Cycling Power Meters Explained (and 6 Of The Best Power Meters for 2023)

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When every Watt counts, riders are constantly seeking ways to optimize their performance.

Among the tools available to 21st-century cyclists, one technology has revolutionized how the pros train and race: the cycling power meter.

Cycling power meters have emerged as a game-changer, providing precise and objective measurements of a rider’s power output in real time.

These compact devices, typically attached to the bicycle’s crank, pedal, or hub, capture the force applied to the pedals and translate it into tangible data.

By quantifying their effort in Watts, riders gain valuable insights into their performance, allowing them to train smarter, monitor progress, and maximize efficiency.

Whether you’re completely new to cycling power meters or you’re looking to upgrade your current power meter, fear not; you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, we’ll be covering:

  • What Is A Cycling Power Meter?
  • The Pros Of A Cycling Power Meter
  • The Cons Of A Cycling Power Meter
  • Why Are Cycling Power Meters So Expensive?
  • 6 Of The Best Cycling Power Meters For 2023

Let’s dive in!

Cycling Power Meters: Title Image

What Is A Cycling Power Meter?

A power meter on a bicycle is a device built to measure the power delivered by the cyclist.

Typically, a cycling power meter consists of a sensor (or multiple sensors) strategically placed on the crank arms, pedals, or rear hub.

These sensors measure various parameters like torque (how hard you’re pushing the pedals), cadence (how fast the pedals are turning), and bike speed, and then use algorithms to calculate the power output.

Your overall power is measured in Watts (W). One Watt is equivalent to one joule per second, to give you a precise calculation of how much energy you’re exerting through the pedals.

But why is this useful for cyclists?

With this data, you can monitor everything from training loads, effort levels, and training zones to improvements and calories burned. Plus, you can combine this data with a cycling computer and a heart rate monitor for enhanced insights.

Most power meters transmit data wirelessly and can be paired to standard bike computers, providing instantaneous feedback to the athletes and allowing more precise analysis of riding data.

Power meter technology was first adapted to cycling in the 1980s and was tested in professional bicycle racing. Since 1989, power meters have been commercially available and have become increasingly popular amongst professional cyclists and triathletes.

Today, power meters have gained even more traction with recreational and hobbyist cyclists who want insights into their fitness gains and progress.

the Pros Of Cycling Power Meters

#1. Efficient Training Time

Essentially, power meters remove the unknowns of your training efforts.

With the insights from your cycling data, you can plan precisely what areas you need to focus your training on.

This is particularly useful for hobbyist cyclists with limited time for training. After all, train smarter, not harder, right? 

If you want to make the most out of every second of your training time then power meters are your friend. Whilst joyriding is always fun, a power meter will help you to make sure you’re progressing with your riding, by highlighting if you’re spending the right amount of time in each training zone

Once you’ve completed your set intervals, you can finish the ride with the peace of mind of knowing that you’ve put in the work to make those performance gains!

#2. Work On Your Weaknesses

A power meter enables you to accurately assess both your strengths and weaknesses in relation to your specific cycling needs or disciplines.

Obviously, your weaknesses will depend on the type of riding or racing you’ll do. But with the accurate, real-time data that power meters provide, there are no excuses. 

Whether you’re a sprint cyclist focusing on peak power in short intervals, or an endurance rider looking at 60 to 90-minute power and longevity, a power meter will give you undeniable, quality insights into your performance. 

#3. Develop Your Technique

Use the influx of data insights to your advantage and experiment with different techniques.

Cadence, riding position, and bike setup can all be tweaked after getting feedback from your power meter.

Provided factors such as wind are constant, cyclists can ride for a mile, adjust their technique, and then ride another mile to compare the changes in performance. It really is as simple as that.

The Cons of Cycling Power Meters

#1. Cost

As always, the cost is a factor for any aspect of cycling equipment – and cycling power meters are particularly pricey.

At the lower end of the spectrum, power meters will start at around $200, but can skyrocket to well over $1000 (or even five times that!) for high-end versions. More sophisticated cycling power meter designs at the crankset often include chainrings.

For pro riders getting their gear from sponsors, this is no issue – but for the average cyclist, it’s a serious investment.

#2. Weight

The weight penalty for a cycling power meter isn’t huge, but it exists.

Cheaper, heavier power meters are unlikely to weigh more than 300 g, while more advanced models might weigh 20 g or less.

This may not sound like much, but in the detail-focused world of marginal gains, every gram counts.

Why Are Cycling Power Meters So Expensive?


Power meters make use of advanced sensors, such as strain gauges, accelerometers, and sophisticated algorithms, to accurately measure power output.

These components – and the research and development involved in designing them – contribute to the overall cost of the power meter.


To keep the weight of the cycling power meter down, high-tech materials are often used.

This is particularly true of crankset-based power meters, which often include the chainrings, so require a significant amount of material.


Producing power meters requires precision engineering and meticulous quality control processes to ensure accurate and reliable power measurements. The manufacturing costs associated with producing high-quality power meters can be hefty.

