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Wahoo POWRLINK ZERO Speedplay Power Meter In-Depth Review


It’s finally here. After an 8-month delay (though tame by power meter pedal delay standards), Wahoo’s Speedplay-based power meter is finally shipping and available. This marks not just Wahoo’s first bike-based power meter, but also the first (and only) Speedplay power meter to make it to market. Thus filling a gap in the market for Speedplay devotees that have been left out in the power meter pedal realm. And perhaps more important than all that – I’ve had more than enough time on these units to form a pretty comprehensive picture of how well they perform.

I’ve been using the POWRLINK Zero dual-sided power meter pedals since late last spring occasionally, and then since last fall on my road bike as my main pedals. That’s also included intended and unintended off-road adventures too, to test durability. As you’ll see in some later pictures, I’ve literally beaten the snot out of these things – both the pedals and the cleats. So I’m able to dive into not just simple indoor rides, but how they work after being hammered.

But this wasn’t the only thing Wahoo announced today. They also announced their new KICKR ROLLR smart trainer, which includes the option for a bundled set of pedals with it – in case you wanted to go for a twofer. You can check out that full in-depth review up there as well.

Before we get into all that, note that these are media loaner pedals. At some point in the near future, Wahoo will open up a box from me, and find these very well worn pedals of theirs returned to them. That’s just the way I roll. This review is not sponsored (nor does any company get to preview anything I review), and I don’t take any advertiser money from any companies I review. And as regular readers know, if something is crap, I’m gonna tell it brutally like it is – no matter the brand. Once this unit goes back, I’ll go out and get my own for any future testing needs. If you found this review useful, you can use the links at the bottom, or consider becoming a DCR Supporter which makes the site ad-free, while also getting access to a mostly weekly video series behind the scenes of the DCR Cave. And of course, it makes you awesome.

Main Specs:

Wahoo-PowrLINKZero-Specs

The POWRLINK Zero pedals are based upon the Speedplay ZERO pedal, as one might guess by the name. When Wahoo Fitness acquired Speedplay two and a half years ago, they pared down the list of models to essentially the most popular ones. While Wahoo has said they do plan on expanding that list down the road, that undoubtedly upset fans of models that didn’t get continued. Wahoo essentially said that was to make the Speedplay business sustainable going forward.

Nonetheless, the key specs for the POWRLINK ZERO power meter are as follows:

Claimed accuracy: +/- 1%
Temperature Compensation: Yes – active temperature compensation
Auto-Zero Capability: Yes
Manual Zero-Offset Capability: Yes
Manual (static weight) calibration: No
Connectivity: ANT+ (unlimited concurrent connections), and Bluetooth Smart (three concurrent connections)
Cadence Transmitted: Yes
Left/right Balance Transmitted: Yes
Pedaling Dynamics (or similar): No
Oval/Q Chainring Compatible: Yes
Weight per pedal: 138g per pedal
Weight for required cleats/mounting gear: 78 (based on Speedplay Standard Tension cleats)
Battery type: Rechargeable pods
Battery life: Claimed 75 hours
Water Resistance: IPX7 (1 meter at 30 minutes)
Pedal Float: Adjustable 0-15 degrees
Q-Factor: 55mm
Stack Height: 13mm

Note that Wahoo is selling the POWRLINK ZERO in two varieties, single-sided and dual-sided. With a dual-sided system, both pedals have power sensors in them. Whereas in the single-sided system, you’ll of course still get two pedals, but only the left side has electronics in it.

POWRLINK ZERO dual-sided: $999USD/999EUR/849GBP/1,299CDN
POWRLINK ZERO single-sided: $649USD/649EUR/549GBP/839CDN

Wahoo notes that because the pedal spindle length of the POWRLINK ZERO system is slightly longer than that of a regular Wahoo Speedplay ZERO pedal, you’ll obviously want to use the included ‘dummy’ right-side pedal if you buy the single-sided (left only) system.

Unboxing:

Wahoo-PowerLINK-Zero-Box

This unboxing is for the POWRLINK ZERO dual-sided set, though frankly, it’s identical except for the fact that inside the single-sided pedal there’s no electronics in the right pedal (it’s just a dummy pedal).

Once you open the lid, you’ll see the pedals looking at you. Wahoo continues to make some of the best-designed boxes in the industry. So good.

Wahoo-PowerLinkZero-Box-Inside

The pedals hang out on a tray, while the flotilla of mounting hardware sits below it:

Wahoo-PowerLink-Zero-Box-Trays

Here’s everything taken out and placed on the table, as you can see, it’s a lot of stuff. Basically, it’s most easily divided up into the pedals themselves (plus charging cable), and then the 923 pieces that make up the mounting hardware.

Wahoo-PowrLinkZero-Unboxed-Components

Here’s a closer look at the pedals. This is the last time they’ll look so pretty.

Wahoo-New-Powrlink-zero-pedals

Then we’ve got all the mounting hardware bits:

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Then there’s the charging cable & clips. Wahoo’s is nice and clever. Essentially you can plug any USB-C cables into each little clip. However, they also include a Y-cable that charges both clips using any USB port:

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I’d recommend just taking their cable with the clips attached, merely so you don’t lose the charging clips. They don’t include any wall charging plug, but you can use any USB port you’d like just fine.

Finally, there’s some paper stuff. This for once *IS* actually useful, as you’ll need it not so much for installing the pedals, but figuring out how to install the cleats.

Installation:

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There are essentially two parts to installing the system. The first, is the easy and quick one – which is installing the pedals. The second piece is installing all the cleat hardware on your cycling shoes. Because I like simplicity, let’s start with the easy one: Installing the pedals.

To do that, grab your handy dandy 8mm pedal installation wrench, or, just any 8mm wrench. I like the longer pedal ones because it ensures you get it nice and snug. Remember, for the best accuracy you want them correctly torqued. Albeit, doing a handful of sprints will also help resolve that (since pedals automatically tighten as you pedal).

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Next, you’ll notice it came with a few spacers. The general rule of thumb on pedal-based power meters, especially with pods, is that the pod should never touch the crank arm. So you’ll almost always use a single spacer, as I did. I can’t remember the last time on any crankset/bike I got away without using one.

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Then, simply tighten both sides till done. Again, this is silly quick. Now you’re done with the hardware installation.

Next up – the fun part! Installing the cleats. Now once you’ve done this a few times, it’s not so bad. But it still takes about 12 times longer than any other cleat install because there are not only multiple layers for each cleat, but also the need to ensure you’ve got them on the correct shoes (while facing upside-down towards you). I don’t have a step-by-step guide for that, because I was too busy trying to not screw it up. Here’s all the parts you need to install (minus the pedals):

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Once all that’s done, now’s a good time to pair them up to the app. You’ll crack open the Wahoo Fitness app (not the ELEMNT app, that’s for their bike computers & watch), and then search for new Wahoo sensors. You can either do a quick setup, or pick which type of sensor you have:

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Within this you’ll need to set your crank length. Your crank length is typically written on the inner edge of the crank, right near where the pedal would have been screwed in. You can see mine here is 175mm (unless you’ve requested shorter or longer crank arms, yours is probably 172.5mm):

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Type that into the app, and then you’re essentially done. The last thing you want to do though is a few sprints. If you’ve got a trainer, that’s really the best place to do them. This is because this ‘beds’ the pedals to the crank arm and tightens it up. While Wahoo says one sprint, the general recommendation is 2-4 nice hard ones. As a life-lesson, I prefer doing these on the trainer for any new pedals of any type I install, merely because if something goes catastrophically wrong with a pair of new pedals, at worst I’ll fly into the couch.

With that all set, go ahead and calibrate (zero offset) using either the Wahoo app, or your bike computer (more on that in a second). Technically it asks you this before you set crank lengths, which is peculiar to me, but hey, it seems to work either way.

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Now you’re ready to roll.

Basic Riding Details:

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Now that we’ve got it installed and configured, it’s time to pair it up to our bike computer. We can do this via any ANT+ or Bluetooth Smart bike computer or watch, or even app (like Zwift or TrainerRoad). Virtually every power-meter capable bike computer and watch on the market will record both power and cadence, and most will record power balance (the split between your left and right pedals outputs).

First up though, search for your power meter, it’ll realize this is a Wahoo POWRLINK ZERO, and actually display that:

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I thought it was mildly interesting that Wahoo selected to go with BTLE (Bluetooth) as their default pairing here.

Once you’ve got the pedals paired up, ensure that your crank length is set correctly here as well:

DSC_8982

Note that all of this is identical on both Wahoo and Garmin bike computers, and I’ve used all of the following units over the past 9 months with the Wahoo POWRLINK ZERO pedals: Wahoo BOLT V1, Wahoo BOLT V2, Garmin Edge 530/830/1030 Plus, Garmin Fenix 6/Fenix 7/Epix/Instinct 2 series, Garmin Forerunner 745/945 units, Hammerhead Karoo 2, Bryton Rider S500, and SIGMA ROX 11.1. Plus I’m sure others I’ve already forgotten.

With that paired up and set, and a few hard sprints, do a ‘calibration’. Technically speaking this is a zero offset, and not a proper calibration per se. But that’s all the POWRLINK ZERO pedals support (they don’t support a static hanging calibration). So a zero offset is what we’ll do. You’ll unclip from your pedals entirely, and then press calibration:

DSC_8984

It’ll come back a few seconds later with confirmation of success:

DSC_8985 DSC_8986

As a general rule of thumb, you should calibrate before a ride – ideally once your bike has stabilized for about 10-15 minutes in the new temperature. So here in winter, it’s best to either let your bike hang outside for a few minutes before hitting calibrate, or, simply calibrate 10-15 minutes down the road after both you have warmed up and your pedals cooled down.

Once out on the road, the Wahoo pedals transmit three things: Power (watts), cadence (RPM), and power balance (left/right balance). You can configure your bike computer to display these metrics as you see fit, like below:

DSC_8990

The reaction time on these pedals is spot-on in my testing, and you can see that down below in the accuracy section. In terms of advanced pedaling metrics, like cycling dynamics or such – Wahoo has none of that. They also don’t transmit the more basic pedal smoothness and torque effectiveness. In my discussions with them, they stated plainly that they didn’t find “any value” in these metrics as transmitted today. Insomuch that there’s nothing tangible that a rider can do with these, aside from geek curiosity.

And at large, I mostly agree with them. As I’ve said countless times since Garmin first introduced Cycling Dynamics many years ago (and now also supported by Favero), as well as with off-brand variants by Pioneer, PowerTap, and SRM over the years too: There’s virtually no scientific backed details on how to actually train and race with this data. It’s mostly data for data’s sake.  The singular exception to this is for bike fits, where bike fitters have used metrics like Platform Center Offset to tweak bike fit for higher efficiency (power output), but that’s it.

