Power Meter on Mountain Bike?

I’ve posted this question to a few different spots (sites not in different spots within this forum) - trying to get different perspectives.

I ride on a spin bike indoors to do interval training / power zone mostly. I’m doing this for cardio fitness, as I don’t road bike/race etc. I’ve always been a mountain biker. However sometimes my training plan calls for a “long ride” that I’ll subsitute for a mountain bike ride. My mountain biking is east coast style, so mostly cross country single track type with little elevation change - a few hundred feet maybe in the thousands of feet depending on where I ride.

I’ve thought of putting some power pedals on the mountain bike but I’m not sure if that would help me in any way since I’m not training for races…I just do this more as a sport rider (a bit more than the weekend warrior). When I do subsite my training plan long ride for a 1hr outdoor mtb ride - intervals does report that I blew way past my plan in terms of compliance based on the load. I assume it’s doing the load calc based on HR since there’s no power.

All this said - anyone out there like me that put a power meter on their mountain bike and see value? I’ve read online anything from using power is always better than not, to you do a lot of coasting in mtb riding so the power recordings are not useful due to all the spikes, etc.

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I’ve a 4iiii single-sided crank on my FS mtb, bought during one of the Covid lockdowns when my trainer broke and none were available to buy. Find it real doing intervals on hills, though you do have to see target power as a range rather than a single figure. Great for endurance rides and keeping power below a certain level. For group rides I don’t look at it!


Why not!?
I am 70+ and riding long rides nowand then. I always ride on data given by powermeters. It is much more trusty as your HR. No, I don’t ride races also just for sport and staying healthy. My coach (I had one for couple of years) was/is big fan of using powermeters and not only for racing. What you describe of using a mountainbike on long(er) rides is perfect for using a kind of powermeters!

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Even if you don’t need the power data, it is pretty cool to look at post ride or in the future. I’ve never been one to spend hours looking at my data in depth but I’ve been using a power meter for 5 years now and it is cool to look back over the years and see how my power curve has changed.

I blame being married and having a child for the power curve downward trend not the pizza and beer :wink:

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I’d say a single thing mate: “you do you”. If you have the budget and the pleasure to read such data… please go order that powermeter. Go for the fancier version and just enjoy your new toy.

Yes, it’s expensive, and yes, it’s literally too much data:
with a 2 sided powermeter like Garmin Vector 3LR you have as extras:

  • Left/Right balance
  • Left/Right platform center offset
  • Power phase - start/end
  • Position - standing/seated
  • power curve (in garmin connect/intervals.icu/final surge)

But if you enjoy it … there are worse ways to spend your money.

PS: for MTB there’s the newer garmin pedals … Rally with MTB cleats.

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And if you get Favero Assiomas you even have reliable accuracy;-)
See also Cycling Power Meter Guide – GPLama.com


Eu uso o XCadey na minha MTB, comprei no aliexpress.
Funciona perfeitamente.
Ótimo custo benefício.