Selecting The Right Cycle Power Meter For You

Selecting The Right Cycle Power Meter For You

When shopping for a new cycle power meter there are some features that you need to consider to ensure that you end up with the correct cycle power meter for you.



The first criteria is to ensure that you choose from a range of power meters that are compatible with the bicycle that you intend to install it on.

A pedal based system will replace a set of standard pedals on a road bike and will be compatible with any crankset that accepts standard pedals.

With a crank based system you will need to ensure that it fits into your existing bike frame either with your existing bottom bracket or with a new bottom bracket purchased specifically for the new power meter.

With a hub based power meter you will need to ensure that the hub is built into a wheel that is of the correct size for your frame (i.e. 700c) and has the correct freehub body to accept the cassette you have earmarked for the wheel.

Accuracy and Consistency

Each product is given an accuracy rating, normally +/-2%, which is the industry standard and if this is the case if should provide sufficient accuracy for you to obtain accurate data.

The consistency of the device to produce the same consistent results day after day is arguably far more important as it is this which will allow you to train in specific zones so as to achieve the targeted performance increases you are training for.

All power meters sold by Pedal Power Meters offer both industry standard accuracy and consistency.

Power Measurement / Cadence

The power meter measures and transmits the average power measured over a know period of time, like one second or one pedal revolution. With the power meters offered by Pedal Power Meters, power is measured at the crank spider, the crank arm, the pedal axle or at the rear hub.

Pedal based power meters come in two forms, single sided power or dual sided power. A single sided power meter measures a rider's power for the downward phase of the pedal revolution and doubles this power figure to provide an average total power figure, there is an element of estimation about the non-measured leg. A dual sided system will measure the power produced by both legs independently and combine the data collected to provide exact power. The dual sided system is obviously more accurate and in addition also allows for advanced cycling dynamic data to be obtained, subject to suitable software being available. In the case of pedal based power meters, they will measure pedal cadence without the need for an additional sensor or magnet.

Crank based systems measure the power in one of two places, either at the crank arm or at the spider. Where power is measured at the crank spider, power is measured for the entire pedal revolution and can be allocated to each leg based on the known crank position to provide advanced diagnostics. A single crank arm system will measure power on the left leg and double the result to give a total power figure for the entire revolution.

The hub based power meter calculates the power being transferred to the cassette and is unable to provide pedal cadence or left/right leg power distribution without a separate system.

Data Transmission Protocol

Power data is transmitted using the ANT+ protocol and also by Bluetooth. Modern cycle computers are capable of receiving data over both protocols whereas some devices may only be capable of receiving data over the ANT+ protocol.

It is possible to use a mobile phone as a cycle computer for applications like Zwift or for power meter diagnostics via the power meter specific app and in this case connection mostly will require a power meter with the Bluetooth transmission protocol.

Battery Type

Power meters either contain a rechargeable battery or a single use battery which will need to be replaced as and when it runs out. A rechargeable battery will ordinarily be recharged using a USB connection.

Where a power meter uses replaceable batteries, the common types of batteries contained within a power meter are the CR2032 coin battery, the LR44 battery or a lithium AAA battery.


The Cycle Power Meter