Issues with Stagesbike 20(SB 20)

I recently got delivery of the new smartbike SB 20 and the feedback from DC Rainmaker and GPLama was spot on, pros and cons. In this post i would like to reiterate a few of their points.

I love the ride feel, the ease of dialling in the riding position and I love to have a dedicated indoor training bike. I am really happy with my purchase however everything isn’t perfect though:

My issues so far:

  1. Pairing SB20 with Zwift, the pairing process seems to work but when you start the game Zwift doesn’t recognise that you are pedalling. usually it works after a restart of the Zwift app. But it is annoying that you need to do this almost every time you start to train. I used to train with Wahoo Kickr and I never had that problem. Another “pairing” related problem: at one occasion Zwift recognised the SB20 but in Erg mode but the wattage wasn’t right, it was kept about ~25w too low.

  2. Erg Mode power fluctuations, this have been reported, 3 July, by DC Rainmaker and he believes it can be addressed with a SW update. However it is still a problem, power accuracy seems to be spot on but when in erg mode the power jumps +/- 25-40W, when I keep the same cadence and wattage it shouldn’t have to jump, Stages reported to DCR that it was challenging with the heavy flywheel, that seems odd to me, if that was the case the problem should occur during changes in cadence and resistance not during steady state? average watt during an interval is about right though.

  3. Gears, the SB 20 can be controlled by Stages Link app that will show which gear you are in, SB20 doesn’t have a dedicated display. However the Zwift support team wrote this to me “we do want to recommend refraining from using any other apps along side of Zwift, since doing so may cause inconsistencies within your ride data and the information being transmitted from your equipment to your device.”. When in SIM mode it is neat to be able to see which virtual gear you are in and it would therefore be great to be able to have this displayed in game.I have written to the Zwift dev team. I understand this works with the Wattbike Atom and according to DCR, Stages have given the needed interface information too Zwift so hopefully this will be implemented in a near future.

Hi

I’ve also just purchased a SB20 and just a few inputs from me…

I don’t have any issues pairing with Zwift. I’m using ANT+ and it pairs 99,9% of the time, it´s even located next to my Neo also running ANT+
I have experienced a few dropouts 1 - 1,5 hours into a ride, but it´s very rare.

I normally start and connect the Stages Link app first, of course it’s important that the trainer control is set to external, and then Zwift and it basically works.
I do have to pedal 5 - 10 seconds before I see the power on Zwift, but after that it is in perfect sync with the Stages app ( assuming you set Zwift to 1 sec. power updates ).

I’m not using ERG mode so no feedback on that.

Compared to my Neo I do feel the resistance control is quite laggy, but then again, the SB20 is very smooth and with the big flywheel it might just be how it is ?
I haven’t really had time to look closer at the config files, but if I remember correctly there is some hidden “trainer smoothing” setting somewhere that maybe could be altered.

I’ve requested Zwift for the gear display on the HUD in this forum Gear display for Stages SB20 and directly via email to support. You might want to vote on the forum thread and/or email Zwift with the same request :slightly_smiling_face:

RIDE ON :grinning:

BooX

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Have you opened a ticket with Stages? They have been very responsive when I have contacted them.

The first couple of times I used my SB20 I had trouble connecting but that was before the update that provided a second bluetooth channel. My last couple of rides I haven’t used the Link app because I was having heart rate monitor dropouts and I have been trying to decide the cause. It appears that I may have a bad recent model Tickr HRM. I haven’t missed the gear display because I am using “Dream drive” but I do miss the Stages Left-Right balance.

I tried a Zwift group 60 minute workout the other day and was very pleased with how the bike responded and held required wattages. I found that shifting did work and that one gear up or down was required to hit the right spot.

What device are you using to connect to Zwift. I currently am using an Apple TV 4K but I also have used a old MacBook Pro Retina with and Ant+ dongle. Before the second bluetooth channel was available.

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Thanks for your response, I’m using Bluetooth and connects to my iPad, which worked perfect with my Kickr.
The power fluctuations are a problem while in Erg mode.

