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Sea Otter 2016 Power Meter Tidbits: Stages & Verve Infocrank

Best I could tell, there were six power meter companies at Sea Otter: Garmin, 4iiii, Rotor, SRAM/Quarq, Stages, and Verve.

I’ve already covered the new 4iiii product announcements in this post, and Garmin didn’t announce anything at Sea Otter beyond their Edge related software updates. ROTOR was present, but their news was focused on getting their previously announced dual 2INpower (dual leg system) out the door, which sounds like it should be any moment now.  I’ll be reviewing that once it does get out the door.  And while SRAM/Quarq was there, they didn’t have anything new to announce power-meter wise.

So that leaves Stages & Verve.  Both had minor announcements and updates, so I figured I’d do a quick round-up of them.

Stages:

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Starting with Stages is providing some updates on the products they launched last fall at Eurobike/Interbike in 2015.

First up is their carbon variants that they announced previously.  While they started shipping the BB30 version back in January, the GXP version is looking to hit production next month.  With the BB30 version they noted they have no back orders/waiting time, and with the GXP version it hasn’t opened yet to orders.

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Additionally, the previously announced Campagnolo variant is slated to start shipping in late June.

Lastly, I asked a bit about the dual system that they’ve been testing with Team Sky and I showed updated pics of them in my Paris-Roubaix post last week.  They noted that obviously they’re still testing it, but for them it’s more of a business type decision as to whether there’s a market there at the price point they’d have to enter in.  Or if the market is too crowded already for dual solutions at a price point that would make sense for them.  I believe the term they used was ‘unconvinced’.

Verve Infocrank:

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Next we’ve got Verve and their Infocrank power meter.

Their most recent news is a firmware update last week that gets rid of the need for magnets.  You’ll remember from my review that I found their magnet setup fairly frustrating (and the use of ‘fairly’ is an understatement).  They’ve released an option now that allows you to update your power meter firmware and throw away the magnets.

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You can still use the magnets if you’d like, as the current firmware has a maximum RPM (cadence) value of 200RPM.  It has no minimum (they demonstrated 6RPM for me in the booth).  Keep in mind, unless you specifically know you do 200RPM, then you don’t need such functionality.  Most cyclists will keep below 100-105RPM for the majority of their cycling, with only brief interludes much above that.

I’ll usually test most power meters to about 170RPM, beyond which my legs fall off.  In any case, the update is free and can already be had.

Next up, they’re working on a cloud-based app aimed at giving fitters, coaches, and other physiotherapy focused folks additional higher resolution data with respect to the pedal stroke.  This data would be collected on a indoor trainer setting, using a desktop computer with an ANT+ USB stick.  It can be shown in real-time, as well as saved to their cloud based service.

They showed off four different plots while I was there.  First was a look at the torque applied to each crank arm, shown in real-time as you pedaled on the plots below.  This is kinda like the old CompuTrainer SpinScan plots.  You’ve also got your more normal metrics up top, so you can keep an eye on those as you go.

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Next there’s a waveform version of that, showing the exact same thing as above, just as a waveform instead.  It shows one complete rotation and is updating in real-time.

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Then there’s the multi-rotation waveform.  This takes the above plot and allows you to view multiple pedal rotations over a short timeframe.

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Finally we’ve got my favorite one, which is showing you the mean-max variations of your pedal stroke over time, but in a shaded area.  So think of it like the graph two above, but with the current as the line in the graph and the shaded area as your historical lines (near-term historical anyway).

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The plan is to release the app/platform at some point in the next few weeks, which will support multiple user sets being stored and available online for retrieval..  Again as noted earlier it’s really aimed at coaches, sport scientists, and other ‘service providers’ to do work with customers/clients in an indoor setting.

The pricing will vary a little bit depending on the number of users a coach/etc has, but the aim is about $50/month.

Looking for more to read? Then check out all my Sea Otter posts here!

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30 Comments

  1. Eric Schiller

    I’m surprised Stages can stay in business with one-sided only meters in play given P2m and 4iiii are undercutting their prices with superior products. The “unconvinced” bit just seems daft.

    • I suspect they’ll have to drop prices by Interbike again, likely to match 4iiii, or with a slight premium (i.e. $429) just because of being slightly more established.

      I view 4iiii & Stages (both left-only variants anyway) as basically the same from a functionality standpoint. Obviously, P2M is a totally different ball-game, and in my opinion worth the it to be able to capture total power.

    • Mike E.

      I have two P2M (one classic, one type-S) on my two drop-bar bikes that I ride 90% of the time, but plan to get a stages for my mountain bike so I can at least capture some metrics from the times I go off-road, which is more often now that the kids are interested in mountain biking.

    • Eric Schiller

      Ray, I considered 4iiii superior to Stages because of their new “3D Precision 2.0.” But perhaps Stages already does that.

    • While 4iiii may do ‘interesting stuff’ with that ‘3D’ moniker down the road, right now I don’t see it as anything other than marketing spin. Meaning, they all just transmit the same metrics over ANT+ & BLE.

