Colorado-based company Stages Cycling is launching a power meter that weighs just 20g and costs as little as $699!
The StageONE power meter is built into slightly modified left-hand crankarms and directly measures power via a strain gage array, custom electronics, and a special algorithm that filters out non-applicable forces and interpolates total left-plus-right output. Claimed accuracy is within +/-2 percent.StageONE is a new product, but it's based on a simpler design Stages Cycling has validated on more than 7,000 similar systems built into commercial exercise bikes.
Claimed weight for the entire system is just 20g. It adds less than 10mm to the inner profile of the crankarm. And once installed (with no holes or structural changes required, mind you), it's barely noticeable with virtually zero effect on a bike's aesthetics.
Since the system is based on a left-hand crankarm exclusively, it should also be very easy to transfer between multiple bikes with no effect on the drivetrain adjustment and no recalibration when swapping chainrings. Users will still be able to retain power measurement when swapping between racing and training wheels or different pedals, too.
As if that weren't enough, Stages Cycling claims the StageONE incorporates ambient temperature compensation to retain accurate readings, it measures cadence without having to install a separate magnet on your bike anywhere, it transmits data via both ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart protocols for maximum compatibility with both existing head units and many popular smartphones, claimed battery life is more than 200 hours, and the standard CR2032 battery is easily replaceable at home.
Stages does not make its own head unit, and has no plans to do so. So you will have to own an ANT+ bike computer (like a Garmin 500) or a Bluetooth 4.0 smartphone to read and record power data.
And for those keeping track, the StageONE is completely manufactured in the United States – even the plastic casing – with the lone exception of the circuit boards, which are currently printed in Taiwan.
That feature set would be impressive for any direct-measurement power meter but that the StageONE is priced so relatively inexpensively is merely icing on the cake. According to Stages Cycling vice president of product development Doug Crawford, the goal of the StageONE is simply to "bring more people into power."Full Bike Radar article available here
Lots of more pics here
The Power meter market battle is about to get very interesting...