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LOCHAU, Austria (VN) — Team Sky asked, Stages delivered. Sometime this fall (likely in November) you’ll be able to get your hands on the new Stages Power LR, a dual-sided power meter that essentially doubles up Stages’ existing technology. The biggest benefit is accurate left-right balance readings, which is useful for athletes recovering from injury.
“Five years in, we thought we were missing part of the market,” says Stages’ Matt Pacocha. “Now we truly have a power meter for every rider.”
Stages delivered the dual-sided power meter to Team Sky back in January, and the U.S. women’s Olympic pursuit team raced with it in Rio de Janeiro last summer.
While Pacocha maintains that the existing single-sided system more than meets the needs of most cyclists with its accuracy and consistency, the dual-sided power meter does offer some features that the single-sided meter can’t — most notably left-right balance. This reading can help a rider establish a baseline of performance for both legs. If that rider experiences an injury, it is then possible to understand how far along he is on the path to recovery.
Other features include torque effectiveness (a measure of positive and negative power), and pedaling smoothness — how smoothly power is delivered through one pedal stroke. The entire system maintains Stages’ goal of extremely light weight: all the components weigh a paltry 35 grams.
The system will be available for Shimano Dura-Ace 9100 cranks ($1,300) as well as Ultegra R8000 cranks (1,000). While there have been discussions internally about expanding the range to other cranksets, nothing concrete is in the works.
While we’ve got two rides on the system now, it’s difficult to offer much critique of the new Stages power meter based simply on road testing. The power readouts seem consistent with power data we’ve seen on our other power meter systems, and when used in conjunction with the Stages Dash head unit, the readouts are clear, quick, and seemingly consistent and accurate. But we’ll reserve further judgment until after some more thorough, long-term testing.