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…
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.
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.
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.