Many triathletes have become addicted to their power numbers. While the number of watts you produce while pedalling isn’t the only thing that determines your performance, once you add a power meter to your equipment mix, it is an easily measured data point that can help you track your training, so you know when you’re working hard (and possibly too hard) and track your progress. You can also analyze your power data to improve your pedalling technique. All of which has made power measurement an integral part of many people’s training. There are lots of options available these days – some like the ease of pedal-based power meters that are easy to transfer from one bike to another, while others might opt for a crank-based system – many high-end bikes will come pre-installed with one. Both options can provide accurate data and lots of measurement options.
Garmin revamped its power meter pedals last year with the launch of the Rally, and the new versions have been a hit, offering accurate power and cadence data, along with advanced cycling dynamics that include left/ right balance, power phase and much more. The pedals offer left and right metrics independently so you can really dial in the specifics to improve your pedaling technique. With ANT+ and Bluetooth connectivity, you’ll easily connect the Rally pedals to any computer or watch. We reviewed the RK200 (Road, Keo, with the 200 designating dual-sensing pedals – there are single sensing options available as well which can later be upgraded), and set-up was a breeze. At 326 g you’re not adding much weight to your set up and you get 120 hours of battery life – there’s a new threaded metal cap that provides ample protection and also ensures it’s easy to replace the battery when needed.
These Canadian-made power meters use Strain Gauge technology to provide accurate and reliable power information. You get ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart connectivity so set up on a variety of head units is easy, and once you are going there’s lots of information to help you get the most out of your training and racing. In addition to accurate power numbers, you get metrics like left/ right balance, pedal smoothness and torque effectiveness. You can either get your Precision Pro pre-installed on a Shimano crankset, or look at a factory install to your own set.
You get lots of different gear ratio options thanks to SRAM’s various crank and cassette combinations, all attached to the Quarq spider-based power meter that provides detailed information and pedalling dynamics including left/ right balance. Quarq’s DZero power measurement technology is full-integrated into the crankset, so whether you’re using the AXS 2X or 1X chainrings, you’ll get extremely accurate pedalling numbers – to 1.5 per cent – all in a lightweight, durable package.
Thanks to the P2M convertible spider design, the PowerBox Carbon power meter provides 2 per cent accuracy and multiple chainring options so you can dial in just the right set up for your riding style. The lightweight hollow carbon cranks connect to your head unit via Bluetooth Smart or ANT+, and once you’re connected you can get your power information including left/ right balance. You do need to upgrade the package for pedal smoothness info, though.
This pedal-based sysem is easy to move from one bike to another and provides accurate data along with dynamic cycling information including total power, left/ right balance, torque effectiveness and pedal smoothness to allow you to analyze your technique and even how your position on the bike affects performance. The pedals are ANT+ and Bluetooth compatible, and use an integrated rechargeable battery that provides 50 hours of use.
Shimano’s Hollowtech II technology provides a rigid, lightweight crank that will ensure all the power your creating will go into moving forward, while also allowing you to track all that power data, too. Shimano’s Ultegra version provides all the accuracy and precision of its more expensive Dura Ace option in a more affordable package. You get dual-sided power data accurate to within 2 per cent. There’s ANT+ and Bluetooth connectivity, while the rechargeable battery provides 300 hours (or more) of battery life.