Please tell me about power meter hubs

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Please tell me about power meter hubs

Postby ausrandoman » Thu Jun 27, 2013 9:29 pm

I'd like to get a power meter hub or complete wheel. I've just started looking around and I'd like to get some tips and hints from this forum.

Are there any traps with compatibility with 9- 10- or 11- speed cassettes or with Campagnolo vs. Shimano?

What about repeatibility or drifting out of calibration?

I'd only use it for training so I am not particularly chasing the lightest hub - but what about spoke count and finding a matching rim? I'm happy to build the wheel, if need be.
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by BNA » Thu Jun 27, 2013 10:04 pm

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Re: Please tell me about power meter hubs

Postby vander » Thu Jun 27, 2013 10:04 pm

Powertap is the only hub based PM (I believe). They have been around for a while I am sure you can find some more formal reviews but they are quite reliable I have had one for about a year apart from replacing batteries (3 times I think) it hasnt really missed a beat. It can drift out of zero during the rides but the calibration seems to have remained steady (though I have not tested the calibration) as far as powermeters go they are quite cheap especially if you get a second hand one.
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Re: Please tell me about power meter hubs

Postby nickobec » Thu Jun 27, 2013 10:43 pm

ausrandoman wrote:I'd only use it for training so I am not particularly chasing the lightest hub


That is what I said before I bought my first powertap. An Elite+ (625g) 32H laced to Mavic Open Pro rims. The complete matching wheelset with tyres, tubes, rim strips & cassette weighs in at almost 3kg

Racing with power is very useful particularly if you TT or spend a lot of time off the front like I do.

So I bought a 2nd powertap hub a G3 (325g) 24H of an ebay seller in US when the A$ was good & I laced it to a chinese carbon 50mm rim, With a 38mm matching front, the wheelset with tyres, tubes, rim strips & cassette weighs in at just over 2kg. This pair is my race wheels and used for TT training. The older 950g heavier set I regularly use for most training rides.

Broke 5 spokes on the pre-built Elite+ Mavic rear, before rebuilding myself and not had a problem since.

The "cap" containing the electronics on my G3 developed a fault after a few months, sent the cap back to SARIS in the US who replaced it

No issues with 24H hub, laced by an amateur to 50mm lightweight carbon rim, it has taken some punishment and keeps going.

Don't know about 11 speed Campagnolo, but both my PowerTaps are 10 speed Shimano, I would need to purchase an 11 speed freehub to run an 11 speed drivetrain. Most new PowerTaps are 11 speed, but just beware of old stock or bargains if you want to go 11 speed.

No issues with calibration and drifting, but both are relatively new 2.5 years Elite+ and 12 months G3. Works with either of my Garmins.
Last edited by nickobec on Fri Jun 28, 2013 5:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Please tell me about power meter hubs

Postby Chookman » Fri Jun 28, 2013 1:26 pm

I've had 3 powertaps and all have been good and reliable. the G3 has had a few firmware issues but are easily fixed by connecting the hub to your PC and installing the updates via Poweragent.

As Nickobec stated, beware of old stock bargains and make sure you get an 11 speed freehub if you intend upgrading anytime soon. The Shimano 11 speed freehubs are black as opposed to silver for the 10 speed.
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Re: Please tell me about power meter hubs

Postby Puffy » Tue Jul 02, 2013 9:44 am

My G3 hub is lighter than the 105 hub it replaced. Laced to a 32 spoke Mavic Open Pro. You can get them in various spoke counts so you could go for a lighter rim if you prefered. I know nothing of firmware issues, in fact I once tried to update the firmware and couldn't get it to! In the end I decided "if it's not broke, don't fix it".

They are great and couldn't imagine training without one now. I only do three TT's a year so not having the hub in my race wheels isn't an issue since I can't control the pace of the race. Sure it would be nice on occasions (going off the front) but for half the price of a Quark you can't go past it. I happen to prefer racing on percieved effort anyway and believe that having high power figures flashing up at you can be more of hinderance than a help. With percieved effort I can push through, I am sure if I looked down and saw a high power figure I'd be thinking "I can't maintain this, I'd better slow down!"
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Re: Please tell me about power meter hubs

Postby nickobec » Tue Jul 02, 2013 2:49 pm

vander wrote:... I have had one for about a year apart from replacing batteries (3 times I think) ...

