Wahoo’s entry into the pedal-based power meter market has 15 degrees of adjustable float, relatively low weight, and a rechargeable, 70-hour battery. Dual-sided power will run $1,000 (276g without cleats), and single-sided costs $650 (250g without cleats).
Adjustable 15-degree float
Great cornering clearance
Finally a solution for Speedplay fans
Price is still dead-on with competitors
No more stack-height advantage
Classic giant Speedplay cleat
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Wahoo POWRLINK Zero Pedals: The Basics
In the past, if you wanted your power meter to measure power at the pedals (and not at the crank or spindle or wheel), you were pretty much consigned to a Look KEO platform and cleat. In the last couple of years, both Favero and Garmin have independently included Shimano platforms in their pedal-based power systems. Now, finally, triathletes who prefer to use Speedplay pedals and cleats have a pedal-based option for power. This means those who need/want the 15 degrees of adjustable float can finally transfer their pedal-based power from bike to bike, rather than pairing a pair of “dumb” Speedplays with a crank-based power meter that you can’t take to the gym.
If you’re looking for a deep dive on all of the features on this pair of pedals, check out our extended review here.
Otherwise the guts of the spindle-mounted power meter are pretty similar to other systems. The single-sided version reads power (and multiplies it by two for a reading) to +/-1%; the dual-sided version has the same accuracy but also reads balance between left and right, along with all other pedaling dynamics that come with that info (smoothness, for instance). Both versions require head-unit calibration, pair with up to three ANT+ or Bluetooth devices, and use a USB clip to recharge the battery for up to 70 hours of use. Battery life and pairing status are indicated by onboard LEDs.
Wahoo POWRLINK Zero Pedals: The Good
Obviously anyone who has been using Speedplay for any amount of time and appreciates the adjustable, wide range of float is going to be happy to see Speedplay finally putting together a power meter. The pedal itself is similar (though not exactly the same) as the regular Zero, and as such the cleats are compatible with each other. Setup is easy (like most power meters these days), and we experienced no dropouts or issues with starting up. Seventy hours of battery is also quite good for a rechargeable pedal-based system.
And though it’s not entirely novel, being able to pair the pedals with three devices simultaneously is a boon for triathletes who might want to see their power on a cycling computer but also record it on a smartwatch when doing a brick workout or racing for post-event evaluation.
Wahoo POWRLINK Zero Pedals: The Ok
When people get interested in Speedplay pedals, it’s typically for one of a few reasons: First, because of the 15 degrees of adjustable float (other platforms have zero, six, or nine and no adjustability), next it could be for weight (though this is mostly negated by the huge cleat mechanism), it could also be for ground clearance (if you’re some kind crit-racing, knee-dragging daredevil), or it could be for the super-low stack height that their system affords. With this platform, weight is pretty much a wash, but the float and ground clearance still remains—unfortunately the stack height (and Q-factor for that matter) is higher, just about on par with other platforms. So aside from float, there’s not a lot more for triathletes to get out of this new system.
Otherwise, the other “ok” is the fact that the pricing nearly mirrors Speedplay’s other major pedal-based competitor, Garmin. This would have been a good chance to cut into Garmin’s market share and split the difference between Garmin and the more budget-focused Favero, but alas, no luck.
Wahoo POWRLINK Zero Pedals: Conclusions
All in all, this is a great platform addition that has been a long time coming to a very thin pedal-based market. Speedplay adherents will likely rejoice for power with float, though they might be disappointed in the increased Q-factor and stack height. Either way, these aren’t cheap pedals—particularly when you consider that single-sided crank-arm systems are less than half the price. Of course if you want to transport your power meter from bike to bike (especially if you want to put it on a stationary bike or travel with them), a crank-arm system isn’t an option.
In use, this is a great system that is as accurate as anything out there, connects well, and gives consistent readings throughout the ride. If you already love Speedplay, this is a no brainer; if you’re not sure, POWRLINK could tip the scales in Wahoo’s favor.