If you are experiencing missing data while riding or seeing 0w (or --w on Garmin head units) displayed while pedaling for intermittent periods of time, there may be one or more of the following issues present that could be interrupting the broadcast of information between your power meter and head unit. These dropouts can result in lower average power readings as well as missing power data during your effort. This issue can be caused by the head unit, power meter, or external interference, so it's important to narrow down a number of issues to help ensure you can record 100% of your data and make the most of your power meter.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Is the power meter manually paired with the head unit?
- Have you attempted connecting via BLE instead of ANT+?
- Is your head unit firmware up to date?
- Is the power meter firmware up to date?
- Where is the head unit located on the bike?
- Are you using a mobile app?
- Is the problem occurring in the same location?
- Are you riding with ANT+ adapter to a computer or other device?
- Is your battery door or o-ring intact?
- Is the correct battery installed?
- Still need help?
Is the power meter manually paired with the head unit?
When the ANT+ connection is lost through your Garmin head unit, the head unit begins searching for other sensors to try and regain the connection. We recommend typing in the ANT+ ID into your Garmin's power meter "Sensor Details" in order to save in the ANT+ ID and prevent it from searching for or detecting other power sensors. If you have multiple bikes and power meters, we recommend setting up a profile for each bike to identify the proper sensors for a separate bike. This also helps eliminate issues with your Garmin searching for other unused sensors.
You can find a full description of recommended settings and information for the following head units here:
For other head units, entering the ID # directly may not be an option. Please check your device's user manual for instructions.
Have you attempted connecting via BLE 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.
Is your head unit firmware up to date?
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 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.
Is the power meter firmware up to date?
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. The updates require a mobile device with a Bluetooth 4.0 connection and either our iOS or Android app installed. If you have not used our app, use one of the links below to install and check for firmware updates:
Where is the head unit located on the bike?
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 in the way that block or weaken the signal.
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 aerobars) or in your bottle cage, then perform 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
Are you using a mobile app?
We recommend closing all other apps that use the Bluetooth connection on your phone before beginning a ride with a fitness app that utilizes the Bluetooth 4.0 connection to your power meter. 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.
Is the problem occurring in the same location?
If you are experiencing dropouts while riding indoors, the signal may be being 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.
Are you riding with ANT+ adapter to a computer or other device?
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.
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 it from being recorded by the head unit. Increasing the distance between other electronics such as WiFi routers and microwave ovens may be the best measure of eliminating data loss.
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 in our experience it is slightly less susceptible to interference from Wi-Fi, microwaves, etc. For Trainer Road, a Bluetooth dongle such as the BlueGiga is required. Some existing trainers, such as the Wahoo Kickr, also have built-in Bluetooth capabilities, giving the option to use entirely Bluetooth connections while riding indoors to minimize interference.
Is your battery door or o-ring intact?
A broken battery door can result in dropped signal due to the battery cover no longer being held securely in place within your power meter. If you are getting dropouts, particularly on bumpy roads, it's likely the battery cover could be to blame. Please check out this topic for instructions on how to check the condition and what to do if it is broken: What do I do if my battery cover is broken?
Additionally, please verify that the rubber o-ring that sits under the battery door is intact and pressed into the groove around the perimeter of the battery compartment. If this o-ring is not intact, the battery cover will sit loosely and can cause the battery to lose contact with the unit. Any issues with the fit and shape of the cover itself can contribute to this issue. On the LR power meters, the door shape has an integrated rubber gasket, with no o-ring utilized. Confirm that the LED is visible following installation and after waking up the power meter. Green denotes 'good' battery level, while Red denotes a nearly dead battery.
Please contact us for more assistance by opening up a support ticket with Stages Cycling or in person at your local Stages Cycling Dealer if you are having issues with the cover.
Is the correct battery installed?
The Stages Power Meter uses a 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.
Still need help?
For additional help, please open up a support ticket with Stages Cycling or visit your nearest Stages Cycling dealer for assistance.