As I alluded to last week, the winds of the bike mount world be blowing strong this spring.
Not one to be outdone, PowerPod has jumped into the combination GoPro/Garmin mount market for triathlon bikes with their latest product. This has them joining Bar Fly with their just announced triathlon/TT bike combo mount, as well as some modular options from Rec Mounts.
In the case of Velocomp/PowerPod, they’ve partnered with Womo Designs based in Seattle to create their mount. Womo Designs creates mostly custom and high-end mounts today, including for various pro teams. Somewhat like another Pacific Northwest company (K-Edge), their mounts are made of machined aluminum and tend to be on the stronger end of the spectrum. Consequently, these aluminum mounts also tend to be priced a bit higher.
Oh – first, a disclaimer: The unit I have right now being a prototype isn’t finished/anodized with a black casing. So it’s silver. I contemplated coloring it black with a Sharpie, but then I could only find a green or pink Sharpie around the studio. So…scratch that idea.
The unit latches on with two screws and the small included Allen key.
The mount includes a Garmin quarter-turn mount at the top. While the prototype unit I have here is hard-set for the Edge series, I’m told the final production units will allow you to rotate it for both Edge and Forerunner quick release kits (which have a 90° offset from the Edge units).
Below deck you’ve got the standard GoPro mount. This allows you to mount not only a GoPro, but also any GoPro compatible products. In the case of Velocomp/PowerPod, their primary interest is in the PowerPod power meter, which uses the GoPro mount:
But even with their own product in mind, they seem to recognize the market for other mounted accessories. For example, any of the GoPro units:
Or even the Cycliq Fly12, which seems well supported by this beefier mount (since it’s a beefier unit). In other words, I probably wouldn’t stick the Fly12 on a plastic Bar Fly mount due to the much heavier weight. Whereas this metal is more than fine.
One interesting/unique feature of the PowerPod TT mount is that you can actually rotate the GoPro portion of the mount in any direction. This is similar to Womo Designs’ other mounts, which allow you to loosen the screws and then point the mount in any direction you like. So in theory if you wanted to you could point it sideways.
I’m not sure what exactly the applicability is of this type of feature, but I’ve long since learned that folks have come up with creative needs (and solutions) for just about everything out there.
Also of note is that it does include it’s own screw to lock in anything you mount below. While you technically could use a GoPro thumb screw, you’d probably have problems with getting it out between the aerobars. In my setup, my aerobars are fairly close together. But if you had them further apart it wouldn’t be an issue. So I just used the included screw and Allen Key.
Test Video Sample:
I headed out for a ride around town with it to capture a bit of video footage. Here’s some random clips strung together of a nice warm spring day:
Not too shabby. The mount really has virtually no give to it. I’d say there’s actually a bit more give in the GoPro frame plastic housing/shell itself than anything else (actually more noticeable than I’d previously realized). Obviously with any mount, but especially in the case of a TT/triathlon bike and aerobars you’ll want to ensure the bars aren’t in the image. But even more so – ensure that after you place your hands on the aerobars and wrap your fingers around the tip of them, that they aren’t in the frame (an easy mistake to make since they wouldn’t show up in earlier framing images).
About the only downside to the mount is that it has a bit more vertical height than the Bar Fly combo mount. Meaning the middle part between the GoPro and the Garmin is vertically denser. On the flipside, you want the GoPro to be ‘pushed down’ a bit from the aerobars, otherwise you’d get them in the shot (non-ideal). It’s the upper Garmin part you’d want more flush if possible.
Additionally, as is the case with any of these combo mounts, they would preclude (or at least make difficult) any form of front-end hydration system mounted to your aerobars. So you’d have to consider that depending on the type of racing or training. And speaking of racing, keep in mind that at present WTC (World Triathlon Corporation, owner of Ironman branded races) does not permit cameras in their races. But if you’re using this mount for the PowerPod, then that’s a non-issue. Same goes for training.
Finally, the mount will start shipping in mid-May for $59. Though you can pre-order it now.
With that – thanks for reading!
Tough to tell if objects appear closer than they actually are or if you’re incredibly brave in heavy traffic…yikes!
