Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2018) 17, 305 - 311

Research article
Validity and Reliability of the PowerTap P1 Pedals Power Meter
Jesús G. Pallarés , José Ramón Lillo-Bevia
Author Information
Human Performance and Sports Science Laboratory, University of Murcia, Murcia, Spain

Jesús G. Pallarés
Faculty of Sport Science, Argentina S/N, Santiago de la Ribera, Murcia, Spain
Publish Date
Received: 20-11-2017
Accepted: 16-04-2018
Published (online): 14-05-2018
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To validate the new PowerTap P1® pedals power meter (PP1), thirty-three cyclists performed 12 randomized and counterbalanced graded exercise tests (100–500 W), at 70, 85 and 100 rev·min-1 cadences, in seated and standing positions. A scientific SRM system and a pair of PP1 pedals continuously recorded cadence and power output data. Significantly lower power output values were detected for the PP1 compared to the SRM for all workloads, cadences, and pedalling conditions (2–10 W, p < 0.05), except for the workloads ranged between 150 W to 350 W at 70 rev·min-1 in seated position (p > 0.05). Strong Spearman’s correlation coefficients were found between the power output values recorded by both power meters in a seated position, independently from the cadence condition (rho ≥ 0.987), although slightly lower concordance was found for the standing position (rho = 0.927). The mean error for power output values were 1.2%, 2.7%, 3.5% for 70, 85 and 100 rev·min-1, respectively. Bland-Altman analysis revealed that PP1 pedals underestimate the power output data obtained by the SRM device in a directly proportional manner to the cyclist’s cadence (from -2.4 W to -7.3 W, rho = 0.999). High absolute reliability values were detected in the PP1 pedals (150–500 W; CV = 2.3%; SEM < 1.0 W). This new portable power meter is a valid and reliable device to measure power output in cyclists and triathletes for the assessment, training and competition using their own bicycle, although caution should be exercised in the interpretation of the results due to the slight power output underestimation of the PP1 pedals when compared to the SRM system and its dependence on both pedalling cadence and cyclist’s position (standing vs. seated).

Key words: Cycling, mobile power meter, testing, cycle ergometer, power output

           Key Points
  • PP1 pedals slightly underestimate power output at medium to high cadences (2 to 7 W).
  • PP1 pedals provide valid readings of power output from 100 to 500 W, in either seated or standing positions, at fixed cadences of 70, 85 and 100 rev·min, or even at freely chosen cadences.
  • These results suggest that the new PP1 pedals is a valid, reliable and accurate mobile power meter to measure power output and cadence in cyclists using their own bicycles.
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