Tracking power output for competitive cyclists can be key to identifying areas in need of improvement, but it has traditionally meant installing expensive power meters in crank arms on each bike that they use. Start-up Brim Brothers is aiming to offer a little more flexibility with a wearable power meter that is fitted to the cyclist's shoes to measure force regardless of their choice of ride.
Power meters built into the crank arms can costs upwards of US$1,000, so have been a little hard to justify for the more casual cyclist. Lately we have seen a few more affordable solutions, such as devices that sit on the inside of the pedal or mount on the handlebars. But Brim Brothers has gone ahead and detached the meter from the bike altogether.
The waterproof Zone DPMX meter consists of a sensor-laden plate, which takes the place of an adaptor plate that normally sits between the cleat and the sole of the shoe, and a pod that sits on top of the foot. Sensors in the bottom plate measure force, while sensors in the pod measure the position of the pedal and crank 100 times per second.
Brim Brothers claims that combining the information from the two devices allows it to calculate power in watts, along with cadence, or revolutions per minute. This data is then transmitted to an ANT+ capable smartphone or bike computer for display and recording.
Cyclists can opt to rely on just a single Zone DPMX, in which case the data is simply doubled to get a total power calculation. But installing one on each shoe sees the pods communicate to calculate total power, while also offering a left/right power balance reading.
The Zone DPMX power meters require Speedplay Zero pedals and cleats to work, but beyond that are compatible with any cycling shoe that has a standard 3-hole cleat pattern on the sole and at least one closing strap. Charge time is less than two hours, and the battery is claimed to last for around 15 hours of use.
Currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign, the Zone DPMX power meters can be preordered for €390 (US$437) a pop. So they aren't really the solution to the hefty price tags normally attached to cycling power meters, but with the ability to track power across different bikes it's easy to see how they could be cost-effective for those with a number of rides in their stable. Shipping is slated for July 2016 if everything goes to plan.
You can check out the pitch video below.
Source: Brim Brothers