2011 CycleOps PowerTap

A light bike doesn't replace good fitness.

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Asymptotic
Posts: 267
Joined: Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:06 am
Location: North Adelaide, South Australia

by Asymptotic

Looking at making the jump into power metres from a budget perspective, i.e. I can't afford an SRM. Anyway, am seeing ridiculous discounts on 2010-11 Powertap hub/wheel combos (some sites are offering them at $600 USD) and are wondering If it's worth paying more for the 2012 models given that CycleOps claim to have fixed the free-hub faults that many people think is a significant durability issue. I intend racing with the PowerTap so I was leaning towards the 'Pro' model that is ~80g lighter than the standard model. So, what are your views WW's?

Appreciate all feedback in advance. :D
Norwood & Adelaide Uni CC

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Rick
Posts: 2004
Joined: Sat Aug 29, 2009 4:30 pm

by Rick

I have been using an SL+ for about a week. It seems to function perfectly with my Garmin 500. When I was researching I didn't see any mention of reliability issues with the freehub. Where did you see that ?

80 grams lighter is always an advantage, but what is it worth ? I am 20 lbs overweight.

by Weenie


Asymptotic
Posts: 267
Joined: Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:06 am
Location: North Adelaide, South Australia

by Asymptotic

Rick wrote: When I was researching I didn't see any mention of reliability issues with the freehub. Where did you see that ?
80 grams lighter is always an advantage, but what is it worth ? I am 20 lbs overweight.


I am merely basing the free-hub issues from the issues that friends have had with the bearings dying after a couple of months use and finding that Cyclops will only sell complete replacement free-hub sets. This evidence is reinforced by the multiple topics about the same issue here on WW's and on the Bikeradar forum.

In regard to the weight question, I am 19 6.2ft and weigh 67kg, at the national road series I have consistently found myself racing guys who are sub 60-55kg, which equates to a substantial difference in power/weight ratios when it comes to climbing. Am doing some serious dieting to try and reach ~60kg without compromising muscle mass.
Norwood & Adelaide Uni CC

Butcher
Shop Owner
Posts: 831
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2010 4:58 am

by Butcher

I have had three sets of bearings in my first SL+ hub. That may not have been that bad but all three went bad in less than a total of 600 miles. I did receive a new hub, those bearings are much better and lasted about 1000 miles before crapping out. Sure, Cycleops fixed all the problems but I was out of my wheel for a total of 6 weeks and about $150 in shipping. They swore that they did not have any bearing issues. I think the bearings are ok but the hub machining sucks.

I would not buy another Powertap hub again.

Asymptotic
Posts: 267
Joined: Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:06 am
Location: North Adelaide, South Australia

by Asymptotic

Butcher wrote:I have had three sets of bearings in my first SL+ hub. That may not have been that bad but all three went bad in less than a total of 600 miles. I did receive a new hub, those bearings are much better and lasted about 1000 miles before crapping out. Sure, Cycleops fixed all the problems but I was out of my wheel for a total of 6 weeks and about $150 in shipping. They swore that they did not have any bearing issues. I think the bearings are ok but the hub machining sucks.

I would not buy another Powertap hub again.


Thanks, you just helped me make a decision :wink:
Norwood & Adelaide Uni CC

maquisard
Posts: 1806
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 8:51 pm
Location: France

by maquisard

I've had my SL+ since June and have been doing about 1200 miles a month on it since then. No problems with the bearings so far but the freehub is rubbish. The main problem is that they make it out of Alu to save weight and as a result it is as soft as cheese. Any cassette with individual cogs will slice into the freehub like a knife into butter. As a result I replaced the Alu freehub with a steel one which is about 100g heavier but way more durable. Another option is to use the American Classic cassette clips ( Google for them ) which hold a cassette together as one block and so more evenly distribute the force on the freehub. Og course CycleOps should be using Ti freehubs to incread durability and save weight, something that I hope they have done in 2012 range.

Butcher
Shop Owner
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Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2010 4:58 am

by Butcher

Using Campy stuff fixes that problem with aluminum freehub.

12x23
Posts: 220
Joined: Sun Jul 30, 2006 3:05 am
Location: Georgia

by 12x23

Early 2009, I bought a pr of Reynolds DV46C's with a Powertap and had bearing issues sometime mid/late 2010, with issue being the hub sounded "dry" of lubricant. I shipped them back and had the hub upgraded to the 15mm axle and got a Campy freehub so I could use the wheel on all my bikes (that didn't have SRM). The freehub swap is very simple and quick, making it easy to use these wheels with both Shimano/Sram and Campagnolo drivetrains.

I've ridden these wheels into the ground without a problem in all kinds of weather including rain. I have somewhere around 17,000 miles on this wheelset with about 8,000 since the r.hub repair/upgrade.

The 'tap works like a charm with the Edge 500. In addition, and although this has nothing to do with the post, the Reynolds clinchers have been tanks. I'm in N.Georgia, lots of short and very steep up and down, not to mention the mountains north of Dahlonega, and with Swisstop Yellow never an issue with braking or rim damage.

