Stages power meter here; I now wear a M race-cut jersey (photo).
Brick City Bicycles contacted me late last week to let me know that the Stages Power Meter I ordered had arrived!
Brick City is all the way out by Santos, so my original plan was to have them ship the power meter to me to save me the drive. Because the power meter wouldn’t have arrived at my home until Monday, I decided to make the drive on Friday to pick it up. There were several reasons why I decided to pick up the power meter in person…
First of all, I was obviously super excited to start using the power meter, and I wanted to have it on my bike for Saturday’s 100-mile Clean Air group ride. That alone was enough reason to make the drive.
In addition, I knew that there was a better than average chance that the Stages power meter either would not fit my bike (2013 Trek Madone 5.9), or would require some special tweaking (see “Stages power meter on 2013 Madone–clearing up the confusion“). While I’m a decent wrench, I’m nowhere even close to the skill level of Brick City’s Master Mechanic, Thomas Deaner. I figured that if there was a clearance issue with the stages, Thomas would be the man who could make it work.
Finally, I’ve been meaning to pick up a Brick City jersey for awhile now. I wanted to try one on in person, however, as I wasn’t 100% sure which size would fit me. I’ve always worn a Large jersey, but since my 2014 cut ended I noticed that most of my Large jerseys are feeling a bit on the loose side.
Sure enough, when I tried on the Large Brick City jersey (race cut), it was too big for me. Unfortunately there were no Medium jerseys on the racks, but after some digging through their storeroom stock, a lone Medium jersey was discovered! I tried it on, and it fit like a glove (click photo to left to enlarge). I wore the jersey for Saturday’s Clean Air Century ride, and I loved how it looked and felt. This is now my favorite jersey.
Moving on to the most important fit of the day: The Stages Power Meter. When Thomas installed the Stages crank arm (the Stages replaces the non-drive side crank arm), it didn’t quite clear the rear brake. I was really hoping that it would fit without any special effort, and so when I saw that there was indeed a clearance issue I tried to mentally prepare myself for the possibility that I would be leaving the shop without a power meter.
Thomas went to work, installing a small spacer, adjusting the rear brakes inboard and even filing off a small–almost imperceptible–bit of metal near the cable anchor bolt. After only a few minutes of tweaking, Thomas’ magic had the Stages clearing the rear brake! The clearance was so tight (less than 2 millimeters), that I was concerned about the possibility of the crank arm hitting the brake under heavy load. Of course the bottom bracket area is the stiffest part of frame, but I wanted to be sure before I left the shop…
I took the bike out for a quick spin, and mashed HARD on the pedals. There was absolutely no flex, and no rubbing. I was all smiles as I walked the bike back into the shop: the Stages fit–I had my power meter!
So, how close was it? Here’s a close-up photo I took this morning (click to enlarge):
That little gap represents approximately 1.5 millimeters. A US penny is 1.55 millimeters thick, and I can just squeeze one into that small space.
So, I can confirm that YES–the Stages power meter will work on a 2013 Madone with the stock Bontrager Speed Limit integrated brakes! If your Madone has Shimano Dura-Ace brakes mounted under the chainstay (most do not–I believe only the ultra-high end/~$12,000 7.9 Madone comes stock with Dura-Ace brakes, not sure on the Project One custom bikes), you’re out of luck when it comes to using a Stages.
Thanks very much to Roger Sutton for pushing me to get a power meter and then putting the deal together, and the fantastic folks at Brick City who made this happen: Thomas Deaner, Jenifer Newman, Rob Ern and the person who helped me with the jersey (sorry, I didn’t catch your name!) Go see Brick City the next time you’re in the Ocala area. Great people, awesome shop and ace mechanics.
Tomorrow I’ll talk about the fun Clean Air century ride, which was my first ride with the Stages power meter.