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PowerTap P1 Power Meter Pedals In-Depth Review

PowerTap-P1-Frontal

Back this spring PowerTap for the first time announced a power meter that wasn’t in the rear wheel hub.  Well, they actually announced two new power meters.  The first was the PowerTap P1, which is a pedal based power meter, while the second was a chainring based power meter.  Neither of these new options were designed to replace their long running PowerTap hub line (i.e. the G3 hubs).  Instead, these are just seen as new product lines to complement the hub (in fact, the hub also received new dual-capable caps).  Just like a car company having different models of cars based on consumer demand.

In any event, PowerTap sent over both the P1 and C1 units for me to start testing in early June, and since then I’ve gotten in a rather nice sum of riding.  Of course, I’m not just riding with one power meter, but usually between 3-4 power meters concurrently, allowing me to collect large data comparison sets.

As the title alludes to, this review is focused on the P1.  As of this writing the C1 review process (read: lots of riding) is already underway, and will likely publish in late August, perhaps sooner.  Oh, and as usual, I’ll send back both of these units to PowerTap once I wrap-up the C1 review, and likely go out and buy sets of the pedals for myself.  But…let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves.

Unboxing:

PowerTap-P1-Box

First up we’ve gotta get these things out of their cigar-like box.  Elongated cigar-like boxes have become all the rage for pedal based power meters lately.  Probably because they look cool.

PowerTap-P1-Box-Unboxed

Inside after cracking it open you’ll find two pedals and some cleats, protected as if entering one of those egg-drop competitions you did in grade school.  Don’t worry, I’ve since dropped the pedals three times onto the hardwood floors (while unscrewing them).  No broken egg-shells yet.

PowerTap-P1-Lid-Off

Floating on top is a card with the ANT+ ID and serial number information for your pedals.  Meanwhile, inside you’ll also find two cleats and some cleat attachment hardware (screws and related stuff).

PowerTap-P1-Unboxed-Parts

PowerTap-P1-Included-Parts

And that’s it.  Nothing more that’s needed.  Here’s a couple of pretty shots of the pedals.

PowerTap-P1-Pedals-Solo-Cup

PowerTap-P1-Pedals-HexWrench-Hole

PowerTap-P1-Pedals-Side

And then the cleats:

PowerTap-P1-Cleats

Now the cleats are actually slightly different than your standard Keo cleats.  You can sorta use existing Keo cleats with the PowerTap P1’s, but you’ll find the fit isn’t super snug.  Based on my testing, it really depends on the age/wear of your existing Keo Cleats.

See, during my first weekend with the units down in Majorca back in May, I had nearly brand new (regular) Keo cleats on my bike shoes, and had zero issues with the PowerTap P1’s.  They stayed in spot-on.

But, by time I got to June my new cleats had some wear on them and they’d hardly stay locked into the PowerTap P1’s during any hard efforts.  So I swapped to the cleats included and have had zero issues since.

But, do these PowerTap Keo cleat variants work with existing Keo units?  Mostly, in my testing.  I’ve used them with both a stock set of Keo pedals, as well as the bePRO power meter XPEDO variants, with no issues.  But again, it may also be that my cleats are still new enough that issues might not crop up there.  So it’s probably a bit a case of buyer beware (or rather, careful).

PowerTap-P1-Cleats

With the unboxing completed, let’s move onto some of the weight and size comparisons.

Weight & Size Comparisons:

First up is the weight of the pedal itself, first the single pedal (218-219g each), and then the two together (437g):

PowerTapP1-Weight-LeftPedal

PowerTapP1-Weight-Right-Pedal

PowerTapP1-Weight-BothPedals

How about weights of other pedal based power meters?  No problem, here’s Vector, Vector2, and bePRO, along with a standard Keo pedal (non-power).  I’ve included all parts required within the weights.

Of course, comparing size you’ll see slight differences in how each pedal is designed.  For example the PowerTap has the battery compartment within the pedal itself, while Vector places it in detachable pods that connect to the pedal.  And then bePRO places it in a non-detachable pod that floats off to the side.

(Left side, top-down: Vector 2, Vector1, PowerTap P1.  Right side, top-down: bePRO, Keo stock pedal)

Pedal-PowWow

All of these pedals have the exact same q-factor though, with none of them being different (despite any optical illusions otherwise).  This is important, and something that I’ve seen some discussion on – so I wanted to call it out.

Of course, weight is hardly the only aspect when it comes to power meter selection.  In fact, I’d say it actually ranks lowest on my list.  Instead, I’d focus on factors such as placement location (and how you might use it), as well as accuracy and cost.

Installation & Configuration:

As you’ll see in a second, the installation of the PowerTap P1 is probably its best feature.  If we look at other pedal based power meters on the market, the complexity is either higher – or more prone to being screwed up.  To begin, here’s where we start with the PowerTap P1:

PowerTap-P1-Install-Basics

We’ve got your normal bike crank arms without pedals, and then we’ve got the pedals.  Additionally, we’ve got a standard issue hex wrench set – the kind you already have.

Now – you’ll take the hex wrench and insert it into the crank arm hole and then insert it onwards into the pedal.

PowerTap-P1-Install-S1

Then you’ll tighten until it feels appropriately tight.

PowerTap-P1-Install-S2

And now you’re done.  Seriously, done.  Just repeat for the other side:

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No torque wrenches needed, no specific torque measurement.  Neither are there any complex tools or parts needed.

PowerTap-P1-Install-S5

The only thing left to do is to simply calibrate the unit once now that it’s attached.  To do that, you’ll grab either a Garmin head unit or the PowerTap Joule GPS (or any other power meter capable head unit) and trigger the ‘calibrate’ button.

PowerTap-P1-Install-S6

Technically this is more of a zero offset, but it is recommended by PowerTap to do prior to each ride.

PowerTap-P1-Install-S7

With that – we’re done and ready to ride.

I really can’t emphasize enough how big a deal it is that there aren’t any additional tools or torque requirements required.  This is exactly what everyone wanted Vector to be from a portability standpoint.  With Vector I would have needed a bunch of other tools to properly install it for accurate data.  Whereas with the PowerTap P1’s I can just toss it in my carry-on bag on the plane with a simple hex wrench and easily install them on any bike I find.

Note that due to the general design of the Keo pedals, you wouldn’t (can’t) use a pedal wrench.  Though, I can’t imagine anyone would complain about having to use the universally available hex wrench instead.

Speaking of random notes, lacking another place to put it – I should note that the PowerTap P1 does support oval/non-round chainrings.  Here’s PowerTap’s official answer on that:

“Non-round rings are supported perfectly with the P1. We are taking 40 individual angular velocity measurements and subsequently 40 power measurements per pedal stroke. Any acceleration/deceleration within a pedal stroke would be measured. Other systems assume constant angular velocity, which typically reports [higher] power when using non-round rings.”

This is notable because most other crank and pedal region power meters don’t support oval chainrings (including Vector, SRM, and others).

Pedal Impact on Cornering:

Since publishing this review earlier in the week, some of you have asked about the difference in cornering, and if the slightly thicker pedal would have any impact (no pun intended).  No doubt I’m not usually racing crits or other situations which require me to corner heavily, but to that end after almost two months with the units I certainly haven’t had a case where they’ve hit.  Note that I do know full well that you should have your pedal up when cornering, but still many folks asked to see what happens if not.

Thus I went about putting together a little test to show what difference, if any, there might be.  First I grabbed a spare road bike I had and tossed the pedals on it.  In this case, the crank length here is 175mm, which may be different than others – so that would have a greater effect than the more common 172.5mm lengths.

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Then, I strapped an iPhone with a free level app on the seat tube.  I used a small piece of tape to avoid breaking my iPhone for the second time this summer.

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Then I simply leaned the bike over until the flat portion of the pedal touched the floor.  In this configuration I had the crank arm pointed as straight down as possible, and then I manually rotated the pedal such that the lowest portion (flat portion) would touch.  This is because pedals otherwise are rear-heavy and the back portion would touch first.  Given you don’t ride with the pedal vertical, I changed the orientation manually.

In the case of the PowerTap P1, this meant that they hit the ground ‘level’ at 31 degrees (31°), as seen below:

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Next, I loaded up a standard/stock Keo pedal on one side of the bike (I didn’t bother swapping the other side, since they’re obviously identical).

IMG_5869

I then repeated the same procedure:

IMG_5872

In this case, the result was a tiny bit more lean – at 33°, sometimes 34° depending on precisely how flat the pedal was – it’s a bit finicky. But we were only really talking about 1mm difference there between those two.

IMG_5873

I should point out that 30-33° of lean is actually fairly substantial.  A photo doesn’t capture it terribly well, but you have your bike significantly over.  The lean would actually be more on the more shorter common crank lengths of 172.5mm (than my 175mm).

Ultimately, I just can’t imagine this making much of a difference in pedal strikes and/or cornering.  But that’s just me.

General Use & Battery life:

PowerTap-P1-Pedals-SideProfile

Now that we’ve got the install out of the way, let’s talk about general usage and daily use.  In many ways, it’s set it and forget it.  The unit uses active temperature compensation using a temperature sensor internally.  This allows them to shift the offset value as required as the temperature changes.  Each unit is calibrated prior to shipping at a high temperature and room temperature, which enables them to determine a temperature slope.  PowerTap states a temperature range of –40°F to +140°F, in the horribly unlikely event that you find yourself riding at either ends of that extreme.

You can still zero offset prior to any ride, and PowerTap themselves says “it is important to periodically zero the offset manually.”  In my case, I just do it prior to every ride and haven’t seen any issues with accuracy by doing it that way.  This is similar to most other power meters.

Additionally, you’ll want to ensure that you’ve set the crank length properly on your head unit.  This is easy to do (only takes about 3 seconds), and will ‘stick’ permanently within that bike profile/sensor.  If you don’t do this, then the unit will likely have incorrect power (I believe the default setting for the P1 is 172.5mm, so anything other than that and you’d have higher or lower power than actual).

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It should be noted that the unit has a simple status light on the outside.  This automatically illuminates when you first start spinning the crank – letting you confirm all is well.

PowerTap-P1-Pedal-Status

Next we’ve got the batteries.  The unit uses a single AAA battery per pedal, the compartment can be found just below the platform portion of the pedal, and is opened using a hex wrench:

PowerTap-P1-Battery-Compartment

The PowerTap P1 is rated for 60 hours of battery life per AAA battery.  I didn’t yet ride for 60 hours in the last 6 weeks (since I mix in swimming and running as well), but during that time I never hit the end of the battery life (meaning, at least it’s not substantially lower).

PowerTap-P1-Remove-Batteries

While some have early-on complained about the AAA battery, I think there’s a fair bit of flawed logic in complaining.  PowerTap has made it clear that the power requirements dictated a beefier battery than a standard CR2032.  Had they gone with a different coin cell type (i.e. a CR2) it would have made them more difficult to get ahold of.  In fact, outside of doing a AA battery, there’s no battery that’s easier to find anywhere in the world than a AAA battery.

Even if you ignore the low-battery warnings you’ll get many hours before it dies, you can stop in any convenience store or gas station on any road on earth and pickup a AAA battery mid-ride.  That’s definitely not true of the CR2032.  Nor is it true of rechargeable pedals (via USB cable) – which can be a bit of a pain.

PowerTap-P1-BatteryParts

Finally, within the constraints of a pedal, the battery housing for the AAA battery is much more structurally sound (and water-resistant) than most CR2032 battery compartments on the market.  For example, one only need to look at the water-ingest challenges that Stages has had – or even Quarq.  Quarq recently redesigned their compartment yet again to minimize water ingest, but this new beefier design would never fit on the bottom of a pedal (compared to the crank spider).  You’d have to find a large and flat spot on the pedal to put the battery in it, while still protecting it from either downwards force onto the ground (walking) or force while clipping in.

Swapping Bikes:

PowerTap-P1-MovingBikes-2

Sometimes, a simple video speaks a thousand words.  Words that I don’t have to write.  To illustrate the ease in which you can swap the pedals to another bike, I’ve put together this 2-minute video.  Of which, significantly less than two minutes is actually used to swap the pedals:

No doubt there are other videos out there showing crank swaps and Vector swaps (including some of my own).  I think the key difference though when comparing a crank swap to the PowerTap P1 swap though is that in the case of just moving a crank between bikes – said bikes must have the same bottom bracket configuration.  Within my bikes, very few of them share the same configuration.  Same goes for rental bikes and the like.

Head Unit Compatibility:

The PowerTap P1 connects to head units via both ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart, concurrently.  This means that you can use it with just about any recent power meter capable bike computer/triathlon watch on the market today.

For connecting via ANT+, that’s supported by the Garmin Edge series, Forerunner series, and PowerTap’s own Joule and Joule GPS+.  That’s all in addition to a host of ANT+ power-meter capable products over the years by both these companies and others.

When you search for the PowerTap P1’s it’ll find a single ANT+ ID, just like other power meters on the market today.  While you may have two pedals, that communication is channeled through one pedal and onwards to the head unit.  Note that you can NOT split up the pedals and give one to a friend, and at present PowerTap states they don’t have much interest in selling a one-pedal-only unit (given they already sell the PowerTap C1 for roughly half the price, that would be a more logical direction if you’re budget constrained).

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If you dive into the menus of your head unit, you’ll get information such as manufacturer and battery state:

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Additionally, this is where you can calibrate (technically a zero offset) for the pedals:

PowerTap-P1-Edge1000

When you do this, you should not have your feet on the pedals and the pedals should be left hanging there by themselves.

As for being out on a ride, you’ll get left/right power balance, total power, as well as cadence.  For those interested, here’s an example of ride I did with the PowerTap P1 and the Garmin Epix, to see the data collected.

PowerTap-P1-Balance

You won’t however get any Garmin Cycling Dynamics – since Garmin locks that down to just themselves.  Additionally, PowerTap has stated that they’re looking to move slowly into more advanced metrics – taking a bit of a ‘wait and see’ approach to what individuals and research entities might find useful.

Now – there is one oddity that I’ve seen, which is that on the Garmin Edge 1000 the crank-arm length option doesn’t show up for the PowerTap P1’s (it does show up for Garmin Vector pedals).  This is critical as you must set the crank length correctly to get accurate results.  Given this option shows up correctly on other units (including the Edge 810 and Garmin Epix), I’ve gotta suspect this is some sort of bug here on the Edge 1000.  Ironically, I also saw this same issue when trying to use the 4iiii Precision power meter (doesn’t allow setting of crank length on the Edge 1000 specifically).  Now I’ve also seen an oddity on the Edge 810 where it’ll give a false right pedal lost warning message when you first start pedaling at the beginning of the ride.  It appears to be a minor ride start negotiation hiccup and hasn’t impacted any data that I’ve seen.  It doesn’t happen on the Joule GPS+, or on the Garmin Epix.

(Update Aug 30th, 2015: Garmin has confirmed they will be issuing a firmware update to add/add back in crank length support for the FR920XT, Edge 1000, and Edge 520 – the only units missing support.  They have not confirmed an exact timeframe for doing so.  In the meantime, you can post your Settings.FIT file to the Garmin Forums – see link in the comments – and some helpful moderators are responding with updated files for you with corrected crank lengths for people not on 172.5mm.

Update 2: All current Garmin products now support setting the crank length for the P1 – so no problems there anymore!)

Next, on the Bluetooth Smart side, you can pair the pedals with units that support Bluetooth Smart power meters today.  Sorta.  In my case, my firmware on the units (v1.7) that shipped in early June did not have the Bluetooth Smart stack fully enabled. So while devices could pair to it, they weren’t producing power on my firmware version.

However, devices that started shipping in the past few weeks (v1.9) have had this updated firmware, and readers have generally reported good luck on both Polar (V800) and Suunto devices (Ambit3).  Unfortunately, my ability to test that update is limited because of the fact that the firmware updater that will allow over the air updates of the PowerTap P1 is still about 1-2 weeks away from being released.

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At the same time that’s released, PowerTap will be changing the way they broadcast the BLE signal.  Specifically, they’ll be shifting towards pairing individual pedals versus everything being channeled through the one pod today – per the official spec on dual-capable devices.  The benefit of that from their perspective is potentially increased data metrics.  However, it’ll also require companies to update their firmware to understand this.

PowerTap tells me that they’ve been working with Polar on this to ensure compliance, and hope to also work with Suunto as well.  Once any one of these items are released, I’ll update this section accordingly.

As an addendum – I’ve created the below table to track compatibility status.  I’ll update this accordingly based on testing by myself, readers (that’s you), or manufacturers.

PowerTap P1 Compatibility

Display UnitDate TestedDCR/Reader/ManufCompatibility Status
Garmin Edge 500Aug 8th, 2015DCRFully functional, can set crank length via bike profile
Garmin Edge 510Aug 8th, 2015DCRFully functional, can set crank length via bike profile
Garmin Edge 520Oct 1st, 2015DCRFully functional, can set crank length via bike profile in FW 3.00 and higher
Garmin Edge 800Aug 15th, 2015ReaderFully functional, can set crank length via bike profile
Garmin Edge 810Aug 8th, 2015DCRFully functional, can set crank length via bike profile
Garmin Edge 820Apr 25th, 2017DCRFully functional, can set crank length via sensor settings
Garmin Edge 1000Sep 8th, 2015DCRFully functional, can set crank length via bike profile in FW 5.10 and higher
Garmin FR735XTApr 25th, 2017DCRFully functional, can set crank length via sensor settings
Garmin FR910XTAug 11th, 2015DCRFully functional, can set crank length via bike profile
Garmin FR920XTOct 1st, 2015DCRFully functional, can set crank length via bike profile (Beta Firmware 5.28 now available)
Garmin FR935Apr 25th, 2017DCRFully functional, can set crank length via sensor settings
Garmin Fenix2TBDTBDTBD
Garmin Fenix3/Fenix3 HRMar 26th, 2016DCRFully functional now, was broken in January 2016 timeframe in specific F3 firmware versions, since fixed.
Garmin Fenix 5Apr 25th, 2017DCRFully functional, can set crank length via sensor settings
Garmin EpixAug 8th, 2015DCRFully functional, can set crank length via sensor settings
Garmin VIRB XEAug 8th, 2015DCRFully functional, can set crank length via sensor settings
Polar V800Aug 8th, 2015DCRWaiting on P1 BLE enablement - Will Test Upon BLE Release
Polar M450Aug 8th, 2015DCRWaiting on P1 BLE enablement - Will Test Upon BLE Release
Polar V650Aug 8th, 2015DCRWaiting on P1 BLE enablement - Will Test Upon BLE Release
PowerTap Joule 1.0 (non-GPS, small one)Aug 8th, 2015Manuf: PowerTapNot at this time, cannot set crank length.
PowerTap Joule 2Aug 8th, 2015Manuf: PowerTapNot compatible.
PowerTap Joule 3Aug 8th, 2015Manuf: PowerTapNot compatible
PowerTap Joule GPSAug 8th, 2015Manuf: PowerTapFully functional, can set crank length via sensor settings
PowerTap Joule GPS+Aug 8th, 2015DCRFully functional, can set crank length via sensor settings
Suunto Ambit2TBDTBDTBD
Suunto Ambit3Aug 8th, 2015DCRWaiting on P1 BLE enablement - Will Test Upon BLE Release
Wahoo ELEMNT Apr 25th, 2017DCRFully functional, can set crank length via sensor settings
Wahoo ELEMNT BOLTApr 25th, 2017DCRFully functional, can set crank length via sensor settings

Again, please note the date of testing, in case firmware changes have broken functionality.  For example, the FR920XT used to work in older firmware versions, but in recent versions (as of Aug 8th) the crank length setting has been removed.

Power Accuracy Analysis:

PowerTap-P1-Pioneer-PowerTap-Hub

As is always the case with power meter reviews, I include a section on accuracy.  In order to determine validity of the numbers of a given power meter I look at compare it against numerous other power meters concurrently on a multitude of rides.  While it’s easy to compare against just one other power meter, the reality is you can never be sure which one is ‘correct’.  By introducing three or more power meters, you can start to isolate outliers.  In the case of the PowerTap P1, they claim a 1.5% accuracy level.

In general, most power meters on the market today are very good when it comes to accuracy.  I don’t subscribe to the ‘gold standard’ theory of certain brands.  That’s outdated thinking, and ignores the fact that any and every power meter on the market can eventually have a ‘bad day’ given the right (or wrong) circumstances.  Given enough time with so many units, I’ve got bad-day example instances on virtually every power meter (yes, including SRM).  The trick is knowing what conditions might lead to this, and minimizing those.

In the case of my testing, all of my examples below are just from standard rides that I’m doing outdoors and inside on a trainer.  Most of these rides start in city conditions with aspects like cobblestones, and then head out in the forests surrounding Paris.  About half of them are at night, or at sunrise/sunset conditions where the temperature is shifting rapidly.  Further yet, many of them occurred where I had brought the bike from the relatively cool DCR Cave temperatures to outdoor temps in the 90°F+ range.

Below are three examples I picked at random from my files to look at.  However as is always the case I’ve included the ability for you to download all of the original power meter from my tests, enabling you to do your own analysis as you see fit (I’ve actually got another week or so of data to add in there, just haven’t sorted it out yet, but since it’s on Dropbox the folders will dynamically show up).  Data for the majority of these rides was collected with Garmin Edge and Epix devices.  Though I do also have some rides using the PowerTap Joule GPS+ as well.

Example 1: Night Ride

This ride started right at dusk, and then went for about 1hr and 45mins into the night, as the temperatures cooled.  I figured it’d be a good test to see how temperature compensation handled things.

First up we’ve got the usual raw data comparison, which is of course really hard to discern anything:

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Next I’ve smoothed it by 30 seconds, this means I’m showing the rolling average over any 30 second period.  This makes it easier to pick out large-scale oddities, but it can in very select situations also illuminate minor differences in how head units record different power meters (such as when coasting).  Also, it’ll heavily smooth out sharp sprints in power.  Still, it’s an incredibly easy way to spot oddities.

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(You may see cases at near-zero power numbers where there are odd disagreements.  This is something I’ve long seen across a number of power meters and tends to come from how individual power meters and different head units report the shift from active pedaling – putting out power – to coasting and or stoppage, where the power drops to zero.  I wouldn’t fret about anything above.)

Yet even in the 30s smoothed variant it’s tough to pick out minor variances.  For that, it’s easier to dig into random sections.  In this case, I’m just picking 175-second sections.  I usually start at something like 1,000-1,175.  These are the seconds into the file (i.e. running time).  It’s just the way Excel shows me the data.

In this case, at the 1,000 second marker I was stopped doing a calibration – so that was kinda a loss.  So I incremented up until I found a section where I was actually pedaling throughout it.

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Well then, that’s pretty self-explanatory.  If you have or see an issue with the above graph, you need to exit the room.  Immediately.

My next random section I went for 3,000-3,175.  But that was stopped somewhere.  So I went for 3200-3375, but still sorta stopped:

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So I incremented again to 3300-3475, and got a nice comparative set:

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I left the highlighter on, just to show you how close these really are.  At its widest point, it’s only 6 watts difference (on 216w), or 2.7% between them – well within the margin of error for any single power meter, let alone when you start combining multiple units.

Example 2: Paris Triathlon

Next up we’ve got the Paris Triathlon.  Yes, during a race I actually recorded all three data streams.  Why not?  All you’ve gotta do is press start.  Surely if I’m going to weave and dodge a thousand people I can just press the start button.  And that I did.

First up, the totally crazy looking 1-second graph:

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It was a bit tricky aligning all of these perfectly, because of the fact that the power data on the Epix (multisport watch) meant that it was used in all three legs, so I had to extract just the bike leg down to the exact second.  I think I got it sorted out though.

