Powertap Jan14


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I like to talk a lot of shit about the Powertap, but I think I need to make my motivations clear. I don’t hate the powertap; I just don’t know how it works. It’s new and scary and confusing. And rather than learn how this devil tool does it’s voodoo magic, I’d rather treat it the same way that Joe the Plumber treats democracy. Or the media. Or international conflicts. Or plumbing, for that matter. With brazen and boastful ignorance. So in honor of Joe, I will now spout off my irrational and uneducated positions about the powertap, without using a single source of verified information.

The powertap is an expensive hub that speaks directly to your brain, via a wireless connection, to tell you how strong you are. The hub measures subtle changes in your cycling, including how hard you’re breathing, how much you’re sweating, what your grunts sound like, how hairy your chest is, etc. It then crunches the numbers of all of these calculations, and reports on your physical condition. This report is downloaded directly to your computer, where it’s color coded using a system similar to the terror alert meter that we all check each morning before bording public transportation (I’ll save you the time… it’s still “elevated”.) This color indicator gives you a measurment in watts, and allows you to calculate how many homes you can power on any given bike ride. While the Powertap is expensive upfront, it will reduce your electricity bills as unused power is added back to the grid.

Functionally, the hub operates in a similar way to the hub you already own, the one that didn’t cost $1700. It connects to your rim with spokes, creating a wheel, that spins around when you pedal your bike. The difference is that the Powertap tells you if you are strong or weak. And it does so tactfully. Not like my friends, who yell “YOU ARE WEAK!” at me when I’m riding with them. The Powertap would whisper it to me.

“Pssst…. you are weak.”

I suppose I could pay my friends $1700 to insult me quietly, but where’s the voodoo magic in that.