POWER METERS

Historically, athletes and coaches have been monitoring training and racing routines through the use of paper logs. These offer info like distance ridden, nutrition, and effort levels based on scales like Borg 10 or 20-points rating of perceived exertion (Borg RPE). However technology showed that more could and should be recorded and analyzed. In 1982, the Finnish company Polar invented wireless heart rate monitors and many new training methodologies were proposed and used for years. Nevertheless, heart rate is subject to baseline variations under different conditions such as stress, hydration level, and sleep quality. These limitations had to be overcome and they actually pushed the development of portable on-bike power meters.

Power meters measures the output of a cyclist and therefore represents the summation of most variables in play during workouts and races. The first portable on-bike power meter available on the market was offered by Deutsch company SRM in 1989. It has always been a quite expensive equipment and its use has been mostly restricted to high level professional athletes, cycling teams, and scientists. This story started to change around year 2000 with new and cheaper devices, publication of exercise physiology mathematical models using power, and training methodologies. Since then more and more amateur athletes started exploring the advanced tools now available for cyclists at all levels.

My goal is to list the most advanced power meters, and bike sports computers in the market. This article will be updated as new devices become available.

Bike Power Meters

SRM
SRAM
Powertap
Garmin
Rotor
Power2max

Bike Sports Computers

All the devices below have advanced power training capabilities.

Garmin 810
Powertap Joule GPS

Thanks for reading.