The 8 Best Cycling Power Meters from Budget to Premium (2022)

power2max power meter on a road bike in terrain

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A power meter will take your training to the next level. Thanks to the data it provides, you can follow your structured training more precisely and make your training more effective.

In this article, you find the best power meters of the most popular types – pedal, crank arm, crankset, spider – from budget to premium ones.

I’ve been using a power meter for the last years of my amateur road cycling career (yes, I am just an average Joe, probably like you).

I selected the power meters below based on reading hundreds of reviews, discussions, and tests. I also discussed this topic with pro cyclists and local bike enthusiasts to provide you with helpful tips.

If you are new to power meters, you can read my guide on choosing a power meter. It will help you decide what type of power meter is the best for your needs and what features to consider when buying it.

Are you ready to get started?

Let’s dive in!

What Are the Best Cycling Power Meters?

The best power meter is the one that is suitable for your use case. For example, pedal power meters are easily transferable between bikes.

Another example is an advanced spider or crankset power meter ideal for demanding riders. These power meters are dual-sided, so they provide you with more data and features like L/R leg balance, active temperature compensation, high reliability, and data consistency.

If you are new to power meters and want to learn more about choosing the right one for you, check out the how to choose a power meter section first.

Shimano Ultegra left crank with attached Stages Gen 3 power meter
Stages Gen 3 Power Meter

Also available at competitivecyclist.com and wiggle.co.uk

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Favero Assioma DUO power meter pedals (left and right pedal)
Favero Assioma DUO

Also available here and at wiggle.co.uk

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SRM Origin Carbon power meter with chainrings
SRM Origin Road Carbon Power Meter

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Skip to the comparison table…

Stages Gen 3 Power Meter (Best Crank Arm-Based)

Shimano Ultegra left crank with attached Stages Gen 3 power meter
Stages Gen 3 Crank Arm-Based power meter (Shimano Ultegra) | Source: powermetercity.com

Main Features

  • Available for multiple groupsets (Shimano, SRAM, Campagnolo, road, MTB)
  • Available as single-sided or dual-sided option
  • Great accuracy and consistency
  • Easy to install and use
  • Long battery life
  • 1-year warranty

Technical Specification

  • Type: Crank arm
  • Accuracy: ±1.5%
  • L/R measurement: No (dual-sided option available)
  • Weight: 15g
  • Claimed battery life: 200h
  • Battery type: CR2032
  • Protocol: ANT+ and Bluetooth SMART

Stages and 4iiii power meters are two of the most popular crank arm power meters. Both will satisfy the needs of most cyclists.

However, I decided to give the ‘Best Crank Arm-Based’ title to Stages. Let me explain why.

Unlike 4iiii, Stages Gen 3 power meter is available for a large number of cranks from manufactures like Shimano, SRAM, or Campagnolo, and crank types (road and MTB). So regardless of your groupset, there is a high chance you fill find a Stages power meter for it.

Stages power meters are also available as a dual-sided option with independent L/R readings. This means you get more in-depth and accurate data for each leg. In addition, they can help you find out more about your leg imbalance, etc.

On the other hand, Stages power meters are more expensive on average and are about ±0.5% less precise than 4iiii.

This particular model, the Stages power meter Gen 3 for Shimano Ultegra R8000, is rated as one of the most affordable and effective power meters for most beginners and advanced riders.

It is easy to install and use – you just need to replace the crank and pair it with your head unit or power meter app. Just keep in mind you will need additional tools like the Shimano crank cap.

Setting the zero-offset is recommended before every ride, and you have to do it manually.

Other advantages are the long battery life and low added weight. Claimed battery life is 200h, but the reality is somewhere around 180h. The added weight is 15g, so you probably won’t even notice the difference.

If you look for a power meter on a budget that will take your training to the next level, Stages is the way to go.


