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4iiii Power Meter

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4iiii Power Meter

Old 02-17-15, 06:20 PM
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4iiii Power Meter

Any thoughts? A crank based power meter for $400 sounds good.

Too good to be true?

Discuss.
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Old 02-17-15, 06:23 PM
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I've read everything I can find about it and am waiting for real world reviews from production models (DCRainmaker should do a very thorough review) and then I need to decide if I want to buy a compatible aluminum crank, or wait for them to finish testing on carbon cranks if I decide to go that route.
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Old 02-17-15, 06:36 PM
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It's tempting for me to order preproduction at $350, but I am probably going to wait.
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Old 02-17-15, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by datlas
Any thoughts?
Every power meter currently on the market, and some that no longer are, had problems with their initial release. No exceptions. Some were able to survive and have matured into reliable products; others didn't and have disappeared. That leads to rule #1 about power meters: avoid low serial numbers.

Rule #2 about power meters is a special case of rule #1 : don't predicate a buying decision on an unreleased product. They don't yet even have a serial number.
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Old 02-17-15, 06:53 PM
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I haven't yet but I'm going to give them a shot. I have wired SRMs on Precision-compatible cranks (Cannondale SI) so I'll be running both for a while. Ultimately I'd like to be on Ant+ but since I can run both Ant+ and the wired SRM (except for HR) I'll run both for a while. If it works out I plan on getting the Precision for the less used bikes, mainly to see how the power profiles for the different styles of riding compare/contrast between, say, the mountain bike, the tandem, maybe the track bike (I haven't ridden it in a while), and my road bikes.

Also, as a disclaimer, 4iiii are giving away a Precision at the Series I promote. If I get one I won't get a discount and the $2k I just laid out on race numbers and worker's comp put a dent in my available funds.

Previously I got the Sportsiiis and found them reliable and usable. However without Ant+ I couldn't get power or HR (since I preferred to log those to the wired SRM) so I only had speed/cadence. Not ideal. If the Precision works I'll run an Ant+ computer head to log data, the Sportsiiiis to give me reference points/alarms, and be happy.
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Old 02-17-15, 07:00 PM
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i have also been keeping an eye on the 4iiii, and it seems like there isnt much besides dcrainmaker. it sure is cheap, which is the only thing its got going for it.

i also weighed the pros and cons of this power meter
pros
-cheap

cons
-its stuck on one crank forever, the pod is destroyed if you take it off
-it only measures left if you pay for the single pod version, add another 350 for the right crank pod= $750, much more expensive.
-only one strain gauge, not a huge deal to most people, but at $1000, the power2max measures left and right, has 4 strain gauges, and you can put it on a new crankset.
-doesn't work with cranks that arent smooth, such as rotor 3d..which is what i have, so you have to buy new cranks just to use it

it does seem like a good deal at first, but if you are like me and need a new crank just for it to work then the difference between the 4iiii and powertap, power2max becomes very small, plus you can take the powertap and power2max off without destroying it, or having to be tied to one crank.

we already pay thousands for our bikes, hundreds on parts and tools, hundreds if not thousands more for cloths and shoes, 400 dollars isnt all that much in the grand scheme of things

but thats just my opinion
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Old 02-17-15, 10:51 PM
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Originally Posted by greenlight149

i also weighed the pros and cons of this power meter
pros
-cheap

cons
-its stuck on one crank forever, the pod is destroyed if you take it off
-it only measures left if you pay for the single pod version, add another 350 for the right crank pod= $750, much more expensive.
-only one strain gauge, not a huge deal to most people, but at $1000, the power2max measures left and right, has 4 strain gauges, and you can put it on a new crankset.
-doesn't work with cranks that arent smooth, such as rotor 3d..which is what i have, so you have to buy new cranks just to use it

it does seem like a good deal at first, but if you are like me and need a new crank just for it to work then the difference between the 4iiii and powertap, power2max becomes very small, plus you can take the powertap and power2max off without destroying it, or having to be tied to one crank.
right on. this is also my argument for the PowerBeat.

my biggest issue is the transferability. I can't use Stages since I use those bottom bracket mounted brakes and I don't want to buy another set of brakes just to accommodate my PM.
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Old 02-18-15, 06:32 AM
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Full disclosure: I don't have a power meter. BUT I have studied up on them in a way to become knowledgeable enough to buy one. Who knows, I just may. Point is, based on the printed word and my ideas of how it would be used, I can't see any choice but Power Tap. At this time they are reasonably priced, at least competitive with other types, easily transferable between bikes, without left/right only issues, and quite importantly, well supported by the manufacturer. They match up well with a wide variety of head units and work reliably. I can see an issue if you have multiple bikes with different rear gear numbers, want to ride different types wheels on different types of rides, don't always want to ride the same rear wheel, etc. But having more than one Power Tap isn't more expensive than having more than one of the other types/brands. If I were buying today PT is how I would go. The only question is whether to rebuild a wheel I already own with one or buy a complete PT wheel as is.
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Old 02-18-15, 07:07 AM
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If it becomes successful it will be a great price point and hopefully drop some of the prices on other power meters.
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Old 02-18-15, 08:32 AM
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There was another thread in the track forum: 4iii offers a $400 Power Meter

They don't actually spell it out, but it appears their self install method ran into problems. Either it didn't work consistently, or they had parts shortages. They didn't plan for mailing in cranks, so I imagine it's quite complicated to get it up and running on such short notice. Things should settle down later in the year.