Next, smoothed to 30-second:

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And finally, a random snippet.  Again, I just went with row 1000 for about three minutes, and shown smoothed at 30 seconds.

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You can see that they track quite well against each other.  The PowerTap P1 a bit higher than the G3 hub, which again is logical given the placement.  This ranged from 2w at 230w, to 21w at 336w.  Note however that in those spikes upwards of 350w you’re actually looking at the rolling average over the last 30 seconds.  As such, knowing the race – this means that I was liking sprinting or otherwise leading a surge, so if you look at the actual power numbers for those segments were between 400-550w.  Thus, it sorta messes a little bit with a rolling average compared to something like a perfectly steady state ride.  Typically you’ll see more variance on short sprints between power meters, as they all tend to have their own slight smoothing algorithms.

You notice that as my power decreases the units get closer, well, the PowerTap ones anyway.  I’ll talk more about the Pioneer in my last example.

Here’s another random snippet, this one simply at row 2000-2175.

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In this random snippet case you see very nice tracking, especially when I’ve got more stable power being applied (versus slight differences when I’m increasing/decreasing power primarily on the Pioneer side).

Example 3: Ride of the TdF final stage

The day of the final Tour de France stage in Paris I went out and rode the route (solo) prior to the race commencing.  Here’s what that roughly two hours looked like:

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Adding in some 30-second smoothing:

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Here’s the first random snippet, from rows 1000-1175.  You’ll see the hub drop-out quicker than the others.  This is likely a coasting section here following a short sprint (given the wattages in the 450w range).  Typically this is one of the few areas you see the PowerTap wheel hubs not ‘catch’ the resulting lower-wattage soft-pedaling that might be going on.  This is most easily demonstrated once you add in cadence as well, and about the only edge case on a PowerTap hub to be aware of.

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Next, another random snippet, this one from rows 3000-3175 (I would have used 2000-2175 like before, but I was basically was coasting down a hill or a stoplight then by the looks of it).  Pretty straightforward.  Note, I shrunk the axis a bit, so it’s showing 150w-350w, not 0-350w+ as before (thus it makes them appear further apart).  Thus in most cases the two PowerTap products are tracking within 10-12w, while the Pioneer was tracking lower at between 11-30w depending on the spot here.

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Again, I didn’t analyze all this data till now – so looking at things I’d probably tweak the Pioneer units calibration unit to get it back in check – something a standard zero offset appears not to have done.  In fact, in thinking about it a bit more 6 weeks later, I’m betting that the zero offset on the Pioneer wouldn’t catch the weight differences between whatever pedals I had on prior (Vector I think) and the PowerTap pedals, which would impact things with the slight offset we see above.  Said differently, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the Pioneer unit here aside from me not doing a different calibration on it.

Ultimately, I’m just not seeing anything in any of my files that even hints at power or cadence accuracy issues.  I’ve used the pedals on three different bikes (Giant TCR, Trek 1.6, and a Cervelo P3C) without issue, and compared it against multiple power meters.  Simply put, it works great.

Market Comparisons:

PowerTap-P1-C1-G3-Hub

Ultimately, there are many power meters on the market today.  As in, an absolute crap-ton.  And those are just the ones that are currently shipping.  There are yet more that are on the cusp of shipping but haven’t really been proven in the market yet.  For example, if we look at this summer alone we’ve got the following newbies:

A) The 4iiii Precision: Starting shipping in spring, working through teething pains
B) bePRO: Started shipping in early July, still to be validated by 3rd parties
C) PowerTap C1: Started shipping as well, first looks seem positive
D) Watteam PowerBeat: Not yet shipping, but things also are trending well as you’ll see here

Of course, I’ve got all of these and have been working through units in iterative bunches.  In fact by the end of the week you’ll see or have seen test data from all of these (except the 4iiii Precision, which I’ve long ago noted some issues I’m having with).

Yet there are still many great units on the market at significantly reduced prices, based on the reductions we saw back in the spring:

A) Quarq lineup down to $799
B) PowerTap hub lineup down to $789
C) Power2Max lineup down to $499
D) Pioneer down to $999

All of which is my round-about way of noting there are many options on the market.  It’s really best to check out my power meter buyer’s guide from last fall, though admittedly with these new prices and newly shipping options over the past month or two it’s a bit stale.  My plan is to publish an update guide in September, just like I have in years past.  That gets us past the Eurobike/Interbike new product line rush that starts in just over 3 weeks.

DCIM\100GOPRO\G0093469.

As for pedal based power meters on the market today however, I don’t see much competition – the PowerTap P1’s simply win.  But why not Vector/Vector2 you shout?

(Warning: Rosé wine inspired Vector rant about to occur)

Well, frankly – it’s too finicky compared to the P1’s.  Which isn’t to say it’s finicky period, but rather just in comparison.  It’s virtually impossible to screw-up the install of the P1.  Whereas Vector has ample opportunities during installation to screw the pooch.  This primarily comes from specified torque ranges and the requirement for a torque wrench.  And as much as I’d like to simply say you could bring it to your local shop – I’ve seen clear evidence that local bike shops the world around screw it up more than consumers do.  Seriously, nobody reads instructions anymore.

Next, while Vector produces significantly more data and metrics (including the Cycling Dynamics introduced last fall), the reality is that Garmin has dropped the ball in making those tangible. They’ve had two years to do so, and at this point it’s time to call a spade a spade.  This was a clear opportunity for Garmin to leverage the power of Garmin Connect to make use of all these metrics being collected. For example:

A) Why doesn’t Garmin show me my average balance over the course of a year on a dashboard item?
B) Why don’t they show me my left/right balance plotted over a wattage mean/max graph?
C) Why don’t they show me my seated/standing time averaged over the course of the last X months in % per ride?
D) Why don’t they show my trends or shifts on any of these metrics over time?

Seriously, this isn’t complex stuff.  This is basic stuff – but it’s also core to the entire premise of spending an extra $300 for Vector over the P1 (which is $1,199).  Or for that matter, spending nearly an extra $1,000 compared to the PowerTap C1, Power2Max, or Quarq offerings.  They’ve marketed all of this data.  Data that even the just released WKO4 with all of the magic it has in it…does nothing with.  At what point do you draw the line and say: It’s not worth it today, see you in a few years?

Ultimately, if Vector were priced the same as the P1, and didn’t have the fickle pods and torque requirements, then it’d probably be the same.  But it’s not.  And I’ve yet to find a long-term use for any of the data.  And while some folks are finding short-term tweaks in PCO (Platform Center Offset) in bike fitting, I suspect that number is in the sub-1% range of total Vector purchases.  But again – why doesn’t Garmin surface that up in the Garmin Connect dashboard?

(End of Rosé inspired rant)

As for other options like the bePRO pedals at a couple hundred dollars cheaper, or the Watteam options?  Well, both of them need to be proved a bit more.  Watteam won’t be shipping in the next few months, while for bePRO I need to collect more data to determine (and even if the data is spot-on, I’ve got some concerns there about build quality and longevity).

But again, don’t just focus on pedals.  Understand what your requirements are and then pick a unit that meets those requirements.  There are many great options almost half the price of the PowerTap P1 (including options from PowerTap themselves).  To each their own requirements.

Summary:

PowerTap-Bottom

It’s somewhat rare that I truly get excited about a power meter.  Not because I don’t love using them, but rather because for the most part the majority of new units coming onto the market today work quite well and are quite dependable.  But they also can be finicky to install for the non-bike mechanics among us.  For example, the only reason I’m semi-functional at installing cranksets on bikes is because of power meter installations for reviews.  And for the most part, that takes a few goes before you get proficient at it (especially if you have to change bottom brackets).

Whereas standard pedals are within the realm of anyone to install.  It takes a hex wrench and less than two minutes, as my video showed.  And in that area – the PowerTap P1 rises above the other pedal offerings.

But more importantly that than – they’re simply accurate.  And further – accurate every time without dorking with them.  For that reason alone, it’s pretty much a given that once I send back these trial units I’ll be going out and getting my own pair of P1’s to use as one of my de facto testing/riding units.  The ease in which I can quickly move them from bike to bike, and the durability they appear to have, makes it an easy choice for me.  Of course, individual requirements will no doubt differ.  For example, if you don’t want to change pedal/cleat types – then obviously this isn’t going to do much for you.

With that – thanks for reading, and as always, feel free to drop any questions in the comments section below.

Found this review useful?  Or just wanna save 10%?  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 PowerTap P1 pedals from Clever Training. Then receive 10% off of everything in your cart by adding code DCR10BTF 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.

PowerTap P1 Pedals
PowerTap P1 Bundle
 (P1 + extra cleats, see dropdown)
PowerTap P1 Replacement Cleats (0* or 6* float options)

Thanks for reading!  And as always, feel free to post comments or questions in the comments section below, I’ll be happy to try and answer them as quickly as possible.  And lastly, if you felt this review was useful – I always appreciate feedback in the comments below.  Thanks!

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2,067 Comments

  1. Leon

    Actually I believe the stack height is 2-3 mm higher than a standard keo pedal due to the spindle thickness. I’ve got my keo carbon blade pedals in the drawer, I’ll measure and take some photos when I get home.

  2. Chewy

    Hi,

    Just had a pdf via my P1 retailer stating that alkaline batteries should not be used as they may explode! I’m not kidding!

    Cheers
    Chewy

    • Do you have a link to that? Curious who created that (PowerTap, a distributor, or a retailer, or someone else altogether).

    • gabor

      As far as I remember, it stated that alkalines are more prone to acid leak. No explosion or such mentioned. I also never heard about exploding alkalines, and they are more common than any other type of batteries.
      Simply remove alkalines if not used for months, and you have zero chance to destroy the P1 with the battery.

    • Chewy

      Hi Ray,

      It’s on powertap headed paper. I’ve attached the first half of the PDF. If you PM me I’ll send you the PDF. It’s a bit weird that nobody else has been notified.

      Cheers,
      Chewy

    • Chewy

      The second half.

    • Tarmo

      Lithium batteries are about 4-6 times more expensive and not so easily available where I live.

      What about rechargeable AAA Lithium ion 1.5V batteries?

      Such as these: link to amazon.com

    • gabor

      I checked the batteries here at home. Interesting, that alkalines have the positive pole on the body. Actually I do not understand this battery design, as many devices use the device metallic body as a general ground.

      Now I understand what Powertap says. You always have to check with alkalines for any signs of fault on battery cover.

      I also checked with rechargeable battery. What I have here, NiMH, battery body is ground (good), but the battery is longer, and closing the cap is more difficult (I did not close it completely because it felt wrong). I do not know if there is any issue with different type of rechargeables though.

    • Mr Leon Evans

      I tweeted @powertap directly today for an official response regarding batteries for the P1’s as I only last night had the original blue ones run out and I replaced them with rechargeable NiMH.

      Please see tweet conversation below:

      Leon Evans @Guyver1_
      hi @PowerTap do you have any official guidance on batteries to use/not use in the P1’s? @dcrainmakerblog review comments would like clarity

      Powertap @PowerTap
      @Guyver1_ @dcrainmakerblog Lithium. Not alkaline. No rechargeable.

      Leon Evans @Guyver1_
      @PowerTap @dcrainmakerblog thanks for the quick reply! any chance of expanding a little o the ‘whys’? I only yesterday put NiMH’s in.

      Powertap @PowerTap
      @Guyver1_ @dcrainmakerblog Lithium batteries are more powerful and regulate heat better. Alkaline can heat up and potentially cause issues

      Leon Evans @Guyver1_
      @PowerTap @dcrainmakerblog thanks. Picked up some lithium ones on the way home and swapped them out this evening.

    • Mr Leon Evans

      They just posted a P1 top tip on twitter:

      Powertap @PowerTap
      P1 Pedal Tip: not all batteries are created equal. Choose lithium over alkaline and/or rechargeable for best performance.

    • Patrick Myers

      I’m disappointed to see this considering the “advantage” of them choosing AAA batteries over a coin-style battery is the supposed ubiquity of AAA batteries. If we now are expected to hunt down lithium AAAs specifically, that cuts against the argument.

      I know Alkalines will work in a pinch, and I’ve been using Lithium Ion rechargeables in mine without a problem so far, but I’ve already got “remember power meter pedals” and “bring shoes with power meter cleats” on my pre-race checklist, so I am loathe to also add “bring spare LITHIUM batteries” too.

      *grumble grumble*

    • I wouldn’t overthink it. There are many devices that prefer Lithium batteries, but can use others just fine. In some ways, this is a bit of PowerTap covering their butt in the highly unlikely case something goes wrong (just like others).

    • Mr Leon Evans

      I would agree with that. Also I didn’t have any issues at all getting lithium batteries at my local supermarket here in the UK (Asda). Plenty to choose from, pack of 4. Popped two in pedals, two spares went in my under saddle toolkit pouch.

    • gabor

      Patrick,

      Are you sure about Li-ion rechargeables? They are generally stated to have nominal voltage of 3.6-3.7V. Doesn’t it destroy the pedals?

  3. Alge

    I purchased at the end of last October my P1 pedal

    I’m surviving with a right pedal lose on the spindle since January after few weeks of use. This was not causing any misreading or problem in the power measurement even if not a sign of super quality.

    last week, anyway, I had the first big problem in power readings. I use them with a Garmin EDGE520 with the latest firmware.

    Here below a summary of what happened.

    · Started the training session on the trainer with high fluctuation in the power values, never seen before.
    · The L-R balance in some seconds moved from 50%-50% gradually to 100%-0%
    · I was thinking the problem was an exhausted battery. So both batteries were changed. Only AAA lithium batteries used since the first run.
    · Restarted everything, manual zero from the app, calibration with the Garmin
    · Usually calibration values are from 0 to 4. Now, after the problem, are from 7 to 12.
    · With the new batteries the power readings are half the standard values. All the leds are flashing green as in normal condition. Cadence is ok.
    · Updated all the firmware of both pedal to the 30.024 latest one. Not without issues and several trials
    · Changed to a second set of new batteries always of the same lithium type.
    · No changes at all. The power readings are halved as before

    In my opinion the problem could be the right pedal. Le left can pair with the right one (green led blinking as normal) but the power transmitted from the right should be 0. So the half value seen on the garmin comes only from the left pedal. Removing the right batteries from the right pedal the power reading are in line with my standard values. In this case the left pedal is measuring the power and double the values as happen when the right battery is exhausted.

    now I’m using the pedal is this way, as a single sided power meter but is obvious this is not the purpose of this product.

    Guys, Ray, Please let me know if possible any other test, or trial I can do and if you have an idea about the cause of this problem.

    I purchased this pedal in the US during trip but I’m based in Italy.
    Pleas let me know if there is an Europe based support where I can ship the pedal for assistance if needed.

    power tap support e-mailed two times with no reply at all.

    I’m already looking for some other PM. stages or power2max my preferred options.

    • gabor

      If you have a loose right pedal, you were just lucky not to have these reading problems earlier. You definitely should send the pedals back for repair or replacement. Contact Powertap on their website, they will tell you where and how to send them back.

      (the calibration values 7 to 12 are completely normal)

    • Leon Evans

      Have you got the Strava app on your phone? Turn Bluetooth on and pair the pedals to strava via Bluetooth. When paired via Bluetooth Strava picks up the pedals as two separate power meters. Start a Strava workout and check the power reading in Strava to confirm if pedals or ant+ headunit.

    • Alge

      Asked to the italian dealer and they told me to send the pedal back to them. good. at least the dealer is replying.
      we will see if the problem is covered by their warranty

    • Richard S

      That’s more or less exactly what has happened to mine. Pedals updated fine to latest firmware a week or so ago and worked fine for time trial next Tuesday. By wednesday L pedal refused to come on. I changed the battery and it is now fine but got erratic and falling power values on R pedal. On Saturday and yesterday I’m only getting half the normal power and Garmin is displaying 100% L and 0% R. Just about to ring http://www.cyclepowermeters.com where I bought them from last Oct.

    • Frans

      Ah… I’m not alone. You describe perfectly what happened to my P1’s. They are now at Edco the Netherlands for repair. One of the reasons I bought the P1’s is because I know this firm does the support in the Netherlands and they have a very good reputation. And power meters are nice, but also a delicate piece of equipment. I bought mine in august 2015.

      On the battery side: I have run the pedals without any problem with Ansmann 1100mAh rechargeable, but also on a set of Lithium batteries. I prefer the rechargeable’s for cost and environment. Ansmann claims these AAA will even work in cold conditions and yes around freezing point the P1’s just worked fine.

      Hope to have them back soon.

  4. Marco

    I’m having difficulties getting data on my garmin 920xt when using my tt bike (watch on my wrist). Is there a maximum distance supported between the head unit and the powertap pedals?
    Any possible solution? Should I use a handlebar mount for the watch?

    • Patrick Myers

      What sort of difficulties? Initial connection? Dropout?

      I ask because I regularly use my P1s on my tri-bike with a 920XT on my wrist and have minimal problems (admittedly the occasional drop out). Here’s my last ride. The two or three cases where my cadence dropped to zero were me getting off the bike for a bio break or coasting/stretching. The drops in power between them were occasional drop outs, but nothing I consider major.

      link to connect.garmin.com

      Please don’t mock my weak-*** wattage. 🙂

  5. Rai

    Hi all,

    I’ve had a failure after approx. 3 months of use. This happened overnight from one turbo session to another. I noted erratic power readings and balance. From the reviews here I changed the batteries. No better. Upgraded to the latest firmware. No better.

    A bit of digging highlighted that it was not the recording device (Edge 520) as a secondary device (iPad) showed the same issues. Both recording Ant+.
    Isolating the pedals by pairing to one pedal at a time showed that the right pedal is fine, but the left is shot with either no power or very low power. However, the left still appears to transmit the right power through Ant+, just not it’s own data.

    Anyone seen the same? From my recollection most of the issues seem to be right pedal failures? Could be wrong, but there are 1200+ comments here now.

    Attached is a PDF comparing the iPad, Edge520 and forerunner traces I used to diagnose the issues. I’ll be contacting the retailer in the morning, but if anyone can offer anything further please let me know.

    Ray, is the number of failures reported here on par with other power meters? Or is the P1 starting to show more issues? Would you still recommend it?

    Cheers,

    Rai.

    • A couple questions:

      Also, when you do a zero offset, what values come back?
      If you use the PT mobile app, and individually check the crank length – does it show the same for both pedals? If one pedal gets a wrong value (like, really wrong) from a head unit, then I could see what you’re seeing below.
      Have you tried resetting the firmware on the unit using the PowerTap Mobile app?*

      *Doing a ‘recovery firmware’ option is basically a reset back to factory defaults.

    • Rai

      Hi,

      Sorry, the PDF I tried to attach had more information in it.

      I changed batteries, reset crank lengths using the powertap app (the right had gone back to default), and then upgraded the firmware to the latest version (30.026). All gave the same result.

      I’ll double check the settings again in a moment and report back if anything has changed.

      Thanks,

      Rai.

    • Rai Alsemgeest

      To confirm:

      Zero offsets from the PowerTap App came back as 9/12 L/R and was consistent for both pedals. Both crank lengths are the same. Both firmware are the same. Right shows power when pedalling, left does not.

      I also tried the reset firmware option and had the following response: “Couldn’t find any devices to update”

      For my own sanity I checked all again. Disconneced and reconnected several times and the response is the same, but intermittent with errors of the type: “No response from server for manual zero” error, or “manual Zero failed for PowerTap P1.L”, as well as success messages. No matter the outcome the right still does not report power.

      I have turned off all bluetooth devices except the P1s and the iPad for this so there is no interference. The tests I have with two different devices and across Ant+ & BT seem to confirm the issue.

      I think it’s dead Jim.

    • Very odd. Definitely hit up PowerTap support. If you’re in the states, then honestly a phone call is easiest (since a real human picks up the phone virtually immediately).

      It sounds like it’s not properly calibrating somehow, given you’re getting very low power on one side (but not zero, which would indicate complete death).

      As for overall averages, it’s always hard to tell. But I can see return rates through partner retailers, and I very rarely (almost never) see a return of a PowerTap P1. Now, I don’t have visibility if that person has gone through 19 P1’s, but I think that’s unlikely.

      I think what’s probably more likely is that you’ve got a place (here) that ranks the top in Google search, and thus everyone that has an issue lands here to troubleshoot. Fwiw, I’m still on my same pair I got through Clever Training from last fall.

    • Rai

      The more I tested them the more times the left pedal showed zero power, so suspect it’s a slow death. They’re headed back the guys at Cyclepowermeters here in he UK who will confirm the findings before further action.

      I should point out that the pedals have been brilliant until now. No flaky power readings, cadence, or balance. They’ve been used in and out, rain or shine, and on different bikes. They just stopped working overnight.

      I appreciate that the bulk of forum related items tend to focus on issues rather than people all saying how great a product is. Makes it hard to gauge whether this really is a serious issue for PowerTap or not.

      I’ll post back when I hear something.

      Thanks all!

    • Tarmo

      Where is the “recovery firmware” option? I only have the update option in the PowerTap app.

      I just updated both pedals to the latest version 026 and now the 810 is not finding the power meter anymore — keeps reporting “Power Meter Not Found” when I try searching for it.

      PT app finds both pedals instantly with no issues, batteries are new at 100%, crank length is correct everywhere (172.5) and Manual Zero on the app works with success (L 264 / 25 R).

      But 810 head unit does not find the power meter anymore for some reason — weird.

    • Tarmo

      I tried also with 920XT and it does not find the P1 power meter anymore either.

      While PT iPhone app has no issues finding it (over Bluetooth).

      WTF, again. E-mailing PT support…

    • Tarmo

      Ok, found the Recover Firmware in the app, but all it does is check for Firmware Update, does not recover anything, just tells me “couldn’t find any devices to update”, since both pedals are up to date already. Not really a recovery is it..

    • You should be able to re-apply the firmware there I believe, hmm…odd. I had gotten myself in a pickle during a failed firmware upgrade once when the battery died, and was able to use that at the advice of PT.

    • Rai Alsemgeest

      I found this in the manual and it looks like the recovery process only does so on failed install attempts. I presume there old firmware is not removed from the pedal until a successful install thereby allowing it to be reinstated on a failure. I could see no options to roll back to previous versions. Would assume that would need to come from PT.

    • Tarmo

      Yeah, doesn’t seem like there is a roll back option.

      It started working for me though, after about 1+ hour of spinning and trying to search for it on the 810. I kept switching the 810 off and on and trying to search for power meter over and over again. The iphone app was connecting without any issues over BLE. Then I actiated the Bluetooth on the 810 and voila it suddenly found the power meter — although obviously over ANT+, wonder if this was simply a coincidence or could it have had something to do with it.

    • Su-Chong Lim

      @Rai: Not that it changes the conclusion on your diagnosis, but for the sake of other readers who might be misled in future, Garmins do read ANT+; however, your iPad reads Bluetooth LE.

    • Rai

      The iPad was configured to read Ant+ using an Ant+ dongle. Through selective pairing either via Ant+ or BLE across multiple devices it was clear what the issue was.

      As a general update, the excellent guys at CyclePowerMeters sent a replacement pair. It’s unlikely that I’ll hear anything back from PT regarding the old pair. Here’s hoping this pair lasts a little longer.

      Thanks all.

  6. Rai

    Realised I can’t attach a PDF!
    Attached is a summary graph instead.

  7. Greg Hilton

    Do Powertap publish new firmware updates as they come out on a website/RSS feed at all? Just found my pedals were 2 versions behind despite updating them fairly recently I thought!

  8. John Holmes

    I have seen quite a few posts about rapid battery drainage issues. With new lithium AAAs, my P1s will last about 5 minutes before generating a low battery warning on my Garmin 800. They will operate for about 1 hour before stopping. The left pedal battery only is drained when checked with a volt meter. So, basically they are useless at this point. What has been the experience with support? Are they replacing them? Is it a firmware issue (Which you can’t do anything about unless you are an Apple user)?

