It seems like it’s that time of year again – when we start to see shifts in power meter pricing and companies tweak their strategy for the year ahead. The first to move this year was actually Pioneer, back in January, with some shifts I’ve highlighted down in the charts below. And the second comes today, with a sweeping series of price adjustments by PowerTap across all three product lines (pedals, hubs, and chainring).
Given these changes, I figured this would be a good time to do my sorta annual power meter pricing deep dive. It’s something I loosely track on a spreadsheet a few points a year, catching various data points along the way to gather a long multi-year look at where prices are going across all of the units on the market ( shipping, planned, and no longer shipping).
But before we do that, let’s dig into the PowerTap pricing adjustments, as they are definitely a significant part of the story on what’s happening.
PowerTap Pricing Drops:
The most notable pricing shift just happened this hour. Which is that today, for now the second time in six months, PowerTap has been forced to substantially shift their pricing on their P1 pedals, this time down to $799USD. Of course, the first time this occurred was a few hours after Garmin announced their Vector 3 pedals back in August at Eurobike. But that wasn’t enough. Since then PowerTap P1 pedal sales have entirely evaporated.
The reason? Well at $999, they only matched Garmin’s Vector 3 pedals. The Vector 3 pedals simply looked prettier (seriously, that’s the major reason most folks have given as to why they’re going Vector 3 over P1). But they were also more functional. Vector 3 included Cycling Dynamics metrics, whereas PowerTap didn’t (yes, we can debate the merits of those metrics). The metrics PowerTap had weren’t displayable/recordable on a head unit, making them less useful to most outdoors. Of course, Garmin opened up Cycling Dynamics last fall at the ANT+ Symposium, but 6-months on, and no outward progress has apparently been made by other industry players (including PowerTap).
Now PowerTap’s woes weren’t entirely Garmin’s fault here. In fact, Favero is heavily part of it as well. See when they released their very functional Assioma pedals this past summer they did so at $799USD, undercutting everyone. They were accurate, easy to install, didn’t require special tools, and broadcast dual ANT+/Bluetooth Smart. Heck, as of yesterday they even work with oval chainrings (e.g. Q Rings). The only caveat was that they still had little pods attached to them, so they weren’t quite as svelte in the looks department. But technically they were solid.
That meant that for consumers, the choice was basically:
Pretty pedal: Garmin Vector – $999
Less pretty pedal: Favero Assioma –Save $200
PowerTap and their P1 units got the cold shoulder on the dance floor.
Sure, there were minor other choice factors beyond that simple price/looks factor – but ultimately, that’s what it came down to for most buyers. In fact, PowerTap probably got a minor breather in that Garmin’s Vector was delayed about a month, and then production has significantly lagged since – meaning backorders are still an issue (and appear they will be until at least April). Vector 3 has also seen some battery cap/pod issues lately, though the number of people impacted seems pretty minimal. Either way, that too appears to be slowing production further of Vector (which helps their competitors).
So what do I think of the PowerTap P1 unit at the new $799?
It’s a strong option. Now you’re basically left with two very functional units at that price point (PowerTap P1 and Favero Assioma), both of which have nearly identical specs from a software/functionality standpoint. One can thus essentially just argue on whether they like a chunkier pedal without a pod, or a sleeker pedal with a pod.
In other words, once again it’s largely down to aesthetics. Or failing that, the massive list of features you can compare here in my full pedal-based power meter deep-dive.
And while we’re at it – PowerTap also lowered the price on the rest of their lineup. Most notably the hubs and wheelsets saw some pretty substantial drops, and the PowerTap C1 which is having availability reduced, is now permanently at $349 (an incredible deal). Here’s a few tidbits in there:
PowerTap G3 Hubs: Down to $399 from $599
PowerTap G3 Carbon AMP Wheelset (front/back): Down to $999 from $1,999
PowerTap P1S Left-Pedal: Down to $529 from $599
Of course, PowerTap does probably need to think about how to refresh their existing P1 pedal if they expect it to be viable long-term. At exactly three years since announcement it’s starting to show its age. This new pricing point will hold the water well enough for this year, especially if they can add official Cycling Dynamics support to it – which would, from a marketing standpoint, breath new life into things. But I suppose that’s largely on the ANT+ Power Meter Working Group (of which PowerTap is a member) to finalize.
How Pricing is Tracked:
In order to keep things simple, I put down some ground rules on pricing (I had to draw lines somewhere):
1) Non-sale prices: The lowest non-sale price for the unit within that calendar year. I didn’t want Black Friday sales and the like hosing it up.
2) Only list/retail prices: Some bike shops may offer discounts (I.e. the DCR Clever Training 10% deal), which would make it difficult to track all units equally. So I excluded those. Also, shipping costs are excluded since that’s usually based on the retailer.
3) Whatever model is cheapest: Finding the least expensive unit offering they have. Most power companies have a myriad of variants available. I just went with the cheapest unit they sold in a given category, with no accessory options.
4) US Dollars: Products are priced at all sorts of levels globally. I just went with USD, because quite frankly I can’t keep track of hundreds of currencies and product prices in those currencies.
