5 Reasons to Move Up to IC2
Most of our customers and friends have had multiple power meters. They range from the stick-on versions on the back of cranks to that stalwart of power meters, the SRM. Many of them have ridden with power pedals and some have ridden with those that measure from the rear hub, or even the movement of air under the handle bars.
What sets the IC2 apart from this competition? Firstly, we respect the work that was done by the pioneers – we have ridden and used both of them. However, it is well known that watts are derived from several key variables that really matter to each cyclist.
Those variables are the “instantaneous torque”, the length of the crank and the rotational speed which is applied at any time.
IC2 does not just purport to produce your watts numbers out of the black box. We know that the construction and the quality of components determines what result you get to see. Every part of the IC2 is carefully designed and considered to produce a world-leading bicycle crank and the best power measurement system every developed for a bicycle. Nothing is left to chance, so that you do not have to.
To be certified as an official accurate measurement tool requires extensive and external testing across a range of forces. Those forces applied are known to be absolutely true and the error is noted for every measurement. IC2 is tested internally as you would expect, but the real judgement is revealed in the official certification.
Since IC2 technology is not only used in sport, Verve has requirements to regularly test and prove accuracy independently.
We do not quote the normal average percentage accuracy numbers to which you have become acquainted with bike power meters. Saying you are accurate to 1-2% is fundamentally meaningless and misleading.
We stick to the engineering and the science. Our accuracy certificate will be displayed and updated on the website. The accuracy does not change – the calibration is done at our lab and stays the same for the life of the crank.
If you ever are concerned about your crank accuracy, we can test it for you.
New Crank and Drive Train Design
We admit that the original InfoCrank had a “tough” look. It was critical for us to get the technology right before we spent the years on crank design.
It has been a totally new concept for our team. We knew that a sleek, thinner, wider crank was needed to look great on your bike. We also knew that the crank had to splay outward from the bottom bracket compared to the very straight InfoCrank.
These things produced technical measurement difficulties, but with years of iterations and testing, we overcame them. The final touch was to bring the aero effect out and strengthen the crank.
Our testing and experience showed that riders do more damage to cranks by twisting than by the sheer force of the power. Many current designs are prone to twisting.
Verve solved the problem by taking learnings from our Super Strong Cranks designed for some of the World’s leading track sprinters.
The design on the rear which features undercut shapes not only reduces weight, but also makes for a crank that resists twisting better than other designs. The undercuts are left open for Track cranks and can be filled for Road riders to keep them clear of road dust and dirt.
The spiders are purpose-built for Verve Chainrings, but can also have other brand chain rings retrofitted, if you prefer. Road spiders use the asymmetric 4 armed design that allows us to fit a huge range of chain ring sizes – no more 110 or 130 BCD issues.
The strengthened steel spindles are also super-strong, as we know that many of our owners are very strong riders. An extra 50g at the spindle is a small price to pay for the extra security for even the strongest efforts.
Invisible Electronics and Measurement
The entire measurement and electronics component is housed inside each crank. There is no bulge on the rear face of the crank which with some products affects whether it can be fitted to your bike.
Inside the IPX7 rated compartment is a CR2032 battery which is easily replaced by simply pressing down on the external cover. The only visible part is the battery compartment. Simply put in a new battery and it in turn rejects your old battery.
Another invisible feature – a game changer for communications – is that the wireless aerial is situated in the outer cover. Improvements in wireless communications are significant.
The entire electronics housing looks like plastic, but in reality, is a vegetable based polymer produced in Germany for outdoor equipment. Developed in conjunction with a leading chemical company and an injection molding factory, we are proud to pioneer this new technology.
The calculation for watts requires the average crank torque (force) applied over a full pedal stroke (both cranks) and the speed at which you turned the cranks.
Measuring each crank independently enables you to at least know the power for each leg, but only after a full rotation.
What has been missing in all the past products has been the true ability to “see” what produced that power number or watts. Each pedal stroke has its own pattern with a huge range of forces, say from 250nm down to negative numbers as low as -50nm. More than that the crank speed is not uniform throughout the revolution. You are not a constant speed engine, you are human.
Your riding style is your style. You may produce 200w, 300w or even more, but the style issue comes back to, “How did you produce that watts result?”
