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WatTeam PowerBeat Gen2 Power Meter In-Depth Review

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It’s been a few years since WatTeam first jumped onto the power meter scene.  Back in the summer of 2014 they boldly exclaimed their plans to ship a dual left/right power meter solution for $499 – breaking what is largely considered a pretty magical price point for power meters (especially at that time).  As I’ll cover in the next section, it’s been a long (and bumpy) road for the company to get to this post, but over the last month they’ve started shipping their 2nd generation PowerBeat product.

Their ability to get to this price point is due to WatTeam’s ‘shifting’ of the manufacturing from an expensive factory to your living room. While other companies like Stages and 4iiii are gluing sensors to crank arms for you, WatTeam believes that you can do it yourself.  And more importantly, that you can do it in a repeatable and accurate way.  And that’s ultimately what this review is about: Does this method actually work?

Back in December the company flew to me, where we spent time installing it on not one, but two crank arm sets.  I did the installation following the app on my bike, just like you would if the box arrived on your doorstep.  They watched over and took notes on my responses and reactions.

I’ve been riding the PowerBeats since then, putting it through its paces both inside and outside.  Acceptable weather and not so awesome weather.  Smooth roads and nasty cobblestone roads.  The goal being to find out what, if any, cracks there are in the self-install system.  Once I’m done with that I’ll use their remover glue to remove the pods and send the whole kit back to them like I usually do.

So, let’s dive into it.

The Past (and Future) of WatTeam:

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Like last week’s 4iiii Precision power meter review, it’s important to take a brief step back and talk about how we got here, even more so for WatTeam.  After all, this isn’t their first power meter launch rodeo.  For better or worse, it’s actually their second attempt at the PowerBeat product, with the first attempt last winter being recalled after inaccurate readings.  But to their credit, they did the ‘right thing’ for their customers, and were upfront and honest about the issues – a trait that not all power meter companies in the industry share.

They’re back almost precisely one year later, both far more humble, and with what is quite frankly a better product.  While from a bike-length away it may look like the same product, there are many nuances both internally and even during installation that differ significantly.  These tweaks having the goal of ensuring not only accurate data, but also a cleaner installation process.

Of course, this review will cover whether those changes over the last year have made a difference.

But what about going forward?  Sure, I might normally cover this at the end of a post, but there are some planned items that are worthwhile mentioning now.  First is the company is planning on shipping a mountain bike variety soon, which is essentially a small casing that protects the pods.  You can see how this appears here:

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Of course – road riders can also use this if they’d like, though I haven’t seen it be a necessity at this point.  Perhaps for something like CX it might make more sense however.

Next, in a post back at Interbike a few months ago, I showed their longer term vision for other crankset companies to be able to leverage their technology into a much more compact form factor onto the edge of the crank arm.  You can see an example of this here:

Obviously, by shifting the production facility back away from your living room to a dedicated location, they’re able to do things to crank arms that you can’t (or at least, wouldn’t want to).  Still, I suspect this part of the future is quite far away.  I’ve often talked to many start-ups in the power meter world that want to appeal to the major OEM’s, but those talks rarely (almost never) result in any fruit.  The negotiations and flirtations last for years, and even then often fall apart.

Still, it’s great to see they’re thinking ahead (and really, more to a different/secondary market).  Any tech company that wants to be successful at anything needs to have one foot in today’s world, and one foot in tomorrow’s.  But, let’s focus on what they’ve just released now.

What’s in the box:

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While many crank-focused power meters come installed on your crank-arm or similar, PowerBeat doesn’t.  Rather, that’s your job.  Instead, it comes in a box with all of the parts relatively clearly labeled.

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Once you’ve taken all those out, here’s what the situation looks like:

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Let me help to demystify what some of these parts are. It’s not as complex as it looks:

Pencil: It’s a pencil. Duh. Used for marking your crank with install spot.
Two plastic ruler looking things: Used to align installation spot, combined with pencil, it’s magic.
Giant plastic bags: You fill these with water, which acts as a weight.
Two comp pods: These have the batteries and communications chipsets in them
Two sensors: These are the strain gauges that attach to your crank arms
Charger: These charge your Comp Pods, and connects via USB
Washers (in plastic bag): Simple washers, for spacing on crank arm
Plastic gloves (in plastic bag): Also just simple plastic bags to keep your hands clean from glue
Glue (in plastic bag): Glue that you mix together, like most epoxies
Mixing stick (in plastic bag): A small stick to mix said glue
Sandpaper (in plastic bag): For creating a very faint abrasion on the crank arm (it’s very fine sandpaper)
One snack size package of Oreos: Just seeing if you’re paying attention.
Hooks & Cable Stickers (in plastic bag): For holding water bags during weighing, and for keeping cables clean
Rubber bands: Used during installation/gluing. Afterwards can be used for rubber band fight.

Ok, I suppose that looks like a lot.  But it’s really more of me being pedantic with all the parts.  I think the biggest challenges that WatTeam has is reducing what looks complex, but really isn’t.  Speaking of which, let’s move onto installation.

Installation/Configuration:

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As I was just saying – WatTeam’s biggest challenge is installation.  Not the actual installation, but the perception of it.  I can guarantee you that some will scroll to this section, see the pictures, and then close this browser tab.  They’ll be the same people that then go onto various internet forums and proclaim how messy/difficult it is to install, even though they’ve never installed it.

Except, they’d be wrong.

It’s actually far simpler than you’d expect to install.  Yes, it takes some time.  But not a lot.  You could budget 45 minutes and easily be done with the active work portions in that time.  That’s certainly less time than it’d take for you to drive to a bike shop, wait for them to install a new power meter of another brand, and drive home.  It’s not complex, nor is it difficult.  It does, however, require you to be able to follow instructions.  It’s no different than following a recipe from a cookbook.  If you can bake cookies, you can do this.

The entire process is guided by their mobile app, which has simple installation/instructional videos within it. Each section will show you how to do that step, and then wait for you to follow it.  It’s like ‘Simon says’.

The first step is using the phone app to scan the barcode on the box.  This allows the app to lookup the exact pod ID’s and create a pairing.

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Then from there we’ll take out the little plastic ruler pieces.  These are simply used to mark where to install the sensor.  Put your  pedal through it, and then grab that pencil to mark the spot. Done.

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Next, you’ll wet the sand paper, and then very lightly rub/sand in the spot where the sensors are going. You can see in the below photo that it’s very faint (the abrasion) – barely noticeable even when pointing a camera right at it.

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Then you’ll go ahead and take out the sensor and rubber bands, and validate the location and alignment.  Like a test run.    After which you’ll use some cleaning pads to clean off that spot.  After which you’ll mix the glue together and apply it to the bottom of the sensor (first cleaning the sensor as well).  Then you’ll press down on the sensor for a few seconds to ensure it’s snug.

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(I don’t have great photos of me holding the sensor while gluing, since I needed two hands for this).

At which point you’ll repeat the process for the other crank arm, and then come back 24 hours after the glue hardens overnight.

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It’s really that simple.

The last piece is installing the comp pods, which house the communications and battery pieces.  But this is silly easy. Simply put a washer in place, and then spin the pedal into the hole on the metal holder of the pod.  Not much different than how it works with Garmin Vector, Polar/Look KEO, or bePRO’s systems.

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You’ll then connect the cable from the sensor pod to the comp pod, which provides battery power to the sensor.

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The part that people get all bent out of shape on though is coming up – which is the water bag part.  Remember those big plastic bags I showed earlier?  Well, go and fill them to the top with water.  Try and get them as close to the top as possible (extra water will simply push out, that’s fine).

These bags act as weights, which are used to calibrate the unit.  It’s actually pretty ingenious, since it ensures an exact weight – versus someone trying to use dumbbells or something.

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The app will guide you through the calibration process, which is done with your bike upside down.  Essentially it rotates you through a bunch of positions, which allows them to accurately calibrate the device based on your specific crank arm properties.  Somehow, I don’t have a picture of this – which is really too bad. I’ll need to do a re-enactment.  In the meantime, here’s their video explaining how it works:

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During this, the app will be providing real-time feedback and will reject any attempts that aren’t perfectly aligned.  Further, behind the scenes, the company’s support division is receiving the metrics live, and can and will reach out to you if they see something amiss.  They’re also available for video conference calls too (from which I hear good things from DCR Readers who have used them).

The only downside to the water bag dance is that getting the bags to hold tight in the right positions can be tricky depending on how exactly your pedals are designed.  Some pedals are easier than others.  For example, these Look KEO pedals that have a big hole in them for the hook to go through are super easy.  Whereas the PowerTap P1 pedals are a bit trickier since they lack that hole, so you have to put the strap over it entirely.  Not impossible, just requires a few seconds more patience.

Once you’ve completed the water bag dance, you’re done and ready to roll.

General Use Overview:

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For the most part, once you’ve completed the installation, the unit acts much like most other power meters.  We’ll start with charging though, since I recommend you do that first.  A single charge is rated for 60 hours. To do so, you’ll un-pop the charging plug out of the pod:

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(In case you’re wondering – the final production cable tie/stickers back in December hadn’t arrived yet, so it was black tape for me.)

Then you’ll simply plug in the USB charging portion.

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The charging pod has nice super-long cables, so you can easily charge from quite some distance away.

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The pods will show their current charging status – making it easy to know if they’re done.  You can see the green light below.  Once all set, go ahead and remove the charging cable and pop back in the sensor pieces.

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At which point you’re ready to pair up your head unit.  Within the app you’ve got the ability to toggle between ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart modes.  At present, the unit doesn’t dual-broadcast ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart, though that’s something they’re considering enabling.  For now, I largely used the ANT+ mode.

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Note that on the Bluetooth Smart mode they’ve got a few variants to cover the variations in different head units in how they record power.  Yes, it should be standard across the board…but alas, nobody wants to be.

As with most Garmin devices, I renamed the ANT+ ID (61775) to the name of the unit, to make it easy to track.  Note that like all other power meters, you’ll simply scan for nearby units and it’ll easily find it.  The above screenshots just are there for your documentation purposes.

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You’ll have the usual options for checking sensor details such as software versions, as well as setting the zero offset.

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To calibrate (a zero offset in this case), you’ll go ahead and tap the Calibrate button, while being unclipped from the unit.  Keeping the cranks vertical seems to work out best:

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Note that often times I do two calibration (offsets) back to back, rotating the crankset once in between.  I like to ensure it gives the same reading.  This is a bit of a habit coming from doing lots of power meter testing, and I feel like it produces more stable results here.

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The app has many of these same functions as well.  For example, you can pair to your pods and check everything from temperature to battery.

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Also, down the road, you’ll be able to have multiple bikes assigned (with corresponding calibration values).  This would allow you to buy a second set of sensors, and then ‘simply’ swap the pods between bikes.  This would be akin to swapping Vector or BePRO.  Not quite as fast as a simple pedal swap like the PowerTap P1, but still well under 5-7 minutes once you get efficient at it.

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You can also set the zero offset here, as well as even do a live check of signal strength and gain.  Plus you can monitor the pedals live (for cadence/power), in the event of troubleshooting or such.

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(Administrivia Note: The above crank length was showing as 172.5 in the app even though my crank length is 175mm, because I took these screenshots with the Gen2 production version of the app after having done setup with the beta app before it was released to the app store, so it didn’t carry over my settings in the app itself.  The cranks themselves were configured though as 175mm.)

Ok, with all that configuration stuffs out of the way, let’s talk about general usage.  Once pedaling out on the road the unit will be broadcasting the following specs:

ANT+ Power (total)
ANT+ Power Balance (left/right)
ANT+ Cadence
ANT+ Pedal Smoothness
ANT+ Torque Effectiveness
Bluetooth Smart Power
Bluetooth Smart Power Balance
Bluetooth Smart Cadence

You can see this detail on the head unit itself of course, or afterwards on various platforms depending on the capabilities of the platform.  For example using the baseline of Garmin Connect, here’s what you’ve got for a ride.  Whereas if you pair to Suunto’s platform you won’t get some of the additional power meter metrics beyond baseline power, since Suunto doesn’t support those.  Meanwhile, Polar sits somewhere in the middle on support of advanced metrics.

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With all of the operational use things out of the way, let’s dive into the accuracy pieces.

Power Meter Accuracy Results:

I’ve long said that if your power meter isn’t accurate, then there’s no point in spending money on one.  Strava can give you estimated power that’s ‘close enough’ for free, so if you’re gonna spend money on something it shouldn’t be a random number generator.  Yet there are certain scenarios/products where a power meter may be less accurate than others, or perhaps it has known edge cases that don’t work.  Neither product type is bad – but you just need to know what those use/edge cases are and whether it fits your budget or requirements.

Still, WatTeam certainly hopes to be in the camp of accuracy found with other power meters that are regularly recommended.  But do they have that level of accuracy?

Well as always I set out to find that out.  In power meters today one of the biggest challenges is outdoor conditions.  Generally speaking, indoor conditions are pretty easy to handle, but I still start there nonetheless.  It allows me to dig into areas like low and high cadence, as well as just how clean numbers are at steady-state power outputs.  Whereas outdoors allows me to look into water ingest concerns, temperature and humidity variations, and the all important road surface aspects (i.e. vibrations).

In my testing, I generally use between 2-4 other power meters on the bike at once.  I find this is the best way to validate power meters in real-world conditions.  In the case of most of these tests I was using the following other units:

PowerTap G3 hub based power meter
4iiii Precision dual (left/right) power meter
Tacx NEO Trainer
CycleOps Hammer Trainer

In general, my use of other products is most often tied to other things I’m testing.  In this case, I was testing both the WatTeam and 4iiii’s units more or less concurrently.  I had two sets of WatTeam power meters to work with, one installed on the 4iiii crankset, and one on a second crankset that wasn’t equipped with the 4iiii dual system. When it comes to data collection, I use a blend of the NPE WASP data collection devices, and a fleet of Garmin head units (mostly Edge 520/820/1000 units).

