Stages Gets It

Stages power meter Cannondale Si

June 21, 2014. I’ll clearly remember the day. The day my very first power meter arrived on my doorstep. Man, was I stoked. I was really into racing at this point in my life and I finally owned the tool I needed to make me fast. I had been lusting after a power meter for so long and here it was. And I was only months away from first contribution to this website, Element.ly.

I was still racing then so naturally the very first photo of my power meter was on a scale.

It was a Stages mated to a Cannondale Si crank arm. Granted, it wasn’t a matching SiSL2 arm that I had hoped for, but I didn’t mind those few extra grams. Since this is not a long-term review story, I’ll spare you all the technical details other than the fact that it works, and I’ve been a happy user.

I noticed intermittent loss of signal starting this past summer but I didn’t think much of it. I knew my battery was getting old, and the signal loss problem was largely gone after a new battery was installed. The problem eventually came back in October and I thought it was the battery door not being tight enough, as the plastic tabs on the doors can be finiky to deal with. Over the years, I ordered extra doors and o-ring seals just so I can have fresh o-rings whenever I switch the battery, but I’ve finally run out so I hit up Stages hoping to buy a few more of those damn doors.

After the usual email exchanges, I woke up one morning to a really nice tech informing me that based on the photos I sent over, the housing latches were damaged. Yup, cue the “oh no uh oh.” Instead of a sorry it’s out of warranty you are SOL I was surprised to hear options. Yes, plural

I was told 1) I could get new battery doors with no promises that it’ll securely work or 2) a fully repaired and rebuilt to the newest generation 3 spec, or 3) trade mine in for a whole new crank arm/powermeter unit.

Seriously?

Mind you I was also dealing with a warranty issue with my Benz that was going nowhere so the offer from Stages was an unexpected breath of fresh air. I didn’t expect that response. I opted for the rebuild and the turnaround was much shorter than what I was told.

Now that’s quality service. Good job Stages. I am stoked to have my power meter of quasi sentimental value fixed and ready to ride again. Though it’s been a while since I last pinned a number on at any race whatsoever and that my watts number game is comparatively whack, I still very much appreciate the data and science-based training, an extra tool to help and motivate me to stay in shape, or crudely speaking, to go measurably faster than my ride buddies.


PowerTap Updates Pedal-Based Power Meter

PowerTap P2 Power Meter Pedal

PowerTap first introduced its pedal-based P1 power meter in 2015 and the power-measuring specialist is finally bringing its next generation of power meter pedals, the P2.

At first glance, the P2 doesn’t look all too different from the P1. It’s true because the jump between the P2 to the P1 isn’t very big. It’s more of a refinement.

So what’s new? According to PowerTap, the two biggest differences, besides the cosmetic change from black to silver, is that it’s 34 grams lighter and its batteries are 33% longer-lasting with up to 80 hours of use. 

PowerTap P2 Power Meter Pedal

We were curious about how PowerTap managed to accomplish both feats. So we asked Ryan Birkicht, Marketing Communication Manger at Saris, Powertap’s parent company. 

Could you elaborate on how the weight reduction was made possible? New material? More machining? Getting rid of the black paint? 

The weight reduction was achieved through more machining in the pedal body and the removal of redundant electronics. We had multiple electronics that were measuring the same thing so we were able to remove one of the boards and still achieve the same accuracy and data collection.

The battery life. Was the battery life increase due to new electronics or done on a software level?

The removal of redundant electronics also improved the battery life. With less boards to power, the batteries now go farther and hold a charge for longer.

Besides that, the dual-sided P2 retained the P1’s ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart compatibility, use of AAA-sized battery, its own triple-bolted cleats that look a whole lot like the Look Keos (but it’s not), a 2-year warranty, and it’s still super easy to install – as there is no difference from installing a pair of regular pedals. The P2 will be available very soon at $899.99 per set.

PowerTap P2 Power Meter Pedal


Pioneer now shipping Shimano Ultegra R8000 Power Meters

Pioneer Ultegra R8000 Power Meter
Photo: Pioneer

It’s merely been months since Shimano dropped the next-generation Ultergra R8000 groupset and Pioneer is already shipping power meters built with the very same R8000 crankset… just in time for the holidays.

Pioneer Ultegra R8000 Power Meter
Photo: Pioneer

At its core, the Pioneer power meter system remains identical to the unit we reviewed a few years ago. Besides the new crank arm, there are now options to choose between single-sided, dual-sided, or supplying your own existing crank in for either one the aforementioned options.

A brand new dual-sided Pioneer power meter with R8000 crankset will retail for $1,249.99. A single-leg version will have a significantly lower price of $559.99.

Pioneer Ultegra R8000 Power Meter
Pioneer SGY-LT80 Series Single Leg Power Meter. Photo: Pioneer

For those interested in sending in your existing crankarm(s), the cost of the dual side retrofit is $999.99. A single left meter will run you $499.99 and the corresponding drive side upgrade will retail for $579.99 with a 7-10 day turnaround.