Which isn’t to say that Wahoo isn’t going to throw their hat in the ring as well. Because despite no plans to support the existing standards, they did say that longer-term they’re working with their own data scientists to determine what pedaling efficiency/etc type metrics would be useful and how to use them. But there’s no concrete timeframes on what, if, or when that might ever appear.

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In terms of what you’ll see post-ride, here’s the data on the Wahoo app, if paired up to a Wahoo bike computer:

clip_image001 clip_image001[4] clip_image001[6]

And then similarly, here’s the data if paired up to a Garmin bike computer/watch, as shown on Garmin Connect. As you can see, you’ll see total power, Left/Right Balance, and Cadence. But no other pedal-specific metrics:

PedalMetrics

Switching topics, looking at battery details, the Wahoo pedals have internally sealed rechargeable batteries. They claim 75 hours of battery life, and that seems about right – though given how long that is in real-life, I don’t have super exact test details on battery burn there. But it’s enough that it’s not throwing any red flags (compared to some of my power meter testing on other units where it was obvious things were far too low).

To charge the pedals, you’ll simply clip these two little prongs onto the sides of each pedal. They have certain ways they snap on, so that the contacts line up. While they require an extra 2-4 seconds per side to ensure you’ve got the orientation correct, I’ll give Wahoo credit in that these are very tightly held on there, so they won’t accidentally fall off or such.

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As noted earlier, each prong pod has a USB-C port on it, and can then be charged using the included Y-cable, or other cables of your choosing.

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The LED n the side of the pedal will indicate blinking green when it’s charging. Wahoo says the charging time from empty to full is 90-120 minutes.

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Note, for lack of anywhere else to stick it – no, the pedal pod here is not designed by or licensed from Favero (and their Favero Assioma pods). Both companies have been very clear it’s not, and Keith Wakeham has done a clear breakdown of the FCC documents to outline it’s not at all the same under the covers.

While the claimed battery life (75 hours) is lower than battery-based pedals or crankset-based power meters (which are usually 120-200+ hours), it’s roughly in line with the Favero Assioma pedals, as well as SRM’s X-Power pedals (assuming latest battery iteration). All of which is more than fine for me and my riding habits. I’d say about the only thing I’d do if I travelled often is to try and buy an extra charging clip (sans-cable), and stick that singular tiny piece inside my saddle bag – so I always knew that there was a way to charge the pedals.

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Speaking of travel, one thing I’ll give credit for is that I’ve beaten the crap out of not just the power meter itself, but the pedals. I’ve repeatedly used both in off-road terrain. For example, back in December I did what was supposed to be a road-bike route, but ended up including roughly 90 minutes of hiking and riding across volcanic rock terrain up a reasonably steep section of no-longer-a-road route. For many kilometers.

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This meant that the cleats got absolutely slaughtered, though, were still totally functional for the rest of the ride after that hiking in them. It also meant that numerous sections I rode the bike when it was viable, and was constantly hitting the pedals on rocks and such, dinging them up quite significantly.

Here’s what those pedals look like, compared to a brand new pedal.

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They’re still perfectly accurate.

Then for the cleats, after mostly destroying them, I did more riding on them for another month throughout the mostly miserable December timeframe in the Netherlands. This included not one, but two different rides I was testing follow-me drones, whereby the drone stopped following me and had to be rescued on the other side of a canal. So, I waded across muddy fields with them.

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Then across a cow pasture, then back again. And then that whole mess a few more times. Here’s what the cleats looked like at the end of that day:

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They’d actually last another ride or two, but ultimately I’d have issues with the tension spring freezing up, so I replaced the cleats at the start of another big trip.

PedalsBad

While one of the benefits of the Speedplay system is that you can clip-in on either side of the pedal due to the design, I’d argue that’s not really an issue in real-life with other pedal systems. That’s because all other pedal systems are bottom-weighted, such that the pedal automatically rotates to the correct position each time, so that the overwhelmingly vast majority of the time the pedal is in the correct orientation to clip-in. And the times it’s not? It’s no different than the times that the Speedplay isn’t in the correct orientation, or, for whatever reason, the tension spring snapping in instantly isn’t happening due to lack of proper greasing/lube. Given I live in a wetter locale, I’m supposed to do that more often.

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When I started riding with Speedplay pedals last spring, I figured I’d eventually get used to them, or learn to like them, or something. And ultimately, it’s just not my cup of tea. I’ve long ridden with other cleat types. I use a blend of Shimano and LOOK KEO cleats on other road bikes, and then Shimano SPD on my mountain bikes. And for the most part, all of them are just fine to me. I’m not some cleat aficionado – I’m just a cyclist that clips into my pedals. It’s really that simple. And while the term “walkable cleat” is often used with Speedplay, I’ve never had any issues walking (or even running) in any other cleat type.

And with that perspective, I simply don’t find the engagement or general snappiness of the Speedplay system to my particular liking. And, I suspect as you look at other reviews today, you’ll likely find the same. For non-Speedplay diehards, most of us are either ambivalent – or maybe even on the side of finding the Speedplay pedal platform as high maintenance. Things like mud easily jam up the pedals clipping in far greater than any other pedal system I’ve used, and rain will cause the cleat metal pieces to rust, as it did for me last summer (and on my subsequent sets of cleats, so did the screws).

And none of these things have to do with the power meter pedals themselves – those are great. Rather, it’s the underlying Speedplay platform that I’m at best ambivalent on. Perhaps I’m just not enough of a cycling cleat connoisseur to see it.

Power Meter Accuracy:

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I’ve long said that if your power meter isn’t accurate, then there’s no point in spending money on one.  Strava can give you estimated power that’s ‘close enough’ for free, so if you’re gonna spend money on something it shouldn’t be a random number generator.  Yet there are certain scenarios/products where a power meter may be less accurate than others, or perhaps it’s got known edge cases that don’t work. Neither product type is bad – but you just need to know what those use/edge cases are and whether it fits your budget or requirements.

As always, I set out to find that out.  In power meters today, one of the biggest challenges is outdoor conditions.  Generally speaking, indoor conditions are pretty easy to handle, but I still start there nonetheless.  It allows me to dig into areas like low and high cadence, as well as just how clean numbers are at steady-state power outputs.  Whereas outdoors allows me to look into water ingest concerns, temperature and humidity variations, and the all-important road surface aspects (e.g. vibrations).  For reference, the Wahoo POWRLINK ZERO has a claimed accuracy rate of +/- 1.0%.

In my testing, I generally use between 2-4 other power meters on the bike at once.  I find this is the best way to validate power meters in real-world conditions. My main setup for most of these tests was the first bike (Canyon), though in the fall I also did testing in the other configuration (Giant Bike)

Road Bike #1 (Canyon Ultimate CF SL):

– Wahoo POWRLINK ZERO Power Meter
– Quarq DZero power meter
– PowerTap G3 hub power meter
– with Tacx NEO 2T or Wahoo KICKR V5/2020 (when indoors)

Road Bike #2 (Giant DEFY):

– Wahoo POWRLINK ZERO Power Meter
– Stages LR dual-sided power meter or 4iiii Precision single-sided config
– with Tacx NEO 2 smart trainer (when indoors)

I’m largely going to focus on more recent data, since that’s the most relevant, as it’s the final firmware. I’ll also largely focus on the data sets in the past few weeks with the most recent set of pedals. Though frankly, there’s no difference accuracy/etc-wise between anything now and anything I’ve got data-set-wise all the way back to last fall. It’s all the same.

I’m going to go through most of these relatively quickly, unless there’s a specific issue. You can click on any of the data sets to look at the underlying data yourself, if you’d like.

First up, let’s start with something simple – an indoor ride – an ERG workout in TrainerRoad. This one is actually on the new Wahoo ROLLR, though compared here to a Quarq DZero and PowerTap G3 power meters:

Wahoo-Accuracy-1-ERG

As you can see, despite the instability of the Wahoo ROLLR (I added a 5-second smoothing here to make this chart viable to understand) all three units are within a couple of watts of each other. While technically I’d like to see the PowerTap G3 lowest, followed by the Quarq, and then the Wahoo pedals, these are all within roughly 1-2%, which overlaps the accuracy ranges of each unit. In other words, aside from nitpicking on power output ordering – this is about as clean as you’re gonna get. It’d be like complaining that your piece of cake didn’t get extra frosting on it.

Next, for fun, here’s another set from back in December on the XPEDO APX Pro smart trainer, along with the Quarq DZero. In this case, we can see the XPEDO APX Pro trainer is solidly inaccurate. But that’s a story for another day (I mostly gave up for the winter, on all the issues I was having there). However, we have reasonably good alignment with the Quarq DZero and Wahoo POWRLINK Zero, though I’d have expected the Quarq to be slightly lower or Wahoo to be slightly higher (by a couple of watts). Without a functional baseline of a known-good trainer, I can’t exactly say which one was wrong here.

Wahoo-Accuracy-2-ERG

Next, we’ve got a Zwift Race. This is a great one, as it shows constant surges within the pack, and then a few sprints. I had to cut this race short about 10 minutes to pick up kids – so there’s no final finish. But that’s OK, the three sprints in there are more than enough to demonstrate how close these results were. Because it’s on the Wahoo ROLLR, this is smoothed at 8-seconds, to make it easier to see how close these align.

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Check out this sprint. This is at 800w, but remember, that’s already smoothed 8-seconds, it’s actually higher than that sustained to average 8-seconds at 800w.

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But the real kicker here is the mean-max graph – this is a thing of beauty on how close these are. We see the typical slight differences the higher the peak is, which is largely an artifact of slightly different transmission/recording timings:

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Next, another indoor adventure – this time a bit more chill on Zwift in Makuri island. Again, really solid alignment across this:

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And near-impossible perfection alignment at 2-seconds on the mean-max graph. It’s incredibly difficult to get units this close together at the peak:

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Ok, enough indoors. Let’s go outside!

Here’s a recent ride that’s mostly road, with some gravel sections tossed in (along with some cattle grates). Gravel and cobbles (and cattle grates) are great ways to test the accelerometers inside power meters, as accelerometers are heavily utilized in most modern power meters for calculation of cadence, which in turn is used to determine your wattage. Also of note is that on the pavement sections, I was reaching speeds of nearly 60KPH (on flat ground), which is notable because sometimes you might get odd vibrations at high speeds, which also could be problematic. I saw none of that here.

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Here’s the gravel section – it’s flawless:

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And here’s a series of surges I did, also, flawless:

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And finally, the mean-max graph for that. Also very good, albeit not picture-perfect, but you can’t really blame any unit here. This is just the realities of minor nuanced differences in how different power meters measure outdoors on real terrain with slightly different transmission/recording intervals.

