Power2max are a German company that have been making crank-based power meters since 2010 – although they first started development back in 2006. While names like SRM and Stages dominate the power meter market, Power2max supply two WorldTour teams: Movistar and Etixx-QuickStep, measuring Mark Cavendish’s power output no less.
Power2max’s first unit, now called the Classic, premiered at Eurobike 2010 and became popular because it undercut other units on the market price-wise, but also had a wide range of compatibility with cranks from various manufacturers.
The Type Scame out in February 2014 and is said to be lighter and more compact than the Classic, with even greater compatibility. As well as being used by Movistar and Etixx-QuickStep, it’s also the power meter of choice for ProContinental outfits Bardiani-CSF and Bora-Argon 18 – and it’s the power meter we’ve received to review here.
The Type S, which is made over in Germany, is available for a wider range of cranksets than ever before: Campagnolo, Rotor, Cannondale, Specialized, SRAM and FSA, as well as a range of bottom bracket standards, so most bases are covered. The unit we’ve received for testing comes complete with an FSA K-Force Light carbon fibre crankset for €1,260 (Power2max sell direct through their website), but Power2max offer a range of options and the Type S can also be bought for €940 without cranks.
The power2max unit requires a bit of assembly when it arrives. Ours came with the crank spider (where the power meter is actually located) in its own box, both crank arms unattached (obviously), a lock ring tool to fix the spider in place, and no chainrings – the only unit they sell with chainrings as standard is the Movistar edition of Campag’s 11-speed crankset. But putting it together is no trouble at all, and the instructions in the manual are very easy to follow. Another bonus of the system is that you don’t need a frame-mounted magnet as with, say, Quarq, which removes any issues about frame construction and magnet alignment.
Other features include an auto zero function (Power2max say there’s no need to zero the power meter manually, although that’s becoming less and less common on today’s power meters), you can change the chainrings without affecting calibration, and you can also switch the battery yourself, rather than having to send it in for servicing. Data is transmitted via ANT+, so the Type S will talk to pretty much any bike computer.
Power2max claim a +/- two percent accuracy for the Type S, in line with most other units on the market other than Quarq’s Elsa RS, Verve’s Infocrank and SRM, all of which claim greater accuracy. The Type S also has a ‘left-right balance’ feature which estimates the contribution of your left and right leg.
Power2max say that the unit’s lighter (70-90g) and more compact than the previous generation and they’ve also added an external status LED showing users when the battery needs changing. One nice aesthetic touch is that you can choose the colour of the ring (green in the pictures) so that you can match it to your bike.
Claimed weight for this unit plus the FSA cranks is 586g for 110 BCD, and ours weighed in almost dead on at 580g on the scales of truth. Obviously, you’d have to add the weight of your chosen chainrings on to that, so you’re looking at maybe a 140g-ish weigh penalty overall (FSA claim the compact version of K-Force Light crankset is 560g).
We’re going to be getting in a lot of miles on this one, so the verdict won’t be in for a while yet, but keep your eyes peeled to see what we make of it.