4 Best Bike Power Meters Reviewed 2021

If competing in races is one of your passions and you’ve set a goal of winning an upcoming cycling event, you’ll need to get serious about your training. And for most cyclists, a surefire way to train smartly is through regular ftp testing.

You really can’t deny the benefits of having data to analyze your every performance, as it allows you to monitor your progress so you can reach your goals confidently.

A common way of conducting ftp tests as often as you like, and at your own convenience, is by investing in a power meter. This guide will run you through important considerations to make before purchasing one, then we’ll walk you through our list of favorite power meters.

TLDR – Top Pick

For us, the best bike power meter is the Favero Assioma Duo Side Pedal-Based Power Meter.

FAVERO Assioma Duo Side Pedal Based Power Meter
FAVERO Assioma Duo Side Pedal Based Power Meter

    Last update on 2021-01-19 at 10:43 / Commission Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

    What to Consider Before Buying Power Meters for Your Bike

    These devices are fitted into a certain part of the bike and use strain gauges that deflect slightly when triggered, giving a real-time measurement of power as output in watts.

    Base your purchase on the factors below so you make an informed decision.

    Types of Power Meters

    There are several types of power meters installed on different parts of the bicycle. All these have their own pros and cons, which we’ll discuss below.

    Hub-based

    Experts believe hub-based power meters provide the most reliable data, as there are fewer forces acting on the strain gauges, and they’re typically the most affordable.

    They’re also conveniently compatible with many bikes, so if you want to swap it to another, that’s perfectly fine as long as your wheel fits both bikes, thus limiting your wheel choice.

    They also tend to show lower power readings because they measure what is left after drivetrain losses, and especially if your drive chain contains a lot of grime and debris.

    Bottom Bracket

    Although not as popular as other types owing to difficulty in the installation process and swapping them into other bikes, these types of power meters can be accurate and require little maintenance.

    A bottom bracket power itself, its battery, and electronics are tucked in safely within its housing, which provides convenience, protection, and weight balance.

    Chainring

    Unlike a hub-based power meter, a chainring one isn’t as easy to swap with other bikes. It also can’t give individual left or right power results, although it can provide estimates.

    It does, however, show very accurate results, hence the reason it’s remained a popular choice.

    Crank Arm-based

    Crank arm-based power meters are relatively easy to use interchangeably between different bikes as well. And they can be used as single or double-sided. Many cyclists rely on these types of power meters as they provide reliable data, are conveniently lightweight and affordable.

    Pedal-based

    These are easy to fit into your bike as they’re of a plug-and-play type, so you don’t need complicated fitting procedures when installing them. You can also change them between bikes, and they can be both single or double-sided, which can measure pedal technique efficiency.

    Your bike may have to strain a bit from the extra weight coming from the power meter itself, the strain gauge, and battery which are all housed in the pedal assembly. Additionally, pedal-based power meters typically can’t stand exposure to poor weather and may wear out sooner.

    Single, Double, and Combined

    As already mentioned, some power meters can be used as single or double-sided. Single-sided use simply means data is collected from one side of the cyclist, typically the left. Double-sided use reads data from both legs.

    Although some argue that simply doubling the data results taken from single-sided use can’t fully represent a cyclist’s power, it does mean the power meter is more affordable.

    If you have an imbalance, where one leg is more powerful than the other, it may be worth saving up for a double-sided power meter. If you have a 48/52% ‘imbalance’, this is pretty common, so getting a single-sided one would be okay.

    Combined power meters effectively combine both legs’ results and do not measure them separately as with double-sided ones. Although accurate, these won’t be able to differentiate from which leg the power comes from.

    Accuracy

    Purchasing a power meter truly is an investment, as a single unit can range from between $500 to $2,000. If you’re handing out that kind of cash, it better provide value, right? So make sure to check whether the power meter you prefer provides accurate and reliable data.

    Doing so will ensure your training is progressing in the right direction.

    You can only ever rely on manufacturer’s accuracy claims, but you can also make steps to ensure the results you get, once you start using them, really are accurate.

    Update your firmware and use the manufacturer’s apps on your phone. Make sure you installed the device correctly, calibrate it before every use, and make sure to change the batteries regularly.

