Pioneer Electronics Launches New, Improved Power Meter

  • By Logan VonBokel |
  • Published Feb 20, 2014
While smaller than the previous model, the new Athlete-Lite CA500 is slightly larger than the Garmin Edge 510, though still falls short on some functionality. Photo: Pioneer Electronics

Pioneer Electronics has launched its second crank-based power meter in less than a year, the Athlete-Lite power meter and head unit. Pioneer—yes the same Pioneer electronics that made your car stereo and the DJ equipment at nearly every electronic dance music concert—launched its Athlete power meter last fall, but is already replacing the first-generation Shimano Dura-Ace 9000 meter with a wholly redesigned model.

The Shimano Dura-Ace version of the power meter will sell for $1,850, and the Ultegra for $1,550, making the Pioneer Athlete-Lite crank much less expensive than comparable SRM models and slightly less expensive than the SRAM Red Quarq.

The new 2014 Athlete-Lite models are set to be available in March.

The Pioneer power meters are built with a design similar to the Stages meters, attaching a strain gauge-laden pod to the inside of the crankarms to measure flex. But while Stages takes power from one leg and doubles it, Pioneer mounts a pod on both sides of the crank. That means that, like Garmin’s Vector power pedals but unlike SRM and Quarq, the Pioneer meter measures both left and right pedal forces at the arm. Additionally, the Athlete-Lite only adds 66 grams to the Dura-Ace and Ultegra cranks, making the Pioneer Athlete-Lite Dura-Ace cranks lighter than the offerings from SRM and the SRAM Red Quarq.

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