We review Look’s pedal-based power system.
Look/Polar Keo Power
This is the first pedal power meter to reach the market and after testing a pre-production set we think they pass muster for a first generation power meter, but we’d like to see some improvements.
Eight strain gauges in the Keo Power’s axle measure pedaling force while a reed switch in the pedal body measures cadence. Data is sent via Bluetooth to a Polar computer. It’s a seriously light power meter with 344g pedals, 36g sensors and a 40g computer. Installation is simple compared to hub systems – but not as easy as screwing on pedals. A notch on the end of the axle needs aligning with the crank arm: get it wrong and your figures will be out. The system zeroes when you turn the transmitters on with a small button. Like most power meters, readings will drift due to temperature changes, although not by much. You can re-zero by switching them off and on, but you have to get off the bike.
Using a turbo, the wattages we got matched our PowerTap within 1-2 watts. Outdoors we found a similar link – but only if we relied on one pre-ride zero and didn’t stop to zero mid-ride; in which case we saw our Keo Power numbers shoot up by 10%. We’re assured this will be fixed in final production units.
Data analysis is only via Polar’s ProTrainer 5 software which offers a lot of data and analysis options but isn’t as easy to use as WKO+ 3.0. Polar’s computers have some nice functions but lack the fields of the Garmin Edge and CycleOps Joule head units which, it not being ANT+ compatible, the Keo Power system can’t talk to.
Light and transferable but expensive and has compatibility issues.
This review was originally published in Triathlon Plus magazine. Save time and money by having every issue delivered to your door or digital device by subscribing to the print edition or buying digitally through Zinio or Apple Newsstand.
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