Everyone wants more power. But, can you really get more power for less? With the new SRAM Rival AXS DUB crankset, you can get one-sided power measurement included with your crankset or as an easy add-on.
SRAM Rival AXS Power Meter Features:
- An elegant integrated design
- DUB-PWR spindle-based unit measures left side power to calculate total watts
- Proven Quarq reliability and accuracy (+/- 3%)
- Left-leg measurement only
- Long battery life (400+ hours) to power a season of rides
- User replaceable lithium AAA battery
- DUB bottom bracket adds durability and simplicity
- Waterproof (IPX7 waterproof to 1 meter for 30 minutes)
- Lightweight (less than 40g heavier than standard crankset)
- MSRP: $349 (crankset) or $249 (add-on)
Knowledge is power, power is knowledge
Knowing your power output, and, subsequently harnessing that power is one of the most effective ways to optimize performance. I use it to track performance over time and I also use it to make sure I don’t burn my matches too soon on long rides. I have tested more sophisticated dual-sided units from Quarq, Stages and Pioneer over the past few years, but they are more expensive and may not necessarily be any better for most riders (more on this later).
Inside the Rival AXS Power Meter is the same Quarq technology that’s led the industry for years, but just in spindle form. Paired with SRAM’s affordable Rival AXS drivetrain, it’s a stellar value and something that will find its way onto stock builds (like the Trek Domane SLR6 eTap) or as an easy upgrade path for the myriad of Rival AXS bikes on the market (like the Specialized Tarmac SL7 Comp). It looks stealth and has just plain worked out of the box.
To get any power meter up and running, you’ll need a head unit that supports either ANT+ or BLE (pretty much all do). My primary unit has been the new Wahoo Elemnt BOLT V2 — it locks on in a hurry and always provides consistent data tracking. I’ve put the Rival AXS Power Meter through its paces over almost 1000 rugged, gravel miles and I really have no complaints. I used it with a Rival/GX AXS mullet drivetrain, but you can use this unit with Rival AXS XPLR or Rival AXS 2x kits just the same.
As opposed to other, more expensive units, the Rival AXS Power Meter is single-sided. The add-on price of $249 is in rare territory these days. But, like everything in bike land, availability continues to be spotty (but should improve throughout 2022). With a single-sided unit, the data is just doubled to get your combined measurement. Unless you have significant left/right disparity, a single-sided power meter should do just fine. My balance is pretty even, so I’m just fine with this solution and everyone but the professional will agree.
Overall functional and updates
There are several great things about the Rival AXS Power Meter besides the price. I love that it uses AAA Lithium batteries instead of a teeny tiny watch battery. And, because it’s not integrated into the spider (unlike the SRAM Red AXS one), you won’t have to replace the chainrings and power meter once worn.
The single LED light provides positive green light reinforcement after a couple of revolutions to let you know it’s ready for pairing. Here’s the meaning of all the variety of blinking:
- Long green blinking: Power on, ready, battery OK
- Long red blinking: Power on, ready, battery LOW
- Fast red blinking: Power on, ready, battery CRITICAL
- When zeroing: Long green (success), long red (fail)
- Firmware update: Continuous slow red blinking
To update the firmware, you do have to remove the unit from the spindle. I found a 30mm cone wrench to help remove the unit from the spindle, but a firm grip should work as well. Once out, the SRAM AXS app and the firmware update button will magically make it happen.
I wish the Rival AXS Power Meter had Magic Zero to continuously zero out the unit. Instead, all zeroing has to be done manually using the easy-to-use SRAM AXS mobile app. For the most accurate power, the unit needs to be zeroed out before each ride. I’m really bad about that practice and I never noticed measurement anomalies, but I’m sure accuracy would be improved should I change my behavior.
When looking at accuracy and performance, I rode the same routes on back-to-back days with the SRAM Rival AXS Power Meter and then the Red AXS Power Meter to see how things compare. I had both the Ventum GS1 and the Open UPPER set up with road tubeless tires. They weren’t identical setups, but close enough for my purposes. Showing the performance between both efforts, data is very similar. In fact, I had the exact same time both days.
Performance and action
For SBT GRVL 2021, I pre-loaded the route and used power to maintain performance throughout the 100-mile Blue Course. When racing with power and maps pre-loaded, I could change the view to show the climb duration and power output. With that data at my fingertips, I was able to pace myself without burning out unnecessarily. Since I wasn’t racing for the podium, my goal was to remain comfortable with enough left in the tank to tackle the brutal Corkscrew climb.
In addition to real-time power measurement to keep enough gas in the tank, I like to look at my Power Curve in Strava to see where I’m tracking from ride-to-ride. This shows my power output compared to my last 6 weeks of data. It’s a great data point to measure ongoing training.
- Quarq performance at an affordable price
- Reliable and fuss-free
- Easy removal for battery changes
- Great upgrade to Rival AXS bikes
- Power data is critical for training and race performance
- Single-leg measurement is more than sufficient for most riders
- Must remove the unit from the spindle for firmware updates
- Doesn’t have Magic Zero functionality, so regular zeroing is required using SRAM AXS app
The Bottom Line: SRAM Rival AXS Power Meter
If you are outfitting a bike with SRAM Rival AXS or if you have one already, adding the Quarq, spindle-based power meter is a no-brainer. With it, you can reliably measure your performance on the road or on your indoor trainer. And, once you understand your power, you can avoid bonking on your next race.
Buy Now: Visit PerformanceBike.com (2x full crankset)
Excellent review! just wondering if it has a cadence sensor?
Yes, cadence and power is provided by this unit.
Great review! do you know if you must use the SRAM app to zero it? or can you use a bike computer to zero instead?
Good question. I’ve only zeroed them with the SRAM AXS app. I imagine that Hammerhead will have an integration at some point, but I’m unaware of anything with any head units right now.
Great Review 🙂 I just bought a Canyon bike which came equipped with this powermeter. It’s very easy to calibrate from Garmin devices, i have edge 530.
One thing i’m experiencing sometimes -> mid ride it stops working, when i check the crank there is green light keeps shining. Until i stop and take the spindle out, take the battery out and put back again, it keeps lighting. After this process it keeps working normally.
For me, the accuracy and practicality of the pm is very good.
That’s odd. I can’t say I’ve seen this with mine, but that’s not a great solution. Have you updated your firmware to the latest version? Also, have you checked it with other head units to see if it’s perhaps your Wahoo or Garmin that’s dropping the connection?
Yes, i updated firmware and still the same. But i noticed one thing this morning, i didn’t focus on the battery type i use on my power meter, so i placed one of the new batteries i found at home. In the manual it stongly advises to use “lithium non-rechargeable” batteris. So now i will change it and try again. Will Inform here if it solves my problem 🙂
Yeah, definitely stick with the batteries SRAM recommends. Do all your various head units drop the connection? I know you may not have another unit to test, but don’t rule out your head unit losing connection.