i mean you can call them too, no? The algorithm seems to struggle especially if you try to maintain or increase cadence at the same time. On a side note, do you think you will ever test the new Technogym Skillbike? You can just tap play below: Otherwise, you can continue on to piles of text. Best Peloton alternative: Top smart exercise bikes in 2021. It’s currently only shipping mostly in the Netherlands, so that’s probably less appealing from a widespread standpoint. Estimated payment amount … The bike does seem to be hit or miss when it comes to how the PMs integrate with the main bike. I want something robust and long lasting and it seems that this bike is the way to go. It’s the new thing – but right now I cant seem to take a day off of riding the SB20. It definitely feels a whole lot better. Bluetooth Smart Power Meter Profile: This broadcasts as a standard BLE power meter with cadence. So…ok. Going Bluetooth only (within Stages Link) makes no difference. Between all these standards you can basically connect to anything and everything you’d ever want to. I’m sticking it here in the middle of the review so people that just skip to the end without reading will miss it (and thus hopefully read the whole review to make an informed decision – nuance matters). Hmm, not sure on custom workouts – I tend to focus more on 3rd party app compatibility. That allowed me to use my iPhone to connect to the Stages Bike while also using Apple TV to connect to it for Zwift: However, we should probably talk about the shifters themselves. Until stairs are involved. Still, it’s the same 11 or 22 gear option as before. But there’s no ability to shift since that’s tied to the outlet power. it’s very robust if you ask me and stages have gone out of their way to allow you to find a specific problem and follow the multiple steps to resolve it, finally, as a last (or maybe first) resort, you should go to the sb20 facebook group. Are you willing to review or test beta products? We’ll get into that later – but it’s a bummer. ), what I mean is because you say “like all these bikes” (i.e. There’s exclusive features of the Tacx that I’d lose and miss (I do like the road surface simulation), but most of the other bikes offer their own unique features that the Tacx doesn’t have. While not a big deal, it’d be cool if that data was transmitted and then recorded by apps or bike computers, just like it is on a real bike. Having a bear of a time getting one of these up in Alaska. The Stages SB20 is all of the great things I hoped it would be (albeit after only a few 100 miles of use). Oddly it won’t let me update to the newest firmware release. It supports all the right protocols to work with every app or device on the market via ANT+ or Bluetooth Smart. The future-proof technology is ever adapting, adding features like cassette … New 2020 model of the 12.9in measures 280mm in height, so this version will only work in landscape. I don’t work for Stages (or get paid by them or anything else), so that’s really in their wheelhouse to solve. I think possibly you are over complicating this. Overall though, the Stages Bike is super flexible in terms of getting everything fit to your specific needs. For example, on that same section above, if I look at the comparative left/right balance split, the Stages Bike on the left-side appears to rise up slightly. Though interestingly, the Stages Bike can actually still broadcast your power with just its little battery-powered crank arms, even when not plugged in. But, my guess is if you ping the Stages folks, they’ll answer pretty darn quick and sort ya out. If you are UK based, you best would be to contact their UK distributor and support center which is SaddleBack on 01454 285285 – they handle all UK enquiries. Why haven’t you yet released a review for XYZ product you mentioned months ago? Unfortunately still waiting on a response from Stages. As you remember from before, I selected to install the included tablet holder. Within this timeframe I’ve also seen multiple firmware versions, with most of the data below from either the most recent or version prior to it. Not a cheap option. In the triathlon community, Stages is probably most commonly known only for its power meters; dang good ones, I might add. One of the most popular trainer fans out there, rivaling the Wahoo Headwind fan in strength but at a fraction of the price. – I’m not a fan of the Stages Bike shifter hardware, it’s hard to overstate how good the KICKR Bike shifters are in comparison So I had my credit card company reverse charges. Mainly thinking about use with Zwift and when they release a bike do you think they’ll enable features (gear display, steering, changing workout resistance, etc) using a standard that other bikes could implement or do it using a proprietary protocol. You can assign them to do whatever you want shift-wise: In addition, down below on the lower portion of the handlebars there’s two more shifter buttons on each side, sorta wedged under the tape. Semi-reasonable is debateable, but if it’s less than the price of the current crop of bikes, they’ll instantly win. Because when the app discovered my bike, it put down ANT IDs for cranks which I dont have – trying to get the app to see the new cranks was impossible, many repeated failed attempts, in the end I used the old stages power app to update the firmwares on the cranks, then paired them using that, then had to remove the bike from the new