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Stages SB20 for $1400

Old 01-23-23, 02:48 PM
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Stages SB20 for $1400

Stages has apparently dropped the price of their SB20 smart bike.

I'm a Kickr user and know nothing of this bike, but the deep discount appeared to be worth mention.

All the best

Barry
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Old 01-24-23, 07:36 AM
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That is an insane deal. I know several people who have one and love the build stability. A couple people (usually bigger power riders) have mentioned getting a lot higher power numbers on it because the thing is so rock solid that every power input directly converts into power output. A very light rider I know went to it from a kickr core (so still a smart trainer) and lost a fair bit of power because he has a hard time putting out enough to get/keep the heavy flywheel going.
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Old 01-24-23, 09:32 AM
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Wahoo?

yes, a great deal, but I wonder if Wahoo will be forced to reply!

Barry
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Old 01-24-23, 11:06 AM
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We've had ours for about 9 months, and have about 300 hours on it so far. The thing is built like a tank and has had no problems so far. Can change the setup between my wife and myself in less than a minute. No issues connecting to Zwift, and the companion app is very useful.

I paid something like $2,200 for it in April 2022, and don't regret it at all. Actually thinking about getting as second one so we can ride inside together.
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Old 01-25-23, 04:25 PM
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I came to the forums to post this but looks like it was already covered!

I currently have a Peloton bike for my indoor riding and have been wanting to get into more specific training and Zwift. I just pulled the plug on this deal just minutes ago. It's just too good to pass up on.
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Old 01-26-23, 06:07 AM
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Yeah I just saw this too. That is a great deal for anyone in the market for a smart bike.
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Old 01-26-23, 06:17 AM
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Originally Posted by himespau View Post
That is an insane deal. I know several people who have one and love the build stability. A couple people (usually bigger power riders) have mentioned getting a lot higher power numbers on it because the thing is so rock solid that every power input directly converts into power output. A very light rider I know went to it from a kickr core (so still a smart trainer) and lost a fair bit of power because he has a hard time putting out enough to get/keep the heavy flywheel going.
When I was debating between buying the Kickr Bike and Stages SB20, I actually preferred the more "flexible" feel of the Kickr as it feels more like riding a real bike and I find it more comfortable for longer sessions (compared to my rock solid gym bike with the same saddle).

I also think the old-school heavy "dumb" flywheel is not the way smart trainers/bikes are generally going. I much prefer the virtual powered flywheel on my Kickr Bike - which is different to the Kickr trainers and more like the Tacx Neo in that respect.

But I can see the appeal of the SB20 for Zwift racing and it would be hard to ignore at this price.
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Old 01-26-23, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Barry2 View Post
yes, a great deal, but I wonder if Wahoo will be forced to reply!

Barry
From what I've heard, Wahoo is on the verge of bankruptcy. Maybe there will be some liquidation opportunities to pick up cheap gear?
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Old 01-27-23, 10:50 AM
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Given that it's pretty common to need warranty on wahoo products, I'm not buying any of them if they go under. Probably wouldn't be cheap enough.
I don't think they'll go under though, at least I hope not. But it does seem like support may get worse in a lot of ways if money is tight.
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Old 01-27-23, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
Given that it's pretty common to need warranty on wahoo products
Nobody ever goes to the internet and states I didnt need to use the warranty.
I wonder if the large number of warranty reports simply corresponds with a longer and larger number of sales.
After all, their Kickrs have been around long enough to go through 6 revisions!

Im not ready to give up on Wahoo yet.

Trying to get a Garmin Edge 830 to run a trainer correctly has been a nightmare.
Both a Tacx and a Kickr trainers.
Garmin support finally stated ERG workouts are not supported correctly
Works great on my Bolt !

Barry
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Old 01-28-23, 08:25 AM
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I didn't need warranty service on my original kickr, but it didn't really work until they told me how to install one of the older versions of the firmware (click 10 times on the top of the app and turn around 3 times under a full moon or something like that). And instead of telling me about that right away they strung me along for a week. They are always messing up firmware and it seems like firmware development is already underfunded. They just put out a bad firmware for the bolt not that long ago. One of the later kickr versions had a problem that was very likely, I think the internet undercounted on that one. But my point is, I might make a gamble that my device would be unusable if it cost me 10% of new, but it seems like you never get a discount that big. My kickr is essentially unsupported at this point, I'm not used to having that experience with a device that lasts this long and costs as much as it did. Disposable devices should cost less.

