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Stages has ceased operations and laid off all its staff, say reports, while UK consumers reassured that warranty claims will be covered

US power meter and indoor bike brand appears to be the latest victim in the cycling industry’s economic crisis

Stages Cycling’s UK distributor says that it will cover future warranty claims following reports that the US-based power meter and indoor bike brand has laid off its entire workforce. News of the current Stages situation was first reported by Escape Collective.

Josh Lambert of Saddleback, which has handled Stages in the UK for over a decade, says, “In truth, we aren’t sure what is going on yet. Our brand manager is in contact, but we haven’t been updated with anything as yet.

“As for consumers, we will cover warranty claims, as we still have stock here. Hopefully, we will be able to update the trade and consumers shortly.”

Escape Collective reported yesterday that sources close to Stages had indicated that the company laid off all of its staff last week. According to the story, Stages initially stopped supplying orders to suppliers and then ceased shipping to customers. The Stages website shows most products as being unavailable, although various models are in stock at Saddleback.

You’re probably most familiar with Stages as a result of its power meters. Although loads of brands offer power meters these days and prices have come tumbling down, it used to be that SRM pretty much owned the market.

CycleOps came along with its hub-based PowerTap system and various other brands, including Garmin, introduced more accessible power meters, but Stages was the first brand to offer what might be considered a budget option – or, at least, it moved the market significantly in that direction back in 2012.

“Stages Cycling designs, develops and manufactures crank arm power measurement systems in Boulder, Colorado,” we said at the time. “The power meter uses strain gauges on the left (non-driveside) crank arm. You buy the single crank arm with the power meter already in place.

“Stages reckons that its system is accurate to within +/-2% and that it adds just 20g of additional weight - even the weight weenies have to admit that that isn't worth worrying about.”

Although it added dual-sided power meters later, Stages remained committed to the idea of single-sided measurement, saying that this was sufficient for most riders.

When introduced, a Stages-equipped Shimano 105 crank was priced at £599. The company also introduced a factory install service where power meter functionality could be added to an existing crank.

Stages SB20 Smart Bike Indoor Trainer

As well as its bike computers, heart rate monitors, and various other accessories, Stages has been huge in the indoor cycling world for many years, offering studio exercise bikes that are found in many gyms – sometimes not branded Stages – along with the SB20 smart bike which we reviewed in 2022 and called a “Solid, quiet and accurate indoor trainer for high-volume riders”.

> Stages SB20 Smart Bike Indoor Trainer 

Escape Collective says, “Reliance on health clubs and Shimano cranks left Stages in a difficult position when the pandemic struck as health clubs were forced to shut their doors, and the supply of Shimano cranks dropped almost to zero.

“Those issues were compounded by what Bloomberg described as an 'unprecedented global shortage' of microprocessor chips. From its power meters to indoor bikes to the Dash head unit, all of Stages’ major products require a crank arm (sometimes two), a chip, or both. The result for Stages was a lack of inventory, just as the cycling industry was experiencing the Covid boom.”

These supply difficulties led to cashflow issues and further problems. A rise in shipping costs and longer lead times appear to have worsened the situation, ultimately resulting in the laying off of staff.

We’ll update you if/when we receive any more information.

Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. 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 winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

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