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Power2Max goes to $599 – Joins Quarq, Pioneer in April power meter price slashing

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Power2Max Price Cuts

Today Power2Max announced price drops of about 21% off of their existing units, dropping the base price to a mind-boggling $599.  This is ahead of the bike industry event this weekend, Sea Otter, where we’ve seen a growing number of announcements being timed to.  In fact, Sea Otter has become a bit of the SXSW of the bike world – slowly starting to replace Interbike as the ‘cool’ place to announce things.

Part of that (if I can take a slight detour here) is that Eurobike/Interbike is actually really poor timing for the bike industry.  The season is basically over, and it’s really just more of a meeting locale for retailers/distributors/companies, than it is for hot products releasing immediately.  Instead, you see it now more and more being used for products releasing the following year.  Whereas Sea Otter being in mid-April makes for a slammin’ spot to announce things immediately available for the season that’s just warming up.

In any event, back to Power2Max, this now makes for the lowest crank-region power meter actively shipping on the market.  It also makes for the cheapest full-power capturing device on the market today.  The upcoming PowerBeat product will just barely beat the price, but that’s not expected to ship until perhaps early summer.

Here’s the low-down on the new pricing of all models:

Power2Max New Pricing - April 16th, 2015

ModelPrice before adjustmentPrice after adjustment
CLASSIC FSA Gossamer with cranksUS $749US $599
TYPE S without cranks for:US $1,079US $899
Cannondale HollowgramUS $1,079US $899
Rotor 3D24US $1,079US $899
Rotor 3D30, 3D+ and FlowUS $1,079US $899
Specialized S-Works and FACTUS $1,079US $899
SRAM S950, Force22, and Rival22US $1,079US $899
Type S FSA Gossamer Megaexo with cranksUS $1,049US $899
Type S FSA Gossamer BB386EVO with cranksUS $1,049US $919
Type S FSA K-Force Light Megaexo with cranksUS $1,449US $1,219
Type S FSA K-Force Light BB386EVO with cranksUS$ 1,449US $1,219
Type S Rotor 3D24 with cranksUS $1,299US $1,079
Type S Rotor 3D30 with cranksUS $1,399US $1,119
Type S Rotor 3D+ with cranksUS $1,449US $1,219
Type S Campagnolo 5-bolt with cranksUS $1,990US $1,699
Type S Campagnolo 4-bolt with cranksUS $2,199US $1,899
Type S MTB Rotor Rex 1 1x with cranksUS $1,449US $1,219
Type S MTB Rotor Rex 1 2x with cranksUS $1,499US $1,269
Type S MTB Rotor Rex 3 1x with cranksUS $1,299US $1,079
Type S MTB Rotor Rex 3 2x with cranksUS $1,349US $1,219

I just reviewed the Power2Max Type S series a few weeks ago – and it’s a solid contender.  However, note that the $599 version is the slightly older ‘Classic’ edition, which I reviewed about 2 years ago (but at $599 it does come with cranks).  Either way it’s hard to find someone that doesn’t like their Power2Max unit.  And, they’ve become more and more popular over the past 1-2 years as word has gotten out, with even a couple of World Tour Pro Cycling teams using them too.  I’d guess that they are the #5 maker of power meters today by unit volume (behind Stages, PowerTap, Garmin, and Quarq).  The only reason they probably don’t eclipse Quarq’s volumes is that Power2Max’s distribution model is more limited than the behemoths, including SRAM/Quarq.

As for the ‘why’ behind the price cuts, it’s actually not so much a reaction to PowerTap’s new offerings.  Rather like most of the companies I’ve talked with, these were planned many months ago.  In Power2Max’s case though the bigger driver is actually the USD to EUR exchange rate, where we’ve seen the two currencies reach almost parity levels, a drop of some 20% in the last 2-3 months (or rise of 20%, depending on your perspective).

No matter the case, the price drops are indeed seeing things go in the right direction!

Pioneer Price Cuts

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Just as a brief recap for news I didn’t otherwise post much on, Pioneer also cut their prices earlier this month.  They dropped their crank based system down to $999US, from $1,299.  This makes it a steal of a deal.  In fact, it might just make it the best deal for a dual-sensing power meter.  The unit supports both ANT+ and a private-ANT version that connects to their specialty head unit.

While I’m not a huge fan of their head unit (I find it clunky), I’ve got no problems at all with their power meter itself.  But I’ll dive into that in my full review coming up in the next few weeks (which will likely also take the cake for longest period of time I’ve taken to finish a review).

Quarq Price Cuts:

QuarqRiken

Last but not least, also in the department of two weeks ago news that I only briefly mentioned – Quarq also cut their prices.  In their case they dropped them up to 19%, depending on the model.  The Quarq RIKEN is currently the lowest price unit, going from $1,200 down to $1,099.  I’ve reviewed the RIKEN in the past, and it continues to make appearances on my bikes as a mainstay unit.

