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  1. #1
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    New Powertap G3 hubs?

    I'm looking into building a wheelset on these. I never thought I'd go with wheel-based power over crank-based, but since switching over to Campagnolo I am limited in crank-based power options unless I want to pay over $3k for the new Campagnolo/SRM cranks. That's just not going to happen, and I also don't want to put a SRAM/Quarq PM on my otherwise Campagnolo equipped bike.

    I have been wanting to build a 32/28 spoke aluminum clincher wheelset for training/solo rides anyways as I am still building up my Campagnolo gear collection, so this seems like a good opportunity to kill two birds with one stone.

    Anyone out there try the new G3 hubs? I like the new, smaller and lighter design and also the fact that it is more serviceable due to the electronics being in the end cap instead of inside the hub. The only thing I'm not crazy about is the matte black color (damn cycling fads)- I'd really like them in a polished silver, but whatever. Just looking for some real world experience here.

    Also, can anyone tell me what kind of rims the new factory CycleOps G3 aluminum wheelset uses? The complete wheelset is going for $1500 on eBay and weighs in at 1850 grams, which is more than reasonable for a 32-spoke training wheelset that measures power. I'm just trying to decide whether or not I should just buy the complete wheelset for $1500 or buy just the rear hub for $1300 (going to try and find it cheaper though) and then build it up with the rims and spokes of my choice. Whatcha think?

  2. #2
    jmX
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    Can get a custom built G3 hub'd rim from wheelbuilder.com for $1375 using a Velocity rim. Fancy spokes will add a bit extra of course.

    If you don't wanna go custom, those prebuilt powertap branded alloy rims are Velocity.

  3. #3
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    Have one built over getting a stock build. I have multiple friends on G3 factory builds that had to be rebuilt. They are noodles and pretty terrible. Get a hub and have it built to your specs.

  4. #4
    Boyd Cycling owner coachboyd's Avatar
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    A few things, the new G3 is really nice. It's definitely a step up in terms of quality from their previous hubs. The flange spacing on it is very good so if you have a good rim it should build into a very stiff wheel. With that many spokes there are a ton of rim options out there, it should build up to something very stiff and strong.
    But if you are going for that training wheelset with 28/32 spokes, you may want to keep your options open for the Pro hub. It won't be quite as stiff and the weight will be more but since you want this to be solid and are going with that high of a spoke count, adding some weight at the rear hub isn't a huge deal. This will help save you some money as well.

    Saris monitors MSRP really strict. They actually have somebody who scours the web everyday looking for people violating the pricing. You probably won't find the hubs listed for less than MSRP and if you do it will likely be taken down very quickly and there's potential for that company to lose their ability to deal with Saris (meaning it's harder to get service down the road if you need it).
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  5. #5
    Senior Member topflightpro's Avatar
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    OP, as an FYI, Frank at Frank's Cyclery on 70 near Brier Creek is a DT Swiss-certified wheel builder. I've had him repair wheels for me, and I'd trust him to build a set of wheels.

    Also, Jason at Back Alley Bikes in Chapel Hill also does a great job building wheels. He was running a winter special - $5 wheel builds. I'm not sure if that is still going on. I've had Jason build a set of wheels for me and repair wheels and trust his work fully.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for all the suggestions everyone.

    What model of Velocity rims are they using on the factory wheelsets? Hard to tell from the few pics on the internet.

  7. #7
    I eat carbide. Psimet2001's Avatar
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    They used to used to use Arrowheads, but I believe I saw early press releases that they were going to be A23's.

  8. #8
    Senior Member nathan84318's Avatar
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    Just got a pair yesterday and they do appear to be Velocity A23s
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  9. #9
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    I had mine built on a 28 hole fusion rim which was a mistake, its on the noodly side for sure. As far as the hub goes it has been excellent and very reliable. Batteries only last 3 weeks though regardless of the amount of use it seems. The freewheel is very nice and smooth and so far bearings are good too. Other than changing for a stiffer irm in the future I am very happy with my power tap

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by lazerzxr View Post
    I had mine built on a 28 hole fusion rim which was a mistake, its on the noodly side for sure. As far as the hub goes it has been excellent and very reliable. Batteries only last 3 weeks though regardless of the amount of use it seems. The freewheel is very nice and smooth and so far bearings are good too. Other than changing for a stiffer irm in the future I am very happy with my power tap
    3 weeks? For real? It's supposed to last 300 hours of riding. Something is probably wrong dude. You're talking about the new G3 hub, right?

    Also, why was your wheel noodly? I can't imagine a 28-hole wheel being noodly unless it was poorly built.
    Last edited by ilovecycling; 02-23-12 at 09:44 PM.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ilovecycling View Post
    3 weeks? For real? It's supposed to last 300 hours of riding. Something is probably wrong dude. You're talking about the new G3 hub, right?

    Also, why was your wheel noodly? I can't imagine a 28-hole wheel being noodly unless it was poorly built.
    +1 on three weeks battery life = something is wrong. I get at least 4 months or so out of my PT wheels (old versions) between battery changes with 10+ hours per week. If the new G3 is designed to only go 3 weeks on a battery, I'd be very suprised.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by grwoolf View Post
    If the new G3 is designed to only go 3 weeks on a battery, I'd be very suprised.
    It's definitely not designed to have a 3 week battery life. Something has to be wrong with lazer's hub.

  13. #13
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    My battery does indeed last 3 weeks. The G3 hub has a more powerful transmitter to send the signal through the hub shell hence less life. I get a battery low warning after the first week, it dies after 3 weeks. Otherwise the hub funcions perfectly. I do wonder how long it takes to switch off after use however if i stop on a ride the zero data seems to stop after about 10 minutes so i guess it is switching off.

    anyone else with a G3 that can confirm their battery life? I get about 40-50 hours ish
    Last edited by lazerzxr; 02-24-12 at 12:29 AM.