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Note all of the data can be found in the links next to each review.  Also, at the end is a short table with the data used in this review.  I’ll likely add in other data not in this review as well once I finish consolidating that data.  I’m a bit behind on getting data off some of my head units into folders.

With that, let’s get started with an indoor test (data here).  This one was on the CycleOps Hammer with TrainerRoad controlling it.  Note that this was done prior to a Hammer firmware update that addressed some of the spikiness, so don’t mind that too much on the Hammer.  Here’s the overall ride, which was 30×30’s (30 seconds hard, 30 seconds easy).  Here it is without smoothing:

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And here it is with 10-second smoothing.  Note that I will usually show/note the charts with smoothing, merely because it allows us to easily pick out variances that shouldn’t be there.

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Now, ignore the random Hammer power drop there, that was something on the recording unit side.  That’s fine and non-relevant.  Instead, simply focus on the fact that throughout this all three units agree quite nicely.  Said differently: Happy.

One thing you may wonder about is that very last second spike.  This was actually just me pedaling for about 2 seconds, causing this spike.  But you do see some slight differences in measurement.  For a 2-second long pedal-stroke, you’re simply going to see variations in max power on any power meter and recording device.  That’s normal.

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Next let’s look at a Zwift session, non-ERG mode. This is notable because it’s more variable than a TrainerRoad workout given I control my power output based on gearing.  It thus allows for more fluctuation.  Here’s the high-level overview:

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Again, things look pretty good here.  If we zoom in on one of the sprints (smoothed at 10-seconds), you’ll notice the WatTeam unit is slightly below the others.  It matches it otherwise, but is a bit low on the sprint.

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We see the same thing in another sprint a bit later.  Perfectly fine going in/out of the sprint, but the peak is just a bit low:

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Out of curiosity, I took that same peak and broke apart the left and right power from 4iiii and WatTeam.  It appears like the right side is slightly under-measuring the sprint side for this effort.

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Note that there were some oddities later in this same file where the WatTeam dropped out, however I believe that may have been battery related and not unit-related.  Thus, I’m not holding it against them, since it’s likely just a case of me forgetting to charge one of the pods.

Next, let’s head outside – where the rubber meets the road.  This was a 90 or so minute ride across a bunch of rather varied terrain – including both smaller and larger cobblestones.  Here’s the full view at 20s smoothing:

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Now let’s zoom in one one of the peak sprints:

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Here we see WatTeam again under a bit on the sprint – by about 50w compared to both 4iiii and the PowerTap.  If I pick another point, we see the same thing (below), by roughly a fair chunk.  What’s interesting though is that that middle peak is missed, but the less intense one isn’t.  It tracks that quite well.

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So what if I remove the smoothing on these two, and show you what’s happening a bit deeper?  Here you can see that it’s able to track the lower power surges, but seems to second-guess itself on the major ones.  It’s almost 100w off here:

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And that’s pretty consistently what I’ve seen.  For any surges (even sharp ones), under about 700w, it tracks it quite nicely.  But above that, it lags a fair bit more.  Below, is another example from that same ride. Back to back surges, the first at 800w it decouples entirely.  Whereas the second a few seconds later at 700w tracked just fine (the fact that you see slight variances is just a result of recording/transmission normalcies).

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So I went back to WatTeam about this, and it sounds like it’s something they are aware of.  They noted they could address it within software via one solution to inflate the power value on certain sprints, but doing so may not yield the desired result.  Sort of the ‘every action has a reaction’ kind of thing.  That’s not really want anyone wants.

But I do agree they could probably fix this down the road.  It’s just a question of how far, and will it remain accurate otherwise.

Finally, one last area I saw some minor trouble with is larger cobblestones.  Obviously, Paris being an older European city has plenty of pave and cobblestones around.  But not all are the same.  Some cobbles are relatively minor, while others are bone-jarringly bad.  For the normal/minor ones, WatTeam does just fine.  High-speed, low-speed, doesn’t matter.  However, for the bone-jarringly bad ones, it also shook up the unit.  You can see this below, where it dropped out:

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However, I wanna point out and be really clear – this is one section that I despise riding on.  It’s not anything you’ll find anywhere common in Paris, or in 99.99999% of roads in the US.  It’s just a nifty little test section that I found that’s fun for tests like this.  And to be fair, almost all other power meters pass this test (LIMITS did not, neither did earlier versions of the PowerPod software).

Lastly, let’s finish up with a ride earlier this week.  For this ride I was out doing a relatively steady-state effort of loops for an hour, eventually increasing intensity for a 20 minute period.  All-in the ride was 2 hours.  This was interesting because it was at sunset, where the temperature starts to shift quickly (colder), which is always an interesting area to test.  Here’s the entire ride, smoothed at 30s:

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In general, things look pretty good at the high level.  If I zoom into that 20-minute section, you’ll see a bit of variability in the data actually.  The PowerTap G3 seems to occasionally run a bit high at times, which is highly unusual (especially since it was auto-zero numerous times during coasting during the ride).

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In any case, let’s focus back on some of those harder efforts earlier in the workout.  I’ve reduced the smoothing rate to 5-seconds.  First is the initial spike, the WatTeam and 4iiii matched near identical, while the G3 actually went a bit high.

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Meanwhile, the second spike you see them closer, albeit still slightly separated.  Still, nobody is completely out in left field.  As is always the case, anytime you sprint due to recording/transmission nuances you’ll get slight differences.

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In general actually, this ride went pretty well for WatTeam, and there’s nothing sticking out of concern in this particular ride.  One could make arguments in fact that the PowerTap G3 had some minor issues on this ride.  But that’s hard to say definitely, and it’s incredibly rare for me to see the PowerTap G3 have issues.  You can see by looking at the Mean/Max graph that it tracked very nicely:

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So where do we stand on the accuracy front overall?  Well – essentially all is well unless you find yourself in one of two conditions:

A) Brief sprints above 700w seem stunted
B) Really nasty cobblestones cause issues

The first one is likely a bigger issue for road cyclists than triathletes, who would be more likely to give an all-out effort during a sprint.  Whereas triathletes tend to have more steady-state efforts.  And then the second item on rougher roads is unlikely to impact that many people.  For just normal non-brutal cobblestones it’s not an issue.

In any event, here’s the table of the data presented above, plus a few extras I didn’t dive into.  You can click any of the links to use the Analyzer and dive deeper into the graphs.  Or you can simply download the actual original data files and do your own analysis.

WatTeam PowerBeat Gen2 Data Sets

Workout TypeDCR Analyzer LinkProducts Used In Test
IndoorsAnalyze4iiii Precision Dual, WatTeam Gen2, CycleOps Hammer, TrainerRoad Control
IndoorsAnalyze4iiii Precision Dual, WatTeam Gen2, CycleOps Hammer, Zwift
IndoorsAnalyze4iiii Precision Dual, WatTeam Gen2, CycleOps Hammer, Zwift
OutdoorsAnalyze4iiii Precision Dual, WatTeam Gen2, PowerTap G3 Hub
OutdoorsAnalyze4iiii Precision Dual, WatTeam Gen2, PowerTap G3 Hub
OutdoorsAnalyze4iiii Precision Dual, WatTeam Gen2, PowerTap G3 Hub

Note that the above data is charted/plotted using the DCR Analyzer tool, which is designed specifically for comparison of sensor data such as power meters.  You can read more about it here, as well as leverage it for your own tests.

Power Meter Recommendations:

With so many power meters on the market, your choices have expanded greatly in the last few years.  So great in fact that I’ve written up an entire post dedicated to power meter selection: The Annual Power Meters Guide.

The guide covers every model of power meter on the market (and upcoming) and gives you recommendations for whether a given unit is appropriate for you.  There is no ‘best’ power meter.  There’s simply the most appropriate power meter for your situation.  If you have only one type of bike I’d recommend one power meter versus another.  Or if you have different needs for swapping bikes I’d recommend one unit versus another.  Or if you have a specific budget or crankset compatibility, it’d influence the answers.

Now since the guide came out this past fall, there really hasn’t been any major entrants in the market that weren’t already covered in that post.  However, there have been two noteworthy changes:

A) WatTeam PowerBeat Gen2 (this post): In general, I’m good with this unit. I think there are still some quirks in edge cases like really rough cobblestones (general road roughness seems fine), along with some issues on harder sprints (whereas general increases in power seem fine). I’d say for triathletes it’s good, as sprints aren’t exactly common out on the road.  Whereas if you’re a sprinter on a road bike…this might not be the right choice for you.

A) 4iiii Precision Dual: The post in my annual power meter guide didn’t cover the accuracy aspects of the left/right setup, so I didn’t dive into general recommendations.  But given the data in my in-depth review (and even here in this post too) – I think it’s safe to say I have no issues with recommending the 4iiii Dual as a dual left/right setup.

Oh, and technically, there has been a third entrant – a company called Arofly – introduced a small accessory ‘power meter’.  I’ve got one that arrived this morning here in Paris.  It’s priced very cheap, but I’m extremely hesitant to say it’ll be accurate until I’ve tested it.  There’s a lot of questionable claims made on their site, starting with fabrications about their pro athletes and coaches and credentials (they aren’t pro, and they don’t exist).  As such, where there’s smoke…there’s fire. Still, perhaps the tech will be better than their truth-telling skills.  Once I get it all unboxed and onto the bike, I’ll let y’all know what the deal-e-o is with it.

Summary:

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In many ways WatTeam has succeeded at their goal – they brought forth a dual-leg capable power meter below $500 – something that nobody else has done.  The installation is far easier than it was a few years ago at their outset, and they have put together something that the vast majority of people who can make cookies at home can follow to install a power meter.  Unless you only do the cookies from the can where you cut it into little slices (but let’s be honest, those cookies are great too).

Of course – as noted in the accuracy section, it’s not perfect. In particular on sprints, roughly above 700w.  If you aren’t sure if you can throw down 700w, the answer is likely no (though, perhaps you’re discovered).  Which isn’t to say I’m all that powerful (I’m not), but that most people who can output 700w for anything more than a second or two tend to know it.  Still, it’s important to many – be it one second or 30 seconds.  For triathletes or those at lower-level steady-state power?  Probably not.

Ideally, we’d see WatTeam address this shortcoming with a simple software update, and I suspect they probably can in time.  Specifically, I suspect it’ll take more real-world consumer data in their pockets to understand how to separate the noise at these levels.  Which isn’t all that unusual for power meter companies.  Heck, even the usual rock-solid Quarq had to issue a firmware update last month for their new DZero power meter after dropouts during sprints were caused by a bug.

If they can get there (sooner rather than later), then we’ll see another drop in prices by competitors.  They’re very close – and I wouldn’t have any issue recommending these to those doing steady-state focused power sessions.  Or for those that simply can’t produce 700w+ (for example, these would work just great for The Girl).  And realistically, many times I’ve demonstrated that even single-leg units (i.e. Stages or other one-leg options) can be off in total by more than WatTeam’s dual setup at super-high wattages, due to leg imbalances.

With that – thanks for reading!

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 pick up the WatTeam PowerBeat 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 $49, you get free US shipping as well.

WatTeam PowerBeat Gen2

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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284 Comments

  1. Howard

    Thanks Ray, been waiting for this review.

  2. Nedim

    I applaud all new entrants to the market. However, the fact that there are things hanging off the pedals would be a no-go for me. Or the fact it needs charging.

    Adding another $170 or so get’s a clean configuration with zero messing around from an established player a’ la Quarq (yes, I know the Dzero L/R balance is very much estimated — but what is one going to do with that super-precise L/R power data anyway?).

  3. Alistair

    Hi Ray, do you know if the Powerbeat is going to be listed on Clever Training’s UK site at all?

  4. Luis

    so they work if u can’t put out more than 700 watts and if the roads are smooth…

    I will rather pay a bit more for something that work every time all the time but that is just me.

    • Joe

      I put out much more than 700 on mine with any issues. It lags a tiny bit, so on super brief efforts, you might see readings that are low. But here is the reality, a 2 second brief effort doesnt really matter. Longer high wattage efforts do, and with that the meter will catch up and read appropriately.

    • And, to also be clear as noted – rough roads aren’t an issue. It’s this specific 100m or so section that’s just nasty that manages to break it (and some other power meters). No issues beyond that.

    • Michael

      The concern would be for strong competitive cyclists who often have one minute power values over 700w and can peak at 1400-1500w in a sprint. Often a large component of their training will be comprised of repeated high intensity efforts where accuracy will be critical. If you were doing 12 x 30 seconds at 700, there is a big difference between 600, 700, or 800 watts for that interval.

    • Mark

      I suspect anyone doing 12 x 30s @ 700w+ would have a PM provided for them by their team ;)

    • Pips

      Right, but teams have to decide on a product to purchase..

  5. Joe

    Interesting findings. When I set up my gen 2 a few weeks ago I had sensor problems again. When I first glued them on my drive side was only partially bonded giving me low readings on one side. Even with the new stretchy band method, it seemed to squeeze too much glue out from under the sensor so it didnt bond all the way across the metal strip. Unfortunately, Gen 2 only comes with enough glue for one try. I had this same issue with the 1st gen, and had to reglue several times to approach accurate readings. I ended up living with readings that were off 6-10% L to R.
    On Gen 2, my 2nd glue job is much better. I used an alternate glue, and have significantly better results. I believe I am within 1% now L to R. I still cant charge the pods to 100%, but they last at least a week depending on how much I ride.

    • Rai

      Hi Joe, I am having the same problem with my glue. The rubber that covers the sensor is not glued to the crank. After 30 hrs or so i just pushed on it lightly and it cracked open. Just curious what alternate glue did you use? This is my second pair of sensors they’d sent me.

