Wahoo releases Powrlink Zero pedals and Rollr trainer

The long awaited power meter pedals are available now alongside the recently spotted 21st century take on classic rollers.

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Hot on the heels of yesterday’s 3D printed Infocrank announcement, Wahoo has today announced the launch of its long-awaited Speedplay Powerlink Zero power meter. First announced almost a year ago alongside the relaunched range of Speedplay pedals from Wahoo, the pedal-based power meter was scheduled for release in summer 2021. To the disappointment of many Speedplay pedal fans, Summer 2021 came and went with no Powerlink Zero, leaving some worried we might never see a Speedplay pedal power meter. Fear not, though, Wahoo finally confirmed the Powerlink Zero is available with both a single-sided (left power only) and a dual-sided power meter in a Speedplay pedal. 

Wahoo may have delayed the launch of the Powerlink Zero, but it seems the wait was worthwhile. We haven’t yet had a chance to ride the new pedals, but the Powerlink Zero’s list of features suggests Wahoo has entered a strong contender into the power meter market. Accuracy is key in a power meter, and Wahoo claims a stellar +/- 1% accuracy for the new Powerlink Zeros. Wahoo credits internal gyroscopic sensors and accelerometers in the new pedals as the brainpower in achieving this accuracy. These sensors can calculate crank speed in real-time for the precise cadence measurements essential for accurate power measurement. So precise and real-time are the cadence measurements, Wahoo claims the Powerlink Zero is compatible with oval chainrings, something most, if not all, power meters struggle with due to the varied crank rotational speed throughout the stroke as the effective gearing increases and decreases. Temperature fluctuations throughout a ride can wreak havoc with power readings and are often a source of error in some power meters. Wahoo has built temperature compensation into the Powerlink Zero pedals to ensure power accuracy throughout a ride, regardless of swings in temperature associated with the time of day or altitude. 

Furthermore, Wahoo claims 75 hours of battery life from a single charge. That’s a whopping 25 hours more than the hugely popular Favero Assioma power meter pedals. At the same time, the pedals broadcast in both ANT+ and Bluetooth for maximum compatibility. 

Based on the same pedal body Wahoo designed for the updated Zero range, the Powerlink pedals feature a spindle pod housing the power meter electronics and charging port. Such pods typically add to a power meter pedal’s Q-Factor (pedal stance width). While the Powerlink Zero pods do add to the standard 53mm Q-Factor of the Wahoo Speedplay pedals, the good news is that the addition is a paltry 2 mm, bringing the power pedals Q-Factor to 55 mm. Within 2 mm of the Garmin Vector Rally and 1 mm of the Favero Assiomas.  

So far, so good for the new Powerlink Zero pedals. However, the pedals incur a minor points deduction at the weigh-in. Wahoo offers a claimed weight of 276g for the dual-sided Powerlink Zero, with the single-sided version weighing 26 grams less. However, those claimed weights are for the pedal only. Anyone who knows Speedplay will know much of the system weight is in the cleat. I weighed a pair of the new Powerlink pedals with cleats (including hardware) at 433 grams. While that figure seems substantial, the Powerlink Zeros (including cleats) weigh-in within 40 grams of my Dura-Ace R9100P and Speedplay Zero titanium combination, when paired with standard Dura-Ace R9100 cranks. Presumably, Wahoo could also offer a lighter titanium spindle option for the Powerlink in the future.

One thing immediately noticeable about the new pedals is the height. Wahoo, and Speedplay before them, have long touted the Zero’s low stack height as a key advantage of the unique design. The lower stack height brings the foot closer to the pedal for improved power transfer, improved clearance for high-speed cornering, and is said to be more aerodynamic. While Wahoo claims the same for the new Powerlink Zeros, the pedals are taller than the standard Wahoo Speedplay Zeros. Taller by a good 3 mm from top to bottom of the pedal, enough to increase the stack height to 13 mm and within less than a millimetre of the Shimano Dura-Ace pedals. It is as of yet unclear if the increased pedal depth is to accommodate some of the internal power meter workings, or a forthcoming update for the entire pedal range, presumably the former. If so, sharing the increased size between the spindle pod and the pedal body seems like a much better solution than massively inflating the Q-Factor, ala the Favero Assimoa Duo Shi.  

