Understanding the Stages Dash cycling computer

Head unit designed to seamlessly interface with new Link training service

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It's a little busy, but if you're a metrics nut the Dash can handle up to five screens of up to 16 fields.

It’s a little busy, but if you’re a metrics nut the Dash can handle up to five screens of up to 16 fields.

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.

It's that big (iPhone 5C for reference).

It’s that big (iPhone 5C for reference).

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.

Of course there is also a calendar screen with lots of information about what you've done — and what is coming up.

Of course there is also a calendar screen with lots of information about what you’ve done — and what is coming up.

“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.

Continue to page 2 for more on the new Stages Dash head unit and Link training service »

About the author: Jason Sumner

An avid cyclist, Jason Sumner has been writing about two-wheeled pursuits of all kinds since 1999. He’s covered the Tour de France, the Olympic Games, and dozens of other international cycling events. He also likes to throw himself into the fray, penning first-person accounts of cycling adventures all over the globe. Sumner, who joined the RoadBikeReview.com / Mtbr.com staff in 2013, has also done extensive gear testing and is the author of the cycling guide book "75 Classic Rides: Colorado." When not writing or riding, the native Coloradoan can be found enjoying time with his wife Lisa and daughter Cora.


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  • Damien says:

    Only sucky thing is stages wants 200$ a year for stages link that’s more than training peaks software that it’s based on. With that service only costing 119 a year

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