If you wanted affordable power, and had a carbon crank, your options have been fairly limited. Which is to say, virtually nonexistent. Fortunately, Stages Cycling has heard you and is bringing their power meter technology to a new series of cranks and lowering the price of their alloy offerings, all in the same day. Let’s take a look at what the changes are, below.
Left-Leg Carbon Power
There are an enormous number of variances in carbon fiber crank arms. Not just length, but also the carbon fiber layup, the type of carbon weave, even the resin used to bond the layers together. All of this can result in wildly different characteristics for a company like Stages to have to account for in each and every product they wish to integrate with, but that would be doing things the hard way. Instead, Stages has created their own carbon crank arm and mated it to a spindle of their own manufacture, bypassing the problem entirely. This should yield a predictable, consistent torque curve for the pod itself to read, producing much better results than trying to mate their pod to the multitude of options out there, all while weighing a scant 145g. Better still, the arm itself will be available for $629.99. However, it must be mated to their own spindle, which can be purchased separately from the arm for an additional $70. The spindle is going to be first available in BB386EVO and BB30 formats. When all is said and done, this brings the total of a carbon Stages meter to $699.99.
The new arm will also sport the “gen 2” version of the Stages Power pod. It’s 28% smaller, boasts a 17% reduction in frontal area, and it’s stronger—especially with respect to the battery door housing. The new pod is also driving down the price of the Stages lineup, as it has benefited from the continued development, to $529.99 for the Shimano 105 and FSA Energy options. In fact, the entire range has seen a price decrease, with the alloy range-topping Dura Ace 9000 arm down to just $649.99, with second generation units beginning to ship later this month and becoming fully availability in the fall. Carbon cranks will become available “Winter 2015, Spring 2016.”
The new prices are good news for triathletes, especially those who do not want to give up their current cranks in order to get power data. If you have a crank that Stages supports, the value proposition is fairly hard to argue against. Left-leg only power may have drawbacks, but at this price, it’s difficult to find anyone in the same league as Stages for value-per-dollar.