In a move that took a mere 3 hours, PowerTap has responded to Garmin’s new Vector 3 pedal debut by matching their price. The Vector 3 pedals were announced earlier today at a price of $999, which was $200 less than the existing PowerTap P1 pedal price of $1,199. That price has remained constant since the PowerTap P1 pedals announced over two years ago. PowerTap also lowered the P1S (left-only variant) to match Garmin’s Vector 3S at $599 as well.
In the case of Vector, they had previously lowered the price to $999 for their Vector 2 product, in large part to try and lure folks down from the PowerTap P1 pedals, which were generally seen as a better overall product (or at least, I certainly saw it that way).
Of course, it’s likely not just Garmin that’s applying pressure here – but also Favero with the Assioma pedals sitting at $799USD. The Favero Assioma pedals were announced earlier this summer and started shipping in late July. This would be their second generation product following the BePro pedals two years ago. Based on all the testing I’ve done over the last month on the Assioma pedals, they’re equally solid from an accuracy standpoint. All of which I’ll detail in my in-depth review in the coming days (once I surface from drowning at Eurobike).
So where does this leave things? Well, I think at this point the companies are mostly in the right ballpark, though perhaps the PowerTap P1 pedals are a touch bit high still. My thinking is that technologically speaking Vector 3 does everything the PowerTap P1 does, except in a smaller footprint and quite a bit lighter. One would also argue that it does more in terms of head unit metrics via Cycling Dynamics (PowerTap has a subset of this but it’s tied to the mobile app and there isn’t a good way for regular consumers to get the data out).
On the flip side, PowerTap’s product line has largely stabilized over the past two years and most of the little quirks of the earlier P1 units have been addressed. Whereas like any product Garmin is embarking on ramping up production and may still find those early-edition quirks. Though, in Garmin’s case this is their 3rd generation unit and thus they’ve learned a lot already. Also relevant is that PowerTap actually has the PowerTap P1’s available to buy today, versus with Garmin you’re looking at a month away, assuming no delays.
And then, of course, you’ve still got Favero sitting back watching the fray above them in price, but with a solid product. The downside to the Assioma is the pods, but for many people that might not matter. They’ve got a rechargeable battery, versus coin cell in the others. That’s a personal preferences thing. From an availability standpoint, the Assioma is also supply-constrained right now, and I expect that to remain the case for much of the fall (due to popularity driving demand). Still, it’s a solid pedal power meter that I’ve yet to hear any issues from readers with either.
In any case – interesting times for sure. I’m working on a power pedal power-off, or whatever the heck you want to call it, focused on these three units. While I could see something else at Eurobike starting tomorrow, I see that as incredibly unlikely. Or at least, any product that’s going to be out anytime soon. There are always companies talking about pedal/cleat/shoe/etc power meters, but very few make it to shipping production units. Note that I do not expect the PowerTap P1 price drop to impact other power meter pricing at this time. I think things will stay pretty stable throughout the fall.
With that – thanks for reading – and stay tuned for more to come from Eurobike!
Oh, P.S., here’s the relevant posts for all three units:
Garmin Vector 3 First Look
Favero Assioma First Look
PowerTap P1 In-Depth Review
When you write your “power pedal power-off” or whatever you call it 🙂 can you include a section on how much replacement batteries cost? The AAA batteries used by the P1 are dirt cheap and available everywhere but my experience with the smaller coin cell batteries is that they can be extremely expensive! Thanks in advance!
I’m a huge fan of my power tap P1s for their AAA batteries. I can find them anywhere. Third world country where I don’t speak the language — hold up a battery and they will show me where to go. I may switch to or add Garmin vectors as they look like they will give more ground clearance on my low-bb bikes that I don’t run the power taps on for fear of scraping. My other issue with power tap has been the weak cleats and third party cleats don’t seem to work as well. Cycling dynamics might be good for something, but I am not sure what — I just need a good, solid data source for Xert.
Amazon is your friend here for coin cell batteries. I’m less interested in cost than I am being able to find them in a gas station in the middle of nowhere. It’s gotta pass what I consider the Saturday evening road trip to Eurobike test:
Can I find this coin cell battery in a small gas station or food market in the mountains of Switzerland or France at 5PM on a Saturday evening?
Because somehow, every year that’s the predicament I find myself in. Seriously.
The elephant in the room with the P1s is the need for lithium AAAs. The first time I tried alkalines (bought in an emergency from a corner shop for the reasons you state) they overheated and leaked and destroyed the pedal. Pedals were replaced under warranty but with a warning that by using alkalines I had breached the warranty and they were doing this as a one off as a gesture of good faith. They are caught between marketing these on the basis of availability of AAAs, while simultaneously warning that you shouldn’t run them with the kind of AAAs that are easily available.
