First Look: PowerTap G3 disc hub power meter
Editor’s note: PowerTap is sponsoring our coverage of Dirty Kanza 200 in 2018. We rode the PowerTap G3 hub power meter for the 200-mile race across the Flint Hills of Kansas on June 2.
In 2005, PowerTap introduced the world’s first-ever wireless power meter – they’ve been striving to improve it ever since. The G3 is the latest generation of their hub-based power meter.
The G3’s design allows for a simple, straightforward way to measure power. By mounting the strain gauges in an area where external forces, such as spoken tension, cannot impact power measurement, the PowerTap G3 is able to deliver +/- 1.5 percent accuracy. More than just a power meter, the G3 delivers speed, cadence, and power data with all at once. And it can easily be swapped between bikes so you’ll never miss the data you’ve come to expect to enhance your riding and training.
Chris’s training for Dirty Kanza involved reworking his physiology to better withstand the rigors of a really long day at a significant pace. That’s where the G3 hub became invaluable. With the help of VeloNews’s resident physiologist, Trevor Connor, who is also his co-host on Fast Talk, the VeloNews podcast on training and sports science, they devised a course of action. Key to the best training plans is a solid understanding of one’s heart rate and power zones. The G3’s accuracy and ease of use became as important as the plan itself.
Features of the PowerTap G3 hub power meter
- 350-gram hub weight
- 150-gram rotor weight
- 135-millimeter quick release or 142×12-millimeter thru axle
- Six-pawl freehub
- Power meter accuracy of +/- 1.5 percent
- Hole count: 24 or 28
- Shimano/SRAM or Campagnolo compatible
- One CR2032 (coin cell) battery
- Head unit is compatible with ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart devices
- Two-year worldwide warranty
A tale of customer service
Because Chris had a custom set of wheels built for Dirty Kanza, there were some logistical challenges to overcome. Here is a timeline of the amazing tale behind his wheels.
Tuesday, May 22
The Enve rims arrive at Saris/PowerTap headquarters. Saris’s production staff and resources were already committed for the week and Memorial Day was Monday. In order to get the wheels to Chris, it will take a full custom build by someone outside Saris. Saris contacts Isaac Neff, owner of Neff Cycle Service and he agrees to take the job.
Wednesday, May 23
Since the Enve rims are brand new to the market, details are not easy to come up with for the build. After some emails between Saris and Enve and a trip to Isaac’s garage (his business is a mobile shop with a brick and mortar service course), spokes and nipples are ordered. Fun fact: The G3 Disc hubs are designed with the builder in mind. If you are using the same hole count and rim profile, the spoke lengths will be the same for the drive and non-drive sides, front and back. This saves wasted orders on straight pull spokes.
Thursday, May 24
Most of the spokes and nipples arrive at Neff Cycle Service. Eight more spokes have to come from another warehouse so the build will be finished after Isaac gets back from the 2018 Snake Alley criterium. (Isaac is not only a phenomenal wrench, he is a two-time national champion in cyclocross: 2016 30-34 masters and singlespeed champion.)
Saturday, May 26
Isaac makes the winning break with Daniel Summerhill and Sam Fritz at Snake Alley. During the race, a spectator gets on the course causing Isaac to veer into a curb. He breaks an arm, kneecap, has several cuts and scrapes, and is diagnosed with a concussion.
Tuesday, May 29
Isaac has his right-hand man finish the wheels and they are sent on their way, arriving at the VeloNews office on Wednesday so that Chris can set them up, get a ride in, and head out to Kansas the next day.