    Reply
    • Changren Y.

      I suggest going to the official forum for PowerPod to see what PowerPod users are discussing so that you are aware of what it can and cannot do.

      link to ibikeforum.com

      Reply
    • Brian Chesteen

      Already did….long before I decided to order this unit.

      Thanks for the advice however!

      Reply
  153. David D.

    It looks like the main thing holding me back from buying a power meter has gone.

    I am sure I am like many other riders who find the idea of having to switch from Campy to Shimano for crankset powermeters or buy a whole new wheel just for a PowerTap power meter to be near the summit of hard to justify indulgences. Now for the price of a set of good bib shorts you can add a powermeter, that’s something I can justify.

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Changren Y.

      @David D: You first have to ask yourself why you need a power meter. If you just need some power numbers on your bike computer without caring if those numbers are consistently accurate, sure get a PowerPod. I already owned two direct force power meters (both Quarqs) so when I got a PowerPod, it was for the portability, that I could use it on a bike (perhaps a rental bike) without a power meter. I was also intrigued by its potential in making my ride position more aero. But in the end, my frustrations over its inconsistent power numbers, not to mention how difficult it was to calibrate, was more than its portability and its potential to help me be more aero, so I returned it. If you want a power meter for power-based training, get a direct force power meter.

      Reply
    • Mark S

      @Changren Y. I know from seeing your postings on iBike Forum that you got frustrated by the PowrPod. However even though there are limitations with the PowerPod I think it is perfectly acceptable for the average recreational cyclist looking to getting more focused with their training. Yes, the product will often recalibrate in the first 7 mins, but that shouldn’t significantly affect the numbers as the first 10mins or so of a ride should be a warm up. For the cost and convenience it is a good way of getting in to power training.

      Reply
    • nbourbaki

      I completely agree. Do I occasionaly get wild power numbers? Yes, but only in about 7% of my rides. For the price, and the simple setup it’s been worth it for me. For the most part, I have wattage data that helps me get stronger and guides me on what I need to focus on in my training.

      Reply
    • Changren Y.

      @Mark S and @nbourbaki: I think the key to training with a power meter is you are able to rely on the power meter to provide consistent, and hopefully accurate, data. My issue with PowerPod was not just the initial part of the ride where it occasionally does its recalibration, even though its position on the mount had not changed. It was many inexplicable moments when it would deviate significantly from my actual power output.

      I assume both of you are doing power-based training with a known FTP. If PowerPod was accurate in your initial FTP test but not in your next FTP test (let’s assume the new FTP is 25% more than the initial one), how do you know if you have actually improved?

      Based on my experience, I would not recommend getting one for training.

      Reply
    • Olu

      I have to agree with Changren. After 1 month with the Powerpod, I’m afraid I have to return it. I’ve logged over 25000 miles on my bike with a Quarq powermeter so have an understanding of my power numbers. The Powerpod is really fascinating and overall can produce avg power numbers close to my direct force powermeter. However for training it falls apart. As a triathlete my goal is to keep my power as steady as possible. For races I like to keep my variability index (avg power/normalized power) between 1.01 and 1.04. This requires a powermeter that gives me accurate numbers very quickly to minimize power spikes and to keep my power steady when cresting hills and descending. Unfortunately the Powerpod will often produce nonsensical numbers in these situations.

      Another frustration is the drop in power I’ve seen when going over bumps. There’s nothing worse then doing an intense interval and then going over a bumpy section of road and have the Powerpod record multiple zeros when you’re trying to produce 300+ watts.

      If you’re goal is to get general estimates of your power, this is the way to go, but if you’re going to use it to learn how to smooth out your power delivery, it’s going to be a bumpy road (no pun intended)

      Reply
    • Brian

      Olu, I agree with your assessment. I am more comfortable with DFPM on my tri and road race rides, but the PP certainly has a place in the mix of options. While I have not seen the power drops as you and some others have mentioned on rough surfaces, I do believe the PP provides consistent data that is valuable for training. Perhaps the best way to describe it is to say it is a “macro view” tool. I often ride the same routes for training, and I look at the overall route results, NP, 20 min averages, etc., and sometimes a segment of a few miles, perhaps a wall climb. I find it performs well for that purpose. And, at $300, I’m okay with tempering my expectation. For second-by-second realtime power number streaming, it may not the optimum tool, but I also think, as you stated, that a rider needs to “know” their own power performance profile through experience to accurately analyze the granular metrics you describe and interpret through the inherent noise.

