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Baring a very similar style and engagement feel to the Look Keo Blade pedals, the PowerTap P1 pedals follow the recent trend of power meters moving away from historically high price-points and crank spindles. The Keo is not a bad pedal system to emulate from a technology standpoint, as they were first introduced in 1984 and Hinault went on to immediately win two Tours – the power platform is tested and logical. The latest from PowerTap gets closer to where your power pistons are connected to the drivetrain, the pedals, and at a more digestible price.
Garmin, LOOK and Xpedo have all tried their luck at putting power into the pedals. Like these other pedal based power systems, the P1 is easily swapped between bikes, offering quick ANT+/Bluetooth Smart pairing with your head unit and providing consistent, uninterrupted, dual-sided power measurements. The P1 pedals don’t offer anything different than these other pedal companies, but PowerTap’s offering is not their first power meter created – as is the case with the other manufacturers mentioned.
The self-contained design (no separate pod) of the P1 pedals come calibrated from PowerTap’s US manufacturing facility and require you to the zero offset the calibration to ensure maximum accuracy before each ride. Each pedal collects data separately, sending information to the master (left) pedal before transmitting your wattage information to your connected head unit – PowerTap claims watt accuracy readings within 1.5% and we found our outputs to be in line with other power meters that we use on a consistent basis. They run on standard AAA batteries, on for each pedal, installed with a six millimeter hex.
What about the greater stack height? The P1 comes in at 14mm, which is approximately three to five millimeters taller than most pedal systems on the market. The first thing we wanted to test was the increased stack of these pedals in tight, fast criterium corners. What better place than a local weekly crit practice only two days after wrenching them onto our cranks. For 75 minutes, we suffered zero pedal strikes. But once the pace picked up with ten laps to go, extremely aggressive line choices and some curb-pinched cornering led to two minor clips of the asphalt – to be expected. Really though, not any noticeably worse than taking an inside line with our usual Shimano Dura Ace foot attachments.
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PowerTap states that the P1 pedals use a proprietary, three-bolt Keo-style cleat that are provided with purchase – settings allow for zero or six-degree float options. Battery life is estimated to be 60 hours.
Look for a full review in the pages of an upcoming issue of peloton.
430 g/pair with batteries $1,200: powertap.com