Wahoo-Accuracy-5-AmsterdamGravelMeanMax

Next, we’ve got a 7hr ride. This was one I almost didn’t include, because I realized afterwards that I had upgraded the firmware on the pedals from beta to final firmware the night before. Except, only half-way. One of the pedals didn’t upgrade and I didn’t realize it hadn’t successfully finished while prepping everything else. Thus, you see one artifact of that about midway, where one pedal drops out (in green), and then resumes a bit later. Setting that aside, as you can see, the accuracy is flawless:

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This ride is notable as it includes vast shifts in elevation and thus temperatures. It includes direct sun in lava fields near the volcano – even passing some snow at one point. Chilly temps in darker forests, and warmer weather down at the ocean. As you can see, all these units did an incredible job of dealing with the temp shifts. I only zero-offset once at the beginning of the ride. That’s it.

You’ll see slight differences on the higher end of the mean-max chart due to the aforementioned drop-out, because at these shorter durations I’d have been missing some data. Further, there’s just the reality that over 7-hours of riding you’re going to have more disagreements between power meters on surges and sprints.

Wahoo-Accuracy-6-VolcanoMeanMax

And, if we look at a totally random point during one of the climbs at my cadence, you’ll see the units are all identical – save the occasional meanderings of the estimated cadence on the PowerTap G3 hub:

Wahoo-Accuracy-6-VolcanoCadence

Finally, another longer ride – about 3.5 hours. And by ride, I mean hike and ride. Think cyclocross, but on the side of a mountain where road bikes should definitely not be. This includes about 2 hours of riding and about 1.5 of hiking. That middle part is the mixed hiking and riding the bike over my shoulder.

Wahoo-Accuracy-7-HIkeAbike-Overview

That graph is painful to look at (and remember), however, the mean-max graph is stunningly crispy. We see some slight disagreement from the PowerTap G3 hub, which struggled a little bit on the lava-rock terrain.

Wahoo-Accuracy-7-HIkeAbike-meanmax

But check out the cadence during some of these gravel/rock sections. The Quarq and Wahoo units are virtually identical, with only the estimated cadence of the PowerTap G3 (on carbon wheels no less), struggling with the terrain.

Wahoo-Accuracy-7-HIkeAbike-Cadence

In case it’s not clear by now – I’ve seen absolutely zero accuracy issues on the POWRLINK Zero pedals in all manner of conditions: From easy indoor trainers, to Zwift races, to the sides of volcanos and very much not-road-riding gravel and MTB-like rocky routes. It’s solid.

Of course, it’s equally as solid as its main competitors: The Favero Assioma series, Garmin Rally series, and SRM X power meter pedal units. All of these units have very solid accuracy these days, and I can consistently swap between any of them on any sets or as reference power meters. They all do the job perfectly. And it can’t be overstated how long getting to that point can take for companies. But it’s good to see that Wahoo didn’t rush this release out to hit a fictitious line in the sand. Instead, they waited till they had it right. And it’s been right and solid for a while now.

(Note: All of the charts in these accuracy sections were created using the DCR Analyzer tool.  It allows you to compare power meters/trainers, heart rate, cadence, speed/pace, GPS tracks, and plenty more. You can use it as well for your own gadget comparisons, more details here.)

Pedal Comparison Charts:

I’ve added the Wahoo pedals into the product comparison database, to help you compare them against other power meters. You can always make your own comparison charts in the product comparison database, but for simplicity I’ve included a couple of main comparisons below. Notably, I’ve shown it compared to the Garmin Rally series, Favero Assioma series, and SRM X-POWER units.

Function/FeatureWahoo POWRLINK ZERO (Dual-sided)Garmin Rally SeriesFavero Assioma PedalsSRM X-Power
Copyright DC Rainmaker - Updated July 13th, 2022 @ 6:01 pm New Window
Price$649/$999(single/dual)$649/$1,099 (SINGLE/DUAL)$459/$719(single/dual)$999/$1,299 (SINGLE/DUAL)
Available todayGlobalGlobalGlobalMost major markets
Measurement TypeDirect ForceDirect ForceDirect ForceDirect Force
Attachment areaPedalPedalsPedalPedal
Attachment limitationsSpeedplay cleatsSPD/SPD-SL/LOOK KEOLOOK KEO COMPATIBLE CLEATS ONLYShimano SPD
Weight (additional/net)133g per pedal (plus cleat weight)159g SPD-SL/165g KEO/221g SPD150g per pedal (inclusive of pods)172g per pedal
Wireless Connectivity TypeANT+/BLUETOOTH SMART (DUAL)ANT+/Bluetooth SmartANT+/BLUETOOTH SMART (DUAL)ANT+/Bluetooth Smart
Unit auto-turns on when on bikeYesYesYesYes
BatteryWahoo POWRLINK ZERO (Dual-sided)Garmin Rally SeriesFavero Assioma PedalsSRM X-Power
Battery Life75 Hours120-150 hours50 Hours30-40 hours
User or Factory battery replacementFACTORY (SUPPORT ISSUE ONLY)UserFACTORY (SUPPORT ISSUE ONLY)Factory (support issue only)
Battery typeRechargeableCR3/1NRechargeableRecharageable
Low Battery WarningYesYesYesYes
FeaturesWahoo POWRLINK ZERO (Dual-sided)Garmin Rally SeriesFavero Assioma PedalsSRM X-Power
Measures/Transmits CadenceYesYesYesYes
Ability to update firmwareYesYesYesYes
Transmits Left/Right Power Balance (Measured)YesYesYesYes
Transmits Pedal SmoothnessNoYesYesYes
AccuracyWahoo POWRLINK ZERO (Dual-sided)Garmin Rally SeriesFavero Assioma PedalsSRM X-Power
Measures all power outputYesYesYesYes
Claimed Accuracy Level+/- 1%+/- 1%+/- 1%+/- 1.5%
Includes temperature compensationYesYesYesYes
Supports auto-zero functionYesYesYesYes
Supports manual calibrationYesYesYesYes
Supports hanging weights (static test)NoYesYesYes
SoftwareWahoo POWRLINK ZERO (Dual-sided)Garmin Rally SeriesFavero Assioma PedalsSRM X-Power
Phone App to Configure/TestYesYesYesYes
PurchaseWahoo POWRLINK ZERO (Dual-sided)Garmin Rally SeriesFavero Assioma PedalsSRM X-Power
AmazonLinkLink
Backcountry.comLinkLink
Competitive CyclistLinkLink
REILinkLink
WiggleLinkLinkLink
DCRainmakerWahoo POWRLINK ZERO (Dual-sided)Garmin Rally SeriesFavero Assioma PedalsSRM X-Power
Review LinkLinkLinkLinkLink

Note that aside from pedal interface type (SPD/SPD-SL/LOOK KEO), all remaining specs on Rally are the same across all units. Same goes for Favero Assioma, except the q-factor differs between Shimano SPD-SL and LOOK KEO. And again, you can mix and match your own comparison charts in the product comparison database.

Here’s a look at how the POWRLINK ZERO compares in a variety of categories to other power meter pedals either on the market, or recently departed from the market (namely, the PowerTap P1/P2 that’s no longer available).

First up, we’ve got q-factor. The q-factor is the measurement of the distance between the pedal bodies (specifically the point the pedal is inserted into the crank arm). However, q-Factor is often confusingly stated as a measurement of one of two things, depending on who you ask:

1) The distance between the crank arms on both sides of the bike (officially this is more ‘stance width’)
2) The distance between the crank arm and the center of the pedal platform

Much will be made about differences in q-factor. For some people, it’s everything and a deal-breaker. For the other 98% of us…shrug. The reason? Almost every bike type has a different q-factor too (MTB to road to commuter to stationary, etc…).

In any case, here’s some q-factors of various power meter pedals:

Garmin Vector 3/Rally Series: 53mm (55mm with their stock spacer)
PowerTap P1/P2: 54mm
Favero Assioma: 54mm (55mm with their stock spacer)
Favero Assioma Shimano: 65mm
Shimano Ultegra (non-power): 53mm
SRM X Power: 54mm
Wahoo POWRLINK ZERO: 55mm
Wahoo Speedplay Zero (non-power): 53mm, but also offered in 56/59/65mm

And then here are your stack heights:

Garmin Rally RS (Shimano SPD-SL): 12.2mm
Garmin Rally XC (Shimano SPD): 13.5mm
Garmin Rally RK (LOOK KEO): 12.2mm
Garmin Vector 3: 12.2mm
PowerTap P2: 14mm
Favero Assioma (Look KEO): 10.5mm
SRM X-POWER: 10.5mm
Wahoo POWRLINK: 13mm

And for lack of anywhere else to put it, max rider weight:

Garmin Rally Series: 105 kg (231 lbs)
Garmin Vector 3: 105 kg (231 lbs)
PowerTap P2: No practical limit according to PowerTap
Favero Assioma: 120 kg (265 lbs)
SRM X-POWER: No practical limit according to SRM
Wahoo POWRLINK Zero: 113kg (250lbs)

Phew, got all that? Good!

Summary:

DSC_8804

For Speedplay users, this moment has been a long time coming. There were many failed attempts by numerous companies along the way – but as of today, you can finally purchase and take home a Speedplay-based power meter. But more important than that? It’s accurate – really accurate. I’m glad to see Wahoo took the time to get these pedals right from an accuracy standpoint, and seemingly a durability perspective too. As noted, I’ve been riding them continuously as my main road-bike pedal since early fall – and I’ve had no issues across a wide variety of environmental weather conditions, terrain, and just general beating the crap out of them.

Making a power meter is hard. Making a pedal-based power meter is infinitely harder. Countless companies have tried both and failed. Of course, Wahoo was at an advantage in this fight, given their long history with power meters in other trainers (primarily their earlier generation units). Which would be an easily overlooked fact when comparing them to other attempted rivals.

Of course, there are some caveats to the POWRLINK Zero. The first being that it’s Speedplay only. Thus, you’ll of course either need to be an existing Speedplay user, or, happy to convert. As with any pedal system, there are devotees and preferences, and there is no difference. Despite my best attempts over the past year of riding Speedplay pedals on and off (and continuously since early fall), it’s just not my personal cup of tea. Both the clipping in aspects, as well as the servicing pieces. But it may be your cup of tea – my Dad happily rides Speedplay, and has for as long as I can remember. And he’s perfectly happy with the line.

But setting pedal politics aside, I’d have no problem using these pedals in any power meter or trainer accuracy testing as a reference device. Which, I think is probably one way to think about whether or not these pass my standards. If it’s not dependable and accurate, I’m not going to use them beyond the review period. In this case though, I suspect I’ll go out and buy a pair to put into the lineup.

With that – thanks for reading!

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Hopefully you found this review useful. At the end of the day, I’m an athlete just like you looking for the most detail possible on a new purchase – so my review is written from the standpoint of how I used the device. The reviews generally take a lot of hours to put together, so it’s a fair bit of work (and labor of love). As you probably noticed by looking below, I also take time to answer all the questions posted in the comments – and there’s quite a bit of detail in there as well.

