AT A GLANCE: QUICK RATINGS
Ease of Installation
Value for Money
Ease of Battery Change
Where To Get It
A Deep Dive Into Pioneer Power Meter
The Pioneer power metering crank arms have been reviewed by Tristan Haskins for Power-Pedals.com. If you own any GPS bike computer other than a Pioneer unit then you might be better considering the 4iiii Precision or Stages power cranks. The Pioneer system analyses power every 30° (12 times per revolution) and then a further 16 times per scan .. that’s 192 data points in total. This means the Pioneer cranks can provide an enormous level of feedback. To achieve this they are both more expensive and slightly heavier than the 4iiii and Stages offerings. That said, if you buy in to their complete package including the Pioneer SGX-CA5000 and their phenomenal Cyclo-Sphere cloud based analysis there is nothing better for power data junkies ….
Who are they for?
Pros & Cons
The Pioneer crank arm power meters are for the technical / elite cyclist looking for the highest levels of power related performance data from each and every ride. They are NOT satisfied with only the top level metrics like average power, max power, FTP% etc. Pioneer offer a complete package for the elite cyclist. The high levels of sampled data metrics is what makes them the most expensive and heaviest power metering cranks.
- Easy to fit - less than 15 minutes
- No specialist skills or tools required
- Accurate to within +/- 2%
- Additional weight approx 22 grams
- 180 hours from CR2032 battery
- Support ANT+ protocol and devices
- External Cadence sensor magnet
- No Bluetooth support
Method of Installation
Installing these Pioneer cranks is easy with an additional step of fitting the cadence magnet. You may need to buy a crank removal tool like this Shimano one (external link) if you don’t already have one. The only other tools required are an Allen key and the magnet fitting template provided. Simply remove the crank arm cover with the special removal tool, it should be hand tight only. Then unscrew the two opposing Allen keys from either side of the crank arm. Once these are removed the crank arm should be easy to remove from the axle. Now fit the cadence magnet (it’s easier to do this while the crank arm is off)
Fit the new Crank
Grease and carefully fit the NEW power meter crank. Ensure they are at 180 degrees to the other side. Hand tighten the crank cover screw then start tightening the Allen keys. Once they start getting a bit tight do one side, then the other, then the other and repeat, alternating side. If the crank arm cover is easy to remove and you have no issues, it should take less than 10 minutes !!
Tools Required to fit this Power Meter
- Crank arm removal tool for your crank e.g. Shimano Hollowtech
- Allen key set
- Cadence magnet template tool (provided)
Alternative Power Meters
This is a specialist power metering system catering for elite cyclists looking for the maximum level of detail from their power metrics (when paired with the Pioneer head unit). If you are happy with just the essential power metering metrics like average power, total power and % of FTP save some money and a few grams with these alternatives. If you are running Shimano cranks then consider the 4iiii Precision power meter crank (less £$ and less grams). If you are FSA, Campagnolo or other then consider the Stages power meter. Both 4iiii and Stages have internal sensors for cadence and do NOT require fitting a magnet to the frame.
The purpose of Power-Pedals.com product presentations is to give the visitor a summary overview of each power meter. They are NOT intended as an in-depth technical review, more a summary providing essential top level features, functions, pros and cons. Further information can be found at these links to other external reference sites.
- Pioneer Power Meters (main website)
These power metering crank arms have been built to perform in the toughest conditions. Pioneer utilise some of the world’s best cyclists riding over punishing terrain through rain, snow, cobbles and mud. They are not the lightest on the market, but their fully integrated design adds just 64 grams to your crank. the Pioneer system measures up to 2,150 Watts @120 RPM, and is accurate to within +/- 2%. It can be easily calibrated for varying temperatures and elevations. .
The Pioneer system provides pedal cadence data unfortunately this requires an external magnet. Other systems employ an internal accelerometer, no magnets required. Pioneer only the ANT+ protocol and NOT Bluetooth Smart. These crank arm power meters are available for Shimano, FSA, Cannondale and Campagnolo in lengths from 170, 172.5 to 175mm