This article originally appeared on BikeRadar
Polar's Keo Power range has been relaunched to use Bluetooth Smart. Along with an updated full Keo Power package, which offers left-right leg power balance, there's a cheaper Keo Power Essential option that combines data from both legs.
The big news with the relaunch has to be the Keo Power Essential package. Retailing at £844.50 / US$1,100 / AU$TBC, it slips into the price band of single-sides power meters like Stages and Rotor LT, but has a power meter in each pedal, giving a true total of power output even if the legs aren't separated out. Coming in at 369g (claimed), it's also a light option.
In our review of the original Polar Keo Power, we highlighted that the high price could be prohibitive compared to other brands' options, so lowering that RRP while retaining the benefits of swapping between bikes and not sacrificing measurement from both legs makes the Keo Power Essential a price-savy option if you're not interested in seeing what each leg is doing individually.
Another benefit of the Essential is that it only features one Bluetooth Smart transmitter – making set-up easier as there's no fiddling with locknuts on the drive side.
The full Keo Power Bluetooth Smart set-up retains two-legged data capture to offer left and right balance as well as pedalling efficiency. It's had a small price drop from the previous generation down to £1,439.50 / US$1,699 / AU$2,199, but that's still more than the Garmin Vector, which offers a simpler set-up and ANT+ compatibility.
Perhaps the biggest upgrade across both new systems is the use of Bluetooth Smart, rather than the old Polar WIND transmission. This means potential compatibility and interaction with apps and a high refresh rate for smooth data, but also that Garmin (or any ANT+ devices) won't be compatible. Instead, users will have to shell out for the upcoming Polar V650 head unit (€219.90 other prices TBC) or the company's V800 multisport watch (£399.50 / US$519.95 / AU$629), neither of which is included in the Keo Power package.
The transmitter pod has also been redesigned to make it slimmer (but longer), increasing chain clearance. Polar recommends a minimum gap of 5mm from crankarm to chain and that the cranks are narrower than 16mm in width and narrower than 40mm in diameter at the pedal mounting point.