      Thanks

    • Folkert

      @Joe what alternative glue did you use that was so effective for you? If I decide to buy these and I muck up i’d very much like to be able to fix it :-)

    • Joe

      I wouldnt worry about the cover being glued on, the metal strip is the important aspect as the strain and torque gauges are attached to that. If you are reading correctly, you could glue the cover back down separately.
      My readings were not working correctly at all, that is how I knew that the sensor strip was not attached fully. Looking at a Garmin connect reading, and L R power and balance, you could easily see the issues.
      I re-glued using something similar to superglue. I also ensured that I built up nearly 1mm of glue over the entire metal strip area prior to applying the sensor to the crank. That way, if 75% squeezed out with the elastic bands, it would retain enough glue to ensure the strip properly adhered to the crank. I think one of the issues with adherence is that not enough glue is applied, and it squeezes out from under the sensor. A trick would be NOT to push down on the sensor with your finger, as it would squeeze out too much glue. Use the gentle pressure of the elastic bands to squeeze, that should help ensure enough glue is retained.

    • Hi

      The standard we set up for ourselves both for the POWERBEAT as a product and for our customer service is nothing but excellent.
      If you come across a mechanical issue, let us know by contacting our customer support at support@watteam.com, we’ll get you back to riding with the POWERBEAT.
      On the other hand, we urge you not to use alternative glues. The formula we developed can handle the intensity and the durability you’ll experience. We can’t assure that with other components.
      If something goes wrong, let us solve the problem. Using out-of-spec components or procedures will void your warrant.

      Safe rides,
      Watteam.

  6. Noel

    I’ve been looking for a lower-cost power meter for my mountain bike so the forthcoming MTB version of this power meter intrigues me. My question though: if this powermeter has problems with cobbles how is it going to handle off road use on a hardtail mountain bike?

    • To be fair, as noted it was one specific section of cobbles that had issues – other areas I saw no problems. And in many ways, that specific section of cobbles is likely more difficult than off-road because of the speed in which it’s taken and the vibrations. No issues with regular cobbles.

      Still, WatTeam says the mountain bike version will be using a different algorithm.

  7. Chris

    Ray, you sure do seem to like cookies, especially Oreos.

  8. We would like to thank each and every member of our great community sharing the same vision – power to the people.
    This is the time of the year when reviews are popping up, comments are being made and lots of discussions are being held.
    Let us start by making a clarification.
    The POWERBEAT G2 power meter device has a maximum power measurement limit of 2120 Watts. If you can hit this number we urge you to try, and let us know :-).
    Although we have no dispute with Ray’s analyses the accuracy issues you can see in the graphs are not a maximum limit but can be attributed to our processing algorithms. Especially (but not limited to) to what is called low pass filtering.
    As we’ve tried to adjust our algorithms to a variety of riders, riding styles, terrains and the different supported cranks – Something that was never done before, those filters are tuned to something that will fit most of them. Thus we are aware of the fact that fast transients are filtered. Large changes of power over short periods of time are being smoothed.
    No matter how high of an effort is that will last longer than Ray’s tests will have great statistics (like the 30-30 test).
    We encourage the community to respond with their thoughts, wishes and professional feedback. Those will be translated into software upgrades that will be provided free of charge, for throughout the POWERBEAT life.
    We know this product is accurate, consistent and above all full of fun, vision and handles the modern cyclist’s needs at a fair price, and we feel blessed launching it.
    Get yourself a POWERBEAT G2 and start riding.
    Safe rides,

    • Folkert

      @Watteam i’m curious if my crank is even supported, your website doesnt list it. But a reseller does…

      Shimano FC6703

    • Hello Folkert,
      You are correct, the supported crank list is being updated as we speak.Regarding the crank you have mentioned, the Ultegra FC6703 in not part of our compatible crank list.

    • Milan Sismanovic

      Is the Shimano Ultegra 6600 supported?

    • Hi Milan,
      The Shimano Ultegra 6600 is not part of our compatible crank list.

    • Andrea

      While googling I found in an Italian forum link to bdc-forum.it , message N.55, a your tester that found a big problem with the reading of high power.
      He said that the error will increase with the increase of the power, something we have seen in the Ray review’s, I’m sure that other than this tester had found the problem, the facto Ray has discovered with quite simplicity.
      In other words Watteam already know the problem.
      I think they have to take a position in this regards…..or they will send the G3 sensor to the hundreds of people are buying the PowerBeat next year?

    • Andrea

      …..The message of the Watteam tester was of one month ago………..

  9. Paul Appleyard

    Ray when you do a zero offset does the maths get done on the PM or the head unit, TR,Zwift etc? I often calibrate on TR but also record on my Garmin (just easier than downloading and uploading) will i see power differences?

    • Michal

      Standard zero offset is always done on the PM side. Head unit only triggers it and displays zero value sent back by PM after procedure is completed. It doesn’t matter how you trigger zeroing procedure. Some PM’s don’t even require head unit to do that (f.e. Quarq where you can trigger zero offset by spinning cranks backwards 5 times).

  10. Keith Kossack

    Great Review Ray! I can’t wait to read your in depth on the Power2max NG.

  11. Rob Arena

    When will they ship for Rotor cranks? I thought that was a supported crank but it is not showing as an option for purchase.

  12. Nicole

    Big question: can this be used on carbon cranks?

  13. Joe

    Any news on carbon crank compatibility? I’ve got three bikes with carbon sram cranks of various flavors, and I’ve been watching these guys for a while, fingers crossed.

  14. Francis Paulin

    I’ve got two bikes with DA 7800 cranks. Any chance they will be supported in the future?

    • Hi Francis,

      Thank you for inquiring and we appreciate your interest.
      At the moment the Shimano Dura Ace 7800 is not on our compatible crank list.
      Our focus right now is on carbon crank sets and on new hollow aluminum crank sets.
      Older crank sets are on hold for now.

      All the best,
      Watteam.

  15. Andrew

    Will this work on a brompton?

    • Hi Andrew,
      Thank you for inquiring and we appreciate your interest.
      Most folding bikes use solid aluminum cranks, currently the POWERBEAT™ is only compatible with the hollow aluminum crank sets that are on our compatible crank list that can be found in our site.
      Safe rides ,
      Watteam.

  16. Raymond Wright

    Installed the G2 unit on my TT bike last week. Sounds like that was the correct bike to put it on for now. Easy install and no issues so far.

    Thanks Ray

  17. Andrew

    If I have a mountain bike converted to a commuter (hybrid tires for road riding) should I still wait for the mountain bike version or would this one be sufficient?

  18. Ron

    Just curious, is it easy to uninstall from the crank? I might want to sell my bike and get a new one in the future.

  19. Eugene Chan

    I remember seeing the Arofly video a few months back. It was good for a laugh. Anyway I tried to find the two cyclists mentioned in the video. I looked up the results of the 2013 WPFG event and the top female finisher was Po-Shao Hsieh. It looks like this is the same person as Eva Shie since the Chinese names match. I tried to find Max Wu, but that was tougher. It doesn’t look like any Taiwanese athletes competed in the London 2012 Triathlon, though maybe there were hopefuls training for it? I can’t be bothered to look any harder than I already have. Your review of the Arofly should be pretty entertaining.

    • David Manley

      Actually I did find a Max Wu who came 7th at Taiwan 113 in 2014 – but he didn’t win his age group so don’t know where the biog comes from.

      Surely that kit can’t be remotely accurate though.

    • Without going too far down the Arofly pile on this post…

      I looked into it quite a bit a while back (Max Wu). For example, claiming to be the 2012 London Olympic Triathlon Team Coach for Taiwan. As noted, this is of slight interest because Taiwan had no athletes in London 2012 from a triathlon perspective. Also, his ‘champion’ credentials for some major races they listed don’t check out either. Either way, I e-mailed the Taiwan Triathlon Federation to validate those claims, along with another triathlete they claimed had various credentials. That was two months ago. I received no response. I also checked with the ITU as well for validation (since they control country entrants into the Olympics for triathlon), also no response.

      And the Taiwan 113 was very different than what they called it, further, the placing as David noted. Kinda a huge difference. I believe (offhand) I came 7th in my AG at Ironman Canada a few years back…but I certainly wouldn’t say I won my AG or was the Race Champion.

      There were more examples of course, but those are the most obvious ones. In any case…wrong place for it.

  20. kevin

    Any price of the sensor alone? It would be nice if it is cheap enough so that one can easily change crank/crank arm without worrying about getting another powermeter…

  21. Jonathan

    Hi Ray,

    As always, thanks for your review!

    I don’t want to be overly negative…but in a time where SRM, SRAM, power2max, stages, 4iiii and many others produce closed affordable and proven systems… Why would I ever buy something as finicky as this powermeter. The whole system is a promise for things to go wrong.
    Wait till somebody other than yourself washes your bike after a race, and see what happens to those connectors. Most people don’t drive to races alone, you can just wait for the moment where one of those pods will be knocked to pieces by another bike/a bike rack/somebody screwing off your pedal because the bike needs to go into the car/and so on and so forth. And see what people say if you try to sell those crank arms worked with sand paper and glue… Last but not least observe resale values of this powermeter in a years time.

    I’m not a big fan of pedal based options either, but I can’t see one serious advantage of this system over the powertap pedals.

    Surely those must, secretly, be your thoughts as well. As a normal consumer/competitive cyclist there is no way I will ever even consider buying a system with those open components and such a way of attachment to my crank arms.

    Best regards,

    Jonathan

    • It’s tough though, because the challenge with your examples is that none of them are in this price ballpark for the features (using your names):

      – WatTeam (dual left/right): $499
      – SRM (full but not dual): No less than $1,4-0ish
      – Power2Max (full, but not dual): $600ish
      – Quarq (SRAM – full, but not dual): $600-$800ish
      – Stages (left-only): $400-$500ish (depending on sales/etc…)
      – 4iiii (left-only): From $499

      So basically, it’s the cheapeast dual left/right power meter that’s also pedal neutral (a big deal for some). The next cheapest is BePro at about $800ish, but that requires Look-Keo compatible cleats.

      As for removing the pods – you can do that quite easily. As noted, there’s not much sanding (super fine sandpaper used), so there’s really no mark left that’s actually visible. You’re bike will have far bigger/more scratches on it elsewhere.

      It’s not going to be for everyone, but it’s certainly for a wide chunk of the market.

    • Bob

      I can see quite a few advantages over the Powertap pedals:

      Price
      Clearance for cornering (if you race crits)
      Weight

      I race and I wouldn’t be that worried about the pods getting knocked to bits but then I take my own bike to the races. As for a bit of scuffing on the crank arms and resale – I’m sure I’d have more scrapes on them from normal use than the marks from sanding a small spot.

      My biggest concerns would be long term durability and resale.

    • Brice

      Extending Ray’s comments, I can’t seem to get one of these for my Cannondale below $1,000, especially with “full” measurement. Power2max jumps up with all of the needed extras pretty quickly.

    • Laurens

      “Most people don’t drive to races alone”
      It is my guess that I represent the majority of somewhat serious cyclists who are interested in using a power meter to improve: the cyclists that don’t race at all.

    • Ron

      I think the 4iiii start from 399. If you buy 105 crank.

  22. Russ

    First Gen user who waited for second gen. Two quirks I found for installation. One, the App says position the left crank at 3 but it has to be placed at 9, unless you walk around to the right side and then it is 3. Who stands on one side while working on the other? Secondly my water bags only held 4.3 +/- kg of water. Had to add weight to get to 4.5. I have been back and forth quite a bit with tech support. Issues that I had with first gen still exist. I hope I am a statistical oddity. My numbers are consistently low. My right power seems to drop out quite a bit. It is not happy with high cadence/low torque. My left right balance averages 80/20, with many 100%L/0%R readings. It seems I get two different responders from tech support.One wants constant re-calibrations and wants to Skype. My work involves engineering. I can follow instructions. The other responder has asked for.fit files and confers with the engineers. Still waiting on an answer though. My theory is that from the beginning I have had a flawed right pod, as the same problems occurred with first and second gen sensors and I see no one else with the problems I have.

    • Joe

      Russ, I had similar issues to yours. I had to keep adding water to my bags to even get them close. I think their app assumes that you will have your bike upside down. I did my setup in a bike stand, so it was reversed.
      I had problems with a single sensor, not the pod. It didnt bond correctly, so I would get balance issues, and low readings. So I re-glued my right side, and found my left side was reading low also. Re-glued the left side now I have similar readings on both.
      On Gen 1 I had problems with the L to R balance similar to yours. It was always off by nearly 10%. When I peeled the Gen 1 sensors off, I noticed they were not bonded fully across the entire sensor area (metal strain gauge strip). I believe the key is getting a full bond across the entire strip. As I had mentioned above, I think it is TOO easy to squeeze out the adhesive, leaving areas of the sensor unbonded.

    • Jim

      I have experienced all of the above issues.

      I am currently waiting for the Watteam to send a second sensor to reglue on the drive side since the existing one is 75% glued on.

      I have an added challenge: I used speed play pedals. It is quite a challenge balancing those water bags on the lollipops! I have even resorted to using electrical tape to stabilize the water bags on the pedals.

      Tech support has been helpful. I also had one tech wanting to do a Skype session. I told him that would be crazy since I am on the phone and using my mobile phone to calibrate at the same time. ;-)

    • Todd

      Ironically, I did not have the same issue with the bags. My bags held MORE water, up to 4.7kg.

      Given the few complaints with the bags, I ensured the bags were completely full by 1) filling them up to capacity, then 2) supporting the bottom gently while holding most of the weight at the neck of the bag to create more space in the bag.

      Was able to get .3 kg extra in the bag compared with my first attempt at filling it up just to remove air bubbles. Have to be careful though before putting on the cap, any movement of the bag results in water loss. I then squeezed water out a bit at a time to get it down to 4.5kg.

