# Garmin Vector In-Depth Review

I suspect in the sports technology world there was no product quite as long awaited as Vector.  It’s taken years of attempted delivery dates to get to this past August, when they started shipping production units.  Since being equipped with a set a little over a month ago, I’ve been riding all over the world putting a pounding on the set.  At this juncture I finally feel like I have enough data and time with them to publish a full review.

Because I want to be transparent about my reviews – Garmin provided a production edition Garmin Vector set, with final production firmware.  As always, in the new few weeks I’ll be sending them back to Garmin and then going out and getting my own (to be able to support y’all in the comments section down the road). Simple as that. Sorta like hiking in wilderness trails – leave only footprints. If you find my review useful, you can use any of the Amazon or Clever Training links from this page to help support future reviews.

Lastly, at the end of the day keep in mind I’m just like any other regular athlete out there. I write these reviews because I’m inherently a curious person with a technology background, and thus I try and be as complete as I can. But, if I’ve missed something or if you spot something that doesn’t quite jive – just let me know and I’ll be happy to get it all sorted out. Also, because the technology world constantly changes, I try and go back and update these reviews as new features and functionality are added – or if bugs are fixed.

So – with that intro, let’s get into things.

### Unboxing:

Now that you managed to actually get hold of a pair of Vector pedals, it’s time to crack open the box.

Inside you’ll find the set of pedals and pedal pods looking up at you.  Additionally, there’s a pocket of goods in between them covered by a Thank You message.  I suppose given how long everyone has waited for Vector, the Thank You note is a nice touch. Though, I would have just been happy with a snack size bag of gummy bears instead.

As I mentioned in between the pedals there’s a small pocket of goods.  That pocket contains everything you see below on the top row.  The pedals and pedal pods are sitting below them.

I’ll go ahead and quickly run through all the components.  Obviously, starting with the least exciting.  Thus, we’ll begin at the washers.  These will go in between the pedal pods and your crank arms:

Then we’ve got the cleats. If you have your own cleats, that’s fine too.

Next is the mounting hardware for the cleats to attach to your shoes:

Then we’ve got the owners manual.  Surprisingly useful actually.

Next we have the ANT+ USB stick.  This is used for updating the Vector’s firmware (when new releases come out), as well as doing some configuration if you have an older head unit.

Now we’ve got the real meat of things – the pedals and pedal pods.

The pedal pods (the two little silver things) are the communications piece.  They also contain the batteries (one CR2032 per pod).  All communication runs between the pods and ultimately to your bike computer head unit, via ANT+.  Note that the pods themselves aren’t left/right specific.  They’re designed to be relatively easily replaceable as well.

You can see above the battery cover, as well as the little connector piece that snaps into the back of the pedal spindle.

Speaking of the pedal spindles, here’s the pedals:

The pedal body is a Look Keo compatible unit designed by Garmin.  However, the pedal body and pedal cartridge are manufactured by Exustar, whereas all remaining components are made in-house by Garmin (or a component supplier).

Below you can see the end of the pedal spindle, which is really where the action happens.  Within the pedal spindle is where the strain gauges are that measures your effort.

Which, brings me to another notable. The pedals themselves are paired to each other in the factory.  This can’t be changed (in other words, you can’t mix half a pedal with a friend, or split pedals with a friend).  The right pedal acts as the master (primary), and the left pedal acts as the secondary.  Data is communicated from the left pedal to the right pedal via a private ANT channel, then broadcast via ANT+ by the right pedal to your head unit (using standard ANT+ power messages).

Every Vector set is individually dynamically calibrated (meaning with rotating weights by a computer) before shipment. In fact, everything is tested as a single system upon assembly in Taiwan.

The calibration values are recorded into the device at time of manufacture.  Additionally, a multi-point temperature calibration is done at the factory as well prior to shipment.  Since silicon strain gauges are known to have repeatable temperature drift properties, by doing a multi-point temperature calibration they can ensure temperature shifts don’t impact accuracy (the pedals have temperature gauges in them).

The pedal type is perhaps the single most controversial aspect of Vector.  Initially in the Metrigear days pre-Garmin it started off life as a Speedplay pedal, but post-acquisition it changed to being a Look Keo compatible pedal.  The reason for this is primarily business focused.  They discussed the need to be able to effectively ‘own’ the process end to end from design to support – with them saying that “we wanted to own the spindle, and own the supply to the spindle.”

Which isn’t to say that other pedals aren’t being considered.  Garmin Vector lead Clark Foy noted in a discussion that “Nothing technical prevents us from doing that [other pedal types], it’s a pure business decision.”

In fact, they commented that every pedal vendor has contacted them about offering a Vector-compatible unit.  And no doubt in time they’ll be offering more pedal types.  They believe that the next market for them will be mountain bike pedals, and then they’ve also expressed an interest in looking at spin bikes as well.

Finally, the official weights of the pedals are as follows (per pedal):

Pedal (including cartridge/spindle): 152g
Pedal Pod: 23g
Total per pedal: 175g
Total per set: 350g

I went ahead and tested that myself and found it pretty darn close (351g):

With that, let’s go ahead and get everything all installed.

Update April 15th, 2014: New wider Vector Pods announced

Today, Garmin announced new Vector pedal pods that now fit larger crank arms.  The new pods fit crank arms up to 15-18mm thick, and up to 44mm in height.  This is a change from previous, where the pods only fit crank arms up to 15mm thick and 38mm height.  As a result, this extra length allotment will allow it to fit cranks previously not supported – like some of the S-Works, FSA, and ROTOR Flow arms that were previously not compatible.

Note that the crank length remains is unaffected, which previously supported 110mm-236.5mm.  Additionally, the chain clearance remains unaffected, which is listed as 5mm, though, I’ve found you can get away with about 3.5-4mm in most situations.

