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Stages Power Meter In-Depth Review Update

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It’s been a touch over four months since I first published the Stages Power Meter In-Depth Review.  It was interesting to me in that a lot of people took very different things away from the review.

As a result of that review, Stages made a number of  updates to their power meter firmware since then, including addressing specific items that were raised as concerns during the review.  Based on that, I continued to ride with it. Every single ride for months.  They provided iterations of new firmware updates, and I updated.  Rinse and repeat.

Except, it wasn’t just riding with a single power meter.  No, it was riding with 3-4 power meters concurrently.  And 4-7 head units concurrently.  One of the Slowtwitch editors recently noted something along the lines of ‘The fun factor of these rides were approximately zero’.  Which is pretty true here as well.  Aside from being a cold and rainy winter, there’s far more complexity in ensuring that every setting and start/stop time is exactly the same when you have so many head units and power meters running concurrently.

I’m reasonably confident that outside of Stages themselves, I probably have the largest and most complete data set of a single rider against as many additional power meters as one can technically attach to their bike.  I do note ‘single rider’ because again – this is just me.  It’s not as though they gave me 10 crank arms to test with and assign to random people.  And quite frankly, I wouldn’t want that.  That’d be a nightmare.  And it’d be useless without the same painstakingly strict test protocols that I go through.  Protocols that no sane person wants to deal with every.single.ride.

If you’re just finding this page without going to the original review, I encourage you to go to the original review to get a grasp on how the Stages Power Meter works, unboxing shots, and all the usual background information.

A look at the testing methodology:

If there’s anything I’ve learned (or can note to others), it’s just how difficult it is to accurately test power meters.  Going out for a ride with two power meters isn’t a test of a power meter.  It doesn’t tell you who is right or wrong.  It just gives you two power plots.  It can tell you and show you potential abnormalities, but not absolutes.  It cannot be used to perform a full comparison review.  You must have a 3rd unit to provide perspective.  Speaking of that 2nd (or 3rd) unit, making the assumption that the Quarq/PowerTap/SRM/Power2Max is always correct is fundamentally flawed.  How do you know?  What calibration procedures have you done?  And have you done them correctly?  Even then, as I’ll show you below, it’s easy to make some of those units go askew in certain conditions.  Knowing those conditions is critical.

The same goes for data collection.  Each head unit records data differently, and finding ones that record data the same way is critical to testing.  One of the tools I got added to my bag for these tests was the WASP unit.  The WASP allows me to simultaneously collect power meter data from an unlimited number of ANT+ power meters (or other ANT+ accessories) concurrently.

Further, not only does it collect that data concurrently with a timecode, it also collects at a higher rate than a typical Garmin (or other head unit).  Normally Garmins will pick one of the 1-8 broadcasts per second, and record that.  Whereas the WASP will collect all samples per second and record the average of those.

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You can see a screenshot of what this data looks like below:

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Which isn’t to say I just used the WASP.  Nope, almost all of my rides has between 4 and 7 head units recording concurrently.

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This means that every single time I was following a set procedure on how to collect the data, which included:

1) Validation that each power meter was paired to the correctly labeled head unit (validation of ANT+ ID against known PM ANT+ ID)
2) Validation that each power meter did a manual calibration prior to the start of the ride
3) Validation that each head unit was recording at the same settings (1s recording, cadence and power zeros included)
4) Validation that all were using an external speed sensor for indoor rides, and that all circumferences were set identically
5) Starting all head units at exactly the same time (creative use of fingers)
6) After the start of the ride, validate that all sensors were correctly transmitting
7) At approximately 10-15 minutes into the ride, stop by the side of the road and manually calibrate all units

The calibration procedure included stepping off the bike, but over the top tube.  Then putting the cranks in the 12/6 position, and then manually calibrating each unit.

Post ride, all of the data would be collected into a single folder and then labeled by power meter and head unit.

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While this sounds somewhat simple, doing all seven steps 4-7 times (for each head unit/power meter combination) really adds up.

And that’s all before I even start analyzing the data.  Which usually takes hours per ride.  There is no application out there today that can cleanly generate all the charts and data plots you see in this review.  That’s all done with Excel, painstakingly.  A simple 90 minute ride has over 20,000 power meter data points alone to correlate and analyze.

Ultimately though, I have a lot of good data to work with.  Clean data, more correctly.  There were certainly (many) rides where things went wrong somewhere in steps 1-7, meaning that ride got tossed out.  It could be something as simple as the battery dying, or it could be that a unit got inadvertently stopped without me realizing it or that there was some form of ANT+ interference.  All of it meant that the ride got tossed from using in this review.

All data shown in this review is prior to the firmware update from approximately two weeks ago.  All raw data for this review is available at the end of the review for anyone to download and analyze should they wish.

Some random thoughts before we get started:

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Before we dive into the analysis, I want to cover some ground on a few topics briefly.  Mostly as a way to ‘catch-up’ folks on various areas of note relevant to this review.

On my pedaling: It’s been funny how some have attempted to identify issues with my riding style during the original review, somehow impacting the tests.  Some said I was left-leg heavy (thus impacting things).  Some said I was right-leg heavy (more issues).  Some said I stopped and started my bicycle the wrong way.  Or pedaled the wrong way.

I say this in the nicest possible way: None of that matters.  Really, it doesn’t.  It’s trying to find fault where fault doesn’t lie.  Either the product works with a random cyclist (me), or it doesn’t.  Whether it works with a different random cyclist (you), is certainly debatable. I lack the concentration to somehow pedal a certain way for hours on end.  Perhaps a professional tour rider does, but for me, I’m just gonna keep on pedaling the same way I have since I had training wheels on.  Which based on what I can tell – is probably the same way you pedal.  And at the end of the day, it’s all about whether the unit works across the board – yes or no.

On studies of how people peddle: There’s certainly been some interesting studies on how people peddle.  I’ve looked at a LOT of studies on this topic.  But there’s some key issues that folks like to talk around.  First is that most of these studies are 20-30 years old.  That doesn’t mean they aren’t useful.  But that does call into question the accuracy of the data collection methods on left/right power meters.  Keep in mind that it’s last year that we finally got a left/right power meter that works outdoors.  Most of the studies are indoor-based, and it’s well proven that power meters act differently indoors than outdoors.  Even the more recent ones are very small in their data sets – literally in some cases just a few rides.

Again, I’m not saying to ignore those studies.  But I am saying to take them with a boulder-sized grain of salt.

On ‘second/update’ reviews: This is the only time I’ve ever completed a ‘second review’ on a product.  Historically when a company prematurely releases a product, they have to live with the reviews published to the internet based on premature release.  Ask Motorola how that worked out for the Motoactv.  Or Garmin.  I often go back and make minor changes or updates based on new features or changed functionality, but not wholesale new reviews.  Power meter reviews are actually the most complex reviews I have to publish.  They are incredibly tough to get ‘right’, and a lot of data collection and analysis goes into it.  Thus, when I publish a second review for a product, that means at least another 2-3 products in The Queue get pushed out further and delayed.  That’s the only way it works in a time-constrained system.

On data collection: One aspect that some have wondered whether it impacted the end results was the Edge 510/810 in some of the original tests, which had an issue that resulted in some power drops.  Out of curiosity, I looked more closely at this and went and actually ‘nulled’ those drops (they were very predictable timeline-wise in that particular firmware version).  However, that still didn’t resolve the core issues brought up in the review around variability.  Nulling out the Edge issues only moved things about one half of one percent in most cases (on average it occurred once every 2 minutes).  So while it did have an impact, it was sorta like dumping a glass of water into a flooded house.

On differences between power meters: I see a lot of talk about the holy grail of never switching between power meters because it means your data will be offset.  That’s true.  There’s a fundamental difference in power measurement location between using a crank based power meter and one on a trainer or wheel.  No doubt.  But I’d argue that in the scope of power meter technology today – it doesn’t matter.  I’d argue that most folks don’t calibrate, and even those that do, wouldn’t necessarily know when the data is right or wrong or when a power mis-calibration has occurred.  ‘In power meter we trust’.  Can you, out on the open road, tell the difference between 5w higher or lower for 4 seconds?  How about 10w on an hour long climb?  And if you can (which, you might), can you tell me where and when that variation started to occur?  And can you do it over the course of multiple years and ensure that ever single ride was calibrated perfectly?  And, as you’ll see below – that’s the real question, and not just for the Stages, but for any power meter.

The Tests and Results: Indoor Rides

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Let’s dig into a handful of rides.  These are rides where all data recording aspects went as planned, thus enabling us to really dig into the data.  As with the previous review, any obvious ANT+ transmission errors (i.e. interference) were nulled as to not impact any specific power meter.  This is not the same as spikes or drops however, and in the event of those, they were and are specifically called out.  ANT+ interference errors are easily seen because they tend to affect all data channels (i.e. heart rate included).

These two rides were done indoors on trainers that have the capacity to both generate resistance as well as measure power.  That’s key because it gives us even more data points to work with in some cases (what the resistance ‘should’ be).

90 Minute Indoor Trainer Ride:

This indoor ride was completed on the CompuTrainer (CT), with three additional power meters: The PowerTap, Stages, and Quarq.  Per the calibration procedure, each was manually calibrated (or roll down in case of CT) prior to the start of the ride.  Then again at the 20 minute marker, all were manually calibrated again.  The workout itself was as follows:

A) 10-Minute warm-up
B) Some high-cadence work for 10 minutes
C) (Then Calibration)
D) Building for 15 minutes
E) Then 3 minutes easy
F) 3 x (10 minute intervals with 2 minutes easy in between)
G) 4 x short 30s sprints
H) 5 minute cooldown

With that in mind, let’s look at the overall stacked graph below. This means that the numbers are simply stacked on top of each other.  It doesn’t mean that the Quarq is measuring higher.  I did this just because for this graph it’s easier to see.

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As you can see, the numbers ‘tracked’ quite closely across all units.  But as I discussed in the first review, creating a comparative graph isn’t as useful because it tends to ‘skip’ over details, such as the exact variability between units.

Next let’s look at the difference between the power meters in watts.  This is somewhat complex to display on a single chart for all units at once, so it’s in multiple charts instead.  The titles specify which power meters are being compared.  The vertical axis shows wattage, and the vast majority of the ride my average wattage is between 230 and 280w (to give context on percentage).

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Note that all charts are sized with a min/max vertical axis of –80w and +80w.

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Next is against the CompuTrainer itself.  Note that the CompuTrainer has a specified warm-up period of generally between 10 and 20 minutes.  Thus why you see the divergence there for those first 20 minutes.  It’s not the Stages causing that divergence.  Once I complete the secondary calibration on the CompuTrainer, it snaps right into place.

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For completeness, here’s the Quarq vs PowerTap numbers.  As you can see, any two power meters will differ.

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So what do you see above?  Well, in all the charts the vast majority of the time you see the difference being less than 20w.  You’ll see some spiking towards the end, but that’s in the 500w+ intervals that I was doing, and thus the difference is likely due to lag more than anything else.  But remember, we’re not looking at any difference itself as being bad, but rather the variation of the difference.  Each power meter measures power in difference places.  As a result, the PowerTap will generally show less wattage than the Quarq, for example.  So we’re looking to have more of a steady line – wherever that may be (high or low).

In looking closely, you see that in general the variation was lowest when comparing the PowerTap to the Quarq, and the Stages to the CompuTrainer.

But if we step back and look at this graph from the standpoint of a coach, focusing in particular on the three main interval sets – it’s clear that you can easily discern what the athlete is doing, and their output level.

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If I look at just the first 10-minute interval for example, here’s the averages:

Quarq: 287w
Stages 278w
PowerTap: 288w
CompuTrainer: 270w

And the second interval:

Quarq: 282w
Stages 274w
PowerTap: 282w
CompuTrainer: 266w

And the third interval:

Quarq: 281w
Stages 269w
PowerTap: 280w
CompuTrainer: 266w

As you can see, any coach could easily use any of those numbers to give perspective feedback to an athlete on how this ride went.  In my case, all three intervals were set to essentially the same values at the start, with a slight fade  of 10w over the course of the interval (where I backed off the wattage to keep within a HR zone).

What about one of those sprints at the end?  Well, here’s what one of those look like (averages including the build/fade):

Quarq: 487w
Stages 458w
PowerTap: 457w
CompuTrainer: 441w

As you can see, there’s a bit more variation, but not much.  But which one is right?  That’s the tough part.  How do you quantify exactly which one is correct?  The Stages and PowerTap were only 1w apart.

Now let’s look at total ride averages.  As noted once before – that’s the absolute easiest bar to meet.  I can put up a $99 PowerCal strap and get pretty close to spot-on averages (within a couple watts).  But nonetheless, here they are:

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We see that the Quarq is the highest, which is logical – it’s measuring power closest to my legs.  And the PowerTap and CompuTrainer are lowest, also logical given their place later in the equation (due to drivetrain loss).  We see the stages sits below the Quarq, and in this case slightly below the PowerTap as well.  For reference, the difference between the Quarq and the Stages is 4%, whereas the Stages and the PowerTap is 1.5%.  And the Stages and the CompuTrainer is less than 1%.

80 Minute Indoor Trainer Ride:

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Ok, next up, another indoor trainer ride.  The structure was fairly similar as the first one:

A) 10-Minute warm-up
B) (Then Calibration)
C) Some high-cadence work for 10 minutes
D) Building for 15 minutes
E) Then 3 minutes easy
F) 3 x (8 minute intervals with 2 minutes easy in between)
G) 4 x short 30s sprints
H) 5 minute cooldown

With that in mind, let’s look at the overall stacked graph below.  Again remember that the stacked graph simply shows all of them on top of each other, thus there will naturally be gaps.  It’s used to easily see the differences.

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So let’s dive into those differences.  Like above, I’ve done ‘difference’ charts pitting the Stages up against each one.  Here’s the Quarq vs Stages – difference in watts.  In order to keep them inline with the earlier charts, the scale was kept at +/-80w.  In the below example it bumped just a touch bit higher in those intervals, at 94w.

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So before we move onto the others, you’ll see that in general it’s within 20w the entire time.  Again remember that delays in transmission and recording can cause some of the variability.  The spikes you see at the ending are due to the quick sprints I was doing.  Because of the fact that these were only 20 second sprints at a high intensity (500w+), they can easily produce differences like you see due to that delay.

Here’s it plotted against the KICKR (via ANT+):

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And then here’s the Quarq and KICKR plotted.  Remember all these graphs are smoothed at 10s (the underlying data is).

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You’re probably looking at the above and seeing a lot of variability with the KICKR.  And that’s true.  Remember that the KICKR measures power based on changes to speed.  It’s doing it differently than based on pure strain gauges.    What you see above is that during the portions of the workout where I’m shifting speed/cadence/power significantly (the high cadence portions & the sprints), we see variability due to data lag.  But in the main sets we see the values very close (less than 10 watts).

Here’s the average/max/NP for the ride:

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As we can see, the average and NP numbers were very close.  The max watts on the KICKR was a bit lower, but that makes sense because it wouldn’t likely have felt a 1s spike during a sprint as high as the Quarq or Stages.  And at 753w, the difference between the Quarq and Stages is exactly 2.5%.  Well within the published margin of error for either unit.

The Tests and Results: Outdoor Rides

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Now we get to the fun stuff – outdoors!  While I have lots of rides in Paris, I’m actually using two particular rides below for a reason.  First is that I have the WASP data, which makes it easier and cleaner to visualize.  But second is that unlike my Paris rides which are full of stops due to traffic/etc, these are more or less nonstop.  Thus making it easier to both visualize as well as spot any differences.  With stop/starts of traffic, it can become very difficult to separate out drops/spikes from simple stopping and starting rapidly.

Las Vegas Desert Ride:

This was a ride I did while in Las Vegas in mid-April.  First up is the stacked graph.  Now, this can be really busy looking – because it’s far more variable outside than inside.  The route itself is more or less never-ending rollers.  So I’m constantly shifting power according to terrain.  Note, you can click on any of these to expand a bit.

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So, let’s smooth things out a bit with a 10-second average:

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Again, remember these are stacked, and thus not the actual difference between the units – but rather the relative differences in how they track.

Now let’s look at the differences between each one.  As with before, these are all smoothed at 10s.

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Now for the Stages vs PowerTap:

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And finally, Quarq vs PowerTap:

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Now, the challenge here continues to be the variance in outdoor data when comparing rides side by side.  So I applied a 1-minute (60-second) smoothing to it:

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So within this, we can clearly see how they tracked.  In most cases they aligned quite well.  We see that in general the Quarq tends to ‘rise’ above the rest from a max standpoint, either because it’s measuring further up the drivetrain (likely), or because it catches some of the short bursts a bit better.  We see that the Stages pretty much just slides in between the Quarq and the PowerTap and tracks well against both.  The only cases where we see differentiation seem to come from the PowerTap on some of the descents – reporting a bit lower power than the rest.

Finally, here’s the totals across all three units:

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As you can see, all within the same ballpark.  But again, getting ride total averages in the same ballpark is pretty easy in the grand scheme of power meters.  What I do appreciate though is that you can start to see a pattern between the Stages, Quarq and PowerTap being developed.  We see that the Quarq tends to be the highest numbers (Avg/NP), with the Stages slightly below it, and then the PowerTap beyond that.  This likely means that my left leg is just a tiny bit weaker than my right leg, as the Stages is only measuring left-leg.  The difference between the PowerTap and Quarq makes sense and is inline with expectations, likely due to drivetrain loss.

Mountain Ride:

This ride was done shortly after the Vegas ride.  But now I’d travelled to Los Angeles and this ride was starting right at the base of the nearby Angeles National Forest (basically a mountain range), and then heading up into it.  The weather down low and on the climb was miserable (pouring rain, cold), but up top it was beautiful.

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I really wanted to include this ride because it shows just how massive the impacts of weather and calibration can be on data.  Data that unless you had multiple power meters on your bike, you’d likely not realize there was an error.

First up, let’s look at the stacked graph.  Quite frankly, this is a mess to try and decipher– so let’s just move on.

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So let’s go ahead and apply a 1-minute smoothing to it.  This creates a rolling average of the last 60-seconds of data.

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Wow, lots of interesting stuff in there.  But before we do that, let me give you the elevation profile of the ride that goes along with this.  This is set to display as ‘time’, because that’s the same as above (seconds).  I specifically moved the elevation points to the right side of the graph, so that it basically aligns visually to what you see above.  Where the numbers are on the right side the mountain just goes back down (I start/end in the same place).

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What that in mind, what you see is that there was no place for any auto-zero type technologies to kick in on either the Quarq or the PowerTap.  In the case of the PowerTap, that happens while coasting.  And in the Quarq, when I backpedal.  Since I was literally climbing for nearly an hour straight – the only way to do so would have been to stop and get off my bike.

So I did….

First calibration: You’ll see a manual calibration I did (I marked it on the chart two screenshots above), this was about 15 minutes up the hill, where I literally pulled off to the side and manually calibrated.  In doing so, all three PM’s started to align again.

But wait, that didn’t last terribly long.  Look below.  In yellow highlighter I’ve highlighted the two points where I did a calibration or auto-zero.  As I continued to climb, you see the power meters start to drift apart.  The stages stays relatively constant, but the Quarq drops off significantly – upwards of 50w+.  And the PowerTap even starts to drift downwards as well, about 10-15w.

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As soon as I pulled over to a random viewpoint and did an auto-zero coast, they both snapped right back in place.

Why were they drifting?  Well likely because of this:

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This is the temperature chart for my ride.  You can see a 15*F+ shift.  Keeping in mind that the Edge 800 temperature gauge (which is what this is from) has the updating speed of a turtle.  It would literally take 5-10 minutes to drift from 72*F to 0*F in a freezer.  So in reality, the temperature shift is likely closer to 20*F+.  Here’s what it looked like outside (it’s pouring):

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So how do I know that the PowerTap and Quarq were drifting, and that it wasn’t just the Stages?  Well, some if it comes from knowing yourself.  In my case my heart rate stayed pretty constant across that timespan.  And while heart rate isn’t always a great indicator of power, it does help provide context.  I certainly wouldn’t have lost 50-70w in wattage over the course of just an hour climb.

Next is that the Stages contains temperature compensation, whereas the Quarq doesn’t.  Also, once the auto-zero was done on the Quarq and PowerTap, everything instantly aligned back to where it should have been.  Keep in mind there is no manually triggered auto-zero on the Stages (happens continuously), so there was nothing changed there at that time.

We also see some of this same drifting in reverse (plus a bit of other funkiness) happening to the Quarq on the descents on the way back down.

So, as we look at the ride totals, you’re going to see data different than ‘the norm’.  Because the Quarq and PowerTap were measuring low during the climb, these numbers will be lower for average and normalized power.  Of course, that doesn’t impact max power, which is across the entire ride.  In this case, we do see a fair bit of variation in maximum power – more so than I would have expected, with them each offset about 100w (200w range in total).  The challenge with max power though is that it can be one split-second packet that determines it.

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So where does this leave us?  Well, the Stages appears to have a fairly solid temperature compensation system built into it.  The PowerTap didn’t drift significantly in comparison to the Quarq, though we certainly saw that.

Now, when we look at the middle portion of the ride where the temperature was fairly constant, we see that all three units tracked very well against each other:

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Excluding the climbing/descending aspects, you could have easily used the middle data from any of those power meters.  It’s only when you include the climbing/descents that you reduce the viable units to use for this particular cold and rainy day.

Cadence items of note:

I wanted to briefly cover cadence, though I thought it was pretty well covered in the original review. As you may remember, cadence within the Stages Power Meter does not depend on a cadence magnet, and thus uses an internal accelerometer.  This means that there is no magnet installation required, nor any other sensor required on your bike.  It just does its thing internally to the pod attached to your crank arm.

Now in the original review people seemed to continually look at the graphs and think that I said there were cadence issues with the unit.  Despite clarifying this numerous times, there was still confusion there.  What was said at the time was that below 60RPM we saw some impacts on torque (and thus power), but we didn’t see any issues with the cadence itself.

I tested the cadence range down to 30RPM, and up to just under 200RPM – against a known good.  In this case that ‘known good’ was a traditional magnet-based cadence sensor.  (Fun testing aside, it’s actually interesting to see the Stages PM drop off at precisely 30RPM.  31RPM is good, 30RPM gone.)

Taking a look at an indoor plot first, this is cadence of the Stages cadence vs Bontrager magnet cadence sensor.  The graph is the 10-second running average plot, variation shown in RPM.  Really do take note of the scale here though.

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As you can see the average difference was between 0 and 2RPM.  But again, that’s because there’s going to be some reaction time delay there from an electronics standpoint – so even just a single second delay would show up here (delay caused by transmission or recording).  Said differently: They look basically spot on.

Now, here’s an outdoor ride (the Vegas one):

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In this case you see more variability because of stops and starts being a factor and the data time slice needing to be just 1-2 seconds.  So from a post-ride data analysis standpoint, it’s actually relatively difficult to see.  To exemplify this, I went ahead and looked at a few of those areas where there’s divergence.

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Now, you may be asking ‘Why don’t you just slide the entire data plot a few seconds?’.  Well, when I did that it skews off the power.  Meaning that while the power aligns fairly well from a timecode standpoint, the cadence does have a slight delay in it.  Not enough that you’d notice it out on the ride, but enough that you notice it when you stop pedaling altogether (which is the case above).

It’s one of those things that’s much easier to see when displayed on a head unit because you can look at both units at once and see that even though one might be delayed .5 to 2 seconds, it’s showing effectively the same thing.  For example, if I stop pedaling for an intersection.  One unit might take 1 second to go from 90RPM to 0RPM, whereas the other might take 2 seconds.  Thus on a graph it would look like there’s a ~90RPM gap, when there’s not.  They’re both measuring it correctly, it’s just that there’s some internal communications and recording differences.

Again, I’m simply not seeing any issues with cadence on a road bike (nor was I seeing issues before) – either real-time indoors, outdoors, or in analysis afterwards.  I don’t have a mountain bike, so I can’t in those circumstances.  I do however have plenty of cobbles in Europe though – and saw no issues there.

Pacing and Wattage Stability:

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One of the core areas of concern with the previous firmware was the instability of the pace.  While power meter users will note that wattage on power meters fluctuates second to second, the initial Stages firmware introduced too much variability in my opinion – even while using smoothing options.

The best way to exemplify this is to simply show it.  So I went out and captured some simple steady-state riding down the street.  Nothing complex here, just riding on mostly flat ground.  There’s no fundamental difference between riding on flat ground or a mountain from a strain gauge standpoint, it’s all just ‘effort’.

Here’s the video clip of steady-state riding.  In case it’s not clear, there’s three head units, each labeled with Stages (left), Quarq (right), and PowerTap (top):

As you can see, I included instant power (top), 3-second (3s) power (middle), and 10-second  (10s) power (bottom) on the display.  All three ebb and flow together pretty much together.

Comparing Bluetooth Smart and ANT+ from the same unit:

After publishing this update earlier this morning a few of you asked about the Bluetooth Smart aspects, specifically focusing on comparing the ANT+ data coming from the Stages unit to the Bluetooth Smart (aka BLE) channel.  As background, the Stages Power Meter is the first power meter to offer dual-broadcasting of data across both ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart, ultimately letting the user decide what devices they’re going to connect to the unit.

On the ANT+ side you have all the traditional power meter head units (i.e. Garmin, Timex, CycleOps, etc…).  Whereas on the Bluetooth Smart side you have cell phone based applications, today limited to those on iPhone 4s and higher devices, as well as newer iPad/iPod devices with Bluetooth 4.0 in it (which is required for Bluetooth Smart).   There is not yet compatibility on either Android or Windows Phone.  I dove into the Bluetooth Smart aspects in more detail in the original review.

But I didn’t spend too much time either in the original review or in the update looking at comparative data from the Stages Power Meter when analyzing both data channels at once (ANT+ & BLE).  So since I had a longish trainer ride today, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to give it a shot.

The setup for this was relatively simple: I had an Edge 800 recording the Stages ANT+ power stream, and then I had an iPhone 4s with the Wahoo Fitness App recording the Bluetooth Smart stream.  I use the Wahoo Fitness app because I feel it’s the most complete app out there for data recording and analysis.  It doesn’t have all the ‘community’ features of some other apps, but when it comes to data and getting data in any format on earth with reliability – it rocks that boat.

Stages-WahooApp

This then gave me a slew of files.  Oh and for fun, I was also recording the PowerTap and Quarq concurrently – but we’ll ignore those for this test (I have included them in an updated set of raw data files however at the end of the review).

After getting all the data consolidated I started by throwing it into a 1-second chart:

Stages-BLEANTChart

Interesting, you do see some interesting variations there between the two plots – which I’ll get to in just a few moments.  One track is a bit more ‘tapered’, while the other more volatile.   But does it have an impact on segment averages?

Let’s first look at all the segments of my workout from today.  Comparing the average wattage and cadence of each segment along the way – some as short as 2 minutes, some as long as 15 minutes.  Plus the overall averages and max’s.

Stages-BLEANTTable

Again, near-perfect comparisons doesn’t tend to be exciting.  But the above is pretty astounding.  It’d be difficult to achieve that even with two Garmin Edge 500’s side by side recording the same power meter.  I would expect that because it was a trainer ride, there’s slightly less variability than an outdoor ride – so you might get a hair bit more variation there.

So why are there itty-bitty sub-1% variations (more like sub-.5%)?  Well, the Bluetooth Smart channel in this case is updating more frequently.  It’s not that ANT+ can’t do that (as in fact, I do it with the WASP units all the time as shown in this review).  It’s just that the Garmin doesn’t record higher than once per second.  Which means it may miss some stuff.  Hence why you see the higher max value on the Bluetooth Smart side – it likely had a split-second sample where I peaked higher than the Garmin even saw.  This also means that you see a touch bit smoother track on the Bluetooth Smart side as it’s not just picking one semi-random packet out of the air, but rather grabbing a bunch and averaging those for the ‘1-second’ data point viewable to us.

While this one test shouldn’t be considered the end-all-be-all of accuracy, I did want to include it for those who were curious.  It seems to me that the data is pretty darn solid though.

(Again note that this test above is on firmware prior to the latest Bluetooth Smart update, which may address any of the tiny little variances I saw.)

Final Thoughts:

IMG_7315

Back in my first review of the Stages Power Meter, I concluded with the following statement.

