As one of the pioneers of training with Power through the use of indoor and outdoor power measuring devices, I’ve had the privilege of working with several companies as they launched products or worked on development for the cycling market. While no one has yet created the perfect PM, the gang at Quarq have certainly come closer than anyone else at this time.

The Quarq is a wireless power measuring device that integrates strain gauges in to the spiders of a crank system. It is simple to install, robust, works in all conditions, is wireless (it uses the ANT+ Sport protocol), and comes in a variety of cranks and colors. Jim and Mieke really, really, really took their time to do this right. I was privileged to be a beta-tester for Quarq in 2008, and believe me, I can be as harsh as anyone when it comes to dishing out the criticism, but honestly, after 5 months of use on a standard-issue unit, and 2 months of use on a Rotor Agilis Quarq Cinqo Saturn (how’s that for a mouthful), I can honestly say that I am incredibly impressed!

If you want a power measuring device that is pretty much turnkey, you need look no further. You’ll get solid, reliable data – currently downloaded to your Garmin 705 – in a lightweight package that is arguably half the price of the ‘premier’ units. Calibration requires about 4 backpedal strokes just after you turn on the machine. It’s auto-start and auto-recognize. I’ve raced on it 4 times now this season, and have never lost a shift. Race weight on the bike is anwyhere between 16 and 17.5 lbs, I can read the 705 in daylight or at night, and can modify the screen 8 ways to Sunday so I can get the information that I want on there.

There are still some quirks, but I think all of them are Garmin firmware-related, and it won’t be long before Quarq will have their own head unit(s) out for their market. Everything is cross-compatible, so you’ll eventually be able to run an SRM head unit on a Quarq crank (though why I just don’t know), or mix & match to your heart’s content. Service is impeccable, and you’ll be riding a product that is cutting edge, as well, so much so that it’s the only Power Meter considered good enough for Cervelo’s TestTeam. They can afford to be selective, and they selected Quarq.

I sell them, but my focus is on coaching, and getting data that is consistent, accurate, and reliable in all conditions and varying environments. Feel free to call me for more information, or contact Quarq directly and tell them I sent you. It’s an investment that will yield years of rewards.

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