Agree with Amazon, although my experience has been mixed. I’ve received some old or low quality batteries that just don’t last.
Sounds like a great problem to have Ray. I agree that Amazon is your friend with the coin cells. My wife and I have Trek bikes so we have Duo Traps. Plus I have a dual sided Pioneer meter and our Wahoo Tickrs. So we keep a decent stash of batteries in the pain cave. I may start keeping 1 or 2 in my repair bag (especially if I know it’s been a few months since my last battery change). Her and I seem to be changing the batteries every 4-6 months and it seems they are always lined up perfectly. So once battery goes it seems like about 2-4 weeks before all get replaced. I’ve joked with her about ordering 8 packs of those batteries on 6 month subscribe and save from Amazon.
IIRC my manual only said it was recommended to use lithium but not required. Don’t know if they changed this. Either way something fried them and they got replaced under warranty. I was using Eneloops. There was no leak and the Eneloops are still going strong one year later. My second pair was plagued by dropouts that started when they were 6 months old. So i returned for full refund. Consumer protection laws in Australia meant the retailer had no choice. I got a Quarq d-Zero in the end which is great. The estimated power balance is exactly the same as the P1’s (And i got myself a Wahoo bolt with the savings).
That one ride you cannot find batteries and have no power data to me does not warrant going for a clunkier pedal…
I used to think the same about button batteries but now use Amazon to buy in bulk – packages of 4 to 20 or so. Way less expensive this way than buying individually at the big box or grocery store. Sometimes you can buy 10 at Amazon for the price of 2 or 3 in store…
Anyone who got a Stages back in the day got used to putting in a new coin battery every few days so bulk buying was the only option :-/
Well, I called this price drop in the comments for the V3 pedals! I don’t think that a price match evens the V3 vs P1 comparison, but I appreciate Ray’s comments about availability and track record. Still, the winter trainer season is a couple of months away in the northern hemisphere, so a month wait for V3 is no big deal. Maybe the approach to racing season in the southern hemisphere is a more urgent need, favoring the P1. And, who knows, maybe problems will emerge as more V3 users put them to the test.
Ray- since your P1 post, have you received emails/heard murmurs of the accuracy of P1’s? I myself bought a pair 6 months ago and there have been a couple times (during a 30 min climbs) where the power seems to be 10-20% off. (Compared to relative truth sources). And recently in talking with other riders from my club, I heard similar feedback that there was a reputation of them sometimes being 10-20% inaccurate. But no internet search has ever found substantial discussion in forums which makes it seem unlikely.
I figure folks might ask you and curious if you’ve ever heard anything along these lines? Thanks! (All due dilengence of calibration before the ride done and caveats of comparing power between to riders being dangerous known)
Inclinec they had an issue (maybe a year ago??) with accuracy that was fixed in a firmware update. Make sure BOTH pedals have the latest firmware.
This was the firmware:
30.026, released April 21, 2016
When Autozero is set to off, the Installation Angle is no longer continuously calculated. This fixes the issue where power was inconsistent on very long climbs.
Fixes Autozero not being passed to the slave.
Fixed issue where cadence was zero when doing right-leg pedal drills.
Yeah, what Greg said.
There’s certainly things to begrudge on the P1 pedals, but honestly, accuracy isn’t one of them.
Interesting. I purchased the P1 pedals a few months ago, and I have a Powertap G3 hub on another bike. I consistently get power readings from the P1 pedals that are 15%-20% less than the readings I get on my G3 hub. I’ve had the G3 hub for a longer period of time, and it’s readings match those I had on an older Powertap SL+ hub, so I tend to trust the G3 more. I called Powertap a few days ago about this issue and they said that this was normal, due to the different ways in which the two devices measure power. The person I talked to even cited DC Rainmaker! However, from having read Ray’s reviews of the P1 in the past, it appeared that for Ray there was no such discrepancy between the two power meters. I updated the firmware a couple months ago and verified that the crank length setting in my Garmin was correct for the P1’s. I was just wondering if anyone may have any other suggestions?
Simply put: Something is broke there.
Either your G3 or your P1. But no, 15-20% is definitely not acceptable by any stretch. And them telling you such is a bummer, and a bad example of passing the buck.
Crank length would be the prime thing I’d check. Also ensuring that during zero offset there’s nothing weighing on the torque side (pedals).
Hmm, yes that was my thought as well. I think both power meters are marketed as being +- 2% or something like that in terms of accuracy. I’ve checked the crank length, and that seems to be okay. The crank length of my bike is the same as the default: 172.5. Also there is nothing obvious on the pedals that would be causing it.
