(Updated 11AM US Eastern Time Feb 1st with SRM addition)
The power meters prices be fallin’ again, and the snow and ice hasn’t even thawed yet on winter. Here’s what’s been dropping.
Pioneer Price Drops:
Today Pioneer dropped their power meter prices, upwards of 30% – pretty massive. Once the dust settles you’ll be able to pickup their Ultegra 6800 series left-only crank arm with power meter for $559, down from $799. Meanwhile, the Dura-Ace 9000 series left-only crank arm is $629, dropping from $899. With the left-side crank, you’ll still get the higher data capabilities of the Pioneer platform, such as the higher resolution data of pedaling metrics than most other competitors.
You’ll remember back at Interbike when Pioneer announced modest price updates, they were ‘upstaged’ mere hours later by Stages and their significant price cuts, bringing their units down to $529.
Both of Pioneer’s left-sided units can then be upgraded using their ‘Ride Side Upgrade’ kit, which has been lowered to $579 (from $749). This is really one of the major differentiators compared to both Stages, and currently 4iiii. Neither has a right-leg upgrade kit available should you want the benefits of full left/right power down the road (others such as Garmin & Polar do however).
If you want to simply purchase the whole left/right kit straight up, then you’re look at $1,299 for the Ultegra crankset, and $1,499 for the Dura-Ace crankset. Alternatively, if you want to send in your own cranks, you can do so for $999 (which remains unchanged).
All of this follows last month’s firmware update that enables the ability for you to re-broadcast ANT+ from your Pioneer head unit. This allows you to gather the higher fidelity metrics to your Pioneer head unit using Pioneer’s private-ANT channel, and then still see that data on other ANT+ devices or apps (like Zwift & TrainerRoad). Of course, you can always broadcast everything directly in just ANT+ from the power meter as well (but then you lose advanced Pioneer metrics).
Pioneer’s got some pretty solid units in the market, and if you’re looking to start on a left-only option and then expand to a dual system down the road, it’s priced fairly well there. At the same time, if you plan on upgrading to a dual system far down the road, you’ll want to keep in mind that there are numerous dual-capable power meters pending in the marketplace for launch this year at much lower dual-prices. Obviously, everything in the market shifts – but I’d be hesitant around the cost-benefit of purchasing a left-only unit now and then upgrading beyond this calendar year.
PowerTap Price Drops:
Now while I didn’t cover it previously given the craziness of CES, PowerTap also dropped their prices – exactly 30 days ago. In their case they dropped their PowerTap hubs to $599 from $729.
In addition, while they were at it, they also dropped the PowerTap Bluetooth Smart & ANT+ caps down to $50. Yup, $50. However, that’s because they’re only shipping dual caps from here on out. In fact, all PowerTap products will be dual capable.
And if you want a dual-capable PowerTap cap (i.e. dual ANT+/BLE), for your existing hub? Well, that’ll cost a bit more – some $150 for the dual cap. Changing caps isn’t tough, but if you already own split products (one ANT+, one BLE) then a dual just makes your life easier. I’ve been using the dual cap in various testing iterations since last spring. Zero issues for me.
As for the PowerTap P1 or C1 units, no price drops there. And, I certainly wouldn’t expect to see them. They can’t keep units on the shelves, so there’s zero reason to drop the price at this time (and they’re priced quite competitively in the market).
SRM Price Drops
(Updated/Added section based on new SRM announcement)
In addition to Pioneer and PowerTap, SRM has also now announced they’ve dropped their prices – making it the lowest the company has ever sold a new power meter for. The base SRM is now down to $1,399USD for spiders using Specialized, Cannondale, SRAM and ROTOR crank arm. This is without crank arms or chainrings. This represents a 30% drop in price – on par with the drops of other companies.
SRM noted in their press release that:
“This pricing change has been months in the making. We have listened to customer and retailer feedback, and after intensive analysis SRM is proud to be in a position to respond to those demands.” (SRM Founder & CEO, Ulrich Schoberer)
If you’re loooking for crank arms & chainrings to be included with the power meter, then the lowest price is now $2,199 (from $2,970).
