It’s been almost a year since I did a big power meter pricing chart. Sure, I talk about pricing in my annual power meter buyer’s guide, but pricing continues to fluctuate a bit. So I figured I’d do a recap on where things stand, and what’s new, as well as what I see happening over the next few months. Oh, and I’m calling this ‘Spring’ because the trees have started to blossom (well, one of them anyway). The fact that spring is technically still 6 days away is besides the point.
To recap since roughly last fall with my power meters buyer’s guide, here’s the big ticket items that would have impacted pricing or products in the market:
4iiii Started shipping their $399 power meter
Pioneer, SRM, and PowerTap all dropped prices in Jan/Feb of 2016
LIMITS has delayed their release yet further, plans shipping possibly in April
Brim Brothers has launched a Kickstarter campaign, plans shipping in May
Stages announced price drops in September, also carbon options
Remember, the mere act of launching a power meter has zero impact on pricing. Essentially, you have to ‘put up or shut up’, when it comes to having any impact on the prices in the market. So companies like Limits, Brim, and Xpedo don’t impact any pricing decisions until people can validate it’s both a functional product and ones that you can install on your bike today.
How Pricing is Tracked:
Thus, in order to keep things simple, I put down some ground rules on pricing (I had to draw lines somewhere):
1) Non-sale prices: The lowest non-sale price for the unit within that calendar year,. I didn’t want Black Friday sales and the like hosing it up.
2) Only list/retail prices: Some bike shops may offer discounts (i.e. the DCR Clever Training 10% deal), which would make it difficult to track all units equally. So I excluded those. Also, shipping costs are excluded since that’s usually based on the retailer.
3) Whatever model is cheapest: Finding the least expensive unit offering they have. Most power companies have a myriad of variants available. I just went with the cheapest unit they sold in a given category, with no accessory options.
4) US Dollars: Products are priced at all sorts of levels globally. I just went with USD, because quite frankly I can’t keep track of hundreds of currencies and product prices in those currencies.
5) Shipping Products only: While I do show both shipping and announced (not yet shipping) units in the first few charts, I only focus on products you can actually install today after that.
Also note that some units include things like crank arms or chainrings, while other companies don’t give options. I realize that might make for an uneven playing field…but I kinda put that in the category of ‘you lie in the bed you make’. Those companies certainly must understand limitations of packaged offerings and price points.
I should point out however that SRM didn’t really want to ‘play’ in this historical exercise (despite numerous official and unofficial requests). And while a few awesome non-SRM folks have tried to help me piece this together, I felt like the data was too unsure to include it. Rather be safe than sorry. So right now I’m only going with a single SRM 2015 data point and will collect data points going forward. If I can get historical base-unit USD price list data that I absolutely trust (without the head unit or accessories), then I’ll add it in. Otherwise, we’ll just mentally note it was more expensive than everyone else.
As you might guess, I wouldn’t say I have a flawless method, but I think it’s reasonably solid. Going forward I have the baseline to track these more easily. Oh – and one more thing, I actually tracked a 2015 year end data point, as well as new March 2016 data point. I figured that’d be interesting.
Power Meter Historical Pricing
|Product||Category/Region||2011||2012||2013||2014||2015(H1)||2015(H2)||2016 (YTD)||Product Posts|
|4iiii Precision (Left)||Left-only||-||-||-||$349||$399||$399||$399||In-Depth Review|
|Favero bePRO||Pedals||-||-||-||-||-||$824||$824||In-Depth Review|
|Favero bePRO (Left)||Left-only||-||-||-||-||-||$549||$549||In-Depth Review|
|Garmin Vector S/2S||Left-only||-||-||-||$899||$899||$699||$699||First Look|
|Garmin Vector/Vector2||Pedal||-||-||$1,699||$1,499||$1,499||$1,299||$1,299||In-Depth Review|
|Pioneer Power (Left)||Left-only||-||-||-||-||-||$799||$559||In-Depth Review|
|Pioneer Power||Crank arms||-||$3,100||$2,000||$1,299||$999||$999||$999||In-Depth Review|
|Polar/Look KEO Power||Pedal||-||$2,200||$2,200||$1,999||$1,999||$1,500||$1,500||In-Depth Review|