      Reply
    • Olu

      Hey Brian, the price point definitely makes this limitations easier to tolerate. I also like the concept of functional/useful power. It’s very cool to see the jump in power based on body positioning. The power drop offs on bumpy roads are consistent for me and made much more apparent since I purchased the Varia vision. I debated keeping the Powerpod, but I’ve been eye balling the P1 pedals :-p

      Reply
    • I’d sure like to see one of your .ibr ride files. If you’re willing, please send one to jhamann@velocomp.com

      If by “bumps” you are referring to rough roads such as the cobblestones Ray referenced in his review, then the good news is that we will be introducing soon a (free) firmware upgrade that will dynamically measure rolling resistance. This update will be available to all PowerPod owners and will correct this particular issue.

      On your TT bike, do you have your PP attached to your handlebars or to your aerobars? If aero bars, then they might be flexing some. This can cause watts errors.

      I agree that the “cresting and descending” scenario can be challenging for PowerPod. If you are racing (trying to go as fast as you can) the natural tendency is to go into a tuck on the descents, to increase speed (by reducing CdA) for the same level of effort. PowerPod will interpret faster speed as an increased amount of applied power, rather than as a decrease in CdA. When training, you can avoid this problem simply by trying to stay in the same ride position on the descents.

      Reply
    • Olu

      I missed this response. Unfortunately I’ve reset the unit to factory default and deleted those files. The good news is that I’ve decided to keep the unit and use it on my mountain bike for now. When I start training seriously again, I will use it in conjunction with my direct power meter to work on improving my functional power. thanks!

      Reply
  154. matt

    i’m interested to buy a powerpod as a tool help me to find out how many watts i’ve got. following is my equipment to monitor my riding information.

    1. Polar bluetooth H7 heart rate sensor
    2. Wahoo bluetooth cadence and speed sensor
    3. iphone 6plus

    Since now no any bluetooth powerpod deliver yet and there is not much information how the powerpod will connect to the bluetooth head unit. If there is any support from powerpod in here will you pls let me know, if the speed sensor need to pair with power pod and under this circumstance the speed sensor still can send data to my iphone? or the powerpod will pair the speed sensor first and will capture those info and send it out on behalf of speed sensor?

    At last i can see the BT version delay many times and i really don’t know is that some of the BT version already send out or just still postpone the delivery date? if that is the case should i wait for it or just go to ANT+ version (of cos i need to buy another set of sensor and head unit which will cost me a lot). Thanks

    Reply
    • Brian

      I had stepped away from this thread and the forum because, instead of actual issues with the PowerPod, it had become a drone about unmet expectations and failure to be sufficiently “accurate”, but I can’t resist any longer, now that I have significant experience with the device. As with any device, it’s hard to have valid criticism with misguided expectations. I have used mine on numerous century length training rides and more than 1500 miles. It works. It is reliable. It is consistent. It is the latter that makes it a valuable source of metrics for training. Whether 146 watts or 156 watts is “accurate”, is irrelevant. Performance trends over time, compared with other metrics, efficiency compared with HRM, and other calculations make you a better rider and setting goals. I have heard forever the arguments about hub based DFPM’s being the gold standard, debated by those who have crank-based measurement. And now, the pedal-based units are praised or panned. The OPFM PowerPod is just another vector for debate. It really is ridiculous. All of this compare and debate makes the idea of a consistent metric for gauging progress and improvement lost in the noise. If you don’t know why you’re collecting the data and how to interpret it, why bother, except maybe to show your ride bud you cranked out more watts on your favorite climber.

      I don’t move mine from one bike to another as I have other PM’s on my competition bikes. Since I have had the PP mounted, setup, and tweaked, I have never had mine go into recalibrate mode. If you keep your bike upright while the PP is powered up, it won’t. It pairs immediately with my fenix 3 and my old Edge 705. It even worked well with my GSC-10 Speed/Cadence sensor (until it finally broke a couple of weeks ago after about 7 years on various bikes). As a side note, I replaced it with another ANT+ magnet speed/cadence sensor because the newer Garmin magnetless won’t talk to the old 705. Set them up right, and they, too, are reliable.

