Here are our recommendations for setting up and using your Stages Power meter with a Garmin Edge 500.
Preface: Head unit set up can affect the quality of the data captured from your Stages Power meter. Below you will find our recommended settings for your Garmin Edge 500, as used by Stages Power meter staff and athletes. We’ve also compiled known issues affecting this particular head unit, as well as our best recommendations to deal with these problems.
General set up recommendations:
Overview: These recommendations come from our daily usage of the Garmin Edge 500 head unit. They are our best recommendations to get the best possible data capture from your head unit, with the least chance of data drops and connection loss between your Stages Power meter and the Garmin Edge 500 head unit.
Key areas of focus: Manually enter ANT+ ID; Set data collection to once-per-second; Zero reset interaction when ANT+ HR strap paired but not present; Inability to pair caused by ANT+ Speed and Cadence sensor pairing; Updating head unit firmware
There are two ways to pair a power meter to your Garmin Edge 500. The more common way is to ‘search’ for it, which we strongly advise against. Our reasoning is that if your previously ‘searched’ sensor is not available the head unit will go back into a default search mode and either find another power meter sensor in close proximity or revert to ‘0’ for a device ID.
If you Manually enter the ANT+ ID for your personal Stages Power meter, your Garmin Edge 500 will only look for the meter with the ID you’ve input.
To manually enter your ANT+ ID follow this key path:
Turn on head unit. Press and hold ‘Enter’ button, to get to the main menu and then follow this key path: Settings > Bike Settings > Bike 1 (or applicable bike profile)* > ANT+ Power > Sensor Details > Sensor ID (Enter each digit by scrolling to the number and then hitting the Enter button) > then select 'Done' from the number selection
*To change bike profiles, select Bike Details > Bike Name > and choose the correct bike profile you'd like to assign this power meter to. To add an additional profile, select an unused profile of Bike 1, Bike 2, or Bike 3 and select Rename to update the title of the bike profile.
Note: The Garmin Edge 500 head unit cannot Zero Reset your Stages Power meter if the Garmin is also paired to an ANT+ HR , Speed, Cadence, or Speed/Cadence sensor and the sensor is not present. There are two ways to remedy this: making sure the head unit is receiving paired to your other ANT+ sensors at the time of Zero Reset initiation or turn off your other ANT+ sensor when Zero Resetting your meter.
To Zero Reset:
Rotate your Stages Power one full revolution to wake the meter, then orient it in the 6 o’clock position, click the ‘Calibrate’ function in the Garmin’s ANT+ Power profile page.
The ‘Calibrate’ Zero Reset function can be found through this key path:
Press and hold ‘Enter’ button, to get to the main menu and then follow this key path: Settings > Bike Settings > Bike 1(or whatever bike you’re working on) > ANT+ Power > Sensor Details > Calibrate
Your Garmin Edge 500 head unit will then return a Zero Reset (Calibration) value of 890 +/- 50 counts.
Once-per-second recording. The Garmin Edge 500 head unit has two data recording options. The function ‘smart recording’ purposefully drops data packets when the information looks the same in order to save memory space. This is a hold over from when Garmin was building units in a time when on-board memory was much more expensive. The Edge 500 has a 55mb of on board data storage. This is enough to store 1 month to 6 months of ride data, depending on ride frequency and duration, when using the once-per-second recording option. We absolutely recommend recording at once-per-second and downloading more frequently. This will ensure you capture the most accurate and robust power data set.
To set once-per-second recording, follow this key path:
Press and hold ‘Enter’ button, to get to the main menu and then follow this key path: Settings > Bike Settings > Data Rec > Data Recording > Every Second
While you’re in this screen of ‘Data Rec’ you may also be interested to consider Zero or Non-Zero Avg for your Cadence and Power averages; this is a personal preference and one you may run by your coach. Non-Zero averaging doesn’t count the 0s produced by not pedaling, where as Zero averaging counts those Zeros in the overall average as presented by your head unit.
ANT+ Speed and Cadence Sensor conflicts, when sensor is not present:
As per Garmin’s connectivity requirements, the Edge 500 will not pair reliably to a power meter when it is also paired to an ANT+ Speed and Cadence sensor, but if the sensor IS NOT present.
Our recommendation is to turn off ANT+ Speed and Cadence function within the head unit if the additional ANT+ Speed and Cadence sensor IS NOT present. If your Speed and Cadence sensor is built into your bike’s chain stay (Giant, Trek) we recommend making sure that the sensor is paired or if you don’t care to use it, you may also remove the battery from the sensor.
Turn off Speed and Cadence using this key path:
Press and hold ‘Enter’ button, to get to the main menu and then follow this key path: Settings > Bike Settings > Bike 1(or whatever bike you’re working on) > ANT+ Speed/Cad > No
Much like our ability to better the performance of the Stages Power meter by continually working to improve our firmware, Garmin works similarly to keep even its older head units in top working condition. With regards to this we strongly recommend checking and updating your Garmin Head Unit firmware monthly (if available).
To update your head unit firmware:
Download Garmin WebUpdater or use Garmin Express
Connect device to PC, follow prompts in Garmin Web Updater application.
Edge 500 unable to finish calibration when attempting to zero reset
Cause: The Edge 500 is unable to send the signal to the power meter to trigger a zero reset (Calibration) when it is actively searching for another ANT+ Sensor
Effect: The Edge 500 will stay on the "Calibrating..." screen for a prolonged or indefinite time period
Solution: Pair any speed or HR sensor first, or disable any sensors that will not be used before selecting Calibrate
Further recommendations: Always disable any sensors that are no longer present on the bike profile selected
ANT+ signal interruption due to orientation, shrouding, water, or rider mass interference.
Cause: The Stages Power meter puts out a signal capable of spanning distances of 10-15 feet, so long as the receiving radio is properly oriented. Putting a head unit in a rider’s pocket, wrist, or mounting it within any sort of aero shroud, or on top of a bar mounted water bottle will cause signal interference and data loss.
Effect: Signal drops and data loss.
Solution: make sure the Garmin head unit is in the open with reasonably clear line of sight to the Stages Power meter.
Further recommendations: do not use bar mounted combo bottle/head unit mounts. Do not cover the front of the Garmin head unit with plastic, carbon fiber or other material.
Will not pair to power meter when previously/currently paired to additional Speed and Cadence sensor but sensor is not present.
Cause: As per Garmin’s connectivity requirements, the Edge 500 will not pair reliably to a power meter when the paired ANT+ speed and Cadence sensor is missing.
Effect: Will not pair to power meter
Solution: Update firmware to latest firmware for Edge 500, make sure that ANT+ Speed and Cadence sensor is paired OR turn off ANT+ Speed and Cadence function within the head unit if no sensor is present or desired.
Further recommendations: If speed and cadence function is required, we also find that newer generation Garmin devices with 8-channel ANT+ chips are more reliable when pairing multiple ANT+ sensors.
If you still have additional questions about setting up your new power meter, please feel free to open up a support ticket with Stages Cycling or Stages Cycling EU to get help with your power meter and head unit.