|Polar/Look Power Essentials||Left-only||-||-||-||$1,159||$1,159||$1,159||$1,159||First Look|
|Power2Max||Crank spider||$999||$999||$879||$729||$599||$629||$610||In-Depth Review|
|PowerTap C1||Chain Ring||-||-||-||-||-||$699||$699||In-Depth Review|
|PowerTap Hub series||Wheel Hub||$899||$899||$789||$789||$789||$789||$599||In-Depth Review|
|PowerTap P1||Pedal||-||-||-||-||-||$1,199||$1,199||In-Depth Review|
|Quarq||Crank spider||$1,495||$1,495||$1,595||$1,200||$799||$799||$799||In-Depth Review|
|ROTOR LT/INpower (Left)||Left-only||-||-||-||$1,490||$779||$779||$779||First Look|
|ROTOR Power/INpower (Dual)||Crank arms||-||$2,400||$2,400||$2,400||$1,559||$1,559||$1,664||First Look|
|SRM||Crank spider||-||-||-||-||$1,804||$1,804||$1,399||Product Posts|
|Stages Power||Left-only||-||$699||$699||$699||$699||$529||$529||In-Depth Review|
|Verve Infocrank||Crank arms||-||-||-||$1,995||$1,995||$1,399||$1,399||In-Depth Review|
|WatTeam PowerBeat||Crank arms||-||-||-||-||-||-||$499||Product Posts|
You’ll notice I included the PowerPod in there, which is a non-direct force power meter (DFPM). It uses aerodynamics to determine your power output. Yet, I didn’t include the $99 PowerCal. In my testing, I don’t feel the PowerCal is in the same ‘accuracy category’ as the PowerPod, hence my line in the sand. Definitely read both reviews though to understand the pros/cons of those products (PowerCal review here, PowerPod here)
Finally, for fun here’s some of the upcoming still-to-ship units from a pricing standpoint. Yes, I know some of these are supposedly close, but until at least one production unit arrives in somebody’s hands (non-media, non-pro rider, non-beta user), then it doesn’t count. And of course, some of these have been perpetually close for a long time.
Power Meter Futures 2015-2016
|Brim Brothers Zone||Pedal||-||-||-||-||$999.00||$870.00||Product Posts|
|Brim Brothers Zone (Left only)||Left-only||-||-||-||-||-||$435.00||Product Posts|
|4iiii Precision (Dual)||Crank arms||-||-||-||-||$749.00||$749.00||Product Posts|
|Ashton Intruments (Left only)||Left-only||-||-||-||-||$500.00||$500.00||Product Posts|
|Xpedo Thrust E||Pedal||-||-||-||-||$1,100.00||$1,100.00||Product Posts|
|LOOK ANT+/BLE Pedals||Pedal||-||-||-||-||$1,499.00||$1,499.00||Product Posts|
|LIMITS Power (Left Only)||Left-only||-||-||-||-||$385.00||$385.00||Product Posts|
|Dyno Velo (Left Only)||Left-only||-||-||-||-||$399.00||$399.00||Product Posts|
Ok, with the raw data out of the way, let’s get graphical!
A Whole Lotta Charts:
Like last year, I’m going to run through a whole bunch of charts, because charts are pretty. I liked the charts I used last year, so I figure why change it? First up is all units shipping today:
Here’s what’s supposed to come down the line from announced but not yet shipping parties. Note that prices are subject to change (for example, 4iiii hasn’t released any updated pricing guidance).
Now let’s break them out into crank region ones first (anything involving the crank spider, but not including the pedals). It’s perhaps a bit arbitrary, but eventually you have to draw the line somewhere. Oh, and as usual, shipping ones only. And yes, there’s some semi-duplicate colors. Look, there’s only so many colors of Skittles, and we’ve run out of new ones. This is not the 128 pack of Crayola here.
Then pedals based solutions (dual only):
Then looking at the various left only solutions. The lowest here is still 4iiii’s at $399, you’ll notice it went up – that’s because they tweaked things last year when they shifted from self-install to send-yours-to-be-installed, so the calibration kit price was baked in (thus going from $349 to $399).
There’s only one wheel hub on the market, the PowerTap hub. It continues to see price drops, and this past January was no exception. It’s still an awesome workhorse, and probably the unit that much of the power meter industry counts on to compare against during road testing (since it’s outside of the crank region that many are developing products within that would mechanically conflict).
Oh, and I didn’t make a chart for the PowerPod non-DFPM, because it would just show a single dotted line as they haven’t changed their price any since shipping in November (at $299).
Going Forward For 2016:
So what’s in store? Here’s some bulleted thoughts for a number of the players. Nothing too long, just sort of my quick one-liners about each one.
- Overall: Don’t expect any major pricing shifts for most players below $800-$1,000. Those prices are largely settled for right now.