      In fact, technically speaking Stages also does their own homebrew high speed Bluetooth Smart option too that 4iiii doesn’t do.

  2. Corresponsal

    Ray, I remember there was a crank arm based power meter manufacturer who planned to offer the units solo and the end user would have glued them to the crank arm himself. Think it was Stages – do you have any information if that may still be in the pipeline or if that option will never be available…?

  3. Ian S

    Hi Ray, good update, thanks. Any dates on your review on Rotor’s 2Inpower? I need another PM and wondering whether to wait to see what that’s like or just add to my P2M stable. Tx

    • At the moment it’d be totally dependent on when they get a unit. I know they were aiming to start shipping by the end of April. It sounds like that might be a bit…tight. We’ll see.

      So let’s assume they get something to me the first week or so of May, then my guess is 3-4 weeks after that for testing, so early June?

    • Robert

      Any update on the 2INpower review? As a Q-ring user, I am intrigued by the INPower software and optimizing Q-ring position.

    • C Robinson

      Add me to the list of those who’d love to see a full review of the Rotor 2INpower.

      I’m a happy user of the INpower system (bought mainly b/c I’m riding Q Rings, and I liked the fact that everything is nicely hidden away in the BB).

      Have thought about upgrading to dual-sided. Have considered P2M, especially with their promo at the moment, but would love to hear some feedback on the 2INpower too.

  4. cycloscott

    Disappointed and a bit surprised that there wasn’t a new Edge announcement from Garmin. The 810 is getting a bit long in the tooth. Guess I’ll have to keep my fingers crossed that the recent 5.10 firmware fixes the dodgy bluetooth connectivity on the current hardware.

  5. Paul S.

    Hi Ray,
    Another site mentioned that Stages will be offering spindles compatible with Race Face Cinch cranks. Do you know which model of Stages crank would go with this? It sounds like the L/R cranks would be pretty significantly mismatched with this solution… (I am assuming you use Stages on the power side, and your original crank on the drive side.)

    • Hmm, I’ll poke and get clarity. I saw that note as well, though they didn’t mention it during out discussions (nor did I see any press release from them about it, which they’re usually pretty good about). Not saying it’s not true, but will check.

    • SummitAK

      All the BB30 crank systems use the same spindle tooth pattern. The differences are where the teeth are located in relation to the crankarm. I know the Cinch and Cannondale Hollowgram systems are rotated vs. each other and not cross compatible. It will depend on whether the SRAM BB30 cranks match the Hollowgram or the Cinch orientation unless Stages chooses to make two BB30 versions.

  6. Neil Thorpe

    I have been running the Verve infocrank with the new firmware update and magnet free. It works really well on my Scott foil (BB86). Very impressed

  7. Nicholas

    Hi Ray, I am hoping you can clarify something for me.
    When I zero a offset a power meter from say a Garmin head unit, does the offset happen at the power meter or at the head unit? The situation which I am sure you know all to well… When riding with two or more head units and one power meter do you need to zero offset both the head units or just one and it effectively does it for the others? Thanks for your help.

  8. Neil Thorpe

    If you recalibrate your Garmin it only changes the way the head unit perceive the power meter output it does not / cannot change the power meters settings.
    I asked the same question while at Verve’s office in Perth WA

  9. Karim

    Hi ray
    Curious what your thoughts are on the Nikola Pedals? Have tested them? Are the a worthy contender?

    Thanks.

  10. Tim Shears

    Hi Ray. I have a newly installed Infocrank. For some reason I seem unable to set the crank length to 165 on my Garmin 1000. It just says 172.5 Automatic. . Infocrank say it is a Garmin issue, Garmin say it is an Infocrank issue. It certainly is my issue.

    Any thought on the topic would be appreciated. I thought the 1000 supported different crank lengths. I seem to recall setting them for my Powertap pedals and my Stages (I am a power meter collector :)), but those options no longer seem to be on the sensors pages.????

    • Karim

      Tim curious on your thoughts on the P1 pedals and what you liked or disliked? Are the reliable and consistent?

      Thanks
      Karim

    • Tim

      Karim, between a friend and I we have 6 sets. No problems with 4. One developed a problem where it killed batteries in a few hours. Replaced immediately by the manufacturer. Another has developed a problem where it underreads 5% or so on one side. Again replacement done easily.

      I like the ease of moving from bike to bike, and we get 60 hours riding from the lithium batteries which is OK.

      On the minus side, for me anyway, the clip out force is quite strong, even on the loosest adjustment. I have filed the cleats to make it easier, but have had several sticky slow speed moments.

  11. Tobias Chronéer

    Best powermeter when using Polar V800 watch and doing triathlon?

  12. Rui Matias

    I’m here a small big problem with my 6800 stages

    On the road my ftp is 350 watts
    And tacx 300 watts

    for example
    On the road 10 minutes at 264 watts 127 bpm avg
    On tacx 10 minutes 233 watts 157 bpm avg

    I do not know which FTP to use

  13. Rui Matias

    this is on the road