I posted this in the other thread:
From their facebook page, as of Jan 30:
As promised, here is what we plan to do to address the self-installation setbacks that we encountered in early January.

To ensure that you’re riding with affordable power as quickly as possible, we’ll be providing factory installations of Precision onto your compatible cranks at no additional cost.

Here’s how it’s going to work. We’ll provide you with the pre-paid addressed shipping box, instructions and a dummy pod to determine clearance. Then you will send us your crank, we will install Precision on your crank and calibrate your crank in-house and we will ship it right back to you.

Our target is to begin fulfilling our back orders in March. If you need to change or cancel your order please contact sales@4iiii.com.

The Precision Team

Last edited by rm -rf; 02-18-15 at 08:50 AM.
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Old 02-18-15, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by rm -rf
They don't actually spell it out, but it appears their self install method ran into problems.
Exactly. See post #4 above in this thread.
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Old 02-18-15, 09:34 AM
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Above comments appreciated.

I would consider a power meter but am on a budget. Additionally, I am generally not an early adopter and agree that there are risks to being one.

For now, I will go by HR and RPE for training. But keeping my eyes open. I do predict that there will be reliable power meters in the $300-500 range in the future, maybe another year or two.
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Old 02-18-15, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by datlas
Above comments appreciated.

I would consider a power meter but am on a budget. Additionally, I am generally not an early adopter and agree that there are risks to being one.

For now, I will go by HR and RPE for training. But keeping my eyes open. I do predict that there will be reliable power meters in the $300-500 range in the future, maybe another year or two.
This thread inspired me to look at other options and I came across this one. Looks to be affordable, it can be removed from the crank arms without damaging them or it, works with aluminum and carbon, and can be moved from bike to bike as long as you buy spare sensors to install on multiple bikes. This looks great to me.

WATTEAM | Makers of PowerBeat
Watteam?s PowerBeat: A first look at prototype/beta power data | DC Rainmaker
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Old 02-18-15, 10:03 AM
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Sounds great except, of course, for lacking serial numbers.
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Old 02-18-15, 10:20 AM
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The powerbeat looks interesting too, but I can see the strain gauge getting knocked off since its held on by super glue, which cures to a relatively brittle material and easily shattered. Epoxy can be brittle too, which is what 4iiii uses, but it's on the inside of the arm so you probably won't hit it.

It wont be out until the summer, or later, at which point indoor season will begin soon, and I can use virtual power, so personally I would wait until the next generation so they can sort out bugs.
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Old 02-18-15, 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by rpenmanparker
Full disclosure: I don't have a power meter. BUT I have studied up on them in a way to become knowledgeable enough to buy one. Who knows, I just may. Point is, based on the printed word and my ideas of how it would be used, I can't see any choice but Power Tap. At this time they are reasonably priced, at least competitive with other types, easily transferable between bikes, without left/right only issues, and quite importantly, well supported by the manufacturer. They match up well with a wide variety of head units and work reliably. I can see an issue if you have multiple bikes with different rear gear numbers, want to ride different types wheels on different types of rides, don't always want to ride the same rear wheel, etc. But having more than one Power Tap isn't more expensive than having more than one of the other types/brands. If I were buying today PT is how I would go. The only question is whether to rebuild a wheel I already own with one or buy a complete PT wheel as is.
I've gone this route. I didn't really want to race with my training wheels or vice versa. My teamate trains with his PT wheel mounted on his race wheels but this kid has money to burn.

As it stands I think the best solution there is I think is the Garmin Vector but it's too expensive. The S type is the cost of a complete 105/Rival Stages crank or a cheap FSA Power2Max crank.

Let's see the retail for the Xpedo Thrust E. If it's at $1000 I think I may go back training with power. For now, Pan-Y-Agua will suffice.

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Old 02-20-15, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by rpenmanparker
Full disclosure: I don't have a power meter. BUT I have studied up on them in a way to become knowledgeable enough to buy one. Who knows, I just may. Point is, based on the printed word and my ideas of how it would be used, I can't see any choice but Power Tap. <snip>
Ditto. I'm getting serious about training so I've done a bunch of research & came to the same conclusion. My plan is to double up & also treat myself to a decent carbon rim (& CX-Rays to hold everything together). Went to one of the custom guys that frequent the forums & he gave me a great price ...
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Old 02-21-15, 02:06 AM
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After an affordable and reliable powermeter,? Buy a used wired or even wireless SRM... Last unit I bought was another wired Octalink model for only just over $200 that will go on my winter training bike! Last wireless unit was a Dura ace 7850 unit I paid $730 for. Just need to keep a keen eye on Ebay and forums such as slowtwitch...

