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Power Trip: Four Power Meters Reviewed

  • By Jonathan Blyer
  • Published Mar 8, 2013
  • Updated Mar 11, 2013 at 3:04 PM UTC
Photo: Scott Draper

SRM Shimano Dura-Ace 7900 Training System

($3,895, Srm.de)

Type: Crank-based power meter, meaning it can alternate between racing and training wheels, but swapping the meter between bikes takes some mechanical knowledge.

Benefit: Flawless function with every piece included

Drawbacks: Price; computer lacks GPS

Getting it to work: Installation is quite simple. It’s no different than mounting a standard crankset, save for the necessity to include a cadence magnet. Everything needed to start measuring power is included in the training system. Once a user learns his way around the SRM system, he can expect reliable and predictable performance backed by 25 years of development. The crank alone is $3,145.

What it does: SRM’s hallmark is simplistic, dependable function. The SRM Training System includes everything needed to start training with power straight away; the other power meters in this review require accessories. It includes the Power Control 7 computer and wireless speed and cadence sensors needed to record data, as well as the SRM software used to analyze those data. The Power Control 7, however, is not as user-friendly as the Garmin Edge 500 and lacks GPS. There are numerous versions of the wireless SRM power meter crankset. No matter what your crank brand, length (as short as 165mm) or bottom bracket standard, there is likely an SRM option for you.

How well it works: SRM power meters have long been considered the gold standard by which all others are judged, and for good reason. The SRM worked flawlessly without any data transmission issues. It must be calibrated at the beginning of a ride, however, the system cannot be automatically recalibrated during the course of a ride, meaning data accuracy can drift if conditions change. The internal battery powers the unit for about 1,400 hours of riding, according to SRM, and when the time comes to replace the battery, the unit will have to be shipped back to SRM in Colorado.

Buy it for: Simplicity and reliability.

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