      Thanks for the tips and pictures for Speedplay!

    • Jim Griffis

      Update: I received a replacement sensor for my drive side crank; removed old señor; replied new sensor; completed the calibration which appears successful. However I am a bit perplexed by the last reset values: Left – 894 and Right – 108.

    • Andrea

      interesting I have the opposit situation, please estrema can explain from where this values came?

    • Randius

      I am also a SpeedPlay user and I found the readings from the PowerBeat to be extremely low, as low as <10w on flat road at around 20km/h. I did notice the water bags leaning on the frame when crank is at 6 o'clock position but I am not sure if this is the cause or there are other factors at work here. I have done the water bag calibration twice but results was not improved. Although I have contacted Watteam support but they (seem to) only reply once per day and the response so far is of no difference from what I have done. Will appreciate if there is any SpeedPlay user who can share more on their calibration experience. If all else fails, I will consider writing this off and switch to PowerTap or Stages.

      I also notice a lag of 2-3 seconds in reading when moving off from stationary position.

    • Paul H

      Hi,

      Im also a Speedplay user and even worse with short titanium spindle/axel/shaft.
      I found when the bags are leaning against anything on the bike like bottle holder, crank, frame, rear brake. my calibration gets something wrong but the Support says its “almost perfect” but I get low power readings. I’m not convinced that my reading are right yet but may be in the future.
      But back to speedplay problem.
      I made loops of plastic straps and duct taped the strap on the centre of the lollipop and from the loop I hanged the water bag with the standard hook. Now I can do almost all calibration points without water bags touching anything.
      Hope this helps.

      I also thinking of returning this and instead going for some thing that’s satisfy my search for consistence and accuracy.

    • Jim

      If you are doing the calibration by tour self without someone holding the bike stead, I would recommend sandwiching the front wheel between something to hold the bike steady and upright. Then hold the waterbeds on each pedal without using the hooks for the 6 o clock reading. I then used electrical tape to tape each bag to the center of the speedily pedals to document the calibration settings of the each of the subsequent calibration readings.

      I do notice an approximate 3 second lag in power reading when pedaling.

      One of the reasons I got the PowerBeat for my TT bike is that I change out my 54/42 chainrings for a compact setting when I am doing TT in mountains. Having a power on the cranks is suitable for this. I have a power tap on my road bike that has a compact set up but I do not switch it out. Comparing the two power meetings, I have noticed the PowerBeat is about 50 watts higher in reading. This however could be due to different riding styles associated with time trail versus road riding.

    • DaveQB

      Can we not use the pedal covers for Speedplay pedals?? They would add weight that would need to be considered though.

  23. Phil Buckley

    Hi Ray, great review as always, thank you!

    Certainly I’m not going to hit 2100w or even 700w *that* often – but I do have Campagnolo cranks.

    Watteam guys if you are still there – do you have a backlog of cranks your are working through, and if so is it visible anywhere by any chance? I’m on chorus on one bike and veloce on the other. And a brompton for the third actually so I’ll add my vote there too.

    Best wishes all

    • Hi Phil,

      You can find our compatible crank list at: link to watteam.com under the “TECH” tab.
      The POWERBEAT currently supports only hollow aluminum cranks that appear on our site, unfortunately, the Veloce and the Brompton are not hollow cranks.
      The Campagnolo Chorus is a carbon crank. We are currently working on developing a version that will be compatible with carbon cranks, but as we mentioned, at the moment the POWERBEAT supports only hollow aluminum cranks.

    • Andrea

      I can’t find the precision of the Powerbeat, what it’s supposed to be?

  24. Ihsan

    I wonder at what point of the installation you need to scarf down the oreos.

    Seriously though, how much of an allowance for weight difference does it have when calibrating since no one will be able to fill them exactly the same.

    • I’ll defer to WatTeam for the exact percentages and implications, but with the way the bag cap is designed, if you fill it to the top, and then put the cap on, it’ll push out some water, effectively removing the air and making them virtually identical.

    • Dave

      I put my full bags on an electronic kitchen scale and ensured they each weighed exactly 4.5 kg with handles and filler cap. A bit techie, but as my physics teacher in high school drummed into us, always check your accuracy before performing an experiment.

  25. Jesper N

    Interesting article/product!
    Wrt the low sprint pwr, do you have a feeling whether it’s torque or cadence, that’s off? I suspect trq, as it must be hard to predict the arm deflection at 70-80 kg, when it’s only calibrated with 4.5kg.

    Or do they know exactly which model of crank it’s going on?? Not quite clear to me, even after reading the whole install and looking at their www etc.

    Would be interesting if there was a readout of the torque, so you could stand with your full weight on the pedals at the 3 & 9 o’clock positions. And then have the torque converted to weight. By their app maybe.

    • Joe

      Yes, as part of initial setup you indicate the model of crank for installation.

      Yes, it would be interesting to see what the result is on the torque gauges only, and compare deflection on the strain gauges.

  26. Neil Jones

    Am I reading too much into the “Next Version Will Be Free” message under the firmware version showing on the phone app? To me that implies that there’s an intention to charge for sensor f/w updates at some point in the future, which doesn’t seem to be a healthy proposition from the perspective of the buyer.

  27. Gerardo Haelewyn

    Thanks for the review Ray. I just placed an order of Powerbeat on Clever Training. I have a Suunto Ambit 3 but would like to use my iPhone as head unit. Is there a good app that works with Powerbeat and displays all the metrics?

  28. Andy

    Its a no go for me.

    As you point out in the very first paragraph of ‘power meters are useless unless accurate…’ if it aint accurate then whats the point.

    Your results prove it drops out way too much over rough road, can’t keep up with hard sprints, so whats the point?

    Its irrelevant that its under a set price. It could be $50, but its still not accurate. You wouldn’t buy a frying pan with a hole in the middle despite it being ‘cheap’.

    Im out.

  29. Duncan

    Alex
    I have the same questions. I did manage to get in touch with the a European distributor who has a listing on its website (link to rosiir.com). Price €630. They followed up with an email reminding me that
    -Prices in the US ex-sales tax
    -Free delivery
    -Two year guarantee in Europe versus one year in the US
    – Serial number registration – they ‘may’ not accept returns purchased in the US so they would need to be sent back there for any issues
    These are relevant points for a new electronic product that is self-install. Waiting to see what the price is on the CT UK site.
    Duncan

    • Chris

      Hey,

      I also asked for the eurpean price from moso and was a bit disappointed about the additional cost despite the taxes, warranty … arguments. Afterwards I wrote an email to CT asking if for UK-Buyers it will be shipped from UK and not US. They replied with the following statement:

      “No, it would not be shipping from our U.K. store as our inventory is not the same over there. We only have limited products over there and will not be putting this item for sale on the U.K. site.

      Your order would be shipping from our main Florida warehouse.”

      Now I am not sure if waiting would be the right strategy. Do you have any further information about europe sales and prices?

      Chris

    • Hi all,

      Just to clarify the price comments, here is a brief summary of our current pricelist. Please note these are all manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP). The final price is solely determined by each specific distributor. The MSRP differences can be attributed to currency rates and VAT. Subject to change.

      The POWERBEAT™ Road version:
      499$ USD before VAT / 485£ Pound including VAT / 649€ Euro including VAT and second year warranty

      The POWERBEAT™ Off-Road version (coming soon):
      525$ USD before VAT / 509£ Pound including VAT / 679€ Euro including VAT and second year warranty

      Replacement parts under warranty – We believe in amazing customer service for a product like the POWERBEAT™. If you encounter any trouble – just contact us.

      Replacement parts not under warranty –

      One Sensor Replacement Kit:
      75$ USD before VAT / 72£ Pound including VAT / 93€ Euro including VAT

      One POWERBEAT™ Comp Unit (either left or right):
      149$ USD before VAT / 144£ Pound including VAT / 188€ Euro including VAT

      *To get replacement parts we’ll first need to verify that you’re an existing user:).

      For all those that are interested in having the current POWERBEAT™ versions, in the future you’ll be able to buy a “bike 2” upgrade kit.

      Safe rides,

  30. A Utamaphethai

    Is the installation on the crank arms permanent? In other words, once the power meters are glued on, can they be removed and installed on other cranks?

    I tried to reach out to Watteam but no one picked up the phone…

    • Hi,

      Once the POWERBEAT is installed, the sensors can be removed from the crank arms. In order to install the POWERBEAT on a new crank, a new set of sensors will need to be purchased.

    • A

      I guess this means sensors can be removed from the crank arms but they cannot be reused on another crank.

      What is the price of the sensor? Same price as buying a whole new set — $250 per sensor ($500 a pair)?

    • Andrea

      It cost 75$ x sensor (link to powermetercity.com), they cannot be reused on another crank I think because to remove it they will be damaged.

  31. Ron

    I have the same question. It affects the resale values

  32. George

    Thinking of power meters for my 2nd MTB and for my wife…

    so your cobble stone test (failure) is critical for me as MTB and surface will probably be allot like the bone jarring cobble stone test.

    and second, would be nice to see the sender unit actually being fit-able on the not drive side of the crank arms, so that if you peddle strike the sendor is on the far side,

    G

    • Andrea

      Have you buyed specifically for MTB?
      I ask because after sent an email to ask some info to the watteam they told me:”are two different products, so you will need to purchase them separately”…, for my point of view it’s only a matter of commercial things, it’s the same sensor and cap, only the firmware (may be) it’s different.
      Also I ask for the stl file to print my own cover for the cap and they answer:”Unfortunately, we can’t provide you with an .STL file for the Comp Unit cover. You will be able to purchase it separately as an accessory for your road bike.”….yes for sure but how much time they think the 3d world need to copy they protection? may be release the stl file could be a bit of advertising?
      Another point it’s the fact that they sell from clevertraining uk that also sell to europe and without VAT, but seller like Rosiir have to pay for the VAT, it’s a non clear stuation.
      I think they want earn money to much rapidly, but it’s my point of view for sure.

      Anyway…I would like to ask to Ray if will never review the off road version of the sensor.
      Thank you.

    • They noted above that the mountain bike product uses slightly different algorithms.

      Also keep in mind that cobblestones are actually very different than off-road terrain. The reason is cobblestones are a distinctly repeatable pattern done at high speeds, so it ends up being very confusing. Compared to off-road terrain that’s more random and actually helps out in an algorithm sense.

      Either way, it’s unlikely I’d test the mountain bike version as I lack a mountain bike (or the trails nearby for it). Sorry!

    • Andrea

      No problem of course, some time ago I see you in a mountain bike, I don’t remember which article was, and I suppose (wrongly) that you sometime use it, sorry.

    • Yeah, I rent bikes while on vacation usually, but not in Paris. I wish I had one and some good trails/mountains close by!

    • Andrea

      Maybe you can try some single track in the Champ The Mars, :-)
      Thank you for your time, have a nice day.

  33. Steve Ingwersen

    Great review. Finally what appears to be an affordable power meter for “normal” athletes.

  34. Bernard

    Hi Ray, great review, again!
    I ride my share of cobblestones in Flanders every year – any idea which bone-jarringly bad cobble street in Paris caused the troubles?
    Thanks, Bernard

    • Yup, if you search on Google Maps for “La Pelouse de Saint-Cloud” – it’s right there.

      Map/image attached of the specific test section. While I’m sure there are wonky-ass cobbles elsewhere in Paris I haven’t found, for all the riding I’ve done in the last 5 years here – this is without question the ‘worst’ section within city limits and/or nearby I know of. Of course, if folks know of other nasty spots – I’m always eager to add them to my ‘test database’.

    • Bernard

      Thanks Ray! They seem pretty well laid out (to Flanders’s standards)… I guess this is a no-go for me.

    • Yeah, the thing to keep in mind is that it’ll really vary a lot on cobble size and more importantly if there is a pattern that induces high frequency vibrations.

    • Andrea

      Hi Ray,
      first sorry for my english….let’s go…
      The Watteam seems to be disappeared from this blog, and even their support that didn’t respond to some my questions.
      So I hope you can help me and maybe some other.
      My first question is about the problem with the power reading over 600/700w and the very big problem with cobblestone, apart some words here they didn’t tell to us if they think to solve the problem in some way and also if they can do with this hardware.
      In other words they didn’t take an official position about and as a customer I’m a bit scared, maybe it’s better to cancel the order? Can you ask to Watteam?
      The other question it’s the MTB….they tell me that the two version change for the algoritm, but this only the half of the story, because the second part is that every firmware have an algoritm inside, so if they want with their application you choise the type of bicycle and after the application download the firmware like an update and you can swap from the road to the mtb simply, this is because is the same hardware.
      I think that if someone can buy two powermeter will do with or without this possibility.
      Someone else maybe will buy this powermeter thanks to this trick.
      So I’m sure it’s a good idea ;-).
      I hope you can help me to ask to watteam, especially for the position about the problem.
      Thank you.

    • I can’t speak to why WatTeam hasn’t commented frequently (it could be something as simple as the notification messages are going into their Clutter/Junk folder). Either way, I’ll poke them if we don’t hear by Monday or so.

      I do want to re-iterate again that the cobblestone problem is really only for very specific cobblestones at a reasonably high speed (i.e. 20MPH and this certain pattern). Very other cobblestone street in/around Paris that I’ve found has no issues. I’ll try again to re-word that section, because I really don’t want folks thinking it’s just any old rough road.

      That said, as noted above I did ask them about both the high-power issue and the cobblestones. For high-power, they said they could address it via firmware but that at this point it’d basically be trying to fake the data, which isn’t any better. On cobblestones, it sounds like they’ll just need more time collecting data.

