SPORTS POWER METERS

A post from the Brim Blog

News: Cleats and pedals

Let’s get down to some details of how our power meter will work with your cleats and pedals. We’ll start with a little introduction to how the whole thing goes together, and then we can take a look at how this gives you a whole load of flexibility.

Two pieces

Our power meter is made up of two main pieces: the pod on top of the shoe and the sensor unit inside the cleat. The pod contains the electronics, and the sensor unit contains the miniature force sensors. The pod and the sensor unit are connected by a tiny cable down the outside of the shoe. You can remove the pod for charging and configuration (we’ve got a really nice arrangement for all that), leaving the cable and sensors still in place. The sensor unit is clamped into the back of the cleat when you bolt the cleat to the shoe, so the sensor unit is protected and will not suffer damage when you walk or when your shoes get knocked around.

Special cleats

The power meter works with normal pedals, but it needs special versions of the cleats. Our initial launch of the power meter will be for Speedplay Zero pedals and cleats, with versions for other popular pedals and cleats to follow. Speedplay Zero cleats have three separate parts but it’s only the black base plate of the cleat that is different for the Brim Brothers power meter. The special base plate has a space in the back of it for the sensor unit. You just clip the sensor unit into the space in the base plate and then bolt the base plate to your shoe as normal (and then attach the rest of the Speedplay cleat). Other types of cleat will work in a similar way, with a space in the back of the cleat for the sensor unit.

Replacing cleats

The sensor units can be moved from your old cleats to your new cleats. When you need to replace your cleats you just remove them from your shoes, unclip the sensor units from the back and clip them into the new cleats, and then bolt the new cleats to your shoes as usual. You’ll only need a new sensor unit if you change your type of cleat (sensor units vary slightly for different types of cleat), but the same pod will work with any sensor unit.

Calibration

After you install a sensor unit and bolt the cleat onto your shoe there are some very simple calibration steps that need to be done. The calibration is not affected by how tight the cleat bolts are (within reason!) because the piezoceramic force sensors automatically zero themselves, but there is a need to calibrate for slight variations in the position of the cleat and the sensor unit on your shoe. The calibration information for a sensor unit is stored in that sensor unit, so any pod connected to it will know the calibration automatically. I’ll talk more about calibration in a future post.

Multiple shoes

If you happen to have more than one pair of cycling shoes you can easily move your Brim Brothers power meter between them. Just fit sensor units to the cleats on each pair of shoes, and then move your power meter pods onto whichever pair of shoes you will be wearing today. The pods will automatically recognise which sensor unit they are connected to and will use the appropriate calibration information, so there is no need to recalibrate each time you move pods between shoes. This is true even if your shoes use different types of cleat, so if you have bikes that use different types of pedals you’ll still be able to use your Brim Brothers power meter on all of them (if they are all supported by Brim Brothers).

So there you have it, a quick tour of how it will work with your cleats. In my next post, in a week or two, I’ll take a brief look at the benefits and drawbacks of the various techniques used by different power meters as impartially as I can (given my built in bias!). Now back to work.

14 Responses to “Cleats and pedals”

  1. Donal Bailey says:

    I’m getting excited about this! And in speedplays to start, can’t wait to try it out! Keep it up guys!

  2. Hammertime says:

    What is the relative (purchase) cost of sensor vs. pod? I.e., how economical will it be to have sensors for multiple sets of shoes/cleats?

    Are you considering the still very popular/large installed base Time RXS cleats, in light of many people’s reluctance to switch to Time iclic in light of issues with that system?

  3. Peter says:

    Some shoes has 4 hole soles designed specifically for direct fitment of Speedplay cleats. These shoes does not use a base plate (3 to 4 hole converter).
    So I guess your power meter won’t work with these Speedplay specific shoes?

    Some of the Speedplay specific shoes without a 3 to 4 hole converter plate:

    DMT Primsa Speedplay
    http://glorycycles.blogspot.com/2009/10/review-2010-dmt-prisma-shoe-wboa-and.html
    http://www.diamantdmt.com/en/road/prisma

    DMT Radial Speedplay
    http://www.diamantdmt.com/en/road/radial

    Lake CX401 Speedplay
    http://www.veltecsportsusa.com/default.aspx?tabid=558&itemno=CX401SPD_11&clr=PBRD

    Lake CX330 Speedplay
    http://www.veltecsportsusa.com/default.aspx?tabid=558&itemno=CX330SPD_11&clr=PBSL

    Lake CX236 Speedplay
    http://www.veltecsportsusa.com/default.aspx?tabid=558&itemno=CX236SPD_11&clr=BK

  4. Arjun says:

    Will crankbrother cleats be compatible with your
    System. I am a big fan of the eggbeaters.

  5. Victor says:

    Barry

    Great overview. This is going to be a great system. Been watching from the beginning. We want to know more. What are the plans for computer heads that will differentiate between right and left? Iphone app?

  6. anthony says:

    I am truly excited! I am hoping the Brim system will be my first power meter. Will you create a version compatible with the Look Keo Classic pedal?

  7. Golden says:

    It sounds like we’ll have to be careful with the wire when putting toe or shoe covers on – and maybe we’ll need toe covers that are a size larger to fit over the pod?

  8. Mario Mata says:

    After look with atention the type of sensor I canĀ“t image how to fit in eggbeater Crank Brothers type pedals…

  9. dew says:

    I hope you’ve considered a lot of riders use the extended Speedplay base plate.

  10. Mark says:

    Exciting news.
    Thanks. also following since your started this process.
    So then not to ask the impossible, but anything on the horizon for mountain biking / cyclocross type pedals? This might be a less costly approach to having mountain bike racing power data, endurance racing, and cyclocross training/racing data.
    Time ATAC or Look Quartz?

    Would the cost be prohibitive for someone to own more than one set of sensors, to avoid moving this from shoe to shoe?

  11. Bernhard says:

    Hi Barry,

    This looks really cool. Have you also thought about MTB specific cleats e.g. the SPD system by Shimano or similar?

    I’m looking forward to more of your insights!

    Best regards

    Bernhard

  12. Jason says:

    Excellent news, well done guys! Will you also be looking at producing a Bluetooth transmitter pod along with ANT+? I’ve already got a Bluetooth HR monitor and a power meter will go along nicely with it, especially since some of the big mobile platform developers like Runkeeper and Endomondo adding support for power meters.

  13. Andy says:

    Looks good. I’m also hoping for a Shimano SPD sh51 cleat version.

    Getting a power meter on a bike with disc brakes is way too expensive.

  14. Rob says:

    hi folks.

    looks really, really interesting… and i could be “the” power meter i have been looking for…

    hope to hear soon more…

    cheers from austria..

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