“At present, based on me (and only me) it would be difficult for me to swap out my existing power meter with the Stages power meter.  There’s just too much variance and fluctuations in power.  Do I think that Stages can get there though?  Yes, I do.  But I think it’s going to take time, and likely more software work.” – January 2013

Based on what I’ve seen, they’ve done that work (and put in that time) – into the software.  The physical unit I have has not changed since the original review.  It’s the same unit I’ve had since the very beginning.  They’ve just updated the software within it.  And they took a lot of feedback from the original review and addressed issues of concern we had.

For me, I have no issues in using any of the power meters I’ve used in this review – including the Stages.  I do in fact from time to time pick different ones, and the data is generally similar enough that there’s no discernable difference.  Further, in some situations (such as nonstop climbing with shifts in temperature), the Stages simply performed better than two other units.  This likely due to its automatic temperature compensation algorithms.

As for Stages being left-only and doubling the power, for me (and again, just me), I’m just not seeing any issues there.  It’s possible that others have larger discrepancies, or that those discrepancies could vary. But in my case it seems pretty consistent across a wide variation of rides and riding conditions.

I think probably the biggest takeaway here is that no particular power meter is perfect.  Anyone who says that there is, is sadly mistaken.

Given all that, here’s the updated Pros and Cons table:

Pros:

- Cheapest direct force power meter on market today
- Easy to install.  Silly easy.
- Tons of crank compatibility options
- Accelerometer based cadence measurement works really well
- Utilizes standard CR2032 user-replaceable battery
- Automatically compensates for temperature changes
- Lightweight – 20g

Cons:

- Left leg dependent, simply doubles left leg power
- Total power could be highly impacted by your left/right distribution (but I didn’t see this)
- No method of end-user calibration validation (for advanced users)
- Doesn’t support Rotor cranks/arms as of today, or carbon crank arms

Thanks for reading!  And as always, feel free to post comments or questions in the comments section below, I’ll be happy to try and answer them as quickly as possible.  At the end of the day keep in mind I’m just like any other regular triathlete out there. I write these reviews because I’m inherently a curious person with a technology background (my day job), and thus I try and be as complete as I can.  This isn’t my full time job.  But, if I’ve missed something or if you spot something that doesn’t quite jive – just let me know and I’ll be happy to get it all sorted out.  And lastly, if you felt this review was useful – I always appreciate feedback in the comments below.  Thanks!

Finally, I’ve written up a ton of helpful guides around using most of the major fitness devices, which you may find useful in getting started with the devices.  These guides are all listed in the ‘How-to’ section.  Enjoy!

Note: Raw data files used in this review are available here.  Notes are contained within each folder.

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566 Comments

  1. Vito

    incredible work Ray!
    Great scientific analisys, data collection and conclusion.
    That's the way to give the right perspective on this subject, not personal feelings but solid data!
    It's probably not so fun, but I think it would be great if you add this perspective on every PM review you'll so in the future!

    Reply
  2. Ronald Meier

    When will they ship outside US/Canada?

    Reply
  3. Victor

    Have you ever had problems with your ant+ signals not being picked up because too many devices were being used? On my last two trainer rides, I had the Stages power meter, Kurt inRide, TrainerRoad with Ant+ usb, Garmin GSC-10 speed cadence, Garmin HR, inRide BT HR, Garmin 800, Garmin Edge and iPhone inRide app all running at the same time. The inRide picked up fine on the iPhone but the Stages power, Stages cadence would only pick up half the time. The Garmin GSC-10 was also cutting off more than normal though would cut off about 90% of the time. I have no clue why this was happening and my first thought was that maybe too many things were running at once causiing interference. However, this didnt happen the first time I had this set up, only occured in last two setups. Then I just turned off everything and used Stages only and the signals were still not picking up consistently. Case of just some unknown interference, Garmin issue, Stages Issue or am is there something I should look for or do to make the connection stable?

    Reply
    • Eli replied

      I think you need to clarify. Which are broadcasting and which are receive only? You can have as many receiving devices as you want and there is no chance for there to be interference

      Reply
    • Victor replied

      Stages power broadcasting to garmin 800 and 500 and dropping 50% of the time on both. Stages cadence broadcasting to 500 and dropping 50%. Garmin speed/cadence broadcasting to trainer road USB, and 800 and dropping 10%. Ant + and BT Heart rate from all devices being picked up 100%. inRide power being picked up 100%.

      Reply
  4. Durianrider

    I got the first one in Australia. I updated the firmware and agree with DC, it works great and you can pace against it just like a powertap etc.

    Reply
  5. TimG

    Another excellent review. Thanks.

    Just tell all those who choose to criticise you that they are most welcome to do it themselves. I originally wrote a slightly 'harsher' suggestion for them....but decided against it. Some people have waaaayyy to much time.

    Reply
  6. A tip of the hat to you sir! This is what I call commitment and dedication. This is why your blog is so much above others.

    Thank you!

    Reply
  7. Gabriele

    Your Cervelo looks like the Enterprise.
    All you need now is pointy ears and you must train how to do the vulcanian salute properly.

    I can't believe how UGLY your cockpit looks... but I hate Vision Handles, already told you that. :-)
    Lol you're also losing the right elbow pad AHAAHAHAHAH.

    Reply
  8. Thor R

    Wow Ray, just wow! You've proven again you're the stuff legends are made of.
    This revisit highlights just how much dedication, time and effort is required to do a proper review.
    Thanks and looking forward to the next in-depth analysis for whatever pops out of "The Queue".

    Reply
  9. David

    Hey Ray - the review is not really relevant to me as I'm not looking at a stages PM (or any other) at the moment as I've already got my PM sorted.

    BUT, just wanted to say thanks for doing the update and all the work on this - way above the call of duty and exactly the reason I come back here all the time to check your reviews before I buy any sports tech. Absolutely brilliant work.

    Cheers

    Reply
  10. Eli

    Thanks for all the hard work.

    I thought all head units picked up an Ant+ power signal at 1 second intervals and all Ant+ power meters broadcast was also at 1 second intervals (well packets were sent more often but the data inside only was updated once per second. The only power meter that updated the data more often is SRM which updates at 4Hz. Do the power meters change the data they are broadcasting more then once a second meaning there is data lost with what the head units see?

    (Based on your power meter primer links from before link to slowtwitch.com)

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      The SRM is the only one that not only broadcasts but captures at a higher rate. The rate for the others will vary slightly. In the files you can see the current number of packets that it received for each second. Some power meters are just broadcasting duplicates, and some are actual differences. With the current software, the WASP averaging those out. Again, this is unique to the WASP and not something offered today on Garmin devices.

      Reply
    • ifor replied

      ANT+ Power protocol allows for updates at about 4Hz. As Ray says if the meters use this full capability is up to the meter but generally there are two styles either update at a fixed internal rate or update based on a physical thing e.g. wheel or crank revolution. You can find the spec document on the thisisant site.

      Reply
  11. Javy Olives

    I'm a current powertap user, but have always wanted to try the Stages. However, I run different crank lengths on my Road & Tri Bike (172.5 & 165mm). Do you think it is possible to simply stack my Tri shoe to compensate for the length discrepancy (assuming I get a 172.5mm arm and slap it on a 165mm crankset)? Would power numbers be affected?

    Is this something you would be interested in testing?

    Reply
    • JBV replied

      Assuming you're using shorter cranks on the tri bike to keep the hip angle from becoming too acute (a logical reason), using a 172.5mm arm *and* shimming the cleat will result in an extremely tight hip angle on that side. Even if it doesn't impact power production, you would seem to be asking for trouble in terms of developing muscular imbalances, perhaps even injury.

      Assuming you want to keep using such different crank sizes (if you compete primarily in tri, consider 165 on the road bike as well), maybe pick which bike you want a powermeter on, or buy two.

      Reply
    • Javy Olives replied

      JBV,

      Thanks for the inputs.

      Why would the hip angle close in that case? Wouldn't the net effect simply be the effective crank 'length' be 165mm? Is it because at TDC the effective crank length would be 172.5 + 7.5?

      Reply
    • JBV replied

      Javy, yes, that's exactly it, at TDC (where hip angle is tightest) you'd effectively be riding a ~180mm crank with the combination of the 172.5 and the shim. Shimming doesn't shorten the effective crank length, is simply "offsets" it higher.

      Sorry for taking a couple days to respond, I hope that helps.

      Reply
  12. Gerald Brown

    Another great review Ray -Thanks.
    I am very interested to see if the prices of other power meters will now go down now that the Stages system has been validated by Ray and they have a credible lower priced competitor..

    Reply
  13. Thanks again for your thorough reviews.

    Have you tried the Stages meter on another receiving device other than the 510/800 Garmin series ?

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Yes, I've used it on everything from the O-Synce, to the Garmin Edge 500/800 (as well as the 510/810), to the iPhone with ANT+ adapter, to the WASP. It follows the ANT+ power meter standards, so it'll work with anything that supports the ANT+ power meter spec.

      Reply
  14. Chris

    Ray, I see from your photos you have a 510 connected to a powertap. I have yet to be able to connect those two devices. I swapped out the 510 for a replacement model and have the latest firmware on the g3. Did you have trouble connecting. Garmin says they know of the issue and are working on it.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      All the devices in this review are Edge 800 devices, with the 810 only used to demonstrate the power steadiness in that one video.

      As for issues with the 510 and the PT, I thought it was a pairing issue - meaning it wasn't surfacing the search correctly, but if you knew the ANT+ ID then you were good to go.

      Reply
  15. Thank you. Have you (or can you) confirm success with iPhone Bluetooth and/or Garmin 910XT?

    Reply
    • Michael Dreyer replied

      The reason I'm asking is that I have purchased one and have only been able to verify solid operation on a Garmin 510 (borrowed) but haven't bern successful with Bontrager Node 1, Magellan Switch Up, iPhone 5 ( Bluetooth - wahoo fitness ). Stages support has been great to work with and have been very responsive.

      Reply
    • JBV replied

      My Stages PM works great with my Garmin 500, but will not stay connected to my iphone 5 if I put the phone in a jersey pocket. I think I'd have a better chance if I put the phone on my bars, or perhaps in a seat bag (or in a cellphone holder in a bottle cage).

      Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      For those interested in the Bluetooth Smart aspects, I took some time on my flight tonight and analyzed this morning's ride where I had concurrent recording with the Wahoo App (Bluetooth Smart) and an ANT+ signal (Edge 800). I've added a new section just before the conclusion summarizing (in detail of course) those results. I've also added the raw files from that ride into the zip file at the end of the review.

      Reply
    • Gunnar Christensen replied

      I've used the Stages since March. I use it paired with my 910xt and sometimes with my edge 800 and I've never had any issues. I haven't even performed the firmware upgrade yet ( need to find someone with a iPhone so I can utilize the Stages app....). it just works, which is a really nice thing.

      Reply
    • Michael Dreyer replied

      Stages just issued another update and Wahoo now works great on iPhone 5. I did a long term ride and indoor trainer ride and no drops ( or 0 power ) unless I pressed pause button ( in which case this is expected

      Reply
  16. John Smith

    Hi,

    Thanks for doing this. One quick question, given the positioning would you say this is compatible with RideSense? See photos below for what i'm referring to.

    link to blog.tredz.co.uk
    link to blog.tredz.co.uk

    Thanks in advance, any reply is appreciated!

    Reply
    • Albert replied

      What do you mean. I have the 2013 tcr advanced sl frame and it works. But if you sync with a garmin head unit, it will sync to whatever you synced first.

      So for me I took off my ride sense and synced with stages. So my cadence and power are from stages.

      If I sync ride sense after the stages. My speed so theoretically be from ride sense but you won't be able to utilize cadence unless you have it synced first. But it seems its cleaner in look by syncing and using the stages cadence though.

      Reply
  17. Albert

    Thank you for the review! I'm sure stages is gonna get some more business because of this. I hope they thank you!

    I had a few questions about power meters and being that I'm new, this may be for newbies.

    Question is...it appears that it's not about trying to purchase the SRM to ensure that we get a good power meter, it's about how consistent a power meter is over the duration of use.

    And that you mentioned that the SRM records at a higher resolution than the others, does it matter to most of us as cycling enthusiasts?

    Also, it is it true that the current power meters on the market, not all of them have temperature compsensation algorithms built in? I would think if so, this is a plus for the stages.

    Also, speaking toward value, it appears that the stages could be the best bang for the buck power meter.

    Also, with the firmware updates, I'm wondering are you using the latest firmware update or was this before the most recent one (I think last week at the begininng/middle of June 2013).

    How important is it for training knowing right and left balance compared to just a left crank power reading?

    Thanks once again!

    Reply
  18. pratoni

    I would like to see if the differences shown in this review also appear with the SRM power meter, which is known to be the "gold standard of the industry".

    That would show if the huge difference in prices represent a huge difference in the data reliability.

    Reply
  19. Eric N. Winn

    Excellent update Ray. I just ordered one for my Cruzbike Vendetta.

    The KICKR comparison was good to see as I have one of those too and have been wanting to start working with power on the road.

    -Eric

    Reply
    • brandon replied

      Anyone care to guess who designed the kickr?

      Reply
  20. Andrew

    Great review! Thank you for your tireless number crunching. I think the real question now is whether or not you will be using it?

    Reply
  21. Steve Knapp

    Did quarq add temp compensation after you bought the device used in this comparison? They claim to have it in their FAQ:

    link to quarq.com
    Do Quarq power meters feature temperature compensation?
    Quarq power meters are highly engineered and feature multiple temperature compensation systems. From the intrinsically balanced strain gauge arrangement to clever measurement circuit design, temperature effects are isolated and eliminated at every step in the system.

    Reply
    • simon replied

      I think quarq are very careful in that statement - Reading between the lines I think they have tried to engineer out problems with temperature variation....not actually include a formal temperature compensation system that actually measures the temperature.

      Reply
  22. Nic

    Ray, thank you for your dedication in providing this updated review. I have no particular vested interest other than a shared fascination with data and accurate interpretation. I admire your magnificent efforts.

    Reply
  23. Will_C

    Excellent review, Ray. Appreciate you digging as deeply as you do. It would be interesting to see how the Stages performs on a Mountain Bike ride, where the variability of cadence and power is very large.

    Thanks again!

    Reply
  24. Thien

    I don't even have a bike and read through the whole review! LOL. You are a true techno geek. Great job. I applaud your dedication.

    Reply
  25. Great review followup. I received my Cannondale SISL2 stages unit last week. I was shocked how light it actually is. Mine weighed in at 13 grams with the battery installed, 7 under the already ridiculous 20g listed weight.

    Reply
  26. Trey

    There was question above about Bluetooth connectivity. More specifically, have you used the Wahoo fitness app in Bluetooth mode? Have you had a chance to compare data capture between an iPhone in Bluetooth versus a Garmin with ANT+? Any difference in the data stream or variability?

    Thanks for an awesome job!

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      I didn't focus on the BLE portion as much, instead focusing mostly on the ANT+ piece. That said, I did actually do it on my 70min trainer ride today (BLE to the Wahoo App, plus concurrent ANT+ to an Edge 800). I did realize though it isn't inclusive of the update two weeks ago.

      I'm just jumping on a place in three minutes (for 8 hours), so I'll hack at the data on the flight. But, if it's looking wonky, I'll redo with the two-week old firmware version (which is said to address some BLE issues).

      Reply
    • Eric N. Winn replied

      Ray, on your updated ANT+ vs BLE chart at about 571 on the x-axis there is a flat spot for BLE watts while ANT+ is showing some variances. Any idea what that is and if it might represent some of the comments about folks losing BLE signal for a bit?

      Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Yes, that was specifically the spot I was talking about there. What's sorta interesting is that there's two tiny variations there on the BLE side. Again, this was on the firmware pre-BLE update, so it's plausible that's one of the areas addressed there.

      What's funny is just how close that section still came out - likely because it was constant power anyway.

      I wanted to include it sooner just to give folks some context on it in the larger scheme of things.

      Reply
  27. I've got a Stages arm on a Salsa Mukluk fatbike. I rode it for 1:45 a couple days ago on some fairly bumpy singletrack. The bike has no suspension other than big fluffy tires and I'm 210 pounds in gear. Was averaging just over 8MPH.

    My data shows five "impossible" cadence bounces (150-202RPMs) over that time.

    Other than that, the data is exactly what I would expect given the ride and how I felt in terms of the power it showed. This is the only sane way to get power on a fatbike right now (some have modified PowerTaps to work, but that's far from trivial). I also have MTBs with Quarq and SRM powermeters and a PowerTap on my road bike, so I've got a pretty good idea what my power should be, anyway.

    So the cadence issue isn't fully fixed yet, but it's not horrible, either. At least not in my situation. I'd like to see it fixed, but certainly have some lenience on this one.

    --Donnie

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Yeah, I believe they are still working on mountain bike related issues. Unfortunately as noted I lack such a bike anymore, and aren't able to give that its due.

      Reply
  28. That's an absolutely brilliant test: the completeness and critical attention you bring to these tests makes so many other tests look silly.

    One question, however, about the mountain ride: the Quarq is clearly doing poorly. The effect of the re-zeroing seals that deal. But the Powertap appears to barely shift relative to the Stages during re-zeroing. That leads me to suspect the issue with these two was a shift in L-R balance, not a systematic error in the PowerTap.

    Shifts in L-R balance with terrain (intertia), cadence, and fatigue are expected.

    The net result is it seems Stages has gotten its act together and while a 2% accuracy claim was never possible due to pedal asymmetry, at least cadence is improved and it's likely sufficient for pacing of efforts within a ride, if not for determination of small changes in fitness over time due to the L-R balance confounding factor. It's also clear that I don't regret using a Powertap versus a Quarq.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Hi Dan-

      It's an interesting question. The aspect that still has me believe the PowerTap shifted slightly was that after I broke out of the fog/rain and into the sun (where the temp was relatively stable), future climbs (since most of the ride was climbing it seemed) were much closer again (after auto-zero would have kicked in on some short descents).

      Reply
  29. Tagg

    What models of each of the PowerMeters are you using? ie. Which Quarq? Which PT?

    Reply
    • Tagg replied

      By the way, forgot to mention that the review, for me, was riveting and very educational. You discuss many of the proper operating procedures and other things we need to be aware of (temp, cadence, PM corelation) when gathering data, racing, or just enjoying the ride. Thank you so much for the informaiton. I plan on sending this link to serveral friends that have powermeters for their general knowledge.

      Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      This was a PowerTap G3, and a Quarq Cinqo (original).

      Reply
  30. I didn't read through the review in detail so it might be mentioned but were you using one of the new Quarq units with Omnical?

    Reply
    • Dan Connelly replied

      There's a picture of the bike with the Quarq on [url=http://www.dcrainmaker.com/2013/04/rockslide-angeles-aerodynamic.html]this blog post[/url]. I don't know if you can tell that's Omnical or not, but it looks like an older model to me (I am not sure, however).

      Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      No, this was an original Quarq.

      Reply
  31. Larry Miller

    Another CON might be.... No bb30 Sram Road option yet! Otherwise Id consider getting one!

    Reply
    • Geoff replied

      I'm in the same boat. If they had an affordable option for bb30 I'd be in line to get one.

      Reply
    • Alex replied

      Cannondale would be your best SRAM compatible BB30 option that stages supports.

      Reply
  32. YC

    Ray,

    You rock. Just wanted to say thanks for investing the time to do the comparative analysis. Recently bought an Argon 18 Gallium Pro with the Stages unit in an Ultegra crankset. I've paired it w/a Garmin 310xt head unit. After updating the Stages and Garmin firmware a couple weeks ago, data is looking consistent with few drops. I've set the Garmin to nix zeros and do the smart recording and that seems to help as well. Thanks again for the great analysis

    Reply
  33. @Hu3ain

    Would you find any benefit from a virtual elevation plot, as proposed by dr. Chung in the Power Meter 201 article? Could the difference be due to temp. compensation?
    Thank you for giving Stages more consideration. Now there's another PM to consider.

    Reply
  34. Bob Goodman

    Really hard to understand that level of drift from the Quarq. 50 watts is over 150 offset counts at 90 rpm. I have never seen my Quarq move more than 20 counts due to temperature ( and I'm in Canada where inside vs outside temps on a late fall day can be 50 F deg or more) . It's too bad you did an autozero instead of a "calibrate" command to see what the actual offset numbers were. In fact, did you do a calibrate before or after the ride? Did the offset numbers change that much? Because if a Quarq changes by more than 50 counts, Quarq will say that the crank is "broken".

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Hi Bob-

      Note, I manual zero'd twice during that ride. As noted, once at 0min, and again at 15min. While another manual reset would have been interesting from a numbers standpoint, at that point in my ride an auto-zero seemed to put it back in check (temporarily anyway).

      This is actually an area that spawned an interesting conversation amongst myself, Garmin, O-Synce and the ANT+ guys (this very ride). The idea of recording the offset values in the .FIT. O-Synce has seemingly taken the lead there and is already working with both the ANT+ folks as well as a number of the power meter companies on accomplishing this. Good stuff.

      This was really the one rare circumstance where I've seen anything like this from a Quarq.

      Reply
  35. Griffon

    I apologize if this has been answered somewhere else but I was wondering if it's possible to designate the cadence signal from a Garmin GSC-10 as primary over the Stages PM? I use a Garmin Edge 800 and already use the GSC-10 for cadence and back up speed. So ideally I would think it would be better to use the GSC-10 so that any data drops would not include cadence information.

    Reply
    • Griffon replied

      After looking through the Garmin Support pages, I found the following FAQ which appears to answer my question, although with reference to a PowerTap rather than a Stages. I presume the answer would be the same for a Stages. From the Garmin site:

      Will my cadence reading be derived from my PowerTap Power Meter or from the GSC 10 Sensor?
      Email this Answer
      Print this Answer
      01/14/2013
      When using an Edge 810, 800, 705, 510 or 500 that is paired up to a PowerTap power meter and a Garmin Speed/Cadence bike sensor (GSC 10), it may be noted that both accessories are capable of transmitting cadence.

      When using a PowerTap hub and a GSC 10 sensor at the same time, the Edge devices will report cadence through the GSC 10 sensor. However, if the GSC 10 sensor is not present, cadence will be reported through the PowerTap hub.

      Reference Links:

      PowerTap - link to cycleops.com

      GSC 10 - link to buy.garmin.com

      Reply
    • Changren Yong replied

      Based on what i just tested, if you have a GSC-10 and its magnet attached to the crank arm, Garmin Edge 800 (not sure about others) takes the cadence reading from the GSC-10. During my initial test, i had the magnet attached to the crank arm. The Edge 800 was able to pick up cadence reading lower than 30 (i went as low as 25). In the second test, i removed the magnet from the crank arm and i pedaled at the same low cadence. The Edge 800 was not able to pick up any cadence lower than 30. This meant it was using the cadence reading from the Stages power meter.

      One thing i am not sure of is if i have the magnet attached to the crank arm and the cadence is higher than 30, would the Edge 800 be picking up the cadence reading from the GSC-10 or the Stages power meter.

      Reply
    • Griffon replied

      Based on what I've read (and posted above) from Garmin, I would have to say that as long as the magnet sensor is in place then it is the primary cadence signal. Garmin has indicated that the same applies to speed as well. As long as you have the wheel magnet in place, speed is determined by the magnet rather than by GPS (Edge 800 at least).

      Thank you Changren for that information, it precisely answered my question, and for me, is the last issue I had before making a Stages purchase.

      Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Good stuff, nice test. Another way to always quickly and easily test where power/cadence is coming from is just to unclip the left leg and right-leg peddle. The Stages will instantly drop power/cadence if no torque is applied to the left-leg (as demonstrated in the original review). It's an easy way to validate things around connectivity. :)

      As for pros and cons of GSC-10 over Stages, the main one I could think of based on what I've seen is actually just one-legged drills. I'm just not seeing it as an issue in normal cadence ranges (basically anything above 30RPM) with the Stages.

      And in fact, on benefit of the Stages cadence over a GSC-10 is that if your GSC-10 gets bonked out of alignment, you'll drop cadence, whereas the Stages can't really get bonked out of alignment. This is somewhat rare, but it tends to happen about 2-3 times a year for me (getting bumped).

      Reply
    • Changren Yong replied

      Something happened yesterday during my ride that made me rethink if when both GSC-10 and Stages Power Meter are present, whether the Edge 800 would default to GSC-10 for cadence. For some unknown reason, i was getting a lot of power drops. Immediately when the power dropped, the cadence went to zero. The cadence would go to zero every single time the power dropped. During some of the extended power drop periods, i noticed that eventually, Edge 800 would pick up cadence, i assume from GSC-10 as power was still zero (or two dashes).

      This seemed to imply that Edge 800 is picking up cadence from Stages Power Meter even when GSC-10 is present.

      Does anyone know whether Stages Power Meter would send a battery low message to the bike computer? I am wondering if the numerous power drops i experienced yesterday was an indication that i need to replace the battery.

      Reply
    • Changren Yong replied

      According to the Stages support personnel i talked to, even when a bike computer detects a separate cadence/speed sensor, like the Garmin GSC-10, it will only take the cadence reading from the Stages Power Meter. Based on my experience, i have to say what he told me is true.

      Regarding the frequent power/cadence drops that was happening to me the past few days, the Stages support personnel told me it may be due to ANT+ interference from other devices. His suggestion was to unpair all devices and then manually pair up the Stages power meter first (by manually entering its device ID). After that, manually pair up with other devices. I went for a very short ride and so far i have not seen any power drop yet. I will find out on my longer commute home if that is still the case.

      Reply
  36. Is there a discernible difference between carbon and alloy crank arms? I have a SRAM red crank currently

    Reply
    • JBV replied

      A few grams. I have a Rival 175mm arm with the Stages unit on it. I can't compare to Red, but it weighs 35g more than the Force arm I replace on the bike.

      Reply
    • Marten Mann replied

      I just ordered my Rival Stages PM b/c the weight difference is so small between it and my 2013 Sram Force Crank. It's only one side too.

      Reply
    • Changren Yong replied

      Just received a SRAM Rival (175) GXP Stages power meter today. It weighs 240g. The SRAM Red Exogram crank arm (with a Garmin GSC-10 magnet still attached) i removed weighs 150g.

      Reply
  37. David

    If I could make one suggestion - it would be helpful if you could stick to one colour per powermeter across all the graphs rather than switching around.

    Apart from that - nicely done.

    Reply
  38. mcctdf

    You are awesome. Thanks for all the hard work.

    Reply
  39. Sami

    Wow, great effort, thank you Ray! Most interesting revelation here is the impact of temperature compensation; here in SF Bay Area most of my rides have large temperature changes over sustained climbs (e.g. 79F to 61F over 45 min / 7 miles two weeks ago, 77F to 62F over 47 min / 8 miles couple of days ago). For riders in areas of strong microclimates, the Stages may have quite an advantage. I have had my Stages since beginning of March and aside from a few 1-2 sec power spikes earlier (none with the latest firmware), the data has been consistent from ride to ride and matching my "sensations".

    Reply
  40. Roy

    Fantastic Ray, as ever! Thank you!
    On the CompuTrainer, in your opinion what is the best way to warm-up the CT that gives a stable cal. number. I have found that after some intervals, I tend to do another cal. spin up, and the number could be out by 2-3 points. Initially its stable with my PT but then I see it drift sometimes. Its definitely not a faulty CT, as I see the same thing with my 2nd CT.
    Thanks

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Funny, someone just asked this yesterday via e-mail. Here's my standard CompuTrainer calibration 'approach':

      1) Tighten screw/knob until I can hold the flywheel (blue thing) and then if I try and move the wheel, it won't budge.
      2) Then on the handlebar unit go into calibration mode (two buttons at once), and spin up to 25MPH and let it coast until it flashes a new number
      3) If the number is at ~2.5 (cold, pre-ride), then it'll 'drift' to about 2.0 by time you finish a 10-20 minute warmup. If the number is anything beyond that, reduce resistance and repeat. If already warmed up, then you're (officially) aiming for 1.8 to 2.2. For reviews I aim for 2.00.
      4) Press set to confirm
      5) It should now show the new calibration value.

      I used to do 10 minutes warm-up on the CompuTrainer, but I found (as part of these reviews actually) that I was still seeing drift. 15 minutes is pretty good, but 20 minutes solved it entirely. My workouts essentially include a 10-minute warm-up (for me), then a 10 minute cadence drill section. So I've been doing it after both sections for reviews.

