Verve's aspiration was nothing short of creating an utterly accurate power meter that gives complete consistency when moved from bike to bike or rider to rider – a goal the company says it has achieved with the Infocrank.
In order to meet this lofty ambition, the company built a new spider from scratch – rather than retrofitting an existing design – which could overcome what Verve calls the 'constructional compromises' faced when establishing an accurate power reading from a retrofitted device such as an SRM or pedal-based systems such as the Garmin Vector.
Verve says that the trouble in reading accurately and with consistency is down to the difficulties in negating forces put through the pedals other than tangential load – the force generated by rotation of the crank.
Of course, there are already power meters built from the ground up, including models from Rotor and Factor, the latter of which was praised by our own Jeff Jones. Verve claims the difference with Infocrank is complete accuracy thanks to a forged aluminium crankarm that's milled perfectly for the load cell (the module containing the strain gauges and electronics). This is then fixed in the centre of the load path in such a way that it only reads tangential force according to Verve – and is thus accurate to the point where swapping bikes or pedals has no effect on the meter's output. This means that riders can also accurately compare their power with others using an Infocrank.
What's more, Verve uses a load cell, each with four strain gauges, on both drive- and non-driveside crankarms for true left and right power measurement, immediately putting it a step above the single-legged Stages and Rotor LT options. The company has also built in temperature compensation and there's no need to zero before each ride either.
The electronics are encased in this pod, which Verve says keeps well clear of under-mounted TT brakes
The Infocrank and Infocrank Classic both come with Praxis Works chainrings (in compact 50x34 or full 53x39 options respectively), but Verve also supplies a Praxis bottom bracket with each unit – an ultra-stiff set-up compatible with most major systems that Verve says gives the most accurate possible data.
On the subject of stiffness, Verve also says the chainset itself offers top-tier performance and comes in at 840g including rings – around 100g more than the Rotor LT and nearing 200g more than a Dura-Ace 9000 unit with stages – though with that all-important two-leg accuracy.
On top of the accuracy claims, the Infocrank has also been designed to be future proof, a 256mhz refresh on the magnet-based cadence sensor (Verve says this is the most accurate) giving all the data needed for torque efficiency and pedal smoothness, which will only become more useful as ANT+ evolves.
Each Infocrank unit comes in 170, 172.5 and 175mm options and the unit is compatible with BB30, PF30, OSBB and BSA with BB86 compatibility coming soon. The Infocrank Classic is compatible with standard 24mm bottom bracket conversion kits and comes in silver or stealth black. The battery, which is quickly and easily changed with a hex key, lasts for around 500 hours of riding time.
Pricing is keen at £1,260 / AU$1,999 / US$1,750 (plus tax), especially considering the claimed accuracy and the inclusion of the chainrings and bottom bracket. The next 1,000 units sold also come with an O-synce Navi2Coach head unit which can display power (left and right) and torque efficiency.