Finally, there’s no other changes to the pods technically, and no reason for previous Vector units to upgrade.  It’s just a form factor thing for wider crank arms.  Availability is set as this spring.  For folks who already own Vector and want to buy the new pods for bikes they already own, the set of the larger pods can be bought for 99. ### Installation: Before we dive into installation, we need to have a brief chat about tools. Don’t worry, it won’t take long. In order to get the unit properly on to your bike you need a pedal wrench. That probably doesn’t come as a surprise. However, the trend I’m seeing with Vector installs is that people aren’t installing them tightly enough – and thus aren’t getting accurate results. As you’ll see here, I’m able to get really darn accurate results when properly tightened. So, how do you know what “proper” is? Well, it’s 25 foot-pounds of torque. You can measure that with a torque wrench (Tool #1 of 2 you’ll need). There’s a few to choose from, but likely your local hardware store will have them (for those of you in the US, Sears is actually your best bet here). Note, when looking at torque wrenches you need to ensure you’ve got one that’s applicable. I’ve got three, and while the ones on the left and center both work – the one at the right doesn’t go high enough. Next, we’ll need what’s called a crowfoot adapter. It’s a tiny little thing that you attach to your torque wrench and turn the pedal: The trick to this part though is that it needs to be skinny. I bought a small gaggle of these on Amazon to try them out, and only one (the one the Vector engineering team recommends) actually is slim enough to fit (the left one): That one is the Blackhawk By Proto BCF-15M 15mm Drive Crowfoot Wrench, 3/8-Inch. The portion that touches the pedal must be thin enough to fit on the wrench flat of the pedal spindle, which is 1/4” or less (6.35mm). Update: Here are other sources for this internationally that readers have found and posted via the comments: Australia: 15mm from Autoparts Warehouse (not a perfect fit, but does the trick) Australia/Canada/UK: 15mm from Snap-on Tools (perfect fit) UK: 15mm Crow Foot Wrench – M386515- from Teng Tools (perfect fit) Worldwide: Blackhawk by Proto BCF-15MM at Radford Brothers Industrial Supply (exact model recommended) Ideally, Garmin would include the cheap crowfoot adapter. A torque wrench is a reasonable request – as every other power meter on the market except the PowerTap requires you to have one to install properly. It’s the adapter piece that’s a bit complex to find in some parts of the world (I couldn’t find a compatible one here in France for example in local hardware stores). Ok, with those two parts purchased, let’s get on to installation. I personally prefer to install stuff on my bike while it’s on a trainer. It just holds it nice and secure, and makes life a lot easier. I’ve also divided up the parts based on which side they’re going. Assuming you’ve already removed your old pedals, the first thing you’ll need to do is add washers. The washers are added to the outside of your crank arm to help ensure there’s no movement. In general you’ll need 1-2 washers. It’s really important to note that the goal is NOT to have a perfectly flush installation. In fact, you want to have a bit of a gap between things. The Vector team has been really clear that a gap is far better than being flush. Flush is actually bad in this case. Next, you’re going to grab your pedal, pedal pod, and that washer. Likely the washer wasn’t going to stay in place all magical-like just hanging there. So instead make a mini kabob out of the three, like below: Then, go ahead and just screw in the pedal using your fingers till it’s up against the pod. Don’t worry yet about the pod, just let it flop around. Now it’s time to position the pedal pod. The end-state goal is that the pedal pod will point straight-down when the crank-arm is horizontal. However, because you’ll be tightening it and thus pulling it back towards the rear of the bike, you’ll actually want to position it slightly forward, like thus: Now, go ahead and tighten the pedal pod until it reaches 25 ft-lbs. Again, you’ll see me re-iterate this 2,348 times in this review – this is the single most important factor in getting accurate data. With that done, go ahead and repeat the process for the other side of the bike: Next, we’ll need to pop in the little plugs for the pedal pods. This takes approximately 1.8 seconds: Now, you’re ready to get on your bike and get things configured. At this juncture you’ve got two choices. Technically you could go ahead and run through the setup and calibration pieces first. But the thing is that you really want to do a couple of quick 10 or so seconds hard sprints to ‘settle’ things before calibration. So I’d actually recommend you do that first. Just go and do about 3-4 hard efforts for just a few seconds to ensure everything gets tightened up. The reason I do that first is that if you calibrate then you’ll need to re-do all these steps after you do that to get the most accurate data. So, go ride for 2 minutes and come back. Done? Good. Next, we turn on our Garmin Edge. I’ll run through this with the Edge 810, but then at the end I’ll talk about how other head units work. Within you’re bike computer, you’ll need to go into the bike settings and configure the crank length option. You can configure this separately for each bike you have in a different bike profile. This option is important because Vector uses that length to determine power. In my case, I have 175’s (though 172.5’s are most common). Note: If you don’t have a newer Garmin Edge unit, I’ll talk about how you set this at the end. Next you’ll need to go into the bike settings and search for a power meter. Once that’s done, it’ll pop-up that the power sensor is found: Immediately following that it’ll give you a notification that Vector needs to set the installation angles. This is basically your initial setup step: After this it’ll have you briefly spin at between 80 and 90 RPM: It only takes about 5-10 seconds to complete: Next you’ll need to do a manual calibration. To do this unclip from the pedals and put the crank arms horizontal (even with the ground). Then press the calibrate button: About 8-10 seconds later it’ll come back that things are calculated. The number might initially show a torque value higher or lower than zero, but it should settle out to zero after a few seconds. Next, we’ve got one final step – Dynamic Calibration. This step is designed to increase the accuracy from +/-2% to more accurate than that. The step is really focusing on the interconnect between your pedal and the cleat, and residual pressure there. Just sit on the bike and pedal for a few seconds, then go ahead and backwards pedal eight full rotations (Note: In a subsequent software update, backwards pedaling is now no longer required). Upon doing that you’ll receive a little pop-up notification: With that, you’re done. Go forth and ride! Items of note for head unit compatibility: Out of the box the Vector will transmit total power to any ANT+ compatible power meter that supports it. This means if you have an older Garmin Edge 705, it’ll display total power just fine. What it won’t display is left/right power, or power balance. That requires a newer head unit. The following units support left/right balance: Garmin Edge 500/510/800/810 Garmin Forerunner 910XT CycleOps Joule GPS O-Synce Navi2Coach In addition to displaying/recording left/right balance, there are other installation related fields that Garmin has added to a bunch of units. The goal of most of these updates is to ‘streamline’ the Vector experience a bit. Here’s the skinny on what’s been added over the past month: Pedal Smoothness and Torque Effectiveness data fields: This adds these two data fields to the units being updated. These can be added to your data screens. Note that at present Vector does not transmit this information (yet). It’s planned, but a specific date hasn’t been identified. Only the Rotor power meter transmits this information today. [Update: As of March 2014, Garmin has added this functionality via a firmware update.] Initial Installation, Wizard for setting Vector Installation Angles: This is the mini-wizard which tells you to spin-up to 80-90RPM and then validates completion. For non-updated units, this will all happen behind the scenes without the confirmation (see calibration section). Dynamic Calibration Notification: This notification will occur upon backpedaling 8 times, resulting in the display rendering a confirmation message. Power Meter connection calibration reminder: This is probably the best update of them all, and impacts any power meter. With this update, when the unit powers on and you’ve got a power meter paired, it’ll remind you to do a calibration at that point. Hopefully this will dramatically increase the accuracy of power meter data for the general population that doesn’t do this today. Here’s the units getting firmware updates, and the schedule for doing so: Garmin Edge 500: Now available Garmin Edge 510: Now available Garmin Edge 800: Now available Garmin Edge 810: Now available Garmin Forerunner 910XT: Latest is this should drop “in the next few days”. Here’s the Vector-related updates with each firmware update: Pedal Smoothness and Torque Effectiveness data fields: Edge 510/810 Initial Installation, Wizard for setting Vector Installation Angles: Edge 510/810 Dynamic Calibration Notification: Edge 500/510/800/810, Forerunner 910XT Power Meter connection calibration reminder: For the Edge 500 and 910XT, a ‘shortcut’ option to access the power meter calibration is being added (the other units already have it). Note that some of the updates are also seeing other features/bugs added or addressed. For example, the 810 update saw a number of non-Vector fixes added. Now one important setting that you’ve got to have is the ability to set the crank length. The challenge is many other non-Garmin (or older Garmin units), don’t have this. In the event you don’t have a head unit that can configure the crank length, you can instead use the ANT+ USB stick and your computer to set it up. You’ll follow the instructions in the software (I’ve outlined the first few steps, which are identical, later in this post in the firmware updating section). Ultimately, that’ll take you here though – which allows you to specify the crank length: As noted in the box above, you don’t need to do this if your bike computer already has crank length as an option (such as the Edge 810). And in fact, if you do it here correctly, but then it’s set incorrectly there – then the bike computer will always override the Vector settings. ### Three Brief Post-Installation Notables: While the previous section took care of installation, I wanted to call out three specific things: Quick Checklist: With your installation largely complete, here’s a quick checklist I’ve put together for ensuring you’ve taken care of everything (and the Vector team has validated this checklist): 1) Washer in place if need be, more is better than flush/less. 2) Pedals tightened to 25 foot-pounds (ft-lb). Too little or too much can result in inaccurate power. If you firmly tighten with a wrench, you will be fine. Just don’t under tighten (e.g. finger tighten) or put your full force into tightening the pedals. 3) Pedal connectors plugged into pedals. 4) Pair pedals within the bike profiles. Ensure that your crank length is correct (i.e. 172.5mm, 175mm, etc..). If on older Garmin, use computer instead to do this. 5) Turning on Garmin unit, if on 510/810, run through Installation Guide, requires cadence at 80-90RPM (in other words, must be on bike). If on other units, go for short few second ride. 6) Post-installation guide, go into calibration menu. With pedals at 3/9 position (horizontal) and with you UNCLIPPED do a manual calibration (just press the calibrate button). 7) Finally, once riding, within the first minute or so of your ride, pedal backwards a full 8 times. A confirmation message will display on your Garmin. (Updated note: In a subsequent software update, backwards pedaling is now no longer required) Note that steps 6 & 7 should be done every ride. This last component (step 6 specifically) is no different than any other power meter on the market today. The only exception I can think of is the Stages, which recommends every few weeks. Vector crank arm compatibility notes: Here’s the limitations which Vector is bound to from a crank arm perspective: Crank limitations (width): 15mm in width and 38mm in height. Certain models of S-Works, FSA, and ROTOR Flow units appear not compatible. Note: New April 2014 model allows up to 18mm and 44mm in height. Crank limitations (length): 110mm-236.5mm Minimum Chain Clearance (width): 5mm Minimum chain clearance is an interesting one. This is tested when you’re in your smallest gear in the back and biggest gear in the front, and is the distance is measured from your crank arm to the chain. Specification lists 5mm, but I think you could probably get away with 3.5-4mm. However, 2mm simply won’t be enough. In measuring it (it’s actually really tough to measure, but a trusty Ikea paper tape measure sorta works), the pod connector sticks out about 1.8-1.9mm. Thus with 2mm you’d have .1mm of space, which excludes even the slightest of movement in the chain and/or crank arms. Here you can see what I’m referring to (“1” below equals 1cm, or 10mm): The impact of not properly torqueing down the pedals: You’ll see me stress over and over again to properly install the Vector system you really need a torque wrench. Then, you need to use said torque wrench to a specific value (25 ft-lbs). To illustrate the importance of this I put together this fun little chart. What I did below was using multiple power meters to show the impact of different torque levels on Garmin Vector. I did this by running repetitive tests on a trainer with a set wattage. I removed all the ‘junk data’ in between each test run to make it cleaner to understand. It’s important to note that we’re primarily looking at the groupings (how far apart the dots are at each test point), not so much the fact that the dots shift up or down, as that’s really a function of how perfectly I held a given wattage and cadence (even when it’s set). Even though each time I adjusted the torque I pulled out the battery caps and completely re-did all calibration steps for Vector (full checklist above), you can see the impact on accuracy quite clearly. Especially if you don’t get within the region of proper torque. What’s interesting is that it’s not entirely black and white. You see that one of the tests at 15ft-lbs actually came pretty close. However, it’s important to remember that every single issue I’ve seen around accuracy with other folks has appeared to stem from non-proper torque. In one case (at ‘snug’, or about 5 ft-lbs), I was off by almost 20-30w. Later, once calibrated I was within 4-5w (at 210w), or basically 2%. ### What Vector shows (left/right data and related): Perhaps the non-hardware feature that most people are interested in is the left/right power functionality. I’ll talk first to the technical side, and then I’ll discuss the usability of it. From a technical perspective each pedal is effectively its own power meter – hence one reason the price is what it is. Each pedal is independently calibrated at the factory and then individually assigned as being either left or right. You can’t give half your Vector set to a friend, it must contain both pedals at all times. The pedal pods however (the things that hang down)– those aren’t actually assigned left/right and can be swapped around. Within the ANT+ there are a number of metrics that apply to left/right power, but the core of them is something called “Power Balance”, which is a fancy way of saying “Left/Right Power”. Power Balance is expressed as a data field on your unit using the following format: ##% – ##% (i.e. 48% – 52%). The first number is the “left” balance, while the second is the “right” balance. Thus in this case I’d be slightly right leg heavy at 52%. Here’s how that looks on a Garmin head unit. You can see I have the total power up top (336w), and then my balance on the second line (48%-52%). Down below that I have cadence displayed, and below that I have the ride balance and 30-second balance. As you’re riding, you’ll see this metric displayed. On Garmin devices you can set the metric to be instantaneous pedal balance, or a smoothed balance – such as over 3s or 30s. I prefer smoothed (it doesn’t affect the underlying data recorded at 1-second intervals). To get a feel for things, I put together this quick video. This shows the pedal balance, but then shows me switching to single-leg pedaling, where the pedal balance then switches to 0/100%. Looking at what that looks like afterwards, here’s a graph of a recent trainer ride where I was switching from left-only leg to right-only leg drills. You see the dots representing my pedal balance. Initially these are roughly around the 50% mark. But then as I start the drills they go up to 100% on one leg or the other (I’ve highlighted them at the top). You’ll notice a few random dots in the middle – that’s simply me having both legs on the pedals for a brief second to switch legs to the next leg. Now comes the question of what to do with this data. See, it’s not quite as straightforward as you’d think. Garmin themselves doesn’t recommend you try and focus on maintaining “perfect balance”, and many other leading sport scientists in the field agree. The reality is that collectively the industry doesn’t yet know what to do with the data, nor how to train or race with it. The singular reason that left/right power can be useful for however is injury recovery. For example in a leg injury, being able to see and plot progress back to a pre-injury state (or just something slightly more normal). In the month or so that I’ve been using the unit I’ve started to identify lots of little nuanced things that are probably close to being personal trends. Trends that really only apply to me. For example, I find that as I fatigue I become more right-leg heavy. I find that different cadence and wattage ranges changes that. Interestingly, when I’m in a “normal” wattage range (say 180w to 300w), I’m reasonably balanced. However, at the upper and lower ends (soft pedaling or sprints), my balance changes. But, I don’t think I have quite enough data yet to make any scientific statements about myself – let alone everyone else. Ultimately I think Garmin is in a unique position with Garmin Connect to start gathering information on trending. Given how much data they’re collecting in Garmin Connect there could be some fascinating analysis pulled from that in an opt-in situation. For example I’d love to see a random prompt some day that allows me to opt-in to a program to give my power data (without location data) to researchers trying to establish trends. Until then, it’s merely a curiosity that I find interesting to track – but it’s not something I’m specifically focusing on from a training or racing standpoint. Before we move on, I should note there are a few metrics that Vector doesn’t yet support. They are Pedal Smoothness and Torque Efficiency. Both of these metrics look at how smooth your stroke is and how efficient your stroke is. In talking with the Garmin Vector team, they’ve made it clear these are coming to the pedals via a future firmware update – but haven’t defined a timeframe for that yet. The good news though is that all of the current generation Garmin units (i.e. Edge 510/810) have already been updated to support these metrics – so it’s just a matter of the firmware in the pedals being updated (more on how that happens towards the end). ### Riding with it: Once you’ve completed calibration, riding with the Vector pedals is pretty easy and straight forward. Simply put, you just start riding. There is no on/off switch, instead the units are automatically triggered on whenever the accelerometer in the pedals detects movement. The same sensor then shuts off the pedals after a period of inactivity. In total the batteries will get about 175 hours of battery life before you pay a couple dollars to pickup new CR2032 batteries. Newer Edge units will display the battery status of each – always reporting the lowest of the two battery values. On the same screens, you’ll also get any error information from the pedals, as well as your serial number information. As you start to ride you’ll see your power output displayed on your head unit. Depending on your head unit, you can configure other power meter metrics as well. For example below I’ve configured a bit of a Noah’s Ark of power meter metrics: Cadence data for Vector is displayed as well, as you can see below – 93RPM. Vector supports 20RPM to 150RPM for all crank lengths, but can go beyond that for certain crank lengths. Note that at this time Vector is not supporting non-round chainrings correctly. Garmin is looking into what is required to do this, but has not yet committed a timeframe nor potential resolution for non-round rings. The most important thing about riding with Vector is always remembering to follow two simple steps: 1) Manual calibration unclipped prior to starting 2) Backpedaling 8 times a few seconds into your ride With those two quick steps you’ll get consistently accurate data. Without them, your data is no better than any other un-calibrated power meter on the market today. On the Trainer: While this is probably somewhat obvious, I’ll nonetheless mention it. Vector works just fine indoors on a trainer. There’s no tie-in to rear wheel speed or anything else. The full system is self contained to your pedals, so it doesn’t have any awareness that you’re inside or outside. I’ve done a number of rides on the trainer without any issues. Vector will transmit your cadence and power metrics just like outdoors. Note that Vector doesn’t of course transmit any speed metrics. In the Rain: I’ve been “lucky” enough to get plenty of rain time with the Vector system. Numerous rides in fact, all of which included a fair bit of climbing too. The best part was that these rainy rides happened on the first day and first week of riding, so since then it’s been a little over a month. This is good in that if anything were to have happened, it would have manifested itself since then. I saw no issues during the ride with rain, nor have any issues popped up since then. Cobbles and Rough Roads: Living in Europe has given me the unique opportunity to ride plenty of roads with cobbles. No matter where I go on a long ride it’s going to include a section with cobbles in it. But why ride cobbles? Well, one area where power meters can get tripped up is rough roads. This can throw a loop in those units that may use accelerometers to measure cadence. And when you ‘break’ cadence, you typically break power – since cadence is used to derive many power calculations. For me, cobbles are the easiest way to surface these sorts of issues. It’s nonstop vibrations and bumps that you generally won’t find on the road elsewhere. Near me there are a few good long stretches of cobblestones that I can run tests on without having to analyze an entire ride. So while I’ve ridden this section over a dozen times during other rides recently, I went out and did some runs of it just by itself, simply to make it easy to view the data. Each section is about 600m or so long. The below data has a 5-second smoothing on it to make it easier to understand. Any massive spikes would still stick-out however. As you can see, there aren’t any concerning spikes – that is, random one-off power spikes or drops that can often occur in these situations. A spike might be a random 5,000w point. In this case, none surfaced. And in fact, I’ve seen none in any of my riding. Next, looking at cadence, I don’t see any issues there either. You see typical lag for the first few seconds between units as I ramp up, but that’s completely normal and just a case of how different units work. The below data is not-smoothed, just straight-up as-is. As you can see they track quite well, all within a RPM or two of each other. Simply put I’m just not seeing any issues with rough roads anywhere and