There’s big news in the world of power meters today, as the Garmin Rally pedal series was officially released for sale. (Actually, the news was leaked earlier than Garmin had intended, apparently due to a retailer mistake. But now it’s officially here.)
Offerings for power meter pedals in the SPD-style, by far the most popular gravel cycling format, have been scant at best to date, so this kind of product was long overdue. The explosion of gravel cycling and the recent advances in power meter technology clearly indicated that an SPD power meter pedal from a major manufacturer would be arriving before long. And here we are.
The Rally wasn’t the first SPD power meter pedal to be revealed, however. The SRM X-Power pedal has technically been on the market for some time, but it has been difficult to obtain. Currently, SRM offers only a sign-up list to secure a spot in a pre-order queue. The X-Power retails for $899.00 for the single-sided version.
There is also the now relatively famous Favero Assioma “hack,” popularized by Shane Miller, which converts the reliable Favero Assioma pedals to SPD format by a relatively simple process of removing the power meter spindle and installing it in a different (SPD) pedal. The original video demonstrated the process using the Xpedo M-Force 4; today’s alternative is the Xpedo M-Force 8. With the M-Force 8 retailing for $189.00 and the single-sided Assioma UNO costing $433.00 as of today, this option comes it at $622.00. (If you can find some used M-Force 4 pedals, you could bring that cost down even more). As Shane demonstrates, this hack does not affect the performance of the power meter itself, and proves to be an even better option than the SRM X-Power in many respects.
The price point of the single-sided Rally SPD pedal, the XC100, falls in between these two options at $699.99. However, it carries with it the distinct advantage of being convertible between pedal styles. That is: officially, without a hack and without affecting your warranty. For about $200 more, you can purchase a conversion kit which allows you to move the power meter itself between the SPD pedals of the XC100 and the SPD-SL road pedals of the conversion kit.
Is this difference worth the price? If you’re someone who rides both off-road and on, and wants the flexibility of a power meter that can be switched between your road bike and your gravel bike or MTB, then this may be a great option for you. The Assioma hack accomplishes the same thing, in effect, but is not supported by the manufacturers and may require you to physically modify your gravel/MTB shoes in order to make them fit, due to the “pod” on the spindle of the Assioma pedals. The Garmin option solves these issues and provides a flexible power meter pedal system from a renowned, reliable manufacturer.
The most significant aspect of this development may prove to be that it exists at all: as noted, the SPD power meter was long overdue and this is actually just the first real step in development of this type of technology. From here, things can only get better (and hopefully cheaper!)