    • gabor

      As far as I understand, fast battery drainage was always caused by some kind of shorts with ALKALINE batteries. This is caused when the outer isolating layer was damaged, and the battery body with positive pole could touch the pedal body, what is on ground (negative pole). With lithium batteries this type of failure is impossible, as the battery body is grounded.

      Firmware can not cause such things, at least not suddenly and by mistake. If you did not update the firmware, it is NOT firmware issue!

      If your battery drains so fast, that means short for sure. Actually the battery should be hot right after this, being it alkaline or lithium battery. If you really use lithium batteries, check the followings:
      – is the battery really new, and full capacity at the beginning?
      – check battery compartment inside, and see the contact point for the positive pole. Is there any water, metallic layer, etc causing contact of positive to pedal body? (I would guess water leakage)
      – contact Powertap support

    • John Holmes

      I sent an email to powertap support describing my battery drainage issue a week ago and received no response. I just spent 10 minutes on hold trying to get through to them by phone and then got shunted to voicemail. I am not holding my breath waiting for that message to be returned. Pretty appalling really. I have wasted so much time researching the problem, testing batteries and sending emails to their support black hole. Not to mention wasted money on lithium batteries. I am tempted to just get my money back and try something else. Customer support has been non existent.

  9. Craig Robertson

    Looks like Firmware updates are not limited to iPhone, iPods. You can now update via PC using their Virtual Training program.

    They say to use BlueGiga dongle rather than a normal bluetooth transmitter….

    link to powertap.com

    • Scott

      I hope the Bluetooth dongle solution isn’t Powertaps answer to helping people without Iphones to update their firmware?

      I would guess if people already own a USB dongle, it would be ANT+ and not Bluetooth. In fact, I would guess very few people own bluetooth dongles. I realize at $25-40, they aren’t expensive, but that is not a fix for us non-Iphone users. The more appropriate fix would have been to create an app for the Android system or worst case scenario to at least allow an ANT+ dongle to do the work!

    • Chewy

      I totally agree Scott!

      It’s unacceptable for Powertap to only develop an iPhone app and now they insist android users purchase a specific bluetooth dongle to get a firmware update. What a bunch of…..!

  10. Paul Medcraft

    I finally got my replacement pedals after more than a month but the new right pedal might be problematic. If I unclip from the left and pedal on the right only, cadence goes down to 0 and then to 255 where it stays. Power is still being shown. Can someone else confirm they get normal cadence if pedalling on the right only?

    • gabor

      I updated to latest FW today, and checked what happens with right only pedaling. I did not wait for 255 or something, but cadence definitely went to 0 and stayed there. Power reading was ok though. I guess that in this case the right pedal power data is doubled, as I doubt that I can keep the same power with one leg.

      So if you do not have cadence with right only, that is completely normal.

  11. Jeff

    Make sure the pedals have been updated to the latest firmware, as right-only power was not possible until that release (30.026): link to powertap.com

    • Paul Medcraft

      They’re on latest firmware. Perhaps it’s a bug, I can’t remember if I ever tried getting right-only cadence with my previous pair.

  12. Evan

    After 9 months of flawless use with my garmin 520, my p1 pedals have now been acting very strange and it is very frustrating! Not sure if it’s a coincidence that it first started happening when I updated the garmin firmware to the latest version about a week and a half ago? The power readings become very low (including showing 0 watts when I am pedaling hard) and jump around a lot, and the left right balance gets completely out of whack (showing 90-10 at times when I’m usually close to 50-50). I just tried riding with the power tap app on my iPhone and it looks like the power is accurate there (although I couldn’t figure out how to see left right balance, but the total power looked right). Anyone have any idea or experience with ant+ not working but Bluetooth working? Anyone have any issues with the latest 520 firmware? Any suggestions? I have a big race in 2 weeks I’ve been training for all this time and this would be a huge bummer if the pedals are useless. I’m going to try to revert back to the previous garmin firmware version to see if that works. Also my p1 pedals have the latest firmware and I’ve tried 2 new sets of lithium batteries but no luck. Thanks

    • You could try resetting your Edge 520. I haven’t seen any issues with the Edge 520 (on latest firmware) and my P1’s, but if it’s something you can verify started when you upgraded the firmware, that’s definitely a place to look at.

      Note that Garmin Connect will actually list the firmware version next to each activity you do (online), so you can go back and see if the issues started exactly when you updated your firmware.

    • Evan

      Ray, thanks very much for the response. I reinstalled the older Garmin firmware and that did not solve the problem. What seemed to get to the issue was I took out the battery out of the right pedal (since it was showing anywhere from 60/40 to 100/0 left/right even though I was pedaling evenly), and while I could no longer see left/right balance, my total power seemed to be accurate (based on my perceived exertion). This sounds to me like something is messed up with my right pedal since I am getting seemingly accurate readings by doubling the left, but when using the right pedal it gets messed up. Any ideas? Thanks.

    • Tarmo

      I’m having very similar issues. Power numbers are usually lower than they should be, sometimes higher, while Balance dances around from one side to the other, sometimes there is no sensor found for long periods, sometimes just short dropouts (power/cadence goes to 0) and so on. Definitely nothing normal about this, since I’ve been using the P1 long enough to know how it should work.

      I’m on the third pair of P1 pedals already and they have turned completely faulty once again. I am honestly not interested in getting a 4th pair and keep on “testing” them at my own cost. This has screwed up my training enough already over the last year.

      For the last 10 months that I’ve owned the P1, about 5 months I’ve been able to use them, the other half has been waiting for PowerTap to fix or exchange them.

      I’ve completely lost interest in “using” this product any further to be honest, since it is simply unusable, in my opinion it is just not ready for public use. Getting 1-3 months out of each pair until it starts to turn faulty is just unacceptable, wasn’t my idea when I decided to buy them based on the marketing, I was expecting to invest in a true and tested solid reliable piece of technology.

      ‘Most advanced cycling power meter ever developed’, but apparently the most fragile and faulty one as well perhaps, like the real world evidence seems to suggest so far.

      There’s much more that I am not happy about with the P1, constructionally it is unusable for road racing in my opinion — simply too fragile. The quality of the pedal itself is questionable — certainly does not feel or work as robust and reliable as a Shimano pedal, but I could have lived with that if the thing worked flawlessly electronics wise, but it is totally not the case unfortunately.

      I am hoping to get my money back and buy something else, since this has already been a lot of waste of time and hamper on my training.

    • Rai

      Sounds similar to my failure.
      I used Wahoo to pair to one pedal at a time over BLE. This showed that one pedal was problematic with very low or zero readings, while the other was fine – the power was correct and being doubled. The combined signal over Ant+ was erratic and low as a result. If you can isolate the pedals it may help diagnose whether one is at fault. When doing so make sure that the P1 is the only device paired to avoid any uncertainty from other sensors.

    • Evan

      As an update to my problem, I’ve just been riding with only a battery in the left pedal for now, so at least I have what seems like accurate readings by doubling the left. After a couple of calls with powertap customer service, they sent me a shipping label and I will be sending them back. Bad timing with half ironman in a week and a half. They felt confident they could get them back to me in time so I have hope.

  13. John R

    Ray, I’m not sure I have seen it spelt out anywhere but it’s not very explicit that the P1 sends cadence data so a separate speed cadence sensor is not required. Indeed if you are pairing P1 pedals (at least to a Garmin 800) you need to un-pair the speed cadence sensor before the pedals will deliver any power data to the head unit.

    I had not seen that reported anywhere so it was a frustrating trial and error effort to find it out!!

    Keep up the brilliant work you are the best information and independant authority on all exercise tech by a country mile!

    • Indeed, virtually all power meters ‘bundle’ cadence within the power signal. Depending on both the head unit, and the exact type (placement mostly) of the power meter, it may or may not take precedence over a magnet based cadence sensor. It’s a pretty complex override logic tree that seems to change over time (again with head units and PM’s).

      That said, what you noted on the Edge 800 is definitely weird, and almost sounds like an Edge 800 bug somehow (or something else broken on the Edge 800 in the comms stack). As there’s no reason you’d need to have turned off one sensor set to make the other work. Either way, good to report back for troubleshooting in the odd chance someone else runs into it.

  14. John Holmes

    Finally received a call back from Powertap support. No reply to 2 emails over a week and then got a phone call after leaving 2 messages. The rather disinterested and unapologetic fellow from support just told me take the pedals back to the shop where I bought them for warranty. I posted previously about my issue of 1 hour battery life, which is most likely some sort of shorting issue. I took a close look at the inside of the battery compartment and it looks to me like the threads that accept the battery cap were not properly cleaned out after the were machined into the pedal body. You can see fine aluminum cuttings in the threads. I would bet that some of them have worked their way into the internals and shorted something. So who knows how many pedals were produced this way that are ticking time bombs for failure. At some point, the shavings will work their way into a place they will cause a problem like mine. Hopefully for the user, that happens within the warranty period. I would send this to an engineer or QA person at Powertap if I had a contact, but I doubt if I send it to the support black hole that it will be read or communicated to those who need to know and could rectify it. Maybe DC Rainmaker can send it someone appropriate at Powertap.

    • John Holmes

      Here is photo of the internal threads and the cuttings left behind from the machining process.

    • Eric here with PowerTap. It’s very unusual to have those metal shavings as parts are thoroughly cleaned prior to assembly. Please feel free to contact me directly as I want to be sure you have heard back from support and your pedals are working properly.

      ealbers@saris.com

  15. Greg Hilton

    FWIW and just for balance I’ve had no issues with my P1s, bought them from Clever Training as soon as they were announced. I’m getting around 59 hours of real life use out on the road. They’ve been through a wet English winter and a so far wet English summer and touch wood are still fine!

    • Wink Saville

      I too wanted to say my P1’s have been working well and I purchased them in the first phase. I did have some early problems and the interactions I’ve had with their support has been very good. I’m guessing there are more happy customers than unhappy, but there will certainly be a range of experiences.

      Hopefully, Saris will learn from mistakes, I suggest filling out there customer satisfaction survey (link to surveymonkey.com) which I found on there contact page (link to powertap.com)

      — Wink

    • Frans

      Until a week ago I had no issues with the P1’s and I truly hope that what happened to my P1’s is an exception (although more seem to have the same issue with a failing pedal; hardware, firmware?).

      The biggest issue I have so far that they don’t have android support which I find strange because the Wahoo app and the Tacx app have no problem in finding and using the P1’s with BT. So what is the problem of having an android app that communicates with the P1’s and let the user do extra settings and update firmware. You have to use iOs or a specific BT dongle on your PC.

  16. Jimmy Stevenson

    There are really only 2 or 3 things I want to upgrade on my bike. And since I doubt you will be giving away any race wheels, a power meter is the top of the list. These would be perfect to keep it in the Polar family.

  17. Dushko Kantardjiev

    Clip in awkward

  18. Mark Smallwood

    Just a FYI – I’ve done my first battery change after about 50 hours. The voltage on the “dead” battery was 1.46v

    • gabor

      The first pair of Panasonic Eneloop, 750 mAh lasted for about 30 hours, out of the box. I did not check the original capacity, and did not recharge it before. Considering that the original lithium batteries are 1100 mAh, and my set lasted only 50 hours, Eneloops are valid substitute for lithium batteries. They cost the same but rechargeable. They have the same outer structure (battery body is on negative pole). The only difference is that Eneloops have 1.25 V, instead of 1,5 V for lithium. P1s seem to work properly with the slightly lower voltage.
      I have two sets, so I have always one set charged spare. If needed for long rides or race, I can simply change to fully charged set before.

  19. William Fraser

    Has anyone successfully used these via Bluetooth with a mobile app? I’ve had two rides where I either forgot my garmin or my garmin wasn’t working so I tried to use the mobile app instead. I paired both L and R pedals to strava/wahoo app but still found that they only recorded half the power.

    • Justin Henkel

      William- for you to get R/L power data from a BLE connection (Wahoo or Strava) they must first support pedal power meters and not just the generic Bluetooth power message. If you are on iOS you can try the PowerTap Mobile app and pair both right and left pedals to get comprehensive power data and balance. Thanks.

  20. Andrew

    Thanks for a great in-depth review as always Ray!

    Having read your review of the Stages power meter and the mountain ride you did with the big variance in temperature (and the effect on the various power meters you had on that ride), does the P1’s behave more like the Stages when the temperature varies? Would you be able to ride like with the Stages without any stops halfway up the mountain to re-calibration etc?

    Thanks,
    Andrew

    • Andrea

      Hi Andrew,

      yes you will need to re-calibrate. The P1 have some good spec. and easy-to-use. But for sure are not consistent they drift much and not always for clear reasons. I mean not just for temperature changes (but they don’t do well temperature compensation nor auto zeroing)

      Andrea

    • The P1’s (like Stages) has active temperature compensation, and it works just fine. I didn’t see any issues (nor any since) on numerous long climbs I’ve done where the temp have shifted significantly (such as early morning climbs).

      There was a bug this past winter on the P1’s that wasn’t actually related to temp compensation, but rather angle of bike during longer sustained climbs and some certain rare edge cases. But that was fixed in Feb-ish. As with any power meter (including Stages), I’d always recommend doing a zero offset prior to your ride.

    • Andrea Scaglione

      Just to clarify my answer to Andrew, the Stages works much better in order to temperature compensation. It’s true the P1 have an active temperature compensation, but in my experience the Stages’s one works better. The Stages are only Left, that’s a limit, sometimes are less “sensitive” more “slow” to react to the power changes compared with P1. But are overall more consistent.
      (I have both, riding with one year)

      Andrea

    • Andrew

      Thanks Ray and Andrea for your replies.

      Ray, is there any significant differences between the P1’s and bePro’s? Or any reason to favour one or the other apart from a price consideration. Where I stay the P1’s are significantly more expensive than the bePro’s. I don’t want to choose them just for the price and then have problems. Stages was my first choice but unfortunately with my bike the Stages is not compatible due to the direct mount rear brake.

    • Mark Manner

      Hi Ray,
      I noticed that the P1 ios app has a setting now (maybe it did before?) that allows you to turn off automatic recalibration. Is this something that should be turned off now to avoid the ‘long climb drift’ problem, or was that fixed in some other way? If auto recal does get turned off, does the automatic temperature drift work ok, or should I recalibrate periodically as temperature changes. As with my other power meters I need to routinely do a calibration at the beginning of the ride.
      Thanks,
      Mark

    • gabor

      I still don’t understand how can you decide which is more consistent, unless you have a third different PM to compare to. And I do not understand why is it good to use two PM on one bike all the time.

    • Andrea Scaglione

      Hi Gabor,

      same clim, same day, but time different power output: by 15W = not consistent

    • Just to clarify – they weren’t recorded at the exact same time?

    • Andrea Scaglione

      *same climb, same day, same climbing time, but different power output: by 15W = not consistent* sorry, my mistake

      Hi Ray,

      no same day, same power meter (P1), 1h between the climbs, same temperature.
      Never happen with yours P1?

      Andrea

    • Unfortunately you can’t compare power meter data that way. That’s because you’re not really comparing like to like. Power output could vary across the ride, and yet you could end up with a similiar time. For example, if you unevently output more power on one section, but less on another – could result in even the exact same output (or…15w off). Additionally, even silly things like tire pressure could impact it if you lost enough.

      That’s why I always compare multiple power meters on the same bike at the exact same time. Else, it’s comparing Apples to Pears. Even though they kinda look the same – they are indeed different.

  21. Tim

    hi ray.

    i’m just about to buy my first ever power meter and am seriously considering the p1. as per your review, they are both very convenient and accurate. is this still the case?

    would appreciate hearing from you before i decide to buy.

    thanks.

    tim

  22. Ian

    Sent back for warranty repair after 5mm of lateral play developed in right hand pedal after 6 months use. Great when they work but I can’t recommend which is a real shame.

  23. Greg Hilton

    coming up to 11 months of ownership and no issues, does the job very well, batteries seem to last around the advertised 60 hours and so easy to swop from bike to bike.

  24. Patrick Richard

    Great article as always. I don’t know how many products I’ve researched through your posts but they have been a huge help.

    I’m trying to become a supporter but the registration process is not working for me. Help!

  25. Patrick Richard

    Hello Ray,

    I have started looking at power meters and am leaning at a pedal-based solution. The PowerTap P1s have what I consider a certain elegance because they look like the easier to move from bike to bike. When a company or person spends time making something simple it reflects a certain thought process.

    Since the Androïd app to update the pedals is still not out, it may be a safe assumption that it is not coming anytime soon. Let’s be happily surprised if/when it is released… In the mean time, since the app exist for iPhones, is it safe to assume that a iPad could be used to update the pedals?

    My issue is with updating the PowerTap P1s, but this can be generalized to any device, or component that may require updating. Could you, in the future, list what is required to update a particular device, or component? Androïd/IOS/PC, cables, etc. ; I understand it increases the workload but it would help in the selection process.

    Thank you in advance.

    • Phil A

      I have used a friends iPad to update my pedals, so I know that works. Also you can use their PC application to update the pedals, but I think it gets complicated on the PC if you do not use their Bluetooth adapter.

    • Patrick Richard

      Thanks for the info, very useful. I guess that the issue with a PC may be the BT adaptor not using the BLE protocol if the pedal requires it.

      Buying a BLE dongle should allow to test fairly cheaply.

    • Yeah, for the update it’s just PC with that specific adapter or iOS device. But as noted above, an iPad works just fine.

      Also, firmware updates are fairly rare – so as long as you can find a friend with an iOS device for a few mins every few months, you’re good.

    • Richard van Dijk

      Hi Ray,

      I also own a pair of powertap P1 pedals but find it impossible to connect with bluetooth with my IPhone 6.
      It just cannot find the pedals in the bluetooth centre and in the powertap app. Do you know what to do?
      I also experiencing some wierd readings with the left/right balance or battery drainage issues. So I first want to check the firmware and settings of my pedals.
      Thnx for you’re help.

    • For the pedals, you won’t use the BT control panel to set them up, but rather just in the PowerTap Mobile app.

      You’d need to pair them under:

      Settings > Bike Settings > Use BLE (Enabled) > Sensors > Left Pedal & Right Pedal

  26. Mark

    Hi Ray
    I just ordered the P1 pedals yesterday, largely based on your excellent review. At present I have no head unit. What would the pros and cons be of just using my iphone 6 with a slipgrip mount and the strava or other app? I’ve heard battery power might be an issue, by what are other reasons why it may not be ideal? Thanks

  27. Sam

    Hi Ray, (or anyone else who might know the answer),

    I have, after much thought taken the plunge and purchased a pair of p1 pedals. I have a couple of questions;

    1. With the pedals I got a free Joules bike computer. I was planning to use my 910 xt. Which unit would be better? I will want to see hr/r to l %/ time/cadence/.

    2. I currently use yellow shimano spd Sl cleats, I will get the black cleat with the pedal, will this be similar float etc or should I get a different one.

    Any answers would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks Sam

  28. Tom

    Hi Ray, I have just got the P1s and I use both my Edge810 and Fenix 3 with them. Today on my first ride the fenix 3 had very different power readings for my ride than my Fenix 3 (15 watts av power diff/higher peak power)
    I then remembered that I only performed the pre-ride calibration in the 810. My question is do I need to calibrate in both devices before a ride or is this issue something different?

    • Triple check the following:

      A) Crank length set identically on both devices
      B) Power zero values set identically (Include Zeros is on/off on both devices).
      C) Calibrate from both devices (one after another) and validate you get the same zero offset value.

      The inclusion of zeros is likely your cause though.

    • tom

      Hi, thanks I had checked those all already and both are set to include zeros, same crank length and for todays ride I calibrated from both and got the same offset number.
      Still got huge differences, I noticed while looking at the fenix during ride it would show huge power numbers and then 0 for long stretches of time. After uploading these numbers stood out…

      NP-Edge 810=180 watts, fenix=400 watts!

      IF- Edge 810=0.90, fenix=1.836

      TSS-Edge 810=252, fenix=927!

      Cant understand these differences 🙁

    • Weird. If you can shoot me both your files, I’ll throw them against a chart and can probably tell you if it’s singular moment, or something else. Just send the two .FIT files via e-mail to ray at the domain name.

      (Side note: For TrainingPeaks metrics like TSS/IF, ensure that the FTP is set the same.)

    • Tom

      Ok so it seems it was a Fenix3 hr issue on the beta software, an update has been released and it seems ok from a roll around the block. Thanks for looking.

  29. Michael H

    Thank you for your great reviews and thoughtful comments.

    I am a track kilo rider and I have read forum postings stating that P1 pedals are slow in recording the power on standing starts. Have you noticed this scenario.

    Please keep up the good work.

  30. klaus

    Hello

    I actually bought the Powertap P1 and have now the problem
    that my Garmin 510 don’t find the right pedal
    I think thats the master/slave problem?
    Is there already a solution
    because I don’t get so any data from the right one 🙁

    Kind Regards
    klaus

    • gabor

      Read through the comments. The difference is because Vector does not work on master/slave. Simply ignore, you get data from both pedals.

    • klaus

      hello
      thx, I wasn’t sure if there is already an update from Powertap or Garmin
      to prevent this failure

      kind regards
      klaus

    • Nah, nothing, it’s harmless. As a general best practice though I do ensure that before I press the start button on the recording that I spin both sides of the crank. I also have one data page with the ‘Balance’ field on it, so I can easily validate that both pedals are transmitting (it’ll show null otherwise).

      Fwiw, this error doesn’t occur on a Wahoo ELEMNT.

    • hello ray

      thanks for the tip
      the main thing is that all data will be collected 🙂
      so, I will keep on riding

      kind regards
      klaus

  31. mroek

    I was considering the P1s, and from your test they look awesome. However, then I came across another test:

    link to bikeradar.com

    The big issue (according to them) is that the P1s inflates power readings quite a bit at steady higher power outputs (over 300W). In your tests you don’t include any data where you ride at above 300W on average for a length of time (granted, that’s quite a lot of power), but even in your data the P1s does seem to always report on the high side at the higher power outputs.

    I then just found out that a mate of mine had gotten a pair of P1s, and after a recent ride (on a route which I am extremely familiar with) I looked at his power data, and I could immediately tell that at higher power outputs, his data was clearly inflated quite a bit.

    It would be interesting if you could try doing some climbs at a steady wattage well above 300W with multiple power meters (including the P1s), and then compare the data. My guess is that the P1s will read the highest, by a solid margin.

    • Steve Lee

      I’ve done ~8min @ 318W and 20min @ 283W with the P1s and those outputs are very accurate when compared to ground truth data.

    • I’ve done some climbs on the P1’s at over 300w, and didn’t see that. I’ve gotta remember which power meter review it’s in, I think it may be the Verve Infocrank. Just didn’t see that though, nor on others here with higher climb ones.

      Note that there was a bug which impacted some people on climbs, that was fixed around the time they published their review, which basically caused the incline to incorrectly accrue.

      That said, the P1’s should always be higher than almost any other power meter. Perhaps a percent or two, depending on what you’re comparing it against. How much are you talking?

    • mroek

      Given that I haven’t used the P1s myself, I’m more or less eyeballing against my own experience riding the same routes. This is of course not in any way scientific enough, but the numbers were just that unbelievable. As an example, my mate rode a segment that is just a slight 2-3% uphill with an average speed of 30.3 km/h (just above a minute, it is a short segment). There was some headwind, and his P1s averaged 394 W for this effort. Even with a headwind, that power number is massively inflated (he’s a 75 kg rider).

