• Clever Training

Stages LR (Dual-Sided) Power Meter In-Depth Review


It’s been a long time coming.  For Stages, the development path of Stages LR has been over three years till it started shipping last month, with most of it in the public eye in the most watched bike on earth: Chris Froome’s.  Of course, Stages got its start prior to Team Sky with their left only power meter (now rebranded Stages L), but it wasn’t till their sponsorship of Team Sky that the company and its products took off.

After all – if Chris Froome can win the Tour de France on a Stages Left-only unit, then it’s probably good enough for you too, right?

Well, perhaps not exactly, as Team Sky and others soon figured out.  At Team Sky’s request, Stages was tasked with creating a dual version, so they could more accurately track riders progress.  As they learned, aspects like fatigue and left/right leg differences really do impact overall accuracy.  So the next few seasons we saw Team Sky quietly riding various prototype dual-leg models.  It’s the resultant of these models that eventually became Stages LR that was announced last summer at Eurobike. (Side note: I detail the backstory on that here in this section.)

And as of last month, the company has started shipping this model to consumers.  The big question though: Is it accurate?  And more importantly for many – does it address some of the connectivity issues that seems to trouble existing Stages users.  For those questions, I worked through two different Stages LR cranksets over the course of two months gathering boatloads of data.

Thus, let’s dig into it.

(Oh, and as always, I’ll be sending back both loaner cranksets to Stages shortly. Especially because I’m pretty sure the airlines would be even more displeased than on my way down here with how many cranksets I’d have in my luggage coming back from Australia next month otherwise.)



In my case, the Stages LR was delivered as a single boxed product.  However, you can actually buy it as an upgrade to an existing Stages Left-only unit (thus making the pair).  Meaning, you’re buying the right side.  The box wouldn’t likely differ very much, since the majority of the space in the box is for the drive side crankset.


Inside the box, you’ll find the drive-side crankset, as well as the left-side (non-drive side) crank arm.  You’ll also find a small plug to twist into the non-left crank arm to make things look pretty.  Then there’s some paper junk.


Here’s a closer look at the backside of both crank arms:


And then the non-drive side:


And finally, the little package of paper stuffs including ANT+ ID cards and a user guide that you can use to start a (very) small campfire to roast marshmallows on after you’re done reading them.

DSC_8000 DSC_8001

Oh, and there’s even a spare ‘o-ring’ in the package too.

What you see above is basically par for the course on cranksets, since it’s largely taking an existing Shimano Ultegra crankset and rebranding the box, plopping on the Stages power meter pieces, and then calling it macaroni.  Just like Quarq, Power2Max and others do for cranksets.

Installation & Configuration:


As with most power meters, the installation will vary not so much on what you’re installing, but rather – the situation you’re coming from.  By that, I mean that in the case of Stages LR, if you already have a Shimano crankset on your bike, then the swap to Stages LR could very well take you less than 5 minutes all-in.  Quick and simple.

Whereas if you’re coming from a different crankset featuring a different bottom bracket standard, then you’re likely in for a longer journey.  In my case, I was half-way in between.  When I initially installed the Stages LR on my bike I was swapping out from my usual Quarq D-Zero.  That had a very slightly different (smaller) bottom bracket standard than what the Shimano was using.  So I had to swing around the corner to the bike shop to pick up a different bottom bracket, and then swap all that out.


At this point, I was already deep into leveraging the various tools of my bike toolbox – most notably the PressFit installation goods.  I wouldn’t recommend buying such bottom bracket installation tools unless you plan to use them frequently (whereas I would recommend plenty of more general tools).


Once the bottom bracket swappage was done (unnecessary if you already have Shimano gear on your bike), then it’s as simple as sliding the drive side through the bottom bracket:


After that, there’s merely two bolts to tighten on the left crank arm, attaching it to the drive side.


Oh, and somewhere along the way you need to remove the small slips of plastic tape that separates the battery contacts from the coin cell batteries.  On the left-crank arm, that’s easily done with your fingers.


Whereas on the right crank arm you’ll just need a small screwdriver to open up the battery compartment.


Next, anytime I do work on any bike crankset, I find it a good habit to toss the bike on a trainer and pedal for about a minute – starting easy at first and then building up intensity.  Finishing with 2-4 sprints, something like 4-8 seconds each, pedaling reasonably hard.

I do this for two reasons:

A) If I’ve hosed something up on the crankset installation that causes a catastrophically viral-video worthy break, I don’t plant my face onto the pavement.  Instead, the badness is contained to my bike secured atop a trainer.

B) The sprints help to settle the crankset, and tighten things up – which is good for power meters.  Most power meters require a very short settling period, of which the above procedure will take care of.

At this point, you’ll do a zero-offset and you’re good to go.  Don’t worry, I’ll cover that zero-offset in the next section.

General Use Overview:


The Stages LR in many ways acts and feels like an existing Stages product, except now on both sides.  However, we’ll start with some of the basics and go from there.  The first tidbit worth noting is that the unit has a status LED on the inside of the crank arm, allowing you to quickly validate that it’s alive:


This new status LED is also now found on all new Stages left-only units shipping as of about 1-2 weeks ago.  They somewhat quietly clearanced inventory of existing units for this new generation.

Next to that status light is, of course, the battery compartment as noted earlier.  This compartment, on each side, houses a single CR2032 coin cell battery.  Stages says that the system should get about 200 hours of battery life per coin cell battery.  You can of course just buy these in bulk super cheaply online, which is what I do (20 for $8).


One minor tip to point out (since I just learned this lesson yesterday), is that if you’re travelling with your bike, ensure your bike tool actually has a mini-screwdriver on it.  Mine just had a standard one, and the AirBNB house I’m in didn’t have a mini-screwdriver.  I ended up using a butter knife to get it open, but maybe something to add to your bike bag just in case you need to swap batteries mid-trip.  Many other power meters have shifted to using screws as well, though some of those use hex screws instead – which usually match your bike tool.  No biggie, just purely a pro tip I figured I’d share.

With everything all installed, we’ll need to get it paired up to your bike computer.  Stages was in fact the very first company years ago to do dual/concurrent ANT+ & Bluetooth Smart transmitting power meters, and that continues today as well with the Stages LR.  This means it transmits power over both ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart, within the respective power meter standards.

As such you can pair it to basically any device or app that supports power meters.  Be it Garmin, Wahoo, or even Stage’s own Dash head unit.  Same goes for apps like Zwift, Strava, TrainerRoad and more.

Now, I’ll talk at length about connectivity and drops in the next section, so for now let’s just get it paired.  In my case, I’ve mostly been using a Garmin Edge 1030 to collect data from it.  And in doing so, largely over ANT+, since most folks in the industry would recommend that since you’ll get more advanced data right now over ANT+ versus BLE.


As with most head units, you can change the name from the ANT+ ID to something else.  In the case of Stages and newer Garmin devices that support Bluetooth Smart pairing, if you want to pair to the ANT+ variant, it’s the one listed without the name ‘Stages’ in it, within the list.  Here’s a handy guide:

ANT+ side: ‘43016’
Bluetooth Smart side: ‘Stages 43016’

So in the case of the above photo, you’re seeing just the BLE channel (because I took the photo after I had paired the ANT+ channel already).

Most power meter companies follow that spec of putting the brand name in the Bluetooth Smart pairing ID, followed then by the ANT+ ID number (within the Bluetooth Smart ID).  Finally, in the case of Stages, there’s no need to set a crank arm length, and thus your head unit shouldn’t ask you for one.  That feature is mostly just used on pedal based power meters.

With that all set, you should do a zero offset.  On Stages units, you need to ensure your crank arms are pointing straight up and down (vertical).


