Power meters for idiots

Morning,

I have been away from the sport for some time and I find that in the meantime the power meter market has grown substantially.

Back in the day I had a wired system that was a royal PITA, but despite this I found the information it gave useful, as I am basically starting from zero i would like this information again.

Is there a consensus as to what is good these days? doesn’t have to be the cheapest, reliability and consistency is a bit more important - some of the cheaper options seem a little flakey.

I am leaning towards Power-Tap, am I wrong?

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I’ve got a Powertap wheel that I bought second hand and it’s never missed a beat. The downside is, if you have training/race wheels.
I’ve also got P2M crank on my TT bike and that has also been trouble free and means I can swap wheels without any issue.
A lot depends on your circumstances, single bike/multiple wheels, multiple bikes/wheels. DC Rainmaker has a good write up of not only the models but the pros and cons of each location on the bike.
I have no experience of pedal based variants but they’re probably the easiest to swap around and most popular now.

Hi!

I’ve been using Powertap P1 pedals since mid 2017 and they’ve been faultless for me.

Another pedal option that get good reviews are Favero Assiomas

Big plus side for me is being able to swap between road and TT bike!

A lot of cyclists I ride all use Quarq meters.

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Hi @LordFlasheart !

I have the PowerTap P1S pedals and they are super easy to set up, swap between bikes and they’ve been great…but remember to carry a AAA battery (or four) in your race day pack :frowning: as they aren’t rechargeable…

…which the Assioma’s are. Which also get great feedback from users.

Due to the ease of the above two, I’d go with one of them.
The Garmin ones seem to always have a problem (from online users)

Crank based ones seem like a faff to swap between bikes, unless you just buy one for each bike?
Such as stages left arm version…

As mentioned, I think the latest DCR buyers guide is probably your best point of call. As he always says, if someone answering doesnt initially state “it depends” and question what your personal circumstances are, then ignore them as the advice is generally always going to be biased by personal experience.


That’s the last one - his annual timing means the latest one should be out in the next couple of weeks I would have thought.

I’d say the key things to consider are cost, quality of data, and changeability. I personally decided quality of data was the key thing, and at the time I only had one bike. The current crop of pedals also didnt exist. I ended up on power2max. Personally, I still think they’re perfect for my needs, but did end up having to get a second as Poet implied. I’d never get a single sided power meter personally (too much scope for error), and I like the simplicity and security of a spider based unit. I’ve never done a single thing to either meter since buying, other than swap a battery. I have heard of many others where the data has failed to report on raceday, they’ve clipped a pedal and written it off, etc.

But that’s just me. You need to decide what’s most important for you.

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Same here.

I have the P1S one sided and it’s not been a concern, and I’ve “verified” my FTP tests against newer Wattbikes too.

As @poet says, easy to swap/remove which is great if you’re travelling and/or going to the gym, but even better if you do long commutes with them as I wouldn’t leave them outside.

Plug and play pretty much, got them to pace my racing and use with TrainerRoad, three seasons later I’m still hooked.

Once you’re comfortable with your numbers you can plug them into BestBikeSplit.com to get a power guide for the race you’re targeting, even upload it into your Garmin to guide you on the day…not something I’ve had success with yet :rofl:

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I went from Ergomo, to P2Max to Assioma Duo.

I’ve got to say, the Faveros are a revelation in ease of use and reliability. The battery lasts way longer than the 15-20h they suggest too. They would be my recommendation. Just make sure you have the same crank lengths in the Assioma App and your watch/computer, otherwise you’ll get drop outs! (I sent them back as I thought it was another issue :man_facepalming:

That said, the P2Max never missed a beat, and battery life again is huge on the CR2450 battery. The only downside is obviously flexibility between bikes.

I still have the P2Max in a cupboard if anyone is interested - Rotor 3D+ crank (170) on 52/36 S Works rings.

Thanks all, some really useful info here, a lot of things I hadn’t considered.

Great call on DC Rainmaker, I read his site extensively earlier in the year when choosing a watch, it didn’t even occur to me to look there.