The short section where the bike path is separate from the road and the trees create a tunnel is rather nice.
Thinking the same thing, was waiting for a door to open, to show how strong the mount was 😉
It’s pretty much the norm in Paris if you get stuck at rush hour in traffic.
im keen on this, but wondering how far forward it can mounted on the aerobars?
Would it work (and be stable enough for powerpod) close to the end of the aero bars? Then it would be in front of and out of the way of hydration system.
From a mechanical standpoint you can mount it pretty darn forward. The piece that might need input from the PowerPod guys is how much ‘give’ they’ve got in the algorithms for any flex up further forward. I don’t know the answer to that.
We’ve seen aero bars that are rock-solid stiff, and with those designs PowerPod can be mounted anywhere.
We’ve also seen aero bars that flex. Flexing is not good for PowerPod slope measurement and vibration resistance, so for those versions you’ll want to get the TT mount attached as close as possible to the handlebars.
I just ordered the powerpod and I am hoping I can make it work on my triathlon bike. It should be here in a few days and I am going to try to mount in to the right or the left on my basebar. I am not sure it will give me great results but it is worth a try before buying this mount. I feel most triathletes need between the aerobars hydration so I don’t like that this mount takes that out. Could it fit on the computer mount of an xlab torpedo or one profile designs bottle mounts?
Also, it terms of triathlon will I have to go ride for 5 miles to calibrate the device before the event begins? It has plenty of battery so I know that it won’t be an issue to leave it on, but this could be really inconvenient.
Putting the PowerPod on the Profile design mount, or mounting the whole kit thing to the profile design system?
The thing I’d be concerned about if attaching the PowerPod itself to the profile design system is the sway it’ll have. I haven’t looked at the absolute latest model, but the models that I have from past years are held with Velcro and some light screws (more for stability than locking in place). Which has a fair bit of give.
I’ve managed to fit mine to my base bar (a Profile Ozero), albeit having to narrow my aero extensions slightly to do so. I did try fitting it inboard of the aero bars, but this made them slightly too wide apart to be comfortable, so have ended up on the outside of the extensions and am just trying to get used to shrugging my shoulders in more!
I’ve used the mount the Powerpod came with to fit on my TT bike, and it seems to be sufficiently out of the way of the bars to function fine – certainly the data seems to be responsive and the power figures seem to be sensible for my weight/speed/times.
As for the calibration ride, this is only really required when you change the position of the powerpod or swap from bike to bike. So long as you’ve had it installed as you tend to ride it in advance (I’d suggest with any hydration systems etc fitted, and riding in the aero position) you shouldn’t need to calibrate on the day of the event.
In that position, though, wouldn’t the act of changing to the aero position change the aerodynamics of the bike?
Changing the body’s aero position, or the bikes?
There’s no change to the body’s aero position in this case. To the bike there is (unclear if substantial or not). From a PowerPod standpoint (if that’s what you’re referring to), then you’d have to do a cal ride, or just let it settle automatically.
Sorry, I wasn’t very clear with my question. Would the arms being in front of the item not alter the airflow entering the unit thus skewing the data? Also, can the item really tell the difference between hands on the cow-horns & in the aero position?
This is great to know that it fit on your base bar. I also have a similar profile design base bar and I think there is room to fit to the left or the right of the extensions since my extensions are close together and the bar is pretty narrow here. I may then try to use it with my current profile design aquacell and if I get weird numbers get a hydration system that is completely above the extensions like the newer versions that have been released. I am glad to know that I won’t need to ride 5 minutes to calibrate unless I will be changing bikes, which I will plan to do. Thanks Ray and others for your answers. My item hasn’t shipped yet but it should soon so I am anxious to try it.
Matthew- In theory it won’t, as the arm placement is typically ‘static’, and shouldn’t impact the wind into the sensor down further. They’ve had TT mounts before, so they have some experience here.
I need to find some ‘clean’ roadways to test this on where I could do stuff semi-repeatably with position changes. But the route would have to be long enough to get past the 5-8 minute calibration portions without stopping.
