News: FAQ update
Since we announced the Zone about 5 months ago the emails and comments we’ve received have focused on a relatively small set of questions, so we’ve decided it might be useful to expand a little on the answers that we give.
“When, how much, and where?”"
No surprise that these are the 3 questions we get asked most often, way above any others. Unfortunately I can’t answer in any meaningful way at this stage. Our official answers are launch will be in 2012, price will be competitive, and sales channel is not public yet. There’s not a lot of real information in that, I know. We’re not trying to be evasive or mysterious about this – we’ve taken decisions and we know what our objectives are, but there are still too many unknowns in our plans to be certain. When we commit publicly to a date and a price we want them to be targets we will hit.
There will eventually be versions of the Zone power meter to work with most of the popular types of cleats, but we will start with a version for Speedplay Zero cleats. For Speedplay Zero cleats the Zone sensor assembly is in the black base (adapter) plate that allows the 4-hole Speedplay cleat to attached to the standard 3-hole pattern in the shoe. That means that you must use the Speedplay adapter plate. If you have a pair of shoes with the special Speedplay 4-hole bolt pattern in the sole and you bolt the 4-hole Speedplay cleat directly into the 4-hole pattern on your shoe (without the adapter plate) then you won’t be able to use the Zone with that combination.
“How do I replace a cleat?”
Just unbolt the old cleat as normal, remove the Zone sensor assembly from the back of the old cleat, pop it in to the back of the new cleat, and bolt your new cleat on as usual.
“What about MTB cleats?”
We will have versions for popular MTB cleats, but not for a while. There are some extra technical challenges associated with MTB versions, so they will take a little longer to develop.
“What shoes will work?”
The initial version of the Zone is designed to fit the front velcro strap that many bike shoes have. The same fitting may work with some other types of shoe closure, but it won’t work with all of them. So to use the initial version of the Zone you will need shoes that have a velcro strap.
Some other shoe related information: You can wear winter shoe covers over the Zone. The pod doesn’t get in the way of shoe covers, and operation of the Zone is not affected.
“What about that cable?”
We are working on ways to make the cable on the side of the shoe less prominent, both visually and mechanically. We’re confident we can get it so you’ll be happy with it.
“Will the Zone work in rain?”
We’re in Ireland. Go stand in the corner for even asking this question!
“Can I be a tester?”
We’re not looking for testers at the moment. We have a long waiting list of volunteers already, so unless you’re an international pro cyclist your chances of making it to the top of the list are slim. However, see “Pre-order” below.
“Do you need distributors?”
We’re not looking for distributors. Right now our plans do not include using geographic distributors.
Some other bits of information
- Battery life is 15 to 20 hours of use. The Zone transmits a “battery low” warning to the display unit. Charging is by sliding the pods out of their bases on your shoes and clicking them into a twin charger cradle that you connect to any USB port.
- Firmware upgrades:
- Firmware upgrades are through the twin charging cradle and its USB connection to your PC.
- The Zone works with any ANT+ compatible display unit that knows how to receive power, including units from Garmin, Timex, Bontrager and other power meter manufacturers. If the display supports left/right power balance then that will be shown too.
- Data is recorded in the display unit and can be downloaded and analysed using whatever software works with your display.
- In response to many emails we’ve received we’re giving serious consideration to setting up a pre-order system. This would have a number of benefits for us, and some for you. It would allow us to get some indication of the size of the demand, and it would allow you to make sure you’re in line for a Zone. We’ve also received a lot of offers from people to pay for a test unit, on the understanding that they get a fully functional system when available, and we’re giving some thought to that too. We’ll be making decisions about this over the next month or two, and we’ll let you know on all the usual channels if we decide to proceed.
Thanks to everyone for the huge support you give us. It makes a difference. Stay tuned, and be patient! Lastly, Happy Christmas to you. As well as being a time for family and friends, here in Northern Europe Christmas marks mid winter so in a couple of weeks the days will start getting longer again and cyclists’ thoughts will turn seriously to training for next season. Bring it on!