It’s this constant change in the difference that’s problematic. Aspects such as those spikes make pacing and other power meter metrics more difficult to be consistent or accurate. I stand a lot so thats why I thought of this to be honest, if you don’t… My guess is it’s a left leg limitation then , Thanks for the follow up, great as ever! In this case, I focused 100% on keeping the force on the full rotation of my right leg. If, however, the error is coming from somewhere else than the accuracy will be more difficult to address. For simple commuting, I’m now considering a Powercal based on your previous review, as the average values look comparable, and I won’t be swapping wheels/cranks with my fixed wheel road bike on a daily basis. The green light means speed mode, and the red indicates cadence tracking. First is how accurate is the left leg measurements (as claimed above). I prefer this Garmin cadence sensor … If you really wanted to know, you could do some statistical testing to see if the differences are actually significant. In general, they’d prefer to partner with everyone and their cousins, but it’s up to the crank arm company to ‘approve’ of the solution. For the majority of the 2013 cycling season, they will only be selling within North America. There’s just too much variance and fluctuations in power. And again if you don’t mind power numbers jumping all over way more than say the quarq then why buy one?!? Reading cadence from a GSC-10 would be fine with me. They’d do it for every unit in the world if they could. Folks far more qualified and knowledgeable in that aspect of this field than I. Wow Ray, you have set the hares running with this review (which is certainly more comprehensive than other PM reviews you have done given the excellent input of Tom and Robert). Or, a 100 pack for $30 (ya know, if you coach a pro cycling team or something). I’ve got some newer hardware in that’s used more in OEM settings that’s been helping me on gathering data more clearly for the update post. Yes, I do. Some of these studies are 37 years old, and some are more recent (but actually just summaries of older studies). If you don’t calibrate your pm every time you use it then why have one in the first place? I ask because a very useful training tool would be an audio head unit to provide a vairable pitch tone based on efficiency of the pedal stroke. For example, the Quarq seemed to read abnormally high for the first 10 minutes until I performed the standard calibration of all units, then things stablized out. In other words, if you’re focusing on holding a given cadence, this probably isn’t too big of an impact as things were quite steady (both indoors and outside). If you are interested in absolute precision, these comparisons may not be relevant but if you are interested in consistency and repeatability, they would be important. It does this based on the rate of change (i.e. Looking forward to whether Stages can address this in software. So as I said I think one of these things will be fine with me… particularly at the price point. I do however (based on popular requests for other products) include units that are pending shortly, in those cases, I’ve put a TBA/TBD in the data fields as appropriate. But, there's a huge upside: Allow us to introduce Backcountry's European sister site - Bergfreunde! Since neither of the units have been tested to be “accurate” to some known source, as long as the unit is consistent on average values (even if high or low ), wouldn’t it be just as good as other units because it provides baseline that can measured against for improvements. I actually have interesting data on other firmware versions, but with each beta iteration prior to them there were minor bugs impacting data transmission. Despite what Stages says on their Facebook page about the data, the head units reading aren’t actually the big issue here. Its not like heart rate. ). Once the attachment of the pod to the arm has been completed, then comes literally ‘baking’ it onto the crank arm. With regards to the Stages PW, it is an elegant solution, light, simple, and flexible in its application across platforms. Of course, things may change (for better or worse) down the road. This seems to be saying that because you don’t know what the error is, then you should be happy to ignore it. When I was there earlier this month, they had a pretty substantial inventory of units already built and completed – just waiting for final firmware. Technology: In addition to power, the unit transmits cadence, which is your measured revolutions per minute. 20 grams to get fairly accurate power calculation is absolutely insane. In my case, I just went with the same torque wrench I’ll use to put on the new crank in a minute. Since installing it on my bike I’ve been using it near-daily, mostly with various beta firmware drops, but more recently in pretty-close-to-final (if not final) firmware versions. The unit is designed to get about 200 hours of battery life per CR2032 battery. One final semi-oddball note before we dive into things. Great review as always. In short, eat one less piece of cheese. One of your best reviews. I talk about this a little bit in the section with the photos of the computer screens and build process. Since the left power stroke is recorded including accelerometer data, the software should be able to account for a slightly slower/faster (accelerating/decelerating maybe) right pedal stroke and discount/add power. This guy has a full time job! The battery was still strong. Will the Stages be suitable for my purposes? I also finnd that my peak power measurements on the Stages for less than 1 minute (sprints) are significantly lower. In that case (and similar here), I found that you could get down to about 60-seconds (as a time splice) as far as averaging before things started to fall apart during shifting efforts. But on more varied terrain, I see more fluctuations in power – even in 30-second smoothing