Crank Powermeter

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Cranked Powermeter - the beginning of a new era

With the invention of the crankcase power meter, the age of permanent power measurement in the Cycling. This led to a completely new form of training control in Cycling. Previously, only the pulse of the athletes and thus the strain on the body was measured. With a crank power meter it was now possible to measure the load exactly.

This is an enormous advantage, because the pulse is influenced by many other factors besides the load (e.g. outside temperature, fluid balance), Fatigueetc...) and is therefore only conditionally suitable for load control. As additional information besides the power in watt the Heart rate (pulse) but still very useful.

SRM

In 1986 SRM developed the first powermeter. Even today, SRM is still a big name in this field and is considered by many to be the standard for the measuring precision of a system.

Crank power meters measure the force values with sensors in or on the crank. This can be done on one or both sides. A great advantage of these systems is that the force distribution during one revolution can be analyzed in both the compression and the tension phase.

Quarq

Another major producer of crank-based power meters is Quarq. Quarq was born out of the necessity that Jim Meyer in 2006 was not satisfied with any of the powermeters available at that time. Since he has always been a doer, he decided to invent a powermeter himself.

The first power meters were sent out in 2008. In 2011 Quarq expanded its platform by becoming part of SRAM LLC. With this they had more resources at their disposal. Even today Quarq still produces powermeters, for example their newest model of the DZero, which was developed for 10 years.

Ergomo

In the meantime there was another manufacturer of crank-based measuring systems, the Ergomo System.

The Ergomo System is located in the Bottom bracket and transferred the data via cable to a display.

By generating light barriers on the left and right axis, based on their rotational speed, a pulsating signal was generated. This signal was then converted into power. In its time the Ergomo System was very accurate and delivered the data to the display quickly and clearly. However, the installation was complex and only possible with the help of special tools. Furthermore the reset procedure, which was inevitable before each new ride, was very complex. Ergomo systems are no longer produced.

Stages

For Stages, conventional crank arms from Shimano, Campagnolo, Cannondale, FSA and others are used to make powermeters. By gluing a strain gauge and a printed circuit board, it is possible to measure the power. Then the rest of the crank meter is added. The data can easily be played back on a bicycle computer via ANT+ or Bluetooth.

Besides Stages, many manufacturers have adapted this technology and offer very similar crank powermeters. With Wattteam there was even a manufacturer in this area who only offered the measuring unit of the powermeter as a retrofit kit for the existing crank.

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