Power meter technology has changed quite a bit over the past 4 years. From a consumer standpoint, that means competition, price wars, and greater accessibility. With that, like any other product on the market, that also means a diversity of options with varying levels of reliability, stability and durability.
For years the golden standard of power meters was SRM. As a crank based company out of Germany, they have, and continue to dominate the top end of power meter options. If you look at the pro road peloton, the majority of teams use SRM because of their consistency, accuracy and durability. With that said, they have their weaknesses which come in the form of price and serviceability. You can learn more HERE.
Powertap is another company that has been around the block a few times in the power meter market. Originally, they were a hub power meter, that you would lace into your wheelset. Now, Powertap offers a variety of options (and are the only company to do so) in the form of crank, pedal and hub based power, diversified to meet your specific needs. For instance maybe you don’t want to change what crank or wheels you use, but would prefer to swap power between bikes; pedals then, sound like a good fit. Or if you have wheels you love, lacing in a Powertap hub could be the perfect solution. You can read more about those options for CRANK, PEDAL and HUB options here.
Stages is another newcomer to the market, and are working to make power meters much more accessible to the general masses. By developing a crank arm based unit, Stages has worked to create a power enabled crank arm compatible with every crank on the market. You can check out their SHIMANO, and SRAM options here.
And last but not least, Quarq has been around for quite a while, offering crank based power meters to rival SRM. As a cheaper, more serviceable and accessible option, Quarq has been adopted by many as the preferred power meter among amateurs. You can check out their power meters HERE.
Whatever your power needs/desires are, there is likely an option that fits the description. The above are simply the most popular at the writing of this article. Whichever you choose though, be sure to use your power meter correctly. They are exceptionally helpful tools when used to their full potential. For more insight about using them, you can read more HERE or pick up a copy of one of the best books about using power, Training and Racing with a Power Meter.