Pioneer Improves & Simplifies Power Meters, Keeps All the Tech

Pioneer cycling power meters for dura-ace and ultregra cranksets

In 2012, consumer electronics giant Pioneer debuted their Cyclocomputer power meter system. It was a high tech watt measuring device that produced some interesting data points, but the design was a bit cumbersome and the initial installation procedure wasn’t ideal. Full details on are in our interview from last spring.

Now, they’ve completely revamped the design, making it not only much, much easier to install, but also more streamlined, lighter and just better all around.

The distinct 360º torque measurement for left and right legs remains, as do all the other important tech features, but the parts themselves slim down. Two strain gauges, one for each crank arm, are slimmer and now fit both Ultegra and Dura-Ace (latest 9000 and 6800 models only). The transmitter now secures to the spider with bolts rather than zip ties (thank goodness!), and there’s no longer a proprietary bottom bracket and ring to measure cadence and such. Instead, you simply use a magnetic patch on the frame. Altogether, it not only adds compatibility with a lower priced crankset, it fits more frames, too.

Pioneer cycling power meters for dura-ace and ultregra cranksets

The transmitter now clamps itself into place, and everything’s factory installed rather than having a bike shop secure the strain gauges to the arms. While there are plenty of competent shops out there, that sales method left too much margin for error…simply unacceptable on equipment at this price point. Now, it’s sold as a complete crankset, which means you’ll need to buy an entire crankset. Plan ahead on that if you’re upgrading your drivetrain.

Pioneer cycling power meters for dura-ace and ultregra cranksets

The cranks will hold three parts: Two strain gauges bonded to the insides of each crank arm and the transmitter in the spider (red). The gauges analyze the pedal stroke using six independent sensors (three located on each side of the crank). At every 30 degrees of each rotation, it captures power, force direction and torque location. It’s all then sent via ANT+ to the computer.

Pioneer cycling power meters for dura-ace and ultregra cranksets

Price for the Dura-Ace model is $1,850 and Ultegra is $1,550. Battery life for the parts is up to 120 hours. Options include:

Pioneer-SGX-CA500-cycling-powermeter-options

To read the data, you’ll need the SGX-CA500 Cycle-Computer, which retails for $300:

Pioneer cycling power meters for dura-ace and ultregra cranksets

The new computer is less expensive than the original, and it’s 58% smaller and 65% lighter. It downgrades to a black-and-white screen rather than full color but still shows all the data, including a sweet left-versus-right power balance in full circles. And it maintains touchscreen functionality!

Pioneer cycling power meters for dura-ace and ultregra cranksets

No more guessing where your dead spots are thanks to Force Vector measurement, which is the real secret sauce of Pioneer’s system. That said, it’ll read power data from any ANT+ power meter, it just won’t display all the various rotational data. It should, however, still capture left/right data from pedal-based systems (and other things that may come) which capture it.

Other features it can read and display include left and right power output, pedaling stroke efficiency, power loss, force vector analysis, torque, cadence, heart rate, GPS positioning, speed, distance, elevation gain/loss, barometric pressure, ambient temperature and more. It’ll display up to nine of those points at once, and you can customize six screens to your liking. On top of all that, it can save six bike profiles and 4-gigabytes of memory for ride data. It’s IPX 6 and 7 certified water resistant. Battery life is 12 hours.

Lastly, there’s built in WiFi, letting it wirelessly communicate with your the Cyclo-Sphere program on your computer for post-ride data uploads.

Pioneer cycling power meters for dura-ace and ultregra cranksets

Cyclo-Sphere is a free online training software that pulls all that data together in more ways than you can imagine. As in, 200 data points, so you won’t have any more excuses.

PowerIsKing.com

Comments

kyle - 02/21/14 - 12:04pm

since when does Giant make shoes?

TJ - 02/21/14 - 1:32pm

I’ve never seen them, but I assume they are available in the US.
http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-in/gear/product/alpes.4/1554/50394/

jon - 02/21/14 - 1:39pm

Velonews reports that you can use any ANT+ computer, not just the SGX-CA500 Cycle-Computer as indicated above.
“The good news is that the Pioneer meters work perfectly well with popular head units like Garmin’s Edge 810 and 510.”

William - 02/21/14 - 2:08pm

Nice to see they did away with the zip-tie!

Looks like a March 2014 delivery expectation.

Interesting… hopefully Shimano will launch an internal power meter with similar features.

Colin - 02/21/14 - 3:12pm

@Kyle, Giant makes shoes for certain markets. They chose not to bring them to the U.S. because it’s a saturated market and they didn’t want to bring a subpar product.

Rustydog - 02/21/14 - 3:34pm

I’m still liking the pedal type power meters over the crank types. Like the Garmin Vector. So at least they can be moved from bike to bike easily.

Tunafish - 02/21/14 - 4:27pm

Glad the cost is semi reasonable but replacing 3 batteries every 3 to 4 months is gonna get expensive.

WannaBeSTi - 02/21/14 - 4:32pm

Dooooo, dat Pioneer crank be lookin dope on my scraper bike wit da Poineer Premire scrubs.

Santana - 02/21/14 - 4:36pm

Glad the price is semi reasonable but after a couple years of replacing 3 batteries every 3 to 4 months its gonna get expensive.

dkrenik - 02/21/14 - 5:22pm

@Rustydog, you can move a crank-based PM to another bike in ~2 minutes (or less). Much easier than moving pedals IMO.

Adam - 02/21/14 - 5:52pm

Where can I buy this?!?!? March 2014 is soon! This is cheaper than that used SRM I’ve been eyeing up. Someone please take my CC number, Im ready.

WannaBeSTi - 02/21/14 - 6:21pm

Any shop with a KHS account can get you one.

Adam - 02/21/14 - 6:42pm

Silly me. Did a little research and it looks like QBP will distribute them= every shop will have them.

santana - 02/21/14 - 9:25pm

I am glad the price is semi reasonable but after a couple years of replacing 3 batteries every 3 to 4 months its gonna get expensive.

Paul Outside - 02/22/14 - 6:09am

@colin if Giant don’t want to bring on sub par shoes why did they bring in sub par 29′ers for 3 years? I’m confused, shoes no, bikes yes!

Post a comment:

Comment sections can be a beautiful source of knowledge, conversation and comedy. They can also get pretty ugly, which is why we've updated our Comments Policy. If your comment isn't showing up or suddenly disappears, you might want to check it out.