Vector. ### Accuracy Testing: I’ve long said that there’s few things I like less than doing power meter accuracy testing. And while that still holds true, it’s probably one of the more involved, interesting and downright bizarre things I do on the blog. The only way to get it right is to test for some period of time with a significant number of power meters to be able to guesstimate at who’s telling the truth and who’s having issues. So while it’s easy to go out and ride with a single power meter – or perhaps even two, it’s an entirely different thing to do so in a manner that provides quality data across 3-5 power meters concurrently ride after ride. And it’s the ‘ride after ride’ part that becomes most tricky. A bit of background and pontification: There’s an importance in ensuring that a power meter is not only precise, but also accurate. Can you not only get repeatable results day after day, but are those results accurate to another standard? That’s the general rule applied to any scientific measuring device. The goal with power meters being that you could go and install a different device, put out the same exact power and get the exact same result. But here’s the harsh reality: That won’t happen every day. It might happen 5 out of 6 days, or perhaps more. It might happen 18 out of 20. Or, perhaps 1 out of 4. The point being that I promise you if you put 4-5 power meters on a bike and ride for a month – despite incredible attention to detail that almost no riders will do – you’re going to see differences. One day one may be a few watts higher than the other, the other day a few watts lower, and so on. Thus while it’s fun for folks to talk about ensuring that their future power meter will measure the same effort every single day within 5w of their current power meter, I’m just not seeing the state of technology there yet within the power meter industry. Until someone can go out and ride 4-5 power meters every day for a month and present evidence otherwise – I remain unconvinced. And since nobody to my knowledge has done that (aside from me) – I feel fairly confident in this statement. Now, that lead-in isn’t actually to say that anything is wrong with Vector (in fact, it’s shown pretty astounding accuracy). Rather, it’s my casual way of doing some myth busting (on both sides of the aisle). How I test: I collect data using two methods. First is with simply a crapton of Garmin devices. This serves both as my immediate display while riding to see if things are looking good, as well as my backup for data sourcing. Typically I don’t use this data from what you see in the following sections. Instead, for that I use a unit called the WASP, from North Pole Engineering. This little unit about the size of a small pack of cards collects every bit of nearby ANT+ data from any device and then streams it via WiFi to my phone, which records the data. This device collects significantly more data than a typical Garmin head unit. But more importantly, it makes it a heck of a lot easier for me to analyze since the data is all collected together into a single file (CSV). I make all my testing files available for others to analyze. This time I’ve made my entire Vector test library available. I literally just zipped up every single day’s worth of testing and folks can go ahead and come to their own conclusions. My only ask is that you read the ride notes within each ride to explain any potential oddities (for example, interference issues or some other impacting item). It’s not always black or white. You can download the full set here. Testing Mythology: Finally, we’ll look at how I test units. I firmly believe that the best way to get relevant test data is to simply train as I normally do. Thus, my test data is from normal indoor and outdoor training rides. I often will add-in some other test at the beginning or ending of one of those rides. But in general I try and just use normal training data. There are certainly edge-case scenarios (such as the cobbles), where I’ll go out and collect specific data, but I try and minimize that. From a test process standpoint every single unit is manually calibrated prior to the start of every single ride. Second, every single unit gets a second manual (set zero) calibration usually about 10-15 minutes into the ride. Beyond that, it’s up to the units’ internal auto zero (if applicable) technologies to compensate for any environmental changes. I use the manufacturer’s recommended calibration methodologies, which I’ve confirmed the steps in writing with each and every company that I have power meters for. It’s as by the book and as data-anal as you can possibly get. Following the ride the data files are all saved off and organized by ride date, with information about the head units and devices being used. Finally, I then dive into the data files using Excel. Additionally others that are far more scientifically minded (as is the case here), have dug into the numbers as well, looking at the data in more non-traditional ways. In this post, Dan (DJ) Connelly helped out tremendously with diving into a handful of the files. But he also did a number of posts prior to this review using my data over the past month. I encourage you to check those out as well. Outside Tests: We’ll start by heading outside, after all, it’s the most demanding environment there is. And no better way to start than with a demanding ride. This ride was a 2hr long ride climbing up the mountainous Skyline Drive route on the Appalachian mountains going from hot weather into a flat-out downpour thousands of feet later in elevation gain and changing temperatures. Elevation gain is great because it triggers temperature changes. And temperature changes are great because it’s the area most power meters struggle with. First up is the easy litmus test – how well they track with each other. This is interesting to look at, and helps to quickly illuminate obvious errors, but at the same time, it’s kinda easy to fool. Nonetheless, if you look at the vast majority of the graph things are almost right on top of each other. We see one point around 600s & 1700s that there’s some oddities – though it appears to be a transmission issue between the Quarq and Vector and the WASP (stuck values while descending briefly), and not something I’m seeing on other files (one of the reasons I use multiple recording devices). The areas where you see some separation is when I’m descending a bit and mostly soft-pedaling. This is typically really hard to align because it’s random/sporadic and very brief. Thus if I pedal for 5 seconds quickly on a straightaway, you’ll see the different power meters respond to that slightly differently. You see that around the 5200s markers. Overall though, things look quite good above. Next we look at the differences between the units. In this case I simply try and understand how much each unit is different from the other units. The goal of this graph is stability – not so much the exact difference here. Though, outside of random soft pedaling and the stuck moments, things look about as good as you’ll ever see them – especially in the steady-state climbs. We’re talking differences between the Quarq and the Vector of mere single-digit watts…at most. Astounding tracking between two units really. So what does this look like in real-life from a totals standpoint? Well, check out the below. It kinda tells the story if the above graphs don’t. First off, check out the fact that the Vector and Elsa were only 3w off on Average Power (1.5%), and the peak power was also only 1.5% different. It’s hard to express how rare it is to see all units within that small a range at peak power. I’ve never seen that in any of my previous power meter testing on a ride this demanding. Now, I asked DJ to look at the file as well, and he spit out some more graphs on this one. Here’s what he had to say: “I attached a histogram with 5-second smoothing where I only used points where all power meters were reporting at least 150 points. Vector and PowerTap tracked better than Quarq and PowerTap, with Stages a clear 3rd. Then I extracted peak power during peaks in the latter portion of the ride. I used 7-second smoothing because 5-second was still a bit noisy. I only retained 300+ watt peaks. On one sprint only the Vector was just barely higher than the 300W cutoff for the plot (hence the lone green dot), thus Vector has one extra peak, which doesn’t mean much. Vector, Quarq, and PowerTap are all very similar in what they report for peaks and when they report them. Stages is a notable outlier, due to L-R balance varying one sprint to the next.” Lastly, here’s the maximal power curve for the ride. This is useful because it represents in an easier to understand method the efforts as they increase in intensity, and how they track. It also focuses on measuring power of maximal efforts, which is an accuracy priority for many users. The Garmin Vector, Quarq Elsa, and PowerTap track nicely in that order. The Stages is an outlier, showing the variability of L-R balance during short intervals (with higher wattage), whereas once I get below about 350w things become quite close between them. 350w is above my FTP, which likely sits around 315w right now. Next let’s look at another ride outdoors. This one I did up in Newfoundland on a hilly course. The specific pieces of the workout were actually a build of about 30 minutes, and then 2x20m hard efforts. Because of the terrain being up and down, it’s not as perfectly flat as you’d see on an indoor ride. Starting with the simple 30s smoothed graph of the four power meters, you’ll see that they all tracked quite closely. The big drop towards the bottom is coasting down a hill into a stop-light, which happened to end up just perfectly with the end of that interval. The challenge with the above is that it becomes hard to see where the difference are. So instead I plotted three variations below, comparing the difference (in watts) between each power meter. The goal of the below is to see as flat a line as possible. It doesn’t as much matter whether or not that line is +10w or 0w, what matters is that it’s consistent. What you see below is that the Quarq vs Vector (blue) stay relatively stable, fluctuating at about 10w (on roughly 300-330w) – or basically around 3%. Meanwhile, Vector vs PowerTap is a bit higher (sorta logical with drivetrain loss). Now don’t overthink all those big spikes/drops too much. That’s actually quite normal when I have a big power sprint or stop, simply due to the way units transmit. What is probably most interesting is that it appeared things ‘righted’ themselves after coasting a bit going into the 2nd 20m set, as the second set is very close between the Quarq and the Vector units. So what does that mean when it comes to final numbers? The Quarq and Vector tracked the most closely, which again, is logical given where they measure. The PowerTap being slightly lower is also completely normal, and the Stages a bit lower makes sense too since I’ve found I tend to become more right-leg heavy when I fatigue and at higher wattages. The difference between the Quarq and the Elsa for average power is 1.8% – well within specs of both of those units. Concluding the outdoor portion (also remember the cobbles piece above), I’m seeing really solid comparative data between the PowerTap, Elsa and Vector. Obviously I’ve only included a small snippet of the data with deeper analysis. However looking at the data day in and day out from a head unit perspective, I see astounding similarities between those three. Inside Tests: Next, DJ looked at some of my trainer data. This included a slew of different rides, so he focused on the areas that have the most potential for error: Single leg pedaling and Sprints. These are easiest handled indoors because we can control some of the variables by having constant power applied. – DCR First, I plotted the power during the one-legged section. All power meters handled it well except Stages (no surprise). One-legged peddlers in the crowd will need to look elsewhere. Then I did a histogram comparing power meters to PowerTap. This worked better than CompuTrainer, which was a bit of an outlier. I omitted Stages, since that is affected by the one-legged sections. In this analysis I started at 1200 seconds, since the sprints are dominated by time synchronization. I did 5-second smoothing to reduce the “noise”. The histograms for Vector and Quarq relative to PowerTap line up in order of power transmission. The Vector above Quarq is somewhat curious. But the difference is well within specified accuracy: in fact I’d expect a larger difference versus PowerTap from drivetrain losses. But drivetrain losses are on order of the accuracy. Then I was curious about the “sprints”. I smoothed the data 5 seconds then used parabolic interpolation to pick out the peaks. The ordering of powers is generally the same as in the histogram. Noteworthy is that Stages is something of an outlier here. It doesn’t track like the others. This isn’t surprising, since L-R balance may vary on short sprints. Note the dashed lines connecting the sprints aren’t interpolated power. They’re just there to group the points. Points are plotted where the peak in power was interpolated. They show good registration between the data sets. Here’s the total bucketing of the ride, showing how closely the units compare. Notably the CompuTrainer appears to be skewed off from the rest, which is a pattern I saw in a few recent CompuTrainer rides. I’m quite impressed: all seem to be working quite well on the trainer. DCR: When I look at comparisons between the units on the indoor trainer over numerous rides I find that the Vector, PowerTap and Quarq Elsa all tend to be within 4-8w on virtually every ride. That’s at about 200-300w depending on the portion of the trainer ride. I see more variation with the Stages of course due to being measured differently, but the core three of Vector/Quarq/PowerTap are all within range of each other – and within range of the combined stated accuracy of those units. Cadence Maximum and Minimums: Garmin officially lists the Vector capable of measuring from 30RPM to 150RPM. However, that 150RPM is a bit of a soft-limit and really driven by your crank arms. Here’s their official wording: “The value of 150 rpm is a conservative limit based on possible road noise and a crank length setting of 200mm. If a cyclist is on shorter cranks (e.g., 172.5mm), the limit goes up beyond 160 rpm. On track conditions or smooth road surfaces, the limit goes beyond 190 rpm.” To test this on a trainer, I started off sub-20RPM until the unit finally picked up my cadence. This happened at 18RPM. Then I slowly built up to as fast as I could pedal on this day – 184RPM. It followed/tracked without any problems with my 175mm crank arms. It should be noted that maximum is simply the max my legs were able to go that day I quickly tested it (just jumped on the bike and gave it a go). Typically I can get a bit higher into the mid-190’s with proper warm-up. I’ll update this section if/when I give it another whirl after being properly warmed up. Fun with Left/Right power balance: Perhaps one of the more interesting non-Vector specific items is actually comparing estimated left/right power balance (such as that found on the Quarq Elsa and Power2Max units), with Garmin Vector’s measured left/right power balance. Below I did a quick video showing both Vector and Quarq Elsa on a simple one-legged test. In this case I went ahead and pedaled normally with both legs, and then switched to single-leg pedaling: As you can see from the video above, the key difference is that when I go one-legged the Quarq still assumes some portion of the non-pedaling leg is actually pedaling, when in reality it isn’t (it’s sitting on the trainer stand). I’ll be diving into more of the Elsa estimated left/right pieces in the upcoming Quarq Elsa review. ### Calibration Details and Options: Like every other power meter on the market today, Vector requires some level of calibration. Some steps are initial setup only, while others are ongoing steps that you should do prior to and at the beginning of each ride. Let’s just recap and run through them. Initial Installation – Setting Vector’s Installation Angles: You must set Vector’s installation angles anytime you remove the battery cover from the Vector pods, or, anytime you move it between bikes. The purpose of this step is to tell Vector how the force sensors are aligned in relationship to the cranks, which is required in order to calculate power. This step accounts for how tight you’ve cranked in the pedal, and how the pedals ended up on your particular crank when tightened down. There are two ways this calibration method occurs, depending on which head unit you’re using. For the Edge 510 and Edge 810 you’ll get a prompted installation, which I’ll describe first. From here you’ll need to get on your bike and pedal the bike (you don’t need to be clipped in, you can do this in street shoes). This can be done on a trainer or just on the road. You need to bring the RPM’s up to between 80 and 90RPM. The process lasts about 5-7 seconds and then will give you a completion message. Once you’re done with the initial calibration, you’ll then move onto manual calibration (below, next section). For those without the Edge 510/810, you’ll simply need to complete the same procedure, but without any additional confirmation from the head unit. In other words, just go ride 15-30 seconds (to be sure), and you’ll be good to proceed to the next step. The unit will internally perform this calibration, but since older head units aren’t updated to display the information, you won’t receive a confirmation. Note however that it won’t actually give any wattage until this is done, so you know that if you get wattage, then you’ve completed this. Static Calibration (aka Manual Calibration): Next is static calibration. This should be done prior to starting every ride, and is fundamentally the basic same process you would be doing on any other power meter on the market. In manual calibration you’ll go ahead and turn the head unit on and navigate into the power meter settings. Once there, while standing over your bike (or next to it), but NOT clipped in, arrange the pedals in the 3PM/9PM position (horizontal). Technically any position is fine, but the Vector team recommends this position for the highest accuracy. Next, go ahead and press the calibrate button. It’ll now measure torque on the unit. It’ll come back about 5-10 seconds later and display 0.00, though you may see that value fluctuate slightly as the torque value being displayed is actually in real-time. With that, your unit is correctly calibrated and ready to get on and ride. Note again that this should be done before every ride. Also note that this is compatible with pretty much any power meter head unit on the market (except the Timex units, which don’t support calibration functions). Dynamic Calibration: This next calibration type is called ‘dynamic calibration’, because it’s done while the unit is dynamically moving. The goal of this is to remove any ‘clip-out residual strain’ that occurs within the pedal body. This is considered the method to get the absolute highest level of accuracy within the unit. If you don’t do this, you’ll still be within +/-2%, but this gets it a bit closer. And given how silly easy to perform, you might as well. While on your bike within the first minute of your ride, go ahead and simply pedal backwards. Eight full times. Once done, you’ll receive the message shown above. (Updated note: In a subsequent software update, backwards pedaling is now no longer required) Yup, that’s it. As easy as that. You do not need to do this each time you clip out, as they didn’t see any benefit there. Nor at any other point during the ride. Rather, just at the start of the ride. Not that it hurts either. The Dynamic Calibration prompt message will be seen on the Edge 500/510/800/810 and FR910XT. Other units will not receive a prompt, but the Vector calibration is still done by the pedals. Should other head unit companies wish to, they could add this functionality in, as the confirmation is broadcast in standard ANT+ messages to the head unit. Static Torque Test (Hanging Weights – for extremely advanced users only): Finally, we’ve got the most advanced calibration method out there. This isn’t really so much a case of calibration, as it is validation. Within a Static Torque test you hang a weight of a known value (i.e. 25 pounds) on the cranks. In turn, you’re able to get the torque value read back to you, allowing you to validate if the unit is performing within specification. Garmin will be providing instructions and a formula to determine if the unit is within specification. The formula is: Mass (kg) x gravity (m/s2) x crank length (m) = Expected torque value in Nm To do this, you’ll simply go into the calibration menu, which puts it into a torque display mode: Then, you’ll go forth and hang the weights on the unit. Again, this should be scientific grade weights – not just something random you picked up at Sports Authority sporting goods store. The minimum weight that the Vector team recommends is 25 pounds. You’ll then take the torque value displayed, along with the weights used and compare it against values provided by the Vector team. They’ll be publishing a data sheet “within the coming days” o the Vector Owners site with the full table of correct torque values for each combination. ### Breakage and Replacements/Repairs: The Vector system has a 2-year warranty, which covers manufacture defects per their standard policy and process. The factory calibration is warranted for 1 year, and Garmin will offer a service to the end user if they are not able to calibrate the Vector themselves (i.e. torque validation). In the event of an issue with your Vector system (either self-inflicted such a a crash, or unexpected support issue), you’ll start with a call to Garmin support for your local region/country. If they’ve completed troubleshooting and determine there is an issue with the system (for example, the left pedal not responding), then the entire pedal set would be returned to the local country/region support center and swapped out. This process works the same as any other Garmin product. Now, in the event of the ugly self-inflicted issue, such as breaking a pedal pod on a curb, you can purchase two out of three of the core Vector components. Parts available as accessories: 1) Pedal Body & Pedal Cartridge Set:199US = Includes the pedal body, cartridge, as a pair, not including spindle.
2) Pedal Pods: $69US for a single pod (corrected) The part that is not available as an accessory is the pedal spindle. The spindle is where the magic happens, and where the actual strain gauges are. Basically, that’s the bulk of the cost of a Vector system. Though, it’d be incredibly difficult to damage the spindle even in the most painful of crashes. The spindle is protected first by the pedal body (which Garmin has beefed up over the baseline models). Then you’ve got the pedal cartridge inside that. And finally, the spindle inside the cartridge. Having spent some time toying with the different parts, I’m honestly not sure what type of crash would impact the spindle – short of getting run over by a train. Though, in time, I’m sure someone will find a way. The two above components will be standard SKU’s that any Garmin distributor/retailer can stock within inventory. They noted that the part they consider ‘consumable’ is the pedal pods. This is for two reasons. One is that we could see physical changes to the pods, or additional versions of the pods offered. For example, a pod able to accommodate crank arms that are slightly wider than current allowances (they said they’d gauge consumer demand here, but it sounded fairly trivial to offer). They also saw opportunity to bridge into other wireless protocols. Remember this is the communications portion of the device, and today that’s ANT+. But they noted that down the road they could offer a Bluetooth Smart variant, or Bluetooth/ANT+ combo variant. No specific plans or dates are on the table today. But, that would ultimately be a pretty cheap ‘upgrade’ for owners at basically just$70 to get Bluetooth Smart.