    Connectivity Options

    Most power meters will transmit data to most bike computer systems through ANT+. However, the more modern ones connect through Bluetooth, which are quite handy if you tend to use your smartphones and tablets or want to update the firmware on your device.

    When choosing your power meter, consider the device you’ll be connecting it to so you can determine which connectivity option is more suitable for you..

    Battery Life

    Power meters source their energy either through USB charging or coin-style batteries. High-end ones will usually be rechargeable, so take that into consideration.

    Most of the batteries in power meters today will last for an entire season, but there are, of course, exceptions. Coin-style batteries will typically last for around 50 to 200 hours of riding before they’ll need replacement.

    So when choosing a power meter, consider how much you’ll be using it by gauging the hours you ride in a season and go from there.

    Ease of Installation & Maintenance

    It’s important to make sure you’ve installed your power meter correctly, as this can significantly impact the data it provides, so make sure the ones you choose are easy to set up and operate – preferably by yourself, unless you can expect some skilled help from others.

    Maintenance is typically pretty straightforward when it comes to power meters, all you’ll need to do are battery changes and firmware updates. Be wary of units that will need to get sent off to the manufacturer when it comes time to change the batteries, though, as these models do exist.

    On some occasions, you may need to swap out one bike’s power meter to another. If you find one that involves a complicated process, you may want to reconsider purchasing it.

    Warranty Period

    Although power meters are inherently designed to withstand the rigors that come from being attached to a bicycle that’s likely to be ridden hard on challenging terrain, these are still quite expensive pieces of electronics that will eventually experience damage.

    For this reason, you’ll want to buy a unit that comes with a sufficient assurance the manufacturer will offer support when you’re faced with technical difficulties or are needing it to be repaired for as long a period as possible.

    We recommend looking for models that guarantee support and warranty for at least a year. And, if you can, stick to reputable brands who know what they’re doing, as these companies will stand by the integrity of their products and offer as much assistance as they can.

    4 Best Bike Power Meters Reviewed

    Now we come to the exciting part – reviewing a list of products we guarantee will get you optimal performance and the best bang for your buck.

    1. Garmin Vector 3 Pedal-Based Power Meter

    Key Features

    • Double-sided pedal-based stainless steel
    • Bluetooth and ANT+ capabilities
    • Installation requires no technical expertise
    • 120 hours of battery life
    • 1-year warranty period

    The Garmin Vector 3 accurately measures power (±1% accuracy), cadence, and advanced cycling dynamics that will allow you to get your power data and analyze where you’re producing power while cycling.

    Unlike past versions, this one has a sleek and podless feature for increased cornering clearance and improved stack height. It’s also designed for easy and quick installation – if you know how to install pedals on your crankset, then you’ll know how to set this device up.

    The sensors of this power meter are conveniently embedded in the pedals so you won’t have difficulties swapping this out to another bike.

    As a pedal-based power meter, this device will measure power where the force is applied – at each pedal, which is super lightweight at just 316 grams per pair and comes with Look Keo compatible cleats.

    Pros

    • Convenient to switch between bikes
    • Extra metrics are valuable information
    • Battery removal and installation is super easy
    • Shows accurate and reliable data

    Cons

    • May be a bit expensive
    • May have connection issues, ensure most recent updates
    Garmin Vector 3 Power Meter Pedals Black, One Size
    Garmin Vector 3 Power Meter Pedals Black, One Size

      Last update on 2021-01-19 at 10:43 / Commission Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

      2. FAVERO Assioma UNO Side Pedal-Based Power Meter

      Key Features

      • Single-sided and pedal-based device
      • Bluetooth and ANT+ capabilities
      • Easy installation 
      • Rechargeable batteries last for 50 hours
      • 2-year warranty period

      Favero Electronics’ Assioma Uno combines the cutting-edge metrics of IAV Cycling Dynamics: IAV Power Phase and IAV Rider Position with the classic power data to allow you to get an in-depth monitoring of your pedaling technique and how your position on your bike impacts your performance.

      Favero claims ±1% accuracy in any situation, as the data this device reads does not get affected by factors such as irregular pedaling (from sprinting uphill) or using oval chainrings.

      This power meter is a single-sided device that gathers data from the left leg, and can be connected to your bike computers and smartphones that utilize Android and iOS operating systems.

