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Laser Spoke Project Measures Cyclists Power Output

By David Ponce

Things have gotten to the point where you’re able to track a multitude of quantitative points when you go out cycling: your position, speed, and elevation for example. But one metric you don’t see is power output. Yet this is very useful for athletes who can use it to set a pace and to keep track of their overall fitness levels. Well, a project currently in the funding phase at IndieGoGo called The Laser Spoke Project is able to measure just that. Every bicycle wheel exhibits a certain amount of normal torsional flex when power is applied through the pedals. This device measures the flexion by shining a laser from the center hub of the wheel onto a fixed spot on the rim; any deviation from center indicates power in proportion to the amount of deviation, the reading of which is saved onto an SD card. Of course calibration is important since not all wheels are the same, but the company is not divulging how this is done. The do say that the device should work on all bikes and not weigh more than 150g when completed. If you want to be part of the Beta-tester group, you can score one now for $550. If you prefer to wait for the final version to be released then you’ll have to pre-order it now for $750. Of course that’s assuming the project reaches its $85,000 funding goal.

[ Project Page ] VIA [ Gizmag ]







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  • http://twitter.com/trexoftri Andy Kerr

    Whoops, you missed the multitude of power measuring gizmos out on the market already.  Cycleops, Quarq, Garmin Vector.

    The point of this gizmo is that using the laser will be much cheaper than these other strain guages and potentially as accurate. It’s very interesting and could bring power into the must have price point rather than very very nice to have. Good luck to them!