Power metres seem to be gaining an increasingly prominent place in the data-rich world of cycling these days. The professionals can’t work without them, and a growing number of amateurs are riding around with an upgraded hub or crank, giving them all the information on the wattage they are pedalling. The Powerbeat G2 by Watteam does exactly that. But just a wee bit differently than the rest.
Do It Yourself
Most power metres on the market today require you to replace the entire crank, hub or pedals, but that’s not the case with the Powerbeat. Whether or not that is an advantage is entirely up to you. But be prepared: if you are useless with a set of tools, you may need to enlist the help of the local club handyman if you order Powerbeats.
When it comes to installing your Powerbeat, be prepared to take your time, and exercise your patience. First, download the accompanying app. You need this in order to calibrate all the sensors once you’ve fitted them to your pedal and crank arm. Don’t plan a training ride the day after you’ve fitted the Powerbeat: the glue used to apply the sensor has to dry for 24 hours. To calibrate the metre you need to use the enclosed water bags (yes, it goes that far).
Why should you choose the Powerbeat in preference to other ready-to-ride cranks with integrated power metres? It’s a money thing. The Powerbeat costs $259 for a one-side sensor. A crank-based meter such as a Stages is around twice the price, and a double-sided integral power metre such as a Quarq is about twice that again.
The Powerbeat is therefore considerably cheaper than the nearest alternative, yet works as well as any other one-sided power metre. The G2 uses the proprietary ANT+ wireless technology used by most cycling computer head units, and is supplied with a rechargeable battery. In addition, Watteam says their power metre is up to 1.5% accurate in terms of the power measurements recorded. All-in-all perfectly good specifications!