Review UPDATE – Favero bePro – one year on

Favero bePRO Power Meter Pedals - Carbon Cranks

Favero bePRO Power Meter Pedals

After over a year of using Favero’s bePRO dual-sided power meter pedals it seemed like a good time to update some thoughts on their long-term suitability.

This post is a SUMMARY update to the short review <here>. If you are thinking about buying some then you will need to read the detailed review in conjunction with this post.

ESSENTIAL READING: (Here) is an updated DETAILED review of the Favero bePro covering carbon cranks, elliptical chain-rings, accuracy, durability, off-road/trail use and many other aspects from over a year of use and 1,000s of miles over several bikes.

 

The point of THIS post is to provide some reassurance of the longterm durability of the product and any issues that might crop up over time.

Overview: Favero’s bePRO power meter (PM) pedals are a relatively low cost solution for providing accurate power data when cycling. They will work with most modern ANT+ triathlon watches and bike computers.

General Usage: I’ve covered thousands of miles with the bePRO on road, TT, turbo/indoor-trainer and MTBs (trail) this has been either as the only power meter or in conjunction with another non-pedal PM. The bePRO has a plastic cover to its USB charging port, this looks a little flimsy but I am still on the original cover with the spares originally provided still in their little plastic bag.

The pedals have suffered from the usual scrapes and shoe-induced scratches but on the whole they have held up excellently and I have no doubt that they will be working as well in another year’s time. The only area of concern I have on the durability of the device is concerning how it interacts with the shoe cleats.

  1. This does not apply to me: If your cleats cause either your shoes or cleats to touch the circular housing of the pedals when pedalling normally then this contact will give you problems. Normally you would buy a SHIM or SPACER to move the shoes a mm or so further away from the pedal. This information is in the installation manual!!
  2. What did apply to me was that when I was pushing HARD, an injury I had caused my right toe to point outwards on the downstroke.I wasn’t especially aware of that BUT it did cause contact with the cleat and housing at around the 2 o’clock position. Quite quickly this caused noticeable wear to the housing. HOWEVER this has not damaged the functioning of the power meter, including waterproofing, it’s just a bit of an unsightly scuff. A shim/spacer may have sorted this out but instead I bought some GREY (semi-floating) cleats and put one on my right side, I could have gone for a non-floating (BLACK) version too. This stopped the problem and may, or my not, have helped my pedalling technique rehab.

I probably change the pedals fro one bike to another on average once a week. It’s easy

  1. On my MTB I do NOT have a bePRO alignment sticker and the mark I originally made there has long since worn off. It is still easy to align the mark on the housing with the centre of the crank by sight. OK it’s a few degrees out but the back-pedalling/ride-calibration accounts for that. I’m usually 1-3degrees out.
  2. I tighten the pedals by hand to what I would consider to be ‘TIGHT’ – that works fine every time.
  3. The only other issue with moving between bikes is that each of my cranks requires a different number of spacers – either 0, 1 or 2. It is ESSENTIAL that the correct contact is made between the bePRO’s locknut and the crank. If you used 2 spacers/washers on each side you’d probably be Ok on every single crank that exists but you would be 1 or 2mm per side wider that you need to be in some instances as a result. Luckily I’m able to remember and visually see how many spacers/washers each crank needs. Again, it’s super simple and in the manual.
Favero bePRO Power Meter Pedals - MTB

Favero bePRO Power Meter Pedal (r) vs my MTB pedal (l)

SPECIFIC USAGE CASES:

I’ve not had a crash where I have come off and hit the pedals on the road.

It’s been fine in every ride condition I’ve used it in. I have mentioned using it on my MTB a few times and I need to clarify that. I only ride on trails and I essentially don’t fall off or hit trees. If you are a proper MTB rider (I’m not) then you run the risk of damaging an expensive pair of pedals.

When riding down steps the power readings go through the roof. So WELL over 1000w whilst not pedalling as the back wheel on my hardtail lands. It is what it is and probably reflects the force on the pedal but it can skew your data a bit. This doesn’t particularly bother me…but it might you!

I’ve ended up pedalling through streams about 60cm high (?). anyway high enough to completely submerge the pedals. A few weeks later one of the pedals did not spin freely as well as the other one. I used an allen wrench/key and re-greased the innards and all is good.

You can replace the bearing inside the pedals. I took one to bits to have a look. I’m still on the original bearings though I hasten to add.