I had been leaning toward the Powertap hubs as I am about to get a super tough pair of training wheels made I seem to be ruinously hard on wheels, and I had thought it might combine some of the costs. But in reality this would end up more expensive. Spousal pressure limits me to two bikes, one mountain, one road so I had thought about having two sets of wheels. I will look harder at the pedal/crank options.

Previously I had an Ergomo setup, how times have changed.

My lord have they! Moving to a wireless P2Max/Edge 500 was a revelation.

I also found the Ergomo very flattering! It was consistent though.

If I got a third bike, another second hand P2M would probably be my route. They’re really reasonable price wise on the second hand market (you got yours originally second hand right?), and the nature of a spider based meter is there’s very little that can really go wrong. I also have a chunk of spare batteries, and spare parts for them - I’ve never needed the latter, but my first one was a Classic so I wanted a spare battery door before they discontinued them.

Circling back on this, I hadn’t realised quite how much pedal based power meters have fallen in price?! Dual sided Vector 3 is only £689 at the moment at Sigma Sport. I still had the old >£1000 prices in my head. That really does change things.

Evidence of the maturity of the market I guess. At that kind of price, I’d definitely go down a pedal route if entering power from scratch. At least with Vector 3 you don’t have the problem of the exposed pods. Plus, you could always go down the piecemeal route … get Vector 3S for £380 and then add the right sided pedal later for another £330.

A new P2M is a hard sell at those prices.

Yes, mine was about a year old at the time, £680 back then on eBay! But prices have come down over the years.

If you’re doing a lot of off-road, I don’t think you’d want a pedal PM. It would get wrecked by dirt. Crank would still be preference imho.

Yeah, agreed. That’s always been the conceptual concern. Although it’ll be interesting to see how they fair longer term, with SRM and iQ2 both releasing MTB pedals in the near(ish) future.

When’s that then, before 2030? :joy:

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Haha, yes, I did have a little smirk to myself when typing those keys. The SRM ones were due for release next month however. We’ll see

Having done a bit of reading this morning I think the best route for me is probably a Stages (Or two.), for the simple reason that I can use the same kit on both road and mountain bikes, and it will tie in nicely with my pre-existing Garmin ‘Ecosystem’.

Thanks for the help.

I started with Stages, which were fine, but power readings were sometimes a little suspect. People had reliability issues with them, but I never had a problem

Next was a Quarq Elsa, bought new on ebay when the Elsa was discontinued. Great power meter, but failed after 22 months (24 month warranty) and replaced with latest Quarq DZero. This is another fantastic product, however, I sold it with my TT bike. The Quarq uses a SRAM Bottom Bracket, and my new TT bike has a Shimano: I did think about swapping the BB, however, since now use a Favero Assioma, I decided not to bother and just use my Assioma on TT bike

Finally I got a Favero Assioma. Having tried many of the alternatives as described above, I simply cannot understand why anyone would not choose a pedal based PM, unless using Speedplay pedals. Firstly they are so easy to swap between bikes, they are reliable and consistent, The rechargeable battery lasts ages, and they are so simple to charge, no need to take off bike. The S/W updates are providing more and more metrics (no idea what the mean, but look good). Finally they are much cheaper than Garmin Pedals

I have some iQ2 pedals on order, I think that they were around $250… they might arrive one day, but guess that there is a real chance that the company will run out of cash before they ever ship a product

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Also new to the game, although have been using wattbike for training for the last year. Considered one in May but decided was too far in to the season for me to change practice, then was going to buy the Assioma uno but have accessed an old powerhub in a heavy training wheel for winter, so will wait til Spring and try get my own PM then.

My reason for pedals are price and ease. I’m useless with bikes and swapping pedals and inner tubes is about my level of know-how at the moment so want as simple as possible. Plus likely to upgrade bikes and hopefully get a TT.
Will re-look for myself too when comes to it, but heard good things about Assioma and think seem best value.

Question to the floor would be peoples opinion on risk of second hand PM?

Or SPDs