Taipei Show: xpedo Puts the Power to the Pedal with new Thrust E Power Meter

Xpedo Thrust E power pedal (2)

Pedal based power meters have created a lot of buzz in recent years and for good reason – having the power meter based in the pedal rather than the crankset or rear hub makes a lot of sense as a racer. Wheel changes don’t require a power meter for each wheel, cranks can be easily changed from compact to standard depending on the conditions, and bikes can easily be switched as well. Currently Look and Garmin have been duking it out for pedal power supremacy with a few other companies looking to get in on it as well, but the latest offering from xpedo is surprising. One of the biggest differences between the new xpedo Thrust E and the competition is that the power meter is completely contained in the pedal body of the Thrust E and needs no additional parts. That means installation really is as easy as threading in a pedal. We’re assuming the pedal will still need to be calibrated like the rest, but it looks as if it could be the easiest to set up of the bunch.

More details after the break.

Xpedo Thrust E power pedal (1) Xpedo Thrust E power pedal (2)

Using the power measured from each individual pedal, the Thrust E is able to measure both right and left power, balance of power between each leg, and cadence. Data is able to be exported as a diagram and shown on a screen so the rider and trainer or coach can visually see the pedal stroke during training sessions. Using ANT+, the pedals will be compatible with many cycling computers as well as compatible iPhone apps like the Wahoo Fitness app.

The pedal itself uses a forged aluminum body with a chromoly spindle for a weight below 400g for the pair. Built with an onboard 3.7v battery, the pedals claim to offer between 150-190 hours per charge. The pedals will include cleats, but they will also be compatible with Look Keo cleats. No word on price yet, but xpedo hopes to have a formal launch near Eurobike.

taispons taipei bike show coverage 2014

Comments

Grant - 03/24/14 - 11:31am

Looks more user friendly than both Garmin and LOOK systems. Ant+ and no dongle to catch up on everything.

Why isn’t CycleOps in the power crank or pedal game?

Doug Perry - 03/24/14 - 11:41am

This will be great if it yields accurate power. The Garmin Vector, which I’ve had since Sept. 2013, is a hassle with the pods … they have drained my 2032 batteries quickly and I’ve had one pedal pod break at the circle part. The Vector pods are too fragile. The Thrust E power contained all within the pedal would be much easier to install and remove!!

B-rad - 03/24/14 - 12:03pm

Well, at first glance, they look hideous… but if it’s self contained and only weighs 400g per set then I guess they are on to something!

Bill - 03/24/14 - 1:08pm

Not sure what I think about the guts being on the bottom like that. Maybe I just suck but every one of my pedals has scuffs and scrapes on the bottom from occasional strikes, or even more likely, slow moving around before races going up and down curbs/leaning it on things, etc.

Pancakes - 03/24/14 - 1:24pm

I get the convenience of not having it in the wheel, but I’m still not sold on the advantages on pedal based over crank based.

Swapping cranks is pretty easy and if you need to regularly switch from compact to standard rings, get a 110bcd or Shimano 4 bolt crank.

It seems like pedals are more exposed and susceptible to damage, and based on Doug’s experience, it’s not an unfounded concern.

Champs - 03/24/14 - 2:19pm

It’s all about the rider’s needs. How many bikes do you ride, which ones do you want power for, and how often do you want to go without?

Hub meters are cheap, but limit wheel selection, and only switch well between similar bikes.
Crank meters don’t care about your wheels, but are really limited to one bike.
Pedal meters are pretty agnostic to those things, but you’ll want them off for race day.

Steven - 03/24/14 - 2:33pm

The bottoms extend so far down; they’ll be broken the first time you turn a corner!

Chris - 03/24/14 - 2:57pm

I’m waiting for shoe-based meters.

erikv - 03/24/14 - 3:26pm

How about an insole based power meter so you can switch between any shoe, any bike, MTB or Road

Psi Squared - 03/24/14 - 3:37pm

I’ll bet xpedo thought about the pedals grounding and designed them to avoid that possibility. I rather doubt anyone can accurately judge the ground clearance of the pedals from just photos.

Collin - 03/24/14 - 3:43pm

At chris, thats in the works (at least a cleat based system)

This system looks like it would give horrible pedal clearance. So now instead of having to spend 2 weeks recovering from a bad wreck caused by a pedal strike, now your also going to have to shell out $500 for a new power meter. Stages has is right. Low price entry, super easy to switch from bike to bike, pretty accurate, and completely out of the way.

Bill - 03/24/14 - 3:55pm

My point was, it’s not the classic hard pedaling through crit corners that’s the only thing that causes pedal bottoms to get mauled. The basic life of a race bike, from racking on roof racks, to tooling around before your race starts, tends to just make pedals get beat up, just as much as the occasional crit corner strike does.

Robo - 03/24/14 - 4:48pm

Since Garmin used xpedo for their pedals, does that mean xpedo used (or just took, knowing how some off-brand companies operate) the tech from Garmin to make the sensors?

Psi Squared - 03/24/14 - 5:57pm

Exustar makes Garmin’s Vector pedals (at least the pedal bodies), not xpedo.

MaLóL - 03/24/14 - 7:39pm

In order to make it more affordable, I would rather put the meter just in one pedal and duplicate it. For personal training would be more than enough, and price should be almost half.

Matt - 03/24/14 - 11:20pm

@erikv
The reason you wouldn’t do a sole-insert-based power meter is that you can transfer forces to the pedal through not only pushing on the sole, but also by pulling with the heel, lifting with the laces, and pushing forward on the uppers.

Simon - 03/25/14 - 7:17am

I hit my Speedplays into the ashphalt on some crit courses. These wouldn’t stand a chance,

Finbar - 03/25/14 - 7:22am

Matt – Brim Brothers are developing a shoe based power meter – http://www.brimbrothers.com/
Rumoured to be released in August
Early review here – http://www.dcrainmaker.com/2012/11/1st-hands-on-ride-with-brim-brothers-zone-cleat-based-power-meter.html

Matt - 03/25/14 - 3:27pm

@Finbar
Thanks for the link. Cleats will totally work, and work well, and be easily transportable. I think that’s a great idea!

I was just pointing out why insole-based power meter wouldn’t work as many forces aren’t transmitted via the footbed. But all forces are transmitted via the cleat to the pedal, into the crank arms, through the spider, and into the chain to drive the rear hub. Any one of those could work as a place to put a power meter.

Larry Lem - 04/01/14 - 1:27pm

Eurobike 2014 is ………. at the end of August. I can’t wait to see the price and see these for sale. I’ve not brought myself to by the Garmin Vectors whether the folks that are having so many problems are just klutzes, or that the pedal pods and installation really is horrible.

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