Favero Assioma DUO (Best Overall)

Favero Assioma DUO power meter pedals (left and right pedal)
Favero Assioma DUO | Source: powermetercity.com
Favero Assioma DUO pwoer meter pedals mounted on a Cannondale Supersix bike
Favero Assioma DUO power meter pedals mounted on a bike

Main Features

  • Most popular pedal power meters
  • Highly accurate and consistent
  • Advanced features (L/R balance, pedal smoothness, etc.)
  • Easy to install and use
  • Also available as single-sided option
  • Automatic zero-offset (calibration)
  • 2-year warranty

Technical Specification

  • Type: Pedal
  • Accuracy: ±1%
  • L/R measurement: Yes
  • Weight: 299g (set)
  • Claimed battery life: 50h
  • Battery type: Rechargeable
  • Protocol: ANT+ and Bluetooth SMART

Favero Assioma DUO are the most popular pedal power meters on the market.

Thanks to their versatility and easy transferability, they are an excellent option for riders looking for one power meter for multiple bikes.

The benefits of pedal power meters don’t stop here. If you travel a lot without your bike and take advantage of bike rentals, you can pack them with you and use them on a borrowed bike.

And the best thing is you will get the same, consistent data, regardless of the bike. This allows you to continue in your structured workouts and track your progression easily.

Other reasons to buy Assioma DUO pedals are Favero’s software and the data it provides. For example, you can learn more about your left/right leg balance, pedal smoothness, ride time in/from the saddle, etc.

This generation of power meter also has an auto-zero feature. So you don’t have to think about performing it before every ride.

So, what are their disadvantages?

Depending on what pedals you currently have, Assioma may add a lot of rotating weight (299g/set). For example, the Look Keo 2 Max Carbon pedals weigh 250g, and Shimano Ultegra pedals 248g.

Some riders also don’t like using the Look cleat system these pedals are designed for. If you are not a fan of Look cleats, you can buy the Favero Assioma DUO-Shi spindles for Shimano pedals.

And the last minor disadvantage is the short battery life of around 50h. The actual battery life is more or less the same as the claimed one.

Favero Assioma power meter pedals are also available in a more affordable, single-sided option (UNO).

Also available here and at wiggle.co.uk

Also available here and at wiggle.co.uk


TIP: Check out my selection of the best pedal power meters.


SRM Origin Road Carbon Power Meter (Best for Demanding)

SRM Origin Carbon power meter with chainrings
SRM Origin Road Carbon Power Meter | Source: powermetercity.com

Main Features

  • Accurate and consistent
  • Advanced features (L/R balance, pedal smoothness, etc.)
  • Automatic zero-offset (calibration)
  • Active temperature compensation
  • 3-year warranty

Technical Specification

  • Type: Crankset
  • Accuracy: ±1.5%
  • L/R measurement: Yes
  • Weight: 599g
  • Claimed battery life: 100h
  • Battery type: Rechargeable
  • Protocol: ANT+
  • Q factor: 145.5mm

SRM is considered a gold standard in the power meters world. They have been specializing in power meters since 1986. In the same year, they patented the first spider power meter ever.

SRM power meters are suitable for advanced riders and pros that need highly accurate and consistent data they can rely on.

Due to their higher price, I don’t recommend them for beginners because they won’t take full advantage of the data they provide.

Speaking of data, naturally, you can expect left/right leg balance or pedal smoothness analysis.

SRM Origin can also actively compensate for temperature. This means that your power won’t be affected by different outside temperatures and will remain consistent.

Thanks to the carbon cranks, the entire power meter crankset weighs 599g. This is even less than Dura-Ace (R9100) that weighs between 614-650g depending on the cranks’ length.

People also praise the Origin’s design. Are you also a fan of it?

The major disadvantages of the SRM Origin power meter are the high price, more complicated installation, absence of Bluetooth SMART connectivity, and relatively short battery life.


