September 29, 2010 burnhamcoaching

Latest in Power Meters from Interbike 2010

There is a lot of great coverage on the latest and greatest from Interbike here and here, but I want to focus on what was new in the power meter world.   One of key things I have noticed in the cycling world is that power meters are no longer looked at as the dorky step child of the cycling industry.  They have grown substantially in popularity and most competitive cyclists know how valuable they can be in their training and communication with their coaches.  Power is becoming the most common language when discussing performance between athletes and coaches.  I found it interesting in how many booths were displaying power meters on bikes and showing their compatibility with other components.

SRAM PM Display

SRAM Power Meter Display

Cycleops

The Saris/Cycleops guys didn’t have much new in hardware this year.  All of the powertaps from last year have carried over from the SLC+ to the wired Comp.  The one new thing I have noticed is that wheel manufactures have seen enough demand from consumers that they are adding in a lot of pre-built powertap wheel options.  Reynolds will be offering pre-built powertap options in all of their wheels with the exception of the RZR wheels, and Zipp will be expanding their Powertap options to all of their wheels with the exception of the 101.

On the software front, Cycleops will be rolling out a new social networking called Training Camp that will allow athletes to compare themselves to their friends, competitors, or even pro riders.  The website is just going into beta testing right now but you can sign up to be one of the first to test drive the new site.

SRM

SRM is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.  It was in 1986 that Uli Schoberer developed the first power meter in his bedroom of a small house in Germany.

1986 SRM Powermeter

The First SRM. Pretty, isn't it?

A prettier version of the SRM

A much better looking version!

SRM has a very good reputation in professional cycling due to their support of several teams in the pro peloton.  They are very durable, can withstand the repeated power washing pro bikes receive, and the Powercontrol head units have a very long recording time (approx. 130 hours at 1 second recording rate) allowing riders to complete a grand tour without downloading data if they wish (not that I would recommend that!).  That reputation does allow SRM to charge more than any other power meter company on the market.  Their complete training systems including the Powercontrol 7 head unit ranges from $3700 – $4000 and just the crank powermeter ranging from $3045 – $2745.  Of course you can get your Powercontrol  head unit in any color to match your bike…

Ooooh... Colors!

Ooooohhhh...Colors!

For 2011 SRM is expanding their crank options to include the new Dura Ace 7950 compact crank, SRAM S975 compact, as well as SRAM and FSA double ring mountain bike options.  SRM will also be releasing a mac compatible version of their software for 2011.

Quarq

Quarq had lots of new stuff to talk about at the show this year.  One of the most exciting announcements was that they are almost caught up on back orders and have some systems ready to ship now.  This may change as their demand continues to increase (they have continued to grow at 300% per year over the last 5 years of their existence) but it is great for consumers who in the past have had to wait  4 – 6 weeks for delivery.

While there road powermeter line up hasn’t changed they did introduce two new mountain bike systems.   Starting in the spring they will be offering a SRAM XO and Cannondale SI mountain bike crank systems.  Both will be double ring systems and will be priced similar to their road systems.  I am very excited to see more power options coming to mountain bikers.  There is a lot you can learn from seeing how power is produced in the dirt that can drastically change your training and racing.

SRAM XO Quarq

SRAM XO Quarq

Quarq is also going to be releasing an iPhone/iPod Touch application that will allow you to check the reed switches, torque gauges, and offset of your Quarq system.  It will require that you get an ANT+ dongle to pick up the signal but it will allow users to adjust calibration numbers and perform tests that no other power meter company is currently offering.  This is a big step forward for Quarq since they were at a little bit of deficit by not offering their own computer head unit.

Quarq also annouced that all of their 2011 systems will be compatible with SRM’s Powercontrol 7 head unit so you can get pretty colors to match your bike with the Quarq as well….

Other random items…

Look/Polar did have a their new pedal system on display no other details.  I really think that they missed the boat on this product.  Not only is the reported $2600 price tag extremely expensive, you are forced to use a polar computer since they are not ANT+ compatible.  I don’t understand that move especially since ANT+ just became open source.  I have a feeling this may be vaporware…

Look/Polar Sytem

Look/Polar power system. Vaporware?

The ANT+ guys have updated their website to include a list of all ANT+ devices and compatibility. This is a great resource if you want to know if your new power meter is compatible with a specific computer head.

Metrigear, a company developing a powermeter built into the pedal spindle of Speedplay pedal, announced they were purchased by Garmin.  While there wasn’t any other official news from them it is a good indication we may see their product in 2011.  I will be curious to see if they are able to hit their projected $1000 price point.  They would revolutionize the power meter market if they are able to hit that price point and produce a quality product.

Want to see a gallery of all my interbike photos, power related and otherwise?  You can check them out here:

Interbike 2010

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