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  1. #1
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    Stages PM review and Questions

    Stages Cycling Power Meter : long term review
    Overall Rating: B+
    OK.. so I've had my Stages Cycling Ultegra 6800 Power meter for almost 10 months now and have probably logged over 5000 miles with it. Overall, I'm extremely happy with the purchase... so happy that I bought a DA9000 model to go on my Venge. I would say that it is pretty accurate, certainly accurate enough for the purposes of advanced amateur use. When I first got it, my FTP was measured at 187w, now I'm measuring consistently in the 255w and had one test as high as 267w. The power levels seem to be consistent from use to use and its easy to set up and doesn't require constant calibration.
    In my time with both power meters, I have noticed 1 small minor negative... occasionally, it drops out and quits registering power/ sending to the head unit. I am fairly certain that the problem relates to the battery door on the unit. The Ultegra 6800 unit worked flawlessly for 6 months, when finally 1 day it notified me that the battery was low. I popped off the door in an effort to replace the battery and in the process the battery door broke (the little prongs that slide in and lock the door in place, 2 of 3 broke off). After doing a little research, I discovered that this is a frequent problem and that if you contact Stages they'll send you a new battery door. I did and they sent me two. That's when the problem started.. I put the battery in and put the new door on. It seemed to be working fine... then one day I noticed that it had stopped registering while out on a ride. I wasn't sure why at first, but now I'm pretty sure that if you hit a series of bad bumps, it is perhaps enough to jostle the door just enough that the battery loses tension. I've actually been able to lean down and press on the door while riding and have it wake right back up. This was only happening on my Ultegra unit as that was the only one that I had to replace the battery... The DA unit has been rock solid... until this past week. Sure enough, I replaced the battery earlier this week when I was trying to hook up a new Garmin unit. The DA unit wasn't waking up and registering during the pairing process. I swapped to a new battery and it worked. This past week, the DA started dropping during rides after hitting bumps. I've taken the battery doors off of both units in a hope to put them back on perfectly, but it doesn't seem to help. Last night, I put a piece of black electrical tape on both units... I pulled it as tight as I could, hoping that the pressure of the tape would be enough to keep the door in the right spot... but this doesn't seem to be working. Gonna give Stages a call today and see what they say.
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  2. #2
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    I had the same issue with my Rival unit. The new door did fix it for a while.

    Possibly consider adding a little padding to the back of the door to add more compression on the battery compartment?
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  3. #3
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    I have had two Stages and no problems with either. I could not be happier.

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    I have had some minor issues with my rival one.

    One time, it would not wake up. I had to actually enter the ANT number manually. that did it.............for a while. Then, it would not wake up again. 3 different batteries were tested and the door had all it's prongs.

    Hummmmm.

    Stages sent me out a new one next day air. Great service.

    That oring on the door is not the most secure in it's mounting groove. You really have to make sure it's perfect in the groove before you put it on.

    I would give Stages an A- if I had to rate now.

    The PM seems to register consistently. Stages support is excellent.

    If I was going to pick something to pick at, it would be the option to buy and extended warranty for 3 yrs. You can buy an "everything is covered" warranty for 2 yrs that will cover even rider induced damaged. I wasnt really lookign for that. I was looking for std mfg warranty for 3 yrs. If I bust it in a crash, well, that part of my loss in the crash.
    Last edited by ziscwg; 05-13-2015 at 09:25 AM.
    It's a fire road.............
    I'm on a road bike..........

    They have enough in common to blast down it.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue CheeseHead View Post
    I have had two Stages and no problems with either. I could not be happier.
    Believe me... for the most part I feel the same way. It has been great and worked flawlessly.

    I spoke with customer support at Stages and apparently there was a problem with a run of doors last fall. The plastic material must've cooled slightly out of spec resulting in a door that was slightly out of tolerance... enough that its causing issues. They want me to send pictures of he inside of the door to verify that the doors are from said date range.
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  6. #6
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    Here's what I believe is the actual problem. The center internal contact, if compressed all the way, gets hung up on itself and stops it's spring loaded function. If you very carefully release it, you will see it pop out a bit.

