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FSA's brand new power meter arrives for review, here's a first look

The power meter market continues to expand and the latest option comes from Italian company FSA. Its new Powerbox power meter crack borrows power2max technology and costs £599 for the aluminium version (including chainrings) we’ve just got our hands on today. 

FSA has worked with the German power meter company previously when it launched the Gossamer power meter crank a few years ago. But FSA is ramping up its power meter offering this year since it has launched its first complete groupset, WE, a semi-wireless electronic drivetrain. 

- How to choose a cycling power meter — a buyer's guide to your power training options

FSA Powerbox Alloy Road Chainset - detail.jpg

FSA Powerbox Alloy Road Chainset - detail.jpg

Instead of developing its own power meter technology, FSA partnered with power2max to utilise its knowledge and experience. No surprise that the FSA Powerbox has a striking similarity to a power2max, but you’re getting FSA’s quality crank arms and chainrings.

The electronic gubbins are integrated neatly into the crankset and it measures left and right leg power and uses ANT+ to pass the data to a compatible computer, like a Garmin Edge or to a computer with an ANT+ receiver for use with Zwift, TrainerRoad and like that. Bluetooth should soon be available too so you can use it with suitable smartphone apps. 

FSA has ensured the Powerbox is simple to use, just get on and ride with full power measurement. An internal accelerometer is used instead of a separate cadence sensor, and there’s no need to auto zero before every ride as the power meter auto zeros before a ride, or whenever you stop pedalling for three seconds. Battery life is a claimed 400 hours or 12,000km and can be changed easily. 

FSA Powerbox Alloy Road Chainset - reverse side.jpg

FSA Powerbox Alloy Road Chainset - reverse side.jpg

We’ve got our hands on one of the first aluminium samples to land in the UK with a compact 50/34 chainring setup. On the scales the drive side crankset weighs 669g and the non-drive side crank arm is 255g.  If you want less weight there’s a carbon fibre version which brings the weight down to a claimed 585g but ramps up the price to £1,199. 

Regardless of which version your budget accommodates, both use FSA’s BB386EVO 30mm bottom bracket standard. The chainrings are the same across both versions and made from 7075 aluminium and compatible with 10/11-speed Shimano and SRAM groupsets. There’ll be a choice of 53/39, 52/36, 50/34 and a new 48/32 ratio; we’ve got the compact 50/34 setup as that’s the only one currently available. 

FSA Powerbox Alloy Road Chainset - detail 2.jpg

FSA Powerbox Alloy Road Chainset - detail 2.jpg

The price makes it one of the most affordable crank-based power meters we’ve yet come across. To put it in some perspective, an SRM is going to set you back about £1,800, Pioneer’s Dual Leg Powermeter is £1,100, the Verve Infocrank will relieve you of £1,149 and the Quarq DZero 11R aluminium power meter is £693 without chainrings. A Stages 105 power meter comes in cheaper at £449 but you’re just paying for the non-drive side crank arm, not the whole chainset. 

We expect to see this become a popular aftermarket power meter and it’ll be interesting to see how many bike brands choose to spec it. We’ve seen a few already including Boardman choose this chainset.

- Six reasons why you should use a power meter

So those are the key details of the new FSA Powerbox power meter, all that remains now is to fit it to a bike and get the miles in, we’ll report back with a full review soon. 

David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.

14 comments

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Rapha Nadal [713 posts] 10 months ago
1 like

Looks like an utter bargain!

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davel [2052 posts] 10 months ago
1 like

Apologies if it's clear in the article David... I might be too excited to have read it properly...

£599 for left and right sided power AND chainrings? 

 

Avatar
steviemarco [236 posts] 10 months ago
0 likes
davel wrote:

Apologies if it's clear in the article David... I might be too excited to have read it properly...

£599 for left and right sided power AND chainrings? 

 

Yes it is both left and right, you are excited as am I!

Avatar
David Arthur @d... [832 posts] 10 months ago
0 likes

davel wrote:

Apologies if it's clear in the article David... I might be too excited to have read it properly...

£599 for left and right sided power AND chainrings? 

 

Yes, £600 for everything you see in the photos. I'll make that a little clearer

Avatar
Rich_cb [530 posts] 10 months ago
1 like

Shut up and take my money.

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davel [2052 posts] 10 months ago
0 likes

I've nearly wet myself omg lol etc

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sttuey [15 posts] 10 months ago
0 likes

I once had a crank in my left hand crack but fortunately it was replaced under warranty.

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pablo [198 posts] 10 months ago
0 likes

seems like a solid offering especially including the rings and proven power2max tech.   Other cheaper options out their but they oftern require sending off your crank arms or being only single sided.  

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TypeVertigo [421 posts] 10 months ago
0 likes

Good on FSA to offer this at such a competitive price.

BB386EVO revolves around a 30 mm crank spindle, though...will this fit a BB86 frame? There are claims of other 30 mm spindle cranks that fit in such frames, but have terrible bearings because supposedly they're way too small to fit in the space left over.

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davel [2052 posts] 10 months ago
0 likes

Just one more thing for me to be fussy about: any information on the crank arm lengths that will be offered? Or can you bung any compatible/FSA crank arms on there?

I fancy going a smidge shorter on my TT bike...

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MisterMuncher [5 posts] 10 months ago
0 likes

£558 quid or thereabouts off Mantel at the moment. Grabbed one last week. Works very well, fitted in moments on a BB30 bike with minor adaptation. Mine is 170mm, afaik available in 170, 172.5 and 175mm. 50/34 available from Mantel, 52/36 from Bike24.

Avatar
DIMITRIS [1 post] 10 months ago
0 likes

Hi, 

i have a Pinarello Dogma F8 with Campagnolo Record 11-speed (2014 model) and i was wondering if is compatible the FSA PowerMeter (carbon version) with them (?) .

Thanks  

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Woodsy [1 post] 8 months ago
0 likes

Shame you Carn't just purchase the powerbox to fit to your fsa chain set! 

Avatar
Splash101 [2 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes
MisterMuncher wrote:

£558 quid or thereabouts off Mantel at the moment. Grabbed one last week. Works very well, fitted in moments on a BB30 bike with minor adaptation. Mine is 170mm, afaik available in 170, 172.5 and 175mm. 50/34 available from Mantel, 52/36 from Bike24.

 

Hi MisterMuncher.... 

 

The minor adaptation you speak of I assume this was placing the MW258A either side of the crank upon installation...? or did you do something else also?

 

I've installed mine with said spacers on a CAAD10 frame with a BB30 however I have a creaking/clicking noise so it'd be good to know your set up and any issues encountered so far?