Stages really exploded this category with their left-only power meter, and other vendors followed suit including Garmin (Vector S), Rotor (Rotor LT, ROTOR in POWER), 4iiii (some models), LIMITS, and Polar (Keo Power Essential).
Of course, we saw a spring price war breakout, with power meter prices plummeting.
I wrote about that here, and will update it shortly to show where things stand at the end of the year.
There are no doubt edge cases I can’t easily cover in a single readable post, but I think I’ll cover 99% of the people out there. In either case, for most people this section will help narrow down the selection a bit.
The remaining 1% can consider a donation of gold and/or expensive rocks for my further thoughts. Before we start diving into the brands, features and functionality, we should probably talk about placement. Let’s just briefly ensure we’ve got everyone on the same page as far as where these things all go, starting with the below photo and using the text after it as a guide.
ANT Support: Another relatively obvious one, the vast majority of power meters on the market today transmit via ANT to compatible had units.
This allows you to use one of dozens of different head units out there.
When we look at what’s new this year, there’s been a number of new products on the docket:– 4iiii Dual Power Meter – Team Zwatt Subscription based power meter – ROTOR’s 2INPower system – Look’s new dual ANT /BLE units shipping – Shimano’s new power meter – Pioneer’s expansion of crank arm types – Quarq’s new DZero power meters – Power2Max’s new NG power meters – Heck, even running power meters (which I’m excluding in this post)At the same time, there’s also products that have been in our minds for potentially years (or less) that still aren’t shipping.
The goal of this post is NOT to give you a final answer that says ‘this is the power meter to buy’.
If there’s anything I want to change in the industry it’s the mindset that there is a single perfect power meter for every consumer.
Thus, if you ask someone for “the best power meter”, and they give you any answer “it depends”, don’t trust that person.
That person should be asking you your specific use case, bike placement limitations, and how much you want to spend.