With a new disk brake bike being built and the launch of new power meter options, I am taking stock of my options. The next bike will be fitted with Dura Ace 9170 so I will not be able to transfer my current Stages power meter over. Here are the options I am considering:
- Favero Assioma. A little known option but its first generation model, the BePro, did extremely well with great durability and consistent power readouts. The Assioma appears to build on it and initial reviews are good. It is easy to install and transmits via both ANT+ and Bluetooth. It appears to have addressed the issue of shoes rubbing its pods by placing the pod further away. It is also attractively priced at around S$1,100. A shout out to Favero’s customer service as well. I noticed that there were no shipping options from Favero’s store to Singapore and emailed Favero’s staff. They added a Singapore shipping option within 24 hours.
- Garmin Vector 3. I am weary about Garmin products. Garmin’s first and second generation Vectors began with issues. The Vector 2 gradually improved with time via (quiet) hardware and software updates. The Vector 3 does ANT+ and Bluetooth but its biggest selling point ahead of the Assioma is that it is pod-less and the pedals look extremely ordinary. This is a good step forward and it is making me question if I should give Garmin another chance. It is pricier than the Assioma coming in at around S$1,340.
- Pioneer SGY-PM91. A crank based option with a good reliable track record. It transmits via ANT+ only with no Bluetooth connectivity to head units. Retails at S$2,140. This is my best bet for a crank based power meter.
- Shimano Dura Ace R9100-P. The best integrated option but it only comes with ANT+ and not Bluetooth. It is also a first generation product as it is Shimano’s first power meter. The usual rule in most things especially power meters is not to buy the first generation product. It is also expected to cost around S$2,000. Pricey, unreleased and untested. Nonetheless, Shimano has a good track record for delivering good reliable products. We will have to wait and see.
- Stages LR Dual-Sided. First publicly available dual sided power meter from Stages after testing similar units with professional teams last year, it offers both ANT+ and Bluetooth. connectivity However, according to initial tests by DCRainmaker, it appears to have dropout issues similar to what I had documented previously. It is unfortunate that Stages has not rectified a long standing issue with its products. Stages used to be the value for money option. The LR Dual-Sided is expected to cost around S$1,750 which is cheaper but not significantly lower than the options above.
I am favouring pedal based power meters at this point. Pedal based options used to be finicky and unreliable. But years of development have changed that. They now do as well as crank based options and are easy to install. They are also easily transferable which reduces the cost of changing bikes. However, both the Assioma and the Vector 3 utilises Look Keo compatible cleats. I prefer Shimano cleats but it appears that I will have to make do.
I am waiting for long term reviews of the Assioma and the Vector 3. The disk brake bike should be ready early next year and hopefully four months of real world testing will offer some indication on whether the Assioma and/or the Vector 3 can be trusted. If problems abound, I might have to go for Pioneer’s reliable crank based option. Till January 2018 then!