Then just tap calibrate, which triggers a zero offset:


The result in a calibration value that you can keep an eye on.  I recommend doing this prior to each ride, mainly so that if something is amiss, you’ll spot it quickly.  An example of something being amiss is that the unit either fails to calibrate, or the calibration value shifts massively.  Typically you’ll see it within only a handful of digits, primarily based on temperature.


With all this completed, you’re ready to ride.  Like most power meters, Stages LR transmits the following values to head units:

ANT+ Power (total)
ANT+ Power Balance (left/right)
ANT+ Cadence
ANT+ Pedal Smoothness
ANT+ Torque Effectiveness
Bluetooth Smart Power
Bluetooth Smart Power Balance
Bluetooth Smart Cadence

To see this a bit, here’s a file on Garmin Connect recorded on an Edge 1030 that shows data from a Stages LR ride via ANT+.  Within it you can see the various metrics from above recorded in the file:



Note that if you record via Bluetooth Smart, you won’t get the pedal smoothness or torque effectiveness data, even if recording on a head unit that supports it.


Also worth noting is that if you use Stage’s own Stages Dash, you’ll get additional details recorded to the activity file around aspects like battery life, zero offsets, and firmware updates.  I’ve long thought that might actually be one of the coolest features of the Stages Dash.  I talk about that more in my Stages Dash review.  The below is a sample screenshot from Stages, since I didn’t think to capture this data earlier.

Power Meter Graph

In addition to all the standard pairing, Stages also supports connectivity via their smartphone app.  This app is mostly used for updating firmware, but it also has other purposes:

2018-02-15 13.23.51 2018-02-15 13.37.29 2018-02-15 13.32.39

For example, you can double-check torque values on it, as well as validate zero offsets:


2018-02-15 13.37.38 2018-02-15 13.38.23

One of those other purposes is Stage’s high-speed data rate capture, which allows you to record Stages data at up to 64 times per second, in effectively a high-speed data capture scenario.  This was rolled out long ago on the Stages left-only cranks, however, it’s not yet enabled on Stages LR.  Stages says it’s on their to-do list, but just simply fell lower down the priority totem pole. Since it’ mostly only used for track start type scenarios, it’s not really something I’d consider a high-priority item either.

With all that set, let’s dive into data accuracy.

Power Meter Accuracy Results:


I’ve long said that if your power meter isn’t accurate, then there’s no point in spending money on one.  Strava can give you estimated power that’s ‘close enough’ for free, so if you’re gonna spend money on something it shouldn’t be a random number generator.  Yet there are certain scenarios/products where a power meter may be less accurate than others, or perhaps it’s got known edge cases that don’t work.  Neither product type is bad – but you just need to know what those use/edge cases are and whether it fits your budget or requirements.

As always, I set out to find that out.  In power meters today one of the biggest challenges is outdoor conditions.  Generally speaking, indoor conditions are pretty easy to handle, but I still start there nonetheless.  It allows me to dig into areas like low and high cadence, as well as just how clean numbers are at steady-state power outputs.  Whereas outdoors allows me to look into water ingest concerns, temperature and humidity variations, and the all-important road surface aspects (e.g. vibrations).  For reference, Stages LR has a claimed accuracy rate of +/- 1.5%.  It also does not require any magnets for cadence, while also automatically correcting for any temperature drift. Both of these are pretty common though on most power meters these days.

In my testing, I generally use between 2-4 other power meters on the bike at once.  I find this is the best way to validate power meters in real-world conditions.  In the case of most of these tests with the Stages LR I was using these other power meters concurrently:

Elite Direto Trainer
Garmin Vector 3
JetBlack WhisperDrive Smart Trainer
PowerTap G3 hub based power meter (three different units)
Wahoo KICKR 2017/V3 Trainer

All of which was tested over the course of about two months, on two different Stages LR cranksets.  I’ve ignored the previous test rides I did last August on a pre-production unit.

In general, my use of other products is most often tied to other things I’m testing.  Also, when it comes to data collection, I use a blend of the NPE WASP data collection devices, and a fleet of Garmin head units (mostly Edge 520/820/1000/1030 units).  For the vast majority of tests on the Stages LR I used an Edge 1030 and FR935, along with a bit of the Edge 520 as alluded to elsewhere in the connectivity section.  But I also recorded on apps as well, including Zwift.


Note all of the data can be found in the links next to each review.  Also, at the end is a short table with the data used in this review.  I’ll likely add in other data not in this review as well.

I’m going to start this review with the most recent data set – a ride from just 75 minutes ago. Why?  Because it’s the ride with the freshest firmware (just yesterday’s) that appears to resolve a bunch of little quirks I’ve seen/reported over the last two months.  In effect, it’s the first time that all the stars have aligned.  Which isn’t to say previous rides have produced inaccurate power, or that Stages was even at fault.  Rather, various rides had various connectivity things or other power meters go crap on me – but I’ll get into that later.  As a general rule, I like to have no less than 3 power meters in a test, so when I ‘only’ have two, it bugs me a bit.

In any case, this ride was a straightforward outside ride with three units – Stages LR, Vector 3, and a PowerTap G3 hub.  The road conditions were mostly smooth pavement, though some sections of less clean pavement.  Plus speed bumps.  Here’s the overview (and here’s the files in the Analyzer if you want to look at them online):


I captured data across a slew of head units, but notably captured Stages LR data on three different units – an Edge 1030, Edge 520, and FR935. I did this concurrently across both ANT+ & Bluetooth Smart, for reasons I’ll get into later on in this review.

As you can see from the overview, the units tracked virtually identically across the entire ride.  We can dig into one of the points from a stoplight where I go from 0 power up to 400w pretty quickly.  Note this is smoothed at 5-seconds, merely to make it easier to see.


Not that all power meters within +/-1 second of each other show the uptick in power.  As is always the case, it’s rather difficult to get multiple head units to precisely align due to transmission and recording rates, as you see here.

The one thing you do notice though is that on the BLE connection to the FR935, you see those two little blips.


Those are technically drops. It’s just that when smoothed you don’t see them.  But what’s weird is that they aren’t full drops – rather, they drop by 50w or so (versus normally a drop is considered 0w).  Not entirely sure what to think there.  But from my standpoint that technically falls under connectivity issues rather than accuracy (though, the net results impacts accuracy).  But I’ll cover that separately in the next section in this review.

Here’s a mild sprint up to about 600w or so, and you can see that all of the units follow each other perfectly here (a slight variance on the BLE peak power):


Equally important, there’s no droppage issues from an accuracy standpoint after I conclude the sprint, which can sometimes be a sticky point for power meters.

If we look at cadence for this ride, that too looks identical across all the data sources.  There are some little blips on the Vector 3 cadence while I’m semi-stopped.  It’s almost as if it picked up the slight crank movements I did when moving forward on the bike a bit at the 33:25 marker (I was on the side of the road texting The Girl that I had hit my turnaround point, I moved halfway through that again to get further away from the road).


Next, let’s look at a ride I did immediately after the above outdoor ride – a trainer ride.  Why on earth would I jump on the trainer after an outdoor ride?  To poke at cadence and power values across a broad range.  Specifically, I wanted to see what happened when I went really low on cadence (20RPM), and really high on cadence (160+ RPM).  Plus of course everything in between.  Here’s that quick 8-minute step-test:


To walk you through what I did, it’s pretty straightforward:

A) I started at about 80-90RPM, and then went up in 10RPM increments to 130RPM, holding ~30 seconds each
B) Then I significantly increased the RPM to about 170RPM, briefly.

As you can see – the units tracked very nicely all the way up to about 160RPM, at which point it appears I lost the Stages unit briefly.


Most power meters have some sort of top-out point, usually in the 160-190RPM range.  Stages lists 220RPM as their top cadence.  In my case, it’s also plausible that since I only spent a few seconds at that high level of cadence, it could just be recording nuances causing the drops.

