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Best Power Meters For Mountain Bikes & Road Bikes – Review

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June 5, 2021

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Best Power Meters - Review Summary (Quick Stats)

If you don't have time to read the full article, here is our quick review.

If you're into to measuring your output and give yourself that inspiration to push yourself that little bit harder, installing a power meter to your bike can give you that edge over your rivals. We discuss our recommendations below. (All Available at Probike Kit)

Overall Rating: 
4/5 stars

Quality

RIDE

cost

PRICE RANGE (at time of writing)

$300 - $1500

Best Power Meters – Reviews & Buyers Guide for the Cheapest & Best 

Getting a high-quality power meter is an excellent method for quantifying your workouts if you would like to get the most out of your training sessions and measure power, such as cycling power or leg power.

As is always the case, the best power meter for one rider may not be the best for another. It all depends on how one plans to use it, the bike, your bike positioning possibilities, the budget, and whether or not you are planning to use it on many bikes.

Let us start with some instant product recommendations and then take you through a detailed look at some of the most significant technologies.

What is the method for measuring power in each power meter? What does it mean to have power? What is the formula for calculating power? These questions are all answered, along with useful tips to assist you in optimising your riding experience with power.

You may also be interested in our GPS Cycle Computer review.

What Are Power Meters?

Power meters are gadgets that are mounted on a bike that measures the cyclist’s power output.

When pressure is applied to a strain gauge, it deflects somewhat. Power can be estimated by measuring force and combining it with angular velocity. Several riders live by testing the functional threshold power regularly to keep track of their progress. 

If you want to look at how to use a power meter from a mathematical perspective, the formula to measure power is as follows: power (Watts) = force x distance/time. Watts is the amount of energy needed to move a mass a specific distance in a given amount of time. 

Thus, on a bike, the mass is the rider plus the bike, and the distance is how much ground one covers.

Moving a bike, on the other hand, is a significantly more challenging case due to its inconsistent resistance to motion.

This is the key to comprehending how power meters function. It is essentially implementing the equation to a specific bike component, such as the BB axle, crank, pedal axle, hub, etc.

One of the most difficult issues faced by manufacturers is accurate measurement of such a force, with the tiniest of factors such as gauge positioning, gauge quality, and also temperature being given top priority.

How the Best Power Meters Operate 

The best power meters may currently be found in five main sections of a bicycle, and operation varies depending on the placement; however, they all use strain gauges of some sort.

The five key power meter options include:

  1. Hub-based systems or hub power meters – Hub-based power meters are the simplest devices in the industry. Many experts consider the hub to be the most reliable spot to measure power since there are fewer forces operating on the strain gauges. (E.g. G3 hub and rear hub)
  2. Bottom bracket systems – Bottom bracket-based power meters can be easy to maintain and precise. Unfortunately, installing a bottom bracket system can be challenging as there are various bottom bracket standards across the market to fit strain gauges. 
  3. Crank-arm-based power meters – Crank arm power meters or spider-based systems are simple to swap between bikes and strain gauges. Like a pedal power meter, spider-based or crank-based power meters can be both single-sided and dual-sided. 
  4. Chainring-based power meters – Chainring systems can be reliable; however, they do not provide individual power measurement; they can only estimate it. 
  5. Pedal-based systems – A pedal-based power meter measures based on intricate force, and it are simple to install and swap between bikes. Furthermore, the fact that pedal-based power meter options are exposed poses a higher risk, especially to children. One does have to pay careful attention to the pedal body and whether they are left-right pedals or systems only suitable for the left leg or right leg.

 

4iiii Precision 2.0 3d Power Meter – 105 R7000 

The 4iiii Precision 2.0 3D 105 R7000 can help you develop your training results. This power meter accurately measures power you put through the pedals using a triaxle strain gauge on a crank arm and 3D technology; so you can cycle faster, stronger, and longer.

Luckily, installing this crank-based power meter is a breeze. The 4iiii system fits like a conventional Shimano 105 dual-sided crank arm and is an excellent alternative for amateur operators. Additionally, this power meter, which is ANT+ and Bluetooth compatible, may be used with practically any cycling computer and would be an incredible asset to any current setup.

It is an excellent match for any 105-equipped competitive road bike, as it only weighs 9 grams. This power meter is exceptionally easy to set up, operate, and maintain, as it is fuelled by a single coin-cell battery and comes with a consistent smartphone app.

atest power meters have spent a significant amount of time and money developing the supporting system and software and ensuring that the final result is precise and tough enough to endure forces and harsh weather conditions.

 

4iii power meter

Avio Single-Sided Power Meter

This product is made of aircraft-grade H15 aluminium and has a hard case anodized finish for extra stability and durability.

The Avio PowerSense Pro crank is compatible with all ANT+-enabled head units.

Another factor to consider is that this Direct Hollowtech II Shimano crank has high levels of compatibility with Hollowtech II bicycles and may be used as a replacement for the arms. It is also available in three standard sizes.

