Stages Power Meter – Accurate and Affordable for Mountain Bikers


A recent Mtbr poll revealed that less than 1% had a power meter on their mountain bike. In the same group, another 1% were looking to buy one but 9% indicated that they would buy one if there existed a good power meter for under $1000. On RoadBikeReview, a whopping 29% said they would buy one if there was a good option under $1000.

Although power meters are considered the best way to train and get faster, the prohibitive cost of these devices have limited the use to only the most serious athletes with deep pockets or good sponsors. The SRM Shimano XT crankset power meter for example costs $3350. What also happens is mountain bike racers are forced to put that one power meter investment on their road bike and thus use that bike more for training.

SRM Shimano XT Power Meter Crankset for $3350.

But the Mtbr survey also revealed that 9% would buy a power meter for their mountain bike if there was an accurate and reliable option for under $1000. Mountain bikers have long realized the benefits of training, nutrition and coaching and many know that a power meter is the only true way to unlock one’s potential. If one can determine and understand one’s power output, then the body can be trained to maximize one’s power.

Stages Power Meter with Garmin and iPhone.

Enter the Stages Power Meter. It is an $800, 20 gram meter that comes with a left side crank arm and it is the most revolutionary training device to come around in the last few years. It measures power and it displays it on your Garmin device or mobile phone using Ant+ and Bluetooth. It is self contained with no wires, magenets or any other external connections. If it works then it could be a game-changer.

Earlier this year, we took a tour of the company in Boulder, CO and gave insight on product and the people behind it here.

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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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