Forum home Road cycling forum Road general

Powertap P1 - Buyer Beware

DavidJBDavidJB Posts: 2,019
edited September 2018 in Road general
I got my first Powertap p1 pedals in early 2016 as I have 3 bikes all with different bottom brackets so a pedal solution seemed ideal. I didn't really like the idea of the the Garmin Vectors due to the pods and the self contained units of the Powertaps seemed a better solution. I also thought that Powertap was a well established brand and produced good quality products from the repuation gained from their hubs.

The first set of pedals were fine for around 6 months until the left side pedal stopped turning on and would only turn on with the cap loosened off, which lasted about 5 seconds on a ride until the cap jiggled and they turned off again.

I returned them to the place I bought them and got a brand new set sent to me. This time they lasted about 2 months until the right side unit failed and wouldn't turn on again.

Again I was given a replacement set and after another 2-3 months the bearings failed on the left side pedal and there was a lot of lateral play in the pedal thread, my cadence would read all over the place and power would drop out every few seconds so I sent them back and once again got another set...4th time lucky right? Wrong! After 5 weeks the right pedal has failed and won't power on again.

Through all of these sets I had rides where the power has dropped out, read way too high and just been a bit weird. So even when working I've not been trilled with them. In contrast to this my previous power meter was a power2max which was absolutely flawless. I used it for 3 years with no issues and sold it to someone who's been using it every day for a year and it's still going strong! Unfortunately a crank based system is too much of a PITA for me to go back to as all 3 bikes have different BB's

So I've now had enough and are returning them for the final time and I'm going to try some Garmin Vector 2's. A few early reviews were bad but the latest reports from users seem to be generally good.

I would have thought I'd just have been unlucky with the PowerTap P1's but a friend of mine also had them and he gave up on the 5th set!!

On the net the reviews seem mostly positive so I wanted to put it out there that for reliability the Powertaps come up very short and simply are not fit for purpose. The company must be losing money hand over fist with all the warranty claims!

I think this is the first negative review I've ever written on a forum about a product in over 8 years of cycling, but when you're dropping nearly a grand on some pedals you expect them to last. So if you're a heavy user then avoid the P1's.

Posts

  • DCrainmaker lists them as his go to powermeter.

    Do you really need a PM on all bikes at all time?
    I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles
  • DavidJBDavidJB Posts: 2,019
    DCrainmaker lists them as his go to powermeter.

    Do you really need a PM on all bikes at all time?

    With the P1's you have to use their cleats which aren't look compatible (I tried) so I have to use the pedals as I only have 1 pair of shoes.

    Plus for training, racing and TTing I use power...maybe I couldn't not bother when racing but good to get the data for analysis afterwards.

    Yeah DC rainmaker rates them, and as we all know he's the go to guy for PM advice! I wanted to give a different perspective of how underwhelming I found them.

    It's a real shame, I love the concept and gave them 4 chances in case they fixed the issues but there just seems to be a lack of QC.
  • redvisionredvision Posts: 2,614
    I have just had a refund for my p1s. Originally ordered in Sept 2015 they have been replaced 6 times! The last two have each only lasted for a few weeks.

    The issues are always the same, play starts in the pedal, then data drops, before one or both stop transmitting data.

    The issues are common and wide spread. The fact that powertap seem either reluctant or incapable of fixing the issue has put me off them as a company.

    My advice to any potential buyers is avoid the p1s.
  • The pods on Garmin Vector 2 are not a problem. I don't even notice they are there.
    I haven't had any reliability issues with Garmin Vector 2. The readings have never dropped out and seems consistent on the same roads.
    They're not that bad or slow to fit if you know how to use a torque wrench. Takes 2 seconds to calibrate unclipped before a ride.
    "The Prince of Wales is now the King of France" - Calton Kirby
  • DavidJBDavidJB Posts: 2,019
    The pods on Garmin Vector 2 are not a problem. I don't even notice they are there.
    I haven't had any reliability issues with Garmin Vector 2. The readings have never dropped out and seems consistent on the same roads.
    They're not that bad or slow to fit if you know how to use a torque wrench. Takes 2 seconds to calibrate unclipped before a ride.

