Having developed its first power meter back in 1998, PowerTap is, after SRM, the second oldest name in the industry. However, after 17 years of producing hub-based power meter systems, the American brand could be about to launch its first pedal- and chainset-based power meters.
PowerTap hasn’t made anything in the way of official announcements, instead quietly putting a teaser video out on YouTube, which we have been scrutinizing for details.
First up is what looks like a new pedal-based power meter. Currently there are only two pedal-based systems on the market: the Garmin Vectors and the Polar/Look Power System. Unlike either of these systems, the PowerTap pedals don’t seem to include pods to transmit data to a head unit, instead presumably including the transmitter in the spindle or pedal.
The pods on the Garmin and Polar pedals also include the pedals’ batteries, so we’re guessing that PowerTap have included battery compartments within the pedal body. Given the shape, this could mean power is provided by a cylindrical battery rather than a C2032 watch battery.
Slightly more visible than the pedal is the chainset-based power meter. This seems to employ a similar system to that offered by Pioneer, with a sensor pod placed between the crank arms, and probably another on the inside of the left crank, similar to that used by the one-sided Stages power meter.
The video shows what is presumably a pre-production version of the new power meter, given the slight mismatch of components. The chainrings appear to be PowerTap branded versions of FSA models, most likely from the Team Issue or Pro lines, while the cranks are taken from the previous 5700 version of Shimano’s 105 groupset.
We’ll be chasing PowerTap for further details, but in the meantime watch the full video below and let me know if there’s anything we’ve missed.