  14. #14
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    Oh and I think the noodly ride is due to the fusion rim, really not a very stiff rim, though it was built by a well thought of builder, i suspect he may not be as good as reports suggest

  15. #15
    jmX
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    3 weeks battery life means something is malfunctioning or they aren't using fresh Silver oxide batteries. I'm 225 hours in on my prev gen pro+ and still going strong. I'd contact the mfg about it.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmX View Post
    3 weeks battery life means something is malfunctioning or they aren't using fresh Silver oxide batteries. I'm 225 hours in on my prev gen pro+ and still going strong. I'd contact the mfg about it.
    Again. The old hubs have a weaker transmitter and windows in the hub shell, I think that includes your hub. The G3 has a more powerful transmitter and a solid hub shell so you cant really compare the two. Though the spec for the G3 says the battery will last 200 hours, my experience is rather less.

    I am using lithium batteries from a well known manufacturer. The first 3 batteries lasted about 3.5 weeks therefore to avoid loss of data i replace at 3 weeks. This has got me wondering if my hub has issues tho so I would like to hear from other G3 owners

    Are silver oxide batteries superior? I thought Lithium was the way to go?

  17. #17
    Senior Member halfspeed's Avatar
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    Battery life is, indeed, a G3 issue. When I first noticed it in November, Cycleops didn't know what was causing it. Since then, I've replaced two batteries on a bike that is used sparingly in Minnesota winters. Earlier this week I heard from Cycleops that they believe they have fixed a firmware bug that is causing this. The new firmware is being tested and if everything goes well, they'll have an update and instructions on applying it soon. You can contact Cycleops customer support email from their website if you have further questions.
    Telemachus has, indeed, sneezed.

  18. #18
    I eat carbide. Psimet2001's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by halfspeed View Post
    Battery life is, indeed, a G3 issue. When I first noticed it in November, Cycleops didn't know what was causing it. Since then, I've replaced two batteries on a bike that is used sparingly in Minnesota winters. Earlier this week I heard from Cycleops that they believe they have fixed a firmware bug that is causing this. The new firmware is being tested and if everything goes well, they'll have an update and instructions on applying it soon. You can contact Cycleops customer support email from their website if you have further questions.
    Cool. If you pull the G3 cap off you will see it has a mini-USB port on it. Makes firmware updates easy I would imagine. When talking to them about the G3 at Interbike I was told they would just send me a lot of caps to service customers if there was ever a problem. The intention is to simply mail a new cap and send the "old one" back. With that in mind I don't know if they actually plan on putting out a firmware updater, etc that consumers can use.

  19. #19
    Senior Member halfspeed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post
    Cool. If you pull the G3 cap off you will see it has a mini-USB port on it. Makes firmware updates easy I would imagine. When talking to them about the G3 at Interbike I was told they would just send me a lot of caps to service customers if there was ever a problem. The intention is to simply mail a new cap and send the "old one" back. With that in mind I don't know if they actually plan on putting out a firmware updater, etc that consumers can use.
    When I first mentioned the problem to them, they said they'd swap the cap, then they reversed course asked me to keep riding to see if the battery is truly running out or if the cap is just sending a bogus "battery low" indication to the head unit. Apparently, the battery is actually running down. We'll see what happens with the update.
    Telemachus has, indeed, sneezed.

  20. #20
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    Cool, I have contacted them and will let you know what they say also. I hope its just a case of downloading some software and plugging the cap into my computer. My batteries definately run flat, its not the unit reporting flat batteries in error.

    I would have no complaints about the hub at all if batteries lasted a genuine few months.

  21. #21
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    Ok further to the above post I have recieved a reply from the manufacturer and I have replaced the battery to accurately determine how long it takes to get the low battery warning so I have a good record of where i stand now.

    The hub reported a low battery after 5 hours use with a brand new battery. I did a 1 hour ride the day i replaced the battery and a 4 hour ride the following day, the next day I caliberated using the garmin and got the low battery warning before setting off. As I say I know the battery will keep going for 3 weeks but at least this way I can quickly determine if any service actions have had an effect.

    According to the reply I got, a firmware issue has been identified which is causing this problem and new firmware is being tested as I type, assuming the testing goes well it should be available in the next few weeks. Apparently I will be able to carry out this update myself using the USB port on the hub and will not need to send the unit back.

    Result! I thought this thing was just super power hungry and wondered why they didnt design it with 2 batteries in the first place. As I say it works perfectly so I assumed all was ok.

    Anyway I'll let ya know how the update goes. If it does indeed result in me getting 100s of hours out of a battery instead of 10s then I wont be able to fault the hub at all. Its an excellent piece of kit!

  22. #22
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    Firmware update is now available for download and self install. Ive just done it and so far all seems ok. I have 100+km planned for today so I'll see how it goes....

  23. #23
    jmX
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    Thanks for the update, I'd love to hear how it goes. This was one of my last hangups about getting a G3 powertap, my PRO+ lasted a year on the original batteries.

  24. #24
    Senior Member halfspeed's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, the firmware update tool is Windows only. Since my computers are all defenestrated, I've requested that they exchange my powercap for one with the correct firmware.
    Telemachus has, indeed, sneezed.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by halfspeed View Post
    Unfortunately, the firmware update tool is Windows only. Since my computers are all defenestrated, I've requested that they exchange my powercap for one with the correct firmware.
    You threw your computers out the window?

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