Giant and power meter specialists Stages Cycling have collaborated on a new GPS computer (opens in new tab), the Dash 200 series.
The Dash 200 is Stages’ third generation head unit, but the first one designed and built in cooperation with Giant. Previously the Taiwanese brand has only offered the entry-level Axact 6 and Neos. The Dash 200 is available with Giant or Stages branding on the casing, but both have the exact same internals and functionality.
Not only can you choose the name of the brand on the leading edge of the Dash 200 but it comes in two sizes: the M200 features a 2.2in display and a weight of 77g while the larger Dash L200 has a 2.7in display and weighs 105g.
Both sizes (and brandings) of Dash 200 feature a full-colour screen, pre-installed cycling specific maps (free, global coverage), and a full suite of training features. Neither has a touchscreen - operation is via five Wahoo-style concave buttons.
Giant and Stages say that automatic profiles make the Dash the easiest computer to use with every bike, and claim that in conjunction with the Stages Cycling app it is the most customisable computer on the market with up to 12 data fields on each screen.
Like all head units at this level the Dash 200 is ANT+ and Bluetooth compatible and will pair with any power meter.
With WiFi compatibility and the new Stages Cycling app users can add workouts, courses or maps and sync rides to third party apps such as TrainingPeaks and Strava.
Both models come with a quarter turn mount and can be used in landscape or portrait mode.
The Dash 200 also features Adaptive Zones which, when enabled, allows the Dash to continuously monitor your effort and automatically update your colour-coded training zones based on your current fitness level.
The Dash L200 will retail at £289/$329 and the M200 £239/$279.
Will it take a slice of the pro-level GPS computer pie from Garmin and Wahoo?
Both sizes of Dash 200 undercut the Garmin Edge 830 (opens in new tab), which costs £349/$399. The Wahoo Elemnt Bolt (opens in new tab) sells at is £264/$299 so sits in between the two Giant/Stages models.
As for battery life, the Dash 200 claims 10 hours at max operation (displaying maps with one sensor connected, with 100% backlight) or up to 18 hours with reduced power mode enabled.
This compares to the Garmin 830’s 20 hours in GPS mode and 40 hours in battery saver mode, with 15 hours for the Wahoo Elemnt Bolt.
On paper its functionality looks up there with that of the head units from the Big Two. The ability to use the Dash 200 in landscape mode is something not offered by Garmin or Wahoo and could help with readability.
Is the Dash 200 a Giant or Stages computer?
Our friends over at Cyclingnews had speculated about whether the Dash 200 might simply be a Giant-branded Stages computer (opens in new tab) to keep the BikeExchange-Jayco sponsor happy. So which is it? Which bits of the Dash 200 come from Giant and which from Stages?
According to the press release, the collaboration came about after Stages worked with Giant as a manufacturing partner on its indoor bikes. Pat Warner, SVP of product at Stages Cycling said: “Giant was able to add valuable insight to the project with their product development and industry experience, and Stages brings training and software expertise. The combination delivers an excellent product to the end consumer.”
And from Giant’s side, Jeff Schneider, head of product and marketing for gear, said: “We’ve enjoyed a great working relationship with the team at Stages and have immense respect for what they have accomplished in the last 10 years. Partnering with them to bring this new generation of Dash head units to market brought the strengths of both companies together. The cooperation has definitely delivered class-leading head units that provide clear and relevant riding data across Giant’s full range of bikes including our E-bike category.”
Giant/Stages Dash 200 key specs
- Larger 2.7” screen on L200 and compact 2.2” screen on the M200
- Stages Everbrite screen
- Built-in ambient light sensor automatically brightens or dims to optimise visibility and runtime in variable light
- Five button control
- IP57 water and dust resistant
- Connection to GPS and QZSS with SBAS WAAS, EGNOS, MSAS, and GAGAN
- Built-in barometer provides real time data by cross-checking with GPS
- Built-in thermometer displays real time temperature change when moving from peaks to valleys
- Up to 18 hours of battery life with reduced power mode enabled. 10 hours at max operation (displaying maps with one sensor connected, with 100% backlight)
- Quarter turn mount
Giant says the Dash 200 will be available in the UK from the end of May and we're waiting for news of USA availability. Stages has the Dash 200 in stock for USA customers but not UK.
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Simon Smythe is Cycling Weekly's senior tech writer and has been in various roles at CW since 2003. His first job was as a sub editor following an MA in online journalism.
In his cycling career Simon has mostly focused on time trialling with a national medal, a few open wins and his club's 30-mile record in his palmares. These days he spends a bit more time testing road bikes, or on a tandem doing the school run with his younger son.
What's in the stable? There's a Colnago Master Olympic, a Hotta TT700, an ex-Castorama lo-pro that was ridden in the 1993 Tour de France, a Pinarello Montello, an Independent Fabrication Club Racer, a Mercian Classic fixed winter bike and a renovated Roberts with a modern Campag groupset.
And the vital statistics:
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