      Installation and switching this power meter onto another bike is super easy you won’t even need extra tools or technical expertise or support to do it – just screw them on your bike, crank the arms, and you’re good to go.

      Pros

      • Syncs easily through both connectivity options
      • No power dropouts
      • Long-lasting battery
      • Changing between bikes is no hassle

      Cons

      • Unclipping may be difficult
      FAVERO Assioma UNO Side Pedal Based Power Meter
      FAVERO Assioma UNO Side Pedal Based Power Meter

        Last update on 2021-01-19 at 10:43 / Commission Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

        3. FAVERO Assioma Duo Side Pedal-Based Power Meter

        Key Features

        • Double-sided and pedal-based device
        • Bluetooth and ANT+ capabilities
        • Cadence sensor and gyroscope included
        • Rechargeable batteries last for 50 hours
        • 2-year warranty period

        This is the double-sided version of the previous product, still from Favero Electronics, so you may read more than a few phrases repeated.

        As this has sensors on both pedals, it can collect and measure data separately so you can observe your total power, L/R balance, torque effectiveness, and pedal smoothness.

        Assioma products offer consistent and stable watt measurements in actual road conditions, with temperatures ranging from -10oC and 60oC – all this thanks to the Automatic Temperature Compensation tool.

        This power meter is lightweight (one pedal weighs only 151.5 grams) as it has a compact design, and the power sensors are housed in a waterproof and shock-resistant bi-component resin block.

        There are more features of this product we just want to brag about.

        • Its power calculation system is based on IAV (Instantaneous Angular Velocity).
        • It’s compatible with IAV Cycling Dynamics.
        • It’s compatible with oval chainrings.

        Pros

        • Works unquestionably
        • Solid design and construction
        • Accurate and reliable data
        • Swapping between bikes is easy

        Cons

        • May have issues with connectivity, please ensure compatibility between devices
        FAVERO Assioma Duo Side Pedal Based Power Meter
        FAVERO Assioma Duo Side Pedal Based Power Meter

          Last update on 2021-01-19 at 10:43 / Commission Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

          4. Garmin Vector 3S Pedal-Based Power Meter

          Key Features

          • Single-sensing power meter
          • Bluetooth and ANT+ capabilities
          • Field calibration and adjustable release tension 
          • 120 hours battery life (with LR44 battery type)
          • 2-year warranty period

          If you prefer single-sided power meters over dual ones, you may want to consider the single-sensing version of the first product in our list, still from Garmin but this time the Vector 3S model.

          This easy-to-install system can report cadence and total power accurately with a ±1% rate. It’s fully integrated into the Garmin cycling ecosystem, so if you’re already a Garmin user, syncing your other devices with this power meter will be seamless.

          Other features we really want you to know about are:

          • Max rider capacity: 105 kg
          • Cleat type: Keo
          • Stack height: 12.2mm
          • Garmin connectTM enabled
          • Measurement location: Spindle

          Pros

          • Installation is a breeze
          • Provides a lot of valuable data
          • Battery lasts a good while

          Cons

          • May have syncing/pairing issues , please ensure compatibility between devices
          • Battery cap may be flimsy
          Sale
          Garmin Vector 3S Power Meter Pedals Black, One Size
          Garmin Vector 3S Power Meter Pedals Black, One Size

            Last update on 2021-01-19 at 10:43 / Commission Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

            Picking The Best Power Meter

            When choosing the best power meter for you and your bike, it all really boils down to personal preference and your skill level as a cyclist. 

            Are you training for a competition, want to get fitter, want to amp up your performance? Do you have leg bias? What’s your budget like, can you afford a dual or just a single? Many questions to ask – the answer to which are largely based on your personal circumstance.

            For us, the true winner in this list really is the Favero Assioma Duo Side Pedal-Based Power Meter. It’s accurate, efficient, reliable, and won’t break the bank.

            Just make sure that whichever model you end up getting, you install it properly so you never encounter hassles and inconveniences in the future. Happy training!

            FAVERO Assioma Duo Side Pedal Based Power Meter
            FAVERO Assioma Duo Side Pedal Based Power Meter

              Last update on 2021-01-19 at 10:43 / Commission Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

              Perry
              Perry
              Hello, my names Perry and I've been a freelance writer for the past 5 years and a cycling enthusiastic since I can remember. I love the road, but my main passion is mountain biking.