Looking to buy a powermeter for your road bike to bring your cycling to the next level?
You’re on the right page.
Before you commit to buy a powermeter, there are things you need to know such as the various types of powermeters, how and where the power measurement is taken, and more importantly, which one is compatible with your current bike set up.
How We Pick Powermeters
When it comes to powermeters, there are many choices out there today. Dual-sided, single-sided crankarm, spider, pedal-based, or wheel-hub. There is no shortage of options compared to 10 years ago.
This makes picking the best one a tough task. To find the best product, we focused on the established names such as SRM, Power2Max, Quarq, and Stages. From there, we applied the criteria that we set out below to come up with this list.
- Powermeter Type. We picked the best for single-sided, dual-sided, spider, pedal and wheel-hub based powermeters.
- Exiting Bike Setup. You don’t need to swap the entire crankset these days. There are many options out there that complement your existing setup. All you need is to swap out the left crank arm, spider, or just the pedals, depending on your existing set up.
- Accuracy. If you’re looking to improve your cycling performance, it’s crucial to have a powermeter that has an accuracy of within +/- 1 to 2% and be consistent every single ride, in all weather conditions.
- Price points. You can find picks ranging from $500 for the likes of Stages and 4iii, or all the way up to $2,000 for SRM.
If you’d like to know more about powermeters, read our beginner’s guide to powermeters here.
A Quick Glance : Our Favorite Powermeters for Road Bikes
|Powermeter Model||Type||Accuracy||Best For|
|Power2Max NG Eco||Spider||2%||Wide Compatibility|
|Stages||Left Sided||2%||Budget Minded|
|4iii||Left Sided||1.5%||Shimano Cranksets|
|Quarq D Zero||Spider||1.5%||SRAM|
|Powertap G3||Wheel Hub||1.5%||Those with Many Bikes|
|Garmin Vector 3||Pedal||1%||Easily Swappable|
Well-Known for Reliability
If you’re super serious about improving your performance, then you want a super-accurate powermeter. Look no further than the SRM.
SRM is one of the pioneers of cycling powermeters, developing its first powermeter all the way back in 1986.
Their latest model, the SRM Origin, uses a 144-point calibration method and its Auto-Offset feature to make this powermeter as consistent and accurate as possible, to within 1.5%.
You also won’t compromise weight with this powermeter. With its LOOK carbon crank arm, it weighs in at just 599g. The crank arm is also adjustable from 170 mm to 175 mm through its Trilobe Technology.
The SRM Origin also includes interchangeable spindles that make it compatible with virtually any frame.
- Pros : The gold standard. Very accurate and reliable.
- Cons : Expect to pay a much higher premium over the others.
Power2Max NG Eco
Power2Max manufactures powermeters for all the major crankset brands such as SRAM, Praxis, ROTOR, Shimano, FSA, Cannondale, Easton, and Campagnolo.
The NG Eco is one of Power2Max’s most versatile and budget-friendly options out there today. It combines left and right power measurements, comes with ANT+ and Bluetooth connectivity and is accurate within 2% at a price point below other spider-based powermeters such as the SRM Origin.
It is powered by a coin-style CR2450 battery that gets between 300 and 400 hours of battery life and comes with a 2-year warranty.
- Pros : Wide compatibility across many leading crankarm brands.
- Cons : Non-rechargeable battery.
For those with Shimano Setup
Stages Gen3 for Shimano
If you’re looking for the best left-sided powermeter for Shimano groupsets, then you know it’s going to be for Shimano DuraAce.
The DuraAce is Shimano’s top-of-line group of components for road bikes which you’ll often find on the bikes of pro cyclists such as Team Ineos, who has won multiple Tour de France in the past 10 years with 4 different riders.
This Stages powermeter is accurate within 1.5% and only adds 20 grams to your bike. It has both ANT+ and Bluetooth connectivity, allowing you to connect to your cycling computer and your smartphone or even tablet if you’re riding indoors on Zwift.
