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IQ2 Power Meter Changes Direction: Backers Now Getting Pedals

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On the list of things coming down the pipeline this Friday, I didn’t see the day wrapping up this way. IQ2 just announced that their belated power meter project (which was essentially a small spacer in between the pedals and crankset for 149EUR) is now shifting directions to being a power meter pedal instead.  The company noted that difficulties with accuracy in the spacer design required them to shift directions into an area that was more stable for measurements.

As a result, the company is now joining the handful of other organizations making power meter pedals, with backers set to receive their choice of road or mountain bike pedals instead of the once-promised spacers that was mostly pedal agnostic. In addition, as one might expect timelines have also shifted as well.

What’s changing:

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To summarize this the question outlined in this section’s heading: Everything.

But first it’s best to backup and discuss why they’re making the changes they are (which they outline here in their update). The company says it wasn’t until their first mass produced power meter batch in February that they started having troubles, noting the following:

“…when several cyclists tested the power meter on the same bike, minor random offset changes appeared.It was an unprepared-for situation that kept us occupied for a long time and caused a number of sleepless nights, much to your and our frustration. Our data analysis team and UK manufacturer SMD Sensors were equally surprised.

To localize the problem, we took the power meter apart and individually examined every component. Each part turned out fine. Eventually our attention was drawn to the screw and its thread. It turned out it had a bigger influence on the adapter surface tension than we and our partners assumed. Normally, a screw is fastened and the resulting tension is measured and calibrated. We worked under the assumption that this tension was a fixed value. Unfortunately, this assumption turned out to be wrong. The screw and its thread in reality had a continuous effect on tension, values we were unable to capture and standardize.

Remember, strain gauges are built to measure with extreme sensitivity, and thus pick up on the slightest bend in nanometers. Since every person has a different weight distribution and individual stance, the readings kept ‘jumping’ because of how a particular person affected the thread.”

Of course, the problem outlined is hardly unexpected. Specifically – this part:

“Since every person has a different weight distribution and individual stance, the readings kept ‘jumping’ because of how a particular person affected the thread.”

In fact, it’s something I’ve outlined as issues in multiple power meter reviews. One can look back at my earlier 4iiii power meter reviews, as well as early attempts with Brim Brothers, LIMITS, even more recently Avio. Plus others I can’t think of off the top of my head. The differences in how cyclists apply force onto the pedal is astounding, and in turn, presents challenges not just for strain gauges but even companies trying to measure differences applied to materials that aren’t uniform in production. Pioneer recently noted this in their latest power meters.

The company goes on to say they tried numerous solutions, but weren’t able to find a solution that met their requirements. Ultimately, they decided to abandon the spacer concept:

“Together with our partners we concluded that the only solution to this problem is relocating the strain gauge to the least influenceable spot. The least influenceable spot is in the center of the pedal. Since it was impossible to accommodate the strain gauge in the center of the pedal in our original design, we decided to design a pedal based power meter instead.”

As a result, all backers are now receiving a pedal based power meter instead. The company is splitting their product into two core groups: Road pedals (Look-Keo Compatible), and mountain bike pedals (Shimano SPD).  At some point between now and delivery of the units, you’ll be able to choose which exact variant you want. The company says there will be no further charges for this, they note they will absorb the cost of it.

Here’s renderings from the company, starting with the road unit:

shop mountain product solo shop road product duo

The road units looks more or less on par with other Look-KEO based road units. A bit of a chubbier spindle for the battery compartment, which is likely why the IQ2 logo is there. But the pedal body itself looks a bit cleaner/slimmer than the PowerTap P2 pedals.

Then there’s the mountain bike Shimano SPD pedal:

shop road product solo shop mountain product duo

This at first glance almost looks Speed-play round like, as you can see they’ve got an enlarged interior to fit all the gadgetry inside, with that spindle fulfilling the majority of that space.

The concern I would have is protection though. Having seen a lot of proposed pedal based power meters over the years (none of which made it to market), all of them shared one trait: Massive exterior protection. An aspect this design appears to lack. The reason, of course, is obvious to anyone who has mountain biked: Pedals get hit all the time on rocks and other hard non-rabbit-fuzzy things. Inversely, strain gauges inside spindles are generally somewhat sensitive to getting the snot knocked out of them.

Perhaps I’m wrong though. Perhaps in that chubby little interior is enough padding to keep the accuracy happy.

If you ordered a single-side unit, you’ll get a single-sided pedal-based power meter (with a dummy pedal for the other side), and if you ordered a dual-sided unit, you’ll get the dual-sided power meter. Further, IQ2 says they’ve partnered with an existing pedal company to re-utilize the pedal body, as to avoid re-engineering that wheel.

Beyond those details, there isn’t much known about things like battery type/changes/duration [Update: CR2032 type], cornering angles, etc… Though, at least the extra q-factor goes away. Finally, the company says they’ll start shipping in August 2019.

