Stages Brings Power Measurement to the Masses w/ Miniature Strain Gauge

Stages StageONE budget crank based power meter from Boulder CO

The new StageONE power meter lowers the opening price of training with crank-based power to just $699, and tops out at just $950.

Their new patent-pending power meter called StageONE will come assembled on your choice of 14 different alloy crank models from Cannondale, Shimano, and SRAM with both road and mountain bike options.

The strain gauge and all hardware are on the non-drive crankarm, so all you’re replacing is the single piece without having to mess with the gears, hubs or any other part of the drivetrain.

The StageONE power meter is factory assembled by Stages Cycling in Boulder, CO, and adds just 20g.

Stages StageONE budget crank based power meter from Boulder CO

“Power is no longer just for serious racers on road bikes,” said Pat Warner, Senior vice president at Stages Cycling. “Power training is now a possibility for all levels of cyclists and all styles of bikes at a price that everyone can afford.

“I believe that the StageONE power meter’s features and price will change the power category, and I’m looking forward to all of these riders achieving massive performance improvements because of our power meter.”

It’ll be available for retail sale January 2013. We’ll have more details after checking out at Interbike.

Stages StageONE budget crank based power meter from Boulder CO

Stages StageONE budget crank based power meter from Boulder CO

Comments

Rob - 09/18/12 - 11:07am

I would like to know how such a device is calibrated…

Reason being that the crank arm will exhibit bending, rotation and tensile deformation while being ridden. From my knowledge of strain-gauges this would not only be difficult to achieve it would also be very difficult to capture this into 1 small system.

Also, power meters are kind of lame….

Kraft - 09/18/12 - 11:12am

Very interested. Looking forward to the review(s).

Future Man - 09/18/12 - 11:36am

As soon as get my ankle-based power implants, I won’t ever need to worry again about which bike, wheel, crank, or pedal I use.

PP - 09/18/12 - 11:53am

“The masses” have $700+ lying around just to know how much power they putting out? Really?
Man, I wish I was one of the masses.

Louis - 09/18/12 - 11:59am

Sign me up. All I need is consistent results even if those results are incorrect. If it reads my power as 30000000watts, that’s okay, so long as the next time I ride it still says my output is 30000000watts

Jon - 09/18/12 - 12:09pm

Strain gauges are trival to use in this case: you have no interest in the forces radial or axial, as only the forces tangent to the radius can possible generate work. However, I agree that I don’t think it’s possible for them to do real power measurements since they’re missing a strain gauge on the *other* crank arm. (Imagine unclipping your left foot and pedaling only with your right: this system wouldn’t have any way of measuring power in that case. The most they could get from the other arm is acceleration but that doesn’t tell you much of anything about power.) It seems there would have to be a lot of hand-waving going on in the head unit.

Brandon - 09/18/12 - 12:47pm

I like the sound of this. My left leg has always been stronger than my right, which means my power numbers should go up with this unit. Sold.

Justin - 09/18/12 - 12:53pm

Haha, PP makes a great point. I too wish I was one of the masses. Then I would spend that $700+ taking a few days off work to ride my bike and get more of a training benefit than I ever could from this (likely flawed) instrument.

I will pass, thanks!

Sancho - 09/18/12 - 1:24pm

Most definitely not cheap enough for me yet. Of course, I never thought I’d be training with a GPS device but here we here.

blantonator - 09/18/12 - 1:24pm

Ok, so this isn’t for the whiny Freds like the previous posters, but $700 is sure a lot cheaper than $2000 for a Quarq.

TRUELIGHT - 09/18/12 - 1:34pm

I’m on the same page as @Louis – 09/18/12 – 11:59am, For power I use Cycleops PowerCal (talk about cheep:-)
But it does one thing well it’s consistent, my avg power output is 179w on my 31mile course.
If i go out today and avg 183w over that same course I’m going in the right direction!
In short specking only for myself I don’t care what the actual numbers are just as long as it consistent!
I am upgrading my power meter on my bike next year, and $700.00 sound a lot better then $1800,00

James S - 09/18/12 - 1:54pm

I guess I just don’t understand roadies. Why not just measure your time or average speed over a known course with a $20 bike computer and try to improve that number? But I guess you guys are having too much fun spending boatloads of money on EPO, power meters, carbon wheels, etc. just to go a tiny bit faster. Sometimes I think I’d like to replace my steel cyclocross bike with a lightweight carbon racer bike, but then I see the slippery slope that leads to a dark world of insanity and mindless consumerism and I change my mind.

Collin - 09/18/12 - 2:14pm

James S, way to sterotype and accuse all roadies of being rich guys who pump them selves of PEDs to get ahead. However, since you asked, the reason why you would want to track power and not just track speed/time over a known area is that 25mph is not equal on any given day. Wind, road friction, your position on the bike, etc adds way to many variables. With a power meter, a watt is a watt, no matter if your going up or down hill, head or tail wind, pack or solo. Once you know your numbers (I can put out X watts for 20 minutes, Y watts for 60 minutes, and Z for 2 minutes) then if your in a race, you know that if there’s 40 minutes left in the race, and you have to put X power to stay off the front solo, you know that its not going to work out, and you’d be better off to stay back in the pack until later in the race. Its a way to meter yourself. These days, you can find cheap older powertaps for under $500 on ebay, but the problem is if your like most roadies, you have a race wheelset and a training wheelset. If you want to run a powertap setup, you have to invest in two powermeters. With a crank based system, you can run what ever wheelset you want.

