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Stages Cycling fires up two-sided left/right power meters

Stages Power LR power meter measures separate left and right leg power
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So, according to their testing and feedback with Team Sky (who’s won two Tours de France on this setup), Stages says you may not actually need independent left-right power measurement. But now they’re offering it, because we want it anyway.

The new Stages Power LR puts separate sensors on both crank arms, starting with the latest Shimano Dura-Ace 9100 and Ultegra R8000 cranksets. The two sensors provide independent measurements of positive and negative forces on each crank arm, and when paired via ANT+ provides real time pedaling dynamics info. That means Pedaling Smoothness (what percentage of your pedal stroke is actually applying power to the pedals) and Torque Effectiveness (how much of your power is being used for forward propulsion) figures.

Like the original single-sided unit they launched with, these are waterproof, have a built-in cadence sensor, and transmit via ANT+ and Bluetooth. It’ll work with their Dash cycling computer and Link app, which handles wireless updates, or any other ANT+/BTLE compatible head unit. The Dura-Ace model will ship preinstalled on the crankset for $1,299 (€1,399) and the Ultegra crankset is $999 (€1,099). Both available this fall. Weight for the power meter parts is a mere 35g.

Stages says for most riders, seeing left-leg-only power data is enough to provide an accurate picture of their total output. But, for riders that have a known imbalance, are recovering from injury, or just really want to see the full picture, now they have an option to compete with Pioneer and everyone else.

StagesCycling.com

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17 Comments
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PabloE432
PabloE432
5 years ago

Wow their pricing. How can they make any money being so far off the market? Is it just the Shimano OEM look or what?

Chader
Chader
5 years ago
Reply to  PabloE432

What are you comparing against?

It seems roughly similar to the crank based Pioneer and 4iiii dual power systems for two examples.

It is also similar to the dual measurement pedal options from PowerTap, Garmin with Favero coming in a bit cheaper than all.

Robin
Robin
5 years ago
Reply to  Chader

They are expensive compared to many of the Power2Max and Quarq options, as well as PowerTap’s hub options.

Chader
Chader
5 years ago
Reply to  Robin

Got it. So for comparison, a consideration is whether the other options offer Left/Right power data.

I know the PowerTap is kinda dual, but kinda single. You actually measure power from both legs (unlike a single sided arm solution like Stages), but it is not possible to segregate the data to L/R balance since it is on the hub.

I don’t know much about the P2M or Q ones, but I seem to remember they are similar to the PT Hub in that they don’t generally segregate the data to L/R balance.

However, I seem to remember hearing that the new DZero may attempt to calculate a differential based on estimated crank position (via the accelerometer) and the related power measured.

That type of data may not be valuable to all users, but it will be important to some and is a reasonable justification for the price differences.

Robin
Robin
5 years ago
Reply to  Chader

Has anyone yet demonstrated a benefit to knowing power balance?

Chader
Chader
5 years ago
Reply to  Robin

There are multiple possible uses. Analysis to identify (and then potentially correct) significant imbalances. These can come from injuries, general fitness (or lack), physical size differences (leg length) and other possible issues.

It’s not likely necessary for many users, but sometimes you never know until you have the information to read in the first place.

Here is some more detailed info and use cases:
http://www.hunterallenpowerblog.com/2015/11/balance-introduction-to-leftright-power.html

https://www.trainingpeaks.com/blog/diagnosing-correcting-pedaling-asymmetry-using-wko4/

carlos
carlos
5 years ago
Reply to  Robin

I had a mysterious imbalance at lower power that vanished above threshold. Turned out one of my cleats was loose. Hooray for power balance!

Robin
Robin
5 years ago
Reply to  Chader

Chader, my impression is that the power meter market is being driven by cost, judging by the direction that prices of gone in the last few years and by the prices on a lot the new players in the power meter market.

aeroB
aeroB
5 years ago

“That means Pedaling Smoothness (what percentage of your pedal stroke is actually applying power to the pedals) and Torque Effectiveness (how much of your power is being used for forward propulsion) figures.”

Pedaling smoothness is the ratio of average torque to maximum torque in a pedaling rotation, not % applying power (basically described torque effectiveness twice). This is why it’s typically quite low (20-30%) compared to torque effectiveness.

tyler
5 years ago

Tour*s* de France 🙂

Wiscomark
Wiscomark
5 years ago
Reply to  tyler

Seriously, how can a cycling publication get this wrong? You aren’t touring two “Frances”, you’re taking multiple tours of France.

Chris
Chris
5 years ago
Reply to  Wiscomark

“Seriously, how can a cycling publication get this wrong?”

I guess we’ll just have to wait for the formal inquiry is finished and then the press conference to find out. Stay strong in the meanwhile. We’ll get through this.

Zach Overholt
Admin
5 years ago
Reply to  Wiscomark

Thanks for pointing that out. The brain does funny things while jet lagged after 24 hours of travel and writing stories in the car on the way to Eurobike so we can continue our coverage of products like this. Fixed.

Collin Snyder
Collin Snyder
5 years ago

P2M and Quarq both use a estimation for L/R balance. Its not a true dual sided like this, the 4iiii, Pioneer, and the different pedal solutions. That being said. with a P2M setup, it says for me 44/56 for L/R balance. If that is true, then a stages would be reading about 8% lower than alternative solutions. If you only have one powermeter, it doesn’t matter, however, if you have multiple bikes with multiple powermeters, the measurement method becomes important.

For a comparison, that’s like having a scale in your bedroom that you weigh yourself in the morning reads 5lbs higher then the one in the bathroom that you weigh yourself at night and getting discouraged why you gained 5lbs overnight. Why are there crumbs on the bed and my face is covered in peanut butter?

greg
5 years ago
Reply to  Collin Snyder

Because Todd is secretly sabotaging you through an elaborate hypnotic ritual, which has you visiting your pantry every night, of course.

Martin
Martin
5 years ago

Is it still possible to move just the left arm over to a non-stages right arm and use it as a single leg meter there? So you can have dual on your main bike, but left leg only on the occational ride on a spare bike?

Jim Jones
Jim Jones
5 years ago

Oh good, now there will be 2 sides that don’t deliver a strong or consistent signal to your head-unit. Now we’ll also have two batteries to worry about draining and needing to be replaced multiple times a year.

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