The holy grail of cycling accessories appears to be the pedal power meter. Metrigear has shown their prototype at Interbike for a few years now but have yet to make it to market. At last week's Eurobike, Polar, together with Look, and German company O-Synce announced their own versions of the pedal power meter due out next year. So will 2011 see this mythical quest finally completed?
The ICP pedal power meter from O-Synce measures the exact horizontal and vertical forces applied to the pedal. The push and pull phases can be analyzed to give you details about your pedal stroke. You can even compare power output between the right and left leg.
Unlike the proprietary Polar/Look system, the O-Synce bottle cage module collects the data and sends it via ANT+ to the O-Synce MACRO cycling computer to display the power data in real time. No word yet on whether you can use any ANT+ compatible cycling computer or only the one from O-Synce.
The Polar/Look system includes a Look KeO pedal and Polar transmitter to attach to both your left and right crank. Similar to Metrigear, eight strain gauges measure the deformation in the pedal spindle as you ride in order to calculate power output. The 20 gram Polar P5 Power Transmitter wirelessly (via W.I.N.D) sends the power readings to your Polar cycling computer (CS600X, CS600 or CS500).
The Polar/Look pedal power meter system gives you precise cadence readings and power output in Watts, including left-right balance to help you improve your technique. The replaceable Polar P5 Power Transmitter battery is said to last 5 months at 3 hours per day, 7 days a week. The pedal power meter is compatible with four crank lengths: 170 mm, 172.5 mm, 175 mm and 177.5 mm.
So who do you think is most likely to have the first commercially available pedal power meter? Polar and Look, O-Synce or Metrigear?