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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

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Old 03-08-14, 05:47 AM   #1
totalnewbie
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Pioneer Cyclo-Sphere power meter - version 2 to be out this Spring

I went to taipei cycling show today and noticed a booth marketing Pioneer Cyclo-Sphere Power Meter, which combines trip computer, power meter and analyzer for pedaling efficiency. Apparently the version one has been on sale for a while. and now they are coming out with version 2 at much lower price (less than US$1900 for both crank meter and computer.) Garmin Vector seems to get a lot of press as a new entry in the power meter field, but apparently this gizmo can do much more. Very excited about this.
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Old 03-08-14, 02:49 PM   #2
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I went to taipei cycling show today and noticed a booth marketing Pioneer Cyclo-Sphere Power Meter, which combines trip computer, power meter and analyzer for pedaling efficiency. Apparently the version one has been on sale for a while. and now they are coming out with version 2 at much lower price (less than US$1900 for both crank meter and computer.) Garmin Vector seems to get a lot of press as a new entry in the power meter field, but apparently this gizmo can do much more. Very excited about this.
I've been following Pioneer's efforts for a couple months now, and a lower price would be nice. I've been playing with their related website, Cyclo-Sphere, for data upload/analysis, but if you neglect the left/right power data, there are better ones out there (personal fav is Cycling Analytics out of Australia) or Strava just because it helps track improvement over specific segments.

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Old 03-08-14, 04:51 PM   #3
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Yes, I think the 12 point per side output analysis would be very interesting to track for training purposes. The display, though, and the Cyclosphere look clunky though. Unfortunately, I can't see myself needing power data on that level, so I'll probably never get the system (unless my income spikes dramatically!).
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Old 03-09-14, 05:52 AM   #4
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Garmin Vector seems to get a lot of press as a new entry in the power meter field, but apparently this gizmo can do much more. Very excited about this.
The Garmin units should be capable of doing this; the data collection process is the same. Hopefully, at some point Garmin will bother to implement it in their software and head units.
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Old 03-09-14, 08:34 AM   #5
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I've been following Pioneer's efforts for a couple months now, and a lower price would be nice. I've been playing with their related website, Cyclo-Sphere, for data upload/analysis, but if you neglect the left/right power data, there are better ones out there (personal fav is Cycling Analytics out of Australia) or Strava just because it helps track improvement over specific segments.
Still cheaper?! They're not going to give it away, you know? 1900 for PM PLUS computer. That's pretty damn good. You have to also understand where this PM fits in the market, which is as a top tier PM to compete with SRM. It's not an alternative for stages. In that light, and for guys like me who really really wish they could ride shimano chainrings and don't want to drop down thousands on Archaic technology like the SRM, this is an awesome option. Try to price a DA9000 SRM and a PC8. It's going to be a little more than $1900. I'm actually happy now with my Quarq Elsa and praxis rings, but if anything ever happened to one of my Quarqs, they better give me a killer deal on a new one, or I'm jumping ship and going to Pioneer. Finally, Strava is FAR from the best power analysis software out there.
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Old 03-09-14, 12:36 PM   #6
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Still cheaper?! They're not going to give it away, you know? 1900 for PM PLUS computer. That's pretty damn good.
That depends on your disposable income and/or how badly you need it.

While I accept that these items are not cheap, I can also see how $2000 is a lot of scratch for a lot of people. And of course, there is always a lot of pressure to lower prices, that's just normal behavior.
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Old 03-09-14, 01:14 PM   #7
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Power meters are part of the cycling rip off conspiracy. There is no reason why they should cost more than 300$, after all they serve one single purpose, unlike a smartphone, for example. the technology is not space age either.
nice to see more and more players in the game tho, will out pressure on the current producers to lower prices.
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Old 03-09-14, 01:42 PM   #8
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Power meters are part of the cycling rip off conspiracy. There is no reason why they should cost more than 300$, after all they serve one single purpose....
For Pioneer, they're selling you a crankset, two very precise strain gauges, a wireless GPS-enabled head unit, and software. With Ultegra, that's $1550 -- and at least $200 of that is probably just for the crankset.