Before the item is delivered, each Avio PowerSense is personally calibrated separately to assure an approximate two percent accuracy level, which is normal for non-scientific power meters. Personal calibration means one can trust the information generated by the systems because it is a true measurement rather than an estimate.

Powerpod V4 Power Meter

This device offers simple calibration and an easy setup; connect the PowerPod V4 to your bike computer and ANT+ sensor to enjoy your ride. Each time you cycle, the PowerPod calibrates itself. Additionally, the PowerPod V4 is a single power meter that can switch between a maximum of four bikes in less than 60 seconds.

Any type of bike can benefit from the PowerPod V4! It has the same pitot tube as the top-of-the-range AeroPod, resulting in greater cross-wind precision and rainy-day performance. There is also automatic profile selection, which detects the type of bike you are using and accordingly modifies the internal settings.

When you pedal at a consistent speed, the PowerPod power statistics are smooth and consistent, but when you surge, they respond instantaneously. The PowerPod V4 is the world’s only device that captures raw sensor information for up to 768 hours! All you need to do is download the ride data to Velocomp’s Isaac program to see real-time wind, power, elevation, and hillslope statistics. 

The PowerPod V4 has several new features. Its GPS Tracker feature on your cellphone retrieves GPS data and integrates it with your ride profile. Lastly, the left-right PowerStroke function is an optional feature that displays your pedal stroke quality.

Avio Powersense Power Meter

The Avio Powersense Power Meter is a precise and cheap cadence and power meter that works with any ANT+ gadget.

Invest in the Avio PowerSense today to turn your Shimano crank into a functional power meter. This device also has a high-quality level of precision as it is individually calibrated to produce accurate power measurement.  

The Avio PowerSense is a sophisticated piece of equipment that requires professional installation. Fitting the PowerSense requires only genuine Avio Fitting Kits and certified glue. It is only compatible with certain dual-sided Shimano Hollowtech cranks.

4iiii Precision 2.0 Power Meter – Dura-Ace R9100

These products feature industry-leading accuracy, highly dependable cadence information, and 3D technology capable of detecting tri-axial strain on the crank arm, whether you are a professional or merely dedicated to your training. The lightweight and durable PRECISION feature works with an ANT+ and Bluetooth head unit to assist you with cycling smarter and harder.

On the latest Shimano left crank arm, PRECISION Ride Ready is pre-installed. Bottom brackets with the Hollowtech ii interface can accommodate these crank arms.

A few of the features on these power meters include:

  • The patent-pending 3D power meter technology monitors the tri-axial strain on the crank arm.
  • Data that is consistent, reliable, and precise
  • Compact and lightweight design
  • A battery life status indicator
  • ANT+, Bluetooth Smart headsets, cellphones, and other 4iiii gadgets are all compatible.
  • Maintenance and setup are simple.

Powerpod V3 Power Meter

The Powerpod V3 power meter is a cutting-edge tool that does not come with a ridiculous price point. The Powerpod V3 compensates for weather conditions, weight, and elevation by connecting the unit to a handlebar to generate a power figure required to go at a specific speed with a two percent accuracy. This power meter is simple to set up. All you have to do is connect the power meter to the cadence and speed sensors, the ANT+ computer, and go for a brief calibration ride. It is as simple as that.

Switching the unit between your training bicycle and race bike only takes a few seconds with no need to replace pedals, wheels, or cranks, and with the help of the basic bracket provided for the handlebar.

This power meter can measure the amount of energy used, is lightweight, and the calibration and setup process is extremely easy. The rechargeable battery can be powered through a USB. When you purchase this product, the device, 31.8mm handlebar bracket, charging cable, and user manual are all included. However, you need a speed sensor which is not included in the package.

 

v3 powerpod

 

4iiii Precision Pro Dual-Sided Power Meter – Ultegra R8000

The Precision Pro dual-sided power meters are designed for professionals and feature all of the characteristics of the left-side model, which includes excellent precision, lightweight and simple design, Bluetooth and ANT + compatibility, and 3D technology. Plus, it contains a particular breakdown of left-right power, measured in watts. This is ideal for individuals that require precise power output from each crank length or merely want the best power meters available on the market.

A few of the characteristics of these crank arm power meters include: 

  • Patent-pending 3D technology, which monitors tri-axial strain on the crank.
  • Data that is accurate and reliable
  • Compact and lightweight design
  • The 4iiii app provides a battery life status indicator.
  • Bluetooth Smart, ANT+ headsets, cellphones, and other 4iiii gadgets are all compatible.
  • User-friendly app
  • Easy to assemble and maintain
  • Capability to introduce new features and upgrades via over-the-air updates

Shimano Cannondale Si Hollowgram Single-Sided Power Meter

This is designed for BB30 riders who want to boost the power of their Cannondale Si HG crank. This crank-based power meter comes pre-installed on a Si HG left side, but it may easily be fitted into SiSL2 cranks.

