Garmin Vector Powermeter Pedals $1,699.99
Measure power where it matters.
You've been waiting for years, drooling and poring over discreet photos of Team Garmin Sharp prototypes at every race in the world. Yes, for more than three seasons, we've been guilty of this too. However, the wait is finally over, as the Garmin Vector Powermeter Pedals have arrived to market. And believe us — it was worth the wait.
So, let's tackle how this system actually works. To do this, we'll first examine how a "typical" powermeter operates. Essentially, there are normally a series of "strain gauges," either at the hub or crankarm spider. These gauges are actually a system of sensors that detect resistance and vary their output when experiencing applied force. Then, the aforementioned data is converted to electrical resistance, of which it's able to be measured and transmitted to your CPU.
The Garmin Vector system, however, operates in a more mathematical sense. Garmin has created small sensors that fit inside the hollow spindles of each pedal. And holding these sensors in place are what Garmin calls "pedal pods." Basically, these pods are the guts of the system — housing the sensor, ANT+ transmitter, and battery. On one side of the crankarm, the pedal passes through the pod into the threaded connection of the crankarm. This action secures the pedal pod in place, leaving the "sensor end" of the pedal pod to connect into the spindle — don't worry, this process is incredibly simple. Once in place, the sensor is able to measure power from the most logical place — at the pedal, where power is directly applied. It does this by measuring any deflection of the pedal when force is applied. From there, the sensor calculates the applied force vectors, calculating them in terms of power, and then transmitting the corresponding reading to your CPU via ANT+ wireless technology. And if your physics skills are feeling a little weary, a vector is basically just a quantity that has both direction and magnitude.
With this in mind, you'll be happy to learn that this technology of measuring deflection vectors allows the Vector to measure power over the entire path of the pedal stroke. Additionally, because the power pods are positioned on both pedals, you're able to measure both total power and balance between both the right and left legs. Even better, this data is able to be viewed in either real time or rolling three-second averages. And while other powermeters are just starting to introduce a similar capability, it's worth noting that these powermeters are only providing a calculation of power balance, not a direct measurement as with the Vector. Other metrics of the Vector include power average (at intervals), Training Stress Score, Normalized Power, Intensity Factor, total power (in watts), overall kilojoules, and power zones.
These metrics are all transmitted within an expressed accuracy of +/- 2%, which is comparable to the current industry standard for accuracy. However, unlike the industry standard of sending your powermeter back to the manufacturer for a new battery, the Vector is able to be self-serviced. The system is powered from 2032 coin cell batteries, which, the last time we checked, are only around two dollars apiece. These batteries will also power the system for an estimated 175 hours, and they're housed within the pedal pods.
As for the pedals themselves, you'll find them to be quite similar in look and feel to LOOK Keos — enough so that the pedals are only LOOK Keo-compatible. The included cleats provide six-degrees of float, and they're constructed from durable thermoplastic with an anti-slip rubber surface pad. Meanwhile, the pedal bodies are constructed from a carbon composite, and the spindles are made from CNC-machined stainless steel. They also feature adjustable tension bindings, LCL bushings, and sealed cartridge bearings. Altogether, the entire system (hardware and cleats included) weighs in around 426 grams.
Of course, once you're done with your ride or race, you're able to view your metrics with Garmin Connect. Additionally, Garmin has included a wireless ANT+ USB stick that allows you to update your firmware with ease.
The Garmin Vector Powermeter Pedals are available in the color Black and in one size. Please note that these pedals require Look Keo-style cleats, but six-degree cleats are included. Also, in order for the pedal pods to be compatible with your setup, the width of the crank must be 38.0mm or less, and the height of the crank must be 15.0mm or less. The entire system (cleats and hardware included) tips the scales around 426 grams. Vector is compatible with Garmin Edge 500, 510, 800, and 810, and the Garmin Forerunner 910XT. We also highly advise watching THIS VIDEO before installing your Vector pedals.
You'll also want to watch these:
A) Ensuring Vector Fits Your Bike
B) Unboxing Vector
C) Removing Existing Pedals Before Installation of Vector
D) Installing Vector
E) Updating Vector
F) Pairing Vector With Your Garmin Device
G) Preparing For Your First Ride With Vector
H) Before Each Ride With Vector
I) Removing Vector Pedals
Reviews & Community
Another WIN for Garmin!
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
I'm a big Garmin fan, and have a huge cross section of their products, from aviation to auto, hiking, to bicycles. I've been wanting a power meter for some time, but the cost /benefit factor seemed a little too high for me. However, when this system came out it seemed to hit the sweet spot! The deciding factor for me was cost combined with the ability to read each leg output. Sometimes when my pelvis is out of adjustment and I need to see the chiro, this tells me what I was already suspicious of, that I'm favoring one leg. But now just that knowledge puts the subconscious thought into my brain and it tends to even the legs out! I am totally happy with the unit! Just a heads up. It says put the bike within 10 feet of the computer to update software, I find I have to place it RIGHT NEXT to it in order to connect. Just an FYI I also had to "reset" my Edge 800 to get the data to act right, but that was on the head unit, not the Vector.
But be prepared, now between this and Strava, there's no such thing as an easy day! You find yourself wanting to push the envelope all the time, to get better numbers! It's ADDICTIVE! And of course makes you in better shape! I'm looking for my best year EVER!!
An amazing training tool
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
These pedals are easy to use and very accurate. Also the actual weight of pedals + pods and batteries is 350g, which is a little less than what is stated in this article, but I think they were including cleats as well. I've been training with HR and cadence for many years and I 've got to say that they are not half as good as power. You still need HR and cadence and you also need to spend a lot of time analysing data. A lot of people ride with power and then they never take the time to analyze batches of data. Also I ve got to warn you : they are addictive!!! Bu then again, if you re riding a bike to the level that you are considering a power meter you probably already have an addictive personality :-)
Any change this technology will be...
Any change this technology will be incorporated into Speedplay Zero's?
We haven't heard any word as to whether or not Garmin will be collaborating with any of the other industry players for future power pedals. Speedplay pedals do offer an incredible amount of adjustability, and if you are looking to keep that pedal system around, I'd recommend going with something like a Quarq or SRM power meter.
I use Keo pedals with the black zero degree...
I use Keo pedals with the black zero degree float cleats. Will my cleats fit these Garmin Vector pedals?
Yes - any Keo-style cleats will fit. I've used the cleats provided with the pedals as well as Look cleats that I had on other shoes.
Yes, they work perfectly. I use black zero as well and the Vector clips feel almost exactly the same as my Look Carbon Blades (med blade), with an ever so slightly easier release, which I actually feel was an improvement.
Been waiting a long time
- Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
I am excited to get into training with power. The pedals were easy to install. I followed the Vector owner site videos and www.dcrainmaker.com for installation tips. DC Rainmaker gave good suggestions on the type of crowfoot wrench head and torque wrench needed to do the installation right. For now these are only available at your local bike shop. It seems very responsive and gives good power and cadence info. I look forward to really using this powerful tool for years to come.
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
So far I have nothing but great things to say about the Vectors. Simple to setup, easy integration if you use Garmin products. I've been coming back from a leg injury and having the true L/R power balance has been very useful for getting back into a normal cadence. Can't wait for the updated metrics to come out in the future.