> Shi­mano re­leases its de­but power tool

Cycling Plus (Malaysia) - - NEW KIT -

THE LONG-AWAITED POWER ME­TER FROM Shi­mano de­liv­ers the Ja­panese brand’s typ­i­cal con­sis­tency and high-end fin­ish. But al­though the R9100-P proved con­sis­tent in to­tal wattage read­ings, a few issues pre­vent it from earn­ing top marks.

Check­ing power me­ter ac­cu­racy is tricky, so we run three me­ters si­mul­ta­ne­ously on one bike, record­ing each ride’s read­ings on each de­vice and over­lay­ing the data for com­par­i­son. On our first ride us­ing the R9100-P its read­ings prac­ti­cally mir­rored those of the Garmin Vec­tor 3 ped­als we were run­ning. It dis­played sim­i­lar lev­els of ac­cu­racy in fur­ther test­ing along­side a Pow­er­tap hub.

The fly in the oint­ment is the left/ right bal­ance be­ing slightly off. Shi­mano ini­tially blamed the firmware pro­grammed into the R9100-P but an up­date did noth­ing to rec­tify the is­sue. Fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tions, which amounted to pedalling with only one leg at a time, re­vealed that the left crank’s read­ings were slightly high while the right crank’s were slightly low. On av­er­age, the com­bined num­ber was re­li­able. We think the prob­lem could be that Shi­mano cal­i­brates the right crank without the chain­rings in­stalled and the strain gauges are tweaked when the rings are even­tu­ally bolted into place.

Tem­per­a­ture com­pen­sa­tion isn’t good ei­ther – rises and drops can cause the R9100-P to drift by a few watts. On a long ride that be­gan cold and later warmed up, the Shi­mano de­vice tracked in line with the two other me­ters in the morn­ing, but af­ter leav­ing the bike in the sun for 30 min­utes, the R9100-P’S read­ings were a few watts lower than the other two and re­mained so for the rest of the ride.

The Shi­mano de­vice of­fers no in­di­ca­tion of where you’re pro­duc­ing the power in each pedal stroke. Shi­mano has this ca­pa­bil­ity with its Bik­e­fit­ting. com hard­ware and soft­ware, but on its own the R9100-P only mea­sures left and right wattage, and does so with that steady im­bal­ance.

This me­ter will be specced on some 2018 bikes as stan­dard, in­clud­ing the Gi­ant Pro­pel SL Disc, and you can ex­pect re­li­able to­tal wattage data plus Shi­mano’s great crank per­for­mance.

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