Stages has improved on its first generation of power meters but has it improved enough. I've been testing for a while now and think it still has some work to do.
I’ve had a long time with the Stages power meter and know many riding buddies that use it. When it works it is great, readings are stable, it is subtle and hidden out of the way and it weighs next to nothing.
Over the years we’ve not had too many issues with our test models but this one in particular has been a little faulty and we are not alone.
Since the firmware and hardware update water ingress has reduced, though cold temperatures and damp conditions drain the battery super quick with many having to take spare coin cell battery out with them to ensure they aren’t caught short – there has been instances when the battery dies after one ride too.
One of our Stages power meters refused to pair with a Garmin 500. It seems if you can get really unlucky with the reliability of Stages power meters, where others run without issue.
In my experience it read slightly higher than other power meters too, personally this isn’t too much of a problem, unless you change your power meter, as at least it is constantly reading high. Though the within two per cent accuracy is one of the highest on test, improvements are needed.
It is worth factoring in that because the measurement is left side only, the overall power measurement can be inaccurate if you have an imbalance. For this reason I wouldn’t suggest the Stages power meter for athletes recovering from single leg injuries.
Video – how to test your critical power
If you want an idea of the power you produce and like to keep the look of your bike clean the the Stages power meter is a good option. Stages also means you can still use the same crankset and wheelsets you love, though it can bring problems, especially in the battery department – be sure to take out some spares!
Stages has such a great package here, it offers pretty much every crank option from Shimano to SRAM and Campag. It's so compact and lightweight and relatively wallet friendly compared to others. Though it has had some issue over time, not only with our test model but others around us too. Stages has been great to get these retified mind and are very quick to get replacements sorted.