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Video: Affordable IQ² power meter smashes funding target

Could the era of low-cost power measurement finally be on the way?

The IQ² pedal-based power meter has smashed its funding target on Kickstarter with a campaign that continues until 24th March. You need to pledge €149 (around £131) to be in line for a single-side only power meter, or €249 (around £219) for both sides. Pledges already total well over five times the campaign target. 

Check out our article: How to choose a cycling power meter. 

The IQ² – pronounced ‘IQ Square’ – power meter is a device that is installed between the crank arm and pedal and is powered by a replaceable CR2032 coin cell with a runtime of around 200 hours. 

As you cycle, the downward force on the pedal causes a tiny bending of the titanium adaptor that is positioned between the crank arm and the pedal. This movement is measured by a strain gauge and forms the basis of the power calculation.

iq2_-_1.jpg

The Dutch team behind IQ² says that the thin film strain gauge it uses is entirely different from that found in rival products.

“Instead of being hand-glued, it requires no human interaction because it is directly deposited on the surface of the part, molecularly bonded and trimmed by laser,” says the IQ² team. “All our strain gauges are exactly the same when they come out the production process. It's a revolutionary technology used in situations with zero error tolerance, such as in medical, military and harsh environments.”

The lack of human involvement helps to keep the cost down, as does the fact that the IQ² doesn’t replace an existing part on your bike, such as a chainset or pair of pedals.

Installation seems simple with the adaptor screwing to the crank arm. The power meter itself looks a little like the pod on the early Garmin Vector power meter pedals, but unlike with that system it lines up with the crank arm rather than extending forward.

The IQ² system does increase your effective Q factor (the horizontal distance between where your pedals attach to the cranks, or your stance width) by a total of 32mm (16mm per side; if you use a single-sided power meter you’ll need to use a spacer on the opposite side). You might notice that, especially if you go for the dual-sided system. If you ride a typical road bike, that might take your Q factor up to that of a typical mountain bike. 

The IQ² takes up to 2,000 samples per second and sends data via Bluetooth and ANT+ so you can have it displayed on a wide variety of different bike computers and smartphone apps.

This data is transmitted:

• Total power 
• Left/right balance (when using left and right power meter) 
• Torque effectiveness 
• Pedal smoothness 
• Cadence

The team behind IQ² claims an accuracy level of +/-1%, although it does not say what power/cadence that refers to. The unit has continuous temperature compensation meaning that accuracy won’t be affected if conditions change over the course of a ride. 

Each unit has a claimed weight of 29.7g. For comparison, a single-sided Stages system adds about 20g to the weight of your crank. It has an IP67 waterproof rating – it can withstand being dropped in a meter of water for half an hour – and a maximum rider weight limit of 110kg (17st 5lb). The eventual RRP for a single-sided unit is expected to be €199 (about £175).

Find out six reasons you should use a power meter. 

Of course, all the usual Kickstarter rules apply – it isn’t like going to a shop and buying a product. The team says that it has a tested prototype in place, along with technology partners, production factories and shipping. Delivery is estimated for September 2018, but that isn’t guaranteed.

Check out the IQ² Kickstarter campaign here or head over to the IQ² website for more information

Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

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15 comments

Avatar
davel | 5 years ago
0 likes

Urgh, put the mask back on, robobike.

If the product ever materialises at <£200, it'll be a gamechanger and, at that price, pretty bargainous anyway. Don't see the point in backing this, given how notoriously difficult it is to turn these products from 'pipe dream' into 'reality'.

Avatar
barongreenback | 5 years ago
1 like

The cycling media seem to be absolutely wetting themselves over a product that hasn't seen any real world testing.  I really hope they succeed but the dangers of purchasing a version 1 product are far too great.  Personally, I'm content that others are risking their cash so that I can buy a more reliable version further down the line.

Avatar
philhubbard | 5 years ago
0 likes

No one seems to have mentioned the extra 16mm of the Q-Factor, okay for most folk but people with knee/fit issues may have to look elsewhere

Avatar
barongreenback replied to philhubbard | 5 years ago
0 likes

philhubbard wrote:

No one seems to have mentioned the extra 16mm of the Q-Factor, okay for most folk but people with knee/fit issues may have to look elsewhere

 

For me, fantastic as I've got massive duck feet so I already have to buy extended axles!  But yes, you wonder why no-one else has tried this approach before - the market who will look at power meters are probably concerned with Q factor more than the casual cyclist and therefore will have a problem with this.  Of course you can buy differenth length axles but then you're adding more cost and more hassle.

Someone will introduce a truly universal swappable system one day but I'm sceptical that this is it (at least in its current form).

Avatar
kitkat | 5 years ago
2 likes

What you think a tested prototype look like:

//www.iqsquare.com/webimages/images/Powermeter%20open.jpg)

What a tested prototype actually looks like (thank DC Rainmaker)

//media.dcrainmaker.com/images/2018/04/image-23.png)

They've too far to go at the moment to convince me that this is a project worth backing

Avatar
lolol | 5 years ago
0 likes

Interested, but I'll wait until its on the shelves, having shelled out nearly three years ago for my Helix folding bike, still waiting; and the knog bell, bit shit and cheaper in the shops when it landed.

Avatar
Team EPO | 5 years ago
0 likes

Just remember folks you have no consumer rights with Kickstarter.  I funded a Zwatt powermeter that was faulty and got no refund or replacement from Zwatt whilst Kickstarter said not their problem.  Caveat emptor...

Avatar
check12 | 5 years ago
0 likes

Will wait for it to be available to buy in the normal ways. 

Avatar
bauchlebastart | 5 years ago
0 likes

This looks promising, but then so did Limits and Brim Brothers. Think I'll wait for when (if) it hits the market.

Whatever happened to the Limits saga? Brim Brother openly called it day. Are Limits still pressing on?

Avatar
davel replied to bauchlebastart | 5 years ago
0 likes

bauchlebastart wrote:

This looks promising, but then so did Limits and Brim Brothers. Think I'll wait for when (if) it hits the market.

Whatever happened to the Limits saga? Brim Brother openly called it day. Are Limits still pressing on?

Yeah, if by 'pressing on' you mean not offering refunds and still pretending to be developing something that works (GenII, apparently...), and are now ASKING FOR MORE MONEY.

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/limits-the-world-s-smartest-cycling-p...

Have a look at the comments. It smelled fishy a long time ago... now it's eaten a dead shark that's eaten a load of dead fish that have all eaten rotting crabs.

 

Avatar
hawkinspeter | 5 years ago
0 likes

I'm definitely interested in these, but I no longer back electronic devices on KickStarter due to their poor past performance. I'll wait and see how these turn out - I hope they're good.

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Russell Orgazoid | 5 years ago
0 likes

I can see the threading extension bit snapping under load.

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joules1975 replied to Russell Orgazoid | 5 years ago
0 likes

Plasterer's Radio wrote:

I can see the threading extension bit snapping under load.

Your pedal has a much longer 'threaded extension' than these. When did you last snap one of those?

Avatar
Russell Orgazoid replied to joules1975 | 5 years ago
0 likes

joules1975 wrote:

Plasterer's Radio wrote:

I can see the threading extension bit snapping under load.

Your pedal has a much longer 'threaded extension' than these. When did you last snap one of those?

Except they are not the same. A little threaded collar versus efectively a bar.

That add on looks ropey.

Avatar
sammutd88 | 5 years ago
0 likes

Limits had the same beginnings. Let’s hope this doesn’t follow Limits’ disastrous end...

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