6 of the Best Cycling Power Meters in 2023

If you’re considering buying your first power meter, there are a few factors to take into account:

  • Single Vs Dual-Sided Power Measurement
  • Precision and Reliability
  • Durability
  • Ease of Installation
  • Price

To make things easier for you, here’s our rundown of 5 of the best power meters in 2023.

#1. Favero Assioma DUO-Shi Power Meter

Favero Assioma Cycling Power Meter: Manufacturer Image
Credit: Favero
  • Simple Installation
  • Dual-Side
  • Perfect for Shimano Pedal Bodies 
  • Reliable 
  • Waterproof

Whether you’re training for competition or trying to beat personal records, the Favero Assioma DUO-Shi Power Meter is a great all-rounder.

Featuring aluminum alloy construction, the Favero Assioma DUO-Shi is robust and reliable. Plus, each power sensor is protected by a resin block which is completely waterproof and shock resistant.

#2. Garmin Rally RK200

Garmin Rally RK200 Cycling Power Meter: Manufacturer Image
Credit: Garmin
  • Highly Versatile
  • Great Value
  • Weather-Resistant

This is the best pedal-based power meter that provides true cross-compatibility for riders of varying disciplines, featuring a single spindle that can be swapped between RS (Shimano), RK (Look), and XC (Shimano SPD) style pedals.

For this reason, the Garmin Rally RK200s are slightly more expensive. 

Assioma also features Bluetooth and ANT+ connectivity to communicate with both bike computers and smartphones.

If you want the versatility for both on and off-road cycling (and the price isn’t a factor) then the Garmin Rally RK200 could be your best bet.

#3. Quarq DZero Dub Power Meter Spider

Quarq DZero Dub Cycling Power Meter: Manufacturer Image
Credit: Quarq
  • Accurate and Robust
  • Affordable 
  • Dual-Sided

Quarq has been developing power meter technology for over 10 years.

The outcome? The Quarq DZero DUB Power Meter is accurate, durable, and consistent. Boasting a 200-hour battery life on just a single charge, the Quarq DZero DUB will deliver accurate readings for long rides.

With prices starting at just $399, the Quarq DZero DUB is a reliable, cost-effective choice for road cyclists.

#4. 4iii Precision 3.0 Power Meter

4iii Precision 3 Cycling Power Meter: Manufacturer Image
Credit: 4iii
  • Competitive Price 
  • Easy Installation
  • Crank-Based Power Meter

After launching its first power meter in 2015, 4iiii has gone on to partner with Lotto Soudal, British Triathlon, and EF Tibco SCB.

Now, with its third-generation power meter, 4iiii has created a single-sided power meter crank that does everything a power meter should do, without breaking the bank. 

4iiii’s Precision 3.0 power meter is easy to install. All you need is the Shimano crankset preload bolt remover and a 5 mm hex key with a torque wrench capable of ~ 14nm. 

Starting at around $300, 4iiii’s Precision 3.0 power meter is an excellent choice for beginners looking to begin their power meter journey.

#5. Stages Power LR Shimano Ultegra R8000

Stages Power LR Ultegra R8000 Cycling Power Meter: Manufacturer Image
Credit: Stages
  • Accurate and Reliable
  • Lightweight
  • Maintains Excellent Front Shifting

The Stages Power LR is a dual-sided power meter built around your standard Shimano Ultegra R8000 crankset.

Not only does it integrate seamlessly with Shimano drivetrains, it also produces accurate and reliable power data – whilst only weighing 35 g.

Stages now manufacture a wide range of left-sided, right-sided, and dual-sided power meters. The Power LR measures the effort produced by each individual leg and combines the data from each to determine total power output.

#6. Verve InfoCrank 3D Ti

  • Robust
  • Advanced Features
  • No Need for Regular Zero-Offsets
  • World-Class Accuracy

This one’s for the high-rollers, the aficionados, or those who’ve just got money to burn.

Starting at an astronomical $5000, Verve targets the top end of the power meter market with one of the first 3D-printed, titanium power meters.

With data captured every 1/1000th second for cadence and 256 times a second for toque values, the InfoCrack 3D Ti offers riders unprecedented levels of accuracy.

Compatibility? The 3D Ti’s spindle is 24 mm (the same as its predecessor, the InfoCrank Classic) meaning it fits with your standard Shimano bottom brackets. The track crank also has an ISIS bottom bracket.

Don’t have Shimano brackets? Fear not. Verve says the InfoCrank 3D Ti comes in multiple lengths and both four and five-arm spiders, making it compatible with different setups.

Is $5000 for a power meter excessive? Yes.

But if you want the absolute best of the best, the Verve InfoCrank might be the one for you.

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Hello world! I'm Sonny an avid cyclist and writer based in London. When I'm out of the city, I adore long-distance bike rides on my customized Kona Dew Plus. In the city, I commute on my trusty fixie which I assembled and painted myself!

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