A post from the Brim Blog

News: Announcing Zone

[Zone logo]

At last we can pull the curtain back a bit and show you some details of the Brim Brothers Zone power meter. We’re really pleased with the design and how it all goes together, and we hope you’ll think it’s just as cool as we do.

[Photo of Zone pods on two shoes]

A pair of Zone pods on a pair of shoes. They are fixed to the straps or cords on the shoes. Nothing goes on your bike (not even a magnet).

[Photo of Zone being used on a bike]

Just put them on your shoes, and ride! Zone uses the ANT+ wireless standard to send power and cadence, so it will work with many different bike computers from various manufacturers.

[Photo of hand holding a Zone pod]

The Zone pod contains the electronics.

[Photo of side of Zone pod]

Zone is slim and aerodynamic. Looks a bit like a miniature high speed train, don’t you think?

[Photo of Zone pod]

There are two parts: the removable pod, and the base. The pod is removed for charging and for upgrading firmware. The base remains on your shoe, with a tiny cable down to the force sensors inside your cleat.

[Photo of Zone pod]

The pod makes electrical connections to the base when you slide it in.

[Photo of inserting the removable pod into the base]

The pod slides into the base and clicks into place to keep it safe and secure whatever you throw at it.

[Photo of Speedplay Zero cleat containing Zone force sensors]

The Zone force sensors go inside the cleat without adding any height, so the stack height stays the same. For the Speedplay Zero a special base plate has a space for the Zone sensors.

[Photo of shoe with Zone on stones]

Walking won’t damage it, or cause any unwanted effects. The system knows when you’re cycling and when you’re not.

[Photo of Zone and shoe under water]

It’s completely waterproof. There are no connectors or holes of any kind so it’s sealed against water and dust.

[Photo of Zone on a weighing scales]

And it adds only 18 grams per shoe. That means a pair of Zones (one on each shoe) are still a lot less than the weight of most modern bike computers.

There’s loads more cool stuff we’d like to show you, but we’ll keep those for another day. Stuff like how you interact with it without computer buttons and menus, how calibration is really simple compared to existing power meters, and how Zone works out a bunch of things for itself to make life simpler for you.

And just in case you’re wondering, the answer to The Big Question is that the planned launch date is still sometime in 2012. We’re going as fast as we can, but we still have a lot of careful testing to work through.

32 Responses to “Announcing Zone”

  1. Matt says:

    Giddy up!!

    They look brilliant. Looking forward to your testing results.

  2. slyrider says:

    Fantastic. Take your time and get it right.

    Great to see a sound concept being progressed down a sensible path.

    At this stage, does the sensor design mean that the rider is effectively locked in to one pair of shoes?

    Not necessarily the case here but from what I know of strain gauges is that they are bonded to the stressed surface upon which they measure strain. You’re possibly using different technology?

  3. Grant says:

    Will the adaptor plate for speedplay replace the 3 hole adaptor and/or the extender base plates? If not how will the components be stacked?

  4. Sam says:

    Can’t wait. Been holding out for these. Looking better, lighter and smaller than expected too : )

  5. Donal Bailey says:

    Very impressive!

  6. Nye says:

    Looks neat. But…the sensors are in the cleat so are they pressure sensors? If so, do they only record downard pressure? What of the up-pull and sideways component of the power stroke? Are all components of the WHOLE power cycle is recorded?

  7. andrea says:

    but you need two ZONE or the system can operate with only one ?

  8. Martin says:

    Very cool design guys. One questions though, are you doing a white version as well for those of us with white shoes?

  9. Iain says:

    Looks awesome. If you need help testing under harsh Australian conditions, I volunteer to test it for you. ;)

  10. Fuji Racer says:

    How will triathletes easily slip feet into and out of shoes (i.e.- need to strap and unstrap shoes in mid-ride during flying mount and dismount.

  11. spokejunky says:

    The system looks great.

  12. Brent Emery says:

    First off, keep up the good work! We’re excited about it. I also vote for having both black and white versions.

    Will there be a version with the wire coming up on the inside (crank side)of the shoe. If a rider crashes/slides on the outside of the shoe, the wire will get severed. What will be the ease of replacement of that wire?

    We have very harsh winters here in Wisconsin and I ride as low as -10F, and as much as 105F in the summer. And am in the middle of doing 30 road/crit races in 48 days in dry and rain. Also am volunteering for extreme testing.

    Continued success!

