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First Look: Stages Cycling Power Meter Crank on Mountain Bike

The Stages Cycling left-side crank solution is a simple and quick swap-out of the left crank arm (so right side crankset can be a double or triple or whatever no change needed). I installed it on my Moots Mooto X YBB mountain bike.

Below is a first look at the power (watts) recorded from the Stages Cycling power meter crank (using the Garmin Edge 500). It’s terrific to finally have power readings for my mountain biking adventures.

I’ve long enjoyed power meter feedback on my road bike. Power measurements are an objective metric independent of heart rate, wind, slope, etc, and thus a valuable training aid over time. See Training with a Power Meter.

The main issue I ran into does not involve the Stages Cycling power meter crank at all. Rather, it is the flaky Garmin Edge 500, which notched the data recording numerous times as I was outputting 300 - 400 watts up steep pitches under tree cover: it loses the GPS signal and thus stops recording even as it is receiving these high power readings. This and similar brain dead behavior has existed for years. How can it make sense to stop recording when power readings are being received? It makes no sense. But this does point out that a power meter solution requires both the measurement device and a good “head unit”.

So I look forward to the SRM Power Control 8, which is due out this fall, and which I’m told (by SRM) will support the Stages Cycling power meter crank. My SRM PC7 has been bulletproof reliable with ultra long battery life and highly consistent elevation and ascent readings (altimeter).

Click for larger graph.

Power (watts) as recorded by Garmin Edge 500 from Stages Cycling XTR MTB power meter crank
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