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Best Power Meters For Triathletes in 2021

 

Runners tend to prioritize heart rate, pace, and distance over other metrics.

But if you’re using your metrics as a guide to boost your triathlon performance, you need to look at more than just those three.

Power is an important measure of effort that cyclists focus on. It can be useful to track while training for the cycling leg of a triathlon.

If you’re serious about triathlons and want to set realistic and reachable goals, then a power meter is an essential tool.

Our top pick is the Favero Electronics Assioma DUO. This pedal power meter is accurate, comes at a fair price, and connects with a variety of bike computers using Bluetooth and ANT+.

We’ve reviewed the best power meters for triathletes. Compare and research for yourself, but it’s absolutely worthwhile investing in one if you want to enhance your performance.

Top 4 Best and Favorite

 

Favero Electronics Assioma DUO

 

  • Bluetooth and ANT+ connectivity
  • Auto-calibration system
  • IAV Cycling Dynamics
Check Price

 

Stages Cycling Gen 3 Single-Sided Stages

 

  • Individually calibrated
  • Automatic active temperature compensation
  • Accelerometer cadence measurement
Check Price

 

SRAM AXS Power Meter Spider

 

  • IPX7 waterproof rating
  • AXS-enabled
  • Runs for up to 200 hours
Check Price

 

SRAM RED AXS Power Meter

 

  • Fully integrated power meter
  • X-Range gearing technology
  • Integrated chainring design
Check Price

Best Overall Pedal

1. Favero Electronics Assioma DUO

This pedal power meter is one of the absolute best on the market in terms of both accuracy and price. It’s made in Italy, which produces some of the highest quality cycling equipment you can buy, and promises accuracy within 1%.

You can get these pedals in UNO, which features a power meter in just the left pedal, or DUO, which has power meters in both pedals.

The dual-sensor pedal package costs less than $1000, which is almost unheard of for such high-quality equipment.

This pedal power meter is ideal for cyclists of all levels. Everyone from beginners to professional athletes can use this one very easily. It screws into your bike just like any other pedal would, making it supremely easy to install.

They’re also easy to move from bike to bike, so it’s the perfect solution if you have more than one bike that you use regularly.

This meter is equipped with cutting-edge technology, including an auto-calibration feature to make it easy to start off. It connects easily using both Bluetooth and ANT+.

It uses the company’s unique IAV Cycling Dynamics, which uses an integrated gyroscope to measure the true instantaneous angular velocity of every stroke. This is significant, as most power meters use an average.

But in addition to measuring this metric, you can also measure Power Phase, Rider Position (seated or standing), and Left/Right Balance.

They’re waterproof, dustproof, and rechargeable using a micro-USB cable. The included charger is magnetic, which prevents accidental damage by yanking or bumping.

PROS:

  • Bluetooth and ANT+ connectivity
  • Rechargeable with micro-USB
  • Auto-calibration system
  • IAV Cycling Dynamics

CONS:

  • May have trouble maintaining connection with Garmin devices
 

Top Runner-Up Pedal

2. Garmin Vector 3

For those who already use Garmin devices, the Garmin Vector 3 dual-sensor pedals could be the better choice for you. It integrates completely with the Garmin cycling ecosystem to provide you the metrics you need.

You’ll be able to measure your total power output, cadence, cycling dynamics, and left/right balance.

The power meter is compatible with Edge cycling computers. You can also link up to a variety of third-party apps for post-ride data analysis. Bluetooth and ANT+ connectivity allow you to connect however you wish to.

They’re excellent quality and install just as easily as any other pedal. It makes them simple to transfer from bike to bike. They also come with Look Keo cleats on them.

You can expect up to 120 hours of battery life. The pedals use either one CR1/3N battery or two LR44 or SR44 batteries. Be aware, though, that it’s recommended to replace all of the batteries at the same time.