Continuing with the test, I then did:

C) Dropped back down to 70RPM, and continued slowing my RPM’s down gradually
D) Eventually, I got down to 20RPM (that’s three seconds per revolution!)
E) For fun, I threw down 180RPM (and Stages tracks just fine this time)

The cutoff point here appears to be 20RPM.  Below that and the cadence drops out, above that and it’s just fine.


This too is specified on Stages site:


These limits are perfectly acceptable/reasonable/logical in my mind.  Also, note that power values stayed constant with the Garmin Vector 3 throughout.  I was also atop a trainer that transmits power, but the power firmware is beta there and wasn’t quite as stable as I wanted – so I removed that from the graphs to minimize confusion.

Now I’ve also done some more generic Zwift workouts and such, like this ride here with a pile of sprints throughout:


As you can see, throughout the sprints things aligned quite nicely against the Garmin Vector 3 – virtually identical save one drop at about the 2-minute marker (but this was prior to the firmware update to address that).

But let’s head back outside, it’s more interesting there as always.

Part of my challenge recently is that previous to the firmware of two days ago, Stages was experiencing drops depending on how you connected to it.  Meaning, if I connected via ANT+ on certain head units, it’d drop the connection (but not other head units).  Using BLE in theory made it better, but in reality I found it made everything worse (both ANT+ & BLE).  So I ended up with some rides whereby the data when transmitting was perfectly accurate – but would be blemished by the occasional dropout.

That aside, this ride has virtually no dropouts. There’s some settling of power meters in the first portion of the ride after being installed on the bike, so here’s a look at the middle portion:


You can dig into the full file above, but it’s basically the same for the remainder of the ride, the three power meters are almost indistinguishable, despite boatloads of ups and downs on power (this was a river loop where there’s a lot of changes in power).

The workaround to the dropout issues (again, prior to yesterday’s firmware) was basically using the Edge 1030 – for which dropouts didn’t occur as long as I didn’t also connect Bluetooth Smart devices concurrently.  And for rides where I did that, the tracks looked beautiful.  They matched Garmin Vector 3 and a PowerTap G3 hub quite well.  Such as this snippet from a couple hour ride:


There’s some slight offsets between the units, which makes sense as, in theory, the PowerTap G3 should be the lowest and the Garmin Vector 3 the highest.  In this case, about +/- 3.7% from the Stages centerline, which would account for drivetrain efficiencies as well as any accuracy differences.

And then this hour or so long lunch ride here where again, all three units aligned very nicely. Here’s a closer look at an 800w+ sprint:


And then there’s this sub-hour long ride (which lacks a functional G3 hub as it had to be replaced), but you can at least see how it compares against Vector 3 on a mean-max graph.  What you notice is very slight differences/offsets when you get to the sub-10 second power, which is pretty common on these graphs.


Prior to these rides, there were other firmware issues whereby the right side of the unit would output slightly lower power values (1-3%) than it should have.  So while the left side matched perfectly to Vector 3’s left side, the right side dragged down the picture.  On these rides (if using an Edge 1030), I didn’t experience any drops.  This issue was fixed back on Jan 26th.  Given it’s been fixed, I’m not going to re-analyze those rides, since we already know the story there.

Now, I’m going to talk about droppage in a second – but on the accuracy front I’ve been seeing good things since late January – so I think we’re definitely good there for both power and cadence.  The multitude of data sets above shows that pretty easily as well.

(Note: All file analysis you see above is done using the DCR Analyzer, which allows you to compare files for things like power, heart rate, cadence, and other metrics – including even running dynamics type metrics. It’s now open to you to use as well. More details on how to use it here.)

Does it drop?


Back a year or so ago, there were media reports that Chris Froome had made an interesting off-hand comment when responding to a reporters question on why he used the older Edge 810 versus anything newer (the team was otherwise outfitted with Edge 820’s last season, at Team Sky’s – not a sponsors – expense).  He noted that he had found that the ‘newer Garmin’s had data drops’.  At the time I found this a peculiar comment because it just wasn’t something people were seeing in ‘real life’ on road bikes.  But now in looking back at things, I get it: The real wording should have been “I was seeing drops with Stages LR”.  But of course, he couldn’t say that – Stages was a sponsor. Garmin wasn’t.

When I first started this testing process in December – I quickly saw those same drops as well…also on newer Garmin devices.  Specifically in my case the Edge 520 and FR935.  Both highly popular devices.  And neither are devices that have ever dropped on any other power meter for me (I use 2-3 Edge 520’s per ride, connected to 2-3 different power meters per ride); nor are drops even remotely common for either unit on other power meters.   So in effect…if it quakes like a duck, it’s probably a duck.

I went back to Stages on this and they did some more digging.  In fact, the topic of Stages and drops is as old as power meter time itself.  What I was surprised about was that this was somehow still a thing.  Still, I let them dig.

In doing so they showed they could reproduce Edge 520 drops like I saw relatively easy, and that it was stable on the Edge 1030 (which I saw too).  But to me that’s not really an acceptable admittance.  Again, regardless of whether Garmin is at fault – nobody else has this problem (sidestepping the mess that is the Fenix 5/5S connectivity debacle, which I don’t use). On this old dataset, I highlighted each of the drops in this 41-minute ride (15 total drops on the Edge 520).


So they continued to dig a bit – and the outcome of that was a change in firmware that tweaked the way the communications stack delivered power to both ANT+ & BLE signals.  Specifically, two changes occurred.  In Stage’s own words, they were (geek detail ahead):

“The firmware change was directly related to the timing of when the radio was transmitting and receiving both ANT and BLE messages.  The easiest way I can explain it being the non-programmer that I am, is that at times we were trying to use the radio at the same time to get ANT and BLE messages out and in (with BLE) via the radio.  The change was really just a refinement of the timing and length of when each message was sent and when and how long the radio was on listening for a BLE return message.  As I described previously, there was always messages going out but not all of the 4hz for both BLE an ANT were getting out, so it worked but was not perfect.  This issue was greatly amplified when there were other interferences such as multiple head units, wifi, trainers etc.  Now that we have made this change all the messages are properly being sent at 4hz.   This makes it much more likely that the head unit will receive and record at least on message a second and with a Dash that we receive all 4hz.” [DCR Note: 4hz means 4 times a second]

“The other change was to deal with how some BLE head units deal with coasting, on most ANT devices they recognize if you coast and drive your power to zero.  For some reason on some BLE devices were holding onto your last power number when you coasted.  So we made the power meter smart and it will drive your power to zero if you coast.”

Note that the Stages LR already was broadcasting at a higher rate than existing Stages left-only units (ignoring the new left-only units they just started shipping a week or two ago, which I’ll post about separately shortly).  That update for the LR units was issued as firmware 1.1.8 and was released two days ago and incorporates the changes noted in the above two paragraphs.

So where does this leave things?

Well, I think we’re (finally) good. Basically, two specific firmware updates got me into a good state:

Jan 26th: Fixed low-right side issue in interim beta update (thus, power is accurate after this on all my rides)
Feb 13th: Fixed dropouts for Bluetooth Smart, and ANT+ on certain devices (for me anyway – minus one little blip)

Now you may be saying – how do you know the dropout issues are fixed?  Well previously with the dropouts they manifested themselves pretty darn quickly.  Perhaps every 5-8 minutes on ANT+, and almost instantly/wonky on Bluetooth Smart (I have some crazy ugly charts from that). I could repro those situations on every ride if I wanted to since December.

Now on both of today’s rides, it’s almost perfectly clean.  Stages said they found two specific issues, which they said was related to power handling on the communications stack. The proof appears to be in the pudding – no full drops (just one brief jitter that may or may not be Stages’ fault).