All my units have been bought second hand. Only issue I have had is one older wired FSA unit the spider cracked at a chainring bolt hole. SRM offered to replace the spider for a wireless one at a great price (well out of warranty and also not asked for proof that I was the original owner) but I ended up replacing with another used wireless unit bought even cheaper.
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Old 02-21-15, 07:19 AM
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Originally Posted by datlas
Above comments appreciated.

I would consider a power meter but am on a budget. Additionally, I am generally not an early adopter and agree that there are risks to being one.

For now, I will go by HR and RPE for training. But keeping my eyes open. I do predict that there will be reliable power meters in the $300-500 range in the future, maybe another year or two.
As mentioned above, waiting until they get all the kinks worked out would be a good plan to avoid some frustration. If you wait until all your snow melts, that will probably be mid-summer and give you more time to ponder.
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Old 02-21-15, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by FLvector
As mentioned above, waiting until they get all the kinks worked out would be a good plan to avoid some frustration. If you wait until all your snow melts, that will probably be mid-summer and give you more time to ponder.
Thanks for rubbing road salt into my cycling wounds.
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Old 02-21-15, 08:10 AM
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Btw I see some used powertap rear wheels on scambay that I would consider. But the listings say the power meters are "untested," I appreciate the candor but seems too risky to buy.

Will brood for now and wait for snow to melt.
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Old 02-21-15, 03:40 PM
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Originally Posted by rpenmanparker
Full disclosure: I don't have a power meter. BUT I have studied up on them in a way to become knowledgeable enough to buy one. Who knows, I just may. Point is, based on the printed word and my ideas of how it would be used, I can't see any choice but Power Tap. At this time they are reasonably priced, at least competitive with other types, easily transferable between bikes, without left/right only issues, and quite importantly, well supported by the manufacturer. They match up well with a wide variety of head units and work reliably. I can see an issue if you have multiple bikes with different rear gear numbers, want to ride different types wheels on different types of rides, don't always want to ride the same rear wheel, etc. But having more than one Power Tap isn't more expensive than having more than one of the other types/brands. If I were buying today PT is how I would go. The only question is whether to rebuild a wheel I already own with one or buy a complete PT wheel as is.
I have a PT set of Enve 3.4s and somehow I feel like I paid the same as a non PT 3.4 (or more) but sacrificed hub quality.. Even when comparing the DT Swiss 350. My wheels flex like crazy. To the point that I have my rear caliper open 90%. How knows, maybe I have a faulty set.

To my point, I think some people underestimate the importance of good quality hubs, and PT gives you power but not necessarily a quality hub (the new G3c may be improved). One of my next purchases will probably be a pioneer pm and a set of Dura Ace c50 tubulars.
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Old 02-21-15, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by lsberrios1
I have a PT set of Enve 3.4s and somehow I feel like I paid the same as a non PT 3.4 (or more) but sacrificed hub quality.. Even when comparing the DT Swiss 350. My wheels flex like crazy. To the point that I have my rear caliper open 90%. How knows, maybe I have a faulty set.

To my point, I think some people underestimate the importance of good quality hubs, and PT gives you power but not necessarily a quality hub (the new G3c may be improved). One of my next purchases will probably be a pioneer pm and a set of Dura Ace c50 tubulars.
I doubt the flex is from the PT hubs. I have both wired and G3 wheels and they are brick SH stiff. How can a hub flex enough to be noticeable. It sounds like you did not have enough spokes or you are superman.
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Old 02-21-15, 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by popeye
I doubt the flex is from the PT hubs. I have both wired and G3 wheels and they are brick SH stiff. How can a hub flex enough to be noticeable. It sounds like you did not have enough spokes or you are superman.
I guess you can say the latter. Well it rubs horrendously. I guess I'll send them back to see if they can fix them. They rub the pads like crazy and I hear them go "chuch, chuch, chuch".
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Old 02-21-15, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by lsberrios1
I have a PT set of Enve 3.4s and somehow I feel like I paid the same as a non PT 3.4 (or more) but sacrificed hub quality.. Even when comparing the DT Swiss 350. My wheels flex like crazy. To the point that I have my rear caliper open 90%. How knows, maybe I have a faulty set.

To my point, I think some people underestimate the importance of good quality hubs, and PT gives you power but not necessarily a quality hub (the new G3c may be improved). One of my next purchases will probably be a pioneer pm and a set of Dura Ace c50 tubulars.
Hubs don't significantly contribute to wheel flex. Pad rubbing usually comes from ultra-stiff rims combined with too few and/or too light spokes. The stiff rim doesn't bend at the horizontal diameter under load. Instead it rotates around the horizontal diameter and presses against the brake pad. A more flexible rim won't do this because it folds at the center. Stiffer spokes will prevent this. So your rims are too good and your spokes aren't good enough(stiffness-wise). The hubs have nothing to do with it. If anything the high flanges do help a little.
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