The Winners and Losers:

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Undoubtedly, some (many?) of you will see yourselves as loser in this equation. Though, there are actually a few upsides – assuming you’re a glass-half-full kinda person. I figured I’d run through them for the sake of this Friday evening mental exercise

The Good:

1) Mountain bike pedal-based power meter: This would actually be the first mountain bike pedal-based power meter on the market. In fact, it’d be the first one proposed, let alone potentially built. Obviously, if they can successfully execute on this, that’d be a substantial win for that segment of the market that I often hear questions from.

2) Incredibly low cost: Assuming they keep their costs anywhere near the ballpark of their existing solution (and thus far, their online store has them priced at 299EUR for the dual road, and 329EUR for the dual MTB)– this will easily be the least expensive pedal-based power meter on the market, handily upstaging the super accurate and reliable (yet least expensive) Favero Assioma pedals. Of course, there’s a lot of implied if’s in that statement.

3) You get pedals now: If you were planning on putting Look KEO or mountain bike SPD’s on your bike, then now you get pedals for free. Oh, and there’s no more Q-factor to boot!

The Bad:

1) Doesn’t support Speedplay or SPD-SL: The most obvious impact here is the undoubtedly long line of Speedplay customers hoping for a non-crankset focused power meter solution, something semi-portable. Once again, Speedplay customers will leave the pedal based power meter parade disappointed. Same is true for SPD-SL, though, your disappointments aren’t as long and hard fought as the Speedplay folks.

2) Basically a restart of the project: While there are specific software/hardware aspects that IQ2 will be able to re-use in their design (especially firmware and their app, communications stacks, etc…), the reality is this is a reset. It’s just as much of a reset as when PowerTap or SRM decided to build a pedal-based power meter. In those cases those companies had vast sums of experience with all the other pieces, but pedal-based power meters are different beasts.

3) The timelines aren’t realistic (again): There’s not a chance in Holland they’ll hit their August 2019 shipment timeframe. They’re proposing a mere 3 months from now to produce and deliver a unit for which they don’t appear to have any prototypes for yet (else, I’d hope they would have shown them in this update). Like, if I could give this a negative % chance of hitting August, I would. I don’t know how to quantify that. Instead, a realistic minimal timeframe is Spring 2020.

And that’s unfortunately the hard-cold reality of that here. I, like most consumers (or industry watchers), want IQ2 to succeed. I want more affordable power meter options, and I want those options in more formats (like mountain bike pedals). But…I also want accurate power meters. If you don’t care about accuracy, there are plenty of other options on the market.  And, to IQ2’s credit – they appear to care about accuracy else they wouldn’t have made this move.

But I don’t see any part of this update that’s applying even the slightest hint of realism. Companies like SRM and PowerTap – with decades of experience building power meters – took years to get their pedal-based entrants right. Vector, partly under Metrigear and then post-acquisition under Garmin, took more than 4 years to get to the first units shipped (and that’s only the public timeframes). Seriously, power meters are tough…but pedal based power meters are really damn tough.

An August timeframe doesn’t allow for any meaningful testing. To put that in perspective – I myself tested Vector 3, PowerTap P1, and SRM EXAKT pedals for longer time periods between final production units and when they actually started shipping to consumers (3 months+ each). That’s longer than the timeframe they propose for designing, producing, and shipping the unit – let alone testing. Most of the major power meter companies will test near-final versions of their units for 4-12 months before going to consumers.

Again – I’m happy to be wrong. I’m happy to have to take a short 23-minute train ride in August to pick up a pair from IQ2 to test and find them successful. I’d be thrilled to do that, and to shout to the tops of the mountains I was wrong on timelines. So…prove me wrong.

Going forward:

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As I’ve said for more years than I can count – one must treat crowdfunded projects on Kickstarter and other platforms no different than money at a slot machine in Vegas. If you win something – great, but fully expect to walk away with nothing.  I noted previously in the case of IQ2 that I felt like they had the smarts to pull this off (eventually), but I was concerned about their timelines and didn’t see any scenario where they would have hit their original timelines. Sure enough, that was the case.

I would not, however, have predicted that they would have changed direction though to just as difficult as a venture as their original goals.  Of course, if one compares the number of successful pedal-based power meter companies (~5), to the number of successful spacer-based power meters (*0*), I could see why the odds would be assumed to be in their favor.  Unfortunately, that doesn’t account for the usually multi-year plights of these companies, nor the number of pre-production failed companies, and post-production troubled products. There’s no harder place to build a power meter than the pedal.

But, if they can do this – even next spring or summer – and if they can maintain prices at/near those price points, then long term the company will still do exceedingly well. Heck, at this point it could do well if it just ditched the road idea and went straight towards mountain bike offerings. That’s a ‘niche’ (used in the flexible sense here) that’s not at all served today by any company in the market.

Still, I’ll be watching to see how this plays out for sure. The sidelines are a good place to be.

With that – hope everyone can get out, go for a ride, and enjoy their weekend! Thanks for reading!

(All imagery in this post via IQ2 website/update)

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86 Comments

  1. Chader

    What a total shift. It will be interesting to watch their progress. The increased difficulty to making a complete power meter, now packaged in a pedal, that must meet it’s own performance requirements, is quite a significant change.

