Last week’s USA Pro Cycling Challenge may be over, but the product news continues. SRM chose the Colorado stage race as the venue for their public release of the all new PowerControl PC8. After years of listening to the pros and weekend-warriors alike, after nearly two years of development and research, the production model is finally being released. Power past the break for details, pics, and some rumors on future SRM developments…
During an SRM sponsored event just prior to stage 4 of last week’s Pro Challenge, I had the opportunity to chat with SRM founder/owner Ulrich Schoberer about development goals for the new PC8. As evidenced by its size, the PC8 unit has been geared for training purposes — when compared to the still-in-production PC7 (78g), the new machined aluminum PC8 head unit (93g) sports a far larger screen for more data at one glance. Specific dimensions are height: 65mm; width: 71mm; depth: 20mm, with its 2.7” LCD screen by Sharp now featuring an auto backlight for your moonlight training rides.
SRM has piled on the goods while upping the simplicity factor. With the PC8 you will now be able to wirelessly transfer data for easy downloads to SRM software. PC8’s internal sensors now include GPS — a longtime called-for SRM feature; GPS recording intervals can be user set for increased accuracy or longer battery life. Additional internal sensors include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Smart, and ANT+ allowing for third party peripherals such as heart rate monitors.
The PC8 will be available for pre-orders at Interbike, and retail availability in December. All PC8 units are being hand-built in SRM’s USA offices in Colorado Springs.
Schoberer also tipped his hand slightly with some talk of a likely PC8 Pro version coming out next year with a display that is half the size of the new PC8. Other SRM staff members talked about the pros not wanting to see wattage info in real time, but still wanting to track it over the course of a race. This, along with racers’ disinterest in GPS would allow the new Pro model to be smaller and lighter. Keep watching here for more on this as it develops.
In other rumor news I also received some very limited info on a new circuit board SRM is working on — potentially to be found in future power meters (i.e., a yet to be seen PM8). This new unit is more power efficient, using less battery draw. This news was mentioned in combination with SRM playing with various BlueTooth standards, as well as possible charging options for batteries — for this, time will only tell. But for the battery options they are waiting for more feedback regarding the public’s preferences. Do riders want, 1) a battery that lasts 2,000+ hours and is only factory replaceable, or 2) a user chargeable unit via plug-in that has to charge every couple weeks, or 3) user replaceable batteries like the system SRM now specs in their FSA K-Force Light BB386, called UCB (user changeable battery)? If you have a strong preference, drop a note in the comments below.