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WatTeam Halts Production of Power Meters, Focuses on Acquisition

Today WatTeam has decided to cease production of power meters while they focus on looking for a strategic partner to carry their low-cost power meter concept forward. Said differently, they’re looking for a bigger brand to buy out the technology and likely pivot to working exclusively with crank arm and bike manufacturers instead.  Interestingly, they will however continue to support existing customers who have already purchased the product.

In a letter sent to media, retailers, and industry partners the company cited a number of challenges (you can read the entire statement here):

“As of this week, Watteam decided to suspend its production and direct sales of the POWERBEAT™ product line, and to withhold pending orders. Although we are facing the peak of the retail season, the G3 is not at a standard we are confident to supply. With limited resources, and production difficulties, this is the optimal moment to make this exciting change towards what we have always envisioned as the future and make it possible.”

As you may remember, the company launched their Generation 3 units back this past summer at Eurobike. These units streamlined the installation process a bit (or at least, made it more foolproof), as well as made it easier to swap the pods between bikes. However, they didn’t decrease the size any (in fact, made them bigger), and on earlier beta units I had accuracy difficulties. This was followed up with challenges that Shane Miller (GPLama) had as well when it came to accuracy.

The goal of WatTeam was always to move the ‘power meter production’ from a manufacturing facility halfway around the world to your living room or garage. That meant that you glued on the pods and did the calibration. When done properly, it was mostly great. And while the process was technically easy (anyone who could build an Ikea bookshelf could do it), it was also nuanced. The Gen 3 units were designed to remove some of the installation failure points where people went askew. But as WatTeam noted in their letter, it simply wasn’t there yet.

Manufacturer Integration:

In conjunction with the company’s focus on streamlining self-install installation they also started offering installation by them.  This meant that you sent in your crankarms to the company and for $99 they’d install the power meter for you.  While this dramatically increased the likelihood of success, it didn’t guarantee it (as Shane Miller found out). But more challenging was simply the price-point. While the base power meter was the cheapest out there ($259), once you added the $99 installation cost to it, it was at roughly $360 – or only a mere $40 below well-established brands for a left-only power meter (Stages and 4iiii).

And that kinda got to the biggest challenge the company had: There was always a caveat.

In my case, the caveat in all of my WatTeam reviews was the same: It slightly shorted sprints. In earlier versions it also had issues with rough roads, but those were resolved in more recent versions. In the case of sprints though, it undercut them.

And ultimately, when people evaluate two options within $40 of each other, they’re likely to choose the one that makes them look more powerful for their peak power values. Nobody wants to see their hard-earned sprint undercut.

But while all this was happening the company had been working the last few years to work directly with manufacturers. Be it crankset makers or bike manufactures.  They had prototypes of power meters that could be more directly integrated into the crankset, thus reducing (or entirely eliminating) the installation challenges they faced when consumers installed them.

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The appeal of this was strong to manufacturers, with the company in advanced testing with some of the biggest bike brands out there. The cost of goods for the WatTeam system, in particular, was tiny in comparison to what the bike company could charge consumers for it. Roughly in the range of 800% to 1000% using the upsell pricing most bike brands do today.

But WatTeam was learning the same OEM challenges that many before them have found– including both 4iii and Team Zwatt. Take 4iiii for example, well before they started selling their now popular Precision power meter lineup (which is used on two Tour de France teams), they actually were courting major bike manufactures. But unlike trying to ask out the hot girl for prom, the process with major bike brands is a multi-year affair, and filled with just as much uncertainty. It’s near impossible for a startup to pin their entire hopes on that segment early-on.

