It’s been a touch over four months since I first published the Stages Power Meter In-Depth Review.
As a result of that review, Stages made a number of updates to their power meter firmware since then, including addressing specific items that were raised as concerns during the review. No, it was riding with 3-4 power meters concurrently. One of the Slowtwitch editors recently noted something along the lines of ‘The fun factor of these rides were approximately zero’. Aside from being a cold and rainy winter, there’s more complexity in ensuring that every setting and start/stop time is exactly the same when you have so many head units and power meters running concurrently.
I’m reasonably confident that outside of Stages themselves, I probably have the largest and most complete data set of a single rider against as many additional power meters as one can technically attach to their bike. Each head unit records data differently, and finding ones that record data the same way is critical to testing.
They are incredibly tough to get ‘right’, and a lot of data collection and analysis goes into it.
Thus, when I publish a second review for a product, that means at least another 2-3 products in The Queue get pushed out further and delayed.
All raw data for this review is available at the end of the review for anyone to download and analyze should they wish.
Before we dive into the analysis, I want to cover some ground on a few topics briefly.
Ultimately though, I have a lot of good data to work with. There were certainly (many) rides where things went wrong somewhere in steps 1-7, meaning that ride got tossed out.
It could be something as simple as the battery dying, or it could be that a unit got inadvertently stopped without me realizing it or that there was some form of ANT interference.
If you’re just finding this page without going to the original review, I encourage you to go to the original review to get a grasp on how the Stages Power Meter works, unboxing shots, and all the usual background information. It cannot be used to perform a full comparison review. Speaking of that 2nd (or 3rd) unit, making the assumption that the Quarq/Power Tap/SRM/Power2Max is always correct is fundamentally flawed. Further, not only does it collect that data concurrently with a timecode, it also collects at a higher rate than a typical Garmin (or other head unit).
If there’s anything I’ve learned (or can note to others), it’s just how difficult it is to accurately test power meters. Normally Garmins will pick one of the 1-8 broadcasts per second, and record that.
Mostly as a way to ‘catch-up’ folks on various areas of note relevant to this review.