Stages Power Meter Adds FSA, Ultegra Options

Stages power meter for FSA BB30 and MegaExo alloy cranksets

Stages Power Meters has just unveiled three new options for adding power measurement to your existing crankset by introducing options for FSA and The latest Shimano Ultegra.

The new meters were built around two of the more popular cranksets showing up on OEM placements. They’ll fit FSA’s hollow forged alloy Energy cranksets, both BB30 and MegaExo 24mm spindles. That’s two.

The third is the ever popular Ultegra, and now the latest 11-speed 6800 series cranks have a unit to fit. Picture after the break.

Both carry forward Stages’ dual ANT+/Bluetooth transmission (though it won’t broadcast both simultaneously) and light 20g weight.

Stages power meter for Shimano Ultegra 6800 alloy cranksets

Comments

Ck - 09/16/13 - 11:48am

Well sh!t, since SRAM won’t make an aluminum BB30 road crank that Stages can use, I may just switch to an FSA crank…

alvis - 09/16/13 - 12:26pm

Power estimator……

MB - 09/16/13 - 12:39pm

@alvis – aren’t they all?

alvis - 09/16/13 - 12:50pm

Yep. Pretty much, but this almost falls into guestimator territory. You get what you pay for. If you stuck a 19g lump of plastic to your crank you’d save a 1g and $600!

MMyers - 09/16/13 - 12:54pm

That’s some top notch keyboard engineering, alvis.

Bravo, sir! Bravo!

Cap'n Crankenstein - 09/16/13 - 1:01pm

@alvis So you’ve used a Stages power meter? Care to share your analysis with us?

CDG - 09/16/13 - 1:29pm

I have a few friends who use these, and they love them! Definitely a great value for the working man! SRM’s, Quarq’s, etc are really nice devices, but man, I just can’t justify that cost…for someone at my level anyway. The Stage’s PM is definitely attractive to me.

JP - 09/16/13 - 1:52pm

@alvis

Mr DC Rainmaker doesn’t agree
http://www.dcrainmaker.com/2013/06/stages-review-update.html

Cheaper doesn’t automatically mean worse

You should check out with the guys on SlowTwitch who are improving their FTP based on the Stages PM. Have some respect for products you obviously haven’t tested – at least not as scientifically as Ray

Derek - 09/16/13 - 1:55pm

Check out this graph from DC Rainmaker’s in-depth review of the Garmin Vector

http://www.dcrainmaker.com/images/2013/09/max_power_curves.png

Stages is fine for long periods of time but its accuracy is lacking for shorter efforts. Fine if you’re a triathlete and only care about steady state output, but not quite as good if you’re trying to improve your sprint.

Here’s the full review of the Vector: http://www.dcrainmaker.com/images/2013/09/max_power_curves.png

alvis - 09/16/13 - 2:30pm

Not about using or not. Its about understanding strain measurement, gauge placement, materials and structural geometry, load paths, neutral axes. Precision load cell design is a well defined engineering discipline. Doing what stages, and the pioneer system do will give numbers, but they may as well be house numbers. If it does what you want it to do then sling $600 in their direction, but don’t be under the illusion you are measuring true power. Then ignore any article about Horners power numbers, or anything else you read about any other riders figures. BS can be bullshit but its more likely to be bicycle ‘science’

Kerry - 09/16/13 - 2:32pm

@CK, you can run the Rival or X9 BB30 arm. I run an X9 unit on my X0 cranks and the weight “penalty” was only 20g.

@alvis, it’s far from a novelty. They work quite well, just because you’re not paying out the *ss for it doesn’t make it crap. Look at the price cut Powertap did it just shows how much room there is in the margins on those products. But what do I know, I actually ride and don’t spend all day on the interwebs building opinions on products I’ve never used.

OutxOfxStep - 09/16/13 - 2:45pm

@alvis – until you’ve run a real world test, try and keep the know-it-all superiority posts to a minimum. Start with this: http://www.dcrainmaker.com/2013/06/stages-review-update.html

I went from quarq to stages and running these in the real world have worked better than my quarq (because of getting caught up in flash thunderstorms that mess with the quarq)

alvis - 09/16/13 - 3:06pm

Ever thought that they are all crap? Poor engineering is poor engineering. Only in the bike industry can you get away with charging so much for it.

Doug - 09/16/13 - 3:34pm

Can I run my current Stages power meter that is fixed to a Ultegra 6700 10 speed left crank arm on a Ultegra 6800 crankset? It looks like they attach the same way, but I can’t find if the q-factor has changed between Ultegra 10 speed and 11 speed.

Psi Squared - 09/16/13 - 4:03pm

Alvis, you’re way out of your depth, here, in terms of measurement knowledge and in terms of the function of the Stages unit. It’s just as valid to “measure” power at the crank arm as it is in the spider. If Stages has any weakness, it’s that its measurement relies on doubling a one sided measurement, but if you actually read what Ray (DCRainmaker) found in his tests, you’ll find that the Stages unit works pretty damned well.

No power meter measures true power. To claim as much, you have to misunderstand how measurements are done. You should note that no power meter on the market measures power directly. In fact, there are very few measurements in the world of science that are direct measurements. More pointedly, “true power” is irrelevant. What’s needed is accuracy and precision, and in this case accuracy applies to the location of the measurement.

Jacob - 09/16/13 - 4:06pm

I think that it is safe to say that you usually get what you pay for in this world. Stages is an excellent choice for some and maybe not others. I have friends who use Stages and seem happy but they are not power meter experts (most people I come across aren’t). I am lucky enough to be able to afford SRM and it works for me. Since neither myself nor any of my friends are training for the next Grand Tour we are all happy with what we have. Don’t knock a company who is trying to offer a great value product to many people who wants to try and train with power.

