With current power meter solutions from companies such as Rotor and SRM costing $2000 or more, power training has generally been out of reach to the cycling masses, until now. Boulder based Stages Cycling has designed a more economical crank based power meter they hope will break down some of the barriers to using your power output as a measure of progress.
The StageONE power meter calculates your power output using a custom strain gauge array at the left crank arm to measure torque. The StageONE unit also houses multiple internal sensors, including an accelerometer to derive cadence measurements. These measurements are then combined to calculate your total power output in Watts, using an algorithm that effectively doubles your left-measured power output within a 2% accuracy rate.
The StageONE power meter is a fully sealed unit that adds just 20g of additional weight to the crank. As the device measure cadence, you don't need additional hardware such as magnets on your bike. The power meter is quick and easy to install. Simply attach the left crank arm, pair the unit with your cycling computer, and go.
What the StageONE power meter makes up for in a more affordable price is the lack of advanced features like the ability to compare your left and right power output. For most cyclists, however, the ability to simply track your overall power output from day to day, ride to ride, is enough to gauge your level of training improvement.
StageONE works with all ANT+ cycling computers as well as Bluetooth 4.0/Smart Ready equipped devices, including the iPhone 4S. StageONE runs off a CR2032 watch battery that’s easily replaceable and will last for over 200 hours.
StageONE will debut with 14 crank models in a multitude of length and color choices, intended to cover seven different disciplines of cycling: road, triathlon, track, cyclo-cross, cross-country mountain bike, downhill, and BMX. Depending on style of crank chosen, the StageONE power meter retails for $699 to $950, one quarter to half the price of current solutions on the market.