Many folks have expressed concern about the pedal pods hitting the ground.  That’s actually a bit of an optical illusion, it’s actually virtually impossible to hit the pedal pod without hitting your shoe first.  They note that in thousands of hours of testing they’ve never had a single pedal pod break-off by hitting the ground.  In my riding over the last month, I never had that issue either.

To demonstrate the impossibility of the pod hitting the ground first, I give you the following photo I took:

Here’s a bit more of a zoomed in look at the same photo.  Note that in this case, the crank-arm is pointed directly down (the photo angle makes it appear otherwise).  You can see that it’s technically impossible to hit the pedal pod at that angle.

Now, curbs are potentially another scenario entirely, as seen below:

Though, I still didn’t have any issues during my time thus far with them, including routinely stopping up against curbs while riding through and out of the city.

Finally, it’s probably worthwhile to see the pedal pod positions all the way around the crank.  To do that I created a little animated GIF of the whole situation.  However, because the GIF is a bit large to enumerate on this page, you’ll need to click the below image to start it in a new window.  But it helps you understand where the pod is, and some of the optical illusions associated with it.

Finally, with the pod facing downwards towards the top of the stroke, it ensures that your shoe won’t clip it if you try and clip in and out:

With that, let’s talk about bike portability.

### Switching between bikes:

Given much of the appeal of Vector comes from the ability to switch between bikes, I thought I’d briefly talk to that and include a short video of swapping it between two of my bikes (recorded in real-time as a single shot).

While I agree with the theory of being able to easily move Vector between bikes, I’d argue it’s not quite as simple as moving standard bike pedals.  There are some things that complicate it.  First are the pedal pods and ensuring the correct alignment before really tightening down.  Then there’s the tightening component – which clearly requires a torque wrench to get accurate.  So if you’re travelling, you’re going to need a torque wrench as well as you can’t just use a hex wrench stuffed into the back of the pedal (since the pods block that).

So how long does it take?  Well, I’ve taken them on and off a bunch, so while I’m certainly no pro bike mechanic at removing them, I’m probably about average after you’ve done it a couple of times.  My goal isn’t to slap them on as fast as humanly possible.  My goal is to install them as fast as accurately possible.  Thus, here’s what that looks like:

As you can see, about 6 minutes and 30 seconds end to end.  About 90 seconds of that was removal, and 5 minutes installation.  Oh, and note that I had never installed them on that second bike before – so that was a first attempt, and only did one video recording shot (like live TV!).  I figure that makes it a bit more realistic.

I’ll be doing the same with a Quarq Elsa in the coming weeks (just need to get a different bottom bracket for my other bike).  Having swapped the Quarq’s before, you’ll find you can definitely do it faster than Vector on a pure time basis. Of course, with the Quarq, you’re having to deal with chain rings and a large object that’s not quite as easy nor as compatible to travel with.

### Firmware Updating:

The Vector pedals support updating of the firmware by you, the end user.  The reasoning for this is to resolve bugs or add new features (discussed more below in next section).  To do so, you’ll download the free little tool from the Vector owners site, which then takes advantage of the ANT+ USB stick that came with your pedals.

Next, you’re going to want to get your laptop and your pedals in the same general zip code of each other.  Once that’s done, go ahead and launch the application:

After clicking next twice, it’ll have you remove the pedal pod connectors and reconnecting them.  By doing so you put the pedals into a ‘pairing mode’, which allows your computer to go off and find them.

I just pop them out carefully with a flat blade screwdriver.

Then wait 20 seconds and plop them back in.  Then click next twice.  Which should bring you here.  You’ll notice it has found the pedals and is ready to go, you’ll click next again.

At the top of this screen you’ll see the option to update software.  In my case, from the initial release version of 2.00 to 2.10.  Additionally, you’ll need to check the box to agree.

Note that the crank length remains at 175mm (the length of my cranks, yours will likely differ).  After you’re done confirming everything, click Next.

First, it’ll send the update to the left pedal:

Then it’ll do the same thing for the right pedal:

Then, it’ll briefly confirm everything for about 2 seconds before giving you the “Mission Accomplished” banner (of sorts):

The whole process takes about 3-5 minutes for the upload, verification and updating.

Now, the next time you turn on your bike computer you will need to run through the three basic calibration steps again:

1) Setting installation angles (pedaling at ~80RPM)
2) Manual calibration (unclipped from pedals)
3) Dynamic calibration (backwards pedaling eight times) – (Updated Note: In a subsequent software update, backwards pedaling is now no longer required)

With that, you’re good to go!

### Troubleshooting:

While I’ve yet to have any true issues with Vector, I’d give two pieces of advice to any future folks that purchase the unit and have issues.  The below guidance is based on fielding a lot of questions over the past month from current owners.

Random issues: When in doubt, if something isn’t working, the best and easiest course of action is to pop out the pedal pod battery covers, put them back in, and see if it starts working.  I’ve only had this happen once (during my initial test ride), but if you run into a snag, this seems to resolve it 99% of the time.

Power measuring low: Without question, the single biggest issue I hear from folks is that it measures low.  Every.single.time (every time) I’ve responded back the person hasn’t used a torque wrench to properly tighten the units.  I can’t emphasis this enough.  It’s as simple as this: Vector is sensitive to being properly torqued down.  You may think you’ve got it all fine, but unless you’ve measured it – I’m going to guess you don’t.

### The Future of Vector:

Going forward the Vector team has outlined a few areas that are on the radar.  Garmin sees two tracks when it comes to Vector development, the software track (i.e. firmware), and the hardware track (i.e. pedals).  In their minds, the software track will be universal across all pedals, while the hardware track will spit out new pedal types in the future.  They noted that they don’t at all expect to see any near term form of a v2 version of the current Look Keo pedal with additional features over the current one.  Instead they’ll be focused on new pedal types.

Pedal Types: Garmin made it fairly clear that the next pedal type would be a mountain bike pedal.  It doesn’t have a timeframe for that, but that’s where the direction is.  This will require re-thinking a bit of the pedal pod layout (as it could catch on rocks/logs/etc… Additionally, they have confirmed to me that any future pedal type change won’t be compatible with the same spindle.  Meaning you can’t just by the $200 pedal body parts and move your spindles between them. Beyond mountain biking, they’re looking at spin bikes as another area with a lot of interest. Additional Pedal Pod Connector Widths: Garmin has stated that if they see demand, they’ll look to offer additional pedal pods that have a larger connector and can accommodate some of the wider crank arms out there. They haven’t specified a timeframe for this. Bluetooth Smart: Given Garmin owns ANT+, it’s unlikely that a Bluetooth Smart variant is on the immediate horizon. However the Vector team did specifically note that down the line should they add Bluetooth Smart support it’d simply come in the form of a new pedal pod that’s compatible with previous Vector units. The pod houses all communications, so it’s just a case of buying new pods (about the same price as a footpod). Pedal Smoothness and Torque Efficiency: Finally, we’ve got additional metrics that are supported by ANT+ that Vector plans to implement. These two were specifically included as coming down the line, though no specific timeline was given. Seeing that the competitive Rotor Power Meter has these, I suspect it won’t be terribly long until we see this added. ### Power Meter Market Comparison: Two weeks ago I walked through the entire power meter market as it will stand for some time in the future, as there are no other power meters outside that post on the horizon until at least next spring (at the absolute earliest). So I really encourage you to read that post, as I outlined a lot of different scenarios and recommendations – as well as answered a slew of questions in the comments. With that said, here’s a dynamic comparison chart of the major power meters on the market today that I’ve reviewed. My rule is that if I haven’t reviewed it, it doesn’t go in the chart. Hence why SRM isn’t in there. Because there’s so many units, only a small number fit here. Instead, you can mix and match and create your own comparison chart here. Function/FeatureGarmin VectorPowerTap G3 HubQuarq Elsa R/RSPower2Max (Oct 12+)Stages Power Meter Copyright DC Rainmaker - Updated March 21st, 2016 @ 6:25 amNew Window Price$1499$720 (no wheel)$1299 (R with cranks, no chainrings)/$1399 (RS)$729 (no cranks)/$749 (cranks)$529 (left crank arm only)
Available todayYesYesYesYesYes
Measurement TypeDirect ForceDirect ForceDirect ForceDirect ForceDirect Force
Attachment areaPedalsRear Wheel HubCrank SpiderCrank SpiderLeft Crank
Attachment limitationsLook Keo Compatible pedals onlyN/ASpecific supported cranksSpecific supported cranksSpecific supported cranks
Weight (additional/net)175g per pedal (inclusive)315g/325g (full hub)Elsa R: 576g/Elsa RS: 616g (including cranks)From 189g + crank20g
Wireless Connectivity TypeANT+ANT+/Bluetooth Smart (depends on cap)ANT+ANT+ANT+ & Bluetooth Smart
Unit auto-turns on when on bikeYesYesYesYesYes
BatteryGarmin VectorPowerTap G3 HubQuarq Elsa R/RSPower2Max (Oct 12+)Stages Power Meter
Battery Life175 hours300 hours300 hours300-400 hours200 hours
User or Factory battery replacementUserUserUserUserUser
Battery typeCR2032CR2032CR2032CR2450CR2032
Low Battery WarningYes, 20 hoursYesYesYesYes
FeaturesGarmin VectorPowerTap G3 HubQuarq Elsa R/RSPower2Max (Oct 12+)Stages Power Meter
Ability to update firmwareYesYesQalvin App & USB ANT+ StickFactory OnlyYes
Transmits Left/Right Power Balance (Estimated)N/ANoYesYesNo
Transmits Left/Right Power Balance (Measured)YesNoNoNoNo
Transmits Pedal SmoothnessPlannedNoNoNoNo
AccuracyGarmin VectorPowerTap G3 HubQuarq Elsa R/RSPower2Max (Oct 12+)Stages Power Meter
Measures all power outputYesYesYesYesNo
Claimed Accuracy Level+/- 1.5%+/- 1.5%+/- 1.5%+/- 2%+/- 2% (of left leg)
Includes temperature compensationYesYesDone at factoryYesYes
Supports auto-zero functionYesYesYesYesNo
Supports manual calibrationYesYesYesYesYes
Supports hanging weights (static test)YesYesYesYesNo
SoftwareGarmin VectorPowerTap G3 HubQuarq Elsa R/RSPower2Max (Oct 12+)Stages Power Meter
Phone App to Configure/TestDesktop App (PC/Mac)NoYesNoYes
PurchaseGarmin VectorPowerTap G3 HubQuarq Elsa R/RSPower2Max (Oct 12+)Stages Power Meter
DCRainmakerGarmin VectorPowerTap G3 HubQuarq Elsa R/RSPower2Max (Oct 12+)Stages Power Meter

The benefit of the above chart is that over time as firmware updates add features to other units you can automagically see the comparisons here.

For those looking for information on the ROTOR power system, they’re aiming to get me a unit in late September 2013, and thus I’d likely have a review closer to November sometime (dates obviously could shift).  My thoughts regarding ROTOR however are included in the power meter market post as well above.

### Summary:

It’s been a long wait for Vector.  When I met with the Garmin team back in April there was a clear and concise expectation amongst the team that the unit had to be spot-on accurate.  It just had to, no ifs, ands or buts about it.  If it wasn’t accurate but was perfect in every other way, it’d be a failure. Simple as that.

Thus, when it came time for me to do a review the cornerstone of that would be repetitive data capture and comparisons.  How did it perform in all sorts of rough conditions from mountain climbs and temperature swings with driving rain, to hot summer days?  Based on what I’ve seen over the last 5 weeks the answer is simple: It performs quite well when properly installed.  I’m not seeing any of my own data, nor anyone else’s data that contradicts that.  Nor has anyone that’s analyzed the loads of raw data I’ve published thus far contradicted that.

With accuracy out of the way from my perspective we look at other components.  For example – installation.  Installation is technically straight forward, though, it does have the drawback of requiring it be done properly with attention to detail.  I can’t emphasis this enough.  If you’re lazy during the install (or your bike shop is), you’ll have inaccurate power.  I’d encourage potential Vector owners to learn how to install it themselves properly – after all, part of the reason you’re buying this unit is for portability.

I do believe however that Garmin should provide a crowfoot adapter with the Vector set (especially in places that are difficult to find such a tool…like Europe).  In talking with them last night, they understand that line of thinking and are monitoring feedback from retailers.

Finally, when it comes to durability – that’s a more difficult question to answer.  From a replacement plan perspective the way the unit is built makes it relatively cheap and easy to swap out the spindle into another pedal should you somehow break the pedal body.  Same goes for the pedal pods, which are also reasonably cheap.  Obviously I didn’t break mine, but I also was more lax with how I treated them.  For example, during my repeated soft-shell bike bag trips and international flights over the past month I didn’t bother to remove the pedals during travel.  Nope, I stuck a sock over them and called it done and hoped for the best.  Came out just fine.

At this juncture I’d have no problems recommending Vector as a power meter to any torque wrench & crowfoot adapter owner.  It produces accurate power that long-term as a software platform has the potential to be really interesting.  How and where Garmin takes that directionally remains to be seen.

Thanks for reading, and as always, feel free to drop questions below and I’ll try and get the answers.

### Found this review useful? Or just want to save a bundle? Here’s how!

Hopefully you found this review useful. At the end of the day, I’m an athlete just like you looking for the most detail possible on a new purchase – so my review is written from the standpoint of how I used the device. The reviews generally take a lot of hours to put together, so it’s a fair bit of work (and labor of love). As you probably noticed by looking below, I also take time to answer all the questions posted in the comments – and there’s quite a bit of detail in there as well.

I’ve partnered with Clever Training to offer all DC Rainmaker readers exclusive benefits on all products purchased.  By joining the Clever Training VIP program you get a bunch of money-saving benefits, which you can read about here.  By doing so, you not only support the site (and all the work I do here) – but you also get to enjoy the significant partnership benefits that are just for DC Rainmaker readers. And, since this item is more than $75, you get free 3-day US shipping as well. Garmin Vector (regular pod version) Garmin Vector (large pod version) Garmin Vector set of large pods (accessory) Crowfoot Adapter from Clever Training –$1.00 (requires purchase of Garmin Vector)
Park Tools Torque Wrench from Clever Training (one of the two models I use/have)

Yup, you saw that right – Clever Training is basically throwing in the crowfoot adapter for you if you buy Garmin Vector there.  They want you to get it installed right.  Sweetness!

Additionally, you can also use Amazon to purchase the unit (all colors shown after clicking through to the left) or accessories (though, no discount). Or, anything else you pickup on Amazon helps support the site as well (socks, laundry detergent, cowbells). If you’re outside the US, I’ve got links to all of the major individual country Amazon stores on the sidebar towards the top.