      Reply
  41. Chris

    Hi Ray! Great review although i can hardly understand. I don't have a powermeter and is looking to buy my first one, and of course, the stages one seems to do less damage to the wallet, especially me being a student. I don't exactly understand powermeter. I would like to ask you how oval and non-circle chainrings like the osymetric will affect the crank based powermeters. It was mentioned in the slowtwitch article (link: link to slowtwitch.com) but i don't quite understand it. Maybe you could explain it in simpler terms or in other words, make it idiot-proof. Adding on, what can be done to minimize or completely remove this effect if say the effect of the non-circle chainrings are negative. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Changren Yong replied

      For troubleshooting purpose, i think it may be better to have a separate device (like the Garmin GSC-10) that captures cadence.

      I went on my first ride this morning with the power meter and i did not have the GSC-10 magnet on the crank arm. At one point during the initial part of my ride, i noticed there was a cadence drop for a 10-second portion (as validated later via Garmin Connect and Strava). Since this is my first ride with the power meter, i'm not exactly sure what caused it. The power meter has the latest firmware.

      If Garmin GSC-10 was providing cadence data, i would be able to have a more concrete proof to show that Stages power meter was suffering from power drops.

      The Garmin GSC-10 is not perfect. Occasionally when i ride over the University Bridge (a mostly metal drawbridge), i would get cadence drops until i'm on the concrete part of the bridge. But just for narrowing down the power drops issue, i think i'll put the crank arm magnet on.

      Reply
    • Tom Anhalt replied

      Chris, this explanation might help a little:
      link to bikeblather.blogspot.com

      In short, any PM that looks at cadence as the average rotational speed over a single pedal cycle (which I believe includes the Stages since it's accel is looking at peaks in the signal formed by the gravity vector and looking at the time between peaks) will suffer from artificial power inflation.

      Reply
    • Changren Yong replied

      On my return route, the same portion of my route that had a cadence drop this morning also had cadence drop. Looks like whatever that's causing the cadence drop is environmental. Since Garmin's GSC-10 also suffers from similar cadence drop at the same spot, i don't think installing the crank arm magnet will do me any good. Apparently, cadence sensors don't like metal bridges :)

      Reply
  42. Changren Yong

    Ray, what would be the advantage, if any, of using cadence provided by the Garmin GSC-10 over the Stages power meter?

    Reply
  43. Pat

    Hey Ray,
    Great review - thanks for taking such care and time to throw down all the information anyone could possibly digest.

    Curious, just to think comparatively, how you would weigh the Power2Max vs. the Stages for a new power user? I know thoughts on brands of powermeters tend to be rather dogmatic, but I thought I'd throw this out there for you (or anyone else) to chime in on.

    Cheers,
    Pat

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      I think you wouldn't really go wrong with either at this point to be honest. They both have temp compensation in them, the P2M does have emulated left/right balance (though they will be the first to admin it's sorta useless in the grand scheme of things). The Stages has BLE + ANT+, the P2M doesn't. The P2M would be inclusive of any left/right inbalances though.

      Price-wise the P2M will cost more, but you'll have more flexibility there from a bike component standpoint.

      In other words, it all comes down to what requirements you have.

      Reply
  44. Karl Hansen

    I have had my Quarq S2275 replaced 5 times, no jokes "5" times, one of them only lasted 2 weeks. Do you think it has anything to do with them being discontinued, i'm willing to bet money on it.

    So comment no 36 " Quarq power meters are highly engineered and feature multiple temperature compensation systems. From the intrinsically balanced strain gauge arrangement to clever measurement circuit design, temperature effects are isolated and eliminated at every step in the system" that's a big statement. I believe the Quarq mtb unit has a design flaw and is leaking water or moisture into it.

    I'm definitely going to try the Stages, infact I just ordered it. Lets be honest most of us non pro athletes want to use power meters to track fitness, freshness and form so if the average power readings are consistent using the same device then this is what matters.

    Ray great, great review.

    Reply
  45. MarkMcMullan

    Hey, great review.
    For such mental number crunching in future a stats program like 'R' might be useful - it's a bit user unfriendly at first but is incredibly capable at handling massive data sets. Would easily calculate the deviations between individual units.
    Mark

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Yeah, ultimately I want to be able to standardize everything a bit more - since PM reviews will only become more frequent.

      Today I use some semi-standardized Excel sheets. But I'd like to just get the data into databases and then have a front-end reporting mechanism to make it easier for me to generate the reports (addressing things like coloring even). It's on the list for the summer (though, my list is growing day by day...).

      Reply
    • Matt James replied

      Your dedication to both cycling and scientific method is awesome.

      You should really have a look at http://www.tableausoftware.com

      No, I don't work for them, I use their software for my business and it saves a huge amount of time over charting and data visualisation in Excel, and it's incredibly easy to publish. Have a look at their gallery. It's expensive software but
      1) you can download a free eval copy of the desktop software, good for a month
      2) Tableau Public allows you to use the whole thing permanently for free so long as you publish up your work (which you do anyway).

      Like anything it takes a bit of learning but there are good video tutorials and community forums, and given what you can do in Excel this will be child's play after a few days.

      Good luck.

      Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      That actually looks pretty cool. The one challenge I have is getting the data from the various fitness file formats (primarily just .FIT these days) into CSV-type formats. Once there's it's much easier.

      And while it's a relatively easy step through Golden Cheetah, it's still a step (import in, change some settings, export out, etc...). I would love to be able to just drag and drop 4 .FIT files from the four units (or a WASP file) into the software and have it ask for which units were which. Then I'd be thrilled.

      Reply
    • Leandro replied

      Hi Ray, what tool are you using to convert .FIT and .TCX files to .CSV?

      Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Golden Cheetah. It's free and quick.

      Reply
  46. Neat little cross-post on BSNYC today; nice.

    bikesnobnyc.blogspot.com/2013/06/in-xanadu-did-kubla-khana-stately.html

    I think we should get a little race together with you, BSNYC, and FatCyclist. I'm pretty sure you'd tear both of them to pieces...

    Reply
  47. Changren Yong

    Ray, i know your preference is to have zero-recording enabled on cadence. I understand why zero-recording should be enabled on power but does having the zero-recording disabled on cadence have any effect on power?

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      None that I'm aware of.

      Reply
    • laurie replied

      Never quite understood why you would ever have zero-recording of cadence enabled. Power is obvious as you are resting while coasting, so averaging in zeros makes sense. But for cadence, I want to know that I spent most of my time at 95 rpm, not that when I ride up a mountain 10% pass and then coast down the back side my average is 60 rpm. So what purpose does averaging in zero cadence have?

      Reply
  48. Geoff

    Is Stages still offering complete cannondale cranks? I can't find them on their webpage.

    Reply
  49. Werner

    Yet another amazing review Ray! As an analyst I definitely appreciate the rigor that you apply to your reviews.

    Quick question: It sounds like it is critical to stay up to date with the latest firmware in this product, which then begs the question as to how you actually go about doing that? On the Stages website they provide a link to an iPhone app, but what about us PC and/or Windows Smartphone users?

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Nothing for Windows, Android, or otherwise. Essentially you've just gotta find a friend with an iDevice. Which, I suppose given how rare you'd need to do a firmware upgrade, that's not horrible or hard to find.

      The challenge is the other platforms have very limited support for Bluetooth Smart, extremely limited. That said, ultimately they'll need to find a way to offer updates for other platforms, as long term requiring an iDevice isn't really realistic.

      Reply
  50. Cycloscott

    And we now go back to waiting for the Vector for yet another PM review....

    Reply
  51. John William Volock

    Was wondering if you might post/email me a copy of the excel sheet... As a dev with some time on my hands, would love to be helpful, and make an easy auto convert script so you don't have to manually do the graphs and such for comparison, down the road.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Yup, I'll send it over later today. Most of what I use is in the raw files, but I have some separate spreadsheets for the graphs/etc... Thanks!

      Reply
  52. David Norris

    Great work Ray - thank you.

    Are you planning to evaluate against the SRM unit anytime soon?

    - David

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      I don't plan to at this point. Mostly as I'm not sure that would gain anything. Both the PowerTap and Quarq are more than capable power meters on the market today (excluding any minor blips seen above). SRM units aren't immune to blips either, as every power meter has their oddities (in fact, the Slowtwitch guys showed some of those SRM blips).

      Reply
  53. John Galio

    Hi - quick question. Do you know if it will be compatible with SRM's power control 7. On tech specs, it should but a few internet user suggests otherwise. I want to keep all my training files in one software if possible.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Hi John-

      I checked with the Stages guys on this. Here's what they said:

      "We are not cross-compatible with the current SRM PC7. As I understand it, they use a proprietary variation of the ANT power transmission protocol that relies on crank torque frequency, which we don't provide in our data packs. Unless SRM has changed their firmware to receive event based power via the ANT+ standard."

      Reply
  54. Philip

    I would love to see an article 'dummies guide to calibrating a powermeter'.

    I have a powerbeam (which I have only figured out how to calibrate the resistance unit, never the actual power meter which I understand to be different - and then only with the Joule 3.0 included)

    I also have a powertap on my racing wheels but in my most recent race it was TOTALLY off. I use it with a Garmin 910

    And I just got a stages for my cross bike - also to be used with the garmin.

    I have never read a really good overview of why, how, how often etc.. to calibrate powermeters.

    Thank you for your blog - its great

    Philip

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      It's actually something I'm working on - sorta the Bible of Power Meter Configuration advice.. I've got most of it written up, but will then be sending all the pieces to the various power meter companies just to validate it.

      Reply
    • Eli replied

      Guessing you'll include the difference between selecting the calibrate option on the garmin and backpedaling on the quark or coasting on the powertap? (along with how long you have to coast, I've heard it was 5 seconds)

      Any chance you could include what to expect when the battery runs low? I know my powertap elite on the Edge 705 just starts dropping power and then stops broadcasting but I thought some head unit and power meter combinations give a low battery warning. Thanks

      Reply
    • Gunnar replied

      Eli, my Stages battery just died yesterday. It was after a long commute in the rain and after hearing some issues with waterproofing I was fearing the worst....but luckily a quick swap a roo with a new cr2032 and I'm back in action. FYI, there was no low battery indication from the Stages to my 910xt warning me of a low battery, it just stopped transmitting data.

      Reply
    • Griffon replied

      Gunnar,

      Stages advertises about 200 hours on the battery life, do you feel like you got reasonably close to that on your battery? Just curious so I know when to start carrying an extra battery with me.

      Reply
    • Griffon replied

      Gunnar,

      Stages advertises about 200 hours on the battery life, do you feel like you got reasonably close to that on your battery? Just curious so I know when to start carrying an extra battery with me. Thank you.

      Reply
    • Griffon replied

      Gunnar, Stages advertises about 200 hours on the battery life, do you feel like you got reasonably close to that on your battery? Just curious so I know when to start carrying an extra battery with me. Thank you.

      Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Eli - Yes, I include both 'types'.

      I hadn't thought about battery, but will look at appending.

      Reply
    • Gunnar replied

      Grif:
      Regarding battery life. My very unscientific thought is that the cr2032 battery does probably come close to the advertised 200 hrs. FYI, its super easy to replace the battery. The compartment has a simple spring latch to open. Considering the size, weight and cost of a cr2032, it would be easy to throw one in your saddle bag if you were worried about losing power data on a ride.

      Reply
  55. Pelotondon

    Question. Stages doesn't support Rotor cranks, but does it work with them? Great reviews, Ray, Thank you!

    Reply
  56. TMLW

    Thanks for the great review! Is the Sram Rival crank you used a good quality crank? I'd be replacing an FSA Gossamer.
    Thank you!

    Reply
    • Changren Yong replied

      Frankly, other than the weight, i can't tell the difference between my SRAM Red exogram crank arm and the SRAM Rival crank arm. On my rainy day bike, i have the FSA Gossamer. I don't know how much it weighs but the SRAM Rival crank arm with Stages power meter weighs 240g. In comparison, the carbon SRAM Red exogram crank arm (with a Garmin cadence magnet) weighs 150g.

      Reply
    • Pdlpsher replied

      Regarding the weight diff. of Rival vs. Red exogram...when I switched from Shimano alloy crank to Sram Red exogram I did notice the reduction in rotation weight. Although 90g. isn't a lot in terms of static weight it is significant in terms of rotational weight. Too bad the stages isn't carbon crank compatible.

      Reply
  57. Pdlpsher

    Rainmaker- any chance you could post a graph using 5-min. smoothing similar to what you posted in your original review? Thanks.

    Reply
  58. Su-Chong Lim

    Ray: when I read your description about the rigamarole you went through on each ride, calibrating, simultaneously starting and maintaining and monitoring 3 separate power meters mounted on your bike, I just about fell on the floor laughing with the mental image! I'm surprised you're still alive -- distraction related accidents would have been a real possibility. I kept on waiting for an auto impact to end your rider's point of view demonstration video (Road Runner Cartoon style). Brilliant review, with, if at all possible, more than your usual excruciating attention to detail. I read it twice, and ended up understanding way more about power meters and power output metrics than I knew before.

    I know this was not the manufacturer's original intent, but now they have upgraded their product to be a highly respectable player with reliability, accuracy and precision to spare, impressive temperature correction etc. at a relatively low price, do you see a possibility that some users might want a further development of the product to be also mounted on the drive side, giving a true 2 channel (L and R) power reading? I know there is a lot of skepticism on the usefulness of this metric, but some respected voices in the cycling world still think this is useful information. (I think there is even more useful information to be gleaned from instantaneous power sampling at several specific angular positions in the foot peddling cycle, but that's another topic.)

    Reply
  59. FYI: I wrote to Stages to see if they had any plans to release a Campagnolo UltraTorque version of this unit. They were prompt to reply that, while it's not in the immediate timeframe, they hope to have one at some point.

    That's great for this person whose bike (due to a mechanic's goof) is stuck using UltraTorque cranks (and I do love said system, far more than I liked SRAM/Truvativ's GXP).

    Reply
    • Pdlpsher replied

      Regarding UltraTorque, does this mean that we might see the system implemented on a carbon crank? To my knowledge the UltraTorque axle is only available on a carbon crank. I'd love to see the system on a Sram Red crank. Is this even possible and does it just take R&D time?

      Reply
  60. Aaron

    you would be a prime candidate for google glass :)

    Reply
  61. andy

    Its funny that you found the temp variation with the Quarq... I live in Florida, so even in the winter we get HUGE temp/humidity variations and the Quarq goes off 20-30w. I usually recalibrate right before I start my interval session to make sure theyre as close to accurate as possible. +/-10% is huge, but if its a known issue, we can overcome it.

    Thanks for the indepth review. Ive been strongly considering a Stages for my mountain bike, and one for my wifes bike. I think I may be sold now.

    Reply
  62. NewClydesdale

    If the left/right balance is not as big a deal as some people think I wonder if this sets the stage for some other new PMs to offer a cheaper option.

    Vector (while probably dead) or the Brim Bros Zone being pedal and shoe based respectively might be able to offer a single, or dual, solution for 2 different price points. If we could get into the $500 price point I think you would see a lot more people getting PMs.

    Reply
  63. pratoni

    A new power meter without user calibration needs?:

    link to bikeradar.com

    Reply
    • Ray Maker replied

      I've been chatting with them a bit - looking to check it out in person at some point in the next few weeks.

      Reply
    • pratoni replied

      those are good news!!

      Reply
  64. Sander

    Hi Ray,

    I know this is a bit offtopic, but can you tell me which software do you use for smoothing power graphs? Could you briefly describe how to do it?

    I'd be interested in overlaying my power data on top of video, but the raw data is too jumpy and makes it hard to follow.

    Reply
    • Ray Maker replied

      It's all just Excel (unfortunately). I just do a running average over a given timeframe (i.e. 60s). So from a formula standpoint it'd simply be: =average(D1:D61) - and then increment the cell numbers by 1 for each new second.

      Reply
  65. Changren Yong

    Hi Ray,

    Do you know if it's possible for the Stages Power Meter to simultaneously send power data via ANT+ and Bluetooth to two separate head units? In my case, it would be the Edge 800 and iPhone 5. The reason why i want to do this is because there's a section on the University Bridge that i have been getting power/cadence drops and i want to see if the drop is due to interference with ANT+. My Garmin GSC-10 suffers from cadence drop (though curiously not speed) at around the same spot as well, but my Garmin ANT+ HR monitor has no such problem. I tested the Stages Power Meter and GSC-10 with my wife's Edge 500 and at the same location, i get power/cadence drop. So this problem appears to be independent of different models of Garmin-branded head units.

    On a couple of occasions when i had my 800 and Strava app running on my iPhone 5, the Strava app would only gather power data for very short duration, like 2 minutes. I don't have a mount for my iphone 5 so when i did these tests, it's stored in my backpack. So it's possible the screenlock kicked in and turned off the display which affected the Strava app. I had also tested this with the mapmyride app, which has an option to prevent the screen from being put to sleep, and even though it appears to be paired up with the Stages Power Meter, it recorded no power data.

    I have also tested by just running the Strava app alone (again stored in my backpack) but it actually didn't record any power data!

    Reply
  66. Jay

    Stages have missed a trick here with their pricing. The cheapest Stages is $699. Why would anyone buy a Stages power meter at a price point where they could buy a used Powertap Pro+ - an established, tried and tested tool?

    Stages should have come in at $500. Perhaps they could cut the price by selling the power meter only (without the crank arm) and allow the buyer to fit it? They would capture the market for cheap power meters.

    Reply
    • Changren Yong replied

      For someone with multiple sets of wheels, PowerTap is not a viable solution unless you are willing to pay for just as many PowerTap hubs.

      As for selling the power meter only without the crank arm, i think this will be difficult. I am guessing the Stages power meters have to be attached to the exact same location on each crank arm to have accurate power readings. The strain gauges in the power meter may record different values if the power meter is positioned on other locations on the crank arm. The formula used to calculate power will most likely be different if the power meter is placed closer to the pedal than closer to the bottom bracker.

      Reply
    • Ray Maker replied

      The other challenge is a number of people don't like buying power meters used, especially if they then require sending somewhere else to validate calibration.

      Reply
  67. Doug

    How on earth do you find the time for a day job, training for tri's and writing these ridiculously detailed educational seminars? Damn, well done! It appears the mtn bike version still needs a little work, but I am sold for next year.

    Reply
  68. Nathan

    Incredible review! Thanks for taking the time to put this together. Stages sounds like a good Christmas present for me

    Reply
  69. Andy

    Just installed my Stages Power meter, updated the firmware and noticed power/cadence drops when my Garmin 800 is on the Barfly which sits outward directly in front of handlebar. At first I thought I received a defective product, but when I put my garmin 800 on top of stem or on top of habdlebar, there is no power drop to 0 watts.
    I am thinking the line of sight for the ANT+ reception is blocked by handlebar/stem when on the Barfly, but not when on the stem for some strange reason.

    Also, I have no drops when I am using my Iphone Bluetooth connection (Doesn't matter if blocked by bar or stem). I will be giving Stages a call Monday just to confirm.

    Reply
  70. Changren Yong

    Ray, when you were testing the Stages Power Meter, did you experience any occasional spikes in both power and cadence? Since i bought my Stages Power Meter (with the latest firmware) in mid June, i have seen power/cadence spikes in four rides. They typically do not last more than a few seconds and they range from low 1000 W to close to 2400 W! The unusual thing i noticed is that even though the cadence is supposed to be provided by a Garmin GSC-10, during those power spikes, the cadence went up as well. It is as though the Edge 800 was ignoring the cadence reading from the GSC-10 and chose to get its cadence from the Stages Power Meter. During the power spikes, the cadence went as high as 183 RPM.

    Reply
    • Ray Maker replied

      No, not since the new firmware updates. I did see it way back when in the original firmware installation (an issue that did come up at the time in my review), but not since. Hit up the Stages folks on that, I know they would be highly interested in hearing/seeing it.

      Reply
    • Donnie Barnes replied

      Changren, was this on the road or a mountain bike? If MTB, any chance the spikes correlate to hitting the ground with a pedal/crankarm? I've had a few high cadence spikes, but only on the MTB and I *think* they came when I hit the ground.

      --Donnie

      Reply
    • Changren Yong replied

      @Ray: Thanks. I have just sent off an email to the Stages folks.

      @Donnie: This was on my road bike.

      Reply
  71. Andy

    Is anyone else having power drops while using the Garmin out front mount or the BarFly mount or the K-Edge Garmin mount?

    Reply
    • Ray Maker replied

      Any chance your using a FR910XT? If so, be sure to be on semi recent firmware. If not, can't help there too much. I'm using the Barfly TT mount without issue with the Stages.

      Reply
    • Changren Yong replied

      I have a Garmin out front mount with an Edge 800. The only time i get power/cadence drops is when i ride over a section of a draw bridge near my house. The same power/cadence drops happened to an Edge 500 mounted on the stem as well when riding over the same section of the bridge.

      Reply
    • Andy replied

      Iv'e tried both an 800 and 500 on a BarFly and both power drop.. New battery ,and updated firmware.. No power drops when mounted on top of handlebar on left side while climbing. When mounted on stem, I got a power drop after 15 minutes.

      Reply
    • Andy replied

      Update: I called Stages this morning and they said it's most likely an antenna ant+ problem so they will be sending me out a replacement today. Efficient service.

      Reply
    • Steve Knapp replied

      i'm seeing this with my 910XT on the latest firmware but not the Edge 800. Good to know they know of the issue. I'll ring them up and see about a swap. Thanks Andy!

      Reply
  72. Freddie

    Hi Ray,

    Love your reviews - can't believe this isn't your 'full-time' job. I have sent alot of my tri buds to your site and they love it too!

    I have narrowed down my Power choices to Stages and Power2Max. I thought it was a no brainer cost wise and performance for Stages since the new update, but in examining further, my bike's stock components are not compatible with either. I have a 2009 Specialized S-Works Transition with S-Works Carbon crankset. The Stages Dura-Ace or any other Shimano or SRAM crank arms won't fit on the S-Works crank nor will the Power2Max. I assume I can still keep my current 53/39 chainrings?

    So I'm looking at a whole new crankset, which would bring me to Stages DuraAce for $1350 (+ Bottom Bracket I believe) or Power2Max Rotor 3D for $1283 (+BB likely).
    The Transition is currently my only bike (I do Tris exclusively) so I am not likely to need swapping to a different bike at this point.

    Looking at the quality of both products, what would you recommend?
    Can I buy any of these through a link on your site, would love to give you a kickback for your work.

    Reply
  73. hchouston

    Wow, this is the first time I have read your blog, and I am super impressed. I can imagine how much work went into just this one blog alone - thank you. I have a question: I have a Garmin cadence and speed sensor that interacts with my Garmin 500. Given the Stages meter has a built-in cadence sensor, is there anything I need to do other than remove my cadence magnet from crank assuming I go with the Stages meter? I don't believe the Garmin 500 can receive cadence data from multiple sources, correct (and I'm not sure how useful it would be)? Thank you again.

    Reply
    • Steve Knapp replied

      I added the stages but kept the Garmin speed/cadence sensor. I believe the Garmin gets cadence from the cadence sensor as it works to a lower RPM than stages claims. No issues either way.

      Reply
    • Paul Dubya replied

      Interested to know if a definitive answer was found on this question? I am running a Stages to my Garmin 500, and also connected to my Giant RideSense pickup which gives speed/cadence. All sources are detected by the Garmin, but I am not sure WHICH cadence is being recorded. I have my suspicion it is the Stages Cadence, as the numbers seem to be a lot lower than if I ride with the Stages disabled and cadence from the RideSense only. Anyone have knowledge or firm data on this? Thanks.

      Reply
  74. Changren Yong

    I reported the unusual power/cadence spikes to Stages and i promptly received a replacement the following day! Talk about speedy service. This may be due to the new firmware: Stages power meter is now able to capture power and cadence when the cadence is below 30 RPM. In fact, my Edge 800 was able to display power and cadence with cadence as low as 21 RPM.

    Reply
  75. Colin Ferguson

    Hey Ray, thanks for the great site. My question is this: which major power meter do you see as the most durable? I'm talking about actual physical durability. I'd like a PM for cyclocross applications, but with so much mud and rain and so many random crashes, I don't want to go out there with an expensive component that's easy to break. Stages appears to be a pretty good option based on it's location on the bike, and I think Quarq might be pretty good too. Any comment?

    Reply
    • Ray Maker replied

      I think in general all of the options are quite durable. There are certainly cases of breakage here and there that occur to folks across all units I've reviewed. Some due to manufacturer fault, and others less so. I just don't see any trends though that place any given product in a bad place. What I do know is that Stages, Quarq, and CycleOps have incredible support from everything I've seen - and more importantly, everything I hear from readers that deal with support. Power2Max has 'good' support, but it's a bit trickier in that their current manuf/distribution network makes it more complex to support issues as quickly as Quarq/Stages/CycleOps.

      Reply
  76. Karl Hansen

    Colin the Quarq mtb crank does not last in rain and mub read above. I should receive my stages very soon so lets hope that is better.

    Reply
  77. Adam Holmes

    The Stages website FAQ states: "What head units does my Stages Power meter work with?
    The Stages Power meter will work with any ANT+™ enabled display unit, as well as Bluetooth 4.0 enabled devices, including Apple’s iPhone 4S."

    This gives the impression that I can buy the relatively inexpensive Stages crankarm and avoid the expense of buying a $200+ head unit by instead using the iPhone I already own as a head unit.

    Is the iPhone a viable head unit to display watts during rides and analyze afterwards? If not, Stages should start building that app ASAP and I would be more inclined to get the crankarm.

    Reply
    • Changren Yong replied

      Adam, for shorter rides, like less than 4 hours, it is viable to use apps on iPhone to display/record power data. For longer rides, the battery life of the phone comes into play. It's difficult for me to use any GPS-related apps on my iPhone 5 for more than 4 hours without running out of battery.

      If you have recent models of iPhones (at least an iPhone 4s) that come with Bluetooth Smart (or Bluetooth 4.0) support, the free Wahoo Fitness app will do what you want. It will display Power data (current power, average power over various time intervals) and it will save the ride data on your iPhone. When you are done with the ride, you can upload the ride data to a bunch of sports-related sites like Garmin Connect, Strava, MapMyRide, Runkeeper, TrainingPeaks and Ride with GPS. You can also choose to upload the ride data to Dropbox. I have personally tested the upload with Garmin Connect, Strava and Dropbox. It may be because i have iOS 7 beta on my iPhone, the ride information uploaded to Strava is completely wrong, showing elapsed time of 0 (it's the same situation if i use the Strava app on my iPhone). I believe this is a problem with the Strava app and not Wahoo because the Wahoo app essentially uses the Strava app to upload the ride data to Strava.

      The ride data is correct when seen on Garmin Connect.

      Reply
    • Richard Kaufmann replied

      Actually, a huge plus of the Stages power meter is that it uses ANT+ or Bluetooth to communicate to a variety of head units.

      I use an iPhone as the "controller," but it's in my backpack (optionally mated to an external battery). I bought a RFLKT from Wahoo that displays the important ride data on a very small device that's permanently mounted to my bike. I may go back to mounting the phone directly on the bike, but for now I like being stealthy. The new PROTKT bike mount will *sigh, eventually* have an external battery option -- taking care of that pesky battery issue.

      FWIW, I use the Wahoo Fitness app and then use that to upload to Strava, Trainingpeaks and Runkeeper.

      The real killer is when mainstream Android gets all the profiles, etc., for low power Bluetooth. That'll open up a flood of new devices that can be used as head units.

      And slightly OT: I can 100% vouch for Stages the product as well as Stages the company. They really bend over backwards to provide excellent customer support, and I'm loving the meter!

      Reply
  78. Seamo

    I would buy a Stages power meter tomorrow. Only problem is, I CAN'T GET ONE. I am based in Australia and for some bizarre reason, they will not ship outside US/Canada.

    I have been told it's because they want to provide good aftersales support, but I don't buy that. The cranks weigh only 20g - there would be no issues with shipping them back to the US if they need servicing.

    I really think that Stages have missed a trick here with the slow international rollout. Interest in their product is currently at a peak. However, this is a VERY fast moving market. By the time they do begin shipping internationally, other power meters may have stolen their thunder....

