The Heart of your Bicycle

A Quarq Think Piece

At Quarq, we’ve done a lot of research into the science, the physiology and the physics of motion. We put that research into every Quarq power meter we make.

Quarq power meters use our patented direct-force technology to precisely measure your physical performance throughout your ride. Our meter is located in the crankset, the heart of the bicycle. Because it gathers data from both legs, and it’s located at the precise point where muscle energy is converted to forward movement, the power meter spider is the most accurate place to gather power data.

In addition, the 10K temperature compensation feature eliminates weather as a variable. Our technology gives you the data in real-time and a solid record of your performance for review later on. Quarq power meters offer easy, verified zeroing and the Qalvin app allows you to set the zero offset, check batteries and run diagnostics.

Our loyal longtime customers — including three recent world champions — know that a Quarq power meter tells you what you need to become a better athlete.

One Legged Power?

Some power meters tell you less than you need to know. A number of independent studies have shown that few, if any, cyclists have the same output from both legs. And even the asymmetry wasn’t consistent. Different levels of intensity produce different levels of asymmetry.

•    One study, published in the Journal of Human Movement Studies, tested 45 riders in with a wide range of cycling experience at cadences of 60, 80 and 100 RPM, and 100 and 235 watts, to obtain 270 data points. The range of asymmetry varied from 0% to 48% with a mean of 8-9%. (1)

•    Another study, published in the Journal of Biomechanics, measured asymmetry across the 11 subjects at cadences from 60-120 RPM. Power output varied from 0%-16%. For the majority of the riders, the changes were not linear. (2)

•    A third study, published in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, looked at six sub-elite cyclists during a simulated 40km time trial. The race was divided into four quarters, and all subjects demonstrated asymmetry greater than 10% during quarters 2 and 3. (3)

One legged power meters may be useful for gauging overall training load. But if you want to be sure you’re improving, you need the combined output of both legs.

Force Vector? Other power meters tell you more than you need to know. When you’re talking about power meters, force vector means that you push harder on the downstroke and not as hard coming around. Measurable, but not currently usable.

Studies show that a rider’s own preferred pedaling technique is going to be the most efficient:

“[W]e showed that the level and/or timing of muscle activation changes as a function of numerous factors such as power output, pedaling rate, body position, shoe-pedal interface, training status and fatigue.” (4)

“[T]he preferred pedaling technique was metabolically the most efficient…because the participants are likely to have adopted an efficient pedaling style as a result of training and physiological adaptations.” (5)

“By encouraging riders to maximize the evenness of the crank torque distribution, one encourages an active pull during the upstroke, which decreased gross efficiency in our subjects.” (5)

Accurate, Meaningful Metrics

Cyclists and triathletes worldwide orchestrate race-winning performances with one dimension: Power Output. Quarq’s direct force power meters measure total power output from both legs with +/-1.5% accuracy.

Our power meters are accurate — and consistently accurate. You can’t have consistency without accuracy — otherwise you will never know if the power meter is consistent. It’s as simple as that!

No Compromises

Quarq power meters offer the most value for your money of any brand on the market today. Their design and development is driven by a worldwide team that has hundreds of years of cumulative experience. They’re manufactured to excruciating standards in a factory with ISO9001 Quality Management System certification. The ELSA RS, SRAM RED and ELSA R power meters feature Exogram hollow carbon fiber crank arms – some of the lightest, strongest crank arms available. Our power meter spiders are machined in-house from raw blocks of high-strength aluminum. And we offer broad compatibility across a variety of bicycle designs.


Built to Last

Every Quarq power meter has an IPX7 waterproof rating, an easy-to-replace CR2032 battery, a 2-year warranty, free firmware updates and acclaimed international support. The chainrings are replaceable should your bike, discipline or ability change. And every power meter is easy to install, or reinstall on different bikes.


Read more of our Think Pieces.


1. The influence of pedaling rate on bilateral asymmetry in cycling. Smak, Neptune and Hull. Journal of Biomechanics 32 (1999) 899-906.

2. Bilateral pedaling asymmetry during a simulated 40-km cycling time-trial. Carpes, Rossato, et al. Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 47 (2007) 51-57.

3. The influence of cadence and power output on asymmetry of force application during steady-rate cycling. Sanderson. Journal of Human Movement Studies 19 (1990) 1-9.

4. Electromyographic analysis of pedaling: A review. Hug and Dorel. Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology 19 (2009) 182-198.

5. Effect of Pedaling Technique on Mechanical Effectiveness and Efficiency in Cyclists. Korff, Romer, Mayhew and Martin. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise (2007).

Photos by Nils Nilsen, N2PHOTO+VIDEO.

Info by Quarq Website

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