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Ultimately, in the case of 4iiii (and Team Zwatt aka Sensitivus) they decided they couldn’t wait any longer and launched their own product.  It wasn’t until after both companies started shipping to end consumers that their industry partnerships bore fruit (in the case of 4iiii, with Specialized this past winter, years later)

Industry Acquisition:

As for WatTeam – their focus going forward is a variant of their predecessors. They’re aiming to find a larger partner to take the technology and run with it. Be it as a partnership or straight intellectual property acquisition.  Their industry letter outlines this:

“Going forward, Watteam is vigorously perusing an individual or corporation that will obtain the current assets that have been obtained over seven years of industry knowledge, Big Data, and technological advancements. In addition to the Smart Crank being one of the most accurate and advanced power meters, equipped with all the latest features, it will function as a “One Stop Shop” for manufacturers and customers. Featuring a variety of industry solutions that will bring an end to many problems faced by the manufacturer and the end client.

The outcome of having the most cost-effective hardware with mature and stable algorithm is the Smart Crank. A mandatory bike component integrated into every bike, without additional costs to the end user.

The current management decisions coming from Watteam’s board of directors is to consider acquisition options and to search for the right strategic partners in order to establish positive cash flow and execute our vision. We are very confidante with our technology, our cost-effective hardware and methods of integration. We wish the cycling community will get to enjoy it eventually.”

There are many companies that I could see picking up this technology, primarily on the bike and crankset side of the house.  Bike brands are desperate for ways to make the consumer to bike brand connection more visible. We’ve seen that with Trek this past summer in their rebranded Garmin Edge variant that ties into Trek’s backend systems for service alerts.  The goal of which for bike brands is to understand what their consumers are doing with their equipment, and ultimately to get consumers back to bike shops to buy more stuff.

Now the challenge here is whether or not consumers actually want this. I’ve had a few discussions recently with companies looking to integrate bike tech into bikes directly that I’m pretty sure consumers don’t actually want. As much as I love bike tech, I want it on my terms – not forced onto me with data ties to big bike brands to track my data.  Cycling tech companies need to understand this, or they’ll find themselves quickly on the sidelines.  Which definitely isn’t WatTeam’s issue here – but rather my casual dropping of industry commentary where I can find a spot to put it.

Carrying the torch forward:

For the last few years, while WatTeam matured, the entire industry watched to see if it could pull it off. It wasn’t good enough to get 98% of the way there, they had to get 100% of the way there. Once they did, the rest of the industry would react in terms of pricing. Given WatTeam never quite nailed it, the rest of the industry didn’t dramatically shift pricing (they did, of course, decrease pricing – but not to match WatTeam).

With WatTeam’s exit from power meters, I don’t expect pricing to rise. Instead, a new company will carry the low-price promise torch. At present that seems to be IQ2.  Though unlike WatTeam they haven’t released a product yet, nor had anyone independent test one yet.  The company says they’re set to ship later this month however.

But as with WatTeam, we won’t see any pricing shifts for quite some time. IQ2 will have to first prove their accuracy levels and then at least a few months of reliability levels in mass production. If they can do that, then perhaps by next spring we’d see some shifts in pricing again.  However, that’s a really tall order for a company to go from no prototype power meter to complete production in under 8 months. Unheard of, even for the largest of companies in the cycling industry with near unlimited resources.

Certainly I’m cheering for them like any tech startup in the industry, as more price choice is great for consumers, but just the same they’ll have to prove themselves out on the road. An inaccurate power meter is nothing more than a chunk of metal adding weight to your bike. Whereas an accurate and reliable power meter can catapult your training and racing forward.

With that – thanks for reading.

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34 Comments

  1. Thanks for the update. I wonder if they can find a partner. Not sure how to read their release, but it could be that they end up closing up shop.

  2. Vincent Needham

    A pity. I’ve quite enjoyed my first-gen units and the extra money they left in my pockets.

  3. Greg S

    I had the single-sided Gen2 version on a Dura-Ace 9000 crank. It has always read about 10-15% high across the entire range. It was fairly precise but was not accurate compared to other power meters or trainers. This basically made it impossible to use as part of a wider mult-bike/trainer workout program. Customer support never really seemed to have a good fix (but was very responsive/helpful) and tweaking settings in the app was cumbersome.

    Like Ray said, there were like 98% of the way there but could never get it 100%.

    I hope the best for them!