Also notably absent from the information on the new pedals is any mention of any Cycling Dynamics or additional analysis capabilities such as pedal smoothness or torque effectiveness. Cycling Dynamics captures seated and standing position data, pedal power phase data, and platform centre offset (the measurement of how force is distributed across the pedal platform), although given Wahoo head units do not currently display Cycling Dynamics data, perhaps its omission is unsurprising.  

The Powerlink Zero pedals are available now, with the single-sided power pedals priced at US$ 649.99 / £549.99 / AU$949.95 / €649.99. While the dual-sided pedals will set you back US$ 999.99 / £849.99 / AU$1,499.95 / €999.99. Stay tuned for our full in-depth review of the Powerlink Zero. 

Wahoo Kickr Rollr

Wahoo has used the Powerlink Zero launch to simultaneously announce the release of its new Kickr Rollr trainer. The Rollr, first spotted at last year’s UCI World Championships, is a new take on the generations-old balance rollers combining the convenience of traditional rollers with the connectivity and stability of a smart trainer. 

Based on the conventional balance rollers, the Rollr is said to offer the same freedom of movement and smooth pedalling as their traditional ancestors. The Rollr maintains the wheel-on convenience of rollers with increased stability through the introduction of an adjustable front-wheel clamp, gripper, and lower cradle. Traditional rollers can be a daunting challenge for new users; you are, after all, effectively cycling on the spot. With the removal of the front roller and the introduction of the front wheel clamp, Wahoo claims to have created a trainer capable of delivering the benefits of rollers with the ease of use of a static trainer. The clamp features an adjustable “Safety Tyre Gripper” suitable for clamping tyres up to 2.1″ / 53mm in width and adjusting for varying wheelbase lengths. Combined, the front wheel support, clamp, and gripper make for a quick slide on/off mounting, and a secure setup Wahoo claims is perfect for indoor training and pre-event warm-ups.

The Rollr’s rear roller drums are noticeably narrower than traditional rollers. Wahoo says this slimmer design makes for a versatile and convenient trainer suitable for training at home and at events. The trade-off for this convenience is the narrower contact patch for the rear tyre and the complete absence of a front roller, two things that might disappoint fans of traditional rollers. 

Interestingly given that the Rollr is a smart trainer, the new trainer does not get its own inbuilt power meter. Rather, the Rollr offers power meter connect, compatible with any ANT+ power meter, for app-controlled resistance. While at first, this may seem like a glaring omission, incorporating a repeatably accurate power meter into a roller design with no way to directly measure the pedalling forces and the difficulty in calculating rolling resistance losses, might mean a power meter connect setup is both cheaper and more accurate than any internal power meter could be. That resistance is delivered via a 10.5 lb / 4.8 kg flywheel with magnetic resistance to the rear roller drum supposedly capable of 1,500 watts of resistance and simulating gradients of up to 10%. While not the biggest of flywheels, it is identical to that found on the Wahoo Kickr Snap wheel-on smart trainer. The decision to include a smaller flywheel size will be at least partly with an eye on portability, however, the Rollr still weighs a hefty 50 lb / 22.6 kg. The Kickr Rollr offers Bluetooth, ANT+, and Direct Connect connectivity for interaction with training platforms and various head units. The Rollr plugs directly into a power source for interactive resistance, and while giving up some of its smarts, the Rollr will happily work run as a “dumb trainer” without external power for event warm-up and cool-down routines.

The Kickr Roller is available now as a standalone trainer for those already owning a power meter. The standalone trainer is priced at US$ 799.99 / £699.99 / AU$ 1,199.95 / €799.99. Wahoo will also offer a Kickr Rollr / Powerlink Zero single-sided bundle for those needing a power meter. The bundle option is priced at US$1,399.99 / £1,199.99 / AU$ 2,049.95 / €1,399.99, offering a small savings over purchasing the two new Wahoo products separately. Stay tuned for a review of the new Kickr Rollr. 

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