app, re-add it, and even then, the firmware had to be updated using the new app because it wouldn’t register the fact the cranks were 1.6.8 even though they were. Unless that ‘Review your purchase’ is built into the platform, it doesn’t tend to work. When it comes to shifting on the Stages Bike, I’d put it in the ‘mostly good, but still a work in progress’ category. ^Sorry, I didn’t word that very well (oh, for an edit button! Read tons about it here. First, it's got wheel locks (so the darn thing stays put), and second, it has two water bottle holders (also useful for putting other things like remotes). Every once in a while one of them floats away slightly (upwards of 5-10w on 300w), but then corrects itself. When the fan is on and or music you would never notice it. Will do that today in a gallery. It pedal stroke does feel ‘heavier’ than the Tacx Neo. I tried TrainerRoad and Zwift via both ANT+ & BLE. Peloton Spin Classes can be linked with zwift for erg mode workout apparently. You’ll have to get a Bluetooth Smart HR strap. As mentioned previously we are in the process of merging the two systems to create ease of access.”. Actually, you can hear a similar noise in Ray’s (when he’s not talking) review at 13:28-13:35. Erg variability is still present, it is more than on kickR even taking to account the fake smoothing that is applied. This is actually notable because the Wahoo KICKR Bike & Tacx Bike don’t actually do proper Bluetooth Smart FTMS. If you’re going to do an app or route with lots of climbing, you’ll want to replicate that compact crankset (or, change into such a crankset). See what they say. It’s one CR2032 per crank arm. At the heart of the … I feel it is VERY misleading to continue to advertise compatibility that doesn’t exist. C) Handlebars Well, in my case I’ve been doing a lot of TrainerRoad workouts the last month, and unequivocally the answer is: It’s not a smooth operator. They’re working towards the same gearing flexibility you see in other products, and maybe will have aspects of that later this year. While the right side will increment the rear cassette (again, virtually). The bear-claw style cranks means you can choose from four crank arm lengths: 165mm, 170mm, 172.5mm, 175mm. So I had to find another app that would present my structured workouts from TrainingPeaks — obviously Zwift is an easy answer… but now I need to pay for two apps vs just one. I think we all understand you do not work for or get paid by Stages. I had inconsistencies with the power reported by stages link and sufferfest. One can’t pretend to operate in a vacuum when writing a review on that factor. I find it really strange that folks are implementing changers via little buttons rather than paddles. Or, if you’ve already got a big screen or something. I’m not sure if that’s simply because Favero smooths slightly more (something I’ve shown in other reviews). My wife – “free ride”, maybe following along with app spin classes. Great response, and that ought to solve the problem. So once you’ve got it all paired up you’ll connect to the bike. All of them feel pretty good. so – you “should” be pairing to the ANT ID of the bike, not the left power meter. So smooth and quiet. Why? Not a physical noise, if that makes sense. If I knew this would work again and wasn’t that frequent, it is something I could deal with. Only had mine a week. Wahoo Kickr Bike. These are also customizable as you see fit up above. They are both similiar and different. Then you’ve got the choice of attaching the tablet holder or not. I knew what my experience with the Stages SC3 would be like since at this point I had done over 200 rides with … the rpm which display with a huge font overlays everything but the left most portion of watts. If you're shopping for the Stages Bike (SB20) or any other accessory items, please consider using the affiliate links below! To be specific, the Stages Bike supports the following protocol transmission standards: ANT+ FE-C (Trainer Control): This is for controlling the trainer via ANT+ from apps and head units. From the world leader in power, Stages Cycling brings the experience of riding outdoors to your home with the StagesBike. – Double water bottle cage holder At the end of the day, I’m an athlete just like you looking for the most detail possible on a new purchase – so my review is written from the standpoint of how I used the device. Whether Peloton provides an experience that measures up favorably … My challenge with the Technogym Skillbike is twofold: A) Price – it’s just crazy, and I don’t see any aspect of it that makes it worth that (4,850EUR) I can’t trust anything that Stages Support says. It’s not clear to me if your lack of power reporting is in the stages apps or a 3rd app like Zwift or Sufferfest. You say “Like all these bikes, it’ll require power to fully take advantage of all its features – namely resistance control and broadcasting of data”. Stages is pretty much on every forum from what I can tell tracking down anything that pops up. Flip open the side of the box, and everything is somehow magically packed inside: Five minutes later of unboxing, it’ll look like this: And here’s a closer up gallery of those parts: Roughly speaking this boils down to the following: A) Bike frame I wish I could try one at a local store to compare. I have the Ant receiver strap to the cross bar on the bike with a 3m usb cable to the mac to make sure I don’t get any dropouts as had some