 

bePRO code for 10% discount – “the5krunner10 bePRO code for 10% discount – “the5krunner10”

ACCURACY DRIFT: They’ve been good on the whole. However I noticed a skew in the L/R balance and slightly higher overall power when comparing the bePRO to other units. For several months I just put this asymmetry down to: A. My use of elliptical chain rings and B: The aforesaid injury. I finally found some time to delve a little further and this is what I discovered:

  1. Converting my 2-sided bePRO to left-side only increased my power readings more than I would have expected. IE THE LEFT-SIDE MIGHT BE OVER-READING or the right-side under-reading.
  2. Using on a normal circular chainring (either my MTB or the inner ring of one of my road bikes) did not change the asymmetry. IE OVAL CHAINRINGS NOT THE PROB
  3. There is a special calibration check described by Favero in their troubleshooting guide in Section 2.12 Verification of the static torque. Following this 15 minute procedure on a cycling computer (it won’t easily work on a 920xt) I determined that the left pedal was over-reading by 1%.
  4. So I used the firmware tool from Favero to downgrade the left-side power by 1% (grrrrr hate making anything lower!)
  5. However there is still asymmetry. More than there was in ‘the good old of days’ of my athletic prime. To a degree I believe the asymmetry figures as in the gym it is pretty obvious that my left quad is more powerful. I’m not convinced though. Anyway, I’m having a play with some Vector 2s later this month so we shall soon see. Edit: they said the same thing..my bad!)
Favero bePRO Power Meter Pedals - MTB

Favero bePRO Power Meter Pedals – MTB

SOFTWARE/FIRMWARE/DATA RELATED ISSUES

I was contacted by a MIO 505 user who had the single-sided bePRO. He had issues that I could not replicate with the same MIO on my dual-sided bePROs. There was some sort of issue with the MIO which MIO fixed pretty quickly.

I have hard-coded my bePRO’s ANT+ ID into a Lezyne GPS unit. Yet the Lezyne insists on finding whichever PM it can. I strongly suspect this is an (unresolved) issue with the Lezyne. (EDIT: Resolved by Lezyne)

When riding with multiple PMs and using Garmin devices, the Garmins always find the bePRO first and then ask if I want to change to the other PM once they’ve found that. As it should be.

I experienced power dropouts with a 920XT to the point of being REALLY annoying. My fourth 920XT does not have power dropouts and it is the same bePRO. Go figure. (Edit: just sold my 4th 920XT and I still have the original BePros)

Favero’s firmware updater has not had any updates since Jan 2017. That’s probably a good sign. The March 2016 update did address some LR balance issues (didn’t affect my readings AFAIK) and also enabled transmission power to be boosted at the expense of battery life – I’d imagine the latter might be useful in some unusual scenario where your receiving device was off your bike.

BATTERY

I still haven’t managed to remember what the flashing LED’s mean.

I’ve completed 9/10 hour rides with absolutely no problems; well, not from the bePRO at any rate. I seem to charge them up when I remember and VERY rarely run out of juice. The bePRO does transmit battery status but none of my Garmin’s seem to show it, either that or I’ve never looked (the latter probably – Edit: 2017, does now show up on my Edge 820). But it would be nice to be warned to charge the battery. The battery info does go into the FIT file too and SportTracks gives me that reminder when it imports the ride data and power is low. But I’m a 1-3 hour ride person normally so battery life is no concern to me, you may well have different needs.

Edit: 27 Feb 2017 – finally the plastic covers that cover the USB ports are starting to go. Time to use the spares that were originally included methinks.

Edit: 12 July 2017 – ah yes but the bit that the plastic cover fastens into has slightly broken. Which means the plastic covers come off. It’s still waterproof…doesn’t look as nice.

RECOMMENDATION

Would I recommend them? Absolutely YES.

  • No doubt, from time to time, there will be better deals from the directly competing offerings of Garmins Vector 2s and Powertap’s P1s but I suspect that the bePRO will normally be the cheaper of the 3.
  • Any other dual-sided option you go for will be harder to move between bikes – some more so than others
  • There will always be cheaper, single-sided options available on crank based solutions such as 4iiii and STAGES. If you check the various forums you will see that there have been issues with STAGES although the people I know and myself have had good experiences with STAGES on the whole, so I’d say that was a viable alternative. I’ll be looking at the 4iiii soon but from my dealings with them in the past I am expecting an awesome product 🙂 But you have to decide if you want one- or two-sided power. Obviously you can get cheaper one-sided power from pedal based solutions too but remember that one sided crank/pedal power, by definition, will never be as accurate as a solution that measures the full power. But if it’s consistent then that’s good enough for me  – the argument that you need accurate data over many years doesn’t wash with me; I’m only interested in the last 3 months data on the whole ie reflecting my actual fitness (or lack thereof). If you are going for a relatively inexpensive solution then I would imagine it is unlikely that you will have lots of power meters…again, consistency not accuracy.
  • It’s just a shame that they are not Bluetooth as well 🙁

Alternatives: The alternatives (link) are all good too but it’s just that they are, on the whole, more expensive for similar products. A newer version will be released in 2017 called Assioma.

