Once upon a time a power meter cost $2,000. That is a distant memory.
PowerTap was once considered an affordable alternative to SRM, with its hub-based meter, and it still is. Especially today. PowerTap’s hub just dropped by a third, from $599 to $399. I predict this will make the Powertap hub an instant target for custom wheel builds. Already a consumer can buy an ENVE wheelset with PowerTap for the same price as without. (The disc brake version is $499.)
But that’s not all. The C1 chain ring based meter dropped in price to $349, making it a compelling price-point option. This is a one-piece chainring design, which makes it quite stiff for good shifting, no matter the terrain. It’s made for 110BCD (compact) cranks, 5-bolt designs, and comes in 53/39, 52/36 and 50/36 tooth options. This is an especially good option for bikes that come with 110mm FSA cranks as original equipment. Watteam's single-sided meter is the only meter I know of with a lower price than the C1 at its new price.
But PowerTap’s most popular power meter is its P1 pedals, and these also drop in price, from $999 to $799. These, like their others, are 2-sided power meters and this makes the P1 $200 less expensive than Garmin’s Vector 3 Power Pedals.
This is timely news for users, at the very start of their training and racing season, and for us, as we’re about to publish on the various power meter platforms. As of last month about half of all Slowtwitchers reported wanting their power meters in their pedals. About 3 in 10 wanted their PMs built into their cranks (or chain rings). Very few wanted their PMs in their hubs.
But there is a discussion to be had, I think. As I prepare to publish reviews on several pedal systems, the user needs to consider whether the performance of a particular pedal creates a conundrum: use a pedal with a power meter, but without certain desired performance features (as you may find in, say, a Shimano, Speedplay or Time), or shift the power meter to a platform that doesn't create that conundrum like the crankset, the chain rings, or the hub).
Does PowerTap care where you want your meter? I don't know. Just, as of today all of its systems got significantly more affordable.