A Few General Thoughts:
I suspect we’ll continue to see larger price drops of the higher end units, while probably still seeing some smaller drops on the mid-range priced units. However, some of that will be predicated on cheaper options starting to ship. For example, we saw 4iiii’s start to ship last summer, which was likely single-handedly responsible for Stages having to drop prices. Similarly, PowerTap’s P1 pedals were likely responsible for Garmin having to drop their Vector pricing by $200 this past fall. And of course the entire market was responsible for SRM’s price drop.
While bePro has come out with very solid and capable units that are also sub-$1000, I don’t expect that to represent significant pricing pressure simply because bePro has very limited distribution. So getting them is tough, and bePro has a pretty deep backorder (with even further limited production capability).
Still, the big ticket items to watch this spring would be WatTeam to start shipping (according to them, just a few weeks away), as well seeing if and when 4iiii or Stages dives into dual-capable products. 4iiii has shown it, but hasn’t clarified dates. And Stages has played the card that the dual units they have are only for Team Sky and related pros. That’s no doubt true today, but one would be a fool to think that’s the long term play.
The biggest thing to keep in mind is there is no ‘race to the bottom’. With a few rare exceptions, every one of these products (and everything I’ve covered in this post) is just as accurate as any other product at any price range. It’s simply a case now of numerous companies being in the market (vs 2-4 previously), and new technologies driving the prices lower.
With that – thanks for reading!
Side note: Trying to find a power meter? Read my 2015 Power Meter Buyers Guide, published this last fall.
Ray, I have just today received a reservation code for the BePro, I have settled to the fact i want a pedal based option due to wanting to use the device across a few bikes, I also see the P1 are back in stock with most places. if the cost isn’t the consideration where would you put your shiny pounds/euros/dollars? cheers
I just received my BePro (after only a 5 day wait as I found a seller that had them in actual stock!!! Although now sold out and on back order again) – you won’t be disappointed! I’ve read people say set up takes half an hour – I was on the bike, having done both a dynamic and static calibration within 10 minutes of opening the box! The instructions are very poor though – my box only had italian installation instructions. They could do with hiring a proper translation for the online English manuals and I’d say that the need for calibrating needs to be made clearer. If you’ve read Ray’s review, you’ll know what you’re doing..
I LOVE my P1s, but I justified the cost by saying “easy on, easy off – I can move them between bikes!!” That said, I have a bit of buyer’s remorse because:
1) realistically I could have just bought two crank-based spiders for the $1200 I paid for them (directly from PowerTap – a buy through CT would have cut that down a bit)
2) swapping every ride between bikes is actually a little annoying, but the price you pay for always knowing power
3) I could have kept my old cleats instead of investing in a new cleat system.
Again, I really do LOVE my P1s. Never had a problem with them. But at their current price, it’s tough unless you’re a three-bike person (3x power meters > P1s >= 2x power meters).
To clarify, my comment was more of a warning against the “but I want to swap them between bikes” mentality. Just sayin’.
Advantage of a pedal power meter is that you can put them on any bike, even bikes with Campagnolo groups. No other solution can be switched between bikes without an additional investment. So, even if you don’t switch between bikes regularly, there is an advantage of pedal power meters. And you can toss them into your bag and take them with you on your vacation and rent a bike. And the P1’s are very easy to install.
Agree that it a full Look Keo compatible cleat would have been nicer.
The PowerPod can be moved between bikes as well, even easier than swapping pedals I think.
Speaking of which, do you think the PP is a viable competitor to the “regular” power meters Ray? I would love to hear how the production ones compare to the ones in your preview.
“even easier than swapping pedals I think.”
I gotta be honest, I doubt this. Swapping the P1s is super easy, it’s just an hex wrench – no special tools needed at all. But it does take a little bit of time and it’s one more thing you’re futzing with.
While the cost of crank based meters has crept low enough to grab two of them for nearly the cost of a pair of P1s, they still have other advantages.
What if I have more than 2 bikes?
And the biggest thing for me is simply not having to worry about what type of bottom bracket/crank is needed for a new build/bike. Just throw on the pedals and you’re good. Also a great advantage when traveling or renting a bike.
