The bike industry can no longer deny that power meters are riding a quick downward pricing trend, with many new entrants offering more affordable devices. The latest to appear with a new design is Limits, a power meter that not only comes in with a sub-$300 price tag, but is also easy to self-install and even move between your bikes.
The Limits power meter sits between your pedal and the crank arm, measuring your power output through the pedal where force is applied. The power meter detects the tiny micro-strains caused as you work through your entire stroke, using the resulting measured torque and cadence to calculate power.
Waterproof, shock- and temperature-resistant, the Links measures your cadence via an inclinometer (no magnets required) and torque, or the true force input by you to drive the bike forward, using precision strain gauges. Your power is then calculated as a product of these two measurements. By knowing both power and heart rate, you can more accurately measure your efficiency for better training and performance improvements.
The initial version is a single-sensing power meter that measures power on the left pedal only and approximates total power. The power meter works with all standard 9/16th x 20tpi pedals.
With many power meters, you need to head to your nearest LBS and have them install it for you. By contrast, the Links power meter requires no replacement parts or specialized tools. Removal and fitting of the Limits is easily achieved with standard bike tools.
The Limits power meter is compatible with any ANT+ device that can display power–no Bluetooth Smart connectivity planned as of yet. Run on standard, replaceable coin cell batteries, the device will last for up to a year before needing to swap out batteries.
So, as awesome as the Limits power meter sounds, questions remain. Can the company really deliver on a December 2015 launch date? How accurate is the data (Limits claims +/-2%)? How will a pedal based power meter affect your bike fit (Q-Factor)–the company claims it actually makes your riding more comfortable. And even though Limits has already reached their Indiegogo funding goal, there is no guarantee you are actually going to receive product. As with any crowdfunding campaign, know what you are getting into.
With that said, for a $249 pledge, you can be one of the first to own the Limits power meter–expected retail will be $384.