    I believe the problem starts when we insert the battery in the compartment before installing the door. If you release the spring contact and insert the battery in the door retainers first, the installation will not compress the spring contact so far that it hangs up on itself.
    Quote Originally Posted by TricrossRich View Post
    Stages Cycling Power Meter : long term review
    Overall Rating: B+
    OK.. so I've had my Stages Cycling Ultegra 6800 Power meter for almost 10 months now and have probably logged over 5000 miles with it. Overall, I'm extremely happy with the purchase... so happy that I bought a DA9000 model to go on my Venge. I would say that it is pretty accurate, certainly accurate enough for the purposes of advanced amateur use. When I first got it, my FTP was measured at 187w, now I'm measuring consistently in the 255w and had one test as high as 267w. The power levels seem to be consistent from use to use and its easy to set up and doesn't require constant calibration.
    In my time with both power meters, I have noticed 1 small minor negative... occasionally, it drops out and quits registering power/ sending to the head unit. I am fairly certain that the problem relates to the battery door on the unit. The Ultegra 6800 unit worked flawlessly for 6 months, when finally 1 day it notified me that the battery was low. I popped off the door in an effort to replace the battery and in the process the battery door broke (the little prongs that slide in and lock the door in place, 2 of 3 broke off). After doing a little research, I discovered that this is a frequent problem and that if you contact Stages they'll send you a new battery door. I did and they sent me two. That's when the problem started.. I put the battery in and put the new door on. It seemed to be working fine... then one day I noticed that it had stopped registering while out on a ride. I wasn't sure why at first, but now I'm pretty sure that if you hit a series of bad bumps, it is perhaps enough to jostle the door just enough that the battery loses tension. I've actually been able to lean down and press on the door while riding and have it wake right back up. This was only happening on my Ultegra unit as that was the only one that I had to replace the battery... The DA unit has been rock solid... until this past week. Sure enough, I replaced the battery earlier this week when I was trying to hook up a new Garmin unit. The DA unit wasn't waking up and registering during the pairing process. I swapped to a new battery and it worked. This past week, the DA started dropping during rides after hitting bumps. I've taken the battery doors off of both units in a hope to put them back on perfectly, but it doesn't seem to help. Last night, I put a piece of black electrical tape on both units... I pulled it as tight as I could, hoping that the pressure of the tape would be enough to keep the door in the right spot... but this doesn't seem to be working. Gonna give Stages a call today and see what they say.

  7. #7
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    OK... I sent them the pictures of my battery doors and sure enough they are from the affected date range. They're sending me new ones. Here is their response.

    "Thanks for sending all those photos in. Both of those doors are from the affected production run, so it is very likely that is the only thing going on. I'm happy to send out some replacements for you. What is your mailing address?

    In the meantime, you can make a slight modification that we have begun doing to all new units leaving our production facility. On testing in our Boulder facilities, we've discovered that the negative terminal can be adjusted to promote significantly better contact and factor in possible spatial variance in the battery compartment. By bending the entire negative terminal upward slightly, it serves to keep connection intact at all times. The material has a good memory, and will continue to press upward even after repeated battery changes. The process to make this adjustment is quite simple, and I've included photos to illustrate below. The only caution is not to bend the terminal up too much (no more than about 30 degrees or so). My colleague used his pocket knife; you could also use a small screwdriver or even your fingernail."


    Quote Originally Posted by SwiftSolo View Post
    Here's what I believe is the actual problem. The center internal contact, if compressed all the way, gets hung up on itself and stops it's spring loaded function. If you very carefully release it, you will see it pop out a bit.

    I believe the problem starts when we insert the battery in the compartment before installing the door. If you release the spring contact and insert the battery in the door retainers first, the installation will not compress the spring contact so far that it hangs up on itself.
    Based on that response it seems that your answer holds some water too.. My negative terminals were completely flat. I'll have to do some testing in the coming days. I've got a big ride on Sunday New York Gran Fondo, so I really hope this resolves the problem.. I'd love to have reliable consistent power numbers for the climb up Bear Mountain and the other climbs. Last week, I did Bear in 25 minutes, but only had power for about 2/3 of the way.. the top 1/3, I was doing 100% on perceived effort and HR.
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  8. #8
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    My gf and I share a TT rig with a stages. We're tired of the issues.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Local Hero View Post
    My gf and I share a TT rig with a stages. We're tired of the issues.
    are you having a similar issue? Have you contacted Stages? The two times I've contacted them, they've worked quickly to rectify the situation.
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  10. #10
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    I can add another long term review I guess.

    I've had all of the troubles though. Including what you have now.

    I had some of the original units they made, they needed to be replaced. After a battery change they just wouldn't work.

    On my replacement units I encountered several of the battery door problems.
    First off the tabs broke.
    Then I got doors that wouldn't hold the battery tight.
    Now I pretty much have the same.

