We gave a detailed first look at the new Dash GPS-enabled cycling computer from Stages Cycling last fall, promising a more integrated training environment on the bike. Paired with their own wide range of crank-based power meters, the new Dash computer brings training with power to the front, making it easier to manage your workouts, out on the road. Much less of a navigation aid or ride tracking device, the Dash is all about presenting key performance metrics & workouts clearly in your line of sight to maximize training effort. The Dash gets backed up by Stages’ also new cloud-based Link coaching & training suite that adapt as you ride and helps work towards boosting performance. Originally slated to ship at the beginning of the year, Stages is gearing up to deliver the new Dash this month…
The details remain from what we saw last fall. While Stages’ own power meters integrate well with other cycling computers, there hasn’t really been much in the head unit market outside of SRM’s PC line that was really tailored towards structured training on the bike. With more and more riders training with power, Stages knew how they wanted cyclists to optimize their training time on the bike, so they developed their own completely new system that lets riders customize what they need to see while riding.
The overall 2.7″/ 200×400 pixel LCD form factor of the device isn’t so different that other premium computers from the likes of Garmin & Wahoo for example, but something as simple as being able to quickly flip from portrait to landscape orientation means making it easier to dial in what training metrics you really need to focus on depending on what type of training you have planned.
With that users can set up the Dash to display anywhere from 1-16 performance metrics to either block out all but a single core metric or bask in the data. It also has a split screen function that lets you fix a few key metrics and still be able to scroll through all of your other ride & performance data.
The Dash uses an anti-glare screen and five fixed buttons on the edge of its face for navigation through all the functions. It gets a modular clamp-on mount that means you wont be able to simply carry over your existing Garmin mounts, but you will be able to quickly and securely move from one orientation to the other. The new computer does include an out-front style mount for 31.8mm bars.
The Dash has a claimed battery life of 25-30 hours, and weighs in at 120g. It works with ANT+ & Bluetooth Smart to pair to other input devices than your Stages power meter.
Behind the scenes it is Stages Link that powers everything you see on the Dash, and helps you get the most out of training through targeted workouts.
From your home computer or mobile device Link will allow you to quickly configure what data you see on the Dash, but also is the place for defining all of your training plans. Then you can wirelessly push training plans to the Dash, and the Dash will wirelessly sync your data back to Link. Dash can also transfer your data both wirelessly or through its micro USB to sync with Strava, Training Peaks, and other online tools.
The training plans & coaching templates as part of Link are currently in an open beta phase. That means that anyone can sign up now and start creating their own training plans to reach individualized cycling goals for free. Link has a pretty detailed suite of tools that will help quickly build your own customized training calendar based on simple inputs about your riding, goals, and available training time, with Stages having worked with established training company Today’s Plan to adapt the system.
With that said when it officially launches Link will require a $20 monthly Premium membership to keep using the automated coaching training tools. Buyers of the Dash will get just two months of that free, but still get basic analytical tools to track your training for free.
Whether or not you subscribe, on the bike, Dash will guide you through planned workouts with prompts for scheduled efforts along the way. It will even collect and automatically update your FTP & training zone data directly back into your Link plans so your next workout will be optimized to your real performance.
The important thing out of all of this for riders looking to update their training integration on the bike is that the Dash is finally getting ready to start shipping. Stages has opened up ordering on their website with the Dash retailing for $400€ with deliveries slate within the next 2-3 weeks. Included in that price is lifetime access to the Dash manager element of Stages Link, plus its push-pull wireless data management. Premium Link membership will be additional.