PowerTap is known for their hub-based power meters which have been on the market for over 15 years and have a reputation of being reliable and trustworthy. The company’s flagship hub, the PowerTap G3, is the company’s third generation of hub-based power meter. The PowerTap G3 hub is used in replace of your current hub and is able to deliver +/- 1.5% accuracy and transmits both speed and cadence data as well. You can purchase a stand-alone hub, or one that is pre-built into a completed wheel set, making installation a breeze.
If you buy the stand alone hub you will need to have your local bike shop lace it into your existing wheel set – or you can do it yourself if you’re handy with wheels. If you buy a completed wheel set, you will pay a bit more, but installation is as simple as swapping out your old wheel for a new one – and power meter installation doesn’t get any easier than that.
The G3 weighs in at 325 grams. Remember, when considering the weight of your power meter, you should focus on added weight. So if you’re current hub weights 250 grams for example (which is a ballpark figure for a good quality hub), the added weight of the G3 Hub is 75 grams.
The PowerTap G3 uses a standard coin cell CR2032 battery. There is a USB connection, however it is used for service and for firmware updates only. The hub should not be left connected to the USB port for long periods as doing so could drain the battery.
The G3 can go for approximately 200 hours before needing a battery replacement.
Difficulty to Change
The battery can be accessed by removing the cap on the non-drive side of the hub (see picture below), using a PowerTap hub cap removal tool. One you have the cap removed, you will see the CR2032 battery which is housed into the cap from its side. Simply pull the old battery out (sometimes pliers help) and put the new one in. Take special care when reinserting the cap as some electronics have to be aligned properly. The process of changing the battery on a PowerTap hub is a bit more involved then with some other power meters, but it really isn’t that bad once you get the hang of it.
The G3 Hub transmits data via both the ANT+ and Bluetooth SMART wireless protocols, making the power meter compatible with either your traditional bicycle head unit or your smartphone.
The G3 Hub is accurate to within +/-1.5%. Most direct force power meters claim anywhere from +/-2% to +/-1%, so the G3 is right in line in terms of accuracy.
The PowerTap G3 Hub automatically detects and transmits cadence data to your head unit. In addition, because it is a hub-based power meter, it is able to transmit speed data as well – a nice bonus feature.
Calibration with the G3 is a straightforward process. Spinning the pedals backwards wakes up the hub, at which point you perform a simple zero-offset through your cycling computer or smartphone and you’re ready to ride. In addition, the hub will self auto-zero while coasting – which will help keep it calibrated at all times.
The PowerTap G3 Hub comes with a standard 2-year warranty. In addition, PowerTap offers a 3-year crash replacement policy on its wheels. If your PowerTap wheels need to be replaced within 3 years of purchase, PowerTap will replace your wheel(s) at 50% off MSRP.