      A bit later (half an hour or so) I rode the same segment with an average speed of 34.3 km/h. Unfortunately my power meter is in for a return, but I’ve been riding with power for years know, and I’ve become pretty good at knowing what power I’m at, and I sure as hell wasn’t anywhere near 394 W despite going quite a bit faster and being 9 kg heavier. I’d guesstimate around 330-340W for my effort.

      Now, this is of course just an eyeballing (or butt-dynoing) exercise, but I have no doubt that at least his P1s are inflating power at higher outputs. And he has updated to the very latest firmware.

    • I’d he curios how often he does a zero offset, and whether he’s ever set his crank lengths.

    • Su-Chong Lim

      What is “ground truth” data? Is it just your synonym for mroek’s “butt-dynoing” (I love that one!)?

  32. Luca

    Hello,
    some weeks ago during a triathlon I have the P1 pedals loosing continuously the connection with the Garmin Edge 810. At the end of the race I found the same problem on the data collected by my watch Garmin Forerunner 920xt that was also on registering data during the race.

    Before and after that event I have never had any problem with the pedals but I normally use them with just one unit (normally the Garmin Edge).

    Everything is already update to the last firmware available.

    Today I did some test and I discovered that when the pedals are connected to a single unit they works normally but when I switch on another unit they start loosing the connection.
    I have tried with both my unit (Garmin Edge 810 and Forerunner 920xt) and with just one of them on everything is ok while I got continuously disconnection if I switched both on.
    I have also tried with a new Garmin Edge 820 units but the results were the same.

    There must be something wrong into their ANT+ protocol implementation as, when I have both units on, I didn’t loose any signal from any other sensor connected to them (speed, heart rate).

    Has anybody had the same issue? Any suggestion or solution?

  33. Jordan

    What is the minimum crank length you can choose with the P1 and a Garmin head (e.g., Fēnix 3 or Edge 820)?

  34. Emily

    Just received my third set of pedals after the other two developed a fault.

    First off, I should point out my local bike shop and supplier has been fantastic. On both occasions they posted back the faulty pedals and within a few days I’ve received a new pair.

    The first set of pedals lasted about 55hr of riding until the right pedal developed an internal short which caused the pedal to become warm/hot to touch. The second pair of pedals lasted 40 hours of riding until the left pedal developed a fault which caused the battery to drain in less than a week – with no riding. I’ve only ever used lithium batteries and neither set of pedals haven’t even experience a scratch.
    The pedals have been very reliable during use with my garmin 1000 until the point of failure.

    They feel good, look good but something must be seriously wrong with the internal design and manufacturing quality control. Perhaps I’ve just been unlucky??

    • Chewy

      HI Emily,

      I’m on my third set too, about a month now, so not just you. Anecdotally, the first batch had a 10% failure rate based on conversations with my supplier. Hopefully, we have a production ready product now! 😉

      Always use lithium batteries as you have or they can potentially cause shorting of the pedals.

      Apart from that they are so useful, I change them between bikes every week.

      Cheers,
      Chewy

    • gabor

      I would say unlucky… Sort of.
      Most people here complaining are on their third, fourth set of P1s, mostly with the same issue. (some had problems both mechanical and electrical, that is a different story). For most people they just work forever without any issue. Knock on wood, I had no issues in 4 month of use. Switched to Eneloop NiMH for economical reasons after understanding the alkaline issue, no problems so far.

      I would guess some dirt entering with the batteries at the installation, if you had shorts both times. Most users experience electrical problems after replacing the original batteries with alkalines. Of course it might be Powertap’s fault though.

    • Sam Pink

      Hi Gabor,

      I have just sent an email to power tap about the Eneloop NiMH batteries, so good to hear someone else is using them without problems. I would be interested to hear how they fair. Also which charger are you using and where did u get it? Seems like an odd question I know,

      Thanks San

    • Sam pink

      Hi Gabor,

      Just got this;

      Sam,
      We only condone the use of lithium single charge only due to grounding mechanisms inside the battery itself.

      —–Original Message—–
      From: sam pink [mailto:sampink@icloud.com]
      Sent: Sunday, August 14, 2016 12:37 PM
      To: PowerTap Support Mailbox
      Subject: Batteries for p1’s

      Hi,

      I have recently purchased a set of p1 pedals. I know you recommend lithium batteries, I wanted to use rechargeable ones, these;

      Today, the best rechargeable batteries are the “low self-discharge” Nickel-Metal Hydride (Ni-MH) cells.

      Would these be ok?

      Thanks, Sam
      Please like our Facebook page sampinktennis coaching link to m.facebook.com

    • gabor

      Hi Sam,

      I understood the same, that the grounding should match. As NiMH batteries have grounded shell like lithium batteries, they should be ok. Actually only the alkalines have different outer structure with positive pole on the shell.

      Accuracy seems to be the same, only the zeroing gives values of 12-14 instead of 5-7. I think that it is because of the different voltage. But considering the different characteristics of different batteries, the nominal voltage of 1.2V of the NiMHs are not a big deal. Lithium batteries have 1.5V, and they keep it quite constant during the discharge period. NiMHs have 1.2V, keeping it constant also. Alkalines have 1.5V initially, but decreasing fast even under 1V when near empty. If zeroing level depends on the battery voltage during discharge as I think, alkalines can cause accuracy shift during very long rides, or if close to empty (again something against alkalines)

      Battery level indication will be misleading with Eneloops. Because of the decreased voltage, P1 will report 60% from the beginning, maybe causing false drained messages (my head unit does not display these warnings :)).

      Only low discharge NiMHs are useful, as you might carry the spare pair for more than a month, depending of the usage level. Also some NiMHs are a little bit longer, making it difficult to close the battery compartment. Eneloops have the perfect length.

      I have two sets of Eneloops, one set of normal (white) 750 mAh, and one set of black Eneloop Pro 930 mAh. The backs are more expensive, their discharge level is faster, and they have less recharge cycles. The white lasted 30 hours out of the box, the blacks only 20 hours (but they were packaged 1 year earlier). Now I am on the first test of fully charged batteries, I have no idea how long they will last. But now for me it seems that the white ones are the better option.

      Regarding charger, I have a “smart” charger, with the option of charge, discharge/charge, test and refresh even individual batteries. I usually use the discharge/charge feature, but in the P1s they seem to be fully discharged when they stop working, so the discharge part lasts about 1-2 mins only. I bought it from Conrad electronics, but I think this charger exists with many different logo. Mine is Voltcraft IPC-1L link to conrad.com. Also many different brands and models exist, I can not tell which are best.

    • gabor

      Where did my answer go? It was quite long and detailed 🙁

      Just short:
      Eneloops have the same outer structure with ground on shell, so no electrical problem at all.
      They are accurate, zeroing will show a bit higher values though (for me 12-14).
      Battery level indicator will show 60% with fully charged batteries, keeping there until totally drained. Maybe it will cause some false empty warning.
      750mAh white Eneloops lasted 30 hours out of the box, 930mAh black ones only 20 hours but after 1 year of the packaging. I do not know the time capacities after first home charge.
      I use smart charger to keep batteries fresh and to know the actual capacity. (Voltcraft IPC-1L, but there are many similar chargers in the market)

    • Sam

      Thanks, your original answer is there and very detailed?. Will put my order in for some eneloops. Maybe power tap have shares in energiser?

    • (Sorry, the original answer got caught up in a spam holding bucket for manual approval. Sometimes external links do it if not whitelisted. Generally speaking the spam thingy works well, as it filters out upwards of a few thousand messages a day. But sometimes it doesn’t quite know what to do and I have to give it some guidance.)

  35. Karim

    Ray/Folks
    I mounted the P1s, synced and updated with no problems and was very straight forward. Butt left and right pedal were located and connected with BT. Curious about two things:
    1. On a short test ride –35 minutes 11 miles the stats showed 7:48 of zero watts or 21%, this seems like an error and inaccurate–I was on a straight road and pedaling and am conscious about pedaling? Thoughts or has anybody else observed this?
    2. Is there th ability to get detailed data on L & R? The app simply shows I averaged 50/50 balance which is great but I am a little skeptical given my concerns in 1 above and veracity of the data.

    Thanks.

    • Craig

      Garmin Connect shows nice left and right power balance graphs. Also shows you graph of power readings versus time so you can see where the outage is..

    • karim

      Thanks…so this maybe a dumb question but how do i get the file in to GC from my iPhone–i am currently only using my iPhone and the power tap app…is it possible to import it into GC?

  36. Craig

    Looks like my left pedal has developed a problem, searching the above cannot see anyone else with same issue.
    My left pedal the status led lights up red and green at same time. Doesn’t flash and stays on constantly. Tried removing the battery overnight from both pedals and replaced them with brand new batteries and still same issue.

    Right pedal flashes as normal as if it is still paired with the left pedal, but nothing shows up via my Garmin.

    Have sent Powertap a mail to see if they have any solutions, but has anyone else had same problem?

    Cheers, Craig

  37. Jason Hegarty

    These are pedals are great…. when they work. I’ve read so many people on our their second and third pedals which suggests there are inherent problems with this solution. I am myself on my second pair and last night I started getting weird spikes above 1000 watts whenever I sat up ion the saddle and took my hands off of my bars. When I returned to my normal position they worked fine again but this of course messes all my data and of course is not acceptable. I expect I’ll be asked to send this pair back as well at my cost and effort and they will probably send me a new pair again but I don’t want to play that game.

    Given the number of comments on this article which seems like a kind of support page for powertap p1’s I’d suggest amending the original article to warn others of the numerous problems with this product. It was based on your article that I purchased these and of course you could never have envisaged all the problems that people would have as they were fine for a good number of months before the problems start to surface – an updated warning would be beneficial now me feels.

    Also have you heard anything from Powertap regarding these issues?

    • Justin Henkel

      Jason- sorry to hear about your issues. Im curious to know what device you are using to capture your data.

    • Jason Hegarty

      Hi Justin

      I collect the data via a Garmin Edge 520.
      My Turbo Trainer is a Wahoo Kickr
      I was riding the turbo outside at the time at around 9pm UK time

      I’m usually in the garage which I guess would be slightly warmer but surely not enough to throw it off like that.

      I’ve attached part of the power profile from the ride.

      Interestingly the last set of pedals I had which malfunctioned were also when they were in a new environment – I was basically in Majorca which was hotter than my locale.

  38. Gabe

    Anyone get calibration errors?

    Seems to be recurring on my garmin 820 and the garmin 1000.

    • What are the specific error codes? Each error code means a specific thing.

      About the only error code I ever get is if I try and calibrate without waking up both pedals (only one side).

    • Gabe

      Error code -14 -15 -16 -17

      So it must be the right pedal not found.

      Weird. I spin both before calibration

    • I used to “spin” both pedals before calibration too — but I have found that it works better (for me, on whatever firmware I have) to clip-in and pedal a few strokes around the parking lot before performing calibration. I don’t know why…. but “spinning” both LH/RH pedals didn’t seem to wake them up consistently for me.

  39. David

    This AM on my ride I noticed the power was not registered by the Garmin 520 after 3 mins into ride. It read “—W”. The power came back after a few minutes. However, the power was reading higher than normal, then lower then normal. It kept bouncing around high and low based on RPE. I checked L/R balance on Garmin connect and it read 49/51 which is correct for me. The pedals have worked fine up to this point. Sometimes when spinning crank to wake up pedals I would get that the right power is missing but it hasn’t given me any problems. The only thing I did differently since last ride was do a race and drive 16hrs after the race. The bike was sitting in back of my trunk. Could this affect it in anyway? I installed new batteries before race and they pedals worked fine during the race.

  40. Angus Whitfield

    Is there a way to disable to auto-sleep mode on the pedals?
    I want to sync/zero them with my Garmin head unit prior to the start of a triathlon & then have it all ready to go when I get out of the water.
    Thanks!

    • Miles Gibson

      interesting… Maybe that is why I turn my Garmin 510 on, it finds the pedals. Then I turn off my Garmin 510, and when I turn it back on again, it doesn’t find the pedals. I am starting to get very frustrated with this expensive purchase!

      I will have a look at the PowerTap iPhone app, to see if I can adjust the settings that way. The only problem with turning auto-sleep off, is that it might run down the batteries very quickly over night.

      Also, the Lithium batteries we are supposed to use are very hard to find, apparently because they are now considered a flammable hazard for shipping. I put brand new regular batteries in, and it worked for one ride. Not sure what to do next.

      Cheers,

      Miles

    • Justin Henkel

      Angus,

      There is no way to turn off the auto-sleep function. That function is solely a battery saving mechanism. If the pedals did not have this function the batteries would likely die within a few days. Your Garmin should identify the pedals when they awaken and as long as the environmental conditions didnt change drastically performing a zero offset prior to the start will ensure good accuracy.

    • Justin Henkel

      Miles,

      Sorry to hear about your frustrations. In the use case you describe it sounds like your issues are on the display side. The P1 pedals are always broadcasting ANT+ Power and Cadence when they are awake, even if not rotating. Any device can connect to them at any time and receive their data. If you have multiple power sensors stored within your display it might help to remove any that you are not using to keep it from trying to connect to it.

  41. karim

    Hi Ray
    I was curious whether you continue to use and travel with the P1s or prefer the Garmins? Are they part of your regular arsenal of powermeters or are they too unreliable from a data perspective? Finally have you gotten any additional insight from your connections at Saris when they would anticipate a firmware update which would make the data on a gamin head unit more robust similar to the Powertap App for the iPhone?

    Thanks.

    • Still prefer the P1’s for travelling. Work great.

    • Karim

      Thanks for the feedback. As a follow up does anybody know if there are any Connect IQ apps or widgets which you know or recommend for the 820 which provides additional useful power data metrics? Sounds like an easy work around for saris to counter the closed protocol of Garmin Cycling Dynamics?

  42. Jamie

    Thanks for such an in-depth review!

    I have seen these units slated or praised with very little analytics. Nice to see a proper job done.

    And as a result I just bought some!

    Can you please let me know whether it is possible to pair the P1s with 2 different computers simultaneously? I ask as I have a garmin 500 as my main computer (I know but I prefer to spend money on other kit) and a joules computer coming with the P1s. My goal would be to have all power related data via Joules and my usual display on my 500. The 500 screen would just be too small for all of the data I would like to see. But I still want my 500 to record the data for me to see on Strava and Garmin connect.

  43. Jswts

    You should have no problem using two or more head units to pick up the data. The pedals broadcast the ANT+ signal and anything can pick up the signal. I’ve had a garmin 920 XT and garmin 1000 and 910 XT and iPhone app and my computer (trainerroad) on one computer and Zwift on another without a problem.

  44. Paul Medcraft

    I received a replacement pair of P1s about 10 weeks ago after my first pair failed as I posted about here, and have done 60 hours / 1528km on them.

    After my ride yesterday, I removed the pedals and noticed a lot of play in the right bearing. The spindle can be moved in and out of the pedal body by 2-3mm, as this video shows:

    link to youtu.be

    The left pedal can’t be moved in and out at all, although I can feel a slight amount of play. If I clip in one foot at a time, both pedals are reporting power, left is reporting cadence correctly and right cadence drops to 0 and then shows as 255, as I posted about a couple of months ago.

    The pedals were off the bike on Saturday while it was on the car rack and I am pretty sure I would have noticed this when I installed them yesterday morning. However, I have noticed my right foot pulling out sometimes recently, so perhaps this has been present a while but has now got significantly worse.

    I’ve mailed Powertap support again but if I have to send them back and wait 5 weeks for a replacement set again I will probably ask for a refund and buy a stages or two.

  45. tony rubenstein

    Ray (or anyone else out there)…
    appreciate it if you could assist:Hi
    Am considering moving to P1 powermeter.
    I have 3 bikes and would like to stay in 1 pedal “ecosystem”
    I am currently on shimano spd sl across all 3 bikes.
    If I move across to the P1’s on my “A” bike, I assume I’ll have to change the pedals on my other 2 bikes to look Keo’s. (that way the P1’s can be freely interchanged across all 3 bikes).
    My questions are:
    1) will your power tap proprietary cleats work with the look keno blade pedals on the other 2 bikes?
    2) would standard look 4.5deg float cleats work with the P1″s?
    Appreciate your advise on above.
    Thanks
    Tony

    • 1) I find they do tend to work. I’ve got Keo stock pedals on another bike right now, and I’ve had no issues riding with them.
      2) Technically, but it might not work well. It’ll depend a little bit on how worn the cleats get.

    • Brett

      Hi Ray – thanks for all your hard work!

      I am curious to do some of my own performance testing on the P1’s on loan from a friend. I have Keo cleats i am hoping to use in this testing. When you say Keo cleats “might not work well” do you mean 1) there will erroneous power measurement or 2) just that the fit won’t be great?

      Since i’m just hammering this out on a trainer, and as a one-off, i’m not too concerned if they are a little loose. Just want to be sure I am getting good measurement. Many thanks in advance of your considerate reply.

    • They won’t fit perfectly. You may get the occasional popping out.

      Interestingly, I’ve been using the P1 supplied cleats for about 20 months now – and have actually been using them without issue with standard KEO pedals on other random bikes. Zero problems at all there.

      So they seem to work perfectly fine on not just the P1’s, but also other KEO units. Whereas the other way around less so.

    • Chris

      Use the Wellgo RC-7. They are the exact cleats that Powertap sells, and they are designed to be Keo compatible. They work perfect with both Look and P1 pedals.

    • Brett

      Update:

      My Look Keo cleats worked fine in the P1’s. They didn’t seem overly loose at all. Mind you, this was on a trainer during a ramp test but with some very hard all-out efforts to 800w (all I got). Cleats held just fine.

      P1’s performed excellent. Very impressed with ease of set up, calibration and performance.

      I did a test of the Kinetic InRide power curves against the actual P1’s. But that’s another story….

      Cheers and thanks to all for wading in.

  46. Mark Lewis

    I have received a new set of these pedals (via the Uk clevertraining site with your code thanks DCR) and used them for the first time today, I was able to pair then with my garmin 510 without issue, but for some unknown reason my Garmin 920xt will not detect them at all. Everything is runnng on the current firmwares, Any ideas?

    Thanks

    • Mark

      For info, have resolved the issue having trolled the Garmin forums. Having removed the speed/cadence sensor from the watch settings, it paired with the pedals straight away, even allowed me to set the crank length to 175 which I was happy with. Will test it out on the road tomorrow 🙂

    • Mark Lewis

      Had a few rides now, i am using the 510 alongside 920xt but am finding the 920 keeps dropping out (power & cadence) during the ride to extent of missing overall 10 plus minutes of readings in an hours ride. The 510 records continuously throughout the ride.
      All devices pedals and head units are up to date, crank length are the same on both head units. I have the 510 on the handlebar mount extending out the front and the 920 on the stem.
      Are there any suggestions due to the 510 reading the pedals continuously i cant see it being them, the 920 doesnt appear to pick the pedals up as quick as the 510 so am thinking its an issue with the 920 is there anybody else having similar issues?

    • Tri bike or road bike? If tri, while in aero bars or not?

    • Mark Lewis

      Road bike, scott addict

    • Jim in Colorado

      I’ve ridden my P1s on and SRM-equipped bike several times. Average power, NP, TSS are always within watt or two on rides with much time spent above 300w. Max watts are always higher on the P1s. So if I’m working on sprinting or want to crack 1K watts, I always use the P1s!

    • Jim in Colorado

      P1s work flawlessly with my Garmin 910XT

    • I’d give your FR920XT a hard reset. I saw an issue on one of mine this spring where it was constantly dropping ANT+ data. Crazy-constant. I ended up resetting it (hard reset) and it’s been happy ever since.

    • Mark Lewis

      Will give that ago and see what happens thks

    • rodrigo loureiro

      I’ve had issues with my 920XT that it was reading much lower than the power recorded on the powertap mobile app.
      The problem was fixed after I upgraded the firmware on the 920XT… yes, it’s weird, but it did fix the problem

  47. Ross

    It’s good to see that Powertap are adding the advanced pedalling metrics to their mobile app. Powertap have submitted the app to Apple and hopefully it will be available within 10 days.

  48. Chris

    Ray,
    Any idea how to connect Powertap Mobile to Stava? Looks like a subscription to Virtual Training is required?
    I see nothing inside the app to connect to other services, or how to export data from the app.

    • Justin Henkel

      Chris,

      You would find that under the ‘cloud services’ section of the app. Make sure you are logged in to the PTAP mobile app and turn on the Strava cloud service and follow the instructions to link the two accounts.

    • Chris

      I see, thanks. I looked to see what “Virtual Training” was and it looked like I needed to pay a monthly fee, but it appears now that I can use the site for free to retrieve data files.

      Thanks again

    • Ross

      Justin any update on when the updated Powertap mobile app will be released on the AppStore?
      Thanks
      Ross

    • Justin Henkel

      Ross- if Apple approves it quickly it should be available this week. We will be sending out the official notice via social media when it hits the app store. Thanks!

  49. Greg Hilton

    a not very good review of the P1 here:

    link to youtube.com

    Main problems is that they saw it over reading by up to 35 watts on longer efforts over 280w, ie FTP tests and they also say it’s heavy.

    I seem to think there was a firmware update that fixed the over reading at higher watts, or am I imagining it??

    • It was fixed, they rode it late fall on older firmware and posted later after newer firmware came out.

    • I did a simultaneous comparison last night of my P1 pedals, 4iiii (left only crank) and Elite Real e-motion B+ rollers — which I adore (and wish Ray would give ’em a try!)

      Over a 1 hour ride, rollers were highest by about 20 watts compared to P1 pedals. The 4iiii was consistently about 2%-3% lower than the P1 pedals over the full 1-hour session.

      I have had some interaction with PowerTap customer support — and it is absolutely beyond comparison it is so good. Almost eye-watering-good direct support, in my personal experience.

    • gabor

      That old review from BikeRadar is flawed. As Ray mentioned, they made their test long time ago, they do not own P1s to make evaluation of new FW, they did not publish any comparison data proving the overreading.

      But the most suspicious thing is the mentioned magical 300W margin. They claimed the P1s to be accurate below that, and constantly overreading by 5-10% above it. That is really unbelievable.

      My experience does not show any big overreading, but I must admit that I did not compare the data with other PMs. I just do not see any big jumps around 300W, and all of the collected data seems to be in line with all what I read about interpreting PM data (both lower and upper values)

    • Rodrigo Loureiro

      I’m seeing very good results in comparing the P1 pedals with Powertap wheels, even with power above 300W.

      link to home.trainingpeaks.com

      and

      link to home.trainingpeaks.com

  50. Chris

    When I pair these to Strava, do both pedals communicate via BT LE to the phone, or does one talk to the other, and then one talks to the phone? Strava seems to indicate only one BT sensor connected so I am wondering if it is capable of two-pedal sensors or not.

    • WBF

      Strava doesn’t support the P1’s properly and you only get 1 sided power. I asked them about this and they said they had no plans to fix it.

      Does anyone know of any android apps that will record the dual power?

    • I believe the ipBike app does.

    • WBF

      Not if you mean this one, at least not according to your description: link to play.google.com

      Im surprised there’s not more discussion about the lack of supported apps as I was a bit shocked the couple of times I forgot my garmin and tried to record on my mobile and it didn’t work. For me, I thought that was the whole benefit of the bluetooth compatibility and was a bit disappointed that it wasn’t supported. Wasn’t mentioned in your review or others.

    • Interesting, I had seen some comments from him that it was working, but looks like not yet.

      The main reason is that the BLE spec for dual-sensing power meters is wonky at best. It’s the least clear part of the spec, so very few apps support it today (and even fewer head units support it correctly).

    • WBF

      OK so apparently the Powertap mobile app on iOS is the only app I’ve seen on bluetooth or iOS that supports dual power.

      I did also notice that the TrainerRoad app reads dual power but obviously that isn’t going to work for outdoor rides.

