Team Sky has signed an exclusive deal with Stages to replace SRM as the British WorldTour team’s official power meter supplier.
SRM has provided Team Sky with power meters since the team’s inception since 2010. In that time the team’s riders have become high-profile advocates of training and racing with power – with results to match following Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome’s Tour de France triumphs in 2012 and 2013 respectively.
However, the team has chosen to partner with Stages for the forthcoming season. The Stages Power system, made in the USA and first unveiled in 2012, uses a small (70mm x 28mm) unit mounted to the non-driveside crank arm to record power and cadence (read our first look here), The unit adds just 20g to a Shimano Dura-Ace crank and data is sent to any compatible head unit via ANT+ or Bluetooth Smart. Team Sky has yet to confirm what head unit its riders will use.
The unit also has an in-built temperature sensor which samples the temperature every 20 seconds and automatically recalibrates the power meter, a useful function, according to Stages, if riding from an Alpine valley floor to summit or vice versa.
“As a team, we see the power meter as a very useful tool. The results that we get, both from training and racing, help us to quantify how our riders are performing, which then allows us to make informed coaching decisions,” said Tim Kerrison, Team Sky’s head of performance support.
Team Sky cited the system’s “ease-of-use…proven prowess as the category’s benchmark for consistency across rapidly changing environmental temperatures…and ultra-light weight and seamless integration with Shimano’s Dura-Ace 9070 series groupset” as the primary reasons for choosing Stages.
While Team Sky will use Stages with Shimano Dura-Ace, the system is available for a range of Shimano cranks, including Ultegra and 105, as well as SRAM Rival.
Team Sky’s decision to partner with Stages is a valuable validation of the system, but it’s also one of the most affordable power meters on the market, with prices ranging from £599 to £799, and Team Sky’s head of technical operations, Carsten Jeppesen, believes Stages opens up on-bike power measurement to a wider market.
“The power meter is one of the most important tools for the team – giving us the perfect insight into how a rider is performing, which is crucial for the coaching team,” said Jeppesen.
“We’re very excited to team-up with Stages, who are not only innovating the power meter market, they are also making the real-time on-bike measurement of power more accessible and affordable to a larger cycling population.
“We look forward to working closely with Stages in the future and also helping to develop further products with them.”