power2max NGeco – Affordable Power Metrics For Any Riding Style
Crank-based power meters offer accuracy and reliability, safe from pedal strikes and the general wear-and-tear pedal-based systems can be exposed to, especially in off-road scenarios – and power2max has refined its the-pros-love-it NG series to include a wallet-friendly ‘eco’ version. The eco bit stands for economy, rather than bunny-friendly, and the unit is aimed squarely at the mountain bike and gravel community, with a robust German-manufactured build and an anti-chain-suck pin that protects the battery cover as standard, but there is a full range of road models, too.
Installation is super-simple – our review unit was a four-bolt 104mm SRAM number which we affixed to a direct-mount Force 11 gravel crank, using a local-is-lekker Csixx 42-tooth chainring to get the requisite gearing. 110mm bolt circle units are available, too, we chose this in case we wanted to shift it across to the mountain bike later. The NGeco is also available in Shimano XTR, Cannondale AI and Race Face versions, as well as various road setups.
You will need to remove the crankset – all of this is DIY if you have the right tools (NB – torque wrench!) and a modicum of tech proficiency, but if you are concerned by your clumsiness, get your LBS involved they should do it FOC if you bought your power2max through them, or for a nominal fee if you didn’t. Unscrew the three Torx heads that attach the SRAM spider, remove the warning notices and battery-separator paper from the power2max unit and bolt it on with the same three Torx. Fit the chainring – our one-by, non-boost unit required a spacer plate, the folk at Bicycle Power Trading will walk you through every thing you need for your particular setup – making sure you replace the normal bolt just before the battery cover with the oversize stainless protection bolt. Don’t forget to add the splash of colour, too, with one of the bright personalisation decals supplied. Tighten it all up to the required torque values, reattach the crank and move to your head unit.
Pairing the power2max NGeco to your head unit is as simple as it comes spin the cranks a few times, wait for the little green LED light to appear, move to the power-meter screen on the unit and pair using whatever protocol your head unit requires. It was effortless with both Sigma ROX12 and Polar GritX units we used, not even ID codes, but if you do need that it is sensibly engraved on the leading edge of the spider, rather than on a sticker on the packaging. Perform an initial zero-offset through the head unit, and you are ready to roll. The power2max app is available on the App Store and Google. It’s a utilities app, which allows owners to ID the battery state, further device information, also do the relevant upgrades from NGeco to an NG model if needed.
The ECO is disarmingly easy to use, once installed. You won’t need to do anything other than spin the cranks to wake it up before you ride, and maybe check the zero offset on your head unit if you haven’t ridden it for a while, or if the weather conditions have changed dramatically – although the built-in temperature compensation covers that rather well and the unit does zero-offsets itself without you knowing. The accuracy is well within the accepted norms of the power-meter industry – not the 1% of the doubly-expensive dual-sided NG, and the cadence measurement was flawless. Battery life is superb – at 400 hours, we haven’t come close to needing to replace the easily-found CR2450 battery yet: R75 every six months (or a year, lets face it, for most of us) is hardly a reason to want the USB charging the more expensive unit offers.
Did we miss L/R balance or pedal smoothness? Not really – we looked at it fairly regularly when we were using the Favero Assioma pedals we reviewed earlier in the year, but possibly, that was just the novelty. It didn’t change anything we did from a pedalling, training, fitness or bike-fit perspective. It is possible to upgrade to show both through the app, if you really want to know.
power2max NGeco In A Nutshell
- +/- 2% accuracy
- Two year warranty on product
- Uses a long-life CR2450 battery
- Battery life: 300 hours
- Transmits power and cadence
- Can display L/R balance and smoothness for an additional fee (once off cost of 50 EURO per metric).
- ANT+ and BLE compatible
- BCD: 104mm
- Chain Line: Standard or boost
- Weight: 127 grams
- Built-in temperature compensation
- Water resistant
- Includes five coloured decals and MTB protection pin
- Manufactured in Germany
RRP: from R13 999