Keywords: cinch power,crank fit,inpower,measure power on your bike,power meter,powertap,srm,stages power

Best cycling power meters for U.P./U.P.P.E.R.

Gerard Vroomen - 11-Jan-2018
We get a lot of questions about what Powermeter best fits the UP/UPPER and that is particularly important because some power meter design conflict with the desire to have the most tire clearance.



The reason this is tricky is:
  • As you know, the UP/UPPER has the most tire clearance of any performance frame that fits regular road cranks. And that is the defining feature, more clearance = more fun.
  • It's also crucial that we can fit road cranks, if you use mountain bike cranks you do create more clearance but you give up efficiency due to the bigger Q-factor (in plain English, you ride like a duck). Less efficient, less aero, less speed. And that would not be acceptable, as we want you to be able to ride with your roadie friends on your UP (or at least go their speed even if you don't want to ride with them). The UP should be ultra-performing on- AND off-road, not forcing a choice between the two.
  • Anyway, lots of space for the tire and insisting on running narrow road cranks means there is not much space for the chain stays. To make the chainstays as big as we can, we do two things:
    1) drop the driveside chainstay, which has become one of the defining (and most-copied) features
    2) focus on very tight tolerances in production to reduce the space between crank/chainrings and chainstay
  • This second part is very important. To give you an idea, the standard clearance in the bike industry in that area is 6mm, we use 2mm in some areas. That 4mm extra is huge when you're chainstays go from 10mm to 14mm. Taking wall thickness effects into account it more than doubles the stiffness of the tube.
  • Problem is, some power meter manufacturers have also been eyeing that 6mm gap and decided to stick a measuring pod on the crank to take advantage of it. That doesn't work for us, if we allow that clearance, the UP would go from fitting 2.1" tires to fitting 1.8" tires or we would have to sacrifice BB stiffness, and both of those are features we and our customers love. Nobody has ever done an epic offroad ride and concluded "that was great, but I would have enjoyed it more if my tires were skinnier and my bottom bracket more flexible."
  • If the pod poses a problem with the outboard position of our chainstays depends on how thick the pod is and where it is located. Around the pedal, we have pretty normal clearance (5-6mm) since that is no longer a critical area for chainstay size, but closer to the rings it gets a lot tighter.
So we asked power meter manufacturers and our customers which power meters work (and which don't) and here are the results. Please note that the below lists are made with the best intentions, but we cannot 100% guarantee this as people can make mistakes and products do sometimes change (and both Andy or I prefer to ride without power meters). So always best to check with the power meter manufacturer and to ask that you can return the power meter should it not fit.
   
 Manufacturer Model Fit
 SRAM Red AXS Powermeter (Quarq) Yes
 SRAM Force AXS Powermeter (Quarq) Yes
 SRAM Red 1x AXS Powermeter (Quarq) Yes
 SRAM Force 1x AXS Powermeter (Quarq) Yes
 Rotor Any model with INpower or 2INpower Yes
 Stages GRX Left crank power Yes
 Stages DuraAce w. Gen 2 pods (I don't quite believe it, apparently very tight)   Yes
 Stages DuraAce/Ultegra Power R Yes
 Stages DuraAce/Ultegra Power LR Unclear
 Stages Most road cranks No
 Stages Any MTB crank (but we don't recommend it, see intro above) Yes
 Garmin Vector (do we need to tell you it works? It's a pedal!) Yes
 Powertap G3 power hub (does the word "hub" give the answer away?) Yes
 Powertap P1 power pedals (feels like an open-book test?) Yes
 Powertap C1 power chainrings No
 Power2Max Any model with Power2Max NG  Yes
 Power2Max Any model with Power2Max NGeco Yes
 Power2Max SRAM with Power2Max Type S No
 Power2Max Rotor with Power2Max Type S No
 Power2Max FSA K-Force Light with Power2Max Type S Yes
 Power2Max Other models with Power2Max Type S Unclear
 Quarq DZero Carbon (may require small spacer to avoid BB side loading) Yes
 Easton EC90SL with CINCH power Yes
 SRM Origin Carbon Yes
 Look/SRM Exakt power pedal (seriously, another pedal, see above) Yes
 Shimano/Pioneer   SGY-PM90 No
 4iiii Any model No
 Zwatt Zimanox Yes
 

If you have experience with installing a power meter on your UP/UPPER that is not listed above (or an experience that does not match the above suggestions, please let us know in the comments. Or of course just go without power measurement and just enjoy the ride :-)