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Upcoming from PowerTap: Heart-rate-based power meters and superlight carbon wheelset

  • By Ben Delaney
  • Published Jun. 14, 2011
  • Updated Jul. 26, 2011 at 6:00 PM EDT

GOLDEN, Colo. (VN) — A heart-rate-based power calculator, a 1,250-gram wheelset with a power meter and a power-comparison website are among the upcoming offerings from Saris, the company behind the popular PowerTap and CycleOps brands.

Coming in August, the PowerTap G3 is a 325-gram power-meter hub that has wider flanges but a smaller overall profile than previous PowerTap models. Selling for $1,299, the G3 houses the majority of its electronics, plus the battery and the antenna, in the replaceable end cap. The strain measurement components are still in the hub. When PowerTaps fail, typically it’s the electronics that go. This new design allows a quick fix, as the company can mail out a new cap to customers.

The G3 hub can be built up with either 45mm (left) or 65mm (right) carbon rims from Enve. The 45mm set weighs 1,250 grams and will sell for $2,999.

Perhaps more impressive than the new hub are the new wheelset options into which the G3 hub can be built. Using ENVE 45mm and 65mm carbon tubular and clincher rims, CycleOps will be selling G3 carbon-rim wheelsets for $2,999 and alloy-rim wheelsets for $1,399.

The 440-gram Pro hub, which has dropped in price to $799, will also be sold as a wheelset with alloy rims for $999.

Weighing in at 1,250 grams, the G3 45 wheelset is a few grams heavier than Mavic’s new Cosmic Carbone Ultimate but a few grams lighter than a Zipp 404 set.

“One of the reasons we choose ENVE was the weight savings,” said CycleOps brand manager Jesse Bartholomew, who pointed out that adding a crank-based power meter will add at least 250 grams to any bike.

PowerTap’s current high-end model, the SL+, is being eliminated from the lineup.

Scheduled to be released in October, the $199 PowerCal computer head converts heart-rate data to a power reading. How, you ask? The unit uses data from a graded power test, transferred from a computer via a ANT+ USB stick, to calibrate. Then it calculates how much work you’re doing in watts and kilojoules based on your heart rate.

The PowerCal will be compatible with any ANT+ power display.

“The cool thing about the PowerCal is that it provides one unit of measurement across a variety of activities, whether it’s running or yardwork. Our accuracy should be about 5 percent, but we are working with CU-Boulder to determine accuracy,” Bartholomew said.

Finally, in November, the company intends to have two new cycle computers, including a version with GPS. The $169 Joule features upgrades from the company’s 2.0 — it’s cheaper, smaller and easier to navigate — but with much of the same data (TSS, historic reporting, customizable dashboard and more). Its battery life is 300-400 hours.

The $269 Joule GPS is similar to a Garmin 500. There are no on-screen maps, just a record of your GPS data. ”We are looking at this first and foremost as a computer for cyclists who train with power,” Bartholomew said. “But we realize GPS data is a valuable feature, especially after the ride.”

The Joule GPS has 18 metrics that are customizable on screen. The battery is rechargeable.

FILED UNDER: Bikes and Tech / Quick Look TAGS: / /

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