  13. Brent Emery says:

    How will the many brands of shoes be identified for the curvature on the bottom of the shoe. Even with a given brand/model the size range will have a much different curve depending on the size. How sensitive will this be when tightening your system to the shoe? Will subtle variations cause data problems?

  14. Dan Connelly says:

    Slick package! Nice work. I also look forward to your test results. It seems like a challenging engineering problem to get everything you need from the cleat.

  15. anto moran says:

    Looks great Barry! If it can survive an Irish summer it can survive anything :)

    Keep up the good work

  16. Chris Cleeland says:

    For different colors, enclose a small can of Tamiya plastic model spray paint in the package and a “Zone” decal to be applied after drying. Let the base model be like the Model T: any color you want as long as it’s black.

    I’m also interested in knowing whether this will work for pedal systems other than Speedplay. Specifically, what about MTB systems such as Crank Bros (I would think that since your companies share surnames (“Bros”) you would get along well ;) ? Since the system goes with your foot rather than the bike, this might have very interesting applications in disciplines beyond traditional road racing, e.g., cyclocross, where power data is only of limited use.

  17. Hammertime says:

    Will this work with Time RXS? Note that Time iclic doesn’t seem to be ready for prime time.

    Are different pods needed for different cleat types, or can you switch between shoes with different pedal/cleat types?

    Are there head units available now (or will there be by the time of 2012 release of Zone) which can support separate Left/Right power data?

  18. adam says:

    These look awesome. Here’s hoping the supported cleats will include some of the more prominent ones: Look/SPD-SL/Speedplay/Time.

  19. mkrs says:

    Wow! So much info and still so many questions! That’s great though – it shows how much we want this product.

    Speaking of questions… ;) Do you have any specific plans to create Zone for Look pedals? Personally I’d be very happy as I don’t actually like Speedplay. And how is the pod attached to the shoe? Will it be possible to attach it safely to shoes relying on a string instead of a Velcro strap, such as some shoes from Sidi and Mavic? \

    Thanks a lot! Looking forward to your reply

  20. redfive says:

    Looks promising!! The exposed cable may be a concern, however. Is a wireless version in the works?

  21. Francisco says:

    Back in 2009 I was about to buy a powermeter (a srm), but them I knew about your project, so since this day I’m waiting for the release of your product. If everything went well at your lab, my first powermeter will be a Brimbrothers Z one.
    Just one question: I understood the sistem at 3 hole shoe, but, In case of using speedplay pedals with especifc 4 hole shoes, how the sensor goes between the shoe and cleat without increase the height?


  22. Eddy says:

    I’m very impressed about the design.
    Best power meter system of all!

  23. Fuji Racer says:

    Looks very intriguing.
    How does a triathlete slip shoes on and off if the device is attached to the shoe strap? In other words, if you do flying mounts and dismounts, is it going to be realistically easy to slip your feet in and out of the shoes if there is a pod attached to the strap? Typically I leave my shoes on the pedals with the straps UNfastened and then fasten them “on the fly” same with dismounting …..unstrap on the way into T2 and slip feet out.

  24. DoubleD says:

    Will there be a MTB version?

  25. Jeff says:

    Will the Speedplay plate work with the X series (X-1) cleats?

  26. Paul says:

    I’m very excited about this. I’m a speedplay user, about to buy new shoes. I was considering 4-hole shoes, but it looks from the pictures that the sensor lives in the 3-hole to 4-hole adapter.

    Would I need to stick with 3-hole shoes for this to work? In the absence of other factors, I’d probably go for 4-hole shoes, but this would tilt my decision on the shoe purchase.

  27. donr says:

    Please, PLEASE, sell this for around $600-$700. We need a power meter that’s not $1000 or more on the market!

  28. Michael Tighe says:

    A full 18g per shoe, aaagghhhh! That’s unreal. I’m getting very excited now as you seem so close to the release. It’s very exciting. I can’t wait to see how your system integrates with other pedal systems. I have eggbeaters on my MTB and I know you have mentioned that in the past.

  29. Michael Tighe says:

    P.S. I hope no rubber ducky’s were harmed in the testing of this system…

  30. [...] Just this week Brim Brothers came out with an announcement on their forthcoming power meter product… that installs on your shoes !! The ZONE. [...]

  31. Here’s hoping the supported cleats will include some of the more prominent ones.

  32. Joe_SF says:

    Looks Awesome, I have been waiting for two years for the Metrigear solution, but at this rate, you guys will have a product before they do! I will be shopping for standard carbon clinchers instead of powertap ones!

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