Nor does "single purpose" mean it ought to be cheap. Users demand that they be highly accurate, robust, and impervious to bad weather. This not only means high tolerances in manufacturing, but extensive R&D. They also have to market the device, and manufacture enough to meet demand -- which could be well below their expectations. None of this is cheap.

Plus, the target market is small, and relatively inelastic. Even if power meters were $300, they probably wouldn't sell that much more than they do now. They're too complicated and hard to use for most cyclists.

Let's not forget that a lot of "multipurpose" devices, like smartphones, are frequently subsidized by the cell carrier. E.g. an iPhone 5s would cost you around $650 without a contract. The reason it "only" costs $200 with a contract is because the remaining $450 comes out of your monthly fees during that 2 year term.

Last but not least: If someone really could make a highly accurate, weather-proof, robust power meter with a head unit and software, and sell it for $300, and make a profit, then someone would do it by now. There is simply no way there could be an international conspiracy to charge people unjustifiable prices for power meters.
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Old 03-09-14, 04:23 PM   #9
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For Pioneer, they're selling you a crankset, two very precise strain gauges, a wireless GPS-enabled head unit, and software. With Ultegra, that's $1550 -- and at least $200 of that is probably just for the crankset.

Nor does "single purpose" mean it ought to be cheap. Users demand that they be highly accurate, robust, and impervious to bad weather. This not only means high tolerances in manufacturing, but extensive R&D. They also have to market the device, and manufacture enough to meet demand -- which could be well below their expectations. None of this is cheap.

Plus, the target market is small, and relatively inelastic. Even if power meters were $300, they probably wouldn't sell that much more than they do now. They're too complicated and hard to use for most cyclists.

Let's not forget that a lot of "multipurpose" devices, like smartphones, are frequently subsidized by the cell carrier. E.g. an iPhone 5s would cost you around $650 without a contract. The reason it "only" costs $200 with a contract is because the remaining $450 comes out of your monthly fees during that 2 year term.

Last but not least: If someone really could make a highly accurate, weather-proof, robust power meter with a head unit and software, and sell it for $300, and make a profit, then someone would do it by now. There is simply no way there could be an international conspiracy to charge people unjustifiable prices for power meters.
Im not includi g the subsidy for the multi purpose devices...i said 300 but yeah more like 600, still FAR cry from some powermeters
you other arguments stand except the last one.
because cycling demand is inelastic, kinda like the demand for bugattis, you said it and i totally agree, ppl dont care what they spend, and that is why the power meter developers are charging so high. Cyclists are a rich bunch, especially the type A boys who train with power....
BUT
you could easily develop a weatherproof, shockproof etc oower meter for 300$, THAT IS A FACT
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Old 03-09-14, 05:36 PM   #10
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Well, what are you doing sitting around posting in forums? Develop and market that puppy and join Uli and the ladies in the hot tub!!
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Old 03-20-14, 06:56 PM   #11
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Economy of scale? Everyone has a smartphone.
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Old 03-20-14, 07:25 PM   #12
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you could easily develop a weatherproof, shockproof etc oower meter for 300$, THAT IS A FACT
You are talking out of your ass, THAT IS A FACT.
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Old 03-20-14, 07:26 PM   #13
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Zip ties for 2k equal fail.
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Old 03-20-14, 07:27 PM   #14
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You are talking out of your ass, THAT IS A FACT.
Really? Have you priced oower meters?
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Old 03-20-14, 07:40 PM   #15
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Zip ties for 2k equal fail.
Zip ties are gone on the new version.
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Old 03-20-14, 10:27 PM   #16
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This one is currently my favorite option, unless Garmin comes out with a Speedplay version of the Vector. And if you know the history you know that's totally do-able.
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Old 03-20-14, 10:58 PM   #17
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Power meters are part of the cycling rip off conspiracy. There is no reason why they should cost more than 300$, after all they serve one single purpose, unlike a smartphone, for example. the technology is not space age either.
nice to see more and more players in the game tho, will out pressure on the current producers to lower prices.
You're probably too young to remember the portable (and I use that term loosely) cell phones which sold for approx $4,000 in the early '80s. After the industry has collectively sold a few hundred million powermeters they'll be as inexpensive as smartphones.
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Old 03-20-14, 11:42 PM   #18
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Lots of misinformation here...

