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 POWERLINK 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:

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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 POWERLINK 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:

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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 you’re 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 of 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 once 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 a it 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:

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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:

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

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As a general rule of thumb, you should calibration 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:

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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 ride can do these 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:

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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 a 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 pedals. 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 in 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 inline 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.

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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 overwhelming 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 happen 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, 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 cycling 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 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 them 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 underlaying 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 – and indoor ride – an ERG workout in TrainerRoad. This one actually on the new Wahoo ROLLR, though compared here to a Quarq DZero and PowerTap G3 power meters:

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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 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 watts). Without a functional baseline of a known-good trainer, I can’t exactly say which one was wrong here.

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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 pickup kids – so there’s no final finish. But that’s OK, the thing sprints in there are more than enough to demonstrate how close these results where. 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.

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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.

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 it’s 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 it 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/Feature Wahoo POWRLINK ZERO (Dual-sided) Garmin Rally Series Favero Assioma Pedals SRM X-Power
Copyright DC Rainmaker – Updated February 22nd, 2022 @ 9:13 am New Window Expand table for more results
Price $ 649/$ 999(single/dual) $ 1,099 $ 459/$ 719(single/dual) $ 1,199
Available today Global Mar 24th, 2021 Global Yes
Attachment area Pedal Pedals Pedal Pedal
Attachment limitations Speedplay cleats SPD/SPD-SL/LOOK KEO LOOK KEO COMPATIBLE CLEATS ONLY Shimano SPD
Weight (additional/net) 133g per pedal (plus cleat weight) 159g SPD-SL/165g KEO/221g SPD 150g per pedal (inclusive of pods) 172g per pedal
Wireless Connectivity Type ANT+/BLUETOOTH SMART (DUAL) ANT+/Bluetooth Smart ANT+/BLUETOOTH SMART (DUAL) ANT+/Bluetooth Smart
Battery Life 75 Hours 120-150 hours 50 Hours 30ish hours
User or Factory battery replacement FACTORY (SUPPORT ISSUE ONLY) User FACTORY (SUPPORT ISSUE ONLY) Factory (support issue only)
Battery type Rechargeable CR3/1N Rechargeable Recharageable
Transmits Pedal Smoothness No Yes Yes Yes

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).

Frist 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 different. 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!

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!

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!

Product Reviews – DC Rainmaker

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