Thanks for reading! And as always, feel free to post comments or questions in the comments section below, I’ll be happy to try and answer them as quickly as possible. And lastly, if you felt this review was useful – I always appreciate feedback in the comments below. Thanks!

Finally, I’ve written up a ton of helpful guides around using most of the major fitness devices, which you may find useful in getting started with the devices. These guides are all listed on this page here.

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1. Jbro

Thanks for the review! While waiting 3 years for these, I’ve become really happy with my powertap. The price is high so I won’t be rushing out to get them just yet, but it’s nice to hear they work well and that there’s potential for new data points.

• Does this mean that we would have to switch to Look or look compatible cleats if currently using speedplay?

• That’s correct.

I’m having all sorts of problems getting the pedals to give reliable and consistent data. Few questions:

I bought the Craftsman torque wrench, but my crowfoot adapter is too wide: the recommended blackhawk recommended model is out of stock on amazon, and through the blackhawk site directly. Any leads on where to get that? Can I borrow yours? 😎

I just went on a pretty cold ride – sub 40 degrees. Does that kind of temp effect the readings? The data was so spotty: the cadence and watt readings would regularly display “0”… Why? I’d do a back-pedal recallibration which my Edge 500 said worked, and then the watts and cadence would usually come back, but then usually disappear again after a short while – a matter of seconds usually.

I understand that the wattage readings would be off if not tightened correctly, but why would the cadence disappear?

Also, I have Rotor Q rings, which I’m going to swap out. That might have had something to do with it. However, yesterday inside on the trainer the cadence and wattage were just fine – maybe not accurate (due to lack of torque wrenching) but at least there was consistent data.

Ugh. Thanks for your review – very helpful. Hope to get this dialed in soon.

Also, per page 4 of the manual, -40* (either *C or *F) is outside the operating range of Vector: link to static.garmincdn.com

• Terry

Thank you for your in-depth research on the Vector. I just bought one and used it once. I made many mistakes in setting it up especially the torque issue. You covered every one of the questions I had in this review. I am buying a crowfoot adapter tomorrow to use with my torque wrench. My power readings were low and the left pedal was not recognized intermittently by my Edge 500. Now I know why. You provide a great service to bike riders/racers everywhere.

• Loving riding with power now after splashing out and investing in the Vectors.
Has anyone else had problems with the battery life? I am on my third set now and have not received a notification on my Edge 810
Started my own review here: link to triwithme.org

• Drew Eckhardt

Note that you applied more than 25 foot-lbs of torque if you used your torque wrench parallel to the crow-foot jaws as illustrated in the picture because the torque applied at its socket hole was multiplied by the distance to the pedal spindle center.

To get a direct reading with a crow-foot you need to orient the torque wrench perpendicular to the jaw sides so you’re not making the lever arm longer.

• thomas wolf

Over the top review, a thousand thanks. The booklet, while helpful, does not adequately describe the “gap” that is desired with the washers. Also, I was shipped a 510 and pedals that both needed updating, fairly straight forward, but then when gently removing batteries on pods to reboot (pun?) the hanger inexplicably snapped while I had Garmin on the line, in checking serial number they explained the hanger was not forged aluminum which they are now and hastily offered replacement. Look forward to reinstall and following your generous meticulous directions.

• TroyP

Drew is exactly right!! I noted this too. Being a 30+ year aviation A&P mechanic, this is crucial element of using any crowsfoot, or torque adapter. Thanks for pointing this out to the masses Drew! Basically, orient the crowsfoot 90 degrees to the head of the Tq Wrench, don’t line it up with it.

• Mike

With a number of devices using bluetooth, will the vector be updated to use this technology? Seems to have a better signal than the ant+ devices that have signal drops using other garmin head units.

• In talking with Garmin, they designed the platform such that just the pods could be swapped out down the road for BLE pods should the market shift. That said, at present there are no head units (Garmin or otherwise) that support BLE power meters. Polar will be the first later this summer (or early Fall). The closest you can get today is the Wahoo RFLKT, but that’s technically via the phone first.

• tyler

which picture? is drew talking about?

• I’ve since swapped out the photo to reduce confusion.

• Tyler

Thanks mate, you are a champ.

2. ISAF

I was wondering (as I have no experience with power meters (yet)). You talk about calibration by doing 8 full backwards cycles. As you also showed in the move bike / calibrate video. You have to do this for every ride for better results. Yet in the video on the cobblestones, you don’t. So it only has to be done when it turned of? or after every time you stopped for a moment (traffic lights, etc)?

• I performed the dynamic calibration (backwards pedaling) prior to the video. That video segment is really only a tiny sliver out of two different 1hr+ rides. 😉

If you haven’t done dynamic calibration you’ll be within 2%, doing the dynamic calibration will bring you closer than that. Simply knock it out at the start of the ride and you’ll be good to go.

• Josh W

I noticed today, on a 4hr group ride in/around Philly, with a LOT of stopping at lights and stop signs, that I was seeing some slightly odd readings of L/R power and overall power. On solo rides (with less stopping) and on trainer rides I tend to be slightly R dominant, by about 52-48. Outside, I generally always unclip my right foot, and today that happened quite a bit. Which resulted in a pretty hefty L dominance, according to Vector.

Could the frequent unclipping/clipping in have thrown off the calibration? And/or should I have done some dynamic calibrations during the ride after the stops?

3. loshko

Thanks for the great and long anticipated review!

I’ve got a Trek 1.2 (same one as yours, but triple crank, stock components). How do I measure crank length – end to end, bolt to bolt or… ?

Thanks again,
L.

• It’s typically written on the back of the crank arm, usually near the upper edge of the crank arm.

4. Anthony Anicete

Hi Ray,

Great review as always. What do you mean when you say the vector does not support round chainrings correctly? The power readings are off by how much? I use qrings. Thanks by the way for always answering my questions. You are my main resource for decision making when buying tech stuff. I almost never buy before I read your reviews, and I always try to buy Amazon thru ur website.

• Garmin has stated the following regarding elliptical rings:

“Vector assumes constant angular velocity within a single crank revolution. For most riding conditions and bike set-ups, this assumption allows Vector to report power within its stated accuracy.
Garmin has not determined how variable the angular velocity is using elliptical rings in real riding conditions to be able state what the impact would be on power values. This is likely a function of how elliptical the rings are and the type of pedaling style of the particular rider.
Vector is taking multiple samples per crank revolution and has the ability to determine a micro-cadence. This is a potential enhancement for a future software release.”

• IronNico

So, in simple words, does it say: “if elliptical chainring, go for something else” ?

• I did a numerical simulation of the effect of eccentric chainrings on my blog. It’s a several % error in power. I think only Power2Max and Powertap are immune, although I would hope Rotor has the issue under control. Quarq, Vector, SRM, and almost certainly Stages will all suffer the error.

• Anthony Anicete

That is interesting DJ, if I understand your blog correctly, if cadence is sampled throughout the pedal stroke, then there should not be an issue, that is an easy fix for garmin then. Thank you dor the info

• Peter Tonn

Ray, any idea what the sample rate is for the Vector? I wonder if Rotor gets around this problem by doing the 500Hz (500 samples per second) sampling rate. I would bet that the cadence is nearly constant over 1/500th of a second. If Garmin’s sample rate is near I don’t think the results would be much different. That being said, it’s all speculation…

Some random math for Rotor sampling…
assuming 100rpm is 1.6667 rotations per second. That’s 600° of rotation. With 500 samples a second that comes out to just 1.2° of rotation per sample (angular velocity).

5. inbal

is this garmins new mini ant+ usb dongle? can be used for all their other connections?

6. Khalil

Hi Ray,

Thanks for the detailed review. I couldn’t help but stop at… “Certain models of S-Works” I have an S-works SL3 with S-works crank, I’ve always owned Look Keo carbon pedals… I’m some how challenged when it comes to bikes measures and geometry, but how can I know if my S-Works crank is one of those non-compatible cranks.

Thanks

K.

• You’ll need to simply measure the width of your crank arm using a ruler (thickness).

• JR

Hi Ray,

You mention the Edge supports different bike profiles with different crank lengths. My question revolves around the 310XT.

Based on your comments, I understand that in order to set crank length on the 310XT (and other older models), you would have to do it using the Vector Updater on a computer.

Doing some further research, I think that with the 310XT, crank length setting is a global variable for all bike profiles and can’t be individually set per each bike. So in other words, every time you swap between bikes with different crank lengths, you would need to use the Vector Updater to set the crank length….if using the 310XT.

I’m wondering how much of a pain this is to set-up each time swapping bikes if you have to use the Vector Updater each time. Do you have any thoughts?

Your reviews are incredibly informative btw. Thanks and keep up the great work.

JR

• It’s silly-quick. Perhaps 20-seconds, maybe 30-40 seconds tops. Click next a handful of times past the instructions, set the value in two seconds and be done.

7. Jcaf

One question I would have is aerodynamics we’ve had look bring out pedals modified for aerodynamics(look keo blades) and now we’ve the opposite with the metal pod hanging in wind. Have you seen or did u take any photos oftge pedals with a cycling shoe attached to see how much pods are hidden or out in the wind
Cheers and great reviews as always

• Hi Jcaf – I just added a photo showing the cycling shoe from the front with the pods. It’s in the repairs section towards the bottom.

8. larry brown

Well done, I wish I could afford them, maybe Santa will come this year, last year all I got was a chuck of coal.

9. Karl Osthus

Thanks for a great review!
With regard to the 15mm Crow-foot, how slim does it need to be to fit the pedal?

• It must be thin enough to fit on the wrench flat of the pedal spindle, which is 1/4” or less (6.35mm).

10. Nickt

Thanks for the review, very detailed as ever. I’m pretty much sold on these, just curious though how they work as an actual pedal, spring tensions etc. Oh, and as an 800 owner will those smoothness metrics be an 810 only sort of thing?

Many thanks again.

• Correct, there are no plans to bring Pedal Smoothness or Torque Effectiveness to the Edge 800 (keeping in mind that Vector doesn’t yet support them, even though the Edge 810 does).

11. Janne

I’m wondering how hard the installation/removing is when the bike is not mounted on a trainer. I mean that is very high torque it requires.

• If you just lean the bike up against something it’s pretty straight forward. I just hold onto one crank arm while pushing down on the other. I’ve done it up against a wall without issues.

12. ewan

My 2 bikes have different crank lengths (170mm and 172.5). I know you can set different bike profiles on the Garmin head units, so am I right in assuming that you can give each bike a specific crank length and that it will remember the difference when you are swapping between bikes?

• Yes, the Edge supports multiple bike profiles, each with their own crank length. I just added a photo to help clarify that a bit more.

13. Romeu Gaspar

Thanks for another great review Ray!
For those of us without a torque wrench or the crowfoot adapter (no idea where to get the latter here in Europe), is there an alternative way to get close to the recommended torque? In other words, is 25 foot-pounds of torque closer to firmly tightening the pedals with a regular wrench or to putting the whole body weight on it? Thanks!

• It’s a fair bit of body weight, but honestly that’ll vary by person and really the position you’re in. For example it’s easier if you’re standing up next to it, versus bent through the frame.

In either case, I’d really try and find a way to get an adapter – even if slow-boat ordering it from somewhere in the US via US postal mail.

14. steveheaz

Hi, have you been able to do a comparison using two at the same time, quarq and Garmin vector an see if they give the same power.

• steveheaz

Sorry missed the section on my crap phone

15. Jeremy

From the parameters described I believe this crowfoot adapter should work if you are in the UK and it certainly fits normal pedals. Until I get my hands on a set of Vectors though it is dificult to say, still awaiting a delivery forecast! link to toolstoday.co.uk the adapter is available from other places just search for Teng Tools 15mm Crow Foot Wrench – M386515-C.

