PowerTap’s hub-based power meters have been on the market for 15 years, the G3 being the current version. We’ve always found PowerTaps to give good, consistent data and the G3 is no exception, tracking consistently within a few watts of an SRM power meter.
It seems to handle temperature fluctuations better than previous models – and we’re confident the data we’re getting is good enough to trust from the go.
The G3 is very easy to set up, communicating with a head unit via ANT+. Pairing and zeroing the torque takes a couple of minutes and that’s it. It uses a CR2032 battery – claimed life is 300 hours, but we’d typically get 120.
We subjected the hubs to some pretty serious abuse and found the bearings, which have been a weak point of PowerTaps, held up well. As for the electronics, in one of the four units we tested, we found that after an initial four months of stability, the zero offset drifted down from 506 (512+/-12 is within spec) to around 450 over a few months. This didn’t appear to affect the data – it was a slow drift, so zeroing each day seemed sufficient to keep everything on the level – but we were advised to return the unit as it was out of spec. This would have been covered by warranty had we bought it.
The PowerTap G3 doesn’t give you a major weight penalty compared with a normal hub, with a claimed weight of 325g, around 80g more than a good quality rear hub. We tested a complete wheelset (with ENVE 45mm carbon clinchers) that weighed 1,200g (rear) 750g (front) including skewers.
If you are thinking about a PowerTap, then you’ll likely have to decide between a racing or training wheel, or just use one for both. If you're after something fancy, the G3 ENVE 45mm wheelset tested here will fit the bill, albeit at a price of £2399/$US3935.99. For training, the G3 alloy clincher offers good value with a rear wheel only costing £699/$US950.
- Weight: 1,200g (rear), 750g (front), including skewers (for complete wheelset)
- What’s included: PowerTap G3 hubs built into ENVE 45mm carbon clinchers
- Component type: Hub-based
- Battery type: CR2032
- Battery life: 120 hours
- Data transmission: ANT+, Bluetooth
- L/R balance: No