5) Shipping Products only: While I do show both shipping and announced (not yet shipping) units in the first few charts, I only focus on products you can actually install today after that.
Also note that some units include things like crank arms or chainrings, while other companies don’t give options. I realize that might make for an uneven playing field…but I kinda put that in the category of ‘you lie in the bed you make’. Those companies certainly must understand limitations of packaged offerings and price points.
I should point out however that previously SRM didn’t really want to ‘play’ in this historical exercise (despite numerous official and unofficial requests). And while a few awesome non-SRM folks have tried to help me piece this together, I felt like the data was too unsure to include it. Rather be safe than sorry. So right now I’m only going with a single SRM 2015 data point and will collect data points going forward. If I can get historical base-unit USD price list data that I absolutely trust (without the head unit or accessories), then I’ll add it in. Otherwise, we’ll just mentally note it was more expensive than everyone else (since it was).
As you might guess, I wouldn’t say I have a flawless method, but I think it’s reasonably solid.
Power Meter Pricing Table - 2018
|Product||Category/Region||2011||2012||2013||2014||2015 (Spring)||2015 (End)||2016 (March)||2017 (End)||2018 (March)|
|4iiii Precision (Left)||Left-only||$349||$399||$399||$399||$399||$399|
|4iiii Precision (Dual)||Crank Arms||$749||$749|
|Easton/Race Face (Left)||Spindle||$599||$599|
|Favero bePRO/Assioma (Left)||Left-only||$549||$549||$519||$519|
|FSA Powerbox||Crank spider||$648||$648|
|Garmin Vector S (Left)||Left-only||$899||$899||$699||$699||$599||$599|
|Garmin Vector Full (Dual)||Pedal||$1,699||$1,499||$1,499||$1,299||$1,299||$999||$999|
|Pioneer Power (Left)||Left-only||$799||$559||$559||$559|
|Pioneer Power||Crank arms||$3,100||$2,000||$1,299||$999||$999||$999||$999||$799|
|PowerTap Chainring||Chain Ring||$699||$699||$699||$349|
|PowerTap Hub series||Wheel Hub||$899||$899||$789||$789||$789||$789||$599||$599||$399|
|PowerTap Pedals S (Left)||Left-only||$599||$529|
|PowerTap Pedals Full (Dual)||Pedal||$1,199||$1,199||$999||$799|
|ROTOR LT/INpower (Left)||Left-only||$1,490||$779||$779||$779||$779||$779|
|ROTOR Power/2INpower (Dual)||Crank arms||$2,400||$2,400||$2,400||$1,559||$1,559||$1,664||$1,500||$1,500|
|Stages Power (Left)||Left-only||$699||$699||$699||$699||$529||$529||$399||$399|
|Stages Power (Dual)||Crank arms||$999|
|Team Zwatt Crank Arm||Left-only||$450||$450|
|Team Zwatt Spider Based||Crank Spider||$501||$501|
|Verve Infocrank||Crank arms||$1,995||$1,995||$1,399||$1,399||$1,399||$1,399|
|WatTeam PowerBeat||Crank arms||$499||$399||$399|
|WatTeam PowerBeat Single||Left-only||$259||$259|
You’ll notice I included the PowerPod in there, which is a non-direct force power meter (DFPM). It uses aerodynamics to determine your power output. Yet, I didn’t include the $99 PowerCal. In my testing, I don’t feel the PowerCal is in the same ‘accuracy category’ as the PowerPod, hence my line in the sand. Definitely read both reviews though to understand the pros/cons of those products (PowerCal review here, PowerPod here)
Also note – in the case of Team Zwatt they have a different model which requires a maintenance fee of $5 per month for 24 months. I have thus baked that cost into it ($5*24 = $120). Said differently, the base cost + $120 is what you see. Also, I converted from Euros to USD at today’s exchange rate (March 1st, 2018).
And finally, I haven’t included any unannounced products, nor any products that aren’t shipping. I actually can’t think of any announced yet unshipping products at the moment, so that takes care of that too. And for completeness, products that are either dead by their own admission or I’m considering dead/discontinued are: Brim Brothers, Ashton Instruments, Xpedo Thrust E, DynoVelo, Look ANT+/BLE, Polar Power, Limits (no longer for sale).
A Whole Lotta Charts:
Like years past, I’m going to run through a whole bunch of charts, because charts are pretty. I liked the charts I used last year, so I figure why change it? First up is all units shipping today:
Obviously it’s tough to figure out all the colors and dots, there are only so many variants of yellow here to work with. But the general trend is what I’m going for here – and that’s super clear.
Next, I’ve historically shown pricing of futures units (things that have been announced but not yet shipping). But there actually aren’t any of those to my knowledge at this time. Thus…no need to show an empty chart.
So let’s break them out into crank region ones first (anything involving the crank spider or crank arms, but not including the pedals). It’s perhaps a bit arbitrary, but eventually you have to draw the line somewhere. And yes, there’s some semi-duplicate colors. Look, there’s only so many colors of Skittles, and we’ve run out of new ones. This is not the 128 pack of Crayola here.
