This is a question we get asked a lot. And the answer is, ‘it depends’. For the most thorough review of power meters that is updated annually we recommend you refer to DCrainmaker’s most excellent blog. You will see that after weighing up all the pros and cons, he also says ‘it depends’.
What we can do is offer you some guidance based on our experience. If you are looking for the most cost effective option to commence training with power, please consider Favero Assioma pedals. Key points:
- Pedal based. This means they are easy to change between bikes. Especially helpful if you are a triathlete and want to have power on both your road bike and your time trial bike.
- They use a Look Keo cleat. This means they are NOT compatible with Shimano cleats. So if you are ‘cleat sensitive’, that is; you have a preference, then these may not be a good choice for you.
- They come with a pair of cleats to get you started. These are 6% float Keo compatible. The float is the amount the cleat allows your foot to move in the pedal. 6 degrees is equivalent to yellow Shimano. This is the most relaxed float, allowing your foot to move more. It is the most popular choice for beginner cyclists. However if you are more experienced you should consider ordering an additional pair of Keo cleats with less float.
- You can get them in Uno or Duo options. This means you can have single sided power or dual sided power. Uno is the single sided option and measures power on the left side only. This power is then doubled to give you an overall power reading.
- Is single sided power good enough? Again, the answer is ‘it depends’. If you have never trained with power before and have no known significant imbalance between left and right sides, then it is a perfectly reasonable way to commence training with power. You will be comparing ‘yourself with yourself’ over time. At the end of the day, this comparison is the most important metric. However, if you have trained with power before or have a known weaker side, you may be interested in the difference between right and left power. If your left side is weaker, the overall power number will be less (because Assiomas double this weaker number to get overall power). This lower number for you may be less than pleasing. Alternatively, if your left side is stronger, the overall power number will be inflated and flattering to you. In summary, it really depends on your training history and how you want to use the data.
- Can you upgrade later from Uno to Duo? You sure can. At the moment Uno will set you back $640 if you shop around online. Duo is $1000 to start with. If you upgrade later, the upgrade kit is $600. So it will cost you around $200 extra if you decide to start with Uno and then upgrade later.
- Do they only send you one pedal if you start with Uno? No – they send you two matching pedals. But the right one is a blank and has no power meter in it.
- Are pedal based power meters accurate or is crank based power better? Favero Assiomas are accurate, and normally quite seamless to install. Their accuracy is compatible with crank based power meters. Again we refer you to DCRainmaker or his Australian equivalent GPlama if you would like to read further about this.
- Finally, it is important we let you know that we have no commercial arrangement with Favero. What we do have is lots of experience of athletes using these pedals. This is why we recommend them as an economical first option when looking to start training with power.