This article first appeared on BikeRadar.
Stages inline power meters are lightweight units that mount on the left crank of metal cranks, measuring deflection with strain gauges.
The prototype Stages meter on Froome's Tour bike is also mounted on the left crank and is roughly the same length as current units but is much thinner.
Stages had some trouble with water seepage killing batteries on some of its earlier units, so perhaps this new design could be a fix for that. There could be new functionality, too, but Stages won't go into the details.
"We're always testing new products and ideas," Stages' marketing director Matt Pacocha told BikeRadar. "The reason we work with a team like Sky - and all of our teams - is to put Stages Power into the most intense crucible of the sport with the goal of testing and continuously learning how to better our meter and identify new concepts. Stages Cycling is a product development company and we absolutely use our teams to test and vet different product ideas; their opinion and feedback is an amazing resource for Stages Cycling.
"It's important to note, however, that Team Sky is very happy with the current product and it has performed better than anything previously employed. Furthermore, many of Team Sky's superstars, have trusted and continue to trust the production of the Stages Power meter to track their training and racing efforts."
Relatedly, BikeRadar has spotted dual-sided Stages power meters on test. These units feature the same left-crank meter but with another meter on the right crank as well, placed just inside the spider. Stages has the same no-comment comment for this prototype. BikeRadar has not seen any of these dual-sided prototypes yet at the Tour.