Stages vs Quarq - is it worth it?

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
ryanw
Posts: 496
Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2016 6:52 pm
Location: London

by ryanw

Big Quarq fan here. My DZero has been perfect since coming out the box.

Same as above, just calibrate before every ride and forget about it.

Comparing it to my 2018 Wahoo Kickr, it tracks within a single watt all the way up to around 1,500w and then the difference is slightly more, not still well within tolerances.

Also have a single sided Rotor InPower that consistently reads 20-30w higher than the Kickr/Quarq at 300w. That's my ego PM for when my forms dropping ;)
'16 Cervelo S5 - 6650g
'17 Focus Mares Force 1 - 7,800g

by Weenie


Jugi
Posts: 181
Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2018 8:10 am

by Jugi

Currently using Stages Rival 1gen (CX bike, previously on road bike) and two Quarq DZeros (both GXP and 172,5mm, 110BCD model on road bike and 130BCD model on TT bike). I also owned a Stages Ultegra 6800 1gen or 2gen but sold it when buying my first Quarq. I use oval chainrings on all my bikes and a Garmin Edge 1000 as a head unit. I also have a Tacx Neo which should always be quite accurate, so I have been able to test the accuracy against that.

Stages:
- With the very first firmware version I got very high max power and cadence readings (max cadence in 4000-7000 rpm ballpark) but after firmware updates that issue disappeared.
- As previous posters have mentioned, when comparing the readouts against a Quarq for example, the Stages seems to be a little slower picking up a hard sprint, and usually ends up giving a bit higher max power value.
- I haven’t had any big mechanical issues. Haven’t broken any battery compartment doors. I had a weird sleep mode issue with the Ultegra model which would creep up mid-ride, but that was easily fixed by bending the battery connector (found instructions for the procedure by googling).
- The ”low battery” warning hasn’t always been very trustworthy. I have had some notifications pop up in cold temperatures but the powermeter has continued to function for tens of hours afterwards. Of course a bad battery can’t be ruled out.
- The Shimano Hollowtech II compatible models are silly easy to install and remove. I’d say they are as easy to travel with as pedal based meters, as long as there is a Hollowtech II -bottom bracket on a bike you want it used on.
- When using Shimano’s 105/Ultegra/Dura-ace groupset, I actually prefer the left side Stages as it completely disappears into the bike.

Quarq
- The readouts feel more reliable than Stages as there is less lag. If you put in a more powerful pedal stroke and look at the readout, you are seeing that immediately (and not 1-2 seconds after the fact).
- No mechanical issues what so ever, it just works. I had to do a ”hard reset” after a battery change for one of my units. It woke up, gave a series of led blinks indicating an issue and wouldn’t connect to a head unit, so pulled troubleshooting instructions from Quarq support, short circuited the battery connectors, installed the battery again and has worked ever since.
- I have had some very random connection issues to a head unit. Maybe for five seconds either the power or the cadence or both disappear from the head unit, and then come back again. I have seen a couple of these happen on both of my Quarqs. I haven’t been able to come up with an explanation for that.
- When using an SRAM Red groupset, a Quarq fits the build very well.
- Wouldn’t want to travel with one of these.

In my experience, when using oval chainrings a Quarq over estimates power about 3-8% at the 200-300W range and Stages over estimates a little more, maybe 5-10%. There is no adjustment to remedy that, as it is a contraint of the basic technology used in these meters. But as that difference seems to always remain the same, I haven’t really had an issue with it. In my opinion, Stages and Quarq produce numbers which are reliable enough to use as basis for training, with round or oval chainrings.

pdlpsher1
Posts: 1748
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2012 6:09 pm
Location: CO

by pdlpsher1

Which head unit do you have? I once had an Edge 510 and very rarely I get zero cadence and power readings for about five seconds. It would happen under high tension power lines. Later I upgraded to an Edge 520 and the connection problem completely went away. Since I got the 520 I’ve had zero drop outs. Not even once. So I attribute the problem to the head unit and not the PM.


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ryanw
Posts: 496
Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2016 6:52 pm
Location: London

by ryanw

I've travelled with my Quarq numerous times and had zero issues. Been removed from the bike many, many times too. Haven't been delicate with it at all.

I'm run mine with an Edge 1000 and now with my 520 Plus. Zero issues again.
'16 Cervelo S5 - 6650g
'17 Focus Mares Force 1 - 7,800g

jfranci3
Posts: 373
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:21 pm

by jfranci3

—whoops—

angrylegs
Posts: 142
Joined: Mon May 21, 2012 2:32 pm

by angrylegs

Love my Quarq. I've had it 5 years now and it's rock solid and reliable. Never drops, starts right up, never gives me any issues. Have a Stages on the training bike. It does its job. I feel it's a bit less accurate than the Quarq, but what matters most is repeatability and it seems good there. I get signal drops from time to time and I am currently having issues with Zwift picking it up (which is fine as I have a smart trainer, but I do want to use the Stages for the power and cadence readings). I also feel like the Stages is a bit slower than the Quarq in picking up a sprint or hard interval. The Quarq is more responsive. All in all I would get both again. I like the Quarq better, but I like the price and the weight of the Stages, so it about evens out.

mikemelbrooks
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2010 10:58 pm

by mikemelbrooks

Just chipping in. I bought a first generation Stages powermeter second hand of ebay a year ago, having only a smart trainer to compare it against( it does seem to lag a couple of seconds when out of the saddle sprinting) it has been totally reliable. I seem to remember it cost me £160.

Hexsense
Posts: 595
Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2015 12:41 am

by Hexsense

pdlpsher1 wrote:
Tue Oct 16, 2018 7:52 am
So I'm not sure what you mean by your PM going way off. What do you actually mean by way off?
like suddenly i'm leading front of the group going at 35km/h using 60-100 watts at heart rate of 170+ :roll: . Most time it randomly happen after i freewheel or back pedal a bit to stretch my legs (i assume the auto calibration kicks in). Each time it happen, i have to stop and do manual calibration to make it normal. I then too turn off auto calibration to prevent this from happening (since mid-end 2017) and just do manual calibration before some ride.

Time passes, I try re-enable auto calibration and it haven't happen anymore (yet) recently after another firmware update (version of a few months ago detected by Qalvin BLE app, not showing up on Quarq firmware website yet for some reason). It could be some another bug similar to cadence bug Quarq firmware version November 2017 solved. Luckily firmware update doesn't come too often because i also found firmware update procedure fail me a few time that it need hard reboot and retry the firmware update until it success to regain functionality (get out of orange blink state). I know it's hard to completely brick the power meter but having to hard reboot and retry make me uncomfortable.

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