      My bottom line is – it works, it is reliable, it is consistent, and it has been a great training tool at an unbeatable price. Set appropriate expectations, then you’ll be happy with it.

      Reply
    • Changren Y.

      @Brian: I’m glad your PowerPod is working out well for you. Unfortunately – perhaps it’s only affecting me – mine didn’t. I was going to post the link to a thread i started on the ibikeforum but apparently that thread had been deleted. Looking at the power comparison below, i’m sure you’ll agree the PowerPod i had is not consistent enough to use as a metric for training.

      http://www.dcrainmaker.com/wp-content/cache/comment-plus/1534989-1600×1200.png?1464062621

      Reply
    • Brian

      Experiences and expectations can certainly vary from various power meters. Your attachment shows the power readings of your DFPM differ from the output from the PowerPod. What is not shown is whether the PowerPod reproduces the same output under the same conditions, route, etc. I maintain that it does, in which case, the PowerPod does indeed offer a metric that can measure trends. All of this discussion relates back to the idea of everyone having their own “gold standard”. You assume that your DFPM is necessarily more accurate and you count on it to compare with your FTP. Suppose you used the PowerPod 100% of the time to do the same? As shown in Ray’s in-depth, there is variance even between DFPM’s, especially when there is a large delta in a narrow timeframe. So which one is right? I would bet that NP or a 20 minute power sample for any unit would be about the same. If you use the PowerPod and bench everything against that output, you’ll get a good picture and measurable trends. If you use your DFPM to do the same, you’ll get a good picture and measurable trends. When you compare the two, then you’ve got to choose which one to believe in. I go back to my original argument that absolute numbers in a narrow timeframe are not really important. Stick with one and the analysis will be valid, consistent, and a good indicator. You have decided not to throw your confidence toward the PowerPod. Your DFPM will give consistent numbers, too. And at the end of the day, either is going reveal improvements from training.

      Reply
    • Changren Y.

      @Brian: You wrote that “PowerPod reproduces the same output under the same conditions.” With my experience, it doesn’t. When I had my PowerPod, I did some extensive testing during my daily commute. It’s the same route every day. On some days, PowerPod would match up quite well with the DFPM. On some days, not so much. You can make the argument that perhaps my DFPM was the device producing faulty output. But I know what a 200W effort feels like. PowerPod was telling me I was producing less than 100W for a period of time (30 seconds) and it would jump back to 200W without me changing my position or effort. Can you live with that kind of inexplicable inconsistency? A reliable power meter should not be affected by how windy it is or your ride position on your bike. My experience indicated the PowerPod I had was highly affected by windy condition.

      Reply
    • Brian

      My feel that PP is repeatable is anecdotal, based on review of multiple rides.. I see pretty repeatable results on long rides of the same route, sufficient to give me confidence. However, you make a good suggestion. I commute daily, like you, on the same route, about 16 miles round trip on my fixie. In the coming week, I’ll ride my trainer for a few days and share my metrics.

      Reply
    • Brian

      On a related note, when I was dialing in the settings, I did have a brief period where the wind offset was wrong and it was hypersensitive to wind, especially on descents. Once tweaked, the wind effect on power seemed minimized. On a high speed descent, by having cadence greater than zero, it prevents the algorithm that forces zero watts. So I was able to confirm that wattage was near zero on multiple trips down the same descent with varying wind conditions. Indeed,one of the downsides of PP is doing the tweaks to get reasonable power numbers, and it erodes confidence in the absolutes. But, it is the repeatability confidence I seek, and I still feel good about that. LOL, maybe I’ll feel different after next week.

      Reply
    • Matt

      Dear John Hamann,

      do you have any insight can share with me how the PP BT version connect the BT sensor (speed and cadence)? It is extremely difficult to find the expert to ask because no any data from the web i can search. Seems you are the expert for PP and i appreciate if you can help me on this. Your help can help me to decide i should go for PP or other power meter. thx

      Reply
  155. rbennu

    Is there any data on how the PP compares to the Wahoo Kickr, not so concerned with if thw line up exactly but more of if there is a known/consistent skew so that one can go back and forth between the two with relateable results.

