Rotor Bike Components showed off a nearly-production ready version of its long-awaited Rotor Power Crank at Eurobike 2012, and based on its features, the power meter crankset just might be the ultimate power-measuring device for cyclocross racers.
The crankset looks to be compelling to cyclocross racers because it weighs only a paltry 30g more than Rotor’s already light 526g 3D+ MAS adjustable-spider crankset, and the unit actually features two integrated power meters made up of four strain gauges in each arm. Rotor says such a configuration gives a much more accurate reading that avoids data noise from rough roads, sprinting or shifting — conditions quite common in cyclocross races.
The unit offers some unique reporting metrics. With a compatible ANT+ device, you could actually monitor power differences between your two legs, and Garmin’s Edge 500 and 800 computers reportedly already support such data readouts. The Rotor Power crankset also offers two other unique data types: a spin scanner similar to that of a CompuTrainer; and a metric that Rotor calls “torque efficiency” which measures the effective resistance each leg presents when pushing down on the downstroke with the other leg. Because each crank arm has its own individual power meter, the crank can measure each leg’s “weight” or “resistance” on the way up, allowing motivated riders to try to successfully “unweight” their leg on the way up. This crankset also might also help you measure whether all that training with Powercranks has paid off.
The other attractive feature of the Rotor Power crankset is that it’s compatible with nearly all bottom bracket standards, making it possible to move between cyclocross and road bikes between seasons, if slick tire riding is your thing, and the BSA-compatible crankset could even slip inside your PF30 or BB30-to-eccentric converter if caring about your power output while singlespeeding is your thing. There will also be a mountain bike version.
At $2000, the unit is less than an equivalent SRM unit, but obviously represents a significant investment for almost anyone. But with power at such a premium in cyclocross, since there’s no pack to draft off of and suck you along, the Rotor Power crankset, just like a coach, might be a useful training tool for someone serious about the sport.
Production units are expected to arrive in December. Stay tuned as we (pun intended) power our way through a review.