    More interesting will be the final MTB version, since the models show a distinct issue of packing with mud, snow, ice and such due to the very closed design of the cleat clamps. I suspect we will see a very different design in the production units.

    Hopefully they are getting design help from the parent pedal companies or doing some serious research on existing designs to get the MTB version “right” the first time.

    • “The increased difficulty to making a complete power meter, now packaged in a pedal, that must meet it’s own performance requirements, is quite a significant change.”

      It’s true. Though, the one element that is easier is that they can control all of the hardware variables. Meaning, they’re no longer having to deal with interface issues or variability in pedals/crank-sets/etc…

      Of course, as you noted, it opens an entirely different can of worms. I’m undecided which can is a worse can to deal with.

    • pedro l

      Chader, they were incapable of producing a spacer based power meter, they now are embarking on a pedal based power meter X5 the difficulty good luck, this is the end, they will not have the money left to develop this unless Look Keo are funding this development? What an incredible story and turnaround, and yet people still think that they can deliver. DC correctly states at least one year, I would suggest 2 years. DC I assume that you had advance notice of the change as you have written a very capable and extensive response in less than an hour or two?

    • I heard about 3 hours ago. It took me about 30 minutes to write this post.

    • Bruce Burkhalter

      And now they are having to do it for two different pedals. My guess is road ships first then (maybe) MTB. They are biting off so much trying to do both. Especially given that no one has shipped SPD power meter pedals before.

      I’m sure they feel the pressure to not slip too greatly. Hopefully they are open to you visiting and talking about their thoughts and plans.

  2. Greg

    I work in product development for a medical device manufacturer. Actually making and building physical stuff is super hard. 3 months actually offended me! They will be lucky to have a solid working prototype in that time. Like you Ray, I’d love to be proved wrong, but missing August 2019 is a certainty.

  3. Brent

    About time from the MTB Pedal front. I actually use my SPD pedals on my road bike as well as my MTB bike and I am sure there are many more out there that do the same so the concern for the protection not so much in the case where you use them on your roadbike.

    • Brent

      And I placed an order to help support that MTB pedal effort. I agree 100% that a company that just focused on a MTB pedal would make a killing.

    • James

      I have to walk and ride, so my road bike has SPD PD-A600 pedals giving me nice shoes to walk in.

      I’m really pleased with the proposed solution, even though I know most people (who comment) are not.

      Speedplay people are just f****d. Order the MTB version of the pedals when you get the email and eBay them after you receive them (if/when…). You might even get back more money than you pledged!

      As for three bolt roadies. SPD-SL people just need to stop and think – how much is the difference in cost between a Keo cleat and an SPD-SL? Oh, not much! I have to change my shoes,don’t I? Oh, you mean Keo and SPD-SL cleats both fit my current shoe…..

    • Chader

      The walking feel and safety of the SPD-SL cleat is superior to pretty much every 3-bolt cleat design I have seen or tried. That is especially true when compared to the nearly ice-like experience on Keo cleats.

      While this may be a secondary consideration for some riders, it is one of the most important aspects of the SPD-SL cleat and makes the already odd motion of road shoe walking a much better (and even safer) endeavor.

      That becomes more true when you get onto slicker surfaces like smooth tiles, polished stone and such. And then add to that when stairs are involved. The wider spacing and grippy rubber on the contact points gives great confidence and control to the rider when off the bike.

      Point being, the SPD-SL is better in more than a simple cosmetic difference.

    • Kengo Hashimoto

      Chader, don’t they make Kéo grip, which has rubber bits on the bottom? Or are the SPD-SL ones still better for walking?

    • Chad McNeese

      Yes, that is an option and far better than the stock cleats, IMHO. But even with that, they are not as stable as the wider triangle placement present on the SPD-SL design.

      Add to that, the fact that those aren’t the “standard” cleat that you receive with new pedals.
      So it forces you to purchase an extra set of cleats just to improve the control.

      The SPD-SL system offers that stock and only that, so I still see that as superior, compared to the need for an additional purchase (and potential waste of normal Look cleats already packaged with the pedals).

    • usr

      Look has switched the packaged cleats to the “grip” variant ages ago and I don’t think that any powermeter pedal has ever been distributed with a non-rubberized cleat. If you want to build an argument based on walkability, the supposed advantages of Shimano cleats over Keo Grip will make a lot more sense than mere existence of a non-rubberized option on the Keo side.

  4. Tony

    I signed up for their kickstarter so that I could use a powermeter with my CrankBros pedals, and still be able to use and switch between my flats and my Candy’s. Looks like I’m screwed either way. I’m not surprised that they switched directions, but I’m quite disappointed that they aren’t offering refunds for those who don’t already use compatible pedal systems.

  5. pedro l

    Why spend all the effort on graphics, this isn’t the solution this is product marketing. They will now try to market to a new end user base, great marketing from Astrid. I have to say my only criticism of Astrid is to put Klant in a most ridiculous hat for the previous post, were they all smoking at the coffee shop in Amsterdam?

