With so many power meters on the market, Cyclist investigates just how advanced they need to be to give us the numbers we actually want
The invention of the bike computer gave us everything we needed to train efficiently. We could measure speed, cadence, heart rate and even altitude gain all at once. It was ample data to track our progress on the bike. Then it all changed. In 1986 the SRM arrived – it measured mechanical power being applied to the chainset with the use of multiple strain gauges, answering many of the great unanswerables in coaching and training.
Since those early days, the sort of serious data that a power meter provides has gone from being the preserve of professional coaches with expensive software to something that simply pops up on Strava or Garmin Connect, begging to be over-analysed. Today there are dozens of products on the market where once there were only a few options. Choosing one, though, has never been harder.
If accuracy and time-tested credibility are the main considerations, perhaps the search starts and ends with the initiator of the power game. ‘The likes of Garmin and Stages are now on their second iteration,’ says