Garmin Killer? new Stages Dash Inbound

Stages dash m60
Image|Stages Cycling, Stages dash 2022 (M60?)


new Stages Dash Bike Computer – Another Potential Garmin Edge Killer?

It looks like Stages Cycling is officially teasing a new bike computer, which normally means that a launch is fairly close. Plus, a bike computer launch in the Spring of the Northern Hemisphere usually makes commercial sense.

I produced a detailed review of the earlier Dash L50 almost exactly 3 years ago, even then it was obvious that Dash was a highly competent and well-featured ‘pro’ bike computer. All that let it down for me really was the buttons and handlebar mount. There was some illogicality to the menus but less than the same illogicality that Garmin has, so the last point is no biggie. Indeed, Stages recently released a fairly major software update that addressed some of these issues, I covered that a week or so ago if you want an update.

Take a quick look at the new teaser image, above, and the old L50 below. I’ll cover what the differences might be after the image but also note that the L50 is a landscape computer but its sibling, the M50, was very similarly featured and came in the more normal portrait orientation.


Stages Dash L50 Review | M50



Differences & Similarities

  • Both appear to have 4 top buttons. the L50 also had a power button on the left side.
  • L50 had a shiny case finish and the new Dash (I assume it’s called Dash) has a more on-trend matte finish.
  • The L50 had an unusual proprietary mount, the new circular, out-front mount looks like it could be the more standard 90-degree twist-lock type
  • Only a portrait case option is teased. Portrait orientation is best for navigation, aerobars and great for other uses. Perhaps there may not be a landscape option? Landscape orientation is not really needed (but perhaps looks nicer! and gives more space for the buttons)


I seem to remember that the L50’s software was some flavour of Unix. It would be highly unlikely that has been rebuilt in 3 years. So the features of the new Dash will almost certainly include those of the old Dash L50 and those features were impressive with many novel elements such as highly configurable screens and metrics – indeed I remember using the phrase ‘Feature City’ when describing the Dash 3 years ago! It had TBT routing, maps, a high level of performance features, Varia compatibility and a screen brightness that negated the need for a front light 😉 amongst many others.

With a major new Dash firmware release only coming out this month, we might assume that this is all the new Dash will contain. However, of course, some new features could be hidden and destined only for the new model.

Other Intel

I’m sure people will add some interesting observations in the comments below.

It seems that Giant is marketing a Giant-Branded Dash M200 (Feb 2022) which does bear more than a passing resemblance to the M50.


Who knows. Brands tend to think they have awesome products but realise they need to undercut the equivalent Garmin model to some degree – and that amount of undercutting is almost always underestimated. This strategy usually results in sales volumes that are nowhere near comparable to those from Garmin. That said, Wahoo and Hammerhead are making inroads into the Garmin hegemony.

Take Out

The phrase “Garmin Killer” is easily written but much harder to achieve. Stages Cycling has got a good chance of making inroads. They presumably have the inclination and the resources to build on a pretty good bike computer from 3 years ago. Add that to a partnership with a leading bike manufacturer like, say, err, Giant then that gains; credibility, volume and especially some kudos from me.

Usually, Garmin competitors can’t match the huge Garmin feature set. I don’t think that should be too much of a problem for Stages and they should also relatively easily sort out connectivity to all the usual sensors and platforms. However, the BIG stumbling block will always be an app store and the volume of users to incentivise developers to develop for it – examples would be obscure data fields, or a means to link to a pro sensor like Core, full-blown apps that take over the device for a platform like Xert might be a lot to ask for, but Hammerhead has done that already.

The cycling press likes Stages and so a new Dash should definitely get good column inches. Certainly from me too.

Finally (edit), some of the products that I write about don’t get too many views. However, this post has already received many thousands of reads. Stages Cycling has customers that love their products. Lots of them. They’re starting from a much better place than Hammerhead originally did.



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