The Favero BePro pedals basically came out of nowhere on the power meter market in 2015. But two years later they have launched their successor to the BePro the ASSIOMA – let’s take a look at what has changed, and should you consider them for use in your Zwift Cave, with a Zwift Gear Test!
Favero ASSIOMA Power Meter Pedal Review – Zwift Gear Test
OK so BePro have launched new pedals… hold on, that’s not right! Before we go any further on this review, let’s actually address the name of this product, as colloquial these pedals have in the past been described in a way as to suggest they were manufactured by BePro. The Italian electronics giant Favero is the manufacturer, and BePro was a product line, as the ASSIOMA is now a product line.
Glad we cleared that up!
Just to give you an idea of how much I love the fact the Favero brought their power meter to market, have a guess what this “electronics” company’s biggest selling product is? ….Payment processing systems and… fencing – as in sword fighting! Not really very cycling specifc, but actually is a sport that relies heavily on sensor technology
Favero is, like many companies in Italy, a family firm, with the son of Gino Favero being the trained electronic engineer heading the push into cycling training equipment.
As part of that push into electronics of cycling, Favero have been doing their homework on communication protocol over the 5 years since the idea of the BePro pedals was first discussed. As such we’ve now got a dual communications chip in the Favero ASSIOMA – featuring both Bluetooth and ANT+ – so now that has opened up the pedal to the Zwift iOS community
Any other note worthy changes?
- We’ve lost 5 grams of weight
- increased battery life by a reported 20 hours – although I have not been riding the Favero ASSIOMA long enough to confirm this
- Waterproofing improvement – the Bepro pedals were IPx7, but the ASSIOMA is now up to IPx67, with improvements also stemming from the changes in charging:
- Gone is the micro USB port (*sob*) and replaced by another proprietary connector – will someone PLEASE release a waterproof standard that everyone can just get along with for smart/sports devices
The Favero ASSIOMA is available for £699 for the dual sided power meter or £439 for the single sided or Uno. This review has been made possible through a review unit from CyclePowerMeters.com who have stock at time of writing
Favero ASSIOMA – Design
From the exterior, there are very few differences visually between the new ASSIOMA and the previous BePro. We still have a circular housing for the electronics as opposed to a distinct pod, or pedal appendage.
Apparently fitting the electronics into a cylindrical piece positioned around the pedal axle as the biggest challenge for Favero, but it was considered a requirement to allow; improved ease of installation, a broader range of compatibility, and crucially permitting ease of replacing damaged pedal parts.
But before we delve further into the pedals, we need to see what it inside the box.
The box is initially much lighter than the BePro, simply as it isn’t full of all the installation tools anymore
In the box, we’ve the USB battery charger and a series of international adapters, paper manuals, Look Keo compatible cleats, the proprietary USB charger, a pedal allen key, and finally the actually Favero ASSIOMA pedals.
The pedal body has not changed from the BePro resin pedal, and accepts Look Keo compatible cleats
One significant difference to the user experience from a hardware perspective is the new charging cable, moving to a flat contact system for increased waterproofing
The charge cable connects to two metal dots on the outside of the ASSIOMA pedal housing – gone is the micro USB port from the BePro pedal, which I’m a little sad about. Although it does also mean there are no caps to break or lose which some riders did comment on with the BePros
The new USB charger prongs are magnetically held onto the pedal, with a very powerful force as you can see below:
There is always a degree of consternation about non-user replaceable batteries. Favero is very open with information about the lifetime they expect for the larger batteries in the ASSIOMA. Stating a 20% reduction in battery capacity after 500 charges. Which initially sounds a lot, until you realise that 500 charges is 25000 hours of use… so nearly THREE YEARS of continual cycling
On the outside of the Favero ASSIOMA we have four LED lights, quartering the unit. It might only be a small thing, but it does make living with the ASSIOMA’s much easier. The reason being, if you give the pedals as spin in order to wake them up, you can easily see the lights flashing from any orientation, rather than having to keep checking for the LED location, as I’ve seen on some pedals. A minor point, but something I was happy to see.
All of the electronics within the pedals are encased in a bicomponent resin block during manufacture – meaning that water cannot physically get to the sensors within. Favero also wanted to go this route, as even with waterproof battery housing doors, over time seals can break down. Here there is no seal to degrade
Here I’m looking at the UNO configuration, so we’ve just got a LEFT sided power unit. For many people the single sided units actual make a great choice financially, so I think it’s as important to look at the single sided unit, and compare with other power meters, as it is to look at the ASSIOMA DUO, for L/R leg powers.
As mentioned the Favero Assimo have now shifted to dual channel comms, which is displayed on the inside of the pedal, but disappears when installed on the bike
Previously on the Bepro, there were reports of the plastic housing wearing over time, largely as a result of catching with shoes. Favero have taken this into account, by narrowing the sensor housing 33.5mm vs. 37mm, while also changing the outer casing and increasing its thickness to better withstand the friction that pedals are subjected to in normal day-to-day riding
Favero ASSIOMA – Specification
- Battery: lithium battery, rechargeable – life ~50 hours
- Total Weight: 149.5 grammes.
- Communications: ANT+, and Bluetooth V4.0
- Minimum – Maximum Power: 0-2000 Watts
- Power Measurement accuracy: 2%
- Water resistance: IPx67
- Maximum weight of the cyclist: 120kg (265 lbs).