• Alex

Hi Ray

Can confirm this fits without issue and is instock available instore at Toolmart in Australia or online link to toolmart.com.au @ $21.99 Reply • Chaz Hi Alex you got the url link for that 21.99 tool at toolmart.com.au? Couldn’t find it. Thanks mate Reply 16. Barry Mowat Wow, what a review. Covers everything, as usual. I want these but may have to wait until the price comes down. Reply 17. Cam Carroll Hi, I have just received mine today and I think theyre fantastic. I did note I was getting an called ‘calibration error 514’ would you or anyone else know what this error means? PS Keep up the awesome work! CAM Townsville AUS. Reply • A note that was passed to me a few weeks ago when another reader had this issue, from Garmin Support: “The fault code 512 implies a calibration timeout on the left spindle, while a fault code of 2 implies calibration timeout on the right spindle. The two values are added together to report a combined calibration result code, which in this case can be 514 if both sides time out. A calibration timeout implies that there was no success or failure response within the allocated timeframe (30 sec). If this happens it is usually not necessary to remove/replace the batteries, but you will need to ride for at least a few minutes before retrying the calibration. Another calibraton failure code that you may sometimes see is 32; this implies a failure of the left spindle to receive the calibration command. In that case, giving the pedals a spin and then retrying should clear the condition.” In short, you’ve got two options: Wait a minute or two, or just pop the pedal pod battery covers briefly and start again – this time ensuring to quickly complete calibration before the timeout. Cheers! Reply 18. Laurent Dear Ray, not related to this subject but i’ve noticed your bike is always perfectly clean, give the cleaning facilities in Paris i’m surprise Reply • I’m just really good at cleaning the parts that I include in the photos…. Reply 19. Romeu Gaspar Good point on stressing the importance of setting up the correct crank length. For some reason I assumed that my Edge 800 would be set by default at 172.5mm. I only bothered to check after getting some low power readings, and was surprised to find out that it was set for a 144.5mm crank. Reply • Romeu Gaspar Btw, the crank length option only appears in the Edge 800 when the head unit is connected to the Vector. Would assume that’s also the case for the Edge 500! Reply 20. Luca Thanks for this review. I have a question about the need to perform a calibration each time a new ride starts. Well this does not sound fine if I plan to use the pedals in a triathlon race.. The bike will stay for long enough in T1 that the system needs a calibration, or even more if I do a longer distance the bike will sleep overnight in T1. What changes in the pedal physic /mechanic that requires a new calibration each time? thanks. Reply • The only two calibration steps you need to do after installation on a daily basis are: 1) Manual calibration (unclipped) 2) Dynamic calibration (backpedaling). For triathlons, Garmin recommends (and I agree) to simply do the manual calibration in the transition zone the morning of the race as you prepare your bike (you don’t pedal anywhere, or at all). Then, at some point in the first few miles just do the pedaling backwards calibration (dynamic calibration) Quick and easy. Reply • HammerTime “For triathlons, … at some point in the first few miles just do the pedaling backwards calibration (dynamic calibration)” Wouldn’t this generally be costing time in a race? Reply • Not any appreciable amount. Remember, you’re not stopping the bike, you’re just coasting for perhaps 3 seconds. In my experience coasting on flat-ground (let alone downhill) if at 20MPH, you may drop down to 18MPH for those 3 seconds. Which isn’t a loss of 3 seconds, it’s just a loss of 2MPH at 3-seconds, whatever that may be. Ultimately, all other PM’s are in a similar boat, especially for temp compensation (i.e. Quarq backpedaling, PowerTap coasting, etc)… Reply • Matt Dreyfuss Do you mean calibrate during T1 or prior to the race starting when you are setting up transition? Reply • Setting up pre-race. Reply • Hi Ray. I just got my set of Vector and everything works just fine except the backewards pedaling calibration. I have the Edge 810 but I don’t get the message that the calibration is done. Any idea? Maybe this has been covered in some of the 600 comments Reply • With the latest Edge 810 firmware and the latest Vector firmware, that message is no longer shown. Cheers. Reply • Thanks, I found the answer within the last comments. And thanks for your great reviews. Reply 21. Antonio Is compatible with Suunto Ambit2/2S? Reply • It supports total power, but the 2/2s doesn’t support left/right power. So you’ll just see your current wattage but no pedal balance breakout. Reply 22. Jeremy If you are in the UK I believe the following crowfoot adapter should work, it meets the specs and is certainly OK for normal pedals, although I cannot confirm until my Vectors arrive! Teng Tools 15mm Crow Foot Wrench – M386515-C link to toolstoday.co.uk Reply 23. Alex Anyone had any luck with a crowfoot wrench in Australia. Have searched for the one listed (Proto BCF-15M) and none ship to Australia. Good business for someone.. Buy bulk and sell them to us all. Love the pedals, impressed with the website support etc but likewise think it’s pretty crap to leave out a$20 tool essential for accurate use with a $1500 product. pls let me know if anyone finds a wrench that fits and I can purchase from Oz. Reply • Mike Carr Grainger (www.grainger.com) have the crowfoot (link to grainger.com) and from their web site appear to ship to Australia and have a rep in Australia (Rob Palabrica +1 847 647 3198 robbie.palabrica@grainger.com). Reply • Mike Carr my bad – i just read the fine print: This item has been restricted from sale in the following countries: Argentina, Austria, Australia, Aruba, Barbados, Belgium, Bulgaria, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Not Available, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Estonia, Spain, Finland, France, United Kingdom, Greece, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Honduras, Hungary, Indonesia, Ireland, India, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Latvia, Malta, Mexico, Malaysia, Nicaragua, Netherlands, New Zealand, Peru, Philippines, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Paraguay, Romania, Sweden, Singapore, Slovenia, Slovakia, El Salvador, Thailand, Turkey, Trinidad and Tobago, Taiwan, Uruguay, Venezuela, Vietnam Reply • Alex Thanks mate. That’s what I keep finding. Reply • Simon B Try snap-on tools. They have a 15mm crows foot that is under 6mm Reply • Charles Here is the snap-on tools link: link to buy1.snapon.com Reply • Alex Thanks guys, not cheap but at least I can trust Snap On quality so will grab one Reply • Since all of the narrow crowfoot adapters that will work for this application appear to be out of stock IN THE WHOLE WORLD, I discovered one OK alternative. Buy a cheap 15mm crowfoot wrench adaptor (one that might be fatter than will work) for your torque wrench and buy a steel file. After about an hour of hard work, one *can* file down the thickness of the crowfoot adaptor to make it narrow enough (i.e. 6mm) to fit into the gap provided for attaching the pedal. This is not ideal, but it will work if you don’t want to wait the 1-2 months shipping time from amazon for Ray and Garmin’s specified crowfoot adaptor: link to amazon.com , or, as you pointed out, you’re in a country that cannot easily get one of these adaptors. Reply • ArranP I managed to get the crowfoot adapter from Auto Parts warehouse (was mentioned in the review) and its fine – a little ‘loose’ but fits the ParkTool wrench (TW2?) just fine. Snapon tools also have it in Aust but they’re out of stock at the moment. Reply 24. Josh Ray, In other reviews (most recently the Riken one) you’ve made a point of comparing the price of a unit against its competitors. With that in mind, what are your thoughts on the Vector pricing vs well, everything else? Reply • I decided that instead of re-writing what I covered in depth two weeks ago as part of the “2013 Power Meter Buyers Guide”, I figured I’d just link to that. It takes into account Vector and pricing. link to dcrainmaker.com Enjoy! Reply • Josh Yeah, I’m an idiot. I completely forgot that I have that post bookmarked to read when I am getting ready to buy. Probably should have read it first. Thanks! Reply 25. Matt Thanks for a very detailed review. If I buy them in the future, I’ll certainly consult your installation guide. Reply 26. Gary This might be a silly question (and maybe not possible!) but has Garmin thought of offering a one pedal version for people who don’t need ultimate accuracy but like the portability. Reply • It’s something the talked about a bit actually back in August at the launch event. They said they’ve thought about it, and admitted is definitely a possibility. They were clear that’s not a technical boundary, just a business one. But there aren’t any plans at the moment. Reply 27. Kenneth Trueman It was a toss-up between reading War & Peace or another one of Ray’s awesome in-depth reviews. Tolstoy can wait once again ! Reply 28. Charlie Revell Have you looked at whether different reading come from torques higher than your 25 ft lbs? Garmin recommend 25-30, I am running at the upper end but always make sure I use the same number when moving it across the bikes… Would be interesting to see the difference within their own guidelines? Reply • I did. I played around today with just under 30ftlbs (~28-29), and saw no problems on today’s trainer ride. Within 1-2 watts of Quarq Elsa at 220ish watts. Reply 29. Hugh Ray, It’s probably not a big deal but when one uses a torque wrench with a crow’s foot positioned in line with the length of the wrench, the applied torque with be greater than that indicated. If you orient the crow’s foot 90 degrees to the length of the torque wrench the applied and indicated torque will be equal. Hugh Reply 30. Peter Hey Rainmaker, thank you for the fantastic review, I was wondering if you ever tested the Ibike power meter, I’m curios to know how it stands against the direct force power meters.. Let me know than you again Reply • I’m something I’m looking at for later this fall/early winter. I’ve played around with it in the past however. With the price of direct force power meters falling however (Stags & PowerTap), it makes that option less and less attractive. Reply 31. 6co Hello Ray, thank you for the review. Superb once again. Do you know if the Vectors work with the Power Cranks? In fact, do you know Power Cranks and what do you think of those? How about checking them out if you never heard of those… powercranks dot com Cheers 6co Reply • Hugh On the Vector FAQ page they mention that the Vector pedals will not work with Powercranks due to the fact the cranks don’t stay in a 180 orientation. On top of that I believe the cranks are to wide for the current pod cables. Reply 32. Doug Perry I set my Speedplay cleats for zero float … what float do these red cleats come with … any option to get a zero float (Look Black)? Reply • The Vector pedals come with the red cleats (9 degrees of float I think). I’m using the Look Keo Grip Black cleats (0 degrees of float) with the Vector pedals and they work fine. Reply 33. HammerTime Are there any prospects at all for other road pedals to be supported? it sounds like, at minimum, that might have to stand in line behind mountain bike and spin bike. Reply • I think down the line, but not immediately. They really stressed how much they want to fully control the end to end aspects of manufacturing to support, with support being the most important to them. Based on what they were able to work out with Exustar to build the pedal, it would likely have to end up with something similar for another pedal type. They did say that every pedal company (representing the different types) had reached out to them, so it’s just a “business decision” at this point, not a technical one. Reply 34. Mr Nofish With Garmin supporting the new metrics (that might or might not be important, that’s not the point) only on the latest Edge units, anyone who would prefer to avoid touchscreens and/or have a smaller unit in their cockpit is left with no choice. I’m wondering: are they thinking about an updated Edge 500 (505?) to the market? or just expecting customers to bite the bullet? While we’re on the subject, it’s really cheap of Garmin to only add a select few new features on the older units, especially adding data fields look really like a trivial thing, all the heavy lifting is done one the power meter after all. Reply 35. Chris I currently have a Quarq Saturn and have a set of these on order. Worthwhile upgrade? Reply • That’s really a personal thing in how you plan to use them. The Quarq Saturn I’m sure keeps on ticking and providing reliable total wattage, so it just comes down to how much you value the portability & left/right aspects. Reply 36. Charles Very helpful comments regarding the torque fitting of the pedals themselves, and which parts are needed. Having just received my Vectors 2 days ago I was wondering how I was going to fit them. However, unfortunately the Amazon link to the crowfoot wrench WON’T ship to Australia (which is where I live). These guys do, however: link to buy.gissn.com (well, apparently at least – we’ll see if it actually arrives!) Reply 37. Michael What kinds of float do the pedals have in them? I have had knee issues in the past and seems to be better when I have more mobility in the pedal. Thanks for the great review Reply • The Garmin Vector pedals come with a set of cleats that have 6 degrees of float (based on what I’ve read, I did not use the included cleats). The pedals are compatible with Look Keo Road Cleats, which are available with 3 different float levels: 0 degrees (Black), 4.5 degrees (gray) and 9 degrees (red). I’ve tried both the gray and the black, but personally I prefer the black (0 degrees of float). If you need a larger degree of float, then the cleats provided by Garmin with the pedals (6 degrees) or the Look Keo Red cleats (9 degrees) are available. Reply • Belle I found I had to reposition the red Keo ARCR2 cleats further back on my Size 41 Shimano WR80 shoes to be able to cleat in. At one stage I thought I was going to need to file down the ‘epaulettes’ which were impinging in order to get enough clearance. All good now and smooth as a friars pate… Just hoping the new position doesn’t ‘niggle’ anything up. Reply 38. Emil Do you think it (the thread on the spindle) will last long if I remove and install them approximately 15 times a month? Reply • I wouldn’t actually be worried at all about the spindle/pedal, I’d be more worried about the smaller rubber connector of the pedal pod being constantly tugged on. In a worst case scenario a new pedal pod is$69.

As always, a great read. In the past I’ve been reluctant to purchase a power meter, but might be interested in this one. Question:
I have non-circular chain rings made by Osymetric. You say these do not deliver power data correctly for non circular rings. How far off is the power data? Is it totally unworkable?
Thanks for the great reviews.

Ha, disregard. I see a similar question up higher in the comments.

40. Lou

I should add, that perhaps an easier method is to use a pedal wrench and fish scale. Use the scale to pull perpendicularly on the end of the wrench. The torque is the length from the center of the pedal spindle to where the scale attaches to the wrench times the reading of the scale.

Use of a crows foot affects torque reading. Evidently I can’t post a link, so just google, “Torque Wrench Adapter Extended Calculation” for a site that shows how to calculate the effect.

• Interesting stuff.

However, in this case I’m going to kinda stick with the recommendation that using the crowfoot adapter and going to 25 ft-lbs per the number, is actually the best bet.

The reason being two-fold:

1) First, I’m using the exact same wrench and adapter that the Vector Engineering team is using, and torquing it to 25 ft-lbs per the reading. If that reading is technically 28 ft-lbs, that’s fine – because ultimately they’ve tested that according to that specific reading.

2) I’m not aware of a torque wrench that would fit into that pedal space by itself. So it’s sorta easiest to assume a crow-foot adapter is in play, and thus just keep things simple by using the numbers shown on the wrench.

3) Ok, a third reason. That value as read (25-30 ft-lbs) is where I’m seeing the greatest accuracy. In line with their recommendations.

I’d agree it’d be simpler if there wasn’t additional math – but I think it’s best to keep everything on the same line of thinking for now.

• Tyler

Can someone explain this in a picture?

Cheers

• If you follow the current photos in the post, then you’ll be all good. The difference is minuscule (as confirmed by Garmin and others), but just in case I updated them a while back to reduce any confusion.

41. Nick

A very detailed and informative review. I’m curious as to why you’ve not done a similar review for an SRM? It would be great to see in your detailed assessment how all the cheaper power meters compare with the ‘gold standard’?

• Up until this point I haven’t really seen a good reason to do a SRM review. Accuracy wise they’ve been proven to be accurate, and head-unit wise they’ve proven to be reliable but feature-wise overpriced. From a review standpoint the units are well covered.

Now, going into next year with their new re-chargeable unit combined with the new full-featured PC8, I think that represents something new area that I’m looking forward to reviewing and seeing how it fits into the overall market. I’ve been talking with SRM since Eurobike and will again meet with them next week at Interbike.

42. tyler

Hi,

Looking at switching between two different bikes at two different houses for winter training. Different crank lengths and types as well. At this price point, worth it to just go with 2 different powertap training rear wheels instead?

Thoughts?

• Different crank lengths aren’t a problem, since that’s stored in the bike profile on your bike computer. So you just change bikes profiles and it changes crank lengths. Types isn’t a problem as long as neither are larger than the max widths.

As for whether a 2xPT’s or Vector is better is really a personal thing.

43. Ross

Thanks for the comprehensive review particularly the insights into pedal tightness and power variations. I have had my pedals 2 weeks now and have just travelled to Tenerife with my Vectors and torque wrench + crows foot and fitted them without much fuss or problems to a hire bike. Once you know all the necessary steps its pretty straight forward. Being able to travel with or without my own bike and retain reliable power reporting is a real bonus for me and sets Vector apart from other power meters.
Ross

44. PJ1952

Just trying to register my Vector pedals on the Garmin Vector Owner site, and need the serial number. Is it the 5 digit number etched on both pedal spindles? (If so, that doesn’t work – invalid number!). Thanks for any help – the Garmin site is not helpful.

• James Johnston

There is a very small sticker with bar code and serial number on the box

45. Mark

PJ1952,
The 5-digit number is the “Sensor ID”, which is not the same as the serial number. You can find your Vector serial number as follows (at least by using a Garmin Edge 510):
– Click on the Power Sensor icon -> Sensor Details -> About -> Serial #

BUT, when I did that and tried to register my Vector on the Garmin website, I got this error message: “The Serial Number entered is invalid”.

I contacted Garmin support, but I’m still waiting to hear back from them.

• Paul

The registration number needed is on a little sticker on the side of the main package box. Format should be two numbers, letter, six numbers. Worked for me!

• PJ1952

Many thanks to you both. As a result I have found the number sticker on the end of the main package box! (Daylight helps!). Have entered this 2 digit, 1 letter, 6 digit number and all is OK. Just off to check the thickness of my 15mm crows foot now…….