  51. Greg Hilton

    evening all,

    I wonder if the collective brains can help trouble shooting issues with reading power from P1 Pedals. I’m not sure if my pedals are the issue or my Garmin 1000.

    he past 3 rides I’ve experienced wierd problems with power reading 50% low, and/or cadence missing. On the first ride, restarting my Garmin seemed to fix the issue.

    What I am trying to figure out is how do I troubleshoot whether the issue is with the Garmin 1000 or the P1 pedals and was hoping for some suggestions on what to do, or can info be gleaned from the fit files?

    Below is a screen shot of a ride about 40 mins in where power and cadence disappeared altogether.

    • Chris

      Honestly I would open a ticket with Powertap. Their support is amazing.

    • That’s a very weird plot. You’ve got wattage but not cadence. If you can do a trainer ride, I’d try and record the ride on an app concurrently with the Edge 1000 (i.e. Golden Cheetah, TrainerRoad, etc…).

      Just ensure that the crank length is set correctly (and not malformed).

    • Greg Hilton

      yes something very weird, I sadly am suspecting the pedals, this is the bike on my first ever Tri yesterday where the opposite happened, cadence and no power, then it seemed to sort itself out 🙁

    • Greg, I cannot really explain it either — but my P1 pedals are *very* sensitive to the type of batteries I use. For me, alkaline batteries (even the best ones I can find) never worked well. Based on some email support I had from PowerTap, I’m only using super high quality lithium batteries now. And no, never rechargables….

    • Paul K

      Greg, my pedals started to exhibit similar problems – receiving cadence but no power – they are currently with Palligap in the UK and expect to hear back soon. I have had them since November and they performed brilliantly until mid Aug. All the usual checks were performed via Powertaps Concierge service, pedal powerdown, new lithium batteries, crank length settings double checked etc. The issues became more erratic prior to sending them back and had one occasion where the Pedals would not connect to any of my devices, it required removal of the batteries for 5 minutes and reinstall for that to correct itself.

    • Greg Hilton

      I spoke to Powertap support, they said put lithium batteries in. I have done so and did a very short test ride (51mins) this evening. Screenshot below, but I’m still seeing weird fluctuations in L/R balance.

      Do folk think this looks “normal” or still exhibiting the issue?

    • Paul K

      When I was investigating mine when pedal balance was erratic it linked to where I was receiving cadence but no power, it is hard to tell from your chart but around the 10 minute marker you appear to have cadence but no power. While cycling I also noticed that the power reading fluctuated wildly when I was putting in 200+watts the power reading would show 20-50 watts, then increase rapidly then fall rapidly.

    • Jim in Colorado

      On the topic of batteries – I purchased Eco rechargeable lithium batteries, charged them overnight, installed. They died after 15 hours. Popped in the 2nd set, worked perfectly last night.

      I expected shorter life than regular lithium batteries, but not 75% less.

      Not sure I would have purchased rechargeable if I had known they would only last 15 hours. In warm weather. Likely less when the weather gets colder. I’ll be swapping batteries ever-other ride in the Colorado winter!

  52. Guillaume

    Hi,

    I have a pioneer ca500. Is that new advanced metrics available with the p1 (vector forces) are analysed with this computer ?

    Thanks in advance

    • No, it’s only compatible with their mobile app (advanced metrics).

      There’s no standards for such advanced metrics that companies can share. So each one kinda does their own thing (Pioneer, PowerTap, Stages, ROTOR, Garmin, etc…). Yeah, it’s stupid – but…you can actually mostly blame Garmin for this one.

    • Guillaume

      Ok, thanks a lot for your answer and all your reviews and tests
      Good continuation

  53. Graham Lucas

    As an early user of this product August 2015. I’ve had to return my third set with the right pedal failing to wake and when /if it does the data is on/off the whole ride or no data at all, same issue for the last two pairs.
    Can anyone comment on if the newer units are more stable as i’m trying to decide whether to get another replacement pair with full warranty or money back as offered. When this product works it’s fantastic, am I just unlucky.

    Thanks Graham

    • Chewy

      Hi Graham,

      I’m on my third pair and if they fail within the year then I’m asking for a full refund. PowerTap’s QA is shocking in my opinion.

      I have had a few issues with the third pair, particularly if I swap them between bikes; they tend to exhibit inconsistent readings for a while (5-15 minutes).

      If they “work”, they are great, but I wouldn’t recommend them to my friends.

      Cheers,
      Chewy

      PS No Android app!!! Unforgivable and unprofessional!

    • Justin Henkel

      Chewy,

      Thank you for your comment. The inconsistency you are seeing when switching between bikes is the pedals finding their installation angle. You can speed up the process by performing a manual zero or ‘calibration’ just prior to riding. It should find the new install angle within 90 seconds. For more info on the ‘fast find’ vs. ‘slow find’ of install angle consult the full user guide at the PowerTap website.

      Thanks again

    • Scott

      Also an early adopter of this PM (Sept 2015) and I have had nothing but a great experience with the pedals. The readings have been consistently accurate, I’ve swapped them between several bikes with no issues and even crashed once where it landed on the left pedal and scratched up the side, but did not affect them in the least. They are built very solidly and I don’t understand how so many people are having so many problems. Maybe I’m just a lucky one who got a perfect set of pedals?

    • Chewy

      Thank you for response Justin.

      I do a calibration after a few pedals strokes (clipped-in) religiously with every ride. I’M NOT AN IDIOT! 😉

    • Justin Henkel

      Certainly not suggesting that youre an idiot. Can you confirm that you ‘clip-out’ when doing a calibration? If the pedal detect force the calibration is likely to fail. Im assuming you do but would like to get clarification on that.

    • Chewy

      Always clip-out as instructed. 🙂

  54. Nebula_D

    Well, I am now on my fourth set of p1 pedals. Each set has been replaced under warranty because of either bearing issues or erratic readings.
    This set is two weeks old and after today’s ride I noticed there is slight play starting in both pedals, and the first few mins of the ride showed power only on the left pedal, despite the lights indicating they were paired correctly and the pedals having almost new batteries.

    So far the shop I bought them from (major UK online bike shop) has refused to refund my money but if this current set go back as well I will be demanding a full refund.

    As others have said, when they work the p1s are awesome BUT the build quality is appalling. Personally I cannot recommend these given how much they cost.

  55. Joel

    Ray:
    Would you categorize the problems that are reported here as Powertap har sold a lot of units, some are faulty and the ones who har bought them writes here or do they have a real problem?
    Have you asked them about it?
    thanks
    Joel

    • It’s hard to say. Having a rough idea at the numbers of units PT has sold, I think we’re talking in the 1-3% range, which is is about right for consumer electronic failure rates.

      Within that few percent bucket, I think the problems generally fall into three buckets (as they usually do here):

      A) Units that for whatever reason had a failure that they shouldn’t (aka defective)
      B) Units that people have done something they shouldn’t, and try and pretend it was the units fault
      C) People that use the wrong type of batteries and see issues

      For people in Bucket A, it indeed sucks, especially if you somehow end up in that bucket twice. Though, I think a portion (but certainly not all) of double-A people might be also in bucket B. Then there’s bucket C, which I see occasionally more commonly later down the road after people swap out the included batteries with non-correct batteries, and then notice issues. One thing I have learned in writing here and talking with companies is just how often people don’t exactly follow instructions and then make stuff up. It’s really astonishing. Again, not saying that’s everywhere here (or even the majority), but I do often see the behind the scenes responses from companies and sometimes you just shake your head.

      Again, just my two cents. I don’t have a breakdown from PT on the issues they see in terms of root causes. But, I do have the same set I’ve had for nearly a year now, and am constantly swapping bikes (even this week), and even using the wrong battery type some of the time and am without issue.

    • Greg Hilton

      so far it looks like my issues have fallen into Cat c) and looking better with Lithium batteries.

    • Steve

      Ray: This would be a decent topic for an article! Not just for PowerTap P1s, but a general troubleshooting/blaming making/bullshit detecting purpose with fun manufacturer water cooler tidbits.

    • Ricardo

      I have been using mine since January and clocked 6000kms and so far no problems (knock, knock).
      Always used lithium batteries and have travelled with the pedals a few times to use on rented bikes.
      Let’s hope they keep going strong..

    • Great post Ray!

      For sure, lithium batteries are really important. I don’t know why, and I don’t even care — but for sure, they make a big difference with this particular product.

    • gabor

      Lithium batteries are important because alkalines have an opposite grounding basis. It means that while lithium (and all other type of batteries except alkalines) have grounded battery shell, alkalines have battery shell on positive pole. That means that IF there is any damage on the insulating battery cover, it causes shortage, and damages the pedal electronics. You can use alkalines if the cover is in good condition, but it is always risky. (I think nearly everyone who are complaining about the same electronic symptoms for their 3rd, 4th set use alkalines, and they do not care about the battery shell – user error)

      You can substitute lithium batteries with nearly any other type of 1.2-1.5V AAA batteries. I use NiMH Eneloops for example without any problem.

      Using P1s since early April 2016, no issues at all.

    • Chris

      I have been using Amazon Rechargeable NiMH without any issue so far. These are identical to Eneloops so they should work if Eneloops are working well. They will indicate a low battery even at full charge, but their discharge rate is low so they will probably hang around 70-60% for a long time before they start to drop. If you use NiMH it might be good to keep an extra set in the saddle bag.

    • The Eric

      Hi Ray,
      Just saw this reply and I have to say, I work in a bike shop in the US and I’d say 95% of customers fall into Bucket A regarding pretty much any issue with their bike – both electronic and non-electronic. Unfortunately people just don’t want to admit when they’re wrong or have made a mistake and thus are half truthful and try to blame the product or shop. It’s sad, and usually we can see right through it! Love your site and your honest opinions. Thanks.

  56. Nebula_D

    I think it’s too easy to blame the batteries. I have always used lithium batteries and each set of pedals have worked fine until play started.

    I repeat my earlier claim, they can be great but the build quality is terrible and I am convinced this is what leads to data issues.
    I am 63kg and never had problems with any other pedal, yet I’m on my fourth set of the p1s.
    And, I am waiting for PT to respond to my latest issues as this current set have a couple of mm’s of play now.

    Fed up isn’t a strong enough description of how I’m feeling about these now.

  57. Craig Hoskin

    Unfortuately Im now in the “pedal failure” group after almost 4.5 mths of totally flawless use.

    • Im using lithium batteries 🙂 In fact they only have 2 rides on them, and one was a short TTT!
    • Calibrated prior to ride and from memory value was “2”. This is roughly normal, with values typically around 6 – 10 being the norm.
    • During the ride I didn’t have power showing (it was just a recovery session) so it wasn’t until I changed screens on the Garmin that I noticed it was spiking really badly, then dropping out, and R/L balance was all over the place
    • Tried a calibration by unclipping and the value, from memory, was around 5200 … cant recall if it said failed or not.
    • Tried again, and since then the value its been reporting values in the 25000 and giving a “Calibration Failed”.
    • I removed the batteries post ride and reinstalled (they were brand new 2 rides ago). No change.
    • The lights on both pedals are single flashing green (ie OK)
    • I connected to them via the “Virtual Trainer” software and it reported failing to calibrate as well.

    Its now been 24 hrs and waiting for a reply to Concierge, or their Support Email … or Facebook messenger. After raving about how good they have been… feeling a bit silly now 🙁

    • On the PowerTap mobile app, there’s an option for ‘Recover Firmware’, which I’m betting will fix your issue. It’s basically like a reset option. Usually does the trick for folks.

    • Craig J Hoskin

      Thanks Ray

      Bugger … will have to find myself an iPhone user 🙂 Looks like the PC Virtual Trainer software doesnt have the capacity to do so.

    • Craig J Hoskin

      Might have to have them sent away 🙁

      Tried other riders who had iPhones and all 3 failed to “find any device”.
      * Bluetooth enabled – nadaa

      Used Wahoo Fitness App on my phone and it was picking up both pedals (L and R) fine via Bluetooth.

      Decided to try and “Add Bike” thinking maybe it needed a profile to start with. That showed the Left Pedal all good, showed crank length etc all OK, showed two devices connected but didnt seem to show the Right pedal.

      Went back to Recover Firmware and still came back with the “No Devices found”.

      Im guessing that since the Firmware is current is possibly “OK” that it doesnt deem it necessary to allow the Firmware to be “recovered”.

    • Craig Hoskin

      Pedals ended up being replaced by the local distributor with refurbished ones. Must admit even tho’ refurbished”, they look like new.

      Disturbingly, of 3 people I know, 2 have also had to have sets replaced in the past few weeks, after having them for the same period of time.
      * one with a frozen axle
      * one with no power from 1 pedal

      Now got a bad feeling about the durability of these … and each of us use them on a daily basis.

  58. Mark

    Can anyone let me know if this movement is normal, these are 4 weeks old and had about 5/6 hours of use. (hopefully the vid will work)
    Many thanks

    • Mark

      doesnt appear to have worked, there is about 2 mm of play in which the pedal can be moved along the axle on the right pedal and about 1mm on the left side (both pedals are attached to the crank arm)
      Is this normal or a possible defect that has been mentioned before?

    • gabor

      I do not think that 2 mm play is anything close to normal. My nearly 6 months old P1s have no play at all

    • Mark Lewis

      I sent an email with video to clever training uk yesterday but haven’t even had an acknowledgement of the email, so sent the question to powertap so waiting for a reply.
      I’m hoping they are alright as have found them useful to swap between bikes and used zwift for the first time today with them (FTP test), so looking forward to training with power and will be pretty disappointed if they have to be returned.

    • Ross

      Mark, the P1’s will definitely have to go back to Powertap. Numerous users on here including myself have had this problem and Powertap will fix or replace them. Disappointed to hear this is still going on though as I had hoped it was just an issue with early build versions.

    • Mark

      Ross, I take it your replacements were ok, I called clever training today who apparently have issues with their email system but have received my video and forwarded off to their tech team for advice. I had hoped these issues had been sorted as didn’t want to get into this situation especially in less than a month. I’m still half way through the 60 day return policy so in a dilemma now on whether to return for a refund or try again 🙁

    • Ross

      I had one if the first sets back in Aug 2015 and started to get play in the left pedal after about 6 weeks. The repaired set have not had any issues after more than 5000 miles on 3 different bikes and trips to Majorca and the Alps. I’ve owned PT hubs and Garmin Vectors and prefer the P1’s .

    • Mark

      Just had this email from powertap, it would appear the movement is normal !! In that case why is there no play in so many, only time will tell I suppose.

      Mark,
      Good morning from Madison, WI.
      There is some play that is designed in the pedal design. The bearings are needle bearings and run on a spindle that requires a bit of play. From that video, I would say you don’t have anything to worry about. Obviously, perform normal inspection of your pedals weekly.
      Sincerely,

  59. Trickcyclist

    Firstly, I think your reviews of power meters are excellent so thanks very much.

    My question.

    I am considering buying a dual-sided, pedal-based power meter. However, following an accident I have one leg shorter than the other; the right is 13mm shorter than the left (which was unbroken). I went to a professional coach and used an indoor SRM machine with adjustable crank lengths. After some trial and error, we found that the most similar left-right power circular power profile was with cranks of 2.5mm difference. So I ride with cranks 170mm (right) and 172.5mm (left). My question:

    Is there any point in my buying left-right pedal power meter? Currently I use a powertap pro hub.

    Thanks in advance for your help

    Trickcyclist

    • Chris

      Personally I always want to have as much available data as possible. But I think if you are looking at a situation where you know you have a physio inbalance, having L-R power data would be very valuable. If you are pretty close to balanced now, you could keep track of this over time, and possibly know if there is an issue that needs addressed, before you get injured.

  60. Nebula_D

    Mark, I don’t understand PT claiming the play in the pedals is normal as they have told me to return mine (the fourth pair) for repair due to the play and the power data issues (which started when the play started).

    I’m going to fight for a refund as I have no confidence in the reliability of these any more.

    • Mark

      Nebula,
      How long have you been using them and were the other three sets returned for the play issue?
      I have 4 weeks of the 60 days return policy left so will get some miles on them to see if they get any worse, it might be due to the reported issues I am just looking for problems and am not 100% confident in their reliability and for the price don’t want to get stuck in the return for repair game. Having used them I am already hooked on using power for training and due to an imbalance in leg size really want them to work.

  61. Nebula_D

    I bought the first set at the start of September 2015. They had to go back after just a week or so. The next set lasted a few months, I was starting to feel like the first set head been a one off. However, play started in them and within a month of receiving the replacements. This latest set have been the final straw.

    I was strongly advocating the p1s for the first 3 or 4 months. When they work they really are fantastic. But,from my experience, there is clearly an issue with build quality.

    • Mark

      Well just heard back from clever training who stated they should not be doing what they are and to send them back for replacement. In fact the movement increased slightly since the video with some left/right rotational movement holding the pedal at the front and rear. Reluctantly I have decided to return then for a refund (as still in the first 60 day return policy). Will watch the forums over the winter months to see if the issues iron out and maybe try again in the spring. Will stick with the power readings from the turbo for the winter as they were quite similar.

    • Jim in Colorado

      I purchased my P1s in November, have used them 2-5 times per week ever since, no issues. It is easy for those of us who are not experiencing problems to not reply, but I thought I’d put in positive feedback for PowerTap P1 pedals — accurate (I benchmarked them against an SRM multiple times before using them on their own), easy to move from one bike to the next, add very little weight to the bike. Great product!

    • Mark

      HI Jim,

      I’m glad you have had no problems and i expect there are many who are in the same lucky boat. But reading issues on this forum aswell as other forums (timetrialling for another) there are too many people having isues with quality control for a £1000 product which is very frustrating. I really enjoyed using the power meter and gathering the info it gave but cant afford the risk of it breaking down every few weeks/months as i and many others have experienced. Its no good using something that you are expecting to break at anytime. If it was a one off i would have exchanged but its not 🙁

    • Jim in Colorado

      It occurred to me that if I were considering purchasing P1 pedals and reading these comments, I would be very concerned.

      It is very unfortunate that there are people having problems. I’ve had products that didn’t work and it was very frustrating. I hope PowerTap can get everything sorted out so all their products work all the time.

      I’m posting about my positive experience with P1s because there are hundreds and hundreds of owners who aren’t having problems. Just wanted to point that out.

    • Phil A

      You have to remember one main thing. For the most part people only comment on something when they have issues.It is usually works out to 100 happy people to every 1 negative. As Ray stated above they are only reporting around a 1-3% failure rate.

  62. Chris

    Wonder how the new app is coming along? They said it was waiting for App store review. That does not usually take long.

    • Lajos

      I sent them an email this week as I have an android and getting annoyed that i spent $1200 on something and cannot use its features so thinking of buying a second hand iphone. anyways I was confused what platform the new Advance metric will support given their website list “Iphone only” while the P1 manual states Ipad, ipod and iphone for the Mobile app.
      they came back to me and said – i qoute
      ” It is not available yet. I’ll get that typo corrected. Marketing jumped the gun there.

      Your iOS device will need BLE Smart and be on iOS 8 and later.

      I do not have an ETA on the Android platform. It is most certainly in the works though! ”

      a the moment i am holding off from buying a second hand iphone until the app is actually available…
      cheers
      lajos

  63. Blake Wilson

    Had a question about the P1’s. I’m looking for a pedal based system for its versatility, but also want one with dual ANT+ and Bluetooth capability. I know that the P1’s fit this bill. Problem is I use my iphone to run Trainer Road on my Kickr and want to use the power numbers from the P1s. Question is will my iPhone via Trainer road’s app be able to connect to BOTH pedals (as I understand that each pedal connects to the head unit, in this case iphone, independently)? Anyone have any insight on this one?

  64. Since there were some older comments about P1s showing power on the high side above 300W, I thought I’d double check at some point. Well, today I finally got around doing some tests on my commutes using both the P1s and the G3.
    That’s tonight. I calibrated both PMs before I started.
    G3 using Fenix 2: link to strava.com or link to connect.garmin.com
    P1s using Joule: link to strava.com
    Fairly big deltas on all sections I checked.

    This morning (watch didn’t propose to calibrate the G3 but I had last Friday):
    G3: link to strava.com or link to connect.garmin.com
    P1s: link to strava.com
    The deltas seem smaller but still beyond the differences I’d expect.

    FWIW, I probably still have an old firmware on the pedals (second set after warranty replacement, sometimes in February).
    I’ll need to get my hands on an iXX device to check which firmware I have and upgrade.
    OTOH, I thought the explanation was an angle issue on climbs. My rides above were pretty flat…

    HTH
    Eric

    • Without having done calibration (or being on latest firmware), a difference of 13w (on 328w) is actually pretty close for two units measuring in totally different places.

      Assuming each one at 2%, that’s 12w potential deviation right there between the two units. But then you throw on them being in significantly different spots, a 13w loss on 328w is quite reasonable actually (the hub was lower than the P1’s).

    • Hi Ray, I agree the test in the morning was less than ideal without G3 calibration.
      I had looked at the numbers a bit differently but I’ll concede on this one.

      The evening numbers had fresh calibration for each device though, and that’s where the gap increased (50W+). To account for potential time drift, I zoomed in the 4+ miles section where I maintained power (7.8 to 12.4, in between the 2 spots where I stopped pedaling).
      On that section, the diff is 58W (305 vs. 363)…

      In any case, I’ll upgrade the firmware when I get a chance and run the test again.
      This is my commute so I have ~3×2 opportunities per week. I just need the weather to cooperate because I don’t have fenders on the bike with the G3 (and discs on the one with fenders so I can’t swap the wheel).

    • EricP

      Well, I got lucky and managed to upgrade last night. It was pretty quick actually.

      So I ran some tests again on my way to work:
      G3: link to strava.com or link to connect.garmin.com
      P1s: link to strava.com
      Delta is just 4W (314 vs 318).

      On the way back:
      G3: link to strava.com or link to connect.garmin.com
      P1s: link to strava.com
      Delta is 15W (318 vs 333), still within tolerance.
      Higher numbers at the pedals make sense.
      On the most constant section (mile 7.9 to 12.4), the delta is 17W (333 vs 350). Good.

      I calibrated both PMs before I started each ride. Numbers barely moved.
      Barring methodology issues on Monday evening, that firmware update seems to have addressed drift at higher power. The angle fix seems to be relevant even on flat rides.

      HTH
      Eric

  65. Chris

    Looks like the new app is out! Anyone get a chance to try it yet? I promised myself I would stay off the bike until marathon season is over, but not sure I can resist.

  66. Richard McCulloch

    Has anyone with the new app found where to check battery levels? I’ve just had a look through it and can’t see anywhere to check. That’s all I used the app for apart from firmware updates. I’ll be very disappointed if there not visible in the app as my garmin gives low battery warnings when the pedals have 50% battery left according to the old app.

  67. Richard

    Has anyone with the new app found where to check battery levels? I’ve just had a look and can’t find them. That’s all I use the app for apart from firmware updates. I’ll be pretty disappointed if they have got rid of this feature as my garmin gives me low battery warnings when the pedals have 50% battery left according to the old app.

  68. Keith T

    Ray – definitely appreciate the reviews.

    I just finished reading your 2016 Power Meter post, and I’m still struggling to make a decision between the P1s and the Vector 2. Right now, the Vector 2’s are $80 cheaper than the CT price of the P1s. With that I can get the Cycling Dynamics and the option to get the left side now and right side later (although that makes the Vectors $20 more).

    I noticed that your complaints with the Vectors are they’re not as easy to install and Cycling Dynamics doesn’t currently get you anything. For $80 less and the unlikeliness that I’ll be switching between bikes, do you call it a tie between P1s and Vector 2s, with the tiebreaker being the potential for meaningful Cycling Dynamics in the future? Somewhere around 90% of my stuff is Garmin or in Garmin Connect.

