Stages vs Quarq - is it worth it?

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
bilwit
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Location: Seattle, WA

by bilwit

Lewn777 wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 10:19 am
JScycle wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 8:03 am
Lewn777 wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 10:59 pm
Ultegra with Stages/4iiii/xcadey.....700 grams approx
SRAM Red with Quarq....550 grams approx

SRAM Red with Quarq is sexier looking (objective), dual sided (probably won't matter much) and about 150 grams lighter. So whatever price you can get the SRAM Red with Quarq for you can effectively knock $150 off the cost as most people will happily spend $1 to save a gram and many weenies on here will happily spend $2 a gram or more.
Plus the extra accuracy and possible reliability with worth something too.
I'm not sure of the exact weights (will have to research) but I think the 6800 crankset with rings and stages is about 100g lighter
Are you sure? I would have thought it's the other way round.
https://thebikelane.com.au/2015/06/2015 ... t-weights/
here:
Weight: Quarq Power Meters are competitively light. They only adds 80-100 grams to the regular crankset weight in most cases. For example, a standard SRAM RED crank is about 610 grams and the Quarq RED is 690 grams.
http://fitwerx.com/product-reviews/powe ... -overview/

So basically the same. If you want to save weight looks like DA9000 crankset w/ Stages which would be ~650g according to your link 8)

by Weenie


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Lewn777
Posts: 315
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2017 5:35 am

by Lewn777

bilwit wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 5:23 pm
Lewn777 wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 10:19 am
JScycle wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 8:03 am
Lewn777 wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 10:59 pm
Ultegra with Stages/4iiii/xcadey.....700 grams approx
SRAM Red with Quarq....550 grams approx

SRAM Red with Quarq is sexier looking (objective), dual sided (probably won't matter much) and about 150 grams lighter. So whatever price you can get the SRAM Red with Quarq for you can effectively knock $150 off the cost as most people will happily spend $1 to save a gram and many weenies on here will happily spend $2 a gram or more.
Plus the extra accuracy and possible reliability with worth something too.
I'm not sure of the exact weights (will have to research) but I think the 6800 crankset with rings and stages is about 100g lighter
Are you sure? I would have thought it's the other way round.
https://thebikelane.com.au/2015/06/2015 ... t-weights/
here:
Weight: Quarq Power Meters are competitively light. They only adds 80-100 grams to the regular crankset weight in most cases. For example, a standard SRAM RED crank is about 610 grams and the Quarq RED is 690 grams.
http://fitwerx.com/product-reviews/powe ... -overview/

So basically the same. If you want to save weight looks like DA9000 crankset w/ Stages which would be ~650g according to your link 8)
You've got to weigh the crank plus rings, with the BB and add in the weight for the PM, or two if dual sided Stages. Then you have to figure which BB we are talking about. GXP or BB30/PF30, 386 or an adaptor to prevent creaks. So it really overall weight isn't as simple as you think.

Quarq is better proven and more accurate than single sided Stages. Plus we were originally talking about Ultrega 6800 not Dura Ace.

bilwit
Posts: 921
Joined: Sun Apr 03, 2016 5:49 am
Location: Seattle, WA

by bilwit

The dilemma is pretty simple to me. For a potential first time power meter user, the marginal functional differences and benefit between getting a $400 Stages 6800 arm to go with their existing rig versus a $2,000 Quarq crank+BB (plus rings unless they want to use their current 6800 ones) is laughable at best--strictly in terms of pure functionality and training value. If they can get a better deal on a used P2M or whatever then by all means, go for it. The benefit from training with power at all is a big leap, infinitely more than benefits from the difference in perks between any two modern power meters with temperature compensation.

One thing to consider is that if you plan on upgrading the rest of the groupset in the near future, there is a little bit more flexibility with the Quarq depending on the ring-compatibility you choose (rather than being stuck with a 6800 arm when you want to upgrade to Red or Dura Ace, etc). Though, I suspect that by the time you're tired with 6800 and have the itch to move on from it, blowing $400 now (or potentially less) on the Stages won't really mean much to your future self who would probably appreciate its return on investment (effect on training) by then (unless you already are at that point).