    Reply
    • Ray Maker replied

      It's more of a customs/duty issue that's the real challenge for international shipments. Australia doesn't have import customs, but much of the world does. For example, in France, it would be a 19.6% tax each time something gets imported in. And even if you correctly declare the item, things gets messy and you still sometimes get taxed.

      I'm pretty sure nobody wants to be more widespread than they do, but I've also seen companies struggle with getting the international side flowing correctly before customers onboard. Sorta a damned if you do, and damned if you don't situation.

      Reply
    • Matt replied

      I'm based in Aus, and I got a Stages, and LOVE IT. was lucky though as I have a friend in the US that i got it shipped too, then he shipped it to me, total shipping $40 with insurance.
      Thats the best bet, is Aus there is no tax on imports less that $1000 so as long as you list it for its real price and have a contact in the US to use, easy done.

      Reply
    • chukko replied

      There is also an option of using any package forwarding sites like shipito.com (there is large number of options - some are free, but have higher postage fees, some cost couple of dollars per delivery but have much cheaper shipping costs).

      Reply
  79. Matthew

    Any tips?

    How loose is your on the crack? Mine seems to have a wobble? What's your like?

    matthew

    Reply
    • Ray Maker replied

      Tips on?

      My crank isn't loose at all. If yours is, something is wrong. Definitely ring up Stages. I suspect it's not actually a Stages issue, but perhaps something else going on. But they're much smarter bike-component people than I (really, as long as my bike moves forward and doesn't make too many noises I'm happy).

      Reply
  80. El Tejan

    Enjoyed the review. I am curious why SRM was omitted from the test, given it is generally regarded as the "gold standard." Regards.

    Reply
    • Ray Maker replied

      Because I don't have an SRM.

      Every power meter has areas it does well, and does less than well. SRM is no exception to that rule.

      Reply
  81. Matthew Locker

    Sorry I should have said that the stages sensor has a wobble on the crank arm. I have heard other people where the sensor has come off.

    Would a little bit of elec tape/zip tie blur the watt figures?

    Reply
    • Ray Maker replied

      Something's wrong there then. Ring up Stages and have them swap it out. Everyone I've heard from has praised Stages support that they're overnighting units for support issues. Ultimately, if it's wobbling, then it's got some sort of defect.

      Reply
  82. David Crosswell

    Superb review. I have nothing else to say.

    Reply
  83. Jeff B

    From my understanding of material properties, it seems it will be much more difficult for stages to be applied to a carbon arm. They clearly are focusing on the metal cranks. Rotor cranks have that machined finish on the outside, but perhaps this causes issues for the connection of the strain gauges? Plus rotor came out with their own power meter, so maybe this is a conflict?

    For SRAM Red/Force, the quarq strain gauges are all applied to a flat surface, metal at the spider. So this might be the Shimano Crank, non-SRM, alternative after quarq was purchased SRAM.

    Has stages considered slapping another meter on the drive side arm as well? Still, the price would be less than quarq and clearly more accurate!

    Thoughts DC?

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Check out the original review, I talk about this a fair bit and what they are doing and their plans. Enjoy!

      Reply
  84. Scott

    Incredible. This is as good as practically any PhD dissertation Ive seen in my field. Thanks for the effort!

    Reply
  85. Karl Hansen

    I received my stages X9 Mtb crank about 2 weeks ago and have ridden nearly 400km all off road including some really rough rocky stuff. All I can say is Brilliant. Not a single spike or inconsistent data. I had a Quarq mtb crank previously and have compared data, I'm no rocket scientist but in my opinion the numbers are spot on. As far as durability goes only time will tell.

    Stages approach to power meters is just so neat and simple just brilliant, I sincerely wish the best for them.

    Reply
  86. Arun

    Thanks so much for yet another incredibly thorough review!

    Reply
  87. TOm

    Great review. I heard from a friend/bike store owner that power meters are coming down in price. For someone like me, amateur, 50 yrs old, but still trains with power once a week on a Computrainer at a coaching gym, this seems ideal from a cost standpoint. Your review really cleared up a lot of questions for me (many of your reviews have done so!). Thanks!

    Reply
  88. Albert

    Given your experience of power meters, after reading your informative garmin vector review today,...I was wondering the best way to get the most accurate results in terms of calibration pre, post, and during a ride if they apply.

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      It's funny, I'm just putting the finishing touches on exactly such a post - for all power meter brands. I'm just about to send each model/brand chunk of text off to each company for complete validation (like I did with the Vector calibration piece).

      My goal for that is to have that post out sometime next week. It'll just depend on getting the information back really.

      Reply
  89. Changren Yong

    New stages power meter firmware, version 2.0.21. Not sure when it was released - Stages doesn't seem to be announcing recent firmware updates on its site - but i installed it two days ago.

    Reply
  90. Erik Arnström

    You mention, (but Stages doesn't as far as I can see), that the power is simply doubled to calculate total power from left crank. Are you certain this is so?
    My thinking is this:
    1. Between two pedal revolutions you could assume the work needed is the same (i.e. no changes in air, road, transmission, or gravity resistance).
    2. If the crank arm rotates with constant speed you could therefor assume the power inputted (by the legs) is twice the measured. But if the speed through the revolution varies, as would be expected if one leg pushes harder, and you can measure the crank speed (possible with the accelerometers) it should be possible to more correctly approximate total input.

    Since both legs work all through the revolution as long as you're clipped in, left/right dist would still be cumbersome, but I think the algorithm could be smarter than 2xleft power.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Yes, they are very clear that they are doubling it.

      "P=2∗((Fave∗9.8∗L)∗(R∗.1047))

      Reading into this equation: P is power (Watts). The (2) is a multiplier and our one assumption, which represents the doubling of our left leg power measurement. We feel this assumption is fair and we’ve tested it to be consistent. This assumption is also the key factor that allows us to produce the Stages Power meter to be more compact, lighter, more robust, and more economical than any of the competition."

      From: link to stagescycling.com

      Reply
    • Erik Arnström replied

      Yup, sorry, got stuck in an idea and lost my reading comprehension.

      Reply
  91. Aaron S.

    Poor chaps like myself are reluctant to purchase devices that equate to one of my paychecks. That said, I have held off on purchasing any new technology without a conclusive review from you.
    I appreciate your reviews because of how thorough you are and how dedicated you are to finding information and providing it to the people. It takes a level of dedication that few have.

    Thank you for taking the time from your 9-5 to inform the masses.

    Reply
  92. Robert Plohg

    I have seen several posts that the Stages power meter is not compatible with carbon cranks? If you utilize the Stages left crank arm power meter with for example a SRAM Force carbon crank what would be the issue other than having one carbon crank arm and one anodized crank arm? Does this cause and issue in terms of measuring power and the algorithm Stage utilizes?

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      There's no issues in mixing the two together like that. I confirmed this with the Stages folks.

      Reply
    • Changren Yong replied

      Stages Power Meter only takes measurement from the left crank arm so it does not matter what you have on the right crank arm. I have the 2012 SRAM Red gruppo and the left crank arm on my bike is a SRAM RIval with the Stages power meter.

      Reply
  93. Ray, any idea if Stages has considered making their product also be an ANT+ to Bluetooth repeater? Might sell a few more units to folks who have Garmin HRMs and GSC-10's but are logging with older 305's and such and would rather just switch to an iPhone. I know RFLKT+ *might* be coming to do this, and there's a HRM strap to do it, but if it were rolled in to something they were thinking of buying anyway...

    This is assuming their hardware can do it, which seems likely, anyway.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      I don't believe they've ever considered it. But, I'd say that'd be a pretty darn cool idea - and something that would definitely help folks bridge over, especially those with ANT+ HR straps and the GSC-10's for speed like you noted.

      Given the technology pod is heavily powered by Wahoo, and Wahoo did this in the RFLKT, the path to enable something (though likely complex) may not be horrible. I'll bring it up next time we chat.

      Personally, that would also be an interesting 'paid upgrade' type scenario - for say $29 or something.

      Reply
    • Donnie Barnes replied

      Hadn't thought of it as a paid upgrade, but at that price point, I'd buy it. Especially if it's a "with the hardware" upgrade such that if I sold the Stages later that upgrade stays with the hardware.

      It really just hit me the other day...I've got Stages on a 4" fatbike thanks to the fact that SRAM released fatbike cranks recently and the left arm is the same (prior to that, Stages wasn't compatible with any of the existing fatbike cranks). I've also got a GSC-10 on it since I have always been an Edge 800/810 user (and thus generally use ANT+ HRMs), but the other day I was thinking it would be nice to just log with the phone I was going to have in my pocket for a short ride anyway. And on trail I really like the added accuracy gained by having the wheelspeed sensor figured into the equation rather than just GPS, since they all seem to short you some without it, and the delta can be quite high on really tight singletrack...

      Reply
  94. Mark

    Any thoughts on Power Meter Protection offered by Stages? Worth it? Standard warranty is 1 year, but this adds crash protection and an extra year. $135.....do you feel this PM is fragile?

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      That's tough. I don't feel it's fragile, and I feel that the customer support from Stages has been incredible thus far.

      I feel that if it were $99, then it'd be an easier buy, but $135 for a $699 product seems a touch bit high after now having used it for a while and I feel pretty comfy with it.

      Now I will point out that if you're mounting biking - I'd probably consider it more than road/tri cycling. Simply due to rock issues, etc...

      Reply
    • Donnie Barnes replied

      I mountain bike with it, I'm hard on equipment generally, and I didn't think it was worth it. Maybe if it added 5 years at that price, but not just one, no.

      I don't know if they publish any prices, but I'd be shocked if their repair price was much more than that, honestly. Even on a very smashed sensor. I don't care if it's three times that, it's just not worth it to me for one additional year.

      Reply
    • Donnie Barnes replied

      Oh, but further to my point above, *if* I "needed" my Stages because it was the bridge between my HRM and speed/cadence sensor to my logging device (ie. if they did add ANT+ to BT bridging), I'd DEFINITELY be more likely to buy the extended warranty. So maybe that's another consideration for adding bridging.

      Reply
  95. Richard Kaufmann

    I did buy it. I agree, their customer support has been nothing short of fantastic. I'm a huge fan of the company. Getting another year of the white glove treatment seemed worthwhile. YMMV, but I generally get warranties for products that are at the beginning of their life (especially tricky products such as power meters). The additional year seemed about right -- two years in, I'd be more likely to want to buy "the new thing" rather than fix the old.

    And a power meter would be a terrible place for the ANT-to-BLE bridge. You really don't want to change the battery on the power meter often (per the above, that's the #1 opportunity to do something to mess up the meter). The bridge really needs to be powered on for the entire ride, including when you're not pedaling.

    I really think the RFLKT+ is a much better place for a bridge, presuming they make their funding target.

    Reply
  96. Jorge Costa

    So there I was thinking it would be so cool if I could get rid of my Garmin 500 and go to a pure iphone 5 solution that is all bluetooth:

    - wahoo RFLKT - check
    -wahoo KICKR - check
    -wahoo speed cadence sensor - check
    -wahoo HR strap - check
    - two stages powers meters - will not record cadence or power when your iphone is in your jersey pocket on either the wahoo app or the Strava app.. - bummer

    back to Garmin and ant+

    Reply
  97. Martin Astradsson

    An idea for a solution to the cons "left leg dependency":

    While reading your great review of stages power meter (SPM) and was wondering if it is possible to build in the left/right leg contribution by a "simple" software update. The SPM measures the force on the left crank arm, and via the built-in accelerometer the cadence is found, hence the power is calculated P = F x v, where v is velocity or cadence. The crank arms, left and right must have the same cadence of obvious reasons. But one revolution consist of two half-revolutions, one from top to bottom where the largest force is measured on the left crank arm, hence it is the left crank arm going from top to bottom, and one half where the left crank arm measures less force than in the other half-revolution, hence the right crank arm is the one where the most force is being applied, and it is going from its top to bottom. If that knowledge is combined with the fact that any difference in left and right leg power will result in very small difference in the time it takes for the left crank arm to go from top-to-bottom (left leg power), and the time for the left crank arm from bottom-to-top (right leg power) - these differences are measured by the accelerometer - the doubling of power can be substituted with the real difference in power contribution between the two legs, and hopefully they could sent this information to the head unit as well.

    Is this possible - or is it just way out?

    Reply
  98. Max

    I was considering buying this PM but what let me down is that you need an Apple device to upgrade the firmware. In my opinion they could offer some Linux/PC program that can do that for non-Iphone user using ANT+ like garmin does

    Thanks for your quality review as usual.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Yeah, I think we'll see them branch out into support for an Android updater as Wahoo does the leg work there (and Wahoo is working on their Android suite, now entering beta).

      Until then I'd bet that most folks can find an iOS friend for the once every 3-4 month update.

      Reply
    • Max replied

      Thanks for your reply,

      I'm looking at a Virtual Training tool that works for on PC or Linux. i.e: I want some video or image to help alleviate the pain on the trainer inside.
      Have you made a comparaison of all the software available?
      I found VirtualTraining by Cycleops that seems nice, but it seems to only work if you got their trainer right?

      Basically what I'm looking for is a program, free or not, that would show some video that are synchronized with my PM (using current Watts and time elapsed).
      Does such program exist? Thanks and sorry for the newbie question ;)

      Reply
  99. Robert Plohg

    Max, TrainerRoad

    Reply
    • Max replied

      Thanks Robert, exactly what I was looking for.
      Stages with TrainerRoad will will be my choice then!

      Reply
    • Max replied

      edit : the software is 10$ a month, not too cheap I find.
      I'll see if I can find an open-source version of that type of program, if not i'll probably start working on coding one.
      I mean just a minimal version showing the data received from the PM (watts) in real time, should not take too long to program.
      I'll keep you guys updated

      Reply
  100. Matthew Locker

    Well since where talking indoor trainers - since the stages runs Bluetooth what about something for an iPad

    Matthew

    Reply
    • Max replied

      I'm looking at a Windows/Linux solution without the need to buy unwanted Apple stuff.
      So far best I found is TrainerRoad for 10$ a month. looking for alternative less expensive stuff or a one time purchase

      Reply
  101. Molly

    I just bought two Stage power meters. One for tri bike, one for road bike. What have you heard about them in terms of weather conditions. I ride during the winter and mostly I take out my winter bike, but I'd like to record some rides on my road bike. I know my powertap was non functioning in the rain (never even bothered in the winter). What have you heard about the stages in rain, or cold temps?

    Reply
  102. Arn

    Anyone know if there are any Android bike computer apps that support Stages PM? I have a Nexus 4 which now has BLE support and would love to use my phone instead of my Garmin from time to time. It looks like a couple of people may be working on something but so far, I haven't found anything that works.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      ipBike supports it on Android with ANT+. And I thought I saw something that he was adding BLE support shortly for it, for those units that support it.

      Reply
    • Eli replied

      link to iforpowell.com
      Looks like he only knows heart rate works but expects the others to work too. Once Viiiiva has an Android app to do the Ant+ pairing he'll have more progress from the looks of things

      Reply
  103. Matteo

    Hi Ray, really appreciate the work you're doin' here, really helpful for me, thanks.
    Being a bike geek + a data geek + a device geek ... I feel at home in your pages.

    Beside that, one thing is not clear to me: does Stage PM actually broadcast Ant+ AND BT data concurrently? I mean, can I see power data on Garmin and on an iSomethnig at the same moment?

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Yes, it's concurrent.

      I did a few tests at the time of this update and found that the two (in my case) were almost identical. I saw almost because you can never really get identical to the headunit capture data rates being at 1s and the fact that the stages broadcasts at 4x a second. So things will usually differ within 1w total.

      Reply
  104. Philip

    My stages had a problem others should be aware of.

    The data being broadcast on Ant+ vs BT were different. One set of data would say an average power of 160, the other set 173. At first I thought the Ant+ data was always higher - but that didn't seem to be the case. On one ride I lost data on the BT stream for a good 2 minutes so I suspect that the BT antenna has an issue somehow.

    Regardless after several back and forths Stages is now replacing the unit.

    Best
    P

    Reply
  105. Nicholas

    Hi Ray,
    I know for certain my right leg is stronger than my left (right handed). Would it be more sensible to have a power meter that is on the side of your strongest leg, or is it irrelevant?
    Thanks

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      In that case, you'd be overestimating your power, since it would still be x2, as opposed to the total power of left (less) power and right (more) power.

      Reply
  106. Nicholas

    Thanks Ray - so you're saying having power on your strongest leg would be a more accurate estimation of your power output? In which case the Stages wouldn't be a good choice in that regard?

    Reply
    • Changren Yong replied

      For me, it's irrelevant. As long as i get consistent power data, i don't care if it is overestimating or underestimating.

      Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      No, I'm saying it's a wash. Either you're over-estimating power, or you're under-estimating it.

      In any event, Stages has talked about the fact that it's actually much more complex to put the unit on the drive-side, due to clearance issues (chain primarily). Something we see a bit with Vector (even with 2mm of clearance needed).

      Reply
  107. Jonathan A.

    Is anyone having problems with keeping the Stages connected to Garmin devices? I have a Dura Ace 9000 SPM that I set up with my Edge 810 originally. The power numbers seemed a bit low compared to my PowerTap G3 during steady efforts, and sometimes the reading would drop to 40 watts or so for no reason at all. Then, during a long ride in the mountains, the Garmin lost the signal entirely (the reading was "----"). I recalibrated next to the road, then got readings of "0" for awhile before it dropped the signal again. I tried to recalibrate again and received "Error Code 32". I am now unable to find the Stages at all while searching for it. My software is up to date and the Stages battery is new.

    This morning, I broke out my older Edge 500, updated the software, and tried to sync with the Stages. It won't discover the device and I am receiving the same error code. I am following Stages' instructions, i.e. vertical crank arm, etc.

    Any ideas what might be wrong?

    Reply
    • Changren Yong replied

      I have not encountered that problem yet. You may have a faulty unit. My first SPM was getting occasional spikes in power/cadence so Stages overnight a replacement for me. Now i am having problem with battery life. The first battery lasted about 40 hours. The second battery lasted less than 10. I was informed that Stages had shipped out SPMs with a bad batch of Energizer batteries so right now i'm testing if my store bought Duracell battery will last longer.

      Reply
  108. Scott B

    As someone who gets paid to work with stochastic & messy data, I greatly admire your dedication to quality data collection. Your site is always a first stop when considering a new bike addition.

    An alternative to Excel for this type of analysis is IGOR Pro at link to wavemetrics.com. It has many features that support the statistical analysis and signal processing you are doing including automation of repeated analyses. No financial stake, just a 20+ year user and not a Excel hater :-)

    Reply
  109. Phil S

    Thanks for the update. I train on a Mavic Cosmic clinchers with a Powertap but tt and Tri with a tub deep/disc set up. The Stages has been of interest to give me power feedback during races. I use watt bikes during the winter and my left / right readings are close to 50:50 (48:52 L:R at worst). I'm not sure How accurate the studio Watt Bikes are but I use different machines each time and the results are very similar. I guess that the Stages would be a good option at the cost v a disc with powertap or a Crank based pm, both circa £1500

    The only downer is I like Rotor cranks and QRings…The upside is Cyclepowermeters in the UK are going to support Stages

    Great work Ray!

    Reply
  110. Kieran M

    Ray,

    I do low cadence (45rpm) power sections on the turbo trainer. Can you envision any problems using the Stages power meter to perform these to a fixed power?

    Thanks,
    Kieran

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      No problems, it can go (and I tested it), down to 30RPM.

      Reply
    • Kieran M replied

      Thanks.

      Just to make sure I understand this works properly. I refer to being able to hold a power for say 5 minutes and not the minimum cadence it will pick up. My concern was seeing a slight sine wave due to the low cadence and low pressure on the left crank for part of the pedal stroke rather than a constant figure.

      (Your vector review just nearly had me buying them but the Stages is winning it on cost if it can do this for me).

      Regards,
      Kieran

      Reply
    • Kieran M replied

      Thanks.

      Just for my clarification. I am referring to being able to hold a set power for, say, 5 minutes and not the minimum cadence it will record. My thought is that due to the low cadence with low pressure on the left crank for a porportion of the peddle stroke the graph will be more sine wave than constant. Am I wrong?

      Your vector review nearly has me purchasing them but the Stages is winning on the cost side at the moment.

      Thanks.

      Reply
  111. Kieran M

    Apologies, the sytem will not let me reply to your message, I keep getting a bad gateway error message.

    Thanks.

    Just for my clarification. I am referring to being able to hold a set power for, say, 5 minutes and not the minimum cadence it will record. My thought is that due to the low cadence with low pressure on the left crank for a porportion of the peddle stroke the graph will be more sine wave than constant. Am I wrong?

    Your vector review nearly has me purchasing them but the Stages is winning on the cost side at the moment.

    Thanks.

    Reply
  112. Jeff S

    Great review! I love the controlled data analysis. Thank you very much for your efforts!

    Reply
  113. Megazine

    My stages reads 906 when I calibrate. Is this normal? I thought its supposed to say "0"? Did I do something wrong?

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      No, it won't say Zero (some PM's say zero, others don't). In my case, it tends to be between 892 and 894. Don't worry about the number, you're looking for stability.

      Reply
  114. Megazine

    Thank you for the fast reply! I would also like to thank you for all the great work you've done and your the reason I bought this power meter.
    I do have another question. When I first did my calibration was I supposed to have my pedal removed? For some reason my garmin 810 asked me to do so during the first calibration setup.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Pedal removed, no, but cleats removed from pedal yes. You should be unclipped and the crank arm should be pointed up or down. If you're clipped in, you're applying force that would change the torque zeroing process.

      Reply
  115. I'd like to try it but unfortunately it's not available to purchase outside USA, Canada (and soon UK), atm.

    Reply
  116. Michael Bonderup

    Hi Ray,
    You mention in your review of the Quark Riken that the Stages appear to drift more than the Powertap and Riken itself.
    Is this a consequence of the Stages after all proving to be more unstable or unprecise in direct comparison to the Riken and Powertap (and Vector for that matter) ??

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      In that review I wasn't talking drift of the unit, but rather differences due to my power output shifting at different intensities (i.e. higher than FTP). You can see this in more detail in the Vector post. Which isn't anything technically wrong with Stages in that respect, it's just how it works one-leg-wise.

      Reply
  117. simon

    Great work as usual, want to get a stages but just trying to verify process during a tri as regards what buttons need hitting when leaving t1 (I have an 810 but never used it in a tri). I use Srm with pc7 now and simply jump on and pedal. Stages gives a great low cost alternative for where a compact is needed as my srm is std chainrings but as a bit of a technophobe (esp under race pressure) needs to be a simple procedure!!

    Reply
  118. Carl Bråkenhielm

    Thanks for another excellent review. It has convinced me to buy Stages when I go to the US at the end of the month. In my case the lower price than Vector and the ability to use it both with training and racing wheels compared to Powertap tipped the scales in favour.

    Reply
  119. John

    Would the Stages power meter be accurate with Q-rings? Have the P2Max on my road bike, and thinking about getting a power meter for my cross.

    Reply
    • Phil S replied

      Don't see why QRings would effect the power readings from a crank arm based pm(or any other PM). I am about to fit Stages to my Tri/TT bike and I use Q Rings.

      Reply
    • John replied

      but they do. Most powermeters calculate the angular velocity from the cadence and oval chainrings speed up and slow down during the revolution due to their "ovalness". P2M uses a accelerometer to determine the angular velocity. Quarg and SRM get inflated power values with qrings.

      Reply
    • Phil S replied

      I stand corrected;@)

      Reply
  120. Ben Schwartz

    I'm wondering if pedal spindle length could effect the readings on this kind of power meter? I'm sure they've taken into account the lateral flex of the crank arm, rather than the torsional flex, but I wonder if anyone has seen anything peculiar? I only ask because I have 20mm spindle extenders for my rather drastic toe-out foot position. This makes my effective spindle length 73mm with 53mm Speedplay Zeroes. My current 105 (5700) cranks/rings don't show much flex, but I'm sure the longer effective spindle length creates a substantial increase in lateral force. Especially during harder efforts. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

    Reply
  121. Mark

    I got about 25 hours of ride time before the battery was dead. When I removed the cover I noticed that 2 out of the 3 "prongs" had broken off. One flipped out when I removed the battery and the other was wedged inside that I needed to pull out with a dental pick. My LBS replaced the cover for me but these might be a tad fragile. Not sure why the broke off.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      I've found the cover can be a bit fragile, in particular if one (anyone) doesn't realize that there's the little up/down unlocking motion first before pulling out. Basically, it should almost just fall out if unlocked (versus pulling it out and snapping it).

      Reply
  122. Matthew

    Rainmaker - With the cover issue. If you did break the tab's. Would some elec tape over it effect the readings?

    Matthew

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Yup, that works perfectly. I broke the tabs on an earlier pre-prod cover (much thinner) and just used a couple of loops of electrical tape until the replacement arrived via envelope. No problems with a few rainy rides.

      Btw, just ring them up, I'm sure they'd drop a spare in an envelope without the stamp charge. ;)

      Reply
    • TheBigYin replied

      Had something similar myself - one of the three tabs was broken off "out of the box" as it arrived. I'm in the UK, and thought "oh no - new distributor, this is going to be a nightmare", but used the contact-us facility on the stages website, explained the problem, they took my address, contacted the new UK distributor, and the following morning 2xCovers and 2xRubber Gaskets appeared in the post!

      I would add, that I was so keen, I fitted the battery with the 2 tab cover, taped it over with a square of helicopter tape to make sure it was watertight, and went out for a ride anyway, while waiting for the covers in the post, and it functioned perfectly well...

      Hopefully my post will calm any fears of the UK people who may be reading this thread.

      Reply
  123. andy from embsay

    I think I had the original snapped tab - quickly replaced by the UK distributor. But that hasn't solved my problem.

    It appears that neither of my Stages meters "wakes" when I turn the crank, so my Edge can't "see" it - if I remove the battery and replace it, my Edge immediately spots it. The Edge shows the battery as "full", so it's not draining it.

    Turning the left crank by hand doesn't work. I have also tried actually riding the bike before pairing - that doesn't seem to do the trick either.

    I don't think I can have bought two duff units, so either I'm doing something wrong to "wake" the sensor or there's a design fault. I assume the former!

    Reply
    • Phil S replied

      Had a similar experience today. I have used the Stages for 6 turbo sessions and today neither my 910xt or Edge 705 would pair up.

      I also checked with the iPad stages app and no joy

      Replaced the battery and it worked. Interestingly (annoyingly) my 910 showed a number of drop outs of power and cadence during my session but the Edge had no issues.

      One other point to remember is that you need to be plus 30 rpm to wake it up

      Hopefully the battery was a one off d duff one

      Phil

      Reply
    • Richard Kaufmann replied

      It can be a bit tricky to properly put the battery into the meter. I had an issue with my battery not properly seating, but that was fixed quickly by Stages via overnight FedEx. There's also an opportunity for pilot error while replacing the battery -- especially when the bike is standing upright.

      I also had problems with synching (in my case with an iPhone). *That* was fixed only by some combination of Wahoo Fitness updates as well as iOS7. Now the power meter pairs up flawlessly every time -- and I just spin the rear wheel a time or two with no resistance.

      I'm not sure about you Garmin-heads, but I'd check that (1) I really have properly installed the battery and (2) I've updated the firmware on everything in sight.

      Reply
    • Jon Sharpe replied

      I've had exactly the same issue as you describe. Kept needing to take the battery out and put it back in. Sent it back today. Sure a bad bunch have come to the UK.

      Reply
  124. andy from embsay

    The instructions say "rotate the crank one time to wake it" - I wondered whether because I've been spinning it a few times that was the problem - unlikely, I know, but I'm grasping for answers here! I don't know what rpm I've been spinning it at, but I suspect it's well over 60. I assume it's ok to spin it with the back wheel in the air to wake it (although I have also tried to pair it whilst riding along to ensure I put some strain through the crank).

    Reply
    • John Hale replied

      Have you had any joy with this? Experienced a similar issue last ride...

      Reply
  125. Brian

    Hi Ray
    Thanks for the great reviews
    Will a dura ace 7900 stages work on dura ace 9000 crankset,and vice versa,I have 3 bikes with 2 of the above chainsets and just want to know will they mix n match
    Cheers

    Reply
  126. Brian

    Hi Ray
    Thanks for the great reviews
    Will a dura ace 7900 stages work on dura ace 9000 crankset,and vice versa,I have 3 bikes with 2 of the above cranksets and just want to know will they mix n match
    Cheers

    Reply
  127. Steve

    I have a Stages Ultregra 6700 crankset w/ 172.5 and looking to trade down a size to 170's if someone wants to go bigger.

