PowerTap gives sneak peek at new product development, and other updates from the company

IMG_9404

Last year at Eurobike, PowerTap had on display a bit of a historical timeline of the company’s past products.  15 years worth of power meter products on display, a nod to the company’s long line of various developments that hit retail shelves.

This year however, they’ve taken a slightly different tack.  Instead of showing off past products in their primary display, they’re showing off a collection of product prototypes.

IMG_9405

IMG_9406

For example, as you moved from left to right through the cases you’ve first got an insole option along with a cassette based option:

IMG_9416

Then there’s a spoke based unit, with two pedal based units behind it.

IMG_9410

IMG_9413

Finally, in the right case there’s a crank-based power meter.

IMG_9408

Now all of these units were or are fully functional.  The trick is figuring out which are current prototypes versus past units of since shuttered projects.

Outside of a very high level tour through the different units, PowerTap engineers would only state – with a smirk – that:

“Something is coming.”

No timelines, nor specifics, or prices.  Basically, the power meter engineering equivalent of walking into a crowded room – farting – and walking out leaving everyone in the room pointing fingers.

The display does seem to be an admission though that they don’t see the rear hub as the end-game for the company.  And in fact, other past forays have already shown that – such as the PowerCal a few years ago.  Though, they did seem to indicate that any future products would likely fall in line with the same accuracy demands of their PowerTap product line.

Speaking of new products, they are showing off a few newly announced units, including a new PowerTap G3 based disc-brake hub coming later this year (officially Q4).

IMG_9419

The rear hub will be available in either 135mm QR or 142×12 thru-axle variants.  Though it will require use of their proprietary 160mm brake rotor due to ensuring compatibility with their electronics.  The unit will be available as 9/10/11 speed Shimano/SRAM, Campy or XD compatible.  And finally as either 24 or 28 hole.  The weight not including the rotor will range from 348g to 353g depending on the model.

From a product standpoint it’s the same internals as a normal G3, just with a different shell.  The final price isn’t yet finalized – but will be less than $1,000US (how much less is up in the air).

They are also making available a matching front fork component.

IMG_9422

Last but not least, we’ve got some minor updates on the trainer front.  Well, not the trainers themselves, but rather the apps that connect to their trainer lineup – such as this Bluetooth Smart enabled unit seen below.

IMG_9428

They’ll be shortly releasing a new iPhone app which will compliment their iPad app, focused on trainer integration and control of Bluetooth Smart trainers.  The new iOS app allows one to control the trainer for specific routes pulled from their cloud service, as well as allowing you to simply set a specific wattage.

IMG_9427

This is a welcomed addition as I often find myself at my trainer without my iPad charged, but my phone is usually charged – making control while I hammer away on the trainer easy.  The app has already been submitted to the app store, so it’s really just a case of Apple approving it.  They expect at the absolute latest by Interbike (two weeks away).  But it could just as easily be tonight.

They’ll be following up with a small form factor Android app as well with the same functionality.  However, that app won’t hit for another couple of months, likely ahead of the holidays though.  For now you can still use their full Android tablet app though in the event you have an Android tablet (plus they have desktop apps too).

Finally, as a minor note – expect to see them refresh all of their existing sensors (such as the heart rate strap and speed/cadence sensor) with dual ANT+/Bluetooth Smart sensors as they move forward.

Overall we’re seeing some minor updates from CylceOps/PowerTap as a company at Eurobike/Interbike, with what is clearly a focus on R&D and new product development over the short term.

With that, thanks for reading!  If you’re looking to burn a bit of time, here’s all my Eurobike 2014 posts!

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked.
If you would like a profile picture, simply register at Gravatar, which works here on DCR and across the web.

 Notify me of followup comments via e-mail.

You can click here to Subscribe without commenting

Add a picture

*

26 Comments

  1. jason K

    Slightly off topic, but I’ve seen advertisements for a insole based “power meter” from RPM2, fascinating idea and price point ($650), especially considering the “tri” option gives you running metrics too. Any experience/knowledge about the product or company?

