Quarq Power Meter Type: Strain gauge (10 strain gauges on 20 grids). Crank mounted.
Point of Origin: United States of America of domestic and foreign parts.
Years in Business: Since 2006.
U.S. Service Center: Yes. South Dakota.
Quarq Power Meter Overview: The Quarq power meter design demonstrates that necessity is the mother of invention. When Jim Meyer asked if he could buy a power meter in 2005, his wife Mieke said, “No.” So, Jim did what most people would do in such a situation and built his own… We first saw a Quarq power meter (called CinQo) at the SICI Cycling Science Symposium in 2007 and we were excited by the design and inquired soon after with Quarq about getting a unit. They said they were not quite ready to ship, but would be soon. We waited… 2007 passed and no CinQo… Then 2008 and still no CinQo… Things were a bit behind schedule. Thankfully, Quarq did eventually start to ship product and the product that they shipped worked pretty well and was competitive in the marketplace from day one. In May of 2011, Quarq’s distribution and supply was accelerated rapidly when Quarq was acquired by SRAM and became a member of their growing family of brands that include SRAM, Avid, Truvativ, Zipp, and Rock Shox. As a result, the crank options are now based on SRAM’s standard crank offerings in both carbon and aluminum. The Quarq design takes some of SRM’s original design (crank mounted strain gauges), but uses an externally mounted sensor on the outside of the crankarm instead of the internally mounted/structural design SRM uses.
Quarq Power Meter Pros:
- Can be used with any wheelset without having to buy another power meter.
- Top level Quarqs provide left to right power balance.
- Proven reliable and accurate.
- U.S. Service Center that is 100% dedicated to Quarq distribution and service.
- Owned by a very big and stable company (SRAM).
- With external bearing cranks, it is easier than ever to switch between bikes.
- Priced below many of SRM’s crank mounted strain gauge options.
- User replaceable batteries.
- Accelerometer (not magnet) based cadence.
- Most Quarq units offer two sided L/R power output.
- ANT+ Sport compatibility means you can use any ANT+ Sport head from Garmin, PowerTap and others.
- Two year warranty.
- Not really a pro or a con, but Quarq units do not include chainrings. The pro of this is that you don’t pay for rings that you may not need, the consideration is that you need to factor the price of rings into the purchase of a Quarq if you do not own compatible rings already.
- Road or MTB, there is a large range of cranks, including Shimano 4 bolt compatible units, available.
- Two year warranty.
Quarq Power Meter Considerations:
- While not necessarily difficult, a Quarq is not as easy to change between bikes as some PowerTap options, where you just need to change the pedals or wheel and computer head between the bikes. With a Quarq, you need to be able to change a crankset.
- Like most everyone at this point, Quarq does not supply software. You will need to buy TrainingPeaks (which you would likely buy regardless as it is better that what ships with most power meters) or some other software separately.
- Historically, Quarq units had more temperature drift than average. The current Quarq units include 10K Temperature Compensation that virtually eliminates this historic concern.
Accuracy: +/-1.5% on current generation units. The Quarq power meter records data once every revolution of the crank.
Sizes/Lengths: For ’17, Quarq is offering models that start in 162.5mm length and go through 177.5mm.
Reliability/Maintenance: Quarq power meter units have proven reliable and accurate and maintenance is minimal. Changing the batteries is pretty easy and not required very frequently as battery life can reach 400 hours of use between changes.
Compatibility/Limitations: Quarq offers units that will work with most frames and chainrings, including versions for Specialized and Cannondale cranks. Some OEM bikes equipped with SRAM components are even including “Prime Power Ready” DZero compatible cranks where the spider can just be replaced with a Quarq bolt-on to add power.
Display Quality/Features: Like most power meter companies, Quarq does not make computer heads. Quarq Power Meters are ANT+Sport compatible and you can use it with any ANT+ Sport head of your choice from brands like Garmin and CycleOps.
L/R Power Balance: Current generation Quarq (DZero and associated) all include L/R power balance.
Weight: Quarq Power Meters are competitively light. They only adds 80-100 grams to the regular crankset weight in most cases. For example, a standard SRAM RED crank is about 610 grams and the Quarq RED is 690 grams.
East of Installation and Transfer Between Bikes: Now that external bearing cranks are commonplace, installation is pretty simple. If you can remove and install your current crank arms, you can likely install a crankset with a Quarq. It is important to note that the bottom bracket you are using may need to be changed in some cases if you change crank designs and this is a more involved task mechanically. Transfer between bikes is straightforward as long as both bikes have bottom brackets set-up to accommodate the same Quarq. This sometimes requires some forward thinking when choosing which Quarq makes the most sense for your needs.
Software/Hardware: Quarq is compatible with popular training sites like Training Peaks and Strava. Quarq makes “Qalvin”, a free smartphone app which allows you to calibrate and analyze your Quarq. Quarq also makes the Collector, an optional tool which is a powerful way to compile a host of training data in real time.
Conclusions: A reliable and proven power meter design that is well supported and a proven major player in the power meter world. One of the best overall power meter options available for the needs of most riders.
Call or email for more information on Quarq Power Meters or to order!