Details behind StagesBike SB20 Smart Bike
The StagesBike SB20 Smart Bike launched in 2020, let’s take a look back at the making of the Ultimate Indoor Ride.
What is a Smart Bike?
Before we dive into what makes the StagesBike the best smart bike, what is a smart bike?
For riders looking to replicate the outdoor cycling experience in their own garage, smart bikes offer the most realistic and immersive experience for indoor cycling. They require a greater investment than other options but they also offer unsurpassed features and performance. Smart bikes are stand-alone setups that require no additional equipment, unlike smart trainers, magnetic trainers, rollers and wind trainers which all require that you attach them to a functioning bicycle. And like smart trainers, most smart bikes need to be plugged into a power outlet to generate resistance and simulate riding conditions or drive ERG mode workouts.
By their very nature, smart bikes are intended to completely replace (and replicate) the bike that’s normally attached to a trainer. Since they are designed from the ground up to be dedicated indoor cycling machines, smart bikes are usually much quieter during use when compared to the standard drivetrain of any trainer-and-bike setup, and most have stout frames to handle the hardest stationary efforts with minimal flex and motion.
StagesBike Designed by the Indoor Experts
The StagesBike SB20 Smart Bike came onto the market in April 2020, though Stages is a recent entrant to the smart bike category Stages has been making indoor bikes for more than 10 years.
“We’ve been making indoor bikes for SoulCycle and Life Time and tons of clubs that a lot of
people maybe have never heard of,” said Jim Stemper, Stages director of program management. “Every single piece of information we've gained from that experience has gone into the StagesBike.”
When you’re riding the StagesBike, it feels like you’re riding outdoors. Stages athlete and 2021 Tokyo Olympic qualifier Erin Huck has used the StagesBike to train indoors for more than a year.
“Over the years, riding inside has looked like different things. You've had trainers, rollers, various combinations of the two,” Huck said. “You have to bring potentially a dirty bike inside, the rolling resistance is never consistent. The StagesBike gets rid of all of those things with being quiet, no setup. It just makes it a lot easier to get the work I need done in the time that I have.”
Real Bike Feel
The SB20 provides a realistic road feel in two ways. The first is a heavy, free-spinning flywheel. The 50-pound flywheel gives a rider immediate feedback when they start to change rpms. The second way the SB20 provides a true to life ride feel is the electronically controlled resistance. The resistance is always updating and always making sure that the road feel you expect is the road feel you get.
“So when you design an indoor bike for an outdoor rider, you have to make sure that you have infinite adjustability, because we're picky,” Stemper said. “We made sure that all the touch points are what you're used to outside.”
This dedication to details on the bike extends to every touchpoint. The shifters feel like real shifters, you can put your own saddle on the bike. Every moveable part is infinitely adjustable, allowing riders to fit the StagesBike exactly how they like. The StagesBike can even be used as a tool to perfect your fit and transfer those measurements to your outdoor bike. The graduations on the seatpost, handlebars, and fore/aft adjustments make remembering your fit and switching riders quick and easy. The SB20 fits a wide range of riders from 4’10 to 6’10 so it can be a training tool for the entire family.
Customization doesn’t stop with the hardware, using the Stages Link app riders can select Shimano or SRAM shifters or assign unique function for each button. Riders can set up gearing to match their mountain bike or road bike, or use Stages Dream Drive to create a custom cassette with up to 50 virtual gears.
All of this customization comes on a frame that is rock solid and studio-tested. “The StagesBike looks like a bike you might find in this studio because a bike that you find in a studio has been vetted for years,” Stemper said. “It has been broken, it has been beaten, it has been sweat on. It has been through everything you can think of.”
Every Stages indoor bike is tested to the equivalent of 20 years of commercial use, which is eight rides per day. So riders can be extremely confident that the StagesBike is never going to have a durability problem.
The last thing you want when you’re riding indoors in a virtual world is inaccurate power. Stages has made hundreds of thousands of power meters and has been an industry leader in power meters for a decade. The StagesBike is equipped with the most accurate left right Stages Power Meter, the same power meter used in five Tour de France victories.
“With the StagesBike we have focused really hard on making sure that all of the things that an outdoor cyclist expects are on the bike, and all of the great new things that make indoor cycling so exciting are supported,” Stemper said. “At Stages Cycling we design products to meet the needs of the best athletes in the world.”