- Warranty: 2 years
- Compatible cleats: Look, Keo
- Data: Power, cadence, L/R Balance (only three three are available on Bluetooth) (ASSIOMA Duo only), and then ANT+ flavour goodness: Torque efficiency, pedal stroke uniformity
Favero ASSIOMA – Manual
Whilst the Favero ASSIOMA pedals are easier to install than the BePro, I’ve found with both units taking a look overt the manual is a reasonable plan – largely as when I first installed the pedals, I could connect but, not get the units to broadcast power – more of that in a moment
OK first things first, the BePro pedals, whilst not difficult per say to install, but they did require a bit of a dance with a series of special tools found in the box
Thankfully all of that has gone away, and you simply screw the Favero ASSIOMA onto your crank in the same way as you would any other pedal!
I think that this is probably going to be one of the major changes for people in the market for a pedal based power meter. A major draw of pedal power meters is the relative ease of swapping the system between bikes, certainly compared to crank mounted systems. The Garmin Vector 2’s need a little attention – although I expect this to change with the impending Vector 3’s, as the PowerTap P1’s and now the Favero ASSIOMA demonstrate just how easy installation and setup can be.
The pedal comes without any charge in the box, so it benefits to plug the unit in whilst you go through the setup procedure
As the ASSIOMA pedals now have Bluetooth, this means, that as with every sporting product today, it’s time to download the companies app (FINALLY!) and update the firmware. This is a begin improvement, as with the BePro Pedals you could only to connect to a Windows Laptop to do the firmware updates.
Basically, without the app, you are not going to be able to use your pedals, as you need to register and activate the sensor from the app
To be honest, this isn’t really a laborious task, but it is definitely something to be aware of – no phone, no internet, no power meter! So keep this in mind when you rip open the box ready to install your new toy.
In fairness though, it is a method that will ensure all new pedals are running the latest firmware, so it’s not that much of an imposition to my mind.
The app also allows minor setup points, such as putting in your crank arm legs, inputting any power corrections you know you might needs, and over time upgrading, or down grade from single sided, to dual sided ASSIOMA if you wish.
Oh you can also check the battery level
Once the pedals are activated and have a little charge in them, it’s just a case of screwing them into the crank as you would any other pedal. There are washers included in the box in case of your crank having recessed seat – I put one washer on my Shimano Ultregra arms
Once the unit is fully charged it’s time to calibrate, which can be done from any compatible cycling headset – but oddly enough, not the Favero App
In Zwift, you see the Favero ASSIOMA broadcasting both the BLE and ANT+ protocol – so it looks like you are ready for a spin
I do all of the Zwift Gear Tests using Jon’s Mix, giving me an excellent, stable, repeatable test, which over time has built up a series of graphs that readers can use to compare different power meters and trainers
As mentioned previously, for an accurate power meter test, you need to be taking the recordings from at least three different units, so here I’m using the Elite Direto and the PowerTap C1 chain ring for comparison.
All things set primed and ready to go, started to spin up… and nothing. Although I could see the Favero Assioma signal, I couldn’t get a power reading from the unit.
I tried two different head units, as well as swapping between ANT+ and BLE on Zwift. Nope. No dice.
Everything appeared to be working, I could see things in the Favero Assioma App correctly, but no output.
The manual states that the unit “Is self-calibrated by cycling for about ten turns”… which I thought I had been doing, but perhaps not. After a series of restarts, and gentle pedalling, the unit did seem to self-calibrate and started working. What I would advise is simply getting on Zwift, and riding steadily until you get power data appearing, but with the recognition that 1) this is normal, and 2) you might be pedalling for up to a minute or so.
But when I finally had data, back onto Jon’s Mix!
Favero Assioma Power Graphs
So how did the Favero Assioma fare? Overall very well. At the very start of the test, the pedals seemed to be reading fractionally higher, but then things seemed to settle in after about 1 min
The Favero Assioma is clearly as responsive as the crank based power meter the PowerTap C1, although the pedals did read a little lower on the final high intensity.
Looking into the graph a little closer, it appears that the Favero Assioma tracks well with the other two power meters.
Certainly, from a Zwift racing perspective, I’d have no issues turning up on the start line with the Favero Assioma broadcasting out my readings. It will be interesting to see how things fair over a longer term test
Favero ASSIOMA – Conclusion
I was a big fan of the original Bepro pedals. The price was bang on, and the micro USB charging was terrific. Some people are very fond of the PowerTap P1 pedals and the Garmin Vectors for the ability to swap batteries mid ride. Personally, I’m happier with the ease of rechargeable batteries. I’ve not had issues using a Di2 gear set, and that is going to be a bigger issue outdoors with an empty battery.
That said in the Zwift world, you are dead in the water if your power meter dies!
Overall the Favero ASSIOMA pedal system is good value for both the dual, £699, and single sided £439 options, and appears to be accurate over the time I have had to test things – although I will update this review if I should find different on a longer term test
Choosing a pedal based power meter system can be a significant choice, especially if you are like me, and wedded to a particular type of pedals (you can take my Speedplays from my cold, dead corpse!) then any pedal option is not going to be for you… However, if you are happy with the Look Keo pedals, then the new Favero ASSIOMA should certainly be a power meter on your consideration list.
Previously the BePro pedals excluded the Zwift iOS community, but having swapped to a dual channel communication system, and adopting BlueTooth 4.0; the ASSIOMA could now be used to service any flavour of the Zwift sphere – ok perhaps not runners, but you get the point!
Based on price, accuracy, and ease of install I’m going to award 4/5 TG stars, and a highly recommended too (assuming you are happy with Look pedals)
This review has been made possible by a loaner device from CyclingPowermeters.com