8 Jan 2018

Master MTB Training With Power

For a long time, measuring success using power was the domain only of the professionals, with meters simply too expensive for anyone but pro teams. While power meters are now becoming more widely used, they’ve remained relatively cost prohibitive, that is, until now – FSA’s latest carbon Powerbox makes the world of detailed, accurate and reliable data – alongside the huge benefits it brings for performance, more accessible to all riders.

Unlike many systems, Powerbox is fully self-contained. Designed as an entire crank with metering equipment shielded within the spider, it is well-sealed, water resistant and unobtrusive.

A powerful combination

The product of a collaboration between FSA and German sensor wizards power2max, the FSA Powerbox benefits from both companies’ long-time relationships with top sponsored teams.

While other training data such as heart monitoring is beneficial, it can be hazy, and confused by external factors, Powerbox measures your output at the crank, to an accuracy within two percent. It’s also capable of measuring each leg’s performance independently, and is just as vital for creating effective training as it is for maintaining the fastest, most efficient race performance.

With detailed information on cadence and power (in Watts) beamed via ANT+ wireless to your bar-mounted display, it’s a cinch to perfecting injury-avoiding warm-ups, staying in the most effective training zones and even monitoring fatigue ratings to avoid overtraining. The device even compensates automatically for temperature drift, so accuracy remains constant whatever the conditions. With Powerbox activated simply by pedalling, and with battery life at 300-400hrs, once installed it’s ready to go.

Race ready

If you race, you’ll soon discover why the pros are such devout users of power meters. With accurate, detailed knowledge of your abilities, and real-time data on performance, you can truly maximize your efficiency to ride both further and faster than before. It’s not possible to be accurate using perceived effort, or even heart data. For a more detailed exploration of how accurate power helps, see this piece on raising your power potential.

Power meter aside, even as a mountain bike crank the Powerbox is sophisticated. It’s light, (753g for the 11-speed optimized single ring version; 767g for the double) and stiff, while maintaining vital off-road toughness. The hollow arms are crafted from unidirectional carbon fiber, while switching between the CNC-machined alloy chainrings (available in the chain-retaining MegaTooth design in sizes from 30T to 36T) is easy. There’s no need to recalibrate Powerbox, and even battery replacement doesn’t require any special tools – not every design is so easy to use!

Sophisticated power meters are clearly the way forward for serious riders, and as a complete package – a cutting-edge crank and a cutting-edge data acquisition system – Powerbox is fittingly hard to beat.