I will note though that the broadcasting power on Stages’ units (including the LR) continues to be substantially lower than other ANT+ sensors.  For example, take a look at the RSSI values on Vector 3 (ID 324103) and Stages LR (ID 34770) side by side. A higher value is better (meaning, –21 is better than –35), the closer to zero the better. On the left is what happens if I place the test WASP device on my out-front mount, and then to the right is what happens when I place it on my stem.  Even when placed directly atop the bottom bracket (in between the crank arms), Stages is still significantly lower than Garmin Vector 3.

2018-02-16 16.27.40 2018-02-16 16.28.05

While in my tests the signal strength now seems strong enough for my head units, where this matters is if your specific bike/body configuration puts it on the edge of reception, then having that bit extra means the difference between good and bad. That’s historically where Stages got itself into trouble, primarily on triathlon/TT bikes, mostly for people with wrist-worn watches, due to body/bike interference.  Since I don’t have a triathlon/TT bike on this trip – I can’t test that at this time.

Of course, I’d love to hear anyone’s results on that in the comments (just be sure to be on 1.1.8 first!).

Power Meter Recommendations:

With so many power meters on the market, your choices have expanded greatly in the last few years.  So great in fact that I’ve written up an entire post dedicated to power meter selection: The Annual Power Meters Guide.

I refresh that annual guide each fall, and in this case that was November – which is inclusive of all the power meter players on the market.

The above-noted guide covers every model of power meter on the market (and upcoming) and gives you recommendations for whether a given unit is appropriate for you.  There is no ‘best’ power meter.  There’s simply the most appropriate power meter for your situation.  If you have only one type of bike I’d recommend one power meter versus another.  Or if you have different needs for swapping bikes I’d recommend one unit versus another.  Or if you have a specific budget or crankset compatibility, it’d influence the answers.

I’ll be publishing a pricing update in March, covering where pricing stands for the year, though I don’t expect too many shifts between now and then.  Nor do I expect much in the way of additional new entrants not already known/released.



After a two month journey on Stages LR, I’m finally at the point where I’m happy with the results it’s giving me across all fronts – both accuracy as well as connectivity.  Of course, for many consumers, those are kinda considered baseline starting points (or, I hope they are anyway).  The next question is pricing.

In that realm, Stages sits at $999 for the Ultegra edition I tested (inclusive of the full crankset).  That’s identical to Pioneer’s offering at $999 as well, and the same as Garmin and PowerTap with their pedals at $999 (and Dura-Ace at $1,299 also matches Pioneer).  All of which give you distinct left/right power.  There are nuances to each implementation though from a tech standpoint.  Pioneer has high speed and detail data metrics, but only on their platform (and lacks Bluetooth Smart connectivity).  Garmin gives you less detailed metrics than Pioneer, but on a more widely adopted file standard (for example, WKO4 can see the data).  Stages gives you a full crankset, so if you don’t want to deal with changing pedal types or just prefer crankset power meters – then that’s a pro for them.  Like I said in the previous section – there’s no right answer here, just solutions for your specific requirements.

The end of which is that I’d have no problem riding a Stages LR unit on my road bike at this point with the latest firmware.  I can’t speak to a triathlon/TT setup at this moment, but hopefully others can chime in.  Historically I never had issues with my Stages left-only units and connectivity on my tri bike, but as noted, connectivity issues when seen seemed highly dependent on your specific bike and body.

In any case – thanks for reading – and if you’ve got specific questions feel free to drop them down in the comments below – happy to try and track them down.

Found this review useful? Or just want a good deal? Here’s how:

Hopefully you found this review useful. At the end of the day, I’m an athlete just like you looking for the most detail possible on a new purchase – so my review is written from the standpoint of how I used the device. The reviews generally take a lot of hours to put together, so it’s a fair bit of work (and labor of love). As you probably noticed by looking below, I also take time to answer all the questions posted in the comments – and there’s quite a bit of detail in there as well. 

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Stages LR Dual Power Meter (select dropdown for different models)

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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.

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  1. MN

    I have both Garmin Vectors and Stages. Both about 2-3 year now and the Stages dataloss has been huge and specially indoors. During the winter when I use a bike on a trainer there is almost all the time data loss with stages if other “radios” are turned on. The more there is radio noise (WiFi, TV, etc) the less comes through. Have not tested the signal strength but I saw the correlation quite soon. After starting to stream something in my laptop, the power data was interrupted a lot. Outdoors ofcourse thats not a problem.

  2. Rob

    Since the two sides of the Stages need to be linked, does it show up as a single power meter in head units and Zwift like Vector3? Or is it two sources like the P1?

    • Cristi

      For ANT+ it shows as a single unit (you connect to the left one in fact). If you want to use BT, that doesn’t work, so you have to connect to both left and right (which is not supported by Zwift AFAIK).

    • Nate

      For me, my stages LR shows up as two Bluetooth power meters in Zwift but because they are linked (performed first once in the stages app), the left unit total power shows the sum of the left and right output and the right pm only shows total right power. You just select the left unit on Bluetooth with iOS zwift.

  3. Paul

    will it be available for Campagnolo?

  4. drPeperino

    Hey Ray,

    I have tested at least 4 stages (2 Ultegra gen 2 slightly different in appearence, 1 C’dale Gen1 and 1 Sram Gen 1) all on bikes that were installed on my Elite Direto and I generally saw a strage differentiation in power outputs.
    I compared each time the single Stages unit against the Direto, but results are quite repeatable:

    One of the Ultegra Stages (mine) is roughly 10W below the Direto: tends to match at low cadence and tends to get farer at high cadence (107-110 rpm).

    Another Ultegra (lended to me for 2 work outs) was quite matched on the Direto, or slightly above (less than 10w however)

    The SRAM Stages was mathcing the Direto very nicely (just getting 20W above during the 2min recovery portions of the workouts)

    the CDale Stages is reading quite consistently 20W over the Direto.

    Did you compare the various Power meters of this review with the Direto?

    If the LR has basically two PMeters (one per side) and it starts to tell you that you’re unbalanced how do you figure out if that is your leg or if it is the power meter accuracy? I’m asking this because you can buy the right side to pair your existing left side, but across the left sides I have tested I see significant differences one another.

    thank you so much for the article, I saw the same connectivity issues and I started to think it must have been a Stages downside and now I feel that my impression is confirmed.


    • I did some early rides on the Direto way back when, but nothing with good data (pre-firmware updates I noted).

      Still, doing successive trainer rides with different power meters is a really tough nut to crack on a lot of levels. Partially because you end up with different warm-up periods on the Direto, which could also impact left-leg balance issues.

      I wish I had a good answer for you there. The best answer would be to have another power meter to compare against…which, isn’t always easy. :(

    • DrPeperino

      Thank you so much for the feedback anyway Ray.

      I would like to have a third PM to try out, and I could eventually find someone who could kindly lend me a Vector possibly, but I had performed a fair number of rides with the Ultegra Stages against the Direto, and the C’dale Stages against the Direto and the results are quite consistent (with hte exception of few reco rides in which data from the different PMs got closer for 20-30 minutes): the C’dale exceeds the Direto by a rough 10%, except at 50-55 rpm in which they get fairly close (C’Dale over the Direto by 5-7W), and the Ultegra is slighly below, usually by a 10-15, except at 50-55 rpm where they seem to align with few W difference.

      The difference between the two PMs is reflected also in outdoor experience: the C’Dale Stages gives me out higher values than the Ultegra one, in respect of the similar hear rate and effort perception.
      Initially I didn’t realized the difference could be in the PM readings, but now I undertsand that that feeling of be feeling really well was actually the PM giving out higher power values at same HR and effort perception than what was doing the Ultegra.