I opted for the bePRO’s. I have them on my bike since half Oktober 2015, and they worked flawlessly ever since.
Their website has an English manual in PDF format (link to bepro-favero.com).
They have a nice FAQ section and when I e-mailed them back in Oktober on a calibration issue, their answer was prompt (next day on a monday in the morning).
Also their software update on a cranck length setting issue with Garmin head units was available allready in november 2015. They solved the problem and didn’t refer to Garmin for a solution.
Furthermore, its Italian, so if you have a Campagnolo group set, your’ re obligated by EU laws to put on Italian pedals :-)))
I own a Powerpod and swapping between bikes is so simple its not funny!
There is a single hand tightened screw on a go pro style mount (I have one mount on each bike)
You should seriously consider holding out for a Limits Power Meter. Reputable group of guys with experience and excellent accuracy. Should be available any day now…
The obvious disadvantage with pedal based PMs is that when cornering tight (like in a crit), the pedal is at risk of knocking the ground. Once this happens, I’d have no idea if the power numbers are still accurate or not.
Not much of a problem for me (at 60kg I’m no crit racer) but it’s something worth taking into account
Despite how much people expected this to happen with all sorts of pedal based PM’s over the last few years, this actually hasn’t been the case. In fact, I don’t think I’ve heard of a single pedal strike while cornering with a PM-integrated pedal.
Oh – one minor thing to be aware of when swapping PowerPod is that you will need to allow for re-calibration between any bike moves. It’s only the first 5 minutes, but just something to be aware of.
Ray, just curious. Is it possible for ANT+ to be upgraded to provide the same data recording frequency as the Pioneer option? As in technically possible for Garmin to do this and if so is it a software or hardware upgrade and I assume that the upgrade (if possible) would need to happen at both the the power meter (to get it to send more frequently) and the head unit (to get it to record more frequently)?
Definitely possible, but honestly, the ANT+ Power Meter Working Group has simply spent too much time making no outputable progress towards that goal. As a result, we’re seeing companies like Stages, PowerTap, Pioneer, and others move towards Bluetooth or their own solutions.
As a result, we won’t see Garmin support there. Really mind-boggling, and a perfect example of why some (actually, most I talk to) power meter companies are frustrated with the progress being made there on the specs – and in turn – with Garmin’s (owner of ANT+) integration of those features into head units.
I’m surprised you didn’t mention that Limits are shipping “any minute now”. They even have a picture of a full box…
Limits might even get a few units into backers hands before Watteam.
Possibly calibrated by thumbometer, but hey
And SRM drop price too 😉
Now I juste wait for Power2max to make the move !
Hmmm looks like I will have to wait for the dual power meter then. Really glad they are dropping in price though.
Good work Ray.
A powertap hub at $600 is super tempting! Just when I had put the power meter idea behind me….
Just don’t ride it in the rain! the PT bearings are made of string cheese and rust easily. And you then have to send the hub back to a Powertap approved shop to have the bearings replaced, for another set of equally crappy bearings
Question about the powertap cap. I have an older powertap hub (SL 2.4) and it does not broadcast ANT+. I contacted powertap and they said they discontinued the ANT+ upgrade for the SL 2.4. If I purchased the dual cap you mentioned above, would that solve my problem of not being able to broadcast?
Thanks for your help! I have been reading your blog for awhile now and I am a huge fan!
I’m no expert, but your hub can’t be upgraded because the electronics are contained in the hub itself. New PTs have the sending unit and batteries mounted in a module that disassembles from the actual hub. Thus, they are user replaceable.
The previous poster was correct — none of the caps will work for your hub, because they require a G3 hub (one that started with an ANT+ cap likely).
If you contact powertap they should offer a rebuild of your 2.4 for around $350 that will give you all new electronics (G3) with ANT+ and 11 spd compatible freehub.
Personally I still think their rebuild is $50-$100 high (and the dual G3 cap is $50-$75 high) given the other options for people — I would likely find a crank or spider based PM rather than rebuilding a PT just to give me a little more wheel flexibility (race vs training). Still I suppose for some the rebuild is a great and affordable option.
