by Jesse Bartholomew, PowerTap Product Manager
I've spent the last 15 years wondering how to truly define the best power meter. When we first introduced PowerTap the focus was simply how could we offer an accurate power meter and how could we do so at a fair price? Shortly after the introduction and initial success of PowerTap, the requests for new products and features started coming in. On one hand, it made the accomplishment of our first goal irrelevant, but on the other hand it provided the perfect road map towards improving our products, and we haven't looked back since. We made some mistakes along the way, and expectations grew each year.
Eventually our focus turned to education and spreading the message of the power meter to as many cyclists as possible. This was partly because we wanted more customers but also because we still believe to this day that training with a power meter is the most effective way to achieve your performance goals, not to mention the fun you have seeing yourself improve along the way.
Not too long ago you could go to a bike race or triathlon and ask athletes if they knew about training with power and be greeted only with confused looks. That's no longer the case, and we feel largely responsible for that. We introduced at least one new product every year and plotted a nice growth trajectory for our small, Midwestern company.
With the increased popularity of the power meter it was only a matter of time before PowerTap wasn't the only option on the market. We've been looking into alternative ways to measure power for almost our entire 15-year history, and still very strongly believe a hub-based system is the best way to go. Sure, there are pros and cons to each system type, but when you look at the most important criteria for analyzing a power meter (accuracy, durability, versatility, and affordability), our hub-based system is the clear winner. That's not to say we won't continue to explore other options, but we're excited about the future of our hub-based system, and are already hard at work on making our current PowerTap G3 even better.
Now all power meter manufacturers are – and will be – receiving the same requests that we did for additional features. Our development has and will continue to have to not only keep pace with our own customers’ needs but also of our competitive offerings. The pace of new product innovation continues to increase, and we’ve invested big and are all-in on power. With the infrastructure in place and an equilibrium achieved we continue to challenge ourselves to focus on what really matters, and last week you saw our first big move to lower pricing across the board. I suppose that our original goal of offering an accurate power meter at a fair price is still valid after all. It’s strange that 15 years later, PowerTap is once again ushering in a new era for the power meter. For us, it feels so right, and really, who else could do it?