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Review: Shimano Dura Ace FC9100-P power meter crankset

Björn 02. June 2018

Shimano’s new Dura Ace power meter crankset offers true dual-sided measurement and exact values. What more can you ask for?

As Shimano released their newest version of their top-quality Road groupset, they did so with a power meter option. In the past, they have left the power meter market for the competition, but that has changed with the Dura Ace FC9100-P crankset.

First impressions

From the outside, the new crankset looks very similar to the normal version. However, when taking a closer look, one notices the charging port with LED on the drive side and the strain gauges on the non-drive side crankarm. Looking even closer, you will notice that there is a magnet mounted to the frame, which is responsible for helping track cadence. The magnet cover is available in black and white so that it can match almost every bike frame.

Shimano Dura Ace Power Meter Crankset

The cranks almost look the same.

Shimano Dura Ace Power Meter Crankset

The strain gauge hidden on the left crankarm.

Shimano developed the new Dura Ace power meter crankset with true left/right measurement. That means both crankarms are setup with strain gauges to give an exact value of how the right and left leg are pedalling. Other manufactures often only have strain gauges on the crank spider and calculate the left/right balance with the cadence. Shimano’s solution offers more exact values by properly measuring both sides.

Shimano Dura Ace Power Meter Crankset

Mounted up.

Setup

When using a power meter, there are two things that need to be noted to ensure correct results. First, the most current firmware needs to be installed. Shimano uses the E-TUBE app via Bluetooth to keep the crankset updated. For this test I used the firmware version 4.0.7. The second thing to note, is the need for zero point calibration on a flat surface. To do this, first the drive side crankarm needs to be set vertically in relation to the ground. The calibration is then done via Bluetooth with the app or via ANT+ with a cycling computer or directly on the charging point via the press of a button.

Performance

The performance statistics are sent from the crankset with ANT+ tech. Using the Bluetooth sensor to send the data is not available with the current firmware. Bluetooth is only used for configuring the power meter with the E-TUBE app. To use your data with applications like Zwift or TrainerRoad on your smartphone or tablet requires a USB-ANT+ Dongle.

Shimano Dura Ace Power Meter Crankset

The charging port.

Shimano Dura Ace Power Meter Crankset

Sexy Dura Ace looks.

Shimano Dura Ace Power Meter Crankset

And Dura-Ace quality.

The power meter is run with a lithium-ion battery. It is charged with the included magnetic charging cable. One complete charge lasts for roughly 300 hours. I never had an issue here and so long as there was charge in the battery, the power meter did a great job.

The data was easy to understand and, as far as I could tell, very accurate.

It’s hard to critique Dura Ace components and in my case the shifting (mechanical) was spot on. The necessary stiffness in the entire drivetrain was present and is not affected by the addition of a power meter. The data was easy to understand and, as far as I could tell, very accurate. The left-right balance was especially helpful and worked great, rain or shine. During my three month test, I never once had an issue with power meter failing me.

Shimano Dura Ace Power Meter Crankset

A top power meter!

It gets the job done

Shimano isn’t reinventing the power meter here, but the fact that they have entered into the market is a sign that performance statistical analysis is becoming a standard that is no longer just for professionals. Who knows, in the near future we might see the majority of power meters coming from Japan.

Do you have any questions about the power meter.

Bjoern

Björn

Blog comments are published with first name and first letter of surname.
Blog comments are published with first name and first letter of surname.
  • Sergio B. 18. June 2019

    Hi Björn,
    One question. I read many comments about the imbalance between left and right. Do you know if a recent firmware update addressed the issue?
    Can I use it with a 1x setup (Wolftooth 46T chainring)?
    Thanks
    Sergio

    Blog comments are published with first name and first letter of surname.
    Blog comments are published with first name and first letter of surname.