With years of technology, we have become conditioned to just accept the output without thinking about the input. But to improve your riding, you need to know your input. You need to know precisely what it is that you do when you sprint, ride up a hill, pedal at an endurance pace, or do your intervals at threshold.
The years have led us to just look at the watts number as the definitive outcome. We forgot that we need to work on our strength, measure it daily and work on our rotational speed, also measuring that accurately. We then need to positively put it together as we seek to improve.
In simple terms, IC2 is your tool for style, strength and speed improvement as well as your tool for measuring watts and everything else that you have focused on previously.
Every IC2 is individually calibrated and built by our team – it has a digital set of fingerprints, so we can help you anytime with your service queries.
A genuine leading product for a happy riding future.
Understanding the Technology
Every part of the IC2 drivetrain is manufactured to demanding standards – all that is required of a certified precision instrument.
While you can see the symmetry on the visible surfaces, an even higher level of perfection is hidden from view where the measurement occurs. A full strain gauge Wheatstone Bridge has been designed to attach perfectly to the inner wall and using flexible circuit board technology, it is connected to the electronics board. Each crank is then programmed and tested with results kept for any future service requirements.
The precision is such that regardless of the bike to which you may fit multiple IC2’s, your watts numbers (and pedalling data) will be able to be related and compared.
Every IC2 is accurate and every IC2 is comparable to each other.
Load Cells and Strain Gauges
Why is InfoCrank a precision instrument? Because each crank, right and left, is designed expressly around a strain-gauge load cell.
A load cell is a transducer that converts a force into an electrical current, and is used for measuring instruments such as lab and industrial scales.
A single InfoCrank arm is so very accurate because the strain gauge measures only tangential force, or torque – the force the rider puts in that drives the bicycle forwards. The load cell design means that side, radial, and twisting loads that are exerted on the crank (but do not move the bike forward) are not measured.
Every Load cell is calibrated at our laboratory. Independent certification tests on completed InfoCrank® sets have been conducted which showed <0.25% average error across all the normal riding zones. The greatest error in 100 tests was one outlier of 0.57%. No other power meter has achieved such high levels of accuracy with such consistent results.
A strain-based load cell’s accuracy is degraded by external temperature changes – a problem for cyclists who, as all-weather athletes, expect to be able to use their equipment in all conditions.
Temperature changes cause thermal expansion that can be confused with a load change and result in incorrect power readings, so power meters that use strain gauges must compensate for these errors.
InfoCrank overcomes these false readings by using the highest-quality strain gauges that are compensated for the thermal expansion of the aluminum crank. Additionally, the use of four strain gauges in each crankset in a full Wheatstone Bridge configuration inherently compensates for temperature, and makes the InfoCrank insensitive to temperature changes. The quality, match, and placement of the strain gauges with the alloy and the full Wheatstone bridge configuration is the most accurate solution to temperature-corrupted readings.
- Force (torque) sampling rate exceeds 200 per second
- Crank angle sampling exceeds 100 times per second
This continuous monitoring of the power applied to the crank ensures the rider has highly accurate data across the entire pedal stroke. Lesser sampling rates will miss key elements of each stroke.
Head Units and Beyond
The key differentiator is that IC2 is the first crank based power meter specifically built to exploit the benefits of BLE5. A list of compatible Bike Computers will be maintained on this site for your reference.
Please contact Support if you find a bike computer, website, app that supports partly or fully the new BLE protocols. We will note your contribution online and appreciate it.
Garmin Edge, tested 2024 August 23th, Fully Standard compatible
Hammerhead, tested 2024 September 16th, Fully Standard compatible
Wahoo, ANT+ only compatible
True North – Verve App, Fully Standard and Vector compatible, release in 2024
Verve tests various well-known bike computers and online sites. We will not critique the products – we can leave that for the bloggers, but will note whether they are fully, partly or not compatible with the standard power protocol and the date when we finished testing.
User updates on the status gratefully accepted for the benefit of us all.
Verve is producing a custom app for mobile. The main reason for this relates to our special expertise in strength and rotational dynamics. While your IC2 produces this data, it is not visible or maintained on standard bike computers. This data is known as Vector data.