Mikael,

I did SST (short) today and it seems fine on my SB20. The only way to be sure what is going on would be to have the SB20 connected to a bike computer and examine the graph. I guess one could purchase DC Rainmaker’s analysis software or perhaps that open source software called Golden Cheetah. Other than that, I would call or email Stages support and see what they say.

The hesitation on first starting has disappeared from my experience with the last couple of firmware updates. It was definitely there at first.

Mikael,

You really got me thinking about this issue. When one buys a new product you really want to understand if if it working properly.

I looked at one of my workouts from last week and thought the companion app graph looked pretty good. Then I looked at few of your workout companion app graphs. First of all, you are an animal!! Secondly, your graphs look like they were drawn using a straight edge and protractor. I wish you were my neighbor because I would have you test my SB20 out. Ride On!

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Hello,

I just purchased and received my Stages SB20. I conducted my first Zwift training ride (ERG), and here are my issues so far:

  1. I noticed a light “thump” noise coming from the flywheel approximately every two pedal revolutions. This seems to be a common issue and I am going to see if it goes away. Meanwhile, I did open a ticket with Stages.

  2. I have no issues connecting, but like others reporting heavy power flunctuations. Also, mid training ride I stopped to adjust the seat height and upon starting again ERG will no longer re-engage.

Hopefully, Stages irons out these issues soon.

Hello Rafael,
I also received my SB20 a couple of weeks ago. After about two rides, I am experiencing a thumping/dull click noise coming from the flywheel but it not related to paddling. It continues during freewheeling. I have created a tickit with Stages but have not heard back yet. I am interested to know how your bike nose issue was resolved.

Jay

Have you been to the Stage site and gone through the trouble shooting section regarding flywheel nosies? Answer the trouble shooting questions you will find under support -stages bike. If you have one of the flywheels that makes intermittent loud banging it will be replaced. I had a SB20 that made intermittent very loud banging and a technician was sent out with a new flywheel.

Hey Jay,

They seem to respond faster if you call their customer service line. I suggest you call them and reference your ticket.
Here is how they responded to my inquiry. At first, they sent a contract technician to look into it, but he ended up destroying the SB20. Stages was great, and sent me a brand new one.

If they send a tech to you, make sure he/she call Stages support to receive instructions before they begin any work.

Although I hear/feel the “thunk” less, I can still hear/feel it. But it is definitely less pronounced. I am guessing it is the way the belt is constructed and maybe has a slight bump. I’ll definitely let them know about the issue again, maybe someone can figure it out.

Good luck
Rafael

Mine has been nothing but issues.

I’m not sure how you guys received yours, but mine was delivered via JB Hunt and it was halfway assembled. What was assembled was wrong, and had to be redone by me and then finished up. Luckily the remaining loose hardware was actually in the one opened box I received! I as well had major rubbing noises and had to spend time troubleshooting sloppy assembly issues from the factory around the flywheel area.

The firmware update took about 10 tries to work but the power meter update was pretty easy. Once together I messed around setting up different bike shift settings and figured out the left shifter didn’t work properly. The downshift button on both the hood and drop won’t work. After a while screwing around with it I found you could hold the button down and wiggle the cable and it would shift. Seemed like a poor connection/short so I opened a ticket online after repeated calls went unanswered by phone.

I did one ride in Zwift and attempted another today but after about 5 minutes the entire unit lost connection with Zwift and I had to restart and it did the same thing again and again. I opened the StagesLink app thing and noticed all the profiles were gone and it needed more firmware updates! After about 50 failed attempts at a firmware update, I gave up and called them and again got no answer. Going online I submitted another ticket and noticed I had finally gotten a response to my first ticked (7 days later) with some BS response pointing me to the troubleshooting section of the online manual which did not solve the shift issue. Clearly they didn’t even bother to read my ticket. So now I have a still broken bike that wont update. Customer service is terrible!

I’m done and opening a claim with them to return this pile.