Take your power to the trail with the SRAM Quatro MTB powermeter. The Quarq Cinqo Saturn powermeter is matched to SRAM's S2275 carbon crankset for accurate power measurement on every ride. Accurate to +/- 2%, the SRAM Quatro MTB powermeter can be paired with your favorite ANT+ bike computer for the ultimate training and racing system.
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Posted by Jason Hillimire on 9th May 2012
I’ve been looking forward to the Quarq mountain bike power meter since we heard rumors about it a year ago. It’s lightweight, low cost and Quarq’s accurate to +/- 2% with a user replaceable battery.
Upon installation to my Superfly 100, I was immediately impressed. It’s a SRAM XO level carbon fiber crankset with the high quality Quarq spider. Claimed weight is 814 grams for the quatro while a standard GXP XO is 788 grams, so a 26 gram weight penalty to pay for adding the power meter. I’ve been using a few different power meters on the dirt over the past 5 seasons and I can definitely tell you it’s extremely nice to not have to incur the typical weight penalty that comes with using one.
According to Quarq they test each unit for 20 minutes under water to ensure they are up to the rigorous demands of mountain bike racing (aka mud, water & rain). The battery is user replaceable and with the Qalvin iPhone app and a Wahoo Fitness dongle, any person with a known weight can easily calibrate there quatro. This will be particularly useful as I often have to change chainrings a few times throughout the season.
A few different options for gearing are available, but only in 2 x 10 configurations: 39/26 or the more stout 42/28. Riders can also choose a GXP (shown) or a slightly lighter BB30 in your favorite crank length (170-175mm). I chose the 39/26 as it’s what I’m currently running and a little more useful for those all day climbs out here in Colorado.
Installation was super easy and very quick. It came with a plethora of magnets for the cadence sensor and only takes a few moments to decide which one is most useful. On the superfly 100, there is a bottom bracket protector and I simply stuck it there, but your mileage may vary. I fiired up my Garmin 800 unit and within seconds & a few spins of the cranks and it was paired up and ready to go. With the Quarq’s it’s recommended to spin the cranks 5x backwards and go thru Garmin’s synchronization set prior to riding. But if ever unsure, again that’s a great aspect of the Qalvin app.
I was able to get out for a thorough test on the unit this past weekend at Hall Ranch in Lyons, CO. Hall Ranch has great terrain to ride and I have some power data off these same trails, so would be easy to compare any data. Coming from an XO crank, I noticed no difference in stiffness at all. Basically the same chainrings I’ve ran all season, so shifting was super crisp as usual. It may be the newer rings, but I never threw my chain over the rings which is often an issue with 2 x 10 systems (and a problem I’ve had most season). The Quatro itself looks quite burley and the metal battery cap will easily stand up to a thrown chain.
The unit worked flawlessly on the trails for the few rides I’ve done. Never had any data drop-outs, etc and it worked pretty much as expected. I’ve been on power long enough that I’m aware of the numbers I should be hitting, where and when and they seems to reflect what I felt. The new software on the Garmin 800/500 adds some key power metrics that will truly make it useful for hitting up the trails, XC and long courses this season.
Power on the mountain bike is slowly starting to become all the rage. Though I’ve been ahead of the curve for a few seasons and I’ve written a handful of articles on Mountain Bike Power. The articles explain the unique demands and provide some example workouts to meet those demands:
Mountain Bike Power (difference between road and mtb power)
Using Intensity Factor to train in the right zone
Get fit for Going Long
So there you have it, a new power meter for the dirt and a full set of recommended workouts to make you fast for the upcoming season. Remember it’s not an actual power meter that will make you faster, but rather the knowledge to understand the information that a power meter provides and how to apply that information to you and your training. Thankfully, we provide 1 month of FREE coaching with every power meter purchase. What are you waiting for, grab your Quatro today and hit the trails!