£569 En­ter Stage(s) left

Cycling Plus (Malaysia) - - NEW GEAR -

Stages’ left side 2012 crank-based power me­ter was in­stantly pop­u­lar, due to its ease of fit­ting and low price in re­la­tion to spi­der-based units at that time. It was only avail­able in­cor­po­rated on alu­minium cranks, with the de­but of a car­bon crank-based equiv­a­lent a de­vel­op­ment cy­cle away.

Stages teamed up with FSA to pro­duce the Stages Car­bon crank. Avail­able in 165mm, 170mm, 172.5mm and 175mm lengths, our 175mm Stages Car­bon GXP crank weighed in at 165g. This 3rd gen­er­a­tion me­ter only adds 20g to the crank, and has a new, lower pro­file hous­ing de­sign, said to re­duce frontal area by 17 per cent and broaden frame com­pat­i­bil­ity. Stages says the whole unit is stronger, but the bat­tery door’s in­ter­face is claimed to be 200 per cent stronger. The Stages unit is com­pat­i­ble with ANT+ and Blue­tooth Smart, plus a wide range of pop­u­lar per­for­mance track­ing soft­ware, so it can up­date its firmware wire­lessly.

Be­cause power is only mea­sured on the left leg, that fig­ure is dou­bled to give an es­ti­mated com­bined power that Stages claims is ac­cu­rate within ± 1.5 per cent, im­prov­ing on the gen­er­a­tion 2 unit’s ± 2 per cent. Af­ter a quick fit with an 8mm hex key, and sim­ple cal­i­bra­tion, our test­ing pe­riod in­cluded daily tem­per­a­tures be­tween 14 and 37 de­grees Cel­cius, which the Stages Car­bon’s ac­tive tem­per­a­ture com­pen­sa­tion eas­ily coped with.

Tested with a SRAM Force car­bon drive side crank, the Stages Car­bon crank felt equally stiff un­der full load. There’s a de­lay of around 4-5 sec­onds be­tween start­ing to pedal and data ap­pear­ing on your head unit, but that’s not usu­ally a prob­lem on the road. Power can be recorded up to 2500 watts, and cadence be­tween 20 and 220 rpm, but there’s no bal­ance read­ing. Oth­er­wise, apart from a cou­ple of max­i­mum power read­ings that slightly ex­ceeded our ex­pec­ta­tions, ev­ery met­ric tracked ac­cu­rately with our ex­ist­ing power me­ters.

Its ac­cu­racy, quick-fit, swap­pable de­sign and ex­tended crankset com­pat­i­bil­ity, with al­most no weight gain, make the Stages a great choice for ex­ist­ing car­bon crank users un­will­ing to splash out on a L-R power sys­tem.

AXLE 01 Com­pat­i­ble with FSA BB386, SRAM GXP and DUB and BB30 cranks from SRAM, Eas­ton & Spe­cial­ized, Cam­pag Stages car­bon power cranks are avail­able for Cho­rus, Record and Su­per Record. BAT­TERY 02 The CR2032 bat­tery com­part­ment on the 1st gen­er­a­tion Stages L crank had wa­ter re­sis­tance is­sues; with an IPX7 rat­ing those days are long gone and has an es­ti­mated 200 hours use. CAR­BON 03 Stages’ pro­pri­etary hol­low car­bon crank is man­u­fac­tured by FSA, and its lightly mar­bled fin­ish is a good vis­ual match for both SRAM’S and FSA’S car­bon chain­sets.

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