Then pedals based solutions, both dual and single sided:
Then looking at the various left only solutions. The lowest here is WatTeam at $259, though even that can be had cheaper if you simply buy it with a friend as a two-pack (but that would violate my rules around keeping things tidy data-wise).
There’s only one wheel hub on the market, the PowerTap hub. It continues to see price drops, and today was no exception. It’s still an awesome workhorse, and probably the unit that much of the power meter industry counts on to compare against during road testing (since it’s outside of the crank region that many are developing products within that would mechanically conflict).
Oh, and I didn’t make a chart for the PowerPod non-DFPM, because it would just show a single dotted line as they haven’t changed their price any since shipping (at $299).
Going Forward for 2018:
So what’s in store for 2018? I honestly don’t think too much.
Most players announced new units in 2017 or figured out supply chains from late 2016 announcements that finally delivered in 2017. They included the following 2017 power meter rollouts (shipping or announcement). Seriously, just look at this list!u
Summer 2016 Announce/Shipped Fall 2017: Shimano DuraAce Power Meter
Summer 2016 Announce/Shipped Winter 2017: 4iiii Precision Pro Dual Left/Right Power Meter In-Depth Review
Summer 2016 Announce: Shipped Winter 2017: WatTeam PowerBeat Gen2 Power Meter In-Depth Review
Summer 2016 Announce/Shipped Winter 2017: Quarq DZero Power Meter In-Depth Review
Summer 2016 Announce/Shipped Winter 2017: ROTOR 2INpower In-Depth Review
Summer 2016 Announce/Shipped Winter 2017: Power2Max NG Power Meter In-Depth Review
Spring 2017 Announce/Shipped Summer 2017: Favero Assioma Power Meter In-Depth Review
Spring 2017 Announcements/Shipped Summer 2017: Easton/Race Face, Team Zwatt, FSA PowerBox
Summer 2017 Announce/Shipped Fall 2017: Power2Max NG ECO In-Depth Review
Mid-2017 Announce/Shipped October 2017: Garmin Vector 3 Power Meter In-Depth Review
Mid-2017 Announce/Shipped January 2018: Stages LR (Dual-Sided) Power Meter In-Depth Review
Fall 2017 Announce/Shipped Winter 2018: 4iiii Podium Power Meter
As such, we’ve got a massive pile of companies that are likely in between product cycles. Certainly, we’ll inevitably have startups that come to fruition, but even that I think those players have a tough road ahead. About the only opening for a power meter company is to compete significantly on price, and do it out of the gate with virtually no timeframe between announcement and units in peoples hands.
The trust of startups in the power meter realm is gone. After Limits and a few others, there is no trust of power meter startups that can’t put units in people’s hands from Day 0 and demonstrate they have functional and accurate devices. Thus the bar has been raised for new entrants in that they can’t just announce something at Sea Otter (coming up next month) and then deliver it at Eurobike or Interbike. Sure, they might get some early media coverage, but there are so many players now that nobody is going to wait around for it.
I still also feel like the ball is in WatTeam’s court to refine their product and take care of the few quirks that remain so that the conversation is no longer a ‘except this little catch’ type of thing. If they can do that (through firmware updates or whatnot), I still believe they can significantly shake up the power meter industry. They’re so close to nailing, but in the game of power meters, so close doesn’t mean much.
With that – thanks for reading!
(Oh, and don’t forget my massive annual power meters buyers guide is located here.)
Thanks for the update Ray.
One question tough: Where can I get a Powertap C1 for 349? The cheapest I can find is 449
Oh, and I want it deliverd in Belgium.
So right now the $349 is limited to PowerTap’s website, and the US one. I don’t know if they plan variants of that internationally. I talk a bit more about it here and what they’re doing with it: link to dcrainmaker.com
Surely there will be a “P2” by Sea Otter in April if not March…
I wouldn’t expect such a creation. I expect this to be a very low-key year in the power meter world.
Darn, I’ve been hoping Garmin would announce a new SPD version of Vector 3 at Sea Otter for shipping later in the year. As you’ve pointed out, all the key parts are in the spindle rather than the pedal body. I guess it’s probably too soon though (if ever), given the current Vector 3 backlog.
Yeah, it sounds like all hands are on deck on the Garmin front to get manufacturing up to the levels they want. Historically Vector has been one of the most complex products they have to manufacture in the consumer space.
Thus, as you surprised I wouldn’t expect anything from them in that realm anytime soon.
+1 on an SPD version. Dual use on road and mountain bike would be sweet.
+1 SPD version, Garmin please. 40% of my ridings are CX, 30% MTB and 30% RR. CX+MTB make 70%. On winter rides (cx, mtb) i would have the most benefit from controlled trainings with a power meter. in summer (RR) i don‘t care.
thx Ray for all of this usefull informations.
My P1 pedals have been solid. The only complaint is the weight. Bring on a lighter version and ill buy again.
Id like to grab a crank based unit for the race bike as they seem to be the lightest option. But you get left a bit stuck when upgrading your groupset.
How long would you expect it to take for these prices to filter down to retailers like Clever Training?
It was supposed to go live at midnight, but it doesn’t seem to be showing in the system quite yet (sometimes there’s a bit of lag). At worst, if something automated failed then I expect to be able to poke someone around 6-7AM EST.
for startups doing market research and validation: launch a pedal-based PM for SPD-SL cleats and you will be snowed under orders!