    Good to know! Thanks.
  • jimwalshjimwalsh Posts: 113
    mine have been fine after 18 months use in all weathers
  • DavidJBDavidJB Posts: 2,019
    jimwalsh wrote:
    mine have been fine after 18 months use in all weathers

    Glad you're not experiencing any issues Jim. You're a lucky man :)
  • johnny25johnny25 Posts: 344
    I must be very lucky too. I'm on my original set of P1's from 2015.

    However I only use them when I'm doing structured training, not for every day pottering about type rides.
  • davem399davem399 Posts: 269
    Mine have not been too bad. The only issue I have had is that the battery end cap needs the minimum of torque when tightening after a battery change. I nipped them up the other week and when I spun the pedals I didn't get the green LEDs to light up. I backed off the end caps and tightened them up a bit less and have been fine so far.
  • craigrcraigr Posts: 53
    I too have had 2 sets returned. First set there was play in the right pedal. Second set the right pedal stopped working. Had power spikes in first set, but firmware updates got rid of these. They also came out with different updates on battery types that should be used as think they found out some were causing hardware failures..

    On my 3rd set now since March last year and touch wood are still going ok, have used them in all conditions over about 7,000 miles. I now use these batteries too : https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00 ... UTF8&psc=1
  • cgfw201cgfw201 Posts: 669
    I bought some on Wiggle in January having read all the bad reviews such as the above.

    They came in a damaged box, a took them out and one pedal's spindle was wobbling around all over the place.

    I duly sent them back, got a refund and then bought a Quarq PM which has been excellent.

    Do seem to be some serious issues with how the P1s are made.
  • joe2008joe2008 Posts: 1,919
    I nearly brought a pair, however, I took a chance on some Favero BePros instead.

    Glad I did. 450 hours on the BePros, according to WKO4, with no issues so far.

    Less than half the price of P1's or vectors, and without silly pods, or AAA batteries.
  • teebs_123teebs_123 Posts: 346
    cgfw201 wrote:
    I bought some on Wiggle in January having read all the bad reviews such as the above.

    They came in a damaged box, a took them out and one pedal's spindle was wobbling around all over the place.

    I duly sent them back, got a refund and then bought a Quarq PM which has been excellent.

    Do seem to be some serious issues with how the P1s are made.

    This echoes the same issues I had, returned for a full refund. Now running a Dzero which has been excellent so far (and was £200 cheaper)
    Orbea Orca OMX DI2 MyO
    Kinesis 4s Di2
  • DavidJB wrote:
    DCrainmaker lists them as his go to powermeter.

    Do you really need a PM on all bikes at all time?

    With the P1's you have to use their cleats which aren't look compatible (I tried) so I have to use the pedals as I only have 1 pair of shoes.

    Plus for training, racing and TTing I use power...maybe I couldn't not bother when racing but good to get the data for analysis afterwards.

    Yeah DC rainmaker rates them, and as we all know he's the go to guy for PM advice! I wanted to give a different perspective of how underwhelming I found them.

    It's a real shame, I love the concept and gave them 4 chances in case they fixed the issues but there just seems to be a lack of QC.

    Was exploring options as I have a quarq & powertap. Think i'll swerve
    I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles
  • cgfw201cgfw201 Posts: 669
    teebs_123 wrote:
    cgfw201 wrote:
    I bought some on Wiggle in January having read all the bad reviews such as the above.

    They came in a damaged box, a took them out and one pedal's spindle was wobbling around all over the place.

    I duly sent them back, got a refund and then bought a Quarq PM which has been excellent.

    Do seem to be some serious issues with how the P1s are made.

    This echoes the same issues I had, returned for a full refund. Now running a Dzero which has been excellent so far (and was £200 cheaper)

    Could have been the same ones. Wiggle later admitted their returns department cocked up and sent me some faulty ones that had already been returned!
  • rower63rower63 Posts: 1,991
    I have Garmin Vector on 2 of my bikes, both the "vector 1" original pods.

    One bike is the Vector - ie two pods, measurement from both sides - this has done about 3,000 miles (~170 hours).

