Along with growing tired of its reliance on other manufacturer’s often flawed head units, Colorado-based power meter maker Stages Cycling decided it was time to move away from Garmin (whose devices are primarily designed to find places and friends), and create a unit that is geared toward training (where the end goal is dropping your friends).
Enter the Stages Dash, a cycling computer that’s primary objective is to facilitate one’s ability to effectively train with power. The GPS-equipped unit has the usual connectivity via Bluetooth and ANT+, works in landscape or portrait orientation, is packed with power-based functions and metrics, and can sync with Stages’ new cloud-based training service, Stages Link.
“We’re four years into making power meters now,” said Stages PR man Matt Pacocha. “The goal with Dash and Link is to make training with power more accessible. Before we only had a small piece of the system. But after living with these other products for a while, we felt like we could do better, and wanted to push things in a different direction than say Garmin, which is basically a marine mapping system adapted to bikes.”
Stages also had issues with some of the provided analytics, which don’t always meet the company’s data accuracy objectives. This new ecosystem puts everything in their control, with the goal of simplifying and enhancing the end user experience.
Stages Link is currently in the beta stage, while Stages Dash will be available in early 2017 at a price of $399.
Key features of the Dash include the ability to offer guided workout coaching and specific provisions to manage training metrics across all devices. Meanwhile, Stages Link is what Stages is calling a hub of cloud-based coaching, education, training analysis, and equipment management tools, which were developed collaboratively with analytics experts Today’s Plan.
The system is backed by advanced analysis capabilities, and it custom tailors training plans and daily workouts to benefit rider performance and enable performance goals, whether the goal is to simply improve fitness or target specific races.
Stages Link also aids in Stages Dash set-up and keep tabs on your Stages Power meter, along with being open and compatible with other 3rd party devices. Stages Link plan pricing is not set yet, but riders who purchase a Stages power meter or Dash head unit will receive complementary access for two months.
At its basic level, Stages Link will offer a static training plan. The next level up will include the implementation of basic information (what are you training for, goal date, how much time you have, etc.) and then use a database of daily workouts to create custom training plan tailored to that person. Coaches will also be able to use Link as a way to communicate with and guide their athletes.
“One really cool feature is that after a workout, you’ll be able to take your ride data and bring it into Link where you can overlay what you did versus what you were supposed to do,” explained Pacocha. “That’s where it gets interesting for the rider or coach, who get to see how you’re doing in your workouts.”
If you want to use Dash, but not Link, you’ll also be able to download your data into apps such as TrainingPeaks and Strava.
The new Dash also offers a huge amount of screen customization. Indeed, options are almost limitless. Instead of picking from set screens you can set it up just the way you want it. Dash will handle five screens of up to 16 fields.
For more information, please visit stagescycling.com and click over to page 2 to read a comprehensive FAQ provided by Stages Cycling.