I was just trying to think about ways to troubleshoot the problem and figure out where the problem lies. How do you manage to get data from two separate power meters to appear on the same graph? I was thinking about moving the P1 pedals to the bike with the G3 to try to get a direct comparison of the data. I have a Garmin Edge 820 and I think if it detects two power meters it will ask you to choose one or the other. I could have the data from one of the power meters captured by the Edge and one by my phone, but then I would have two separate graphs of data and not one where I could compare the power readings point by point.
Any other suggestions?
I use the DCR Analyzer, which you can also use here: link to dcrainmaker.com
Oh wow, this looks very cool. I’ll definitely try it out. Thanks!!
About the Assioma, Ray, you say “The downside to the Assioma is the pods, but for many people that might not matter.”. Is this just a mater of aesthetics, or might the pods somehow interfere with some riders’ stroke?
Do the pods (negatively) affect the Q-factor on these pedals?
Great work Ray, even while swamped in Eurobike with a deluge of new products!
When thinking about powermeter pedals, I always have these thoughts
– Very easy to fit across your own bikes, or a rental on vacation
– Downside : prone to damage when falling -> even when not going fast. Could be bad for accuracy?
– Downside : wear of the pedal itself which would need replacing? Looking at you Look Keo when the axle/bearings get too tight.
This is ridiculous. I feel like I’ve been sitting on my have the last two years trying to decide on a powermeter. Strike 1 for procrastinating, but at the same time, new options keep coming out, and I can only open so many Google tabs! Strike 2 cuz I’m not ready to part with my $$ yet, and Strike 3 for also considering a smart trainer upgrade from my powerbeam pro.
sitting on my *hands* 🙂
I am exactly the same. I’m still not entirely sure whether I’m going to for a smart trainer or a power meter…although unless a groundbreaking PM comes out at Eurobike I’m 99% sure I’m going to pick up a Kickr Snap V2 ready for winter in the UK. After looking in to that mid-range of trainers (I mostly compared it to the Flux & Direto) the Snap seems like the best value for money option.
The advantage of a smart trainer isn’t so much the built-in power readings as the ability to run in ERG power modes.
What’s the temperature range? Would it be possible to use them in winter (up to -10 C) on a fatbike, for instance.
Used them when the temperature went down to -6C no problem and no power reading issues, so would expect they will be fine at -10 too.
Ray can you ask at the Look booth what happened to their Keo Power pedals? I sent my BT Keos in for the upgrade to the BT/ANT version in January and still haven’t gotten them back…
100g difference? That IS huge. People are prepared to spend €500 more on wheels to save that much weight.
Another advantage is the fact that Garmin Vectors take regular keo cleats which you can get anywhere and on the cheap whereas P1s take ‘slightly different’ keo-type cleats.
For what it’s worth, I’m using standard Keo Look cleats with my P1s and they seem perfectly fine.
And the xpedo cleats that ship with the P1s are equally cheap and easily found online/Amazon.
Not just an additional 100g, but an additional 100g in one of the worst possible places that you can add weight. Saving rotational mass at the pedal is precisely why carbon shoes are the higher performance option over plastic composite shoes, and why we use hollow cranks instead of solid cranks. Just ask Adam Hansen how important reduction of rotational mass is….
I agree with what is being said elsewhere in the comments, bring the price down below the vector and I’m all in, but at the exact same price I think I’m going with the vector. Also, according to the Garmin website the 3s upgrade pedal is already available for order, Powertap (as far as I can tell) is still saying the the P1S upgrade is “coming soon”.
To be fair, I’m doing the same thing on Clever Training to see if my Assioma Duo order has shipped.
I’ll save you a few page views, it’s slid to next week. Not because of any issues, but just a case of trying to get Eurobike and IFA items out the door for this week. Kinda nuts.
But, I can also tell you it’s solid. 🙂 As for CT orders, sitting with the guys right now and another shipment was sent to them, but it’s still really low volumes from Favero right now in general. And the demand is very high. 🙁
Thanks for the update. 🙂 Clever Training is exceedingly good at keeping their customers up to date, too. I’ve never seen a company put out weekly newsletter updates about product availability before.
I put my order in a couple days after Favero started shipping (7/30), so I am hoping I’m not too far from the head of the line.
The new Garmin pedals are really tempting with their replaceable batteries, and extra data I’ll never use, and the fact that they just look like a regular pedal. But not for an additional $350!
I had purchased a 4iiii Precision earlier this year on a Shimano 105 crank arm (based on your review and the price), and then I bought a new Ultegra bike like a month later. It fits perfectly, but I need my crank arm to match my other components! When the Assioma came along, I saw the opportunity to upgrade to dual sided and solve my matching issue at the same time. 😉
Classic! I’ve been doing the same thing Josh, check Clever Training, check to see what Ray has posted, check Clever Training, google anything about assiomas…..check Ray again, check comments about assiomas….
Thanks for the reassurance Ray, not often I go all in on a new product without a full review!
