Stages Dash(ing through the snow)
Power! Like lightning!
In the bike world, power meters have drastically shifted the data available to athletes. We rely on accurate power readings for almost every ride. For me, power data becomes a tangible number to measure how training and life is translating to speed and strength. And the most fun part is that our data from races continually reminds us the limits we set are bendier and less inhibiting than we give them credit for.
This week, I started using the Stages Power Meter Gen3 as well as the Stages Dash M50 head unit.
The power meter was shockingly easy to install. It is integrated into the non-drive side crank, and it took me less than five minutes to swap cranks and calibrate. Unlike many power meters, the battery is easily accessible and syncing with phones or computers is simple.
I turned on the Dash and downloaded the app. The Dash immediately brought up a QR code that synced the head unit with my phone. I connected the upload to Training Peaks and Strava, and off I went. I was impressed with the simplicity of setup -- those of us who have been through various power meters know that linking all the systems can be a massive hassle.
The preset screens of the Dash were amazingly accurate for my needs. The first screen has a colored ring showing power zones. Looking down in the middle of an interval and seeing purple, knowing this was where I needed to be, instead of calculating if 303 watts is more than 120% of FTP has already been a welcome feature.
The second preset screen is a map. I haven’t consistently used the map feature on head units. This map, however, automatically loads the surrounding roads, highlights bike routes and has an easy zoom feature. I was suffering home after a race and zoomed-in quickly to find the shortest route at an intersection instead of pulling out my phone. I gotta say, 10/10.
I’m experimenting with the next screens and making slight customizations as I see fit. I look forward to trying out the different orientations as well- the Dash can sit in Landscape or Portrait mode, each offers slightly different screens. I’ve also heard great things about the Workout feature on the Dash, next week I’ll be uploading workouts, something I’m sure will make intervals less of a mental math game, and more a focused effort.
The screen is crisp, the Dash is intuitive to use after playing around with it for a bit, the software was simple, and the power meter is flawless so far. Stay tuned, I’ll be dashing all over the place with more reviews to come.