  35. Kendall MaGee

    It appears that this setup would not leave enough room for my Blue SC on the left crank arm (size 170). I’m not sure if that would be an issue, but that is currently where my speed sensor comes from. If I were to switch to this setup then I would be relying on my Fenix 3 for speed. Inside on the trainer would then be the problem. Just talking out loud here, since this would be my first power meter. I was looking at this or the Powerpod, mainly because of pricing.

    • Graham R

      You should still be ok with the Blue SC – The magnet on the wheel is what gives you speed, so when riding your SC would give you speed, and the watt team would be able to give you cadence.

    • bish

      £436.50 @ Clever Training UK (with 10% DCRM discount) seems a pretty good deal to me and I think should suit my needs.

      I’m in.

  36. Eli

    If calibration is only done at one temperature when setup at home doesn’t that impact how well the unit can handle temp change? Isn’t that why sram makes a big deal about their 10K Temperature Compensation?

    • Eli

      From their manual: Powerbeat uses an advanced temperature offset
      compensation algorithm. For best results, perform a Zero
      Offset Calibration in a steady temperature environment
      after crank temperature has settled at ambient temperature.

      Though I do wonder if results would be off a bit if the full calibration with the bags of water was done at a much different temp then the one the bike is in when riding. Say calibrate done at room temp and riding when below freezing out. Since it seems like the device can measure the temp, maybe allow calibration at multiple temps to help tweak the calibration?

  37. Paul

    It was so much easier when power meters were prohibitively expensive. Now the 4iiii, WatTeam, Zwatt, and PowerPod are affordable options!

  38. Eli

    So I think this is the best option for me as a power meter, but a few things bother me. (I see WatTeam is monitoring so figure they can help with this)

    – Ray, I think your 700 watt comment is looking at the data wrong. Looks like its not about the actual watts but the the way it deals with very short spikes so a stronger ridder will have it work fine at 700 watts but might have the problem is 1000 watts while I’d have problems at 500 watts cause I’m slow….

    – If the support for the comp unit gets bent slightly will that impact the power data? I’m guessing there is an accelerometer in there so it could get out of alignment if hit so not sure if the alighnment is important.

    From the FAQ on their web site:
    – zero calibration. You should do the zero calibration “Waiting until you are 10 minutes in to your ride” Why? Nothing to warm up and kind of more difficult to use. Say I do a group ride, do I need to stop 10 mins in to calibrate? Is that how you calibrated Ray?

    – from the faq: Which mobile devices are compatible with the POWERBEAT™ APP? All smartphones running IOS 10 or Android 4.4.2 and above. Is the colunication to the phone over BLE? Not all phones do that

    – the talk about the torque to install pedals. Can there be comment on if this will impact the power data or is it just about putting the pedals on correctly

    From the instructions:
    – what does this mean?
    WARNING AND DISCLAIMER: AFTER INSTALLATION OF THE powerbeat TO THE CRANK, ATTEMPTING TO REMOVE AND/OR DETACH THE powerbeat FROM THE CRANK IS LIKELY TO CAUSE DAMAGE TO THE CRANK AND TO THE SENSORS OF THE powerbeat
    Is that only refering to the glued on sensor? Seems like if you need to take off your pedals the comp unit would have to come off too so you’d be taking off the powerbeat. I know for a bike tour I plan on doing the transportation to the start requires me to take my pedals off so how should I do this?

    – the slit on the ruler seems wider then the point of a pencil which makes it seem like that could cause a bit of variation depending on the point resting on one or the other side of the slit. How sensitive is the measurements? Is it mmore important to just be consitent left to right?

    – for the “Three Rules for Situating the Sensor in the Perfect Position” rule 2 isn’t that clear. Most pedals are shaped like _/¯ (well obviously not that extreme) so in that pic the pedal where the sensor is isn’t going sraight back, its going slightly away from the midline of the bike. So should it be mounted to point straight back and so be parralel to the plane the crank rotates in, or straight in relation to the part of the crank its attached to, or does that slight variation not matter?

    – wouldn’t applying the glue like that allow air bubbles to get trapped impacting the bond? Thinking it should be more like the way you apply thermal paste on a cpu:
    link to arcticsilver.com
    In that you put the glue on in a big blob and the pressure of pushing the glue out will cause the glue to cover the full sensor with less chance for air to be trapped in the glue

    – what is long term storage in terms of when the plug should be taken out? A week, a month, more?

    Thanks

    • DaveQB

      Good questions Eli.

      So it seems, another way to describe the “power spike” issue is the Power Beat lags when there is a sharp spike in power, but after the spike settles, say about 2-3 seconds, it then resumes accurate power measuring? That’s so bad at all.

      My other question is portability. It sounds like it would be as fast as changing pedals to switch between bikes with the sensors mounted. I do switch pedals regularly as I only own 1 pair of pedals, so this would suite me well.
      link to youtu.be

      Will the sensors be available on Clever Training Ray?

    • Andrea

      About the availability, it’s already there, in the US and UK.
      I bought from CleverTraining.co.uk with the discount from Ray and it’s on the way to my house :-)

    • John

      I was interested in the differences in the peak power sprint spikes, so I had a bit of a dig into the data files. Looks like the one side tracks pretty well, it’s the other side that’s off. That seems to account for the total power differences.

      Wonder why… Firmware aggregation bug? Seems like sometimes one side gets doubled while the other goes way down… Glue on one side only 95% contacted so it only shows the issue under load?

      Interesting. Still don’t know what I want to buy. Single side 4iiii, this or something else when I’ve got more cash.

      Amazing site Ray. Thank you.

    • DaveQB

      Hi Andrea,

      Thanks for the reply. I didn’t see the sensors on the Clever Training US site. Obviously the full kit is there. I’ll take another look for them or/and could you post a direct link please?

    • DaveQB

      Thanks for looking further into that John. I was thinking about the right sensor not being as well glued as the left as I was reading your message and then you mentioned it.

      Any thoughts Ray or WatTeam?

      I think I am going to go for this solution, but my concern is how fragile this sensor attachment is. Maybe this glue is way stronger than I am thinking.

    • Andrea

      Hi,
      Sorry, misunderstanding, anyway the link for the sensor: link to powermetercity.com

    • Andrea

      What I’m looking for is how much the glue can last without change it’s property, there aren’t info about and also the ufficial precision of the sensor.
      In the powercity page they claim +-1.5% but in the watteam site there isn’t info.
      I don’t know why but watteam seems to not answer anymore to our questions and doubts.
      Anyway it’s only out of curiosity.

    • Eli

      Many power meters are glued on. Basically all that are based on crank arms like 4iiii, Stages, Pioneer, and this. The glue itself should be perfectly fine and long lasting. Also why having a clean crank is important when you start this process as dirt, oils, etc can cause problems. (I’m guessing the reason for the gloves is more to keep finger prints off more then the slight annoyance of getting the glue on your skin)

      The issue I brought up was more of a how the glue is applied problem, in that air bubbles from captured air could be an issue. Thats the reason I brought up how heat sinks are applied as air bubbles there greatly impact how well heat can transfer. Is this an issue? I don’t know, heat sink paste tends to be thick and viscous and this glue may be runny enough for air bubbles not to be able to be trapped so thought I’d see if others who know this product would comment.

      John, which side was being doubled? Going by the instructions if the left side fails then the power balance goes to 0%-100% Balance to indicate no metrics from left side. Total power will be calculated by doubling Right leg power. So under high load did Ray’s left side stop working for some strange reason or am I not understanding you?

    • John

      Hi Eli – In some cases it was a complete dropout to zero. Have a look at the Zwift data set in the review with smoothing disabled. At the 6:00 min mark it leads into a short effort. Leading into it, up to about 6:05, the L+R both track relatively closely to the 4iiii – and to each other – about 160 watts.

      Then as the power builds, the left side starts to trail while the right side seems to spike. This is why I mentioned an aggregation error. It seems like some of the left side power is reporting on the right side. The L side stays constant around 172W while the R side spike to 280W. Meanwhile the 4iiii L+R both report around the 220W level. Seems like some of the L side power is being assigned to the R side…

      Then at the 6:12 mark, the left side drops completely but the right side spikes massively up to 565W.

      Something similar going on at the 36:53 mark in the same data set, but not actually crashing back to zero on the LHS.

    • John

      36:53 pic

    • DaveQB

      Thanks for that link Andrea. Appreciate it and great to know that’s a simple option for me.

      Eli,
      I thought there was a little more to it then simple glueing on (4iiii, Stages, Pioneer etc). I thought the sensor would have to get “into” the material to sensor strain. I am amazed these sensors can detect strain buy merely hovering over the surface (glue in between).

      Yes I know what you about heatsink paste application. I too am curious if this method would work better. I hope WatTeam reply soon.
      Ummm if the balance goes 0-100% L-R then total power is from the right (hence the 100%). I can’t see a time when this Power beat meter would ever take a side and double it (unless it has the one-side-has-a-flat-battery failover option like 4iiii).

    • Hi Eli,

      We’ve had issues commenting here for the last two days. Maybe the answer was too long :)

    • So..
      Part 1:
      Here are some answers to your questions, hope we covered everything. If a point is not totally clear, or you have any other questions – feel free to ask.

      – As long as the comp unit bracket is bent less than 30° there’s no impact on the power data.

      – For the advanced temperature compensation algorithm to work correctly, the calibration needs to be performed in an ambient, steady temperature. If the bikes sits around outside for 10 minutes or more, calibrating before the ride should work perfectly fine. The goal is to calibrate when the crank arm is at the same temperature as the environment. As it takes time for the crank to adapt to temperature changes, at least 10 minutes are recommended.

      – The communication between the POWERBEAT™ and the phone is by Bluetooth Smart (LE). iPhone 5 and above all have Bluetooth Smart (LE) support. Regarding android, these days almost all have Bluetooth Smart (LE) support. As the Android market is so vast, we cannot guarantee 100% support for all Android 4.4.2 and above. However, our app is designed to run on Android 4.4.2 and above and is fully tested on a variety of common smartphones. To be sure, check that your phone is running Android 4.4.2 and above and that it has Bluetooth Smart (LE) v4.1+.

      – Pedal tightening torque won’t affect power data. However, it is important to tighten enough (as per the crank manufacturers’ guidelines) so the Comp Unit stays in place.

    • Indeed, in their defense – WatTeam sent me a note today that they were having problems. For some wonky reason their comments were indeed getting stuck in the SPAM filters. No idea why, as none of them had SPAM-like attributes.

      Some 15 attempts in fact to reply to Eli’s questions.

      I fished the non-duplicates out, and I think all is good again.

      Sorry all!

  39. Andy G

    So i have a few rides in on my PowerBeat Gen 2 and so far, so good. Setup was really easy and the power values are almost the same when compared to my Kickr. That’s more than I can say for my Stages unit, it always reads 20-25 watts lower than Kickr.

    The only problem I had was that the marking templates were missing from the box, which is a pretty big deal since you need them to the install. I emailed Watteam support and they replied back the same day and offered to either ship me templates for free, but they also attached a PDF to the email so i i could print my own if I wanted. So i just used the PDF instead. It has exact measurements on it from the center of the pedal spindle to the center of the sensor, and the distances end-to-end of the two guide notches on the sensor mounts. I confirmed with support that if the sensors were a few mm’s off (front or back) it wouldn’t impact the readings. So i moved forward with the install and had no problems.

    The rest of the setup was really simple, the calibration with the water bags was quick and easy. So overall, i’m pretty happy with my purchase so far. Of course time will tell how the units hold up, but so far so good.

    • Andrea

      Thank you for share your experience, I’m sure about the quality of the product but also I’m sure about some minor problem.
      I hope watteam will answer to our credit with update and improvement of their product.
      While I’m waiting for the delivery of mine maybe tomorrow or on monday.

    • bish

      I’ve just installed mine. The process was easy and pretty much everything (excl scissors and tools to remove pedals) is provided in the kit.
      The hardest part will be the 24hrs wait for the glue to dry!
      I have it mounted on the Kickr so should be able to report any obvious install issues straight away.

    • DaveQB

      Thanks for the feedback Andy G

  40. Hi Eli,

    Here are answers to your questions, hope we covered everything. If a point is not totally clear, or you have any other questions – feel free to ask.

    – As long as the comp unit bracket is bent less than 30° there’s no impact on the power data.

    – For the advanced temperature compensation algorithm to work correctly, the calibration needs to be performed in an ambient, steady temperature. If the bikes sits around outside for 10 minutes or more, calibrating before the ride should work perfectly fine. The goal is to calibrate when the crank arm is at the same temperature as the environment. As it takes time for the crank to adapt to temperature changes, at least 10 minutes are recommended.

    – The communication between the POWERBEAT™ and the phone is by Bluetooth Smart (LE). iPhone 5 and above all have Bluetooth Smart (LE) support. Regarding android, these days almost all have Bluetooth Smart (LE) support. As the Android market is so vast, we cannot guarantee 100% support for all Android 4.4.2 and above. However, our app is designed to run on Android 4.4.2 and above and is fully tested on a variety of common smartphones. To be sure, check that your phone is running Android 4.4.2 and above and that it has Bluetooth Smart (LE) v4.1+.

    – Pedal tightening torque won’t affect power data. However, it is important to tighten enough (as per the crank manufacturers’ guidelines) so the Comp Unit stays in place.

    – You are totally correct! What was meant to be written, and is now fixed:
    …ATTEMPTING TO REMOVE AND/OR DETACH THE POWERBEAT™ SENSORS FROM THE CRANK IS LIKELY TO CAUSE DAMAGE TO THE CRANK AND TO THE SENSORS OF THE POWERBEAT™…
    Thank you for pointing that out.
    Feel free to detach the Comp Units and pedals from the crank while shipping the bike. Make sure to keep the sensors safe, and remember that the Comp Unit’s IP67 rating is valid only when the sensor plugs are plugged in.