4iiii Precision Power Meter

Left crank with attached 4iiii Precision crank power meter
4iiii Precision Power Meter | Source: powermetercity.com
4iiii power meter glued on Shimano Ultegra left crank on a Specialized Tarmac road bike
4iiii power meter mounted on a Specialized Tarmac

Main Features

  • Available as single-sided or dual-sided option
  • Great accuracy and consistency
  • Easy to install and use
  • Long battery life
  • Affordable
  • 3-year warranty

Technical Specification

  • Type: Crank arm
  • Accuracy: ±1%
  • L/R measurement: No
  • Weight: 9g
  • Claimed battery life: 100h
  • Battery type: CR2032
  • Protocol: ANT+ and Bluetooth SMART

Do you remember the Stages Gen 3 power meter described above? The 4iiii Precision power meter is the best budget option for Shimano groupset owners.

4iiii power meters are available for road Shimano groupsets only, so this is their most significant disadvantage compared to Stages.

On the other hand, they provide ±0.5% better accuracy, are more affordable, about 6g lighter, and come with an extended warranty of 3 years.

You can choose whether you go for the single-side option for the left crank or the dual-sided option for more accurate left/right leg data.

The 4iiii Precision has a much shorter battery life than the Stages power meter. So you will need to replace the CR2032 battery more often.

Except for these slight differences, both these power meters will be a worthy upgrade for most beginners.


Quarq DZero DUB Power Meter

Quarq DZero DUB Power Meter spider
Quarq DZero DUB Power Meter | Source: powermetercity.com

Main Features

  • Accurate and consistent
  • Advanced features (L/R balance, pedal smoothness, etc.)
  • Automatic zero-offset (calibration)
  • Active temperature compensation
  • 2-year warranty

Technical Specification

  • Type: Spider
  • Accuracy: ±1.5%
  • L/R measurement: Yes
  • Weight: 125g
  • Claimed battery life: 200h
  • Battery type: CR2032
  • Protocol: ANT+ and Bluetooth SMART

If you are using an SRAM groupset, there is a high chance you have already heard about Quarq. Quarq power meters have the best integrations with SRAM groupsets because SRAM acquired Quarq in 2011.

NOTE: If you use the Shimano groupset, check out the Quarq DFour DUB designed for Shimano groupsets.

Unlike the SRM power meter, Quarq DZero DUB is much more affordable while providing you with similar features.

It can actively compensate for temperature changes, so you always get accurate and consistent data regardless of the temperature.

DZero DUB is a dual-sided power meter. This means it will show you your left/right leg power output. So if you find any leg disbalances, you can consult them with a bike fitter or physiotherapist.

NOTE: Quarq power meters estimate the power output of the right leg (learn more).

The installation of this power meter is naturally more complicated than the installation of power meter pedals. However, it is still easy, and even inexperienced riders can do it.

Although it has a claimed battery life of 200h (double the SRM power meter), its battery is not rechargeable. You will have to replace it from time to time.

The main disadvantage of this power meter is its compatibility. It requires you to use Quarq DZero DUB crank arms and SRAM DUB bottom bracket.

Also available at competitivecyclist.com


Power2Max Ngeco SRAM

Power2Max Ngeco SRAM spider power meter
Power2Max NGeco SRAM | Source: powermetercity.com
power2max NGeco power meter mounted on a road bike
power2max NGeco power meter mounted on a road bike

Main Features

  • Advanced features (L/R balance, pedal smoothness, etc.)
  • Available in 4-bolt Shimano configuration
  • Automatic zero-offset (calibration)
  • 2-year warranty (or 5-year warranty after an in-app upgrade)

Technical Specification

  • Type: Spider
  • Accuracy: ±2% (or ±1% after an in-app upgrade)
  • L/R measurement: Yes
  • Weight: 160/172g (110/130 BCD)
  • Claimed battery life: 300-400h
  • Battery type: CR2450
  • Protocol: ANT+ and Bluetooth SMART

The P2M NGeco SRAM* is an affordable dual-sided spider power meter. So, how does it stands up against more expensive power meters from SRM or Quarq?

*The 4-bolt 110 Shimano bolt circle diameter (BCD) is available.

It has a much longer battery life (300-400h), so depending on how much you ride your bike, it may last you the entire season.

