Power Meter Options

Power meters can be located almost anywhere on the bicycle drivetrain; here are a few of the most common options, each with their pros and cons.

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Crank Arm Power Meters

Stages

It is the first power meter brand to offer both ANT+ and Bluetooth transmission protocols. Currently best priced on the market and offering a crank based power meter for most manufacturer, alloy or carbon – Shimano, SRAM, FSA, Cannondale, Campagnolo. Stages power meter has an LED status indicator that shows pairing and battery status at a glance. Improved water resistance – Gen 3 Stages power meters are designed to meet or exceed the IPX7 standard for water resistance. The older Gen1/2 units had connectivity issues and firmware updates in 2017 resolved connectivity issues people were seeing.

  • Battery Life: 200 hours

  • Battery type: CR2032, replaceable

  • Accuracy: +/- 1.5% Warranty: 1 year


4iiii Precision

At just 9g the 4iiii Precision power meter is the lightest on the market. You can purchase complete crank arm, or alternatively if compatible you can send your crank arm to them and they will fit the 4iiii Precision pod for you and then courier it back to you. The power meter pod uses single coin type battery and status indicator is via their app. 4iiii Precision is a reliable and inexpensive power meter that measures left leg power.

  • Battery life: 120 hours

  • Battery type: CR2032, replaceable Accuracy: +/- 1%

  • Warranty: 3 year


Avio

Avio has been designed to fit selected Shimano Hollow cranks only. Avio offers a self-install kit and is the least expensive left-only power meter option on the market. Alternatively you can send your compatible Shimano crank arm to Avio or their appointed distributor/retailer to install the power meter pod for you or you can purchase a pre-installed crank/crank set.

  • Battery life: 75 to 100 hours

  • Battery type: CR2032, replaceable

  • Accuracy: +/- 2% Warranty: 2 year


Crank Arm Based Power Meter Verdict

These are among the most affordable power meters available.

Not always easy to move between bikes.

The crank-arms are slightly wider than normal so there may be some clearance issues when fitting them to the frame.


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Crank Spider Power Meters

Quarq

The Quarq is a solid unit for those seeking easy, reliable, and accurate numbers from a power meter. Accuracy is on-par with other units, chain-rings can be fitted without issue and the battery is easy to replace. On the down side…..not much.

  • Battery life: 200 hours

  • Battery type: CR2032, replaceable

  • Accuracy: +/- 1.5%

  • Warranty: 2 year

SRM

This is gold standard, a legend. It’s a well-established brand and their reliability is generally very good. With ANT+ you can use any head unit you’d like, and aren’t limited to just the SRM head units. On the downside - it is pricey.

  • Battery life: 100 hours

  • Battery type: USB rechargeable

  • Accuracy: +/- 1.5%

  • Warranty: 3 year

Power2Max

Power2Max has packaged the power meter into the spider, so you’re free to choose from a range of cranks according to your budget. Units priced at the low end have +/-2% accuracy, uses a replaceable battery (CR2450 – a lifespan of 300 to 400 hours) and has a 2 year warranty. As per Power2Max website, you can upgrade the accuracy to 1% for 100EURO; add left/right leg balance for 50EURO, pedal smoothness for 50EURO and or a 5 year warranty for 150EURO.

  • Battery life: Depending on model, 300 to 400 hours or 150 hours for rechargeable.

  • Battery type: Depending on model, CR2450 or USB rechargeable

  • Accuracy: +/- 1% to 2%

  • Warranty: 2 to 5 year

PowerBox

Spider-based power meter that provide total power output measurement of both legs. Battery life has proved to be excellent. It uses a CR2450, which is bigger and has a much larger capacity than the more commonly used CR2032.

  • Battery life: 300 to 400 hours

  • Battery type: CR2450

  • Accuracy: +/- 2%

  • Warranty: 1 year

Shimano

Shimano's first power meter and there are some issues which will be rectified through updates. Shimano’s easy to use dual-sided power meter (temporally flawed) comes in at a high price; you may want to consider other options.

  • Battery life: 300 hours

  • Battery type: USB rechargeable

  • Accuracy: +/- 2%

  • Warranty: 2 to 3 year

Rotor INspider

The first of its kind to offer multi-discipline compatibility, and can be seamlessly switched between bikes only if they all utilize a Rotor OCP-splined (Optimum Chain-ring Position) crank-set. It is dual sided, with a rechargeable battery. Again this one is a little on the costly side.

  • Battery life: 250 to 300 hours

  • Battery type: USB rechargeable

  • Accuracy: +/- 1%

  • Warranty: 2 year

Crank Spider Based Power Meter Verdict

You can change crank length without having to buy a new power meter.

Crank spider based meters can be very accurate.

Can provide left-right pedaling balance.

Not always easy to move between bikes.


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BB/Spindle Power Meters
Easton

Reasonably long-term battery life, USB rechargeable and has a “travel mode” for saving battery life. It is a bit pricey for a left-only unit.

  • Battery life: 400 hours

  • Battery type: USB rechargeable

  • Accuracy: +/- 2%

  • Warranty: 1 year