On the subject of Stages, it looks like Giant took a minority ownership position for $20million. Seems like good news for them.
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Old 01-30-23, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
I didn't need warranty service on my original kickr, but it didn't really work until they told me how to install one of the older versions of the firmware (click 10 times on the top of the app and turn around 3 times under a full moon or something like that). And instead of telling me about that right away they strung me along for a week. They are always messing up firmware and it seems like firmware development is already underfunded. They just put out a bad firmware for the bolt not that long ago. One of the later kickr versions had a problem that was very likely, I think the internet undercounted on that one. But my point is, I might make a gamble that my device would be unusable if it cost me 10% of new, but it seems like you never get a discount that big. My kickr is essentially unsupported at this point, I'm not used to having that experience with a device that lasts this long and costs as much as it did. Disposable devices should cost less.

On the subject of Stages, it looks like Giant took a minority ownership position for $20million. Seems like good news for them.
I agree with your point, that buying expensive products from a company that may not be around much longer comes with some risks. I have a feeling Wahoo will end up getting bought by a big company for pennies on the dollar, rather than just vaporizing.

That said, the experiences with Wahoo customer support that I'm familiar with are the opposite of yours. I know two different people who recently had problems with Kickr Cores that were out of warranty, and in both cases Wahoo worked to try to solve the problem and when it became clear that there was no solution, they sent new/refurbished units as replacements.
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Old 01-30-23, 11:05 AM
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Wahoo Support has been great !

Wahoo support has been outstanding for me.

Late in 2022 I had the following issues.
My 2019 Kickr bike needed a BB (I use it a lot), asked support if it was an industry standard item. Yes it is, but they sent me one anyway.
My 2019 Bolt had the right side rubber buttons begin to detach (known issue). Support sent me a NIB V2 Bolt.

The only time Wahoo support has failed me is when trying to buy replacement bars/shifters for my Kickr Bike.
If I'd lied and said mine had failed, they would have just sent them. But I just couldn't do it.
I wanted a pair of shifters to modify into TT aero bars, and Wahoo "does not sell replacement bars".

Barry
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Old 01-30-23, 11:14 AM
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I'm not sure I addressed the case when someone's kickr died. But if they aren't there to do you a favor when your device dies prematurely, you are going to be on your own. And if it gets bought up by someone else, it will probably be like when Wahoo bought speedplay. X series cleats are going for $$$ on ebay right now because Wahoo can't/won't make them.
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Old 01-30-23, 12:01 PM
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I'd rather get a Kickr or similar device and put it on a bike -- where both parts are easy to replace and transport -- than a complete virtual bike. They're just heavy and proprietary.
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Old 01-30-23, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by WT21 View Post
I'd rather get a Kickr or similar device and put it on a bike -- where both parts are easy to replace and transport -- than a complete virtual bike. They're just heavy and proprietary.
Heavy, proprietary, take up space and are awesome!
Just not good for everybody.

But...
I don't know of anyone selling their Kickr Bike because they preferred their wheel-on or wheel-off trainer.

All the best

Barry
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Old 01-30-23, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by WT21 View Post
I'd rather get a Kickr or similar device and put it on a bike -- where both parts are easy to replace and transport -- than a complete virtual bike. They're just heavy and proprietary.
I've got both but I much prefer using the Kickr Bike for a number of reasons. But smart bikes are not for everyone. They work best in a dedicated pain cave, especially if there are multiple users.
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Old 01-30-23, 01:41 PM
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The Kickr bike looks really nice. The Stages looks like it might be more compact though. I need to replace the bike that's permanently on my trainer. If it weren't for money I'd probably buy the Stages.
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Old 01-30-23, 01:43 PM
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I had a spin bike in my basement years ago. What a PITA to move around and late get serviced. I believe a dedicated virtual bike could be a better experience (can you put one on a rocker plate?) but having been perturbed with storage, service, and then disposal of that spin bike, I don't think it's for me. YMMV But I don't begrudge anyone from enjoying their's. Also, they seem to be easier to adjust(?) if you wanted one bike for multiple users in the house.
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Old 01-30-23, 02:24 PM
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I think Wahoo is generally against rocker plates, but they may have softened their stance on that. I'm not sure about stages. People do it anyway, as seen in the rocker plate thread in this forum. https://www.bikeforums.net/indoor-st...ker-plate.html
I guess there is a little bit of a concern about bearings and flywheels.
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Old 01-30-23, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by WT21 View Post
I had a spin bike in my basement years ago. What a PITA to move around and late get serviced. I believe a dedicated virtual bike could be a better experience (can you put one on a rocker plate?) but having been perturbed with storage, service, and then disposal of that spin bike, I don't think it's for me. YMMV But I don't begrudge anyone from enjoying their's. Also, they seem to be easier to adjust(?) if you wanted one bike for multiple users in the house.
I find they are pretty easy to wheel around on a hard floor. Well the Kickr Bike is anyway. Stages bike also has wheels, so probably okay too. Adjustment is definitely easier than with a bike on a trainer, along with unlimited gear simulation. So you can have dedicated setups for multiple bikes. The Stages bike looks like a bit of a beast to go on a rocker plate. I've seen a few Kickr Bikes on rocker plates, but I find it rides well enough without one. There is a degree of compliance that feels quite realistic. The Stages bike looks rock solid, so probably quite a different ride feel.
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Old 02-02-23, 05:43 PM
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I've owned the Stages SB20 for a year and a half. I paid full price of $3,200 out the door, Don't regret it at all. My wife and I have pushed hundreds of thousands of calories into the thing, and burned off tons of stress. Completely worth it.