Its default accuracy is ±2% but you can pay for the upgrade in the P2M mobile app and get ±1%. The first accuracy level is sufficient for beginners and advanced riders who don’t count every watt, the upgrade is worthy for serious cyclists and pros.

Power2max NGeco can measure your L/R balance after a system upgrade so that it will provide you with interesting and valuable insights.

NOTE: Power2max power meters measure the total power output of both legs in one sensor. This means they can’t measure both legs separately. However, they can calculate the L/R balance because they assume that the pulling force on the pedal is almost neglectable.

It also has an auto-zero feature, so you don’t have to worry about setting zero-offset before every ride. The power meter also actively compensates for any temperature changes once you stop pedaling for 2 or more seconds. So you get always accurate data that are not affected by the temperature.

The main downside is its compatibility which is pretty limited. You won’t fit it on SRAM 1X 40T chainrings and SRAM Red cranksets.

However, considering its price, this power meter is hard to beat.


ROTOR 2INpower DM Road Power Meter

ROTOR 2INpower DM Road Power Meter with chainrings
ROTOR 2INpower DM Road Power Meter | Source: powermetercity.com

Main Features

  • Accurate and consistent
  • Advanced features (L/R balance, pedal smoothness, etc.)
  • Comes with advanced app
  • Automatic zero-offset (calibration)
  • Active temperature compensation
  • 2-year warranty

Technical Specification

  • Type: Crankset/BB
  • Accuracy: ±1%
  • L/R measurement: Yes
  • Weight: 775g
  • Claimed battery life: 250h
  • Battery type: Rechargeable
  • Protocol: ANT+ and Bluetooth SMART
  • Q factor: 147.5mm

The ROTOR 2INpower is the improved version of the previous INpower. The newer version can independently measure your L/R leg power.

This high-end power meter comes with chainrings and a universal bottom bracket. So, everything you need to do is replace your current crankset and take advantage of the power data.

ROTOR 2INpower (like SRM Origin) belongs to the higher end of the power meter spectrum. Therefore, it is ideal for advanced riders who prefer accuracy, reliability, and consistency.

Another ROTOR’s advantage is their ROTOR POWER app for iOS and Android. It allows you to dig deep into your power data.

You can analyze your toque, pedal smoothness, balance, etc. So, if you are a data geek, you will have some data to analyze.

The major disadvantages of ROTOR 2INpower are its high price and more difficult installation. Also, keep in mind it has a 2mm wider Q factor than SRM Origin.

Also available at wiggle.co.uk


Velocomp PowerPod v4 Power Meter

Velocomp PowerPod v4 Power Meter
Velocomp PowerPod v4 Power Meter | Source: powermetercity.com

Main Features

  • The only opposite force power meter on this list
  • Usable on any bike
  • Comes with a software for advanced data analysis (rolling resistance, CdA, etc.)

Technical Specification

  • Type: Handlebar
  • Accuracy: ±3%
  • L/R measurement: No
  • Weight: 65g
  • Claimed battery life: 20h
  • Battery type: Rechargeable
  • Protocol: ANT+ and BLE

The PowerPod v4 offers three major advantages – affordability, ease of setup, and compatibility.

You can use it on any bike regardless of its type, components, etc. You simply attach it and its sensors to your handlebar, and you are good to go.

Velocomp PowerPod v4 is the only opposite force power meter on this list. This means it measures your power using an accelerometer, elevation, speed, and wind pressure sensors.

The included Isaac software allows you to dig deeper in data like aerodynamic drag coefficient, rolling resistance, etc. So if you are a data geek, you will have a lot of fun going through these data.

It has multiple downsides, though. First, its accuracy is slightly lower than the accuracy of other power meters on this list. Second, its rechargeable battery also doesn’t last long.

However, if you have multiple bikes, for example, MTB, road, and gravel, you can use this power meter with them all.

Also available at competitivecyclist.com


Other honorable mentions:



Summary

When choosing a power meter, don’t look only at its data accuracy and consistency.

