The power meter market is heating up yet again, this time with a brand-new pedal-based entry from Xpedo. Set for an official release at this week's Taipei Cycle Show, the new Thrust E power meter pedals promise a very user-friendly design, a reasonably low weight, and a price point that won't require a second mortgage.
Much like the recently introduced Garmin Vector, the Xpedo Thrust E will measure power more or less directly where it's applied: at the pedal body. Whereas the Vector uses a multi-directional strain gauge array on the spindle, the Thrust E will pack the sensor into the contact surface underneath the cleat.
In this way, the Thrust E won't be able to discern the magnitude of the force applied and its direction like the admittedly feature-packed Vector. The Thrust E will, however, measure and display independent left and right power outputs, which is likely more than enough for many riders anyway.
Another key difference is the packaging. Whereas the Vector houses its wireless transmitters and batteries in separate 'pods', Xpedo has managed to squeeze everything – including cadence sensors – right into the pedal body itself for a much cleaner look. The all-in-one design should make for a more straightforward (and less error-prone) installation process, plus we expect the Thrust E will be easier to transfer between different bikes. The ubiquitous ANT+ wireless protocol will offer head unit compatibility with popular options like Garmin and Wahoo Fitness, too.
Xpedo's new Thrust E power meter pedals will work with Look KéO cleats
Garmin does beat the Thrust E in terms of weight but only just barely. Xpedo says its new power meter pedals will weigh 385g per pair, including batteries but without the Look KéO-compatible cleats. For comparison, similarly configured Vectors are only 34g lighter at 351g per pair.
Xpedo does look to have packed some solid durability into the Thrust E pedal design, so that extra weight may be well spent. Bodies are made of forged aluminum and rotate around chromoly spindles on three cartridge bearings apiece. Claimed battery life is 150-190 hours – and when they run low, the lithium-ion cells are recharged, not replaced.
All of the electronics are tucked on to the pedal body itself
Xpedo has yet to announce pricing or a release date but according to brand manager Ken Yamakoshi, the company is, "trying to make it more affordable compared to the other systems."
We'll have full details from Taipei so stay tuned for more.