      They are definitely giving out different values, and what I wonder is how can Stages give you a LR power meter which works basing its reading on two different PMs, and tell you what is your balance, if there could potentially be so much difference between the reading of two distinct units.


    • Michal

      The answer is simple. There shouldn’t be such big difference as you’re describing. It’s unacceptable. One of your power meters is not working properly. Static torque test could tell you which one is lying to you with reasonable confidence.

    • DrPeperino

      Hi MIchal,

      is the static torque test something I could do by myself, or will I need to ship the unit to Stages, given that they accept the “claim/request”?

      thank you very much for your support,

    • Michal

      You can do it yourself. In mobile app there is option called “high speed” which allows to check torque applied on the crank (although last time I checked for some reason it was only available in Android app, and disappeared from iOS version, but maybe it has changed). With ability to check torque on mobile app you need to put crank arm in 9 o’clock position, exactly parallel to the ground, block the wheel, and hang known weight from the pedal (20kg for example). You can calculate torque your power meter should report for given weight (torque = weight (kg) * 9.81 (gravitational acceleration, m/s^2) * crank arm length (m); so for example: torque for 20kg weight and 172.5 mm crank = 20kg * 9,81m/s^2 * 0,1725m = 33.8445 Nm). Then you can compare expected value to the reported value.

    • DrPeperino

      that’s really a good idea, I’ll try it straight away (to come home with a handful of data that will certainly just break my mind and make me as fast as I was before!! :P)

      I’ll let you know as I’m really curious to try this out.

    • Michal

      Good luck on playing scientist ;)

    • DrPeperino

      I tried last night with a big water bottle (about 5kg) but for the moment results are not conclusive. I fear that 5 kg are not eonugh to reveal measurement issues.

      I’d love to try with 20kg or my own weight but at that point comes the problem about how to fix the bike and apply the load without too many shakings/unbalances: I have no idea of what kind of weight I could find (that I could hang from the crank arm without touching the ground), and if the weight were me then I don’t know how to stand still without any move on one single leg, I’d tend to move continuously trying to find balance and as far as I saw that is shaking the reading as well.

      I contacted Stages Support about this and for the moment they asked pics of the app while connecting and zeroing the sensor, and pics of the battery compartment.

      I’ll keep you posted on the updates if you like.

    • Michal

      To do this procedure I installed my bike securely in the indoor trainer and put it higher on the two separate tables (trainer and front wheel, with empty space below the crank). As a calibration weight I used 5x 5kg barbell plates weighted on higher precision scale, and then combined them using… metal paper towel holder. I also used additional metal hanger to hang it from the pedal. Note that I had help from the other person. This is doable alone but rather difficult. Finding when torque is the highest (=crank is parallel to the ground) is much easier when someone is controlling the break while you’re slowly spinning the back wheel. And the last thing. To do this properly calibration weight must hang stable from the pedal. I don’t think it’s possible when just standing on the pedal with your own weight ;)

    • DrPeperino


      That’s much more complex than what i thought.
      I don’t have a higher precision scale to calibrate the weight, and also the whole setup is a bit complex
      Let’s see if Support sorts this out in a different way..


    • DrPeperino

      Michal and all,

      just wanted to let you know that Stages replaced the unit, they suspected issues do to the calibration value of typically 835-845, and once received the unit was replaced free of charge with a Stages L.

      The new one actually calibrates at about 890 roughly and values are more in line with the Ultegra one.
      By the way signal seems to be a little better than before (disconnections occur, especially since I have a lot of wifi connections very close to the garmins I use to read the stages, but I’d say connection is slightly more stable than with Ultegra).
      I updated the firmware and, strange enough, the procedure says it didn’t complete succesfully but now the firmware indicated by the App is the new one and says there’s no new upgrade for the unit.

      Let me say TOP CLASS for the Stages customer service: I experienced issues, this is true, but I always got new units for free back from their customer service.


  5. Sam

    Completely off topic but I love the sight of a good looking and cleaned chain!

    • Ironically, 45 minutes after I posted this review, while starting to swap out crankset to make room for Shimano power meter tests, existing chain is too short. Had to buy a new one today (will eventually put existing one back on when I get back to Europe).

  6. Paul

    What about the claimed six times stronger signal ANT+ from the latest generation compared to the previous?
    It obviously still have a limited signal strength compared to other PM.

    • Exactly why I’ve now got a small pile of Stages units sitting in my desk – old and new…tests coming up soon in another post (including indoor and outdoor signal and position differences).

    • Paul H

      Looking forward to reading about it.
      Is it possible that you include signal strength in all coming PM test?
      Maybe there is a advantage with rechargeable batteries vs coin cell in signal strength comparison?

    • Paul H

      I forgot.
      Do you know if the rssi value you showed is from 0-“-100” or from 0-“255”?
      So it’s related to dBm or not(I’m a WiFi nerdy engineer) 😳

    • Just circled back to NPE on that one to find out. Here’s what they said:

      “The weakest value for RSSI would be -128. It is a signed 8 bit number.
      There is also a slight detail to have for reference: If you are comparing the values seen with WASP Util to values from a BLE scanner there will be an offset of 40. Since the original ANT radios did an internal offset for RSSI we chose to match the offset from the new Nordics so people would not get confused if they were using old and new WASPs together. BLE scanners on phones give the raw RSSI values.”

      Note that in my case I was using ANT+ for both signal measurement pieces.

  7. James

    Any insight into upgrading an older left only PM to the full left/right? You mentioned this briefly in the unboxing but didn’t come back to it.

    • Yeah, I’ve gotta get/find the full compatibility list. I believe then it’s as simple as just ‘linking’ the two via the app (you can see the link button in the screenshot in the review).

  8. Simon

    I have just started using a Wahoo Element, with Stages L power meter only. Will it work if add the LR system?

  9. Eric Boulanger

    Hi Ray,
    I have started using a Stages PM on my TT bike last summer and had horrible connectivity issues with my Garmin 500. So this year, I’m looking into ways to correct this. Should I consider a head unit upgrade (Looking at the Dash), or would the purchase of the crank side of the Stages LR be a more worthy investment? I am also pondering moving my head unit from in front of my BTA bottle.

    • I wouldn’t be confident just changing head units would fix it to be honest (especially on a TT bike), though, some folks have had better luck on Wahoo BOLT, specifically if they paired the BLE side.

  10. ooglenz

    Can you explain the following logic in pricing?

    Left only (2017) 399
    Right arm 650
    total 1049

    LR stages 999

    For what reason is the extra charge for customers who already bought the left only in the past?

    • I think the idea was to follow what most other companies do, in terms of charging a slight premium for not buying initially together.

      Though, if I remember correctly 4iiii did actually have a time period where they allowed existing customers to upgrade to right-side with a slight discount (that basically made it ‘even’).

    • dizpark

      >> if I remember correctly 4iiii did actually have a time period where they allowed existing customers to upgrade to right-side with a slight discount (that basically made it ‘even’).

      That was the promise, but AFAIK has not happened *yet*. Last time I inquired with 4iiii about a month, they said sometime later.

  11. Crash Bandicoot

    Wait a bit to order these. Several friends of mine got what is obviously the first run of dual sided PMs from stages and had nothing but drop outs and bizarre readings. I’ve got 3 stages blue label units and they’ve all been flawless for the most part but I know stages and seemingly every other PM struggles with their first run units being terrible (my experiences with Quarq, Powertap, and Stages)

    • The drop-outs is specifically the piece I addressed in the section titled “Does it drop?”: link to dcrainmaker.com

    • Nate

      I can confirm Ray’s findings on my Stages LR after one ride on firmware 1.1.8. Previous rides had shown 14+ dropouts on my Garmin 810 and Garmin 935. Moving the fan and putting the watch on my water bottle cage helped some on the old firmware but still got dropouts.