If you're shopping for the Wahoo POWRLINK ZERO (Dual-sided) or any other accessory items, please consider using the affiliate links below! As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. It doesn’t cost you anything extra, but your purchases help support this website a lot. Even more, if you use Backcountry.com or Competitive Cyclist with coupon code DCRAINMAKER, first time users save 15% on applicable products!

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Thanks for reading! And as always, feel free to post comments or questions in the comments section below, I’ll be happy to try and answer them as quickly as possible. And lastly, if you felt this review was useful – I always appreciate feedback in the comments below. Thanks!

Found This Post Useful? Support The Site!

Hopefully you found this review useful. At the end of the day, I’m an athlete just like you looking for the most detail possible on a new purchase – so my review is written from the standpoint of how I used the device. The reviews generally take a lot of hours to put together, so it’s a fair bit of work (and labor of love). As you probably noticed by looking below, I also take time to answer all the questions posted in the comments – and there’s quite a bit of detail in there as well.

If you're shopping for the Wahoo POWRLINK ZERO (Dual-sided) or any other accessory items, please consider using the affiliate links below! As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. It doesn’t cost you anything extra, but your purchases help support this website a lot. Even more, if you use Backcountry.com or Competitive Cyclist with coupon code DCRAINMAKER, first time users save 15% on applicable products!

Here's a few other variants or sibling products that are worth considering:

And of course – you can always sign-up to be a DCR Supporter! That gets you an ad-free DCR, access to the DCR Quarantine Corner video series packed with behind the scenes tidbits...and it also makes you awesome. And being awesome is what it’s all about!

Thanks for reading! And as always, feel free to post comments or questions in the comments section below, I’ll be happy to try and answer them as quickly as possible. And lastly, if you felt this review was useful – I always appreciate feedback in the comments below. Thanks!

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166 Comments

  1. Karl-Eric

    Some of your rides look very interesting … I need to find you on Strava!
    I have been testing those pedals tool (Wahoo did instruct us to try to destroy them – ok maybe not those words).
    Did a ride that involved riding on a beach – unplanned – not clever – the bike wasn’t happy.
    After the beach I couldn’t clip in but a bit of a clean up and some grease and they were fine !
    Due to the test I had to move from my 2 screws SPD to 3 screws ‘road’ cleats – LOVED the difference.
    I needed new pedals (long story) and got the standard Speedplay ZERO pedal …

    Thanks a lot for your blogs – always very interesting !

    • Good to hear, yeah, they’re solid now.

      When I finally killed a set of cleats, after all that stuff, maybe I could have added some grease to revive the spring (the rubber pieces were long-already at the bottom of a canal). But it was early morning in a hotel on an island in the middle of the ocean and my fastest course of action was to simply swap out the cleats with a spare set I brought along, figuring it was likely gonna be needed soon.

  2. phil heyer

    When setting these up, I saw it asks for crank arm length. Does it support lengths of 180 and 200mm?

    • Just looked, they support from 140mm to 210mm in 2.5mm increments (so every 150/152.5/155/157.5/160/etc…).

    • Ashley Masen

      Thanks for asking this. I was sad when I read that thinking no way my 200mm cranks would be supported. Glad I didn’t opt for the 220’s like zinn suggested!

    • phil heyer

      Yea, there’s definitely been a hole in the market for the tall people on zinns and Clydesdales using 200+ crank arm lengths! My buddy who is 6’7 has been waiting for these for several months. I guess the only other option before was a hub based power meter.

      Thanks for answering and for the thorough review!

    • Ashley Masen

      I was using the power tap C1 ring on my Zinn, but then SRAM acquired it and discontinued it (a$$h@!!!). Unfortunately mine is on its last legs and am in the same boat where there are literally no power meter options.

      hub won’t work because hub based meters limit your wheel choices and I need lots of spokes. And other pedal options don’t work because the Q factor isn’t adjustable (for me)…. But then again it seems neither is the powerlink 🙁

    • Stacy

      I was going to ask this but on the other end of the height spectrum. I’m 5’2” and ride 145mm cranks on my road bike. Finding power meters to fit that setup plus speedplay pedals has been almost impossible. I’ve been using a Power Tap chainring but with no options if I needed to replace it. I’m so glad that the Speedplay pedals are available, compatible, and accurate.

  3. jww

    Way to go Wahoo!

    My experience on clipping in to Speedplays is similar. First road bike had them. Definitely a learning curve to clip in/out, and then the long-term durability was poor — spindles on cleats quickly got stiff, and then rusty. Looks like it’s more a tab system today vs. the old spindles, which should help.

    Cleats are the rare application where plastic is superior to metal.

    Not my cup of tea, but just to ship an accurate Day 1 power meter is such an accomplishment.

    • With “old” Speedplays which don’t have sealed bearings, regular maintenance is essential — injecting grease into the ports as per the manual. I had my first pair for 10 years and never experienced any of the issues that you mentioned.

  4. mes

    Thanks for the in-depth review, very insightful, but I note that while you mentioned the increase in spindle length, I did not find an actual measurement and had to visit Wahoo to find that the spindle length increased from 53mm to 55mm (Q Factor: 55mm) and for standard 3-hole road shoes, the stack height had to be increased from 11.5mm to 13mm. Finally, curious why you were not using the cleat covers as indicated in your images of the cleats after your off-road exploits as I would think the covers would help reduce issues with micro bits clogging the spring clips?

    • Hi Mes-

      I included all that in a big set of tables/lists within the “Pedal Comparison Charts” section, if you search for the text “In any case, here’s some q-factors of various power meter pedals” – you’ll see it there.

      As for those last images – I was using cleat covers…except they wore off between the hike and then the canal wading. 🙂

    • mes

      Dayum – never seen a set get worn all the way through.

      I will have to disagree with another person’s comment about Q-factor not making a difference as there is a distinct minority in the world where it does matter! If not, then I am obviously married to a woman who has the most highly ‘calibrated’ knees in the world as she can tell the difference between standard length spindles and ones that are -5 mm and -8 mm shorter. She has been riding Speedplay from the start and Speedplay Zero’s since they were introduced. For a longtime she suffered left knee pain, so I got her aftermarket Ti spindles that were -8 mm shorter, after which she very rarely complained about knee pain – that is until Wahoo came out with the new version of the Zero’s. I got her a set and within 1-hour of use on the smart trainer, she said her knees and hips were hurting so back to her original Zero’s. Even got her some -5mm spindles and while it took a couple of rides before the onset of her knee pain, again, it was back to the orginals. Don’t even get me started about fore/aft cleat position.

    • Stacy

      Your wife and I are birds of a feather. My nickname is queen of millimeters. I can tell the difference in 1mm change of seat height, an almost imperceptible change in cleat position, etc. I have been riding the narrow Speedplays, but fortunately my fitter thinks that we have room to adjust the cleats for the wider q-factor if I go this route. Q-factor definitely matters here!

  5. Ashley Masen

    Thanks for the through review Ray. I noticed you listed the Q factor 55mm, but I didn’t see if you could alter it like with standard speed play systems (53mm, 56mm, 59mm, 65mm). Do you know if that’s an available option?

    That’d be super sad if not as it was the primary reason to buy the speedplay!

    • No, at this time it’s just the single spindle length.

    • dan

      Totally agree. I know Ray has many times stated Q factor means basically nothing as people switch bike types wihtout issue. However, I NEED wider. The switching of bikes not being an issue is becasue gravel and mountian bb’s ARE already wider. I need to increase my road bike and run the widest spindle speedplay makes. Ray is also fortunate as I suppose 99.9 percent of cyclists are to be twigs that do not need to adapt for hip width or knee issues. I use speedplay for the float. Yes I CAN ride the other cleat types but at the end of longer rides my knees remind me painfully that they did not enjoy being “locked” into a position for a long time. With my speedplays I can swing my heels in the breeze however far I need to twist them and ride pain free.

      I alos do not understand I mucked up my cleats so I know from experience that they will stop releasing fine so I just replaced them. HUH? I have run the same cleats for years, 4 seasons long and yep….I can certainly and have mucked them up with mud and ice to where I’ve been stuck trying to clip in and unclip due to grit. I then “clean” them after the ride and lube as necessary and they are still fine many thousand s of miles later. But thats just me I guess

    • Yeah, I guess my problem is that when I’m checked into a hotel in the middle of nowhere for a 7hr ride, and they decide to stop clipping in, I had very few options early in the morning to fix the problem aside from swapping them out.

    • Ashley Masen

      Just heard back from wahoo :_(

      “While we are generally unable to speak on the potential future for any unreleased products, at this time there are no plans to offer the POWRLINK Zero in any custom spindle lengths. As we are always seeking to improve our products, I am happy to log this as a feature request for our product team.”

      TLDR; thanks to SRAM killing the C1 and Wahoo ruining speedplay there are no options for power meters for big guys 🙁

    • Ashley Masen

      For those who need more Q-Factor I have found a solution.

      I asked Wahoo if the use of a pedal extender like link to stevehoggbikefitting.com would work.

      Wahoos response:
      While we do not endorse the use of any specific pedal extender product, using one should not affect the accuracy of the pedals’ power measurement, provided the pedals can be torqued to the suggested 30 Nm.

    • Jiber

      I’ve ridden Zeros for almost 2 decades. If they stop clipping in, then it is a user error (or lack of care) issue. Period. That you trashed your ROAD cleats in cow sh*t and effluent mud does not in any way reflect on the effectiveness of this highly adaptable design.

      Sometimes your biases do shine through rather strongly.

  6. Ray, do they come with cleat plugs? These came with my new Zeros last year and I always carry them in a back pocket in case I need them when off the bike.

  7. CM

    As a Speedplay user for many, many years, it is interesting to see that Wahoo neither went with lowest stack height (low profile for cornering) or weight, which used to be selling points of the Speedplay pedal.

    • Weiwen Ng

      I think even the Speedplay riders (the knowledgeable ones) knew that SPs weren’t necessarily the lightest option net of cleats, unless you went with the ti spindles. If you didn’t have a 4-bolt shoe, and very few people did or do, I think it wasn’t the lowest stack height pedal either.

    • Dave

      No it wasn’t. The selling point was the massive amount of float to stop knee trouble. Stack height ..Jesus christ….another PC signalling twat just trying to create a problem that doesn’t exist.

    • Hey Dave-

      Welcome here. This is your singular warning. My rules are super simple here:

      A) Don’t be a dick
      B) Don’t post personal information on someone else (phone/etc..)

      You’ve violated rule A.

      You also inadvertently violated the unwritten rule of simply being incorrect and wrong about understanding why people care about stack height, as CM noted – some do care about corning. But that’s the challenge with being a dick, is that often, you end up being wrong too.

      Cheers!

    • chris benten

      Unless you got Speedplay specific shoes, the stack height is more than other pedals (or most of them anyway) due to the required shims. If you get the four-bolt shoes, the stack height can be a bit lower than most.

