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Stages adds carbon cranks to power meter range, including Campagnolo options

Plus, there's a new Stages-branded carbon crank that's SRAM-compatible

Stages Cycling is launching carbon versions of its crank-based power meter for the first time, including Campagnolo options and Stages-branded models, and introducing a second generation design across its entire range.

Stages has been in the power meter market for several years but with only alloy cranks until now. The system relies on a pod containing strain gauges that’s bonded to non-driveside cranks – so you buy a Stages power meter ready-bonded to a non-driveside Shimano Ultegra crank, for instance. The strain gauges are used to calculate the amount of power that’s going into the crank and that figure is doubled to give a full power figure (it assumes each of your legs is equally powerful).

Check out our Stages power meter review.

In developing the new power meters Stages has looked at how carbon deflects when pressure is applied and also at whether a carbon crank degrades significantly over time causing a power meter to lose accuracy

The largest proportion of the development process was devoted to temperature compensation – the amount that conditions influence deflection. If this isn’t taken into account, a power meter won’t give accurate readings across a range of temperatures.

“There were many challenges, including: the nature of the composite materials; fatigue characteristics; bonding to a composite material; effect of temperature changes; direction of forces and strain,” says Stages. “To build a carbon Stages Power meter, Stages engineers spent years in development and testing specifically to achieve the same consistent and accurate power measurement across all riding conditions that were introduced with the original Stages Powermeter.”

To cut a long story short, Stages reckons that it has been able to produce carbon versions of its power meter that function in the same way as the alloy ones.

“We could have made a carbon power meter a long time ago, but it would have had the functionality of a meter from the pre-Stages era,” said Sam Morrison, Stages Cycling engineer and carbon product manager.

“The problem isn’t measuring deflection in carbon, it’s dealing with changes of the material when the operating temperature changes. We could have easily released a meter that would require constant and vigilant zero resets. Rather, we took our time and built a new system to specifically deal with the challenges carbon faces when temperatures changes.”

Stages is introducing new models from Campagnolo, including Super Record, Record and Chorus, as well as an FSA SL-K Light BB30 model.

A new Stages-branded power meter will be available too. This hollow carbon-fibre power meter has been custom-made for Stages by FSA. It weighs 140g and is compatible with 386EVO driveside cranks as well as SRAM Red 22, Force 22 and Rival 22 BB30 road and SRAM Mountain (168mm Q) BB30 driveside cranks.

This range of compatibility is achieved through the use of a range of BB30 axles. The new Stages power meter will also be available for GXP road and mountain cranks in late winter or early spring.

All of these new power meters will be equipped with Stages’ second generation power-measuring unit. This new design will be added to all alloy cranks in future too.

Stages says that it has a profile that’s up to 28% lower than before with a 17% smaller frontal area. The strength of the battery door and housing connection have also been increased.

The second generation power meters will be available for Shimano crank arms in September, with the remainder of Stages alloy power meters following suit through the autumn.

The new carbon power meters will begin shipping in January, Stages aiming to have them available in all markets by the spring.

We don’t yet have UK prices but the Campagnolo Chorus power meter will be €899, Record will be €999, and Super Record will be €1,199.

The FSX SL-K Light BB30 option will be €799.

The Stages-branded carbon power meter for BB30 interface (retrofitting FSA 386EVO, SRAM BB30 road and mountain) will be €799 with the BB axle €99.

Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

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