  6. pedro l

    There are several fundamental errors in their assertions. The issues with the IQ2 design is that the sensor is located in the area of the pedal spindle termination, an area with almost no strain. Had the sensor been located towards the pedal this wouldn’t have been an issue there is high strain and also marginal effect of the pedal. In addition the errors they describe are due to the non linearities introduced by having a helical insert and sleeve fit. If they changed to having a screw in thread they would not have encountered the same errors, but that would have been difficult for their design to realise as with a pod as there is the alignment issue with the crank.
    Basically their analysis is flawed, so good luck with the re design if they cant even determine the failure of the existing design. I give them zero% of success even given an infinite pot of cash.

    • Ken

      From my understanding of their product, it’s not that there is no strain at the root of the pedal spindle. The root of the pedal spindle should have the highest moment since it is the furthest from the point of load application.

      Where they failed is underestimating the affects of the threads of both the interface with the crank and pedals. In good force transducer design one tries to design sufficient area between the strain gage and any fasteners. Essentially they were getting bias (zero) shifts due to any movement in both threaded interfaces.

      One concern I have with their pedal design, is that it looks like you have to align the spindle similar to the SRM/Look exakt pedals.

  7. Brad

    I am in the “really not happy” camp but realize I am outlier case. We ride a tandem and I jumped in on the duel option to run one on the front crank and the other on the stokers and use something like golden cheetah to analyze. We use differed pedals and neither of the options offered work for us so my original goal will be unfulfilled. I am faced with either having to adapt to a different pedal system for me only as my stoker will not use clipless, or maybe try and sell them to recoup my investment.

    On the plus side, If they are successful and can hold to the price, they could really disrupt the market.

    I have a few months to cool off…..

  8. Marc

    Quite a drawback, or an exit? In their post they state their suppliers are focussing on delivering prototype stuff in august, they did not post an delivery timelime to the backers! So, realistic is expect nothing & be happy if somewhere in 2020 some product is delivered to someone.
    Keep cycling, and maybe, someday the backers own a worthy collectors item.

  9. JD

    Why does the MTB version product page say “Keo-compatible mountain bike pedal”?
    Keo cleats are for Look road pedals.
    X-Track cleats (SPD compatible) are for Look mountain pedals.

  10. Jimbo

    Would like to see a MTB pedal come into being.

    I think a couple of typos, Ray.

    The company says there will be no further >>charger<>straight<< gauges inside spindles are generally (strain)

  11. Kengo Hashimoto

    How do you know the MTB pedals will be SPD? I mean they *look* like SPD, but Look have had their own MTB cleats in the past, and Astrid makes no mention of which cleat systems they chose. Also, nothing in the update about having partnered with an existing pedal manufacturer. Did you get this from iqsquare directly, or is quoting someone off the record?

    • JD

      “We chose an existing pedal system that has been tried and tested and we went with company Look and their Keo-compatible pedals. We contacted them and were granted permission to use the Keo clipless pedal system and to sell the original Look Keo cleats in our online shop. ”

      Luckily they are not reinventing the wheel (pedal). They are partnering with Look and adding iQ2 tech to Look pedals. The road model will support Keo cleats and I assume the mountain will support X-Track cleats (100% SPD compatible).

    • Kengo Hashimoto

      I interpreted that as getting permission to use Look’s cleat measurements, but not necessarily Look’s pedal designs themselves. I am hoping to be wrong — iqsquare not having to design the entire pedal and just the spindle part would certainly make this a much less daunting exercise for them. Since I already use SPD pedals, I’m also hoping Look will provide designs for the x-track (SPD-compatible) and not s-track (their old stuffs).

      I mean their x-track series came out in 2018, and there’s no mention of s-track pedals on Look’s websites anywhere, so I remain cautiously optimistic that we’ll have SPD-based MTB pedals.

    • Kengo Hashimoto

      So just spoke to iQ2 on their FB chats and they confirmed the MTB pedals will be SPD-compatible. No changing the cleat system for meeeeee.

  12. Kim

    I came late to IQ2 as I was quite wary of paying up in the beginning, but joined up only five weeks ago when they re-introduced their introductory price and the shipping seemed certain. To make such a major change to the design now has me wondering whether I’ll continue or not.

    I use SPD pedals of different types on my road bike and flat-bar gravel bike. I’ve a narrow pedal on the road bike and a hybrid SPD platform pedal on the dirt bike so I can clip in on easy gravel roads or ride without clipping in on rougher trails. Not being able to use my own pedals means dropping one of the major reasons for me joining the IQ2 party.

    When I try to go to their website it keeps timing out. I guess there are a lot of people wanting to get in touch at the moment. Ironically, joining up when it seemed they were close to home hasn’t worked.

  13. Marcin

    Why ever existing pedal power meter is keo compatible? What is so special in keo comparing to spd-sl?

  14. Chris

    Well, I’m glad I sat this one out. I looked long and hard at the campaign. Read their info there and on their website a few times. Read the article here a few times. Set the reminder and stewed on it. Ultimately I decided there were too many red flags and passed on it. I figured if it was successful I’d pay the extra to get them at retail. Looks like a good decision now.