    The other bike is the Vector S, ie just one pod on the left pedal. This has done around 15,000 miles (~ 850 hours), and I've just now replaced the pedal bodies for them, as the left cleat-clip had become rather worn and there was play in the bearings. Those 15k miles have been hard miles, mostly commuting so lots of unclipping and lots of salt and grit. With new pedal bodies, they're perfect again, a real joy.

    They've both been very good, I have no complaints, and their power readings are consistent with each other.

    I used to have a Powertap hub, but it stopped working after about the 4th battery change and, as you indicate, to say their follow-up service was bad is an understatement.
    Dolan Titanium ADX 2016
    Ridley Noah FAST 2013
    Bottecchia/Campagnolo 1990
    Carrera Parva Hybrid 2016
    Hoy Sa Calobra 002 2014 [off duty]
    Storck Absolutist 2011 [off duty]
    http://www.slidingseat.net/cycling/cycling.html
  • DavidJB wrote:
    Unfortunately a crank based system is too much of a PITA for me to go back to as all 3 bikes have different BB's

    With a 24mm spindle you should be able to adapt to all bottom bracket standards. I swap my my P2M between BBright (wmf BBright bottom bracket for 24mm) road bike, shimano hollotech II on the commuter and BB30 (with reducer spaces) on the TT bike.

    However, it does mean you either have to run the same size chainrings on all your bikes or take on the extra faff of swapping rings.

    Personally I'm fine TTing on most my course with standard chainrings, but I'm thinking of getting a large chainring for DC course this year. It'll be an extra faff, but I don't do those events too often anyway.
  • narbsnarbs Posts: 639
    joe2008 wrote:
    I nearly brought a pair, however, I took a chance on some Favero BePros instead.

    Glad I did. 450 hours on the BePros, according to WKO4, with no issues so far.

    Less than half the price of P1's or vectors, and without silly pods, or AAA batteries.

    I think I'm about to pull the trigger on these, so this is good to hear!
  • SurfrSurfr Posts: 243
    I'm waiting for Paligap to send me a 3rd pair via Chainreaction.

    1st pair, right pedal died.
    2nd pair, when changing batteries one day the pedal body came 1inch off the spindle in my hand whilst on the workshop stand!

    Chainreaction currently unwilling to refund me as both failures were different. Not sure what I have to do to qualify for a refund but I want out and am considering the new Shimano crank meter
  • daniel_bdaniel_b Posts: 8,643
    joe2008 wrote:
    I nearly brought a pair, however, I took a chance on some Favero BePros instead.

    Glad I did. 450 hours on the BePros, according to WKO4, with no issues so far.

    Less than half the price of P1's or vectors, and without silly pods, or AAA batteries.

    What price are you seeing them for, and where are you seeing them?
    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
    Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
    Scott CR1 SL 12
    Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
    Scott Foil 18
  • joe2008joe2008 Posts: 1,919
    Daniel B wrote:
    joe2008 wrote:
    I nearly brought a pair, however, I took a chance on some Favero BePros instead.

    Glad I did. 450 hours on the BePros, according to WKO4, with no issues so far.

    Less than half the price of P1's or vectors, and without silly pods, or AAA batteries.

    What price are you seeing them for, and where are you seeing them?

    I got mine from BikeFast for £360 (one sided) before Brexit, now £418.

    http://www.bikefast.co.uk/bepro-s-pedal ... er=SW10744
  • DavidJBDavidJB Posts: 2,019
    Update: I've been using Vector for a few weeks and seems much better, a bit more of a faff moving between bikes but also the batteries last a lot longer! Time will tell if the vectors are more sturdy though.
  • narbsnarbs Posts: 639
    joe2008 wrote:
    Daniel B wrote:
    joe2008 wrote:
    I nearly brought a pair, however, I took a chance on some Favero BePros instead.

    Glad I did. 450 hours on the BePros, according to WKO4, with no issues so far.

    Less than half the price of P1's or vectors, and without silly pods, or AAA batteries.

    What price are you seeing them for, and where are you seeing them?

    I got mine from BikeFast for £360 (one sided) before Brexit, now £418.

    http://www.bikefast.co.uk/bepro-s-pedal ... er=SW10744

    Yes, I got mine at the post-Brexit price :(

    Had them for a few weeks now and had no issues whatsoever - easy to install and zero straight away each ride. Just need to remember to wake them after a coffee stop before cycling off.
  • joe2008joe2008 Posts: 1,919
    narbs wrote:
    Yes, I got mine at the post-Brexit price :(

    Had them for a few weeks now and had no issues whatsoever - easy to install and zero straight away each ride. Just need to remember to wake them after a coffee stop before cycling off.

