Power meters are amazing. If you want specifics check out another blog post I wrote on why you should buy one. If you’re strapped for time I’ll cut to the chase. Riding with a power meter makes cycling more fun. Road races, crits, fondo’s, group rides, training rides, Strava, Training Peaks, whatever. Talk to anybody that rides with power and they’ll tell you they’re never going back.
With more cyclists expressing interest in power, prices and options get better every year. Here’s a short guide to get you up to speed on some of the big names.
I’ve had personal experience with power meters from Powertap, Quarq, SRM, Stages, and Garmin. Each of these units have been reliable, accurate, and reasonably durable. I say “reasonably”, because every single power meter I’ve had experience with has at one time needed warranty service.
Of the five companies I mentioned each has handled warranty concerns quickly and professionally. The take-away? Each company offers a good product that fills a slightly different niche in the market. There is no “best”, only a bunch of great options that continue to grow every year.
The Best Options
Here’s my personal take on the most established brands in the Power Meter market.
- SRM–The godfather of power. The undisputed origin of power meter life. Also the most expensive.
- Powertap–The most versatile power meter. If you want race data, you might need more than one.
- Quarq–Crank based and reasonably priced.
- Stages–Economical, less accurate due to “left-side only” design.
- Garmin– True R/L power measurement. Novel pedaling metrics.
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