Zwatt promises to drive down powermeter price “until all bikes can have one”

A Danish startup proposing to shake up the powermeter market is on course to break through its crowdfunding goal within the first 48 hours.

Zwatt is the brainchild of Rolf Ostergaard, a hardware engineer and cyclist who is rapidly receiving backing for his concept. The idea is that users will share raw data for at least one 30 min ride per month as part of the world’s largest and most diverse test team and one dedicated to improving the technology, as well as bring down the prices of power meters “to the point where all your bikes can have one.”

Three years in the pipeline, Ostergaard’s says that ordinary users are vitally important in realising his firm’s ambition and over 5,000 have already pledged.

On the kickstarter page he says: “We have worked 3 years to develop the technology to make it really easy for brands to integrate power sensors into their crank sets. Be it as an arm-based sensor, spider-based sensor or a spindle-based. The core electronics and software algorithms are available and well understood through co-development with leading brands.

“This has taught us a bunch of things about the bike industry and power meters that we want to change:

  • Testing by pro riders may be extreme in power and intensity, but it’s not as diverse as the riders actually buying the products
  • The difference between power meter algorithms surface when they are put in real life situations
  • That is why the results generated by the pro riders testing our technology for the brands, is not nearly good enough for us.”

Crowd-sourcing rider data will help the firm develop better algorithms, reduced price for consumers, as well as specific products for a certain style of riding. As a result, the owners pledge that this will not be the last campaign we’ll see, hinting at future developments once the initial product ships in February next year.

The left side crank arm on offer to backers is aesthetically similar to Ultegra or Dura Ace models currently on the market, though will be equally compatible with other cranksets. The unit measures the bending and twisting of the crank arm, which calculates output delivered by that leg. The data will be relayed calculated as a “fairly accurate” estimate on the rider’s bike computer.

To read more, head over to the firm’s Kickstarter page here.