SRAM Red 22 Quarq Powermeter - GXP $1,995.00
The perfect pairing.
With the second generation Red GXP crankset having seamlessly paired with Quarq's top-end powermeter system in 2012, SRAM decided to once again combine Quarq's accurate power technology with its new Red 22 GXP Crankset. The result is a precise blend of accurate power data and the most advanced crankset technology that's been proven, and continually put to the test, by the world's best cyclists.
SRAM's first generation Red crankset used a foam core, with a carbon structure wrapped around it, to meet SRAM's ambitions for drivetrain performance and weight. And while the stiff crank arms provided excellent response under load, one complaint that came from a handful of ProTour riders was that the front shifts occasionally lacked sufficient precision and crispness. SRAM's team of R&D experts set out to solve this gripe, and the changes that you'll find on the Red 22 GXP Crankset directly correlate to improved shifting. As such, the new SRAM Red 22 GXP Crankset has gone away from that first-generation foam-core formula, and it now has a significantly more substantial arm shape with a true hollow cross section. Because of this larger carbon-optimizing structure, SRAM was able to use less material, effectively reducing weight without negatively affecting stiffness. This also allowed SRAM to rotate the spider in order to take advantage of the large, flex-fighting crank arm.
The Red Exogram chainrings have also received extensive reworking to boost front shifting, specifically focusing on integration with the rotating, Yaw-caged Red front derailleur. Coined X Glide R, these chainrings are machined from 5mm thick 7075-T6 aluminum and now have been carefully tuned to accommodate the 11-speed drivetrain. SRAM used extensive computer-aided finite element analysis to optimize stiffness first, followed by shift ramp profiles. Then they set out to eliminate any unnecessary material without affecting the structure. SRAM placed the new shift pins to correlate with your cadence and cut the ramps into a profile that works seamlessly with the new Red front derailleur.
SRAM chose to stick with the 130mm bolt circle diameter standard, ensuring compatibility with aftermarket chainrings, but it also arranged the spider to position a mounting bolt on the backside of the crank arm. By integrating a mounting location within the existing carbon structure, SRAM was able to reduce weight and deflection from shifting -- effectively enhancing the accuracy, speed, and quality of front shifts. This reduces the number of spider arms to four and gives the cranks a sleek, air-splitting profile. And this is also where Quarq comes into the mix.
This Quarq powermeter system was specifically designed to be integrated with the new SRAM Red 22 group set. Similar to the 2012 system, Quarq's Power Balance technology displays the ratio of power generated between the drive and non-drive crankarms. This function seeks to improve rider form and efficiency, as you're now able to measure uneven distributions of force in your pedal stroke. Red also features the new Omnical power measurement that makes digital measurement and accuracy independent of the chainrings. This allows you to swap rings without impeding the overall accuracy of the system. Our favorite feature 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 Red Powermeter features a tool-less user replacement system as well as a predicted 300+ hours of ride time per battery. This means more time in the saddle and no need for backup cranksets. The Red Powermeter is also extremely accurate, operating on the powerful ANT+ wireless system with an expressed accuracy of +/- 1.5%.
The Red 22 Quarq Powermeter - GXP uses integrated electronics with minimal interconnections. This means that it's completely waterproof. The Red Powermeter System is also compatible with various training software such as Training Peaks WKO+, Training Peaks, Golden Cheetah, and Strava. The Red Powermeter operates wirelessly with ANT+, and is offered as a standalone item.
The SRAM Red 22 Quarq Powermeter - GXP does not come with a bottom bracket, but is compatible with the SRAM/Truvativ GXP standard, including the low-friction hybrid ceramic bearing option. It comes in 170, 172.5, and 175mm lengths, and both 53/39t and 50/34t chainring configurations are available.
What community has to say
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
My executive summary - I'm glad I made the purchase and would recommend this option to folks with a SRAM drivetrain. My only complaint is that the price is still a little high. My completely arbitrary high price is $1500.
This is my second power meter, after an early model Power Tap that I used in the mid-aughts. After several years off the bike and not racing, I picked this up to help focus my training. It's an early model - I got it right when they came out in summer'12.
Installation was simple for the most part. I had some minor challenges with magnet placement between BB shell and Cable guide, but it added maybe 10 minutes to the process. That will of course vary by bike.
After 18 months on it, I am quite happy. We've all read how consistency is king with power meters, and I find the results to be just that. The zero offset is easy to remember and simple to execute. I also don't notice any perceivable difference in stiffness between the Quarq crank and the standard Red crank.
I do find that I go through batteries fairly quickly, at least in my perception. But I have nothing to base that on other than perception.