    • Seth S.

      “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”

      I, too passed on crowd funding the first iteration and will pass on the second. I questioned and challenged Ray on Klant having the goods to succeed. My doubts have only been reinforced with this fiasco. From an investment perspective he was an amateur in the way he handled the demise of V1. Why would anyone believe he can now pull it off with pedal system? I’m certain he has the self-confidence to believe he can succeed, but reality and history suggest otherwise. My opinion, of course.

    • Boris

      “…too many red flags…”

      Yup.

  15. Omar

    Hi Ray,
    Here’s a thought, what if, they managed to convince Look to invest in the company? I thought of this cause of 3 things:
    1. The device will be shipping with Look Keo cleats, whereas other companies like Favero, actually uses Xpedo cleats (which are compatible with Look cleats but not 100% exactly the same) and for some users, they find the Xpedo cleats are better than Look cleats on the Assioma.
    2. As mentioned, this will potentially be the first MTB pedal-based PM and for a company like Look which undoubtedly would want to boost their MTB X-Track pedals sales, wouldn’t this be something that could boost their MTB pedal sales?
    3. Look current PM is a partnership with SRM which I assume SRM will get a cut out of each PM, wouldn’t working with iQ2 means they can probably get their “own/cheaper royalty fees with iQ2” PM without having to pay any royalty fees to SRM?
    4. Because iQ2 will still use the same laser print strain gauges, the potential for Look to undercut its competitor in terms of pricing will be potentially huge.

    Of course, if this is true, then the August timeframe would probably be logical? Cause right now, who are the ones that’ll build the pedals as if they need to look for suppliers to build and design the pedals from scratch, there’s no way they’ll hit August timeline not to mention the issues with MTB pedals which are harder to build (durability, mud-shedding, worse weather conditions)

    • Kengo Hashimoto

      Being able to manufacture non-SRM-based PM pedals would give Look leverage against SRM and iQ2. As a SPD-user, I’m cautiously optimistic iQ2’s MTB pedals will be SPD-compatible as their renderings suggest.

    • Omar

      I think you meant against SRM? Cause Look doesn’t built their Exact PM, that was done in collaboration with SRM.

      So the agreement could go along the way of Look provide the pedals and they get a cut of each sales, or iQ2 must license the strain gauge tech to Look once they get it working (of course iQ2 will be compensated) this is similar to what Sensitivus did (link to dcrainmaker.com), so Look can ditch SRM and release both road and MTB PM pedals at a cheaper price than before and probably undercut its competitors as well

    • Look has done three specific power meters to date:

      A) Polar/Look partnership
      B) Look-alone partnership
      C) SRM/Look partnership

      By and large, the vast majority of the internal tech appears to be the same across all three, by Look.

      I don’t see any aspect of what IQ2 has posted thus far that indicates it’s anything more than just licensing a pedal body.

    • Ken

      Hello ray

      I appreciate you working on this article.

      It was far more positive than I would have been. As great as it is they aren’t giving up on delivering a product, they have also been lacking in communication and delivering the original promise. I agree they are essentially licensing existing pedal technology. Would you ever consider pressing IQsuare for a full, unadulterated explanation of what happened with the original design? They had a working prototype, moved the campaign to production stage. Then all of a sudden their “working prototype” stopped working. This has been a disaster and would love for someone like you to get the real story.

      Thanks and love your stuff!

    • The challenge with prototypes is really the 1-3% type issues. Especially true of power meters. I’ve tried many working power meter prototypes that never came to fruition. Once they scale up manufacturing they start to find legit issues. It happens to all companies, which is why most companies have longer development timeframes.

      And also why last year I thought the timelines weren’t realistic, and why I think they’re still not realistic. They’ve gone from choosing the 2nd most difficult location to build a power meter to the 1st most difficult location.

    • Ken

      that makes a lot of sense, but still disappointing that we will not get our plug and play option. it would have been nice to easily switch a PM from my numerous road bikes to my mountain bikes.

      I appreciate your response. there is so much frustration with their lack of professionalism. and now to find out they are going to essentially have a licensing deal with Look to product pedal PMs is not helping.

      thanks for your blog!

      Ken

  16. Cssaba

    These people are criminal !!! They sold until yesterday their powermeter in their ONLINE SHOP (not indiegogo or kickstarter) with estimated delivery time of May 2019 !!!
    They knew since weeks (or months!!) the problems with the iq2 powermeter and the ONLINE SHOP worked :-))
    The millions of Euros made crazy these stupid people!

  17. Remco

    “incredible low cost” To be honest, I never understood why power meters are so expensive. A good set of shimano XT mtb pedals cost 70 euro vs 329 for power meters.

    329-70 = 259 left for the marketing, up-price and electronics
    Precision strain gauge 2x 50 euro (100 = 159 left)
    PCB + chips + battery = 2×29 euro (59 = 100 left over)

    Yes indeed 329 for 2 pedals seems a fair price! All those over 500 per pedal are …..