Here’s the complete skinny on those recent price shifts:

Quarq New Pricing - April 2nd, 2015

ModelPrice before adjustmentPrice after adjustment
Quarq ELSA RSUS $1,600US $1,399
SRAM XX1US $1,600US $1,399
Quarq ELSA RUS $1,600US $1,299
SRAM RED 22US $1,600US $1,299
Quarq RIKEN RUS $1,200US $1,099

Again, lots of moving and shakin’ going on this month.  All of which is awesome news for consumers looking to get into the power meter market.  What’s nice about all three of the products listed in this post is that none of them are unknown entrants with no history.  The ‘youngest’ of the three (Pioneer), still has 2 years of power meter production under its belt.  While the oldest – Quarq – has about 7 years.  Power2Max sits roughly in the middle.

With that – thanks for reading…and definitely stay tuned around these parts for more Sea Otter timed news over the next little bit!

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31 Comments

  1. Andre

    Hi Ray,

    Quick question on the Pioneer review… Are you including an in-depth review of the head unit(s) as well? I am quite intrigued about the sgx 500 and it is hard to find reliable reviews out there…

    Thanks!

  2. Yancey

    I speculate that the SRM’s market share must be in absolute freefall. It will be interesting to see how they respond to these market shifts if they can. I don’t see how they can afford not to bring out a budget model.

    • Cpaz

      Me too I’ll buy it right away, nothing to do with tax it should be the other way around if so, sorry to see a a price policy BF’ing European customers in such a way, until power2max shape up I’ll have to look some where else for a power meter

  3. kevin baker

    DC – is there also going to be a price drop for the European market?

    • Kevin

      For the Power2Max I should have said.

    • I’ve asked for clarification, hope to hear back soon!

    • Just received clarification: No change in pricing for Euro folks.

    • Rob

      Wait, so in the US it’s US$599 while in the EU its €690 (according to their website) – about US$740?

    • Kevin

      Rob – I’ve been trying to get my head round this too! The difference in price may be tax???? Shame because with a 20% (or even 10%) Euro cut I’d be ordering one immediately!

    • phr3dly

      My understanding is that euro pricing usually includes VAT, while US pricing does not include sales tax.

    • Cpaz

      Me too I’ll buy it right away, nothing to do with tax it should be the other way around if so, sorry to see a a price policy BF’ing European customers in such a way, until power2max shape up I’ll have to look some where else for a power meter

      Sorry to have misplaced my reply the first time.

    • Geoff

      Euro prices include VAT which varies between countries. U.S. prices do not.

      The U.S. significantly more people to sell which generally allows prices to be more competitive.

      Additionally trade relations to Asia are much better in America than Europe.

    • Rob

      Here in the UK, VAT is at 20%; so importing a US$599 item and paying the VAT would still only be US$718.80. Yet they are charging much more than that to EU customers. Isn’t this a German company? Shouldn’t the goods cost more in the US than the EU?

      Also, there aren’t “more people to sell [to]” in the US (population ~320m) compared to the EU (28 members states with a total population of ~500m).

      Ray, this whole area would be a great subject for a blog post…

    • Yeah, it’s something I’ve been meaning to post on for a while. Do you still have to pay VAT from the rest of Europe to the UK (I know the rules within continental Europe, but the UK throws a wrench into things).

      As for population – while using general numbers is simple, it’s not correct. There are simply far more American cyclists who would actually buy a power meter than there are European cyclists (by any measure, straight numbers or ratios). There are certainly certain European countries that have higher sports technology adoption rates, but nothing near the US (the UK is close, but the market site is still bigger in the US).

      Inversely, there are certain things that do much better in Europe, e-Bikes for example. Whereas in the US I believe there have been 6 sold thus far.

    • Rob

      No, as the UK is an EU member state (I know, it’s confusing), even though we don’t use the Euro, you don’t have to pay to ‘import’ from other EU states – it’s supposed to be a single market. In fact, legislation within the EU is gradually making it illegal to charge different prices across the EU. (The mobile network operators, for example, are dragging their feet over international roaming charges, which are being slowly phased out across the union.)

      Good points about market adoptions. “I believe there have been 6 sold thus far”. :) How many of those are Al Gore’s? ;)

  4. RMP

    Thanks for keeping the community informed on all the changes in the power meter market. It has been very helpful, especially since I am unexpectedly in the market for a new power meter.

    A quick question on the Pioneer power meter: In your estimation, would the patch type magnets (the type that sticks on chainstay) work on a steel or titanium frame with smaller diameter and rounder chainstays than a carbon frame?

