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WatTeam announces $259 power meter pricing, new models and more


As Interbike kicks off today, so does some power meter news.  The first to move is WatTeam with some new models, new modes, installation services, and reduced pricing.  Oh, and some new algorithms.  All of which combined make for some incredibly compelling news from the company wrapping up its first year of shipping products.

Note that most times we don’t see power meter news till Wednesday, when the main show opens (Monday/Tuesday are outdoor demo days, which don’t often have much in the way of major product announcements).

And as I noted earlier, I don’t expect substantial power meter news out of Interbike this year.  We already saw plenty of action this summer and at Eurobike, so this is somewhat the motley crew of companies that may not have shown at Eurobike or just wanted to keep ya on your toes in September.  In any event…

New Lower Prices and Models:

WatTeamPowerBeatInstall

WatTeam’s going deep and pretty substantial here with their pricing related announcements.  First up is the announcement of a single-sided variant, simply called ‘PowerBeat Single’.  This takes one-half of their existing dual-sided product (that I reviewed here this past winter), and gives you the left side for a mere $259.

Yes, a direct force power meter for $259.

That’s some $140 below the current ‘floor’ established by 4iiii and occasionally Stages of $399USD for a left-only power meter.  Not to mention a floor that doesn’t really have too many installation limitations when it comes to crank arms.

image

The single-sided unit can be upgraded to the dual-sided version at any time for another $259, which puts you at a slight (ok, substantial) premium over the newly reduced price of the dual-sided version at $399.

So yes, another moment to sink in: Dual-sided direct force power meter for $399.

That’s impressive.

Now you may be asking: What’s the catch?

Well, first is that you have to self-install the pods onto your crank arms using their app/guide.  It’s one of those things that looks more complex than it is.  In fact, it’s pretty silly easy.  Their idea is that by moving the installation steps from a factory to your living room, you save money in exchange for perhaps 30-45 minutes of your time (or less time than it would likely take you to drive to a local bike shop, wait, and drive home).  It’s a logical move, especially if/when the technology supports it.

However, they’re reducing that barrier now for those that are uncomfortable doing so.  They’ll now offer an installation service for $99.  This means the company will install the PowerBeat sensors on your existing crank arms, including shipping, for $99.  That’s for anywhere in the USA, and then they’ll be lighting up additional regions in 2018.

Hold on, I’m not done yet.

In addition to all this financial changing goodness, they’re also introducing the PowerBeat 2 Pack, which is a dual pack designed for you and a friend.  You get two complete dual systems for $699 (or basically $350 per person).

That pack includes: 4 sensors & 4 comp units (you put one sensor per crank arm side).  Thus it can fully equip two bikes. The sensors are the things glued to the crank arms, while the comp units are the pod-like things that hang off.

image

Note: If you merely have two of your own bikes and don’t mind swapping comp units, you can just buy extra sensors for your bike

Got all that?  You wanna a recap, don’t ya?  Here ya go:

PowerBeat Single: $259/€259 for a left-only solution
PowerBeat Dual: Now $399 (was $499).  Same price in Euros – €399.
PowerBeat Upgrade Kit: $259/€259 to upgrade single-sided to dual
PowerBeat 2 Pack: $699/€699 for two complete kits
PowerBeat Installation Service: $99 for USA folks, including shipping.

Now, let’s talk about that ‘one more thing’….

Updated Algorithms:

WatTeamPowerBeatiInstall

For those of you that read my In-Depth review earlier this year you’ll remember that by and large I had really good accuracy with the WatTeam PowerBeat.  I rode it a lot, across a lot of conditions – and it worked across the board.

Except for one two hundred meter stretch of road.

In that messier section of cobblestones (worse than normal cobblestones I encounter in Paris every day), the power simply sucked.  I use this stretch as a testing ground for power meters, action cams, and mounts alike.  It has broken the best of them.  It’s a short but nasty chunk of route.

PowerBeat says they’ve addressed that via a new mode that can be toggled using the PowerBeat companion app.  This mode supports gravel/CX riding, and they believe it’ll solve my specific cobblestone section issue.  You’ll be able to simply select ‘Off Road’ in the app screen (companion app on iOS/Android) before the ride.

I haven’t had a chance to try it out on my stretch of cobbles to see if it address that issue (or introduces anything unexpected elsewhere).

The other issue I encountered was that the PowerBeat undercut the wattage on sprints.  For steady-state riding, it was great.  But if I threw-down power above about 600-700 watts, it’d short me on the wattage a bit.