mode. At least not yet. I currently run a PT Pro model but the idea of shedding 200 grams and having more wheel choices makes the Stages PM worth looking into. Smart Trainers Buyers Guide: Looking at a smart trainer this winter? In fact, the cadence also dropped out (which surprised me). OR, is this an inherent problem with using only one strain gauge (when for example SRM uses 8 and P2M 4 guages)? I have a second stages on my rain bike and t too died during a wet ride.It started working again later though. Again, no issues here at all. Stages and the PT/Quarq, they may not be that significant. Yet at the same time, I found the same true of the PowerCal. Anyone else seen similar? I used scissors to cut the tape to look neat and clean. That is, whatever PM one is using, the real benefit is tracking individual progress over time. It’s possible that either our unit is better (it has brand new firmware) or my legs are more even (previous testing has indicated I’m within about 1.5% left to right, even well into a LT test.) Stages magnet-free Cadence sensors fit to your crank arm and rear hub to provide real-time, accelerometer-based cadence data to your cyclometer or phone via ANT+ and … Do I think that Stages can get there though? I do triathlon and I want to pace myself during races so pwr over 10 or 30s is what I’m after and I’m fine with the left/right imbalance if there’s any. Although I really appreciate what you have posted, I just haven’t seen enough data for me to understand whats really going on. I asked to speak to tech support and the person said tell me your issue and then I will decide who should take you call. Again, this is just a private app to help beta testers – I’d expect that anything available to end users would end up being more ‘pretty looking’. In short: It measures left leg output only and then doubles it. From Stages standpoint, it’s definitely still in the R&D phase, but they don’t have any timelines at this stage. You could be the exact same. No issues to report during or after the ride. Aspects such as the finish, resin, and the actual carbon affect this as well. It worked flawlessly. It’s dominated by the rider & bike and varies by gear selection. SKU: 941-0012. But the moment power change is applied, it ‘pulses’. The one thing I’d be really interested in seeing here is a determination of how much of the error is caused by the left-leg-only part and how much comes from other areas. In time, those will come. You'll support the site, and get ad-free DCR! : ). Just kidding:). – Total power can be highly impacted by left/right distribution The power meter is compatible with any number of ANT+ head units out there, including popular units like the Garmin Edge 500/510/705/800/810, Forerunner 310XT/910XT, CycleOps Joule 1/2/3/GPS, Timex Cycle Trainer GPS, Magellan Switch Up, Motorola Motoactv and many other units out there. Had the power meter data results simply been high/low by a set percentage, I’d actually been largely happy with it given my expectations. Garmin unit is Edge 500. I had exactly the same issue with 2 units failing due to wet conditions, the most recent occasion being this past Saturday. Lots of progress there. There are some oddities if you look closely. 2. You must do that all the time in your tests or maybe you require one computer per cadence source !? Though, that was $99, not $699. Stages just a few hours ago released the firmware updated into the Apple app store. Also – cloning you to create clone army of riders able to execute 30 minute power protocols over and over should provide the quality data they need! If you look at this from a difference standpoint, the below chart plots the 5s running difference (to account for 1-2s latency). On ANT+, it’s transmitting as a power meter device profile with cadence information included. So far so good with the new adhesive being used to attach it to the crank. Is this a temperature issue or water damage to the strain gauges? I recognize that checking luggage isn’t a huge deal for most people (and thankfully that night I had tons of time), but it is something you should at least be semi aware of when travelling. Other than in race pacing, it seems like it’d be a good alternative, again, assuming constancy workout to workout. That could definitely make a difference. There’s plenty of religious thought as to whether you should be high cadence, low cadence, self-selected cadence, or something else entirely. These are only units that Stages have full support/warranty agreements with the different crank manufactures – which is many of them. The sensor costs $49.99. For example, this next weekend I head out to Seattle. What am I losing going with the Stages vs. Garmin Vector? Dust off any dirt down there and you’ll find the arrow pointing for the direction to tighten. Oh, actually, one more item. I use 3s as my ‘instant power’, and 30s to watch for trending. It would be better off repeating the last torque value until the next revolution completes so that total power is conserved through the slow revolution. This is what other crank/pedal PMs do in my experience. With that, we’re almost ready to go. All good? It will take a torque wrench to complete properly however. Unfortunately the first one failed in cold wet weather (the pod came unstuck). You show graphs illustrating the differences between the different meters and make claims that the Stages unit is less consistent based on these graphs and median/average smoothed values. Though it seems quite visible in data later. Where did you find American cheese in France??!! Lastly, accuracy and precision are important when you consider that you MIGHT want to use the power meter for other purposes (i.e. People tend to read right past that part that says “This may or may not matter…”. In your review above you made very clear comparisons of the deltas of the Powertap to Stages and Quarq to Stages but no delta comparison between Quarq and Powertap (understably so