    – The slits’ margins are taken into account by us. More important, make sure to follow the three rules. Regarding Rule 2 – position the sensor straight in relation to the place where it will be glued. Slight variation is okay. 

    – Nice observation!
    In general air bubbles can affect some attributes of the bond. The two main attributes that we worked hard to achieve are 1. The glue needs to be easily handled and applied by a customer at home, with no prior experience 2. It should be durable and precise. Our formula has been tested, and passed, specific tests for our application.

    – Regarding long term storage – one week.

    Safe Rides,

  41. DaveQB

    Thanks for your efforts to response Watteam; it’s sound like it was painful.

    I’m right on the edge of ordering this for my TT bike.

    Regarding IP67 rating…..as I have two bikes but one set of pedals, the bike can be washed with just the sensor and without the comp unit? I’m 95% sure that’s a yes but just wanted to check.

    Oh also, for Ray etc, this power spike issue is how Eli explained? More an issue with a sudden increase in power than an absolute wattage mark (700+) and once the surge “flattens” accurate tracking resumes?

    Thanks!

  42. DaveQB

    Hi Watteam,

    I have a question about aerodynamics. My novice mind thinks that placing the sensor on the other side of the crankarm would see it face lower relative wind speed due to the direction the crank turns. What was the reason for front facing sensor?

    Thanks!

  43. DaveQB

    Watteam,

    Oh one more thing. As I can’t get into the app to the crank selection I have to ask, is 165mm crank arms ok? I have 165mm Shimano 6800 cranks I want to put this on.

    Thanks!

  44. Hi Watteam and Ray,

    Me again. This is the first time I have dug into your data Ray and the first time using the analyzing tool. Very nice btw. Comparing the 4iii and Powerbeat power data I am seeing 5-10% differences regularly with 3 second smoothing.
    See examples here:
    link to files.dward.us
    link to files.dward.us
    link to files.dward.us
    link to files.dward.us

    I haven’t checked any other charts though, so I am thinking this is just expected differences between devices and thus there’s no way to ever know who is “right”? Maybe I am not making sense (it’s getting late here).

    Hi Watteam,

    From reading your Reply #8 here, it sounds like if there are any anomalies with spikes in power with the Power Beat, it could be all from the software in the comp pods and be altered/fixed/changed at a later date with an update but the sensor is as good as any sensor?

    Also, I’d like to hear more about “POWERBEAT™ sports the industry’s first ecological battery” please.

    Thanks for your patience with all my questions (trying to decide between 4iiii and Watteam).

    • Ok I think the 3 second smoothing is showing up variance just due to the difference in when sample data is collected by each device, which is basically what you say in your article Ray. Going out to 15 second smoothing, I see the Power Beat is pretty consistently a little less than the 4iiii whenever there is a decent change in power, up or down (could this be a gluing issue??).
      It does sound like a software thing that could be later addressed.

      Thanks for the great and yet again, thorough review Ray.

    • Indeed, 3-second smoothing is honestly too short to do second by second style comparisons. Even if I were using a WASP to record, the sampling and transmission rates across broadcasting devices would have a margin of error of 1-2s.

    • DaveQB

      Yes I realised while I was analysing the data that 3 seconds isn’t good for a long term. high level evaluation. I recognised you had stated this in your review(s).
      But even going out to 30 seconds, I am still seeing Power Beat not rising to the same highs as the others when there is any rise in power, regardless of the wattage.
      Am I wrong Ray?

    • The thing to keep in mind is that changing the smoothing to 30 seconds doesn’t change the underlying data. So on the peaks, it’s still falling short because there was some chunk of that data where it was ‘short’. Meaning, it’ll still average short.

      What you notice is that when it’s not peaking, it’s generally good, but when there was a substantial sprint involved, it falls short (even when the average is carried out longer).

    • DaveQB

      Hi Ray,
      Thanks for the response.

      Yes, but I don’t see it needing to hit 700 watts for this issue to occur; it seems to happen with any sudden increase in power, but once power becomes more steady, it is fine. Is this a correct conclusion?
      Again, I don’t think there’s a 700 watt minimum like you are saying in your review. Or am I off course?

      This is something I think software based, especially after reading Watteam’s reply #8 (“low pass filtering”) to this review, and can be fixed with an update. Watteam?

    • Eli

      Is this a measuring peak problem where 5 seconds or less of peak wattage is measured wrong or peak as in short intervals? Looks like its the former.

      So I guess the easiest real world meaning is, would an app like xert not have useful data to work off of? (thinking if you have one device taking measurements from the watteam power meter and feeling that into one xert profile while another device recording from a different power meter, would both profiles recommend the same thing?

      Would 30 second intervals be measured wrong?

    • DaveQB

      Hi Eli,

      I think it is a software/algorithm issue and not hardware (my feel on this). Reading what (pardon the pun) Watteam wrote in reply #8, what we are seeing is the result of their algorithm (particularly, but not limited to, their “low pass filtering”) being a little too aggressive in flattening out sudden high watt measurements or tagging a value further from the standard deviation as having less “weight” in affecting the current power reading, if that makes sense.

      I am sure all power meters do this in their software otherwise if every sample was reported as it came in without any filtering, it would be all over the shop as forces come and go from the sensor.

      Maybe I am looking at this too simply and I am way off target but I think they might have the sensor spot on and just need some tweaking on the software side of things. I would love Watteam to chime in on this discussion. So far they are avoiding directly commenting since reply #8.

      Thanks again for the review Ray and for opening up this topic for us all to discuss.

      My much referred to “reply #8” for reference.
      link to dcrainmaker.com

    • It’s not a hard set limit of 700w (above or below), but rather a significant shift. In my testing, that for whatever reason appears to be 700w. My guess is that’s tied to my abilities as a cyclist in maintaining above 700w for any prolonged periods of time.

      Do remember though that if using the comparison tool and changing the smoothing interval – as you increase that, it will decrease the peak amount for a given interval. Thus making the appearance the separation is lower. When in reality, it’s just simple math averages taking place lowering the interval level.

    • Eli

      So if you do an interval workout then there is always a signifigant shift at the start and end of an interval. My point is does this impact just how the graph looks or does this impact the usability of the data?

      So does that recording in the change in power impact something like xert that uses that data to do calculations? I think that is the more important question.

    • If there is simply a shift (i.e. a delay of 3 seconds but otherwise there), then it’d have a negligible impact in terms of data analysis after the fact. Sorta like watching something on TV with a Janet Jackson protection delay.

      However…if it does what WatTeam does which is undercut my actual power (meaning, it’s effectively rate-limiting me), then that would indeed impact apps like Xert, which are depending on knowing those peaks.

    • Eli

      Since this would impact xert (people buy a power meter and expect their app to work) have you looked at seeing what they say? The data may be different without being different enough to matter

    • Eli

      So if my goal is to use the xert apps and use the fatigue calculations from golden cheetah thats based on power and I don’t really care what my actual power numbers are, do I spend ~$450 on Watteam or ~$900 on Pioneer? (lets assume I eliminated the other power meters for other reasons besides just to simplify the issue) I’d rather not spend twice as much but if it doesn’t do the job then I’d have to

    • Eli,

      Xert can be quite precise in establishing your specific abilities and fitness. This applies both in the data analysis afterwards, and in real-time during interval workouts. Hence, better power data means better information on your abilities and tighter workout execution. Xert will work with any power data but if you’re looking for precision, your power data will need to be precise too since Xert acts like a magnifying glass as it looks for patterns. This applies at *all* power levels that you expect to perform.

      For example, if you wish to know your threshold power to within a couple of percentage points, then *all* your power data has to be within a couple percentage points, not just the power data near threshold. This is because Xert uses all your power data, not just constant power efforts near FTP like those used in other software or during 8/20 minute tests. Xert also establishes your fitness across your entire range of power, from your highest, peak power down and not just FTP.

      Hope this helps.

    • Eli

      So sounds like if watTeam doesn’t respond with plans of fixing this I should cancel my order and get pioneer or maybe 4iiii if they finally release for the 6800 crank.

    • James Brown

      Hi Ray,

      What software are you using to generate the graphs of power meter vs power meter? I’m sure you wrote your workflow up somewhere, but i cant find it.
      I’d like to (indoors) collect ANT power data simultaneously to a laptop from a kickr, watteam and vector workout and then compare the overall power figures like you have been doing. I know you collect using a WASP but any advice on the software, etc would be really helpful.
      thanks

    • Everything is done via the DCR Analyzer, which you can use here: link to dcrainmaker.com

      Everything in this review was simply collected using multiple Garmin Edge/Forerunner/Fenix devices (largely Garmin Edge devices). I do use the WASP often as a data backup source (as with the Quarq Qollector), or in certain cases as a primary source depending on what I’m doing. The WASP data isn’t fully supported in the DCR Analyzer yet, though it’s on the short-term to-do list. It’s a bit tricky because of how the data is ingested.

      Enjoy!

    • James Brown

      Thanks Ray, that’s great, I will definitely use that. I guess now I just need a way to record the 3 x ANT+ streams at the same time as I only have one edge unit. Are you aware of any software that I could run on the laptop that could just dump the data from the 2 sets of sensors ?

    • PerfPro would do the trick, since you can basically just fake two riders – thus giving you access to multiple sensors but ultimately exporting a standard .TCX/FIT file that you can import in as two data sets.

      I believe they have a 14 days trial too.

      Golden Cheetah works as well, and is free, but I don’t know off-hand if you can separate out the two/more power sensors into separate .FIT/TCX files (which would be required here).

  45. Eli

    Ray, so why does your bike have two speed sensors on it? Or at least it looks like both the seat stay and chain stay are speed sensors.

    • Not entirely sure to be honest. I think the battery in the upper one died and I just haven’t gotten around to swapping it out, and for some illogical reason I just put another sensor on it instead.

  46. bish

    Sadly after fully road testing the unit, I’m seeing the same issues mentioned by others users where one side is roughly double the power of the other. I’m currently waiting for a response from Watteam support.

    • John

      That’s a shame bish – hope support can get it sorted out for you.

      Are you seeing one side drop to zero and the other side double, or is one side just really small but above zero?

      Hopefully just a firmware fix!

    • Not sure which issue you’re referring to (perhaps I missed it in the comments).

      But are you by chance connecting via Bluetooth Smart? If so, you need to validate you’re using the correct BLE settings type in the app for the device/app that you’re using. Else you’ll get wonkiness.

      Meanwhile, if you’re getting doubling on ANT+, that likely means the pods aren’t seeing each other. Either way, WatTeam support is pretty much always available on their chat thingy, so it should be quick to sort out.

    • DaveQB

      Hi Ray,

      So you’re saying, like the 4iiii, a comp pod will take over full power transmission by doubling it’s sample if the other comp pod “disappears”?

    • My understanding is that it will, though I can’t remember if it can do it both ways like 4iiii (either side can fail), or just the one side can fail.

    • DaveQB

      Thanks for the repose.
      Just the one side?

    • Eli

      Going by:
      link to watteam.com
      Survival mode can only handle the left side not working (page 34)

  47. bish

    Thanks, I have to say i’m a little disappointed as i followed the instructions to the letter and everything certinaly “looked” ok to me with regard to the glueing process. I was referring to comments by, I think it was Russ/Joe in Feb above.

    For the road test, I used ANT+ width an edge 810 and the L/R balance was 68% vs 32% which is represented in the image.

    I did also test using IOS powerbeats live app while on the kickr and exhibits the same problem. For example the Left side is showing 80Watts and the right is showing 40watts for a total of 120Watts. Where the kickr is showing ~160watts.

    They have some sort of online web chat thing? I couldnt find anything only the email address. I’ve used that but i guess they are closed until Monday.

    • Woah, yeah, something is definitely amiss there.

      What’s cool is when you are able to connect with them on support, they’ll be able to look pretty deeply through the log data provided by the app during the calibration process – and can often tell you exactly which step went awry.

    • DaveQB

      This is interesting. I’m still keen to purchase but waiting for Watteam to comment on this and my questions.
      Maybe I should submit my questions directly through their support channel.

    • Paul

      I thing I have almost the identical situation here.
      I have done several water calibrations after first I got results like10% under my kicker.
      After the second calibration I got 50% higher watts than my kickr.
      the third time calibration wasn’t sent to Watteam server so its something wonky here.
      Support have not been that great :( they only respond once every night and that are a problem for me living in Europe.
      And the only thin they said is tis looking OK. buts obvious that’s not my opinion.

      Also I thing the instructions in app is inconsistent.
      For example one says do a zero offset with the bike on its wheels and the other instruct to turn the bike upside down from the beginning.

    • Hi Paul,

      Regarding your specific case, it’s being handled by our customer support team :)

      We’re just scaling up our European support hours, thanks for your comment.

      The important part about the Zero Offset Calibration is that there should be no weight on the pedals, pedals, and the left crank arm should face the ground.
      Indeed the picture can be a bit misleading. Thanks for the feedback.

    • Paul

      My recommendations is to stop using left and right because this is relatively to how you look at you bike.
      And instead use drive and non drive side then it’s never changing regardless how the bike is positioned or how you looking at it.

    • Eli

      +1 to Paul. Better to make it clear

    • Great comment..!

      This is a point we thought a lot about… In the end we chose right and left…
      Not so long ago we had someone suggest using both right / left AND drive / non drive :)
      This might as well be implemented in future app updates.

      Thanks again for the feedback.

    • Paul

      This is an example.

  48. Bish

    Before the road test I had contacted support about the wonky figures I was seeing on Powerbeat live. They said that they reviewed my calibration figures and they looked good and to send a fit file for an actual ride, which Is what I have done.
    I forgot to mention I also have the problem where the left unit after overnight charging only reports 80% charge whereas the right reports 100%. But of course thus is slightly less worrying than the other issue.

