The new Magene P325 CS power meter might just be the cheapest way to get real single or dual-sided power measurement on your road bike. The $299 aluminum crankset delivers dual-sided power data, complete with chainrings. Single-sided power is even cheaper, as low as $179 for a complete setup.
Magene Fitness is a Chinese company that has been producing affordable smart trainers and power metering devices since 2017, with the aim of saving you money by cutting out the middlemen. Now with their first alloy crankarms and rings, they’re slashing prices lower than ever…
Magene P325 CS ultra-affordable power meter cranksets
Magene Fitness – or as it is known in long form Qingdao Magene Intelligence Technology Co., Ltd – is a five-year-old fitness tech company that designs and produces its own cycling trainers, tracking sensors, and power meters in Qingdao, China. As the manufacturer, their business model is to cut out the middlemen – those responsible for a recognizable brand name, international warehousing, distributor networks, and brick & mortar retailers – passing the savings on to the end user without extra markup at each level.
The result is fast R& D, and you get crazy low pricing. That is if you are willing to take a risk on the unknown, and if you can deal with product descriptions & instructions in a bit of broken English.
Ultra-affordable power meter tech, Kickstarted to your door
Important to know here is probably that even though this is a Kickstarter campaign from a Chinese company you probably have not heard of, it is by no means the first power meter from Magene. Up to now their latest power meter, the third generation P325 still relied on attaching their strain gauges to standard Shimano crank arms, much like the Stages solution. But Magene realized they could cut out one more middleman, and lower prices even more if they made their own crank.
Affordable power metering – Tech details
The electronics of the Magene P325 power meter uses strain gauges directly fixed to one or both crank arms, reporting a claimed accuracy rate of +/-1.5%. They communicate via ANT+ & Bluetooth Smart 4.2 to work with most cycling computers, transmitting power, power balance, cadence, torque effectiveness & pedal smoothness.
The IPX7 weatherproof power meter features internal batteries in each arm, rechargeable with a proprietary magnetic, external-contact charging cable. Runtime is claimed at 200h, with a 3.5h charge time.
What’s all-new in the Magene P325 power meter crankset are the machined aluminum arms with a drilled hollow arm structure, much like Rotor Trinity powermeter cranks. Arms are available in five lengths: 165, 167.5, 170, 172.5 & 175mm. They spin on a 24mm spindle designed to work with BB86 bottom brackets, and pretty much any bike that is set up for a Shimano crankset.
The cranks come with direct-mount one-piece pairs of road chainrings in 50/34, 52/36, or 53/39 gearing combos – for 10 or 11 speed drivetrains. But they use the same 8-bolt direct-mount interface as the latest SRAM Red/Force AXS cranks, allowing you to replace worn rings with some standardly available options of even a more conventional spider.
Total crankset weight is claimed at 760g.
Magene P325 CS power meter – Kickstarter Pricing & Availability
This Magene P325 power meter crankset is cheap. An early bird sale single-sided power meter crank with chainrings sells for just HK$1387 (~$179 / 152€). Early bird pricing is gone already on the dual-side power meter crank with rings, but it is still just HK$2317 (~$299 / 254€). But here’s where you get into the Kickstarter risk factor…
While Magene has built & sold plenty of power meters, this is their first crankset. And some pre-production crank reviews have suggested they were quite flexy, and may not have quite delivered on Magene’s “world’s leading” claim just yet. Magene says they’ve addressed the early concerns. But with just three weeks to go on the crowdfunding that is 2/3 funder and estimated so close as December 2020, it’s hard to say what might change between now and then.
In any case, the P325 CS looks like a great power meter price. You just have to decide if it is worth the risk.