My Assioma Duo pedals shipped yesterday. 🙂
Looks like they might beat Ray’s review to my door. 😉
Clever Training has raised their price from $735 to $799. I ordered them for $735 – 10%, or around $650. Clever Training honored that price. 🙂
Not sure why the price went up, but I’m glad I ordered them when I did!
The short version of the price raise is that Favero told them to raise it. CT’s pushing back fairly hard, we’ll see how it ends up. Note, the DCR 10% discount is valid of course.
Kudos to CT for honoring the original price. My preorder also went in at $735 less 10%. Any they will take them back, as I understand, if something is horrible about them.
My only concerns are:
– Will the pods hit my shoes.
– if I need service, will Favero be difficult to deal with. I ended up returning a TACX trainer and going with the more expensive Wahoo because of this.
With the P1 now appearing significantly less refined with it’s chubby body, weightiness, and large AAA batteries, they’re gonna have to go lower than Vector 3 in price to remain interesting. Ideally somewhere in between Vector 3 and Assioma.
I don’t subscribe to the availability argument for AAA batteries. Coin cell batteries weighs so little and take up so little space you can easily carry a couple of spares where you keep your spare inner tube/s anyway. I already do for my cadence sensor.
Personally can’t see them going any lower, their marketing blurb is playing on their quality and accuracy.
link to powertap.com
Correction: for my cadence sensor and heart rate sensor both.
Yes, and they had a lot of bad rep. for bearings developing play as well.
I`ve had the P1 for almost 2 years and they have worked great but there is somthing that drives me mad: the “advanced pedal metrics” and their dependance of an ios device. Now that the edge 1030 supports bluetooth sensors, do you think there is any chance of an IQ app from Powertap for pedal metrics? I cant see any reason to go for P1 instead of Assioma or Vector 3 at this price. Powertap must do something to offer at least the same than the competition in price or in features.
CIQ doesn’t yet support custom Bluetooth Smart sensor data, so Powertap would have to do something on one of the ANT channels.
Ray, first of all thanks for all the great reviews, long time reader here of your blog. The Pedal Power Meter is narrowing down to aesthetics now rather than accuracy. Not trying to spoil the Assioma review that is coming shortly but one thing that I am pretty interested is how do you see the Assioma’s internal battery holding of before a replacement, have been the owner of an iBike unit and had the battery dying on me after 1 year using it, went thru the hassle of sending it overseas and paying an amount to have a new Unit since they couldn’t fix my previous one, I am on the fence of buying it and having the same issue. Knowing that we are still early in the game, I am curious to see your point of view on this matter. Thanks a lot, Ray.
I’m not a battery expert, but I do note that Li-ion batteries seem to be pretty robust in maintaining performance over charging cycles. Look at the plug-in electric cars – those things must operate/charge under conditions that preserve battery capacity pretty robustly. The conflict – I *think* – is that the harder you ‘push’ the function of the battery, the quicker you reduce maximum runtime. So, as a manufacturer, you pick (for a given battery pack)…24 h recording (at the absolute limits of the battery, so a good initial performance, but reduced over time) or 18 h recording (which it might continue to provide over many years). Since these items sell based on the initial performance stats… But the Assiomas *might* be specced to preserve run time…
Thanks, it does makes sense. I’m on the fence since Assioma sounds like a great product and has an awesome price, on the other side Vector3 eliminates the hassle of sending the pedals overseas for a battery replacement, though decision 🙂
Is there any advantage to having the Garmin with the Garmin 820 or new 1030 units?
I will say that I have been using the P1 and P1S pedals since they were introduced.
I was originally using just normal alkaline AAA batteries but the life of them was not too good.
This year I have gone to the lithium batteries (via Amazon) and the life is GREATLY increased.
They cost more (although not too bad compared to what I saw for lithiums in local stores) but the increased life made it worthwhile in my opinion.
The voltage of an alkaline battery drops as it’s being drained. You probably only get 800mAH out of a 1200mAH AAA alkaline. With an Eneloop Pro XX rechargeables, you’d get the full 900mAH. With the best lithium batteries, you’d get 1250mAH.
So lithium will last 50% longer than alkaline. LSD NiMH will last just 12.5% longer than alkaline but are rechargeable.
Can I use my Garmin edge 510 with v3’s
Yup, no issues.
Even without the price drop, the powertap P1 pedals are still cheaper in Australia. Their full price was $1399 while the Garmins are $1499
The Vector 3s are significantly lighter, have a lower stack height and the button cells last longer. That may be worth $100AUD to some. They also claim accuracy within 1%.
I’m looking for my first PM and considering between Favero Assioma UNO, Powertap P1S, Garmin Vector 2s. What do you suggest? Is Vector 2s still worth buying? Or maybe better wait for Vector 3s?