      On the new firmware 1.1.8, I tested the 810 out front of my tri bars, with a fan 3 feet in front of that, and wore the 935 on the inside of my wrist (which is how I always wear it while riding). There were no dropouts of power or cadence over 45 minutes of riding! Very pleased now!

  12. Suolla

    The firmware fix Ray mentions is not released to the public apparently

    link to support.stagescycling.com

    • tspahr

      The link above is to the release notes for the iOS app, not the power meter.

      Stages LR FW 1.1.8 release notes are found here: link to goo.gl and is live for download via the Android or iOS app.

    • Suolla

      Thank you. But the power drops are a problem for left-only units too. I hoped they would have a firmware fix for those.

    • Pieter

      I continue to see drops on the L only unit too. I ride a large frame (61cm) with an 820 sitting on an out front mount and see drop outs routinely. Stages reports only 40% signal strength when troubleshooting the issue. When I move my head unit to the stem the drop out improve. Not ideal.

      My next bike won’t have Stages.

    • The two specific firmware changes I noted above (in 1.1.8) are only going to the latest generation units, which basically means Stages LR, and Stages L (or R) units made after mid-January (they’ve gotta have that LED light on them).

      I’m not sure if the limitation is tied to different chipsets being used or what.

  13. Michal

    Is LR upgrade available only for new Stages L power meters or is it also possible with Gen 1 and Gen 2 units?

    • There’s a list around somewhere on which specific units are compatible for upgrade, I’ll see if I can find it again (and ensure it’s correct).

    • Brian

      I read this review and upgraded my stages left only 2017 firmware last night. It showed up as an option through the iOS app. Haven’t tested it yet. I had connectivity issues with the stages on a garmin 820 but my 510 worked fine with Stages most of the time. I did get some drop outs and erroneous readings in certain area of NYC. I also have power tap g3 hub and have never had any connectivity issues with it.

    • Brian

      Apparently I was mistaken. It seems I had missed a previous update for stages gen 2. It’s not the update that might fix the dropouts :(

  14. Ian S

    Nice review Ray, interesting that the old connection issue was back to start off with. The price point is interesting, I think they need to undercut the pedal systems by a smidge.
    Did I miss the unit weight?

  15. mech9

    I’ve worked in various bike shops since stages has been released to the public. At this point, I’d literally say that the return/RMA rate of stages is the highest of any single product i’ve seen. Not only do I not know anyone on their original stages, I know quite a few that are literally on their 3rd or 4th warranty. Even the “newer” ones just plain and simply do not work worth a #$^^. It’s like they are beta testing on the public. They are also starting to get stricter with their warranty, to the tune that we just point customers in other directions (quarq, pioneer). Next time you see someone with a stages PM ask them if that is their original.

    ok sorry for the rant. It just gets old. Maybe they finally figured it out?

    • Patrick

      I have had a Stages Gen1 Ultegra 6800 Power Meter installed since May 2015 on my Specialized Roubaix. The only problem that I had in the last three years was a loose battery cover. Stages support was responsive and shipped out a new cover, O rings and installation instructions.

      I have been waiting for Ray’s review of the Stages LR so that I can order and install it on my new Trek Emonda DuraAce Di2. Glad to hear about the 1.1.8 firmware to resolve some of the dropouts since also use a Garmin 520.

    • I think Stages was pretty upfront on the issues they had in their Gen1 units in terms of units dying, almost exclusively due to water ingest through the battery cap.

      From what I’ve seen, that’s gone down pretty dramatically with more recent units.

    • Michal Wozniak

      My 2015 Stages is still alive and kicking. Of course it has rather bad signal strength, it’s water resistance is almost non-existent and I had to ghetto-modify battery compartment to hold the battery confidently in place… but it’s still working and is as accurate as it can be (torque values are exactly as expected for known weight). The only specific thing I need to do to keep it alive is drying it out after wet rides. Yes. I remove the battery and let Stages dry like a pair of bib shorts or jersey.

    • Gen1 Stages owner here, and I too have hacked the battery compartment. Since the battery lasts for quite a while, easiest solution was electrical tape and a cable tie to ensure integrity. A lot less hassle than complaining about it, etc. I just wish my Edge 1000 was better at telling me when the battery is low… I don’t waste a data screen on it, and usually find out when I start reading zero watts.

      I’m nervous about investing in a R-only upgrade to my gen1 unit, though. It might be more cost effective, long term, to just get a new pedal-based dual-sided meter. That way the warranty clock is reset, etc.

    • Karoly

      Hi Ray,
      I’m on my second Stages (Left only) gen 2 power meter – previous returns related to water proofing of the battery cover and power dropping on my Fenix 3 and Garmin 800 devices. As far as the power drops, I gave in and simply use my Garmin 800 (which is mounted) and the power drops are tolerable (when compared to the Fenix). I’ve been riding inside on TrainerRoad for the last month getting ready for an early season IM race and noticed that my power levels seemed low when compared to my outdoor rides. Also, several of my buddies with similar FTP’s have all been riding TrainerRoad and reporting higher NP at much slower speeds (when we do the same rides). Today I switched TR to virtual power and compared the normalized power produced by TR vs. the Stages. TR generated a NP of 172 watts on a 2.5 hour ride, while the Stages generated 142 watts. I had done the same ride a week earlier and it was much tougher as I was holding close to 170 watts based on the Stages (and my heart rate data was much higher). The issue is that outdoors the stages seems to produce power numbers that are reasonable (based on comparisons with riding partners) so my indoor training numbers with the Stages are all but useless. I have read somewhere that Stages has problems indoors with interference from other electronic devices. Any suggestions? I am ready to give up on Stages.

    • Which trainer on trainerRoad?

      It sounds like you’re using Virtual Power, which is basically just an estimate (it can be good, or horribly bad, depending on a wide variety of things…in general, it’s not dependable though).

      Interference doesn’t cause lower power numbers – it just causes gaps in the recorded data. Depending on how you have your Garmin configured (to include zeros or not), those gaps can bring down the averages. NP gets a bit more tricky than that – but it too would be impacted.

      Are we talking a few drops for a couple seconds or less per session (in which case, negligible impact). Or frequent longer duration drops?

    • Karoly

      Thanks Ray,
      The trainer is a Kinetic Kurt Road Machine. Yes, using virtual power on TrainerRoad to compare against the Stages output (not ideal I know, but I don’t have a second power meter). There are maybe a dozen short zero gaps over the 2.5 hours (maybe 5 sec for each gap), but as you say the impact would be small. The NP and average power are virtually the same (e.g., Stages 143 avg, 144 NP and VP 171 avg, 172 NP). Just surprised by the magnitude of the difference. And as I mentioned, when I am outside the numbers seem higher. I guess I better start training harder…

    • Yeah, in that setup you’re likely to see pretty high variance on the KK and virtual power. A long time ago in a far away galaxy I actually did some fun tests on my Kinetic inRide review showing just how much the accuracy difference would be in that exact configuration.

      I’d stick with the Stages numbers, albeit they may be slightly skewed by left/right balance aspects, but not as much as the trainer numbers.


  16. Mike Alexander

    As usual Ray you have provided a great read! I love to see “if it’s possible” what the captured power reading differences would be with left only vs LR version for the average rider. I know that the LR is more accurate since it’s not just doubling the left power measurement. But what does that actually translate to in real life?


    • Funny enough, the DCR Analyzer links actually show this breakout. Though, I don’t have any automation now to show what things like Avg Power/NP/TSS/etc might do/change. Interesting idea to add.