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Lewn777
Posts: 315
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2017 5:35 am

by Lewn777

bilwit wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 12:46 am
The dilemma is pretty simple to me. For a potential first time power meter user, the marginal functional differences and benefit between getting a $400 Stages 6800 arm to go with their existing rig versus a $2,000 Quarq crank+BB (plus rings unless they want to use their current 6800 ones) is laughable at best--strictly in terms of pure functionality and training value. If they can get a better deal on a used P2M or whatever then by all means, go for it. The benefit from training with power at all is a big leap, infinitely more than benefits from the difference in perks between any two modern power meters with temperature compensation.

One thing to consider is that if you plan on upgrading the rest of the groupset in the near future, there is a little bit more flexibility with the Quarq depending on the ring-compatibility you choose (rather than being stuck with a 6800 arm when you want to upgrade to Red or Dura Ace, etc). Though, I suspect that by the time you're tired with 6800 and have the itch to move on from it, blowing $400 now (or potentially less) on the Stages won't really mean much to your future self who would probably appreciate its return on investment (effect on training) by then (unless you already are at that point).
But a Quarq isn't $2000. :noidea: You seem to be arguing your point with out of date information. A Quarq is currently $700 with chain rings without even shopping around! An extra $300 for a far better proven more reliable more accurate power meter, plus you get a whole crank set! You can sell the old crank set to offset the cost, making the prices even closer.
https://www.merlincycles.com/sram-s975- ... 60578.html

The sexier looking SRAM Red without chain rings is $835. So you're still over 100% wrong.
https://www.merlincycles.com/sram-quarq ... 02543.html

The time that the Stages stuff was a good option was about two - three years ago. 4iiii are better proven reliable anyhow and if you are going for a single sided crank arm based power meter you could just get an xcadey. The PM market is very dynamic and fast changing, this year there are going to be new Chinese players in the market that are going to take the prices even lower according to my sources. I think in 5 years time any higher end crank will probably have a built in PM by default.

fasdflkjweorinjs
Posts: 26
Joined: Sun Mar 23, 2014 6:25 am

by fasdflkjweorinjs

I'm a big fan of Power2max, especially if you're running r8000 or 9100 drivetrains.

bilwit
Posts: 921
Joined: Sun Apr 03, 2016 5:49 am
Location: Seattle, WA

by bilwit

Lewn777 wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 1:12 am
bilwit wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 12:46 am
The dilemma is pretty simple to me. For a potential first time power meter user, the marginal functional differences and benefit between getting a $400 Stages 6800 arm to go with their existing rig versus a $2,000 Quarq crank+BB (plus rings unless they want to use their current 6800 ones) is laughable at best--strictly in terms of pure functionality and training value. If they can get a better deal on a used P2M or whatever then by all means, go for it. The benefit from training with power at all is a big leap, infinitely more than benefits from the difference in perks between any two modern power meters with temperature compensation.

One thing to consider is that if you plan on upgrading the rest of the groupset in the near future, there is a little bit more flexibility with the Quarq depending on the ring-compatibility you choose (rather than being stuck with a 6800 arm when you want to upgrade to Red or Dura Ace, etc). Though, I suspect that by the time you're tired with 6800 and have the itch to move on from it, blowing $400 now (or potentially less) on the Stages won't really mean much to your future self who would probably appreciate its return on investment (effect on training) by then (unless you already are at that point).
But a Quarq isn't $2000. :noidea: You seem to be arguing your point with out of date information. A Quarq is currently $700 with chain rings without even shopping around! An extra $300 for a far better proven more reliable more accurate power meter, plus you get a whole crank set! You can sell the old crank set to offset the cost, making the prices even closer.
https://www.merlincycles.com/sram-s975- ... 60578.html

The sexier looking SRAM Red without chain rings is $835. So you're still over 100% wrong.
https://www.merlincycles.com/sram-quarq ... 02543.html

The time that the Stages stuff was a good option was about two - three years ago. 4iiii are better proven reliable anyhow and if you are going for a single sided crank arm based power meter you could just get an xcadey. The PM market is very dynamic and fast changing, this year there are going to be new Chinese players in the market that are going to take the prices even lower according to my sources. I think in 5 years time any higher end crank will probably have a built in PM by default.
did you even read the OP? I get it, you hate Stages. Duly noted. Doesn't mean it isn't a completely viable option for the OP. You can go ahead and look at DC Rainmaker's data to see HOW MUCH "superior" Quarq is to left-only Stages. No anecdotal personal bias involved. The numbers speak for itself.
Last edited by bilwit on Thu Apr 26, 2018 3:34 am, edited 4 times in total.

