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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings,

I've been waiting two years for an "affordable" power meter for the SRAM carbon crank on my road bike. It has a GXP bottom bracket. Finally, the wait is over!

Up until now, there's been very little support for carbon cranks. Stages Cycling offered their power meter on a BB30 carbon crank arm at the beginning of the year (2016) with a promise that a GXP version would follow sometime in March. We'll it's now June and they are finally taking pre-orders for their GXP version with a promise to deliver in 1-2 weeks. The price is US$630 and you can place an order here. Plus, USAC (USA Cycling) members can contact Stages to obtain a 20% discount code. You'll need to provide proof that your USAC membership is current (a screen shot of your member page on the USAC website showing your name, address and license number is all they need to see). That will knock US$126 off the price, reducing your cost down to US$504 plus shipping. Not bad for a well-proven power meter on a carbon crank arm. Crank arm lengths of 165, 170, 172.5 and 175 mm are available.

There is one other possibility from a new company called Watteam. I was hoping they'd get their product to market a little earlier and I'd probably have chosen it, instead. They make the PowerBeat, a do-it-yourself two-sided power meter for just US$499 and they now include support for carbon cranks, too. So the Watteam PowerBeat will work with SRAM Red and Force cranks. And there are no bottom bracket limitations because you epoxy these power meter sensors onto your existing crank arms. Two meters are included in each kit, one for each crank arm. So the PowerBeat is a true two-sided meter that measures each leg independently. Their calibration system is ingenious---you fill a supplied bladder with water in order to create a precise weight, then hang it from each pedal one at a time.

The unfortunate thing about the Watteam, and the reason I finally went with Stages, is because Watteam is soooo sloooow getting their product to market. As far as I can tell, they've only filled one or two small pre-order batches so far. Still, it is another attractive possibility. And their PowerBeat supports both Ant+ and BTLE like Stages Cycling.

Summary: If you've been waiting for a power meter for your carbon crank with a GXP bottom bracket, you can now order a compatible one from Stages Cycling. I placed my order earlier today.

And, in case anyone is wondering... "No, I am not affiliated with any of these companies. Nor do I receive any profit from their sales. I paid for my power meter today the same as you will."

Kind regards, RoadLight
 

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Glad you're finally getting what you wanted.

But geez, I wouldn't have waited. Quite a few other options out there now that aren't single-sided power meters that I would have gone for a long while ago.

Kind of makes you fed up with GXP and all the other b.s. bottom bracket designs leaving you having to fish around to find compatible cranks and powermeters!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
... Kind of makes you fed up with GXP and all the other b.s. bottom bracket designs leaving you having to fish around to find compatible cranks and powermeters!
Hi pedalbiker,

I wasn't unhappy because of GXP. Rather, I'm unhappy with the popularity of BB30 and its over-sized press-fit ilk. From the perspective of a bike mechanic, I think the threaded external-bearing BB's are still the best and I like GXP a lot. I'm not alone. Many mechanics---including many serving the pro pelaton---hold similar opinions.

I suspect the delay in GXP support was because SRAM is a competitor to both Stages Cycling and FSA. So Stages and FSA dragged their feet at getting out a GXP-compatible product. (For readers who are unfamiliar: SRAM owns Quarq which makes power meters that compete with Stages power meters. And FSA makes the carbon crank arms for Stages power meters like their new GXP model. And SRAM competes with FSA as a chainset manufacturer.)

In the end, however, it is in Stages best interest to support GXP because Stages' power meters fill a market niche for low-cost that is not being served by SRAM through Quarq. So Stages stands to make a profit selling to this under-served market of GXP-equipped bikes with SRAM Red and Force drivetrains. In that regard, I wish Stages Cycling lots of success and am happy to support them with my purchase.

As for there being other options---there were none!!! I couldn't use a PowerTap hub because I have multiple wheel sets and it would get too expensive. Plus, the PowerTap hubs don't offer enough lacing options. I couldn't use any pedal-based system because they all use road cleats which I do not. Everything else is just too expensive and/or lacks BTLE support.

I almost tried a pair of RPM² insoles but they turned out to not be compatible with my training software and they are not waterproof (although I've been told that future models will be waterproof). However, I think RPM² has a good chance of setting the standard for the future of both running and cycling power measurement. I expect I'll be buying a pair in a few years once they've been on the market for a while and worked out the inevitable kinks of a new product.

Kind regards, RoadLight
 
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