Power Meters Reviewed

Note > Please visit our sister site - Power-Pedals.com for news and reviews of the latest Power Meters

This area of the website has not been updated since March 2017

It wasn't many years ago that talk of monitoring a cyclist's pedaling power output was limited to pro cyclists and their training team. A power meter for a bike cost in excess of £3000 in 2010. How things have changed. It is now possible to get an accurate power meter for under £600. Power monitoring is now the accepted standard performance metric for most serious / competitive cyclists. Ask 95% of top flight Tour riders what their FTP (Functional Threshold Power) or Power Zone 3 is (Power Zones) and they will quote their latest power output figures.

The Science of Monitoring Power

The main component in measuring a rider's pedal power is a strain gauge. A strain gauge's resistance changes when force is applied to it. As the cyclist pedals these changes in resistance are converted to electrical signals. These signals are then transmitted wirelessly via a transmitter to a receiver unit, normal a bike computer, smartphone or wrist watch for further analysis.

Different Styles of Power Meter

There are various locations within a bike's drivetrain where a power meter can be installed. Because of this the power meter has evolved in various designs, styles and systems. The most popular power monitoring systems are (listed in order of ease of installation):

  1. Pedals (Garmin, PowerTap, Look)
  2. Crank Arms (Stages, Rotor, 4iiii)
  3. Crank Spider / Chainring (Quarq, SRM, Power2Max, PowerTap)
  4. Rear Wheel Hub (PowerTap)

Further Considerations

Other than the specific style of power meter there are two other primary factors that need to be considered before parting with your cash.

  1. Single Sided or Total Power Output?
  2. Bluetooth or ANT+ data transmission?

Several of the pedal and crank based power meters give the option of single sided power monitoring only (normally about 40% cheaper) or dual sided for total power output. The single sided option will give an average Total Power Output by doubling the single sided readings. The choice of transmission systems depends on the brand of watch / bike computer. For example, bike computers from Garmin, Bryton and Lezyne use ANT+, whereas Polar & Suunto support Bluetooth 4.0.

Note > Please visit our sister site - Power-Pedals.com for news and reviews of the latest Power Meters

This area of the website has not been updated since March 2017


Reviews by CardioCritic

  • 4iiii Ultegra Power Crank

    A very popular single sided power meter. The 4iiii Precision Power crank transmits power and cadence data to any compatible ANT+ or Bluetooth 4.0 (Smart) device. A genuine Shimano Ultegra crank is used to house the sensitive 4iiii strain gauges that provide the accurate power measurement ....

    Reviewed by CardioCritic

    Amazon Price Check

  • Garmin Vector 2 & 2S

    Riding within a power zone is an proven method of ensuring you get to the finish line with just an ounce left in reserve. For the competitive cyclist, monitoring pedal power is now a MUST rather than a nice to have. Garmin offer the Vector 2 S for single sided power meter and the dual sided Vector 2 to measure power output on both cranks ....

    Reviewed by CardioCritic

    Amazon Price Check

  • PowerTap P1 Pedals

    Similar in design to the Garmin Vector 2 power meter pedals the PowerTap P1 pedals offer ease of installation and dual sided power monitoring. The PowerTap P1 pedals are simple to fit and provide the same proven PowerTap accuracy and reliability found in their cranks ...

    Reviewed by CardioCritic

    Amazon Price Check

  • Stages 105 Power Meter

    An easy and cost effective alternative to the power meter pedals of PowerTap and Garmin. The Stages 105 Power Meter cranks have their strain gauge and transmitter built-in to the rear side of the pedal. This is a SINGLE sided solution. The Stages 105 power cranks transmit in both ANT+ and Bluetooth ...

    Reviewed by CardioCritic

    Amazon Price Check

  • Powertap C1 Chainring

    The Powertap C1 Chainring system accurately measure TOTAL power output. It's a popular system among elite cyclists as it's proven to be reliable and accurate. Left and Right power balance is estimated. This system connects to both ANT+ and Bluetooth compatible devices ...

    Reviewed by CardioCritic

    Amazon Price Check