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by James Huang
April 15, 2020
Photography by James Huang
The annual Sea Otter Classic trade show that was originally scheduled for this month has unfortunately postponed to October, so to fill the gaping tech news void left behind in the meantime, we went ahead and put together our own virtual event, which we’ve playfully dubbed Pond Beaver 2020.
We’ve gathered up a mountain of information and images of new gear to come this season, and we’ll be rolling it out to you in a satisfyingly steady stream over the next few weeks.
Canadian company 4iiii Innovations is the latest brand to announce lower prices for its power meters, matching price drops announced a few weeks ago by Stages Cycling.
Single-sided crankarm-based power meters now start at US$300 for users that opt to have power meters installed on their existing aluminum crankarms, and for either 4iiii’s Precision model (which uses a CR2032 battery) or Podiiiium model (which features a rechargeable cell). Dual-sided “Factory Install” options start at US$500 with the same choice of models.
So-called “Ride Ready” power meters with units pre-installed on Shimano crankarms are priced as low as US$350, with dual-sided options costing as little as US$600.
4iiii has also extended its “no questions asked” warranty coverage from one to three years from the date of purchase. Even better, the company is applying that retroactively to any 4iiii power meter that was bought from January 2018 onward.
The current global pandemic supposedly hasn’t affected the company’s manufacturing capabilities too much yet, either. According to 4iiii’s head of sales, Bailey McKnight, the company has “enough raw material to continue on for a while”, and its location in Alberta hasn’t yet been forced to temporarily shut down to limit virus spread. Turnaround time on Factory Install systems is supposedly standing at around two weeks.
Additionally, production of 4iiii’s new Fliiiight indoor stationary smart trainer is supposedly now in full swing — it’s manufactured in Taiwan — which is good timing, considering current restrictions on riding outdoors for much of the world. In a complete departure from conventional direct-drive (or even wheel-on) trainers, the Fliiiight generates resistance using electromagnets that are placed next to the rim.
The Fliiiight smart trainer uses a truly unique electromagnetic resistance system that uses your existing rear wheel.
One major downside of the design is that it’ll only work with metal rims, though, and resistance specs are somewhat modest at 2,200 watts or 7% of simulated slope. However, it’s also fully contactless so there’s no additional noise or vibration aside from your drivetrain, nor are there any concerns with tire wear. It’s also lightweight at 7.9 kg (17.4 lb, claimed), and folds completely flat for easy storage, making it a potentially ideal choice for urban apartment dwellers.
Retail price for the Fliiiight is US$550.