In diesem Beitrag
Magene is an established player in the bicycle components segment. The Chinese company’s range includes heart rate monitors, high-profile carbon rims and even power meters. Surprisingly, Magene has decided to launch their third generation of CP 325 power meter cranks via Kickstarter. This is not really a common approach for established products. This time I spared myself the tiresome path of the guinea pig and tested the CP 325 for you after the release. And they do a lot better than they seemed to at the product launch.
Qingdao Magene Intelligence Technology Co, Ltd – the company behind the “Magene” brand, which has made a name for itself in the fitness and sports sector since 2015. There are now bicycle GPS computers, high-end carbon wheelsets, components, home trainers, etc. – You’d think it was a big company. However, you won’t find that many detailed reviews or descriptions on the relevant channels. There is also no mention of products from this brand in print magazines, and you won’t find a test of the wheels or power meters in the typical comparison tables.
However, the customer base now numbers millions of users. In the ecommerce portals (Amazon, Younameit,… ) you will always find the products high up. The aforementioned Kickstarter project was funded within a very short time, with several thousand buyers for the CP 325 power meter cranks.
An established player, actually. But you may have to adjust your expectations a little. The positioning of this brand in relation to established brands such as Wahoo, Garmin, etc. is quite different.
The price: the products are offered at a competitive price, the aim is clearly to undercut the market.
The quality: Sufficient, the customer support is also given. Even if this is not the strength of such brands.
And that is what I have been able to find so far, at least in my research. Magene is one of those brands that presents high-gloss products that are supposed to be “best of the range”. The prices are also slowly increasing, the cranks, GPS bike computers, etc. are now roughly in the same segment as the competition, but still 10-20% cheaper. Many buyers find themselves in conflict: is it worth saving a little here, but having to compromise on quality in the end?
Either the prices are really unbeatable, or the products meet the same level of quality as the big names. My test below is very promising in terms of quality.
Magene P325 CS Lite Power Meter Crankset
You can find the full specs of the double-sided power meter cranks as follows.
|IPx7 – splash-proof
|0 – 2500 W, both sides
|20 – 240 rpm
|ANT+, Bluetooth BLE 4.2
|200h (manufacturer’s specification); Lith.Ion battery
|1.5% (+ / -) Deviation
|760g (manufacturer’s specification)
|50/34, 52/36 and 53/39 (from the manufacturer, possibly compatible with others)
|Cranks in 165mm, 167.5mm, 170mm, 172.5mm and 175mm length.
|BB86 and other bottom brackets, 24mm spindle (Shimano);
10 or 11 speed compatible, compatible with Shimano and SRAM drive trains
|Further measurement data
|Balance (left/right distribution, cadence, pedal smoothness, torque efficiency)
Failed in Tests – Review by GPLama (Shane Miller)
In the renowned YT channel of Shane Miller aka GPLama there was very justified criticism of the cranks on the Magene CP 325. The points mentioned there would be real showstoppers if they were not addressed in production. Overall, there were 3 points that put the product in a really bad light: cranks flexing sideways, slanted pedal mount hole (thread) and inaccurate wattage data during sprints. I have also investigated these points in detail to check whether they may have already been eliminated with the generation of my test. As clearly, my test is conducted way later in the process of the products life cycle. I have to say: I was very surprised at the result.
Miller has shown that his model (which was made available for testing ahead of initial production even, even before the Kickstarter project was completed, and was presumably a pre-mass production model and subsequent production lines) was very flexible. You can see exactly how the crank can be bent towards the frame with a little force. For comparison, the same exercise could be reproduced with other cranks and no such flex could be recognized. Bummer.
Fortunately, I can say that this problem no longer exists with my model. The crank is very stiff and, unlike in GPLama’s video, not nearly as flexible. I also see no difference to other cranks in direct comparison in my workshop, e.g. from Shimano Ultegra.
In this respect: the issue seems to have been addressed by Magene.
Crooked pedal mount
Another very unattractive aspect of the otherwise very stylish design of the CP 325 is that GPLama was able to prove that the left crank in his test does not correctly accommodate the pedals on the mount. Depending on whether the crank was positioned at 0 or 6 o’clock, the pedal had a tilted position (tilted by + or – 1°). Again, you can imagine that this is very off-putting for potential customers.
So I also repeated the very same test accordingly. Bicycle incl. Crank and pedal aligned at a straight 0° angle for me. So I rotated them from 0 – 3 – 6 and 9 o’clock position. Several times. The angle was constantly the same at all positions. Phew.
Result: Here too, Magene appears to have received the feedback and fed it back into production. This is good news so far.
Accuracy of the watt values – My tests
I have now tested the cranks for over 500km. On two rides, I compared the recording with other watt measurements by running several meters separately. Once in comparison with a Wahoo Kickr, Garmin and the PC 325 (indoor) and another time on an outdoor ride.
