Power meter maker Stages Cycling has unveiled new carbon crank-based power meters, as well as slimmer housing designs and some impressive new price points.
The second-generation alloy meters will be available for Shimano crank arms in September, with the remainder of Stages alloy power meters coming later in the fall. The new carbon power meters will begin shipping in January.
The new Stages Power meter is:
- Available: For carbon and alloy base crank arms
- Slimmer: Up to 28-percent lower profile
- Sleeker: 17-percent reduction in frontal area
- Stronger: New housing increases strength of battery door and housing connection
- Economical: New cost savings due to production efficiencies
Carbon Crank Based Stages Power
A new Stages branded power meter will anchor the new carbon Stages Power product range. This new meter is built custom for Stages and manufactured of hollow carbon fiber by Full Speed Ahead.
In addition to the Stages branded meter, the Stages Power product range will include new models from Campagnolo, including Super Record, Record and Chorus, as well as FSA’s SL-K Light BB30 model.
The full carbon fiber Stages Power meter and crank arm weigh145 grams and is compatible with 386EVO drive side cranks as well as SRAM Red 22, Force 22 and Rival 22 BB30 road and SRAM Mountain (168mm Q) BB30 drive side cranks.
This compatibility is achieved by way of an innovative range of BB30 bottom bracket spindles. This new Stages Power Meter will also be available for GXP road and mountain cranks by spring 2016.
Stages says it took considerable effort for its engineers to solve the problem of precisely measuring power in the field on carbon crank arms. There were many challenges, including: the nature of the composite materials; fatigue characteristics; bonding to a composite material; effect of temperature changes; direction of forces and strain.
To build a carbon Stages Power meter, Stages engineers spent extended development time testing specifically to achieve the same consistent and accurate power measurement across all riding conditions that were introduced with the original Stages Power meter.
“We could have made a carbon power meter a long time ago, but it would have had the functionality of a meter from the pre-Stages era,” said Sam Morrison, Stages Cycling engineer and carbon product manager. “The problem isn’t measuring deflection in carbon, it’s dealing with changes of the material when the operating temperature changes. We could have released a meter that would require constant zero resets. But instead we took our time and built a new system to specifically deal with the challenges carbon faces when temperatures change.”
Due to the what it is calling efficiencies developed since the company’s launch, Stages has lowered the prices of its aluminum Stages Power meters.
To keep up with demand, Stages made a significant upgrade in the form of a laser, for etching the base crank arms. This reduced the initial prep of a production lot from 3.5 hours to 38 minutes. A pair of robotic gluing fixtures also reduced the step of securing the power meter housings to the crank arms by a factor of four.
With these efficiencies Stages was able to drop the entry-level price of a Stages Power meter to $530. Top end models are $950. You can also find meters as low as $400 on the company’s shopping site right now, as it closes out old inventory.
For more information visit www.stagescycling.com.
This article is part of RoadBikeReview’s coverage of the 2015 Interbike trade show in Las Vegas. For more from Interbike CLICK HERE.