Your head unit is intermittently displaying 0 or -- W while you are still pedaling. Dropped power readings can result in lower average power readings as well as missing power data during your effort.
Missing power readings can be caused by a loss of function of your power meter (through loss of battery connection), problems with your head unit or head unit location, or interruptions in the signal transmission between your power meter and your head unit.
Check that your battery door is correctly installed and the o-ring is intact. For gen 1 power meters, the door should have 3 tabs. See our related article: What do I do if my battery cover is broken?
Check that the correct CR2032 battery is installed. Your Stages Power meter should always be used with a 3V CR2032 battery. If the correct battery is not installed in the unit, it can cause a loss of power to the unit in addition to erroneous low battery readings. If you have inadvertently installed the wrong battery, just replace it with the correct model and it should correct the issue immediately.
Check head unit firmware
Firmware bugs and other issues within your head unit may result in dropped connection or incorrect data being shown and recorded by your head unit. We recommend regularly checking your head unit for updates to help remedy these issues.
For Stages head units, check the Stages Cycling manuals website for firmware updates.
For Garmin products, download and install the WebUpdater
For Suunto products, check for updates using MovesLink
For other products, check the manufacturer's website for instructions.
Check power meter firmware
We recommend checking for updates on your power meter regularly, as with each update we improve and/or add features to optimize the power meter. Update your power meter using the Stages Cycling app.
For information on how to manage your power meter in the Stages Cycling app, see: Manage your Stages Power meter in the Stages Cycling app.
Once you've eliminated issues like firmware updates and battery connection, review the sections below to see if any of these situations apply to you and attempt a solution.
Perform a zero reset
In order to eliminate a problem with the power meter readings themselves, we recommend performing a zero reset to ensure the value is still within the normal range. Your power meter's zero offset value should be around 890, +/- 50 points. For left/right power meters, your head unit or the Stages Cycling app will report back to values to represent each individual sensor. If you receive a normal value, return to riding and see if this resolves your problem. If the number is out of range, submit a new support ticket.
For instructions on how to perform a zero reset, see: How do I calibrate my Stages Power Meter?
Relocate head unit
The location of the head unit on your bike can have a big effect on its ability to consistently receive power data. Most cycling head units are designed to work when located on the handlebars, but even in this position, it's possible to have objects that block or weaken the signal. If your signal drops are specific to a certain bike or specific riding position, you may need to reevaluate the location of your head unit.
Head unit in jersey pocket
One of the most effective ways of blocking wireless signals is water and since your body is made up of a significant amount of water, some problems may occur when placing your head unit in your jersey pocket or in a similar location that places your body entirely between the power meter and the head unit. If mounting the head unit on the handlebars is not possible due to a broken mount, racing regulations, or other uncommon situations, an under the saddle mounting location may be your best substitute.
Certain multi-sport watches can be very sensitive to their position in relation to your power meter. For some, simply moving to the left wrist can offer an improved signal. We have seen the best results from multi-sport watches used on a handlebar mount due to the static position in relation to the meter itself. To test if this is the problem, we suggest mounting the watch in a fixed location such as on the handlebars (base bars if they are aero bars) or in your bottle cage, then performing a test ride to see if you see any improvement. It may be easiest to experiment with this on the trainer in order to make it easiest to move your head unit.
Aerobar mounts and Water Bottles
Mounting the head unit in front of a handlebar-mounted water bottle, such as a tri bottle between the aerobars, can adversely affect the head unit's ability to receive your power data. If you are having issues with a head unit mounted on the aerobars, check for any possible items that could be blocking the signal and experiment with slight changes to the position of the head unit to help optimize the reception
Connect to using Bluetooth instead of ANT+
When connecting your head unit to a Stages power meter, the use of BLE has become more prevalent and results in fewer connection dropouts during use. If you have primarily connected via ANT+, please attempt connecting via BLE for an improved connection.
Mobile app connections
Close all other apps that use the Bluetooth connection on your phone before beginning a ride with a fitness app with your power meter connected as a Bluetooth sensor. It may also help to disable and re-enable Bluetooth before the start of the ride to clear out any other connections.
Try another app
If you are experiencing longer drops, especially gaps in recording power data after stopping or coasting, we suggest trying a different app in order to improve your power recordings. For apps using the ANT+ connection, you may try an alternate all using Bluetooth 4.0 to connect to see if you gain a more stable connection.
Try another location
Not all devices will perform well located in the jersey pocket. While this is the most common location, depending on the device you may want to experiment with placing the device in a different location such as on a handlebar mount, in a water bottle cage, saddlebag, or other location to see if it is able to keep a more consistent connection.
If you are experiencing dropouts while riding indoors, the signal may be interrupted by another wireless signal in your house, such as your Wi-Fi router, Apple TV, Chromecast, or other electronics like a microwave oven. For most, simply relocating your trainer or rollers a few feet further away from the router should help the issue. For Apple TV and other streaming television services, it may be hard to eliminate interference while still streaming, in which case switching to a head unit utilizing Bluetooth may be the best option to completely eliminate interference. It may take some minor experimentation to completely eliminate the crossing signals, but this stabilizes all data on indoor riding since these interruptions affect all ANT+ sensors.
While riding outdoors, you may experience dropouts while riding by certain buildings or geographical locations due to certain electronics with strong signals that interrupt the broadcast. These drops can only be avoided completely by not riding near these locations but in most instances normal display returns within a few seconds. Similar more minor dropouts can occur when riding in a group with a large number of ANT+ signals but should return within a few seconds as well.
ANT+ adapters and dongles
ANT+ adapters can be very sensitive to direction, distance, and any obstacles between the ANT+ adapter and the power meter sensor, in addition to being prone to interference when located too close to other electronics. If you are only experiencing dropouts and poor connectivity when riding indoors using one of these adapters, we recommend troubleshooting a few different things to try and optimize your connection.
Using a USB extension cord to move the adapter closer to the device may improve connectivity by moving it closer and allowing for less interference. We have had customers report their best experience when the USB ANT+ stick is within 3 feet of the bike.
As covered in the previous section, all ANT+ devices can be subject to outside interference that can cause temporary loss of data. This interference is not actually stopping the power meter from functioning but preventing the readings from being received by the head unit. Increasing the distance between other electronics such as Wi-Fi routers and microwave ovens may be the best measure of eliminating data loss. Since ANT+ and Bluetooth use the 2.4 Ghz radio band, using a 5G internet connection can also eliminate the overlap between wireless internet data and your power meter broadcast.
If you are using TrainerRoad for indoor cycling, they have a very helpful article here on ANT+ Device Dropouts.
Switch to Bluetooth
Switching to using the Bluetooth connection may help eliminate environmental dropouts as it is less susceptible to interference from Wi-Fi, microwaves, etc. If you are using a desktop PC or laptop and it is not Bluetooth compatible, a Bluetooth 4.0 dongle can be used to allow for Bluetooth pairing in most applications.
Still need help?
For additional help, please open up a support ticket with Stages Cycling or visit your nearest Stages Cycling dealer for assistance.