Stages SB20 exercise bike: a bulletproof home trainer?

A robust indoor training bike with tons of adjustability and a very heavy flywheel

Image shows Stages SB20 exercise bike
(Image credit: Future)
Cycling Weekly Verdict

An extremely robust indoor bike option, which offers ample adjustability (perfect for a pregnant tester, right up to 38 weeks). Over nine months of testing, we experienced only one instance of power irregularity - which was fixed in minutes. The ERG mode could be a bit sharper, but if you're after day-to-day reliability and a bike you can churn away on daily, the Stages SB20 comes highly recommended.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Very customisable shifters

  • +

    High level of adjustability

  • +

    L/R power measurement

  • +

    Extremely durable

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    No feedback on the unit to show gearing

  • -

    ERG mode seemed a little slow to react

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The volume of choice available for a cyclist seeking a dedicated bike for their indoor cycling has increased rapidly in recent years. Competitors to the Stages SB20 include Wahoo's Kickr bike, the Wattbike Atom, and the Tacx Neo bike. All options represent a hefty investment, and - to be honest - come with fairly similar 'on paper' spec sheets, leaving reviewers splitting hairs over which can take home the title of the best indoor exercise bike for cyclists. 

Stages' unique selling point over the competition, it says, is its durability. The brand is responsible for manufacturing a high volume of the machines you'll see in commercial gyms, which means it needs to create hardware that can withstand vigorous use and - in many cases - fairly lackluster maintenance. 

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Indoor bikes: comparisons
Row 0 - Cell 0 Stages SB20Wahoo Kickr BikeWattbike Atom Gen 2Tacx Neo bike
Power accuracy+/- 1.5%, dual sided+/- 1%+/- 1%less than 1%
Resistance unitElectromagnetic, Gates carbon belt driveElectromagnetic, "enhanced motor"ElectromagneticElectromagnetic
Peak power3000w2200w2500w2200w
Graident simulation+ 25%+ 20% to -15%25%25%

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