A power meter is a device that measures your power output as you ride. Whether you’re a serious cyclist who frequently races or are simply looking to improve your performance, a power meter can be a worthwhile investment. Power meters typically use strain gauges to measure the total power output. As you shop for the right power meter, keep the various types in mind. Some of the most common types include axle, brake, and drivetrain.
Pedal-based power meters give you the flexibility to swap out wheels when necessary. Double-sided meters provide a balance between the right and left side for accurate results. Keep in mind that this type of power meter generally isn’t available for every pedal system and lacks a mountain bike option.
The crank-based power meter tends to fit a variety of bike types and is compatible with many pedal systems. However, it can be difficult to swap between bikes.
A hub or wheel-based power meter is generally easy to install and move from one bike to the next. You can use your preferred pedal system with this type of meter.
1. PowerTap P1 Meter Pedals
The PowerTap P1 Meter Pedals stand out for their versatility and can easily be transferred between bikes. The pedals measure left and right power for accurate results. Whether you’re a professional cyclist or just want to stay on top of your training and fitness, you’ll appreciate the detailed data collection with essentials such as cadence, speed, and training stress score. The AAA battery lasts up to 60 hours and is easy to replace when necessary. These pedals are ANT+ and Bluetooth SMART. These pedals weigh 398 grams.
Looking for something cheaper? Consider the PowerTap C1 Power Meter Chainrings.
- Easy to transfer between bikes
- Detailed data collection
- ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart
- Should be used with PowerTap cleats for compatibility
- Can be tough to calibrate
- Could use more detailed setup instructions
2. Look Cycle Keo Dual Mode Regular Power Meter Pedals
Keep track of your power output with the Keo Power Dual Mode Regular. This version measures both the left and right pedals for precise results during a workout, while the Keo Power Dual Mode Essential tracks data solely from the left pedal. The Regular version caters to advanced cyclists and triathletes looking to boost their training and performance. Eight strain gauges in each pedal axle precisely measure motor effort. In addition to power and cadence, the pedal tracks overall pedaling efficiency and strength. These pedals are Bluetooth and ANT+ compatible.
- Measures left and right pedals for precise results
- Ideal for triathletes and advanced cyclists seeking to boost performance
- Bluetooth and ANT+ compatible
- A bit heavier and bulkier than some of its competitors
- Some question the long-term durability of the transmitter
3. Velocomp Powerpod ANT/BLE Power Meter
This power meter is a step up from the original Velocomp Powerpod ANT Power Meter, which is only ANT+ compatible. The pod conveniently attaches to the handlebars so that you don’t need to modify existing components. It also measures power output on both legs for accurate results. You can use it with any ANT+ and BLE bike computer. The pod switches easily from one bike to the next thanks to its convenient GoPro-style mounting system. The pod weighs just over 204 grams.
- ANT+ and BLE compatible
- Conveniently mounts on the handlebars
- Measures power output on both legs
- Some question whether readings are as accurate as direct force power meters
- Lacks a mobile app
- Needs to be paired with ANT+ sensor for speed and cadence
4. Quarq DZero Carbon Power Meter Crank Arms
This Quarq power meter is designed for use with traditional 10- and 11-speed chainrings. As with most of the top power meters for cyclists, this one features ANT+ and Bluetooth technology. If you prefer to have the least amount of gadgets possible, you’ll appreciate that a cadence magnet isn’t required. Other highlights include waterproof construction and a battery that gets up to 200 hours and can be changed without tools. You can also swap chainrings without losing accuracy.
A less expensive alternative is the Quarq DZero Aluminum Power Meter.
Price: $1,079.00 – $1,120.18
- Doesn’t require a separate cadence magnet
- Battery lasts up to 200 hours
- ANT+ and Bluetooth technology
- May not fit certain cranksets
- Carbon version is expensive
- Some find the wide selection of Quarq DZero variants confusing
5. Stages Power Meter Crankarm Shimano XTR M985
This power meter is specifically designed for use with mountain bikes. Highlights include a slender build and durable construction, including a stronger battery door and housing connection. The battery is designed to get over 200 hours of use before it needs to be replaced. As an added bonus, tools aren’t required to change the battery. Other features include active temperature compensation and wireless firmware upgrades. The power meter also offers accelerometer-based cadence measurement. There’s also ANT+ and Bluetooth compatibility.
- Designed for use with mountain bikes
- Battery can last up to 200 hours
- Active temperature compensation
- Not quite as accurate as some pricier models
- Not compatible with certain frames
- Isn’t compatible with road bikes