Stages vs Quarq - is it worth it?

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
CrankAddictsRich
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by CrankAddictsRich

I've been using Stages power meters since June of 2014. Have there been issues? yes. I started with a Gen. 1 ultegra unit that suffered from the battery door issue. Stages took care of it all and i was never left empty-handed. Their customer service, IMO, has been some of the best I've ever experienced in the bike industry. Last year, I put up a full blog post on my Stages usage and I still stand by the post. I currently have three Dura-Ace 9000 Stages units, 1 for each bike. I have one gen.1 and two gen. 2's and they all work flawlessly. I use them for training and time trial racing.

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bilwit
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by bilwit

If this is your first PM and you're also trying to get the best value in terms of price & weight, just get a used Stages 6800 arm to go with your current crankset. You won't be disappointed. As long as it's not Gen 1 then you shouldn't have any issues with water and stuff like that. Stages is notorious for getting blasted by DC Rainmaker's initial review but he released a followup review saying it works perfectly fine now with the current firmware updates.

Don't put too much importance on L/R data. It doesn't matter unless you're worried about maximizing the number on the screen (in the case that your right leg is stronger than your left) which is missing the point OR if you are being coached by someone who insists that they need that data. What is more important is that the reading is consistent. Regardless of potential imbalance, the results are normalized to that specific PM and your specific effort & fitness (ie. it doesn't matter if "200w" to you is in reality "195w" or "205w" due to L/R imbalance because you have established a baseline defined around the "200w" read--as long as that "200w" is consistent). In this example, having the "absolute 200w" reading is only relevant when comparing between different PMs or someone else's effort, but that will always be muddled regardless (power measured at different points of the drive train depending on the PM, no two PMs read 100.00% the same even between same models, people with different FTPs means that they're doing different relative efforts at the same wattage, etc). At the end of the day, as long as the PM is consistent and you are training based on zones defined by its specific readings and not a different unit then it doesn't matter if the reading is crank based, left-only, hub, pedals, etc

Also pro tip: you may find that it's easier to ride to power zone on your head unit rather than just the straight up 3s or 5s power number, this also helps with not having to memorize each zone ranges which will eventually change as your FTP changes

I will concede that a Quarq with the rebranded crank arms (or original I suppose) looks boss though 8) . The original Shimano cranks can be a little boring aesthetically
Last edited by bilwit on Wed Apr 18, 2018 8:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

CrankAddictsRich
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by CrankAddictsRich

I agree 100% with this post ^^^ very well said.
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c60rider
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by c60rider

Having used an original Quarq sram red for 5 years as I couldn't get a decent priced Campag option it worked flawlessly throughout that time with just simple battery replacements being the only thing that needed doing. So I would have no hesitation in recommending that. I've got a couple of P2M campag power meters now and decided I would get a Stages Campag for my winter bike. It was utterly useless. Measurements erratic and unusable in real time. I fitted it onto the same bike as the P2M so I was able to directly compare and it was appalling and confirmed that measurements didn't come close. The Quarq and P2M units all compare favourably for me. I returned the stages for a refund via Wiggle a few months later and they didn't even bother offering me a replacement. It's just my personal experience of one but it's enough to put me off bothering another time that it didn't work correctly straight out of the box. That's unacceptable. And they've already introduced version 3 before version 2 were on sale for long so maybe they were inherently faulty with the Campag carbon cranks.

northwestern
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Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2015 11:13 pm
Location: Phoenix,AZ

by northwestern

OMG do not spent $2000 on a new powermeter. Go to Craigslist or Ebay and buy a used one. I just saw a 2015 P2M with K-force light arms and rings sold for $450 on ebay. I got my P2M for $300 and paid another $200 for the crankset.

jfranci3
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Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:21 pm

by jfranci3

Exactly. You probably didn't pay anything extra for a slightly more accurate heart rate monitor, speedometer, GPS, or Cadence sensor.

The delta on information you get out of a great PM vs a pretty OK meter is very slight. The OK meter might not give you dual leg, 100% accuracy, or will be slightly off on power peaks/sudden power changes/sudden cadence changes, but will generally give you good, usable information.
Leg discrepancies are nice to know, but once you know how often do you really need to look at it? Check your saddle/stem/hood alignment, then do some one leg drills.
Having said that, getting a consistent reliable unit is vital. There are lesser units for $400 (Stages gen1) and there are workhorses for $400 (Used P2M). Remember you can always sell the cheaper and used units for about the same as purchase price, so don't buy anything off brand.

Hamfist
Posts: 85
Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2008 3:04 pm
Location: Bloomfield Hills, Michigan

by Hamfist

I just replaced one of my Stages Shimano D/A 9000 arms with a P2M NGeco with Rotor 3d24 cranks. Over time this particular arm had become more erratic and unreliable - sometimes 50 to 60w lower than another Stages and my Kickr. Using the P2M for a week or so I find the readings less erratic - smoother (I look at a 3s rolling average). The arms are great. I have the version that uses the Shimano rings as I wanted to ensure decent front shifting with Di2. I plan on moving away from single sided meters and to P2M on my gravel rig and hopefully on my mountain bike as well.

JScycle
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Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2017 11:41 pm

by JScycle

Thanks everyone for your replies. At the moment i'm 70% stages 30% quarq

jfranci3
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by jfranci3

Time to do some one power meter drills

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

by Lewn777

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.

Delorre
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Joined: Sat May 24, 2014 12:09 pm

by Delorre

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.
You compare weights for a complete crankset with one without chainrings :| What's the point?
Last edited by Delorre on Wed Apr 25, 2018 8:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

JScycle
Posts: 133
Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2017 11:41 pm

by JScycle

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

calleking
Posts: 118
Joined: Sun Sep 13, 2015 3:20 pm

by calleking

I got a brand new generation 3 Stages R8000 crank on the warranty shipped to me. This was after my G2 6800 crank drained CR2032s over a night. Obviously someting with the sealing of the battery compartment. Stages were nice and replaced it out of the warranty period. I guess they are quite aware of the situation and are a bit more supportive to customers now that other companies really have upped their game. I guess they can notice the competition being ramped up.

As far as the R8000 G3 crank arm goes: I'm not sure if I should just sell it and buy a second hand 4iiii one instead. Idea was to have it on my Crux and try to squeeze in training on my commute now that we have two toddlers at home. Seems like a better product with better support and I would also get some cash over for bike related investments :)
I have the Powertap P1 pedals on my Aeroad but they just seem a bit too delicate to use for daily commuting/training. Otherwise very happy with those although I think Favero and Vector 3 is a better buy these days.

I think the P2Max NG Eco is a great alternative. Great reviews and very competitive pricing.
Aeroad CF SLX w. ENVE SES 4.5

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

by Lewn777

Delorre wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 7:10 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.
You compare weights for a complete crankset with one without chainrings :| What's the point?
SRAM Red with chaing-rings+BB+Quarq is 700g ish.
Shimano 6800+stages+BB =800g ish

Need accurate weights.

https://thebikelane.com.au/2015/06/2015 ... t-weights/
Last edited by Lewn777 on Wed Apr 25, 2018 10:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Lewn777
Posts: 252
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2017 5:35 am

by Lewn777

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/

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