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Stages power meter drop outs

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Stages power meter drop outs

Old 01-24-16, 11:51 AM
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Billy1111
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Stages power meter drop outs

so got a new stages power meter and getting a lot of drop outs with power/cadence. I have a trouble ticket with them since wed with no reply still :/

I have both my garmin 1000 and the meter up to date....anyone experience or know a possible fix?
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Old 01-24-16, 11:58 AM
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Almost always, it's the battery losing contact. They'll gladly send you new door covers but just take the battery out and gently pry up the center contact tab. Helps tremendously.
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Old 01-24-16, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Trsnrtr View Post
Almost always, it's the battery losing contact. They'll gladly send you new door covers but just take the battery out and gently pry up the center contact tab. Helps tremendously.
do the new door covers fix it??
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Old 01-24-16, 12:24 PM
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Never fixed mine. Tech at Stages is the one who told me to gently bend the tab up.
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Old 01-24-16, 01:00 PM
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Never seen that issue in the 2+ years with my Stages. I would try the adjusting the battery tab like mentioned as it seems an easy to do fix.

Can you recreate the dropouts to make sure it's really the Stages unit and not the Garmin?
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Old 01-24-16, 01:06 PM
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Maybe one thing to check, I don't know, but I've seen "drop outs" from my PowerTap P1 pedals every now and again and I discovered that it wasn't because they weren't sending data to the Garmin. Quite the contrary - they were sending out-of-range values of 40,000+ watts and the Garmin wouldn't display it. I only found it by looking at the ride in GarminConnect later and saw the bizarre values. Strava also showed it as a drop. Quite frankly I'm not convinced that it's not a Garmin bug. Maybe it's worth a look.
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Old 01-24-16, 02:28 PM
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I had continual problems with power dropouts with two Stages power meters that I had. I worked with Stages and Garmin both to solve the problems for over a year, never could solve them and eventually Stages refunded my money for both meters. I have zero complaints about their customer service or willinigness to try to solve the problem.

The basic issue with Stages PMs is that they transmit very weak ANT+ signals relative to more expensive/reliable PMs. There are times when the info simply does not get to the head unit. Yes, this issue is made worse if the battery contact is poor- ie if the doors aren't perfect or the contacts bend. Yes, it can seem like your problem is "solved" when you tweak those things. But IMO you're not really solving anything when you do that. It's just an intermittent problem and it comes and goes of its own accord.

The fundamental issue is the weak signal. I have no idea why some people (like myself) have issues to the extent that the meters are completely untenable, while others just have minor annoyances. Some of it may have to do with how religously you are training and how much you care about glitches in your power data (I'm in the 99th percentile of caring).

The actual solution is to buy a better power meter. I now have three SRM power meters on my three bikes. Very trouble free. However this is a very expensive solution, the SRMs are $2300 each vs maybe $300-$400 each for a Stages now. Powertap hub power meters are equally reliable to SRM meters at way less cost. But you need one in each rear wheel that you own. If you swap wheels, the Powertap hub units have their limitations.

Last edited by Heathpack; 01-24-16 at 02:33 PM.
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Old 01-24-16, 02:29 PM
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Yep pried up contact slightly on mine, and also put a small piece of electrical tape on inside of battery cover as shim. Worked like a charm.
Dropouts could be affected by position of head unit. Google this, I think was on the Garmin forums. Guy did a test that seemed to favor stem mount vs out front. I did a test (indoors on my trainer) and I did have 1 or 2 short dropouts with my Cateye Stealth 50 on a Barfly mount vs. none for stem mount. Completely unscientific but want to test this further.


Originally Posted by Trsnrtr View Post
Almost always, it's the battery losing contact. They'll gladly send you new door covers but just take the battery out and gently pry up the center contact tab. Helps tremendously.
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Old 01-24-16, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by MagicHour View Post
Dropouts could be affected by position of head unit. Google this, I think was on the Garmin forums. Guy did a test that seemed to favor stem mount vs out front. I did a test (indoors on my trainer) and I did have 1 or 2 short dropouts with my Cateye Stealth 50 on a Barfly mount vs. none for stem mount. Completely unscientific but want to test this further.
Yes, this is very well-known. Stages will tell you this readily and it's on their website as well.

The reason for this is because the ANT+ signal is so weak with the Stages, it can barely make it the distance from the meter to the front of the bike. If you don't care about seeing the power data during the ride, carrying your head unit in the rear pocket of your jersey will result in far fewer data drops.

Compare this to an SRM power meter where a coach can be 1/4 mile away from the athlete in a follow car and pick up the power data, no problem.

I'm not saying that the SRM is the solution for everyone. For many people, the power data is not worth the price differential. But it's worth understanding the difference between the units and what the additional cost for the SRM buys you.
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Old 01-24-16, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Trsnrtr View Post
Almost always, it's the battery losing contact. They'll gladly send you new door covers but just take the battery out and gently pry up the center contact tab. Helps tremendously.
This solved my problem as well. Carefully inspect the battery door covers to make sure the small tabs are in good shape and the gasket is in place. It's good to have an extra battery door on hand in case it needs replacement. The metal tab inside can be gently lifted to bend it slightly. This is a known issue and their tech suggests it as a fix. It has been behaving very well since I've done this. I've also been happy with their customer service.
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Old 01-24-16, 03:03 PM
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Makes sense. When I use my Stages indoors with Zwift, i need to position ant+ USB extension cable directly under bottom bracket or there is a chance I may get a dropout and booted from a group ride.
Was much less critical when I was using just a Speed/Cadence sensor and thats further back on the bike.

