Powermeters have become an essential part of many cyclists' training armamentariums over the past several years and, as mentioned in a previous blog entry, I've been thinking about buying one for quite some time now. Especially since, as my previous blog entry notes, I am weak. But there are several reasons why I've hesitated on investing in one. Luckily, there's a new product that's coming to market in 2011 that I am extremely excited about. Metrigears (now a subsidiary of Garmin) is expecting to launch Vector, their pedal-based powermeter, in 2011.
A pedal-based powermeter system addresses many of the reasons why I've hesitated:
- Price - Most powermeters are $2000+, which is not an insignificant amount of money to lay out. The Vector system is hoped to end up at less than $1000, which would make it more accessible to many more cyclists.
- Convenience - Like the other crank-based systems (and unlike Powertap), it lets the rider use different wheelsets for different conditions. That's a huge plus, especially for people like me who can't change their wheelsets without making a total mess of myself. It's surprising that I should never touch the chain yet my hands end up covered in grease.
- ANT+ protocol - Using this protocol lets anybody with a cycling computer that accepts ANT+ signals to monitor their power output. Quarq, Garmin, VDO all have relatively cheap computers that can then give you power data. (I love my Edge 500.)
- More data - Because the powermeters are fitted to each pedal, you will be able to get independent power readings from your right and left legs (as well as combined power). The pedal will also have an accelerometer built in so it'll be able to measure cadence as well. I'm totally looking forward to getting both the power and cadence data for each of my legs: "WEAK, SLOW, WEAK, SLOW, WEAK, SLOW...."
- Weight - The entire system is expected to weigh about 50 grams. For those of us who are weight weenies. Yes, I know that I should just lose the 5kg off my gut before I worry about the weight of the powermeter.