Why PowerTap: Looking Back on History

Why PowerTap: Looking Back on History

When it comes to improving your performance on the bike, there's no substitution for a solid training plan and good old-fashioned hard work. If it's an edge over your competition that you're looking for, a cycling power meter is just the ticket.

As a technological-based concept, power training techniques and tools are ever evolving. Not even two decades ago access to cycling power numbers was reserved only for the elites – and at a pretty penny. Since then more power meters have come on the market, encouraging manufacturers to push the edge of innovation.

And with innovation comes choice, and with choice comes uncertainty and constant evaluation. When technology changes so quickly, many are left with gear that's quickly yielded obsolete, cumbersome, or even worse – inaccurate.

Here at PowerTap we've been leading the industry for over 18 years, and we're not stopping anytime soon.


The Evolution of PowerTap

  • 1998: MIT Engineers First Develop First PowerTap
    Seeking a less expensive, portable power meter, a group of engineers at MIT built the first hub-based power meter – and PowerTap was born.

  • 2001: PowerTap Joins the Saris Cycling Group Family
    At the forefront of a new era in cycling, Saris saw the promising future of data-driven training and added PowerTap to their family of bicycle accessories manufactured in Madison, Wisconsin. To this day, PowerTap calls Madison home.

    Cyclist riding with power meter

  • 2002: First Academic Studies Published Using PowerTap
    The work of Dr. Allen Lim put PowerTap on the map with the gold standard in power accuracy: +/- 1.5%. Following Dr. Lim's findings, the PowerTap hub-based power meter became a standard for comparison in third-party testing.

  • 2006: First Wireless Hub Released
    PowerTap once again made headlines in 2005 with the release of the world's first wireless cycling power meter. Our engineers worked alongside those at ANT+ to pioneer this technology for use with power meters; a similar process for Bluetooth would soon follow suit.

    Related: Learn more about Ed Watson’s, Chief Electrical Engineer, key role here at PowerTap.

  • 2012: Make Way for the G3 Hub
    A concept sketched on a café napkin in 2009 became reality in the G3 hub-based power meter. Weighing in at a mere 325 grams, the G3 was the lightest hub we’d released to date, adding only 160 grams of additional weight to the bike. The G3 also featured user serviceable electronics and internals with increased durability.

  • 2015: Meet the P1 Pedals and C1 Chainrings
    We blazed the trail once again with the unveiling of a full portfolio of two new power meters: the P1 pedals and C1 chainring.

    The P1 pedal-based power meter boasts not only design innovations with its plug-and-play capabilities; it also provides unique insights into biomechanics of pedaling a bicycle. P1 pedal users can now tap into advanced metrics for feedback as displayed by force vector, heat map and polar plots.

    The C1 chainring became the most affordable dual-sided power meter around. Just like its kin, the P1 pedals and G3 hub, the C1 chainring provides both power and cadence data, removing the need for additional sensors. And if you’re into accolades, the C1 was also a recipient of the prestigious Eurobike Award.

    But that’s not all - 2015 also saw the introduction of the G3 Rear Disc Hub. The hub cycling power meter has been the cornerstone of our business, and we were proud to release a hub designed specifically for disc brake and thru-axle bicycles.

    Cyclist riding with power meter

  • 2016: Release of the PowerTap Single-Sided Pedal
    Following the success of its dual-sided sibling, we introduced the PowerTap Single-Sided Pedal to the data-hungry masses. For those interested in training with power, there is no better place to start.

  • 2017 and Beyond
    Our commitment to making accurate, durable and reliable cycling power meters is at the core of everything we do. While we continue to push the envelope on innovation, we’ll be continuing to support our current products with over the air (OTA) firmware updates to ensure your power meter is performing at its very best.

    Cyclist riding with power meter

As always, all of our power meters are backed with a 2-year global warranty and our Madison-based customer service team is just an email away.

We’re proud to be the only cycling power meter manufacturer to provide a full portfolio of power products, each living up to our Tested. Trusted. True. promise, and we’re ready to help you #TapIntoPower.

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