1. SRM is archaïc technology? SRM is focused on accuracy and reliability, which is what really matters when you spend up to 10h a week on the trainer (like I do for some reason)...

2. Yes, a power meter is certainly not rocket science and my Powertap Elite+ is proof of that (four years and 1000's of hours). And yes, I'm a software engineer having direct experience with this kind of devices.

*But* the comparison to smartphone is bogus (anyone who has tried to seriously use a smartphone to log and display power data knows better)... And obviously economics of scale apply...
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Old 03-21-14, 06:08 AM   #19
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This one is currently my favorite option, unless Garmin comes out with a Speedplay version of the Vector. And if you know the history you know that's totally do-able.
No technical reason it can't be done, but it may never be done because it's extremely difficult to deal with Richard Byrne.
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Old 03-21-14, 06:14 AM   #20
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Power meters are part of the cycling rip off conspiracy.
Saris, SRM, SRAM, Pioneer, Garmin, Power to Max, Rotor, Wellgo, Stages and Brim are all conspiring to fix prices?

If anyone could make a power meter and sell it at a profit for $300, they would make a heck of a lot of money.

In addition to antitrust laws, such cartels just don't work due to the different economic incentives, and cost structures of the players. Take introductory Macro Economics.
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Old 03-21-14, 06:18 AM   #21
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you could easily develop a weatherproof, shockproof etc oower meter for 300$, THAT IS A FACT
If it's so easy go ahead and do it.

A reliable power meter that interfaces with an affordable head unit is something that would fly off the shelves.

If I could find a power meter built into a rear hub, that was weatherproof, shockproof, reliable etc and it cost $300 I'd have ordered one by now. The only reason I don't use a powermeter on my bike is because I don't want to pay north of $1000 for the hub alone.
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Old 03-21-14, 06:26 AM   #22
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If I could find a power meter built into a rear hub, that was weatherproof, shockproof, reliable etc and it cost $300 I'd have ordered one by now. The only reason I don't use a powermeter on my bike is because I don't want to pay north of $1000 for the hub alone.
Wired Powertaps in good condition, with a complete wheel routinely sell for under $300.

You can get a wireless PowerTap G3 Hed Belgium C2 Rear Wheel new from Excel sports right now for $889.
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Old 03-21-14, 06:39 AM   #23
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Saris, SRM, SRAM, Pioneer, Garmin, Power to Max, Rotor, Wellgo, Stages and Brim are all conspiring to fix prices?

If anyone could make a power meter and sell it at a profit for $300, they would make a heck of a lot of money.

In addition to antitrust laws, such cartels just don't work due to the different economic incentives, and cost structures of the players. Take introductory Macro Economics.
Wtf are you talking about?
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Old 03-21-14, 06:41 AM   #24
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If it's so easy go ahead and do it.

A reliable power meter that interfaces with an affordable head unit is something that would fly off the shelves.

If I could find a power meter built into a rear hub, that was weatherproof, shockproof, reliable etc and it cost $300 I'd have ordered one by now. The only reason I don't use a powermeter on my bike is because I don't want to pay north of $1000 for the hub alone.
Google strain gauge. Thats all it is, more or less
and look at what stages has done with their new unit. Its like 700$. Well get there, in 2-4 years ill bet
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Old 03-21-14, 06:49 AM   #25
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Yes, I think the 12 point per side output analysis would be very interesting to track for training purposes.
Why? What are you going to do with the data?

I've had right/left Power balance for over a year, and don't track it. My power balance is typically within a fraction of 1% of even. All the power meters on the market have a greater margin of error than that.

I've talked to Chris Carmichael, and other CTS coaches about power balance, and they don't find it useful, unless there's a major descrepency, such as from an injury, but you'd know that without a power meter.

Drilling down further into phases of the pedal stroke seems even less productive.

There's lab data in other threads on here that show that precise pedal mechanics (pulling up, ankling, etc.) don't change performance of the rider.

So I think you're going to get some gee wiz data with this, that isn't going to affect how you train.
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