A new and improved Stages power meter survives thousands of miles of testing without fault. Do we like it? You bet.
Initial criticism after the release of the Stages power meter range focused on water ingress at the unit and subsequent short battery life, or complete failure.
It seemed that the rubber seal just wasn’t up to the job, it’s a shame this wasn’t addressed before going on sale, as this negated all the good points of the product. It’s light (claimed to be less than 20 grams), making it the lightest power meter on the market, and it’s well-priced, starting just shy of £600.
In the 4000 miles or so that I have been testing the Stages 105 power meter I’ve been pleased with the overall performance, and feel in a good position to lay a few demons to rest. In that time I have ridden in all extremes of conditions from the summer heat to the winter cold, in dry and wet conditions, giving it the ultimate test in the form of ‘cross racing, the unit proved reliable throughout the race despite the usual wet mud fest that is British cyclo-cross.
It may not be recommended but I didn’t hold back with the jet wash after the races either, I’m happy to report that I couldn’t get any water past the seal and into the unit.
The battery has died once in 5 months, it went with no indication that it was going to happen, and was frustrating at the time as it still showed a connection to the unit, but no data. I thought it had broken, but was pleased when a simple battery change brought it back to life.
Although we couldn’t test its overall accuracy, the data supplied was consistent, with no untoward readings occurring.
Overall, additional to its plus point mentioned above, it’s this simplicity that makes the Stages power meters so good, they are easy to swap between bikes, set-up, use and maintain.