• Mark

Thanks, Paul, for this info. I successfully got my Vector registered. And I also solved the conundrum of the incorrect serial number as reported by the Edge 510. It turns out that every Garmin product has, in addition to its serial number, a 10-digit “Unit Id” (you can see this Unit Id number by clicking on “Details” for your registered Garmin product in “myProducts” on the Garmin website). It was this Unit Id number that the Edge 510 was reporting for Vector under “About”, but incorrectly labeling it as “Serial #”. You would think that Garmin could get this straight.

46. Gavin

Hi Thankyou for such a detailed review (as always)

Ive been having the same issue is finding a crow foot that is of 6.3 mm or less in australia. Ordering your specified blackhawk is not available for us in australia even through amazon. So ive managed to find one which is through the brand Snap On. Model is FCOM15a. Down side is it costs $40 plus delivery. This is really a$10 part but availability just isnt there. Im not sure how our retailers are going to – with the exception of some most will probably ignore and then get a huge amount of returns or enquiries due to the vector not working….im sure garmin will get onto it…hats off to them for delivering on something that many said would not happen…lets not forget this is genuine innovation in the cycling world…

Regards

Gavin

Thanks for the detailed review. I am using Speedplay pedal for years and reluctant to change pedal types without knowing whether they fit me. In your review you did not mention how much float the pedals have. Could you elaborate?
Thanks

48. Nik

I live in Oz, and bought this

and:a 15mm one of these:

Hope this helps

Nik

• Alex

Did that fit? Says it’s 6.7mm deep as opposed to Ray’s measurement of 6.35mm max

• Nik

I wouldn’t say it was a perfect fit, but it slid on and tightened nicely to 25 ft lb

• Alex

Sweet. Local shop had those but didnt think it would fit. Toolmart for anyone else looking for a shop.

49. Brian

Hi Ray
Superb review as always
Would you or anyone have a link to where I can buy the correct pedal torque wrench and matching spanner for delivery to Ireland?
Many Thanks

50. Enrico

Concur with one comment above, having seen the limited availability outside the US Garmin should provide retailers with the foreseen tool and include it in future shipments.

51. Hi All-

I’ve started to add in international sources of the crowfoot adapter into a section early on in the review where I first talk about it. I’ll keep pulling in confirmed reader suggestions as they’re posted here in the comments.

Thanks everyone!

• Hey Ray,

As I noted in a previous comment, if you are unable to find the specified crowfoot adaptor which is narrow enough to fit between the pedal and the crankarm (i.e. <=1/4 inch in thickness), there is an alternative. I was able to pick up a cheap metric crowfoot adaptor set at Autozone for $15, but the crowfeet were all about 3/8" in thickness and wouldn't fit in the pedal axel gap. I bought a metal file, and after about an hour of filing away at the top surface of the crowfoot, I grinded it down to a thickness that would work. My LBS used a grinder to do this much faster. Keep in mind, this isn't changing the 15mm spanning width, just the thickness of the overall adaptor. It's not ideal, but I didn't want to wait two months to get the proper adaptor, as I wanted to ride with the vectors asap. I hope this helps others. Reply 52. I’ve seen a report that the re-calibration to determine axle orientation can have a small, but noticeable effect on L/R balance data. The first hand report I heard was that they were coming up predominately left (about 52%) and then recalibrated and became marginally right dominant. Have you seen any averages change over rides if you do that recalibration stage? Reply • I don’t believe so, but I actually don’t tend to watch the left/right balance as carefully during an outdoor ride, though do watch it a bit during indoor sessions. I don’t remember seeing any situations like that. Reply 53. HammerTime Have you (or anyone else) compared half the reported Stages power (i.e., its measured left leg power) to the left leg power being reported by Vector (using internal precision on left-right power balance, not the integer value)? This would remove the effect of power imbalance on Stages accuracy (at least vs. Vector), and would provide the best apples to apples comparison for left leg power. There may be some subtleties to deal with regarding averaging windows (perhaps non-averaged power balance would be best?). Reply • I believe Dan started looking at it in one of his posts. What seems to be the case thus far is that I’m fairly balanced up until a touch over my FTP, and then beyond that much less balanced. Again, just preliminary thoughts on little data. Ultimately I think it will take many many many months of data to start identifying more trends. Reply • HammerTime Ah yes, thanks. The August 12, 2013 post on link to djconnel.blogspot.com does address my question to some extent, but perhaps the analysis could benefit from the additional data now available. Reply 54. Harmless Harm On the elipticals, would be good to add a column in your comparison table: “immune for ellipticals”, based on DJs findings: “”I think only Power2Max and Powertap are immune, although I would hope Rotor has the issue under control. Quarq, Vector, SRM, and almost certainly Stages will all suffer the error. “” Reply • When I did the analysis, I thought the error would be greater for round chainrings as well. But the round ring error was accuracy-limiting only during sprints, and there power isn’t so precise anyway due to 1-second sampling being comparable to the the rate of change of power during a sprint. Reply 55. Trina Compton I was just installing my pedals today and saw the instructions about adding washers. I thought that my recess on the crank arms was not that bad and installed it flush. Well broke the pedal pod and that was without overtightening. A list for dummies on how many washers for types of cranksets would be good. I use SRAM force crank on this bike and I would use two washers in future. Cannot emphasis how important the number of washers are. Reply 56. Happy Runner [b]Any[/b] crowfoot wrench will work ….. if you have a Dremel. It took less than 10 minutes to grind enough off of this crowfoot wrench (KD Tools) to make a perfect fit. You can see the “step” down in this photo where about 1/16″ was removed. Reply • Happy Runner Apparently, photos can[t be embedded (despite the instructions below!). Sorry! Reply 57. Eli Shouldn’t you grease the threads of the pedal before attaching to the cranks? For the new “Power Meter connection calibration reminder”, at least on the edge 810 with a powertap elite+ I see no reminder. Reply • Eli (I have a crank bros candy pedal permanently attached to my old bike’s crank so make sure I always grease my new bike’s pedals so the metal doesn’t bind) Reply • You won’t see a calibration reminder on the Edge 810. They believe that the quick-access button (tapping screen and pressing the WiFi looking button to the left) is good enough. I’ve argued that’s sorta different, and that ultimately it’s not helping the 98% of the population that doesn’t realize the importance of calibration. Reply • Eli I’d agree with you, the reminder is more cause its something that is easy to forget to do and less of a quicker way to get to the functionality. I normally forget and then coast to auto zero it. (I’m guessing that isn’t good enough) Reply 58. Thomas G’day Ray, For your info, can confirm that the Garmin recommended crowsfoot (Proto) is available from Henchman Products Pty Ltd (sales@henchman.com.au / 02 4956 7111) @$53.17 including delivery and GST (tax).

Cheers

• Thomas

Sorry.. I meant available in Australia

• Greg

Thomas,

Many thanks for this. I have had no luck sourcing one of these so far and will contact them tomorrow.