Verdict: At US$519 (single) and US$814 (dual) it’s a BUY with the 15% discount below!

If you’d like to support this site AND get a 10% discount with the code the5krunner10 at our trusted partners PowerMeterCity (USA) and CyclePowerMeters (EU/UK) then click the link below.

 

bePRO code for 10% discount – “the5krunner10 bePRO code for 10% discount – “the5krunner10”

 

13 thoughts on “Review UPDATE – Favero bePro – one year on

  1. Hi, thank you very much for this extensive review. Which Lezyne unit are you using, and is it working well now?I got a bePro pedal without checking compatibility with the hardware I have, and now I need to find a way to read their data.

    • have you talked to favero about y our hardware? they are pretty responsive to hardware issues that they can easily control 9if it’s Bluetooth then they can’t add that 😉 ). the super gps (old non-enhanced version) is my go-to backup unit. it used to find the wrong PM but that was fixed a while back. it works fine for me. I also have the micro c watch, it’s feature-packed and I like it BUT I would steer clear of that for a month or two as it has a few bugs that need ironing out (apparently there are bug fixes as a hidden firmware update somewhere but I’ve not bothered yet to look for that maybe it fixes them…maybe not) any purchases through the links here much appreciated to support this blog thank you: https://the5krunner.com/2016/09/19/1-minute-review-updated-lezyne-super-gps/

      • Thank you very much for your quick reply. I just read your review about the Micro C watch. The non-watch version could be a possibility… I am basically trying to find the cheapest/simplest device to get the BePro data on my tri bike. For instance, I am also looking at the Garmin Edge 25, but the lack of reviews mentioning this pair is suspicious. I have a Suunto Spartan as main device, and I should have paid more attention to the lack of ANT+ / BLE that each has… 🙁

        If I find a solution that I can afford, I will be happy to use your link, yes. Keep up the good work in this blog!

        • 4iiii viiiiva (but actually it’s a bit wobbly on the spartan).
          lezyne is a good bet.
          look at MIO/Magellan. I have the 505 and it is feature rich. I kinda quite like it. battery life not too great when doing complex nav and it struggles planning a 9 hour course (tho better than the edge 820!! seriously)

          or get an ant+ dongle to plug into your iPhone. some android smartphones even have the ant+ turned on

  2. Hi Thank you for your review. Maybe you know why Favero do no longer sell the single version?
    Thanks for answering.
    Jan-Willem

    • on their facebook page their is a teaser which might signal the arrival of a new product. or they could be focussing on the more profitable dual-sided version

  3. Hello. First, I want to thank you the deep analysis of bepro power meter. I am an user since 2015. When do you think it is the best moment to perform the static calibration? I found I get better results when I do it ten minutes after beguin cycling, because temperature is very influyent. But it´s only a personal impresion. I want to know if you think it is necesary to wait for the warn up of the PM or I can perform the static calibration before start, because it´s a bit annoying stopping to calibrate.

    Thank you very much.

    • I calibrate twice with the position of the pedals reversed each time. I calibrate before more than half of my rides. if I forget to calibrate it seems to make very little difference to the figures as far as I can tell.

  4. I am using m BePros for more than a year. I have also an imbalance between by L & R pedal. Regarding the accuracy, I get quite high power readings (according to BePRO my FTP is 327W) that do not match my feeling on how good cyclist I am. But I have no other data to compare. Anyway, for proper training its about relation not absolute values.

      • Hey, thanks for the suggestion. I did the test, and it results that L pedal provides by 13% to high values. 13% is quite big inaccuracy… Its not about 1% as in your example…

        • ouch! that’s a big difference.
          obviously the 1% was the specific case with my pedals.
          I have re-done that test a few times over several months.
          results varied. the only conclusion I drew from that was that it might depend exactly on how well bedded in the pedals were before testing.

          • I had several reasons to perform this test. 1st, from the purchase I assumed that my power readings are to high. To be honest, 327W FTP is not a value for someone doing IM-bike in 5:15 with 77kg weight. Second was significant imbalance between legs – like 57%-43% for the left side. I contacted Favero already almost a year ago, that in my opinion my power results were to high, but unfortunately didn’t have any possibility to compare.
            I sent my findings to Favero yesterday and waiting for the answer..

Leave a Reply