      Personally, I cannot remember why I purchased them…I think I just want to try. I found them to be, by far, the easiest to clip in and noticed no real difference in clipping out (I have had Look & Time going back nearly 30 years). I even bought correct shoes but put them in the box when P1 pedals came out.

    • Mike B.

      Long time follower and just have to say this is without a doubt the best comment I’ve seen on any of your posts.

      Thanks for the years of great work, Ray and just ordered a dual-sided pair!

    • Youpmelone

      Epic.

  8. Weiwen Ng

    I rode Speedplay X-series pedals for about 16 years, and then I switched to Zeros, then I ditched Speedplay entirely. Here’s a lesser known fact: if you wear about a size 40 or smaller shoe, then there’s a chance that you may never be able to get the base plate completely flat with the sole of your shoe, no matter what combo of shims you use. That means unstoppable creaking. This is why I ditched them. It’s not a guarantee that everyone will face this, but there’s a chance. With the new SPs, I like (in theory) that the pedal is now completely sealed, reducing the amount of required maintenance there, but you still need to lube your cleats periodically.

    I was OK with lubing my cleats and greasing my pedals, but the creaking issue completely killed them for me. Speedplay itself proposed that I use the aluminum extender baseplate, which is a lot stiffer than the plastic ones and should remain flat even if there’s a gap between it and my shoe sole. They were nice enough to send me one. The thing is, they discontinued that item. Furthermore, it looked clunky, and it meant that I couldn’t fit the aero surround kit. Someone else on Slowtwitch.com said they dremeled the baseplate flat for their clients. First World problems, but the fact is that Shimanos or Looks just plain work without you having to go through all this stuff.

    So, no SPs for me. I am glad I didn’t shell out $1k for the Powerlinks only to have creaking, and spend a couple years trying to diagnose it.

  9. Dave

    The whole point of using Speedplays is the float. Being able to rotate your feet and stop your knees from aching is what these are all about. Stuck with Keos or shimano cleats if you want long term ligament damage. I’ve never had knee problems with Speedplays so when you ignorantly bang on about how fiddly the cleats are, you’re totally missing the point. Also they aren’t as fiddly as you’ve made them out to be. Using them for MTB when you know most people will use them for road use is you looking for a problem that doesn’t exist. Wind your neck in son.

    • Eni

      “ignorantly bang on about how fiddly the cleats are”

      So, just because some people (who have actualy used those cleats) didn’t like them, they are now ignorant…?! Great way to enter a discussion and be objective to peoples’ different needs and likes.

    • Nobody is using them for MTB. So I’m not sure what you’re talking about. As with most cyclists that have been cycling long enough, eventually the planned route isn’t going where you think it’s going. When that’s a 4hr route through mountain roads, you can either ditch the day, or connect the dots.

      We connected the dots – and the cleats and pedals held up just fine then, and the cleats lived for adventures for another month. That’s the reality of cycling – things don’t always go ones way. As far as mud adventures, I’ve had countless unintended mud adventures over the years, and the simple reality is that other cleat systems are easier to deal with cleaning out on the road than Speedplays (on most other cleat systems, mud tends to cake to the outside of the cleat, and thus falls off more easily than the mud which cakes inside the Speedplay cleat). Once home with a hose, it’s all a wash.

      However, that doesn’t take away from the very real fact that I find the clip-in process fiddly. Some other long-term Speedplay users have also noted here and elsewhere. To each their own, but as Eni said – don’t be a dick about it.

  10. George

    I couldn’t quite figure out from your video or text – if I currently use Wahoo version speed plays, do I need to update my cleats on my shoes, or will the old cleats work? If I only rode one bike, it wouldn’t matter so much, but I have a “permanently” mounted trainer bike for my Kickr Core plus my regular Specialized Roubaix for outdoor riding, and I’d rather not have to have two pair of shoes with different cleats, or two sets of power meter pedals.

    • Yes, compatible. For example last spring I put the Wahoo cleats on there from the regular Speedplay Zero box (Wahoo variant), and then used them till they rusted mid-summer, when I swapped them out then for a different set (but after using them just fine with the POWRLINK ZERO). When I swapped them again last month, I just grabbed some from a regular box of Wahoo speedplay cleats.

    • George

      Great. Thanks. I just bought a new pair of shoes so was trying to figure out if I could just swap out the old cleats onto the new shoes and still use if/when in spring for the power meter pedals

  11. John

    I put the chain on the big ring before tightening pedals, so on the off chance the Allen wrench slips off I don’t gouge my arm on the pointy bits on the chainring. (Video @ 5:15)

  12. Andrew Boellner

    If I have 2 bikes with Speedplays, can I buy the dual-sided set and use one power pedal on each bike along with the matching pedal I already have? Also, it looks like it’s not a problem to use 1mm spacers to adjust the spindle length?

    • Robert

      99% certain the answer is no. You can’t do that with Assiomas, and I suspect the same with these, as only the left pedal transmits to head units.

    • Rob

      Just to follow up here, did anyone figure out if you’re able to split up a dual-sided pair into two singles? I know for sure that you CAN do this with the Garmin Rally, for example (I have done it – you just have to unpair the two pedals in the Garmin app). I’d be interested to know!

    • No, you can’t split them up and use them independently. The same is true of Rally. While there’s the option to split them, they won’t work independently, as only the left side pedal transmits to head units.

    • Rob

      Ah, ok. Thanks for the clarification! I know for sure that you can split up a dual sided and use the LEFT side as a single sided, but I guess I was making an assumption on the right side pedal. Thanks!

  13. Robert

    “… setting pedal politics aside…”, writes Ray…

    … and a flood of “Speedplays are wonderful, if you don’t think so, you’re the problem!!!” comments follows.

    This said (long-time Speedplay user here, converted to Keo because Assioma), the cleats *are* finicky. The need to create a flat surface on a curved shoe sole using plastic parts, and the impact on entry/release if that flat surface isn’t attained, makes installation challenging. Contamination with dust, dirt and mud is a constant problem. Frequent cleat flushing with silicon spray solves some of the issues and prevents rust; cleat covers help; but all this remains complicated for many users.

    • Eagle Jackson

      Lubing the cleats and pedal bodies with White Lightning also helps.

      I’ve used X and Zeros since the X’s first came out. Never had any problem getting the cleats flat — on Sidi shoes.

      I’ve used Kool Covers on my X cleats and the Speedplay/Wahoo covers for the walkable cleats.

  14. Would the single side power pedal provide “good enough” results for a recreational, no-racer cyclist?

  15. davie

    I use northwave shoes and their proprietary 4 hole adaptor. This gives a nice low 8mm stack height.
    It sounds like this is insufficient stack clearance to work with these power pedals?

  16. Eagle Jackson

    I’ve been waiting for this day for many, many years. I’ve been a Speedplay user since the X series first came out. My right knee and ankle need the free float. (I’ve tried other pedals; had the cleats professionally adjusted, but only Speedplays eliminate the pain). I recall when years ago when a third party were going to modify Speedplay pedals to make them into power meters, but Speedplay shut them down.

    I’m bummed Wahoo killed the Frogs and the X series, but very happy to see the Zero power pedals.

  17. Matthew

    Ray,

    Any comment on the temperature issue that VeloNews reported in their article – link to velonews.com – especially as your feature chart indicates that these have temperature compensation.

    • I definitely didn’t see that in any of my testing, but especially not in the 7hr up/down Volcano ride I included above, where the temps shifted dramatically.

      I don’t doubt that data, but the only thing that’s unclear is if when he stopped he calibrated (zero offset) *just* the Wahoo pedals, or both at the same time? If that’s the case, it’s hard to know which one was off. If it was just the Wahoo that instantly set back, then certainly that’d be concerning.

    • Matthew

      Thanks for responding. In all of your testing, did you do any rides where the temperature changed, but you didn’t stop / give the Wahoo pedals the opportunity to do an automatic calibration?

      I interpret the wording in the article – “I stopped and recalibrated the pedals, and they immediately fell back in sync with the Stages’ data” – to mean he only recalibrated the Wahoo pedals, and not the Stages power meter, which is what drove my question

    • Yes the 7-hr ride I only calibrated at the beginning – the remainder of the ride, I left as-is, which has big temp shifts.

      In fact, all of my rides I only calibrated at the beginning – and 15 minutes later if the bike hadn’t been outside for a sustained period.

    • Matthew

      Interesting. Will be curious to see if other people report this issue, or if it was a weird one-time event.

  18. usr

    I still don’t understand how they could resist the temptation of designing the pods so that they look like the speedplay puck flipped 90 degrees.

  19. Eugene Huang

    Don’t know how it works with my Wahoo ELEMNT RIVAL. I haven’t been able to calibrate my Rally on my RIVAL.

  20. Aaron E

    thanks for the review!

    wondering what your thoughts are on the battery life? Did you have to charge often? Did you let it go for a couple rides and forget to charge it?

    also regarding calibration, how often does that need to be done?

    Thanks,
    Aaron

    • I went basically months without charging it. 75 hours at 8 hours a week is 9 weeks (over two months). And since I mix and match bikes/smart bikes/etc (plus run and swim), I’m less than 8-hours a week on it.

  21. Jason L.

    I’ve been waiting for this for years! I’ve been using speedplay for at least a decade – following years of knee pain from look style cleats and hot spots from SPD – regardless of set up. Went with speedplay, bought plate extensions to move their placement back an additional few mm and with the float and placement, life’s been good commuting 60km each way to work every day (when it isn’t snowing or minus 20 degrees).

    Ray, thanks for the fantastic review and honest thoughts on the pedals. I think they’re on my birthday list!! While they aren’t for everyone, I can say in my experience, I’ve never had them rust and I’m only on my 2nd set of cleats in a decade so I’m a little bummed that maybe quality has gone down hill more recently.

    Keep up the great reviews and the great moderating Ray!

  22. ChrisZ

    What’s going on with the REI link…

    • Generally speaking, REI will pull a link if their systems can’t confirm refill inventory within a 30-day span. My guess here is that because of the lower price ($900 vs $1000), they sold through a boatload of them. And my further guess is that from an inventory standpoint, nobody had bothered to place a re-order (because frankly, it wouldn’t have made sense, since it was still pre-launch when REI went live). Thus, the system probably doesn’t show the next batch coming in.

      And as such, it yanks the link (REI doesn’t simply show unavailable, they hard remove the page/link)

      I’m also betting we’ll see it float back online in the next day.

  23. Kevin Owen

    If I have Speedplay (pre-Wahoo) Zero cleats already, are they compatible?

  24. Greg

    Ray, what about using these on 2 different bikes, road and TT for ex.?
    Would the “sprints and calibration” routine needed to be performed each time one would make a switch?
    How about using a torque wrench to tighten them instead?

    • Totally can use it for different bikes. I did occasionally between two bikes.

      The sprints and calibration dance does need to be performed on each bike. I saw really good immediate lineup after a single successive set of 3-4 sprints (some power meters really need like a full ride to settle after install, but that doesn’t appear to be the case here).