  4. ftk

    Powerbeat has worked reasonably well for me and I’m glad that low cost option was available. But I can’t say I’m surprised about this outcome as it felt like the installation process was very trouble prone, mitigated partly by their excellent support. Hopefully they’re able to find some way to carry on.

    If the company does go under or if support completely ceases, I wonder if the Powerbeat app will still be able to work standalone in case one ever needs to re-calibrate the units?

    • Eugene Chan

      In a market where <1% accuracy drift is now the benchmark, "worked reasonably well" probably doesn't cut it. I think most people looking to ride with power data are willing to spend a bit of extra coin on something that doesn't require self-assembly with sanding, epoxy and cure times. I think exposed wires and consistency issues over bumpy terrain also worked against the value proposition…

  5. Frank-enstein

    ” As much as I love bike tech, I want it on my terms – not forced onto me with data ties to big bike brands to track my data. Cycling tech companies need to understand this ”

    this this this this ^ ^ ^ ^

  6. Andy

    Looks like “WatTeam” is now “WhatTeam?”

  7. Ryan

    There is a comparably priced option out there that is both extremely accurate and dual sided – the PowerTap C1 Chainrings ($350). It’s not the newest model and the form factor may not work for everyone, but it’s been very reliable for me in the 6 months I’ve had it so far.

  8. Tromse

    For me the fact that Watteam halts the production of power meters is proof that all buyers of their Gen 2 and Gen 3 units were ripped off.

    I’ll describe my experience with Watteam in more details below. In short, what I ended up with after a long (50 emails) journey are store credits at the shop I purchased the units (promised, units are still returning) and two ugly (because heavily sanded) crank arms. I made my experiences with the Gen 2 of the units, but I think most problems described below apply to Gen 3 as well.

    If you are interested in the details read on.
    I purchased the dual side system when it did still cost $500 from CleverTraining in the US. I live in Europe but CleverTraining UK had shipment problems. As even with import tax and shipping the overall costs for a US order were similar I bought from there.

    The installation of the units was straightforward, everything worked well for a few weeks, even though I don’t know how accurate the measured values were. Then my left COMP unit stopped responding. The Watteam support was quite quick sending a new unit. Some time later I noticed that on every ride there were phases of up to 2 minutes where only one unit was working, so my bike computer showed only half the power I was peddling and a Left/Right balance of 0 or 100%.

    I sent another email to the Watteam support (that was in July ‚18) and that’s where the real journey began. They said the units are missing a full water bag calibration (even though I performed one after getting the replacement). As I wanted to do it again the left COMP unit (i.e. the replacement unit) stopped responding at all, like the first one. I informed the service and was asked to do some test with the sensors/units. They found that my left unit was not responding (Duh!) but were confused, as they already sent me a replacement (yeah, the one that is not responding, as I wrote in my email). This is when I realised that the service seemed to read only parts of my mails). From now on I tried to include a short list of the most important events in the correspondence, but that did not help.

    I sent in .fit recordings of some rides I did when the left unit still responded and the Watteam support back office confirmed also a malfunctioning right COMP unit. In a Skype call with the service they decided to send me only a new left unit and a right sensor. I installed it, performed a new water bag calibration and was not surprised that my problems with the Left/Right balance of 0 or 100% were not gone (in fact they seemed even worse). The service said the calibration values of the sensor looked good, but again decided to not send me a new right unit but two new sensors.

    Let me shortly comment on the sensor installation here: The videos on how to install the sensors changed quite a bit since I bought the unit. They have a new glue now and you have to sand through the whole coating layer of the crank arms now (initially you had to rough it only with I think 10 swipes, which was nearly invisible in case you wanted to remove the sensors again). This made me assume that the method I was supposed to use after buying the units did not work out so well – so I probably was unknowingly a beta user from the beginning. That fact is now even more evident after they halt the production.

    After a Skype assisted installation of the new sensors (the service checked all the steps by video and affirmed that everything was fine) all power readings I got from the units were completely off. Watteam offered me to send yet new sensors but by now I don’t think that I will ever end up having a working system.

    CleverTraining offered to refund me (by store credits) when I send the units back. Watteam Service said that they do not have the financial ability to issue a return when I asked whether their warranty would cover monetary refund.