That being said, I like the new design with the hardware separate from the hub so if there's a failure you simply remove it rather than ship the entire wheel back. If early experience is positive I'm likely to sell one SRM and buy a tubbie wheelset with the Enve's, 45 or 65, still undecided.

Just my experience.

koolstof
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Oct 19, 2011 1:38 pm
Location: Exeter, Devon
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by koolstof

Interesting question this... We literally took stock of our 2012 Powertap range today, and in the build up towards that, I have a horridly intricate knowledge of the differences between the old and new systems. Personally speaking I'm pretty impressed with the changes, especially the new G3 hub.

At 325grams the G3 is getting seriously close to standard hub weights, and the slimmer design, increased flange widths, revised electronics should all mean a more durable, and better performing hub.

The pre built race wheels using Enve hubs boast some great weights and look brilliant.

That said, the 2012 Pro model is a good bet as well. Cost of entry at RRP in the UK is £675 for the hub and will work with any ANT+ head unit. The main changes are the moving of the electronics to the non-drive side cap, which means they can be better seasled, adn far easier to service should things go wrong.

As for the bearings, there is apparently an upgraded bearing kit available for approximately £20 which will sort the problems out. Speaking to the UK distributors, there is a feeling there that a lot of bearing challenges are from user treatment rather than any major bearing fault. OK, the seals are designed very much with more 'summery' climates in mind, however it does seem strange that people would jet wash such a complex piece of equipment, or indeed stick it on the roof of a car and drive it through rain storms at 80mph without expecting some water ingress.

To summarise, there are some great 2011 still out there, and certainly look at those as PowerTap will support you should there be an issue, however at the bottom end, the 2012 models have some really useful improvements and a lower cost to entry, and the top end looks superb!
www.koolstofcoaching.com - where cycling dreams come true... sometimes!

Butcher
Shop Owner
Posts: 831
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2010 4:58 am

by Butcher

Cycleops was trying to say that about me. I would think that if I designed a hub that it would keep water out. At least design it so a cyclist could ride in the rain without damage to the bearings. In my case, the hub was not riden in the rain or pressure washed. As a auto mechanic, I believe the problem lies in the preload of the bearings and there is no adjustment for it. The machining of the hub dictates the load. If the machining is off, then the bearings will not last.

Sure the second hub lasted longer, but not long enough to make me a believer.

I bought the hub because of the time delay with the Vector. Sure was one of the worst decisions I made.

parajba
Posts: 409
Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2008 9:00 pm
Location: London, United Kingdom

by parajba

Purely as a training wheel on my commuter/training bike, which one would you buy (and why) to pair with an Edge 500?

1. PowerTap Pro 2012, Velocity A23 Rim, DT Swiss spokes, £750. All black look.

2. PowerTap SL+ 2011, Mavic Open Pro rim, DT Swiss spokes, £840. Black rim, silver spokes/hub.

Thanks for your input! I'll be my first power meter.

maquisard
Posts: 1806
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 8:51 pm
Location: France

by maquisard

I would go with the Velocity rims and the 2012 Pro hub. It is slightly heavier but the Velocity rims are a step above the Open Pros.

See my comments in the thread above.

parajba
Posts: 409
Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2008 9:00 pm
Location: London, United Kingdom

by parajba

maquisard wrote:I would go with the Velocity rims and the 2012 Pro hub. It is slightly heavier but the Velocity rims are a step above the Open Pros.

See my comments in the thread above.


Thanks for your kind reply. I think I'll buy the 2012 Pro wheel then.

It's my first power meter, I have a Mac Book Pro, can anybody tell me what sw is recommended in order to make the most out of the powertap? Am I missing any functionality compared to a crankset/pedal-based system? Is the Mac Book Pro limiting sw choice meaning I'm not making the most out of the powertap pro? e.g. some sw is not comptabible, so I need to opt for lesser sw with less functionality etc.

I would like to hear your comments.

maquisard
Posts: 1806
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 8:51 pm
Location: France

by maquisard

Not a Mac user but there is a Mac version of the Poweragent SW. ( Free Download )

http://www.cycleops.com/en/products/sof ... egory_id=9

For data analysis you can use the excellent Golden Cheetah. ( Free Download )

http://goldencheetah.org/download.html

I use a combination of both of the above.

by Weenie


parajba
Posts: 409
Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2008 9:00 pm
Location: London, United Kingdom

by parajba

maquisard wrote:Not a Mac user but there is a Mac version of the Poweragent SW. ( Free Download )

http://www.cycleops.com/en/products/sof ... egory_id=9

For data analysis you can use the excellent Golden Cheetah. ( Free Download )

http://goldencheetah.org/download.html

I use a combination of both of the above.


Thanks again. Do you know TrainingPeaks and WKO+? Is GoldenCheetah equivalent?

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