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.
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.
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
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).
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.
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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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Maybe even some squirrels