Product Test: Rotor Inpower Power Meter

For the last decade power meters have been a standard tool for road bike training, and as cross-country and enduro racing become more popular, there is a growing interest in power meters among riders who want to take their performance to the next level. Rotor has entered the market with its INpower crankset, which puts riders on a power platform for a modest $940. To go with the INpower crankset, we mounted up a Rotor QX1 36-tooth, narrow-wide chainring.

Tech info: The INpower integrates all of the electronics into the spindle of the cranks, which keeps it tucked away from the elements and makes for a clean presentation. The whole system is powered by one AA battery that has a battery life of up to 300 hours and requires no tools to change. The INpower uses a 30-millimeter spindle that will work on any bottom bracket shell. Rotor offers the INpower as a complete unit, or you can purchase just the left side and adapt it to your existing Rotor cranks for a discounted price of $780. The QX1 is Rotor’s guide-less, narrow-wide chainring that is made to go with the INpower system. These rings are available in a variety of sizes and can be adapted to work with other cranks.

Field test results: Most of our testing was done on a Scott Scale 700 RC and Cannondale F-Si, which required the installation of two different styles of bottom brackets. Both were pretty simple to install. Rotor provides spacing guidelines for the varying types of bottom bracket shells. Our main issue during installation was dial- ing in the shifting. This took quite a bit of trial and error, and we broke a chain. Part of the issue was that the large 36-tooth QX1 put extra stress on the SRAM XX1 rear derailleur, which created a lot of noise at bat. We kept the chain properly lubed and adjusted the clutch in the rear derailleur. These two steps really seemed to help the drivetrain, and we didn’t have any more trouble during testing.

One thing we kept a close eye on was how quickly the INpower would respond to changes in power, and not just large jumps, but small, subtle changes. We were pleased with how well the INpower kept up with our efforts. If we stood up out of the saddle to charge a climb or brief steep section, our power registered quickly. If we backed off the pedals a bit just to relax for a moment, the INpower was on top of it. There was never an issue with accuracy of power.

We did run into some issues on long descents that didn’t require much pedaling. The INpower had a tendency to go into sleep mode and never come out of it. We would try to repair it on the trail but didn’t have much luck. The INpower has to be paired with the computer when there are no other sensors around it, which can be complicated if you are in a group.

In the end, we were happy with the INpower. There were some wrinkles that had to be ironed out, but after that we were pleased with the performance. There’s no better motivator than having a power meter constantly reminding you of just how slow you actually are.


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