Last year's interbike trade show served as Stages Cycling's debut. Returning to interbike in the brand's sophomore year, Stages will offer three new models: Shimano Ultegra 6800, plus two FSA models covering both the MegaExo and BB30 bottom bracket standards.
The new Ultegra 6800 model will be available in late November, while the FSA options will come on-line around the first of the year. The new Ultegra model will retail for $799, while the FSA models will run $699.
The Stages Power meter is permanent fixture attached to the left-side crank arm (see photo above). It calculates rider output using an array of strain gauges that measure deflection (or flex) of the crank. For this reason it only works with alloy cranks, which bend in a uniform manner. Carbon models do not. Here's a full detailing of how the Stages Power meter works.
Measurements are taken only from the left leg, then doubled to provide an overall power measure. Stages meters, which include an array of Shimano road and mountain models, multiple SRAM offerings, and Cannondale's Si 3D forged base crank arm, are among the least expensive in this increasingly crowded marketplace, which includes the likes of SRM, Saris, Quarq, and just recently Garmin.
Both new models offer the same features and benefits shared by the existing Stages Power meter range. Highlights include Stages' Active Temperature Compensation system, which insures that the Stages Power meter offers consistent power measurements. Other features include both ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart communication, accelerometer based cadence measurement, and a sub-20 gram weight.
"Our product needn't follow the traditional model year rigmarole," said Matt Pacocha, Stages marketing manager. "Rather we're simply expanding the range of our Stages Power meter to add compatibility and fill key holes. These new models simply open Stages Power to a broader base of cranks spec'd on new bikes and already available in the field. We're excited to support Shimano's Ultegra 6800 drivetrain, and for the much broader BB30 fitment that FSA will afford."