Stages, the US-based power metre company, has come up with a radical new concept: you can send your crank to them, and they will fit a power metre into it! Stages Factory Install is the name of the programme. That’s good news if you don’t want to have an extra left-hand crank hanging around, but the less good news is that the service costs about the same as an off-the-shelf power metre and crank together.
Stages power meter
A bicycle power metre is essentially a strain gauge fitted to the crank somehow. It measures the force that the rider puts on either one or both pedals. Stages are most known for their economical one-sided power meters. For its left-hand crank power meters, the company buys up cranks in bulk, fits strain gauges to them and sells them on to consumers. The customer then replaces their existing left-hand crank with a Stages crank, and instantly has a bike with a power metre.
The Stages Factory Install is the same process, but you supply the crank arm. The engineers at Stages in Boulder, Colorado, then treat your crank just as would the normal brand new crank arms. They will return your crank to you and, hey presto, you have a bike with a Stages power meter.
Before sending off your crank, you do have to make sure your bike is compatible with the Stages strain gauge. The Stages power meter makes your crank a little bit thicker than normal. You have to make sure there is enough room between the frame and crank to accommodate the crank-with-a-bump.
This new Factory Install initiative by Stages is certainly an innovation in the bicycle power meter space. It costs around $400. Check here for further information.