The team that’s won the last two Tours de France will be running Stages power meters in 2014.
Just a year after coming to market, Colorado-based Stages Cycling has signed a sponsorship deal with one of the world’s most successful pro cycling teams. The new partnership is a significant feather in the cap of this young company, and should help it accelerate further development of the Stages Power meter.
Team Sky — who are known for their out-of-the-box evidence-based thinking — were reportedly impressed by the ease-of-use of the Stages Power meter and its consistency across rapidly changing environmental temperatures.
“As a team, we see the power meter as a very useful tool,” said Tim Kerrison, Sky’s head of performance support. “The results that we get, both from training and racing, help us to quantify how our riders are performing, which then allows us to make informed coaching decisions.”
Another factor that drew the team’s attention was the meter’s light weight and easy integration with Shimano’s Dura-Ace 9070 groupset, as it only adds 20 grams to the existing Dura-Ace crank set.
“The power meter is one of the most important tools for the team, giving us the perfect insight into how a rider is performing, which is crucial for the coaching team,” said Carsten Jeppesen, Sky’s head of technical operations. “We’re very excited to team-up with Stages, who are not only innovating the power meter market, they are also making the real-time on-bike measurement of power more accessible and affordable to a larger cycling population.”
Over the last year, Stages Power has gained market share by offering a product that’s significantly less expensive than most of its competitors. Arguably the most significant new product to hit the cycling market in 2013, Stages has helped bring power measurement to the two-wheeled masses. Or at least closer than it was before. The $700 starting price is relatively cheap when consider that $2,000 used to the be the starting point for this conversation. Even the Garmin Vector is $1,700.
We tested a Stages power meter on and off during the 2013 cycling season and were generally impressed. There were some glitches along the way (battery life issues, irregular readings early on). But overall we’ve been impressed with its ease of use and consistency. Stages has also been exceptionally proactive and responsive in addressing issues and recently released a significant App update.
“I’m most excited for the opportunity this presents for the Stages Power meter’s future,” said Stages marketing man Matt Pacocha. “We have great ideas for new products and features, and the team has the ultimate understanding of riders’ needs at cycling’s highest level; put those two prospects together and it will only benefit the riders who invest in Stages Cycling products.”
Team Sky is now equipped with Stages Power meters and both parties are ready to start the 2014 racing season.