Look’s Keo Power pedal-based power measurement system is finally shipping.
After teasing it in late summer 2010, then showing it at Interbike that year and in a more final form factor last year, the Keo Power pedals and associated transmitters developed in partnership with Polar are finally ready to show how much power you’re layin’ down.
The Keo Power system’s pedals use axles with eight strain gauges per spindle to measure deflection and determine how much force you’re applying. Having so many gauges per pedal brings accuracy up to +/- 2%, and another sensor captures cadence. All of this information moves from the pedal to the transmitter, which attaches to the spindle on the inside of the crank arm, then beams it wirelessly to a compatible Polar computer (CS500, CS600 or CS600X).
The pedal body is the same 62mm wide platform as their Keo Blade, made of injected carbon with a stainless steel cleat platform and axle. It spins on two sets of needle bearings and one ball bearing. It ships with their mid-rotation (4.5°) gray cleats, but black and red are also available for more or less float.
Pedal weight is a claimed 170g, and total system weight (excluding computer) is 450g. Battery life is claimed at a pretty impressive five months with three hours of use per day!
Look says the system is designed to automatically recalibrate to temperature changes simply by restarting it, but it’s unaffected by temp changes of +/- 5ºC. That works out to +/-9ºF, a reasonably normal temperature swing for most long rides. The system calibrates at the beginning of each ride when it’s turned on, making it pretty user friendly.
Speaking of user-friendliness, installation requires the axle and transceiver to be lined up a specific way with the crank arm. Look Cycles USA marketing manager Justin Lubecki says they include tools to install it. Basically, you install the pedal like normal with an 8mm allen wrench on the back. Once it’s close to being all the way in, you’ll line up the transceiver and use a pedal wrench to tighten a lock nut on the outside of the axle to hold things in place.
“The first time will probably take you 10 minutes and a little looking at the instruction manual,” said Lubecki. “After that, it’ll only take you a minute or two and you’ll never look at the instructions again. It’s that easy.”
The two obvious and most compelling benefits of a pedal based system is ease of transfer between bikes and being able to measure left vs. right leg power. In order to actually see the separate leg measurements, you’ll need the higher end Polar computer, though. And the system only works with Polar’s proprietary wireless signal (it’s not ANT+ like the Garmin Vector).
Retail pricing is set at $2,200 and includes the pedals and transmitter plus installation tools and $2,500 for the full kit including the CS600X Polar computer. If you’re a shop, you’ll need to order direct from Look Cycles USA, their normal distributors aren’t currently stocking the power measurement goodies.