Team Sky’s Tour de France hope Chris Froome has a prototype Stages power meter on his race bike, but neither team mechanics nor Stages Cycling is talking about it.
Stages inline power meters are lightweight units that mount on the left crank of metal cranks, measuring deflection with strain gauges.
The prototype Stages meter on Froome’s Tour bike is also mounted on the left crank and is roughly the same length as current units but is much thinner.
The prototype Stages meter on Chris Froome’s Tour de France bike
Stages had some trouble with water seepage killing batteries on some of its earlier units, so perhaps this new design could be a fix for that. There could be new functionality, too, but Stages won’t go into the details.
“We’re always testing new products and ideas,” Stages’ marketing director Matt Pacocha told BikeRadar. “The reason we work with a team like Sky – and all of our teams – is to put Stages Power into the most intense crucible of the sport with the goal of testing and continuously learning how to better our meter and identify new concepts. Stages Cycling is a product development company and we absolutely use our teams to test and vet different product ideas; their opinion and feedback is an amazing resource for Stages Cycling.
“It’s important to note, however, that Team Sky is very happy with the current product and it has performed better than anything previously employed. Furthermore, many of Team Sky’s superstars, have trusted and continue to trust the production of the Stages Power meter to track their training and racing efforts.”
Relatedly, BikeRadar has spotted dual-sided Stages power meters on test. These units feature the same left-crank meter but with another meter on the right crank as well, placed just inside the spider. Stages has the same no-comment comment for this prototype. BikeRadar has not seen any of these dual-sided prototypes yet at the Tour.
Stages is also testing this dual-sided power meter, but we have not yet seen one at the Tour de France
Check out more Tour de France tech coverage at our Tour de France 2015 homepage.