The first PowerTap P2 pedals arrived last week. We couldn’t resist taking a closer look at one of the boxes and unpacking it. Of course we don’t want to withhold the result of this little unboxing from anyone.
But first an overview of the PowerTap P2 and the innovations compared to the previous model PowerTap P1.
Overview PowerTap P2 vs P1
The PowerTap P2 is a bilateral measuring pedal power meter. It provides cycling computers with accurate performance data via both ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart connectivity. According to the manufacturer, the accuracy is ±1.5 %.
Compared to other many other road bike pedals and also the Favero Assioma and Garmin Vector 3 pedal power meters, the PowerTap P2 has a noticeably much larger stack. This means that the contact surface of the pedal builds up on the pedal axle. This was already the case with the PowerTap P1. In the case of the PowerTap P2 Powermeter, the stack is 14mm, just like the previous model. This is about 3-5 mm more than other established pedals. The PowerTap P2 pedal has a Q-factor of 53mm. This is measured from the crank to the middle of the bearing surface.
The weight of the PowerTap P2 is given with an average of 398g. It goes without saying that slight deviations may occur due to the production process.
The PowerTap P2 Powermeter is powered by 2 standard AAA batteries. As with the P1 Powermeter, these are located in the battery compartment with the orange lid. This is easily accessible from the outside when mounted, so that a battery change can be carried out very quickly. While the Powertap P1 had a battery life of 60 hours, the P2 Powermeter now lasts 80 hours. This corresponds to an improvement of 30%! In addition, the battery cover on the PowerTap P2 has been improved. This is now even more robustly designed. This minimizes the risk of damage due to water penetration.
There is also one, very noticeable change. Compared to the P1 Powermeter, the PowerTap P2 is silver and not black. That, combined with the chunky shape, certainly takes some getting used to.
Mounting the PowerTap P2
The assembly of the new PowerTap Powermeter is extremely simple and goes very quickly. First, the old pedal must be disassembled. Depending on the pedal, an Allen key (6, 8 or 10mm) or an open-end wrench (usually 15mm) is required. The PowerTap P2 is then screwed into the pedal thread with an 8mm Allen key.
To prevent the pedal housing from being pressed against the crank arm, a set of washers is included. It is advisable to use these during assembly, especially with carbon cranks, to avoid damage. The washers also prevent the pedal from being damaged during installation.
Then you still have to mount the cleats on your bike shoes. Because even if you have already ridden a Look-Kéo pedal system, PowerTap recommends changing the cleats.
Contrary to expectations, the systems are not completely identical. On the one hand, pedal plates with 6° freedom of movement are included. Separately PowerTap also sells cleats with 0° freedom of movement. While we can’t guarantee full compatibility and no problems, we do believe that you can continue to use your Look or Xpedo pedal cleats that are similar in construction. Otherwise, we can say from experience that, as with all clipless pedals, you will definitely not be satisfied with the first setting. But don’t let that scare you off and try different settings. After a short time and the first test rides you will have adjusted the system to suit you.
Adjustment and calibration of the PowerTap P2
Now nothing stands in the way of your first ride with the PowerTap P2. All you have to do is connect the power meter to your bike computer. Go to the corresponding settings of your headunit: “Connect new power sensor”. Then turn the pedals 1-2 times to make sure the PowerTap P2 is on. A few seconds later you should see the power meter on the screen. Once you have connected the cycling computer and your new PowerTap P2, you are ready to ride.
As with all powermeters, it is recommended to perform a zero offset before each ride. That way, the performance data you get is always as accurate as possible.
Comparison of the PowerTap P2 with the competitors Assioma Duo and Garmin Vector 3 and SRM Look Exakt
The PowerTap P2 competes with the Favero Assioma Duo, the Garmin Vector 3 and the SRM Look EXAKT Dual. Therefore we do not want to withhold a comparison of the key data of the products from you.
The measuring precision is in the same class for all 4 powermeters. The Favero Assioma Duo and the Garmin Vector 3 take the lead here with a manufacturer’s specification of ±1%. The competitors PowerTap and SRM follow closely with ±1.5%.
In the price comparison, the PowerTap P2 is in the 2nd place of the field (comparison of the MSRP).
Unfortunately, we have to make concessions in terms of weight. With 398 grams including batteries PowerTap sends the clearly heaviest pedal power meter into the race.
When it comes to battery life, we compare Garmin and PowerTap systems on the one hand. The Garmin’s battery lasts a good 40 hours longer. On the other hand, there are the rechargeable systems from Favero and SRM. Here the German manufacturer comes out on top with a specification of 100 hours. Favero states just shy of half.
All four pedal power meters are bilateral systems that measure and evaluate a left-right distribution. PowerTap and Garmin also advertise Advanced Pedal Metrics and Cycling Dynamics. These data sets provide information on the efficiency of the driving style and allow it to be improved even further.
Unboxing of the PowerTap P2
Now let’s get to the actual unboxing of the PowerTap P2. At first glance, the box looks very familiar to us. That’s because it’s quite similar to its predecessor.
When we open the box, the first thing we find is the instructions. After we put them aside, we are directly presented with the two pedals. The PowerTap P2 pedals look very high quality and elaborately manufactured. You immediately get the feeling that you are holding a high-quality product in your hands. The PowerTap P2 is largely made of light alloys. The spring is made of plastic. However, the pedal also seems very clunky. The comparatively high weight is striking.
Besides the pedals we find in the scope of delivery a set of red pedal plates (6° float), a few washers and a set of batteries. Overall, the packaging is very tidy as the small parts each come shrink wrapped.
PowerTap, like other manufacturers, offers an app to complement the P2. This brings different functions with it. On the one hand, you can make various settings before driving. You can create different bike profiles for this purpose. Crank length, type of sport, bike weight or the circumference of the tires can be specified. The app also allows you to perform a zero offset on the PowerTap P2.
The smartphone can be used as a head unit in addition to the PowerTap P2. You have the choice between different data fields. In combination with the Powermeter and optionally a heart rate belt you can display power, speed, distance, cadence and heart rate, the left-right distribution or parts of the Advanced Pedal Metrics.
Even after driving, the app offers many benefits. There is the possibility to evaluate driving data or to download software updates to the Powermeter. You can also connect the PowerTap app with various third parties. So you can automatically share your rides on Strava or upload them to TrainingPeaks.
Overview PowerTap P2
The PowerTap P2 makes progress compared to the previous model. The enormous weight of the P1 was reduced and the battery covers were optimized. The look is, by its own admission, polarizing. Here everyone can have his own opinion. Battery life has been improved, making the P2 very competitive here. Otherwise, we can’t see any technical improvements, unfortunately.
The PowerTap P2 scores with Advanced Pedal Metrics, these were already available on the P1 but are still an advantage over Favero and SRM pedal power meters.