ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Which Power Meter Should you buy for your Bicycle: PowerTap, Quarq, SRM and Power2 Max

Updated on April 7, 2013

Choosing the Right Power Meter

Picking the right power meter for you is important. Making the decision might not. We break down the Pro's and Con's of each device and give you our top choice for your first step into diving into the world of Power Based training. We rank the devices base on Cost, Accuracy, Weight and Ease of use to help narrow down the list.


Power 2 Max Power Meter

Cost: $950 to $1464.33

Power 2 Max has the most economical of the crank based power meters. You can buy just the sensor(something other companies don't offer) and add it to a compatible crank set. Or you can chose from a myriad of their all in one crank and sensor options. This gives you the flexibility to also chose your BCD diameter and your crank arm length. Great for some one looking who is still budget minded and wants a versatile crank base power meter.

Accuracy: +/- 2%

Power 2 Max also has amazing accuracy ( as reported by their own marketing) a +/- 2% is amazing and well under the biological variability of our bodies. This make them excellent tools for both training and testing.

Weight: 172-224g

Adding between 172-224 grams (depending on which model sensor you choose) the Power 2 Max sensors are extremely light for the added benefit they provide.

Ease of Use: Unknown

It's hard to say exactly how easy the Power 2 Max meters are to use. The main things to be concerned is they are primarily a European market base company and any warranty and service issues may cost a great deal in time and money should something go wrong. They do however boast the same auto-zero calibration as the Quarq meters and work with any ANT+ Computers.


SRM Powermeter

Cost: $ 1,799.00 - $ 3,995.00

SRM's are not cheap, mostly because you have to but it with a crank set and can't just buy one that you can install to a compatible crank set. Be that as it may, this still makes them more expensive than Power 2 Max complete sets.

Accuracy: +/- 2%

SRM is know to be the first power meter to hit this elusive accuracy mark, since then Quarq and Power 2 Max both boast the same accuracy profile. The two percent variation is more than adequate and beyond your body's biological variation of power output.

Weight: 195-200g

While you will have to choose which crank set you wish to have with your SRM, the actual sensor itself only adds approximately 195-200g of weight. This put's SRM in a slightly higher range for weight but still under the highest amount a Power 2 Max sensor might add.

Ease of Use: Poor

Under SRM's own guidelines, they suggest you ship your power meter back yearly to them. This is the only way you can re-calibrate your sensor. This works well for the dozens of professional teams they sponsor, since the device will be professionally handled, chances are the professional racer has a 2nd back-up sensor and it's guaranteed to be free. This is just their suggested idea, there are many things than can cause your sensor to need to be re-calibrated and potentially could happen any time. For many this extra potential for a head ache inducing hassle makes the idea of buying an SRM completely not worth the risk. Not to mention if you are not aware of how much the sensor is out of calibration you could potentially have hundreds of rides worth of useless data, and thus defeating the whole point in using a power meter to train.

SRM does have a great reputation for maintaining durability and rarely needing more than a yearly re-calibration. Even in events of needing re-calibration the variation is minimal and most users data are perfectly intact.

Cycleops PowerTap

Cycleops PowerTap

Cost: $899.00 - $1,799.99

PowerTap hubs were some of the first major players in the market for wireless power meters. You can even watch some old Tour de France stages and see them in the rear hubs of many of the top cyclist. Cycleops provides a few different types of hubs you can buy even a myriad of options to have them already laced into a wheel or wheel set. Albeit the latter option is extremely expensive. At $899 PowerTaps are one of the cheapest options to get into training with power.

Accuracy: +/- 1.5%

Cycleops improved the accuracy for their hub recently and reached unheard of numbers. Does the extra .5% accuracy matter? No. Does it cost more? No. Will you even notice it? No. It does add some extra bragging power to using the device, but ultimately will not make much difference in your everyday training.

Weight: 315-446g

Heavy, that is what they are. While you can subtract the weight of a conventional hub from them, and they technically become comparable to the other sensors on the market, this is extra rotational weight. This make their weight weight slightly more than a crank based meter. Since hub weight is not as centrifugally as heavy as rim or tire weight, it's not something to be all that concerned about, since at low speeds going uphill when weight matters, your wheels will be rotating slowly. Plus can't we all cut an extra pound or two of body weight?

Ease of Use: Fair-Easy

PowerTap's are easily serviceable by the user. Re-calibration can be done from easily using an ant+ device or their own bicycle computer. While Cycleops has certain standards for what is an acceptable amount, very few devices need ever be sent in for a warranty calibration issue. Calibration usually take 2-5 seconds and you are ready to ride. The down side to using a PowerTap is to have multiple sets of wheels, of training on your pricey race wheels all the time. You will not want to not have your race day data, it is the most important data for analysis.

Another know issue, is that the free hub is very open to the elements, water and grit can find it's way into it. On the positive side, once you remover the rear skewer you can remove the hub using just your hands, with no tools. You can also easily clean and grease your hub yourself with no need for a professional. PowerTap's are also the only device that you do not need a tool to get at and replace the batteries with. Cycleops does make a special tool for this, but if you have a rubber bottle cap opener, you can simply twist the cap off with your hands. It will also cost much less, and is even safer to the aesthetics of the hub.

SRAM Quarq


Cost: $1595.00 - $1995.00

Quarq provides countless other crank options, but since they are owned by SRAM the cost show is for the Quarq and SRAM Red variants. You can if you want add a quarq to other crank sets as well.

Accuracy: +/- 1.5%

Quarq matches the PowerTap in accuracy. Much like the PowerTap though, this extra .5% will not make a huge difference in your training at all. It's best to just take comfort in knowing that your power data and numbers will be as accurate as possible.

Weight: 169g

When comparing the weight of the SRAM Red crank set and the SRAM Red Quarq crank set, the additional weight is only 169 grams. This makes the Quarq sensor the lightest you can buy.

Ease of Use: Easy

Calibration is done in a more complicated way than the PowerTap, but in a simpler way than an SRM. Quarq makes an app for that. You just need an ant+/bluetooth type adapted and you can easily calibrate your Quarq yourself at home. Much like the SRM, Quarq sensors do not need to be calibrated often, and when they do the variation is minimal.

Now What?

If you've made up your mind and are now taking the plunge into training with power. There are plenty more bits of information you will need to learn about, like the Performance Management Chart and how to use it to maintain top form and control your fitness. Before you even begin you will need to take one step, the very first thing you need to do is find your Functional Threshold Power. Just click the links to find out more.

Which Power Meter device do you use?

See results


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • capon profile image

      Tony Capon 

      7 years ago from Upminster, Essex, United Kingdom

      I use my Power Tap mainly for training on a Turbo Trainer in the garage and on our club's Friday Night TT series. Any other TTs and I use a disc wheel. Tony

    • Paul Rinkenberg profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Rinkenberg 

      7 years ago from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

      It certainly is, renting sounds like a great idea if you can find a place. I would have to say you would need to rent it for several months though to get a good idea as to how beneficial a power meter is for anyone looking to improve their strength on the bicycle.

    • CyclingFitness profile image

      Liam Hallam 

      7 years ago from Nottingham UK

      Definitely an investment: from experience I know a lot of riders who choose to rent a power metre first for a few months.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)