    The power meter I have now with issues is only a year old and has about 2k miles on it. Battery changes go fine with this one but it has a problem of shutting off.

    If I push hard and even when closing the door, I can often get it to stay on for a whole ride. But then often times it will just stop working.

    I have what I believe are the newest doors. The latest batch I got from them was only a month ago and those are the doors I use now. The current doors have great little clips and they seem straight, but they're still not perfect. I think the inside needs to be thicker.

    I have a temporary fix that's working well. I put two layers of 3M electrical tape inside the door before installing it. It's not too much material to cause any interference issues, it doesn't hamper opening or closing at all, and it helps keep the thing on.

    I like the units and all, I like the idea and the guys at the company are good people. I have had nothing but trouble really in comparison to my power tap. It is what it is. I'll probably stop buying anything but powertap hubs from now on.
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  11. #11
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    What a hassle. I'm glad I canceled my order.

    It stinks when paying customers are unwitting beta testers on the road.
    Last edited by tvad; 05-15-2015 at 07:24 PM.

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    UPDATE:: OK, so after doing the battery terminal "fix" as outlined by the customer service rep, I'm happy to report that the issues seemed to have gone away. The new battery doors are due to arrive today, but so far I've got 50, very bumpy miles on my Allez after the fix and it didn't drop once. I went over several sections of road that otherwise always knocked it out and it continued to blaze on... I'm happy again.
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  13. #13
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    Just caught the negative terminal thing. Going to go bend now.
    use a torque wrench

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue CheeseHead View Post
    I have had two Stages and no problems with either. I could not be happier.
    Same here, no problems at all...

  15. #15
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    Since releasing the center terminal I have replaced the battery one more time (I get about 4 months out of a battery). As I pointed out before, it seems that it if you continue to install the battery into door first after initially releasing the stuck center terminal, this problem will not resurface. When I removed the last battery, the center terminal was still free.
    Quote Originally Posted by TricrossRich View Post
    UPDATE:: OK, so after doing the battery terminal "fix" as outlined by the customer service rep, I'm happy to report that the issues seemed to have gone away. The new battery doors are due to arrive today, but so far I've got 50, very bumpy miles on my Allez after the fix and it didn't drop once. I went over several sections of road that otherwise always knocked it out and it continued to blaze on... I'm happy again.

  16. #16
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    Just a reminder: If you haven't recently, get the app from Stages and update the firmware. It only takes a minute. It improves battery life if you didn't have trouble before and if you had batteries dying quickly before it solves that problem. Also some other minor fixes and updates.

    I anticipate that the raised center negative terminal will be exactly what I'll need for no more issues... knocking on wood here. I have the latest doors and latest fixes and latest firmware... I should have completed my beta test finally. I'm ready for launch. My rough ride today went well, I'll report back at some time in the future, sooner if there's any more issues.
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  17. #17
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    After having success on my Allez, I did the "fix" on my Venge as well. I rode the Venge in the GFNY on Sunday, completed 107 miles with 8500'+ of climbing an had no issues with the PM dropping out. I got the new battery doors on Saturday, so I also swapped over to them.
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  18. #18
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    I've been riding on Stages exclusively since this newest fix. 250 rough miles and nothing but reliability. I'm actually very confident now that I will no longer have any issues.

    Might buy yet another one soon.
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  19. #19
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    I have 2 stages meters and will be purchasing a third this summer. Their customer service is second to none! More companies should follow,their business practices...

  20. #20
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    I've had more trouble with the bearings in my power tap, and longer turnaround times, than with my stages. There is no perfect system, and stages customer support has been top drawer.
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  21. #21
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    Did you guys buy directly from them or from LBS?

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by 5DII View Post
    Did you guys buy directly from them or from LBS?
    I buy from the LBS because I race for them. Plenty of people buy direct.
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  23. #23
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    LBS. They will usually stock them and sell a bit under the retail price. Firmware updates in one minute with their free app and if the negative terminal is not bent up that can be done in one minute too. So even if it's one that's been on the shelf for a while it be updated quickly.

    No matter where you get it the customer service will be on point, doesn't matter if you order it from some other country.
    use a torque wrench

  24. #24
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    I bought mine direct from them
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  25. #25
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    UPDATE :: Since ding the negative battery terminal fix... I've not had a single episode of the PM falling asleep or losing power and I'm back to being super happy with my Stages power meters.
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