Dan N. - 09/16/13 - 4:21pm

I can’t seem to find any info on the new FSA models on the stages website. Any idea which FSA models they are supporting?

alvis - 09/16/13 - 4:26pm

Psi, you maybe right, but I think you should look at how they do the measurement. Strain gauging is a very well defined and precise process to obtain a specific measurement. Placement of the gauges in respect to the load path through the part is critical to accurate data. Stages actually stand more chance of getting this right than any spider based system. However placing the gauges on a single surface of a (nominally)rectangular section is ignoring a considerable portion of the recordable load data. They would also get better data (closer to the tangential loading they should measure) by placing the gauges on one (better both) of the ‘edge’ faces. This would give them improved accuracy. I find it fascinating that all PM reviews compare one bike power meter to another and everybody accepts accuracy if one set of numbers are similar to another. With all due respect to DC Rainmaker his reviews follow this same trend. As the critical measurement is the torque lets see reviews of the ability of these devices to show accurate and consistent torque measurements against a defined standard. At least then we would all have objective numbers on which to base our choice of where to put our dollars rather than marketing driven BS.

CJ - 09/16/13 - 5:10pm

I think the Stages haters often miss the point. They are building a product that is not necessarily designed to replace an SRM, or for that market per say. The market for an SRM is very, very small (even relative the small power meter market). Stages has a product designed for a much broader audience and a much lower price.

Personally I have owned 2 power taps, a Quarq, an SRM and now a Stages. I sold my SRM when I got the Stages. I love the fact that it is a Dura Ace 9000 crank verses the old 7800 style. And amazingly enough my performance has not suffered in 2013 using the Stages, despite what so many people say on the internet and message boards………………………….

Victor - 09/16/13 - 8:41pm

@alvis

I think the stages engineering is quite fine. In fact it is impressive that they can accomodate so many crank options. The only knock that they have on them is that they have a left leg x 2 estimation.

I have a stages power meter and find it quite useful. At worst, you can say it may be off by 10 watts. Can I predict my own power within 10 watts without a power meter? Most definitely not.

With DCRainmakers reviews, it is evident that every power meter has some descripancy to each other. In some cases he has shown that the stages even tracks closer than other power meters. Whether it is a descripancy attributed to a left leg x 2 estimation (Stages), drive train losses (Powertap), lack of temperature compensation (Quarq, older power meters), or a delicate setup (polar, vector) most power meters will report different values.

So unless you are a special person whose whole workout or race is ruined because he didn’t have perfect power meter data, then you need to stop being such a naysayer.

Ham-planet - 09/16/13 - 9:28pm

@CJ
It seems that your grammar has taken a hit instead.

jerbz - 09/16/13 - 11:11pm

alvis seems to be prodding at an underlying existential dilemma here. isn’t it all essentially crap? your Garmin can’t give you your speed or distance with 100% accuracy. it’s all like, a scam, man… and we’re all just specs in the universe peeping about our plastic toys until we cease to exist. that’s deep. word.

Chainwhipped - 09/16/13 - 11:34pm

You can’t triple stamp a double stamp! Lloyd! Lloyd! You can’t triple stamp a double stamp!

sander - 09/17/13 - 9:57am

alvis, you may be right about all the technicalities etc, I won’t pretend knowing enough about it. But I have used a stages power meter for one season and I know it works for me. The data that it gives me from ride to ride is consistent, which in return helps me improve as a cyclist and that’s all I care about. A more “accurate” powermeter, costing 200+% more, would never give me 200+% better results.

chris - 09/17/13 - 1:26pm

Will the Energy BB30 arm work with my FSA SL-K BB30?

CJ - 09/17/13 - 4:06pm

@ham-planet I would agree with you. The good news is I could care less.

Alex - 09/17/13 - 8:49pm

I’ve used a stages SISL2 unit for 3 months and I absolutely love it. I love all the “internet experts” trying to diss a unit they’ve never even used and are totally unqualified to critique. I would highly recommend the unit to anyone that wants a PM and already owns a compatible crank.

PROEDGEBIKER.COM - 09/17/13 - 10:08pm

I Love my Stages Cycling PM.

Jonathan - 09/19/13 - 11:36pm

Will the Energy crank arm work with the K-Force light BB386EVO crankset?

Guy I ride with has a Stages PM and a Quarq PM. He prefers the Stages because of ease of operation. Numbers are very close between the two units also.

tomsc - 11/07/13 - 2:56am

@alvis all the criticisms of the stages cranks are justified but surely the point of a PM is as a training device so as long as you are getting a consistent power number specific to the rider who will have there own power figures to hit in an effort then it doesn’t really matter, thats why we use power instead of HR??????

Jared - 12/23/13 - 1:01am

I can’t use a Scram Red Crank by BB30 with a Rival Stages meter? Why? I guess I will put a Stages Power meter on the B bike with a 105 crank…

HeidiL - 02/24/14 - 6:30pm

Does anyone know if the FSA crank is supported on a standard set of chainrings (53/39)? I was told only compacts were available.

mark - 08/22/14 - 7:07pm

like the sound of the new stages power meters have been reading a few reviews and have seen a few friends who use them and i am tempted to switch from powertap to stages.

http://www.bike-reviews.info/2014/08/stages-ultegra-power-crank-review.html

Gunshipmike - 08/31/14 - 1:17pm

@alvis… Sky team uses Stages power meter… nuf said.

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