1) It’s actually priced appropriately and competitively in the market 2) It doesn’t involve Look’s engineering work, for which the SRM EXAKT pedals were based on (to significant fault) 3) It’s unique in the market and could be the first shipping product in the category (MTB power meter pedals, also applicable to gravel and cross as well)
Oh, I guess, I mean…sure…there’s a bit more. Like specs and stuff I suppose. So let’s talk about those.
The SRM X may well be the first power meter pedal for mountain bikers once it gets to market later this year. Though, I suppose that title will depend a bit on whether IQ2 can get there first or not with their altered-course Kickstarter project. But, I’m going to presume SRM will win this battle, if only for the reason they’ve been actively testing and riding their pedal since earlier this year. Plus, power meter experience and all that.
Price: 1,000EURAvailability: Dec 2019ishPedal Compatibility: SPD (MTB)Stated Accuracy: +/- 1%Protocols: Dual ANT+ & Bluetooth SmartBattery Life: 80 hoursWeight: 165g per pedalLook Involved: Nope de Nope.
Now as I alluded to earlier and directly in the line above, this pedal is an SRM-only venture. Meaning that the SRM EXAKT pedal that came out last summer was in partnership with Look. The challenge there was that they adopted Look’s method of installation and calibration, which required special tools, boatloads of finicky time, and enough patience to not throw the bike at incoming bus traffic.
But that’s gone with the mountain bike variant. SRM has transitioned to an install process that mirrors normal pedals: Crank them on…and done. Just like Favero Assioma, Garmin Vector, and the PowerTap pedals. No fancy tools, no funky apps, nothing. Just twist on. They’re able to do that by adding in an accelerometer and gyro, which also lets them ditch the magnets of the SRM EXAKT pedal (magnets were used to determine rotation of the spindle, and thus used for cadence and ultimately power output).
Next, just like the SRM EXAKT pedals, it contains active temperature compensation in it (in fact, the newer crankset SRM Origin units finally also now have temperature compensation in them, alongside dual ANT+/BLE). The importance of that is realistically less meaningful in mountain biking where you’re often stopping and starting pedaling, whereas in road cycling it’s a huge deal for anyone that’s done long climbs up mountain passes where the temperature shifts dramatically and you don’t stop pedaling.
From a battery standpoint, the pedals are slated for 80 hours, and use a magnetic charging adapter to charge each pedal individually. Unlike the EXACT pedals, I’m told they’ll actually include two of the charging adapters in the box. So you know, you can actually charge your two pedals at the same time.
Like SRM’s head units, it’ll come in a slate of colors. I’m told the same list of colors as the SRM PC8 is available, which…is a lot of colors. The reason is more simplistic though: The pedal spindle easily (with a tool) slides out of the pedal body. The entire thing is self-contained in the spindle: Battery, communications electronics, strain gauges, small villagers, everything. That means you can buy different colored pedal bodies and swap around. So perhaps you have two dramatically different color-schemed mountain bikes, this solves any sort of fashion faux-pas.
The whole thing is housed inside that stainless steel tube there, which SRM says they’ve gone through dozens of test variants on to find just the right materials and construction that’s able to withstand the horrible life that is being a mountain bike pedal. The company’s engineers have been riding the pedals since earlier this year out on real trails with real mountain bikes.
Note that it’s likely we’re going to see a pile of SPD power meter pedals, as my understanding from multiple people is that Shimano’s SPD patent expired earlier this year. Something that Google seems to confirm.
Like with the SRM’s road pedals, this will transmit ANT+ & Bluetooth Smart, and power balance (left/right balance) for both. It won’t do the recently opened up Cycling Dynamics, but I suspect there’s less interest in the mountain bike segment anyway for that.
Now, of course, I haven’t tested these pedals yet. Be it on a trainer or out in the wilds of rough terrain and hitting against rocks, trees, and small gnomes. That’ll come at some point down the road, likely towards the end of the year when they’re set to start shipping. So things could go horribly wrong when I actually try and use them and compare them to other power meters on the same bike.
The shipping plan sounds like it’s December, but I got a bit of a feeling from talking to multiple people at SRM that might also be more like a January or so. I don’t think there’s an appreciable difference between those two for the sport of mountain biking in most snowy markets.
As I said at the beginning – I’m actually reasonably excited this could be a turning point product for SRM. By and large the company hasn’t been innovating in the last few years, and as a result, has seen their market share dwindle down to almost nothing in terms of % of new power meter sales – despite having massive brand recognition in the sport. That’s largely been a function of price, but also technologically too.
However, the SRM X seems to be on the right path towards redemption. From a first look standpoint they’ve gotten rid of the parts of the technology that were weighing down the product, while focusing on simplicity in setup. The ability to swap pedal bodies easy is appealing from a breakage standpoint but also just from a cosmetic standpoint – plus, nobody else has that. But of course, the biggie on the ‘nobody else has’ front is simply a mountain bike pedal based power meter. As noted earlier on, IQ2 has shown one on their new directions campaign, but we don’t know how real that is, nor where they stand in product development and accuracy out on the trails.
But finally – there’s that price. Right now at 1,000EUR (assuming VAT-inclusive), it’s competitive on the European side for sure. If they can match for parity on the USD side ($1,000USD), that would be highly competitive and in line with road-bike power meter pedals (Vector 3 is at $999, though the PowerTap P2 and Favero Assioma pedals are lower priced). Given that SRM stands to be the first to market with this, the slight premium over PowerTap and Favero would be logical. I fear any higher though and they’re likely to lose interest from many riders. Certainly there’s an element of mental price-break math, and $999 is a well established price point break.