    Thanks!

    • gabor

      I agree that cycling dynamics is just data overkill. Even torque effectiveness and pedaling smoothness is the kind of data what I tried to display (P1 now transmits it), but found totally useless.

  69. Brendan M

    I have just received my pedals back from warranty. The original pedals had just over 6 months and almost exactly 1800 miles on them. For background I’m 135 lbs. with a reasonable but not huge power output. The left pedal had developed significant play and was clicking and creaking, but the right pedal seemed fine. I sent them in for warranty repair, even though I was out the 6 month bearing warranty. They ended up replacing the spindles and bearings on both pedals.

    Here’s the real kicker. I asked how long the bearings are expected to last on average, and Harvey at PT told me they expect 1500 miles. FIFTEEN HUNDRED MILES. I know dozens of people who would need to replace their bearings every three months. Take your average $30 Shimano pedals and use them for 10,000 miles and they’ll likely be great afterwards if you’re a light rider like me riding in dry California. The P1’s bearings lasted 1800, and the left pedal was totally shot at that point. I’m a mechanical engineer who works on orbital rockets and I can tell that there were definitely corners cut either in bearing size or quality to keep weight, packaging size, or cost down. Not a good thing.

    I’m very seriously considering selling them and getting the new rechargeable P2M when it comes out in a month or so. If I had known the bearings were claimed to be good for 1500 miles then I would have never bought them.

    • gabor

      I am over 2500 miles, no play at all (174 lbs). That 1500 needs some multiplication factor. PT support sometimes give faulty information.

    • Graham Lucas

      I have over 10,000 KM and never a bearing issue, only multiple electronic causing warranty returns.

    • Greg Hilton

      Over 10.000km on mine and no bearing issues. I’d ask Harvey to put that in writing!!

    • I’ve been informed Harvey was ‘confused’. He’s since been demoted and is currently cleaning toilets for the next three weeks.

    • hhbiker

      My first P1s went back after about 4000k with failed electronics but no mechanical issues. Second pair is fine after 3500k.

      It would be quite interesting to see a survey of people on this site who came here before buying their p1’s (rather than afterwards because they had problems) to see what proportion of those “unbiased” readers have had issues. I am one – I read the review, then bought the pedals, and the first set failed.

    • gabor

      I read this review, read the comments and complaints, and bought P1. No issues at all until now, over 4000K.

    • Craig Hoskin

      My 2nd set of P1’s are now giving the dreaded “play in the spindle”…. not sure how much longer I can keep convincing myself that these are worth what I paid 🙁

      1st set failed with a firmware fault and this set were refurbished replacement set.

      Power readings are all OK, and the right pedal play is only minimal lateral play, not “in and out” … but the thing which is driving me insane is the clicking. At “3 oclock” on the downward stroke is a click. Its not the bike, chain, cassette, wheel, cleats … everything Ive tried points to the pedal. My final test later today will be to swap in my Look pedals to give me 100% assurance its the pedal.

      Not sure what I’ll replace them with if I do … as I really do love the ease of swapping pedals, but the reliability at the moment isnt giving me a lot of confidence.

  70. Jordi Backx

    Hi Ray,

    This review and you 2016 PM article made me decide that the P1’s are the PM to go for. Just one piece of doubt … hopefully you can take this away.

    I own a Campagnolo Chorus group; so a carbon crank. This is no problem for the P1’s?

    Carbon Campy cranks and powermeters don’t get along too well, I love my Chris King R45 hubs a lot, so the pedal setup is the only real option for me, I think.

  71. Fabio Reis

    Ray and folks,

    I tried for the first time ride (trainer ride) with both my Edge 510 and the 735XT connected to the P1, but it went bananas.
    If just ride one or another, Its just fine, but with both? No way. Work for a few seconds and starting droping out until stays at 0.

    Any idea what its going on?

  72. So my 4th pair of P1-s failed on me now. This is clearly a pattern, which seems more than odd by now and my patience is really over with this one I think. I feel like I should just forget that I spent $1200 on something that I was hoping would be a reliable technology for my training and just buy something else, maybe Pioneer, SRM, Quarq, P2M, etc and forget about this PowerTap BS altogether.

    I bought the P1 back in August 2015. The first pair lasted about 2000 km or so, when after a small minor crash (bumped into by a car) I started getting odd numbers and dropouts — although I’m not completely sure the crash had much if at all to do with it by now, since it took a while after the crash for it to start acting odd and I’ve now seen 3 more cases of it starting to do same or similar things just out of the blue. I then had the pair replaced, well only the left pedal was replaced, not sure if with a new one or a refurbished one, probably the latter.

    The second pair lasted quite long, I’m not sure about the exact numbers and I don’t want to spend time on going back to figure it out, but I’d say ballpark aroun 6000, maybe even 8000 km. Then out of the blue, irregularities started happening again with odd numbers and dropouts or P1 not found at all (both over BLE and ANT+). I had the pair replaced again, only the left pedal though as before, again probably with a refurbished one.

    The third pair lasted a short time once again, maybe 2000-3000 km, but it was a flawed pair right from the start. The numbers were all wrong, reading power lower than it should be. Then totally out of the blue once again, P1 not being found, left pedal blinking red, then occasionally being found and blinking green and even working for a while, but numbers totally unreliable and reading lower than they should be, then finally also dropouts started to happen on the rare occasions while the P1 was ‘working’, obviously this was all useless and a waste of time for me once again.

    So then PowerTap promised to replace my P1 with a totally new pair, not a refurbished replacement. I received the new set of P1s in mid-July, it looked like an all new retail P1 with all the packaging and everything intact like brand new — I could also notice small differences in the production details of this pair compared to the previous ones. I started using the new pair on July 15th, it’s now 4100 km later and the set has failed once again. Once again it’s electronics, I’ve never had any mechanical problems with the P1. Once again totally out of the blue on yesterday’s ride towards the end, I started suddenly noticing power and cadence dropouts and odd numbers as well as Left/Right balance popping from one side to the other — it’s a classic malfunction symptom already for me with the P1 which I’ve seen so many times already before. I felt like crying to be honest and so FFFFing angry as well. How much time and $ this has already cost me and here I am once again with the same story.

    Today the left pedal of the P1 was showing static red on the indicator light when I started my ride and not being found by the Garmin 820. I switched up the batteries, nothing, the red light didn’t even come on at all any more. I tried the reset (pop the battery in opposite way and close the cap for 10 seconds, like I have been told by PT support before), but nothing happened, the pedal seems, well.. dead. Right pedal seems fine, blinking green. It seems to be always the left pedal. It’s clearly an electronics malfunction once again and very much similar to the same old story that I had with my previous pair of P1-s which was replaced over and over. For the records, I was on the 4th pair of lithium batteries, just replaced them couple rides ago, so they’re almost new, the first pair was the original blue ones from PT, the 3 pairs after that have been the Energizer Ultimate Lithium ones (the most expensive and longest lasting AAA lithium batteries available AFAIK).

    Over the time I’ve seen numerous people having the same kind of issues. Clearly there is something happening that should not be happening if the product wants to live up to it’s marketing claims. It’s a great product, I love the P1-s, BUT only as long as they work, which unfortunately seems to be not that long.

    I’m gonna have to contact PowerTap once more and have them replace the P1 again, but I can’t keep on doing this — this is simple not normal. Also, since I’m living in Asia it costs me a pretty penny and takes quite a long while to have the set replaced, which is obviously ridiculous already as by now I’ve owned the P1 for over a year, but I’ve only been able to use it with it working and giving correct data for less than 6 months during all this time. I’ve been thinking for a while already to buy a second backup PM, something cheap and simple and tried and tested, like Stages left only, so that I would not have to be training without a PM half the FFFFing time.

    If anyone is thinking of buying a P1, my answer is a clear and sound NO by now, don’t do it, not with your own money at least and not without a backup plan, when it fails (and it will, as it seems like).

    • Mark

      I previously commented re my first and only pair purchased 5 weeks ago having play on both sides within 4 to 6 hours of use. I was hesitant to buy them having read the reviews but the two dealers I contacted prior to buying stated they had appeared to have sorted the problems out. There are obviously plenty that are out there with no issues, but it appears that there are plenty out there with. Thanks to these sort of forums I returned mine straight away for a refund, despite Harvey from Powertap saying the movement was normal having viewed the video, however the people at clevertraining disagreed, but they were getting worse whilst waiting for the replies. I have gone for the GS Hub and awaiting delivery of it to get it built up, as they are being sold for £300, $299.99 on powertaps website due to being discontinued I believe. The P1’s were what i wanted and very disappointed at the outcome so will make do with the hub for the time being at that price, I will hopefully have power, even though I wanted L/R info due to an injury. I feel for you and am envy all those who have not had issues. 🙂

    • Jordi

      @Ray …. you own the P1’s, right? How many km’s have you ridden with them? No issues on the longer term?

    • I’m not Ray (I wish!), but I have 5200 miles (8000+ km) on my P1’s this calendar year. FWIW, I’m 5’9″ and 145#.

    • Mark

      Jordi,

      Ray commented on the 27th Aug saying he uses his for travelling and they are going great. It seems there’s plenty out there that work as they should and quite a few that don’t, I read the reviews and went for it, 6 hours later it was costing me another £10 in postage to return them as they were faulty. Having spent £1000 on them I didnt want to get into the cycle that many appear to be as above. Go for it if they work they will be great if not there will be more expense in returning them for repair or replacement. No point listening to others if you’ve got a grand to give it a spin it’s your call 🙂

    • One other interesting datapoint… I also have a 4iiii left-only meter on the same bike as the P1’s. The 4iiii reports consistently 10-15 watts lower than the P1’s. (Or, should I say the P1 reports “higher”?)

      The 4iiii is my backup strategy, because everyone here on DCR freaked me our about P1 reliability. I wanted to have something read-to-roll, if the P1 konked in the middle of a ride. Yeah, I’m just that neurotic.

    • @Jordi-

      I’m actually not sure how many KM/miles I’ve used them for, since I’m sometimes riding bikes without them. But I’m roughly looking at just over a year or so I believe – all without any issues. And I beat the crap out of them, as well as move them constantly.

      @Daniel-

      Beware of comparing a left-only unit to the P1’s. Now without knowing if that 10-15w is at 300w or 100w, it’s hard to say, but if you’re talking at 200-300w, then that could be legit because of an inbalance on left-leg. You’d have to separate out the P1 channels to better compare.

    • Jordi

      Thnx, Ray! I think I”ll buy them from Clever Training soon*. The discount makes them the cheapest here.

      * Black Friday is coming …. 😉

  73. Ty

    Hi,

    I´ve had the P1 since last october and they have worked great but now i cant see the “pedal data ” screen in the Powertap Mobile app. I have the last firmware and the last app version. Somebody with the same problem?

    Thanks

    • Ty

      Well, i´ll answer to myself in case somebody is experiencing the same problem. Since Friday 7 ther is a new firmware that fixes this problem with early units. Thanks to powertap support for the help.

    • Luca

      I have tried to install the new firmware.
      I got a message “Unable to enter bootloader mode” and the firware update stopped.
      I have to reset the pedal and retry but I got again the same message.
      Does anybody has a suggestion on how to solve this?

    • Richard

      I just tried and I got the same message, I also got another saying it was in the wrong mode and I should reset the pedals and recover the firmware. I haven’t done this yet as my garmin seems to still pick them up.

      Have you found out where you can check the battery level of the pedals in the app?

    • Ty

      It happened to me too. I took the battery out and also rebooted the iphone, i don´t know which one fixed it but it worked. Every time i have to update the firmware it feels like defusing a f*cking bomb.

    • Richard

      I’ve just tried again this morning for an hour, no joy though. Reset my phone and the pedals a number of times but still not working. It keeps telling me to recover firmware but I can’t find out how to do it in the new app. Hopefully he pedals still work with old firmware for the time being.

    • Roger

      The firmware update is in the menu. Look at the screen grabs attached – hopefully of help?

    • Roger

      You need to click on the 3 horizontal lines top left and then the screen with the firmware update will open.

      Cheers

    • Ross Holman

      In the latest Powertap Mobile ios app at the top left of the screen are 3 orange bars. Click these to get access to the Menu. Update firmware is an option on the menu. My experience of updating the firmware on the previous app was also very hit and miss. I would recommend the following: Make sure both batteries have plenty of power. Set up your phone with bluetooth turned on and start the powertap mobile ios app. Ride with the pedals for 2 mins to get them over the initialisation phase then do a Calibration command from your head set. Without delay, so the pedals don’t go to sleep, start the firmware update process. If the update pauses, fails or only does one side rotate the cranks a few times and keep trying! Good luck.

    • Richard

      Yeh sorry I must not have been clear. I can find the update firmware page and have tried this a few times, but it tells me to recover firmware which was an option in the previous app. This is what powertap support told you to do if your pedals had any issues.

    • Luca

      I’m in the very same situation: I cannot find anywhere in the app this “Recorver firmware” function.

      I also have another pair of pedals on my wife’s bike and these ones have upgraded at first attempt using the same iPhone…

    • Richard

      I’ve just tried new batteries, pedalled for a while, calibrated with my garmin and still in the same situation, probably worse as now my phone doesn’t pick up cadence from the pedals even though my garmin does.

      I’m glad I can still use the pedals with ant+, and I guess I’ll just have to live on the old firmware until a solution is found or another’s update rolled out. I don’t have anymore time to waste trying to get them to update.

    • Tim Long

      Hi Richard
      i have the same issue with the upgrade of firmware and no such feature to recover the firmware as per the Powertap FAQ support.. did you get any updates around this issue, i have written to support but had no feedback yet..!

    • Justin Henkel

      Tim – assuming you are using the latest version of the iOS app I would try the following. 1. Remove the battery, wait 10 sec then replace. 2. Go to the firmware update section using the menu button in the upper left portion of the app. 3. Swipe down to see a list of active devices and recoverable devices. 4. Select the device from the recoverable device section and follow the update process.

      Hopefully that helps.

    • Richard

      I never heard back from them with either of my last questions (about the updating issue and battery level indication) which was surprising as I had immediate replies when I had problems with battery drainage and got sent replacement caps very quickly.

      I gave up in the end but I guess they know about it as the latest app update addressed the updating issue. I’m not sure about the battery indication as I’m not at home to check what the app does or if I can update the pedals yet.

    • Justin Henkel

      Richard – sorry that nobody ever replied to you. I will chat with our CS team about how that fell through the cracks. The latest update to the iOS app addressed the firmware update issue as you indicated. In our original iOS app we had a battery level indicator that didnt work as well we needed it to so but are working on improving it for a later update to the app. Thanks for your patience.

  74. Vinayak

    I had purchased powertap P1 from amazon.com in march 2016.

    During my last two rides i have found that the power values are constantly fluctuating between zero and maximum (450w). It comes to zero, stays for a while and then shoots up. However, the cadence reading is constant and appropriate. Batteries of both the pedals were changed once in the past but with alkaline AAA and green light is blinking on both the pedals.

    I have tried this on two different garmin head units by fresh calibration and the same problem persists.

    Further iam not able to open the battery cover of the right pedal and reading above comments now iam scared whether if there is any battery leakage.

    I mailed powertap support (sent reminders too) but no response yet.

    As Iam from India, I dont know how to go about this issue. Just hoping they reply soon.

    • Chewy

      Hi,

      Firstly, DO NOT USE ALKALINE BATTERIES!! There was an official document sent to me by support which I posted here that there is a risk using non-Lithium may result in the battery “erupting” and damaging the pedal.

      Secondly, it’s best to contact a local representative by phone to get a quicker response. I’m in the UK, but powertap are based in the US and actually only got a response from the UK people. The general email contact goes in to a black hole; I refer you to the multiple post above.

      Good luck!

    • Step 1: Get rid of those aklaline batteries, that’s likely your problem. Go back to lithium.

      Step 2: Also, if you have two Garmin head units, then it sounds like one might have the crank length set differently.

      Both of those two items above will give you exactly what you described. That said, if you’re having problems opening the battery cover…that’s a bit different. I doubt you have battery leakage, but more like something just stuck.

    • Opps, looks like we were composing at the same time. But yes, said the same thing.

      On the battery port cover stuck, I had the same thing once, and just rummaged around my allen keys to find one that had more grip than others.

    • Vinayak

      Thanks for the reply. Both the garmin units have same crank lenghts set(172.5).

      As the battery cover is of softer material(Aluminium), the bolt head gives away when forced with harder allen key and now the allen key is slipping.

      I will somehow try to remove it but iam not sure whether the battery is a problem. Also there is no battery indication on Garmin head unit.

    • Antti

      Vinayak, are you doing indoor rides or riding somewhere else where WiFi interference is possible?

      I’m asking because last winter I was facing exactly the same issues when riding my indoor trainer. Power was going up and down in a fairly frequent pattern, but cadence was steady. After some trial and error I found out that removing the battery from the right pedal made the problem go away. Alternatively I could turn off my WiFi router, but I needed it for the entertainment.

      It seems that the link between the right and left pedal is quite prone to interference. I never had problems with the left pedal transmitting power and cadence data to the head unit.

  75. Matt

    Just thought I would throw in my experience with these pedals even though there’s plenty of review both bad and good throughout the comments. My set were purchased in April 2016 and after about 3000km recently developed the bearing play issues. Right side had about half a cm of movement and left side approx 3mm. I was prepared to give them another go but a combination of the requirement that batteries must now be lithium, and after sending them back to the store and being advised on a 2 week wait and then after phoneing after 3 weeks to be told it would be another 2 weeks wait because powertap are experiencing “manufacturing delays” I decided to push for full refund. Of course there was no guarantee on 2 weeks more either, I simply cant afford 5 week turnaround every time there’s an issue(which it seems very likely there will be more of) bearing in mind you lose not only the power but your pedals with these and it really does defeat the purpose of recording stress of training. Just dissappointed I had been on speedplay previously and forked out for a new pair of 3 bolt sidi’s which now wont be needed as I will return to the 4 bolt one’s.

    Looking forward to getting back on the speedplays though as despite what anyone says these things are bulky compared to the market and are a risk of touching on high speed turns. Will look to 4iiii or pioneer now but not sure if will have frame clearance with bmc teammachine due to asymettrical stays…has anyone fitted either to a bmc?? If not; it seems like power2max is next best option. Anyone know if you can run the rotor cranks on a power2max through a shimano bb so long as diameter matches or does this effect power readings? I just installed a fresh press-fit and would prefer not to have to change for a rotor bb if not required.

    • Joel Engström

      Why do you think power2max is a better option than the powertap C1? Curious because i’m in a similar situation and thinking about getting the C1.

    • Richard

      I just emailed Power2max with the same question about BB. The rotor 3D24 will fit a shimano press for BB with no issues. Not sure about the frame though.

      I love my pedals but every firmware update is a lottery, one last time trying for me tonight, then trying powertap support but if I don’t get a reply then I’ll be getting a Power2max with the deal for a 2nd one.

    • gabor

      Matt,

      Just two comments to add:

      – For P1s, lithium batteries are not a must! You can use rechargeable NiMH for example, and they are much cheaper in the long run. You just need to be sure that battery body is grounded, and not on positive pole.

      – You can install Speedplay cleats on 3 bolt shoes, there is no need to throw out or sell the Sidis, if they are comfortable.

    • Matt

      Hi Joel,

      For me the C1 is not an option as I run 4 bolt shimano cranks which aren’t compatible

    • Matt

      gabor,

      yes i do understand this but its just a further restriction from the “any AAA battery” i was lead to believe on purchase….

      I already had 4 bolts from running speedplay prior to powertaps, which I will be going back to so the new 3 bolts will just be sitting around. Unfortunately there is no 4 to 3 adapter so I had to purchase new Sidi’s

    • Matt

      Thanks Richard,

      That’s good news. Unfortunately that 2 for 1 deal is US customers only or I would be all over it…

    • Richard

      I wasn’t aware of that. It appears for 1 Euro when I go into the European site.

  76. Greg Hilton

    Interesting that this new firmware that the iOS app has doesn’t appear on their history page?

    link to powertap.com

    • Richard

      When looking at it, it seems like an older firmware number to what I have on the pedals already. Still seems to have killed Bluetooth cadence when I’ve been trying to update the pedals.

  77. MikeTighe

    I’ve been using the P1’s in Malaysia (hot and humid) for several months now and have clocked over 120 hrs with them, including a 2nd change of batteries last weekend. All perfect including swapping between bikes and trainer with no problems whatsoever. Until the 2nd change of batteries last weekend, which also coincided with an upgrade of the Firmware and installation of the new iphone app. Now my right pedal is dead, reading 0, despite the green light flashing (on both). My left pedal is working correctly (power and cadence) and registering a 50% power reading, as confirmed on my Cyclops trainer with independent power reading.

    As I’d heard on here that the email support wasn’t the best I called Powertap yesterday and quickly got through to a tech rep there who took me through everything. He freely mentioned that they were seeing more issues in humid climates and they believe moisture is getting into the unit (during the battery change most likely), and damaging the motherboard. They have a team working on that he said. So now I have to return my pedals and get a new pair, as covered by the 2yr warranty.

    So the good news is I can use the pedals until replacements arrive but I have to use software to double up the power – I found an easy to use site to do that – link to fitfiletools.com – slide to 100% and you’re good to go. OK, not ideal as not independent left/right but perfectly OK to continue training and riding.

    I honestly do think these are a great bit of kit and want to stick with them as they are so easy to swap between bikes, and until now have been fire and forget. Note I have used Lithium batteries only (I don’t see that as any kind of downside at all), and I do have the new style battery caps. I also have a good allen key and a torque wrench…

    A weakness is in the battery cap material being a bit on the soft side, but investment in a good quality allen key mostly solves that problem.

    • Chewy

      Is it worth putting a bit of grease on the cap thread to provide a better seal? Just a thought.

    • EricP

      You shouldn’t have to use software to double up power. I suggest you remove the battery in the right pedal. When the left one doesn’t find the right one, power will be doubled up automatically.

    • gabor

      Chewy,

      I do not think that pushing grease inside to the electronics while battery change would make any good. So better not.

    • Mike T

      Thanks Eric. I didn’t know that. At least I’ll have a functioning meter for today’s ride.

  78. Craig J Hoskin

    Must admit, Im not wavering as to whether my P1 pedals have been a good buy.

    5 of us locally here bought within weeks of each other (end of April), and as of last week, every single one of them has had to be returned 🙁
    * Mine with eratic power readings and not able to calibrate
    * 3 with no readings from pedal(s)
    * 1 with a jammed axle.

    To the local distributors credit replacements arrived within a week … but with so many stories now of them not lasting the distance, Im very nervous what is going to happen once 1-2 years of warranty support is up.

    • gabor

      Craig, (and anyone who experienced electronic failure)

      Is there any chance that during battery change you (and/or your friends) let water enter into the pedal? Something like arriving home after a wet ride, and changing battery immediately? Or changing battery during rainy ride?
      As I remember, most of the reported faults occured right after battery change. It is easy to push in one drop of water, what can find its way in the electronics, destroying random parts. As the compartment should be water sealed, water can not come out either, enhancing the probability of fault.

      However in case of water leakage:
      The WORST thing what you can do, is to install a newer, stronger battery, and try again and again.

      The BEST what you can do, when experiencing erratic readings is to IMMEDIATELY remove the battery(ies), and when you have a chance, dry out the pedal inside. After properly dry, you can try to install battery again. If you are lucky, the peldal will work. But if the water already made its work, the motherboard will be totally dead.

      Having moisture inside while some power source is installed is a fast way to fatal motherboard failure.