All data was analyzed by R (rStudio), where I exported the “raw data” as FIT files and then compared each measurement per timestamp.
Comparison of Magene PC 325 vs Wahoo Kickr vs Garmin Rally
In my indoor test, I ran three independently measuring power meters. Each connected to a different computer, which recorded the journey on Zwift indoor.
In the first test, the Kickr-Core set the force (resistance) via the ERG mode, which is why the result looks very homogeneous. The watt values of the virtual training plan are specified in consistent blocks for each second. This makes the graphs look very smooth:
The Wahoo Kickr line can actually be ignored, as it is set in ERG mode and automatically tries to set a value even if a different value is measured. It is used more as a signal to adjust the resistance. However, the comparison of the Rally pedals and Magene cranks is very interesting. Both achieve very different values, especially at the top of the scale (sprint). Garmin generally measures slightly higher values.
In detail, however, both Garmin and Magene have very good overlaps. The curves are almost perfectly superimposed. However, minor deviations are negligible. There is no total outage, that is save to say.
Comparison Magene PC 325 vs Garmin Rally (Outdoor)
For the second test (outdoor), I again sent the Garmin Rally and the PC 325 into the race. Here, too, the result looks very good.
Two graphs but both show the same ride (test). On the left, I used a smoothing function to make the noise from the data a little more manageable. The image on the right shows all data points without aggregation.
My conclusion from this is that the recording with both power meters (Garmin Rally and Magene PC325) is very good. In both cases, the short peaks are always recognized, regardless of whether the power drops off completely for a short time (because I stop pedaling) or has an equally short peak (because I accelerate). The small sprint at the end is also well recognized. If you look at the data in aggregated form (left graph), you can see that the data in the PC 325 is somewhat “calmer” and does not react so extremely to changes.
From this I conclude that both power meters are very suitable for measuring watts and deliver correct values. It’s impossible to say which of the two is “more correct” here; neither is the winner. In any case, we do not have a loser who would obviously show completely wrong values.
Magene PC 325 – Test of installation and application
The Magene cranks are, as you would expect, a very finely honed product. From packaging to the app. Everything works perfectly. Here are the steps from unpacking to the ready-to-ride bike.
Unboxing and installing the power meter cranks
Instructions are included in the package. However, installation is very easy and no special tools are required. You only need to apply a little grease to the bottom bracket shaft (which runs inside the bottom bracket) so that everything runs smoothly and does not seize up over time.
The crank with shaft (24mm) is installed (pushed in) into the bottom bracket. The corresponding crank handle is mounted on the left-hand side (facing away from the drive). You need the somewhat unusual 10mm hexagon (Allen) key, which is not included in all (standard household) sets. The crank is then fixed in place with a 5mm Allen key. This is very easy and can be done in a few minutes.
A charging cable is included to charge the wattage measurement sensors on both sides. These are magnetic and click themselves into place. An LED indicates the charging status.
So far so good. Everything is working perfectly on the hardware front, but what about the software? Now things are getting a little more exciting.
There is an app for common smartphone operating systems. At first glance, everything works without any problems. The power meters can be found and added. But you have to open an account with Magene. A confirmation code will be sent to the email address provided. The first time it works without any problems.
Later, I want to open the app again, but this time it doesn’t work quite as well. The power meters are visible, but a connection no longer works. An error pops up with a message in Chinese.
I can’t log in again either. The confirmation code no longer appears, no matter how often I request it. Happens with other providers these days too, so I’ll have to come back later.
The error was fixed after a few days and I was able to use the app normally again. However, this experience was not quite as exciting, as I did not receive any information or readable error messages (in the language of my account).
Results of the tests
I have already anticipated the main results above. The issues with the flexing cranks, the slanted pedal mount and the wattage values have all been dealt with and resolved.
As far as the battery life is concerned, I can say that the battery has a good runtime. On the longest trip (180km and 6h movement time and 7.5h elapsed time) the battery was fully charged beforehand. After that, the charge was still over 80% and consumption was between 5-10%.
Overall, a very satisfactory result here too.
The workmanship and quality are also very good. Magene is an established player in the market and can no more afford to lose the trust of its customers than any other well-known brand. They will not disappear overnight and reappear a short time later with a new name and logo. The investment in this brand over the past almost 10 years is too large for that.
The cranks themselves are not lightweight, but make a very solid impression. The chainrings have all the features you would expect from a high-priced product: climbing aids between the two chainrings (for better shifting performance) as well as a safety pin that prevents the chain from getting stuck between the crank arm and chainring if it falls off. All very good so far.
Conclusion – Can I recommend the Magene PC 325?
Yes, the Magene PC 325 is a very good product and has no defects that would deter me from buying it. It is clearly an inexpensive product in which you also take some risk. I don’t see any reason to strongly advise against buying it.
You can find even more power meter topics linked below. What do you think about the Magene power meters? Leave me a comment!