  17. Giles Roadnight

    Hi Ray. I don’t suppose you did any tests to see if a helmet mounted camera can pick up the power data?
    Currently my helmet mounted Virb 360 doesn’t pick up my left only stages (it does if the camera is closer).

  18. Ash

    Thanks Ray, great review (as per usual!)
    +1 to the question on whether Stages are bringing LR out on their Campagnolo sets? Have they mentioned anything in your discussions re: this?
    Cheers, Ash

  19. Haykelb

    Hi Ray, surely crank based power meters are dead in the water for the general consumer and to release a dual sided meter at this stage in game seems like a bad move with all the pedal options on the market.

    Should we care about crank power meters anymore?

    • I think it’s kinda like everyone saying smartphone cameras would kill DSLR’s, or that Apple Watch would kill Garmin. In reality, both are now stronger than ever before.

      There’s a lot of people (a ton) who just don’t want a pedal based power meter. Some for concerns that are largely unwarranted, but some for legit reasons like different pedal types (like Speedplay).

    • Pavel

      There are literally no pedal-based options for MTB-type pedals

    • Brian

      The downside of pedal based power meters for a bike used in local racing seems to be cost of replacement or repair when the inevitable crash happens. That led me to stages for the racing bike. For my other bike without power I’ll probably wind up with pedal based power (garmin) due to using campagnolo and not loving stages so far. Powertap g3 was perfect for my winter training bike.

  20. slightest

    “if it quakes like a duck, it’s probably a duck.”

    where i come from, ducks don’t quake. unless it’s having a seizure. in which case it’d need to go to a hospital.

  21. Jeroen

    Hi Ray! Great review, love it! Any plans to review the new 4iiii Podium LR powermeter as well? Would love to see the two of them compared! Cheers!

  22. Ivan Nogueira

    Just a question, Ray:

    I have a Stages LR. If I click on “unlink” then I have 2 independent power meters(1 Stages L and 1 Stages R)?

    If this works 2 friends can save money buying a LR and separating it…

    • Ivan Nogueira

      I answer the question: Yes.

      Stages FAQ Page: “To use the power meters separately, repeat this process and select Unlink form the main screen”. Good news Here.

      Tha bad side… my Stages Power app crashes when I try to unlink (Android)

  23. Alex

    Is the data drop thing purely a power meter thing to stages, or a broader issue with some newer Garmin computers?

    I’ve been off the bike for nearly a year (injury) and finally got back and found my FR935 was constantly auto-pausing (set to “when stopped”) and recalculating the wheel size when auto-pause was disabled. I noticed my cadence was periodically 0, but doesn’t say that the speed cadence sensor connects/disconnects. I thought the sensor (Giant RideSense) was shagged, or at the very least the battery was. Neither a fresh battery or messing with the magnets made one bit of difference.

    After reading this article, it occurred to me that the FR935 is also new. My motivation to get back into running and cycling post surgery. So I grabbed my old Edge 510 this morning, and the problems magically went away. The FR935 on my wrist still had zero cadence from time to time, but the Edge did not.

    Could this be a problem with the FR935, and something Garmin may be able to fix with a firmware upgrade, or is is physical such as weaker receiving antenna or poorer transmission signal strength?


    • Generally speaking I haven’t heard of issues with the FR935 and connectivity (in fact, the opposite, it’s why people are choosing it over the Fenix 5 series).

      That said, when it comes to wrist watches of all types, they have an additional ‘layer’ to deal with in the connectivity realm: Your body blocking half of it.

      But as noted above, with Stages still being considerably lower than other power meters on the market from a transmission standpoint, one is more likely to run into the issue on a Stages unit than on other power meters. Hopefully the increase in signal strength on Stages side though should mitigate it for most situations going forward.

  24. How can I contact you to discuss a new product?

  25. Mike Bailey

    I have Stages left only units on 3 of my bikes. I think 2 of them were the first iteration, and the other is the second. I’m wondering if you think there is an advantage buying the whole l-r setup (due to improvements), or if I’d be fine just buying the right side to get dual sided power.

    • Eugene Chan

      The move from Gen1 to Gen2 was nothing more than a change in the plastic enclosure. The electronics were the same. The Gen3 or Stages L PMs are apparently 5g lighter, .5% more accurate and capable of measuring up to 5000W. The improved specs could be the result of firmware/software. The decrease in weight could be from process node shrinks and smaller PCBs. One issue that might come up is the chainring distance/pitch has changed with Shimano R9100 and R8000…I’m unsure how well the older 6800 and 9000 series front derailleurs work with the updated cranksets. I also haven’t seen confirmation that the Gen1/Gen2 units can by linked/paired with the Stages R units.

    • Sean Coffey

      I’ve had no front derailleur issues going from a 6800 crank to a Dura Ace 9100 Stages LR. No tuning needed.

      Also correct, a Stages R unit can be paired with earlier Gen 1 and Gen 2 Stages L models.

  26. Georg Thierry

    I’ve had a Gen1 for coming on 4 years now. Initially had the short battery life problems, but that was sorted after the new battery covers were introduced. No water ingress issues at all.

    However, early last year I started getting dropouts – on the Garmin 520 I’d actually loose all sensors, then a message telling me the phone disconnected, to be reconnected about 10 sec later. This only started happening when I’d started using Strava’s beacon. All I needed to do was turn off BT on my phone and no more dropouts.

    Now whether this linked to the Stages dropout problem or something going on in the Garmin BT and phone I can’t figure out, but others I ride with are experiencing similar problems, but not all use Beacon.

    • dizpark

      I don’t thinks this is necessarily a Stages issue.
      I have 4iiii Precision left crank power meter and Edge 520. If at the same time I had my Android phone connected to Edge 520 via BT, I also used to experience similar “super drop-outs”, when Edge 520 would lose all the sensors and the reconnect back. With BT off or phone disconnected no such drop-outs.

      I have not checked recently if this still exist – it might have been solved with one of the subsequent Edge 520 updates. Or it might be a BT ANT+ timing issue on 4iiii (similar to what Stages have recitfied), or it might be my specfic phone issue and the way BT behaves.

  27. JK

    Couldn’t find the info, maybe I just missed it, but if you buy the LR, could you pull the left side and use it as a standalone on a different bike if you needed to? I think an earlier review of yours noted that the left side was the “master”, so presumably, the right side couldn’t be used alone. Thinking about 1 power meter for road/cx bike, and moving 1 crankarm is much easier than changing chainrings and whatnot.

    • Eugene Chan

      From what I have been able to deduce, they will work individually. For the purposes of dual-leg measurement, the “L” unit becomes the master and reports the data to your Garmin/Zwift/etc. If you select the “R” unit as a power source in something like Zwift, it will only double your right-leg power.

  28. DrPeperino


    Have you ever managed to compare the different stages unit as i did in the post above?
    Have you noticed any difference/offset between them or can you confirm they are consistent and well paired alltogether?

  29. Alistair McLean

    Have you tried riding with it in the rain?

    I’ve had to send mine back four times because of water damage. it stopped working again after a damp ride recently and I’ve just given up.

    • DrPeperino


      I had humid and at times rainy rides with the road bike, and few muddy/rainy rides with the mtb and while I actually experienced some slight issues related to himidty in the battery compartment, they were all related to post ride moments: during the rides I always managed to get away with my power readings.

      I experienced problems which could let me take home the power readings but they were related to communication issues as described above (interferences or connection problems)


    • DrPeperino

      correct: I experienced problems which DIDN’T let me take home the power readings …

    • Michal

      Wet rides never killed my Stages. But… after hearing all the stories most of the times I used to put additional electrical tape on it and I always let it dry afterwards with battery cap off. Humidity inside the unit may cause overnight batter drain which may look like your unit is dead but, in fact, most of the times it’s not.