    I am thinking of purchasing the Pioneer but not sure how the magnets would work with my titanium frame. Unfortunately, I want to pull the trigger this week due to the very recent demise of my older Powertap so can’t wait until your review in a couple of weeks. I am considering replacing with a new Powertap G3 but the Pioneer system is tempting.

    Thanks!

    • I’m honestly not sure there. I didn’t do the install on this one, given the complexity of it. But I’ll poke around a bit and try and get an answer.

    • EB

      I just did two installs today. One on a titanium frame and one on a carbon. The carbon was able to use the patch style magnets on both sides. I was not able to use the patch style magnets on either side of the Ti frame. The stays were too small/rounded for the patch style magnet to work. If the tape that surrounds the magnet on the patch was more flexible it would be fine, but it has a sort of plastic coating that needs to be flat keep from pulling away from the tube.

  5. Ben

    Is there any expectation/anticipation that Stages will be following suit at some point? I ride Hollowgram cranks and was looking at the Stages Hollowgram as an option along with the 4iiii (waiting for your more in-depth review after their revisions), but the Power2Max seems like a pretty solid option at only $100 more than the Stages.

    • I think if I were Stages I’d wait a bit longer. The thing is, the P2M’s that are on for $599 are the Classic FSA Gossamers, so basically just one crank type.

      Stages meanwhile sells a boatload of crank varieties. Of course, Stages is left only – so you lose the benefits of the full-capture P2M.

      But, Stages has plenty of customers today in the queue, and even the rest of the new left-only units out there – none of them beat it on price yet.

    • Ben

      Correct – the price point for an equivalent product at p2m is still $900 (for a Hollowgram crankset) versus $800 for the Stages Hollowgram crank which is what I was looking at comparing.

      Besides the main difference of p2m measuring total power and approximating L/R distribution and Stages doubling left-leg, are there really any other major differences that would lean you in one direction over another? I noticed that the p2m seems like you have to send to factory for firmware updates whereas the Stages you can update via Bluetooth on a phone, but is that a significant issue?

      From a usage standpoint, I’ve narrowed it down to those 2 being the best fit for me.

  6. Matt Evans

    Power2max seems less attar active now that a Quarq Riken is available in the UK for £799. A rotor 3d P2M is £850 for comparison.

  7. Chris EchoHawk

    This is all moving so quickly! So for a SRAM 1×11 MTB drivetrain, it seems that there are only three options: a PowerTap G3 hub/wheel, the Quarq XX1 unit, and the new 4iiii Precision. Am I missing any options that anyone knows of?

  8. Kevin

    If you shop around you can now buy Quarq Riken R PM’s for £729.99 (and Quarq Elsa for less than £800), which now makes it a cheaper option than the P2M (approx £680 plus postage, with no cranks arms). I was planning on P2M but that pricing has changed things. Surely P2M have got to respond to these price drops in the UK/Europe?

  9. Johannes

    Thanks for the update! What ever happened to the Power2Max Dura Ace 9000 version? Wasn’t there supposed to be a four bolt version, that was shown on some of the pro bikes? Did they ever release it? Can’t find it on their website…

  10. Tisztul_A_Visztula

    Now the lowest price of a direct force power meter is pretty close to that of iBike Newton. Curious whether Velocomp will adjust their prices or not.

  11. Palisades

    Just wondering which one would you recommend? A Quarq elsa rs or a pionner power meter in terms of reliability and ease of use?

    • They’re both solid, so it’s really more about crank compatibility and the like. Also, if you’re not planning on getting the Pioneer head unit, then I wouldn’t focus on all the fancy Pioneer metrics (since they don’t transmit any of that over regular ANT+).

    • EB

      Pros for Pioneer: Lighter, native DA 9000 crank (I am assuming you are using a Shimano 11 sp group based on the two choices), true dual side measurement.

      Cons for Pioneer: Relatively new to the game, do not get all of the features without their clunky head unit, cannot update the PM firmware at this time.

      Pros for Elsa RS: Quarq has been around a while now, can update the unit, easier compatibility with GXP/BB30 bikes

      Cons for Elsa RS: Calculated L/R (not true L/R), ring spacing is slightly different than DA 9000, Heavier than Pioneer, more expensive than Pioneer

  12. Drew W

    Ray…I got the Pioneer power meter last week & on 3 rides so far, I love it. I can’t wait to hear what you have to say about it in your in-depth review.

    I did buy the crank only, and I’m running it to my Edge 510 or 920xt for now. I want to pick up one of their head units to take full advantage of all that it can do, but the price tags are super steep. Any word if Clever Training plans to start carrying them? The DCR discount would take a little bit of the sting out of the price.