With that – I look forward to testing these out when the times comes, hopefully later this year. Thanks for reading!
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You’re forgetting the fat tire crowd, who live, among other things, for riding in winter when there’s snow. I often see fat tire tracks when I’m out cross country skiing. (As opposed to the old days, when I might see an occasional MTB track, connected to a wallow where the rider went down, followed by a track, followed by another wallow…) Still, they’re probably not the market for these.
So the other day I was grinding up a gravel climb when a whole bunch of underpants gnomes burst out of a cabin, yelling “Profit! Profit!”. I managed to keep ahead of them (they’re gnomes after all) until I crested. Good thing; I hate cleaning my bike.
Yeah, I thought about the fat tire crowd when writing that…then I realized the crossover of fat tire folks and power meter folks is approximately 6 people…and they all already work for 4iiii.
Ha! I resemble that remark… I have had a powermeter on my fatbike since I have had a fatbike (>10y now)… Starting with a powertap mtb on a pugsley, then a quarq 2×10, then onto a quarq “xx1” on my current bike…
I would be interested in these for my Salsa Beargrease fat bike. I tried a Stages PM on the XX1 crank, but it didn’t clear the chainstays and had to send it back. These would be an ideal solution. While I do ride in snow, I really like the Beargrease in the late fall and early spring when the local mid-west trails are slippery with heavy leaf cover. The fat bike is the only one in the quiver with a PM.
The rare combination may ultimately be fat bikes with clipless pedals in the long run. The larger q-factor causes enough knee pain that I generally unclip when I can, but I would love to have more data from those recreational rides.
Winter is almost long enough to be tempted to switch to platform pedals & non-cleated boots. Even then I’d still love to know what the TSS score could have been.
I’m also one of the six! I would primarily buy these for my mountain bike, but would love to be able slap these on my fat bike for winter rides in Michigan. Much of the single track around me is groomed in the winter and you aren’t allowed to ride with normal MTB tires because they leave ruts in the snow.
Bless Michigan. The one thing I hate, hate, hate as a skier is when some hiker/runner decides that going up the wonderful set ski tracks that skiers have labored over (no machine grooming where I ski) would be easier than breaking their own trail. This “postholes” the tracks. Then, when you kick to go forward, if the kick area of the ski is above a posthole, no grip and your ski slides back with no forward propulsion. So if you’re on foot with no snowshoes or skis, please stay the hell off ski tracks. As you say, fat bikes aren’t a problem, and a fat tire track is a decent place to put a ski (not quite wide enough for two, maybe you guys should use fatter tires :-)). Snowmobiles make great tracks, but you have to put up with the noise and the smell.
Hey, I’m one of these! Unfortunately SPD is a non-starter for snow riding. Now trying to figure out how to sort something out for 100 mm bottom bracket.
The cheap/easy way with a Stages won’t work; not enough crank/seatstay clearance. And want a powermeter to train extensively on the fatbike to attempt an Ultra event next year.
You might take a look at the Velocomp PowerPod. I have both a PowerPod and an AeroPod and have used them extensively. Since I don’t have a DFPM I can’t say anything about accuracy, but the power numbers seem reasonable enough, and from the comparisons I’ve seen, both by Ray and others, they seem to be pretty accurate. Knowing how it works, it might not handle deep snow entirely correctly, but I assume your Ultra isn’t in the winter. Simple to mount, doesn’t matter what pedals you have, costs much less than a typical DFPM.
The event is indeed in the winter :). I doubt that aero-based PMs give good readings in inconsistent, rough surfaces.
Velocomp actually addressed that issue in firmware. If you look at Ray’s review of the original PowerPod, he found discrepancies on cobbled sections in Paris. They went back and revised the software (using the accelerometer to detect rough sections) and, if I remember right, it seemed to solve the problem, although I don’t think Ray ever published his comparisons. But since I have nothing to compare it to, I can’t say that it actually works, just that the number seem reasonable.
But anyway, a “road” surface that squishes under and adheres to your tires probably isn’t what they had in mind.
I really wish 4iiii required less …. knowing how to do stuff or bike shops involved. This is exciting to me! I have been wanting a simple pedal solution for my gravel bike power. I have a 1x and I really like not having to try to clean anything behind anything if that makes sense. I can just use my non-corrosive baby wipes and a rag and the crank is clean. I can’t say the same for my 2x set up w power, which requires floss and toothbrushes and when it comes to the glue, there goes the ability to use the baby wipes or with the built in 4iii, there’s a bump, which gets in the way of the rag. Anyway my point is that I really like the clearance for cleaning purposes when it comes to my hella dirty bike and I also like that rocks don’t get stuck up in between the crank arm and the frame. So, anyway I’m excited too!!!! Even if it’s for wiener-ish cleaning reasons.
If all of the brains are in the spindle, then presumably SRM could develop a road bike pedal as well? This would mean a user with Road and MTB bikes could get away with only having to invest in one power meter and swap bodies as necessary. That’s got to be a winning gambit for SRM hasn’t it?
That would be genius but I’m guessing unlikely as it means less sales and who puts their sales numbers ahead of their customers?