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Exclusive first look: Xpedo Thrust E power meter pedals

By:
James Huang
Published:
March 03, 2014, 9:01 GMT,
Updated:
March 03, 2014, 8:02 GMT
Edition:
Second Edition Cycling News, Monday, March 3, 2014
Whereas the Garmin Vector requires separate 'pods' to house the batteries and transmitters, Xpedo manages to squeeze everything into the Thrust E power meters' aluminum pedal bodies

Whereas the Garmin Vector requires separate 'pods' to house the batteries and transmitters, Xpedo manages to squeeze everything into the Thrust E power meters' aluminum pedal bodies

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Compact power meter pedal could offer a low-cost option

This article originally appeared on BikeRadar

The power meter market is heating up yet again, this time with a brand-new pedal-based entry from Xpedo. Set for an official release at this week's Taipei Cycle Show, the new Thrust E power meter pedals promise a very user-friendly design, a reasonably low weight, and a price point that won't require a second mortgage.

Much like the recently introduced Garmin Vector, the Xpedo Thrust E will measure power more or less directly where it's applied: at the pedal body. Whereas the Vector uses a multi-directional strain gauge array on the spindle, however, the Thrust E will pack the sensor into the contact surface underneath the cleat.

In this way, the Thrust E won't be able to discern the magnitude of the force applied and its direction like the admittedly feature-packed Vector. The Thrust E will, however, measure and display independent left and right power outputs, which is likely more than enough for many riders anyway.

Another key difference is the packaging. Whereas the Vector houses its wireless transmitters and batteries in separate 'pods', Xpedo has managed to squeeze everything – including cadence sensors – right into the pedal body itself for a much cleaner look. The all-in-one design should make for a more straightforward (and less error-prone) installation process, plus we expect the Thrust E will be easier to transfer between different bikes. The ubiquitous ANT+ wireless protocol will offer head unit compatibility with popular options like Garmin and Wahoo Fitness, too.

Garmin does beat the Thrust E in terms of weight but only barely. Xpedo says its new power meter pedals will weigh 385g per pair, including batteries but without the Look KéO-compatible cleats. For comparison, similarly configured Vectors are only 34g lighter at 351g per pair.

Xpedo appears to have packed durability into the Thrust E pedal design, however, so that extra weight may be well spent. Bodies are made of forged aluminum and rotate around chromoly spindles on three cartridge bearings apiece. Claimed battery life is 150-190 hours – and when they run low, the lithium-ion cells are recharged, not replaced.

Xpedo has yet to announce pricing or a release date but according to brand manager Ken Yamakoshi, the company is, "trying to make it more affordable compared to the other systems."

We'll have full details of the pedals and more exclusive tech news from the Taipei show this week.

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