Compatibility with your current setup, versatility, and durability are also important. For example, pedal power meters like Favero Assioma DUO and UNO are easy to set up, usable on multiple (road) bikes, and highly accurate.

On the other hand, their battery doesn’t last as long as the battery of the crank arm or spider power meters (Stages 3 Gen, 4iiii Precision, power2max NGeco, etc.).

Also, if you are a beginner, you probably won’t take full advantage of high-end power meters (SRM Origin, ROTOR 2INpower DM). They bring diminishing returns.

Therefore, always consider your needs and circumstances to get the best value for your money.

Learn more about power meter features in the following section.


How to Choose a Power Meter?

The following buyer’s guide is a consolidated version of my in-depth power meter guide. It provides you with the most important information on power meters, so you can make an educated decision about what power meter to buy.

However, I left out some details to keep this article reasonably long. Therefore, if you want to learn more about power meters (why to use them, how they work, etc.), I recommend reading the entire guide.

Power Meter Type

There are many types of power meters like pedal-based, crank arm-based, bottom bracket-based, etc.

They all come with pros and cons. I summarized them in the following table.

Power Meter TypeProsCons
Pedal• Easily transferable between bikes
• Compatible with almost any bike (assuming you use it with a particular bike type)
• Easy to set up
• Very accurate
• Can measure both legs independently
• Prone to mechanical damage (clipping in, crashes, etc.)
• High added (rotating) weight (assuming you have lighter pedals)
Crank Arm• Low added (rotating) weight
• Very accurate
• More affordable
• Not easily transferable between bikes (unless both bikes use the same cranks)
• Limited components compatibility
• Can't measure both legs independently (unless you use dual-sided crank arm power meters)
Spider• Low added (rotating) weight
• Very accurate
• Reliable
• Limited components compatibility
• Less affordable
• Not easy to set up
Bottom Bracket• Low added (rotating) weight
• Very accurate
• Reliable
• Protected against mechanical damage
• Limited components compatibility
• Complicated installation
• Not easily transferable between bikes
Handlebar• No added (rotating) weight
• Easily transferable between bikes
• Compatible with virtually any bike
• Less accurate
• Require attaching other sensors (speed + cadence) to your bike
• Prone to damage when crashing
• Can't detect cadence
Hub• No added (rotating) weight
• Easily transferable between bikes (assuming the bikes use the same wheels)
• Require replacing your current hubs or buying a whole wheelset
• Can be heavier than your current hubs
Pros & cons of power meter types
Sources: powermetercity.com, GC Performance, discussions with pro cyclists

Compatibility & Versatility

Power meter compatibility and versatility are some of the main determining factors when choosing it. Especially if you have multiple bikes and you want to use one power meter on them.

The compatibility means that a power meter is compatible with your bike (cranks, bottom bracket, frame, etc.). The versatility, or transferability, if you will, is the ability to use a power meter on multiple bikes.

For example, road bike pedal power meters are compatible with any road bike. They are also easily transferable between bikes, thanks to standardized pedal threads.

On the other side of the spectrum, we can find spider or bottom bracket power meters that are less compatible and versatile.

Data Accuracy & Consistency

All power meters have a claimed accuracy given in percents (e.g., ±1%). Most of today’s power meters have an accuracy between ±1% to ±3%.

If you are not a pro or a data accuracy geek, you probably don’t need a super-accurate power meter. The power variations are not as significant in lower power zones as you can see in the following table.

Accuracy250W500W1000W
0.5%248.8-251.3497.5-502.5502.5-1005
1%247.5-252.5495-505990-1010
1.5%246.3-253.8492.5-507.5985-1015
2%245-255490-510980-1020
2.5%243.8-256.3487.5-512.5975-1025
3%242.5-257.5485-515970-1030
Power meter accuracy for specific accuracy rate and power output

You should look for a data-consistent power meter. This means that it measures data consistently across multiple conditions (on various bikes, in different temperatures, altitudes, etc.).