    • DaveQB

      Thanks for that update Bish.
      I think I’ll pause my order until I hear how this goes for you.
      It sounds like a faulty comp pod to me. But I don’t know anything.

    • Bish

      I’ve had an update from WattTeam overnight. They suspect that its due to a bug in the calibration app and will be providing an updated app in the coming days to confirm this. Will keep you posted.

    • DaveQB

      Thanks for the update Bish.

  49. Rich Chin

    Thanks for the review Ray! Looks like finally a viable option for my Cannondale SiSl2 cranks.

    • Andrea

      Hi Ray,
      Can I ask to you if you are collecting other data from your powerbeat?
      Have you some news from Watteam?
      I ask because they seems to refuse to respond to any questions about the power issues, not only mine but to all the people had made some questions about.
      I glued my sensor yesterday and I’m waiting to they dry, but anyway i will do the calibration on thursday and the first test I hope on friday.
      So as new customer, I ask to Watteam to speak to the comunity about the power issues, or at the least to tell to us why not.

    • I’m no longer collecting data on it – other power meters to review! I’ll likely take it apart tomorrow evening.

      Did you send in a ticket? Other readers have reported responses over the last 12 hours – so any chance your message may be waiting in a SPAM/etc folder?

    • Hi Andrea,

      Can you be a bit more specific? What are the power issues that you would like us to refer to?

      Besides the general behavior of the POWERBEAT™ that we addressed following Ray’s review, there are no other known issues with the product regarding metrics.

      As a young dynamic company with a vision and a mission to deliver a product at a performance level and price range that is unheard of, we are aware of the fact that the community will uncover things we haven’t thought about. In fact, we encourage the community to respond with their thoughts, wishes and professional feedback.

      As a company with corporate responsibility, answers to specific technical inquiries following specific installations and calibrations of the POWERBEAT™ are being handled in personal communication channels. Therefore specific technical answers are kept between us and the customer.

      For all – Don’t hesitate to contact us via
      social medial – Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Blog comments
      info@watteam.com
      support@watteam.com
      1-949-346-3050

    • Andrea

      Yes is the one from Ray’s review, I ask because in every private messages and also here in the blog I asked about your position/proposal about the problem, but no one answer was received, you answered to many other question of course.
      While I’m trusting in you and in your product I would like to know (and not only my self) a bit more of the problem.
      Thank you.

    • DaveQB

      Hi Watteam,

      I’m keen to buy but would like comment on my comment earlier. I can’t get a permalink on my phone, so I’ll paste it below.
      Thanks.

      “Hi Eli,

      I think it is a software/algorithm issue and not hardware (my feel on this). Reading what (pardon the pun) Watteam wrote in reply #8, what we are seeing is the result of their algorithm (particularly, but not limited to, their “low pass filtering”) being a little too aggressive in flattening out sudden high watt measurements or tagging a value further from the standard deviation as having less “weight” in affecting the current power reading, if that makes sense.

      I am sure all power meters do this in their software otherwise if every sample was reported as it came in without any filtering, it would be all over the shop as forces come and go from the sensor.

      Maybe I am looking at this too simply and I am way off target but I think they might have the sensor spot on and just need some tweaking on the software side of things. I would love Watteam to chime in on this discussion. So far they are avoiding directly commenting since reply #8.

      Thanks again for the review Ray and for opening up this topic for us all to discuss.”

    • Thanks Dave for initiating and being part of the conversation and thank you Eli for raising this topic.

      Dave, your insights are pretty good! We believe reply #8 sums up the foregoing questions.

      Andrea, hope this answers your inquiry.

      Thanks all for taking the time to drill into the different aspects of the POWERBEAT™…

    • DaveQB

      Thanks for the response Watteam. This is what I have been wanting.
      I am glad my “feel” for how these power meters work is somewhat on target.

      So with that, do you foresee firmware updates in the future to address any readings you conclude aren’t as accurate as possible? Such as this “spike” in power issue? Ray’s article said that you could “…inflate the power value on certain sprints…” but isn’t another and better solution to look at this in the algorithm and make a tweak there? Albeit more work.

      Thanks for the responses. I am on the edge of ordering this powermeter.

    • Andrea

      Thanks for the response Watteam,
      I agree with Dave, my main question is if you never solve the flattening of the spike power..

    • Well, one of the great aspects regarding the POWERBEAT™ is that it comes with life time support, including the ability to perform FOTA (Firmware Over-The-Air) updates at any time via our smartphone app.

      Regarding your doubts, we are gathering feedback and promise to thoroughly inspect any concrete points that may arise.

      Citing a previous reply – “We encourage the community to respond with their thoughts, wishes and professional feedback. Those will be translated into software upgrades that will be provided free of charge, for throughout the POWERBEAT life.”

    • DaveQB

      Thank you for the response Watteam. The company is being portrayed as a responsible and professional company looking out for the best interests of their customers.
      I think I will be placing an order tomorrow.

    • Andrea

      Thank you Watteam, now your answer became less “standar” and more deeper.
      To be honest I can tell you one thing without broke any patent pending…
      Without knowing in deeper your system I know for sure that one of your competitor, have a different approach to filter the rumor.
      They are using two sensor per crank, one is the reference and
      capturere only the rumor and the other capture the rumor of course and the power signal.
      With your dsp you have to use the FFT to subtract the rumor in the frequencies.
      It’s something like the Background noise reduction of your cellular do with two mic.
      Hope can be interesting for you.

    • Eli

      Implement a slight (less than 1-second delay) to make the low pass filter more accurate?

    • DaveQB

      Order placed with Clever Training :)

  50. Eli

    Any updates from Ray’s post back in 2014 with non-round rings? to quote:
    Additionally, I asked about non-round rings (aka oval rings, aka q-rings) and compatibility there. It’s on their list of items to test and ensure compatibility as he was aware of the issues there with most all other non-hub based power meters producing not-quite-accurate power readings with non-round rings. Based on their algorithms today he believes they won’t need to make changes there, but it’s on their radar to validate.

    btw find it interesting how the sensor was placed on the opposite side of the crank arm back then
    link to dcrainmaker.com

    • Hi Eli,
      Great question, non-round rings have been tested since then, and do not affect any aspect of the POWERBEAT’s readings.
      As for the positioning of the Comp Units, thanks for bringing up old memories, it shows how much we have changed in the past few years.
      Keep up the great questions 😊

    • Eli

      Power is measured by combining torque and cadence (speed the cranks are rotating). I’m assuming torque is sampled many times over one rotation, but are you just assuming cadence is constant over a pedal rotation? With round rings that is true so no point in doing it more often, but with oval rings the cranks change speed over the course of a crank rotation. Pioneer and powertap p1 pedals supports oval rings cause they sample the crank rotation speed many times during a cranks roation lots of other crank based power meters (garmin vector, infocrank, stages) don’t do that and so generally inflate the power data. Which are you?

      Thanks.

    • Flavdabike

      Eli,

      BTW how do you like your power meter so far? Did you end up buying one?

  51. Phil A

    Did not see comparison of the P1 pedals to powerbeat, and was wondering if you did that at all, and if so how close were the numbers. I am getting an actual tri-bike and I know I could move the pedals between, I like the P1 pedals, but the price is much nicer on this. If I could get something that was really close in numbers, I could just have different power meters on each bike.

    • Not on this go-around. The reason was…umm…unique.

      There was an incident with a dremel and the P1 pedals. Said incident took said pedals for a visit to the motherland to get ‘addressed’.

      Once they returned from their little vacation I had put them on another bike to measure/test that instead. That said, my previous tests with the 4iiii and P1 units have shown them virtually spot-on.

    • Bish

      Quick update from me. The updated app didn’t help, I still have in-accurate power and balance results.

    • Andrea

      Hi Bish you are not alone :-(
      My first ride your same problem, the left crank send incorrect data.
      I send the activity to Watteam and I’m waiting for an answer, I realy hope they do the correct things.
      Anyway I saw some strange thing already from the calibration with the left with a value of around 200 and the right around 900.
      I did over three calibration with the same result.

    • Hi Bish and Andrea,

      There is no need to worry, both of your cases are been taken care of by our top experts. We will get you both back riding using the POWERBEAT as soon as possible.

    • Andrea

      Thank you Watteam it’s a very good news.

    • James brown

      Hi Andrea,

      Where are you reading the calibration figures? I can only see the zero offset values in the Powerbeat app. It would be good if the app was more transparent and showed the calibration data from one calibration to the next so we might have some idea what the heck is going wrong.

    • Andrea

      Hi,
      sorry it’s the offset zero value, can I ask how it’s different in your powerbeat from the right to the left?
      Anyway if you want an idea on how the sensor work, you can:
      – set the zero value without weight in your pedal.
      – put your bike in a trainer and while bloking the rear wheel with the brake yuo can push the pedal with your weight and set zero button in the app, the difference of the offset value from before is what the sensor is reading regarding your weght.
      – set the zero value another time without weight to came back to right value.
      It’s a test watteam ask to me to do for my problem, and I’m wating for their responce.

    • Paul

      +1 for this as well

  52. rockpaper

    Hello Watteam,

    What other epoxy can we use when glueing the sensor to the crank?
    For instance, if we make a mistake installing the sensors or when we move the sensors to a new bike?

    Thanks.

    • Andrea

      Hi Rockport,
      from the post above you can read:
      – is a propetary epoxy formula.
      – you can’t move the sensor only the cap, because to remove it from the crank it will be damaged.

    • rockpaper

      thanks, Andrea. i better not make a mistake, then!

      i saw a video on how to remove the sensor but that must be for if you no longer need teh powerbeat or you are selling the bike.

      cheers!

  53. John

    Mine arrived today. Sensor pods are now a clear/white colour. Looks a bit naff. Wonder if I can colour them in with a big black pen?

    Will post on experience once installed and operational.

  54. Paul

    My second and third calibration was done when the pods was in ANT+ mode.
    Does they need to be changed to dual BT before calibration?

    • Hi Paul,

      You can perform the calibration (and connect to the app) while in any one of the communication methods.

      The communication methods affect the POWERBEAT™’s ability to connect to different head units.

      Safe rides,

      Watteam

    • Paul

      Hi Watteam,

      Great so I done nothing wrong in that part anyway then.

      But I have similar problem as the other two in this tread.
      But I feel that I don’t get the “right” attention from support.

      //Paul

  55. John

    Well I’ve got everything installed, setup and configured. Touch wood, on one very quick and short spin on the indoor trainer, everything looks good.

    Graph below comes from Garmin Connect. Some variability in L/R balance, but that has more to do with me being barefoot and trying to balance on the pedals without cleats or bike shorts.

    Will take it out for a proper spin this afternoon and let you know if I see anything dodgy.

    Fingers crossed though!

    • Andrea

      Hi john,
      I’m quite sure that mine problem with the sensor are the exception, I mean some can have a bit of difficulty but doesn’t mean that all have to do with trouble.
      Anyway can I ask to you two things?
      – out of curiosity, can you tell me the value of the offset zero for the left and the right?
      – For me the tricky part was put the right quantity of glue in the sensor, can you tell me how you did this part?

      Of course all of you there that whant to answer to my question are welcome.
      Normaly I have a good manual skill, but in this case I put to much glue in the sensor and could be one of the reason of my problem.
      Anyway Watteam had decided to send to me both sensor to replace the broken one’s, and that it’s great!
      It’s evident from Watteam the desire to be a reference point in the customer care, and I hope in the near future also as power meter seller ;-)
      I want to tell Thank you to Watteam over this blog.

    • John

      HI Andrea –

      Really glad to hear Watteam are taking care of you. Hope to hear that you’re out riding and enjoying yourself with no issues before too long!

      I went for a 90min ride this evening and everything looked pretty good on the power front – apart from one solitary quick spike to 1000W at the very beginning of the ride. The rest of the time L/R cadence tracked along well – 48%L + 52%R which makes sense to me. Graph below shows a bit of variability, but looks good overall.

      As to your questions –

      – L offset = 695, R = 377
      – As to glue, I tried to copy the video as much as possible. It was maybe 1mm thick, but hard to say. I spent more time trying to make it even all over and not scrape too much off.

    • John

      Andrea – the other thing I forgot to say about gluing was that I left them to dry for 40-ish hours as my room wasn’t quite up to 25 degrees for the entire time.

    • Andrea

      hi thank you John… I hope too…
      I waited for about 48h, because the temperature and because the quantity of glue.
      My value are a bit in the extreme part 220/980.
      Anyway thank you to share your experience and good riding!

  56. Andrea

    Hi Watteam,
    Please can you modify your app in the calibration part to include the possibility to use other weight than the your default?
    There are two situation:
    – the first one is that someone can have access to a precision scale and weightin the water bags more precisely they can calibrate with a more precision weight.
    – the seconds is the someone can have access to more weight to calibrate the crank.
    For example I have access to weight with M2 precision (that is some mg of error) of 20kg.
    If I use this weight the calibration process will be more linear than with your 4.2kg of water.

    I hope you understand what I mean.
    Thank you.

  57. John

    Teaser email out today from Watteam saying they’re entering beta testing on carbon cranks.

  58. Bryan

    Considering the fact that the algorithms for the road vs off-road versions will be different….what would be the recommendation for someone who has a gravel/adventure bike and probably spends time about half of the time riding on nice tarmac and the other half on rough terrain?

    • Paul S.

      The way I see it an algorithm that can handle rough surfaces will be able to handle smooth surfaces, while you don’t know how well the algorithm designed to handle smooth surfaces will handle rough ones. So personally I’d go with the MTB version.

    • Hi Bryan,

      Depends on your definition of rough terrain :).
      If your main goal is riding on gravel and/or road, the road version should suit you. It’s currently available for purchase.
      Please note that the road version does not come included with the Comp Unit Cover. However it can be purchased separately after becoming available.

