CycleOps new PowerTap G3 and Pro, head units and wheels

Power meter line slimmed to two, offered with Enve carbon and Velocity alloy rims

CycleOps Power, a division of the Saris Cycling Group, showed their brand new PowerTap power meters, the G3 and Pro, along with two new head units, Joule and Joule GPS, at Lifeboat Events Press Camp in Park City, Utah. The manufacturer also announced they will offer pre-built carbon and alloy wheelsets that incorporate their power meters.

The power meter line is slimmed to just the two models mentioned, both of which are brand new. The PowerTap G3 is designed with high-performance in mind, while the Pro model focused on lowering the cost of entry to an ANT+ based meter.

The G3, which will be available in August, features a smaller hub shell than any of PowerTap’s previous models, but one with wider flanges. The 5mm of extra width is said to bolster both wheel stiffness and durability.

The PowerTap G3 with CycleOps front hub

The carbon ‘windows’ of the old PowerTap SL+ 2.4 model, which were originally needed to allow the signal to transmit through the hub shell, are gone. Signal strength has been bolstered in the last few years so that it can transmit through the shell, however, the new hubs move all of their transmitting electronics the outer housing on the non-drive side of the shell.

“We wanted to make it easier to work on should something go wrong,” Steve Chapin, CycleOps’ marketing director told BikeRadar. “We’ve taken the electronic transmitting unit from the inside to the outside… in terms of serviceability it’s a great improvement.”

Moving the transmitter to the outside of the hub not only allows for a smaller hub shell, it makes service so much easier. The sealed transmission unit can be removed in less than 25 seconds, which allows CycleOps to service, or send a new transmitter to those with problems without the need to ship the wheel.

Despite losing the windows and adding hubshell width, the new 325g (claimed) G3 hub is over 80g lighter than the previous SL+, which offers the ability to build the rear wheel as light as those built without PowerTap hubs. Alone the G3 costs US$1,299, and comes without any head unit.

The PowerTap Pro is meant for those with cost in mind when buying a power meter. While considerably heavier at roughly 425g, it offers the same features that offers a ± 1.5% accuracy and the same style external transmitter, which comes with the same ease of serviceability as the G3 model. All of this, however, is packaged in the larger old style hubshell.

It’s up to the rider to decide if the 100g difference is worth the $500 difference in price, as the PowerTap Pro hub costs just $799.

CycleOps wheelsets

CycleOps will offer six wheelsets built with PowerTap power meters and PowerTap branded front hubs. The Pro model hub will be offered as a single wheelset option built with Velocity’s A23 rims and DT Swiss Competition butted spokes, is claimed to weigh 1,950g and will cost $999.

The G3 hub is the basis for the other five wheelsets, starting with a like alloy model built with the same components as the Pro wheelset. The G3 alloy set costs $1,499 and weighs 1,850g.

CycleOps 45mm Enve carbon clincher

Beyond the alloy ‘training’ wheels, CycleOps will offer four carbon wheelsets with built using Enve’s 45mm and 65mm rims in both tubular and clincher versions. All four wheelsets will cost $2,999 each, including DT Swiss Aerolite spokes, skewers and carbon brake pads; bags are not included.

The wheelsets are claimed to weigh 1,250g for the tubular 45mm rim and 1,540g for the clincher version. The 65mm tubular set weighs 1,365g, while the clincher version tips the scale at 1,625g. The wheelsets are handbuilt in the US by Quality Bicycle Products.

Joule and PowerCal computers

CycleOps has discontinued the Joule 2.0, which cost between $400 and $450 depending on the package, in favor to the new Joule at $179 and a GPS enabled unit called Joule GPS, which costs $279. The new head units incorporate feedback from riders on everything from the size to the style; they also include five more metrics, which Chapin would not divulge. He did say that ease of use is drastically improved, as is the price. The new units will be available in December.

The new Joule (left) and Joule GPS prototypes

Along with the new PowerTap head units, CycleOps took the opportunity to show the PowerCal power meter, which derives power through use of a heart rate based algorithm.

“Lab tests have shown a very consistent correlation between heart rate and power indoors, the correlation is almost one-to-one,” said Chapin. “The problem is that there’s all sorts of variables outside, hills, heat, etcetera. What we’ve done over the last few years is to analyze literally thousands of ride files and we’ve been able to identify and establish trends in instances where there’s a deviation in the correlation between heart rate and power and we’ve taken it one step further by building algorithms that identify those trends.”

The data analysis, subsequent algorithms and programming allowed CycleOps to build the PowerCal, which will sell for $199. “It’s not going to replace a PowerTap,” said Chapin, but it allows riders to have conversations about training and power who don’t have power meters.

The PowerCal must be initially calibrated for a rider using a power meter and a specific protocol in which heart rate and power information are captured then uploaded to the PowerCal unit. The unit is currently in trial at the University of Colorado to validate its accuracy. Chapin estimated the PowerCal’s accuracy to be between 5- and 10-percent based on CycleOps testing.

Training Camp software, too

CycleOps Training Camp is now online and live, the site is set up as a ‘share and compare’ site for power meter and GPS users, where they can compare to other riders in their area, across the country or globe. CycleOps also has their sponsored pros uploading to the platform allowing regular Joes’ to see how they stack up to the pros’ efforts.

Right now the site is set up to compare average and max metrics, while the GPS mapping component will be timed to launch with the Joule computers in December.

One interesting advantage to Training Camp over Garmin Connect or Map My Ride or Strava is that it allows routes and workouts to easily be reused by downloading them to CycleOps PowerBeam Pro trainer.

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