      You can use a torque wrench for sure (I don’t have the specs handy off the top of my head), though still, I’ve long found that doing those sprints is key. Even if it’s just across a parking lot something.

  25. Thomas

    Quick note: The link to the second set of data (the XPEDO one) is not working, I guess because the data set is not public?

  26. Ronald Gurney

    Can’t tell from pictures I’ve seen online, but what is the clearance between the pedal pod and the shoe when mounted? Looks close. With float, could the shoe touch the pod?

  27. Tay

    Price wasn’t as bad as expected but still of course high end kit and in that range.

    Big question is, how good is the single sided version.

  28. Harry Fang

    The one thing in my testing which I found irritating is the squeak you get with the cleats. Did you find that as well. As far as the clipping in action, I am a fan of the Shimano Dura Ace pedal, but over time I got used to the clipping in process of the Speedplay/Wahoo pedals.

    • mes

      “The one thing in my testing which I found irritating is the squeak you get with the cleats.”
      I have observed the ‘squeaking’ issue intermittently with my Wahoo Speedplay Aero pedals, and I suspect that if the cleat covers do not fit perfectly flush on the cleat, then the beveled edge of the cleat cover will rub on the spindle. I have been dialing in cleat float to match that of Dura Ace blue cleats and so I have been removing the cleat covers to make adjustments, so do not experience the squeaking on a continual basis.

      Another possibility is spindle diameter as my wife is using the new cleats with a set of the original Speedplay Zero’s that have been retrofitted with aftermarket Ti spindles. She was having the squeaking issue and when I looked at her pedals, I noticed a dark band on the spindle where it was contacting the beveled edge of the cleat cover. I used a micrometer on the Ti spindles and found the diameter to be a tad larger than the stainless spindles, but after ‘polishing’ the spindles (not that easy with Ti), I did not hear the squeaking on our last road ride.

  29. Jeff Lessenberry

    Does Speedplay still support custom spindle lengths?

    • mes

      “Does Speedplay still support custom spindle lengths?”
      No. Currently Wahoo only offers a single length spindle but there are aftermarket options available. Be aware that modifying the new version pedals by replacing the spindle with an aftermarket variant voids the warranty. Additionally, Wahoo have applied red thread lock compound to the threads of the retaining bolt, so trying to loosen the retaining bolts without first applying heat to soften the thread lock compound can (most certainly) result in broken retaining bolts, not to mention unlike the original versions, the access hole on the end of the new pedal bodies is not large enough to remove the bolt head!

  30. TomH

    I’ve been a Speedplay and Quarq user for about 12 yrs, and last 5 yrs on a Quarq “Dzero”.
    I like Quarq’s simple, manual zero-ing procedure — just backpedal 4 revolutions, which I can do while stopped at a light. Zeroing through the Garmin 500/530 computers is a pain, too many menus & submenus to click thru.

    I know little about powermeter pedals.
    >> In general, do they support “auto zero” when no torque is applied, or some other fast method (eg, back pedal) that does NOT involve the computer?

    I also like that Quarq’s true calibration (not ‘zero’) can be checked or re-calibed by hanging accurately known weights on the crank arm.

    >> I take it the Speedplay Powrlink does NOT support a true, user calibration — only a zeroing?

  31. jgpallero

    I can’t understand the answer of Wahoo about the lack of the torque effectiveness metric. “… they didn’t find ‘any value’ in these metrics […] there’s nothing tangible that a rider can do with these, aside from geek curiosity”. Also I can’t understand your opinion about it: “There’s virtually no scientific backed details on how to actually train and race with this data”

    Well, the ONLY way to interpret correctly the left/right balance is in light of torque effectiveness, i.e., a “perfect” 50/50 left/right balance could not mean a 50/50 power generation with each leg, and a 52/48 balance could mean a 50/50 power generation. Torque effectiveness provides important information about the ration between the power generated and the power absorbed in each leg (absorbed power is power wasted when the leg goes up in the recovery phase). So torque effectiveness is as important as left/right balance in order to analyze the pedal technique. Left/right balance by itself does not provide the exact picture.

    The answer from Wahoo is hilarious, and I think that actually they haven’t been able to implement it.

  32. Lowell J Anderson

    I wish the REI link worked! I just emailed them to fix it but wondering did it ever work?

  33. James

    Hi DC,

    Great write up.. thanks. One question – do you see any potential problem with clear/shoe and power pod mechanical interference? I don’t think so, but I’ve never used pedal based power before. Only crank based.. btw big speed play fan for 20 years. Haha

  34. David E.

    Hey, Ray. Interesting that Wahoo has a page on “shoe compatibility”:
    link to support.wahoofitness.com

    Seems like there may be a concern about shoes contacting the pedal pod. The review up on Slowtwitch also mentions this a potential issue (and suggests it’s less of a problem with shoes that natively have the four bolt Speedplay pattern). How concerning do you think this is? Is somebody going to need to start keeping a list of shoes that don’t work?

    • Ashley Masen

      Thanks for pointing this out. I bet my 4-bolt size 50bonts wouldn’t work with this pod. It’s got a wide to box and really low stack to the shoe and they already barely clear my speedplay aeros.

  35. Kevin Lincoln

    I called Wahoo today and asked them why the PowerLink Zero pedal has a 55mm spindle length/Qfactor. The answer I got was that the spindle couldn’t be any shorter due to the cycling shoe interfering with the power measurement part of the pedal. So. From a design standpoint. They had to make it this long. I also asked the Wahoo rep why they didn’t offer a new Wahoo Zero pedal in 55mm? That way a customer could have the same spindle lengths on their other bike…or bikes. He said that he did not know if or when they might do this. But he did say that you can’t buy a 55mm length zero pedal now. Overall. I have been waiting for a power pedal in the speedplay platform for over 5 years. So I am pretty happy that they are now available. I just wish they had a 53mm spindle length….or Q factor. I guess we can’t always get everything we want. Also. Note that the Nano zero pedals use a 6mm hex tool and the rest of the Wahoo Speedplay pedals use an 8mm hex tool. Cheers!

    • DaveQB

      Thanks Kevin. I too have a spindle length need too (65mm). I contacted Wahoo too recently, (prior to POWRLINK) and was told that soon you’ll be able to buy the Zero’s in any of the spindle lengths. Great news in case I need to buy another set. In the past I had to buy the pedals and then spend almost half the cost of the pedals on 65mm spindles and I am left with expensive 56mm spindles sitting on the shelf.

  36. DaveQB

    Thanks Ray.

    Is it POWRLINK or POWERLINK?

    Also, I really wish you’d use quarters rather than seasons. Your readers aren’t just from the northern hemisphere. It read to me you’ve been using these since about October-November ie late spring.

    Thank you.

  37. Stephen

    There is a small difference in thickness/stack height. From oldest to newest (as measured):

    Speedplay zero = 16.8mm
    Wahoo Speedplay Zero = 17mm
    Wahoo PowerLink Zero = 20mm

    This might impact bike fit slightly.

  38. Ivan

    Hi Ray, I tried the DCRAINMAKER code in Comp. Cyclist when I added the Powerlink Zero in the cart and it did not seem to work. Are the Powerlink Zeros not part of the promo code? Thank you.

    • Brian

      I’m interested in this as well?

    • Hi Ivan & Brian

      Sadly in this case, Wahoo doesn’t permit discounting by retailers, so Competitive Cyclist isn’t able to offer a discount on this specific item. In general, Wahoo doesn’t permit discounting on any of their items, unless they have a specific sale. Typically speaking, that’d be around Black Friday.

      I do appreciate the support via Competitive Cyclist though, it helps the site! Just as you being a DCR Supporter Brian, thanks!!!

    • Brian

      I dealt with Competitive Cyclist and they were really great with the transaction.

  39. Ben B

    I want to love these but is it totally not practical for gravel??

    • I think it’s fine. In many ways, gravel is what you make of it. I rode it offroad without any issues, as well as numerous times over gravel. And I’m pretty sure GPLAMA also used it for some gravel.

      The only real ‘concern’ with gravel is simply increased wear on the cleats if you’re doing a lot of walking in said gravel. Or, if gravel is muddier (like it was yesterday for me), where mud and speedplay cleats aren’t really BFF’s. The mud cakes in there more easily than other cleat types. But if you’re mostly riding on gravel as opposed to stopping on it, then it’s really a non-issue.

  40. Brian

    I plan on using the single sided version and swap between my road bike and a spin bike. If I am careful with the wrenching, is there anything inherently “not good” about this plan? This will be my first foray into the land of powermeters, so it’s exciting but I want to make sure I protect the investment.

    • At a high level, that’s totally fine. Unlike the old Vector 1/2 units that had quirky pods and such, these are more like Vector 3/Rally/Power P1/P2 and so on with standard-issue pedal attachment methods.

      In fact, I’d actually say the Wahoo ones will probably do better longer-term with constant swaps than Garmin, since I personally find it easier/more dependable to use a hex wrench to put on a pedal than a pedal wrench.

      I’d say that if you do this like 3-4x a week, I think any pedal would slowly wear down faster than normal (the inside portion). But if you’re talking once a week, then probably not a big deal.

    • Brian

      Yes, fairly rare swaps for this purpose – at most one swap a week (from the Road Bike to the Spin and then back to the Road for longer weekend rides).

  41. Nadeem Khan

    First post and speedplay user for some years, I have 4 pairs. I notice after a few tens of thousands of kms (25+) they can ‘rock’ on the spindle. I’ve never replaced the spindles (but have had the bearings replaced which wasn’t a great solution). If I understand correctly the Wahoo versions are now sealed units but does that mean once the rock happens the whole power meter is junk? I hope not as I would love to get one set of the the few pedals for use across all my bikes and sell my crank based systems.

  42. Ivan

    Hi Ray, what are the pro and cons of dual sided vs. single sided? I am trying to figure out, which ones should I get. Thank you.

    • DaveQB

      It just comes down to accuracy.

      I have a Pioneer power meter on my TT bike. It measures left and right legs independently. My right leg is stronger. However, if I do an easy ride, lower Endurance, they are about even. The harder the effort, the more dominate my right leg is, up to 10-12% more. So in my example, a single sided power meter would be accurate at lower power but up to 10-12% inaccurate at higher power.

      If you know you’re only 1-3% different between legs, then single sided could be a good cost saving.

  43. Craig

    My wife has been riding on Speedplay X2 pedals for 20 years (so 70k+ miles) and has been wanting a power meter so when these came out I jumped on them as an early birthday present. She went for her first ride on them on them today and instead of mindlessly/automatically clipping into them and going – it was a five-minute struggle to get clipped in. Both sides required a lot of force applied just right (specifics of the cheat code necessary to make it happen are unclear).

    Is this the natures of current (Wahoo) models of Speedplay pedals – something to be expected with the different cleat design (I have trouble believing people would put up with this experience)? Or is this indicative of something wrong with the particular set we purchased or the installation of that set?