- SRM: With SRM dropping their prices last month, don’t expect anything new there till at least fall or beyond. And while still high/overpriced, they are at least in the ballpark now. My bet is that they will watch sales with the new price, but that they’re still pondering the lower-priced option they chatted about two years ago.
- PowerTap: They already reduced their PowerTap hubs this year, and their C1 (chainring) is selling well at current pricing. Finally, their P1 is selling exceedingly well, with a 30-60 day backorder timeframe. No likelihood to see that price change anytime soon.
- Garmin: Vector continues to be overpriced (primarily compared to the P1’s, but also bePRO and WatTeam now too), and most poised for a price cut. It remains to be seen if/when that happens, but I would think that in the $899-$999 range would be fair (since the P1’s are at $1,199 and dual-ANT+/BLE). If they wanted to be pulling orders away from the P1’s they’d have to go to with $899 to make up for lack of BLE future-proofing and more difficult bike swap aspect.
- bePRO: They have had very little pricing impact on the market because they can’t also keep up with demand (roughly 30 day delivery timeframe), nor do they have wide distribution. As such, while technically solid, it’s not impacting market prices.
- Stages & Power2Max: Both are pretty well positioned price-wise for the moment. Both have higher brand recognition so they can charge more. Eventually Stages will see the impact of 4iiii at $399 and likely have to reduce prices a little bit more. But I don’t think that time is yet.
- Stages Dual: It remains to be seen if Stages releases their much-discussed dual solution. If so, they’ll be entering a crowded market. But they’re positioned well from a branding and marketing standpoint.
- Polar: There is definitely a big question here. While Look’s new ANT+/BLE unit (they used to be BFF’s with Polar) makes Polar’s solution un-purchasable, it’s realistically going to take Polar buying someone else’s tech and calling it a day. There isn’t enough demand in the market for a BLE-only power meter (yet), so they’re kinda left with a lame-duck unit in the meantime.
- Quarq: The company is in a so-so spot pricing wise. They’re pulling in sales based primarily on their solid product reputation. But they’re leaving money on the table to Power2Max/PowerTap C1 purchasers (and I’m betting it’s a lot of money given the PowerTap C1’s sales). I could see Quarq reducing their AL units by about $100 to be more competitive with Power2Max or PowerTap C1.
- WatTeam PowerBeat: Assuming the units are accurate (just started shipping), I expect to see them have an impact on pricing of the market in the Fall 2016 timeframe. But they’ll likely be busy catching up with demand until then (US and Europe this summer), as well as proving themselves as a company and the product as reliable. Just like how it took a number of months between when 4iiii started shipping their Precision units, and when price reductions were required by Stages.
As for a new buyers guide, we’ll see. I think I’ve largely covered everything in my existing guide, so at this point it’s more around pricing changes and products finally making it to market. For example, the PowerBeat units. But otherwise everything else was released at the time of my buyers guide last fall (though my 4iiii Precision review came out afterwards).
With that – thanks for reading!
Thanks! Awesome update for the start of the season. And updates re: 4iiii dual system release timing?
Unfortunately nothing new there.
I spoke to 4iii at the London Bike Show. The dual sided units were with Etixx for some testing, they expected to release pricing in the next 6-8 weeks for delivery mid summer; assuming no problems come up during UAT.
Any update on dynovelo ?
Nothing that I’ve seen. But good call – just added them into the table.
Great summary. One interesting product I have been waiting for is the Stages for Campagnolo: any inside info on that? I fear it will be much more expensive than the current models.
sadly, I got this response from Stages re: Campy
Great work as usual, highly detailed and precise information in one easy-to-read article with all the links !
It is work like yours that have made it possible for the average consumer/buyer like me to be more knowledgeable and make better decisions when it comes to choosing the best suited products.
Thank you very much Ray !
+1 it’s ok to be a fanboy once and a while
Don’t forget Shimano with its Dura-ace powermeter on test in pro team. As Dura-ace device price will be probably important but it could hve impact on SRM policy if accuracy is OK.
I haven’t seen anything yet that indicates any estimated pricing or availability – so somewhat hard to include it now since it’s mostly in rumor/leak state.
Apparently new DA is only embargoed until end of this month. I would guess availability would start end of year.
When will Powertap release a shimano 4arm compatible C1? Seems a no-brained and odd they haven’t done so already?
Isn’t Ashton a left-only meter ?
Yup, tweaked the label in the table. Thanks!
Ashton’s site doesn’t really give much information as to what there progress is, have you heard any news on a release date. Is it more likely in 2017 or 2018?
Still no word on release/pricing of the new (non-polar) ANT+ keo power?
