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Power Meter Comparison Tool

Step 1. Bike – MTB

Step 2. Select Power Meter Type

There are 5 types of power meters your MTB. Review and select the best option.

 

1. Crank (Spider)

Crank-based power meters are located on the cranks and measure torque applied through both pedals using a strain gauge positioned inside the crank or crank spider. With a crank-based power meter, you replace your current crank with a new, power meter-equipped one. Crank-based power meters are some of the most common power meters and are the most heavily adopted system by professional athletes.

Advantages:

  • Dependable, reliable and accurate
  • You can find a crank-based power meter to fit just about any bike (road, MTB, track, cyclocross, etc.)
  • You don’t have to make any compromises to your component selection. For example, you don’t have to use different pedals (as with a pedal-based power meter) or a different hub (as with a hub based power meter)

Considerations:

  • Can cost more than some other alternatives
  • In the case of SRM, you must send your power meter back to the factory when the battery needs replacing

Price Range:

  • $1,399 – $1,899

Installation/Transferability:

  • Crank based power meters take more time to install and are generally not transferred from bike to bike

Select Crank

 

2. Hub

With a hub-based power meter, the power meter is located in the rear hub. PowerTap remains the only manufacturer of a hub-based power meter.

Advantages:

  • Quick and easy installation if you buy a wheelset with the hub pre-installed (all you have to do is put in your new wheel!)
  • Since the hubs are built into the rear wheel, they are easy to interchange between bikes – as long as rear wheels are compatible
  • You don’t have to mess with your drivetrain (don’t have to change cranks, chainrings, etc.)

Considerations:

  • Hub-based power meters aren’t suited as well for racing. In the event of a flat or wheel change, you would lose your power meter. This is of course unless your back-up wheels were also equipped with a hub-based power meter
  • Somewhat limited rim and wheel options

Price Range:

  • $799 (assumes standalone hub. You can also purchase a completed wheel set with your hub built in. These cost more)

Installation/Transferability:

  • If you buy the standalone hub you will need to have your local bike shop lace it into your existing wheel set – or you can do it yourself if you’re handy with wheels. If you buy a completed wheel set, you will pay a bit more, but installation is as simple as swapping out your old wheel for a new one – and power meter installation doesn’t get any easier than that
  • Transferability is easy as long as rear wheels are compatible between bikes

Select Hub

 

3. Bottom Bracket

Bottom bracket power meters are similar to crank-based power meters in that you typically change out your existing crank for a new one that is equipped with a power meter, however with bottom bracket power meters, the power meter itself is located in the bottom bracket as opposed to in the crank or chainring.

Advantages:

  • The axle-based design means that the critical components of the power meter are safe from impact, dirt and water
  • In the case of the INpower and 2INpower, ROTOR uses its 30 mm Universal Bottom Bracket which means the cranks are compatible with almost every bike frame on the market
  • The INpower and 2INpower is compatible with elliptical chainrings

Considerations:

  • ROTOR offers complete cranksets or left arm only power meters. The complete cranksets can take more time to install and are generally not transferred from bike to bike. However, with a left arm only ROTOR power meter, you simply swap out your current left arm for the new, power-equipped one. This makes installation easier
  • The INpower measures left side power only. Note however that ROTOR’s new 2INpower offering addresses this shortcoming and measures total power including left/right power independently

Price Range:

  • $779 – $1,500

Installation/Transferability:

  • ROTOR’s complete cranksets take more time to install and are generally not transferred from bike to bike. The exception to this is ROTOR’s left arm only option. If your already own a set of ROTOR cranks, you can purchase a left arm only power meter, whereby you simply swap out your current left arm for the new, power-equipped one. This makes installation easier

Select Bottom Bracket

 

4.  Opposing Force Power Meter

Opposing force power meters attach to your handlebars and measure your power through wind measurement – the forces that oppose the rider. For example, Velocomp’s PowerPod uses an accelerometer, a wind pressure sensor, an elevation sensor and a speed sensor – all to measure power.

Advantages:

  • Since the power meter simply attaches to your handlebars, the power meter can be quickly transferred from bike to bike
  • Compatibility is a non-factor as the power meter can be used with any bike. In addition, you don’t have to worry about changing out your components
  • With an MSRP of $299, it is the most affordable power meter on the market

Considerations:

  • In some accuracy testing done against an SRM power meter, the PowerPod was shown to be within +/-3% of the SRM. While this makes it accurate enough for the majority of cyclists, it’s probably fair to say it’s not quite as accurate as a traditional or direct force power meter – which are often accurate to within +/- 1.5 or 2%

Price Range:

  • $299 – $404

Installation/Transferability:

  • The easiest power meter to install and transfer

Select OFPM

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