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Shimano Ultegra 6800 and two FSA models added

Stages Cycling are launching three new Stages Power models: a Shimano Ultegra 6800 option, plus a new partnership with FSA that brings MegaExo and BB30 models.

We’ve covered the Stages system a couple of times on road.cc, most recently last week when we picked one up for review

In brief, Stages take a standard left (non-driveside) crank and add a very small sensor that measures strain and cadence in order to calculate power. It adds just 20g to the crank and it sends the data via both ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart protocols. You buy just the relevant left crank with the sensor fitted, with prices ranging from £599 up to £799.

“The basic design of these new models is based on what we’ve already had in the field,” said Stages’ Matt Pacocha. “These new models simply open Stages Power to a broader base of cranks specced on new bikes and already available in the field. We’re excited to support Shimano’s Ultegra 6800 drivetrain, and for the much broader BB30 fitment that FSA will afford.”

The new Ultegra 6800 model will cost £699 and should be available in the UK from December or January. Stages expect to start shipping the FSA MegaExo and BB30 models some time in the new year but UK distributor Saddleback doesn't have details on UK availability or prices yet.

After our last Stages story, 700c asked on the road.cc forum about Campagnolo compatibility. Stages don’t currently offer a power meter fitted to a Campag crank. We asked Matt Pacocha about the situation, and this is what he said…

“Our solution doesn't work on carbon, because we require the crank arm's material properties to be linear under deflection so that we can accurately measure it. Alloy/metal/aluminum has a linear response to a given force input, or temperature input. Carbon does not, which is why we can't use this exact design for carbon cranks.”

Several of the higher-end Campagnolo groupsets use carbon cranks, so that rules out a Stages option for the moment, although the know-how might exist soon.

“We have ideas for carbon, but especially when considering Campag, we need to understand the opportunity cost: will we sell enough to justify the development and production costs? We know we can do it, but we don't know that we can do it cost effectively enough.”

That all seems reasonable enough: Stages can do it, but only if it makes sound business sense. But not all Campagnolo chainsets are carbon, so why not produce a Campag-compatible alloy option. Over to Matt…

“It is plausible, but we don't think that they'd be adopted as readily as the SRAM version. We believe the Campag enthusiast is much more in tune with the aesthetic, thus will not adopt the utilitarian approach to fitting a lesser crank or mismatched non-drive crank arm to their bikes as readily. In this case again, we don't think we can sell enough to offset the production costs of bringing it to market.

“We’re launching both Ultegra 6800 and two FSA models (see above) and feel the latter may be the best opportunity for Campag riders, in the short term anyway.”

For more info on Stages go to www.stagescycling.com or UK importer www.saddleback.co.uk, and standby for a review on road.cc in the next few weeks.

Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over the past 20 years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for seven years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.

12 comments

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charlton marc [3 posts] 3 years ago
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For the FSA its Energy model they are using will that fit with gossamer model crankset?

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jarredscycling [456 posts] 3 years ago
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Would really love to get my hands on a FSA BB30 version

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Nick T [947 posts] 3 years ago
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"We believe the Campag enthusiast is much more in tune with the aesthetic, thus will not adopt the utilitarian approach to fitting a lesser crank or mismatched non-drive crank arm to their bikes as readily."

You have to admire the level of diplomacy at work here; I've never seen us Campag ponces described so elegantly.  4

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PJ McNally [591 posts] 3 years ago
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Yes, Stages wins the Sir Humphrey award for the most understated, gentle criticism of a group of people. Never heard Campy enthusiasts summed up so well.

(FWIW, i think Stages are right - the mismatched crank idea wouldn't sell to those people)..

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Mat Brett [626 posts] 3 years ago
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Nick T wrote:

"We believe the Campag enthusiast is much more in tune with the aesthetic, thus will not adopt the utilitarian approach to fitting a lesser crank or mismatched non-drive crank arm to their bikes as readily."

You have to admire the level of diplomacy at work here; I've never seen us Campag ponces described so elegantly.  4

I was going to paraphrase, but Matt Pacocha put it so well!

"Mismatched cranks? With my reputation?"

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ronin [275 posts] 3 years ago
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Perhaps I'm no where near good enough to want to measure power output, or perhaps this solution just seems awfully expensive/aimed to compete price wise with what's already out there.

So basically for the price of the whole group set I get to see 1 extra figure on my cycle computer screen.

Or perhaps I'll just invent a device that when you start pedaling you hear Yoda's voice "Powerful, you must become".

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Nick T [947 posts] 3 years ago
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It depends on what your goals are, doesn't it. If you want to improve your performance then power measurement is the best way we have available to us to guide our training regime - power output is a consistent measure that doesn't change the readings because you're tired, unwell, riding against the wind, in a pack etc, so you can consistently gauge where you were and where you are with the aim of getting where you want to be. Obviously if this doesn't tally up with your personal cycling goals then this isn't for you and no one is forcing you to buy one, but there are many who do benefit. Riding as hard as you can whenever you can only works up to a point, you need to get a bit more technical if you want to get beyond that.

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Nick T [947 posts] 3 years ago
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And this is the cheapest way to do it by the way, look at SRM prices if you want to really upset yourself.

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700c [954 posts] 2 years ago
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I confess to having missed this article at the time, but just to say thanks to Mat & Road cc team for following up the Campag query. A real shame that the cheapest system for measuring power is not compatible with my bike! Oh well..

Now apparently adopted by team Sky for 2014, an impressive endorsement..

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Flying Scot [918 posts] 2 years ago
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Valentino wrote:

FTR my bike has Super Record on it.

FTSR then?  16

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Valentino [17 posts] 2 years ago
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If Stages could get Campag to make them some black anodized Aluminium Ultra Torque left crank arms (just like like the discontinued Athena) I'd be their customer.

FTR my bike has Super Record on it.

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Rhuancunha [1 post] 2 years ago
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Have found out if fsa bb30 powermeter will be compatible with fsa gossamer crank?