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Interbike sneak peak: Rotor 3D Power

  • By Caley Fretz
  • Published Sep. 14, 2011
  • Updated Sep. 16, 2011 at 10:29 AM EST

LAS VEGAS, Nev. (VN) — Spanish manufacturer Rotor is throwing its hat in the power measurement ring, and gave VeloNews.com a sneak peak of their prototype system. Dubbed the 3D Power (for now, anyway), the system is an amalgamation of two proven products: Rotor’s own 3D crankset and a lab-level power measurement device made by Italian company AIP-MEP.

The scientific version of Rotor's 3D Power crankset will offer more accuracy, more data, and better weatherproofing than any other currently available power meter. Photo: Caley Fretz - VeloNews

The 3D Power is still in an early prototyping phase, and Rotor’s sales manager Phillip Lucas says it won’t be available to consumers until at least fall of next year. However, Rotor-sponsored pros will begin using prototypes in competition early next season.

Two versions will be available, one lab-grade option and another that is more oriented towards the average consumer. The consumer level will produce average power data as well as left/right power and push/pull ratios. It will send data using the ubiquitous ANT+ protocol, syncing with any ANT+ head unit.

Speaking of the push/pull ratio and left/right power data, Lucas explained “there are so many options in this arena now, we new we had to come out and really improve upon what’s available if we were going to do it at all. We had to provide more information.”

The scientific level will add individual leg spin scan, a warning system when one leg isn’t delivering its regular power levels, and a few other data sets (which Rotor are still keeping secret). As a result it will require the more robust Bluetooth protocol.

“The scientific one will be so accurate riders will be able to optimize cleat position with it. That’s what you can do with the AIP system, and you’ll be able to do it with ours,” Lucas said.

Bluetooth requires more power, and thus a larger battery. The crank shown here is an early version of the lab-grade system, hence the large size. In its final iteration the scientific version will be a bit smaller, and the consumer version will be about 70-percent smaller than that.

The system’s sensors are fitted into the hollow channels already present on the 3D crank. There are two sensors in each channel that measure both torsional forces and the bending of the arms. There’s no possibility of contamination due to seal breakdown since the sensors are hidden away inside the crankarm itself.

Rotor will offer the system with all of their crankset options, including their mountain and track versions. Price of the lab-grade version will be “very expensive, it’s lab grade after all,” says Lucas. No word on the consumer-level price.

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

Caley Fretz

Caley Fretz

Tech Editor Caley Fretz can usually be found chasing races along the backroads of Europe or testing bikes and gear in the mountains outside Boulder, Colorado. If you can't find him there, check the coffee shop across from VN World Headquarters.

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