Stages Power Meter – Accurate and Affordable for Mountain Bikers

Key Strengths
  • Half or a third of the price of the competition
  • Fully sealed unit adds just 20g of additional weight to the crank
  • The power meter can be transferred to another bike that uses the same kind of crank
  • ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart protocols
  • Internal sensor based cadence measurement — no magnets needed
  • Active temperature compensation means it is more accurate in real world conditions
  • Wireless firmware upgrades
  • Fast set up: install crank arm, pair, and go, portable to other bikes with same crank
  • No wires, magnets, zip-ties, or additional mounted hardware
  • Left arm only design, means no compromise on drive-side spider stiffness or chain rings
  • Designed and assembled in Boulder, CO USA
  • Left crank measurement only assumes right side power is equal
  • Not compatible with some cranks. Not offered with any carbon cranks. But the SRAM X9 GXP alloy model will work perfectly with the X0, XX and XX1 carbon ones.
  • Battery lasts 200 hours but has no battery level indicator

Pricing and Availability

Cannondale BB30 Products:
Cannondale Hollowgram SI HG (3D forged) road/mtn power meter only, $799.99

Shimano Products:
Shimano XTR, $899 power meter
Shimano XT, $799 power meter
Shimano Saint, $899 power meter
Shimano DXR, $899 power meter

SRAM Products:
SRAM X9 GXP, $699 power meter; $899 complete crank (Compatible with X7, X9, X0, XX [166 Q model], XX1 and many Truvativ models)
SRAM X9 BB30, $699 power meter; $949 complete crank


Power meters were not really compatible with mountain biking with less than one percent of the Mtbr audience using it in their mountain bikes because of the high cost of ownership. But now with the $800 Stages power meter this important tool will be within reach of riders who want to get faster and improve their riding.

The only real unknown with this brand new product is the reliability and the reputation of the company. But Mtbr has used the product in the harshest conditions of Winter Park, CO and we spent a lot of time with the Stages employees. We can say that our initial impressions are A+ on both fronts. This is a truly revolutionary product created by hardcore cyclists from Boulder, CO. We took an unit home too and have been using it on our daily rides so expect a long-term update.

About the author: Francis Cebedo

The founder of mtbr and roadbikereview, Francis Cebedo believes that every cyclist has a lot to teach and a lot to learn. "Our websites are communal hubs for sharing cycling experiences, trading adventure stories, and passing along product information and opinions." Francis' favorite bike is the last bike he rode, whether it's a dirt jumper, singlespeed, trail bike, lugged commuter or ultralight carbon road steed. Indeed, Francis loves cycling in all its forms and is happiest when infecting others with that same passion. Francis also believes that IPA will save America.

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  • Loud says:

    The power tap hubs have come down in price to less than $1000. Looks like a suitable alternative.

    • Don says:

      The powertap hubs are close in price now. I’m happy with the powertap hub I have on my road bike. One potential downside is if you want to have a nicer/lighter set of wheels for race day, then you have to either sacrifice having data from your actual race efforts, or shell out for two hubs. The Stages gets around that problem.

  • Satch says:

    where da fun at?

  • roger says:

    If you already have a $10K MTB, what’s another $1K? Drop in the bucket!

  • Belisarius says:

    The Stages unit I am testing reveals a cadence error of 8-20 percent every given second, constantly changing numbers such as 85-116-91-105-95-98 even on stretched where I likely am 914-96 sharp… In turn this has got to affect wattage reading as it is built inside the formula… Sp although he ultimate wattage resume on file may seem ok, during training it is hard to peg. Backed with Garmin recorded data, these observations were undeniable. Stages staff is trying to explain, but they are at a loss actually.

  • kent says:

    one leg reading…not accurate. period.

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