Given all new hubs are dual transmitting, I wonder if a rebuild actually comes with a dual cap now? hmm…
I upgraded my Powertap SL 2.4 to SL 2.4 + a couple of years ago using a dongle purchased from Powertap for USD 99 that reprogrammed the electronics to broadcast on ANT+. I can not find the dongle on Powertaps website now. But they may be able to help if you contact them.
Are we ever going to see a pedal-based power meter with a SpeedPlay option?
Assuming you ever only use one pair of shoes. Yes this is an option, but seems like a pretty poor/limited option. Also, is it only for the Speedplay Zero pedals rather than the original X pedals? On their tech specs, they only mention the Zero.
Agreed but it’s currently the only option I’ve seen being discussed for Speedplay. Ray may know of others.
Basically if you use Speedplay it seems the best option is a crank based meter.
The reason why companies don’t do Speedplay PM’s, is that companies don’t want to deal with the mess that is Speedplay licensing. They hate it.
See their website….
Basically they say that their product is structurally compatible with other Speedplay models, they have only tested and verified the Zero’s. They leave the door open to future testing and possible compatibility.
How do you know that PowerTap hubs will be shipped with BLE/ANT+ electronics? PowerTap web does not say anything about it. I have contacted local distributor (Czech Republic) and they also does not know anything about it.
they must have done a recent update – they have the dual logos on the G3 page now
link to powertap.com
I have found this information on their blog: link to powertap.com
So sorry for needless question.
I wonder if Brim Brothers are ever going to release their product. The recent price drops of the other brands make an entry to the market quite hard.
I’m loosing faith they’ll ever ship. I’m very interested in their solution as I bike to work, and I’m not leaving an expensive PM on a locked bike outdoors
Great news. I’m still going to wait for awhile, but I’m glad to hear prices are dropping.
Especially when I’ve just forked out my hard earned cash for a P2M Type S S-works.
Oh well, I’m still really happy with my powermeter – it’s really solid.
Any rumors from Quarq? About to fork out 1200 for the Red 22.
FYI- The link to the Power Meter Buyers guide actually takes you to the Pioneer review.
So the Pioneer left-only solution is now cheaper than the Stages? Wow. I guess $20 buys you BLE support, but still. You have to wonder if Stages will respond to this, although a race to the bottom doesn’t do anyone any good.
In europe stages are €619 and pioneer €799. That’s still a big difference
The Pioneer firmware can only be updated via their head unit (no BLE support) so factor that into your costs. Stages and 4iiii can be updated using a smartphone.
OK, that is an interesting for sure.
However, I note that Clever Training sells the Pioneer crank arms, making them even cheaper.. with DCR’s 10% coupon.
Let’s see. Power tap hubs for 600. Chris king or DT Swiss rear hubs retail for about 400. Buy new wheels and get power for a 200 premium. Sounds like a deal
Hum! Are these brands afraid the “one more thing” from Shimano?
link to bikeradar.com
Looks like Shimano could be entering the market soon
link to cyclingweekly.co.uk
Would be a option for me
I expect to see that Shimano will integrate a powermeter as a standard part of their new dura ace. See what happens then……..
I’d doubt it. There’s no reason to not have a higher price on it. They know that, and the rest of the industry knows that.
The challenge Shimano will have is not screwing up the electronics side of things. As a company, they’ve tended to make consumer-challenging devices when they’ve strayed into connected devices (excluding Di2, but even that is a mess for consumers when it comes to standards/complexity).
Even Di2 has been “consumer-challenging” for Mac users.
Ray, could you elaborate on “… Di2, but even that is a mess for consumers when it comes to standards/complexity.” (In addition to, as John points out, the lack of Mac support on Shimano’s E-tube Project software for Di2)
Di2: Works great…until you try and deal with the software to change any settings. Which is like stepping back to 1994. Not to mention just the mess of buying more parts to simply do that.
Action Cam: They waited a year to release any update, or to add the firmware update required to actually give you the features they promised at release. No further updates otherwise.