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TonyM
Posts: 2620
Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2015 4:11 pm

by TonyM

fasdflkjweorinjs wrote:I'm a big fan of Power2max, especially if you're running r8000 or 9100 drivetrains.
Absolutely like my P2M on my Colnago wit Campy SR but on a DA9100 the Shimano Dura Ace powermeter or the Stage DA 9100 dual sided are better options to me as they keep the original Shimano crankset and arms.

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Lewn777
Posts: 315
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2017 5:35 am

by Lewn777

bilwit wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 3:20 am
Lewn777 wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 1:12 am
bilwit wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 12:46 am
The dilemma is pretty simple to me. For a potential first time power meter user, the marginal functional differences and benefit between getting a $400 Stages 6800 arm to go with their existing rig versus a $2,000 Quarq crank+BB (plus rings unless they want to use their current 6800 ones) is laughable at best--strictly in terms of pure functionality and training value. If they can get a better deal on a used P2M or whatever then by all means, go for it. The benefit from training with power at all is a big leap, infinitely more than benefits from the difference in perks between any two modern power meters with temperature compensation.

One thing to consider is that if you plan on upgrading the rest of the groupset in the near future, there is a little bit more flexibility with the Quarq depending on the ring-compatibility you choose (rather than being stuck with a 6800 arm when you want to upgrade to Red or Dura Ace, etc). Though, I suspect that by the time you're tired with 6800 and have the itch to move on from it, blowing $400 now (or potentially less) on the Stages won't really mean much to your future self who would probably appreciate its return on investment (effect on training) by then (unless you already are at that point).
But a Quarq isn't $2000. :noidea: You seem to be arguing your point with out of date information. A Quarq is currently $700 with chain rings without even shopping around! An extra $300 for a far better proven more reliable more accurate power meter, plus you get a whole crank set! You can sell the old crank set to offset the cost, making the prices even closer.
https://www.merlincycles.com/sram-s975- ... 60578.html

The sexier looking SRAM Red without chain rings is $835. So you're still over 100% wrong.
https://www.merlincycles.com/sram-quarq ... 02543.html

The time that the Stages stuff was a good option was about two - three years ago. 4iiii are better proven reliable anyhow and if you are going for a single sided crank arm based power meter you could just get an xcadey. The PM market is very dynamic and fast changing, this year there are going to be new Chinese players in the market that are going to take the prices even lower according to my sources. I think in 5 years time any higher end crank will probably have a built in PM by default.
did you even read the OP? I get it, you hate Stages. Duly noted. Doesn't mean it isn't a completely viable option for the OP. You can go ahead and look at DC Rainmaker's data to see HOW MUCH "superior" Quarq is to left-only Stages. No anecdotal personal bias involved. The numbers speak for itself.
You can't seem to accept that you are wrong and your information is simply out of date.

Banging the drum so hard for Stages, when there are so many other options. Lots of shouting and no listening.

DC Rainmaker: 'If I were to pick 2-3 companies to ‘trust’ not to screw up a new power meter lineup, Quarq would definitely be on that list.'
(About Stages) it’s tough to recommend the left-only approach with other options in the same price ballpark that fully capture all power.....riders are/were seeing imbalance issues with Stages compared to SRM

bilwit
Posts: 921
Joined: Sun Apr 03, 2016 5:49 am
Location: Seattle, WA

by bilwit

Lewn777 wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 5:04 am
You can't seem to accept that you are wrong and your information is simply out of date.

Banging the drum so hard for Stages, when there are so many other options. Lots of shouting and no listening.

DC Rainmaker: 'If I were to pick 2-3 companies to ‘trust’ not to screw up a new power meter lineup, Quarq would definitely be on that list.'
(About Stages) it’s tough to recommend the left-only approach with other options in the same price ballpark that fully capture all power.....riders are/were seeing imbalance issues with Stages compared to SRM
I never said Quarq was bad or that they would screw up anything in a future unit. I just don't really understand where this vehement attack on Stages is coming from, it's almost as if the company insulted your mother or something. Absurd. So according to the data, it's practically as accurate as any other unit and according to him, left-only is not an issue:
I probably have the largest and most complete data set of a single rider against as many additional power meters as one can technically attach to their bike.... As for Stages being left-only and doubling the power, for me (and again, just me), I’m just not seeing any issues there.
So what's the issue? Why does this make you so angry?

