Stages power meter update

I installed the long awaited firmware update on June 26th. The very next day I spent good three hours at the velodrome to give the new SW a try. The contents of the training session looked as follows:

  • WU + activation, gear 50×15 IMG_1462
  • 2x 100m jump @50×13
  • 2x 100m jump @50×12
  • 2x F200m @50×12, and
  • 1x F500m @50×12

To make sure I have some reference data I used Garmin speed and cadence sensor to log the speed. That way I hoped to get a better view on how the cadence data of the Stages behaves against the Garmin speed curve. The two curves, speed and cadence, should look alike.

So the outcome? Please see pictures below.

Jump (acceleration on flat) @50×13

Jump on 50x13

Jump (acceleration on flat) @50×12

Jump on 52x12

Flying 200m @50×12

F200m effort on 50x12

Flying 500m @50×12

F500m on 50x12

The common feature of all the graphs from this training session was that the power meter kinda looses it at the jump, the harder the jump the worse the outcome. Discussing the above with the Stages team they said they saw this problem with only two tester, both “strong sprinter types” as they said it. Their initial assesment of issue was that it was somehow related to backstroke torque. This would seem to explain both problematic use cases, the roller rev-out (negative backstroke torque) and hard accelerations (high backstroke torque). The last picture above, my F500m effort seems to support this thought. Accleration in that effort was not “all out” as the purpose was only to hit a target speed and the graph is the cleanest I’ve had so far.

After the test, I was dissapointed. I had hoped the update I waited for two months would fix the problems I was having with the data. Clearly that was not the case. About a week or so later I did another session at the track. This was my last check point before the Nationals. After the warm up I checked through some basic values from my Garmin. Numbers were all over the place, top speed being the only exception.

Day after my track session I headed to the gym for my last strength maintenance session before Nats. Feeling good about how well my squat and SL leg press numbers were holding up I hit the shower. Covered with shampoo I suddenly realized someting was wrong with my groin. Oh bloody hell!! Hernia!

I was absolutely gutted. The competition season was just about to start and here I was with an issue that most definately needs an operation. Stages and the cluttered data suddenly became a additional distraction I could no longer afford. I made a decision to shut down the Stages ’till I was through racing and the mandatory surgery. One thing led to another and my Stages crank has a new happy owner. He told me Stages made a new firmware release with track specific improvements couple weeks ago, but that the issue with high cadence roller revs still remains. Based on this and the said small pool of people with similiar issues reported in my two posts, I’m assuming the beta release I tested has been released as a GA product. Probably works ok for most.

My options are somewhat limited now. “There can be only one!”






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