Credit where credit's due.
We'd like to take credit for the key technologies at the heart of the GXP-compatible Quarq DZero Aluminum Power Meter Crankset Package. We'd like to, but we can't. Quarq contributed a decade of R&D to the DZero chassis, updating its already impressive accuracy with a longer battery life and even more reliability in changing conditions. All we did was pick out a pair of chainrings to mount on it. So if you like one of the three gearing options, well, you can thank us for that; however, if your true appreciation for the DZero lies in its virtually peerless accuracy while measuring watts, we've got to pass on credit to where it's due.
While our own contribution may be humble, the amount of R&D Quarq has dumped into the DZero is staggering. The only omissions here are the use of alloy instead of SRAM's Exogram carbon and BB386EVO compatibility, which Quarq reserves for DZero power meters with Exogram carbon crank arms. Of course, the fact that this model features the more humble aluminum crank arms brings it more easily within reach of the self-sponsored cyclist, proving that there is power in humility.
Those omissions aside, the list of included technologies is an all-inclusive romp through Quarq's feature menu. Chief among these is the power meter itself, which saw a healthy amount of retooling. Overall, Quarq claims that "150 documented improvements" inform the evolution from the previous models to DZero, but the most important is to the heart of the meter itself: the strain gauges and measurement circuitry.
It still incorporates five strain gauges strategically placed throughout the spider in order to measure the Newton meters you're throwing into the pedals. It's also still got the same claimed accuracy of +/- 1.5%, so its numbers are 0.5% more accurate than most meters, but the new design requires less correction in order to maintain accuracy in drastic temperature changes. Fewer corrections mean the DZero also better rations battery life than Quarq's previous power meter models, though when the battery does go out, you can still change it without tools or having to ship the whole thing to the manufacturer.
DZero's accuracy is further boosted by the return of Quarq's 10k dynamic temperature compensation technology, which alleviates the need for constant, mid-race zeroings in variable conditions. Even if it's just coasting for a few seconds or toggling through your head unit to the proper option, it can still be the difference between winning and losing. It's also obnoxious as hell. The DZero is equipped with an auto-adjust schedule based on a constellation of around 10,000 data points that chart how the unit responds to temperatures ranging from zero to 130 degrees Fahrenheit. This lets the power meter figure out the atmospheric details for you with minimal drift, so you can focus on turning the crank, not babysitting it.
Power Balance and Omnical are two additional returning features that record total output and output for either leg individually (Power Balance) and let you swap rings without recalibrating or negatively impacting accuracy (Omnical). As with previous Quarq models, the Dzero communicates to your head unit via ANT+ wireless, but Quarq also adds Bluetooth to this generation. Up till now, we've always tempered the obligatory head unit-compatibility statement by writing that your current computer is likely already compatible with the power meter; now, we can just state outright that it is compatible.
We recognize that there is value in cycling components that can stand up to the elements we often encounter throughout the course of a year of training, but Quarq demonstrates its penchant for being overly thorough by ensuring that the unit's internals can handle comically extreme conditions. The system is waterproof for 30 minutes while submerged under one meter of water, a feature that will come in handy on days you take your bike on the swim leg, too.
As we mention above, the DZero is effectively a catch-all for almost every bit of tech Quarq has thrown at the power meter problem over the past decade. This includes the AxCad accelerometer, which provides cadence information without the need of an additional sensor or magnet. As with its material predecessors, the DZero is compatible with various training software such as Training Peaks WKO+, Training Peaks, Golden Cheetah, and Strava. Unlike previous versions, the DZero's Bluetooth compatibility lets it sync with the Qalvin BLE app to easily tune, tweak, and set zero offsets.
- We pair SRAM chainrings with Quarq's latest power meter
- Redesigned strain gauge system is even more precise
- Provides power for each leg individually
- Alloy crank arms bring power data to the self-sponsored cyclist
- Broadcasts via ANT+ and Bluetooth protocols
- Requires less correction for better data and longer battery life
- Easily swaps between frames and chainrings
- Battery can be changed without tools by home mechanics