PowerTap is back.
Over the last few years, PowerTap has quietly flown under the radar as other companies have made various forays and advancements in the power meter sector, but the brand was far from dormant during that time. The engineers over in Madison were busy putting the finishing touches on the brand new C1 Chainrings and Sensors, which demonstrate that PowerTap is still very much a relevant member of the market. Rather than clinging to its hub-based power measurement and proclaiming it as the only power standard worth paying attention to, PowerTap now offers a chainring and pedal option. Based on the C1 Chainrings' simple setup, accessible price tag, and accuracy, we'd predict it'll become an important new player in the market.
The Chainrings are manufactured by FSA as a one-piece design in three different teeth configurations, but a caveat to consider is that the chainrings are only compatible with five-bolt 110mm bolt circle diameters, so they won't work with every crankset on the market right now. We'd imagine this will change in the future as PowerTap gets through the C1's initial introduction then refines its design to offer more options, and it's a small price to pay for the affordability of the system if you're already using compatible crank arms.
Once mounted, the chainring divides the stroke in half to measure left and right-side power, a feature not commonly included on power meters in this price range, and it uses motion-based electronics to keep the system from adding bulk to your frame with multiple sensors. While you're pedaling, a built-in accelerometer records cadence as well. According to PowerTap, the system calculates power with the brand's standard +/-1.5% accuracy, and it auto-zeroes as soon as pedaling stops to eliminate the need to pedal in reverse in the middle of a ride. For added convenience, the chainring is compatible with both ANT+ and Bluetooth SMART, so once it's set up, you can head out for a ride without a lengthy setup using your existing head unit.
- Chainring system measures power from your crankset
- Splits pedal stroke to approximate dual-sided power
- Zeroes-out on its own as soon as pedaling stops
- Compatible with major bike computers and head units