The reason for everybody going the Look rather that SPD_SL is patent,to the best of my knowledge their is no spd-sl or spd as shimano still has the patent and wont allow it.
this is why Garmins attempt at giving SPD-SL to the Vector 2, involved you using the pedal body you already had
Plus another one. That’s the remaining market gap: pedal-based power meters to switch between different bikes, where not all of them are road bikes.
I was happy with my P1 but battery cap issues forced to sell those and buy Assioma. The cap is made from very soft aluminum and the hole for allen key gets rounded easily. I’ve been using Assioma for ~ 6 months without any issues.
They have fixed this and now the battery cap has a deeper slot for an allen wrench.
Powertap’s twitter announced yesterday APM through the rouvy app. Don’t know which metrics this includes…
But with this new price drop, i’ll buy my pair soon now
Keep up the good work Sir!!
powermetershop.de dropped the rate from 999eur to 929eur only so far.
maybe they will lower later this month
Do you think Favero will drop the price of their pedals in response?
No, I’d be really surprised if they did.
Rivalry forced Powertap’s price drop. They matched the price of Favero dual, with a better product in my opinon. In the lower end, they matched the price of 4iiii and Stages with Powertap hub and C1.
If Powertap has a lot of competition in Look based pedals, they only have to design a pedal body spd sl compatible. They are thousands of ciclist waiting for it.
I don’t see the point to buy a Powerpod. You can buy a real power meter for a few more bucks: 4iiii, stages, powertap hub and c1.
I agree with you that at this point the PowerPod is a hard sell (and has been for about half a year). They really need to look at $199 as their most viable price point.
WatTeam PowerBeat Single is a real power meter and it’s actually cheaper than Powerpod. They need to lower their price.
An important aspect is not mentioned here: Some systems include a complete crank with integrated power meter (Rotor f.e.). To retrofit a power meter this solution is too expensive, but with a new bike or if you have to buy a new crank, the price difference compared to a powermeter pedal system is much lower and an integrated system is nicer and safer than the pedal solution!
Someone, Garmin I am looking at you, needs to work with Speedplay. Spindle electronics so the pedal should (I hope/would think) not matter too much. Speedplay is by far, IMO, a better pedal than Look style and somewhat better than Time.
Spoke with Speedplay last year about a pedal pwoermeter and they poo-poohed the idea…..they said ‘no plans’ but you know how that works..there are no plans until ….Ding….plans are announced. 🙂
Too bad. I got very excited about Metrigear when it was developing what became the Vector when the “Velocity” power meter still was based on Speedplay pedals. I have used Speedplay pedals forever it seems. Until last week that is, when Vector 3s went on my bike. I miss the double-sided entry and the easy of cleat set-up, but the Garmin Vectors feel better once I’m clipped in with their wider platforms, and there is more than enough float for me with the red Garmin cleats. In fact, I wish Garmin would offer a cleat with 3°.
If Speedplay doesn’t offer some kind of power meter option soon, it certainly will become less relevant, as pedal-based power meters seem to be the way most are going these days.
Ironic that you’ve converted Team Zwatt to USD when they don’t ship outside the EU (tried and failed to order one of their units last week).
Yeah, really only way to normalize the prices. In this instance, once done it’s no longer such a great deal as when they first announced (not helping matters is that USD/EUR was at parity then, versus 20% higher now.
The C1 is really a deal now that’s that’s the permanent price. Would have been nice for a link to your review on this page though 😉
Please let me know where I can find the Pioneer cranks for $799.
link to pioneerelectronics.com
link to backcountry.com
Ask and you shall receive: link to clevertraining.com
Thanks. That’s for the ‘supply your own crank option’. The best price that I’ve seen with good availability with the crank arms and chain rings is $1299 but based on your ground rules, I guess 799 is the cheapest way you can get into a dual pioneer setup.
Its a shame the C1 is not available in aust. I was interested.
I’ve been extremely happy with my PowerPod when it works currently but it’s been a struggle. Support is great though. The biggest draw is portability between bikes. I often alternate through the week and don’t want to be swapping wheels or pedals each time.
I would love to see Favero drop the prices on the UNO to DUO upgrade kits. Right now, using Clever Training pricing, the upgrade would cost $171 more than the DUO kit outright. I don’t mind paying a little penalty for the upgrade but the upgrade is almost the full price of the UNO. It makes the good deal of the UNO less attractive in the long run.
I’ve had a couple of Powerpods and am now looking at an alternative system for my bikes.
For swapping between similar bikes I’d say that the pedal based systems are simpler, there’s always a lag on accuracy whilst the Powerpod recalibrates for a different set up and there’s always that nagging doubt in the back of your mind whether it is accurate or whether your setup is a fraction different with the knock on effect this might have.
If you’re swapping between two totally different bikes with different pedal requirements such as going from your road bike to a gravel bike with mtb spd pedals it’s a different matter and really it’s only the Powerpod which will be an easy-ish swap.
The reason I bought my 2nd Powerpod was because the process of swapping between bikes wasn’t quite as slick as you might think.
