Brim Brothers - A power meter game changer?
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  1. #1
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    Brim Brothers - A power meter game changer?

    Was cruising around the interwebs for info on power meters and came across these guys:

    Who are Brim Brothers?
    Brim Brothers Ltd is a private company founded in Ireland in 2008 to develop a new type of power meter for competitive cyclists.

    How does this new power meter work?
    It measures the forces between your shoe and the pedal, and calculates power based on that. The force sensors are in the cleat under your shoe, so the system will work on any bike you get onto, without anything special fitted to the bike.

    Does the new power meter need special pedals?
    No. It works with normal unmodified pedals. All the sensors are in the cleats, attached to your shoe.

    What makes of pedal and cleat will the power meter work with?
    We’re working on versions for different makes of pedal and cleat, but we’re not certain yet which ones we will launch first.

    When can you give us more details?
    We’ll release more details as we can, but our main concern is that we don’t reveal too much about our technology until we’re closer to a product.

    When can I get one of these new power meters?
    It’s going to be a while, probably mid 2010.

    This sounds like an ideal solution for people that don't want to spring for new wheels/cranks/speedplay pedals and sounds better than ibike's guess-timation machine.

  2. #2
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    A game changer? An ideal solution?

    Based on what? A glowing description on the company's web site? The product doesn't even exist for pete's sake. Let's wait until they actually put one into production before we start praising it to the heavens.
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  3. #3
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    Meh, more powermeter vaporware.
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  4. #4
    wim
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    Quote Originally Posted by labmonkey526
    It measures the forces between your shoe and the pedal, and calculates power based on that. heels/cranks/speedplay pedals and sounds better than ibike's guess-timation machine.
    I understand if you don't want to answer that, but is there a sensor that measures pedal-to-crank angle?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by wim
    I understand if you don't want to answer that, but is there a sensor that measures pedal-to-crank angle?
    Apparently there is:
    http://www.brimbrothers.com/2010/01/progress-and-plans/

    Interesting approach. It'll be interesting to see if it all works out, but for now I'm calling it vaporware. They don't seem as far along as Metrigear, who has a slightly simpler model.
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  6. #6
    wim
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    Quote Originally Posted by danl1
    Apparently there is
    Thanks, I should've read their explanation before posting. It is an interesting approach—arrive at power by way of an algorithm so you can keep the entire system in the cleat. It would be great if you could also get a separate left/right pedal force (Newton) reading...

  7. #7
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    OK, I'll admit I only read PART of the blog/description.

    The first thing that comes to mind for me is data transfer. The stress measurement is being made by elements in the CLEAT, right? And secondary: are the accelerometers also in the cleat? That cleat's starting to get bulky...

    My first question would be "where are the calculations being done?" The unit has to have a brain of some kind to perform the algorithms converting the stress measurments -- and a lot of other data -- to a power reading. If that brain is located on the bike, the data has to get from the cleat (where it's being measured) to the brain. Assuming there's no hard-wired connection from the cleat to the bike, there needs to be a wireless transmission of the stress data from the sensing mechanism to the "brain". Wireless transmission of data = need for battery power at the site of the transmission. So .... batteries in/on the shoe??

    Admittedly, there's a LOT about this design I don't know. But ... I'm with those calling it "vaporware" for the time being.
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  8. #8
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    I'd assume raw data to a head unit that would do the computation... but shoe batteries, transmitter, stack height between cleat and shoe... seems clunky.

    I am intrigued by the data possibilities beyond just power that seems possible with this and Metrigear's solution. I don't know how much would make it into the retail product, but this could be wacky cool for pedaling dynamics analysis.

    Some of what Metrigear is seeing in their prototyping:
    http://www.metrigear.com/blog/
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dumbod
    A game changer? An ideal solution?

    Based on what? A glowing description on the company's web site? The product doesn't even exist for pete's sake. Let's wait until they actually put one into production before we start praising it to the heavens.
    Just a point or two of clarification.

    1. I was not praising them to the heavens. I posted part of a FAQ off their website as I did a search here and did not see mention of them (unlike metrigear) and thought other people would be interested.

    2. While I agree this is a non=product at this point, the point i was trying to make by posting was/is, "wow, this sounds clever and should it show up in the future and work, it would be an ideal solution for certain people and thus it may be a game changer in terms of how people think about power meters. Please forum let me know your thoughts."

    That said, I guess you let me know what you thought about their current product development lifecycle but not what you thought of the product should it actually work.

    FYI, I have no interest in this company and in fact didn't even know they existed until last night.

  10. #10
    Just one more switchback
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    I think the cleat is a great way to measure power. Then I would know how much I am putting out when I walk around at the store stop.

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