Thinking about purchasing a Stages SC 3. Anyone have experience with this bike?

I have a LifeFitness IC7 which I like just fine.

Problem: None of the electronics work with Sufferfest.  I cannot hook up my RPMs or power to the app. I have spent a ton of time with Sufferfest - helpful - support, and LifeFitness  - not so helpful - support.  Conclusion: the electronics of the IC7 are not compatible.

As a replacement bike, one of the Sufferfest support people recommended the Wattbike Atom.  Unfortunately, it is not sold in the US.

Next recommendation, the Stages SC 3.

Here is my question:  Is the ability to sync my power/RPMs/HR to the Sufferfest app worth making the change?



  • the Stages SC3 is not controlable (Im almost sure about this) so personally, I think its not worth the change with what you currently have.

    for that amount of money, I would suggest you to get a Tacx Neo, Elite Drivo, Wahoo Kickr, Cycleops hammer.... Anything but make sure its a SMART trainer. It will make a HUUUUUUGGGGGEEEEE difference.


    ...just my advice! ;)

  • Thanks...helpful.... what makes a trainer “smart”? I’m not exactly sure what I’m missing.

  • Hi Jim - I actually have 2 Stages SC3 bikes!  I loved the first one so much that we got a 2nd bike so that I can ride with my husband or kids at the same time.  The bike pairs via Bluetooth to the Sufferfest app on an iOS device and via ANT to my Windows laptop.  It's true that it's not a "smart" trainer but that has never bothered me.  A smart trainer is one that integrates the gradient of the terrain and increases resistance automatically to simulate the experience of climbing and descending.  So you don't have to think about doing that manually.   I have easily figured out how to simulate things manually and I just do it instinctively now.  It's a super solid bike and I have never worried about standing up and going hard on a sprint - the bike is incredibly stable and it's also size adjustable so even 5 foot tall me can use and so can my 5'10 son.  Big investment but well worth it in my opinion.  FYI I won the first bike from the Tour of Sufferlandria :-)

  • Thanks, Janis.
    (Impressive win)

  • take a look at this video:

    believe me... its a game changer! you dont need it until the moment you try it... then, you will never come back to a "dumb" trainer


    you can always use the smart in "dumb" mode thou...

  • I am with Janis on this. Since you already have a solid spin bike I would consider adding power meter pedals. Once you have them paired your good to go. I have Favero Assioma  on my LeMond RevMaster Pro and combined with my Wahoo Tickrfit I send:

    Power, Cadence and HR. All the stats I need. True I have to handle the resistance manually but you do get good at it especially if you also ride outside. I live in a 2nd floor apartment. My Spin Bike is dead quiet and does not vibrate the floor which would irritate others below me. When its nice outside I take my Road Bike for a spin. Setup works great.


  • Hi, Stephanie....this sounds like a great idea....I actually like my current bike.  So the pedals will connect via ANT+ (or Bluetooth) directly to my Sufferfest app?  The app will pick up my heart rate directly from my chest strap, but not RPMs or power.  It sounds like your solution might fix that.

    I appreciate everyone taking the time to respond...very helpful.

  • The Pedals connect with ANT+ (or Bluetooth) directly to Sufferfest depending on your app type. I use IOS so mine connect to Bluetooth without a Bridge (ANT+ to BLE). I also use a Wahoo Tickrfit that sends both Bluetooth and ANT+ so the Cable is not required right now. Favero Pedals send both ANT+ and Bluetooth) as do PowerTap and Garmin Vector. Any of these pedals will send RPM's and Power as you need.

    The main issue I have is with accurate mileage being assessed as I send my Sufferfest workouts to Strava. I have not yet found a wheel size setting in Sufferfest that aligns the mileage with same that my RevMaster Pilot II is claiming. I am pretty aware of how far I ride outdoors at a particular power on say flats and the Sufferfest is often reporting 25 - 50% of that. I am still trying to get at least in the ballpark.

    If anyone knows what the best Wheel Size choice is for a LeMond RevMaster Pro I would love to know that?

  • What do you want from it? If you just want to stay fit then you will be ok with a bike or trainer that is not smart.

    If you want to become a faster bike rider then you NEED a smart trainer and NEED to use it in ERG mode. Also use ERG mode if you just like to experience unbelievably excruciating and unrelenting pain !!!

    A smart trainer is one that can be controlled by the computer. By controlled I mean that if you put Sufferfest into ERG mode (and you really should) then the machine will force you, no matter what, to push out that wattage. There are only 2 ways to escape - turn down the percentage in the Sufferfest app, or experience your legs grinding to a halt as you can no longer push the pedals round against the fearsome resistance that is destroying every fibre of your mind and body :-)

    Watch the video linked to above by Sebastian Rios, and listen to what he said. It is indeed a game changer. You have no idea until you have tried it.

    If you go down this route get a Tacx Neo or a Wahoo Kickr. Expensive but worth it. If you would spend the money for a Wattbike Atom then get one of these instead. They are better going by what I've read. ERG works better on them, unless Wattbike have made improvements since I last read up on the Atom.

  • I have to say I disagree that you have to have a trainer with ERG mode to become a faster rider. I raced for 3 years and did very well (3rd in my Tri-State) area. We had no sophisticated tech at the time. You rode rollers in the winter, lifted weights and rode outside. I would say there are definite advantages to ERG mode as stated above, especially if you lack serious discipline. If you want to RACE and you have the desire and follow-through you can improve dramatically. I would combine that with club riding in the warmer months or a team. I also think there are many situations where a smart trainer is just not going to be totally feasible (your loved ones that live with you, your apartment neighbors, etc. I see pro's and con's with both. I will say if I was going to get a Smart Trainer it would be the Tacx Neo. However Wahoo is darn nice. The question is how long will they last. If you get a great spin bike and power pedals you could easily get 10+ years out of the spin bike (not sure about PP's). Obviously Tacx is coming out with a Smart Spin Bike in December and I assume lots more competition will follow. Tons of folks require pretty much silence and do not want to pound the apartment floor above there neighbors. Different strokes for different folks I guess. No doubt the smart trainers with ERG are very good and do enforce discipline as stated above or else you turn down your workout from say 100 to 80%. I will say that if you totally committed to becoming a pro rider (ERG is a darn) good way to go.

  • Yes you are right. You don't actually need one, as Mr Merckx and many others have proved. 

    All I know is that ERG and the Sufferfest videos made quite a difference to the average speed I can maintain on a bike.

    Tacx Neo is silent really, but you will hear your drivetrain. Kickr is noisy. Latest model less so though.

    But if the OP is only looking for a good way to stay fit, then none of this matters much. Sufferfest is an awfully painful way to maintain your fitness though :-)

  • <Sufferfest is an awfully painful way to maintain your fitness though :-)>

    Total agreement here. Grueling.. Especially for those of us that are competitive by nature. I find myself trying to match to pro's in the vid's. Gotta watch that HR though. -)

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