As for shifts between horns and aero, oh yeah, definitely. Huge difference – especially because your body is in a totally different setup at that point (sitting vs ‘laying’).
Just to echo what Ray said (and to clarify the point I was making to John), I think the calibration ride needs to echo reasonably closely how the bike will be set up when used ‘in anger’.
So, I did the calibration ride on my TT bike mostly on the aero bars, wearing my skinsuit and pointy lid. But now, when I switch the Powerpod over to my TT bike for a race, it’s ready to use and doesn’t require any further calibration.
I just accept the fact that if I’m riding over to an event using the base bar, then my power figures are probably under reporting (by about 5%?)
The PowerPod wind port is far enough below the aero bars and arms above so that wind flow is not obstructed.
There a manufacturer in London that does custom mounts and adapters so one can add other stuff to a GoPro/Garmin mount like the one you have. It’s RaceWare (www.racewaredirect.co). I bought from them an adapter for an Exposure Diablo light… picture attached.
My 2¢ – By spinning the mount 90° you could then put ONE GoPro extension between the mount & the camera which would help to keep the aerobars/fingers out of view. Not too low, not too much flex from all of those individual pieces of plastic, sounds about right to me.
I used the Powerpod combo mount on my tri bike. It put the unit far enough forward to avoid the Torhans bottle. Just to make sure, I talked to Powerpod support, and they sent me a modified bike file. Seems to work.
I’m sure Womo would like to note that their Koala Bottle mount works very well with a garmin or powerpod on the bottom. Of course, you don’t get a garmin withi that setup (and you’re stuck with a koala bottle for your ‘aero’ hydration) but it’s a product that exists.
Definitely an interesting mount but the cost seems a bit excessive. They also charge $10 shipping which essentially makes this a $70 mount. I was interested to add a GoPro mount to my aerobars close to the shifters so my hands / aerobars / BTA are out of sight. Are there any mounts type K-edge that I would potentially use in combination with a 90 degree adapter? The challenge would be they need to go around the aerobars i.e. smaller diameter vs the standard oversized handlebar diameter.
Just to update everybody because I had to call clever training, my ant+ powerpod is backordered until mid-May. If you are contemplating getting this you may want to hold out for the bluetooth model since it is to release mid-May. I guess that could get pushed back too though.
Just don’t use your camera in a race… I was assessed a 2 min penalty in a sprint last year for having my camera mounted on my bike…
Except it’s kinda silly that GoPro sponsors the Ironman World Championships, yet you can’t use a GoPro on it? Huh?
No such USAT rule exists, so it’s purely a WTC thing.
Yeah I argued with the official for 10 min! I used to work for USAT and I know the rules…
Arguments from the USAT official:
No electronics – So then no electronic shifting, power meters, Garmins, etc… are allowed so everyone in the race is now penalized.
No cell phones – GoPro is not a cell phone
No video recording devices – no such rule
Finally came down to “the discretion of the official”… Seriously?
That’s actually a great one to go back to the head USAT official on (he’s pretty easily accessible via e-mail).
Before I posted my comment above I quickly scanned the current USAT regs again, simply because I don’t follow them as closely living in France these days. But still no mention of cameras. No phones of course, but that’s fine (actually, the rule technically states a phone is fine, but no forward progress may be made while the phone is in use).
I also did officiate some races when I lived in the states. Too bad folks get on power trips though. 🙁
And even worse for you given you worked for them. 🙁
Getting into this discussion a little late: What diameter of aerobar does this fit? I ordered a Bar Fly unit and was very disappointed when I found that it was meant for a smaller diameter aerobar than mine (~25 mm, clip-on).
What about slipstreaming? Being in a chain gang may affect the way the PowerPod measures the wattage and probably won’t be able to re-calibrate itself… Clearly would be nice to determine the real effects of the bunch ride over a solo ride, but won’t provide a precise power information, or?
Can this be installed on bikes with integrated front hydration system like Giant Trinity Advanced Pro? Thanks!
I have the bluetooth version of PowerPod. The plastic tags on the device is filmsy. Don’t buy PowerPod. I got those broken even I got warranty repair. Also, I got 40w to 50w difference compared to the readings from Stages power meter.