Quarq Riken GXP $1,595.00
Understand the power of power.
Let's face it, the sport of cycling tends to be slow in its adoption to change. Whereas the power meter used to be considered a luxury item for the most elite of pros (the types who sleep in altitude tents and wear space legs), it's now a prerequisite for anyone seeking success in the saddle. Training with power is the most effective way to make your efforts count, and at the forefront of this movement has been a little company in South Dakota called Quarq. If you were impressed by Quarq's Cinqo, Saturn, or S975 power meters, you'll feel the same sense of excitement when you see the new Riken GXP.
So, besides a $300 price difference, the question begs to be asked, how do the Quarq Riken 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. 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 GXP 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 GXP 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.
Reviews & Community
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
Basically built off a SRAM Red crank. Power measured where its made, doesnt do left right power but physiologically most people should be balanced relatively well and with a little creativity you can test left right without spending a ton more.
More versatility in wheel choice than a powertap. And unless your afraid of tools it can be swapped between bikes quickly if needed.