    • Flavdabike

      But some gravel roads can become rocky and cause hard impact like the cobbles described in this test. Is it something that has been addressed or a rider risk having the signal from the device dropped? What is your definition of rough and how much can it handle?

  59. DaveQB

    I contacted Clever Training about my order last week and they said the Powerbeat has been very popular since it was released and they were waiting for more stock.
    My order left CT last Saturday. Excited to have it soon.

    How much glue is everyone using and how hard are you pushing the sensor down to push out excess glue?

    Thanks.

    • Bish

      Just an update on my situation. I received another set of sensors as Watteam advised that something must have gone wrong with the curing process of the glue. Despite what others have said in this thread about larger amount of glue used and less or no pressure applied, I don’t intend to do anything differently to what I originally did and that was exactly what is in the video. I’ll let you know how it goes.

  60. Flavdabike

    I decided to try it. Ordered from Clever Training, and since they had it in stock and ship from the same state I live, I received it in a couple of days. I am going to glue the sensors tonight and leave them curing for 48 hours or more (This is recommended if the room temperature where you have them drying is not over 77 F for an entire 24 hours).

  61. Frank

    Great for you rainman that you were able to pair your sensors.

    I have yet to successfully pair with any consistency and am returning the product already.

    I usually love your reviews, but based on this one, I wasted $10 for expedited shipping and about 6 hours of my vacation time fussing around with this mess of a product.

    And BTW Clever Training told me that blogs were starting to show a lot of complaints about the unit and the same issues that I had – I was actually never able to fully calibrate with the final calibration step always failing – went through multiple trouble shooting steps (several times) – appeared as if everything was going to work – then bam – fails during last 2 water bag calibration step.

    Additionally when pairing to the head unit, the pairing would occur, but would not be recognized by the head unit – even the devices showed as paired. Sensors paired immediately on first try for Zero calculation then pretty much failed all other attempts.

    I am sleepy and am rambling possibly, but I finally came to my senses while trying to calibrate this thing and I thought WOW… do I really want to have this much trouble going forward. Best feeling ever to take those sensors off the crank and box up that rubbish.

    • Hi Frank,

      We feel unfortunate that you’ve decided to box up the POWERBEAT™ before we’ve even had the chance to reply privately…

      We totally agree that wasting vacation time is indeed bummer. That’s exactly the reason why our highly-experienced support and tech team are here for. To assist all our customers with any issue that may arise. We promise our full attention, and taking care of until any issue is fully and completely solved to each and every customers’ liking.
      * For others, pairing to the head unit should be done only after the calibration process has been completed. As the POWERBEAT™ is an add-on product, full configuration is essential before daily usage.

      The app includes detailed instructions for gluing and calibrating the POWERBEAT™. The only troubleshoot step that’s included is to make sure that the plugs are fully and firmly inserted. That’s something first-timers sometimes miss. I’m wondering what the issues that you’ve experienced are. However, as you’ve mentioned that you’ve already boxed up, we just hope you’ve had a good night’s sleep.

      Safe rides,
      Omer

  62. Flavdabike

    So many complaints; it is time for some happy ending too. First the foremost, the thing is working fine. I can’t compare data because it is my first power meter. I can read the power data from Powerbeat Live app and using the Wahoo app on my iPhone (Use the Bluetooth Smart Dual Channel connectivity option). No, I do not have a head unit and that’s one of the great selling points of this PM. You do not need one. I use Crank Brothers pedals and no problem with those. So far so GOOD!!!!

    I had only one problem during installation. The thing was not calibrating, but it was resolved after one contact with their support. It was sort of my bad. After physically installing the devices and going to the app to do the calibration, you see two workflow options, “INSTALL YOUR POWERBEAT” and “”ALREADY INSTALLED”. I chose “”ALREADY INSTALLED” because it was already physically installed. Again, my bad there. This option takes to the calibration process but it does not work unless you had completed the calibration process through the “INSTALL YOUR POWERBEAT” first. Once I did the process through the proper workflow, it was smooth sailing. The “INSTALL YOUR POWERBEAT” path in the app takes you to ALL the little steps and tutorial videos for the installation, and you have to play each video to move to the next step. There is also an annoying 24 hour timer (glue drying) that only lets you move to the calibration process once it times out or if you hack it by changing the date on you phone.

  63. rockpaper

    Hey all,
    I have successfully connected my new Powerbeat G2 tI my Edge 820busing ANT+.

    However, I cannot seem to be able to detect it as a Cadence sensor.
    I have tried adding the sensor manually, as well as just trying to get it detected automatically, but still no luck.

    Anyone else have problems with setting up cadence or can give me any pointers?

    Cheers

  64. Karsten Horn

    I have just completed the installation process and did my very first “test ride” today on my tacx trainer and everything seems to work perfectly. Balance was 48/52 and power readings extremely consistent compared to my tacx readout. Up to 200 watts almost spot on and above 200 up to 500 watts it showed about 10 watts higher than my trainer. Only small issue is the kind of confusing procedure for switching between BT and ANT+. Initially I could not understand why it suddenly would not connect to my iOS app. I realized that I had to wait 4 min before the pods go back to ready state. Also, the description of the calibration procedure is kind of confusing and you have to be careful as everything is upside and left is actually right…. So far a happy camper and a better ride report when snow stops outside.

  65. portemat

    I’ve just had a quick scan through these comments… Seems that WatTeam is getting quite a hard time!

    I have had my Powerbeat on my bike for about a month now. I found it easy to install (albeit, you do need to take care – but I thought the app was very clear) and have had no problems at all. I have had no need to speak to the support, so cannot comment on how good they are.

    Overall, I am very happy with the product. Although I cannot verify the accuracy, it ‘feels’ right (compared to the power readings I get on a trainer). It connects without problems to my ELEMNT. For the price, I think it is excellent!

    (my only issue is that the app still says “Coming Soon…” for a second bike – given the price of the unit, I want to get another one for my #2 bike!)

    • Thank you Portemat and everyone else for your feedback and great reviews. We appreciate each comment!

      From our end the statistics look good. Lots of great installations. The numbers are overwhelming.

      If you still encounter trouble, ever need any assistance or have any question – contact us at watteam.com/contact

      Also, don’t forget to follow us on Social Media for all the latest news and updates.

      Safe rides.

    • Paul H

      If you cant validate the values it giving you have to trust that it gives the right ones direct from installation.
      But what if those values are of by 10% and you in the future change power meter to a correct one.
      You need to throw away all your earlier data and begin from the beginning again.

      I think we need some more help from Watteam to show us that our PM are sowing correct numbers.

    • Andrea

      I have ask many Times to watteam about their declared precision, but never recived answer! they answer only to minor things, or to people that do compliments to their product.

    • Flavdabike

      I believe the user mentioned a difference of 10 watts not 10% which quite different. All power meter have some difference in number when compared to each other. just as an example, location on bicycle will provide different due to proximity where the force is exerted (wheel hub vs pedals). Ryan has mentioned that in several of his reviews. It is an inherent issue when one changes power meter.

    • Paul H

      You are of course right.
      But that’s not exactly what I meant.
      I have during my time with Powerbeat been forced to do the water calibration 8 times and had up to 50% of wrong W figures from the PM. It’s so easy to get the wrong ones, it can be so simple as the water bag leaning on any part of the bike.
      So even if your water bags are perfect you can get the wrong results easily.
      So if you don’t have something exact and reliable to compare with it can feel right but be like 20% of.

      So if I stop complaining.
      I have now got results from my Powerbeat that Watteam says are in spec. Now I want to fine adjust those figures so they are more exact in comparison to my reference.

    • Rp

      I have done the water calibration and will ride this weekend to test.
      I also could not hang the water bag from the top peddle without it hitting the bike in some way.

      Now I think my readings will be wrong.

      I wonder if it’s possible to hang the bags from the end of the peddle rather than from near the crank

      Or maybe use another weight entirely.

    • Paul H

      Have you looked on the instructions in app under ? for each step?
      The bags supposed to hang from the center of the pedals.

    • Rp

      Thanks. I seemed to me to be the spindle not the middle. My mistake.
      Oh well, bad readings for thee weekend.

  66. Flavdabike

    Update on my Powerbeat experience. I notice some had concerns about using this device when riding over “rough” terrain. I do most of my riding over lime rock gravel roads and over grass with some roots. These are not mountain bike trails that requires full suspension. Riding at 20 mph, I have not had any problems with signal drops. The only time I see a “zero” power number is when I have to stop pedaling for a couple or three seconds, standing up on the pedals, to do some maneuvering or soaking up irregularities. As long as I pedaling, I have not had any problem with this power meter. when hitting rocks. I am very happy with it so far.

  67. MartinF

    I found the installation simple, but agree with another comment that you need to use the app so your aren’t waiting even longer on the glue timer countdown if you start the app the next day.

    Calibration was also quick and simple and the results seem good. Overall I’m very happy with the product and especially the price point.

    • Karsten Horn

      I hear a lot of critical comments here but how many do actually own the power meter? Based on the comparison test above I guess that there will always be differences between different products. Again based on the DC test above it indeed seems that the numbers are extremely close to other brands apart from the over 700W issue. That said, many of the dual systems would set me back twice as much as the GEN2 Powerbeats – Yes you will have to do initial install yourself but that is so simple if you follow instructions from the App and various Youtube guides. I do own a set of Powerbeats and to be honest I was also a bit sceptical in the beginning, especially based on the comments I read here prior to installation but after a few longer comparison rides up against my Tacx smart trainer I would say that I’m extremely happy with the product so far. I have attached a picture that shows a session on Swift where the power reading on the TV screen is from the Tacx trainer and the 2 Garmin computers shows input from the Powerbeats. As people can see the numbers are within a few watts and that is consistent for all my rides now. I have done nothing special during installation and no need to calibrate more than once. As a matter of fact I do not care if they are some watts off as long as the difference is consistent and that is exactly what I have seen the entire time I have ridden with this setup(3 rides and 6 hours in total).

      I can strongly recommend the GEN2 Powerbeats to any who are in the market for a dual sided Power meter that do not cost 1000+$

    • Jim

      I agree Karsten, I have no problem with the power meter. It fits my requirements. I switch out my chain rings on my TT bike depending on the race so I needed a crank based system. The price was also right for me. He only challenge I had was calibration with speedplay pedals. When I had two water bags balancing I used electrical tape to fasten the bags. Tech support was also very responsive since I initially needed to get one of the glue on sensors replaced.

    • Randius

      Unfortunately, my experience with PowerBeat has not been as favourable as Karsten’s. Although the Skype session with Watteam support did manage to resolve my extremely low readings, the difference between the reading of Zwift + Elite Qubo Smart trainer and the Garmin 920XT + PowerBeat can vary as small as 10-20 watt or as big as 50-70 watts. I understand that different devices may give different readings but 50-70 watts is quite a big difference to me. I have sent the .fit files Watteam support and hope they will be able to shed some light on the difference.

    • rp

      hi Randius?
      did you get any feedback on this or resolution?
      I have a similar problem with Zwift+Kickr Snap versus Garmin Edge 820 + Powerbeat

      cheers!

  68. James Hammond

    How do you think the mountain bike version will work for cross country racers? Do you still think there will be issues given the variable nature of mountain biking?

  69. David Crinnion

    Anybody do a zero offset from the Garmin 920? I was using the app, but I have an IM triathlon event coming up and you need to deliver the bike the day before. It seems with the 920 it only sets one side (left) and I get figures that are like 80% left and 20% right. I tried doing the offset 2x, once with each side, and that doesn’t seem to work either. I am afraid if I do the offset in the morning before the race the 2 hour time difference between zero offset and swim will also make my numbers wonky.

    Any feedback or hacks would be welcome.

  70. rockpaper

    hi All,

    Has anyone heard if Watteam will be allowing for dual broadcast of Ant+ and bluetooth, and if so, any thoughts on when it might happen?

    cheers!

  71. DaveQB

    Finally got my Powerbeats and got them installed. Had my first ride today but the numbers were way high (if I pushed that much power, I’d be a pro cyclist)
    Probably a bad calibration so I am going to try again tonight. So far, the customer support has been excellent. Sometimes responses can take 8 hours or so but other times they can be minutes (email). Either way, all responses have been courteous and helpful.

  72. Eric Abecassis

    After I received my Powerbeat G2, I installed it right away.

    The process is well guided and very easy to follow. However, after my first ride, my balance reading was quite off. Their support was extremely reactive and in no time, I received feedback.

    It turned out that my right sensor was not properly aligned with the crank arm. My mistake as I misinterpreted their principle of having the sensor in the middle of the crank. I tried to align it with the end of the crank arm and as a result it was a bit sideways. I received my new sensor in only 3 days living in UK and after reinstalling the sensor, I tested the system and it works perfectly. Fair enough a little sweat to make it work but overall great power meter for a great price

  73. JG

    Can the powerbeat be used with Shimano Dura-Ace track cranks (e.g., FC-7710)?

  74. R A BISHOP

    Very interested in versatility of fitting WatTeam unit.
    I want to continue using a triple chain set. The main reason being a 24t inner ring which I use with 29 and 32 bottom sprockets. I ride out to most events, climb 25% gradients in 300, 400, 600 Audax rides and like to spin on climbs anyway.
    I also want to continue using MTB pedals.
    I have used the now obsolete Polar CS600 power meter since 2009 and am now addicted to the L / R balance and “Pedalling Smoothness” index: more important to me than pin-point accuracy of power, something the CS600 is poor at.
    Would consider a G3 Powertap but no cadence, L / R balance or smoothness index.
    As an ageing Audax and longer distance TT rider, I’m not interested in accuracy above 700W.
    The low price of the WatTeam is a bonus so it looks ideal for me although I’ll probably hang on a month or two for more glitches to be revealed and corrected.