    Thanks. and great review btw.

    Reply
  128. Matthew Locker

    Big tip - keep the batteries up to date. Old batteries I have found take longer to sync. $8 for 20 on eBay is the way the go. May not last quite As long but u still end out way out I. Front.

    Reply
  129. 8848m

    Hello Ray,

    I am wondering why the calibration number/reading on my unit continues to rise. When I first bought the Stages it calibrated at 900, now it's calibrating at 919. I thought it was due to the ambient temperature rising as we come into Summer (I'm in Australia) but I took it to Thailand recently where it was way hotter than here and it calibrated at a lower number than it is calibrating at now. Any ideas?

    Reply
  130. 8848m

    Hello Ray,

    I am wondering why the calibration number/reading on my unit continues to rise. When I first bought the Stages it calibrated at 900, now it's calibrating at 919. I thought it was due to the ambient temperature rising as we come into Summer (I'm in Australia) but I took it to Thailand recently where it was way hotter than here and it calibrated at a lower number than it is calibrating at now. What influences the calibration reading and what would cause it to rise over time? Any ideas?

    Reply
  131. andy from embsay

    Update on my pairing problem - Stages sent me two new cranks. I've only used one so far (on my winter bike) but it performs flawlessly, pairing every time. So there was clearly something wrong (thankfully - I'd have hated it to have been pilot error!). Stages said they think it was something to do with the battery door.

    Whatever it was, these guys give exceptional service!

    Reply
    • John replied

      Interesting - perhaps I should get in touch with them.

      Reply
  132. andy from embsay

    I would, John. I was surprised that they happily replaced two cranks - great service and/or they knew there was a problem with some of them? Either way - great company to deal with and excellent comms from their support people.

    Reply
  133. Chris

    Hi! Can anyone confirm that the apps and firmware updates are available/ functional to the rest of the world? Was able to download the apps from apple store but can't test it because obviously I do not already have the PM. Thanks!

    Reply
  134. Chris

    Almost definitely getting it from Australia then.

    Reply
  135. Daggo

    Here was my problem.

    For the past month of indoor rides I was getting crazy speed readings on my edge 705. I changed the battery, I changed the battery again. Then reset(hard) the Edge. Nothing, nada zip. Speed jumps, zeroing. Just possessed. So out of shits and giggles I moved my garmin back on the stay toward the axle, and presto completely normal now.

    Have you seen this? Not concerned, my problem fixed, but was very frustrating.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Hmm, that's odd, but sorta out of scope for the Stages unit, since it doesn't transmit speed.

      In any event, it does sounds like the battery - at least normally. The other thing that it sounds like could be an issue is the sensor arm got out of alignment just slightly, so that it's missing some revolutions. That can happen if it got bumped a bit. Though that doesn't solve why it works when you move your Garmin closer.

      That's definitely strange, haven't seen quite all those factors like that before in a single problem (usually it's one of those issues).

      Reply
  136. It would be great if Stages would actually post some form of notification on their website / use email notifications or so forth of firmware changes etc. I'm in the "borrow a mates iDevice to update the firmware" camp at the moment, and it's a pain in the chamois area to scrounge their phone just to find that nothings changed.

    In fact, while I'm wishing for the moon on a stick, some form of "changelog" about the various versions and when they were issued. what fixes were implemented and what additional features added would be nice too...

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Yeah, sometimes they post them in the press release section. But I've noted that as well to them in the past, that a simple support blog site with just release notes that people could subscribe too. Heck, Magellan uses a (free) hosted WordPress.com site (not even anything with their domain name), it works though!

      Reply
  137. andy from embsay

    After a month or so of problem-free power-metering the former gremlin is back in my new, supposedly improved crank - put the bike away overnight and next time out the Edge (and my iPhone) can't "see" the power meter until the battery is replaced. It's also started dropping out mid-ride.

    Either I'm incredibly unlucky and have the two faulty cranks they've made or there's a fundamental problem with the design. I'm amazed that nobody else seems to have the issue - or is it "special" Yorkshire weather it can't cope with?

    Reply
  138. Jorge Costa

    Andy

    I have two stages meters. I have had them both since July. One of them has been great. The other one had the exact same problem. Had to replace the battery every time. I contacted stages support and the asked me if any of the battery door plastic tabs were broken. One of them was. They claim that is the problem. They sent me some new doors and the problem went away. Seems silly to have your expensive meter depend on an inexpensive part to function. Seems like a design flaw to me

    Reply
  139. andy from embsay

    On my first one (this is a replacement) one of the tabs was broken - but this one isn't, so there's obviously something else wrong. This one's been fine til we had some really wet weather - so I wonder if it is a sealing problem. Today it has basically gone from bad to worse - replaced the battery to get it to work before I set off, rode 2 miles to meet a mate. Left the bike standing for five minutes whilst I waited for him - then it had gone again. Replaced the (existing) battery half way through the ride - nothing.

    Reply
    • TheBigYin replied

      that's exactly the same way my meters started behaving as well - brand new, long dated Duracell 2032, checked voltage prior to install giving 3.2+V, fitted it to the meter, whereupon the Garmin recognised it. Did a calibration, and propped the bike up for the evening ready for a ride the next day. Life intervened and next chance for a wide was 3 days after fitting the new battery. Bike had been leaning against the wall all that time. Switched on the Garmin, spun the pedals, nothing. Removed the battery, checked voltage... 0.6V! which, for a 3v (nominal) battery is flatter than a very flat thing. I've also just installed the new firmware (from the new revision of the app) today, after fitting yet another new battery. Let's see how long it takes to eat that battery shall we!.

      Maybe it IS the Yorkshire weather - we've been having lots of it in Wakefield as well...

      How did you go about getting replacments Andy? was it return to the original store, pester Saddleback, or contact Stages direct?

      Reply
  140. Jorge Costa

    Andy

    You might want to conduct a quick test with a new battery. Wrap some black electrical tape around the sensor to see if that solves the water seepage problem. At least you will be able to isolate the issue

    Reply
  141. andy from embsay

    I've left it with the battery out and the cover off to allow it to dry, then I'll give that a go. It seems like it's now got a fault though - it's not like it gets wet then fails - it fails when it's left overnight (or, as of today, for five minutes...).

    They have said they're releasing a firmware update today (Monday) - whether that will help or not we'll have to see...

    Reply
  142. andy from embsay

    New firmware downloaded and installed, so we'll see if that helps...

    Reply
  143. andy from embsay

    Anmd the verdict is... new firmware and new battery - same problem. I'm getting really sick of this - the Stages guys are terribly nice but it just doesn't work as it should.

    Reply
  144. Matthew Locker

    Did the firmware. 500m down the road my edge 800 tells me the battery is low. So back I go to change it. Pop the cover and the inside of the unit has started to fall apart. See what happens since I brought it on holidays when in the US back in April.

    Matthew
    (Australia)

    Reply
  145. andy from embsay

    It seems there's a slightly wider problem than just two of us with battery draining:

    link to tritalk.co.uk

    Reply
    • John replied

      Yes, I saw that thread... As suggested over at TriTalk, there seems to be a dodgy batch floating around!

      Reply
  146. andy from embsay

    But it would appear that I've had two from the same batch - which I find hard to believe! They told me the second one was a new design with a better battery door (which clearly isn't my problem) and fully waterproofed components (which I don't think it is either). I was interested in the reply quoted on the thread they gave that said the ANT+ isn't switching off properly, so drains the battery - what's a bit frustrating is the (really nice, helpful) guy I've been dealing with hasn't mentioned any of that stuff - which suggests either their internal comms is poor or someone's stringing me along...

    Reply
    • John replied

      Hmm, yes. On the positive side, if it is an issue of the ANT+ chip continuing to draw power, then it might be fixable with firmware - fingers crossed!

      Reply
  147. andy from embsay

    Yep, that's what I'm hoping for. It does seem odd that not everyone has the problem though - maybe a combination of firmware and hardware? My Stages man says they're doing some testing and he'll get back to me. I've emailed him a link to the tritalk thread so he can see it's not just me!

    Reply
  148. John

    Well I'll keep buying cheap CR2032s for now... Let us know if you get any more information!

    Reply
    • andy from embsay replied

      Me too, mate - I really hope it's a firmware fixable fault, as I really don't want to have to send them back again!

      Reply
  149. andy from embsay

    Oh, sorry Big Yin - just spotted your message about replacements - I was dealing with Stages direct, and they sent replacements to Saddleback. I sent mine back to SB and they sent me the new ones. And, as mentioned, the Ultegra one worked like a dream for about a month but now it's faulty. I've not used the Dura Ace one yet, so that's been sat on my best bike for about six weeks.

    Reply
  150. andy from embsay

    Posted on FB and got this reply:

    Hi Guys, we're working on it. Andy, you're not the only one, however, it regards to percentages it's a small number of meters that are affected, by our visibility. We are working tirelessly on this. We have DEEP respect for all of you experiencing this issue, and we're taking it very seriously. We will get it rectified, but yes running down a firmware bug takes extreme patience and diligence on the part of our engineers.

    and

    In regards to never seeing the issue, that is very close to true (and was absolutely true prior to two weeks ago), the way it manifests, we've only ever actually experienced/seen it one time in our office, with our engineers, which is one of the challenges in tracking it down.

    Odd that they say they'd never seen the issue prior to two weeks ago, given that I returned a crank with this problem to them in early November (which they said their engineers had looked at).

    Reply
  151. andy from embsay

    I've kind of accepted that they'll find a solution to the battery drain problem, assuming it's software rathe than hardware. However today a potentially more serious problem arose - it just measured the power completely wrong.

    Did a 50-odd mile ride at an average of 15.4mph. Average power 64W. Weighted average on Strava 113W.

    link to app.strava.com

    A week or two ago, did a 50-odd mile ride at an average of 14.7mph. Average power 157W. Weighted average 204W.

    link to app.strava.com

    The rides were on a similar route, today's ride was definitely harder going - but when I looked at my Garmin it'd be reading 75W when I'd expect it to be showing 200W-ish.

    So now something else is wrong with it...

    Reply
  152. andy from embsay

    Well you can't say they don't keep trying! New firmware out with a fix, hopefully:

    Firmware Release v2.0.37 notes

    Stages Cycling is constantly working to better the operation of the Stages Power meter, and since launch, has planned to make running changes to product in the field to better the product feature set and operation.

    This fall we became aware of Stages Power users reporting less than advertised and ideal battery performance in the field. Since, we've been working to improve the function of the meters while also making sure we're diligently working to clean random bugs from the firmware packages.

    This latest release of firmware, v2.0.37, addresses possible random Bluetooth bugs that could have led to rapid battery drain. Note that these bugs are random in manifestation thus have been challenging to track down. Generally they require a certain battery voltage and environmental condition in order to form.

    Here are the issues as identified, and fixed:

    1) Variable disconnection from Bluetooth when connecting with third-party Applications: we've found that certain Apps will hold BT connections long after a ride is finished if the BT connection isn't manually disabled. This bug fix will terminate BT connections after a specific time interval to stop battery drain.

    2) Variable shut down of the BT radio. If the BT radio is not completely shut down before the main PCB control shuts down, it can go into an unregulated full broadcast mode. We originally doubled the BT manufacturer's recommended shut down time as a best practice, but we've now found that it is still possible for this issue to still manifest. To correct for this issue, we've built and instituted an additional protocol in which the main PCB control asks for, and must receive, shutdown confirmation from the BT radio before it can shut down.

    Thus for users who've experienced less than optimal battery usage with their Stages Power meter we recommend an immediate firmware upgrade to v2.0.37; rider's who've not seen issues are also welcome to upgrade, as it will ensure their using the most up-to-date firmware package available for their meter.

    Reply
  153. andy from embsay

    Well it looks like the new firmware hasn't done the trick for me. I put a new battery in yesterday and after a 2.5hr ride the icon on the iOS app was showing half way and a yellowy colour. They claim 200 hrs on a battery.

    They're now suggesting shorting the unit with a paperclip and leaving it to dry overnight. That would be "leave the fully waterproof unit to dry" then...

    Reply
    • John replied

      Interesting - mine seems to be fine since the last couple of firmware updates. However, I guess this could be coincidence, as it has also been quite dry for all my rides this week, so not much chance of moisture ingress...

      Question is, if water is getting in, is it through the battery door or around the lower edges? Could run a bead of sealant around the edges to rule that out, and perhaps a bit more o-ring grease too. If it's not waterproof after that, then I'm at a loss as to where the water's getting in! I'll see how mine fares after some wet rides.

      Reply
  154. andy from embsay

    I've had mine covered in duct tape since fully drying it out. So new firmware, thoroughly dry, new battery e, cover the battery door with duct tape etc. I got 5 days and 3 rides before the battery's flat again.

    What's frustrating is there seems to be thousands of people who have these things who have no issues - why me? :-(

    Reply
    • John replied

      I feel for you :(

      Will keep you posted on how mine stands up to training camp next week!

      Reply
  155. andy from embsay

    I've bought a voltmeter so I can test the batteries I'm taking out and see just how fast they're draining!

    Reply
  156. Will

    How can this just be a dodgy batch sent to the UK? I collected mine while staying with family in Seattle and brought it to the UK. Did two rides that were very wet (each 4-5 hours, 5C) and have had nothing but frustration with this PM ever since. Do Stages get commission for every CR2032 battery sold? If so they must be making a lot of money!

    Will

    PS serious question to US Stages owners : have you ridden in the rain for >3 hours in temperatures of 40F and not noticed battery drain or intermittent connectivity from your Stages PM?

    Reply
    • Steve Remy replied

      Will,

      I am in Portland and had about 5-7 rides in the very wet and very cold then got the drain bug in mine. I bought mine in Oct and they said there was a batch where that seamed to be not so water proof. A prong on the cap came off in the unit too but still sealed normal. I had a new one the next day. I'm thinking of wrapping this one up in duct tape just to give a little extra protection.

      Remy

      Reply
  157. andy from embsay

    I think it must be something to do with water and temperature AND software - but Stages haven't admitted as much (but I guess they wouldn't). However it can't be every unit, as there just doesn't seem enough "noise" on the internet for that. Surely there are lots of these that work happily in the rain and the cold? I hope... :-/

    Reply
  158. Will

    Maybe because here you have a large concentration of customers out using the product on a wind and rain swept island in the Atlantic. Which is why I asked for feedback from Americans actually using this power meter in similar conditions (very wet, 40F, >3 hrs).

    Reply
  159. Leslie

    I have been in contact with Stages since September over the fact that my meter refuses to send to my Garmin 910xt when it is on my wrist and I am in my aerobars. When I am on the hoods, the distance is 30 inches from the meter. In the bars, the Garmin is 34 inches from the meter. My Garmin picks up my HRM at 72 inches apart, so the problem is not the Garmin. I'm getting ready to issue an ultimatum to Stages, but was wondering if anyone has experienced this. I saw back in June there were a few comments to this effect, but did the firmware updates help? I don't have an iPhone, so doing an update will be a pain. Stages' answer was to just mount the Garmin on the bike. Really? I may be able to figure a way to do that so I can still see the thing (sideways on the top tube isn't really practical) and in a race is just ridiculous.
    Thanks,
    Lk

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      There's actually some nugget of truth that it may not be entirely Stages fault. Last month in some discussions with Garmin about it and a similar issue a handful of folks with FR910XT and Vector units are seeing, they admitted that there are some scenarios that are 'less than optimal' for placement. They were going to be working through some recommendations and potential options for folks having signal problems (with any PM). I don't know where that stands, but I'm meeting with them early next week at CES, so I've put it down to get an update on.

      Reply
    • Andy M replied

      Leslie,
      I had power drops too. I was told by Stages to input the Ant+ ID into Garmin manually and do not search for power meter. So far so good!

      Reply
    • Andy M replied

      Also updated to latest firmware

      Reply
    • Doug replied

      Hi Ray, did you manage to get an update from Garmin on the power drops?

      Reply
  160. Will

    Leslie, I'm glad you posted that, it is something I hadn't considered. My Garmin is mounted on a K-edge type mount in front of the bars. I can try it on the stem instead tomorrow but I'd really prefer not to have to do this long term.

    Reply
  161. andy from embsay

    I can't really see how the position of the Garmin would be causing battery drain though? So I assume this is a different issue. My battery drains when the Garmin's not even on!

    I've bought a multimeter and have tested a few batteries "before and after", and whilst I'm not measuring them under load, I can see a significant drop in output after just a day or two in the crank, and maybe only 5 or 6 hours of use.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Yes, as Will noted, it's a different issue. Within the comments section you can see threaded comments (click 'Reply' to a given comment). In this case, I was replying Leslie. Cheers.

      That said, in your case I was talking to Stages about it Tuesday. Have they not reached out to you since?

      Reply
    • andy from embsay replied

      Yes, Ray, they have - they're sending me crank #3 - they're amazingly helpful, so I really hope we get it sorted. My worry is that when I get my summer bike out I'll have all these problems again with my DA crank! I'll be sending my Ultegra one back so hopefully their engineers can get to the bottom of it. I do still wonder whether water ingress is at the back of this, as my problems with this one started when it got very, very wet - but I've since dried it out thoroughly and covered the battery door with duct tape and it still drained the battery.

      Reply
  162. Will

    Yes Andy, different issue. The two independent issues remain battery drain and sketchy battery cover. This issue with the Garmin location is new.

    Reply
  163. Leslie

    I'm on my second battery with infrequent use. I just thought the first battery was bad out of the pack I guess that's another thing I'll have to keep my eye on. New battery has only been on three rides.

    Reply
  164. Excellent review. We have made also some tests with STAGES power meter on a Cyclus 2 ergometer and compared it with a Quarq SRAM Red powermeter.

    In our test we have with the STAGES powermeter 6-14 watts higher measured values in comparsion with the Cyclus 2 and Quarq SRAM Red.

    link to powermeter24.com

    Reply
  165. Changren Yong

    The battery in my Stages Power Meter just went dead this morning. This is after i had washed my bike yesterday. I only ride this bike on dry days so the only time it gets wet is when i wash it. I had two batteries going dead in this power meter last year, all within a few weeks. And they both went dead a day or two after i washed my bike. Has any of the moisture-related battery issue been resolved by the latest firmware update?

    Reply
  166. andy from embsay

    I'm absolutely convinced there's something moisture related to these problems. I packed my second crank up yesterday to send it back and when I removed the battery with the crank off the bike I was able to see the battery compartment has rust in there. The sealing ring is still intact.

    It seemed to me that when mine got wet after working perfectly for a month or so it then started this battery draining thing - but once it had got wet, it then didn't need to actually get wet for it to drain the battery (if that makes sense.

    On its last day out before being returned it also had a complete wobble (or my Garmin did) and gave me very, very high power readings - ironically from the point where I'd met up with a friend to ride the last ten miles slowly, so would have been putting out far less power. Although this may have had something to do with the US military listening station at Menwith Hill which has a habit of making electronics go funny - I apparently went on an instantaneous trip to Arizona and back once when I rode past there...

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      In talking with Stages they've stated that a batch went out a bit ago that they believe may have had defective waterproofing. They caught most of the shipment, but some made it to distributors and were unable to track down all the unlucky folks. Thus, if you're having issues that you suspect being related to moisture, definitely hit them up and they'll swap out.

      Reply
    • Andy from Embsay replied

      I'm not sure they're right with that, Ray - I've had three cranks that drained batteries - two bought in the UK in about September and one (the most recent one with really obvious water ingress) sent over by Stages in November.

      Unless the first two were the firmware issue (not related to water) and the newer one is leaky (ie there's two different issues with the same symptoms), then I don't really buy the "dodgy batch" argument.

      Still - they must have got some that work ok as there's obviously loads of people who've not got problems!

      Reply
  167. Arthur Richardson

    I bought my Stages through my brother in law in Canada, for Stages wasn't shipping to Europe than.

    I have the power meter for some weeks now and it is eating batteries like hell. Today it started showing strange power values too. Heart rate was in my D1 D2 zone, since I was still warming up, but the wattage was in the high neuromuscular zone. After a recalibration the wattage was too low.

    At home linked to my iPad the tools screen did not return any info were it should, so something is wrong I guess.

    I already contacted Stages, but due to the time difference I will have to wait for their response. I'll keep you guys posted on developments.

    I get the impression that I got a beta product, where I paid the full price and expect it to deliver.

    Reply
  168. Andy from Embsay

    You too, arthur, eh? The frustrating thing is that obviously lots of people have no issues, but there seems to be some units out there (of which I've had at least three) that don't work properly.

    Reply
    • Arthur Richardson replied

      Hi Andy,

      I got a reply from Stages and they will send a replacement to me. I have to say that I am very pleased with their approach on customer support. They apparently stand by their product to function well. Having met less professional attitudes on customer support here in The Netherlands, I am impressed with this approach.

      I have to admit that since I got the PM training is somewhat addictive. But hey, maybe I'm a data geek after all :-)!!

      Keep you guys posted.

      Reply
  169. Spencer Wood

    I had a stages, worked for about 2 weeks out of months. Constantly having to relpace the battery, sent back once for 3 weeks, same unit came back, and worked for two weeks, then stopped again!

    I have now sent back and been refunded. This is a real shames as cuold really see the benefit of training with power, and this was so easy to move between bikes, but i think this still has problems to iron out and would perhaps leave 12 months for these to be sorted and look again, as have spoke to lots of people having the same issue.

    Reply
  170. Uffe Lindhardt

    The CR2032 come in different qualities. I bought some CR2450N for my Power2max power meter on the Internet, and the first battery drained in two days. Fortunately the supplier agreed to replace them with some of a different brand (Renata) - The Renatas are good for about 8000 km with the Power2max. Could the issues be partly due to low quality batteries ?

    Expecting my Stages PM to arrive tomorrow.

    Reply
    • andy from embsay replied

      Don't think so, Uffe - I've been using Panasonic and Maxell long dated batteries in mine and the type of battery seemed irrelevant.

      Interestingly bikeradar.com put a favourable review of a long term test of the crank on its website today and there's already quite a few UK customers mentioning battery issues and reliability.

      Reply
  171. Leslie

    I got my UPS label from Stages today to send my unit back....I'll keep you posted, good to know someone was able to get a refund.

    Reply
  172. andy from embsay

    First really (really, really) wet ride with the new one last night - still working ok this morning.

    I'm sensing an air of confidence from the Stages guys that they've got this sorted in a couple of emails - I've sent the old one back so hopefully they'll confirm what the issue was, as I have an unused Dura Ace one on my summer bike that I hope will be ok once I've upgraded the firmware.

    Reply
  173. Simone

    I have just ordered a new stages powermeter here in Italy delivery 24 January...I hope syages can solve your problem Andy and understand reason of drain battery

    Reply
  174. Antonio

    Andy,

    A couple of questions, because I am also having the same problems.....

    The unit that seems to work now, is a new one? Or it is the one you had, but with the new firmware?

    And also, I think you are now in Europe. Are you taliking to Stages in UK or Germany (distributors) or directly to USA? I bought my stages in the US, but I am currently in Europe. In case I had to change it, I would like to know whom I should contact....

    Thanks very much!

    Let's cross fingers to get this solved soon for all of us....

    Reply
    • andy from embsay replied

      Hi Antonio - the unit that seems to work is a new one, but it's very, very new - I've only done three rides with it. My last one was fine for a month before going wonky, so I'm not counting any chickens just yet.

      I've always dealt with Stages US - Evan Gaspar. He arranged for my first ones (I bought two) to be replaced via the UK distributor, and this one came direct from the US and I returned the faulty one direct to them.

      Hope that helps!

      Reply
  175. @Antonio

    You could contact us for all service questions regarding power meters in europe. We have now also STAGES

    http://www.powermeter24.com
    Email: info@powermeter24.com
    Fon: +49 241 47574324

    Reply
  176. Antonio

    Great!

    Thanks very much, Andy and Chris. Let's wait a bit to make sure the problema has been found and solved. In the meanwhile.....battery after battery..... :-)

    Reply
  177. John

    Quick update - currently on training camp in Spain. Have done ~30hours this week and no battery issues. However, it has been completely dry so far, so if there are issues with moisture ingress then I wouldn't be noticing them!

    Reply
    • andy from embsay replied

      Cool - I've just got my bike out for ride #4, two of which have been very wet and it worked first go.

      Still got everything crossed...

      Enjoy Spain!

      Reply
    • Spencer Wood replied

      All my issues have been moisture related.

      thanks

      Reply
    • John replied

      Well, the whole week went by without a flat battery, so maybe I'll just have to move to Spain :p

      Reply
    • Arthur Richardson replied

      I guess there's no alternative for you John.....

      Reply
    • John replied

      Andy - how's the latest one faring? I've got a replacement on the way in the end...

      Reply
    • andy from embsay replied

      Fine and dandy. Did a month before my Edge said it had a low battery. No problems.

      Reply
    • John replied

      Great - fingers crossed they've solved the issues and my replacement is perfect too! I really like the power meter aside from the battery issues...

      Reply
  178. Matt

    Do you carry out any statistical analyses on these data sets? I would be interested in seeing two-sample t-test comparisons or an ANOVA test for difference of means between the groups' average power.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      You're welcome to download the raw data and perform such tests. A lot of others have done so as well and posted various things around the internet with it (look for DJConnel, Robert Chung, Thomas A., etc...).

      However, do bear in mind that at some point along the way one will move from practical usability of numbers, into statistical analysis - which may not bear any useful relationship to actual cycling power analysis. Meaning that simply looking at total averages and variance off of an average ultimately isn't as critical as looking at max/min for smaller time slices to understand the actual impact of a given wattage on ones performance.

      Reply
  179. Jim L

    I have gone all winter and fall on my Stages meter. No problems with the last three firmware updates. Just FYI that not everyone has problems here.

    Reply
    • andy from embsay replied

      I think it's a pretty small minority that have had issues (either that or there's only a few of us ride in the rain!), which makes me hopeful that through replacement or firmware updates we'll get it sorted.

      Reply
  180. Leslie Knight

    Jim L...are you talking about the battery issues? I posted earlier that my meter won't transmit to my Garmin 910XT just 34 inches away. Do you have experience with that?
    Thanks. Mine is packaged up and ready to go back to Stages to see if they can fix that.

    Reply
  181. Data Thief

    So if one were to buy a WASP, would it be possible to going riding around picking up the data of others?

    Reply
  182. Dave Manley

    I must admit this surprises me

    link to teamsky.com

    Is the Stages now good enough for a team like Sky who are so focused on marginal gains and who's riders seem to be trained to watch the PM at all times.

    Reply
    • Arthur Richardson replied

      Well Dave that sounds very encouraging, however a number of us are still suffering with faulty power meters. I do believe however that this is a step that will ensure continuity on product development and firmware updates!

      Reply
  183. Phil

    This is interesting, I bought a Stages in September and have never had any issues with battery drain or anything else, it worked flawlessly in the wet and dry....until I got an iphone for Xmas.

    The Stages batteries are now dying well ahead of time! I have not used the Strava app or any other cycling app with the Stages, I am still only using an Edge 500 exactly like before.

    Wondering now if the iphone has something to do with the battery drain many are experiencing. Does everyone with the battery drain problem also have an iphone?

    Reply
    • Arthur Richardson replied

      Phil,

      I use a ipad4 to update the firmware. i have a iPhone 4 that does not communicate with the PM because it does not support the latest bluetooth protocols.

      I think it is worth checking if this is where the problems start.

      Arthur

      Reply
    • John replied

      My were dying before I ever connected to an i-device... I then borrowed a friend's iPhone to update the firmware in the hope that the issues would be resolved.

      Reply
  184. 8848m

    My point is I have not intentionally connected the Stages to the iphone or any other Bluetooth device. The Stages seems to be connecting to the iphone of its own accord and draining the battery. My bike is in the garage downstairs and the iphone upstairs in the house.

    Reply
  185. andy from embsay

    8848m - can you see if the meter is listed in the bluetooth settings menu? I've not checked if it appears there, but I'd assume it would. When mine was draining batteries the phone was nowhere near the bike, so i don't think it was actually connected - but Stages sad it was still transmitting and not shutting off.

    Reply
  186. Steve Remy

    I have to give big props to their Customer Service. After 6 months there was a small issue with my PM and they had a brand new one to me the next day. Stages works great and consistent data.

