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2017 Triathlete Buyer’s Guide: Power Meters

Photo: Oliver Baker


From $400, Amazon.com

The draw: Allows you to upgrade from single to dual leg

4iiii is not new to the power meter game, having been around a few years now—including two WorldTour pro cycling team power meter sponsorships. But this past fall, the company offered the option to go from a single-leg power meter (at $400), and then later upgrade to a complete dual left/right system (at $600). Accuracy looks very solid on the platform, and the flexibility to upgrade to a more detailed power meter down the road is ideal if you’re just getting into power.

From $500, Amazon.com

The draw: Least expensive dual left/right power meter

While WatTeam had a bit of a false start in 2015/2016 when the company had to recall its products due to accuracy issues, WatTeam is back at it in 2017 with a much-improved unit—one that’s largely matching accuracy of others in the market. Most notable about WatTeam: It shifts the “factory” from its HQ to your garage, where you install the unit onto your existing crank arms. (Most other companies pre-install sensors onto crank arms.) Doing it yourself saves a bundle of money, though you’ll probably spend an hour or two getting it installed (one time). Still, for many, that’s worth a $500-plus savings.

$299, Amazon.com

The draw: Good introduction to power

The PowerPod is a bit different than other power meters in that it focuses on aerodynamics to measure your power output. The tiny unit mounts onto your handlebars using a GoPro-style mounting adapter, and then will broadcast your power over both ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart. This allows your bike computer or GPS watch to easily display and record power like any other power meter. Accuracy is generally quite good, though there are some cases (such as going off-road) where it may take a few minutes to adjust.

From $780, Backcountry.com

The draw: Now dual ANT+/Bluetooth Smart

Quarq is certainly one of the leaders in power meters, but until recently the company didn’t ship any Bluetooth Smart-compatible power meters. This meant that if you had a Suunto or Polar bike computer or watch, or wanted to use your phone, you were out of luck. But the DZero solves that with dual ANT+/Bluetooth Smart, plus the same reliability and accuracy you’ve seen from Quarq power meters in the past. Of note is Quarq’s unique factory temperature calibration that it performs on every unit that ships, which increases accuracy in outdoor riding.

$1,200, Jensonusa.com

*Best in Class*

The draw: Easily transferrable between bikes

When it comes to portability of power meters, nothing can be moved between bikes as quickly and easily as the PowerTap P1 pedals. They’re simply removed using a hex wrench like any other bike pedals, and can be installed just as quickly with no calibration required. On top of that, they transmit both ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart, enabling compatibility to virtually any bike computer or GPS watch out there. Finally, PowerTap introduced new advanced pedaling metrics this winter that show the force vector display, as well as a heat map of your cycling stroke.

– Power meter reviews by Ray Maker