WatTeam says that this update doesn’t address that, but notes that their power meters can handle upwards of 2,000w.  Which is true, it’s just that in my case I can only handle about 1,000w, so it shorts me those last 100w or so.

For triathletes and those who don’t do or care about throw-down sprints and their official ‘max power’, this probably won’t matter to you.  To me the bigger item to fix was the rough roads one – so it’s good to see that happen.

Note for availability purposes, all of these things can be ordered now with the new pricing.  Here’s the linkage that also helps support the site (plus the usual DCR coupon code DCR10BTF goodness and you’ll also get free shipping):

PowerBeat Single: $259 – Left only solution
PowerBeat Dual: $399 – Dual sensor solution
PowerBeat 2 Pack: $699 – Two complete dual-sensor kits
(Note: Clever Training Europe/UK links should be coming up shortly, all pricing same in Euros.)

Ultimately, this is an incredible shift in pricing.  I don’t think we’ll see anyone else match at these prices this week.  I’d say in many ways the competition for the best prices is roughly:

Single Sided: WatTeam & 4iiii Precision
Total Power: Power2Max NG ECO
Dual Sided: WatTeam and Favero Assioma pedals

With that – feel free to drop any questions below.  And yes, the annual power meter recommendations guide is on the way next week as planned.  Just gotta get through any last announcements this week at Interbike!

Get ready for all the news from me from Interbike this week!  Follow me on Twitter, there’s plenty of news not just this week from Las Vegas, but also next week as well at the ANT+ Symposium and other spots.  Gonna be packed!  Oh, and my YouTube’s will definitely be in full effect – so follow there!

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68 Comments

  1. Typo alert!

    “with their pricing related announces”. Should be “with their pricing related announcements”.

  2. David Manley

    What a time to be alive :)

  3. Phil

    I have kind of a dumb question, is one able to install a left-only on a square taper or octalink type crankarm? I know they are unsupported, but does that mean they won’t work at all if one were to install themselves?

    • jmjf

      According to the FAQ, Watteam works with hollow cranks. I’m guessing hollow cranks flex differently than solid forged cranks. So my guess is, If your square or splined cranks are solid, it probably won’t work. If they’re hollow, maybe, maybe not.

      Reasoning based on link to instructables.com, where the author discusses the math behind calculating power from strain gauges and mentions determining how many N/volt he’s reading from the strain gauges. If your cranks don’t flex the same, I’m guessing your N/volt will vary and change the math.

      Sugino square taper, solid-forged triple here, so I wondered the same thing when Ray wrote about these the first time. I debated switching cranks, but given it’s a Surly LHT (not a speed demon), I decided to use power meter compatibility as part of my excuse to add another bike in 2018.

  4. Todd

    I have the FSA crank with shimano 105 brakes and shifters.

    Does this mean that I can use the Shimano 105 crank manufacturer/model option listed on their web site?

  5. Bill Hedworth

    Any news on carbon crank support?

  6. Craig

    Does it work with oval chainrings?

    • Drew

      Yes. I have been using Absolute Black rings with mine for several months now and have notice no appreciable difference in power readings.

  7. Nicole

    But can it be used on carbon cranks?

    • link to watteam.com
      I HAVE A CARBON CRANK; CAN POWERBEAT™ WORK WITH IT?

      At this moment, the POWERBEAT™ only supports hollow aluminum cranks. We are working on a sensor that will provide our customers with the best carbon experience in the market.

  8. Jorma

    Does it support ANT+?

  9. Geoffrey

    I was just thinking of the Favero pedals and now I see this..incredible!!

  10. marklemcd

    This is interesting. I have a left side 4iiii on my ultegra crank arms and I want to upgrade to something that measures total power but it seems 4iiii is not releasing one except for the DuraAce?

    I wonder if I can install this on the crank arm concurrently, or do I need to get a new left arm?

  11. TAZ

    Hi!

    Do you have any information about the battery? How long it can work with one charge?

    • Drew

      I honestly couldn’t tell you exactly how many hours, but I generally ride about an hour a day during the week and maybe 2-4 hours on the weekends. I charge mine maybe once every 2-3 weeks. Not necessarily because I’m getting low battery alerts, just too make sure they aren’t getting too low.

  12. Ryan Starbuck

    How does it work with the extra sensors for a second bike?
    I have a road and tri bike. How much would it end up costing me for both bikes?

