All four of these power meters are accurate. The most important differences are what they can (and cannot) do, and how smoothly they work.
This article was originally published in the Jan/Feb 2013 issue of Inside Triathlon magazine.
Look Keo Power
Type: Pedal-based power meter, allowing the rider to swap wheels or move the system between bikes with relative ease.
Benefits: Can be swapped between bikes; independent leg power measurement
Drawback: Few computer options, all lacking popular features
Getting them to work: Once familiar with some of the nuances of installation, moving the pedals between bikes is quite simple and takes just a matter of minutes. Tools included with the pedals make installation easier. It is not, however, as simple as mounting typical pedals. The connection process between the computer and power meter takes a few seconds, and the pedals automatically calibrate every time they are turned on. All Look Keo cleats are compatible with Keo Power.
What they do: Moving a crank can be intimidating, and hub-based power systems limit wheel selection, but Keo Power solves both problems. The main attraction is the ability to easily move the system between bikes, making it especially appealing to riders who train on different bikes. It records power from both legs, and, when used in conjunction with the Polar CS600 computer, displays the split in real time. The system uses Polar’s proprietary transmission protocol, which means Keo Power is limited to a short list of Polar computers, none of which currently offers GPS or a wide range of useful data display options available on other head units. A GPS-equipped option is nearing completion, however.
How well they work: Although a tester experienced occasional transmission problems during one set of trials, the pedals performed well in all other tests and generated power data similar to the more established systems. When it is first turned on, the left and right transmitters must connect with each other before they can connect to the head unit, so if racing with Keo Power, it’s important to remember to do this as soon as you enter T1 so it’s ready by the time you pull your bike off the transition rack.
Buy them for: Their ability to move between bikes.
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