    Thanks for the support, Stages.

    Reply
  187. Brian

    I've had battery issues. I upgraded the firmware and put a new battery in on the 15th Jan 2014 and went to use it today (19th Jan) and it was flat. I got 9 hours and 54 minutes ride time or 4 days elapsed time. I had been checking the battery via the app after every ride and it was fully charged but on my last ride a I went through a few puddles (not deep) and it must have got water in it and drained it. There was water on the inside of the battery cover. Looks like I need to contact the reseller and start the warranty process :-(

    Reply
  188. Marky

    Just spotted the Stages Power Meter is now available for FSA. Don't get too excited though. Megaexo and BB30 are supported, Omega cranks are not. Absolutely gutted!!

    For FSA owners we offer a Stages Power meter, which serves to upgrade an array of FSA’s MegaEXO 24mm and BB30 crank options with power. The Stages Power meter is mounted to FSA’s hollow forged Energy alloy non-drive crank arm. The BB30 version has across the board compatibility with FSA and Vision BB30 modes. Please note that the MegaEXO model will only fit MegaEXO crank systems 2014 and newer, and will not fit the MegaEXO Omega model.

    Reply
  189. spencer wood

    After Stages have seen my comments, they have contacted me, and i now have a replacement unit. I wish i had conatcted them directly as being in the UK, i was dealing with the local supplier. If you are having issues, contact Stages direct.

    The issue i had was caused by a batch of faulty battery covers, and you can really tell the difference on the new units. Cannot wait to try the replacement and post some more updates!

    Hopefully some positive comments to come!

    Reply
  190. Molly Grygiel

    I own two. One is on my road bike and one is on my tri bike. The one on my road bike reads much lower power levels than the one on my tri bike. I find this curious because it used to read the other way around, (but not nearly as low). Does anyone have any thoughts as to what could be happening?

    Reply
  191. Hello,

    Thanks for your excellent review! I still have some toughts about the Stages power meter.

    As an exercise physiologist and cycling coach I've seen a lot of power files passing by. I also have seen a lot of in lab exercise tests. These tests are often used to determine training zones and exercise performance/improvement.

    A calibrated cyclus2 ergometer has a highly reliable power measurement, as has a calibrated lode ergometer. A SRM powermeter calibrated on a cyclus 2 gives already different power outputs during a test. At lower power outputs it's slightly lower and at higher poweroutputs slightly higher. Is the Stages already tested on a Lode or cyclus2 ergometer?

    Because my concern, what is also shown in the review above, is that in some cases the normalized power is lower and some higher compared to other powermeters. The other powermeters show a relatively constant difference to eachother. This difference is normal, as I explained with the SRM data. But what's the range of that difference in Stages. The larger that range the less reliable is your data, because you don't know what you're measuring anymore.

    Also the left right difference still bothers me. When we not only consider cycling research, it is well known in other sports that there are left right differences in muscle strength. Someone who is lefthanded is stronger in his left hand, beacause it's his prefered hand, the same for right handed persons. It's not only your hand, but your whole left ore right side that is stronger. A very good example is a one leg strength exercise. You'll see almost always that there is a strength difference. EMG will confirm this. Besides that, every cyclist has a different possition on the bike. When your not sitting 100% in the same position at your bike, then you would see those differences in your left right balance. Finally, what's the influence of standing on your pedals, climbing with different grades etc.

    There are too many factors that could confound the powermeter output, which you won't have with crank based or rear hub power meters. Why didn't stages included a second meter on the right crank? It would overcome all these problems, and weight 2x40 gram is not an issue.

    When I train athletes marginal differences can be important. If the ranges are too big, this can mean that a riders ride in a different training zone. A tempo training could be a treshold training or an endurance training.

    I don't have a Stages powermeter of my own, so I haven't experienced it

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      "There are too many factors that could confound the powermeter output, which you won’t have with crank based or rear hub power meters. Why didn’t stages included a second meter on the right crank? It would overcome all these problems, and weight 2×40 gram is not an issue."

      Because as they've stated, it would roughly double their cost. The drive side is far more expensive than the non-drive side. Further, there are complications with clearance issue on the drive side and the chain (as Garmin Vector has illuminated).

      Might they do it someday? Perhaps. But for today, their goal was to get a lower-priced offering. They themselves stated they don't see a reason to add another $1,500+ power meter into the market.

      Reply
  192. Arthur Richardson

    I got a replacement from Stages. It looks like it has a different, thicker, o ring for weather sealing. Let's see how it behaves.

    I don't have any concerns about left right balancing. Sky is riding them, and they are the top pro's. I'm only an amateur, so I don't think I need the absolute ultimate micro adjustment or insights to improve my cycling. Loosing weight and training in general will have a far more significant impact.

    Reply
  193. james alexander

    Had a stages on a Ultegra 6800 for about 3 weeks now, no battery problems or water issues. Seems solid and reliable. The stages seems to have low power readings compared to my previous two power-taps, but when I get used to seeing -20w on threshold intervals over 20minutes, then the product seems spot on.

    Reply
  194. Francis

    Hi i have a question that i cant seem to google anywhere. Since this power meter is bolted to the left crank.. what happens when one decides to upgrade his/her crank system ie. from Ultegra to Dura Ace? does that mean then need to get a new one?

    thanks

    Reply
    • Mark replied

      No Francis, you do not have to buy another arm. I have one DuraAce arm that I swap back and forth with my rain bike. Since I have both Shimano cranks it's and easy swap. I do it twice a year. Once heading into winter and once in the springtime. Takes 10 minutes.

      Reply
  195. Leslie Knight

    Stages sent me a replacement for my meter that refused to pair with my garmin 910xt when it was just 34 inches from the meter. I was very excited when it seemed to pair instantaneously, which the first one didn't. It calibrated quickly. Took it out for a ride this morning morning and it refused to hold the pairing. I never was able to read any power output on the 25 mile ride. When I checked the history, half of the miles have cadence readings, but none have watts. Next plan is to borrow a garmin 500 and see if maybe it's my watch. This is beyond frustrating.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      I'm willing to bet that'll work on the Edge 500. As I noted earlier, Garmin has hinted a bit over the last few months that there are some 'challenges' with the 910XT and certain bikes in certain arrangements with certain configurations of certain PM's, all of which they've been trying to narrow down. Of course, the end resultant is the problem you've found yourself in.

      Reply
  196. Leslie Knight

    Hope so. But the price point advantage sort of disappears when I have to buy a new computer for it to work on. I'll keep you all posted. Also seems odd that it captured cadence, but not power.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Fwiw, it's actually not limited to Stages. Also impacts some Garmin Vector users (ironically enough), as well as some Quarq folks. I haven't seen any cases of it impacting PowerTap peeps.

      Reply
    • Steve Knapp replied

      Did Garmin ever followup on any of this for Vector?

      Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Nope. Nothing. It's really sounding like a hardware limitation that Garmin doesn't appear to plan to address.

      Reply
    • Steve Kushner replied

      Ray -- any follow up on the Stages and 910XT? I can pair the stages with my 910XT but I get no readings (no power, no cadence) while on my cyclops trainer. I also don't get any readings after pairing with my iPhone through the app and bluetooth. Stages has replaced the crank twice already, so I'm assuming its a Garmin issue. Do you know if there has been any better results (on a trainer) with the Fenix 2 and its bluetooth connection?

      Thanks for all you do. You're a tremendous resource for all of us.

      Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      The official response from Garmin on the issue is currently:

      "We recommend that anyone who is having trouble to try the 910XT on the opposite wrist, or the opposite side of the wrist; or to use the quick release kit to mount the 910 directly to the bike when riding."

      From my perspective, I'm seeing the issue mostly manifested in Stages, Vector and Quarq units (with too little a sample size for ROTOR units). I suspect the reason is that those all have rotating transmitter pods. While the PowerTap rotates too - it's in a very small area rotationaly speaking. Adding that to some apparent antenna placement differences with the 910XT, it's causing problems with those power meters that rotate (unlike say a speed/cadence sensor or a HR strap).

      It'll be interesting to see if folks have any issues with Garmin's new cadence pods, which also rotate, though, they may have worked around that problem by increasing the transmission power.

      Reply
    • Steve Kushner replied

      I mount the My 910XT while riding on my Cyclops trainer, and while it calibrates, it gets no readings. Works on the road -- both on the mount and on my wrist during my last triathlon.

      Reply
  197. Beibo

    hi

    you do a lot of testing comp[aring power over time. whichi is great!

    i am wondering what power metrics you get for the same rides but with different power meters
    ex: peak power 10", 1', 5', 20'
    NP
    IF
    TSS
    Aerobic decoupling

    this should be ready available on goldencheetah for example.

    Beibo

    Reply
  198. andy from embsay

    Well after a month of flawless (and wet) riding with crank #3 the Edge gave me a low battery warning, so I replaced the battery. 4 more flawless rides and the bike went away for two weeks due to work and ski trip.

    Got it out last night - battery completely flat.

    I really hope this is a duff battery, otherwise it looks like my gremlins are back...

    I did wash the bike fairly thoroughly before putting it away, but Stages still insist the device is waterproof (although crank #2 was definitely a water ingress issue as the battery compartment was rusty!!).

    Reply
    • John replied

      Uh oh... Well fingers crossed it's ok. I'll be quite disappointed if my replacement (due this week) suffers the same fate as the first.

      i was wondering if there's a link to where people store their bikes? Is yours stored out in a garage or in the house?

      John

      Reply
    • andy from embsay replied

      It's stored in a shed, but I've had exactly the same problem when I kept it in the house overnight. There seems to be something that "goes" (maybe if some moisture gets in?), and once it's gone it's gone. The battery compartment on #2 was full of rust - this one isn't.

      Reply
    • John replied

      There goes that theory...

      Reply
  199. Hi DC,

    Again a big applause for your diligent work. Final purchase decisions on bike gadgets are so much easier after consulting with your blog.

    Based in the UK and after a somewhat damp winter I could not bring myself to take my Vectors outside so they have been restricted to Track and Roller duty. Stages seems a great choice for my SRAM equipped winter trainer.

    Just acquired and installed a SRAM Stages PM. (Easy install, worked immediately :) Having studied yours and other blogs some users have alerted the issue of water ingress. Looking at the battery cover I'd not be the person pointing a pressure washer at this. Whats wrong with soap and sponge anyway?

    The solution seems to be the humble duct tape. Once installed it is really easy to apply a strip of wide duct tape across the whole electronics pod and seal this around the crank edges. Once applied and rubbed down for a good seal against the crank anything up to sub marine service should be fine. Using black duct tape its hardly visible and will not need reapplying for 200 hrs until battery change which in my case would be 2-3 months.

    Reapplied duct tape sealing 3-4 times per year should ensure seal integrity. After all, few people re-inspect and reapply duct tape that frequently on their drain pipes.

    Being naturally skeptical when it comes to mixing electronics and water, the duct tape is applied already and I look forward to years of trouble free cycling. Just thought I'd share the approach in case anyone else is riding in wet climates like the UK

    Mk

    Reply
    • andy from embsay replied

      A few points - firstly, I've never washed my bike with a pressure washer. Sponge, brush and a gentle hose down to rinse. Secondly, my Ultegra crank that I fitted at the beginning of January (my third) had duct tape over the battery door. Thirdly, that battery lasted c37 hours before getting a "low battery" warning on my Edge, nowhere near 200. The new battery lasted c10hrs (and 2 weeks of inactivity) - with duct tape over the battery cover. The next one lasted c12 hours (90 mins of riding). I'm not at all convinced this is always water ingress - indeed it's accepted there was a firmware issue that caused the unit to continue to broadcast BT signals until the battery went flat. There's lots of reports of people having flat batteries on units that had never been off a turbo.

      To me it's just not acceptable to expect punters to waterproof a product that's designed to go outdoors in all weathers. I've never had to put sticky tape over the battery cover of a Garmin cadence sensor, and that sits in at least as mucky a place as a non-drive-side crank.

      Thankfully Stages (in the US) have excellent after-sales, and my fourth crank is on its way...

      Reply
  200. Hi Andy, I did not mean for my contribution to the forum to be pointed or suggestive of other experiences. I apologize for any offense it may have caused. The intention was merely to share an idea with fellow Stages PM users.

    As a Stages newbie and having read the blog discussion applying duct tape seems a cheap and quick precaution to take. Based on your reply it is entirely possible there are other factors than water ingress that may cause battery drain. As a Stages newbie I wouldn't know and have yet to find out.

    Fingers crossed that firmware updates and product maturation will allow me to have pleasant user experience and resolve the issues you are having.

    On the issue of pressure washing our treasured bikes, last winter I hosed down my bike after each ride. A pressured hose rather than high pressure jet wash. Cost me a set of new set crank bearings after 18 months and a new headset after 12 months. In other words even the traditional bike parts struggle with continued application of water. This winter trying new approach: keeping the steep upright while hosing down, then wiping down with a towel before drying out indoors. No different than treating dogs or small children after a trip out... Yet to see if the approach saves me some hardware replacements.

    Final thought: The Stages battery hatch APPEARS to be less robust than the Garmin and other speed / cadence sensor hatches. Would be nice if it was updated to a more robust design. As a recent product Stages have opportunity to improve as did the early release of Garmin 810 (Took a year before firmware updates reduced crashing to acceptable levels). Even the gentle giant of Apple who probably have a slightly larger R&D budget than Garmin and Stages gets it wrong early in their release cycle.

    Only way not to pay for these experiences is to avoid being an early adopter.... And no, I cant wait 2 years to get the £599 power meter so for now I'll add the duct tape myself and wish quietly that Stages turns out to be a good purchase.

    Reply
    • Andy from Embsay replied

      None taken, Mike - just wanted to make the point that some of us (very) early adopters have been round this particular loop a few times already! Whatever this issue is, it's clear that:

      - It generally doesn't manifest itself immediately
      - It is in some cases related to water (all the cases i've seen have been UK based, but that could be because of the sites I use)
      - Once a unit develops the issue, it doesn't get any better
      - Stages have (or had) an issue with their battery compartment doors, but they've worked on it
      - Stages in the US offer exceptional "no questions asked" after-sales (i've heard tales of the UK distributor being less helpful, so if you have a problem go direct to Stages)

      Hope you have better luck than me!

      Reply
  201. Antonio

    Just to make a pause on battery drainage (hopefully to be resolved on the near future.....).

    Does anybody know how to interpret the new data: pedal smoothness and torque effectiveness? Both data shows two percentages (obviously, there are not one for each leg)....so what do these data mean? Any clue?

    Thanks.

    Reply
  202. Shane

    Here is food for thought on battery drainage. I am not saying this problem solves for all because there seems to be some real legit issues with moisture. I do not own a Stages unit and I am here trying to decide.
    That being said I have a Garmin 500 and have noticed that I can go for a ride come back home take it off the bike and whether I plug it in or hook it to my computer it will stay in the on mode unless I specifically shut the power down. That being the case whether my bike was in the garage or in the house it would stay paired to something like the Stages unit until I specifically shut it down. I know I have friends who come in for a ride plug their Garmin type unit in and may not be able to ride for days but the unit stays on and even when you shut it off and plug it into power or computer they auto turn on.(the issue is probably more likely with the Bluetooth than the Antenna + but is possible for both) Well the math is easy 24 hour days on for three to four days. The battery drain would be more severe as well as constantly on for days straight compared to on and off after 2 to 6 hour rides so the 200 hours would go out the window as constant drain is different than on and off.

    Again just food for thought and maybe it will help some.

    Reply
    • John replied

      I think this was actually an issue to begin with, but Stages released a firmware update that was intended to fix it.

      I guess it may still be an issue though - who knows!

      Reply
    • andy from embsay replied

      As John says pre-2.0.37 software they thought that was the main issue - but that didn't stop mine draining batteries for fun. My latest one has arrived and fitted - so we'll see how we go this time!

      Reply
  203. andy from embsay

    Latest instalment:

    Nice bloke from Stages is sending another replacement via Saddleback. I email SB to ask them to let me know when it arrives. Today, I get an email from them asking why I've been dealing with Stages direct and asking me for a whole load of info about the problem, what the serial number is, why I got a replacement direct from Stages (erm...because they said they'd send me one...) and generally making me feel like I'd been a naughty boy. They also told me that "according to their records" my cranks both came from Sigma sport. Nope - neither of them did.

    Anyway - their email says when they've got the info they'll "decide on the best course of action" - which is worrying as I've heard that they've tried to wriggle out of things by saying it's "not a warranty issue" (which is a massive contrast to Stages, who sent me a replacement without me needing to return the one I had).

    I've told them I don't want them to "decide on the best course of action" - I just want my new crank!

    We'll see...

    Reply
    • John replied

      That doesn't sound good... I think SB have dispatched mine today, so I'm ok if this one works fine! Perhaps I'll go for the duct tape solution mentioned above as a precaution!

      Reply
    • andy from embsay replied

      Hi John - how's the new power meter? My new one arrived today, so fingers crossed!

      Reply
    • John replied

      Hi Andy. Got mine at the beginning of the week. Only been out a couple of times, but that's already a saving of 2xCR2032 batteries!

      Notice that the new one has a red o-ring seal as opposed to the original black ones. Wonder if it's a slightly larger x-section?

      John

      Reply
  204. Rich Stanbaugh

    Hi Ray - your reviews are OUTSTANDING - thank you!

    I've recently started having issues with my Stages & Edge 500 losing synch/pairing. I am setup with the ANT ID stored in the Garmin. Whene power numbers disappear, I've had to. Stop, remove the battery, replace and let it re-connect. It is a new battery an latest Stages firmware... Any suggestions?

    As an aside - I find your comparisons with the CompuTrainer super useful. I use power to target race and training pace and I train indoors on CT. Consistency and repeatability between these devices is MUCH more useful to me than what the actual numbers are. Ultimately, I'm training and riding my numbers, not comparing my numbers to other people's.

    Thanks for the hard work and insights!
    Rich

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Hmm, that's a tough one - and very odd. It almost sounds like the battery might not be snug inside the compartment and then perhaps a bump dislodges it. Any chance you can fold up a tiny itty bitty bit of paper between the battery and the door and see if it holds it tighter?

      Reply
    • Matthew Locker replied

      Got ya covered. Start the warranty process. It's loose Inside the unit.

      Check the internal tabs and see if they are all still intac.

      My stages is coming up to 12 months now (brought 04/13). New I had lost one tab about 6 months ago. But over the last 2 months battery life has got worse and it was dropping out at when coming to a complete stop.

      So after a pull apart. The internal tabs,not cover has crack and broken off over time. Current fix - 3mm padding with a zip tie. Works fine and the battery life has gone back up too. The drop out started after a real sweaty roller ride.

      Anyway - I brought mine from the america when I was on holiday so I have emailed stages to see if I can fix the warranty locally. (Australia) as I have a 4 day stage race to train for.

      Matthew

      Reply
    • Rich Stanbaugh replied

      Warranty process worked very smoothly - sorry for the late reply, thought I had responded earlier. New unit works and Stages was very supportive (once I was able to get in touch with them).

      Reply
  205. Derrick B.

    First off, great review (update) DCrainmaker and thanks for taking the time to do it. I have ordered a stages PM but haven't received it yet, I see firmware updates for the unit are possible, but done with iPhones and iPads. The problem I have is, I have all Android devices now minus an old iPhone 3Gs that sits in a drawer but does work still. My question is, are there any other ways to update the firmware since I don't own a newer iPhone or iPad. I have a Galaxy S3 phone and a Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet. Am I just out of luck to update in the future? Hopefully the Stages PM will come with the latest firmware to begin with, but future updates may be a problem to get. Not sure if anyone else has asked about this issue.

    Thanks for any replies concerning this issue from anyone on the board.
    ★Please refrain from starting an apple/android war

    Derrick B.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Yup, as Mike noted, unfortunately at the moment it's only iOS. Now, Wahoo is very near finalizing their Android app release. And while that's not Stages, it's the same company that Stages uses for much of their iOS development, thus, I suspect we'll see Android based apps eventually hit Stages.

      That said, like Mike noted as well - it's really just a case of finding a friend somewhere to update. The updates from Stages are very infrequent. I think the last (new) one was many many months ago. So it's not a weekly sort of thing. The only process only takes a minute or two.

      Reply
    • andy from embsay replied

      Firmware 2.0.38 (?) was pretty recent - although my (fourth) replacement crank arrived with the latest firmware on. It's pretty hard knowing what they've changed, as there doesn't seem to be anything on their website that tells you when they've released new stuff.

      Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Yeah, there was one in early January that was the update for high-speed data/some of the other PM metrics, as announced in September. But I think that's been it since last summer.

      I have asked a few times for a simple firmware change-log on their site somewhere. Mostly, so I can simply reference it in the Week in Review post. Even if it's just one line-item with a date, firmware version, and then "Performance improvements".

      Reply
    • Steve Knapp replied

      A log w/ release numbers and dates would be FANTASTIC. See what changes were made, where I'm at along the releases, and decide how much I need/want to bug some iOS user to help with the update. :)

      Reply
    • Øyvind replied

      Such a log actually exists:

      link to stagescycling.freshdesk.com

      They released a new firmware just a few days ago.

      It even appears that the latest Wahoo Utility app for Android lets you update the firmware of the Stages. I installed it on my phone (Galaxy S3), and it connects to the Stages, reads my firmware (2.0.38), and offers me to update. I didn't dare trying, but reading that Ray says Stages and Wahoo work together (or use the same app development company), I guess it's legit. A bit strange that they don't mention this possibility on their own website, though. I guess a lot of people are really waiting for a firmware update path for Android.

      Reply
    • actaswu replied

      Thanks for the link!
      I decided to give it a try and downloaded the Wahoo Utility App.
      A few moments later, it detected the Stages correctly (and warned about the low battery - 21% ) and proposed to update the firmware from 2.0.38 to 2.0.48.
      The update process completed smoothly and now my device is up-to-date.

      Great to know I no longer need my neighbor's IPhone! Thanks again.

      Reply
    • Derrick Brown replied

      I downloaded the wahoo utility app and it recognized my stages and indicated a firmware update from xxxx.38 to xxxx.48 was available. However, it fails to update when I attempt to update with my GS3. Back to the drawing boards I guess.

      Reply
    • actaswu replied

      Apparently for the update to be applied, the battery percentage must be higher than 20%.
      It may also be the meter going in standby mode after a few minutes. I turned the crank a few times to keep it alive - but did not touch anything as soon the upgrade process had started.
      No problems here...

      Reply
    • Øyvind replied

      The same happened with my GS3, so they might have to work some more on that. However, since it can connect to the Stages, it should be able to update.

      I was lucky enough to borrow an iPhone, and used that to update mine.

      Reply
  206. Chances are you will have there will be a member of "friends and family" who will have an Iphone. The update takes 3 minutes and the app download is free from the app store. Might cost you a drink or coffee while you're waiting. I installed my stages 2 weeks ago and even though it is brand new the app did an update immediately. Good news it takes minutes and worked first time

    Reply
  207. Hi Ray,
    Just wondering if you had any insight into use of the stages PM with the Fenix / Fenix 2 with regard to the wrist mounted drop outs.

    I have a new Stages PM and it pairs and calibrates just dandy with my FR 310XT but it drops in and out frequently if worn on the wrist (not at all if mounted on the handle bar / stem).

    Should I expect better same or worse results from a wrist mounted Fenix 2 ?

    Appreciate your thoughts.
    Wiz

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Unfortunately I have temporarily removed the Stages on my bike so I can test the ROTOR Power Meter (the two are not compatible, due to being in the same place).

      Fwiw, I haven't seen any issues with wrist-based dropouts though in rides thus far, and I've been testing it against both a pair of Vector pedals as well as a PowerTap.

      Reply
  208. Hi

    Thanks for the hugely in depth review. I have to confess I have not read all the comments so I hope that I am not repeating anyone here.

    I suppose that this is more of a powerTap question than a Stages question but still relevant I think. I currently have a powerTap and plan to change to a Stages when I get a new bike.

    Did you do any testing that uncovered greater differences between Stages (and Quarq / Vector) and the powerTap when the chain was badly maintained or filled with mud? I have heard mention before that a powerTap measures after the chain so it will be a slightly lower reading after losses from no oil or rust ect.

    As I am moving from one to the other I am wondering if the readings might go up because of this. I suspect that the loss is so small that it cannot be measured.

    Thanks

    Reply
  209. Isaac

    Great reviews, so detailed and informative. Ray your site is my go to for any reviews of equipment. You seem very transparent and unbiased too which really benefits us the consumer but also if a company actually cares about the consumer they only have to read your review and go to work on the improvements.
    Keep up the great work mate.
    Isaac Far North Queensland, Australia.

    Reply
  210. Michael

    I wonder if the satisfaction of Stages customer support is still valid?

    I have a Stages on my bike, and have had some troubles where it stopped working, no data, no connection.

    So I have a defective product, and have written to Stages, but after 4 days, I have not even seen a confirmation that they have received my e-mail.

    I don't find this satisfactory, and it is far from the stories I have read here, where people get replacements sent the next day.

    So maybe Stages wellearned succes is killing their customer support? (I hope not)

    Any comments?

    Michael

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      You wrote to the US/general address, or to your local distributor?

      Reply
    • Michael replied

      I wrote to the EU distributor (info@stagescycling.eu) last week, and got an e-mail back 2 hours later. I have now received a new battery cover, and hopes that this helps solving my problem.

      So it seems like that luckily, the EU distributor have another approach to customer service than Stages USA, it has been 15 days since I wrote to them first time (3 followups), and I still have not heard anything back, that really pisses me off :-(

      Reply
  211. The Blimp

    Thanks for your comments. I've upgraded from a Powertap G3 to Stages and I couldn't be more pleased. But I don't think I can sell the Pwertap for even half of what I paid originally.

    The Blimp from Perth, Western Australia

    Reply
  212. Well, my recently acquired stages worked very well for 3 weeks then started eating coin-cell batteries at an alarming rate. 3 Batteries dead when preparing for a ride, 3 days in a row.... I have been careful at protecting the electronics from water by using duct tape across the unit covering all the electronics pod with a tight seal all way round. This is on top of a correctly fitted cover with red o-ring. In any case not been out in a lot of really bad weather, so 99.9% sure that its not water related. Have of course also updated the firmware.

    Went back to the retailer, who explained that they could not replace the unit as the specific model I had just bought was out of stock, but that they would inform the UK importer and advice me when they have stock so the unit could be replaced.

    Since then I am now removing the battery after each ride, then refitting and re-taping with duct tape immediately before the next ride. Counting my riding hours and curious as to how many ours I will get on a coin-cell while I'm waiting for a replacement.

    For good measure I emailed Stages to inform them of the problem and ask if they had any other advice and like Michael have not had any reply. So perhaps the recent success have taken over form serving the customer, or perhaps they are busy painting crank arms "Sky Blue".

    Positives: Its a very neat solution and so easy to install and manage offered at the right price-point.

    Concerns: The Battery pod cover does look a little flimsy (but is easy to operate) Risk of water ingress has been raised by a lot of people but its so easy to upgrade with a strip of duct tape.

    Alarming Pattern: Battery drain is a failure mode that seem to occur for lots of users at a high repetitive rate. Really would be nice if Stages could acknowledge this and focus on getting their payning customers sorted on this issue.

    My action plan:
    1) Keep using while removing the battery between rides
    2) Expect prompt replacement with a unit that works (Or a firmware upgrade that stops the drain)
    3) Get my money back using UK "Trade descriptions act" (Battery usage 160+ hours specified, vs actual less than 4 hours.

    The life of an early adopter.... :) - SRAM Hydraulic Brakes, Garmin 810, Stages Powermeter

    Reply
    • andy from embsay replied

      Mike, that's really worrying that this issue is reoccuring on a unit that Stages swear blind has solved every issue. My Ultegra 6800 is fine after about a month - but then so was the last one! I also have a Dura Ace 9000 on my summer bike that I've not used for a few months, but the battery is completely flat, so I'll be interested to see how that goes with a new battery in...

      Reply
  213. Reply
  214. Michael

    Rainmaker: I wrote to techsupport@stagescycling.com, I have bought my Stages from the EU office because I live in Denmark

    Reply
  215. Andrew

    Thanks for all your in depth reviews, I for one really appreciate the effort you go to and the information that comes from that effort. I am better informed.