Data consistency is essential for effective training and tracking your overall progression. Unfortunately, it is not stated by manufacturers, so you have to rely on in-depth reviews and data analysis.

Left/Right Leg Measurement

There are two basic types of power meters in terms of leg measurement:

  1. Single-sided power meters measure only one (mostly left) leg. They estimate your overall power by doubling the power of your measured leg.
  2. Dual-sided power meters measure each leg. One type of dual-sided power meters measures both legs independently, while the other type estimates it. (Source)
Left-Right Leg Balance (Giant Power Meter App)
Left-Right leg balance in Giant’s RideLink App

NOTE: If you use a single-sided power meter during single-leg drills, you get zero power readings for an opposite leg.

Dual-sided power meters can provide interesting data. The question is what to do with them.

Some riders are worried about their L/R leg balance. The fact is that if you don’t experience any issues and your L/R imbalance is 48:52, you don’t have to worry about it.

However, if you experience knee pain, for example, and you find a significant L/R imbalance, you should consult the possible solutions with a bike fitter or physiotherapist.

To learn more about this topic, I recommend this article by TrainingPeaks or watching the following video by TrainerRoad.

Weight

Some types of power meters add more rotating weight than others. For example, pedal power meters add more than crank arm power meters.

Depending on your priorities, weight can play a role when deciding what power meter to choose.

If you decide to go for a crank arm-based power meter that adds 10-25g, you probably won’t even notice the difference.

On the other hand, some spider power meters can add hundreds of grams (compared to your current components). So, keep that in mind.

Battery Type & Battery Life

Power meters use one of the following two battery types:

  1. Single-use batteries (CR2032, AAA, LR44, SR44, etc.) are common on budget power meters. They last longer*, but require replacing.
  2. In-built, rechargeable batteries are integrated into advanced and higher-end power meters. They are more convenient because you just need to charge them from time to time. But they usually don’t last as long as one-use batteries.

*Power Meter City tested the battery life of single-use and rechargeable power meter batteries and found that single-use batteries lasted 230 hours on average, while rechargeable only 140 hours.

Let’s say you ride 7 hours a week and the battery in a power meter lasts 140-hours. This results in 4 months of riding without the need to recharge or replace the battery.

Consequently, the battery life shouldn’t play an important role when buying a power meter.

Zero-Offset vs. Calibration

A common misconception between riders is that: calibration = zero-offset.

Zero-offsetting and calibration are not the same, as Josh Matthew from Power Meter City explains.

Calibration is a one-time process done during manufacturing, while Zero-offsetting should be done by the rider before every ride.

Power meters have two types of zero-offset:

  1. Manual zero-offset needs to be done manually via a power meter app or a head unit.
  2. Automatic zero-offset is common on advanced power meters and is done automatically.

Automatic zero-offset is relatively common on more advanced and expensive power meters.

Q Factor, Spindle and Stance Width

Another common mistake of riders is mixing up Q factor, spindle width, and stance width.

These measurements are important when buying power meters.

An illustration of a spindle width, Q factor, and stance width
Important measurements – spindle width, q-factor, and stance width

Pedal power meters don’t affect your Q factor. However, they may affect your spindle and stance width.
Crankset power meters may affect your Q factor depending on what Q factor your current crankset has.

If the power meter pedals have wider spindle width than your current pedals, it will cause that your legs will be further apart. This may lead to bike fit issues. So, remember always to double-check the spindle width of pedal power meters.

To learn more about choosing power meter pedals, visit this article.

When buying crankset power meters, double-check their Q factor and compare it with your current crankset.


Brand

Depending on your personal preference, the brand may or may not play a role when deciding what power meter to buy.

Naturally, there are established power meter brands that produce quality power meters. Here are a few tips (in alphabetical order):

  • 4iiii
  • Favero
  • Garmin
  • LOOK
  • Quarq
  • ROTOR
  • SRM
  • Shimano
  • Stages
  • Velocomp
  • Verve Cycling (InfoCrank)
  • Pioneer
  • power2max

Power Meters FAQ

Preview picture source: power2max

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