If it is one of the older powertaps like my elite+ buy some silver oxide batteries (I got mine off ebay) was chewing through lithium batteries every month or so, silver oxide lasts almost a year
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Re: Please tell me about power meter hubs

Postby twizzle » Tue Jul 02, 2013 4:43 pm

I get about 4 - 6 weeks from my batteries. The old "wired" versions must need more power for the transmitter.
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Re: Please tell me about power meter hubs

Postby Puffy » Tue Jul 02, 2013 7:37 pm

I'm 10hrs a week on the bike and just replaced the battery in my G3. That's after 4 or 5 months so 3 times a year works out for me ok. They are button cells so cheap!
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Re: Please tell me about power meter hubs

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Tue Jul 02, 2013 9:17 pm

twizzle wrote:I get about 4 - 6 weeks from my batteries. The old "wired" versions must need more power for the transmitter.

When I has wired powertaps, I'd get 5-8 months or more depending on the season - longer in warmer months. Seems to be quite variable depending on model and battery type!
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Re: Please tell me about power meter hubs

Postby twizzle » Tue Jul 02, 2013 10:17 pm

"Comp" model. I once put some cheap silver-oxide ones in, they lasted less about three weeks, and with my second hub the batteries were flat when I finally had it built up (six months in the box after it was shipped)

About six weeks is the usual if I'm riding a lot, call it about 70 - 80 hours. The latest set was about ten weeks, but I only rode six hours in a month in that period.

I use "energizer" brand, the easiest to obtain locally.

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Re: Please tell me about power meter hubs

Postby Chookman » Wed Jul 03, 2013 5:05 pm

Puffy wrote:My G3 hub is lighter than the 105 hub it replaced. Laced to a 32 spoke Mavic Open Pro. You can get them in various spoke counts so you could go for a lighter rim if you prefered. I know nothing of firmware issues, in fact I once tried to update the firmware and couldn't get it to! In the end I decided "if it's not broke, don't fix it".

They are great and couldn't imagine training without one now. I only do three TT's a year so not having the hub in my race wheels isn't an issue since I can't control the pace of the race. Sure it would be nice on occasions (going off the front) but for half the price of a Quark you can't go past it. I happen to prefer racing on percieved effort anyway and believe that having high power figures flashing up at you can be more of hinderance than a help. With percieved effort I can push through, I am sure if I looked down and saw a high power figure I'd be thinking "I can't maintain this, I'd better slow down!"


You'd know it if you had firmware issues. One of the main problems was with battery life - I can't remember the specifics but I think it had something to do with the sleep mode and the low battery level being set incorrectly.
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Re: Please tell me about power meter hubs

Postby Puffy » Fri Jul 05, 2013 12:33 pm

Incorrect low battery you say?
Well, I was doing a 600km/3day gran fondo when the garmin announced the battery needed replacement nearing the end of day one. It lasted another 15-20hrs of riding before I could get a moment to replace it. I don't know if that is normal or not but maybe the battery could have lasted a lot longer if the low battery level is being reported early.
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Re: Please tell me about power meter hubs

Postby ausrandoman » Mon Jul 15, 2013 2:34 pm

Thanks for the input. I got a Cycleops rear wheel and a Garmin 800 (not the 810, so I got it at a deep discount :D )

I am very impressed at how it all went together. I'm still scratching my head over the vast number of options in the Garmin but, for my purposes, I think I will configure it to show heart rate, power (3 second average), cadence and ride duration - should be all I want for effective interval training.
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Re: Please tell me about power meter hubs

Postby nickobec » Mon Jul 15, 2013 3:38 pm

Interesting went to Cycleops website and found out they have split from Powertap

Powertap = powertap.com and only does the G3 with new graphics (at the old prices)
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Re: Please tell me about power meter hubs

Postby Chookman » Mon Jul 15, 2013 7:41 pm

nickobec wrote:Interesting went to Cycleops website and found out they have split from Powertap

Powertap = powertap.com and only does the G3 with new graphics (at the old prices)


I think they've created a new division, not actually split from Saris/Cycelops. Their address is still the same as Cycleops.
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Re: Please tell me about power meter hubs

Postby sim-o » Fri Sep 06, 2013 11:37 pm

Chookman wrote:
nickobec wrote:I think they've created a new division, not actually split from Saris/Cycelops. Their address is still the same as Cycleops.


I think it's actually that they've renamed the entire company to Powertap.
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Re: Please tell me about power meter hubs

Postby thatbarguy » Mon Sep 09, 2013 12:39 pm

As I understand it they have re branded the power products. Everyone I know called them a PowerTap anyway.

CycleOps will cover all the trainer and non-power related options.
PowerTap will be for power based training products.

Both are still owned by the Saris Cycling Group.
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