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Stages Power Meter – Battery Drain Issue – Solution (or maybe not) | AndrewWilliams9 Blog

Stages Power Meter – Battery Drain Issue – Solution (or maybe not)

The short version:-

Buy a decent battery like a Duracell, not a ‘5 for £1 ebay special’.

The long version:-

All over the interweb, there are posts about Stages power meter battery drain issues, mostly starting when the original battery has ran out, and a new battery is inserted.

For me personally, my original battery lasted a good 8 months, before it expired.
I already had a pack of ‘Maxwell’ batteries which I had purchased from Ebay at the cost of 5 for £1.

Put in the battery, and we are up and running again. Out for a ride I go, and everything is great. Couple of days later, get suited up, pull out the bike and spin the crack – Garmin does not find the Stages power meter. Yes the battery is dead. OK, must be a dud battery.

A second battery is tried, and without even refitting the crank arm back on the bike, a quick battery test on the Stages App the next morning shows the battery is yellow, or half empty. 24 hours later, the Stages Power Meter is once again dead. I didn’t even manage a single ride this time.

In all, I went through 4 new batteries within 2 weeks.

I get onto Stages support, who tell me to return the power meter to the distributor to be checked.

Before returning the Stages Power Meter, after further searches on the interweb, I see just 2 posts mentioning using a good decent battery rather than a poundland special.

I order a pack of Duracell from Amazon (hoping they aren’t fakes of course) (bought from buyer Top Deals 4 u (this link may well expire))

Since receiving these Duracell batteries, the Stages Power Meter battery gauge has been showing green for the past 4 weeks, and have had no further issues.

UPDATE: Now up to 14 weeks on the single Duracell battery, and still going strong.

Note: Just because this worked for me, doesn’t mean it will work for you, but it is surely worth a try.

UPDATE 10/10/16: The Duracell battery lasted a good 7 months, but this was on a bike I didn’t use that often (approx 37 hours of usage) and even then it wasn’t completely dead.
Success, or so I thought.
Changed the battery to a new one, which I bought in a pack with the one I had used since February. Just 3 weeks later, the unit was dead. No problem, I’ll pop another battery in there. This third battery lasted a total of one single ride, and was dead by the next morning.

Looks like a Duracell battery isn’t the solution after all, and I just got lucky with one lasting for 7 months.

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  1. I’m not an expert by any means, just a cyclist. After having the same issues and reading the same forums myself, I’ve come to the conclusion that there are loads of issues with these cranks all of which manifest themselves through a failed battery. I had a 1st generation 105 crank, exactly the same scenario as yourself. Stages support tried a new battery door, no better. Then I returned the crank to the dealer and was sent a 2nd generation 105 crank at no charge. This behaved exactly the same, 1st battery lasted 7-8 months, then less and less each battery change. So what have I learned from all this? Across the forums all power meters with battery drain issues seem to use CR2032 batteries, the expensive power meters without battery drain issues all use much more robust batteries. CR2032 batteries are extremely susceptible to temperature/performance issues despite what it says on the manufacturers data sheets, and yes there are some terrible ones out there so buy a known brand, mine came with a Panasonic so I buy those. BUT In my case (I keep my bikes in an un-heated garage) the time where the batteries lasted best was through the summer months. I recently took a brand new battery (verified at 3.09v with a meter pre-ride) out for a spin on a cold day 3-4deg C and it failed mid ride. I took it out and tested again when I got home and it was reading 2.02v but it felt really cold to the touch due to the wind chill you get on a bike. I left it on the kitchen worktop and over the next 24hrs as it came back to room temperature it returned to 3.02v. I now remove the battery and keep it indoors, and it seems to work a lot better.

    • I too keep getting new doors and rubber seals sent by saddleback to ‘fix the issue’

      Since the above post, I have found that it is not the battery type as I posted, as I had the next Duracell last just 1 ride.

      I believe the issue is due to moisture / water accessing the battery compartment.

      Now when I change a battery, I keep the powermeter in a warm place for at least 12 hours before putting the new battery in, to make sure the inside of the battery compartment is completely dry.

      I also completely wrap the battery door area with insulating tape (I use PM on CX bike too, so it gets rather wet and muddy) to help keep out any water.

      Since I’ve been doing this, I’ve got 2-3 months per battery, which isn’t as good as the original 7-8 months, but I can deal with that.

  2. Carlo van Herwaarden

    I’ve been having trouble with batteries too. I had two gen 1 replacements and now have a gen 2 Stages Powermeter Ultra. Exact same thing here first battery lasted for about 5 months. Since than i’ve been using my 1 battery per ride tactic. I live in the Netherlands and the roads are wet usually during fall and winter. I always have 0ne spare battery with me during long rides to counter half way ride failures.

    My garage is not heated and roughly the same temperature as outside. For the time being this works for me. But if Pioneer left arm cranks get reviewed better on battery life I’ll switch. I do not encourage people to by Stages Powermeters. Ans I’ll wait until something more reliable comes along.

  3. Devan Van Reenen

    I am having the same experience, the original battery lasted quite a few feeks, have been through about 4 – 5 batteries lasting between 1 – 3 days at most, so frustrating, I have had a stages power meter before and never experienced battery issues with original or replaced batteries…need to return to supplier for a new one

    • AndrewWilliams9

      What I have found is that it is moisture that gets into the battery compartment, which kills the battery.

      What I now do, whenever I need to change battery, is leave the battery cover off (and no battery in place either) and the unit in a warm dry place for a few hours, so no moisture forms in the compartment. After a few hours, I insert a battery, trying best not to touch the top or bottom of with with fingers, and refit the cover.

      Since I have been doing this, the battery has lasted a good few months, when one out of the same pack of Duracells lasted overnight before taking this method.
      (I fitted one on 5th April, and it lasted a day. Fitted another with the above drying out method on the 7th April, and it is still in there now nearly 4 months later.)

      Yes a pain in the a***, but if it saves replacing batteries daily, it is worth the slight hassle.

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