Power Dropouts with Stages

(Chris O'Hearn Masters (E)) #1

First ride today with a Stages power meter. I’ve been successfully using a PowerTap hub up to now with the same MacBook and dongle.

But the power kept dropping to zero very frequently. I’d say a dozen times on each lap - put it this way I didn’t once get through the KOM section without a dropout on six laps.

I moved the computer and ANT+ dongle close to the crank. It isn’t the battery - it’s new and I checked it using the Stages App on my phone.

The power was consistently going to my Garmin head unit and later I checked on the Stages App and it was also picking up the power consistently.

(Greg Gibson-Haymarket) #2

You may have some kind of electronic interference…wireless keyboard, wireless router?

(Chris O'Hearn Masters (E)) #3

Hmm, possibly - was using a bluetooth keyboard and a bluetooth speaker.

There’s a wireless router but it is not very close, and no wifi means no Zwift !

I’ll try it without the bluetooth devices and see what happens.


(Mister Dan Gerous) #4

Had the same issue monday night, also Stages and a MacBook Pro, Stages’ app and Garmin were not losing connection… I had a bluetooth keyboard next to me so I could test different views, spacebars and so on. Disconnecting Bluetooth and moving the keyboard away didn’t help but the computer was a few feet from my bike.

Yesterday, I plugged a USB2 keyboard and plugged the ANT+ dongle into it, bringing it much closer to my crankset and it went perfectly, zero drops! I think in my case the ANT+ dongle was just too far so the signal was weak and constantly dropping. So I’d check that, trying to have the shortest distance between your crankset and the ANT+ dongle.

(Steve Whiteley) #5

Yep, also had the same thing about 5 drop-outs in 40 minutes. To the extent where I get the finished riding screen! - I’m fairly close to the ANT+ dongle

(Steve Whiteley) #6

Got a usb extension, and place it closer to the bike. I have had no drop-out issues since I did this. I just think Stages has a limited broadcast range on ANT+?

(Steve Whiteley) #7

Scrub what I said, even with USB extension, still getting drop outs. They start intermittently and then get more frequent. Even on the ‘pairing’ page the signal keeps coming and going. Restarted Zwift and everything returned to normal so either a problem with Zwift or Stages.

(Ben Smith) #8

Precisely the same issue for me.

  • Wahoo KickR.
  • Stages power meter (selected source of power).
  • MacBook Pro with Suunto Ant+ USB dongle (placed within 2 metres of Stages).
  • No interference nearby.

Feedback appreciated.

(Jeremy Brazeal AETNA R/T (A)) #9

I have been using a Quarq in ZWIFT, but I have had a problem with the Stages dropping out when riding rollers. It happens often. I always figured it was because of high cadence and no coasting because I never have that problem on the road. It’s like the battery looses connection briefly. I wrapped the crank arm with electrical tape and it stopped. The seal does not seem to be very tight on them. I am sure you probably know this, but you have to zero it out with the app before every ride.

(Steve Whiteley) #10

I am also using a Suunto ANT+. I think if it was a battery issue then restarting the Zwift would not solve the problem. My wife uses a garmin speed sensor kit on her bike and has no problems. It may well be Stages - it is a popular powermeter so I wonder if someone at Zwift could have a word with them?

(Grant Martin) #11

Same problem here:

Stages Power Meter

Garmin ANT+

TacX Satori Turbo

PC with dongle within 20 cm of crank.


Will try again with a USB extension but I was having 5 or 6 dropouts per lap that were not a problem on my Edge 810 recording.


(Matt Cross) #12

This happens with me also, with Zwift or TrainerRoad.  Two reasons that i know of.  My Apple TV remote was taking the signal.  Easy fix.

The second I raised the issue with TR and was told to use Bluetooth4.0  The IO throughput is apparently able to handle more data traffic.  It worked for TR, however i believe Zwift for the moment is restricted to Ant+

(Michiel van Hulst) #13

Same problem here. Lot’s of drops in power & cadence at the same thime, where my Garmin Edge 1000 keeps connection in exactly the same environment.+

Using the ANT+ usb2 adapter from Garmin

(Chris O'Hearn Masters (E)) #14

Mine was eventually solved by using a USB extension cable.

It allowed me to place the Ant+ dongle closer to the crank and no issues since.

(Adam Lowe) #15


I had this problem last night.

Stages Power Meter

Suunto Ant+

MacBook Pro

I have experienced loose battery issues on the road as described earlier in the thread, but solved these with some tape and a thicker o-ring.  I started to get power dropouts on Zwift last night, whilst having a consistent power reading on my Garmin (810).  I could tell this was not an effect of power-smoothing, as sometimes the signal would be absent from Zwift for 20-seconds or so, whilst still appearing on my Garmin.

Assuming it may be interference I turned off Bluetooth on my Garmin and my phone, to no avail.  I then just turned off my Garmin all together and re-started Zwift.  This seemed to cure the problem completely, and I was able to ride for an hour or so with no drop-outs.


In my case was definitely an interference issue between my Garmin and the Ant+ dongle in the Mac.


Hope this helps.

(Grant Martin) #16

Just to follow up to my initial problem: I left all Garmin / wifi / bluetooth on and just moved the ant+ dongle under the bike using an extension and have not had a single dropout since. I think Stages has a small broadcast sphere.

Probably worth putting in the FAQ / troubleshooting for people experiencing dropouts.

(Steeef Windisch) #17

This is actually a somewhat well-known issue with Stages power meters and WiFi interference. Unless you either turn off all WiFi routers in the area (good luck in an apartment building) or put the Ant+ receiver within inches of the crank you will get dropouts. Firmware updates don’t solve it so far, which leads me to believe the problem is in the broadcast chip used. I’ve heard the newest Stages meters don’t have this problem, but have not confirmed.

(Tony Milsom BMCC) #18

Had the same issues

Abandoned Zwift and used trainer road without changing anything else. TR worked perfectly ( on top of a streamed video) with Garmin and stages app connected


Its not ( in this case) the stages power meter

  • Stages app was receiving data via bluetooth
  • Garmin was receiving data via ant+
  • Laptop (trainer road) was receiving data via suunto ant + dongle 
  • Wifi connection and speed sufficient for TR and youtube HD

It was just Zwift ?

or perhaps TR can recover drop outs better?

Very frustrating

Note I did reboot laptop , close stages app, switch off garmin but zwift stalls persisted >.<



(Jacob Smith) #19

Same issue as everyone describes.   My Stages power meter will disconnect will riding zwift and stay disconnected for between 4 and 30 seconds before reconnecting and working for another 10-15 minutes… Then repeat.

From the above thread this seems to be clearly a stages firmware/HW issue…


(John Ashmore ODZ (B)) #20

Same issue as well. Firmware is up to date, dongle is less than three feet from crank arm, the dropouts occur with or without bluetooth mouse and keyboard on, and the battery is new  - these drop outs have happened through 3 battery changes and all the way back to the Zwift beta, over a year ago. All google search permutations lead back here, but there seems to be nothing conclusive here or elsewhere. I’m getting really fed up - as you can imagine, having power dropouts - for up to 30 secs -  really mars the Zwift experience. Can anyone shed any light on this? Any Zwift personnel reading this thread?