    Reply
  216. Leslie Knight

    So...I am on my second Stages. I have tried to make it work with my 910xt and a friend's 500. The first one that I sent back would work mostly with my 910 if the 910 was close to the Stages. When I was in my aerobars, it didn;t work. So they sent me a code to send it back. No email communication, the box just showed up. So I got the new one and have been futzing with it for weeks. It refused to pair for longer than a few seconds with 910 and same thing with a 500 that I borrowed from a friend. I asked if they wanted to try a third unit or send my refund. We'll see...

    Reply
  217. andy from embsay

    Summer bike came out on Monday after a few months' hibernation. Replaced battery and seal/door, updated firmware, rode bike. Went to bed. 24hrs later - flat battery.

    So this is now the 5th crank I've had with this issue - and Stages don't seem to be any nearer identifying the problem.

    Saddleback have insisted I go via the retailer, so I have emailed them making it clear I'm not going to return it so someone can "inspect it" - i expect a new crank (which to be fair Evan from Stages says they'll send). Merlin made me return a Di2 battery holder for "testing" which promptly disappeared for two months, with the only updates provided when I chased them. If I hadn't had a spare I'd have had no bike during that time.

    Mike - i've mentioned you to them as an example of a new model, new seal customer who's almost certainly never had water ingress - any joy from them with yours?

    Reply
    • Arran Pearson replied

      I've got the battery drain problem as well - now on unit no. 5 (XTR Based). It does seem to be triggered by damp weather in my case - not always direct rain. The shed where my bikes are kept does get a bit damp and (mostly) the battery case is dry.

      The local Australian distributor has said that there was a bad batch of the 'new' cover design which are being replaced.

      Sigh. Such a great little unit but I've probably spent almost the price difference between stages and Quarq on CR2032 batteries now!

      Still not convinced that its purely moisture though...

      Reply
    • andy from embsay replied

      Aaaaaargh!! New in every way Ultegra 6800 (my 4th) was fine for a month, I guess 50 hours of riding. It's not been used for a week or so as I've been using my summer bike. Got it out today - flat battery. I've fitted a new one, fires up straight away - but all the signs are there that the same fault has manifested after about a month - the same as with the other units.

      If I'm doing something to make this happen, you'd have thought Stages would have worked out what it is by now, wouldn't you? This is soooo frustrating!!!

      Reply
  218. Uffe Lindhardt

    Andy, you must agree that there is something not right here. There must be thousands of Stages power meters out there, so if it was a simple generic problem, we would see more complaints here. Yet you have had 5 crank arms fail. Logic would dictate, that it is something in your environment causing the problem. I'm thinking 2-way Bluetooth communication or something triggering the accelerometer. You could try to move the power meter to another location.

    It would of course still be a fault in the power meter, but it would explain the few observations.

    Reply
    • Andy from Embsay replied

      I'd have agreed, Uffe, if Stages had managed to identify what's causing the problem (they've had the faulty units to look at!) or if they'd come back and said "we can't replicate it".

      On one of the cranks it was very obviously water ingress - there was rust in the battery compartment. That's nothing to do with its environment - they're supposed to work in the rain.

      The other thing is these cranks are on bikes that are used "normally" - i ride pretty much every day, in normal UK weather. I don't do anything "unusual". They're stored in a shed away from the house (although the issue has occurred when i brought my bike into the house to see if i had a "magic shed". Generally they've worked fine for about a month, then they fail. Whilst i accept there are thousands of working cranks out there, there is something that fails in normal use - if I knew what it was and it didn't involve emigration (interesting that nearly all the examples of this failure - and i'm not the only one - but thanks to great service from Stages i've had several replacements - have been in the UK) then i'll do it.

      But all i do with them is put them on my bike(s) and pedal!

      Reply
  219. andy from embsay

    A guy on Tri Talk noticed that when he replaced the battery his Garmin could "see" the unit without turning the crank. He's replaced the battery and his seems to have regained its ability to switch off.

    I've just been and checked BT and ANT+ on the Ultegra crank that had a new battery about 4hrs ago - it's still transmitting both BT and ANT+, despite the crank not being moved - so the issue is that it's forgotten how to turn off. maybe it's caused by a new battery - as on all occasions my units have worked ok for about a month (about 45-50 hrs of use) then once the first new battery is put in they seem to lose the ability to shut down.

    Wonder if we've stumbled on something?

    Reply
    • John replied

      That is an interesting idea. And also encouraging, as it might be fixable via firmware.

      My replacement crank is doing fine, but I haven't had to replace the battery yet!

      Reply
  220. Leslie Knight

    Have you tried taking your battery put after each ride? My second unit won't connect to my 910 or my borrowed 500. They are telling me to check the firmware on the 500. So...a couple more weeks of no functioning power meter. I'm at the point where I want a refund and get some Garmin pedals. Has anyone successfully gotten a refund?

    Reply
  221. Steve Wood

    Hi, i'm looking into stages as my first use with power.
    My race bike with shimano dura ace 7900 and training bike 105 5700.
    Is it possible to use a dura ace 9000 or 7900 unit on 105 5700
    Many thanks Steve

    Reply
  222. Powertap v Stages Power Meter - wattage comparison video;

    link to youtu.be

    Stages Power Meter crank and Powertap PRO+ wheel fitted to same road bike on the same ride.
    Video is of the recorded telemetry overlaid on the GOPRO video of the ride.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Very cool stuff.

      What'd you use to capture the data (two Garmin's?).

      Reply
    • Eric N. Winn replied

      What are you using to capture cadence on the bottom metrics? At several points it seems to zoom way up where the Stages cadence stays fairly steady?

      Cool comparison. I really enjoy my Stages PM and have had no problems with it.

      Reply
    • Neudi replied

      If mine were that close I'd be jumping for joy. I've run a few test against my powertap and it's consistently off by 20-30 watts. Doing more tomorrow but their credibility with me is pretty shot so far. Doing a road test is great for summary data but testing it on the trainer pretty much convinced me its not even close.

      link to strava.com .

      Reply
    • Big Vern replied

      it's just the cadence transmitted by the powertap hub, which afaik is known to fluctuate at times.

      Reply
    • Neudi replied

      Sorry, so the cadence sensor drops the wattage by 20-40 watts on a Stage vs. Powertap G3? I'm actually getting a ton of smoke blown from stages on this and it's clearly off. They are supposedly testing it in house; however, I've been told the guys at Shimano here in Cali tested these meters and are seeing the same results - off by 20 or so watts. Mine has been off by 26-27 watts consistently regardless of output. Maybe a bad run but kills their credibility with me.

      Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Remember, it's left-leg only. Thus, your left leg is quite likely lower powered. That's a fundamental way that the Stages work, and doesn't have really much to do with the unit.

      26-27w sounds incredibly precise however, as I've never seen consistency between any two power meters that varied by a set amount of wattage at any level. Mostly, because I've never seen data comparisons between PM's that were exactly the same at any power level (they usually are percentage based).

      Reply
    • Neudi replied

      I only use watts because its pretty much consistently off by 20-30. Percentage would be I'm sitting on the trainer testing, pacing around 110-120w and the Stages is off by 25%. At 150-160w if reporting approx. 18% lower, etc. You honestly think that is incredibly precise?

      Reply
    • Neudi replied

      Update that Stages took it back, tested against a SRM and Quarq with the meter being perfectly accurate. I'm seriously struggling with this.

      Here is the thing. If its left leg only that's fine. If my leg was say weaker by 10% wouldn't the the variation be progressive, say 100 watts, off by 5, 200 watts off by 10 but it's consistently off by 20-30 watts regardless of output. I guess the question then is which one is accurate and I lean toward PT.
      Had a buddy local riding PT G3 wheelset and bought a stages meter recently. We just tested swapping wheelsets etc tonight with the same results off by 20-30 watts.

      Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Doh, meant to circle back here.

      It really is left-leg doubled. Stages clearly states that on their site (as does the review).

      The reason you're likely seeing variance is that people have different balances at different levels. For example, at super-low intensities (soft-pedaling) I'm balanced quite differently than mid-range (very balanced) and again differently a different direction above FTP. If you check out others that have done some poking, you'll find totally different results based on the individual. Tom A. on Slowtwitch posted a graph of his, which was almost inverted from mine. Making it even more complex, we tend to differ on different days in different ways - such as longer in a ride versus being more fresh.

      Essentially, we all differ. And that difference is the fundamental key to understanding whether or not the Stages is the right fit for you.

      Reply
    • Neudi replied

      I'm not the only one seeing this issue. Going to throw our G3s up against a SRM and Quarq so should know which one is off here soon enough. link to forums.roadbikereview.com

      Reply
    • Neudi replied

      I'm still not sure exactly what the issue is but the constant deflection from Stages is its an imbalance. Same exact imbalance me and two other guys with these meters are seeing local. I finally got extremely fed up dealing with them and scored a brand new 9000 SRM. Quick test today absolutely confirms what I knew day one. It's actually worse against the SRM being off around 40 watts, guess that's pretty precises being off 20% at 200 watts? So that's two sets of powertap wheels and an SRM with two different riders getting the same results. Odd.

      As I've told them I honestly could care less about the technology, bores me to death. It either works or it doesn't. Personally I'd cut back on Starbucks for a month and pick up a Riken instead.

      Reply
  223. Big Vern

    Cheers fella, Yeah - 2 garmin 705's with the same firmware (3.1) and same settings, I wanted to reduce as many variables as possible and have always found the 705's with that firmware to be rock solid (at least for me)

    Reply
  224. kojtl1000

    I am really interested in this power meter, since it is one of the least expensive and easiest to install.
    But I was wondering if there is anyone out there that does not have any issues with this power meter? I understand most people here post about the problems they have with this Stages, but I also would like to know if anyone is completely happy with this power meter?

    Reply
    • Steve Remy replied

      Kojtl1000

      I bought one 9/13 and had it replaced a few months later do to faulty seal and it got wet. The new one I received 1/14 has had no problems other then the battery cap busted a prong. They immediately sent me 2 new caps. I have been very happy with this one. No battery drain. CS has been on top of every email I sent from the start. I highly recommend getting one.

      Reply
    • Uffe Lindhardt replied

      Owned one since beginning of the year with 2000 km on the same battery. To be fair it sitting on my nice bike, and did not ride in any serious wet weather yet.

      A comparison on the Tabayesco climb, Lanzarote (10,3 km 5,7%) rendered 264 W avg. on Stages and 271 W using bikecalculator.com. Comparison on the trainer with the Power2max I have on my other bike is also favorable.

      In other words I'm very happy about the Stages power meter, but if course concerned about the reliability issues described here, and I think Stages should get to the bottom of this, and be more open about it.

      Reply
  225. Matthew Locker

    Great product. But the reliability Ian an issue. Knowing 6+ people that have gone through more than 2 units each is a concern.

    Wet raining is an issue. I had mine replaced due to the internal tabs breaking. I put a fresh battery in and taped the crank in electrical tape. Even though it's a new unit and meant to have the new seals

    A friend picked his up 2 weeks ago - did a wet ride and now have drop out issues. Told him to leave the battery out. He's now getting a refund since the downtime is major in Australia.

    Reply
  226. brent

    I have given my new stages back to my lbs to look at. Out of the box it paired perfectly with my garmin 510 and has produced very conisistant readings. Unfortunately they are consistently 50% higher than my powertap. I have previously compared my powertap on vbarious mountain climbs with power calculators and normally the powertap was slightly higher than calculated (within 2 - 3 %).
    The stages gives results such as 3 - 4 hours at 290 watts average and average heart rate of 110 or less. My estimated 1 hour threshold at about 520 watts very unlikely.
    I had trouble pairing it with my suunto ambit 2 and virtually had to insert the watch inside the power meter After pairing i could not get it to detect the stages whilst riding. I am wondering if the transmitter is a little weak as i expect the suunto aerial is also potentially weak judging by how close you need to be for it to pair with any ant+ transmitter.

    Reply
  227. RKS

    Ray, I wonder if you can share the files where you ran a stages on a computrainer, I'm interested in calibrating the stages vs a computrainer as I test and train on a roadbike on a computrainer and have the stages on my mountain bike which I race. I realize they will be different and have no issue with that but I'm trying to determine how different they might be so I know what to set the FTP on one to be as close as possible to the other.

    Unfortunately my mountain bike has a 142x12 rear axle and can't be placed on a computrainer to do this sort of test myself!

    thank you!

    Reply
  228. Erik

    I'm having problems with battery drain and I'm unable to connect with Stages App to update firmware. My Iphone is unable to find the power meter even with new battery installed. I have been in contact with Stages and they gave me some ideas to get the bluetooth issue to work. But nothings works and I'm a bit frustrated. Stages EU will send me a new battery cover and o-ring. But I guess that will not help unless the new cover makes the battery fit better or something if now that's a reason for battery drain.

    Is there anyone else having BIG problems connect your Iphone with the power meter? I have tried both with my Iphone 5s and Ipad Air with no luck.

    Reply
    • Megazine replied

      Erik. Hold power button & standby button on your iPhone until apple logo appears. This will clean up any ram being used & refreshes iPhone. Then try again.

      Reply
  229. Richard Kaufmann

    Erik: Just an oddball suggestion. Since you said you had paired the Stages with multiple BT devices (your 5s, your Air), is it possible that you are paired with another device -- and that's why the Stages app can't see the power meter to update its firmware?

    To test this, banish everything but your bike and your iPhone from where you are. Maybe even go a block or two down the street! Put on a tinfoil hat! Whatever... Now try it. Any change?

    And the battery door is a bit problematic. If the door isn't inserted all the way, you might have a bad power connection. Just for a test, try taking the o-ring out, but a fresh battery in, do a happy dance. The door is much easier to insert now. Any change? If so, now figure out how to get the o-ring back into the solution...

    Not associated with Stages, just a happy owner. Yes, I've had both these issues ("D'oh, my darned iPad is talking to it. WTF!"). You may well have another issue, but perhaps you're like me and find it's something simple and stupid in the way.

    Reply
  230. Stephane

    Try "BLE Utility" apps with your iPhone (free), this is my favorite app to debug bluetooth issue.

    And remember, bluetooth smart can only pair with one device, one apps at same time

    To clean pairing, close app or kill app (2 home + swipe up) or turn off blutooth in setting...

    Good luck !

    Note: happy stages power user, without problem...

    Reply
    • Carl B (Switzerland) replied

      Just wanted to thank you for the "happy stages user" comment because with all the negative input I have not dared buying one.
      I'm very tempted to get one for my mountainbike. There I don't see left-right power as an issue and would still like to get an idea of the power output without weight punishment and not having to move away from my pretty and well function XTR crank set.
      Would be great to hear from happy mtb Stages users!

      Reply
  231. Erik

    I have now tried to shut down every other device with bluetooth, closed all apps on Iphone and did another try with/without o-ring and battery cover on. It's impossible to find the power meter with bluetooth. If I turn my Edge 800 on, it's connected directly with ANT+..

    Since there is a battery drain issue which could be a result of water leak, there is no sign of this inside the power meter but I have one ride in heavy rain in the last couple of weeks. Battery drain issue started this week..

    Is it possible that the bluetooth signal can have been effected by water/moisture but not ANT+? I will wait for the new battery cover and see if that can solve some issues otherwise I have big hope on Stages god reputation about replacing "broken" devices.

    Despite this I have been super satisfied with Stages power meter, and my faith in Stages is not hurt yet..

    Reply
  232. Florian

    Hi Ray.

    Do you mentioned some connectivity problems between the Stages Powermeter and the Garmin 910xt? My Stages arrived on saturday. It works really fine with the iPhone4s (Bluetooth and Wahoo ANT+ Dongle), but with my Garmin devices (Edge 800 / Forerunner 910xt) i have huge data dropouts. And both Garmin devices do not recognize the Stages PM as a cadence sensor.

    A look into the internet showed me, that this is a common problem and is a issue of Garmin... Take a look here:

    link to forum.slowtwitch.com

    Did you hear anything from the Garmin gys, or do you know anything about this problem?

    regards,
    Florian

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Yes, it's a 910XT thing and affects more than just Stages if in aero position. I asked them in the past and they said they were working on something there, but it sounded like more guidance than anything. I've got it on my to-do list for an e-mail this week to see what's up/new.

      As for Garmin devices recognizing the Stages as a cadence sensor, that doesn't happen. The cadence comes automatically when you pair the Stages as a power meter - it's part of the power meter profile to take it from devices that support it (as Stages does).

      Reply
    • Florian replied

      thanks for the fast response. It would be great if you can keep me up to date. Cause i have to decide if i keep the Stages Powermeter or send it back. At the moment the Stages PM is pretty much useless for me... :(

      Reply
  233. Josh Potter

    Hi Ray,

    I managed to get a cheap second hand stages off ebay and I was wondering if its normal for it to show far less power on the turbo than on the road? On the turbo I struggle to put out more than 2W/KG, but my FTP is about 4W/KG, any idea why?

    Cheers

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      That's a bit more than normal.

      Some people struggle to put out power on trainers (compared to outdoors), and for others it's the inverse. For me, it's the inverse. I can pump out trainer power all day long, but on a flat course it's far more difficult for me. But not quite the separation that you're looking at there.

      Reply
    • Josh Potter replied

      Cheers, I am really confused as to why the difference is that much - admittedly I do hate trainers so I use it as little as possible and its now been packed away until next Winter anyway!

      Reply
  234. Colin

    Guys....the Garmin 510 update from 2.8 to 2.9 included this comment:
    Fixed an issue causing ANT+ sensors to become disabled when searching for a new sensor.

    I was having issues with my garmin losing connectivity to the Stages like people are commenting on here. As soon as it the garmin was updated the issue went away.

    The other thing I recommend is programming in your Stages Ant ID instead of letting the garmin find it. If your Ant id is 6088 then input zeros in front of it in the Ant id screen on the Garmin...i.e. 0000006088 and it will pull it it up right away.

    The issue is with the Garmin not the Stages.

    Reply
    • Afdrmom replied

      I borrowed a friend's 500 and did an update and that didn't seem to help. I cannot figure out how to manually enter ANT ID. and I couldn't find it in the manual. Can you give instructions? Thx.

      Reply
    • Colin replied

      Sure. My issue was with a Garmin 510 not the 500 but the instructions below are for the 500 since that was your question. I am not sure however if your 500 literally can't find any power unit it may not pop up the "Sensor Details" option in the Ant+ Power menu. Hope the below helps.

      Hold down Page/Menu->Bike Settings->Select Bike (i.e. Bike 1, etc.)->Ant+ Power->Sensor Details->Highlight the Sensor ID & hit Page/Menu->input the Ant+ID with zeros in front of it if needed.

      Reply
  235. Kevin Eggart

    Hi,
    I've heard good things about Stages and now see that Sky is using Stages, but my experience has been anything but positive. The first Stages powermeters that I used were earlier versions and had issues with connectivity and the battery seal. I know that Stages has made some improvements to firmware and the battery seal and so should have addressed a bunch of their first run production issues. But still, my first experience wasn't great.

    A few weeks ago I got a new bike with the Stages powermeter on a Shimano Dura‑Ace 9000 crank. The power seemed off (low) and I thought maybe it was the fit on the bike. So, I had the fit looked at and adjusted a bit, but that didn't seem to improve the situation. So, I decided to test the Stages against a Powertap and found that the Stages power was 19% lower. That's an unacceptable variance. Actually, I'd say anything nearing 5% variance is unacceptable. So, 19% is off the charts.

    Have you heard of anyone else having this issue? Thanks!

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Have you looked into testing your balance with a power meter that supports that (i.e. Vector, ROTOR)? Ultimately, the Stages simply doubles the left leg. As a result, imbalances will result in what you see.

      Reply
    • Kevin Eggart replied

      Hi,
      Thanks for the reply. I've been using a Quarq that has a calculation of the balance. I have worked on equaling out my balance and am usually 50/50 or 51/49. So, if anything, my power should be a tick up with the use of Stages.

      I've talked to Stages and sent in my comparison files. They can see there is an issue and so we are going to send the powermeter back in for testing on their end to see what they can find.

      When you did your comparisons, were the watts produced on Stages comparable to Powertap, SRM and or Quarq?

      Thanks!

      Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      They were similar in most cases, however once I cleared my FTP level then things separated quite a bit (read: my balance became inbalanced). Check out my Vector review where this is shown really clearly.

      Reply
    • Jon C replied

      Kevin,

      I just purchased a Stages PM and seem to be having the same issues with the power being meaninfully lower compared to my tests on the computrainer. I'm running 30-35w low on the Stages at most levels above 300w and more pronounced up to 50w at levels around 150w. I seem to be more in the 10% variance range, which seems unacceptable. My HR had been telling me that the wattage seems low but finally tested it on the Computrainer (2 different ones) and seems to be consistently off. Did you get any result from Stages? I'm going to send them a note later today.

      Reply
    • Kevin Eggart replied

      Jon, I sent the comparison files I made on the Stages and Powertap in to Stages and they agreed that there was an issue, so we set up for me to send my Stages PM back to them. I just recently did that and it arrived to them yesterday. Their initial comment was that 2 tabs on the battery door were broken which could be causing powers and therefore a lower avg. power reading. I guess that makes sense being that there have been so many issues with the battery door on the Stages PM's, but I hope to know more today after they run some other tests.

      Reply
    • Jon C replied

      Thanks for the quick reply. Let me know if you hear anything insightful from them on the issue. I've only got 5 rides under my belt with the PM and only one was outdoors but overall wattage felt low. I'll email Stages and see what they tell me as well.

      Reply
    • Kevin Eggart replied

      Stages did some work on my power meter and returned it to me this week. I got it on the bike and went out for a ride this morning. The power seemed to be where it should be. However, I'm not 100% sure that it's correct because I didn't run tests against any of my other power meters. But, based on the efforts I was doing and my corresponding heart rate, I'd say it was correct. I'm going to do a few more rides and if the numbers continue to make sense, I'll have to say that Stages has corrected the issue with my power meter. If the numbers don't look right, I'll pull the crank arm again and run tests on my other bike against another power meter.

      Reply
    • Jon C replied

      Kevin - thanks for the update and glad to hear the new one is more in line. I've been sending emails back and forth with Stages on the issue and sent them a comparison file of my Garmin vs. a Computrainer where I did 6 intervals of 5min at VO2 max levels. Looking at the data and averaging it out for the 6 intervals, I was 35 watts lower on Stages compared to the Computrainer. We'll see what they say but at this point i'm resigned to lowering my FTP accordingly and using the PM as my main source (despite what that does to my ego). Appreciate the follow-up.

      For those having issues with the 910xt, I have this unit and have not had any connection problems. I did skip the calibration this morning by accident and no power would register. I turned the watch off and then back again, calibrated per the prompt when you turn the crank, and it was good to go. Not sure if this helps but still learning the ins and outs of technology.

      Reply
    • james replied

      I got a new arm after my first one was having water ingress issues. The new one seems to be reading 20-30% lower than the old one. Unfortunately i don't have another power meter or computrainer to compare against. So I verified this using a number of different methods (perhaps none 100% convincing in themselves, but together i think it's pretty clear). Interesting to hear that others have had the same problem. My shop have been great and are getting me another arm to try.

      Reply
  236. Steve

    excellent work! Thank you!

    Reply
  237. AAG

    For the group:

    I recently purchased a Stages PM for my road bike. I have been using it for a little over a month and have been very happy with the results. I spend time between two locations, and I now that I am cycling frequently enough (3 - 4x per week) that it makes sense for me to keep a road bike in both locations. I have been looking seriously at a couple of bikes that use FSA hollow carbon crank arms. My understanding is that Stages cannot work with a carbon crank arm because of the flex characteristics.

    Stages recommends purchasing their alloy FSA crank arm and just using it with the carbon on the crank side. Does this make sense? Or is it better to consider swapping our for an all alloy crank? I definitely want a PM on both bikes and the Stages price point is appealing.

    Any thoughts most appreciated.

    Reply
  238. Anthony

    Hi Ray,

    Love your work and always point anyone with bike tech questions in your direction. Recently bought a stages and have been having problems with my edge 500 and power dropouts. I emailed stages about it and they said that it could have something to do with the edge 500 loosing hrm signal and as a result it drops the pm signal in favour of trying to pick up the hrm again. I was wondering if you've experienced this and have any soloutions in terms of making the edge 500 prioritise the power meter and not the hrm? There are no problems when I'm on the aerobars but when I sit up the power signal drops immediately....

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Hmm, I'm not too certain I buy that specific explanation. The ANT+ chip is multichannel and I've never heard of it dropping one channel for another, and certainly never prioritizing.

      Now, I can buy there being a signal issue - though that'd be the first I've heard of on the Edge 500 (FR910XT is very common).

      One thing to try is temporarily take your Edge 500/rubber band mount and stick it on your top tube of your bike (basically, close to the Stages PM). About half-way between the seat and the stem. See what happens. Helps to narrow things down.

      Reply
  239. kojtl1000

    I read somewhere that Stages might be working on a dual power meter where they will measure power from both legs. Does anyone know more about this?

    Reply
  240. Matthew Locker

    Well looks like it's started again. Had the new crank 3-4 months. Changed the battery before a 3 day - 4 stage race On Thursday. Popped up in the Garmin this morning the battery was near flat.

    I even run elec tape over it. But I say it has got damp from the lovely race on Fridays road race stage. I'll touch base with stages USA today and see what they say.

    Matthew

    Reply
    • Changren Yong replied

      Does your current power meter have a red o-ring? The red O-ring plus the new battery door are supposed to prevent the battery draining issue due to dampness. I received a replacement back in January that supposedly had a redesigned battery door but i found out recently that one drained the battery after riding in the rain or after washing my bike. I received a replacement with the red O-ring. Hopefully the battery draining problem is fixed once and for all with this power meter.

      Reply
    • Matthew Locker replied

      Yep red ring. The water is via the back not the battery cover I would say.

      Matthew

      Reply
    • Uffe Lindhardt replied

      I'm still wondering whether this is an initialization issue. It seems that the problems always start after a battery change. It's a common problem with ultra-low-power electronics, that they do not reset properly when the battery is changed. I would try to short-circuit the battery terminals for a couple of days before mounting the new battery.

      Ran my Stages for 6 hours in the rain two weeks ago, and still on the first battery after 3500 km.

      Reply
    • Changren Yong replied

      Update: The replacement power meter with the red O-ring survived the first bike wash. So i am hopeful that my battery-draining issue has been resolved.

      Reply
    • Changren Yong replied

      It's not an initialization issue. The battery in my old leaky Stages power meter would work fine until i wash my bike. When i didn't wash my bike for several months, the battery lasted just as long.

      Reply
  241. Starsky

    I think you need a new shoes!

    Reply
  242. Zipp Runnermann

    Great review... Keep up the great work.

    -Not for bragging rights but to validate my statement below.. bike time was 4:50 (112 miles). Body weight was 129 lbs and avg watts per kilo was 3.8. Stages (in my opinion) was the best option for the cost in weight, flexibility in wheel options, and overall dollar cost.

    For anyone reading this and considering the options for a power meter... here is my experience. After hearing about stages from my bike shop (the owner a former CAT 1) and researching your review, I purchased the stages dura-ace 9000. Although I had to wait a few weeks for it to arrive, (this was nerve wracking with my A-race approaching rapidly) it was a very good investment. It arrived in time and I had a few weeks of training left to test it and recalibrate my strategy. If I understand weight to power issues correctly... this was the best option. For the cost in weight (ie how much more does it add in weight) it added a mere 20 oz vs. almost a pound of weight for the power tap. Additionally crank mounted power meters provided me a greater flexibility for rim options without purchasing multiple power meters. I.E. I used heavier and less flat prone clenchers for training saving the expensive tubeless tires ($120 ea) and rims for race day and allowing training to be harder as well. Another important consideration was cost. Stages was significantly less than other crank mounted systems. Therefore... and with your comments from your review, stages made since.

