What You Really Want To Buy Part II: Power Meters

The ultimate training tool for serious road cyclists (and aspiring ones, too)

Power Meters
Photo courtesy of Art's Cyclery

Photo courtesy of Art’s Cyclery

Editor’s Note: This article is courtesy of the team at Art’s Cyclery. The original post can be found here.

Okay, so we’ve already covered the biggest upgrade (wheels). So what’s next you might wonder? Our vote is for a power meter. Power meters are the ultimate training tool, allowing the serious road cyclist to see exact power output either during or after the ride, which will tell you how your body is performing. When consistently utilized, power meters let you see what’s working and what’s not working for you in your training. Whether it be eating, sleeping, pushing, resting, or hydrating, a power meter gives you an incredibly detailed and accurate look at how your body is performing and an insight into ways that you might be able to perform even better.

Photo courtesy of Art's Cyclery

Photo courtesy of Art’s Cyclery

Garmin Vector 2 and Vector 2S Power Meter Pedals

Garmin offers two separate power meter pedal options: The Vector 2 and the Vector 2S. The difference is that the 2S only measures power output from one pedal, rather than both as the Vector 2 does. Though this isn’t ideal, the Vector 2S saves you $400 and still gives incredibly accurate power measurement, and allows riders to pick a power meter based on budget.

Pedal-based power meters are easy to install—it’s in the pedal— and move between bikes (for those who have that “problem”). These pedals are also ANT+ compatible and transfer ride metrics such as average power, Training Stress Score, Normalized Power, Intensity Factor, total watts, overall kilojoules, and power zones to your Garmin head unit.

Photo courtesy of Art's Cyclery

Photo courtesy of Art’s Cyclery

Powertap P1 Pedals

Powertap’s P1 pedals are the ultimate pedal-based power meter. Measuring output at both left and right pedals, your ride metrics will be accurate. Kiss those external power pods goodbye (cough-Garmin-cough), and keep the beautiful lines of your bike clean.

Reading both pedals as individual units, the P1s track and measure output from both legs individually for the most accurate report of what your body is producing. Utilizing Smart Bluetooth and ANT+, this pedal set almost immediately and effortlessly hooks up to all of your HR monitors and head units.

Photo courtesy of Art's Cyclery

Photo courtesy of Art’s Cyclery

SRAM Quarq Riken GXP Power Meter Crankset

SRAM’s Quarq Riken Power Meter is the perfect upgrade if you’re already looking to upgrade your old cranks. Since you’re already going to drop the coin on a Red crankset why not get on the power meter wagon, too.

Not only does this crank deliver big on weight savings and crisp shifting, but it provides accurate power metrics from your rides. The Quarq Riken displays output using “Power Balance Technology,” which is displayed as a right-to-left percentage, telling you how dominate you are in a particular leg or foot. (Note: SRAM Quarq Riken is currently 10-speed compatible only.)

About the author: Arts Cyclery

This article was originally published on the Art's Cyclery Blog. Art's Cyclery is dedicated to offering free expert advice, how-to videos, and in-depth product reviews on ArtsCyclery.com to help riders make an educated decision when selecting cycling gear.

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