T - 09/18/12 - 2:31pm

I will still get more training effect with $700 in EPO than $700 on a power meter.

Gillis - 09/18/12 - 2:37pm

I don’t use computers or gps or power meters. I just tell my legs what to do and when to do it, and if they say no, I say “shut up legs!”

dale - 09/18/12 - 3:20pm

Hey I just had an idea. If you can’t afford something, simply STFU.

Jon - 09/18/12 - 3:58pm

James S is clearly ignoring the fact that power meters are becoming more and more common in the pro MTB world, even on DH rigs (Danny Hart for example – http://dirt.mpora.com/news/danny-hart-sram-power-cranks.html). It won’t be long before they start trickling down to the amateurs who realise the benefits of training with one. I ride on the road with one and I don’t even race, I have a thing called a credit card…

Chris - 09/18/12 - 4:18pm

I like that there is no option for Campy cranks. Us who ride Campy already know that our watts are way higher than everyone else. The speed on my cycling computer says 99.9. That’s all the info I need. Go ahead and spend your $700 on a power meter. I just spent that on Campy water bottle cages. Suckas

MaLóL - 09/18/12 - 4:52pm

I will buy this, and also a shimano 105 Di2, when this is really for the masses. I expect this in no less than 10 years. Polar heart rate monitors were truly expensive over 15 years ago, now it’s like peanuts. I won’t pay premium for any technology that will go down down down, soon. I´m from the real masses unfortunately.

Jordan - 09/18/12 - 5:45pm

No campy yet because they know that anyone with enough dough for campy in the first place can purchase an srm or Powertap wheels. Also no campy user would dare downgrade their record, super record nor chorus crank to Athens. And mismatching is a no no.

MTB - 09/18/12 - 6:19pm

Whatever happened to Garmin vector pedals?

That would be the perfect system, if it works, allowing you to put on any bike.

Tommy Nickels - 09/18/12 - 6:27pm

I like my EPO on toast in the morning.

Chris - 09/19/12 - 12:20am

How could they use it with a Dura-Ace crank? Everyone knows those don’t flex at ALL..

Substance - 09/19/12 - 1:15am

I like dales idea.

Barburuksi - 09/19/12 - 4:02am

I like all the armchair engineers who totally dismiss these despite the fact they have never laid hands on them. I’m sure Shimano, Sram, and Cannondale would invest in a product put together by some hack in their mom’s basement.

carl - 09/19/12 - 8:54am

I worked in a high end road bike shop for a while and I’d have a hard time telling you with any certainty if I heard more whining about creaking B/B’s or power meters that weren’t showing the numbers their owners felt they should. Yes, I suppose training with one can be beneficial….. I also know two people who own state champion and age group champion jerseys and did it WITHOUT a power meter. One of them, definitely a techie type, had one… and sold it. Think about it….

Charlie B. - 09/19/12 - 10:56am

I would guess the people shocked by the price haven’t seen the tag on a PowerTap or Quarc…

Sancho - 09/19/12 - 11:21am

Lot of dentists in this thread apparently

Charles Lavoie - 09/19/12 - 12:22pm

James S : Amen!

mitch - 09/20/12 - 2:31am

Let the haters hate and let the rest of us get the advantage from better training. See you at the finish line.
It’s a winner for me. Cheaper than SRM and Quarq, and lets you change wheels unlike PowerTap.

James S says “Why not just measure your time or average speed over a known course with a $20 bike computer and try to improve that number?” Well power data is the best way to improve.
(btw $700 in EPO won’t give you anywhere near the benefit of power data.)

And if you can’t afford $700 for power then you aren’t really that interested in getting better. How about you spend $700 less on your bike and get this instead.

BOOM - 09/23/12 - 6:02pm

I’ve read the comments here and in the other bike radar post about the Stages meter and there is a lot of talk about the consistency of the device being more important over true accuracy, even with possible irregular or inaccurate readings of power compared to say an SRM. I personally have a powertap and a used (bought off ebay) SRM and have used them for the last 4 seasons. First off, I want to offer my two cents to this thread to explain that consistency of inaccurate data, won’t really be consistent. Otherwise it would be accurate. By that I mean, that even with readings of “3000000 watts” one day and “3000000 watts” the next, this implies that the system is stable at transmitting its torque frequency, so long as its following a linear torque response or ‘slope’. If the system is stable, then it only needs to be accurately calibrated against a known force. Boom, an accurate and stable power meter. The stages device has immediate error introduced to its power equation by negating the right side of the stroke. I would urge those who truly value their training, work with a coach, and want to use power as a means to improve – seek out a used quarq or SRM system that has shown to be reliable and accurate. Otherwise, you are paying for version 1.0 of a new fangled cycling product and crossing your fingers that it will deliver the same accurate and comparable data to other devices on the market. You can’t then say “I did 300 watts up the climb today”, you have to say …”but it was using a Stages Meter”. Kinda like using a cell phone to ‘accurately’ record your Strava segments and be off by 20 seconds, when you know you are the new KOM if you had used a Garmin or a stop watch! (cell phone triangulation is sometimes laughable when recording GPS)

Post a comment:

Comment sections can be a beautiful source of knowledge, conversation and comedy. They can also get pretty ugly, which is why we've updated our Comments Policy. If your comment isn't showing up or suddenly disappears, you might want to check it out.