The Factor Power Crank might be a newcomer to the power meter market, but it’s the best money-no-object product we’ve come across. It’s simple to use, gives accurate and consistent data in all conditions, can give you a ton of feedback on your stroke and balance and, while it’s expensive (￡2,000/US$3,400), it ticks more boxes than any other meter we’ve tested.
- Highs: Best-in-class data, easy to use
- Lows: Not light, shortish charge life
Each Power Crank contains eight strain gauges, which are calibrated at the factory to 0.2 percent tolerances. Factor says there’s no need to mess with the calibration or even perform a zero offset before each ride. Its experience in making equipment for motor sport, where power measurement has to be accurate and cope with a wide range of temperatures, has been put to good use.
We found no anomalies with the data when starting warm or cold, compared with our control. The average power for our test rides was within 3 watts (1.5 percent) of our control data, with peak 10 second power within 12 watts (3 percent).
For such a highly engineered piece of kit, the Power Crank is remarkably easy to use. No batteries, you recharge the cranks at the mains, a PC or phone charger, for about 10 hours of use. No need for pre-ride checks either, just pedal and the cranks start recording and transmitting.
Data can be read by any ANT+ head unit, but it can also transmit via ANT to the soon-to-be-released Factor Data Logger; you’ll get data transmitted and recorded at a higher frequency (192Hz) than the 1Hz that ANT+ gives, enabling a detailed analysis of your pedal stroke. Nice but not essential, and you can still see the balance of your left and right pedal strokes.
The Power Crank will fit most bottom bracket types (Trek’s BB90/95 is an exception). One downside is it’s a little heavy at 860g (complete crankset including chainrings and BB spindle). It’s an impressive power meter nonetheless, and we’ve no doubt it will improve in future.
At this time, the Power Crank is not available in the US.