    I think they're amazing, and great value. I don't think you'll have any trouble with them.

    Yes, the wake up is the only 'issue' I've had, good to see it's not just mine with a problem.

    Battery charge lasts a long time, and I like the fact that you get a 4 hour low battery warning, more than enough time to finish a ride in most cases.
  • Ste_SSte_S Posts: 1,173
    Owner of P1's for the past five months, and no major issues so far. Occasionally reports the right pedal as 'missing', but doesn't seem to affect the data.

    Very happy with how easy it is to swap between my bikes
  • bendertherobotbendertherobot Posts: 11,655
    narbs wrote:
    joe2008 wrote:
    Daniel B wrote:
    joe2008 wrote:
    I nearly brought a pair, however, I took a chance on some Favero BePros instead.

    Glad I did. 450 hours on the BePros, according to WKO4, with no issues so far.

    Less than half the price of P1's or vectors, and without silly pods, or AAA batteries.

    What price are you seeing them for, and where are you seeing them?

    I got mine from BikeFast for £360 (one sided) before Brexit, now £418.

    http://www.bikefast.co.uk/bepro-s-pedal ... er=SW10744

    Yes, I got mine at the post-Brexit price :(

    Had them for a few weeks now and had no issues whatsoever - easy to install and zero straight away each ride. Just need to remember to wake them after a coffee stop before cycling off.

    Have to say, I really like these. Or, I should say, I really like that you got these and can tell me much power I am using while I try and do the same speed next to you. Quite eye opening!
    My blog: http://www.roubaixcycling.cc (kit reviews and other musings)
    https://twitter.com/roubaixcc
    Facebook? No. Just say no.
  • narbsnarbs Posts: 639
    narbs wrote:
    joe2008 wrote:
    Daniel B wrote:
    joe2008 wrote:
    I nearly brought a pair, however, I took a chance on some Favero BePros instead.

    Glad I did. 450 hours on the BePros, according to WKO4, with no issues so far.

    Less than half the price of P1's or vectors, and without silly pods, or AAA batteries.

    What price are you seeing them for, and where are you seeing them?

    I got mine from BikeFast for £360 (one sided) before Brexit, now £418.

    http://www.bikefast.co.uk/bepro-s-pedal ... er=SW10744

    Yes, I got mine at the post-Brexit price :(

    Had them for a few weeks now and had no issues whatsoever - easy to install and zero straight away each ride. Just need to remember to wake them after a coffee stop before cycling off.

    Have to say, I really like these. Or, I should say, I really like that you got these and can tell me much power I am using while I try and do the same speed next to you. Quite eye opening!

    :lol:
  • das60das60 Posts: 1
    I have a second issue with the PowerTap pedals. Put your shoes on the pedal and look at the gap between the top of the claw and the bottom of the shoe. On my Sidi shoes this is less than 1mm with the P1s. In contrast, my Shimano cleats and pedals have 4mm of clearance here.

    The Issue? The gap is so tight it is really not safe to wear shoe covers or toe gaps where the rear band comes anywhere near the back off the cleat. The elastic will prevent the claw from closing completely.

    How do I know? in a 700+ watt uphill (3%) sprint, I ripped my right foot out and went over the bars onto the ground. I can't technically prove that the foot coming out was due to the elastic getting caught in the gap. But I was on a clear road with nobody interfering with me and even now I can put the toe cap on and feel in pinched in the gap. Shimano and Look cleats all have adequate clearance, Wellgo's design does not.

    Do not use shoe covers or caps with these pedals. I broke 9 ribs each in multiple places and a collarbone.
  • Bought my pair in June 2016, ridden 5000 miles (8000 km), been in a downhill crash that nocked me out.

    Pedals are still going strong. And just bought a new set for my second bike.

    My only gripe is how week the battery cap is, i’ve ruined 2 sets so far. Very cheap/ crappy build.

    Sorry to hear about your experience.
Sign In or Register to comment.