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So, besides a $300 price difference, the question begs to be asked, how do the Quarq Riken BB30 and Elsa actually differ? Surprisingly, the answer is not much -- that is if you're not a habitual gram counter. In fact, the overall functionality of the two systems are nearly identical, only differing in the Riken's absence of the new Power Balance feature. However, where the two most noticeably part ways is at the crankarms themselves. Where the Elsa utilizes the newest SRAM Exogram Hollow carbon arms, the Riken relies on a more standardized RED pair of arms. Ultimately, though, this only amounts to around an 88 gram differential

So, let's focus on the Riken. For Quarq's 'next wave of power meters,' we see a complete redesign over the Cinqo, with an emphasis placed on three key issues -- weight, accuracy, and ease of use. And starting with weight, the Riken features SRAM's carbon crankarms found on the last iteration of SRAM RED. You'll also find SRAM's RED Powerglide chainrings from one model back. But, as the name implies, the cranks feature a hollow construction. However, what isn't inferred is that the hollow cross-section design extends all the way to the new spider, creating SRAM's stiffest and lightest crank ever. In fact, the complete system tips the scales around 823 grams in a GXP format, leading us to believe that this BB30 iteration weighs even less. For some perspective, the newest RED crankset weighs around 585 grams, and the last Quarq RED Exogram power meter weighed 830 grams. So, the Riken is sitting in a rather respectable position.

Riken's innovation didn't stop at the crankarms. For a rigid crankarm attachment, the Riken uses a newly designed, CNC-machined aluminum spider. Now, all of the data-collecting electronics, and the system's battery, is housed in the spider. Quarq is calling this OmniCal, but you can call it liberating. OmniCal enables the power meter system to collect data independent of the chainrings. So, you can swap out rings for without affecting the accuracy of the system. And speaking of accuracy, the Riken power meter system operates on the powerful ANT+ wireless system with an expressed accuracy of +/- 1.5% -- an accuracy improvement over the Cinqo Saturn's +/- 2%.

Choosing the Riken also provides you with several advantages over other systems. Our favorite has to be its ease of use. Along these lines, Quarq has remedied a common frustration to power meters, setup. Now, the Riken's ANT+ ID is clearly visible and there's an LED indicator in order to make the setup a simplified affair. Another game-changing perk is the ability to change the system battery yourself. Unlike SRM PowerMeter systems that require you to mail in your crankset for battery swap-outs, the Riken features a tool-less user replaceable CR2032 cell battery. And don't worry, with a predicted 300 hours of ride time per battery, you won't have to be changing it too often. This means more time in the saddle and no need for backup cranksets.

The Quarq Riken BB30 is available in the color Black and in both a 50/34 and 53/39 tooth chainring configuration. Also, the crankarms are available in 170, 172.5, and 175mm lengths for both the compact and standard options. Please note that this version of the Riken is only compatible with BB30 bottom brackets systems, which are not included with the power meter. Also, Quarq states that the Riken is officially compatible with SRAM's RED, Force, Rival, and Apex front derailleurs. For CPU pairings, the Riken is compatible with any ANT+ equipped head unit.

Tech Specs

Arm Material:
carbon fiber
Arm Length:
170 mm, 172.5 mm, 175 mm
Chainring Sizes:
50 / 34 t, 53 / 39 t
Bolt Circle Diameter:
110 mm
Bottom Bracket:
not included
BB Type:
BB 30
Compatible Components:
Claimed Weight:
[GXP version with 172.5mm crankarms] 823 g
Recommended Use:
road cycling
Manufacturer Warranty:
2 years

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Here's what others have to say...

5 5

Great Power meter

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Simply put i have had no data issues, no rain problems, and it works as described. I did at one time have some crazy zero offset numbers but i called quarq and it was figured out quickly with no issue (i had used a pressure washer for the bike and we think some water got into the unit). So far after one year it has been a great crank, but a bit on the expensive side as the industry is becoming more competitive.

Hello, do you know if the Riken can calculate...

Hello, do you know if the Riken can calculate speed and cadence as well or would I need to use an additional sensor (such as the Garmin speed/cadence sensor) to get this information?

Responded on

It will send cadence to your garmin as cadence is required in its calculations but not speed.

Responded on

mic101602783 is mistaken. It will give both cadance and speed. In fact, the latest software version (kalvin) will give data without the magnet via built-in accelerometor.