What are the requirement to develop a solid cycling power meter?

There are a few requirements that our TriPO must meet. Well, there are quite a few. In other words, a lot. Just to point out a few:

  1. Accuracy: high
  2. Installation: easy
  3. Installation: fool-proof
  4. Price: low
  5. Weight: as close to zero as possible
  6. Thickness: as close to zero as possible
  7. Manufacturing: simple
  8. Materials: common
  9. Durability: infinite
  10. Wet weather: 103% waterproof
  11. Hot weather: no problems
  12. Cold weather: no problems
  13. Compatibility: all 3-screw shoes and systems

Each of these requirements can be further divided into many sub-requirements, for instance, the first one about accuracy contains:

  1. Make a measurement with a resolution of at least 1N
  2. Make at least 20 measurements per second
  3. Measure only axial forces and ignore all other directions
  4. Make sensors tolerant to worn shoes and wrong installation
  5. Make calibration easy and reliable

Some things are easy and can be solved with more or less simple calculations or simulations. But these are solved quickly and what remains is something that can’t be easily calculated. The scenario with these was usually like this:

  1. We planned everything that could be planned.
  2. There was one thing that we weren’t sure if it would work. We built a prototype to put it to the test.
  3. That one thing – it didn’t work.
  4. We changed the design and returned to #1.

The thing is, all this juggling with prototypes takes time. A lot of time. And there are no shortcuts, really – when you’re doing something completely new, you are obviously the only one doing it, which means there’s no one that will give you an answer except yourself.

So finally, all you can do is: take time and work. Take as much time as it takes to build a prototype that has no things you’re not sure whether they would work.

Fortunately for us (and maybe you as well), this is exactly what we have been doing all this time.

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