First Look: The New Indoor Bike From Stages
Dedicated indoor cycling bike features simulated shifting and braking, and easily adjustable dimensions.
- The StagesBike goes on sale in early 2020 and will cost about $2,700.
- The StagesBike is built on the foundations of the brand’s studio/spin bikes, but is equipped for the enthusiast cyclist.
- A road drop bar is included, or you can install your favorite bar to replicate your outdoor bike.
- Has integrated smartphone and tablet holder and two USB charging ports.
- Includes a Stages LR dual-sided power meter.
Stages is already a strong player in the spin/studio bike world, but the new StagesBike ($2,600 to $2,800) is the brand’s first dedicated indoor bike aimed at the enthusiast cyclist.
One of the biggest things that sets the StagesBike apart from a spin bike is the freewheel (spin bikes are direct drive and don’t let you coast). The StagesBike also has a drop handlebar instead of a cow-horn bar—if you don’t like it, you can swap in your favorite drop bar or add aero extensions.
The StagesBike has shift/brake levers that simulate shifting and braking by adjusting the unit’s electronically controlled resistance and may provide additional functions when the bike is paired with some apps.
Connectivity, Compatibility, and Adjustability
The bike has both Bluetooth and ANT+ FE-C connectivity, a smartphone holder, and an adjustable tablet/FE-C-enabled cycling computer holder. Two USB charging ports provide all the juice you need so you can keep up with social media during a Zwift century.
The StagesBike offers tool-free reach, stack, and saddle-position adjustment, and has four crankarm-length positions (165, 170, 172.5, 175mm). Another difference from the Stages studio equipment—the StagesBike has a dual-side power meter for a more accurate and complete picture of the rider’s output (the studio bikes have left-side power only).
On the subject of power, the StagesBike offers up to 3,000 (!) watts of resistance, so get after those sprint intervals and put those satellite sprint-shifter buttons to use.
Smooth, Stable, and Solid
A 50-pound flywheel provides a smooth pedaling experience, and more accurately simulates the momentum and inertia of the outdoor experience than a lighter flywheel can. It’s driven with a Gates belt drive that’s quiet, smooth, and doesn’t require lube.
The weighty flywheel—and the bike’s wide base and robust frame—provided a very stable feel during my brief trade show demo. It feels much more solid and less likely to rock or tip than a bike on a direct-drive trainer.
Pricey (Sort Of)
Its $2,700 price is quite steep (though it’s notably less expensive than the new $3,500 Wahoo Bike), but it starts to look less nutty when you compare it to the combined price of a smart trainer, dual-sided power meter, and a bike. And if you assign some value to convenience, it starts to look a bit better still.
With a dedicated indoor bike you don’t need to mount and remove your bike from the trainer, easy size adjustment lets a multi-rider household share the same equipment, you’e not wearing down potentially expensive replacement parts on your outdoor bike, the StagesBike is much quieter than a bike equipped with a chain and derailleur, and the StagesBike is much more stable than an outdoor bike mounted to a trainer.
Most of all, it’s a matter of convenience: An indoor bike is always set up and ready to go when you’re ready for an indoor sesh.
Is all that worth having a dedicated indoor bike to supplement a “real” bike? Stages (and Wahoo and WattBike) obviously believe a lot of you will think so. And with indoor cycling on the rise, they might be right. We’ll find out: Our review units are on order.
The Stages StagesBike is an indoor bike for the enthusiast cyclist. It features a road bar, a 50-pound flywheel, and holders for a smartphone and tablet.
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