    Despite some other reports I read the watteam support was at most times relatively responsive, though their answers let me assume that in many cases they did not read my emails (which I tried to keep short, other than this lengthy report), often asking for information I had given in my last email. What I left out in my report is my experience with the app. I did not enjoy using the app on android. I often needed a few attempts to get a connection to the units and it happened that the app stated a successful water bag calibration but reported back to the service that it failed.

    All in all I am confident to say that the $500 I paid for the system are the worst $500 I ever spent.

    • Mark

      Had the same experience unfortunately. Brought after rays review but they were nothing short of a disaster. 3 replacement sensors later and it was clear the product was simply not fit for purpose, with the same issue of sensor cutting out after an initial few days of being OK and therefore readings just a load of crap. I eventually gave up and accepted it was £450 wasted, not something to do lightly but I could see id never get a refund and they’d just keep sending bloody useless sensors to spend 24hrs glueing back on each time.

    • faarn

      I had similar problems. 3 sensors and the power figures are still dubious (the first 2 sensors simply fell off). The team were initially good at trying to help me but eventually stopped answering my emails so I essentially wasted my money too.

    • Kuba

      Sadly I had the very similar experience 🙁

      After several months of using it with few breaks for waiting for and installing replacement sensors, it again has failed few days ago after weeks of weird power values.

      I slowly came to a conclusion that I wasted those $450 and I have to save money for working power meter now.

    • AJ

      I had a very similar experience. Overall low power reading (almost 50% at times), dropped power reading for 5-30 seconds, power balance of 100% on a ride. Watteam support were reasonably quick to respond but after a couple of calibrations and back-and-forth, I decided to avoid the warranty mess and returned the units to clever training for a full refund.

      While I lost no money on this, my R8000 cranks now have 2 very ugly silver patches. I’m glad I returned them when I had the chance.

    • Kuba

      Hi AJ,

      How long after purchasing you had returned the units to clever training?

  9. H M

    Love the random typo in the press release oops…
    “We are very confidante with our technology”

    Sad to see WatTeam go under though.

  10. Reggie

    I really like my G3 unit, had no issues with installation, and the numbers definitely seem accurate, though I don’t have the ability to put 2 power meters on my one bike like DCR to confirm. I was planning to ask for a right side upgrade for Christmas. Maybe they’ll be on clearance at CT. I chose them for my road bike as I am mainly a tri guy, and wanted something inexpensive. I had the 10% discount from the CT membership, a $50 credit from ordering my 645M from them, and netted a positive amount from selling my old incompatible cranks to buy a set of Hollowgrams. My net was so low, it was a no-brainer.

    Sad to see this, but they never seemed to get a huge market-share.

  11. Tim

    I have strong feelings about watteam and the products they churned out that ultimately proved unreliable, poorly made and unworthy of purchase, the only saving grace being their well meaning after sales support trying to make right the shortcomings of the product, that in turn unfortunately led to nothing else than a undesirable spiral of not working product-contact watteam- get a solution – not working product again… ad infinitum for 11 months.
    Setting aside all the bad reviews I have read on their products my summarised personal experience with this company:
    Upon reading Ray’s mostly positive review on this very website, sidebar, Ray with hindsight I find the positive tone of your review does not accurately reflect the average user of this product at all. I sincerely hope your review of the gen. 2 watteam was an odd fluke in otherwise fair and accurate reviews of products. As readers of your website we value your opinion and in this case it was the deciding factor for my purchase. I believe your positive slanting review was a result of, being an engineer, your desire to see a concept that has merit on paper to succeed. In future I want to see an even more apprehensive approach by you towards such products. (any one remember Limits).
    I have owned the gen.2 Powerbeat for 11 moths now. İn this time period I had to re- glue the sensor on 3 times, have the pod with the brains replaced, go back and forth with watteam about accuracy problems… it never ended.
    A product that seemed to function fairly well up to spring started to malfunction and decided to go completely askew out of all the days on the day of my national Time trial Championships. Completely butchering the pacing strategy. One can only blame themselves in such an occasion and feel foolish. You get what you pay for, unfortunately 250 bucks gets you a semi-brick that leaves you f*** ed right before the arguably most important race week of the season.
    In my opinion asides the gluing which they admitted to other users having used “not so good glue” in the first batches, The power meter had and has AWFUL temperature compensation, and the algorithm is just not good enough. I also still believe the algorithm cannot compensate for oval chain rings either. What about the battery in the comp unit dying just after 5 months use.
    What a bad experience this product has been. Never again will i try to cut corners on such a product, kickstarter, startups, all thes eproducts are dead to me. I’m an industrial designer, go figure…