Originally Posted by Heathpack View Post
Yes, this is very well-known. Stages will tell you this readily and it's on their website as well.

The reason for this is because the ANT+ signal is so weak with the Stages, it can barely make it the distance from the meter to the front of the bike. If you don't care about seeing the power data during the ride, carrying your head unit in the rear pocket of your jersey will result in far fewer data drops.

Compare this to an SRM power meter where a coach can be 1/4 mile away from the athlete in a follow car and pick up the power data, no problem.

I'm not saying that the SRM is the solution for everyone. For many people, the power data is not worth the price differential. But it's worth understanding the difference between the units and what the additional cost for the SRM buys you.
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Old 01-24-16, 11:53 PM
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No dropouts on my out-front mounted garmin with stages. I guess I'm lucky.
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Old 01-25-16, 06:54 AM
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I haven't seen dropouts but I did recently get a reading of over 6000 watts when I was easy spinning. I'm pretty sure I didn't push that hard.
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Old 01-25-16, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Trsnrtr View Post
Almost always, it's the battery losing contact. They'll gladly send you new door covers but just take the battery out and gently pry up the center contact tab. Helps tremendously.
Same setup with Garmin 1000 and Stages. Have had it happen a few times and has always been the battery losing contact so far. Easily fixed but no permanent fix that I have found so far. Will try the tab trick.

Last edited by linsdog; 02-01-16 at 09:07 AM.
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Old 01-25-16, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by MagicHour View Post
Dropouts could be affected by position of head unit.
Even very subtle changes will help. I was having occasional dropouts with my Garmin Edge 520 mounted on a SRAM out front mount which mounted to the right side of the stem and put the Garmin in front of the stem. I moved the mount to the other side of the stem so the Garmin was to the left of the stem and all the dropouts went away.
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Old 01-25-16, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Billy1111 View Post
so got a new stages power meter and getting a lot of drop outs with power/cadence. I have a trouble ticket with them since wed with no reply still :/

I have both my garmin 1000 and the meter up to date....anyone experience or know a possible fix?
I had same issue 2 weeks ago. Called Stages and they were going to send me a new door but in the meantime I took the battery out, put a small piece of paper where the battery contacts the door and it worked. Stages just sent me a new replacement last Friday. They say the new PM solved this issue. They were quick to fix this but i realized they moved faster when you call them not email.
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Old 01-25-16, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by MagicHour View Post
Makes sense. When I use my Stages indoors with Zwift, i need to position ant+ USB extension cable directly under bottom bracket or there is a chance I may get a dropout and booted from a group ride.
Was much less critical when I was using just a Speed/Cadence sensor and thats further back on the bike.
Yeah, I have to have my ANT+ stick within 18 inches of the meter, too. My Garmin seems to pick it up better but everything that can cause minor interference causes dropouts.

I think I'm going to run Strava on my phone in parallel to the Garmin tonight to see if the Bluetooth signal is any better...
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Old 09-06-16, 04:08 AM
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I also bought a new Stages XT. Signal dropout multiple times pr minut. My Garmin 520 is up to date and Stages FM up to date. My Garmin 520 was mounted in front of the handlebar.

Moved the computer to the stem and no signal dropout whatsoever. Stages has poor Ant+ signal output and probably BT output as well. Moved the computer in front of the stem and the signal started to drop out again.

Battery cover etc is not the problem. Signal strenght is. Stages is trying to put the blame on Garmin.
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Old 09-06-16, 09:30 AM
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I just dealt with the dropouts problem yesterday. In my case, like many, the problem is the line of sight, or signal deflections, for being mounted on the out front garming mount. It works fine over the stem.
How to test? Look online there is a software named "fit file repair tool", this tool can parse the fit file for you and show reception % of the data for all ANT+ devices connected.
download it, and go for a run with the garmin mounted on different places. on the stem it shows ~80% reception "or 20% data drops", in the out front mount I got the reception in the low 40's and the data drop.
So for me the solution is either keep it mounted on the stem or try a different out front mount, some people said the kedge mount works fine for some reason.
Also, I've a new 820 that I was going to return but decided to give it a try, the reception of the 820 on the out front mount was in the 820's. so they probably have a better receiver/filter hardware in the 820.
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Old 09-06-16, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by AndreasDanielse View Post
Battery cover etc is not the problem. Signal strenght is. Stages is trying to put the blame on Garmin.
Believe or not this is very like a conscious design decision from stages in order to increase the battery life. I guess at the time of development the front mounts were not that popular...
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Old 11-30-17, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by AndreasDanielse View Post
I also bought a new Stages XT. Signal dropout multiple times pr minut. My Garmin 520 is up to date and Stages FM up to date. My Garmin 520 was mounted in front of the handlebar.

Moved the computer to the stem and no signal dropout whatsoever. Stages has poor Ant+ signal output and probably BT output as well. Moved the computer in front of the stem and the signal started to drop out again.

Battery cover etc is not the problem. Signal strenght is. Stages is trying to put the blame on Garmin.
Totally agree here. I have / had 3 different Stages units and experience drop with all 3 on 3 different bikes and and 2 different head units, a Garmin 510 and a Garmin 820. Stage blames Garmin. My question is if it is an interference / Garmin antennae issue, why / how does a Power Tap hub mange to work from the back of the bike with the whole frame in the way****************************** In that context Stages has to realize it is their issue.
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