Stages StagesBike SB20 (Smart Bike)

DC Rainmaker

GPLama StagesBIKE Video Series:
Part 0 - 10 Initial Impressions: https://youtu.be/55xyY8c04GQ
Part I - Unboxing/Build/Rider Fit: https://youtu.be/6si35e5eEIs
Part II - Gearing Setup: https://youtu.be/oxWcQnNl4Js
Part III - Ride Review: https://youtu.be/kQHB4HYvYuU

SMART Bike Trainers

2 Likes

Something to consider when I’m looking to upgrade my pain cave!

Do you think you can fit one of them on a rocker? :grin:

1 Like

I have seen at least one (maybe two?) people mount a Wattbike Atom onto a rocker plate. They loved the change and additional movement.

I expect people will add rockers with all these new bikes (Kickr, Neo, and Atom). I have a horrible sketch concept that is a full motion design including pitch axis tilt, roll axis rocking, and longitudinal fore aft. It uses my Kickr Climb, but changes the pivot to be more like the new Kickr Bike so it supports a lower load.

Our gym started with Spinner NXT bikes, then a few gyms got Freemotion S11.8 bikes with power meters, then they rolled out Stages about 3 years ago. The Stages SC series gym bikes are top notch in my opinion, very well made and durable. Easy to adjust, in less than a minute I can adjust fit and connect TR/Zwift and/or Garmin Edge bike computer and be working out.

2 Likes

Simple “Hands-on” and not full reviews, but some recent experience from the kings of trainer evaluations:

1 Like

Updated OP with all of GPLama videos in the Stages Bike series (Part III was just released).

1 Like

Any updates from folks who have one on reliability / usability / etc.? I’m looking to get one so that my wife and I can share, as she cannot use the current setup of an old road bike of mine + Kickr.

I’ve been very happy with mine. It was delivered in June and my wife and I have been using it daily since early September. It’s very easy for us to switch between users, it’s very quiet and it has been working well with Zwift and TR.

The bike came from an early batch that had crooked handlebars. Stages has a fix for that but ours are so slightly askew that I haven’t bothered to report it.

Check out the StagesBike Owner’s Group on facebook for problem reports. So far we haven’t experienced the flywheel bearing problem that many reported.

@wvines,

Thanks. Glad to hear you are liking it.

I have the flywheel knocking. Was too loud to use so have been using my kickr as a placeholder.
Having contacted Stages, and gone to their UK distributors i was responded to quickly, and they delegated to a repair company who have done a temp fix with spray and slackening off of the wheel. However, I will be getting their V2 flywheel which is updated and washers which not only is a perm fix but makes it even quieter. I an on the list so hopefully it wont be too long. Going forward batches will come with this so not an issue for people buying in the future, but it think they are systematically replacing all wheels

The software is great on the mid-long intervals, a bit slower than the kickr in the ramp up on the shorter sprints but i like the gearing that can be setup to whatever you like so i can use manual gearing to get instant changes and for this type of work works well.

I admit the wheel issue was quite annoying, but the bike is built like a tank, super easy to live with and adjust and once this is resolved it was the right decision. I would recommend them.

2 Likes

Build and first ride thoughts:
Build - for the most part, the build went smoothly except for:

  • The instructions and the YouTube video both have a “glitch” where they show you to flip the “stem” holding the handlebar, so the handlebar is on the bottom. And then both silently reverse this so the handlebar is flush again with the flat part of the stem.
  • My SB20 suffered from the flywheel making noise right out of the box because the bottom screw that holds back the flywheel guard wasn’t installed correctly, so it was pushing the guard against the flywheel. This seems both a design and QA problem. On the design front, if they made the plastic part of the flywheel guard where the screw is extend another 5 mm or so past the screw, the chance of the screw coming out would be greatly reduced. On the QA front, as this is a known issue, it seems like something you would check every bike for before shipping.
  • I was able to fix the above issue myself, but it was a massive PIA and took about 30 minutes
  • Installing pedals that can only be installed with a hex wrench is another PIA, as the flywheel guard blocks being able to use the long part of the hex wrench to mostly tighten the pedal

First ride(s):

  • My wife did a Variis (Equinox’s app) Soul Cycle class, and really like the bike. So a big plus, as this was the main reason for switch from my previous Kickr setup. The only downside for her was that her Garmin Forerunner 735 kept dropping the Ant+ signal from the pedals / bike. Might need to switch her over to Bluetooth recording
  • My ride was an easy Z2 (2 hours), and I like the bike. The pedaling feels different than my Kickr, but smooth and dead silent compared to my old gen1 Kickr. The only downside is I miss the motion from the InsideRide Kickr E-Flex. The SB20 is rock solid: it is on rubber tiles on a hard wood floor on concrete - so zero motion. I’m definitely going to have to do something to add some give. As a short term item, I wish Stages had “motion” feet like you can buy for the new Kickr. Since that’s not an option, I’m going to have to figure out some spongy material to put under the feet to add give.
2 Likes

Would definitely be interested in hearing how this goes - the “build like a tank” notion does seem to be mostly good but I agree a bit more motion while riding might be good to help with ride fatigue from that single pedaling position (outside of deliberately getting out of the saddle of course).

So I did a total hack today - some pipe insulation under the feet - and even this small (very small :rofl:) amount of movement helped.

2 Likes

Nice! Makes sense because my testing shows comfort improvement with even modest amount of freedom added.

1 Like

Interesting to hear - thanks for sharing that note. Off to find some pipe insulation or other suitably foamy material…

1 Like

Pool noodles, some sponges, standing work mats afr a couple of more ideas.ive seen used for foam materials.

With a rigid fulcrum pivot, you may also be able to use inflated balls like tennis or racquet balls.

Curious - which end would you keep rigid? I was thinking tennis balls under the front would be the most realistic in terms of movement, but I think my primary desire is to keep my rear shifting to minimize saddle fatigue, so maybe under the rear? Will probably just try out both.

That frame is so stiff, I don’t think you can just loosen up one end.

My plan would be to add a fulcrum under the middle of the leg at both ends to start. Something like a short wood dowel zip tied under each leg (or one long one if you want which would guarantee alignment). This would place the entire bike higher and allow leaning to each side, at both ends.

Then add whatever spring you want to act as a leveling spring, under all 4 outer feet.

1 Like

Did anyone else come to the SB20 from a Kickr? If so, how do you find the ride feel of the SB20 compared to the Kickr? To, right now, the SB20 feels like it has less momentum / road feel compared to my old Kickr.

When I do intervals at / near threshold, and then hit the recovery period, the recovery doesn’t feel as easy / fluid as it did on the Kickr.

Right now, my SB20 is connected via Ant+, but thinking about switching to Bluetooth

Question for everyone: how do you have your SB20 setup in devices?

Looking through Stages support, it looks like this is the correct setup when in ERG mode:

  • Connect to Stages Bike as the trainer
  • Disable powermatch
  • So the Stages power meters aren’t connected

Thoughts on the above?

Has anyone used their SB20 not in ERG mode? If so, what configuration do you use, and do you need the Stages Link app open to make shifting work?