    Thanks Ray for pointing these out, really interesting power meter.

    • RTellis

      You’re leaving building or leasing office space, paying utility bills, paying technical and non-technical staff, external testing for things like FCC compliance, and a whole host of other things that go into the price of any product.

    • Remco

      PCB with chips and battery is including margin, 29 per PCB is a lot if you look at BOM and costs per module at >1000 pieces.
      Pedals as reference are sales price including tax, fabrication is about 1/4 of that price.

    • Fred Stig

      Support and warranty repairs are other things to keep in mind. And in the age where Amazon has made an a-hole out of almost every consumer (at least that shops at Amazon – wanting free shipping in both directions after they’ve ‘rented’ the product for six months and decide they ‘don’t like it’), it’s led to companies having to put up with a lot more of everything and having to absorb that cost. All of this adds to overhead that isn’t really nearly as much of a problem with the mechanics of regular pedals vs. the strain gauges and electronics of power meter pedals (not to mention hiring competent software designers for the mobile apps). Plus the cost of the initial research invested (less of an issue with iQ2 since they got that up front to some extent), plus business taxes, plus insurance (on the business), plus wanting to pay your staff a decent wage. This stuff all adds up.

      In addition, you’re going to sell a lot more mechanical pedals vs. power meter pedals so you have to amortize the cost over far fewer units.

      If you want cheap crap look on Alibaba. Good luck with the support.

  18. Philipp

    A pedal based MTB power meter? Good luck. This thing has to be as solid as Thor’s hammer. Especially under race conditions e.g. if you have to get off your bike on an technical, muddy uphill and then jump back on your ride cleats are often covered in mud and you normally kick your pedals like crazy and try cleaning the cleats in order to get back into the pedal. To me this is an attempt of growing daisy flowers on a rugby field.

    • JD

      You’re missing a major point.
      There is a substantial market for SPD power meter pedals for road and gravel bike riders.
      I don’t really care about a power meter on my mountain bike. However, ALL my bikes are SPD.
      If the iQ2 tech is solid and they successfully produce a SPD model, I’ll gladly pay full price ($369 USD) for the dual set.
      If they are successful with the Look collaboration the next step should be to partner with Speedplay followed by Crank Brothers. Then they’ll have truly rocked the boat.
      All of this assumes their molecularly bonded strain gauge tech is viable and easy to mass produce.
      If not the whole thing crumbles like a house of cards.

    • Paul S

      Yeah, but that is an awful big if. So far, they’ve failed with the shim. OK, everyone who’s tried has failed. But iQ2 has never produced a successful power meter. The successful companies don’t at the moment have an SPD pedal so far as I know (but didn’t one of the earlier Vectors have a way to use SPD?). So counting on iQ2 to produce a successful mountain bike pedal is a real stretch. We’ll see. (Me, I use Crank Brothers, so I don’t really care.)

    • Carl

      I think you might be right that the SPD is aimed at the gravel market. Good point.

  19. Brad

    I am wondering if pedals were IQ2 original goal and the pod was a way to prove in the tech, establish a revenue stream, and gain cred via a larger existence proof. The overwhelming kickstarter money allowed their timeline to be pulled up and to problems with to pod, if not resolvable, posed to great a risk to customer confidence that they decided to jump to the pedals sooner. They probably started down this path when they were working to offer shorter spindles and Shimano shut it down.

    Since pedal based power meters are proven, their chance of success is greater so this is probably a win for them.

    Just a thought.

    • Omar

      This is purely speculation but yes, I concur with what you’ve just said. Probably to release a pedal based PM using this particular type of strain gauge was phase 2 but due to the issues they already mentioned and Shimano thing, they simply decided to jump straight to phase 2. My only hope and for them to be transparent on this is how the heck are they going to design, manufacture and deliver the pedals in August, I hope Look is involved in the pedal part and all the team has to do is to get the spindle right and to fit into the pedal body with little modifications, though admittedly the MTB version look really different from Look X-Track pedals.

  20. Storris

    IQ2’s update doesn’t make sense, unless I’m missing something…

    They’re getting consistent numbers per rider, with variance between riders. This should be expected behaviour surely, and indicative of a properly functioning power meter.

    That different riders get different numbers, and that IQ2 can’t compensate for them (can/does any pedal/crank based meter?), shouldn’t be an issue. A rider with cleats adjusted to the inside of their shoe is going to get different numbers to a rider (even of the same weight) whose cleats are adjusted to the outside, due to a change in the size of the lever. This is going to be a problem for any pedal or crank based power meter.

    The only power meters that can be consistent across multiple users, are those fitted in wheel hubs, and even these will give different numbers, even for the same rider, dependent on drivetrain comoponents.

  21. Heeney

    If only there was a blog on this very topic that screams BE CAREFUL WITH POWER METER KICKSTARTERS ! 🙂

    Thanks for the save here, D.C.R.

    Great knowledge drop of power meter history here.

  22. workonsunday

    Disclaimer, im one of the backers.

