When looking at the best power meters, SRM is considered a pioneer in the field with a rich history spanning over 30 years. As the demand for a dedicated off-road power meter increased, SRM unveiled the X-Power pedal concept at Eurobike in 2019, in a move that would come to mark the German power meter specialist’s first attempt at capturing the off-road market – mountain biking and gravel riding more specifically. And while SRM has produced a power pedal before – the Look Exakt road pedals – these represented more of a collaborative effort than an original design.
The SRM X-Powers you see here, however, represent a ground-up in-house development – the world’s first off-road-specific power pedal offering if you will. As such SRM is looking to garner market share in what has become a highly competitive space with rivals such as Stages, Rotor, Power2Max and Quarq dominating the landscape.
We’ve been sent a pair for long-term testing which will comprise use across disciplines such as mountain biking and gravel riding as well as some indoor use – the latter, of course, will be used to benchmark accuracy across myriad power meter protocols.
Design and aesthetics
The X-Power pedals take on the tried-and-tested MTB pedal design made popular by Shimano – but with an SRM twist. Our test pair feature an anodised-lime-green aluminium pedal body that spins on a stainless steel axle. An SPD-compatible clipless mechanism bookends each side of the pedal and provides a contrasting aesthetic to the green backdrop that dominates proceedings.
Detailing, in general, is rather incognito but that’s always been a hallmark of SRM. As such the SRM and X-Power wordmark logos sit on opposing sides of the pedal while a simple ‘X’ emblazoned on the flanks denote the pedal’s multi-off-road-discipline tendencies – the X-Powers can be used on the best gravel bikes, mountain bikes and even cyclo-cross bikes.
Other touches include a tempered treatment applied to the axles as well as the inclusion of LED battery charge indicators located on each end of the pedal spindle.
According to SRM’s website, the pedals will also be available in two additional colourways sometime soon – black or red – which should help with those who obsess over colour matching bike equipment.
Specifications and performance
Save for the Favero Assioma Duo, power meter pedals have a propensity for being a little on the portly side – a side effect of cramming strain gauges and reinforced architecture into the blueprint. The SRM X-Power pedals tip our scales at 170g a piece which is bang-on with regular Shimano XT SPD pedal – very impressive indeed.
To prevent the intricate innards from getting damaged in the event of rock strikes, crashes or the like, SRM has housed the strain gauges and electronics in the spindle itself. Speaking of strain gauges, four grids are responsible for measuring wattage in relation to crank position, a proven way of harvesting accurate power data. While these particular pedals are dual-sided in application, a single-sided version is available, which can be upgraded by adding the X-Power extension package (dual-sided).
The X-Powers utilise lithium-ion batteries with a run time of approximately 30 hours (standby power draw is 2-5% per day). The pedals are charged by way of a single-pin magnetic connector located on the wrench flats – the LED battery charge indicators will flash green once fully charged. There is both ANT+ and Bluetooth connectivity to ensure that the X-Power pedals are compatible with all head units and indoor cycling apps.
There’s also an SRM X-Power smartphone app which gives access to advanced analysis and training metrics such as asymmetric power monitoring and zero-offset functionality. For eRacers, the pedals feature a ‘Zwift compatibility’ mode that communicates directly with Zwift, allowing riders the option of switching between pedals or the turbo trainer as the power source.
With riding limited to a short MTB blast around the local XC track and a race of Zwift, the pedals – unsurprisingly – appear to be impressively accurate: SRM quote accuracy to a maximum deviation of only 2%. Using the data analysis tool on ZwiftPower, the SRM X-Powers showed an accuracy variance of just 1% (299w vs 301w) when compared to the Elite Direto XR over 20 minutes. More testing awaits but things look promising.
How hardy are they?
SRM told us the pedals have been tested in the toughest of conditions and can withstand serious abuse and repeated rock strikes.
“The pedals conform to the international standard ASTM F2043-13. We have rated the X-Power category 3, which is a set of conditions for the operation of a bicycle that includes rough trails, rough unpaved roads, and rough terrain and unimproved trails that require technical skills. Jumps and drops are intended to be less than 61cm (24in).”
The X-Powers boast a two-year warranty but this does not cover external damage inflicted by the customer. That said, the pedals have been designed in a way that they can be repaired easily – if you bend or break the pedal bindings, they can be purchased off-the-shelf from Exustar.
In terms of the spindle, SRM assures us that it can be completely repaired. “We do not fill in the gaps around the electronics with materials so they can be taken out, if necessary. Nevertheless, the electronics are very well protected inside the spindle. The only instance where we’d replace the spindle is if it has bent – but that would require a very big force.”
With just five rides and seven hours worth of testing to date, the SRM X-Power pedals have left a positive impression on this writer. The set-and-forget nature and ease of the installation are truly impressive, and the splash of colour provides a striking alternative to the bland offerings currently on the market.
While we’re yet to put big miles on them, we are looking forward to seeing how they hold up in terms of off-road and excessive use, especially when negotiating tricky terrain and obstacles.
Yes, at €1,190 / £1,150 it’s an incredibly pricey piece of equipment but the SRM brand cachet is synonymous with quality and reliability, not forgetting accuracy which the brand has built a strong reputation around.
The full in-depth review will follow in the coming months.
Tech specs: SRM X-Power pedals
- Price: €1,190
- Weight: 170g (340g per pair, actual)
- Battery life: 30 hours
- Battery type: Rechargeable (lithium-ion
- Colours: Green (black and red to follow)
- Measurement: Dual-sided
- Type: Pedal