The 8 Best Power Meters for Road Bikes in 2020

Jan Poshenko
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With over 150 SKUs, power meters are an essential part of training for any cyclist, professional or recreational.

But, what if you are confused about which one to buy?

I get it!

Power meters come in different shapes and sizes, with varied features and the prices frequently vary. They are all pretty darn complex.

So, instead of sifting through the hundreds of models out there, I’ve carefully selected the top 8 and compared them.

You see, I, too, was buying my first power meter a couple of years ago. And, I had a choice from the same number of brands and models as you may be. And that led to confusion.

I went through all of the available models, prices, reviews and even customer feedback and used my vast road riding experience to make the most of my research.

And, I am here to share my expertise with you to make sure that your next power meter is the best investment you ever make.

Let’s explore them:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best cycling power meter?

It all depends on your budget and the amount of tweaking you need. Your power output can be adjusted to fit a particular type of bike or your riding condition. Other contributing factors include the reliability level of your training, where you ride, and how much you want to spend.

The best cycling power meter varies between cyclists and their budget. The most popular models are crank-based, as they are attached to the bike, giving you the most accurate measurements.

If you are a professional athlete, then the Stages Power crankset is the best choice for you. It is the most affordable, yet the most accurate model out there.

If you are just a casual rider, you can go with a model that is just as accurate but will give you no information about how much power you are putting out. As long as you like the way it looks on your bike, you are good to go.

What power meters do pro cyclists use?

Professional cyclists have been using power meters since about 1999 when SRM introduced the first commercially available model. With that, and many more coming in the years after, better and more accurate power readings were recorded, allowing cyclists to assess their strength in a much more technical manner.

Some of the most well-known power meters are made by SRM, PowerTap, Quarq, and 4iiii. Each company offers its own unique software system that collects data and provides useful information to the cyclist to help in assessing their own form and training.

From there, power meters were developed to be able to work on both road bikes and triathlon bikes. When choosing between road and triathlon, be aware of the type of bike you have or plan to purchase. Basically, some power meters work with mountain bikes, others with aero bikes, and others with any bike willing to accept its clamp downs.

Do I need a power meter for my bike?

Power meters are far from cheap, but if youʼre looking to take your workouts to the next level, you can benefit from having the extra data.

Power meters give you an objective number to track your progress, and that can be important if you are trying to reach a certain goal.

Tracking your workouts using a power meter can be the vehicle for some of the most significant improvements to your cycling. Using a power meter also gives you the option to train more specifically.

If you are an endurance athlete or a certified triathlete, a power meter will help you push yourself to the furthest extent. The objective number of a power meter is helpful in the case of comparing your fitness level to other athletes.

Power meters are necessary for anyone doing triathlons, as it helps you train efficiently, and it also helps you pace yourself.

What is the cheapest power meter for cycling?

There are a couple of helpful resources that can be used for checking how accurate your current power meter is. One is a consistent power test, and the other is a heat map.

Developing consistency on a specific section of road or trail can be really helpful because knowing the power you have available gives you an idea of where your weaknesses and strengths reside.

The heat map can be set up with a power meter and a GPS device like a Garmin. The result is a map of your ride that shows how hard you were working at each point on your ride.

If you are a bit of a numbers person, the heat map or consistent test will show where your power is weakest, which can be a great way of putting a number to your weaknesses.

Conclusion

Finding the most suitable power meter isn’t easy. That is why we dedicated in-depth articles to each of our top picks. We have reviewed each of the companies included here: SRAM, Quarq / Power2Max, Garmin, Pioneer, Rotor, Infocrank, Elite, and PowerTap.

These articles dive deep into the most significant details of each of the 8 power meters and evaluate their strengths and weaknesses. Our hope is that by providing this in-depth analysis, we can make it easier for you to make an informed decision about the best power meter.

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