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First Ride with new $299 PowerPod Power Meter | DC Rainmaker

Looks interesting and did relatively well in a short test. If the algorithm is solid in it then this could be good for portability between bikes.

Today a Kickstarter project was launched for the PowerPod power meter, priced at $279US (but there are some initial cheaper price points available for early birds). While the project may be launching on Kickstarter, the company behind it has long produced power related products in the segment – Velocomp, maker of the iBike. They currently make a line of bike computer head units incorporating the underlying technology that the PowerPod is based on.The PowerPod essentially takes away all of the previous head unit functionality and strips it away to just the core power sensor and software technologies that allows it to generate a power meter stream that you can connect your ANT+ head unit to (such as a Garmin cycling computer). While some might quibble on the terminology of ‘power meter’ in terms of lack of strain gauges compared to a direct force power meter, for the purposes of me writing this post on PowerPod, I’m going to use the term.
I’ve had the chance to ride a prototype unit on a handful of rides over the last two days. As such, things are bound to change between now and production. Thus, much of the prototype aspect has more to do with the casing materials and the re-arrangement of existing electronics inside the new pod compared to past head units. The core and underlying sensors and software used to determine power is unlikely to change significantly as it’s the same capabilities found within their existing units, instead expect minor tweaks to the experience with respect to setup.
 

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As with the iBike I don't think this should be used as a power meter when some direct force power meters are getting so cheap. Where this could be valuable is for the data geeks who want wind data for rides or races to see where they are wasting energy. I used an iBike years ago and while the power numbers were a little frustrating, the wind data was pretty cool. You could see when you were drafting or if you though you were drafting but still in the wind to some extent. It was also nice for dialing in a TT position on your bike.

I think using this with a pm for the wind data would be nice but even that would be for a small group of geeks who would want it. Useful to some but useless for most.
 

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Too little, too late. iBike thought its target market was riders who would have used a SRM or a Power Tap; instead, they're getting killed by GPS-enabled head units and Strava -- and Strava's free estimated power.

Earlier versions of the iBike didn't let you play Strava with the cool kids so the Power Pod is a plus compared to that. However, $300 is a lot to pay for another device on top of your GPS head unit for the specific market of guys whose main interest is competing with their friends for Strava KOMs. They (mostly) don't care what their actual power is -- they care about KOMs.
 

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As with the iBike I don't think this should be used as a power meter when some direct force power meters are getting so cheap.
So cheap...as in twice as expensive.
 

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So cheap...as in twice as expensive.
That's funny... The 4iiii is only $399 (I think there is another new one at this price point too) and it probably works on rough roads and cross winds unlike the ibike or this power pod. I would see power numbers on the ibike drop to 0 or 20 for miles while riding chip seal and then once back on smooth pavement it would jump up 200 watts. Not very confidence inspiring....I will say though, on decent roads it seemed to work fairly well.

Like I said, it might be cool for some data nerds but for a new cyclist or someone without the funds this wouldn't be a good option. Picking up something used or one of the close out stages or 4iiii would probably be better IMO.
 
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