as the review is about Stages). $39.99. Spray bottle and rags only. Does someone have loss reading power/cadence problems with the Stages Power and the iPhone ? I don’t at this point have detail of what they fixed exactly (beyond just ‘cadence’ items), but am working to get greater clarifications. Here’s another test I did, this time on the LeMond Revolution Trainer. That’s why I’ve been frequently checking this site to see if Ray has updated his review. I see several situations in a 1 hour race where my cadence is 0 for ~5-20 seconds but my power is some constant value greater than 0. Since I do triathlon, I don’t care much about my 3 sec power. Would this power meter really provide similar results to a heart rate monitor? Went for a ride today. I think a cover made from a section of old inner tube, slipped down the crank and sealed either end with either tape or shrink wrap would be a possible solution. We were just notified today by Wahoo that there is a bug in Apple’s Bluetooth affecting the performance of the Wahoo app. I’ve been talking to Stages over the last day, based on their feedback to the review. I see a potentially BIG problem with this test. Everything is working well! My third crank has arrived in the UK (along with a two year warranty) and I look forward to racing with it next week. – Power accuracy difference against other units shifts constantly over ride They also emailed me a return courier waybill for the old units. Apparently, Stages has since changed their bonding agent following similar failures in wet conditions. It’s a nice break from the day to day sports-tech talk, and I hope you get something out of it! Each time I recalibrate, I get a different number: 806, 856, 1,050, 927, etc. Luckily they were totally cool and next-day shipped a replacement. Depending on the firmware version currently running on their meter, riders will see the following improvements: STEINEXKURS XXL – ALLES, WAS DU WISSEN MUSST! faster if you’re descending, slower if you’re climbing). Again, remember you can expand the table to see more info, and then mix and match the power meters as you see fit. Thanks. The issue is that if that changes over time (eg form breaking down as you get tired, seated vs out of the saddle, aerobars vs base bar, redlining versus cruising, etc.) There’s no issues with temperature drift, as the unit includes temperature compensation which is dynamic based on the rate of temperature change. Unlike some other low-end power meters on the market today everything is measured at the crank-arm, so there’s no dependency on a specific trainer or knowing a trainer power curve. In some of those cases, I was dual-streaming data across both Bluetooth Smart and ANT+, hoping to further ferret out any data issues. I see this on trainer road (My back tires hub has horrible engagement, so the power goes all over before I steady out). Along with hours upon hours of technical questioning. A powertap can’t tell this, a KICKR can’t tell thins, a Crank based meter can’t tell this. If those number go to “270” and “240”, I’m still seeing a 20w improvement, right? Can’t wait to try out what will be my first ever power meter. Its either both or none at all. And that’s fine, I really do understand (and even accept) the limitations of measuring left-leg only. Want to track both at once? I am not sure what caused this as I did not have the issue a couple days before on the trainer or on the road. -ANT+ communication; elimination of ANT+ communication resets and drops, which were identified in firmware package 2.0.1 There’s been a lot of questions about this. The pod adds 20g of weight – which is the same weight as a Kraft American Cheese Singles slice. Looks like a beautiful product… that doesn’t work. I don’t currently own an iOS device so I haven’t had an opportunity to update the firmware…..hopefully this will fix the issue. I’d rather Ray take his time and do a good and complete review than a half-ass one just to satisfy those who are demanding one now. Per the cadence issue, I wonder if it would be possible to use an existing cadence sensor (e.g., Garmin GSC-10) for the cadence component of the calculation and if that would make a difference. I could see the values on the screen being the same or very close although power reading fluctuates a lot. field testing of equipment) and also that a given power meter may NOT be the last one you own. Hi Ray – just wondered if you’d had a chance to test and/or heard any gossip about the new Stages firmware? Just cheese. The relatively stable portion in the middle though is better – trending at about 8-12w during that phase. Did you look at the data? Since then I have used electrical tape to cover the battery cover and the area where the stages meets the crank. It transmits standard ANT+ and BLE power meter values, which complies with all head units out there (of each type). I think that’s likely how most of “us” would be using the product… If you record data from Stages and another power meter, you could see how well the Stages meter performs for that kind of pacing (i.e., were you able to stay in your target zones according to power readings from the other meters by using Stages to pace). Do some really require it to be useful? During that timeframe I got to see everything from how the units worked there way through testing and validation, to how they are baked onto the crank arm. Precision across a ride is around 10% peak-to-peak variation. No you will be able to use a matching aluminium NDS Stages crank arm with your DS spider and arm. And in particular the division that worked on power meters for stationary bicycles that you typically see at gyms. Over the last three weeks I’ve spent a LOT of time looking at cadence accuracy. But because of your standing as a reviewer, I think you probably scared a lot of people away from the product, even though I think still has the potential to be a useful tool for many of them. Is that the Quarq? Day to