PowerTap SLC+ - any good?

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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Bregnhoj
Posts: 73
Joined: Thu Aug 08, 2013 5:52 pm
Location: Vejle, Denmark

by Bregnhoj

Cheers

Got this great deal on hand for my first ever powermeter. A barely used (<500 km) PowerTap SLC+ (ceramic bearings).

Tied up to a Mavic Open Pro rim.

It could be mine for 333€/350$.

The plan would be to use it in 2014 for training only and then by winter degrading it to "winter-powermeter" and purchase some sort of crankbased powermeter in 2015.

Any experiences with the SLC+?

Best regards.
(remember to check out my bikes)
My bikes incl. De Rosa Superking and Cervelo R3
Twitter & Instagram - @mathiasbregnhoj

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Rick
Posts: 2021
Joined: Sat Aug 29, 2009 4:30 pm

by Rick

I have an SL+ that I have been pretty happy with.
But they are not without some problems and design weaknesses. If you search the forum you can find other threads that extensively document the problems that design has with the bearings. They are not very well sealed and I have replaced mine about 4 times already. It is no big deal, and you can do it yourself, but it makes me doubt that the ceramic bearings of the SLC+ will last very long either.
But only time will tell. If/when the ceramic bearings get gritty, you can try cleaning them out to extend the life, or just replace them. But I would replace them with steel just to hold costs down, because they will probably go again in about the same time increment.
It is usually only the non-drive-side outer bearing that goes, because it is most exposed.

Other than that I have been very happy with mine. I would by a new G3 powertap without hesitation. But I also want to go with a crank-based system when I can afford it.

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legs 11
Posts: 3657
Joined: Tue Jan 23, 2007 11:22 am
Location: Leg hurty

by legs 11

I'd second that. Not a bad bit of kit, but possibly a bit underprotected from the weather.
If you're switched on enough to be able to do a wheel bearing swap yourself, it's no problem.
If you're the type of person that likes to have a shop look after your kit, or intend to send it back to Saris to get it serviced then it's not so great as they do eat up bearings.
They're easy to work on once you know your way around the hub.
I'd just swap out the ceramics for a higher quality waterproof stainless bearing as soon as I could and it'll be good.
Pedalling Law Student.

Butcher
Shop Owner
Posts: 837
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2010 4:58 am

by Butcher

I too have a SL+ hub [not ceramic, but the same]. I have had it repaired with Powertap no less than 5 times. Even though, the repairs costs were free [including a brand new hub], the cost of the rebuilding the wheel and shipping adds up. Maybe it is just a fluke, but with the others on the internet, the design is not top notch. Yes, the bearings may be replaced as a DIY procedure, but if there are any other issues, then it adds up quickly. I believe the service cost is around $350 in the USA, but a quick email to Powertap will confirm that.

The only thing I am happy about is buying a new hub so I had a warranty to resolve the issues. The service department was great! But the product was far from that. I would not recommend that hub, maybe the newer ones are better.

ghisallo2003
Posts: 595
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2006 7:10 pm

by ghisallo2003

After numerous repairs on my SL+ it was changed for G3 under warranty. This has been faultless so far.

I would be wary of second hand SLC unless you can handle cost of repair.

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showdown
Posts: 232
Joined: Fri Sep 17, 2010 4:48 pm

by showdown

I've had so any PowerTaps over the years going back to the yellow-capped ones. All of them failed at one point or another. All of the bearings had to be replaced and all of the electronics were compromised by water rendering them useless. That is until the G3 hub. I have been riding with the G3 hub through 2 Chicago winters including during last week's polar vortex. I ride every day through water, salt, grit etc... and haven't had a single problem.

In short, $350 is a great price to get you started on power. Buy it, use it, save up for a G3 or other system and be mindful of the condition of the wheel...

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