Pedal-based Power Meter

For many gadget lovers, cycling is a great sport. Pedal power meters are one of the fastest moving technologies in cycling. There are a multitude of power meters and some options are more suitable than others depending on an individual’s circumstances and needs. People are different on the type of bike they use, the nature of racing and riding, experience and knowledge on how to use them and one’s ability to maintain and install mechanical things.

PowerTap is the second oldest well established power meter options. They are unique, flexible and have a restriction for different racing and training wheels. It uses a unique design which uses six primary fields with an addition of two secondary fields at the bottom. Within the primary fields, one altitude metrics is shown and along the bottom, the 2nd and 3rd related metrics are shown. This allows you to get detailed information on one screen.


· Have a long battery life.

· Tons of customization options.

· Never lost single data

· Barometric altimeter

· Have many power meter training metrics which include IF, NP and TSS.


· The price is a bit high compared to competitors.

· PowerTap hub is tied to a single wheel set and a person has to pick either training or race wheels.

· Joule doesn’t have a GPS and therefore not versatile as competitive devices with GPS

· Installation

Compared to the competitors, the Power Agent software is fairly impressive for vendors and does not shortcut on this area. Despite its high pricing as compared to other devices, it is the only Garmin device which is flawless when it comes to ride file integrity.


They are installed just like a pair of normal pedals. You do not need specific alignment tools, you only require a 15mm pedal wrench. Small electronic unit is connected to the pedal spindle and to each crank.

Always make an informed decision by choosing a power meter that meets your training and cycling needs.

Crank Arm Power Meter

A crank arm power meter is typically positioned on one or more of the cranks or on the crank spider. Power is calculated by measuring the deflection of one or more strain gauges. The meters require special cranks that may be interchanged between similar bicycle components. They are light weight and easy to install, but many models only measure on one crank. The more expensive models measure both sides.

Chain Power Meter

Power meters were invented and used to be applied to biking systems since back in 1989. Essentially a power meter gauges how much power output is being created as a direct result of the exertion that the rider is applying to the bike. There are many kinds of meters nowadays, each with their own benefits and pitfalls. The chain power meter, particularly, is a mountable meter that is applied to the chain stay of the bicycle and then measures the amount of power output by interpreting the vibrational data of the chain into tension data. That data computed together with the speed of the chain, calculates a figure for power output.

At its most basic, the meter is just an add on, while some models include a vast system that measures much more than power output, such as heart rate and so on. The obvious advantage is the mountable application, that can be applied and removed rather easily, which also speaks of its novice level installation. A pitfall, however, as has been mentioned by users, is that at times the sensor is too close to the chain stay causing spatial problems as well as potential damage. The next obvious question is one of accuracy. Is it more or less accurate than any other power meter out there? The answer is based on percentage rather than exact figuration. It is not so much that it is accurate, but that its chances of inaccuracy are between one and five percent.

That being said the chain power meter may vary in advantage simply because of price alone. On the other hand, weight is a considerable factor as well. Because the chain meter can be mounted, rather than replacing a bike component, it may weigh less than other meters whose integrated meters weigh more due to additional mass within specific components.

Strain Gauge Power Meter

Cycling on the traditional two-wheeler has begun to change for cyclists. While the overall design of the bicycle is simple, and excluding obvious evolutions as the motorbike and the motorcycle, it has remained relatively unchanged in design and operation. With Greg LeMond’s introduction of the strain gauge, however, a new field of cycling had emerged. Power meters that could tell you how much energy output in wattage you were getting per journey, and from there, how much your heart was getting as well. For every innovation there is a purpose, and the reason behind the strain gauge was conceived through the medium of professional cycling. Thus the birth of the strain gauge power meter.

Being the original model of change, the strain gauge is best understood through its technical specifications. In essence, the strain gauge is a an electrical conductor applied to various points of tension on the bicycle that is likely to receive wear over time. The gauge, sensitive to the slightest deformities, when modified, creates a measure of tension through an increase or decrease of electrical resistance, measured in ohms. Relatively accurate under strictly ideal conditions, there are a number of offsets that can minimize its accuracy. Temperature is a factor that can cause a deviance to the measured resistance, as well as calibration and installation. However, with the development of this product over time, various encapsulations have resolved some of these sensitive areas. Installation varies from the wheel hub of the bicycle, the lower bracket, pedals, and the spider crank shaft. These areas are where the force is most immediately applied, thus the change in torque easiest to gauge.

With the many variations in power meters on the market, put simply all the different types are essentially employing strain gauge technology, with the exception of the handlebar units that use gravitation and gyroscopic measurements.

Hub-Based Power Meter

You’re starting to get serious about your cycling, and you’re in the market for a power meter. But, which type should you buy. The advantage to using a hub-based power meter is that it’s a proven technology, and the results can be verified.

Hub-based power meters power meters have been available since around 1989, and have grown in popularity as the cycling world collided with the gadget-loving world.

Power meters are not meant for casual cyclists. If you’re the type of cyclist that laughs at the serious riders in their spandex shorts and their colorful jerseys, a power meter is not for you.

Power meters are tools to enable you to measure and record the progression of your fitness in cycling, and thus to enable you to calculate the level of races and events that you might be relatively competitive in.

Hub-based Power meters work as strain gauges. They measure the torque that’s applied to the bicycles hub when cycling. And, as your fitness increases, the readings of your power meter will reflect this increase in fitness.

Charting the reading of your power meter over time will help you reveal training methods that increase or decrease the speed at which your fitness level rises, and may help you to design a training regimen that utilizes these findings and offers you an optimum training program.

The idea behind the philosophy of power meters is to purchase a brand and design that can be replaced in case of an accident. In other words, you want a brand with enough quality, that it becomes popular, and can be relied on to stay in production over time. One that will show you data based on the same parameters as your last power meter.

In this manner, you can be sure that your hub-based power meter is showing you the same data, based on the same measurement of torque that your previous power meter was. And, this consistency is what is going to show you definite progress that you can be sure of, and win you races.