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Dual-sided Stages power meter spotted on Team Sky bike

Cyclist magazine
9 Mar 2017

Stages Power have traditionally only used strain gauges on a non-drive side crank arm. But that's not what we see here...

Are we going to see the launch of a double-sided Stages power meter in the near future? If these pictures of Geraint Thomas' Pinarello F10 are anything to go by, it looks possible. 

The bike was spotted at the in-house show of UK cycling distributor Saddleback, who count Stages as one its brands, and where Stages' main attractions were its new head unit, the Dash, and software, Stages Link.

Stages' reputation has been built on manufacturing affordable, accurate power meters, with their relatively low price attributable to the fact that the system only uses strain gauges on the non-drive side crank arm. However these pictures clearly show a unit resembling a strain gauge unit on the reverse side of the drive-side crank arm.

It's not clear how both power meters are transmitting to the head unit. Conventionally with dual systems one set of strain gauges transmits to the other (a master unit) which then transmits to the head unit.

In this case both look identical to a normal Stages unit, so either the head unit is capable of receiving and broadcasting both signals, or stages has redesigned the original unit to receive data from a second set of strain gauges on the driveside crank.

There could be a separate ANT+ brain which collects both signals and broadcasts to the head unit, but its not immediately visible. 

In any case, it represents the reality that riders such as Thomas - and likely other members of Team Sky - require a little more accuracy and data than can be acquired from a single-sided system.

And while the single-sided meters remain perfectly practical and appropriate for most riders, it seems there could be an upgrade afoot for those who feel like they need it. After all, for the pro riders to be using it then it must be commercially available.