I’ve found a used SB20 locally for a very reasonable price, roughly 200 hours on it. I know very little about them… any tips on what to look/listen for if I go test ride it? If they do break are they pretty easy to fix? Etc…
I’ve had an SB20 for two years now, with over 20,000 km on it. It’s been rock solid and has required zero maintenance besides replacing the coin batteries in the power meters every six months or so. It did ship with a dead power meter, though, and from what I read at the time it seemed to be fairly common so perhaps that’s something to look at (the Stages Link app shows L/R balance, so if one of the power meters is bad it would show up there). At the time, Stages support was very responsive and shipped me a new crank within two days; however, that was two years ago, and I’ve read recently that their tech support has gotten much worse. My bike hasn’t had any issues at all so I haven’t needed support since then, but I’d suggest looking more into that if that’s a concern.
I saw DC rainmaker say it had trouble holding power steady in ERG mode. Do you find any issues there?
I’ve had no issues there, but I sometimes get issues in Zwift in which the resistance drops out completely. I have the stop and wait for the flywheel to slow down before starting again. Very painful in timed rides and races.
I’ve had it mine for about a year, and needed to get a crank swapped as well. Other than resistance drop issue, and the inconsistency of the bike to connect to the mobile app, it’s fine.
Not really. Unless it’s a very short interval (less than a minute) my average power is always within a watt or two of the target.
I have one. – maybe for about 2.5 years now? I have grown to hate it. ERG is mediocre. Mine routinely measures power incorrectly, and I’ve had to use Assiomo’s to get anything reliable from it.
Yes, replaced cranks/PM’s.
I’m not new here. Yes, very sure of battery replacements, etc. etc.
Worst of all, the pedal feel is trash. Like going through wet oatmeal. I still ride it, basically out of buyer’s guilt. But trust me, my KICKR is till the ‘go to’ device in my basement.
Oh, and God forbid you have any trouble with it — Stages service & response times in the USA are absolutely atrocious.
Ah yes, that’s valid with my experiences. If I have something that’s very short (15 seconds), erg power is tricky to match quickly, but to be fair, it’s not that easy to do that manually either switching gears.
That’s a real issue worth looking into, @TexanDad. Luckily I don’t have this problem; I’ve tested with my own Faveros using DCR’s analyzer tool and it was literally within a watt of what the bike reported, but others have definitely had this issue too. See this thread: Bang on wrong! What is going on? (Assioma vs SB20)
Good to know, I currently have an old road bike hooked up to a Kickr Core, and I’ve had no issues… I just thought it would be a good chance to upgrade. But I’ll probably pass.
I’ve had my SB20 for several years now:
- Overall it has been issue free
- My right crank burns batteries at ~double the rate of the left. Easy fix to replace the right side battery, but annoying
- I concur that lately Stages support in the US is basically non-existent. I reached out on the right crank burning batteries recently, and besides the automated email I never heard from Stages
- Erg mode appears stable
- Note that the SB20 has a slightly wider Q-factor compared to a “real” road bike
I got my stages for a good price, and besides the battery issue it has been issue free. But with the lack of support responsiveness if I had to do things over, I would get either the new Tacx (Garmin) or new Wahoo Kickr bike shift - I don’t use Zwift, so I don’t need the climb functionality
Mine has been good, about 5000 miles on it so far. Short intervals don’t work well for me in erg mode but that’s my only complaint. It’s heavy, solid, and I like the feel of the weighty flywheel. Would totally buy another one.
I have a SB20 and a Kickr bike v1.
Difference of night and day relating to ‘real’ bike feel.
My 9yr old son uses the SB20, but he also dislikes it compared to the kickr bike
The experience of the kickr bike is so much better!
Like said here before, the pedal feel is so much different in a negative sense, and erg mode is slow.
Also the batteries and replacing them is annoying.
Build wise it is a tank and of very good quality.
So if you have the budget: go for the kickr bike or the new shift. You will not regret
I looked pretty hard at the KickR Bike but for an indoor bike that is being sweat on and beat to shit constantly, build quality is super important. I just didn’t rust the Kickr to last 30,000-40,000 miles of simulated riding.
As you mentioned the SB20 has its drawbacks. It’s not as fast to react in ERG mode, it takes 10-15 seconds to get on target. It’s built so well there’s literally no side to side motion at all and makes sprinting a PITA.
But for steady state power, for longer intervals and from a durability perspective this thing is pretty darn amazing.
Had mine for nearly 2 years no with zero issues.
Yes, ERG mode was slightly ‘off’ when I started using it but I have since switched to resistance mode for the last 18 months as I think this better replicates being able to control/ put out power like I do outdoors.
I can’t comment on inaccuracies of the crank based power meters as I use my power pedals on the bike so I have like for like power readings indoors and outdoors.
I can confirm it is built like a tank. I have since added some CurvePlates to the feet in order to provide some lateral movement which has worked well to ease some of the stiffness felt on long endurance rides.
I did get mine for a bargain price in the UK so am pleased about that. I would buy again at that price but if I was buying a smart bike at RRP tomorrow I would also now want a look at the new Kickr bike (withouttilt functionality).