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Velocomp PowerPod v4 Power Meter

Josh Matthew July 25, 2021
4.50 out of 5 based on 24 customer ratings
(24 customer reviews)

$269.00$318.95

Affordable, accurate, easy to use and compatible with all bikes!

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Description

Velocomp PowerPod v4 Power Meter

The PowerPod, made by Velocomp, isn’t your ordinary power meter. Unlike traditional direct force power meters that attach to your drivetrain (crank, crank arm, pedals, etc.) and measure your power directly, the Velocomp PowerPod v4 Power Meter attaches to your handlebars and measures your power through wind measurement – the forces that oppose the rider. This is called opposing force technology. The PowerPod uses an accelerometer, a wind pressure sensor, an elevation sensor and a speed sensor – all to measure power.

PowerPod’s accuracy is on par with the more expensive, traditional type units. In addition, the benefits to this type of power meter are numerous. The PowerPod power meter is much easier to move between bikes, there are no compatibility issues, it’s simple to set up and you don’t have to change out any of your prized components, and perhaps best of all, at $289 it’s one of the most affordable power meters on the market.

The PowerPod works on virtually all bikes and transmits power data via the ANT+ and BLE, and can therefore be used with any bicycle computer or watch.

Please note: Requires ANT+ speed or speed/cadence sensor.

 

What’s New with V4

The PowerPod v4 Power Meter makes some important improvements over the PowerPod V3:

  1. Improved performance: The v4 now uses the same pitot tube used in the top-of-the line AeroPod.  The pitot tube improves wind measurement accuracy in cross-winds and also improves performance in rainy conditions.
  2. GPS Tracking: You now get the popular GPS Tracker feature.  This works with your Android or iOS smartphone.
  3. Updated firmware: The V4 includes version 8.0 firmware which incorporates all the latest performance and setup tweaks.

 

Highlights

Affordable

With a price of only $289, the Velocomp PowerPod is one of the most affordable power meters on the market.

Light Weight

The PowerPod weighs just 32 grams. To put it in perspective, this is about the weight of 32, average size paperclips.

Easy to Set Up

Installation takes just a few minutes. Moreover, it doesn’t require any special tools or knowledge.

Easily Transferable

Since the Velocomp PowerPod Power Meter simply attaches to your handlebars, it can be quickly and easily transferred from bike to bike.

Data Analysis

The PowerPod comes with its Isaac software. Available for both Mac and PC, the software lets you model things like aerodynamic drag (CdA), rolling resistance and more.

Compatible

The power meter attaches to the handlebars so compatibility is a not an issue. In addition, it will work on virtually any bike.

PowerPod Mount Options

You have three different handlebar mount options to choose from:

Standard Mount (included). This mount is included with your unit and mounts the power meter directly to the bars.

Garmin/PowerPod Road Mount (upgrade). This mount places both the unit and the Garmin on the same mount for a cleaner set-up. For road bikes.

Garmin/PowerPod TT Mount (upgrade). This mount places both the unit and the Garmin on the same mount for a cleaner set-up. For TT bars.

Note that you save $10 if you bundle the PowerPod with a Garmin mount.

 

Compatibility

The PowerPod Power Meter mounts to 31.8 mm handlebars (or 22 mm if used with the TT mount), and therefore works with just about any bike. This includes road, track, CX and MTB.

 

In the Box

  • Velocomp PowerPod v4 Power Meter
  • PowerPod Handlebar Mount or Garmin Combo Mount
  • USB charging cable (attach to computer or USB charger)
  • Quick Start guide

 

PowerPod v4 Power Meter Specs

NamePowerPod v4 Power Meter
Bike TypeAll
Power Meter TypeOpposing Force Technology
Weight65 grams (including mount)
Battery TypeUSB-rechargable
Battery Life20 hours
Communication ProtocolBLE and ANT+
Accuracy+/- 3%
Warranty1 year

PowerPod Power Meter Set-up Video

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24 reviews for Velocomp PowerPod v4 Power Meter

  1. Eric

    Do you have to calbrate the powerpod v3. everytime? Is there a way to skip calibration and ride and still get the watts?

  2. Rick (verified owner)

    Great When it Works, which is not enough
    I’ve had the PowerPod V3 since May. Erratic readings, mounted securely, on smooth roads. For no apparent reason during long steep climbs, 0 watts. Regularly. Maybe user error but I’ve a LOT of time on it. Have come to the reluctant conclusion in six months I’ve spent far more time trying to make it work than I have getting useful data from it. If only it worked consistently.

