7 Factors to Consider in Buying a Cycling Power Meter

Buying a cycling power meter comes with a lot of options and confusion, especially when you're using the internet search medium. There are so many choices in the market and it could get overwhelming choosing the perfect one for your bicycle.

Getting a power meter is an investment which involves hundreds of dollars. It's usually the0 only limiting factor among athletes who are looking to purchase a cycling power meter, but of course you can begin to save up the needed amount as it is usually within the range of $300-$3000.

Apart from the price, there are various types of power meters available, the rear-wheel hub, crank arm, bottom bracket, crank spider and the likes.

Here are 7 factors to consider in buying a cycling power meter.

1. Power output

The major reason for the equipment is the power output. It uses strain gauges to measure the force on a component, calculating and displaying in watts, your total power output.

Although not all power meters display wattage as there are some that use automatic calculation of some factors in estimating how much power is being produced.

2. Wireless Connectivity

There are two common wireless products used when it comes to power meters, the ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart. They are used to send data wirelessly to a recording device which could be a smartphone or a Garmin.

However, compatibility is needed as older pieces of equipment might not work with your device, so verify before purchase.

3. Weight

Most bikers want their bike to be light enough for easy manoeuvre. If that's your aim too, choose a power meter that won't slow or weigh you down.

4. Power Measurement

Power meters measure in either total power or actual power. The total power is when the output of one leg is doubled and the actual power is the direct measurement of the output coming from both legs.

The purchase of a power meter should depend on how specific you're trying to be with your training. You may be trying to correct an imbalance between your right and left legs so you can opt for one that measures the estimated dual-leg output.

However, good power meters are very costly, but going for what makes you a better biker is more important.

5. Versatility

If you don't want to keep buying separate power meters for the different bikes you own, consider opting for a power meter that is versatile, one you can easily change from one bike to the other.

6. Calibration

It is important that the power meter you're opting for has calibration options. The calibration helps you arrive at precise readings and without it, you might encounter some problems when training.

7. Swappable Batteries

Power meters come in built-in or interchangeable batteries. Presently, most of them are made with swappable batteries making battery replacement an easy job compared to the built-in batteries which require weeks of waiting on the manufacturer before replacement, right after adding a huge dent to your training.

The better option here is the swappable batteries (obviously), no stop to your training, and battery replacement becomes a breeze.

Eventually, any power meter you decide to go for, should be one that helps you get faster and better. Use this guide to get one that is fit for your budget.


Jimmy Rohampton is a freelance writer, blogger and business consultant from Southwest London. He travels the world and helps people master blogging and online marketing at HowToCreateABlog.org. Think you're interesting and he should know you? Say "Hi" to him at Jimmy@HowToCreateABlog.org

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