Garmin’s Vector pedal based power measuring technology is finally available, it has been revealed on the Garmin blog today.
Measuring power has allowed for one of biggest advances in cycle training in the past decade, with power output a much more accurate gauge of intensity and workload then heart rate monitors.
SRM and PowerTaps are as regular a sight in the professional ranks as they are around Richmond Park, but if you happen to own more than one bike, it’s not that easy to measure power as you swap between your race bike and your training bike.
Garmin’s new Vector solves this, using the pedal to measure power. Garmin Vector is a “high-precision pedal based power meter” and is easy to swap between bikes. There’s no calibrating necessary as the Vectors come already calibrated. Another benefit is the greatly reduced weight when compared to other systems.
It’s compatible with the Garmin Edge series of GPS computers using the ANT+ wireless protocol. Currently Vector is only compatible with Look Keo pedals, and the ANT+ wireless pedal pod transmitters fit most major cranksets.
“We are excited to get this innovative product into your hands – and under your feet,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin’s vice president of worldwide sales. “From picking it up at your local bike shop and installing at home in minutes, to giving you accurate and reliable total and independent leg power measurements, Vector becomes one of the most desirable solutions in the cycling market. It’s similar to going from 2D to 3D,” Bartel continued. “There’s a richness in data and capabilities that come from the combination of our location of measurement – the pedals – and Vector’s sensor design.”
How does Vector work?
The deflection in the pedal axle is measured by four strain gauges inside the pedal body. This measurement, fed to the small external unit and relayed to the Garmin head unit, is compared with a factory-calibrated deflection caused by a known load, and this allows Vector to give an accurate power measurement by knowing how much force you’re applying to the pedal.
“Vector’s easy-to-own design has the potential to make power-based training more accessible and usable by a broader range of athletes,” said Hunter Allen, founder of Peaks Coaching Group and widely regarded as a leading expert in training with a power meter. “In addition, by integrating the TrainingPeaks metrics of Normalized Power, Intensity Factor and Training Stress Score directly into the Edge head units for real-time display, Garmin continues to demonstrate a strong commitment to advancing power-based cycling tools.”
No word on UK pricing yet, but a US price of £1499.99 has been reported – we’ll keep you posted.
This video gives a little more info