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Description

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

  • Side-specific power measurement
  • ANT+ Compatibility
  • Look KEO Cleat design
  • Easily-replaceable 2032 coin-cell batteries
  • +/- 2% accuracy

Tech Specs

Claimed Weight:
[pedals] 304 g, [pedal pods] 46 g, [cleats and hardware] 76 g, [total system weight] 426 g
Float:
6 deg
Pedal Wrench Type:
15 mm
Material:
carbon composite
Recommended Use:
power-based training and racing
Cleat Type:
Look Keo
Manufacturer Warranty:
1 year
Compatible Components:
Garmin Edge 500, 510, 800, 810, Garmin Forerunner 910XT, ANT+ compatible cycling computers

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Here's what others have to say...

4 5

Vector 2 release fixes original gremlins

  • Gender: Male
  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

The Vector 1 was a game changer, in power meters, but had quite a few issues. I’m pleased to say many of those have been dealt with on Vector 2.

I was actually amazed at the physical pedal body, regardless off the power meter. The Garmin pedal is of a quality easily comparable to the Shimano dura ace pedals
Cost is the only down side

Personally I’m finding the Vector 2’s much better for using on the turbo trainer riding on Zwift software, certainly more so than the Stages, as I get less drop outs, and I can focus work on my RIGHT leg imbalance

I’ve written a more in depth review of the new Garmin Vector 2’s. Looking both a review of the Vector system, but also a comparison of the Vector generation 1 and Generation 2 changes

The review of the Garmin Vector2 is here:
http://www.titaniumgeek.com/gear-reviews/garmin-vector-2-review/

Vector 2 release fixes original gremlins
1 5

customer service

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

it s actually second set of vector pedals I went through in past 8 months which has failed. spend my $ buying new pods and about 20 new batteries trying to keep the thing going. Garmin offered refund since they are out of stock. $200 less than I originally paid. Competitive Cyclist does not accept returns on products older than 30 days. Go figure out. As much as I think Vector is great product, it has some issues which has to be fixed, customer service didn't work well this time.

Responded on

update on my return - after calling GArmin about 6 times trying to get refund for defective Vectors I have heard just bunch of excuses, one rep told me refund done on my card, week later another rep told they have to cut the check, calling week later apparently check has been sent by mail ( weird as they don't have my address ) and last time I spoke to them I have been told it has not been approved and I should wait for another 6 weeks. STAY AWAY from GARMIN products. their customer service sucks...

1 5

Useful data three times in 12 months

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I switch between bikes frequently and use a Garmin 800, I slavishly follow the set up videos, and rarely do I get functioning power measurement. Either it fails to calibrate, or it can't find one of the pods, or it works but gives me crazy numbers. My local bike shop mechanics roll their eyes whenever someone brings vector in. Customer support is pretty good, though!

Two bike compatability...

I'm lucky enough to live in a city with a velodrome. I took some intro classes last year and I really loved it. I'm purchasing a track bike soon for the upcoming season. My question is the following...

If I purchase vector pedals that fit my road bike (44mm crank width) will I be able to easily move them to the track bike which will likely have the smaller width cranks (38mm crank width) or will I have a poor fit?

If I have to, could I purchase separate "small crank" pods?

Responded on

Yes you can switch between bikes with the Vectors. I would check all the videos by Garmin show above to make installation easy and particularly E. updating vector, as you will likely need to do that as you swap the pedals over.

5 5

Great training tool!

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Great product from Garmin! Everything that I was looking for in a replacement for my PowerTap power meter. I am a triathlete and will swap bikes fairly frequently, this was very easy with my PowerTap wheel. These pedals are slightly more involved but well worth it with the extra data gained. Also, I didn't want to shell out the money to have a set of race wheels with a PowerTap hub. Problem solved with these pedal based power meters.
I was originally concerned with the durability of the Vector pedal pods but there is almost no way you can hit them on the ground during a turn; your pedal will strike the ground before the pod ever will. If you install them correctly (per Garmin instructions) there are no issues here. Possibly the only way to hit them would be to hit them on a curb but you might have bigger problems here...
Finally, the ease of connecting the Garmin Vector to my Edge 800 was great. Found the power meter as soon as I tried to connect it. Calibration is a breeze as well. Garmin advertises that is self calibrates with temperature. I have ridden in temps ranging from about 90ish to 50ish so far and everything thing seems correct. No issues here.
Truly an awesome product, would recommend to anyone interested in a power meter!

Responded on

I have never spent so much money on something that was so useless in my life. I have had vector for over a year, they've sent me new pedal pods, but I never get the thing to work, either it won't calibrate, or it loses a left or a right pod connection, or it works "fine" but just gives crazy numbers. Customer support is pretty good, though! Guess they get a lot of practice. My local shop roll their eyes every time someone with vector comes in.

Unanswered Question

Compatibility with Campy Compact? I'm running a Campy Compact Record with an 11 tooth small cassette cog. It looks like I have about 4 mm of clearance between the arm and chain, the cranks are about 14.75-15.25 mm thick and 38.5 mm tall. The clearance is too small and the arms are slightly too tall according to the Garmin recommendations. Anyone know if these would actually fit this set-up?

Will the Vector Pedals work with Dura Ace...

Will the Vector Pedals work with Dura Ace Crank? And will they work with my Garmin Edge 1000?

Thanks!

5 5

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!!

5 5

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?

Responded on

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?

Responded on

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.

Responded on

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.

5 5

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.

Been waiting a long time
5 5

Powermeter Love

  • 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.