    This is so cool!
    Thanks for the info

  13. Is there any reason for not always being in ‘Off Road’ mode if that is what you need for cobblestones?

  14. tim

    Since the single-side is $259, a single-side to dual upgrade is $259, can I buy two single-sided units up front for the dual-sided price of $399 (two bikes with single-sided measurements)? :)

    Kidding… kind of.

    It’s good to see pricing continuing to come down. I am especially curious to try it out on my CX + Burley pulling bike that currently has no meter — a major travesty when wondering how many watts I’m forced to put out to stay upright pulling a toddler up a 2% grade with a headwind. It sure feels like it must be over 1000W though.

    • Gary

      I was wondering something similar:

      Can I buy the “2 pack” and split each pair, ending up with four single-side meters for $157 each after DCRM/CleverTraining discount code?

    • I’m pretty sure it doesn’t work, but I just shot over a quick note to clarify. Most dual-sensing systems have one side as a master, usually the left side.

    • Hello Tim,
      Technically that wouldn’t work! Once you purchase the POWERBEAT™ Dual, the right side is the master(that’s the firmware you’ll get out of the factory). In the POWERBEAT™ Single device the left side is the master(burned firmware). Therefore this just wouldn’t work, however you just got us thinking about coming out with a 4pack of the POWERBEAT™ Single for a great price ;)

  15. LittleSaul

    Does Off-Road mean this will also be suitable for MTBs or will there be something special needed in this respect?

  16. Phil B

    …And for those of us on Camagnolo, the best pricing I can find is something like:

    Single side
    Assioma Uno
    4iiii precision with praxis zayante crank – (plus tools if you don’t have them)

    Total power
    Powertap hub?

    Dual side
    Assioma Duo

    Happy to hear if I’ve missed one though

  17. Pavel

    Do I understand correctly that this thing can be used with any pedals (not only road, but also MTB)?

    • Drew

      Yes. Completely independent of pedals. I have speedplay, but no reason you couldn’t use it with MTB pedals. The pedal spindle really does nothing but secure the electronics pod (battery/transmitter) to the crank arm.

  18. Palle Plutt

    No thanks,
    I had terrible experience with temperature drifting on v2. Maybe give them a second chance when they release a new pod v3 with updated temperature handling. I like the idea of self installed components.
    /P

  19. alibi

    what is currently most affordable variants for total powermeter for mtb (shiman xt, thinking about sram eagle) ?

  20. Neil Jones

    At last! A double-sided PM solution for tandems! ;-)

  21. nick

    I have the newest iteration of Tiagra, but i dont see it listed on their site. With all the shimano trickledown recently Tiagra 4700 is essentially 105 5700. Would you suggest using the watteam with Tiagra?

  22. If they launch successfully, the Avio Power Sense will also be in the same ballpark as Watteam Single/4iii, but more importantly, Watteam even undercuts the effective price of this notorious XCadey powermeter that appeared on Chinese gadget websites.

    By the way, since Interbike started, I’d be excited to see something on Stac’s prototype for their resistance-controlled trainer version. They said on Facebook they’d show it on Interbike.

  23. Howard Lu

    Hi, does Watteam PowerBeat has auto-zero function?

  24. Andrew M

    Even if you choose a different brand of PM, ya gotta love what Watteam and Favero are doing to the market…

  25. Daniel

    Very keen, but anyone shipping to Australia?

    • Matth

      I’m in Australia, clever training US shipped this to me. And Watteam shipped me several replacement sensors, pods and eventually replacement cranks to me. Awesome customer support wherever you are in the world.

  26. Myriam

    Hi,
    The cobblestones experience means they’re not recommended for mountain biking?

  27. rp

    are the new algorithms part of s firmware update or is it a new App? My iPhone app has not updated

    Cheers

  28. Duke

    Are these compatible with SRAM Red cranks yet (any of the iterations)?

  29. Does the Wat team powermeter supports cadence? Otherwise I am in trouble with my existining cadance meter

    • drew

      Yes. The pods report cadence over ANT+, and I’m pretty sure BT as well (I don’t use BT so not 100% on this). One thing to note, if you use a speed/cadence sensor, it could cause conflicts. I had to turn off my speed/cadence on my Garmin 810 due to it reporting Zero if both were active.

  30. marvin

    Wow this is really cheap! The only concern i have is the placement of the silver thingy at the pads. How will that work in the long run if your shoes connects a couple of time with it.