PowerPod prices seems frozen which is disappointing. I was hoping for more attractive good few years after introduction. It was same with the iBike though. It’s prices never reached purchase encouraging level.
No mention of the repair costs. $250 to repair/replace the P1 bearings and they do not last long……….
of course yours do but other people’s don’t.
Because there’s no such price sheet listed for that. Instead, I have to take random tidbits here and there, often without context of warranty vs non-warranty, or other circumstances. For example on that random tidbit list, someone back in October was told by Favero their new Assioma pedals would cost 340EUR to fix when they randomly stopped working after less than 30 days. Whereas others had no costs charged. In the case of that individual it wasn’t until after significant pushback that he got the repair done without charge.
Hey my bearings have been fine. Got the pedals when released, and still going strong.
The bearings in my right pedal lasted less than 5000 miles. Not even one year for me. The warranty was way less than one year, like 90 days or something but that apparently has been changed to 1 year now. I didn’t pay for the repair, but it took several phone calls and alot of bit**ing to get them to fix it for free. Tried to sell them when I got them back for a huge loss… no takers. They’re still in the box, I will probably use them this summer.
From the Powertap website link to powertap.com
PEDAL BEARING OVERHAUL
If your pedal power meter is still perfectly reading power, but your bearings are a bit rough from seasons of tough riding, our bearing overhaul will keep your power meter running smooth for seasons to come.
INCLUDED IN SERVICE
Visual inspection, firmware update, and factory zeroing.
Part replacement, including: Bearings, Spindle, O-rings, Battery Caps
Perform bearing-related end of line testing.
If one or both pedals fail overhaul tests, pedals can be replaced through the Pedal Crash Replacement. If replacement is deemed necessary, our customer service team will contact you to discuss replacement options.
PEDALS THAT CAN BE OVERHAULED
P1 or Single-Sided Pedals
After dealing with Powertap hubs I don’t think people fully understand the cost associated with what they are buying (I sure as hell didn’t). The hub works flawlessly until the bearings wear out and you have to send your entire wheel back to Powertap. In 3 seasons I’ve sent the hub back twice. Granted I ride a lot, but that’s nearly $300 in service charges alone. If I was to buy another power meter, I would definitely avoid anything that has bearings such as pedals.
I’d rather like a Powerpod, but one at £200 please. Their prices are remaining firm though. Shame
I still sorely miss a power meter in SPD pedals, I can’t believe there’s no market for pedal power meters on MTB/Touring bikes! I hope Garmin will go that way sooner than later.
As for me, I am extraordinarily happy for the continual drop in price of the PowerTap G3. This is quite a low price for such an accurate and reliable power meter, it is awesome that’s so affordble now and it’s on all my bikes now (granted, I never change wheels)
Also, thank you so much for keeping track of the prices. Those pricing tables are really interesting and show really well how (relatively) quickly power meters became affordable for almost everybody
Me too. I would love to have SPD power pedals on my MTB, to be honest it would also use them on my road bike, but not the other way around. So to speak, one SPD pedal pair for all bikes! In the fear of making less business, maybe that is the real reason why power meter companies chose to implement power spindles into Look instead of SPD pedals
I’ve had my Powertap C1 chainring style PM for around a year now – I can say that even at the original price point I was happy – a price drop to $349 is incredible. I’m just really excited for folks who are now going to be able to tap into training with power since it makes such a huge difference.
Ray – any news about new portable powermeter options? eg for use in hotel gyms while travelling. i’ve had little luck in being able to use power pedals as you can’t remove the pedals on many gym bikes and my PowerCal is still inaccurate for anything but steady-state rides (despite a lot of calibration effort on my part). Are any of the shoe or insole based power meters actually showing signs of reality/accuracy?
PS thanks for offering the comparison tool to the public/subscribers. i used it heavily in the powercal calibration.
Nothing I’ve seen. In theory there’s Luck, the Spanish power meter shoe option. But I’m reasonably certain they’ve yet to ship a unit and I can’t seem to get any hard details out of them that I’d believe (since they’ve been touring that these ‘almost done’ units for like 5 years).
Brim Brothers was the closest there was, and perhaps someone will take that work forward. But realistically it’s just such a hard part of the system to deal with.
Almost looks like a going out of business sale…yikes. The P1 is interesting at $799…just looks heavy. Hmm..
Any chance that the crank spider power meter mfgs (Quarq, Power2Max, Rotor, etc) will come out with versions with shorter cranks (anything below 162.5)?
The power2max Rotor 3d+ versions can be purchased with crank arms from 150mm to 180mm
I’ve been riding with PowerTap P1s on both my road and tri bikes since shortly after they were released (largely on Rays recommendation/review). I love the easy of removal and install of them as I travel to training camps and races throughout the year. The battery life has been great as well. At the original price point ($1100?) I thought they were an excellent value. At this new price it might be time to get the wife into training with power on her bikes.
I have the PowerTap P1s and love them. I find comments about weight interesting. I am of the mind that I can drop a few grams off my body weight! I want a good and reliable product and have found that with the P1 pedals. I am excited about the price drops as I have a lot of athletes who have been saving up!
