Prototype Shimano power meter tested at the Tour de Suisse

FDJ riders putting the sleek new unit thought its paces in Switzerland

The as-yet-unreleased new Dura-Ace groupset might be stealing the headlines, but there is another Shimano product that also appears to be nearing production: the company’s first ever power meter.

While most of the FDJ riders were still using SRM power meters at the Tour de Suisse and the Critérium du Dauphiné, a handful of bikes were equipped with the new Shimano power meter, the first time that we have spotted the product out in the open since Challenge Mallorca in February. But with the Japanese company not forthcoming with details, we’ll have to postulate on the power meter’s possible features.

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shimano power meter lapierre aerostorm time trial bike

A Shimano power meter on an FDJ time trial bike at the Tour de Suisse (Credit: FDJ)

When you look at the Shimano power meter and compare it to other models currently on the market, the most obvious place to draw similarities is with the power meter of another Japanese company, Pioneer. Both products feature two strain gauges, one on the inside of the left crank, and one attached to the chainset. However, the drivetrain-side unit on the Shimano power meter is significantly smaller than that from the Pioneer system, and looks to be much more neatly integrated into the chainset.

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If it is anything like the Pioneer (or indeed most other high-end power meters) in terms of functionality, we would expect the Shimano power meter to provide you with all the data you could ever want, pumping out metrics such as pedal smoothness and direction of force as well as the usual power and cadence measurements.

New Shimano power meter? The second sensor on the non drive side crank arm

A second sensor on the left crank arm should provide dual-sided power measurement

The only other thing we can spot is what looks to be a small button on the top of the driveside unit. We assume that this is a function button similar to those found on the individual components of SRAM Red eTap, and that it will let you see the battery life of the unit, as well as enable pairing with a cycle computer and calibration.

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With the unveiling of the new Shimano Dura-Ace groupset expected at some time in the next couple of months, we assume that we will have to wait until then to hear more about the Shimano power meter as it would seem logical for Shimano to integrate the new power meter into its new top-end groupset, possibly selling the two as a package.