  79. The Germinator

    Hi all/Ray,
    I have had a look through all comments and could not find an answer. Hence my question:
    Could anybody tell me of their experience with P1s and a Polar V800?
    Specifically, do P1s work well with a V800? Any issues?
    Also, what Polar Power data fields (from training views in Flow) can the P1s ‘populate’? There are lots of them but the key ones are:
    1. Power,
    2. Left/right balance,
    3. Maximum force of pedal revolution
    4. Average power,
    5. Maximum power
    I guess all other data fields from Flow are just calculated on the basis of these but for particular durations (i.e. automatic laps or manual laps).
    Would be great if someone could shed some light on this!
    Cheers,
    TG

  80. Antti

    Regarding Tarmo’s comment on October 6th about his fourth pair failing, I’m afraid he’s not alone with the problems. I’m also facing similar problems and have a fight going on with the PowerTap support. It is frustrating.

    I know for a fact that the bike shop that I bought my P1’s from in September 2015 sold a few dozen of them. More than half of of the customers have faced problems with them. The bike shop does not sell P1’s anymore because it just wasn’t worth the trouble. Also they didn’t want to sell their customers what they knew to be an unreliable product.

    I might be jumping into conclusions, but it seems to me that PowerTap currently just does not have a reliable product available. I am sure they’re trying to fix the product, but it is a frustrating ordeal for the unfortunate ones who made the mistake and bought P1’s when they were rushed to market too early. If you didn’t, just don’t.

    • Thank you, Antti, that sounds about right to me, unfortunately.

      PowerTap (Saris) support told me that they have not had anyone with to so many and so frequent issues with the P1, I find that hard to believe. In any case, I ride a lot, just this year up to 20K already, most don’t probably ride quite that much, but half of that has been without the P1 anyway, because of the malfunctioning issues.

      Currently with the 4th pair, the left pedal came back alive, but the data is screwed, the right pedal seems to be reading 10-20% lower now, giving me a balance between 60/40-70/30 most of the time, which is definitely not correct, my balance has always been around 52/48 previously +/- 2 here and there. Also I’m seeing dropouts fairly regularly and just weird power numbers occasionally — like on steady intervals at anywhere from 250-400 watts, the power occasionally drops down to 20 watts, which just can’t be. All similar symptoms to what I have seen before countless times with the previous P1-s, also the calibration number jumps around like crazy, it stayed around 5-20 for a long time at first, when everything was good, then went up to around 50 slowly, while still all good, but after the issues started it went up to 500-700, occasionally even 1800, lately it seems to be around 500-800, but it can vary a lot, even in the middle of a long ride, if I do a calibration the number usually jumps around wildly — PowerTap has always said to me that they are not concerned about that at all, which again just doesn’t make sense, because in my experience it’s a clear indicator that something is not right.

      To fix the issue with my current pai, they said they will send me new battery caps — I have very little faith that it would change anything. This is a May 2016 P1 model, AFAIK it already has the modified battery caps. They now sent the battery caps by regular standard mail to me, so it’s taking forever to arrive from US to Thailand, already 9 days now, since they shipped them. Should’ve at least use some kind of express mail service, but it doesn’t seem like they care.

      I’ve given up caring too unfortunately. Waste of money and time and nerves. I’ve ordered another power meter now. There’s not much I can do really with the untrustworthy data from the P1. Somewhat disappointed in PowerTap — they seem to be dodging the real issue — the product is just unusable long term.

    • Antti

      My pair is currently showing the L-R balance all over the place and power bouncing up and down. I received replacement battery caps through the official distributor chain, after a painfully long wait, but they didn’t make any difference.

      Regarding the calibration value: My pair was also showing very consistent value between 0 and 20, depending on what the temperature was when the calibration was done. However, after 200 hours or use and when I started having the problems, the calibration value also jumped to around 50. I also find it difficult to believe that this is just a coincidence.

      In general, I don’t give much value to anecdotal evidence (“Mine are working just fine!”). A seriously high-mileage user like you Tarmo with repeated failures with several pairs, however, is alarming. Likewise, I wasn’t too concerned when I first faced issues with my P1’s in May. However, after hearing about the failure rate from the bike shop, and reading some comments from here, I’ve pretty must lost faith.

      I believe PowerTap is doing what they can while they don’t have the product fixed: Deal with the customer’s issues as cheaply and slowly as possible. My experience with their e-mail support is like explaining adult things to a child… Possibly I should also give them a call.

      P1’s are a nice product as long as they work. However, I would recommend people staying away from them until PowerTap can convincingly say that the durability problems have REALLY been addressed.

    • gabor

      I ask again, as everyone seems to overlook this possibility:

      Question is for ALL people having multiple failures.
      Please let us know, what happened BEFORE each failure. When was the last rainy ride BEFORE, and/or did you change the batteries when pedals were wet/outside when raining/pushing dirt in, etc.

    • Antti

      Personally I don’t really remember. I did some wet races in the weeks before I first had trouble with my P1’s, but they had seen their fair share of dire conditions before. However, I never changed the batteries outside or when the pedals were wet or dirty.

      I do believe that such user errors can explain some of the problems, but I doubt it’s the big picture.

    • Nebula_D

      3 of the 4 sets I have returned for repair had similar failures. These were characterised by strange unreliable power readings and play in the pedal.
      I only noticed play in the pedal when I checked after the strange readings started.

      The other set were sent as a replacement and had play in the pedals when I received them. PT told me to try them and low and behold the power readings are completely inaccurate (when compared to data from a PT wheel used on the same bike) and had no consistency.

      I have never ridden any of the sets in wet weather and with the exception of the first set, none have been switched between bikes.
      I have anyways used lithium batteries and updated the software when necessary.
      Before each ride a zero offset /calibration is done. I can’t recall what the figures were but apart from the first set all stated calibration successful.

      I am in no doubt that the build quality is the cause of all the issues I have experienced as the power readings become useless when play starts in the pedal, which appears to happen at any time no matter how many miles you have done on them.

    • gabor

      Thank you for all (only three people…), who responded to my question.
      What I see from the answers is, that not all of the notorious faults are from user error. Also mechanical issues are a different story, I can not comment on that. Because of the lack of answers (and because I am curious and fool enough to cause myself some trouble), I checked the links to garmin connect here.
      I found three very suspicious ride logs from three different riders, where there was battery change mid ride on the previous day (in two logs for sure, one log just maybe), when the weather was cloudy/rainy/cold (so probably wet). I can not tell for sure, and I do not want to blame anyone. Logs remember.
      Please, before blaming PowerTap after P1 failure, remove the batteries immediately, dry out the pedals completely, and check after 1-2 days again. Maybe you save yourself a hassle, and you can use your old pedals for another 5-10K or much more.

      As for PowerTap, they should update user guide to strongly recommend NOT to change batteries in the rain.

      p.s,
      Maybe I will be the next who will face P1 failure, who knows. Wet winter season is coming, so it will be a hard test for them. If I will face problems, I will report here. Peace.

    • Craig J Hoskin

      Hi
      Sorry, meant to reply but just never got around to it.

      In my case, Ive only had a single failure (so far). The circumstances were
      * Battery had been changed possibly a week prior (how did you determine when a battery is replaced? I must add that to my Strava setup! 🙂 )
      * We had a race on the weekend which was very wet, but no change of battery
      * The first ride after this race the pedals worked perfectly for the 1st 30 mins, then all of a sudden failed with wild power readings.
      * From then they just wouldnt calibrate

      It is a good reminder however to make sure things are dry, but Im almost 100% certain it wasnt the cause in my case… and we are just coming our of our winter..

    • gabor

      Thanks Craig for the answer. It seems that your pedals had water leak during the rainy race, so unless there was anything wrong with the battery cap insertion, it does not seem like user error.

      Regarding your question about finding battery change mid ride in the logs:
      – if you see in distance view that cadence/power disappears suddenly, while speed remains normal and elevation profile shows that pedaling was necessary (flat or incline in the road)
      – and in time view at the same place you can see a stop at least 1 min long also in the speed chart
      – and after the stop the cadence/power reappears

      These symptoms can mean anything else as well, but it shows that power reading ceased while pedaling, rider stopped, and when started again, power reading reappeared. You can not spot battery change in case only the right pedal stops reporting.

      The interesting thing about water leak is that it does not cause any trouble until the water finds its way to the special parts. Also when it moves around, the data could be normal temporarily.

      Finally I have to correct myself, from the analyzed 3 cases only one shows the clear signs of battery change mid ride, for the other 2 cases problem appeared way earlier than reported, and I did not have the patience to scroll back so much to find the first occurence of the fault. Also it is not clear if they were problems because of alkaline usage or water leak.

  81. Greg Hilton

    I got mine in Aug 2015 they were ridden in a very wet English winter and have over 5,000 miles on them. I saw some wonky readings last month which lithium batteries and the new covers seem to have solved.

    The batteries always get swapped inside once everything has dried off.

    • Ross

      Greg, how did you get hold of replacement battery covers in the UK. Paligap?

    • Greg Hilton

      Hi Ross,

      I had to get CT USA (who I bought the pedals from) to order them from Paligap who then posted them direct to my house!

      Cheers,

      Greg

    • Paul

      I found them on ebay.co.uk fpr £16

    • Craig Robertson

      My left hand pedal battery has been running out very quickly. Checked with Powertap and they said contact Wiggle for replacement battery covers as they have updated them. The ones i see on eBay.co.uk are the same as the ones i had..

      Ends up Wiggle told me to return pedals so they could be checked out. So looks like another few weeks i won’t have pedals. 🙁

    • Honestly, I’d push back (hard) on PowerTap. There’s no reason whatsoever they can’t send you new battery caps. They fit in an envelope and cost them a few pennies.

      It’s my pet peeve in life when manufactures try and push off support items onto retailers. While it might sound like a quick fix, this is a perfect example of where it’s not. They could have put a set of caps or two into an envelope and you’d had them in a few days.

    • Craig Robertson

      Yes i don’t get it too, they then have to pay postage both ways as done via CollectPlus in UK. I just removed battery after every ride and could have done same until i got the new covers. They will go back to Wiggle who will then probably send them to Paligap.

      Sent this morning, so will update when i get them back as possibly others will have same issue.

    • Craig Robertson

      Received them yesterday so gone for nearly 5 weeks for replacement battery caps. The battery covers look the same as the ones i had originally. Thought the new ones were supposed to be silver..

      Looks like they have given the pedals a service too as they seem to spin a bit easier now too.

    • Craig Robertson

      Pedals are away again to Wiggle for them to return to Powertap. Left hand pedal died this time. No connection with Garmin head unit or LED status lights.

      I have been very pleased with the pedals while they work, but for me not having them for a month at a time when they are off for repair is an issue..

    • A perfect example of why non-regional service doesn’t work.

  82. Vincent Chang

    On their latest Powertap Mobile app, they added some new metrics to measure left and right pedals. However, they missed the most important info we need, the power of batteries. I have asked them from F/B. They mentioned it might be back on next update. Who knows how long it is going to take. In the mean time, I’m using ‘nRf master control panel’ app from Android. It used to work OK to detect how much power still left on batteries. But now it always came up with 100% or 97%. These batteries have been used more than 30 – 40 hours. So I know they can’t be new. Does anyone here has better way to keep track battery life?

    • gabor

      Actually battery level indicator is/was quite useless in case of lithium batteries (also the same with NiMH rechargeables, but for them they always show 60%). The discharge profile is quite flat, so lithium batteries will keep their voltage high during their whole life. So the level will show about 80-100% until the last 1-2 hours, when voltage suddenly drops, and battery dies. The best indicator is if your head unit displays the low battery warning. Also you can “guess” how much did you use it, as you said here you have more than 30-40 hours in them (training logs help with the estimation).
      For alkalines it is a different story, their voltage drops constantly, so a good estimation can be made. Of course alkalines are not recommended, but it seems that PowerTap designed the battery level indicator in the app according to the alkaline discharge characteristics. Maybe they will correct it, but for me it won’t help, as I use NiMH 🙂

      Just for information, how tricky is to design the level indication, when users can choose from different battery types:
      – for lithium, you have to balance between 1.6-1.4 V
      – for alkaline, between 1.3-0.8 V
      – for NiMH, between 1.2-1.0 V
      Unless they inserted some battery type recognition mechanism in the pedals (I am sure they didn’t), some of the users will tell faulty indication. Now it is easier, as they officially stated that alkalines are not recommended, they can redesign the indication to lithium.

      If you want to see the battery level anyway, you can use Virtual Training mobile app for this. I do not know about the iOS version, but for Android, it tells the battery level for sure.

    • Vincent Chang

      Thanks gabor. It is great to know how batteries act differently.

  83. Greg Hilton

    There was an iOS powertap mobile update recently which then enabled me to upload the latest firmware to both pedals. Current version is Version: 2.0.1 Updated: 25 October 2016

    • Luca

      Same, I was finally able to update the pedals.
      Just follow step by step the procedure, including the Bluetooth switch off-swicth on part, or you won’t see the updated pedals into the app anymore…

  84. Jordi Backx

    I am really considering the P1’s and can hopefully buy them soon … maybe even in a Black Friday sale.

    Readng below, the main things to take into account when using the P1’s:

    – Use Lithium AAA’s …. ironically these are not as commonly found in stores. I need to buy them online in Holland. So the easy buy argument doesn’t apply here. But that’s also the case for CR2032’s for my sensors.

    – Don’t swap/change batteries under wet/moist conditions.

    – Be gentle (un)screwing the caps.

    – Follow instructions to letter in an update process of the app and firmware.

    – Use them *a lot* during the period-of-return-without-hassle (60 days at Clever Training) to be sure they fit my needs and find anything out of the ordinary. After that, everything will be a bit more difficult to get done.

    ….. Most of the above seems rather logical for using electronic equipment in outdoor conditions.

    – Any other suggestions?

    • Tarmo

      Just one suggestion: don’t buy the P1, unless you want to waste your money and spend your nerves. I would recommend Quarq or any other L/R pm system instead.

    • Jordi Backx

      I’m on a BB386EVO ? and carbon Campa group ….. not a lot of options, mostly pedal based and the reviews do all say that these are good. Incl. Ray’s.

    • Tarmo

      They are good as long as they are working. In my experience they fail sooner or later and problems start, electronic problems like very sketchy abnormal readings and other malfunctionings like dropouts and finally not powering on at all, I’ve gone through 5 pairs of P1s in a year and all have failed. Couldn’t recommend anyone to buy a pair of these any more. If only pedal based is the option, then perhaps Garmin Vector 2s or the BePro (at least with the BePro you are spending as much as with the P1, if you have problems). I’m sure there’s some other options for your setup, can you use Stages? It’s not L/R, but still more robust and trustworthy than the P1, which can’t be trusted for long term at all.

    • Greg Hilton

      In my experience they don’t fail sooner or later. 14 months on mine ridden 8000+ km thru and English winter and still working fine.

    • Tarmo

      Well, that’s great, though to put things in a little more perspective, I ride 8K+ in less than 4 months on average, mostly in the tropics of SE Asia, rain or shine. I’m sure there are less faulty units and perhaps more lucky people out there, but based on my experience, I just can’t recommend it to anyone.

    • Jordi Backx

      Stages and Campa still a no-no. ?

      1st … I am in awe that someone has the time to ride 8000+ a year, let alone 8000 in 4 months. Damn …. I was so proud to hit 3500 mark today.

      I’m not a heavy user, I hate rain (and riding in it), a lot of users a happy with them. The Garmins are more of a hassle and the reviews are less positive than for the P1’s.

      Annoying, these mixed signals, especially with a €1000 product.

    • Antti

      A review is a review, nothing more. I loved my P1’s for the first 200 hours that they worked. The ease of installation and switching between bikes was all great. I also run Campagnolo on my road bikes, and I loved the possibility of moving the power meter to my mountain bike during the winter months. I live in Finland, so winters can be very snowy.

      However, P1’s have now been on the market for about 14 months, so instead of reviews I would really, REALLY look at the long-term experience people have had with the product. It does not look good, even if there evidently are riders who have faced no issues.

      I personally chose P1’s over BePros because I trusted an old player like PowerTap to bring a tested product to the market. I regret that decision. And like I said before, I would stay away from P1’s until PowerTap can convincingly say that the durability problems have been addressed.

    • gabor

      Tarmo,

      Just to be fair to PowerTap…
      Your 4th set of pedals were destroyed by yourself, at the battery change (very probably) in the rain, 4th of October, 2016. So theoretically you are on the 4th set “only”. I did not want to mention names, but you should be very, very thankful to PowerTap that they replaced your last set. I understand your negative feelings. Again, this is just to stay on the fair side.

    • Tarmo

      gabor, you could not be more wrong. I have NEVER done a battery change in the rain. The power and cadence drop out you see on the ride on the 4th of October was NOT a battery change, not at all. And it was not raining either, at least not at the time, although it’s beside the point really. The P1 had already started malfunctionind the day before. I rode to a bike shop that day to get a new chain and cassette. When I rode away from the shop the P1 did not connect to the Garmin. After a while it connected and the readings came back. I did definitely NOT destroy this pair of P1-s with carelessness — to the contrary, I’ve learned to be very careful with them. Kudos for you for trying to be investigative, but you can’t really get this kind of things out of the data, not by far with 100% certainty, and then start blaming people and actually MENTIONING names and telling them what they have done, be reasonable 🙂

    • Jordi

      Maybe I should wait a few months until PT does a real upgrade on the P1’s? The season has ended fo the real nice rides. Just dusted off the Tacx (Smart with PM). But I hoped to get them cheaper than cheap on Black Friday/Cyber Monday … maybe …. and have an early Christmas.

      Otherwise maybe the BePro’s.

      I don’t want a PM that’s specific for a groupset/crank, because a PM is too expensive to be bike-specific and I’d like to transfer it to a new one later on.

      I am on carbon Campagnolo Chorus now (and for a few years ahead) and have no idea if I’ll stick to this for a new bike. So crank/pedal-based is a no-no. Also, crankbased PM’s for carbon Campy are harder to find than a nun in a whorehouse. Yes, Power2Max, but really out of my budget (€1000).

      Hubbased …. I am still in love with my shiny red Chris King R45 hubs. These will stay with me fo years to come.

      Also, mounting my PM onto a bike on a vacation is a nice feature. Only pedal-based can do this.

      So pedal-based is my best option here.
      But Vecor needs a large diameter torque wrench, which is quite expensive for just one function and part. Also, it needs to go with me on vacation along with the pedals. Neh …

      Soooooooooooooo …..

      BePro is the only alternative. I’m not sure the lack of BLE is an disadvantage to me. My ELEMNT headunit supports both ANT+ and BLE, my sensors are all BLE. The necessary tools can be an issue for travelling. I only have one bike, so mostly not an issue.

      But there is something about the P1’s that attract me: looks, features, the reviews.

      I don’t agree that a review is just a review when the reviewer did lots of km’s on them. Both Ray and Cycling Weekly did that and are still enthousiastic.

      But the comments below do leave me in doubt.

      All these first world problems. 😉

  85. Dave

    “Right Sensor Missing” on Garmin 820

    Sorry if this has been covered already but I couldn’t find it. I just bought a pair of P1s but get the “Right Sensor Missing” message on my Garmin 820. The green light is blinking once at a time which apparently indicates the pedals are communicating with each other properly. The Powertap app shows both pedals have up to date firmware (30.027) and the Garmin 820 has the latest software version (4.10). The Garmin shows sensible readings for power and cadence but nothing for balance (—% / –%). The power tap app isn’t easy for me to view during riding but it does seem to work properly although getting post-ride balance data doesn’t seem very clear. I’ve tried to pair them with a Garmin 520 (also latest software) but I get the same message. Crank length is 175.0 and I’ve added that to both Garmins. It does seem as though I have P1S functionality for the price of dual sided.

    Any idea if my pedals are faulty or am I missing something?

    Thanks

    • Greg Hilton

      The right pedal missing is a known issue with Garmin and nothing to worry about. set your Garmin to show right and left balance on a screen and if you see figures for left and right all is good.

    • Dave

      Thanks but I’m not getting left / right power, it just shows as (–% / –%)

    • Greg Hilton

      Are you getting power readings at all?

      Do you have the same firmware on both pedals? Each pedal has to be updated separately

    • Dave

      I’ve just been out on the bike to do a bit more troubleshooting but nothing has changed. Total power is reading fine on both Garmins and also the Powertap iPhone app. However balance shows as (–% / –%) on both Garmins and “50/50” on the Powertap app. Determined efforts to induce a pedalling imbalance don’t change the “50/50” reading.

      Yes both pedals have the same firmware version (30.027).

    • Tarmo

      Have you uploaded your data from Garmin to Garmin connect? Do you actually see the L/R balance field there with actual L/R data? If not, something is wrong, if the right pedal is blinking green, but you get the left sensor missing error and you have no balance reading, then something actually might be wrong with your right pedal. The reading is hardly ever 50/50 in reality.

    • Tarmo

      Have you uploaded your data from Garmin to Garmin connect? Do you actually see the L/R balance field there with actual L/R data? If not, something is wrong, if the right pedal is blinking green, but you get the right sensor missing error and you have no balance reading, then something actually might be wrong with your right pedal. The reading is hardly ever 50/50 in reality.

    • Greg Hilton

      Doesn’t sound right, interesting though that I have firmware 30.026 which the app tells me is up to date!! How did you get 30.027?

      On the Garmin, have you chosen Power/Balance for the setting?

      I can only suggest unpairing from the Garmin and re-pairing then ringing Powertap Monday morning if it still persists!

    • Dave Reid

      I don’t normally use Garmin Connect so hadn’t thought of that. However I’ve had a look and this is what the GC iPhone app shows. Right pedal is indeed showing 0%.

    • Dave Reid

      Greg – 30.027 is the firmware that they came out of the box with.

    • Dave Reid

      or to be precise… 30.027 (27.029)

    • Tarmo

      Seems like your right pedal might actually not be sending any power data then (or left not receiving it). If the green light is blinking for both pedals and the iPhone app finds both over BLE too, then there certainly seems to be something wrong. Time to contact support.

  86. Cameron

    Does the P1 detect power surges slightly faster than crank-based power meters?

    How does the extra weight of the P1 pedals affect pedal efficiency?

    Cameron

    • There’s no difference between reaction time I’ve seen.

      I’m not sure how one would easily measure pedaling efficiency in a test setting for that specific test.

    • Dave

      reaction time is likely driven by sampling rate. I think pioneer won this last time I checked.

    • Sampling rate for many power meters is actually the same (super high).

      It’s recording rate that’s higher on Pioneer, however only with their head unit though. However, they aren’t actually in the same ballpark as Stages, with their system for doing sprint captures. But that too requires using their capture app right now (and the Dash head unit down the road).

      Still, it’s cool stuff for certain use cases.

  87. Mike Tighe

    Thought I’d post an update as I’ve had another development.

    I immediately exchanged my pedals for a new set with the Malaysian distributor here in KL (a bit of a surprise but in a very good way). That was on the 17th Oct, with my first ride on the 18th. All good until the 30th (Sun last) when they stopped working 8km into my Sunday morning ride. The message on my Garmin was low battery. These were brand new batteries and since the 18th had only seen 9hrs of action. So I thought they were toast again, and was about to get on the phone and berate Powertap.

    Before that though, I changed the batteries this morning and did a ride. The pedals worked fine, so perhaps it was simply a dud set of batteries. Fingers crossed that they will last longer than 9hrs this time.

    Again, I really like these as a product concept but after the Sunday failure I started looking around for alternative options. power2max perhaps… but that has been stalled temporarily…

  88. I’m sure you know, but just in case- the iPhone has a level built in. Open compass, swipe left and there is the level.

