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Taichung report: Power hub expands beyond pedalec to training

Published October 22, 2015

TAICHUNG, Taiwan (BRAIN) — Innotorq's torque-sensing rear hub relies on reading the torsional rotation of the cassette barrel around an axle to quantify drivetrain loading. Because the system is quick to respond and accurate, it gives e-bike drivetrain suppliers the data they need to make pedal assist a more seamless experience for the rider. It also could have application in the fast-growing market for power meters in training, which the company is now addressing.

"Pedelec use was our first market, but the speed and accuracy of the design makes it ideal for training as well. With a cadence sensor it's easy to compare the power output for your right and left leg," said Theo Piele, Innotorq's CEO.

Because the torque sensor is inside the cassette barrel, Innotorq'a hub looks just like a normal hub; the torque-sensing internals only add 80 grams. The hub broadcasts power information over ANT+ or Bluetooth.

The system generates power readings by measuring magnetically how the far the cassette barrel rotates around the axle under load. There are few parts and nothing to wear out.

"Torque is being measured in real time; there is no time lag at all, which is important to pedelec use, but it also makes a great training tool," Piele said. "And its accuracy tolerance is about 1 percent, much better than other power training systems," he said.

The company is selling individual hubs for about $800 (699 euros). It's also offering laced wheels.

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