Stages Left Sided Power Meter - Your Experience?

Anyone have experience with the Gen. 3 left sided power meter from Stages?

They’re having a sale ($244 USD) for factory install, i.e. provide your own left crank. I’ve heard there were issues with some of their stuff, but don’t know whether the Gen. 3 has resolved them.

Also, the 1 year warranty makes me question the longevity of the product. Favero offers a two year warranty, but their products are more expensive so I guess you get what you pay for in that sense.

if it helps, i bought a used one about 2-3 years ago, left side as well. it worked right away and the battery lasts for 100hrs or 2 1/2 months of 10hrs weeks. Swapping the CR2032 is very easy. When it stopped working, their customer service solved the issue for me in 1 day: bad contact in one of the battery holders; i gently bent it back and it worked again. If i were to get a power meter these days, that’d be the one. Indestructible, easy to use and great support. I’m a fan for sure.

Thank you for sharing your experience, particularly as it relates to their customer service.

They’re fine… The only caveat I would say is that their sampling frequency means power numbers will be impacted if you use an oval ring, which isn’t really an issue as they still produce consistent numbers, just slightly inaccurate ones which really isn’t a big deal for training purposes.

I have a Stages LHS PM on my campy 12sp, the only issue is that when it rains, the readings go weird, when the battery gets low, the warning comes up on the screen and goes flat/dead very quickly and if you don’t up-date software at the right time, you get odd power readings.
Been working for 2 years and I recommend it.

Work out your FTP and stick to your numbers on the climbs.

I have the 4iiii left side and have been really pleased. With 105, it was simpler to buy it crank arm and replace mine.

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I bought one three years ago, sits on my gravel bike at the moment. Works well but I do see the odd momentary power spike in sprints. That’s my only complaint - otherwise agrees with the Quarq on the other bike and Assioma pedals very well.

I’ve been using mine for two years or so. It works.

Slightly longer version: It shows consistent numbers, I also never experienced any freak events in rain or anything else.

What I did notice is that it shows consistently lower numbers than my Kickr Core. Usually it’s the other way around with the trainer being lower, but for my level of cycling it’s not too big an issue. It might also be related to a left-right-imbalance on my part.

I also find that it tends to burn through batteries. I’ve never really measured the battery life, but I noticed it enough to point it out.

If I were to buy a new power meter, I’d probably opt for something with dual-sided measurement, but unless you’re super serious about your watts, the Stages is fine (plus you could always upgrade to dual-sided measurements).

I appreciate everyone’s thoughts/experiences and based on this, think I’ll give it a shot!

Also, great tip regarding the replacement O rings.

Got a 3rd gen 5800 105, got it just as r7000 came out so was slightly cheaper.

Happy with it, accurate enough for my needs. Although I wish I could find as good of a deal for my grx now.

Fine for me :ok_hand:

Another Campy/Stages user here.

I’ve had mixed results with gen 3 Stages. After installing the first one, it would connect to my phone and Wahoo, display cadence, but not display power. A lemon perhaps? I have had two other gen 3 units die from what I believe was water intrusion. Each lasted about a year. Stages was quick to repair each unit when I sent it back.

However, I don’t recall ever experiencing a power surge or trouble connecting when riding.

My advice is to avoid the factory install unless you have a second bike or a second crank arm. I ended up buying a second crankset for the purpose of having a spare left crank and new chainrings. Just be ready for the 1.5 to 2 week turn around if you ever have to return it to the factory for service.

Two Stages LH power meters, Gen 2 and Gen 3, Both are solid, reliable. Had my Gen 2 for over two years. I replace the battery when I can’t get a signal or before a big ride where I don’t want to risk a dead battery. My Tacx Neo 2 power on Zwift reads about 15-20W higher than the Stages indoor power which is not a big surprise because the Stages is doubling my left leg power which is my weaker leg.

