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Cycling Gear Reviews Power Meters Zwift

4iiii Precision Power Meter (gen 2) Review

The 4iiii Precision began life in 2014, aiming to upset the power meter market with one of the lowest-priced, lightest weight power meters out there. Coming in at around £200 cheaper than a Stages power meter, that is quite a saving. The question is, do you pay for the £200 saving in other ways?

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4iiii Precision Power Meter Review – Zwift Gear Test

Let’s deal with the pricing of the 4iiii Precision straight away. The original intention for the Precision was to be a crank mounted, user-installable, power meter. This approach has currently been put on the back burner, and instead 4iiii offer two services; you buy the power meter and crank from them directly, or send in your original crank to 4iiii who mount the power meter for you in the factory and send your swanky upgraded kit back after approx 2 weeks

Using your own kit is one direct saving to the customer straight away, if you send your crank in, you don’t end up with a random spare part hanging around your garage, then is reflected in the price.

An install to your crank, assuming you have got a compatible crank, costs £321.99 (ex vat). You can opt to “go pro” if you like, by spending £602.99 (ex vat) to go for a dual-sided power meter sending in your crank and crankset, BUT that is currently only available if you’ve got a Shimano Dura-Ace 9000 series – currently.

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You can however still opt to buy the “whole enchilada” straight from 4iiii themselves, which does have the option of not leaving you without a crank during the factory-fitting process.

Your options if you want to buy a pre-installed 4iiii precision are limited to only to Shimano cranks, priced from £349 for the 105 crank, through to £499 for a new Dura-Ace crank

4iiii Precision Review – Device Design

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For this review, I’ll be focusing on the single sided, crank mounted 4iiii precision, here matching my Ultegra Di2 system. From exterior face of the crank there is not even the inclusion of a logo/transfer to show that you are using a 4iiii powermeter.

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In many ways ,there is almost very little to say about the 4iiii Precision, from a design perspective when you actually do turn the unit around.

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It’s a very small sensor box. Looking for all the world like a standard speed or cadence sensor, but is bonded directly onto the crank

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Some people will prefer the more discrete, having less fan fair, and thus less to advertise if someone is looking to steal your bike when it is chained up outside.

Inside we have got the usual coin cell beneath a small plastic door, with the “made in Canada” displayed front and centre on the inside

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4iiii take a nod to the end-user by also including a spare coin cell in the box, which I personally feel is a great little touch

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4iiii Precision Review – Specification

  • Weight: 9 grams
  • Data accuracy: +/- 1% error margin
  • Communications: ANT+, Bluetooth Smart head
  • Battery life: 100+ hours on 2032 coin cell battery (let’s not forget that 4iiii throws in a spare, which is a really nice touch!)
  • Battery status indicator: Alert at 15% battery power in-app (no external indicators)

4iiii Precision Review – Manual

The manual for the 4iiii Precision can be found HERE

4iiii Precision Review – Using the Device

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Being crank mounted, there is a modicum of work required to install onto your bike. But for most people who are keen enough on cycling to want a powermeter, the install shouldn’t be troublesome!

Step 1 – find and secure bike – identify crank to be changed

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Step 2 – remove Shimano plastic cover from existing crank

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Step 3 – loosen bolts and remove pedals and old crank

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Step 4 – apply new 4iiii Precision crank to shaft

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It’s probably worth while noting that 4iiii have taken a lot of care over the pod placement, to ensure bike frame clearance, against the widest number of manufacturers.

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Plus also easy user access for battery changes etc. Once all done with the mechanics, you need to install the 4iiii app which will then allow you to update the latest power meter firmware

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With 4iiii Precision brain updated, you’re ready to take the unit for a spin and compare it with any other power meters you have lying around

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4iiii Precision Review – How does it Zwift? – Zwift Gear Test

Well first things first, it’s worth while highlighting that that 4iiii Precision, has a 1% accuracy on the leg it is measuring the power from. In aleft sided setup like this, many people are concerned about leg imbalances, and the issue of “just doubling the power”, which would magnify any imbalance between your two legs. HOWEVER with the 4iiii Precision firmware you can account for any balance, to give a true reading

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Etixx QS team are happy with the firmware based adjustments to account for any left/right discrepancies, so use the 4iiii Precision as their main training device without concerns of issues about under/over-reporting power, when calibrated correctly for the rider. As a comparison, I opted to use another single sided meter, the PowerTap C1  

Remembering that power meters are ideally tested in three, I loaded up the Wahoo KICKR SNAP, and took things out for a sprint on Zwift.

Etixx QS team are happy with the firmware based adjustments to account for any left/right discrepancies, so use the 4iiii Precision as their main training device without concerns of issues about under/over reporting power, when calibrated correctly for the rider. As a comparison, I opted to use another single sided meter, the PowerTap C1  

Remembering that power meters are ideally tested in threes, I loaded up the Wahoo KICKR SNAP, and took things out for a sprint on Zwift.

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So let’s take a look at the graphs which came out from a few sprints during the Team Experimental group ride:

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All three powermeters track very nicely together. The PowerTap C1, tracked fractionally higher during the tail down from the sprints, compared to the 4iiii Precision. Other than that, the 4iiii Precision appears to justify its name.

4iiii Precision Review – CONCLUSION

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One of the biggest issues with racing on Zwift is getting accurate power representation. Zwift Power exists to allow users who don’t have power meters on their bikes, or classic turbos to get spinning right from the install – BUT – it’s not a perfect system, and can have issues.

A power meter is a terrific upgrade for serious racing or training on Zwift – if you can afford it. Over the last few years the price of power meters has tumbled, bringing them into a price bracket where more people can consider them. The 4iiii is definitely a budget-friendly option (comparatively speaking) but doesn’t show any signs of being a budget quality power meter. In fact, to my mind, the factory install option, where you don’t end up with excess kit lying around the house – for a cheaper price and a 2 week turn around seems like a good way of trimming the costs

So if you are thinking about a new powermeter for this winter’s Zwifting. Definitely, check out this Canadian offering! There is a straightforward TG 5/51

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Don’t forget TitaniumGeek readers can bag themselves a 10% discount on the 4iiii Precision and support the site through the CyclePowerMeters link and use the code “titaniumgeek10

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James Gill

Author of TitaniumGeek, which started after smashing off my RIGHT elbow. <br /> <br /> After learning a lot about olecranon fractures, I was introduced to the world Zwift, and slowly transitioned into writing about sports gadgets and the like<br /> <br /> Trying to keep up cycling, swimming and running whilst being a busy General Practice Doctor