    • Thanks Tim.

      I’m curious though – when you say this:

      “In future I want to see an even more apprehensive approach by you towards such products. (any one remember Limits).”

      In my case, I tested the product for more than three months – in the middle of winter no less (rainy, cold, miserable Paris winter). I self-installed it as well. So these weren’t installed by WatTeam, but me doing my thing.

      I also outlined my concerns in my review as well, including the continued accuracy issues (not just in Gen1 to Gen2, but also Gen2 to Gen3). In fact, out of all the power meters out there, I’ve been more hesitant on WatTeam than any other unit ever that I reviewed. Anytime I mentioned it I included first the caveats, then the benefits.

      I’m honestly struggling with how much more clear I could have been here? Perhaps test it for 6 months or 10 months? But that’s not realistic with any meaningful amount of usage. Three months was a fairly long time. And I think the unit even stayed on longer than that in fact for other unrelated tests.

      Which isn’t to say some people didn’t have had poor experiences. That’s no doubt true here (it’s also true of any product, though I think percentage-wise WatTeam was higher than most). However, that’s fundamentally part of the entire premise and trade-off of what WatTeam proposed. Moving the factory to ones floor, and as a result, the chances that someone would incorrectly do something increased (which does’t take away blame from WatTeam for earlier generation products that were easier to screw up, but just puts it in the right light).

      But on the flip side, a lot of people also had good experiences too. Though, like anything else – most people that are happy don’t bother to post so.

    • Eugene C

      Gonna side with Ray here. Ultimately the potential customer needs to take responsibility for his own decisions. After reading Ray’s review, I had zero desire to buy a WatTeam unit, so how were our perspectives so different?

      1) WatTeam was a startup.
      2) The design had obvious drawbacks from self-install to exposed hardware. We express concern over structures like Assioma and Vector 2 pods…and, well, WatTeam PowerBeat pods were even less confidence inspiring.
      3) Accuracy/consistency issues were noted.

    • Mark

      Ray I wonder if in a situation like that, where a manufacturer is putting the install in the buyers hands, see if The Girl (or ask for site volunteer to stop by), someone who would readily admit they are less mechanically proficient than yourself I’m sure, would take on the install without your assistance and see how it pans out. It’s more likely to reproduce the results the average reader will see than when you do it.

      Can’t be guaranteed it’d change anything, especially in this instance where I believe the product was simply faulty some of the time (I know I followed their procedure to the letter each time they sent replacements sensors, making sure room temp was high enough etc) but would remove the prospect that you’re simply able to handle that sort of process better as you spend your days attaching/removing cranks and bb’s etc anyway.

    • Tim

      When a prospective buyer (me, or someone else) Is after a product often, perhaps one is trying to “push themselves over the edge” to buy a product and a certain review is the final push required?
      I feel a little for them because they surely must be a little ticked off that their downfall came from “technically less proficient people” failing to glue the sensor on successfully. This is akin to Mozart arising and getting frustrated by the 8th grader butchering something of his. I guess they underestimated the un-proficiency of the average human, hell I’m the most technically inclined in my circle (I know, that’s neither here nor there…) and still failed trice!
      If only gluing was the only shortfall,
      Temperature compensation, bumpy roads are just some of the other steps this product failed BADLY. The amount of ridicule I received from my garmin, stages, powermax etc… using buddies for this weird thing attached to my crank with cables and a whole plethora of other things dangling off it. Having to explain it, justify it, and for the power numbers to be constantly under scrutiny…
      All in all IMHO this product should have never made it to market because:

      -The physical design, the way you have to plug a jack in it, the connection, the attachment, is a MASSİVE FAİL
      -The algorithm was never good (they never provided a workaround to the sprint issue)
      -Awful Temperature compensation (maybe to do with above? don’t know)
      With 3 major no-no’s of which only one should be enough to disregard it as an option, this product should have never “been”.
      Live and learn, I’m raising my expectations from such products.
      This is why I object to the original review Ray, to paraphrase the review was: “some short falls, but low cost, WYSIWYG, it’s good enough” , nope it isn’t. 🙂
      Like reading a sentence, if there is a BUT in there somewhere you can go on and disregard everything said before it. Perhaps highlight the BUT’s please 🙂
      This and LiMiTs, has killed the startup supporter in moi.

    • Tim

      And to hear they’re changing tack and selling the İP,
      NOOOPE

    • I suspect it means they’re near out of money, and that each unit sold costs them more in support than they gained. So, not selling more helps preserve the cash they have, and extends the time they have to find a buyer.

  12. Hello Ray,

    thanks for the update. I considered to buy this one, but the bad comments on Facebook was an warning signal for me.

    Will you update your big powermeter buying guide in the next days?

    Greetings Jörg

  13. Okrunner

    I have been happy with my gen2 unit bought approx. 6 months ago. Alot of negative comments here and even bashing Ray and Shane Miller. Both had generally positive reviews. I think watteam should be congratulated for moving the price barrier overall for power meters. It was clear in the last couple years that others such as Powertap were experiencing significant market pressure due to lower priced alternatives. Reluctantly, I will have to say Watteam was naive about the ability of it’s consumers. If I remember correctly, Stages for a brief time offered the sale of it’s meter for installation by the consumer but quickly retreated from this position. This is the problem! Consumers are lazy and won’t read instructions. The installation of the units is straight forward and not complex. But, we are dealing with an increasingly lazy, give it to me know, society. Stages saw that the average consumer was incompetent at following generally easy instructins. Watteam should have followed Stages example and quit offering thier meter for sale by self-installation. I read time and again how watteam consumer’s strain guages are falling off the crank. Quite frankly, with the industrial adheasive they provide that’s near impossible unless you seriously jack it up or you’re abusive to your bike. But, that’s what’s happening. I would bet huge money a watteam customer has duct taped a sensor “just to see if it would work” before gluing it and then sent it back claiming it didn’t work. The average lifespan of a goldfish is five to ten years but the average life with an Americsn consumer is less than a year. Watteam should never have relied on consumers ability to follow instruction as the backbone of it’s market strategy.

    • Bashing my take on the Gen2 and Gen3? Christ in a water bag. For entertainment people need to rewatch my take on the Gen 2 where I had issues with accuracy until going against their word and adjusting the calibration weights…. and I mentioned the Gen 3 issues with the right crank arm almost turned me into an alcoholic…. and I don’t drink. There seems to be a misconception that any media/post/content around products is positive. The Gen2 was good for me once I had tinkered with the calibration. The Gen3…… documented in my video.

    • okrunner

      Shane, this was my take on your Gen 2 review – if you tinker with it long enough and have loads of time you can eventually get good data but it’s a pain in the ***. I bought it anyway but knew what I felt like I was getting into. Your Gen 2 review wasn’t “extremely” negative. I haven’t had a problem with my Gen 2, yet. I’ll have to watch your Gen 3 review for kicks. Haven’t seen that one. I just felt like some above were bashing you and Ray, claiming you made positive reviews and that caused them to buy it, then they subsequently had issues. Ray addressed this above after my post. You and Ray do a great job! Keep getting it done!

