Interbike preview: MetriGear’s Power Meters

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As we prepare for Interbike coverage at The Hub, the onslaught of product previews, press releases, and interview requests reaches a crescendo that only stops when you spot something amazing that stands out above the noise.

There’s a new company called MetriGear and they’re about to revolutionize the power meter game. Current popular power meters include high-accuracy SRM cranksets that approach $5,000, upstart CinQo’s crankset that starts at $1500, and PowerTap hubs that start at $900 but have to be installed into wheels for an additional cost.

While the three power meters will measure wattage and report data dutifully to the popular Garmin 705 computer, each meter has their drawbacks. Cranksets are attached to bikes, and it’s non-trivial to swap from a road bike to a cross bike and you’re S.O.L. if you race mountain bikes. Power meter hubs are great until you start collecting wheelsets for training, racing, climbing, and cyclocross. Based on the price of $2,000-$3,000 equipped wheelsets, having more than one powertap wheelset is the domain of PRO racers.

What makes these MetriGear power meters so compelling is that they’ve moved the measuring into a pedal spindle, with a small battery. They report very light weights but more importantly, it’s trivially simple to move pedals between bikes compared with the other options. They’re only designed for Speedplay pedals, but at such small sizes and weights, one assumes they are likely to beat the others on price (they’ve definitely won on portability). The company hasn’t specified a suggested retail price (I asked, no answer), but if these get priced below the rest, there may very well be a new king of power meter for the amateur cyclist in training.

It will also be interesting to compare them with the iBike power meter system, which is competitively priced and easy to move from bike to bike, though the iBike appears to measure power more in software than hardware.

We’ll report more on these and other products as they debut at Interbike.

UPDATE: A metrigear spokesperson said they’re shooting for under a grand, with the pedals included. I think they’re going to do well.

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