This article first appeared on BikeRadar.
Ready for another option in power meters? Pioneer promised at last year's Interbike show to release the SGY-PM900 Pedaling Monitor Sensor and SGX-CA900 Athlete Cyclocomputer around April or June, and it looks like the company is making good on that. We spotted Blanco riders Lars Boom and Lars Petter Nordhaug using it at Tirreno-Adriatico and expect other teammates to follow.
Pioneer's power meter is somewhat like the new Stages power meter in that it uses a strain gage sensor array that's bonded directly to an otherwise stock crankarm. The Blanco bikes have it on the Shimano Dura-Ace 9000 models, but there are also 7950 and 7900 options slated for consumer release. Unlike the left-arm-only Stages meter, the Pioneer meter has sensor arrays on both crankarms, allowing real-time left vs. right power measurements.
ANT+ wireless compatibility means that Pioneer's new power meter should work with third-party computer heads such as from Garmin, CycleOps, SRM and others. However, Blanco's decision to use Pioneer's Android-powered SGX-CA900 display earns its riders another benefit: a visual display of what direction they're applying that power, which can help users analyze and improve their pedaling stroke.
Integrated GPS could make it a viable competitor to Garmin's popular Edge range, too, and we've been told the touch screen is fast and responsive.
The Pioneer system requires its own bottom bracket, which team representatives told BikeRadar add about 1mm to the effective shell width – no big deal with Shimano's adjustable Hollowtech II system. The total target added weight relative to a standard Dura-Ace crankset is supposedly just 70g but Blanco team representatives also told BikeRadar they want their systems to be lighter so it's possible that Pioneer still has some work to do to hit that figure.
Blanco has been testing the new power meter since last year and already started using it in competition at last month's Omloop Het Nieuwsblad so we expect to hear more on this development in the near future.