PowerPod - seriously, can it be trusted?

Need to buy two power meters for our training/bad weather bikes but don’t want to get too spendy but also don’t want to waste money on some rubbish. I’d rather get spendy than waste cash on a poor bit of kit.

We use Rotor Inpower on the road and TT bikes and on the gravel bikes we have and want to use for year round training we’d need to change bottom bracket, get a new chainset, and power a left sided power meter - for both.

PowerPod would reduce total cost by more than 50%.

Anyone got this PM and can give a genuine bit of feedback on how good it is and what the issues are? Especially compared to their other crank based PM? I’ve seen the blogger reviews but even the best ones like DCR I’ve seen tout stuff which turned out to be a bit pants over the long term.

Here is a trustworthy review: https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2016/03/powerpod-depth-review.html

I had one…I got it during the crowd fund campaign. I’d say at best it was just OK. It seemed very inconsistent. It would read wildly high power while going downhill or into a headwind. I had it replaced twice due to a dead battery. Their support was responsive but they would always tell you that your issue was normal. I never had much luck at switching it between bikes, it was supposed to auto recognize the bike but it never seemed to work.

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I recently retired mine as I bought a Stages PM so I could use the same PM both indoor and outdoor. I do share the observation of @craigmanning that the PowerPod has a tendency to read (much) too high in stronger winds. That said: I always was under the impression that the PowerPod read low as compared to my indoor numbers (Tacx Vortex). But now that I have the Stages, I can see that the PowerPod was actually very close, and my Tacx Vortex was overestimating my watts. Overall, the PowerPod certainly was useful in helping me pace outdoors.

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I have one and use it. The main issue is it is a little hard to setup, calibrate, sync. For some reason, it will only sync on my Surface and not on my Dell desktop or other laptop. Initially, I was able to calibrate it fine doing the out and back bike ride, then things got hosed up and I had a difficult time re-calibrating it, so now I just use it’s factory settings. It uses LED light switches to tell you the mode it’s in, not straightforward at all.

It does match pretty well to my Stages L crank. If you want something easy to use, this is not it. If you want something that can give you a lot of analytical data and you are willing to deal with some of the tech issues, then it’s great. I do switch it between bikes.

Also, there is a new one out, called Aeropod. https://velocomp-llc.myshopify.com/products/aeropod-power-and-cda-meter

I haven’t used it. The inventor seems like a one man show, so tech support is via his forum and email.

I’ve had two mates who have owned them, one now owns a quark and the other is a poor uni student.

Both reported to be very fiddly to set up and not reliably accurate.
But when working they are ok and the figures are reasonably accurate.

The guy that still uses his said that it has to be fully charged at the start of each ride other wise he has problems.

Personally I’ve bought a few second hand PM’s over the years, and the best feature is when they “just work”
you jump on and the right numbers come up, (even if your not happy with the numbers)

I recently changed out mine, had it for several years and was happy with it for the most part. I agree that high winds could play around more with the readings, and at times I’d get some strange spikes in the readings. Usually if I downloaded the workout into the software it would make to appropriate corrections. It did have issues at time crashing without any warning due to battery or charging problems. I changed to the Favero Assioma pedals and I don’t think I made a bad choice at all. Gives me the versatility and a much more consistent response.

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I’ve got one on my commuter bike and use it simply to give me a TSS value in my TrainerRoad career for my commutes. It occasionally re-calibrates itself and gives wildly high power values. In order not to skew my TR data, I can edit those rides in Strava to remove the over-rated segment (usually the start of the ride) and then re-import the data into TR. The other option is to I tell TR not to use the data collected for that ride.

This device is good for bicycles that can’t accept any other type of power meter. The Pinion crank and Gates Carbon hub on my commuter bike are ineligible for power meter replacement. A mountain bike pedal power meter would be the perfect solution. I may try road pedals on it when the weather improves, but I really don’t like using road shoes for commuting.

Had a Powerpod for two years. Mounted it on my mountain bike and never deployed it else where.

It was an introduction for outdoor power based training. I had nothing to calibrate it against. Did a frontal photo of myself to get an accurate CDA. Found overall it was consistent with its own figures. Looking back now I probably had an incorrect rolling resistance as it did read a little high but I wasn’t to know and at the end of the day you want something you can compare previous efforts too, I’d say it achieved this and can be trusted. If you know what power you put out, then you can tune it better.

It does have its issues, you change your position/CDA and it doesn’t know, so if you go more aero, it thinks you are putting out more Watts. Not really an issue on a MTB as I didn’t change my position during a ride to any great degree. Also if you continuously move it between bikes it has that 1 mile self calibration to get through. As mentioned it can be fiddly to set up, records lots of raw data, 600 samples a second I believe and this can all be downloaded and analysed with the free issac software. If you like numbers then this is your thing. I used to like it showing how much energy I lost due to braking! This alone imo makes you a better rider and improve your technique.

Reason I don’t have it now is I had some more money to spend and wanted to do indoor training and use same power meter indoors and outdoors. Also have some long rides planned and there was nowhere to mount it out front… luggage space!

I have just bought one and mounted it on my gravel bike and rode this weekend.
N+1 x power meter was getting too expensive so I wanted an option I could move between bikes. There also was an update at some point to new software that calibrates road surface continually, and its now BLE and ANT+

Once I calibrated it I found the numbers felt about right if maybe a little high, I have stages pm but haven’t mounted the Powerpod on the same bike to check, the DCR piece did that.

Okay when I ended the ride and my Garmin told me my max power was 51000 watts and my TSS 4000+ I thought there may be an odd spike.
Thankfully the spikes are ignored.

Don’t know if you got the answers you were looking for. I tried PowerPod back in 2016. The first unit had a busted micro-USB port after only a few days of use. I tested the replacement unit for a few more weeks before returning my purchase to clevertraining. If you’re looking for a power meter that provides accurate and consistent data regardless of your ride position, tire size, tire width, tire type, and the combined weight of you/your bike/your gear, the PowerPod is not a device that you should spend your money on, even if it is significantly cheaper than other direct force power meters. I left a number of comments on DCR’s review of PowerPod if you’re interested in my experience.