    • faarn

      Okrunner, I think your comment about lazy consumers is pretty unfair. You are inferring that a number of us on this board are lazy and incapable of reading/won’t read the instructions properly as part of a shift in society. I certainly wouldn’t suggest that the general population is becoming less intelligent or lazy due to poor use of grammar in posts on chat boards (it’s “its” and “a lot” by the way ;-)). I don’t think it is a coincidence that they moved away from glue to adhesive pads. When I was fitting the sensor the instructions were as follows:

      Hold the sensor handle and spread a very thin layer of glue
      across the silver side of the sensor using the Gluing Stick.

      The problem point was VERY THIN LAYER OF GLUE; how thick is this? I applied what i consider a very thin layer twice (the second time believing the instructions were correct and the first sensor had been faulty) and each time the sensor fell off very easily. The third time, believing that the instructions were maybe not as clear/accurate as they could be, I used a “modest” amount of glue and the sensor is still attached and giving me consistent, if inaccurate, figures. I would suggest that, if anything, I read the instructions too carefully!!

  14. freem

    I have two Gen 2 units.

    First one installed with no issues, calibrated great, tracked it against a Wahoo Kickr with IPwatts and the Powerbeat values would oscillate around the Wahoo values as I would expect in zwift workout mode. Tracked very close in just ride mode as well, no issues with that one.

    Second one was horrific. Box QR code didnt match the pod codes. Power tracked ~50-75 watts high. Ran in dual mode bluetooth and saw one unit reporting high numbers so the sent another strain gauge with the new glue. I dont have confidence in it, even though it does report decent numbers when compared against the Kickr. Starting off a ride it reads a bit high on a warmup, and by the end it is starting to read a bit low. Over a 10 min

    Then came a firmware update. Both units began delayed reporting of the L/R balance, defaulting to 0%/100% The limited value it provided is even more diminished by the bad reporting of the balance by the hardware. It seems to slowly arrive at the balance value, and if I am between a lot of stops then there is no data.

  15. Dave Mohr

    I wonder if we will see more of this moving forward.
    Everyone thinks that prices can keep on being lowered..but there comes a time when no margin (profit) equals no input into product development/fixes.

  16. Patrick R

    So happy I didn’t end up going with these. I was considering buying a new crankset (bc mine wasn’t compatible) since it still would have been cheaper than other dual sided powermeters on the market, esp when you buy with a friend.

    That’s the danger with buying from a startup/small co I guess. Never know if they will fold / discontinue support for one of their products in order to survive.

    I skimmed some of the comments above, fwiw I remember when I read the previous watteam posts/reviews on this site, I got the vibe that it was a thumbs up and I didn’t have any hesitations. But maybe that’s just what I wanted to hear, and so that’s why I read it that way.¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  17. Brad

    I too experienced most of the nightmare installation scenarios described by others. I was skeptical and took Rays cautions to heart and put the Gen 2 on my Christmas list figuring it to be a toy to play with. After several replacement sensors, Watteam gave me a new ultegra crank with factory installed sensors – no charge. So far it has been working Ok, and by ok I mean the sensors appear to be glued fine but the comp units lose Bluetooth connectivity to my garmin. I don’t now which end is at fault, but I suspect it’s the comp units.

    I am not surprised they are ceasing operations as taping a new crank to every unit you sell is not sustainable, however, my experience with their customer service was top notch. They were trying to make a successful business. A larger manufacturer can embed the technology cheaply and reliably.

    Finally, Ray has been critical of powerbeat readings during sprints. I don’t see that as an issue for the vast majority of users. Think of it this way: a man with one watch knows the time. A man with two is never sure.

  18. Kevin LaCour

    The Powerbeat was on my radar until the Powertap P1 could be had for $399, and at Cleaver Training using the DCR 10% discount had it (along with its easier install and higher accuracy) at $360 delivered. It was a no brainer. I don’t want to have to rub my belly and tap my head while standing on one leg staring into the sun for an install.

    Good luck to the WatTeam. I truely hope they land on their feet, with a deal.

    • The Powertap C1 is cheaper again. Measures all the power going into the drive-train (doesn’t see left-right, though estimates L/R balance based on rotation position).

      If you already have or can cheaply source a compatible crank-set, it’s a very good, reliable, power-meter for a low price.