It’s available for crank arm lengths from 165mm to up to 180mm.
- Pros : Lightweight and adds only 20g to existing set up.
- Cons : Non-rechargeable battery.
4iiii for Shimano
At $500, this powermeter is a steal for cyclists who are already running Shimano Ultegra cranks.
Manufactured by Canada-based 4iiii (Shimano recently bought 4iiii), it measures left leg power with 1% accuracy. It’s lightweight, adding just 9g to the left crankarm’s weight, and can be installed in minutes.
It uses ANT+ or Bluetooth Smart to communicate, making it compatible with most bike computers and smartphones. Powered by a lithium-ion rechargeable battery, it packs around 60 hours of battery life.
For wider compatibility, you’ll have a choice of crankarm lengths from 165mm up to 175mm and is compatible with all existing Shimano R6800 and R8000 cranksets.
- Pros : Best value for those using existing Shimano cranksets.
- Cons : Shorter battery life.
For those with SRAM Setup
The Quarq DZero combines the best that Quarq and SRAM have to offer.
Quarq started in 2008 in Australia before being sold to SRAM in 2011.
This spider-based powermeter combines the Quarq’s DZero technology with SRAM’s DUB (Durable Unified Bottom Bracket) technology. The result is a powermeter that is perfectly suited for those who’re already riding on SRAM components, especially the crankset.
It’s compatible with all SRAM crankarms with 5-bolt chainrings (10 and 11 speed). It also comes with a 2-year warranty. The Quarq DZero is powered by a coin-style CR2032 battery that provides about 200 hours of battery life.
- Pros : Accurate down to +/- 1.5%
- Cons : Limited compatibility to SRAM and Specialized cranksets only.
For those with Campagnolo Setup
Power2Max NG for Campagnolo
If you ride Campy components and you’re willing to spend a little more, then consider the Power2Max NG.
It’s probably the prettiest looking powermeter for those using Campagnolo components. It comes with both left and right carbon crankarms, but minus the 4-bolt Campagnolo chainring, which you will have to purchase separately.
Campagnolo components tend to be the most expensive, and this powermeter is no exception. While it may be priced on the premium side of things, it’s important to note that this model does give you a spider and left and right carbon cranks.
Accuracy is excellent at 1%, and it is powered through USB recharging. It also comes with one of the best warranties available. Power2Max has you covered for 5 years.
- Pros : One of the best-looking powermeters for Campagnolo cranksets.
- Cons : Expect to pay more over other brands except for SRM.
For those with More than 1 Bike
Have multiple bikes and don’t want to invest in multiple powermeters? Check out the Powertap G3.
Choosing a wheel hub-based powermeter is a relatively simple task. Why?
Because there’s only one company that has figured out how to make them, and that company would be Powertap, which has been producing hub-based meters for the past 20 years.
It features accuracy to within 1.5% and is powered by a CR2032 battery with 200 riding time hours. The Powertap G3 comes with a 2-year warranty.
Perhaps the biggest lure of this powermeter is its price. At $400, this gives you a powermeter at a fraction of the price of other options on the market.
- Pros : Accurate down to +/- 1.5%
- Cons : Needs to be used with a custom-built wheelset.
Easily Swap Between Bikes
Garmin Vector 3
Pedal-based powermeters offer the advantage for you to easily swap between bikes.
If this is what you’re after, then you can’t go wrong with the Garmin Vector 3. It is available as dual-sided, with strain gauges in both pedals, or single-sided in the left pedal only (Garmin Vector 3S).
It supports both ANT+ and Bluetooth connections and is accurate to within 1%. If you’re a data geek, this gives you access to all of Garmin’s cycling data points such as power phase, peak power phases, and more for a detailed deep dive into your performance and power output.
- Pros : Easily swappable between multiple bikes.
- Cons : Pedal body prone to damage during crashes.