Just announced, the Watteam Powerbeat is a new crank based power meter that enables you to keep your existing crank and pedals.
The most intriguing factor, however, is the price. With the unit pegged to cost just US$499 (UK / Aus prices TBC) the Watteam Powerbeat is set to be the most affordable power meter on the market.
The Powerbeat, a claimed 24g per side, measures left and right power independently. Inside the weatherproof housing can be found strain gauges, accelerometers and gyroscopes (not too dissimilar from the Garmin Vector). According to Watteam these – together with a proprietary algorithm – provide for accurate readings of normalised, average and max power.
“Built from rods and springs, our worldwide patented sensor attaches easily to both of your crank arms. It senses your pedal stroke up to the millisecond, recording the direct and immediate torque that you apply,” the manufacturer said.
Watteam stated the Powerbeat is compatible with all cranks, both alloy and carbon. This point is interesting to us, with both Stages and Pioneer having previously communicated that the structure of carbon lacks the required consistency for ultimate accuracy.
Broadcasting in both ANT+ and low energy Bluetooth, live power readings can be viewed through smartphone apps available through Google Play and the App store, as well as any cycling computer compatible with an ANT+ signal.
User friendliness is somthing power meter manufacturers have struggled with – some have even required a trained mechanic for battery changes and installation. Watteam said that, equipped with their instruction manuals and walkthrough Youtube videos, anyone can install and calibrate the unit. Using a replaceable 3.6 volt battery, the Powerbeat has a claimed runtime of 360 hours.
Testing will prove whether this promising device is ready to go against its more expensive rivals. Its release date is yet to be announced, but we'll update you with more news as and when we have it.