As you know if you read road.cc regularly, there are more power meter options than ever before, and with the growing choice comes more accessible prices. But by far the cheapest we’ve yet come across is the new Watteam Powerbeat Single. It’s priced at just $259 - it's going to be available in the UK but we're just waiting on the UK prices, we'll update as soon as we get them.
There’s also a Dual version, providing left and right leg power and balance data, for $399. And if you have two bikes, they’re offering two Dual power meters for $699. Even if the sterling price is close to the dollar price, those are appealing prices compared to the current options in the increasingly crowded power meter market.
We first reported on the Watteam Powerbeat back in 2014. The US company has developed a power meter that simply clips onto the pedal axle, and can be used with any crankset. It reckons self-installation is a hassle-free task, but if you don’t want to fit it yourself, the alternative is to send your crank to Watteam and for $99 (with free shipping) they’ll install it for you.
As well as the supposedly simple installation and compatibility with any aluminium crankset, it’s very light, a claimed 24g per pod. As with most power meters, it’s using ANT+ and Bluetooth to relay the data to a suitable app or training program. The rechargeable battery is claimed to be good for 60 hours of use.
The Powerbeat Single is a single power meter, like Stages, that measures power from the left leg only. It can be upgraded to a dual-sided power meter at a later date if you need more data. It doesn't look quite as compact as the Stages solution, and we're sure some of you will have concerns about the durability of the pod being exposed above the crankarm.
The Powerbeat Dual is the company’s flagship power meter. With a pod on each crankarm it can independently measure left and right leg power, provide balance data and torque efficiency.
“Watteam PowerBeat uses the most advanced strain gauge technology, along with an optimized processor, accelerators and gyros to accurately detect your power output,” says Watteam.
“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.
“Our sensor then feeds the data to our patented algorithm, located inside the comp unit, where it is translated into accurate power data.
“The Comp Unit, once attached to each of your pedals, transmits the data to your smartphone via ANT+ or low power Bluetooth or to your cycling computer, enabling live tracking of your energy output.”
Obviously, the Powerbeat has piqued our interest, and we’re hoping to get one in for a test soon so we can see if it works and how consistent and accurate it is compared to other power meters currently available. They will be available in the UK but we're just waiting for details on availability and pricing, we'll update this article as soon as we find out. More at https://watteam.com/
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.