  30. Rich

    Chris Froome seems to be still using his 810 on his recent rides in SA on Strava.

    • Alistair McLean

      I wonder how many he has used? I suspect Team Sky have quite a few as back up. Still, no denying that Sky seem to think they work. Difficult to argue with that if i hadn’t had such a poor experience with them myself.

    • Dmitry

      I dont think 520 and 820 are better than 810. What important things can 820 that 810 cant on outdoor ride. trainer control is good but it is not very important.

  31. jerome

    Hi Ray,

    Thanks for posting this helpful review. I wonder what happen if someone want or have to change the chainrings on the Stages powermeter. Can he do that by his own ? What if the number of teeth is different ?
    I didn’t find the answer on Stages website but maybe I missed it.


  32. T Anderson

    Stages Android App issues:

    I have just fitted the Stages Ultegra LR and the hardware seems to be working fine.

    However, the App crashes everytime I try to Pair Left with Right. Am I the only person to experience this issue?

    I have used my Moto G5S phone and Samsung Tablet, both have exactly the same problem.

    • Nate

      I had issues with the Android app crashing while trying to link or Zero the LR. I switched to iOS (using an iPad Air 2, or perhaps an old iPhone 5? can’t remember…) and I still had some weirdness of being unable to complete a zero-calibration on one or both sides, but was at least able to unlink and relink my two sides successfully (I may have had to quit and restart the app).

    • T Anderson

      I contacted Stages and they said they are working on the Zero Reset issue.

      The Zero Reset does complete on my units then the App crashes.

      Being unable to link the two units is my problem.

      Everything else seems to be working. I was able to update the firmware to v1.1.8 yesterday. And the power reading compared well with Neo.

    • T Anderson


      I received a Beta version of the Android App and all is working now.

  33. Iván Nogueira

    Mee too. Android aporta crashes at zero reset or unlink button… I updated the Lr connecting individually to each one

  34. Iván Nogueira

    Has someone noticed the 1.1.9 update today? I’ve installed it with android app but no reference to it on stages web

    • Joseph Madden

      I got this update too. When it installed it said the update failed but the version number is showing updated so no idea what’s up with it. Also installed from the Android app.

    • Ivan Nogueira

      Now it appears on stages web. It says:

      Power usage improvement”

      Could it be more durable CR2032?

    • The specific change is actually that they increased radio power strength without impacting battery life. Obviously, that’s notably significant.

  35. Ole Lindtveit

    Hi Ray,
    I know you can buy the Stages L unit, and then buy the R unit as an upgrade and link them together to get LR. But is it possible to buy Stages LR, and then split it on two bikes, so you get L on one and R on the other? Would be a great deal, given the lower price on LR than on two L units.

  36. Marco


    I currently have a Stages L on my 2014 Tarmac SL4 Comp Di2, which uses an FSA Gossamer Pro BB30 on OSBB.

    I asked my LBS what needs to be done to be able to upgrade to the Stages Power LR, and I would need to convert to Hollowtech II using the Wheels Manufacturing BB30 to 24mm adapters. They say they have very good experiences with converting to Ultegra using these adapters.

    Unfortunately, I cannot upgrade with a Stages R only in addition to my Stages L on FSA, since the LR only supports Shimano at this moment.

    Would the Stages Power LR on the UItegra crank set be a good upgrade? Or should I prefer a Quarq DZero over the Stages in terms of installation?

    Bike can be seen here:
    link to specialized.com

    Also posted in “Quarq Dzero in-depth review” as I do not know which would be the better option.

    Thanks in advance!

  37. Tom

    Any power spikes? The absolute bane of my existence on my three g2 left only models over the last few years. Occur on rough roads when descending mainly. Left foot down bit of a bump and bam 1500 watts+ appear on my head unit. Edge 520. Interestingly I never had an issue with old 500, so units must process the raw data from stages a bit differently.

  38. Jeff Roth

    I’m trying to use Garmin Cycling Dynamics with Stages LR. Is full functionality available? I can get torque effect, L/R balance, and pedal smoothness. However, I can’t get Left or Right Power Phase to show up, or the PCO metric. Should they, or does Stages not (yet) work with those measures?

    • Correct, the power phase and PCO metrics are officially Cycling Dynamics and at present require Vector. Though, the standard is working it’s way through the right channels: link to dcrainmaker.com

      Still, even once they adopt it, Stages wouldn’t be able to do PCO since that’s about where your foot is on the pedal platform, so Stages doesn’t have enough data to make that happen.

  39. Jeff Roth

    I had the same experience – upgraded firmware today (day 1 with LR) and it said it failed. Opened the app again, and voila, there was 1.1.9.

    Anyone else having problems with the Android app crashing after calibration? Mine has done it every single time.

  40. Phil

    Hello DC R,

    Why haven’t Stages released a firmware update to fix the dropouts on the earlier Stages LH only units, perhaps an update to increase the transmitter/signal strength? I had a 1st generation unit which never once had a dropout but eventually succumbed to the water ingress problem. The replacement, a 2nd generation, drops out continuously despite Stages saying the only difference between the two is the housing/battery door. They recommended I mount it on the stem rather than on an out front mount. That does improve things slightly but who wants it there? My 1st generation unit was always on an out front mount and never failed. Is there a reason they haven’t corrected this common problem with an update?

    • My understanding is it’s chipset related.

    • Michal

      Was your 1st gen Stages completely dead? Just asking because water ingress is fixable most of the times. Maybe you shouldn’t get rid of well functioning 1st gen unit that easily ;) Better is the enemy of good enough.

    • Phil

      Hello Michal,

      It wasn’t completely dead but due to the water and rust etc causing a short circuit somewhere the battery eventually drained completely within 24 hours. Stages offered to replace it which of course I accepted. But the Stages 2nd Generation that replaced it has never worked properly, no water ingress at all but dropping out every couple of minutes or so. I find it hard to believe that the internals of both generations are exactly the same as Stages insist they are. The fact that it works slightly better when mounted on the stem than when on the out front mount indicates (to me anyway) that there is a problem with the signals range. Very poor from Stages.

    • Michal

      Ahh, I think you should have stayed with old unit. Battery drain issue is easily fixable most of the times. You can simply dry it out. Problem occurred in my old Stages 2-3 times but I always fixed it by leaving unit with battery cap open for 24 hours.

    • Phil

      I was doing that too but the water had caused rust to form a short circuit somewhere and after that no amount of drying it out was going to cure it. Within 24 hours a brand new battery was flat. Stages acknowledged water ingress was a problem with the 1st generation units and replaced it with a 2nd generation unit with a new door design. Well the new door design works but I believe they must also have changed something else with the internals leading to a weaker ANT signal, meaning it doesn’t have enough range to provide a good signal when the head unit is mounted on an out front mount. Many others have experienced the same problem and Stages have basically admitted there is a problem because they claim they have made the transmitter 6 times stronger with the 3rd generation units released a few weeks ago. I would be interested to hear from people with the new unit if it has indeed been fixed.

  41. Giles Roadnight

    The firmware update for my left only gen 2 unit has made the Power meter SO MUCH better. I used to have dropped connections more than I had solid ones I think. Now it works pretty much perfectly (very few times I look at Computer and see no reading. Maybe once per 16 mile commute)

    I didn’t quite follow the signal strength bit. Would a dual sided setup give me higher signal strength? I am thinking of my helmet mounted camera which at the moment doesn’t get any power meter readings.

  42. Dmitry

    Can i update my 105 5800 with ultegra lr 8000 or there is other compatibility requirements? Bb changing or something else.

  43. Todd Donovan

    The right side battery access requires removing two small screws and since battery life is relatively short, those screws could see a lot of use. Do they thread into metal inserts or into the plastic body of the sensor?