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Lewn777
Posts: 315
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2017 5:35 am

by Lewn777

bilwit wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 4:52 pm
Lewn777 wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 5:04 am
You can't seem to accept that you are wrong and your information is simply out of date.

Banging the drum so hard for Stages, when there are so many other options. Lots of shouting and no listening.

DC Rainmaker: 'If I were to pick 2-3 companies to ‘trust’ not to screw up a new power meter lineup, Quarq would definitely be on that list.'
(About Stages) it’s tough to recommend the left-only approach with other options in the same price ballpark that fully capture all power.....riders are/were seeing imbalance issues with Stages compared to SRM
I never said Quarq was bad or that they would screw up anything in a future unit. I just don't really understand where this vehement attack on Stages is coming from, it's almost as if the company insulted your mother or something. Absurd. So according to the data, it's practically as accurate as any other unit and according to him, left-only is not an issue:
I probably have the largest and most complete data set of a single rider against as many additional power meters as one can technically attach to their bike.... As for Stages being left-only and doubling the power, for me (and again, just me), I’m just not seeing any issues there.
So what's the issue? Why does this make you so angry?
I have no issue with Stages. I read something which was kind of negative about Stages because they do the exact same thing as 4iiii and many others, but cost more are less reliable and have some data issues. Also that there were dual sided power meters for the same ballpark cost so it was hard in the modern power meter market to really recommend Stages. I forgot where I read that until you reminded me, DC Rainmaker.

I'm not angry. You are living in a dis-reality. You obviously own a Stages or are intending to buy one. You are suffering from a huge dose of post-purchase rationalization where you see anything even slightly negative about it as a de-facto personal attack because you are trying to proselytize about this product.

Some people can handle it, others can't. If I told someone that I thought a Colnago C64 wasn't that well finished, was a tad heavy, had some design features I didn't like and that Colnago's customer service was somewhat lacking, some owners would laugh and mostly agree (but tell me some good features like ride quality), others wouldn't care (it's just your opinion), and others would take it as a personal attack.

aermet
Posts: 77
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 7:37 am

by aermet

It used to be when stages first released their PM's, they were much less expensive than many other PM's at the time. That is certainly no longer the case. SRM's and quarks were 30% more expensive. Many other competitors, SRM, Quark, P2M, have lowered their prices. The notion that stages is so much more economical is simply uninformed.

No offense to DC's reviews, as he really tries to do a great job and for the most part does, but for someone who expects a true reading from a PM that reflects instantaneous acceleration, solid sprinting watts, really dynamic power and cadence variability with data integrity, you are NOT going to get that with a stages. No disrespect to DC, but his max sprint wattage at around 800 watts, what he attains in his sprints in data I've seen from him, is regularly exceeded by cat 3 women in my area.

I have owned several SRM's (nearly 10), quarks, powertaps, and certainly stages. I have ridden with DA SRM right crank/spider and a left side stages with 2 head units for many rides. I currently own 2 stages (for no reason other than the fact that they were nearly free and I wanted them on my CX, and spare bikes), and a FSA P2M. The stages PM's I've had have been consistently as much as 150 watts off compared to my SRM's when exceeding 900 watts. It's been like you count 1 alligator, 2 alligator before the stages would catch up to the SRM readout. DC uses smoothing, somtimes over long periods of time, when he posts comparison graphs. That is so that the reader has an easier time looking at graphs, at the expense of accurately tracking variability, You can reduce variability in testing results to near nil using a basically worthless duration of smoothing. Why even bother with a PM if that's the case. Use HR if you don't mind 30sec plus smoothing in your power files, as it can take over 30 secs for HR to respond to efforts. I have used many power meters and his grouping as equivalent, the many power meters currently available, simply misses the mark and is a disservice when it comes to the accuracy of the data you're going to get at the end of a truly variable and dynamic training session or race.

If you are really interested in seeing what a solid effort is, such as in a fast group ride, accelerating on your mtb on a short steep climb (regularly over 900W) attacking repeatedly at over 1000W to split those behind you, highly variable power outputs such as when going from coasting to 600W+ efforts, then my experience with stages has been that the data just does not show the same results as my SRM/P2M/quark.