PROS:

  • Up to 120 hours battery life
  • Dual-sensing system
  • Bluetooth and ANT+ connectivity
  • Integrate post-ride analysis to 3rd party apps

CONS:

  • May not work as well with devices that aren’t Garmin brand
 

Best Crank Arm Meter

3. Stages Cycling Gen 3 Stages Power L

If a crank arm-based power meter sounds like the one for you, we recommend the Stages Cycling Gen 3 Power L. It’s a single-sided meter, which means you won’t be able to measure left/right balance, but you’ll still get an accurate reading.

It boasts accuracy within 1.5%. This is achieved by an individual calibration system, which makes them perfect just for you.

This is also the first power meter to incorporate Active Temperature Compensation. This helps you to get accurate readings no matter the conditions!

You’ll also get an accurate accelerometer-based cadence reading. They’ve also added a gyroscope, which increases the accuracy.

Other top-quality features include an LED battery indicator, BLE and ANT+ connectivity, and the ability to upgrade your firmware wirelessly.

If you’re on the fence, the Stages Power meter has been the power meter of choice for three Tour de France victories!

Just be sure to double-check if your bike is compatible.

PROS:

  • Individually calibrated
  • Automatic active temperature compensation
  • Accelerometer cadence measurement
  • LED battery indicator

CONS:

  • If your bike isn’t compatible with a left crank, you may need to replace your entire crankset to be able to use this power meter
 

Top Lightweight Power Meter

4. 4iiii PRECISION Power Meter

If weight is a concern for you, this power meter is one of the most lightweight you’ll find. It adds just 0.3 ounces (9 grams) to your overall weight, which you won’t even notice.

It’s a crank arm power meter that measures tri-axial strain using 3D Powermeter technology. This allows for consistent and accurate data, with an accuracy rate of within 1%.

This crank arm meter is also super easy to set up and maintain. The accompanying app is user-friendly, has a battery indicator, and also features a rider compensation scale factor so you can tailor it to your specifications.

It’s compatible with Bluetooth Smart units, ANT+, and the full range of 4iiii devices. On a 2032 coin cell battery, you can enjoy more than 100 hours of riding before needing to switch it out.

PROS:

  • 3D power meter technology
  • Compatible with ANT+ and Bluetooth
  • Lightweight & compact
  • User-friendly app

CONS:

  • Left-side only, may not be suitable for everyone
 

Best Spider-Based Power Meter

5. SRAM AXS Power Meter Spider

Spider-based power meters are one of the most durable, thanks to their out-of-the-way placement.

The SRAM AXS is precisely engineered, highly durable, and sports an IPX7 waterproof rating. You can ride in all weather comfortably and safely while measuring your power accurately (within 1.5% accuracy).

It features some cutting-edge technology, including MagicZero automatic calibration and 10K temperature compensation. These allow you to get the most accurate reading no matter the environment.

You can purchase it with or without chainrings and crank arms, depending on your needs.

It’s fully compatible with SRAM’s AXS bike integration system. Be aware that if you have cranks that don’t support AXS, you won’t be able to use this power meter.

You can ride for up to 200 hours with a CR2032 battery. It’s also easy to change, requiring no tools.

PROS:

  • IPX7 waterproof rating
  • AXS-enabled
  • Runs for up to 200 hours
  • MagicZero automatic calibration

CONS:

  • Might need to get a new crank if your current one doesn’t support AXS
 

Top Crankset Power Meter

6. SRAM RED Crankset

The SRAM RED crankset is all about performance, and the integrated power meter helps you keep track of it. The size of the front chainring has been reduced and the range of the rear cassette has been increased.

The power meter is built into the chainring, so when you fix this to your bike you won’t be adding any extra weight.

Quarq DZero power measurement technology is accurate to within 1.5%. You also don’t need to worry about the climate affecting your readings, as it’s designed to operate independently of temperature.

It also measures your left and right leg power balance, so you have all the data you need to improve your performance.

