Purpose: This study aimed to determine the validity and the reliability of the Stages power meter crank system (Boulder, United States) during several laboratory cycling tasks.
Methods: Eleven trained participants completed laboratory cycling trials on an indoor cycle fitted with SRM Professional and Stages systems. The trials consisted of an incremental test at 100W, 200W, 300W, 400W and four 7s sprints. The level of pedaling asymmetry was determined for each cycling intensity during a similar protocol completed on a Lode Excalibur Sport ergometer. The reliability of Stages and SRM power meters was compared by repeating the incremental test during a test-retest protocol on a Cyclus 2 ergometer.
Results: Over power ranges of 100-1250W the Stages system produced trivial to small differences compared to the SRM (standardized typical error values of 0.06, 0.24 and 0.08 for the incremental, sprint and combined trials, respectively). A large correlation was reported between the difference in power output (PO) between the two systems and the level of pedaling asymmetry (r=0.58, p < 0.001). Recalculating PO of the Stages system according to the level of pedaling asymmetry provided only marginal improvements in PO measures. The reliability of the Stages power meter at the sub-maximal intensities was similar to the SRM Professional model (coefficient of variation: 2.1 and 1.3% for Stages and SRM, respectively).
Conclusions: The Stages system is a suitable device for PO measurements, except when a typical error of measurement <3.0% over power ranges of 100-1250W is expected.
Copyright (C) 2017 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.