on my first ride. I use Rouvy on an ipad and Stages Link on my phone for shifting. So it’s not even an issue. my experience with support has been the compete opposite of yours. Tacx would be a functional transmission, but mechanically weaker and if bad luck happens then there are problems with the belt and so on. Thanks After all, most head unit companies already support it today. Replaced the batteries and they now work. Even looking at sprints – for example this almost 1,000w sprint, both units peak within 1w – which is pretty darn crazy alignment at this point. And I’ve updated the power meter firmware to version 1.6.3. Firstly, the comedy value that is in the build manual. Recommended Settings - Trainer Road . For example, it lacks SRAM shifting configuration, though Stages says that’ll come within the month. I bought it from Wiggle, who annoyingly do not publish a phone number, I get email replies, but promised follow up contact has not happened yet. Only in a quiet room with no other noises. You can gain … If I subscribe to the Peleton app for my wife what type of interaction can I expect from this bike? But also because it’s effectively infinitely customizable. With dual BT functionality these days its less of an issue but it can be maddening sometimes when your app won’t see a device, all cos your phone in your pocket is holding onto a connection . But without any response from Stages support, I’m left to guess. There is, however, a built-in screen to pipe video of live daily classes to you, as well as access to Peloton’s library of five to 90-minute sessions. The SB20 falls into the smart bike category and offers precise adjustment points to replicate a rider's outdoor bike fit as specifically as possible. As a side note, although it’s not in stock at the moment, I see Wiggle will apply the platinum discount of 12% to the Stages bike. I know full well that these groups don’t show the full picture & amplify the “bad stuff”… have you any feel for what the failure rates are on each make? Either way, if you found this review useful you can hit up the links at the bottom. Tacx has never talked about ports. Uncompromising … My phone constantly clicks or vibrates from the shifting feedback. I mean, I don’t need to get that impression – I know that. I never use the stages link or stages power apps while using any other connected app – the default behavior of the bike is to be in ‘external’ mode – which means everything is controlled by your training app, be it Zwift, Trainer Road etc. There are other differences as well, for instance, Stages … I dig into the nuances of these both within the power accuracy section. 200w), Includes motor to drive speed (simulate downhill), Can directionally steer trainer (left/right), Can simulate road patterns/shaking (i.e. it’s the 2.7.2 update. It’s plausible with shorty aerobars you can make them fit, but I don’t have a pair handy. Nice to have to separate power connections. It’d have to be instant, and typically speaking it’s going to be hard for the Bluetooth side of that to be that quick. Now, to wrap up this section I’ve got a quick little summary of things I do and don’t like about the bike from a basics standpoint. They know the issue, and roughly know how to solve it (essentially, the new electromagnetic resistance unit is so powerful that it’s overcompensating to even half-RPM differences). I did read a lot of reviews and choose this one, and then with a lot of surfing on the web I managed to locate a couple at a local small dealer. Support doesn’t respond to tickets. This is a super basic trainer mat, which is exactly what you'll see me use. Mine makes the same noise. And why battery powered? Does the bike have an option for 170mm cracks. Because why would those people go out of their way to a random site to write a review about something they’re happy with? If money was no object, I’d use a road bike on a KICKR. Which would be your choice? Peloton Bike. Add me to the list of people awaiting the Wattbike Atom V2 review / update. Also, for curiosity’s sake, is there a way to take off the cracks and use them as a power meter on a regular bike? Thanks Mark, I’ve got everything set up now and it works like a charm! Mark. Mark Glad you got your power meters working. Dominic – your 2 points are exactly how I’m dealing/feeling with the bike. But it should be the bike one you use really. It takes 8/9 days to get a response to a ticket and any other e-mail follow up is just ignored. The Workshop: StagesBike SB20 and Connecting to Zwift. Then, at the end of the interval, it take a good 10s or so to figure out how to get down to the prescribed power. Some of that will be tweaked via software, but some pieces are shortcomings in the actual shifters themselves. I’m torn between the Kickr and the Stagesbike and looking for inspiration to help me decide. As you probably noticed by looking below, I also take time to answer all the questions posted in the comments – and there’s quite a bit of detail in there as well. Does that mean that the SB20 won’t? Have you been able to test more recent FW releases? Yup – will follow-up. Usually by the time you clear 700w or so you’ll see more divergence in the max peak-power simply due to timing and recording rates. I find I spend more time updating firmwares and resolving tech issues than I do performing basic maintenance like swapping chains and rings lol. No response at all in a whole month. The saddles on