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When mountain bike training gets serious, having a Power Meter measure and track your power is key to providing key details for training. Quarq is one of the leaders in power technology and happens to be owned by SRAM, so the interface between the two is amazing as you would expect. Andrew recently installed a Quarq DZero XX1 Eagle AXS Power Meter Spider to his Scott Spark, let's check out what he thinks about his new power unit.
I'll admit that my title was about as original as the new-again threaded bottom brackets... But seriously, can power meters even be original anymore? Essentially every power meter accomplishes the same thing: measure your power. Where Quarq sets itself apart from the competition is how it measures power, the consistency of the measurement, and the reliability of the unit.
The Quarq DZero XX1 Eagle AXS DUB Boost Power Meter Spider is designed for 8 bolt cranks... An extremely important detail to acknowledge because you need SRAM DUB XX1 8 bolt cranks which will likely run you an extra $350 if you don't have that already. I can tell you for certain that the SRAM XX1 crank arms with the Quarq Power Meter are a match made in heaven; the fit and finish are excellent, but more importantly, the aesthetics are remarkable! While I'm on the subject of techy stuff, you need to verify that the BCD either matches your current chainring, or you should order one at the same time as ordering the power meter. Additionally, be careful to check to make sure your stock chainring doesn't have an offset before you order! Finally, make sure that you order the proper Boost or nonboost model for your needs.
As most everyone knows, this Quarq power meter is "spider-based". It measures the power by being attached to the chainring and measuring the force applied to the meter as it transfers to the spindle (did I lose you?) Long story short... It's a very efficient and reliable way to measure power. Why? There is no strain gauge needed on the crank arm which often causes problems on mountain bikes because our rear swingarms protrude further than our frames, causing the strain gauges to hit the chain stay. To make things even cooler, it's efficiency is enhanced because it measures cadence using an accelerometer, which knows to only measure power output when there's an actual cadence! It virtually eliminates power spikes. This technology BLOWS AWAY the magnet tech on others units because occasionally while standing on your pedals for downhills or tech stuff, your pedal would run by the magnet sending a false cadence signal, thus measuring power that didn't actually exist!
Quarq is not new to Power meters like some other brands, and they learned spider-based systems are the best way to measure power for the majority of users. Additionally, Quarq has installed actual MAGIC in each one of these meters... Upon installation, you download an app through SRAM and calibrate your power meter, and YOU NEVER HAVE TO DO IT AGAIN! My friends on stages power meters occasionally have to stop and recalibrate when their numbers get whacky... Not here, not with Quarq. This Cadillac even auto-calibrates to temperature changes. All this helps seriously contribute to the most accurate Power Meter you'll ever need.
Quarq claims 1.5% accuracy with this unit, and I would say mine is at least that accurate. I've tested against wahoo trainers and pioneer power meters and I would say this is at least on par with my dual leg pioneer meter, but looks so much better doing it. I'll mention this again because this is so important... It auto zeros and calibrates to temperature all by itself... My pioneer needs a few calibration points at certain temperatures to get a good consistent reading (as do most).
My last and long awaited point on this review is reliability. There hasn't been a single dropout or spike in several rides at varying temperatures. I jump stuff, I crashed my foot into a log (rough pedal strike), I pedaled with one leg, all the stuff you probably shouldn't do when you want good power readings. So far, this product has met and slightly exceeded my expectations... The ease of use is as good as it gets. If you're in the market for a power meter to last for the Long haul, this is the one to buy. Okay, okay... So maybe it's not ACTUAL magic in a power meter, but it sure feels like it.