WAHOO SPEEDPLAY POWRLINK ZERO DUAL SIDED POWER PEDALS
£849.99 Wahoo’s latest release has a high price, but is it worth it?
Wahoo has taken its acquisition of Speedplay beyond simply rebadging with the launch of Powrlink Zero, adding a power meter to the existing Speedplay Zero design which means you can clip in on both sides of the pedal. Claiming +/-1% accuracy, the pedals are rechargeable via power pods on the spindle, and weigh 138g each (not including cleats). Compared to other leading power pedals, they’re priced lower than Garmin’s Rally (reviewed in issue 397), but considerably more than Favero’s Assioma.
Like all Speedplay pedals, cleat set-up is pretty arduous compared to Shimano and Look, so be prepared to consult instructions unless you’re an experienced Speedplay user. Before adding the cleat cover to make your shoes more walkable (elbow grease required), you have the option to adjust float, another handy Speedplay benefit. Whether you like plenty of wriggle room or your feet completely fixed to the pedals, either are possible by adjusting a single screw.
When you’ve fixed them to your bike with an 8mm wrench and paired with the Wahoo app, you’re ready to calibrate with your GPS computer and ride. Clipping in was tough at first, but we found that after a few clicks the entry system slackened off. We found the ride experience itself excellent, with the low 13mm stack (1.5mm more than the Zeros without power) making you feel very connected to the bike. We can understand why triathletes like Jan Frodeno are Speedplay fans, though we find the cleat entry system more involved, and it’s not our preference when having to deal with general traffic conditions on UK roads.
What of the actual power meter? Testing against a Quarq dual-sided crank with two head units running simultaneously, we found the Powrlink pedals to be impressively accurate on every ride. Average power was always within the +/1% we were promised and during explosive efforts there were no unexpected peaks or troughs. Wahoo claims Powrlink Zero tracks accurately in very wide temperature ranges thanks to ‘temperature compensation’ and, while we didn’t get chance to try them in the heat, riding in close to 0°C didn’t affect accuracy. Cadence tracked perfectly and you can also analyse left/right leg balance in real time.
Overall, this tester would struggle to justify splashing out on the Powrlink Zero over more affordable options; but if you’re a real fan of the Speedplay cleat interface and extra adjustment options, don’t mind extra set-up faff and have the cash, you’ll get a highly reliable and accurate power meter for your investment.
“We found the Powrlink pedals were impressively accurate on every ride”