all of the Stages bikes are the same. thanks. But first, let’s step back just a little bit. Though, perhaps there’s some trick to leave it in a harder gear – similiar to what Elite & Kinetic have for some of their trainers. To date, that hasn’t happened. Same story for road surface simulation. Now note that as of today, the Stages Bike only accepts one concurrent Bluetooth Smart connection. Have there been any improvements to the ERG mode for use in trainer road or zwift? You’ll also notice there’s brakes on each side of the handlebar. Note that the SB20 Owners manual clearly states ERG mode does not work. Then yesterday this didn’t work, so i had to uninstall stages link completely. For power reference, I used a set of Garmin Vector 3 pedals that I have in turn tested against meters from Shimano, Quarq and Stages. Power and cadence are fine. C) Handlebar upgrades: This is where I think Stages/Tacx/Wattbike should focus 100%. It infers to me that the kickr will ‘coast’ downhill and pick up speed if the grade gets steeper? The final trouble shooting advice on pedals not resetting is ‘If this does not work contact Customer Support’. That’s notable for Garmin & Polar users that want to connect to their bikes to record training load on their watches or bike computers. The technical issues you are seeing isn’t something I ran into (yet, I noted pretty clearly I didn’t recommend it for ERG mode focused people), and honestly looking back at 6-7 months of comments, whatever your seeing doesn’t seem to align with what others are seeing. My Photography Gear: The Cameras and Equipment I Use Daily, DC Rainmaker 2019 swim, bike, run, and general gear list, Copyright DC Rainmaker - Updated December 18th, 2020 @ 7:46 am, UK/South Africa/Australia/Scandinavia/USA, Wired or Wireless data transmission/control, Can electronically control resistance (i.e. For awhile, I was able to get stages link app to work by doing a forced stop and then restarting the app. Until then, you can hit up that previous post here – and then simply cross-reference it with this post. As you said, 10-15% swings in power change the nature of the intervals and make ERG mode… something else. IMO, this is the smart bike to get of the 3 big ones out now. Well, physically it’s there – but there’s nothing hooked up yet software-wise. Tacx’s weakness is still poor availability in Europe when Stages is available with a moderate delivery time. They are similar to smart trainers, but are slightly different and offer more benefits.. See also: Best Smart Bike Trainers In this article, we’ll talk about the benefits of a smart bike and what it is and why you might want to purchase one. With the Stages Bike, you’re going to configure this shifting using the Stages Link app. I’ll wire them up here and give them a whirl. In my garmin I can only see ANT IDs broadcast for the bike, and the left PM. I think you kinda have to divide the future-proofing into different sections: A) Software: Most of them have tons of flexibility here. For ERG mode, it just isn’t quite there, it takes 10-15secs to ramp up from 200w to 320w and by which time the 30sec interval is almost over and the same going back down to say 135w. Tacx bike is a non-starter as it cannot be adjusted to fit my vertically-challenged wife. I wonder whether #3 is related to #1, but that’s just speculation. Thanks for both of the reviews, very helpful in making a choice between different smart bikes (SB20 vs Wahoo). I really like the idea of a dedicated stationary bike rather the a bike-on-trainer, and I’d be sorely tempted to get one if/when it had built in motion, similar to what the Saris MP1 provides. I get that realistically you’ll have to change it only once a year, but still. But I don’t know if that’s right, because the power meters did pair effectively with the Stages Link and Stages Power apps from the beginning—they just weren’t registering any power. Fix, not workaround . Any owner can confirm that ERG mode is now improved? Very smooth riding. The first test was quite impressive, and a few rides on the Repack Ridge MTB course was a lot of fun. Each Stages SB20 bike has a dual-sided power meter built into the crank arms. No one has yet “Apple’ized” the indoor experience (Maybe Peleton for that type of user). Finally tired of waiting for tacx availability and knowing all of its belt issues, I have just ordered an Stages SB20 from EU Zwift shop, as it was there still in stock. If you’re looking at a Stages Bike, you won’t go wrong with hardware as it is today. Basically, this is more of a practical list of likes/dislikes: – The tablet mount is nailed, it might look a bit clunky, but it’s the most stable one out there and easiest to actually use The SC3 is the only indoor studio bike that comes standard with a Stages Power meter and self-generating EcoSCRN display, freshly updated for 2020. If I am riding at 250W and then the Erg goes to 400W for an interval, the SB20 can barely get there. The Stages is heavier and absolutely much more silent. Also, in … Also, it’s what powers the shifting, as well as the two 2AMP USB ports at the front of the bike: I like these ports. My power meters failure to connect disappeared after a couple of battery changes. Again, perhaps it’s the flywheel effect. Solving these problems often requires ‘Try’ reply and ‘Try’ again, sometimes more than once. I’m hesitant to say that venture wil end well. 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