SPORTS POWER METERS

A post from the Brim Blog

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.

“What cleats?”

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:
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.
Display:
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.
Analysis:
Data is recorded in the display unit and can be downloaded and analysed using whatever software works with your display.
Pre-order:
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!

37 Responses to “FAQ update”

  1. JeanPierreNenuphar says:

    Salut Barry,
    Thanks for the update.

  2. Dana says:

    Thanks for the update. I seriously need to talk to Santa about making a late delivery when you guys get this done. I am so stoked.

  3. mkrs says:

    Wow, seems like the product is actually getting ready for release! It’s really cool considering the number of similar hi-tech projects abandoned during R&D process.

    Keep going, guys! Good luck and thanks for the update!

  4. mark says:

    Power reading related Question; Is the upstroke power being measured? It seems that only the downstroke is making the meter…? Correct or no? mdg

  5. ALBERTO CARZANIGA says:

    I was just considering buying a 4 hole new shoes (lake) to take full advantages of Speedplay pedals. I am glad to know that I have to stick to a more normal 3 hole shoes.
    P.S.
    I have read your response on tester. I understand your point. I am 69 years old and I am not a professional, but may be you would like to consider me for the following reason:

    I have 2 bikes with the exactly the same frame, even if equipped with different brand components. One is fitted with Ergomo Power Meter; the other will be fitted in a month time with power2max power meter. That means I can conduct comparative testing between the different power meters. I live in Italy in an area with many climbs of which both initial and. final elevations are extremely well define.
    Looking forward to hearing from you, please accept my best regards.

    Alberto Carzaniga

  6. Alberto says:

    Nice update, thanks for all.

  7. Anto Moran says:

    Ian/Barry I have just been signed by Quickstep on a 2 year pro contract so I am ready to offer my services for testing :)

  8. Barry says:

    Nice try Anto, but we’d need to see the contract (and crossing out Matt Brammeier’s name & putting in yours doesn’t count).

  9. Michael says:

    Will you have more information available before the Garmin Vector is available for sale? It’ll be hard to wait for the Zone, not knowing price, availability, etc. when the Vector becomes available.

  10. Rob says:

    Put me on the list for the pre-order. I will buy it for sure. For that matter, put me on the list for the pre-order for the mountain bike version too:)

  11. Michael says:

    I’m interested in the pre-order too.

  12. Stephen says:

    “Battery life is 15 to 20 hours of use.”

    That seems a tad low for a unit. I’ve had days out on the bike for 15 hours (think W200 w/commute either way) But more so it doesn’t match any of the other systems.

    How easy is it going to be to replace the batteries when they wear out? Normal chargeable batteries start to degrade after 100 cycles.

  13. Aaron says:

    Put me down for purchasing a test unit with a production to come later. If that does not come I am interested in a pre-order.

  14. Rick says:

    Thanks for the update guys,good to see you are making good progress. I am embarking on an extensive training program and would be more than happy to be of service for testing as you described above. Good luck

  15. Please sign me up for pre order or for a test version.

  16. Larry Lem says:

    What gives you confidence that the product will be released in 2012? Garmin has promised Mar 2012 and Polar 1Q 2012 but we will see.

  17. Mike F. in N.C. (USA) says:

    The Zone updates sounds exciting. I’m looking forward to the product updates, demo, release and purchase. I know it will perform & sell well. Sign me up.

  18. David says:

    Please contact me if you decide to do a test unit/pre-order.

  19. Nick says:

    Can’t wait for the release, sign me up for pre order. Will the first release work with Speedplay X2 cleats as well?

  20. Rob says:

    Can I buy a test unit now?? Pretty please?? I think many of us are serious about this.

  21. Tin says:

    Man I can’t wait. I check this site very often for updates. I’m interested in preorders or test units.

  22. sven says:

    Hi , does this adapter aproach with speedplay mean, that I can also use speedplay x series? as far as I now the adapter is the same

  23. Mark says:

    Like a few others have mentioned, definitely make it in black and white options, its such a small thing to say, but in the end its the cheap bit, the plastic moulding, and more people wear white shoes than black on the road nowadays. Dunno if the wire should be white too really on a white version, or go from black at the bottom to white at the point the wire leaves the average height of a carbon sole.

    Aesthetics would be great to get right, cos so many people ignore it. Also, logo it up as best you can but classy and simple, it doesnt need to be in your face, but wants to look real good logo-wise too (email me if you want help, designer for 20 years, and bike mad so would be glad help for nothing but the fun).

  24. sami says:

    If you are thinking of taking orders, we need a release date

  25. Ethan says:

    This Garmin delay could be a great
    opportunity for you guys to be the
    first to market with pedal based
    PMs… GET MOVING!!! :-)

  26. Jason says:

    Looking forward to details of the release dates, especially for Look pedal systems. I hope it won’t be too long because Garmin and Polar are knocking on the door and whilst their products seems to be priced a bit high, they’ll be out in the market which means you’ll have your work cut out to drive sales. Definitely agree with the comments that the transmitter should come in white which is my preference. Keep up the good work guys.

  27. Peter says:

    Do we have a release date yet? Don’t think i can wait any longer and sounds exciting!

  28. Tom says:

    Update time

  29. Sergio says:

    For different oclors, 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.

  30. Kafam says:

    Wow! So much info and still so many questions! That’s great tguohh 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

  31. pablo says:

    Can you give us a ball park release date yet guys ?!

  32. Ismo says:

    Garmin has confirmed that the Vector PM will not be available for season 2012. Now would be a good time to tell the latest Zone news. And perhaps bring the release date forward…

  33. Simon says:

    If these can be released with a competitive level of accuracy compared with SRM and Powertap then they will take over very quickly. Love that development is focusing on Speedplay pedals – I was so disappointed to see Garmin drop Speedplay pedals from Vector. I can’t wait to get my hands on a set of Zone cleats later this year – fingers crossed!

  34. Mitch says:

    How about another update on expected release date, price, etc…. Really looking forward to this. Keep the price right and you’ll run everyone else out of the market.

  35. Feliciano Vasa Ferreira says:

    Five months have passed and no feedback … weird. I hope that the project is not stopped and give us good news soon. I also hope that the price is not so high, that creates lows expectations.

  36. Barry says:

    Not quite 5 months (we opened pre-order at the end of January, just over 3 months ago), but we take the point!

    Rest assured we’re still working hard on the Zone. We’ll try to take a few minutes to get some news out to you in the next few days, but there’s nothing specific to add to what is already published so it’ll be just general information.

    And launch is still planned for late 2012, and price is still not announced.

  37. Does your site have a contact page? I’m having problems locating it but, I’d like to send you an email. I’ve got some ideas for your blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way, great blog and I look forward to seeing it improve over time.

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