What You Really Want To Buy, But Won’t – Part II: Power Meters

Okay. So we’ve already covered the biggest upgrade (wheels) in our last article. So what’s next you might wonder? Our vote, here at Art’s Cyclery, is for a power meter.

Power meters are the ultimate training metric, so for the serious road cyclist, a power meter is a must. Being able to see exact power output, either during or after the ride, will tell you exactly 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. So, here’s to a few items dedicated to your pain, suffering, and victory.

#1) Garmin Vector 2 and Garmin Vector 2S Power Meter Pedals

Garmin offers two separate power meter pedal options: the Vector 2 and the Vector 2S. The difference: 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.


Garmin Vector Power Meter Pedal

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

#2) 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 oh-so-accurate. Kiss those external power pods goodbye (cough-Garmin-cough), and keep the beautiful lines of your bike clean.


Powertap P1 Pedals

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.

#3) 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 or stock crank. Since you’re already going to drop the coin on a Red crankset, there’s never been a better time to get on the power meter wagon.


The SRAM Quarq Riken Power Meter Crankset

Not only will this crank deliver big on weight savings and crisp shifting, but it’ll provide highly 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 10-speed compatible only)