At paris-nizza riders were still using prototype systems.
link to bikerumor.com
The pricing in the post (listed in ‘Futures’ under Look) is actually the latest USD pricing info that I have (from a few weeks ago). No update on availability yet though. I e-mailed them yesterday to see what’s up.
did you get any reply yet? I plan to upgrade from the Look/Polar pedals to the new Look pedals…
Any opinion on Tempo? link to kickstarter.com
They look to be ahead of Limits for sure :).
I’ve kept an eye on it. I think they’re kinda at the ‘we have a cool product idea’ concept, but not at the ‘we have a product ready for Kickstarter or consumers’ stage. I would have recommended them spend a bit more time polishing aspects of the product and messaging before launching to Kickstarter (which is likely we you see them struggling on KS).
And, failing all that – I would have recommended finding a friend who was good in photography to take their campaign pics. Consumers judge a book by its cover, and in this case the lack of a polished look I think is really hurting them. 🙁
I am going on a holiday to New York soon and would like to pick up a stages power meter. Can anyone advise of a bike shop in NYC where I could pick up a Stages at a good price or would I need to order online and try and get it delivered to my hotel?
Hi Ray, thanks for the wrap-up! I was pretty much decided on PowerTap Hub, but then I noticed there are several of them: G3, G3C and GS. While you have explained GS, I still can’t find any info on what this G3C is. Any idea?
The G3C is simply with the ceramic bearings. 🙂
(Shh…don’t fall for it – it’s a trap!)
Are there any interesting tendencies in European pricing, like for Tacx and Elite trainers that are better priced here than Wahoo? Favero and Power2Max being Europe based should make impact on that.
Not generally, no (better in Europe than US). Usually it’s the opposite oddly enough. With Favero for example, they actually don’t have US-specific pricing – instead, they do it by currency conversions, so it’s a wash. Retailers like Clever Training and others basically order in bulk at a given price (conversion rate), and then typically validate the rate hasn’t changed too much every few months. Right now the EUR/USD has been pretty stable the last few months – so no changes required.
On Watteam’s website under technology (link to watteam.com) it now says,
“SUPPORTS ALL CRANK TYPES
POWERBEAT is compatible with all crank types – whatever year or brand, whether aluminum or carbon.”
Would this truly mean all aluminum cranks? Or just hollow aluminum cranks? FSA gossamer pro here.
Probably a premature marketing error. Neither their twitter or facebook page mentions carbon or aluminum compatibility.
A rep on their facebook page said solid aluminum cranks aren’t supported – as of 8 hours ago.
Ray, any word/view on the Rotor 2IN they are mean to be bringing out next month?
Speaking to the Watteam Powerbeat’s accuracy…have been riding mine for a couple of weeks now and have noticed that it seems to be underreporting power considerably. I don’t have anything to compare it to, and this is my first power meter, but consider this:
I weigh 260 and therefore am as aerodynamic as a mack truck. When riding into a headwind, on a flat road, ~85 rpm, 18-21 mph would one expect my power to be 30, 40, 5 watts? That is what I am seeing and sometimes the reading is zero. I have to actually get onto a climb to get any appreciable power reading.
This is seen via both ant+ and Bluetooth Smart. I have calibrated on 3 occasions and zero every time. Waiting to hear back from Watteam.
Definitely hit up WatTeam’s support, but my bet is something is amiss in either the calibration or zero’ing of it.
They actually get all of the information instantly as you go through the app, and are able to tell you which specific calibration sequence/item doesn’t look right.
In my case they showed me something that was off on my first attempt that resulted in a similar pattern to yours. Once they were able to explain the proper way to reset (via the install menu, not calibration), then I was good to go.
Just spoke to Watteam support. Turns out that I did exactly what you did Ray when calibrating…I did not zero out first. He also said with Speedplay pedals I should take the hook off of the water bags and carefully hang the bag strap across the “lollipop” so that the calibration occurs as close to the point where the force is applied (vs inboard on the spindle).
Also of note, it is very cool that they can see the data and results of my calibrations. The person I talked to did mention that an app update is due out next week. Don’t know the details but I inferred that will add the zero out step into the beginning of the calibration routine.
I look forward to trying the fix out this evening.
Interesting on the Speedplay.
Yeah, I suspect that they’ll be learning quickly all of the ‘unique’ ways people like you and I interpret their instructions. The good news is that they seem very open to that feedback, so that’s definitely good.
