Cycling Power Meters
Cycling Power Meters are popular with cyclists who wish to measure the output of their power as they ride. Power meters are particularly useful for professional and semi-professionals who wish to measure performance.
There are several types of cycling power meters, usually grouped together by where you place them. There are advantages and disadvantages to certain placements and this decision usually comes down to the riders personal preference but can also be affected by weight, terrain and bike type. Some cyclists like to use the same power meter with more than one bike, and this needs to be taken into account when making a selection.
How it works
Cycling power meters work by gauging strain and tension when the rider applies force. The combination of this with velocity, enables the power output to be accurately measured. The power meters usually take measurements in wattage (watts).
Different types of power meter
There are up to five parts of your bike that can accommodate a power meter. The areas are as follows: the bike pedals, the bottom spindle, the chain set, the crank arm and the rear hub. Many cycling experts claim that the back-wheel hub obtains the most accurate result due to its positioning. This is believed to be because there is less strain on the gauges.
The bottom spindle placement of a cycling power meter can offer both a high level of accuracy whilst presenting the cyclist with the problem of an intricate instalment procedure. However, once it is fitted, there is little or no maintenance required. The crank arm is another favoured position for a power meter. It is easy to install and easy to remove and use on other bikes. It is important to select the correct crank length.
The chain set power meter, can measure either the left or right side and offers up to 400 hours of battery life.
The bike pedal power meter position has the advantage of measuring power at the point where the foot applied force at speed, this giving a full picture of power output.
Most cycling power meters are Bluetooth compatible and will sync with your iPhone or smartphone device. This way, you can track progress and improvements in a similar way to a fitness tracker.
Power meters usually come with the battery provided. The battery life can vary but is usually around 200 hours.