    Im actually somewhat disappointed with their decision to head even further into the unknown. I much rather prefer to see them shipping a lesser product as advertise instead of starting again. Less accurate, yes, but u can have live reading instead of have to wait until after the ride before strava does the estimation. I will just accept the lesser accurate is down to lower price point.

  23. Morten Nissov

    I learned after the Watteam debacle, that a power meter that just works with no uncertainty and no flakiness is what matters. I got NG Eco and wish I had just gone there from the beginning.

  24. Sandro

    In related Kickstarter news, Lvl also disclosed that their hydration sensor wasn’t accurate in the form they designed it and will be reengineered for a different form and location. Everybody will receive the new device this Summer, the first ever bluetooth powered hydration sensor in suppository form.

  25. P

    Nice bait and switch. They changed directions and the product is no longer exactly what they described and people put money on. All the testing that was done prior to this last issue didn’t catch this?!? Something smells fishy. If these guys are legit they should offer refunds for those that don’t use that style of pedal and don’t want to switch. I know it’s a Kickstarter product but they were also selling from their shop with near term delivery ETA. I was hopeful but something smells rotten, someone should check their photos of the parts to see if they were shopped…

    • Brad

      It’s always easy to make 1 of something work in the lab. It is extremely hard to make a 1000 of them work exactly the same.

  26. Niklas

    Its a pity that they stopped the knee saver-version. Would otherwise be nice to have a combined kneesaver and power meter.

  27. Kirby Krieger

    I’m a backer … in the “totally screwed” camp (I ride Speedplay, have tried others, always come back). Of course I’m disappointed, but I was always aware of the risk I’d never get anything for my “investment”. For me, the writing was on wall when IQ2 refused to release actual data from their first round of testing the production units. I asked specifically.). As Ray and others say, all power meters are hard. Other commenters emphasize that all engineered products are hard. IQ2 appear to have tried hard, and failed. Nothing wrong with that. I would have liked them to have been more truthful (I use the word advisedly and not, imho, inaccurately) with their projected ship dates, and much more forthright in general.

  28. The iQ2 “update” is a classic example of hi-tech spin and pivoting.

    Translated to plain English:

    1) iQ2 does not work, even after 18 months of development, even after nearly $3 million in backing.

    2) Technical problems now reported by iQ2 weren’t even hinted at as risks in their Kickstarter. Were they dishonest in their original campaign, or were just clueless about how their device works?

    3) Reality: campaign backers have been duped. Backers were sold a product that does not work and will never be produced.

    4) Reality: bloggers have been duped. Without ever having tested a prototype, without having seen data, blogs and podcasts have repeated for 18 months the iQ2 spin about low price, breakthrough performance, and great people. The core seduction is so simple: IT HAS A STRAIN GUAGE!

    Sure, there were some (CYA?) warnings about project timing, but don’t worry, we were told, the iQ2 guys are smart. Reality: they weren’t smart enough to get their product to work, and arguably not honest enough to disclose its early stage of development.

    5) We’re now told iQ2 will have a new, pedal-based product in August. A completely different product. What evidence has iQ2 offered that their new product will work? What evidence have they offered that they will hit their time schedule? All they’ve shown are renderings…did you know that renderings are prohibited on Kickstarter?

    6) A little financial housekeeping is in order. iQ2 brags they’ve collected nearly $3 million from backers; how much was spent on their failed product, and how much cash is left? Do they have enough cash to develop and test their new product, and to fulfill at least 4,000 orders? By how much does their product cost increase due to the requirement that they purchase pedals from third parties? What will be the post-campaign retail price be of their new unit?

    The honest thing for iQ2 to do is to refund all purchases and start over with a new campaign, following Kickstarter rules.

    The wise thing for bloggers to do is to radically increase their skepticism of new power meter products, to write ONLY about what they independently observe and test, and to avoid repeating marketing spin and hype.

    Until then…remember PT Barnum. He described the iQ2 situation in one sentence.

    • Seth S.

      Impossible to believe Klant has the money to refund backers leaving enough capital to fund his next solution without exhuming Charlie Ponzi as his newest partner and relying on the newly naive.

      Klant’s handling of the failed first project should leave backers –new and old — extremely skeptical and not a little perturbed. He’s shown me nothing, past and present, to suggest he can pull this off.

      The wisest thing for bloggers to do is not just to increase their skepticism of “innovative” and low cost crowd-funded PM’s, but to assess the number one thing angel, venture capital and private equity investors do when assessing the investment attraction of a company: MANAGEMENT. Then you appraise its product. It should not be different for crowd-funding.

      Do you know 50% of IQ2’s team (3 members) are marketing types? If that doesn’t put your hands and your money back into your pocket then … have at it

      Protest all you want Ray, but this is looking more like LIMITS redux every day — if not quite in form then in substance.

  29. EV

    We’re never going to see these things, but even if we do, I don’t think they’ll ever come up with a pedal meter that will survive more than half an hour on an actual technical ride. Frankly, I can’t even see the need or value in a power meter for real mountain biking except for when you want to pace yourself on a long fire road climb. Otherwise, can’t see the need for myself at least. Maybe others will see a use. That said, I use mtb pedals on my road/gravel bikes, where I would use a p/m, so I guess I’ll take one if they ever deliver, but I don’t see them ever delivering anyway. This is just an employment plan for a small group of people adept at graphics at this point.