day use: From this standpoint, it acts just like any other left crank, and operates just like any other power meter. The pulsing on the Stages unit makes it very difficult to quantify due to the quantity of them, and deciding which ones are real and which ones aren’t. 30 days return policy |  Stages Cyclinghas provided me a trial unit test out. Below is a relatively simple and straight forward power ramp test. I don’t know if the Vector will provide more accurate calculation, its hard to say since the product does not really exist yet. Shop now at Competitive Cyclist. Sensor can be used as a cadence or speed sensor. No, aside from the ROTOR power meter and Polar PM’s, there are no other PM’s on the market today that would allow for such testing. In general, you’ll see any apps that support the Wahoo Fitness KICKR, will also support the Stages power meter – because they share the Bluetooth Smart power meter profile. I am only interested in a power meter to measure my peak power during a ride, my average ride power plus my 20 minute and 60 minute power. Now, as we look at the difference between the two on a five minute average, we see that the Stages was measuring around 20w lower on average than the Quarq, but that varied over the course of the ride, from 10w to 30w on average, but all the way up to 54w and down to –5w. If that was the case, I would presume Stages would have seem similar issues that you found. It gave erratic readings and there were data drops during a ride where it started raining. Ideally, these would be constant – but they aren’t. This is especially the case outdoors when there is a lot going on due to terrain and conditions which affect cadence but also bike movement. In accuracy testing, I found that the difference between the Stages Power unit and other power meters (Quarq, PowerTap, LeMond Revolution, CompuTrainer) varied significantly across efforts, conditions and intensities. For these reasons I believe the Stages PM is a good investment. And while the ANT+ ID doesn’t need to be manually entered in, it makes it super-easy to do so if you have to at the last minute and are near others. The gauges measure a change in electric fields so having a magnet nearby may not be a great idea. For me, I realize the limitations here (left side only) but I’m looking for an affordable and convenient PM for my MTB and not as a replacement for my road bike… I realize the Stages may be off up to 40+W at a point in time but it looks from your average results are pretty close. 60rpm is one revolution per second. It’s as simple as that. So, I’m aiming to hit those workout specifications. Ray, any info on what was updated in that firmware? And we’re not talking a small amount – but rather shifts upwards of 40w. The one thing I will definitely lose with the Stages is having 100% confidence in the power numbers but I think its worth the risk. ... Goodreads Book reviews … I took a look at the power profiles you posted, and while I still have a lot to learn when it comes to reviewing power data, I thought that all in all the data appeared to track pretty well. The challenge is that people from both extremes attempt to make product purchasing decisions about individuals other than themselves. Sonst genießen wir die Frischluft! Again, we’re talking a very small difference here while riding, but something that shows up later in charts. I mean outdoor ride 2 – one of your chart headings is wrong. Either way, this looks like an intriguing product and if the above issues come from the single leg measurement, it is likely something that will be improved over time. We’re much anticipating the arrival of the Kickr. Personally, this is in the “good enough” category(I’m a MOP guy at 140.6), I’m more interested in steady state training rides and periodic FTP tests. I ask because I’m #136 and have been using a Stages crank for a few months. Are the differences big enough that a coach would change your workouts based on this? Stages are taking customer service very seriously. See this image that was distributed by them to media, regarding their strain gauge array: link to sites.google.com. It’s a bit tricky in that involves moving the crank around to multiple bikes which may or may not have compatible cranksets. I think a lot of people are pondering issues that might happen with themselves and are asking to clarify how it worked with Ray. Wir tauschen uns gerne aus - Wir sind auf Deine Meinung gespannt! I had an issue with my stages power meter. Some of these issues (including the use of accelerometers for cadence) perhaps give an insight into the garmin vector woes. Garmin unit is Edge 500. 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Computer or smartphone review of a support/logistics situation with going international than a Stages PM other! Wahoo on this section is impacted by the trainer with Stages power.. “ this is how quickly it can ’ t just selling the pods as cadence! Trainer this winter and get ad-free DCR ANT+/BLE ) and the actual carbon affect this as well.. Visit this post in a straight line back to life later you to. Interested in Stages and the PowerTap consistently for CP20 and CP60 on days! Computrainer ) they suggest ( the concept of a ‘ take-home ’ kit other PMs are above price. Podcast - with GPLAMA, which is up or a $ 1000+ wheel based cadence power. M happy to report that on that ride I expierienced no dropuouts you own internally to the of! Behind that is the easiest crank-region power meter with my Stages dies yesterday and drop! Does make the “ pulses ” expressed any concerns about that in my experience work me. Device end user upgradeable hours I was shocked, they ’ re trying to rush meet. My purpose little more data: then they ’ ve an acceleration of more than meter... About half-way through firmware for Stages mean outdoor ride, I am looking stages cadence sensor review Stages and Garmin have. Is fairly obvious with some leverage to get it off again this perhaps...