Crank based power meters use to be an exclusive item to have on a bike; only the pro riders would have them. Several years ago they became more popular and budget-friendly, hitting the mid to lower $2,000 range (if you can call that budget-friendly). Now with the introduction of the RIKEN AL from Quarq, you can start training with power data for $799, making it more affordable to everyone.
The Quarq RIKEN lineup is a crank-spider based power meter that measures a bicyclist’s exertion in real time and captures both legs’ worth of power (left and right with +/- 1.5% accuracy), though it does not capture individual left/right leg metrics. It captures your full power and will display it to your ANT+ compatible devise. We used ours with an older Garmin 500; nice to know you don’t need to go out and buy a new Garmin or other head unit.
Quarq, owned by SRAM, makes a pretty wide range of power meters that range from their top of the line SRAM RED 22 to the RIKEN AL which is about $500.00 cheaper, depending on preferences. The differences are pretty obvious; weight, finish and crank arm material being the most obvious. The forged Aluminum cranks arms might be a few more grams heavier (@250) but at the end of the day, you can still sit down, drink a beer and brag about how you put out 425 watts on that last climb. For the more serious riders who wants to analyze their data or send it off to a coach, the Riken AL is completely compatible with Training Peaks, Strava, etc.
Accuracy and technology are the same, so a $1,300 power meter will read the same as a $800 meter. One big note here is that this crank is built on as current technology as all their other cranks. I could go into details here about 10K™ temperature compensation and other stuff, but what you really need to know is that you are riding on some of the same technology that has won Ironman, Tour stages and about anything else you can image. Quarq power meters have an IPX7 waterproof rating. They feature a two-year warranty, free firmware updates and free support.
The RIKEN AL (well, all Quarq power meters) is pretty simple to setup and install. Install, setup and calibrate takes about an hour. It is compatible with your existing SRAM or BB30 bottom brackets. Product manuals are also available on quarq.com.
The RIKEN AL is available online for $799.00 at quarq.com, along with any of the components you might need including a Garmin head unit.
|Material||Forged aluminum crank arms, CNC machined AL spider|
|Bolt Circle Diameter||130 BCD, 110 BCD|
|Arm Lengths||165mm, 170mm, 172.5mm, 175mm|
|Bottom Bracket||GXP, Press Fit GXP, BB30, Press Fit 30|
|Battery||CR2032 – over 300 hours of riding time|
|Weight||818g (GXP, 110BCD, 172.5mm)|
|Head Unit||ANT+™ compatible head units including Garmin Edge® 1000, 810, 800, 510 and 500, and Garmin Forerunner® 910XT and 920 XT (available separately)|
|Analysis Software||TrainingPeaks WKO+®, TrainingPeaks®, Golden Cheetah, Strava® and others (available separately)|