    • Power Meter City

      Hi Rick. Thanks for the review. Sorry to hear it’s not been consistent. If power is dropping to 0, there is an issue with set-up. Please feel free to send us a ride file or two so we can help you troubleshoot it. It’s true these take some time to get set-up correctly but once dialed in, you should get consistent power data. Thanks

  3. Joe (verified owner)

    It’s a huge pain to set up. Its only indicator of any status is flashing lights that all are in the same spot. So it’ll flash red and green, or yellow, or just green, or just red. And there are things that the manual in the box doesn’t tell you. Like it says to go into pairing with your cadence and speed sensors and what it doesn’t say is that if you’ve got two separate ones it’ll flash red and green instead of just green while it’s connecting to the first sensor and then only green when it’s done. When you do the calibration ride it really just feels like you’re pressing the buttons and hoping it’s going to work right but not knowing for sure.

    That being said, I use my bike for commuting sometimes and need the flat platforms so I can use regular shoes, so clipless power meter pedals aren’t an option. And there aren’t crank options for my folding bike. Besides that, the crank type power meters aren’t something that I could switch between bikes like with this.

    Once you get it calibrated though, it works pretty well. I have no real reference, but it feels accurate. The best I can say for sure is that my average power over a ride is in the ballpark of my Strava estimated power. But there’s no denying there’s a ton of room to potentially improve ease of use.

    • Power Meter City

      Hi Joe – agreed! Thanks for this brief and on point review on your Velocomp PowerPod v3 Power Meter – Power is the key! Good luck on your future rides and we are here if there is anything else we can help you with!

  4. Bob C (verified owner)

    I have only had this for a short time and have had some issues. The battery was low after only 9 hours when velocomp says it should go for 20. When I first pair it to my Garmen Edge 500 the readings made no sense (up to 20,000 W)for about four miles then it settled down and the readings seemed reasonable. After 9 hour I had to charged it and when I started it again the readings were wild again for about four miles then it settled down. I’ll use it some more and see how it goes. Power City delivery was great by the way.

    • Power Meter City

      Hi Bob. We saw it, if ithe result is still the same we suggest you contact Velocomp for more information and of course we are here if there is anything else we can help you with!

  5. David E (verified owner)

    First a note about power meter city: this is my first purchase with them and they did everything right. shipping was fast and my entire experience with them was excellent.

    About the power meter: Now that I’ve got this unit up and running, I really enjoy it. The instructions that come with the unit are limited to a two sided postcard. There is no troubleshooting guide or anything like that. This is a pretty serious limitation. I went to the velocomp website and got a bit more information, but it still wasn’t great. I recommend you go to YouTube and watch the videos. Once I did that, it was easy to finish the setup and start riding.
    This unit has a bit more lag in data reporting that I am used to having, but other than that, it is consistent and seems to be very accurate. I certainly agree with a couple of other critiques that show up in the reviews. First, the micro USB port is pretty frustrating. Plan on multiple tries before getting it to plug in and connect. Second, don’t count on pulling this unit on and off the bike quickly and easily to connect to your computer. The mount is good and sturdy, but a bayonet style mount like Garmin uses would be a huge improvement.
    Overall, I’m happy with it and would buy it again.

    • Power Meter City

      Hi David. Thanks for leaving a review on your Velocomp PowerPod v3 Power Meter. Yes, We agree! Youtube videos are great help too! We are happy it turned out fine and you liked it! We hope you continue to enjoy them and we are here if there is anything else we can do!

  6. Jason Krummel (verified owner)

    Great power meter for the money. Was a little difficult to set up. With everything being so plug and play just not what anyone is used to, having to do work. The company has great support and responsive feedback so you will get it up and running quickly. The free software is very nifty to look at as well. Once it is set up on the bike it is much easier to take a lab top to the bike and hook up to get info and charge than to take the device off of the bike.

    Enjoy and ride safe

    • Power Meter City

      Hi Jason. Thanks for the great review and I think you summed it up pretty nicely. Please let us know if there is anything else we can do!

  7. sis (verified owner)

    All what I want to say has been entered by rtj above. Once set up after a few tries and after I understood the use of 0s, 4s, and 12s button pushes, it has been providing what seems like accurate data. Isaac SW also takes a while to understand and use. Better, consistent manuals will significantly help improve the product adoption.

    • Power Meter City

      Hi sis. Thank you for the review. We’re happy to hear you are getting valuable data from your PowerPod and we hope you continue to enjoy it. We also understand and agree with you that the manuals could be a bit simpler to understand and have mentioned that to them before. Thanks again!