    Reply
    • Because the KICKR uses variable electronic resistance control, there’s no method for the PowerPod to measure on it (unlike a trainer with a known power curve).

      In my testing though, since I know how accurate the KICKR is, and I know how accurate the PP is, then I can say they’re in the same accuracy range – assuming both are calibrated/roll-down/etc.

      Reply
  156. Babyboomer

    May I ask what software you used to compare the various data files?

    Reply
    • It’s custom software I use for data analysis. It’s something I’ve been slowly opening up to more and more folks in beta testing, eventually allowing anyone to do analysis like that.

      Reply
  157. Greg K

    I think I’m done with it as well. There’s no way to get the PowerPod back on your bike after charging it in the exact same position. That means 8-10 minutes of the thing adjusting itself. The first 8-10 minutes of my race is when I’ll want to know my power the most so I can settle into my target properly. Also, the FTP calculation is different a. Actual power so I’ll have no idea where I am with it outdoors vs indoors. For me, I’d rather just take my money and put it towards a product that meets my needs.

    Reply
    • Yeah, just as a general tidbit – I would virtually never take it off the bike once installed (to charge/tweak/download). I simply got a much longer USB extendercable on Amazon (3m for $5): link to amzn.to

      Reply
    • Changren Y.

      When I still had the PowerPod, I would bring a longer USB cable, along with my MacBook, to my bike in the garage. Even with the PowerPod remained in the same position on the mount, there were a few occasions the PowerPod would do a recalibration the first 8 minutes of a ride. I have not been able to determine under what circumstances it would or would not perform the recalibration.

      Reply
    • Paul S

      I think it always does a recalibration for the first 8 minutes. If it’s not moved or you get it back on exactly right, then you won’t be able to tell the difference even though it’s recalibrating. Since I move mine around a lot between bikes, if I’m not careful, then the first 8 minutes are obviously off one way or another.

      Reply
    • Mark S

      I would agree that for a race this may not be the right product. However for sportives and recreational cyclists wanting to train based on power there is nothing wrong with the 8 to 10 mins calibration at the beginning of the ride. In my experience it is nearer to 5 to 7mins.

      On a training ride the first 10mins or so should be warm up so having vaguely spurious numbers shouldn’t be a problem and significantly affect the overall numbers for a ride.

      For me the limitations of the product are not a deal breaker as I am not a racer and just looking to improve my cycling fitness and times riding sportives. For the cost and convenience I still think it is a good product for my type of rider.

      Reply
    • If you’re racing presumably you are warming up prior to the competition. As long as your warmup is 8 minutes long, PowerPod will be dialed-in from the instant the race begins.

      Reply
  158. Brian

    I have not seen it do a recalibration unexpectedly. I wake up my speed cadence sensor, turn on PP, and the numbers are as expected from the start, every time. The only times I had a recal was when I flatted out and flipped my bike over to repair it while the PP was still on. I have done maintenence at home, flipped the bike over, but the PP was off. The next time I used it, no recal. The only other case was a chain suck incident when I had to lay it over on its side, again, with PP on. As soon as you hook up the USB, the PP is on for the next 20 minutes after disconnecting and flipping or tilting the bike outside of usual ride range will trigger the recal next time. Since there is no indication that it is on or off, you may be doing something after a ride, within that 20 minute window that is outside the normal ride parameters.

    Reply
    • Orci

      As Brian I never experienced problems or recalibration when waking up the speed and cadence sensors first. And I mounted and remounted the PowerPod 11 days in a row.
      While on a bumpy road I recognized that my cadence sensor stopped to work and then the power numbers were not dropping to zero. Even after the cadence sensor worked again properly it took some time before 0 cadence would be 0 power.

      Reply
    • Brian

      If dynamic smoothing is enabled or if moving averaging is used on your Garmin, it will take a few seconds for the power metrics buffer to clear and display zero power. I have dynamic smoothing enabled in the PP and power displays zero about 2 seconds after a zero cadence condition. You could turn off all averaging and smoothing (as Ray did in his tests) but I find the power metrics to be too noisy. Even with DFPM, I prefer some measure of smoothing.

      Reply
  159. Boris Belosevic

    I feel like a big fool. Throwing 400€ for nothing. I could buy Stages for 300 € and have much reliable data even I have broken leg and hitting 1/3 o