Avio PowerSense power meter review

Avio PowerSense power meter review
Posted in: Buyer's Guides
More from this author

Avio PowerSense power meter review

It wasn’t long ago that riding to power was the preserve of professional road riders. Fast forward to 2019, and thanks to a burgeoning number of devices, riding to power is more accessible than ever. Even riders on a modest budget can start to explore their riding limits with a power meter.

At £199, Avio’s PowerSense holds the title of the most affordable power meter on the market. We got our mitts on one to tell you more about how it works and why it is so accessible.

Avio PowerSense details

PowerSense is a crank based power meter. Fitted to a non-drive side crank, it will measure how much effort you’re putting out as you stamp on the pedals. Like all single-sided power meters, Avio calculates total power by measuring strain on one crank and doubling it.

Avio PowerSense power meter

The unit is ANT+ compatible so once fitted, you’ll need a head unit (we’ve paired ours with the Garmin Edge 530) to display how many watts you’re generating as you ride. Those figures should be within a +/- 2% accuracy level, which is standard accuracy for non-scientific power meters. All sound OK so far? 

Want to know more about what power meter pedals are and how they work? Read our Beginner’s guide to power meters

Battery life is a very respectable 75-100 hours and Avio has gone to the trouble of getting PowerSense an IP67 waterproof rating. This means that it could be subjected to good dunking in one metre of water, which is not something Avio recommends, but its heartening to know if you’re out pushing hard in torrential rain.

Compatibility wise, you’re going to need at least 10mm clearance between the inside of the crank and your bike’s chainstay.

SHOP: Browse our frame protectors

Avio power meter clearance

If you’re reading this there’s a good chance you’re interested in riding with power and might already own a road bike with a perfectly good crankset.

Avio recognises this and sells the PowerSense as a self-installed unit, saving you the need to buy another crankset. Before hitting the button you’ll need to make sure PowerSense is compatible with your crank.

All current Shimano types are fine, but if you’ve running something a little left-of-field, we’d recommend checking with Avio just in case. 

Avio PowerSense paired with Garmin Edge 530

Some might baulk at the idea of installing something like this yourself, but set aside 15 minutes, take your time and you shouldn’t go too far wrong. Dare we say it, fitting PowerSense is actually quite enjoyable in an Art Attack kind of way!

Detailed instructions are included with every unit and there’s a step-by-step video on YouTube too.

To prove just how easy it is, we fitted one ourselves. 

How to fit an Avio PowerSense power meter

To fit a PowerSense you'll need:

  • Avio PowerSense power meter
  • Compatible crank
  • Epoxy adhesive
  • Alcohol wipes
  • Cotton buds
  • Sandpaper
  • Oxide remover
  • Two clamps

The good news is that Avio sells an accompanying fitting kit which includes all of the above.

Before starting assembly, remove the non-drive side crank from your bike. We found the process below easier by also removing the pedal from the crank too.

Rub the side of the power meter with some oxide remover
Step 1: Pop on some protective gloves and with some oxide remover, rub the side of the power meter which is going to be bonded to your crank.
Use sandpaper to agitate the surface of the power meter
Step 2: Next, use sandpaper to agitate the surface.
Wipe the surface of the power meter clean with an alcohol wipe
Step 3: Wipe clean with an alcohol wipe.
: Use sandpaper to key the area of your crank where the PowerSense will be fitted
Step 4: Use sandpaper to key the area of your crank where the PowerSense will be fitted.
Clean the PowerSense with an alcohol wipe
Step 5: Clean the area with an alcohol wipe.
Mix epoxy resin to install Avio PowerSense
Step 6: Mix epoxy resin.
Apply epoxy resin evenly to the surface of the power meter
Step 7: Apply to power meter, spreading evenly across the entire service.
Place the Avio power meter on the crank in the required position
Step 8: Place power meter on crank in required position.
Use clamps to secure the Avio PowerSense
Step 9: Use clamps to secure. Don’t worry if the resin starts to seep.
Clean the excess resin with a cotton bud and alcohol wipes and leave to set for 24 hours
Step 10: With a cotton bud and alcohol wipes clean the excess resin, before leaving to set for 24 hours.

Now you can reinstall the crank, re-attach your pedal and insert a battery into the unit.

You’re only a short step away from riding with power. PowerSense requires a quick calibration before use in order to check the unit is measuring things correctly.

Again, step-by-step details are included with every purchase as well as being available online. Everything you need for calibrating the unit, except their Avio installer app, which is available on iOS and Android, is available in the Avio fitting kit.

Once calibrated, it's a simple case of pairing the PowerSense with a compatible ANT+ computer and you're ready ride. 

Avio PowerSense on bike

If you really don’t like the sound of getting your hands dirty, Avio does offer a fitting service that allows you to send your crank to them and they’ll do the installation for you.

There you go, a review of Avio’s PowerSense power meter.

Want to get one for yourself? Get PowerSense at this link and let us know about your Avio PowerSense power meter once you're all set. 

Lawrence Bywater

Lawrence Bywater

An avid road rider and occasional commuter, Lawrence has worked at Cycle Republic for three years. After splashing out on his first mountain bike, a Scott Scale, he’s been getting to grips with travel, sag and dropper posts as well as phrases like gnarly, pinned and shred!

10 July 2019
11 July 2019 at 15:49
Will you be offering a fitting service as well ?
Lawrence Bywater
11 July 2019 at 16:01
Hi Si, not currently. However, I'll be sure to let the appropriate member of our team know about the interest in a fitting service instore. ^Lawrence, Cycle Republic
12 July 2019 at 00:46
Is this compatible with a Garmin 910XT or a Garmin Edge 200?
Steve h
12 July 2019 at 00:46
The Garmin edge 200 doesn't have ant+ or bluetooth so will not be compatible with a power meter
Lawrence Bywater
12 July 2019 at 08:22
Hi Christine, PowerSense is compatible with ANT+ devices. Unfortunately the Garmin Edge 200 doesn't have ANT+ but looking at the specification of the 910XT PowerSense should pair. ^Lawrence, Cycle Republic
11 September 2019 at 13:46
I read that there was a bluetooth option as well so wondering if compatable with a Suunto Baro