    • I’ve seen the site, but haven’t dug into it beyond that.

    • Scott E

      I was thinking the same thing. If we were taking bets, the insoles would be the most versatile. Pros changing out bikes mid race over a mechanical issue would have consistent data by just clipping in and turning on the head unit. Not to mention that I could jump between my road and mountain bike, or any other bike seamlessly – for that option I would put down the big cash on the table.

    • Would love it if you did a review of the RPM2 power meter! I am curious to know how it stacks up against standard power meters like Stages, PowerTap, etc.

    • Elliot

      Likewise. It looks like it could be really useful given its versatility. I just feel like it lacks legitimacy without a DCR review :)

    • I’m waiting on a unit still. As of an e-mail conversation on Tuesday, they are still about three weeks away until the next production batch comes in (that has some mods in it).

    • Elliot

      Awesome, thanks for the update!

    • Patrick Blair

      You are the best! Can’t wait!

  2. Xavier

    Oh man would love to see a Powertap Speedplay Zero become real!

  3. Chris

    As you said, they didn’t give any timeline, but do you suspect that their big announcement will be by/at Interbike?

    • I don’t expect anything at Interbike from them. Like most companies that have a more global presence, you tend to get announcements at Eurobike for both shows. Whereas if a company is more US-focused (either in locality or market), then you’ll get Interbike-focused announcements.

    • Chris

      One other thing I’m wondering, perhaps your speculation is limited here because you’re bound by an NDA? The existence of which you may not be able to divulge.

      Even if that isn’t the case here, I have to imagine that that occurs reasonably often with your posts!

  4. Mark A.

    “Basically, the power meter engineering equivalent of walking into a crowded room – farting – and walking out leaving everyone in the room pointing fingers.”

    OMG – Too funny!

  5. Jake

    To pick a nit:

    “This year however, they’ve taken a slightly different tact.”

    I think you may mean “tack” – change course by turning a boat’s head into and through the wind.

    :)

  6. Erik Arnström

    I’m guessing cassette. Most of the others have been done, and a cassette option probably carries over a lot of technology from the hubs, while removing the biggest downside with powertap, the training wheel/race wheel issue.

    • Liam Nicholson

      I’d also like to see a cassette based option, but only if the price reflects the fact that cassettes are essentially consumable. I’d hate to drop cash equivalent to the price of a Powertap only to have my power meter effectively wear out after 6 months.
      Taking into account the expensive process of designing, making, and testing power meters before they can be sold, I doubt that this could be done in a cost effective manner.

      That said, if it was designed in a way that you could just replace the cassette rings (without it costing the earth) and keep the same power measuring cassette body then I’d be pretty happy to spend £500 or £600 on one.

      Overall, it’s a pretty exciting time in the power meter world!

  7. Matt H

    “the power meter engineering equivalent of walking into a crowded room – farting – and walking out leaving everyone in the room pointing fingers.”

    You do make me laugh Ray :D

  8. “Finally, as a minor note – expect to see them refresh all of their existing sensors (such as the heart rate strap and speed/cadence sensor) with dual ANT+/Bluetooth Smart sensors as they move forward.”

    Any idea when this might happen? And, is this likely to happen with their hub power meters too? I know they have different caps that will do either ANT+ or Bluetooth Smart, but I’d love to see one that does both.

  9. Tom

    Off topic but power meter related. Any word on the Brim Brothers device at Eurobike?

  10. Andrew

    In the spring a new powermeter from PowerTap. But not a regular powermeter , a smart one with added bonuses i was told. It will be an awsome feature for the bike fitters as well.

  11. Looks like the new teaser is out. Any information / speculation?

    • Henry Tambor

      I’m guessing that they may issue an easily removed freehub powermeter. This would allow users to move the powermeter from one wheel to another and it would allow reasonable Campy-SRAM-Shimano compatibility since an 11 speed cassette of any of these manufacturers works reasonably well in any drivetrain.

  12. Chris Barber

    Spotted this….

    link to paligap.cc

    Not a lot of details but guess coming soon