And most importantly is that it’s not so much a case of hosing up the physical install, as it is just getting the steps for calibration/zero correct. So an easy fix. I’ve decided I’m not emptying out those water bags till I return the unit! 🙂
I am going to follow you in not emptying those damn bags. Have done it 3x so far and it sure seems to take forever. After posting picts (note the grippy material to keep the strap from slipping) to twitter to Watteam of my calibration Speedplay tweak they said this morning that one side was not showing as being plugged in. Checked and both sides are indeed plugged in. So depending on how my ride goes today I will have to calibrate all over tonight. Problem is I have already emptied the damn bags!
Practice makes perfect. 😉
I think having a trainer here is useful for a quick validation check. The good news is that from what I’ve seen, failure is pretty binary. Meaning – either the values are totally wrong, or they are right. I haven’t see it be ‘mostly right’, if that makes sense.
Ray, I see a $529 price base for Stages and read that prices quoted are for lowest MSRP. Stages website still says $699 so I was wondering where you saw the $529 price? And thanks for the great update.
Ray, NVM. I see the $529 is for lowest model in Stages lineup, not the carbon BB30 which I was looking at…
When I go to their online store I see units at $529. For example: https://store.stagescycling.com/stages-power-meter–105-5800-p838.aspx
Where is RPM2 ?
Good call, just added them in. I knew there was someone missing. Hoping the unit shows up shortly.
RPM2 has two types of insoles:
– rpm2 @ 629 (specifically geared for traditional runners and team sport athletes)
– rpm2 triathlete @ 675 (Specifically geared for triathletes and team sport athletes)
Looking forward to a test of the RPM2. Never heard of them before but would save a ton of time if all you have to do is swap insoles between bikes. Mtb, road, cx.
Ray, how about your thoughts for Pioneer?
They make a solid unit, and I think their Feb price corrections put it in a pretty good spot. As I talk about in my review, I wouldn’t buy their head unit, but have no qualms with their power meter.
Have noted that Quarq XX1 (all different version have been back-tracked a while, plan to be back 18/3) Any rumors regarding a new version?
RPM2’s website lists them as $629, not $675. Are they going to raise the price?
The $629 is for the runner version, the $675 is for the the cycling & running version.
Awesome Information… Quick question about power meters and my current bike.
I have a 2011 Madone 4.5 with the crank being a Shimano R600… Am I correct that this set-up is severely limiting my options of the cheaper crank arm power meters? If you were were in my situation do you just look at the hub/pedal based meters or consider swapping components? Thank You.
Thanks for info Ray, well timed! A Euro version would be most welcome, it looks like your community’s second market and we kindly saved from living under Trump’s reign 🙂
As of today Favero Bepro powermeter is in stock via their own shop and reservation should not be required any longer.
Looks like they finally caught up with producing enough units. Which might also mean some price reduction in the longer term
I own the single version and was positively impressed by the build quality and ease of use. Calibration seemed a big hurdle for some but I cannot see how it could be easier than this.
How much cheaper would a vector2 need to be to make it a better purchase than P1s?
If a power meter is only going to be used on one bike would one be recommended over the other assuming similar price?
I don’t see it as ever being ‘better’ than the P1’s in terms of an overall product. But of course, at a given point, then it becomes a ‘better deal’, or as you said – a better ‘purchase’ (or at least at a price I’d heavily consider). I think that’s roughly in the $899 arena.
Ray, what happened to the shoe-based power meter shown by Luck in 2014? You used to show this as a future product, but it is now no longer in your tables. Have they quit the concept or work in progress?
Yeah, they seemed to have disappeared from the scene unfortunately.
Apparently they presented the product at Eurobike just now…
Interesting, I’ll swing by.
What’s the verdict on the Team Zwatt product? It might be one I can actually afford, be it over months not straight up
Check out my post on them here: link to dcrainmaker.com
Not sure if this is relevant as a test but just setup tonight a pair of Vector 2 on my Orbea Orca 20i with the bike on my Tacx Neo trainer. Setup was actually easier than I would have thought.
After calibration I compared the power readings of the Tacx Neo and the Vector and they were very close (+- 2-3%) of each other in a range going from 30W to 300W.
That is only anecdotal but assuming the power reading from the Neo is quite accurate (based on reviews read) then this is a good sign for the accuracy of the Vectors.
Shame there is no price wars this year to lower the prices more
Is it worth to buy for 105 5800 175mm: “FSA Powerbox Alloy BB386 Evo 52-36” or is there any better quality-value option ?
Do you perhaps already reviewed “FSA Powerbox Alloy BB386 ” ?
You need to work on your data visualization..
Take a look at the book Storytelling with Data. After applying the basic concepts of data viz, you and your readers will get a lot from it.