  89. niccolo

    I just realized why the P1s are more awkward to clip into than my prior Look-style pedals. The cleat on the Looks is smooth on the bottom, so you can position your foot a bit too far back and just slide it forward over the pedal and the front of the cleat will engage the pedal and then you can click in. But on the P1 cleats, there’s a pronounced ridge along the back of the cleat which hangs up on the back of the pedals. So you have to position your foot perfectly before pushing down to click in, rather than sliding it forward and allowing it to glide into place. I suppose it’s designed that way to reduce the P1s’ stack height–if the cleat were even on the bottom, stack height would have to be even higher than it already is. I wonder if the cleat ridge could at least be ramped so it wouldn’t hang up so badly on the back of the pedal?

    • Chris

      Their cleats are a pre-existing model from Wellgo so unless they start designing their own they are going to be limited in that area.

    • niccolo

      Yep. I was mostly happy just to have diagnosed the issue, because they really are a lot less intuitive to clip in to, which has implications when you’re clipping in in dicey situations, e.g. from a stop heading up a steep hill. And I’ve been surprised that reviews don’t mention this.

      So I guess this means that any Wellgo cleat should work fine as a replacement cleat, in addition to the ones Powertap sells.

    • NickW

      Thanks for this post. I HATE the clip-in experience with these pedals, coming from Speedplay where it’s so easy these things are a pain in the ass. It’s the only thing I don’t like, but I really don’t like it! Will see if I can make some hack to the cleat to improve it

    • Chris

      The Wellgo cleats ARE the ones Powertap sells. Their cleats even have RC-7 molded into them (that is the Wellgo model number).

  90. Theo

    Hi,

    Since one or two months, after using them over one year, my P1s are behaving strangely. They transmit full power on BLE and 50% on ANT+. I’ve done quite some fault finding with the PowerTap online support and together we concluded that the pedals don’t transmit any power for the right pedal. So the full BLE value is probably derived by my BLE head unit. While ANT+ connects to the right and just receives a 0W values. The malfunction is clearly electronics related and is covered by the 2 year warranty.
    PowerTap therefore approved my warranty claim and said that I’ve got to deal with this through my supplier, which is clever training.
    Now, the clever training people say that I’m outside their 60 day refund period and deal with the manufacturer.
    As an early adaptor, living in Norway, I feel now caught in the middle between the manufacturer and supplier. It seems that Norway doesn’t have a distributor, only two dealers. So I can’t put this case with a distributor. Neither PowerTap or Clever Training are currently showing any intention of dealing with this further.
    Does anyone know who’s legally responsible for repairing or replacing my pedals? I think it’s strange that PowerTap isn’t dealing with this more proactively after they’ve approved the warranty claim.

    • Hey Theo-

      Thanks for the support via CT! In this case, you’re correct in that the avenue of support is direct with PowerTap, regardless of where you purchased it. As it’s beyond the 60-day return period (over a year), PT is the right support contact.

      PowerTap themselves as a 2-year warranty, as described here: link to powertap.com – so you’re easily within that.

      I’d just poke PT again via phone call (to their US support number), as that’s honestly the easiest way to get things clarified, and their US support folks are usually great on the phone.

    • Theo

      Thanks Ray,
      After my somewhat frustrated post above, I actually did what you also recommended. I got on the phone with them. The people on the phone seem to be the same as the people answering the mails. They have looked at my case again and are now trying to solve it through their distribution channel.
      Lets hope they’re able to solve this swiftly.

  91. Doug Smith

    Does anyone know if the P1 are fully working with suunto ambit 3 watches? In particular, will the Ambit allow you to set the crank arm length and calibrate/auto zero?

    • gabor

      I can not comment on the Suunto Ambit, but ability of setting crank length is not so critical, as long as you use 172.5 cranks, or have iPhone. From the app you can set the crank length.

  92. Craig Hoskin

    Just wondering what other peoples experiences are with Battery warning notifications via a Garmin Edge 520.
    On my 1st set of pedals I would always get a warning, and then in cases where it was the right it would double of the left if it went flat.

    On my new set of P1’s, which of course has newer firmware now, as well as the Edge (which has also been significantly updated) I just had my left pedal fail mid race (FRUSTRATING!!). No warning of low power … nothing … just all of a sudden no power readings.

    Should have been alert to it however, as had 82 hrs on the original blue batteries.

  93. Vincent Chang

    Just did a firmware update on P1 this morning. It states version 30.027. I went search their site and couldn’t find any info. Was wondering what the latest update do.

    • Vincent Chang

      FYI. The latest firmware update – 30.026 (27.050)
      -When Autozero is set to off, the Installation Angle is no longer continuously calculated. This fixes the issue where power was inconsistent on very long climbs.
      -Fixes Autozero not being passed to the slave
      -Fixed issue where cadence was zero when doing right-leg pedal drills.

  94. Mateusz

    Hi I use polar V800 and today I bought and installed powertap P1S (the single meter) and it looks like my V800 display double the power. Any chances that the P1S is dobouling the data that is sent and then V800 makes it double again. When I use mobile power tap app the power seems to be ok.

    • Doug Smith

      Did you sort things out with your V800 and P1S?
      I finally received my P1S. It probably reports the correct power on my Garmin Forerunner 500, but on my Suunto Ambit 3, the power is doubled.

    • Ryan Wecker

      I know I’m nearly a year later on this, but I’ve been having this issue with the Rouvy (formerly VirtualTraining) app on Android. I’m connected to the app via BT, and when I’m in the sensor settings it shows the correct power value (compared to my bike computer), but when I start a virtual ride the power is doubled. I even triple-checked that I had selected the P1S and not just the P1 in the sensors menu. I’m in contact with the Rouvy developers and they want me to try connecting via Ant+ to see if it changes, but they’re making it sound like it’s working as designed. Although I’ve sent a couple emails emphasizing that the P1S is the single-sided version and the pedal already doubles the power before sending the data, I’m not sure they’re fully understanding. Was wondering if anyone else had seen this?

  95. Karim

    Hello, soo today I was out riding (amaazing weather) and I noticed that my garmin was picking up left right balance power 3s which is great….I thought that all advanced meterics were not available on the head unit and was limited to the Vector pedals? Was there an firmware update — am I missing somthig or was this always the case, if so what other data fields are available? THIS would seem to be a game changer relative to the vector pedals in as much as now we get everything….??

    thanks

  96. Just got my P1’s a week ago and so far they are working perfectly with Zwift (via ANT (i think)) and also sending data to my Wahoo ELEMNT (BT (I think)). Loving the split power and the fact that for the first time I can see power and also L/R split in real time and as a ride average. I’ve noticed that during strong efforts I’m 50/50 but when relaxing and recovering I’m all over the shop – generally only 55/45 but once I saw 60/40. The surprising thing I have seen is that my LEFT leg normally reads the high watts and I’m RIGHT handed so expected the reverse.

    • Antti

      Legs are not hands. 🙂 For what it’s worth — not much I imagine — I’m also right-handed and my left leg also tends to dominate under easy pedalling. 55-45 is pretty typical. When going hard the balance is always very close to 50-50.

      Others with dual-sided power meters have similar experience, and I wouldn’t really pay much attention to it. For many riders the imbalance between legs is so systematic that measurement from one leg is just fine. The absolute numbers can be a bit off, but if it’s systematic you can train to it.

    • Thanks. Not worried but just interesting to see this data for the first time. I guess I just assumed that my right side would stronger but then at the gym my left is also strong at times 🙂

  97. TJ

    Hey DC wanted to check what you’d advise for an endurance (hilly sportives) cyclist like me in terms of the P1 vs the P1s. im mainly interested in it for pacing during rides as already have a kickr for indoors. I read your article about the left vs dual leg power meter and seems to me there isn’t much use of dual leg power at the moment if cant have post ride analysis and ultimately which leg the power is coming from is irrelevant at the foot of a climb as i need to get the heck up it!

    i noted your comment about the balance (or imbalance) which may fluctuate as one approaches and passes FTP. my only concern i guess is if the power balance reverses or deviates wildly which i guess would make the power readings a bit unreliable for pacing — is this something you’ve found in your use of the P1s or would put you off getting the P1S??

    thanks

    • Martin T

      Hi TJ

      Not sure if this answers your question but I thought I’d provide some feedback.

      I bought my P1 pedals in September and have used them for approx 6-8 hours p/w since (I only just changed the batteries supplied with the pedals from the factory with AAA Lithiums last week to give you an idea of battery life) and so far I am extremely happy with them, they have endured the following:

      1. Weekly turbo sessions on my TT bike

      2. Road rides on a different bike (5min change)

      3. 20 hours or so of daily climbing on a hire bike (cycling holiday / training camp – Tenerife / Teide) in mixed temps – took them in my hand luggage, no issues

      4. FTP / threshold tests on the road

      I have had no issues riding at and above FTP, I do hard sessions weekly on the turbo where I have to hit a specific power range and compared to Stages for example (which I have on my road bike) it is night and day, there isn’t much fluctuation (the road is different due to the variations in surface and terrain ofc).

      The bottom line question for me though is “would I use them for TTs / racing?” and so far I’m not sure, they are an awesome training tool – especially the ability to take overseas / switch between bikes but for racing the size puts me off a little, but ultimately would it make much difference anyway? (btw I’m not talking cornering, just overall size mainly for Time Trials).

    • TJ

      Hey Martin thanks so much! That’s really useful.

      Noting you’ve got the stages as well have you noticed a difference in power between the 2? I don’t know if you have the power balance on when using the P1s but if you do have you noticed a change in power balance when using the P1 during your workouts?? is it consistent?

      thanks

  98. Phil A

    Anyone have any luck using the “Virtual Training” app to update their pedals? I always get an error stating it cannot connect to the firmware web updater service when I tell it to check firmware?

    • Justin Henkel

      Phil – are you logged in with your Virtual Training username when trying to update? The server checks your username for update privilege prior to performing an update. I would also check to make sure your internet connection is good. Sorry if you’ve got both covered already but those are two quick things that usually address the issue.

      Thanks

    • Phil A

      Yeah, logged in with a good internet connection.

  99. Paul

    I recenty received a replacement set of pedals, the others gave up the ghost after 9 months. Anyway i tried to fit them to my Rotor 3D 30 crankset and they are binding against the crankarm, specifically the leading lip edge, in order to work i need to insert a washer. They work fine, without the washer on my shimano cranks , the previous P1s didn’t have this issue with the rotor crankset. Has anyone experienced a similar issue??

    • Martin

      Hi Paul

      I often switch my P1s between Dura Ace cranks and FSA Carbons cranks and never had this issue but then it does state in the manual that came with my pedals to always use the washers when attaching the pedals to CARBON cranks, no need with the Dura Ace cranks etc.

      Hi TJ

      I don’t use power balance DURING a workout, only review afterward but I would say the power consistency for me is very much similar between the Stages and the P1, I often switch between my TT bike (P1s) and Road Bike (Stages) on the turbo with the view of hitting specific TSS / power that is consistant to the bike I am using and I don’t have any issues, the only thing I will state is that it is easier to ride with “smooth” power using the P1s than it is with the Stages – I assume due to it being a dual sided PM.

      I highly rate them but durability is still TBC long term.

      Thanks

  100. Warwick

    How does the P1s compare to the P1? thanks

  101. Tom

    Hi Ray,
    Very useful review you have going on here. Thanks for saving me a lot of time (and potentially) money.
    However, as a Polar user, I still have some questions about the table you posted.

    POLAR V800 AUG 8TH, 2015 DCR WAITING ON P1 BLE ENABLEMENT – WILL TEST UPON BLE RELEASE
    POLAR M450 AUG 8TH, 2015 DCR WAITING ON P1 BLE ENABLEMENT – WILL TEST UPON BLE RELEASE
    POLAR V650 AUG 8TH, 2015 DCR WAITING ON P1 BLE ENABLEMENT – WILL TEST UPON BLE RELEASE

    So far, I have not found any updates on this issue. Can you confirm that the pairing/viewing issues have been resolved and that they can be used proper?

    Thanks in advance. All that rest now is the mind breaking choice P1/C1…
    T.

  102. Hi – wonder if anyone can assisted me – based on your fantastic review I recently purchased a set of the P1 pedals

    The review stated I could pair to any power enabled device – I use a 2017 Lezyne Enhanced Micro GPS which is supposed to be able to be paired with any power meter

    Following both Powertap and Lezyne instructions I have paired the devices successfully – BUT – power data is extremely inaccurate with extremely low and wildly fluctuating readings eg apparently I climb a 10% hill at about 20W but it warier between 2 and up to to 100

    I also have a Garmin cadence sensor paired with the Lezyne – but this no longer picks up cadence and appears to more resemble power data – albeit eildly inaccuralty with extreme fluctuate ions similar to above eg. Riding same hill it can be reading 220W and then 80W etc but on such a climb I would expect to be having to produce about 4 or so W/kg to roll up which would be about 300+W

    I’ve contacted both Lezyne and Powertap but have had no joy in rectifying this issue

    Any thoughts would be appreciated

    • Daniel

      Open the file in e.g goldencheeta and then export the file to csv( or look at the logg in goldencheeta direktly)

      Look at the part of the file were you think the problem is and look at the power in relation to cadence…

      You should see:
      E.g
      90 Rpm. 300 watt
      91 rpm. 301 watt
      85 rpm. 280watt
      90 Rpm. 300 watt
      91 rpm. 301 watt
      85 rpm. 280watt…

      But IF you see that one value suddenly dropps 50% then one pedal has lost concetion…
      Eg

      90 Rpm. 300 watt
      91 rpm. 301 watt
      85 rpm. 280watt…
      85 rpm. 140 <<<<<
      90 Rpm. 300 watt
      91 rpm. 301 watt
      85 rpm. 280watt.
      85 rpm. 140 watt<<<<

      To fix this:
      Change batteries
      Check firmware
      If it still is à problem…. sned them to powertap for service…

      Regarding the cadence sensor:
      It is nerver good to have tio sensors for one reading…
      Remove it…. you do not ned it…

    • Another specific metric to look at is power balance, when it goes 100%/0% or 0%/100% – that’s a key indicator something went amiss on one side.

      It’s actually a metric I use on head units when testing dual-capable power meters (WatTeam, 4iiii, Vector, PowerTap, Rotor, etc…), since it allows me to quickly see the issue mid-ride, rather than finding out later on.

  103. Charles

    I just wanted to throw my two cents in about these pedals. I bought a pair of the P1S one-sided pedals, and they’re pretty fantastic, except for one pretty glaring issue, cleat quality. Both cleats cracked to the point where one of them is completely broken within about 350 miles of riding, I don’t know if Powertap has changed to lower quality cleats since Ray tested them, but I wouldn’t recommend these to anyone with cleats that wear out this quickly.

    • gabor

      Charles,

      These cleats are made by Wellgo/Xpedo (RC-7B). Actually they should be the same material and quality as Look Keo cleats. I had not any problem after 4000+ miles.

    • steve

      Hi guys – just following up from my query re my connection teething problems with the new P1 pedals I purchased recently – thanks for the input as was helpful identifying where the problem was. In short, if the pedals are connected to a device via Bluetooth then combined Left/Right pedal data cannot be displayed – the device can only select 1 pedal for the data – but if connected via ANT the the pedal data will combine for a composite reading – which I am happy to report is now stable ! However, using the ANT connection it fails when I attempt recalibration and also zero offset – whereas with a single pedal will recalibrate when connected with Bluetooth – any thoughts on this ? Have again sked Saris for comment.

      With respect to the cleat issue – I have tried with both the Powertap and Look cleats – both work fine so far but the Look doesnt feel quite as tight so can imagine how the fit will start to loosen with cleat wear

      Steve

  104. Ty

    Is there any way to analize the advanced pedal metrics o at least a way to get average data for the session? The “video” in the Powertap Mobile App looks pretty useless to me.

  105. Alen Babakhani

    If I set my crank length to 165mm on the Edge 520, is this crank length stored on the pedals or the head unit?
    The reason I ask is that I don’t see an option to change the crank length on TrainerRoad.

  106. Vitaliy

    Guys, I’m still on the fence… I really like form factor and easiest possible install and transfer between bikes over Vector and BePro, but durability and so many reported issues holding me back.
    What to do??

  107. Peter

    Any rumors on when Powertap intends to release a successor?

    Been almost 2 years of P1, I’m hoping on holding off until the next upgrade cycle.

    • I wouldn’t expect it. There’s really nothing better than the P1 out there today from a form factor, accuracy, anything standpoint. Thus, there’s no real reason to ‘innovate’ there yet.

      They’ve released new metrics semi-recently, so I’d guess they’d eventually evolve that from an app standpoint for better recording of that data. But from a pure pedals standpoint, I’d struggle to find any real improvements that could realistically be made. I suspect the only one that folks might want would be shrinking size a little, but I doubt that’s worth a revamp at this point, since I don’t think we’ve seen any material changes in components that would allow for that (since inception).

    • Antti

      I would expect a successor, although I cannot say how soon. I’m currently waiting for a replacement pair for a pair that’s dead, and I’m not alone. I know for a fact that the shop I bought my P1’s from saw a failure rate around 75 %. Additionally, some people who have commented here have put some serious mileage on P1’s and have experienced repeated failures.

      P1’s do have serious durability issues, there’s simply no way around it. I would really, really advice against buying them before there is a successor. Also, P1’s cannot be good business for PowerTap right now, although pulling them out of market for the time could understandably be even worse for the business.

      I did love them as long as they worked fine. For me it was about 150 hours.

    • Peter

      Ray,

      Thanks for the response. Love all your reviews, I’ve bought several products after your reviews – and probably wouldn’t have be as confident about them had it not been for your work.

      I really don’t have much of a concern about the form factor, battery life, accuracy, etc. All work for me. I’m even gonna switch out from Speedplays to go with the Look cleat style, and I’m a hardened Speedplay user of 10yrs. So, generally speaking, the P1s (not P1Ss) are really tempting.

      My concern with the pedals has to do with a recent Bikeradar review (and long term comparison they have on youtube) that generally found the pedals lacking. What concerns me the most was the overreading in the 300W range – especially for intervals, over-unders, etc. For me, this is a pretty heavily used range and especially important to measure accurately (an over-under off by 5-10% could be an entirely different workout). Your tests make it seem pretty spot on, at the same time, Powertap seems to have recognized this as a problem (enough to merit a response). Any opinion about the P1’s accuracy in the 300W range?

    • gabor

      The same misinformation circulating again… Read earlier comments about that Bikeradar “test”. It was 1.5 years ago or earlier, they reviewed a way earlier firmware version, and they did not present any measurement data. Clearly flawed. Check Rays comparison data and you will see which to believe.After using it for 9 months now, I see no over reading at all.

      @Antti,

      For me its harder and harder to believe all that durability issues claimed by about 5 persons here (and they are much louder than the many ten/hundred thousands of happy users). My P1 works flawlessly, inside, outside, in rain, sunny weather, ice, etc.
      Also as I earlier mentioned, the main problem should be water leak, if it happens. And for 75% of failure rate in a bike shop, that shows multiple user errors for sure. Battery change in the rain, or failing to secure battery cap properly are the main contributors.

    • Craig Hoskin

      [quote]For me its harder and harder to believe all that durability issues claimed by about 5 persons here (and they are much louder than the many ten/hundred thousands of happy users). My P1 works flawlessly, inside, outside, in rain, sunny weather, ice, etc.[/quote]

      5 people?
      Dont get me wrong, I really really want to like my P1’s … but we have 5 of us across two small areas of NZ and every single one of those sets has now been replaced atleast 2, and for 4 3x. And thats just the small groups I know of. The people listed here come to more than 5.

      We are in the middle of a drought, so its not water. Spindles failing on 2 sets isnt water ingress! Failure to calibrate and a missing right pedal in our middle of summer, isnt water ingress.

      Sure, our group rides a lot, and its not your casual “lets head out for 20km”. We race, do intervals, push the limits and do fairly big miles. Maybe its just the X hrs limit being hit which is smaller than most expect.

      I think its a little premature to presume that every error is user error, when for us, it definetly isnt. There is the chance , and only history well tell, that the QC or manufacture process is at fault.

    • Craig Hoskin

      Yea, there may be some truth in the hours. My second set had (spindle issue)
      130 Hours

      The previous set that had the calibration/firmware issue had done
      218 hours

    • Mark

      My set had spindle issue on both pedals after 6 hours, so not sure if its hours or just durability, due to other comments mine went back for refund. Really wanted them to work and feel jealous for those that have had no problem, but there are issues and they are an expensive gamble. There is certainly more than 5 people on here that have had issues !

    • Just a few quick points:

      A) Accuracy issues: Just not seeing that these days. Simple as that (I’m not aware of *anyone* seeing that these days). There were 1-2 bugs early on, specifically around non-zero’ing on a hill climb that lasted a certain duration, which caused drifting. But that’s been fixed a long time ago. Also, I think in the BikeRadar review, they were testing with Elliptical chainrings, which at the time wasn’t supported (like most power meters). Either way, no data was provided, thus, I give it zero value.

      B) Returns: Hard to say exactly, as some folks have had no issues, and certainly others have seen higher numbers in their circles of friends.

      C) Returns Part 2: I will say that it’s been a clear a large number of people are ignoring the battery guidance – which has been clearly shown to cause numerous issues if you don’t use the lithium batteries (or caps not being put in correctly). It’s usually fine initially, and then bad things happen. I’d write off a high number of ‘issues’ into this category, even when folks don’t actually want to admit it

      D) The cap: The battery caps on units early on could become stripped fairly easily. That’s long since passed too though, with a new and much hardier cap. If you have an older pair and your caps are getting stripped – I’d hit up PT and get new caps sent out. It’s far cheaper for them to just send you the new design caps than deal with fixing your pedals if you get the caps permanently in there.

      E) Missing right pedal: If talking about the Garmin message, then I’d ignore that – it’s a harmless message. If actual pedal is going away (and not battery usage), then that’s different of course.

      That’s all.

    • David

      Got my second set start of January. 15 hours in with the original batteries, right pedal dead.

      I love your reviews Ray, but they never capture nor express long term quality, or even medium term.

    • Did you try swapping the battery out?

      Most of my power meter reviews tend to last months.

    • David

      I tried that, didn’t really help then I noticed >6mm of movement in the axle
      link to dropbox.com

      Guessing these are dead too?

  108. Greg Hilton

    It’s not an hours or a usage issue IMHO.

    Touch wood I have had my P1 pedals since Aug 2015 and they are still going strong. I did see some funny power readings for 2 rides in Sept 2016. Powertap swapped out the battery caps and I switched to lithium batteries and they have been fine ever since.

    I’ve done between 3-6 rides every week on them, about 6,000 miles at a minimum.

    • Peter

      Thanks everyone for your opinions. I’ll check to make sure I have in country support/distribution before I buy it (I’m in Poland).

      Generally speaking – for those of you who have had problems, how has customer support been from Powertap?

    • Tarmo

      PT customer support is very good, it can take a while, but in my experience they will get you sorted, not much to complain about there.

    • Markus

      This really depends on your local distributor. I’ve already had two defective pairs of P1s. I’m now on my third pair. The two pairs had been replaced under warranty but this was always a lengthy process (3-4 weeks). I’m in Germany. I don’t know if they ship the defective units to the U.S. for inspection first.

      Honestly, I’d be hesitant to recommend the P1s to a friend.

  109. Adam

    Hi, I’m finding different results on my P1’s on my Garmin and TrainerRoad app on my phone. Same Ride and smoothing at 10 seconds and I’m seeing drastically different results. I think I calibrated them to the same offset, but not sure. Anyone else seen this? I’m betting my Garmin is getting the ANT+ and phone is Bluetooth, but shouldn’t it be the same?

    • gabor

      Adam,

      Please read (search) earlier comments before asking. On Ant+ left pedal combines the data from both pedals and sends it to the head unit. On BT both pedal sends their data independently to the head unit.

      So I bet you see about half the value on BT