Their little gear head units: The epicenter of uselessness. Basically they just showed you the gears – but nothing else. Check out my post from then: link to dcrainmaker.com
Even worse for Linux users
well Ray wanna make a bet? bec i am pretty 100pct sure they will. gamechanger!
No need to bet, happy to revisit down the road. 🙂
Shimano’s too big of a company with too much distribution overhead to be able to make a game-changer. Just won’t happen.
Ok Ray, i come from Amsterdam and very much appreciate your work. the system is ready for pre production and has been tested primairly in cyclo cross. dura ace delivery starts jan 17 including a disc version. remember and keep up the good work. R.
Not saying it won’t be a good product – just saying that there must be a fundamental shift in the way the company things to make it a breakout success. Both a shift in technology thinking, but also in pricing.
Looking forward to it!
These prices are really tempting! I’m looking at getting a crankarm PM and I’m definitely going to pull the trigger now!
Still seeing the powertap priced at $699 not $599 can anyone point me to where it is selling for $599?
Disregard I was thinking cranks see the hub pricing.
Yeah, in the meantime, here’s the link for others: link to clevertraining.com
I think that biggest news to be released recently on the power meter front is that SRM is now offering a lifetime warranty. I’ve been a user of Powertap for a long time and have had to have it serviced twice for broken torque tubes, both times it was just after the issued warranty had ended. With a lifetime warranty now, I will seriously consider selling my ptap and getting an SRM.
did you notice even Polar lowered the prices of its power meters?
You can buy a couple of Keo Power pedals for just 1.300 euros.
Yeah, I noticed it while updating some charts – but I can’t really figure out when that occured. Meaning – not sure if it was back in November or now. They didn’t send out any notice of/on it. :-/
So with the recent SRM price reduction, they are only 50% more expensive than a comparable Pioneer model that does exactly the same thing. Bargain….
Yeah, and Ferrari and Toyota also do the same thing. Funny how the price differs so much…
So Ricky – How technically (or heck, in any way you’d like) is SRM better than Pioneer?
I have been holding onto my Garmin 910XT until I figured out what I wanted to do for power. At this point with the price drop and the Ant+ re-transmit by Pioneer I am considering going the Pioneer L-R solution and then upgrading to the Fenix3 for my wrist based GPS. Then I get all my Garmin stuff and also get the advanced metrics on the Pioneer head unit.
Any thoughts on this approach. ( I was also happy to see the support the the Di2 information on the Pioneer now.)
Anyone have any feedback on this approach before I start negotiating with the budget committee?
It’s definitely viable. I don’t expect to see Pioneer broadcasting those metrics over ANT+ anytime soon (because no such standard exists for them to do that, largely due to Garmin not sharing toys in the sandbox on the ANT+ side).
Any information on the new euro pricing for the powertap hub wheelsets? Thank you!
Ray, you shared the Brim Bros Zone DPMX Speedplay units back when units were in development. They’ve now announced completed and selling kits for May delivery. Have you received a pair and any plans to review in near future. I’ve been on their waiting list and now that it’s a reality was looking forward to your review. Use both Vectors & P1… Interested in Brim w Speedplay Pedals.
…I wonder If/ when shimano – as the biggest player around – is releasing their own powermeter, which should be included in their premium groups, of course. Are there any information around about such ideas????
I’m about to jump on a Stages Ultegra, but after a bit of browsing, I’ve seen a post in bikeforums mentioning a 100 USD coupon code, not more info there, has anyone seen such a coupon code? 480 USD for a Stages power meter would be a sweet pricepoint.
Was about to go for the Pioneer, but rather have the BLE for the small price difference…
Any word through the grape vine if we’ll see any more power meter price drops before the summer? Focused in on a P2M or PowerTap C1 price range, maybe WatTeam if things look good.
I don’t think we’ll see adjustments for units already in the $400-$700 price range, but I expect adjustments for some higher end units above those range (but not the P1’s).
Anyone know if the PowerTap G3 hubs with BLE/ANT+ electronics are shipping yet? I finally decided to pull the trigger but builder hasn’t been able to source the newer hubs with dual output.
Can you use a SRM power control 7 head unit with a Power Tap hub?