At 1400 a great deal. The hardware is fantastic, build essentially at the commercial gym level. It's easy to change four different adjustments as you go from user to user. Like 20 seconds, and all of the handles you move around are extremely robust and sturdy. The iPad mount works great and is in just the right place, The pad You lay your phone down on is stable and well located, and the two USB charger ports on the bike itself are fantastic. I love that it doesn't have any stupid pointless fans built into it.

We use the seat that came with it, never felt any need to change out of it, perfectly comfortable and good quality.

The software sucks. It can be a huge hassle when it decides it's not going to work anymore. Or is going to intermittently Crank the resistance on the flywheel all the way down. Or completely give up all the resistance on the flywheel. Or not find the two different Bluetooth connections that you need to make.

The stage's app is straight up horrible garbage. It's an embarrassment, but if you missed the feeling of trying to make a your computer recognize a printer in 2003, then I suppose it's a trip down memory lane.

I would buy it again though, software headaches notwithstanding.

My tip for a first time users is put up with the arcade game aspect of Zwift until you are addicted to it. I hated Zwift at first and wouldn't use it. Too many weird noises, too much video game visual clutter. I finally though I gave it enough of a chance. It's the best platform in terms of the bike on the screen doing what you are doing on the pedals, and the gamification is social aspect are certainly motivating, and maybe even a bit addictive. There's just so much to do and aim for, It doesn't get stale, and you get to work towards goals that for some reason you start to care about. Watch some tutorials about how to get the most out of Zwift and once you're swept away and dorking out on it all of a sudden you're riding more than a hundred miles a week and enjoying it. I ride harder on Zwift than I do outside now.
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Old 02-03-23, 09:50 AM
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I'm not sure that's the endorsement stages would be looking for. Does it get power from the cranks? Do you ever change the pedals around?
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Old 02-03-23, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
I'm not sure that's the endorsement stages would be looking for. Does it get power from the cranks? Do you ever change the pedals around?
It's my lived truth as the kids say.

Yes, power from cranks, which is great because other smart bikes measure farther along the drivetrain and you lose some power in the transfer. Or maybe they account for this. But with the SB20 you get out very close to what you put in.

Yes, have moved pedals around. It's a great 👍 way to figure out what crank length you like best without changing cranks. Or figuring out which crank length for you generates the most watts on average. Currently at 172.5 as I ride 175mm and wife 170mm. I can go 170mm but then can't stay over 800w for a 20 second sprint.
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Old 02-03-23, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by hankj View Post

Yes, power from cranks, which is great because other smart bikes measure farther along the drivetrain and you lose some power in the transfer. Or maybe they account for this. But with the SB20 you get out very close to what you put in.
Yeah great for Zwift racing prowess, but unfortunately in real life those drivetrain losses (typically 4-5%) are very real. My Elite smart trainer had an optical torque sensor measuring power at the hub and I also had a crank power meter on my bike. Sure enough the hub power was measuring consistently 4-5% lower on average.

My Kickr Bike also effectively measures hub power. I dont know how its drivetrain efficiency compares with a real bike, but I suspect it is similar based on my Zwift performance and interval training. Certainly crank based power is a significant advantage for virtual racing. I just have to try a bit harder!
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