  8. Jaco Roos (verified owner)

    Hi I am disappointed by the fact that I have to purchase further software.
    I ride gravel and mtb and need the ability to download the rides to adjust values.
    The unit is useless for me without the software and I cannot afford it right now.

    • Power Meter City

      Hi Jaco. Thanks for the review. Please note, there is no additional software to purchase. The PowerPod v3 comes with Isaac software which is all you need. There is upgraded software available (PowerStroke), but it’s not needed for your purposes. Isaac will allow you to download rides, adjust values and more. We are here if we can help you with anything else!

  9. rtj (verified owner)

    I am an mechanical engineer by profession, so can see how this works and where the holes are, but I can see the problem with crank arm based ones too, and they all require assumptions and calibration and the interpretation of sensors. I have a high end trainer with a dynamometer which, other than a small correction for rolling resistance is the actual standard for power measurement. Over the years I have found that my heart rate corresponds to specific power outputs reliably. I can say that the PowerPod seems to match the trainer throughout the range, and appears to be fairly responsive and accurate, in most conditions. The most obvious exceptions come from riding posture at higher speeds. On the drops, my registered power increases. Standing and sprinting, it decreases. Both effects are due to changes in my aerodynamic drag coefficient which it does not detect. On the other hand, on slow climbs it does not really care about posture because aerodynamics is less important. In most other cases, it seems reliable and accurate.

    The device is unique and in some ways better than other power meters because of the data it requires to do its job. It has very accurate data on slopes, elevation(relative). It also has headwinds wind, even gear ratios and shows you when you were applying brakes. Slope and elevation are far higher resolution and much more accurate than I get from my Garmin Edge. All of the extra sensors can tell you a lot about conditions and the resultant speed. It also adds some interesting analysis with it’s PStoke module which can analyze your power as a function of crank position as well as surging and rocking in your stroke. This is a software addon, and I don’t think riding should be that complicated, but most of these things are plusses that you can’t get with other power meters. Plus, it is a fraction of the cost of other solutions and can be moved with relative ease bike to bike if you need to do that sort of thing.

    There are some issues.
    First, it is a bit complicated to setup. There are data to enter, and the company would do well to get a good technical writer to understand the device and write a good manual. The documentation is sparse, IMO to try and make it seem simple, but left me wondering what was going on because the device was doing things during setup that were left out of the descriptions.

    Second, it uses only a single button and some obscure LED flashes as the only form of control and feedback, and unless you hunt through online material, you will not know how to do things, why it is not working, and what just happened when you accidentally held the button for 4 seconds and now it is flashing and showing red LEDs. A manual would help, but I have had it fail to find an ANT sensor and tell me I was doing 0 watts for twenty minutes before it shut off and I could turn it on again, and have had it completely unresponsive on 2 occasions prompting me to search the internet for a way to reset it. An on off button would be welcome.

    Third, microUSB connectors are the most fragile and unreliable connectors ever perpetrated on the electronics market. The one on this is worse than most. The metal guide around the connector is not keyed and is sloppy, which means I spend a lot of time wiggling the cable to get it to connect and to stay. The housing slop seems to be larger than the ultrafine conductor on the connector. It is still new, and I expect it to get worse with age, not better.

    Bottom Line.
    This is a breakthrough in cost for the power meter market. It is small and light and out of the way. It will work with your existing bike. It also appears to be accurate under most conditions, and the unique approach gives data and insights that are not available on other systems. It is easy to install and remove, and you can send it back if you don’t like it. I tend to think that it’s foolish to spend the money on a high-end system without giving this a try first. Still I have got to knock the documentation and the unreliable connector.

    • Power Meter City

      Hi RTJ. Thank you for the pretty amazing customer review. I think you did a great job highlighting some of the PowerPod’s strengths as well as areas that might need attention. All in all, we agree with you that when set-up properly, it’s a great unit. I hope you continue to enjoy it!

  10. Jim (verified owner)

    Bought the unit very late in the cycling year but the price was too good to resist. I own 8 other power meters and had a Newton in the past. The PP is quite easy to mount and set up. The calibration process had me a bit confused at first but once I figured it out, all was good. Every time I have used it along with a DFPM the results were amazingly close.
    At the price I got this for, a great value.

    • Power Meter City

      Hi Jim. Glad to hear the PowerPod is working well for you. With 8 other power meters, it sounds like you can do some good comparison testing! Keep up the nice work!

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