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First look: Shimano Dura-Ace 9100 power meter

17 Feb 2017
Verdict:

First impressions of the Shimano Dura-Ace 9100 power meter are very positive

The Shimano Dura-Ace 9100 power meter has been a long awaited product from the Japanese giant, especially given its proven electronics expertise, and it hasn’t disappointed. Not jumping into the power meter ring sooner has given Shimano the ability to garner the consumer feedback regarding the relative successes and failures of its competitor’s products as most of the gremlins from every other system have already come to light.

This will no doubt have influenced its decision over which type of power meter to develop - given it could arguably could have just as easily opted for a hub or pedal based system from its product line up.

The crank based FC-R9100-P power meter then is one of the most discreet on the market, such that you’d have to look twice to notice it.

It’s certainly one of the lightest too, adding just 70g to the standard Shimano Dura-Ace 9100 crank design.

A notable benefit is because Shimano’s chainrings do not mount to directly to the power unit, they can be changed without affecting the power meter calibration.

Also, instead of small coin cell batteries (that often have a short lifespan, especially in winter) the Shimano Dura-Ace 9100 power meter runs on an internal battery, much like the Di2 gear shifting, which has a much larger capacity. It is charged via USB, using a neat magnetic connection (very similar to the Apple MacBook).

An app (via Bluetooth to Smartphone or Tablet) controls the system set-up, diagnostics and any firmware updates, all very simple and straightforward.

My first impressions of the power meter are very positive.

Shimano has come to market with a system that is everything you would want a power meter to be: discreet, light, accurate dual-sided measurement, great battery life, minimal calibration faff, plus the ability to swap rings independently of the power measurement means its versatile too.

Swapping the crank between bikes would also be a very simple operation that doesn’t require a great deal of technical expertise.

The Shimano Dura-Ace 9100 power meter is expected to be released in May, so look out for a full review in Cyclist magazine in the coming months.

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