    There is plenty of clearance between the shoe and the knob/pod/whatever-it-is-called and this is not my first time installing Speedplay cleats, at least of the X2 variety – is my first time with another model (but it’s pretty darn similar).

    Open to ideas, suggestions, opinions, etc.

    • Kevin Lincoln

      Wahoo offers a light action cleat that works with all of the versions of their new pedal lineup. If your wife is small like mine….i would suggest you try this cleat as it is easier to clip in and out. They are available on Wahoo’s web page for purchase.
      Cheers!

    • Chad McNeese

      1. The Light Action cleats (called “Easy Tension Cleat” in the new Wahoo site terms) are a worthwhile consideration and we have many happy customers that prefer them over the standard cleats.

      2. Before that, consider if you may have overtightened the attaching screws for the cleat. There is a very precise level of torque need to secure the cleats. If you exceed that, it can lead to overly tight action of the c-clip design as it gets sandwiched tighter from that torque.

      They used to offer a slip/pop torque wrench to limit that and reduce the risk of overtightening. So I’d suggest checking that unless you already know that you applied the proper torque to the original cleats.

    • Craig

      Chad, over-tightening seems likely to be the culprit – thanks for pointing that out. Torque of the screws in the old-style cleats essentially did not matter (pretty big range between “enough stay on” and “don’t strip the threads/head”). Seems like a design failure to make the cleats so finicky / dependent on precise torque, and introduce such a broad opportunity for installation error. Knowing that this matters, I can adapt, and hopefully it gets us close to the great experience provided by the old pedals/cleats.

    • Chad McNeese

      I had to check out of curiosity. The Wahoo site instructions list:

      “Recommended tightening torque: 2.5 Nm.”

      Which is not terribly tight on the gorilla scale 😉

      I agree that it’s a problem with their core design and sadly, a common issue from my experience, which is why I wanted to cover it. There are ways to handle it and I assure you that others coming from the old cleats like this the same issue.

      Here to hoping that resolves your issue and your wife will be happy with the adjusted results 😀

    • Craig

      Re-torquing (to less than 2.5nm) improved things, but still leaves a bit to be desired (still takes most of my 165lbs to get clipped in, whereas X2s seemed to just slip right in). They may also be improving with use. Wahoo Fitness customer support warned against torquing below 2.5nm for safety reasons and is sending us a pair of the “easy tension” cleats to try. I suspect those will get us to close enough / result in satisfaction with these pedals.

      For the $999 price I’m tempted to be disappointed these pedals do not include a 2.5nm Torqkey, AC-to-USB-A adapter for charging, and both strengths of cleats. Even worse than not including the 2.5nm Torqkey is that they discontinued it, so I’m probably going to be biting the budget and spending another $100 or so on a quality torque driver. I am happy with the customer service … and we’re now considering their computers/displays (would be improvement over current solution).

  44. John Hawkins

    Much prefer double-sided Speedplays to singlesided anything else. As I switch between road and MTB frequently, I very much prefer the similarity in entry action. Having a cranky Sydney taxi driver sitting right on my six on a steep uphill start, and faffing about getting the Shimano SPD cleat into the pedal was the decider for me, having noticed that even other more experienced road riders still dab multiple times most of the time when leaving traffic lights with SPD-SLs. I then discovered that Speedplay was much kinder to my knees, with much less friction in the float.

  45. John Hawkins

    Hi Ray, thanks for the detailed review. As I’m an all-weather rider, I’m interested to understand how they stood up to wet weather use. Do you have any remarks on their longevity and reliability in those conditions? Many thanks.

  46. Su-Chong Lim

    Speedplay Zero user for years, so was really glad to hear Powrlink is finally shipping.

    I ride with custom shortened cranks to 137.5mm (small stature plus optimum TT/Tri Aero position comfort with short cranks).

    I can’t seem to find the data confirming that the allowable crank length range of the Powrlink includes 137.5mm. Is it in the owner’s manual?

    • Ashley Masen

      Crank length is unrelated to pedals. Pedals attach to the cranks

    • You can get very close. The Wahoo app allows from 140mm to 210mm in 2.5mm increments (so every 150/152.5/155/157.5/160/etc…).

      The difference between 137.5 and 140.0mm should be about 1.2%, variable on your cadence. Alternatively, my bet is if you reached out to Wahoo, they’d probably just add it as an option to the app on the next update. It’s mostly just a math thing for them.

  47. Stef

    The main thing about Speedplay Zero, is adjustable float. I have FAI in my right hip, and for me, being able to lock out my right heel from kicking in, but allowing it movement outwards, and then having a more neutral set up on the left foot is perfect. An FAI specialist bike fitter put me on to Speedplay, they are the best option for me. I wish there was a MTB equivalent (adjustable float).

    Great review 👍

  48. Bikelink

    I’ve used zero’s forever (and have a quarq on my road bike), never the pave’s but wonder if pave’s a) “work” (clip back in) even after stepping in mud?, and b) if one day could be powermeter’d like these, and c) assuming pave gives good platform like roadies (even converted ones) feel is proper, and d) if they re-appear at all one day… anyone with Pave experience (I’m sure a and b happening are as likely as hen growing teeth. But the pavement to dirt transition leading one to let go of direct data, the direct data of smart trainers being now commonplace, then … is the USE of powermeters DATA becoming less relevant to put on bikes? Since so few roadies ever pin on a number (I have but less likely to again and less need other than post race analysis and intervals…which are best done on trainer), I guess even the triathlon market is good enough? WOULD the Pave pedals be a dirt AND road single solution one day?

    • I’ve done some pave here and there as I stumble into them. But my unintended off-roading with them is very similar as well from a ‘challenging’ standpoint. No issues at all accuracy-wise.

      I do think there’s been a bit of a softening of ‘nailing a specific wattage’ in the last two years, but I mostly attribute that to lack of race drivers for many people due to COVID. And then the secondary aspect you noted, depending on region (such as in the US), where people are heading towards gravel in droves (heavily influenced by road safety), which is causing a shift towards less-serious training. It’s sorta a double-whammy.

      That said, I think what’s valuable in power is sometimes more the post-ride data, combined with longer ride viability bits. For example, to look/glance at your power on a long ride and say “Nope, that’s not viable”. And I think we’re going to see more data/metrics in that real, that are less focused on nailing a race plan, and more focused on viability (sorta like we saw with Garmin’s recent Stamina feature).

      Thanks for being a DCR Supporter!

    • L De Atlantico

      Hi Ray,

      Thanks for your review! 2 questions here:
      – is it possible to change the pedal itself when eg worn out, after a fall, when the bearings are damaged… or do you need a whole new system?
      – how about the maintenance of the bearings, do they need the same maintenance with grease as the old SP pedals?

      Thanks a lot 👍🏻

  49. De

    Bonjour,
    Et merci pour ce test très complet.

  50. L

    Thanks for the great review as always, Ray!

    My only question is with Left vs dual side power. Have you tested this and how far off they are?

    Thanks.

    • Ultimately, left vs dual-side is simply the left side doubled.

      So it’ll vary on a person by person basis, as to whether it’s within range of acceptability, depending on how biased one side is versus the other for your legs. Most people aren’t consistently biased/even though. They often vary at different intensities and fatigue rates.

  51. Thomas

    What about oval chainrings ? Does it cover that somehow?

    • Wahoo says they are compatible with oval chainrings, in terms of properly accounting for that in power accuracy. It’s not something I test or validate for (and I have seen cases in the past where companies have stated they were compatible, but didn’t understand the implications of that claim). I do think Wahoo understands the implications of oval chainrings howeve.

  52. Robert

    Incredible review as always. Thank you!

    If I’m reading/hearing correctly, there is no ‘platform center offset’ data provided with these pedals? I guess I’m not sure if another platform besides the Wahoo page would support that information, even if it did exist…

    I had a few peers who made minor bike fit tweaks (+/- pedal washer, small varus/valgus wedge in shoe/cleat) after utilizing this feature on the Garmin Rally pedals with great success. I was really hoping Speedplay users could get their hands on that data.

  53. Brian

    Ray – Has there been any mention of upgrade pricing for converting single-sided to double-sided yet from Wahoo?

  54. Kevin Lincoln

    The Wahoo KICKR is 20% off right now. Here is the link:

    link to wahoofitness.com

  55. Su-Chong Lim

    Long term SpeedPlay Zero user for 8 years, love them, despite ongoing frustrations with prior manufacturer’s idiosyncracies. I have several sets.

    Finally got my Dual Sided Powrlink Zeros. Super easy to install and pair with my Wahoo App, and to my Edge530 Head unit. I was able to find a crank length setting on the Edge530 sensors settings that actually matched my short cranks (137.5mm — officially out of the listed range for the Powrlinks). I later removed the Powrlink Zeros from my Wahoo App, as I use it to monitor power and virtual speed data from my Kickr trainer setup. More later.

    I decided to try using my existing original SpeedPlay cleats — I have several pairs of SpeedPlay shoes and cleats, and on the basement trainer I was using Specialized 3-hole Shoe original SpeedPlay cleats on my original SpeedPlay Zeros. The original SpeedPlay cleats clipped effortlessly (for me — others may find it fiddly) into the Powrlink pedals as though they were the original SpeedPlays.

    I tried using a spacer washer, but found so much unnecessary lateral displacement that I tried again without the pedal washer, and found still a 1/2mm space between Powrlink electronics pod and pedal, so I left it like that. The shoe and cleat set up cleared the electronics pod adequately, so the power meter could function ok. There was still a mild feeling of wide Q angle (worse because of my short stature, I guess) but not bad. The higher stack was barely noticeable.

    I did my first 45 minute trainer session, and the Powrlink tracks the power nicely, although it reads about 3% higher power than the power recorded by the Wahoo Kickr trainer. This is just within the promised precisions of the two PMs, and FWIW, the direction of the difference is in keeping with some expected power loss through the drivetrain friction, although I wouldn’t expect 3% frictional loss (I keep a scrupulously clean freshly waxed chain).

    The only oddity was the L-R power balance. Allegedly I have a L59% and R41% power imbalance at low cruising power, and somewhat less unbalanced L55%-R45% at higher power surges. This does not show on the data from the Wahoo Kickr, which of course is a chain drive Trainer/PM and does not detect L and R balance. Maybe that’s actually how I pedal, but I’m not aware of it.

    I’m very happy with this SpeedPlay-like pedal/PM!!

    • John E.