“This new pricing point will hold the water well enough for this year”
Kind of like how the pod on the C1 held water. I went through three of them last year, finally gave up on it right before my A-race for the season. I just can’t imagine that the PowerTap C1 is worth it at ANY price until it gets a major overhaul.
It seems like we’re now treating power meters as full-blown commodity products, i.e. track record, reliability, support, etc. seem to factor into recommendations less than I would have expected. For example, the P1 gets compared to the Assiomas only based on price and shape. The new Vector pedals don’t have much of a track record yet but that doesn’t seem to be much of a factor. Have we really reached the commodity stage already in the power meter market?
My reviews track the differences in more detail. As well as my overall buyers guide which goes into more nuances.
That said, with a handful of exceptions (some of which seem more regional based than anything) by and large the power meter industry is great with support, and reliability of the units listed here is pretty good. There are some quirks, as I noted above with the WatTeam units for example (or PowerPod), but for the most part accuracy and sustainability is pretty good across the board on the units listed.
My P1’s have been solid while friends with other pedals haven’t fared so well. Excellent price point for such a quality pair of power pedals.
Jean, how’s the weight on the P1’s compared to vectors? And, do they come with the look cleats?
link to lmgtfy.com
Thanks for the update Ray, chose my 1st G3 afte reading your review…..I now have 2 G3’s, one on a pair of carbon clinchers & one AL training set; super pleased with their performance & durabilty, aside from swaping out some battery’s two of the best wheelsets/powermeters I have ever owned. Looking forward to checking out the P1 & my first hand experience with the customer service at Saris has always been really positive, one of the main reasons I trust their products so much.
Since my workouts are on my trainer, that already has a power meter, I see no reason to buy an add-on for when I’m pounding out the miles outside. I wouldn’t mind having one, but I can’t see paying over $100-200 for one. I just don’t do structured workouts on the road. Just an opinion from a normie.
Pioneer left only is $399
link to pioneerelectronics.com
I tend to wear out the plastic heal clip part on my look pedals pretty quickly, largely becsuee I ride a lot in wet grimy conditions here on the west coast. Is that part replaceable on any of these pedals? I would hate to buy a power meter and have it last less than a year because of that
Bottom line: I’d like to get pedal-type power meters without the pods hanging down. Is it worth it to spend the extra on garmin or get the power taps?
Are you sure about the dates?
Summer 2017 Announce/Shipped Fall 2018: Power2Max NG ECO In-Depth Review
I do hope we are not over 2018 fall 🙂
I bought my PowerTap C1 about a year ago for something around $699 I think, so anyway, I had no idea how much difference on my workout and training a power sensor could do. I did the installation by myself following the instructions provided and in about an hour I was already riding my bike. My PowerTap C1 after 7,000 miles under raining and sunning days still works just like when I used from the first time, I guess with the amazing price reduction my daughter that just started her triathlon races will get a nice present form her Dad.
I can only say good thing about my PowerTap C1 and thank you for the great product guys.
The industry is changing, Power Meters are no longer a “Thing for the Hardcore athletes”, excited to see more changes and how this is turning out, The challenge for power meter companies now relies not on the hardware but on the software, The usage of their hardware with companies like Zwift surging. In a personal note, I’m more excited to what I can get out of my power meter than what they actually look like, I put my trust on my p1’s that after 1.5 years of usage they have never dropped a single connection.
One thing I’ve never seen mentioned in a review of Powertap hubs (admittedly I haven’t studied them all) is how they perform as hubs. Would I find them to be lower quality in terms of rolling than the Chris King hub on my wheels currently?
Random question/comment, but have you changed the way the website updates? I always saw the latest posts and a scroll of your last 5 updates. I must be missing something, but unless I click on the blog, I am stuck on the “giveaway page” from late January when I log onto the website. I know, websites are so passé.
Yeah, something went wrong back in late January that caused various ISP’s to stop caching pages. We figured it out mid-February, but it seems some browsers/ISP’s are still caching pages, despite the page code explicitly telling it not to. :/ It did fix most people, but some (an untold number really) are still seeing the cached version.
Trying to figure out other options. 🙁
We do the web development for DCRainmaker.com. I’m really sorry to hear that you are stuck on an older version of the site. Could you try one of two solutions:
1. clear your browser cache
2. try loading DCRainmaker.com in a browser you don’t ever use to view DCR
Could you let us know if that solves your refresh issue? The issue shouldn’t come back as we’ve changed the way we handle cache to make sure ISP’s don’t make a permanent copy of the home page.
Fixed for me now. Latest iOS, safari.
I got it fixed. Juicy content is once again flowing. Thanks.
Maybe this is me speaking as a “recreational” triathlete, but I never understood the whole pedal dynamics thing. I mean, I’m an engineer and generally believe “data is good and more data is gooder,” but I just don’t know how much improvement would be realized from some of this data. I get it, if you have a totally inefficient pedal stroke, this would help identify that, but it seems like there would be a point of diminishing returns. Not to mention, I think that most “recreational” triathletes/cyclists aren’t analyzing their pedal stroke when riding. I’m more focused on staying in my power/HR zones so I don’t blow up early.