If you plan to go out and ride static core endurance, or plan to sit at a tempo pace and not vary much, or ride TT's, and won't be doing hard group rides, stages might suffice. But with the retail price of a P2M near $1000 and just a few hundred dollars more than a stages, as well as quark, why would one bother with a left arm when for the price difference, you get a complete crankset with chainrings. Why not buy a 4iii for $200 less if your expectations are that you would buy a stages?

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Rick
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by Rick

I have documented my frustrating experience with Stages in prior posts (if anyone was interested) so I have no motivation to attack them, except insofar as to warn potential customers that I tried really hard to use one and simply could not make it work reliably. I have two PowerTap SL+ and, although they have not been flawless, I was basically "satisfied" with their reliability and accuracy.
I am probably going to get a dual-sided 4iiii next, from the reviews I have seen.

Johnny Rad
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Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2006 6:22 am
Location: Zion

by Johnny Rad

Just the thread I was looking for...

I've been happily riding a PowerTap GS rear hub for the past two seasons. Last month I bought new wheels for the coming season and have just today (nearly? completely? almost?) decided how I'll measure my amazingly average power moving forward...

My plan is to lace up the new rear wheel with my old PowerTap GS hub for ~$100 (weighs ~75g more than the stock rear hub). After much over-thinking and day-dreaming, I like this option because I'll be able to more readily compare my power year over year without having to come up with a magical (albeit likely modest) conversion factor. It's also the most cost-effective and therefore semi future-proof in a round-about way because I won't have tied too much $ into my position.

Alternative 1) Keep the new wheels stock and buy a Stages Gen 3 left-side arm for ~$600/installed. Probably saves <50g at the cost of ~$12/g. I've read the reviews and am hopeful Gen 3 solves the data drops with Garmin headunits, as it'd be another >$300 to buy a Wahoo Element Bolt + RWD out-front mount. It'd be an expensive mistake and a key reason why it's an alternative (but I keep daydreaming about it) and not the plan.

Alternative 2) Keep the new wheels stock and buy a Quarq DZero GXP crank for ~$850/installed. Maybe saves <25g at the cost of ~$34/g. I've read almost unanimously positive reviews on DZero, but what's the point of all the $ if L/R power data isn't overly actionable?

<><><><><><>

Any dissenting opionions?? (Outside of @bilwit I'm not sure anyone is going to tell me to go with Stages Gen 3 though I'd really like to hear it if you catch my drift...)

Hexsense
Posts: 514
Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2015 12:41 am

by Hexsense

I DO have problem with Stages, bought Stages carbon left crank arm due to weight and simplicity.
It's s great when still new. However, it dies in three month after a rain ride despite supposedly updated battery door should prevent water ingress. Before it dies, data from some rides are also questionable. Bike shop send it back and get a replacement unit for me after few weeks.

Currently, i'm using Quarq Dzero, but i recommend Power2Max.
1.) Quarq's polling rate is lower than Power2max. Hence they don't guarantee accuracy when using non-round rings which your angular velocity change a lot during each pedal stroke.
2.) Quarq's auto calibration work most of the time, however, sometime goes way off. Very noticeably off, which is somewhat a good thing because i know for sure that i have to do manual calibration rather than having a slightly off data that i didn't notice. It seems to get better with firmware update but it's not as reliable as people make them sound like it is.

Power2Max's track record sound a bit more consistent than Quarq, that's what i'd go for next time!

PS. PowerTap hub sounds good too, however i'd do it in disc brake hub version for long term usability support.
PS2. PowerTap hub provides Power, Cadence, Speed. Crank-based power meter provide Power and Cadence. Speed sensor is missing, which for many people GPS is sufficient. You may want speed sensor if the GPS signal is bad in your location, or you prefer extra precision and low-delay speed data.

pdlpsher1
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Location: CO

by pdlpsher1

I do one calibration on my Quarq before I start every ride. It has given me consistent results for the entire ride even if the ride sees big temperature swings. I never needed to recalibrate it again during the ride. So I'm not sure what you mean by your PM going way off. What do you actually mean by way off? If you think your PM is defective Quarq recommends in their FAQ to do a manual 'zero' after the ride, and compare the value to the one before the ride. If the two numbers are vastly different then it means a defective strain gauge. By the way my Quarq has zero dropout issue nor water ingress issues. It's been very solid and no abnormal readings in power.

by Weenie


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