    Stages was consistent over time and I knew what I was going to push on race day based on training... It was irrelevant (for me) if there was any difference between systems. I didn't understand how improved accuracy (1 crank arm vs 2 etc... ) would help me speed up and yet conserve for the marathon. If anyone understands this then please let me know. I am assuming that even a 5% fluctuating variability (6 watts) is better than the calibration in electro-biological muti-stage systems (our legs). I had improved my performance significantly from the previous year, was second off the bike in my age group, and 58th out of 2500 overall counting pro's. Power meters made a significant difference in my ability to conserve for the next leg of the race. I hesitated to go with the stages due to the newness of the technology and the likelyhood for bugs. It takes time to work them out. It always does. But the technology used in stages isn't rocket science... (or is it?) so it shouldn't take too much back and forth to get it close enough. It was a bet I was willing to take. Stages worked... I shaved nearly 2 lbs off the total bike weight (original zipp old tubulars and powertap were HEAVY! but a better option than guessing). I was able to manage (per strategy) output power over the full distance of the bike leg instead of guessing. That made a difference in my total race time. Total improvement was nearly 35 minutes from the previous A-Race and a 20% overall improvement in rank (I know what some of you are thinking here so I will add "without the use of drugs").

    Training and strategy were more significant than 2 lbs of weight, but having trained very hard and having improved that much, I had a chance at a podium. I wanted the best equipment possible. Stages won in a "due diligence" comparison analysis and during use it worked well.

    Hopefully this is helpful for anyone who reads down this far.

    Reply
  243. Xavi

    Hi Rainmaker! I have really enjoyed your two studies as they are very methodical!

    I'm thinking about buying Stages powermeter but I have a Garmin 910XT and have seen that there are many connection problems.

    Even this problem persists?

    Putting the Garmin handlebar signal is lost more easily?

    Thank you very much for all your work!

    Xavi

    Reply
  244. Schmott

    @Xavi:

    I had similar problems with my 910xt. In the last weeks i tested a lot and it seems the
    problem only occurs, when the watch is on my wrist and moving around (like turning/pronating
    the arm, switching hand positions, etc.). When the watch is mounted on the handlebar/extensions
    and stays in this position, the connection is good. No more data drops. I think the watch needs
    a few moments to receive the signal. And when moving the watch around, the watch looses
    the signal with bigger movements.
    So i bought the Garmin Quick Release Kit, place the the watch on the handlebar/extension
    and everything works fine. When i enter T1 i move the watch from my wrist to the handlebar
    (leaving the strap on my wrist during the ride) and after the ride i move the watch back
    on my wrist and everything works fine also during competition...

    Not the best imaginable solution, but it works.

    hope that helps.

    Reply
    • Xavi replied

      Thanks for your help Schmott!

      Reply
  245. Leslie

    Nave the 910xt and I can't get it to wok. It asks to calibrate, and then I get no readings. My three emails are going unanswered to Stages. This is my second unit. This one does the same thing with a mounted 500 as well. Mounting my 910 didn't help..

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Ultimately, it's unlikely Stages is going to be able to solve this. I'm reasonably convinced it's a Garmin 910XT problem, and they came reasonably close to admitting as such last fall (but never quite crossing the line).

      Unfortunately there's no hard and fast 'will it work' answer, since it appears to vary greatly on:

      - Exact hand position
      - Exact position of watch on wrist
      - Which wrist
      - Your body type
      - Your bike type and what might be impact signal between crank and watch
      - Tidal patterns

      I kinda feel for Stages here, since they are at the mercy of Garmin on this, and Garmin is kinda trying to pretend that it's a user issue. And, further, it's actually not Stages - but rather appears to be many crank area power meters, even including Garmin's own Vector (and Quarq's units). It's simply that there are more people buying Stages with the 910XT than Vector. I suspect that Vector buyers are more likely to have a separate Edge device (and informal data I have based on review comments seems to agree with that).

      Reply
  246. Efan

    One would have thought that Stages has solved the battery drain issue by now. Unfortunately not. The battery in my two week old stages crank lasted only for 30 hours. Subsequent batteries lasted only for one ride. Stages will replace my crank (some mention of not going into sleep mode .... though this can't be the only reason), however, in the roadie forum that I frequent a couple of people report the same issue. If you check other interne forums the same story pops up frequently. In a UK triathlon forum people ride already the third replacement crank. These are very recent reports and can't be related to poor sealing or the software issue supposedly fixed by the firmware update.

    It sort of looks like that they still haven't figured what the real reason for the issue is. Never purchase a first gen product!

    Reply
    • Øyvind replied

      It is straightforward to test if the unit has not gone into sleep mode with the phone app. If it is not sleeping, the app will be able to connect to it, if it is sleeping then it will not. The time from inactivity to sleep should be 5 minutes in the later firmwares, so just let it sit for 5 minutes and then check with the app.

      Reply
    • Efan replied

      Yes, I know. Therefore, this can't be the only reason.

      Other people got feedback today. Different explanations for the same symptoms.

      Reply
  247. Steve Kushner

    I'm convinced its a Garmin problem too. Just spoke with them about my issue -- works on road but not in house on trainer. They suggested that my home wifi signal maybe scrambling the signal and the Garmin won't read it. Sounds fishy to me, but I'm going to move to a different location in the house and see if there is any improvement.

    Reply
  248. andy from embsay

    An update from me and my battery problem - about six weeks ago both my Stages power meters stopped draining batteries - no idea why, but I assumed it must have been because I had a duff set of batteries - which I found amazing given I've used two different sorts, but I couldn't think of anything else. Both have worked flawlessly ever since.

    Over the weekend my Edhe told me the battery in my power meter was low, so I replaced it with another one of my "good" batteries (I also updated the firmware to 2.0.51 - anyone got any idea what that's supposed to do?). And lo and behold, today my brand new battery is flat. I even used a paperclip to short out the power meter, as some people have recommended. So I think the issue I've been having is something to do with battery replacement.

    What was interesting tonight is when I put a brand new battery in the meter still didn't respond - but about five minutes after putting it in all of a sudden it "woke up".

    So either the new firmware has brought the problem back, or there is something that happens when you replace the battery - which inadvertently I got right a few weeks ago and then got wrong yesterday!

    Reply
    • Changren Yong replied

      If your power meter is still under warranty, i suggest getting a warranty replacement. My current Stages power meter is the fourth one and i think this one is a keeper. It survived a second bike wash without draining its battery. My previous two power meters would complete drain their batteries within a day after a wash.

      Reply
    • andy from embsay replied

      This is the second repkacement DA crank and I'm on #4 Ultegra - I don't want to rain on the parade, but every one I've had has been fine til I replaced the battery. It's not a water ingress issue - it's something that happens when you change the battery.

      Reply
  249. andy from embsay

    I've just been and checked that the crank with the new battery in has gone to sleep - it has, then it immediately "woke" when I spun the crank - so we'll see how long the battery lasts...

    Reply
    • andy from embsay replied

      Answer? It didn't last. Didn't ride the bike for three days and when I checked last night the better was flat. Stages are now back to suggesting it's (a) water ingress or (b) the battery terminals are squashed. They just don't seem willing to accept the growing evidence that something happens when you replace the battery.

      Reply
    • Øyvind replied

      Regarding changing the battery, I have used my Stages for one month now, with no issues, but also no soaking wet rides yet (but I have washed my bike, and a couple semi-wet rides).

      I have not changed my battery, but I have removed and replaced the battery twice (to test something), with (apparently) no ill effects. If the theory is that replacing the battery causes issues because the unit is then momentarily completely unpowered, then removing and replacing the battery should be the same as actually changing it.

      I'm not dismissing your theory, but I think there has to be something more to it than just changing the battery.

      Reply
  250. Ridewt

    I've had my Dura-ace 9000 stages for about 2 months. First 6 weeks was great but also no rain since I used my rain bike those days. Then, I had to replace the battery. After that, I had lots of problems. Also, I cannot tell if the battery cover originally came with one tab broken off or if that happened when I replaced the battery mid-ride one day. Anyway, the bike then got soaked in rain heading to a race. Despite new batteries, did not work. Then, I let it dry out for a few days and, with yet another battery, it started to work. But, that battery only lasted 1 week. Enter another new battery and I had trouble for a while getting it to find the power meter then it finally did and all has been good for a week. I've got the stages wrapped in two layers of black electrical tape until Stages sends me new battery covers. So, I don't know if the issue is that it get wet or there is something else going on that is independent of the dampness issue. Stages has been pretty helpful so far. I'll see whether the new battery door solves the problem. If not, I'll ask for a replacement crank. Any thoughts? By the way, I've been running a power tap simultaneously (in case the stages dies on me) and, although I've not plotted any downloads, it seems to me that the stages runs maybe about 5-15 watts higher consisently, but otherwise they track closely. Any thoughts on that?

    Reply
    • Big Vern replied

      link to youtube.com

      my stages v powertap comparison was very close - I run them side by side as well. Other people have more disparity. For me it wouldn't be an issue as long as the stages remained precise (vs accurate), ie. if you put the same effort in it gives the same results. Also on my second satges which seems to behaving itself but we are out of the bleak british winter weather so it's not really 100% tested.

      Reply
  251. Ridewt

    More battery issues - I just posted the other day and must have jinxed myself because my battery went dead a few hours later after less than 1 week of use. I messed around with the new battery install and it seemed like it took a good 20 minutes before I finally got my garmin to "find" the power meter. So, back in action but this stages is killing batteries in less than 1 week. I've heard one comment that without the right battery cover, the battery won't stay properly seated and maybe that's why they keep going dead. But, I'm feeling like my patience with this is wearing thin. I'll try the new battery cover when it arrives and if that doesn't fix it, will ask for a replacement. Any thoughts on why it would take so long to get the garmin to find the power meter after I insert a new battery? Any tricks to "wake" up the stages so the garmin finds it? Is it better to actually ride it while searching for the power meter?

    Reply
  252. Hi All

    I had to change my battery on my Stages for the second time yesterday. First time worked without a hitch so I was very disappointed when I had power readings dropping out on the way home last night. I stopped once to re-fit the battery but it still kept dropping out.

    I was pretty annoyed with this as I have my biggest ride I have ever done (120miles) on Sunday and if I ever want my power meter readings recorded for posterity it's Sunday!

    I phoned up Stages and a very helpful guy said that it might be water getting in (it's been boiling hot and bone dry here all week) and that when changing the battery the contacts can get mashed down and then don't press against the battery as much.

    I went back out to my bike and sure enough the 3 spikey contacts at the base of the battery compartment (they make contact with the middle of the battery, not the edge) were all completely flat.

    I GENTLY pulled these up with my finger nail, and pulled the contact at the edge of the battery out a little and that seems to have done the trick.

    I have only done a short test ride but it looks good and makes sense.

    I did have a bit of trouble changing the battery this time and probably used more force that I should have done. This is probably what pushed the contacts too far down.

    A lot of people on here seem to complain of issues after a battery change. Have you all tried bending the contacts back into place?

    Note: You really do need to be very gentle. They are tiny bits of metal and if you break them off that's probably a £700 paper weight.

    Reply
  253. I am going through about a battery a fortnight. Only about 5-6 rides. Certainly washing speeds it up.
    I have had a battery cap replacement but they didn't put the red o-ring in.
    Things didn't improve.
    I have had two firmware updates since then and I changed the battery and swapped out the o-ring for the red one.
    So new battery and o-ring as per yesterday and the latest firmware.
    We'll see how things go.
    BTW connections have been easy straight forward for me. Iphone 5 or Fenx2.
    BBTW The Fenix 2 doesn't loose connection with the stages at all while being worn on my left wrist.
    Wiz

    Reply
  254. Leslie Knight

    Have you folks with the battery issues tried removing the battery between rides?
    I installed my THIRD Stages two rides ago and it seems to work fine with my borrowed 500. With the 910xt, it had a lot of power drops when I was in the aerobars. Not sure about when I had it closer to the meter because my ANT stick isn;t working right with my computer so I couldn't read that one. This is two rides. We'll see how it lasts.....
    BAttery will probably give out in a day or so,,,

    Reply
  255. Bob Preis

    Thanks for this extensive review. Can you recommend which Stages crank to get if I ride SRAM and have a BB30 bottom bracket? It appears they only offer SRAM Rival which is GXP. Would you advise against getting a GXP adapter for a BB30 frame or will the adapter have no impact on power measurements?

    Reply
    • Bob Preis replied

      Could you also comment on whether you plan to review the Cateye Strada Smart head unit: link to shopcateye.com.

      I'd be very interested in seeing a "budget" approach to power monitoring/recording via Stages + Cateye Strada Smart.

      Thanks!

      Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      I didn't have any plans to date, but, I also didn't know they made a new little BLE-capable one. I'll figure out how to order one and poke at it a bit.

      Reply
    • Bob Preis replied

      Thanks, yeah I'm wondering if the new BLE Cateye is good enough to supplant a Garmin, allowing the phone to do all the heavy lifting.

      Coincidentally, it looks like SRAM just announced their new Rival 22 groupset today, so you can ignore my first comment/question asking about BB30/GXP adapter...Rival 22 is going to have a BB30 option now, so presumably Stages are going to make a crank arm to go with it.

      Reply
  256. Matthew Locker

    Anyone get the right/left balance working with an edge 800?

    Thanks
    Matthew

    Reply
    • Øyvind replied

      This is a metric that the Stages can't deliver, so the answer is a resounding no.

      Reply
  257. Michael

    I know this was asked last year but I didn't see an answer. Does the stages pm read accurately with osymetric rings or does it overstate the power. I noticed some sky riders are using them with the osymetrics.

    Also, as I'm about to make a decision on buying either stages or power2max, are the battery issues sorted with the stages yet? How long between changes, seems to be very varied opinion.

    Reply
    • Uffe Lindhardt replied

      Concerning the oval rings only power2max seems to have come clean on this (50 samples a second, weighted by angular velocity). Stages could do the same as they use an accelerometer, but since they don't say, they are probably not doing it.

      Reply
  258. ridewt

    Anyone have tips when replacing batteries? I seem to go through one battery per week and will soon ask for a replacement power meter. And, this has continued to happen even with dry weather, although it seems like one torrential rain storm was the start of my problems about one month ago. Anyway, the other day the power meter did not work, and I installed a new battery. After performing the search function many times to no avail, I finally just put my old power tap wheel on the bike. Then, the next day it worked again. Seemingly no rhyme or reason to it at all.

    Reply
  259. fuel98rider

    I've been watching these comments regularly with great interest. I have had my Stages Ultegra crank since last September, and just am not having the same negative experiences as a lot of others. I live in Florida, and it rains every afternoon (and I seem to get caught on the bike in these 5 minute downpours), which causes no problems with my power meter. With the rain, I am forced to wash my bike pretty regularly, once again with no issues. I have replaced lots of batteries, and I mean lots, and have never had an issue. I do not have any extra protection for the battery, except for the o-ring not he battery door.

    With those that are experiencing major battery issues....are you sure the batteries are good? When I started going through a bunch of batteries in January, it wasn't the power meter killing them, it was the batteries themselves that were bad. I bought a 20 pack of Sony branded batteries from Amazon, and the first 8 died pretty quickly. I opened the remaining ones, and the voltage was less than 3.0 (sometimes as low as 2.3 volts) on each of the remaining ones. As it turns out, these Sony batteries are just old stock (and the Amazon reviews tend to bear this out). There are no date codes on any of the Sony batteries.

    I started ordering Energizer batteries from another supplier that I know turns their inventory over very quickly, and have never had an issue since. A quick check in Garmin Connect shows my current battery has over 100 hours on it, and the current battery voltage is right at 2.9. I would be interested to know at what point the voltage threshold drop will no longer turn on the pod's electronics.

    The Energizer batteries have date codes on them, so you can google when they were made.

    Reply
    • andy from embsay replied

      I did wonder whether it was batteries when both my power meters started working perfectly again, but then my Dura Ace one started battery draining again immediately I changed the battery. These are branded batteries (some Maxcel, some Panasonic, all with long dates and all testing at 3.2V+ when installed and coming out 24hrs later reading 2.3V).

      My Dura Ace one has now decided to work again - I put a new battery in, and after 24hrs the iOS app had the battery showing yellow. I put the bike away expecting the battery to be flat the next day - but then it showed as full! I'm sending it back for a replacement anyway, but I do wonder whether batteries are the problem so I've just bought a batch of Duracell with long dates on them.

      So we shall see...

      Reply
    • SlowBloke replied

      Hi Andy,

      Wondering if you had any update/progress please.

      Thanks

      Reply
    • hhbiker replied

      I have an Ultegra6800 meter, which I purchased in UK in June. First battery (supplied) lasted about 50-60 hours. The second battery went from full to yellow while the bike was sitting in the basement (vacation). I'm trying with a brand new Duracell now to rule out dodgy battery supply issues. I have the latest firmware. Interested in other's experiences - as posted below, many happy users don't report, so possibly it's a few defective units rather than general problem, so I need to decide whether to push for replacement.

      Reply
    • Ray Maker replied

      Have you contacted Stages support?

      Reply
    • hhbiker replied

      I did contact support, they suggested defective batteries, and to try new ones which is what I am doing now. They have been responsive, but I am concerned this might not be about the batteries. I have three other ANT devices which use the same 2032 battery type (HRM, two speed sensors) - all are still on the same battery after one year, whereas I am on the third battery now for the power meter. I also had problems with data dropouts during a long sportive (200k), which they thought could be data interference, and recommended hard coding the device ID. That was before battery died, so maybe it was related.

      Reply
  260. Stephane

    Hello everyone, I have develop a ios application to show in realtime your pedalling force (around 40 times per second).

    I need some beta tester. You need a Stages Power Meter and a iPhone 5 and up

    The application is done to be use with a home trainer, not on the road.

    Please contact me at bike.stroke.analysis@gmail.com

    Thanks for help !

    Reply
  261. Jeff

    I'm trying to calibrate my Stages meter with my Edge 500, and while the Edge recognizes it, the Calibration screen simply says, "Calibrating..." with dashes underneath. The meter calibrates fine through the Stages app using Bluetooth.
    Suggestions?

    Reply
    • Øyvind replied

      Have you updated the Stages to the latest firmware (using the app)?

      Reply
    • Jeff replied

      Yep, did that this afternoon. Garmin firmware is up to date too.
      I've gone through the calibration process at least a dozen times trying the 12 o'clock position, and 6 o'clock. I even turned off the other sensors in case they were somehow interfering a, but no change. Once this morning I had 882 pop up, but it disappeared and I've tried to replicate it, but to no avail. I'm in touch with Stages tech support, I was just hoping that maybe someone else had the same problem.

      Reply
    • Øyvind replied

      Well, I just updated my Stages from version 2.0.51 to 2.0.58, and I am now observing the same problem as you. Stages must have broken sometthing with this update, unfortunately.

      Reply
    • Øyvind replied

      Hmm, I just tried it again, and this time it worked also from the Edge 500. It would appear that at least it isn't consistently failing.

      Reply
    • Jeff replied

      I think I'm going to start from scratch with the Garmin, setting up all of the sensors again. I was happy that I got it at least once, as it tells me the devices aren't broken, just a communication issue.
      If you're using the meter constantly, how often do you find that you need to calibrate it?

      Reply
    • Øyvind replied

      Since it takes literally 15 seconds to do it (just answering yes to the popup on the Edge), I do it before every ride. I get pretty much the same number every time (+/- 1), so in reality it is probably just a waste to do it, but I'm an engineer, so...

      Reply
    • Jeff replied

      If I could get mine to the 15sec stage, I probably would too :)
      Here's hoping I have some luck today

      Reply
    • Jeff replied

      Okay, I got it. I didn't have the HR monitor out there while I was trying to calibrate before, so it was constantly searching for that while trying to deal with the Stages meter. I decided to wear the HR monitor out there this time and sure enough it was calibrated within 30sec. I had some issues with the speed/cadence sensor not picking up, but I just reset it and it is fine now.
      One last question because I don't have it in my data fields; I know the Stages meter has an accelerometer to determine cadence, but does that show up on the Edge, or do I need to put the magnet back on?
      Thanks for all of your help!

      Reply
    • Changren Yong replied

      Jeff, no magnet needed. Once the Stages power meter is paired up with your bike computer, the cadence reading from the power meter will take precedence over any other cadence sensor. I still keep the magnet from the Garmin GSC-10 on the crank arm because just in case the Power meter misbehaves, i can disable it and still get the cadence from GSC-10.

      Reply
    • Jeff replied

      Awesome thanks! I may put mine on as well, just as a backup.
      Really excited to start using the power meter.

      Reply
  262. Willy

    Hi Ray,

    Your reviews are awesome, I learn a lot reading them and with this last one I think I made my mind of which Power Meter I'll get, but I've got one question.

    I've have one bike with a Dura Ace crank and another with a 105 crank (I'm planning to upgrade it to a Ultegra one) and both have the same arm distance. Will I have any problem if I get the Dura Ace Stages PM and change it from one bike to the other because of the diferent crank set?

    Thank's a lot again and keep with your great reviews.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      No issues. As you can see I mixed and matched in my review without a problem.

      Reply
    • Willy replied

      Wow, that was actualy a really quick reply!!

      Tanks,

      Reply
    • Willy replied

      I forgot to ask on the last post,

      What's the real difference between the Dura Ace, Ultegra and 105 Stage arm?? Only the weight??

      Reply
    • big vern replied

      I had the same query and contacted shimano to verify the ultegra and dur-ace crank arms had exactly the same q factor and they responded that they did so there is no issue.

      Reply
  263. AC

    Ray, any updates on this? It seems many are having issues once the first battery dies (at well under the claimed 200 hours). I got 62 hours on mine, and ever decreasing hours on successive batteries. Stages support has been less than responsive, a dramatic difference from a year ago when they were very responsive.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Hmm, I haven't heard anything from them, but I can reach out. I would note though that most happy users generally don't post anything - and I know that Stages continues to pump out an astounding number of units. Thus, I suspect whatever may be the case isn't widespread but rather something to do with specific units.

      Reply
  264. Steve

    Great info! I'm buying a new bike with Dura Ace and wanted to find a way to keep the Dura Ace crank and sell my Quarc. You info really helped. Great Job! Steve

    Reply
  265. Whitesahara

    I recently purchased a Stages Ultegra 6800 PM, after reading many sites, all your reviews on dcrainmaker and watching Durianriders pro Stages Youtube videos. I love the concept of the idea, the ease or installation/battery maintenance, and swap ability - I'm happy with my purchase. Phenomenal effort wight he unbiased review - awesome work!

    Do you think Stages would ever consider a core refund on the left crank arms everyones taking off they're bikes. Or offering a retrofit service to keep the cost down to budget conscious bikers?

    Reply
  266. Ron

    I have just started using a Stages Power Meter with a RFLKT+. Does anyone know if the 1s, 5s, 10s smoothing options are available as I believe would be using a Garmin?

    Reply
  267. Clark Shaffer

    I have a Stages power meter and a Garmin 500 head unit and do a substantial amount of indoor training.
    While I'm indoors on the trainer I am unable to get speed, distance information to populate. Do I need the Garmin speed, cadence sensor mounted to the bike. When I purchased the Stages meter I was told at the shop that the Garmin unit would pick it up but that I would need to disable GPS on the head unit. I disabled GPS but still do not get speed or distance reading.

    If this has been mentioned before or discussed previously I regret I was not able to find any reference to it.

    Thanks
    Clark Shaffer - Austin Texas

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Unfortunately they were incorrect. Fortunately, it's a relatively cheap fix. You'll just need a simple speed sensor to get speed/distance indoors on a trainer. This is because the Stages has no way of knowing how fast you're going (just power and cadence).

      You've got a few options, though at the moment I like Garmin's new magnet-less Speed sensor which affixes to your rear wheel. See details here: link to dcrainmaker.com

      Reply
    • Clark Shaffer replied

      Thanks! Spending 3 or 4 hours indoors and uploading the data to show 678 feet traveled and no average speed is a bit aggravating.
      Clark

      Reply
  268. Marco

    Do you think we will see any new announcements at Interbike this year? Stages really hasn't changed much in the past 2 years and was just wondering if you think they may surprise us with something new. Thanx

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      I suspect we'll see many power meter related announcements and details between now and the end of Interbike.

      Reply
    • Bob Preis replied

      I'm expecting to be surprised by a new SRAM Rival 22 crankarm that supports BB30 without an adaptor.

      Reply
  269. Do you have any opinions on shorter intervals (ie, 5-60 sec)? Do you think the Stages is accurate in this range? Two minutes is already starting to get into the long range for non-steady state efforts.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      It would really depend on a person and whether or not there was a shift in balance between higher intensities and more normalized intensities. For me, I find that at short sprint intensities my balance is quite far off, so for me it wouldn't work as well. Others might be different.

      From a pure measurement standpoint there's no issues with sprint efforts, it does that quite well. It's just a case of how one's balance might shift in those shorter sprint efforts.

      Reply
    • Dave replied

      Thanks

      Reply
  270. Horace

    On one of your other post, you said that you'd put both 3s power avg & 30s power avg on your headset. How do you pace with those two values?

    Do you try to put the 30s in your interval range and use the 3s to prevent extreme short bust? Or do you actually try to put the 3s average in range and just use the 30s avg as a reference as to how much power you r actually putting up?

    Also, just wondering if stage power meters can be paired to two devices simultaneously? I've got mine paired to my garmin 500 but the Suunto Ambient 2 couldn't find it.

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      For me I use the 3s as more my 'instant power', and then the 30s as my actual 'here's what I'm basically doing' power. So I'm kinda glancing at both.

      For pairing to dual, it's just like normal since the PM doesn't know any better. What I suspect you're running up against is that the Suunto Ambit series is notoriously finicky when it comes to pairing any ANT+ devices. In general you need to stick the watch right next to (like rubbing) the ANT+ sensor/accessory (Stages in this case) to get initial pairing. Once that's done you can move it back to normal range.

      Reply
    • Horace replied

      I see. Thank you very much the timely reply.

      Just tried it and the Suunto watch found the PM successfully. Now I can utilise the free charting functions on moveslink accounts. Well, If only my Suunto does not crash that often.

      Another question regarding the manual calibration 15 minutes into a ride. Do I need to do it if I've already done a calibration when firing up the cycling computers? What's the rational of doing the calibration 15 mins in? Is it mainly temperature consideration (stage PM compensates for temperature variation anyway)?

      Thanks again for your help and the excellent review.

      Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      With Stages I'm seeing less of a reason to do a 15-min calibration check than other PM's.

      Reply
    • Horace replied

      Thanks.

      Reply
  271. Marco

    I'm surprised this hasn't been talked about much more, but why is stages only offering a one year warranty? Doesn't make much sense to be paying 150$ to get an extra year after already spending 700$+. Every other power meter manufacturer has an industry standard of 2 years. Stages really should just offer 2 years as standard as well.

    Reply
    • AC replied

      That's an excellent question. Anecdotal tales suggest few are buying the extended warranty, and Stages is standing behind the product, even past 1 year. I took the chance and didn't get the extended warranty and out of two PMs, one had to be replaced, the other is still going fine (6 months in).

      My view: if I had a problem the refused to cover after 1 year, I would let the world know about it. And, if a product is so unreliable an extended warranty is needed, I won't buy the product at all.

      Reply
  272. Mike

    Awesome work man. So useful to this potential customer. Much appreciated.

    Reply
  273. Derek McGuire

    Help !!
    I was seriously considering purchasing an Ultegra 6800 crank for my new madone 7. Series but the tales of battery problems really concerns me...is it worth getting one ?
    Also, has anyone tried pairing these with a Bryton Rider 35 ?
    Thanks.

    Reply
    • Ray Maker replied

      Given the sheer volume of Stages PM's being shipped (massive), I really think we're probably in a case where only people with issues note it. If it was more widespread, I'd see far more comments (happy people don't post).

      That said, I did discuss it with them in person a few days ago. They noted that tracking down the earlier units with the door issue has been tough for them. They think they have them all out of the channel, but it's trickier than they anticipated with global distribution.

      Reply
  274. Philip

    They might get rid of all the negative posts on this thread if they published which serial number's they have had problems with. Ray if you could push them to do this would be great.

    I have an early one (first version did not work -second version seems fairly stable) but it is on a fair weather summer bike so I have been assuming it will likely fail at some point and thus have not bought another one for my winter bike.

    Reply
    • Ray Maker replied

      To be clear, not all early ones. Rather, some specific batches where their door supplier went rouge and changed materials on them. Said supplier got Donald Trump'd.

      Reply
  275. Philip

    Any way they could help us identify the door's that had a problem? Does just replacing the door solve it or do we need to replace the whole unit?

    Reply
    • Ray Maker replied

      I'll ask at Interbike next week. Though, honestly, you'd only know once the unit showed up. And even in that case, Stages has been pretty good about swapping out for those with issues.

      Reply

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