Power Meter Brand Reliability

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
User avatar
Posts: 133
Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2014 11:53 am

by bigfatty

Please share your problems or reliability with your PM
I am looking to buy a Power meter (maybe) so would like your opinions...

here is my take

- Vector, not even their sponsored team use them. are they that bad?
- Stages... nothing but problems/faults from what I read
- powertap... seems tried and tested. ( though I personally do not like format) I heard they are bringing out new format which would may be a good option as they have the experience.
- Power2max,I have yet to hear a bad word, does your experience differ?
- $RM... not too interested because of price, actually I got the money but I am far too modest :P

by Weenie

User avatar
Posts: 133
Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2008 1:46 pm
Location: Haute-Ariege, Midi-Pyrenees

by naylor343

I have been using my power2max for the last 2 seasons. It has been swapped between my road, turbo and winter bike and has never missed a trick. In all that time I have changed the battery twice, that is the only maintenance I have had to do. Maybe not the lightest out there, but for a fit and forget item in a tech field that we see some far more expensive brands require calibration, expensive battery changes and lengthy installation procedures, what's not to like?

Shop Owner
Posts: 844
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2010 4:58 am

by Butcher

I purchased one Powertap SL+. I was in the shop 5 times. 4 in the first 4 months. Although the Service Dept. did a great job in helping me, I would never buy another power meter from them.

My last team ride, one of the members was mentioning his power readings. I was very impressed. He indicated they were person records. I asked him how much better. His answer was from a max of 1350w to 1680w. I told him I was impressed, but I recommended to keep an eye on his new Powertap G3.

User avatar
jekyll man
Posts: 1374
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2007 10:23 am
Location: Pack filler

by jekyll man

Powercrap oops powertap.
4 torque tubes for me in 3 years says it all.

P2M user now and happy :thumbup:
Official cafe stop tester

Posts: 228
Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2011 5:18 am
Location: Arizona

by kevhogaz

Powertap G3 wheelset. Bought the 32 spoke wheels, and they were complete junk. Rear broke a spoke nearly every ride. Powertap warranty is crap, as well. They wanted me to return the rear wheel, so they could replace the broken spoke. Each time it broke a spoke. The hub however was perfect. Never had a problem at all with readings, or errors.

Bought a Stages after I sold the Powertap. No problems so far. Battery stays charged, water doesn't bother it, and it works just like it's supposed to.

Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Jun 29, 2013 12:09 pm

by kahoon

i have two DA 9000 stages powers meters for a year now, and never had a problem.

Posts: 33
Joined: Mon Oct 28, 2013 11:08 pm

by SkippyMcJimmelstein

Not exactly reliability but DC Rainmaker is the authority on cross-testing power meters:
http://www.dcrainmaker.com/2014/09/buye ... ition.html

A lot of user comments in each in-depth section for a rich pool of anecdotes.

Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Jun 09, 2014 8:03 pm

by intheknowcycling

You will find people who have had valid issues with all of the power meters on the market. (Same goes for many bike components e.g. carbon wheels, electronic shifting, etc.) All PMs have had issues, mostly early in their life cycle though some persist several years after introduction (e.g., ROTOR). These are finicky instruments by their electronic nature that operate in occasionally harsh environments. PMs can also be challenged by dint of their design or dependencies (e.g., dependent on wheels/spokes or chain rings they are attached to or the sensors and head units they communicate with).

That said, most of the good ones work nearly all of the time.

I have researched the long term testing done by independent evaluators in varied conditions and the reliability issues reported by individuals on various forums for my own reviews.

Believe there are six PMs that currently make the cut in terms of performance (accuracy, consistency, and dependability of data, interface with your cycling computer and measurement software/application, and battery life) and quality (sales/parts/service infrastructure and support, repair service, warranty, reliability, service life, and company long term viability), in no particular order - Stages, PowerTap, power2max, SRM, Quarq, Vector

In terms of reliability, key thing is to go with PM company that stands behind their PM at a place where you are able to take advantage of it should you have an issue. Most (including all the above) are very good at providing service but do it in different ways some that may suit you better than others. For example, Stages has reputation for overnight replacement with no questions asked should you have a problem. But if you don't live near where you can get overnight service, no good. Some stand behind them through their installer/LBS, but again, if you prefer to buy online of don't have a capable LBS near you, don't go with them. Others have very responsive country based customer service reps to make up for less of a service shop infrastructure. etc.
What cycling gear to get next and where to get it

User avatar
Posts: 133
Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2014 11:53 am

by bigfatty


care to share your experience with the powermeters you have run?

like the maxwell smart picture :D

Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Jun 09, 2014 8:03 pm

by intheknowcycling

BigFatty - Yeah, Control had it all over Chaos!

Fortunately, I've not had any reliability issues with the PMs I've evaluated. But I'm only one person and regularly survey others as described above to get a broader view.

Will be testing some of the newly (and not yet) announced lower priced PMs over the fall/winter to see how they perform. Steve
What cycling gear to get next and where to get it

Posts: 439
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 4:10 pm

by aaric

FWIW, my quarq had repeated issues with the battery. I had to repeatedly disassemble and reassemble the darn thing. Also, the having to backpedal to rezero and temperature drift were annoying, especially on trainer workouts / long climbs. I got to the point where I just didn't trust its data.

Bought a used SRM because I couldn't pass up the price, and I've had no issues with it in two years.

Posts: 271
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2010 3:37 am

by natefontaine

1 year on stages, no problems. Every bit as good as my old wired PCV.

Posts: 49
Joined: Mon Aug 30, 2010 10:18 pm

by kramnnim

While it's probably better to never need to deal with customer service, Quarq's has been great. Spider died on a Saturday, I mailed it back on Monday, had a new one by Friday.

Posts: 2196
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 9:47 pm
Location: Santa Cruz, California, USA

by eric

I have an older PowerTap SL+, a Quark Cinco and a Quark Elsa.

The PT has had some bearings replaced and bent an axle. Not bad considering it's seven years old and I used it all the time until I got a Quark.
Then it was demoted to the rain bike. I sent it in once and since then have done my own bearing and axle replacement.

The Quarks have been trouble free other than the battery running out at inconvienient times, like 30 min into an important ride or race. I now use the app to check
battery level beforehand, and replace if the battery is under 2.5v. I think I had to bend the battery contacts out on the Else once.

I do a lot of long climbs and have yet to notice inaccuracy due to temperature variation.

by Weenie

Posts: 90
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2010 4:18 pm
Location: phoenix, az

by weekapaugin

coming up on 1 year with my p2m classic, and DC Rainmaker is right - it just works. Very consistent, reliable, and the only thing I've needed to do is change the battery once, which took about 90 seconds to do. The type-s is very clean, and the price and service are great.

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Last post