Built-in X-Range gearing technology uses a 13-tooth configuration on chainring pairs. This allows for precise and smooth gear shifting.

PROS:

  • Fully integrated power meter
  • X-Range gearing technology
  • Integrated chainring design
  • Quarq DZero power measurement

CONS:

  • May be complicated for beginners or even intermediates to replace their entire crankset
 

Best Pod Meter

7. Velocomp AeroPod+

The Velocomp AeroPod+ is the best pod meter on the market. It can be used as a standalone power meter and a handy tool for analyzing your pedal stroke.

One of the best things about it is that it can be easily moved from bike to bike. If you have more than one bike or you train on one and race on another, this is the ideal kind of meter.

It’s simple to use. Just attach it to the handlebars, pair it, and start pedaling. The measurements it takes include PowerStroke left/right, front/back, and side-to-side readings.

This little gadget also measures your aerodynamic drag (CdA) in real-time. This gives you an indication of wasted energy, which can help you significantly improve how you disperse your power and energy during your ride.

Compatible with ANT+ devices, Garmin IQ, and Raptor AR Smart Glasses.

PROS:

  • Three-digit display of CdA
  • Features PowerStroke
  • Both-leg measurement
  • Easy to install

CONS:

  • May take some time to set up properly
 

FAQs

Still not sure about the best power meters for triathletes? Here are some of the most common questions to help you decide if a power meter would be a worthwhile investment for you.

What Is a Bike Power Meter?

A power meter is a small electronic device that measures the rider’s power. In broad terms, this is the amount of effort the rider is putting into their ride.

The number displayed by the power meter is a direct representation of how hard you’re hitting those pedals!

Different Types Of Bike Power Meters

There are a few different types of power meters. They all do the same thing, but the deciding factor for you will most likely be convenience.

Chainring-and-Crankset

These are typically the most accurate as the chain on your bike is directly responsible for the movement of your bike. It’s also the first, original power meter design.

Replace your chainring and crankset, including cranks, with this device. It’s easy to replace your wheels or pedals without disrupting the device.

Although it’s pretty much the most accurate one there is, it also has some downfalls.

These kinds of power meters are not easy to transfer from bike to bike, as they become almost “built-in”. This also makes them a little tricky to install, so if you aren’t quite familiar with the process, it may be best to get it professionally installed.

Chainring-and-crankset power meters also tend to be a fair bit more expensive than the other types.

Crank Arm-Based

These are much easier to install and still tend to be quite accurate, as they are positioned close to the powertrain center of your bicycle.

A crank arm-based power meter takes the place of the crank arm (the piece that links the pedal to the chainring/crankset) on one side of your bike. It’s simple, unobtrusive, and unaffected by wheel changes.

Pedal-Based

These are basically pedals with a power meter built-in. You can get them for just one pedal or for both.

These are typically quite affordable and super easy to install. It’s as simple as putting a pedal on your bike, which even beginners can do with ease.

They’re also super easy to transfer from bike to bike. If you have more than one bike and you’d like to use your power meter with both/all of them, this is an ideal solution.

Spider

Power meters positioned in the spider of a crankset (the part the chainring bolts onto) have been around since the 80s! They were, for a long time, the gold standard of power meters for cyclists of all types.

The spider can be thought of as the heart of the bike. It’s an excellent place to get accurate measurements, as it measures both right and left leg power. They’re usually much more durable as well, thanks to being protected by the spider.

Smart Trainer-Based

This might not be useful for triathletes who want to measure their power while on the road. These power meters are built into smart trainers that you’d use while at home.

They’re ideal for athletes who want to train hard on a smart trainer, but quite limiting in terms of use in the outside world.

What Are The Advantages Of Power Meters?

Using a power meter correctly can help improve your performance. Interpreting your data can give you an indication of whether your fitness is good or needs to be worked on.

Understanding your power can be useful for pacing yourself correctly throughout races. It can also help you to know which training zones to train in for the best results, depending on your goals.

The Wired Runner