New CycleOps PowerTap Hubs Drastically Cut Price, Weight of Power Measurement

Saris CycleOps PowerTap G3 lightweight powermeter built with ENVE carbon rims for a complete power measurement wheelset

Saris has broken the weight and price barriers to power measurement with their new CycleOps PowerTap G3 and PowerTap Pro.

“The issues consumers have with power measurement in general were that it’s heavy and it’s expensive,” said Steve Chapin, Saris marketing director. “The other issue is if something went wrong, you had to send your whole wheel in and possibly rebuild the wheel. With the new G3, we’ve taken care of the weight, and the Pro brings the price down. And both use a new external transmitter that’s easily serviceable.”

The new PowerTap Pro comes in at just $799 for the rear hub. It maintains their +/- 1.5% accuracy but gets different internals and build to keep costs down while maintaining the same functionality. It’s also available in a complete wheelset for $999 for both front and rear wheels! The wheels are built on a CycleOps Velocity A23 alloy rim and DT Swiss spokes for a combined weight of 1950g, shown after the break.

For the more hardcore racer, there’s the PowerTap G3. It comes in at just 325g, which is 80g lighter than the SL+ it replaces. That puts it close to the weight of some standard hubs and let’s them build up an alloy wheelset like with the Pro but at 1850g. The rear hub retails for $1299 and the alloy wheelset will be $1499. At just a $200 premium, they’re pushing for complete wheelset sales, but hubs-only will always be available for people that want a specific build.

We all want lighter weight though, and Saris did, too. So they partnered with ENVE to create some lightweight totally raceable wheelsets, shown above. Tech details and weights, plus some more new goodies, after the break…

Saris CycleOps PowerTap Pro inexpensive power measurement hub built with alloy rims

Only available with the G3 hub, two carbon wheelsets will be available with ENVE 45 or 65mm carbon rims, in tubular or clincher. The wheels weigh in at:

  • 45 tubular – 1250g
  • 45 clincher – 1540g
  • 65 tubular – 1365g
  • 65 clincher – 1625g

Price is $2999 for the wheelset regardless of rim depth or type.

Saris CycleOps PowerCal heartrate monitor that calculates power and calorie consumption

Another new item is PowerCal, the “world’s first ever power meter calculated from heart rate.”

In the lab, Chapin says scientists have been able to determine power that way for a while. But out on the real roads with heat and other variables, the formula becomes a little more difficult. CycleOps has worked on their algorithms for almost two years and uses a 20 minute test with a PowerTap or other power meter for initial setup. Obviously, if you’re in the market for low-cost power measurement you’re not likely to have a PowerTap handy, so CycleOps directs you to a local dealer with a power testing station or demo wheels using their PowerTap hubs so you can get it set up. The HR strap comes with an ANT+ USB stick to record your test info and upload the data to the strap sensor. After that, the HR strap will transmit power on any ANT+ compatible display, including their Joule bicycle computers. Accuracy is pegged between +/- 5-10%, and they’re working with UC Boulder to get a more exact figure.

The other key feature of the PowerCal is that it uses the same calibration data to give a more accurate representation of caloric expenditure.

2012 Saris CycleOps PowerTap Joule cycling computers

Speaking of the Joule, they have a smaller, sleeker new form that cuts size while adding features. They also drop in price – from $450 all the way down to $179 – for the standard Joule 2.0 (center), which replaces the large form factor of the original (left). Next, they added GPS to create the – wait for it – Joule GPS for $279 (right). It uses a GPS breadcrumb feature to track where you rode but doesn’t display maps.

Lastly, they’re introducing Training Camp, a free online “share and compare” training network that let’s you upload your rides and see how your power stacks up against others in your category, friends, competitors or even the pros.

Because of the new Joule GPS’s recording capabilities, you can upload your actual rides and have them recreated on their CycleOps PowerBeam Pro or Indoor Cycle 400. You can also download rides from others to recreate them on your trainer.

Even better, in the fall they’ll have Virtual Training that uses Google Maps and video to create routes on your computer. You can make up rides, preride race courses or mimic classic stages from the Pro Tour. The software will be $200 on it’s own or come with the trainers mentioned above.

Comments

Samuel J. Greear - 07/03/11 - 9:51am

How about the ISO hub? How long do those of us who spend most of our time on a MTB have to wait for reasonably priced power measurement?

lqdedison - 07/03/11 - 12:05pm

That is fantastic news!!

Lower weight and price? Way to go Cycleops!!

With a lower price I think that will really help open the availability of power measurement to a larger demographic.

Robin - 07/03/11 - 11:27pm

It’s nice to see a power meter company offer power meter options at lower prices. Here’s hoping that when Garmin’s pedal based power meter, Look’s pedal based system, and (if) when Brim Bother’s cleat based system hit the market, it’ll force SRM, CycleOps, and Quarq to offer even less expensive stuff. Increased competition can only help us customers.

It’s difficult to see how a heart rate based power meter would be useful in the long term. Assuming someone will increase their fitness and power output over some finite time, it would seem heart rate based calculations would be become less accurate and require periodic updating.

Garmin Power Hopeful - 07/04/11 - 10:07pm

Yes- please Garmin ….just release the thing! Brim Brothers say 2012. I need something before then! Looking forward to it.

jc - 07/05/11 - 7:33pm

still seems painfully expensive to me…

HErod - 07/27/11 - 3:25am

Anyone know where the $999 Powertap Pro Wheelset can be found? I think I’ve looked everywhere.

Former CycleOps - 08/04/11 - 4:07pm

As a former employee with Saris/CycleOps, if the new Joule has the same amount of issue as the original, forget it! A small company that does not have nearly the resources that Garmin and SRM have.

Sven - 04/18/12 - 8:32am

Has this redesign solved the freehub tolerance/bearing preload issues of the previous version or do they remain and G3′s just made it easier to send the faulty electronic section back?

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