Review: The SRM Origin - the original among power meters

SRM is quite rightly regarded as THE benchmark for power meters. Of course we took a closer look at the new SRM Origin Aluminium...

Anyone who has thought about performance measurement will eventually land at SRM: After all, the SRM brand is quite rightly considered THE benchmark for power meters. With the SRM Origin power meter, the specialists for performance diagnostics are harkening to the past and using their own cranks once more. This is a very good example of how to make a virtue of a necessity: Due to component giant Shimano stopping production of their 7800 series cranks, the SRM founder and CEO Ulli Schoberer’s team lacked crankarms to integrate their power meters into pure aluminium-based Shimano drivetrains. SRM needed new cranks. But instead of rummaging around again in Shimano's product line and getting back into a certain dependency in terms of compatibility with a new power meter, SRM went back to the good old days. And now they are using their own cranks again. Because honestly: The modular system at SRM also offers the option to use carbon crankarms from THM or Look. But those options hit the bank hard enough that most users end up filling them under "theoretical"...

SRM Origin Powermeter Aluminium Miche

The crankarms are produced by Miche in Italy.

SRM Powercontrol

View from the cockpit...

Test Ride 8000 km SRM Origin Powermeter

I cycled with the SRM Origin power meter for over 8000 km

A power meter with a rechargeable battery

However the new SRM Origin power meter has more to offer than just the new crankarms in that the power supply is now rechargeable and the double-sided power meter no longer needs to be sent to Jülich to undergo a ‘battery’ service like in the past. This saves shipping costs, but above all nerves and prevents having to ride for a while without a power meter. Despite the newly gained charging capability, SRM continues to focus on energy efficiency with the Origin power meter: To wake the power meter up from stand-by, SRM does not use an acceleration sensor, but instead uses a magnet that activates the device when the crank is turned. This saves electricity, especially when the bike is being transported, because an acceleration sensor almost always interprets the transport movements as activity on the bike and drains the battery.

SRM Origin: Aluminium crankarms

When it comes to crankarms, SRM didn't experiment with the Origin power meter and it relied on the expertise of Miche, an Italian manufacturer of fine Road bike parts. SRM has the aluminium arms for the SRM Origin made there. And also the chainrings are from Miche. SRM owner Schoberer himself was convinced of the quality of the components and found them to be extremely robust and reliable. We too agree. What's more, the shifting performance of Miche chainrings is really great with a well-adjusted front derailleur!

SRM Origin Aluminium Powermeter

May I introduce – my bike!

The Rolex among power meters

Even if some carbon disciples might disagree with the aluminium crankarms, SRM simply offers the Rolex among power meters when it comes to power measurement. To keep with the analogy, a Casio or Swatch also shows the time, but in a different way. And let's be honest, a status symbol looks and feels really good! I find it reassuring that it's not just us average cyclists who feel this way. For example, the number of unreported pros who always use SRMs in training and only use their sponsors' power meters in competition is still very high. Rumours have it that some even refused to return their SRM equipped bikes, which is said to have caused bottlenecks in the training bikes of some teams last spring...

My conclusion about the SRM Origin power meter

At SRM, a cycling museum is home to a collection of amiable inventors whose meticulousness ensures that they build unbeatable products. And the reputation of SRM sometimes makes some coaches still refuse to accept other measuring instruments for their athletes. I can certainly understand this: In my opinion, the quality of the data is simply higher with SRM power meters than with the competition. Reliability is also important: During the nine-month review of the new SRM Origin power meter on my Fuji SL 2018 and about 8000 kilometres, the new system did not suffer any failures. Not on everyday rides and also not on an almost 300 km long day trip from Aachen to the Dutch coast. The new SRM Origin was also convincing in terms of handling: Problems with the power supply, thanks to the recharge option? Never! And it is compatible with all standard bike computers via ANT+. There is also a high degree of flexibility that the Origin offers when it comes to changing chainrings: thanks to the 110x4 bolt circle, a huge number of chainrings fit. And weaknesses? To be honest, I don't see anything wrong with it. If aluminium is too heavy for you, upgrade to carbon. Just don't forget the charger cable when you travel, because SRM uses its own plug. Most importantly, I find it worth mentioning that SRM has broken down the supposedly final hurdle of not buying an SRM device: The charging. In this respect Schoberer Rad Messtechnik has done everything right. Again.