I have a Stages L (gen2). A few things that I figured out that have really helped:

  1. My Stages was reading low and a factory reset helped. (shorting the terminals together for 10 seconds). I ultimately compared the Stages to a Kickr and a Powertap hub and they were all within 5 watts.

  2. I now use fresh, name brand, Duracell or Energizer batteries. They work much better than the cheap amazon 10 packs of no-name batteries.

  3. If my calibration number drifts or my Garmin is telling me the battery is low, then I know I’ll be replacing the battery soon. The Strages app will show me that I have like 50% battery but that isn’t accurate.

  4. I had better results connecting it to my Garmin with Ant+. Figuring out how to do this wasn’t intuitive. I had to first connect it via bluetooth, then disable that sensor and connect with Ant+. For Garmin, you have to change it to 1 second recording instead of the default “smart recording”.

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I know someone is going to come along soon and tell us how horrible left only power meters are. I just haven’t found that to be the case. You test your threshold and then you are basically training above or below. Power jumps around when riding so +/- 10 watts is meaningless noise. Use a 3 second or 10 second average for your intervals.

As long as you use the same power meter for all your training, your numbers and data will be consistent.

Maybe if one had a large leg imbalance, would a dual or spider based power meter make sense. No one has ever been able to explain to me that when you have a dual power meter, how you know if both are reading exactly the same. Couldn’t the fact that you have two separate devices measuring power cause an imbalance in the numbers?

While left side Stages works just fine for me, so do the dual side power meters and cost being equal (it isn’t) I prefer them. I’ve used a Quarq, a replacement after that one died due to a mechanical and me being stupid, Stages gen 3, a borrowed set of Assioma dual side pedals and a Tacx Neo trainer. All that stuff reads within a couple of watts for me.

Unless your unit is defective, the dual sided ones having double the sensors isn’t going to increase error. If you want to sanity check a power meter without having multiple ones, I guess pick a >5% climb, plug in your and bike weight, your power and the course profile into a bike calculator and see if the time you actually get is similar to predicted time.

The only aberration I see are 1s power spikes on the Stages in sprints, maybe an update would fix it, but that is a slight bit annoying when I see 1500+W and I know I didn’t do that. It also messes up my Strava power curves so I end up deleting the power data for the ride. It didn’t do it when I bought it, so maybe something got wonky in the meantime, it’s been three years now.

I bought an Ultegra Gen3 left side to try over the summer, my first power meter. Stopped working in less than a quarter mile on the first ride. Could have gotten a replacement but I figured it was a sign and returned it.

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I have an 6800 left side unit that I bought 5+ years ago maybe even older? I ride between 9-10,000 miles a year and almost all of this is on that power meter. It’s never given me issues, not once, I’ve done powertests with it using pedal and hub based meters at the same time to see if it was off and the numbers were accurate and they were near identical (± 1-5 watts) on 20 minute FTP tests 2x8 FTP test and hour tests (380 8 minute , 360 20 minute, and 330 watts held in these tests) . I had a dual sided meter prior to and my split was almost square 50/50 out to 5 hours or so. I’d wager as long as your power-imbalance isn’t super variable then there is limited value to dual set ups. I like that they’re cr2032 battery powered, I have looked at the 4III units but am going to avoid buying as many non-user replaceable battery products for cycling as I can, for a PM I don’t see any advantage outside of easier/cheaper manufacturing and mandatory replacement/relocation to the landfill when the battery degrades.

I own a left-only Stages Powermeter with a 105 crank and have been happily using it over the past year. It is necessary to do regular zero resets, but I had no issues with it. But: I wouldn’t really know how to judge a Power Meter regarding accuracy without a second one to test it against. Numbers seem to diverge from the Stages PM to the one in my Elite Suito direct drive trainer, but I wouldn’t know where to place the difference, and for ~reasons I can’t mount the Stages on the trainer. So there is nothing in my experience dissuading me from it – but I am not sure precisely how good it is either.

To anyone interested: As of 1/21/2022 the sale has been increased to 30% off factory installation. It looks like it goes through 1/26.