Pioneer Vs Stages PM - advice needed

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
Ozrider
Posts: 1021
Joined: Sat Nov 20, 2010 6:06 am
Location: Perth, Western Australia

by Ozrider

I'm looking at getting a left side power meter - I'm a bit too old to take power too seriously or think of anything but masters / vets racing, but would like to get a power meter to try out.
My LBS has a special on the Pioneer left side PM. I've previously looked at getting a Stages PM.
Has anyone had experience good or bad with either?
I know that one side measurement is not as good as dual measurement, but I can always upgrade if I'm impressed with the results of training using power.
I'm looking for some feedback from someone familiar with power meters before ordering one over the weekend, so would appreciate any words of wisdom to help in the decision making process



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Ozrider - Western Australia
Parlee Z5 XL (6055g/13.32lbs) Trek Madone 5.9 (7052-7500g)Jonesman Columbus Spirit (8680g)
Chase your dreams - it's only impossible until it's done

wpccrunner
in the industry
Posts: 364
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2012 8:34 pm
Location: North Carolina

by wpccrunner

since there is a possibility of upgrading to dual sided power in the future that pretty much decides on Pioneer for you.

Pioneer is upgrade-able from single to dual but stages is not, at this point in time.

beanbiken
Posts: 526
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2014 10:13 pm
Location: Great Southern Land

by beanbiken

Ozrider wrote:I'm looking at getting a left side power meter - I'm a bit too old to take power too seriously or think of anything but masters / vets racing, but would like to get a power meter to try out.
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Similar to my situation but I don't race at all. I have the Pioneer dual sided. I would be personally going with either the 4iii unit or the Pioneer. That way you have the upgrade path as you mention. I got mine just for the sake of it and to see what numbers I could produce. Then when I''m done I can split it between my 2 bikes for single sided x2. Don't know if the 4iii system will allow it.
Ahhh, coffee & carbon

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fa63
Posts: 2264
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 7:26 am
Location: Atlanta, GA, US

by fa63

I have been using a left side Pioneer for a few months now. Works flawlessly.


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seashore
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Jun 21, 2015 11:18 am

by seashore

I have been using a stages for about 3 months and the numbers are super consistent with anything else I have used. But and a major but is that it has been sent back to be replaced as it completely crashed and stopped working, I am still waiting for the replacement.

If you get one that doesn't break you will have a great PM and I will say they are getting more reliable over time but there are still questions about their reliability.

borist
Posts: 48
Joined: Wed Sep 02, 2015 2:19 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

by borist

This is a long story, but I feel like it might help....
I purchased a Gen 1 Stages in May last year and it worked fine for about 7 months. After a few wet weeks it started to drop out quite a bit - the Garmin would just read zeros. I filed a ticket with Stages through my LBS and they replaced with a brand new Gen 2 model. Good customer service and so I was happy.... well, not for long.
The same thing happened again with my Gen 2 model. After training through winter this year it again started to drop out more and more. To the point where 2 mins of a 10 min climb would be zeros. At this stage (pun intended), I decided to get a new PM and got the Pioneer left side only model - the version that comes pre-installed on a crank.
Once the Pioneer was installed it worked for about 3 hours on my first ride before giving wild and erratic values. I'm talking like 2000w when barely pedaling and then 100w when going all out up a climb. I spoke to Pioneer Australia and they replaced the unit without question - turned out to be an issue with the epoxy. It has now been about 4 months since and the replacement unit has performed perfectly.
So, I have definitely had issues with both products but I think it is fair to say that I ride in all conditions and put them to the test. Both customer service teams were very good when I raised the issues and didn't doubt me for a second. This could just be bad luck, or more indicative of problems with the nature of epoxy PM units and the engineering.
Either way, good luck!

Ozrider
Posts: 1021
Joined: Sat Nov 20, 2010 6:06 am
Location: Perth, Western Australia

by Ozrider

Thanks for the feedback - it's much appreciated


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Ozrider - Western Australia
Parlee Z5 XL (6055g/13.32lbs) Trek Madone 5.9 (7052-7500g)Jonesman Columbus Spirit (8680g)
Chase your dreams - it's only impossible until it's done

pdlpsher1
Posts: 1537
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2012 6:09 pm
Location: CO

by pdlpsher1

I have a Quarq and I'm very happy with it. However I have a short-duration dropout issue and I don't know if it's normal among the realm of power meters. Occasionally I get a zero reading on cadence (and hence power) for about 1-3 seconds. I cannot rule out my Garmin 510 as the culprit as I don't have a second spare head unit to test. Do you see such a thing on your power meter? From time to time I read people have dropout issues but I don't know what's the acceptable limit vs. a bad power meter. Since my power meter is on a wireless connection (ANT+) I don't expect 100% reliability all the time.

jmaccyd
Posts: 120
Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2015 4:12 pm

by jmaccyd

On my third Stages after failure with the first two due to damp. My third one has been super consistent and worked flawlessly but it lives in the house now! The customer service is top notch and they have replaced with no problems but it is still un necessary hassle. Pleased with my Stages as a 'toe dip' into the PM market, but I would not buy another one although I see one shop here in the UK is doing a Black fridley deal of £300 for a Gen2 Stages....at that price I could be tempted.

boots2000
Posts: 1438
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2007 9:28 pm

by boots2000

I found that the Stages had a lot of power variance compared to other devices I have used.
What I mean by this is that power fluctuates when you are on a steady climb and holding a steady power.
2nd issue was dropouts- far too often and far to random.
3rd issue was battery life-
I talked to Stages about this and the basically said the Stages powermeter works "good enough" for most people.
They did not attempt to defend the weaknesses- in fact they agreed.

So it comes down to how you use the unit and how accurate it needs to be.

ksy8828
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2016 12:42 am

by ksy8828

I prefer Pioneer but it's too expensive for non-pro

cdncyclist
Posts: 60
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 12:10 am

by cdncyclist

I haven't come across any convincing data that more information (dual sided power, power distribution through a pedal stroke, etc.) can be used in a meaningful way to improve real world performance (i.e. race performance). That may be because this is still an emerging area and the studies have yet to be done.

If anyone is aware of data on this would be interested to know.

Of note I use Stages - have on 3 bikes, haven't experienced any problems with any of them.

Darceking
Posts: 130
Joined: Fri Feb 28, 2014 1:48 am

by Darceking

I own both and I would recommend Pioneer, cheaper, better, and did I mention cheaper ? Oh and better

Darceking
Posts: 130
Joined: Fri Feb 28, 2014 1:48 am

by Darceking

ksy8828 wrote:I prefer Pioneer but it's too expensive for non-pro

Pioneer Single is cheaper then Stages in Australia.

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Monza36
PowerMeister
Posts: 56
Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2014 12:00 pm

by Monza36

I used to have a rotor powermeter 3d+ (dual sided) and switched to stages (1st gen). within a certain bandwidth they both perform perfect however i did notice some diffs... for some reason the stages is losing connection to my garmin520... fiddling with the battery cap does do the trick... (too lazy to really dig into it).. on the other hand upgrading the firmware is really piece of cake... the other thing is my dual power measure... i normally look at the left/right diffs knowing which leg should be pushed harder in workouts...

in general... why upgrade to a dual when single would do the job.. in the end we're not pros... and understanding and knowing what to do with all the output of data is something else
"Racing is life. Anything before or after is just waiting."
--Steve McQueen--

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