  30. JF

    FYI – IQ2 just refunded my Pre-Ord (not backer order).

  31. Rick

    Website is down, I think the company died…

  32. Pedro L

    DC another post from tin foil wrapper. I am curious that IQ2 have developed a pedal solution in such a quick time frame. The simply assembled the parts and it worked amazing. Is it not possible that they merely OEM’ing a pedal power meter. Rumour has it amongst us conspiracy theorists that they are using a Chinese pedal power meter, could it be true!

    • I’m not aware of any OEM-available Chinese pedal based power meters. Or any OEM pedal based power meters out there (also not seen any rumors around this either). I suspect the reality is simply that they started their conversion to pedal a long long time ago – or were already working on it on the side.

      I hadn’t noticed the Kickstarter update from 10 days ago till now. The initial data sets aren’t horrible actually (and they look slightly worse than need be, since they need to add a 1-second timing offset on one file in the DCR Analyzer to make them line up correctly – semi-standard issue stuff with multiple head units and GPS timestamps). But given they haven’t applied any smooting in the Analyzer either, the results are actually closer than I would have expected.

      Still, as they noted there’s some issues in there, mainly peaks/drops disagreements. It’d be ideal to add in a PowerTap G3 hub in there to have a clean reference point for total power.

      I don’t see how they’ll ship by August, but I’ll give them some credit for producing two data sets that aren’t horrible. On the flip side, as any power meter company can tell you – cherry picking two functional data sets out of a sea of problematic ones is easy. That said, I asked semi-publicly for them to at least produce and share some actual data sets, even if cherry picked. A 30-minute ride outdoors isn’t an easy bar to start with, so kudos on that front.

  33. Seth S.

    Like Lazarus LIMITS has arisen: link to crowdcube.com You think there are 5 investors? What a hoot.

    I’ve seen no posting on DCR but Ray, you must be in the know.

    Ponzi lives! Is it raising money to pay creditors, then poof?

  34. Emkay

    The fundamental problem was the attitude the firm took when it became clear that the overriding USP, pedal independence was no longer a possibility. They should have refunded what was left in the pot and said, sorry, we can’t do it.

  35. Brad

    So in the latest update from IQ2, there is no mention of testing, test results, or plans there-of, and just details and news on progress gearing up for delivery. The update said that we should soon receive an email requesting our pedal choice and confirming our shipping details.

    This makes me nervous as I am getting the feeling that maybe their plan is to build pedals without regard to accuracy and deliver them and then claim they kept to their promise.

    My thinking is to not respond to the email, or respond without a choice stated and a request for test data, or positive review from Ray and/or GP Lama. Not responding may result in me not receiving pedals.

    What do folks think?

    Ray, have you been invited to test/review?

  36. Benoit Coupal

    Any news on accuracy ?
    I just received the email for pedal choice…

    Thanks

  37. Pavel vacek

    Hallo Ray,
    do you have pedals for testing?

    By

    Pavel

  38. TaZ

    I didn’t even get the mail for pedal choice 😉 (early bird backer)
    Support is not able to resend/forward it, altough they can write me normal mails to the specific mailaddress (and yes, empty spamfolder 😉 )

    Delaying tactics, I think there is still no PM

  39. nebu

    It’s nearly November and they didn’t ship yet. Instead they quote DCR in their last update from 15th Oktober:

    DC Rainmaker summarized it well when he said: “There’s a long trail of companies that have tried and failed to develop power meters. And many that have succeeded. And every…single…one of them has had delays and complexities along the way (yes, even SRM). No matter the money invested (Garmin), or the time in the industry (PowerTap or Quarq). Making power meters is far more difficult than people realize.”

    I think the more accurate quote would be:
    The timelines aren’t realistic (again): There’s not a chance in Holland they’ll hit their August 2019 shipment timeframe. They’re proposing a mere 3 months from now to produce and deliver a unit for which they don’t appear to have any prototypes for yet (else, I’d hope they would have shown them in this update). Like, if I could give this a negative % chance of hitting August, I would. I don’t know how to quantify that. Instead, a realistic minimal timeframe is Spring 2020.

  40. Jason

    Hey guys

    I just saw a promoted Facebook post for the old spacer design, today 1st November 2019. Here is the link to the shop…

    link to achuje.store

    If they ditched the spacer design for the pedal, why are they flogging this off at 25.88 usd?

    Something smells fishy?

  41. Julian Hudson

    So I noticed today and yesterday that this company’s proposal for their original spacer power meter is appearing on my F.B. page with no mention that they have changed completely to a pedal based meter. The price of 25.98/pedal that is being given is terrific
    Why are they still promoting the original product? Would a person be smart to place an order for the original one and assume that the new pedal based meter will be delivered instead?

  42. Peter

    It seems they sell off the old design…link to huypo.store