top of page

A power meter or a smart trainer?

In an ideal world, you get both. So that you are able to access power for outdoor training and racing, and indoors to easily execute workouts and ride virtual courses and engage in group rides and race on various apps.

But if have to make the choice between the two, here's a breakdown of considerations for each option:

Power Meter:

  • Outdoor Riding: A power meter allows you to measure your power output consistently during outdoor rides, providing valuable data for training and performance analysis.

  • Versatility: You can use a power meter on any bike, whether it's for road cycling, mountain biking, or indoor training on a stationary bike.

  • Portability: You can easily switch the power meter between different bikes if you have multiple bikes, ensuring that you can monitor your power output across all your rides.

  • Accuracy: Power meters typically provide accurate power measurement, especially those that measure power directly at the pedals, crank, or spider.

  • Cost: While prices vary depending on the type and brand of power meter, they can be more affordable compared to high-end smart trainers.

Some Crank based power meters to consider: 4iiii / Stages / Quarq

Some Power Pedals to consider: Garmin / Favero / Wahoo / Look

Smart Trainer:

  • Indoor Training Experience: Smart trainers offer a highly immersive indoor training experience by automatically adjusting resistance to simulate changes in terrain or to follow pre-programmed workouts.

  • Structured Workouts: Many smart trainers are compatible with training apps and platforms, providing access to structured workouts, virtual rides, and training metrics.

  • Realistic Riding Simulation: Smart trainers provide a realistic riding experience indoors, which can be beneficial for specific training purposes such as interval training or race simulation.

  • Accuracy: High-quality smart trainers typically offer accurate power measurement, although the accuracy may vary depending on the model.

  • Cost: Smart trainers can be a significant investment, especially advanced models with features like direct-drive design and interactive connectivity.

Visit DC Rainmaker to see his Smart Trainer Buyer's Guide.

Consider your primary cycling activities, whether you prefer indoor or outdoor riding, and your budget when making your decision. If you primarily ride outdoors and want consistent power measurement across all your rides, a power meter for your bike may be the better option. However, if you prioritize indoor training, want a highly immersive indoor riding experience, or prefer structured workouts, a smart trainer could be more suitable. Ultimately, choose the option that aligns best with your cycling goals and preferences.

Happy Shopping!


bottom of page