    • I’ve been using it a fair bit and that would not be a concern to me.

      the ‘pod’ might catch on something as the bike is foisted around in the back of my car….probably LESS likely than the vector2 pods to get caught in a similar scenario.

    • drew

      I have never had pods catch with my shoe or or other objects, but I have had the glue that holds the pod to the bracket come loose. This has on one occasion resulted in a lost pod during a ride.

      That being said, WatTeam has always been really good about replacing pods when this has happened.

  31. steph

    Still not compatible with carbon cranks, right?

  32. Brad

    Has WatTeam indicated that they are actively working towards solving the ‘missing watts’ problem, or is it the case that they acknowledge it’s a problem but won’t really talk about it.

    Has anyone else had a problem with temperature compensation?

  33. chris

    Probably a dumb question, but is the dual kit two single units? So you could buy the two bike dual sided kit, and instead share with four people to all have left only? $699 / 4 = very very cheap left only power.

    • Brad Davis

      The left side and right side would have to be somewhat different because they attach to theorem spindles and the crank. A right side unit wouldn’t fit on the left side just because they are physically incompatible. So the question is can you run a single right side unit on its own. From the reviews it sounds like you can, cause they have said you can “limp home” on the right side only if your battery on the left side runs out. But hat language also implies it wouldn’t be optimal.

  34. Kevin Miller

    Can anyone confirm if they have had success with non hollow aluminum square taper crank arms .. ala Campagnolo Pista / C-Record? My theory is that they should behave consistently so adjusting the power curve results would just be a matter of taking a fixed percentage +\- from the power file post ride?

  35. Orus

    When I see a all the posts about the great support of Watteam, I am not confident about the product. It means Powermeter is not “install and forget” and it is not so reliable.

    Well, I’ll get a Power2Max, even if it weights more and prices more.

  36. Adam

    Does anyone know if this power meter will be compatible with a FSA Tempo 34/50 crankset? I’ve sent 3 emails over the last week to WatTeam and they haven’t followed up.

  37. Harry Roberts

    I’ve spent hours reading about WatTeam Gen2. What I’ve not read is why there is no product available for sale Today.

    You wrote on February 27th “Over the last month they’ve started shipping their 2nd generation PowerBeat Product”.

    The comments on that post seem to indicate that some products were shipped to customers.

    I checked Cleaver Training, WatTeam website and called WatTeam and they say late October for availability.

    What happened? Was Gen2 discontinued for what was just announced at Interbike?

    Are there any difference between February’s Gen2 and what was announced at Interbike? If not, what happened to availability? If there are differences why isn’t the Gen2 currently available?

    • Micah

      This is disheartening, I ordered what I believe to be the Gen2 dual from CleverTraining which eludes to the item being in stock, with 5-7 day processing. I ordered on the 19th and my item is still processing. If they do not have the stock that should be stated on the site as I would not have ordered and not had my money tied up to a nonexistent item.

    • I’ve got the CT folks checking into what’s going on here. I suspect I’ll have an hour within an hour or two at most.

    • Hello Harry, Eyal with Watteam here. Wanted to add a little clarity:

      The Powerbeat™ Gen2 is available for order. The Gen2 dual sided version that was presented in Interbike is similar to the one from February. During Interbike, we announced new packaging and pricing for our Dual sided product, as well as announced two new products: Powerbeat™ Single (left only) and Powerbeat™ 2Pack (Two Dual Side Power Meters). More info about these products and availability can be found on our website: http://www.watteam.com

      Micah, thanks for ordering your Powerbeat and we’re sorry to hear you’re experiencing delays with receiving your product. Following the recent announcements, we’re experiencing very high demand and many of our resellers have run out of inventory. We’re working around the clock on replenishing all distributors and scaling up production to meet demand. We’ll contact CT on Monday and will work with them to assist in expediting your shipment. If you can, please email us your order details to support@watteam.com. We appreciate your patience.

      Cheers

    • Micah

      I think I somehow ordered the Gen 1 off of CT instead of the Gen2 or whatever version is available for pre-order on there now. As I’m now seeing the different SKUs on the site. Doh.

    • IAN

      Any news on carbon cranks?

  38. Thomas Mettler

    Is this an introductory price, or is the the permanent price point?

  39. Lewis

    This sounds amazing, are there any Europe links/prices coming?

  40. The POWERBEAT™ app is now equipped with a bug fix for iOS 11.