      Interesting that you had a L/R power balance issue! I purchased the PopwrLinks to try and measure my expected L/R power imbalance. I have had many surgical procedures and arterial repairs on the right leg, which is weaker than the left, In fact, my Humon Hex muscle oxygen monitor clearly demonstrates decreased muscle oxygenation to the right leg even before starting to run or cycle. The Hex also shows a L/R difference during a ride or run, with the right leg approaching lactate threshold MUCH sooner than the left leg, and with slower recovery to normal saturation after cutting back on speed or cresting a hill (or even during cool down at end of a session.)
      So I was looking for the PowrLink to hang a number on the L/R percent difference. I have done 5 rides of 20+ miles with the Powrlink. It shows a start up L/R balance of 60/40. Each of the rides has consistently reported 67/33 average at the end of each of the rides.

      Your experience makes me wonder if there is a glitch in the PowrLink L/R balance reporting, and makes me wonder how accurate the numbers really are. The Hex was medically validated at Harvard Med and Mass Gen Hospital. It brought the problem to the attention of my vascular surgeons, who were impressed by the data,and said the Hex numbers are ‘highly consistent’ with my symptoms – MRI and other diagnostic imaging confirmed what my Hex was demonstrating. Hopefully the powr’link L/R balance data is accurate – I bought it mostly to numerically quantify what the Hex had diagnosed!

      If your L/R balance problem persists, i would love to hear about it. Perhaps someone else could try your bike to see if they get the same results – maybe a bike/cleat/shoe orthotic fit issue could be part of the imbalance????

    • Su-Chong Lim

      @John Elliott: I also have L>R power imbalance on my other Power Meter — a 4iiii Precision early prototype, so the Powrlink only confirms what information I was given years ago (I must admit I wasn’t sure whether to believe the 4iiii imbalance findings at the time, but I’m inclined to believe it now.)

  56. Su-Chong Lim

    I should mention that I use Absolute Black Oval Chainrings (36t/52t).

    I have no idea if that contributes to the Powrlink – Wahoo Kickr power reading discrepancy, and I wouldn’t even know where to start to consider the potential causes for discrepancy, if any.

    • DaveQB

      You have a similar setup to me. Speedplay for years, 52/36 oval chainrings (road bike) 👍

      3% is about the max discrepancy you’d expect with oval chainrings. Usually 1-2%, is said.

      Do we know how many samples per revolution the Powrlinks take?

  57. Brian

    Ray – Just to clarify, it doesn’t matter what we use to perform the Calibrate function between a Garmin 945, the Wahoo iPhone App, or say a Lezyne bike computer?

    The reason I ask is that I had been previously using the Wahoo App to calibrate before every ride, but I noticed recently that it was resetting my crank length from 170mm to 172.5mm and that seems to be because my actual Head Unit (a Garmin 945) had 172.5 set under that Sensor detail. It seems to be forcing the Wahoo app to change the setting. Once I started Calibrating under Garmin’s Sensor menu that “back end forcing” stopped.

  58. Pete

    If you’re already using speedplay zero cleats do you have to use the cleats that come with the POWERLINK pedals?

  59. John Elliott

    Is the Android Wahoo Fitness App necessary for setting up the dual PowrLink pedals? My Fenix 6x Pro paired with the pedals nicely without the Wahoo app, even allowing crank arm length changes. And the pedals seems to work (on my first 2 rides, anyway).

    Is there some reason that I need to install the Wahoo Fitness app and give away my email and location info? Does the app change settings in the pedals that the Fenix can’t do?

    I probably won’t use it for tracking my rides, Strava and Connect are really all I use.

    Thank you for the detailed review on these pedals!

  60. Laura

    Have a ticket in with Wahoo on this but just wondering if you have any ideas.
    Got these pedals and did three rides on them this week. Lots of accuracy issues – seems like the right pedal is somehow ceasing to transmit power for no discernible (by me, anyway) reason. Stopping to manually calibrate resolves the issue but only temporarily (had do this ~6 times over the course of a 2-hour ride today). I’ve tried enabling/disabling from my Edge menu, deleting from my Edge and re-pairing, making sure batteries are fully charged – nothing has resolved the issue.

    • Josh

      @Laura #145, did you get a response from Wahoo regarding your accuracy issues. I have a single sided set that report very low power, av. 60watt over a spirited 2 hour ride and at times my Edge 530 displaying no power or or maybe 4w at 20mph on flats. These have been setup and calibrated as per instructions, indeed I also have a dual sided set up which appear to show a true reading.

      Any thoughts?

    • Paul

      Laura- did you resolve this issue? I have had similar issues with variable power readings that require calibration during rides and most recently was unable to recalibrate.

  61. Dave

    Great review as always! Question though: Can I use these pedals given my weight (ideally I get to the 240 range) and the wider pedal spacing?

    My old (8yr?) Quarq meter recently died. I’m about 6′ 1″ and 270lbs (dropping weight, but…). Also I ride on Speedplay’s extended pedal shafts.

    Thank you!
    Dave

    • Ashley Masen

      These only come in the standard Q-Factor. So if you need a wider stance you’ll have to use pedal extenders like I suggested above (note: you will need solid crank arms). 113kg is the maximum weight… However with your weight, there could be increased risk while using the pedal extenders as that moves the center of force slightly off the crank

  62. John Elliott

    Speedplay Zero Titanium pedals have a 3mm shorter shorter spindle than the regular zeros! I started having some knee pain and calf cramps after switching from my old Speedplay Ti Zeros to the new PowrLink Zeros. I was using my old zero cleats and shoes with the new pedals, and didn’t modify the cleat adjustment that had been painstakingly dialed in during a multi session bike and shoe fit.

    Some on-line research found an old WeightWeenies link ( link to weightweenies.starbike.com ) that showed a 3mm shorter spindle length for Ti zeros!

    So I pulled out the old pedals to hold next to the crank arms with the new PowrLinks installed, and found a difference – the PowrLinks with spacer washer protrude from the crank arms by 5-6mm more than the old Ti zeros!

    Not sure if I have that much cleat adjustment left, but will have to give it a try!

  63. Su-Chong Lim

    @John Elliott: You might consider omitting the spacer washer. Even without it I find enough clearance for the PM “bulge” on the spindle off the crank to be able to sense torque forces accurately, and this shortens the effective spindle length — not enough to match the the original Titanium Speedplay Zero specs, but somewhat better than your original installation. I don’t intend to change the pedals often, if at all, so I’m ignoring the risk of repeated wear of forceful tightening on the crank eye during pedal installation. I hope this doesn’t turn around and bite me in the future.

    • John Elliott

      Thank you! I was asking Wahoo support about the shim removal, but don’t have a response yet. It ‘looks’ as if thre is plenty of clearance, bu I had the impression from the instructions the shim was nearly mandatory.
      Thanks for the suggestion!

    • John Elliott

      I heard from Wahoo customer support. They confirmed that the “legacy Titanium Speedplay Zero was 50mm q factor instead of 53 for the non-titanium Speedplay Zeros”. They also said that “the 1.2mm thick spacer is ‘required’ to make sure that the sensor body does not come in contact with the crank arm, as per the quick setup guide, and was strongly recommended in all installations” .
      The setup guide just says to ‘use if necessary’ to maintain 1mm clearance. I will have 2mm without the spacer, so it will be gone this weekend.
      This will be a help, because maxing out the cleat adjustment to compensate for the increased spindle width on the Wahoos only gave me about 3mm out of the 5mm difference. If I can get another 1.2mm by dumping the shims, things will be a lot closer to the old setup, and maybe the knee pain will go away!
      Thanks for all the support!

  64. Very good article, very useful. Thank you

  65. Kevin Finnegan

    Excellent review, for the record I’ve always been a speed play fan but appreciate one pedal does not work for everyone but I hope we can all agree dark beer and dark chocolate is better

  66. Sixto Henriquez

    Hi Ray,

    Do you know if you can work with GPA & GPR metrics? Wahoo doesn’t state it and i’m planning on using pedal power meters just to work on these figures.
    Thanks!

    Sixto

  67. mike

    So what exactly are the repercussions of using these while being over their max rider weight of 250 lbs? is it impossible to calibrate? i.e. am “enter weight” field that wont accept 350?

    will they just top out at a certain power measurement?or do they just break off?

    the original speedplay frogs had no weight limit, and i loved them for how they helped my knees on 1000 mile tours. would really like to try these.

  68. Pete Joachim

    As a speedplay convert a long time ago and waiting for this power pedals for some time, I agree 100% with your review, including the cleat setup. Very objective analysis – as usual!

  69. Thomas Durning

    I’ve had my eye on these pedals for some time and am hoping to get a rock solid confirmation that they work with Suunto products…in particular Suunto 9. Can anyone confirm that they work together?

    The reps at Wahoo and Suunto say it is supposed to sync with Bluetooth compatible electronics, but both stop short of confirming specifically that the two will work together. Any intel would be appreciated.

    • Dave

      You may want to check which version of Bluetooth your Suunto uses – I had a Wahoo Reflkt dashboard circa 2010 which failed with recent versions of IOS. Wahoo doesn’t care and won’t patch or open-source the code for that (useful) device so I thought I was screwed. Luckily, Cyclemeter app has a “use old bluetooth” option so I could still use it. IMO the worst offense for a pair of $1000 pedals is having only a 1 year warranty — That’s just lame.

  70. Brady Thomas

    Just scrolled through all the comments and have been surprised that nobody else encountered my problem. I have not once been able to connect to them during a triathlon race.

    I bought the dual sided POWRLINK pedals back in April. I connect to them with either a Garmin Edge 530 or a Garmin Forerunner 735XT. I never have any issue connecting to them for a training ride, or pre-race when I’m warming up and setting my bike up. But as I’m running into T1 and heading out on the bike, they never connect. I don’t know if it’s having my watch / head unit on a profile (swimming) where it isn’t looking for a power meter, or moving out of the connection range of the pedals, but they never connect in a race.

    I reached out to Wahoo support and they told me to navigate to the sensor menu once I wake up my head unit again in a race. This workflow clearly is not practical.

    I’ve been racing and training with power for over a decade now with Quarq and prior to that, PowerTaps. I have never had this issue with a power meter or other sensor not automatically connecting once my watch or head unit is in the correct activity profile.

    Has anyone else experienced this with their Wahoo POWRLINK pedals?

  71. Josh S

    Ray,
    I currently run Quarq power meters but am looking into a pedal powermeter system so I can use them for travel/ swapping easily to bikes etc. I already use speedplay pedals so this looks great. However, I am handicapped in my left leg and left side power meters are useless to me. Would this be a viable choice or should I just stick with a Quarq?
    Thanks

  72. Jack Prior

    I find the power meter works well, but occasionally I get a message on my Edge 1040 “Update Power Meter Software” or “software mismatch”. I don’t know the precise message as it’s not reproducible. The meter is still on its initial firmware. What might be causing this?

  73. L De Atlantico

    Hi Ray,

    Thanks for your review! 2 questions here:
    – is it possible to change the pedal itself when eg worn out, after a fall, when the bearings are damaged… or do you need a whole new system?
    – how about the maintenance of the bearings, do they need the same maintenance with grease as the old SP pedals?

    Thanks a lot 👍🏻