Overall, I’m sure all these products you mentioned are great. I own the PowerTap P1S pedals and have been very happy with them. The price drop will now allow me to upgrade to the dual-sided P1 and never have to see the “Right power pedal is missing” screen on my head unit ever again! I know they get dinged for not being as pretty or light as competitors, but, in my opinion, there are a lot of other things that are probably killing my speed on the bike than the extra ounce or less of the power pedals (like wearing bike jerseys that are loose, riding in an aero position that could tighter/lower, etc). *insert shrugging shoulder emoji here*
One thing about PT1s is they use a NORMAL battery .. that big chamber adds to the ‘ugliness” but god its so nice to just get another AAA and in less than a minute its done ..
Not sure where you got your FSA Powerbox price but they are still listed at $648.99
link to shop.fullspeedahead.com
I have a set and really like them.
Weird. When I pull open the site using that link, for some reason it defaults to Euros (even though I’m physically in Australia). No worries, I use the option to change currency to USD, and then it shows me the $741USD price. Kinda wonky.
However way down at bottom of site, it appears to be classifying me as an ‘other country’, in which case it then changes pricing oddly. When I force it back to USD it goes to $648 – which is what it was originally. Good deal, I’ll update. Thanks!
No problem. Thanks for all you do!
In your comment on Twitter you say P1 was the first. Does the P1 support oval chain rings? No way I am gonna give up my QXL rings so I am curious because the P1 may be the way to to (since my InPower is left only). Thanks as always!!
Correct, P1 was supported as of sometime last year. I can try and dig up the release notes.
Does Specialized actually ship these power cranks as a successor to the (now discontinued) Quarq for Specialized spider?
We got brief glimpses of the tech with the 2018 Specialized Tarmac reviews (e.g. here and here), and in Gwen Jorgensen’s Specialized photo shoot in February 2018 😉
Yeah, it was actually supposed to go live last June, and in fact there were some press articles that included mentions of it initially, because it was deferred like a day before-hand.
In my case, I’m never quite that prepared to be able to have that matter. 😉
Any link to the official communication about the assiomas being oval compatible?
And will bepro be as well then?
I’ve got some internal e-mails, but this one that someone else tweeted at me covers it: link to twitter.com
Hey Ray, and hello to all the subscribers and commenters,
First and foremost….amazing article, and analyzation of the industry market. As a young and eager sport tech company, we are honored to be mentioned in the wrap up of the article. Therefore, we are taking the opportunity to put in our two cents.
The POWERBEAT has a way to go, and “almost nailed it” was spot on. Sometimes the POWERBEAT experience is like Shane Miller’s recent review link to youtu.be, – a good one with hiccups like the rest of the industry.
The concepts of asking a non-professional to glue a strain gauge onto a crank is on the verge of insane. Then again, delivering a Single side power meter for $259 and continually pushing the prices lower is our mission. Regardless of what may be the case, our support team will stop at nothing to get our customers riding with the POWERBEAT. We don’t give up on anyone .
Along with our current array of pro level power meters, we are constantly developing our technology based on a much more dominating App, IoT abilities and cloud services. Our technology is progressing, we foresee taking this “wearable” device as a source of Big Data, to the next evolution in the cycling industry.
Our ability to implement technology and collaborate with some to the biggest players in the game, is what’s going to keep the ball in Watteam’s court.
In 2018 Watteam’s new technology and product line will surely surprise everyone!
Ofir Gal On
Founder & CEO | Watteam Ltd
Yeah, I’m holding out for some SPD variants so I can use them on all my bikes. Surely it’s not that difficult. Do you think it’s because of the higher likelyhood of smashing them on a rock or something of spiking the data due to landing jumps or general forces through the pedals?
I’ve owned to pair of p1’s. The first pair got replaced due to inaccurate readings. The second pair got stolen a long with my bike. But I was really please since the new pair still gave inaccurate readings + drop outs. Once I got my money from insurance I bought a pair of Assioma and I’ve nothing but praise for them – contrary to the p1’s, which have been a pia…
I don’t get why there isn’t a cheap power meter that uses a speed/cadence sensor to determine power. Zwift, TR, Rouvy all do it with their virtual power calculations. And the vPower app on the garmin iq store does it too and its free, its just a data field though and not counted as actual power in garmin connect.
There is. Or was. A company called Velocomputer did (aka Sound of Motion), but ultimately, there were many caveats that it didn’t work reliably.
And in some ways, that’s the same with TR, Zwift, etc.. Ultimately, these are largely guesses. For TrainerRoad/Zwift, it’s slightly easier because they have known power curves of trainers using speed. But even that can be significantly off, based on how much you crank down your press-on knob.
Outdoors it’s both easier and harder. Some constants can give you a rough ballpark number, but that doesn’t often account for wind and such.
Realistically, I’d trust PowerCal averages and such over any of the software options, especially at $49.
Thanks for the response. That all makes sense. I assume if it were easy they would of done it already. I’ve got the powercal and have been using it for a while now. Great device for the price. I have the Ant+/Bluetooth version and use it as a heart rate monitor and power meter. I have no idea if its accurate but its definitely consistent. I am just a casual rider so its definitely enough for me – my used road bike didn’t even cost as much as most of the power meters on the market haha. Its also cool that it works when traveling on the hotel bike!