All Cannondale BB30 cyclists who use a Cannondale Si HG crankset can use this Stages cycling Cannondale Si HG power meter. Spider-based SISL2 and Si cranksets are also compatible with the Cannondale Si HG. On Cannondale Si HG’s left crank arms, the device is pre-assembled. It simply replaces the current left arm, making installation a breeze. There is no interaction with the drivetrain components because of the left arm system.

This battery device is compatible with all ANT+ bike computers and the latest smartphone models, thanks to the Bluetooth Smart and ANT+ technology.

This latest meter is thinner and has a lower profile than other previous models by up to 28%. It is more streamlined thanks to a 17-percent reduction in frontal area, and it is also stronger. The new housing design improves the housing connection and battery life door’s strength by 200% over the previous model.

Stages Dura-Ace 9100 Single-Sided Power Meter

Stages Cycling Power L (only left-sided), Stages Power R (only right-sided), and Stages Power LR (left-right-sided), options are available for this Shimano’s Dura-Ace R9100 crankset.

Stages Power L is suitable with all models that accommodate Shimano SRAM Hollowtech II or LOOK Keo cranks and is constructed on the non-drive side Shimano R9100 crank arm.

These power meters have helped riders win three Tour de France titles in a row and other world and national titles. Hence, the results speak for themselves.  If you feel that riding is the best product testing ground on the planet, then Stages Power has been demonstrated to be the best power meter on the planet.

A power meter’s most crucial attribute is its measuring consistency. This product was the first meter to automatically compensate for temperature, guaranteeing accurate readings regardless of the weather conditions. Active Temperature Compensation is the main reason a cyclist can rely on the Stages Power statistics in any situation.

Every meter is independently calibrated to achieve an accuracy level of approximately one and a half percent, which is the industry standard for non-scientific power meters. It also has excellent battery life.

FSA Powerbox Powermeter Alloy Road Abs Chainset

This product features a 386Evo 30mm AL7050 alloy axle that fits each frame, cold-forged AL6061/T6 aluminium crank arms, and the AL7075 chainrings that are made entirely of CNC components. The bolts for the chainrings are made of chromium. The device weighs in at 751g, and it fits Shimano Sram 10 to 11 speed systems.

Additionally, this power meter is easy to install and use. When you stop pedalling for three seconds or longer, the power2max automatically resets to zero, eliminating the need to manually re-zero. There is also no need for cadence magnets, meaning cadence magnets do not need to be installed on the bicycle. Using the integrated accelerometer, the power2max calculates the exact cadence. You are also free to replace the battery by yourself after 300 – 400 hours of operation, which is approximately 6,000 – 12,000 kilometres.

Power2max power meters provide cutting-edge data, with a precision of 2% or greater when all environmental factors are taken into account. This accuracy is achieved by a sophisticated design and premium production methods used by the power meters. This product is German designed, developed, and manufactured. Power2max produces power meters to the highest possible quality requirements.

The ANT+ protocol is used by the Power2max device to wirelessly communicate information to the computer. The ANT+ protocol ensures consistent transmission and allows you to choose from a wide range of bicycle computers.

Lastly, Power2max FSA power meters are Bluetooth compatible and may be updated to communicate data wirelessly via Bluetooth technology and ANT+. The software functionality of the left and right leg balance can be added to these FSA power meters.

Garmin Vector 3S Upgrade Pedal 

You can upgrade to a dual-sensing power meter with the Vector 3S power meter pedals and go beyond watts to observe how your style of pedalling creates the force that propels you forward.

The upgrade pedal finishes the Vector power meter system by giving left-right balancing statistics and pedalling dynamics when connected to the Vector 3S pedals. It mounts like any other bicycle pedal due to its revolutionary podless design.

Bicycle dynamics that show you precisely where you are generating power throughout the pedal power are revolutionary. To guarantee adequate cleat position, look at where you apply pressure or force on the pedal. The upgrading pedal also records when and for how long you were sat vs. standing, allowing you to assess the effectiveness of each posture. However, this is only a right-hand pedal. 

The Best Power Meter: The Bottom Line

There is currently a huge variety of power meters on the market, which has aided in their appeal, sales volume, and, as a result, prices. However, it is still a developing technology, which must be factored into the final pricing. From spider power meters, including SRM origin to pedals to bottom bracket systems with a rechargeable battery, there are endless options to choose from. 

It is, in our opinion, a “you get what you paid for” product. The greatest power meters have spent a significant amount of time and money developing the supporting system and software and ensuring that the final result is precise and tough enough to endure forces and harsh weather conditions.

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About the author 

Beastie Bikes Pete

Hi I'm Pete. I'm a passionate mountain biker in Australia. I enjoy writing about biking as much as doing it......almost!

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