Remember when SRAM acquired PowerTap and we all scratched our heads as to why, because they already owned Quarq from an earlier acquisition ? Well, maybe it’s because they, like us , saw the potential for getting into the indoor bike trainer business. While they may have missed the first wave of frenzied fitness purchases spurred by stay-at-home orders, operations like Zwift, Rouvy, Kinomap and others means the indoor cycling market still has plenty of runway.
But for those of us who still like to ride our own bike inside, they have a very interesting hub concept that disconnects the freehub body so you keep your standard cassette on the bike and just drop it onto the indoor trainer. But first, the bike… SRAM Training Bike Concept
This recent patent filing from SRAM shows a modular indoor cycling trainer, which we’d guess would get the PowerTap branding over Quarq. Or, at least, use it’s technology to put the power meter into a hub-like unit rather than a crank-based power meter like Quarq.
The patent filing mentions two key differentiators that could set this bike apart from other cycling-brand offerings. First, modular construction that assembles easily and makes it smaller and lighter for shipping. And, it means that parts (like the drive system, electronics, etc.) can be replaced or upgraded in the future.
This also means they could offer an inexpensive, friction-and-weight-based flywheel system that’s driven directly by the cranks, or a belt-driven, electronically controlled resistance unit that’s offset from the crank’s spindle. […]