The one thing that you need on a flat road that isn’t provided by knowing the ground speed (cadence doesn’t matter if you’re not measuring force at the pedals or the chainrings) is real time air speed. You need that to have any hope to get the power number right because the major force opposing the motion of a cyclist is air resistance. That’s why the PowerPod measures wind speed (and incline) as well as getting speed from a speed sensor. Know all that (and rider+bike mass) and you can compute accurate power.
Don’t do it! I had the C1. I went through 7 warranty exchanges before I sold it on eBay their pod has seal issues and they know it.
Don’t do it! I went through 7 PowerTap c1s over a 24 month period until I finally sold the last warranty replacement on eBay they have a fundamental issue with leaking in the battery compartment and premature shut down. Literally mine would stop working if it was humid out.
Ray – Any idea if Saris still offers the trade in program? I have an old SL+ and was interested in the P1 pedals.
I’m not aware of that deal being active, but perhaps if you ring them up they might have something.
I think one thing you should mention in your article is how much it costs to service each of the options:
Powertap P1, not user serviceable, must send in for $400 to get overhaul, or $175 for bearing replacement (plus shipping – they pay return shipping up to match yours, 2 days fastest).
Favero Assioma, user serviceable for around $40 for new bearings. Soldiered rechargeable battery so less battery life as time goes on.
Garmin Vector 3, user serviceable for around $60 for new bearings.
At this point I have the Powertap P1, but am looking to switch to Vector 3 because of the high maintenance costs related to the powertaps and I prefer replaceable batteries. Can’t find it in stock anywhere though.
Opened a ticket with Powertap and got this:
Pedal bearing service on P1 includes new bearings and spindles (which also interacts with the internal electronics) for both which includes a factory re-zero when the work is complete. We also extend out the warranty for a year when the service is completed and cover shipping on the way back. Our pedals are a dynamic eco system of components and we try to include everything in the service package to make sure you as the consumer get the best experience where some pedals are user serviceable and bearings might cost $50 but spindles cost $350 and up for just one spindle. Our team here at PowerTap have made incremental improvements on our pedal bearing system as well as our axle design and recent reviews have been positive for the product. There are a lot of really nice products on the market right now for you the consumer but we deliver a really good product and great customer service. Most of our customer base have had power meters and trainers and even bike racks for years and I bet when you ask around most folks will say we deliver good service and great products that are made right here in Madison Wisconsin!
Their spindle info checks out for Favero: link to favero.com 303 euros!
Garmin doesn’t sell spindles/axles separately. Now the P1 service fees don’t sound have bad.
Hi Ray, Thank you so much for this and other power meter articles on your site. This is one realm of bike tech that I haven’t waded into for lack of where to start. You have demystified the complex options for me and I’m just about ready to bite the bullet and buy one. I feel highly informed now due to your thorough and thoughtful articles. Just wanted to say thanks!
Are the P1 battery covers still made of tin foil?
One thing about PT1s is they use a NORMAL battery .. that big chamber adds to the ‘ugliness” but god its so nice to just get another AAA and in less than a minute its done ..
Does Garmin have a problem with shipping the Vector 3? First delivery was up to 3-5 weeks. Since the weekend it isn’t possible to order the Vector anymore via the website.
My bet is that they know that deliveries to Garmin.com occur after all other retailers for Vector 3, and right now other retailer timeframes are mid-April+.
Even though Powertap lowered prices on the AMP 35 wheelset there are online retailers still advertising $1,999 and $1,699 while the Powertap website has it at $999. One retailer had them at $999 for a limited time then increased it back up. Must be some old stock out there because many of wheelsets have G3 hubs that are ANT+ only no Bluetooth. Also interesting is that the ANT+ only electronics replacement has not been available for some time. The price on the G3 electronics has gone down over time as well.
Bit annoying for European customers that the $349 pricing is only showing on the US site for the C1 and you can’t order online on the UK site. I’ve reached out to Powertap, hopefully I can order direct at a reasonable price.
A few people, including myself, mentioned the high pricing of PowerPod @ £299. Today I’ve noticed that ProBikeKit (UK) have it on sale for £227.59. That’s now very close to what Stryd running power meter costs. Nice times for the data hungry
Thanks for all the wonderful work you do. Do you think there will be any sales or promotions this spring/early summer (along the lines of the Black Friday type promos at the end of the year) on either the Vectors or 4iii?
Typically we see a powermeter sale that Clever Training does each spring, usually in May. For reference, here was last years sale: link to dcrainmaker.com
The exact brands are TBD for this year.
How about Europe and clevertraining.co.uk? Any Power meter sale there in May?
Powertap P1 pedals are now £560 on Probikekit.co.uk.
That’s now a nice £80 saving on the cheapest Favero I can see online.
Price is now £499 !
I’ve been replacing too many lr44 batteries. Does anyone know how well the CR1/N3 works on the vector pedals? They allegedly last quite a bit longer. They’re larger (equal to 2, lr44 batteries, but fit.