The “Worldwide” option mentioned Ray’s link above wanted more than US$100 to ship one to Australia! I use a reshipper in the USA from time to time and I have been unable to find a source that would allow me to pay with an Australian credit card and ship to the reshipper’s USA address. Garmin really needs to make sure these are readily available. So far it has been much harder than it needs to be. Greg Reply • Thomas Agreed mate, glad to help. Reply 59. pedaldancer Hey, I really appreciate the in-depth benchmark analysis that have become some kind of benchmark for sports-electronics. In case of power meter comparison however imho I have to remark one big drawback. What good is a comparison of accuracy (I know you like that field anyway..) if you don’t have a benchmark, I’d say it is a whole lot more interesting how the measured values of each PM deviate from the “true” power output than how they deviate amongst each other! And that brings me directly to my second point of criticism: Being the first mover and still the industry benchmark after 20 years you just have to include the SRM’s in those comparisons! Reply • A benchmark isn’t another power meter, but rather an instrument that measures that force independently. An SRM is no less susceptible to drift than any of the other units on the market. Ultimately, down the road SRM will be included, but I draw a pretty hard line that I only include items in the comparison tables that I’ve had physical hands-on access to. Reply 60. Steve G Well… I sure hope these work on FSA SL-K Light cranks, they see to be at the limit of the width measurements; chain clearance is fine for me on my SL3 Tarmac. Reply • Chris Steve, I also use FSA SL-K Light cranks and saw this article yesterday from someone who has fitted Vectors, looks like they just fit if you are careful. link to cyclinganalytics.com Reply • Steve G Thanks Chris! Even better, it’s an Aussie site too! Well it seems that they will fit… just. I can’t help but feel that given the dimensions of the SL-K Light crank making it a ‘extreme’ fit for the Vectors I may be better off going with a PowerTap hub. Hard decision to make I guess. After purchasing and using a KICKR, I hate riding outside without any power feedback in front of me! Reply • Paul I have fitted a fsa k force light crank with success. Strangely, it’s way outside the width tolerance (width across face), but the shape is not symetric about the spindle axis. And the thinner width just happens to be the side the vector pod is supposed to go. So even if your crank is outside the spec, it may still work! Reply 61. Lukman Nurhakim Hi Ray, Talking about accurate torque, when you fix the crow foot attachment to your torque wrench in parralel, you torque reading will not be accurate as the PERPENDICULAR distance between the line of action of force from the torque wrench handle to the centre of pedal axis is different to the distance from torque wrench handle to the centre of torque wrench bolt axle(or whatever you call that). To overcome this, you should set the crow foot attachment perpendicular to the torque wrench and when you apply the force to the torque wrench handle, make sure you apply your force perpendicular to the torque wrench(as you rotate the bolt, your direction of force to the handle may not be perpendicular if you do not consciously do it). Hope it makes sense. Lukman Reply • There isn’t a nice way of putting this but your comment is wrong and misleading. A torque wrench measures just that, torque…. or the moment that is applied. Basic physics presents that if you’re applying a moment it doesn’t matter the location, offset, etc. Draw out some FBD’s and use your 1st year physics / statics equations and you’ll see that it doesn’t matter. Any holding force doesn’t cause a torque, and any torque you apply is directly resolved as the exact same torque value. Sum of forces = 0, sum of moments = 0. Only moment is the one caused by the torque wrench, only place that moment can be held is the crow foot attachment. Reply • Eli No, Lukman is right. If you want to do it the way Ray shows in the pics you can just calculate the real torque: link to freeinfostuff.com link to specialpatrolgroup.co.uk Reply • Apparently people are using crowfoot adapters different from myself, which prevents this additional torque. If you put it co-linear like some of the links suggest yes there is an additional torque and you need to calculate the additional amount (though it’s negligible). However, if you put it perpendicular then you don’t get this. This is how I always use a crowfoot adapter. Sorry, my bad. I honestly didn’t think people would use a crowfoots adapter in a co-linear fashion Reply 62. Dan Hi, thanks for the great information. I am trying to set these up on my Track bike with straps. Not sure how this will go. Still a little unsure how to calibrate. I have an Edge 500 and it does not mention installation angles. Do I just ride at 80-90 rpm? I can run a manual calibration but can’t pedal backwards for the dynamic calibration. Will this be an issue? I’m also interested in peak power for sprints. Since the Edge only samples every second will this affect the accuracy? Reply 63. Morten Hi I have bought garmin vector the September 6. and now my right pedal bearing is loose, have you seen this? /Morten Reply • Can you clarify which part you mean by ‘bearing’? Also, I’d really just give the Garmin Support folks a call. Real humans and can quickly swap out parts if need be. Reply • Morten Hi pedal body can move from side to side around the Pedal Cartridge/axel. I have talk to garmin support, and in Denmark they dit not now any think, so i have made a RMA and send them to Garmin to day. /Morten Reply 64. Alan Great review Ray. I bought the Vectors based on your preview and have been happy since. I just wanted to point out to others where i bought my crowfoot wrench on ebay: http://www.ebay.com/itm/CROWFOOT-Wrench-Socket-3-8-sq-dr-15-mm-Stahlwille-/160653126128?pt=Motors_Automotive_Tools&hash=item2567ac29f0&vxp=mtr And a another small point in your video and review about using a screwdriver to pop off the pedal pod cap – i remember the instructions specifically saying not to do this – but rather just keep unscrewing the pedals and the cap will pop itself off. Thanks for your review, it’s incredibly informative. Reply • Thanks, I’ve made an update to the video accordingly. And thanks for the link, good stuff! Reply 65. Gavin Hi Ray Just confirming my earlier post on the Snap On crows foot as now linked above. It was delivered within 2 days and is 100 percent as described. I have also informed Snap On to get cracking on informing the local shops…up to them to create some value. Also speaking with some installers unless you have read this blog it is a little unclear in the instructions by garmin that a little gap (created with washers) is better than none. Quite a few snapped bits (technical term.:p ) have occurred. Reports are that Garmin locally are being really good with supporting people which is great to hear. Saving for the weekend to soak up the installation. Regards Gavin Reply 66. IronNico Hey Ray, One question which, in fact, might be two… How would it work with PowerCranks ? And, btw, have you ever tried PowerCranks ? it looks like such a nice tool for triathletes… Merci beaucoup, Nicolas Reply 67. Another fantastic review as always. I will buy them when the price drops dramatically. I am always amazed by your reviews but, curious why you never speak in the video’s. You do tons of public speaking for ANT+ but you never speak in your videos. Why??? Reply 68. Tom Hagger Got the vectors today along with the park tools tw-2 and the snap on crowfoot adapter so all ready to install! Just wanted to ask – I haven’t seen a site or review anywhere when showing the installation process that has greased the threads. I assume that you should be doing this? Reply • Theo Smit Page 1 of the manual. link to static.garmincdn.com Reply • Tom Hagger Thanks Theo – I feel a little silly….. Reply • You should always grease threads on bolts (or sometimes threadlock, not in the case you’re asking about though). See “Anti-seize versus, versus” about half way down: link to velonews.competitor.com As to the garmin vector specifically: link to static.garmincdn.com Step 2 of putting on the pedals is to grease the threads on the pedal Step 1 of installing the shoe cleats is to grease the threads on the bolts holding the cleat on. Reply 69. Hi Ray, Firstly thanks for the most excellent bike tech reviews. Could not consider any tech purchase without reading your reviews first. Anyhow regarding the Garmin Vector: I am about to buy a set in large part for portability between bikes one of which is a track bike with fixed gear. The bike has to be fixed gear for track use so the option of a freewheel sprocket is viable. I wonder how the zero recalibration can happen ones riding the bike. Obviously back pedalling is out of the question. In your view how will the Vector deal with this and is it important? Given your understanding of how the initial calibration and zero functions work, what do you think will happen? Will it work? and will there be significant compromises on accuracy? Cheers again Mike Reply • Garmin has stated that while back-pedaling isn’t possible in this case, it’ll still be within 2% of spec. The backpedaling gets it ‘more accurate’ than 2%. Reply 70. Paul Harrington I think the recommended minimum chain clearance of 5mm will cause problems for a lot of users. My main bike is a rose xeon, I could sellotape one 1 euro coin on to the end of the crank and have chain clearance but two 1 euro coins caused the chain to lift. Two 2 cent (eurocent) coins (which measures a tiny bit over 3mm) didn’t interfere with the chain but it was so close that you could imagine the lube coming off on the tape. My winter planetX bike and planetX TT bike had even less clearance. On both these bikes a single euro coin stuck on just about cleared (a little over 2mm) but two 2 cent coins caused the chain to lift. I presume this is not enough clearance, however if I was prepared to set the hi stop on the rear mech to forsake top gear it would probably work. Seems a bit strange that all 3 of my road bikes from 2 manufacturers have nowhere near the required 5mm clearance, what bikes do ? I’m a bit concerned about the rose bike, use it for racing and need my top gear and it is on this I’d would be mainly using the pedals. Could somebody measure how far exactly the vector cap goes beyond the crank and let me know ? Is two 2 euro cent coins enough clearance ? Thanks. Reply 71. Thanks for great review Ray. Static Torque Test: That’s great to know – however does this enable the user to adjust the calibration accordingly? Pedal torque / power accuracy sensitivity: In that chart I get all the various levels of pedal tightness and how it affects the Vector’s accuracy, but what does “baseline” represent? I have one client with Vectors and I suspect (based on a performance test on a known ergo) low power readings / not torqued to spec issue already. Bike shop did not have correct tool. SRM and drift: It is my experience that SRMs are less susceptible to torque zero drift than other power meters, and what drift does occur is far smaller than I see typically noted by users of other meters. Reply • At this point there isn’t a way to set the offset, such as you can do on some other PM’s. It’s more of a validation right now in terms of validating the accuracy. I think Garmin would prefer that if you are finding issues they’d rather just outright replace it. As for the baseline, it represents what I started with before doing the loosening. So in my case that was at least a few rides since I had un-installed it/re-installed it. As I noted then, it’s probably worthwhile noting that the final numbers will have shifted likely just slightly because the CompuTrainer was controlling the wattage, and that number could have shifted accordingly a bit. So it’s more looking at groupings of the PM’s that a pure flat “must be 200w” for that test. If I did the test that scenario again, I’d probably introduce some slight tweaks with respect to re-calibrating every other device each time to ensure that everything was ‘moving’ together more cohesively. But my primary goal was to show that under-torque made a big difference. Reply 72. Paul Having checked about a weeks worth of data now on the Vector, I am surprised how “unbalanced” my pedalling is. Up to 40-60 right leg bias! Starting to wonder if this has something to do with an ongoing lower back pain. Perhaps there is some value in this left-right metric. This also validates my decision over the Stages crank power meter, which would have been way off in my case given my poor pedalling stroke. Reply • Paul An update on power balance. Once I received the new digital torque wrench and matched both pedal side installation torques, the balance is now within 2-4% either way. So much more acceptable and more validation to get the pedal installation torque right. Reply 73. Gaylord It only took me a week to snap one of the pods off. Edge of the driveway 1 – Vector 0. link to lh5.googleusercontent.com Reply • Can you outline a bit more? Reply 74. Ile Do you have to take the batteries off when you switch Vector to another bike or how does the Vector know that it’s been installed again and has to start a new calibration? Reply • When you disconnect the pods to remove them from the pedals, it automatically resets it to require new installation angle setting (thus starting the calibration process). Reply 75. roberto Ray great review as always.! you are saying indeed Vector give higher power level than compared to other meters, as it measures “on the pedal”, so drive train frictions are eliminated. this is supported by the graphs you show, indeed. almost all the vector data shows higher power w.r.t. the other systems. R shall we say Vector , then, show more accurate (=real) power than other systems? Reply 76. Ray: The Teng Crows foot that you show as “reader ordered” ( Teng Tools 15mm Crow Foot Wrench – M386515-C) I can confirm is a perfect fit. Shop around though, got mine for £6.60 Reply • Thanks! Reply • Garmoan Hi Dave: Thanks for confirming the fit. What torque wrench did you pair the Crow Foot with? Reply 77. Mohamed Dear Ray, Thanks for the review, can you advise me which power meter to buy. Reply • That depends heavily on your requirements and situation. Check out this post here where I walk through about every scenario except a unicycle: link to dcrainmaker.com Reply 78. Travis Warner Ray— Great review (as always!!!)—-I have a question and need a little advice. i have been waiting for a more “mobile” power solution for a couple years and have run the table switching from power tap to quarq and comparing to a computrainer. i have had the vector for a couple of weeks now and when comparing it to computrainer and quarq red, the power numbers are almost 10-20% lower on vector. outdoors, when actually riding, i would say numbers are 30% less (200 watts is actually showing as 140-150 on the vector). i am running dura ace 7900 with 170mm cranks–which was input into my garmin 510. i have run and re run installation angles. i have tightened less and more. the only thing i haven’t changed is going from one washer to two (or more). should that be next? any other thoughts? my setup looks identical in terms of pod clearance to the videos on the garmin website so i have been hesitant to add more washers. i gave them a call and were quite responsive, just waiting to hear back currently. thanks, in advance, for any advice. tw Reply 79. This is my first post and the first thing I’d like to say is that I love your reviews. Your attention to details and depth of knowledge is unparalleled; thank you for all the effort. Now for the question. I just picked up a pair of Vectors and synced them with a Garmin 500 and a Garmin 910 and the power drops to zero when I begin pedaling harder than 180-200 watts. I set my bike up on my Computrainer and set the watts at 200 (I’m not sure what you call that mode), I begin riding and the watts begin to gradually rise (seemingly consistent with my effort), at about 150 watts I stand up out of the saddle and begin pedaling harder and the power drops to zero. I tried this multiple times and every time I exceeded between 150-185 watts the power dropped to zero on both Garmin’s. Any thoughts? Reply • Upon re-reading my post I realize I was inconsistent with the power numbers I mentioned. After trying to bring my power up a few more times I see the power is actually dropping at around 170 watts. Reply 80. BobbyB Great review! One simple question: When you were given your unit from Garmin was the box sealed in a shrink or plastic wrap. I ask because I have been looking around to pick a unit up, and the best price is on ebay – not to mention saving on sales tax (CA=ouch). All of the items posted are new w/o plastic wrap. Any insight? Again thanks a lot for such a thorough review! Reply • Mine was non-plastic wrapped – but honestly, I wouldn’t use me as the example since they were laid out for us on a table and I haven’t received my final bought/paid retail version yet. I suspect others here can probably confirm how the standard retail versions work in the meantime. Reply • Todd BobbyB, Mine was not shrink wrapped. Just nicely packaged in a black box which is in a black sleeve Reply 81. Sue I’ve been using a set of vectors for about a week now. I have order torque wrench etc so at the moment they are hand tightened. 1. I’m currently using edge500 and there doesn’t seem to be any way of doing the zero calibration. Just a single step calibration which seems to need to pedal forwards, then backwards. Is it possible to do a zero calibration with the edge500? 2. Also I’m getting really different calibration values, everything from -32000 to +3000. So not only positive and negative, but orders of magnitude differences. Is this correct? 3. Finally I’m wondering if the problem may be in ‘smoothness’ of back-pedaling? I have significant leg disability and backpedalling is very clunky. Would this impact on the calibration? I am getting really different pedalling balance from one day to the next, can be 67/33 one day to 55/45 the next (similar rides) which seems a bit too variable. Reply 82. Sue Sorry – also meant to congratulate you on great reviews! Reply • Ross Another great resource for Vector information and technical support is the official Garmin Vector forum: link to forums.garmin.com The moderator is the most responsive I’ve ever seen on a Garmin forum. Reply • Thats not a very high bar as it seems like the others get ignored by people from Garmin :-/ Reply • Sue Thanks for the link Ross – looks like a common problem. Hopefully a torque wrench and an edge 510 will sort it out. Reply • Sue Thanks for the link Ross – looks like a common problem. Hopefully a torque wrench and a 510 will sort it out. Reply • Sue Thanks for the link Ross. It looks like a common problem. Hopefully a torque wrench and a 510 will sort it out. Reply 83. BobbyB Thoughts on buying a vector from an authorized dealer vs not. Have a couple of good deals I am looking at, but the best is from a non brick and mortar store and not a Garmin dealer. Did the garmin reps give you any insight into this? Talking to my local dealer apparently the vector line is very controlled, especially in price point. Reply • I’d be hesitant on it. Only because I simply don’t know how Garmin treats products from a support standpoint bought from non-authorized sources. In practice, you’re probably fine, but I’m just not sure. Fwiw, it sounds like things might be opening up in about a month when it comes to online sales (no 3rd party online sales are permitted, nor Garmin.com online sales are permitted today). Reply 84. Roberto when you say ” the torqu should e 25 ft x lb” is what Garmin recomends? actually you are not really applying 25 ft x lb, as the adapeter increses the lenght of the wrench. should be a small variation, though, but, from the pictures, i might guess the center of the torque is ~1 cm longer with the adapter. Reply • Nope. Roberto, this is confusing people and it’s just wrong. I could have a 10 meter long extender and if the torque wrench measures 25 ft-lbs then 10 meters down the way at the pedal it’ll be 25 ft-lbs. Please review free body diagrams and force and moment balance. If I apply 25 ft-lbs anywhere and it’s held only in one place as a moment resist, then it has to hold at 25 ft-lbs. Here’s a link for review link to en.wikipedia.org Reply • Roberto Keith, thanks. understood the law about static. what i thought is the fact we measure with the wrench at a given location of the arm length. we apply a Force at the end of the arm. such force by the arm of the wrench gives a torque, but the same force is applied on longer arm, when we use the extension. hence, the higher momentum. btw: i immediately found a link to a “calculator” [is simple proportionality] to estimate the torque applied with an extended wrench. link to norbar.com here in this case, again, differencies shall be quite marginal. cheers R Reply 85. Brendan Loehr how about the aerodynamics? And yes i am picky about cable routings and anything extra coming off my bike in tri. Reply 86. BobbyB Ray – A possible update for your tools section. Went out and picked up tools in prep for the install per you suggestion. The Blackhawk Crowsfoot you mention is a special order item so I looked for an alternative. Lowes sells a whole line of crowsfeet under their Kobalt line. Their 15mm is under a 1/4″ width and works on my current pedal set up clearing the pedal spindle. Fingers crossed it works with the Vector setup, but I see no reason for it not to. Reply 87. BobbyB Here is the link to the lowes item: link to lowes.com Easily returnable if it doesn’t work, but I suspect it will. Reply • BobbyB Confirmed – installed the other day using this crowfoot adapter. Reply 88. Joe Public DCR, As always, great review. Have you heard any kind of target date for Clever Training having the Vector pedals available for purchase? It would be nice to support the site if they’ll be available reasonably soon. Thanks, JP Reply • The optimistic says that perhaps within about 30-45 days. Reply 89. You mention several times to torque to 25 lbs. The manual and quick start guide say between 25-30 lbs. Is there something more ? Or as long as you are in that range you are accurate enough. I have mine on and could not torque until I ground down an adaptor. Just wanted to be sure as Garmin tech support wan not knowledgable or helpful. Reply 90. Johnny Woodhouse Hi there, has anyone had any issues with the spindle not “gripping” adequately when tightening with the torque wrench? I’m finding it gets to about 20 lbs at which point the spindle turns and the torque measurement doesn’t increase. Have tested with a different number of washers in place and seems to keep happening. Reply • What brand/model cranks do you have? I’m guessing carbon cranks and the metal screw part isn’t attached very well to the crank so under torque just rotates inside the crank or the threads are being stripped. Reply • Johnny Woodhouse Thanks Eli. Both alloy and carbon – Gossamer on the TT and FSA K Force Light on the roadie (roadie cranks are too big, so I’m not attaching the pods while I wait for replacement cranks). Same issue for each crankset. I put my old Shimano pedals on this morning and there were no problems, so it seems to be a pedal issue. Will check threads. Never had a problem with the “metal screw part” not attaching very well to the crank, but will try and work out if that’s the issue. Cheers Reply • both of my guesses are easy to check for but they are just guesses. The shimano pedals could be tightened past 20? Reply • Johnny Woodhouse Yeah, no slippage and straight to 25 lbs. A bit strange, may head into the LBS this weekend to see whether they have any ideas. Thanks again. Reply 91. CW Impressive review – thanks! I’ve had a few opportunities to fondle the Vector pedals, but I haven’t been out on them yet. The thing I noticed — and it was consistent with the three sets of Vectors I’ve held/played with so far — is what appears to be A LOT of friction (maybe stiction is the better description here) in the spindle bearings… The spindle felt unusually constrained (as in very) within the pedal body. Are there more seals (tighter seals) to prevent contamination than on regular pedals? I know (imagine) that energy losses due to friction at the pedal spindle would likely be minimal, but still… I’ve got 6 bikes in my garage at the moment ranging from Mtn., road, cross, kids’ bikes, and none of them have what I would call “tight” pedal spindles… Did you happen to notice this on your test pedals? Can you comment? Would Garmin care to comment? Much appreciated! -CW Reply 92. Invictabob Thanks for another great review, keep up the good work. I intend to move a Vector (when it arrives!) between my road bike and my TT bike both of which already have GSC10 sensors fitted, do you know whether the Vector will take precedence over the GSC10 for cadence, or will it confuse the 500/510? Reply • I have a feeling that it treats cadence from powermeters all equally so the head unit would take the cadence from the first sensor it finds of a certain type. My guess is: 1) cadence only sensor 2) speed/cadence sensor 3) power meter So power meter is only used if one of the first two is not there. Guess Ray can confirm if that guess is correct. Reply • Per a post from Alan in the past (link to dcrainmaker.com), here’s the order: “For those asking questions on what the Garmin head unit does when it has multiple sources for speed/cadence information here is the order it will use the sources in Cadence: Cadence from power meter (except PowerTap hub) External Cadence sensor Cadence from PowerTap hub Speed: Speed from PowerTap Speed from external sensor Speed from GPS data” Reply • BobbyB Talked to Garmin yesterday about this one. With the Vector and GSC10 both connected, cadence comes from the Vector. You no longer need the GSC-10 as it will only provide speed in the absence of GPS (like inside on a trainer) or a poor GPS singal (tunnel, underpass, etc.). Reply • Steve Knapp Interesting as I would have sworn that before the vector firmware updates came around (910XT and Edge800) the Garmin would take cadence from the GSC10 before my Stages. Most noticeable at slow cadences. Now the Stages wins. Reply 93. Garmoan Had my Vectors since Saturday 300miles in and love ’em, love ’em, love ’em. They work a dream and training with power on the road is awesome. The pedals are loads better than my 2012 Durarace pedals – really lock you in place nicely, no flex and feel solid. You don’t notice the few extra grams. The only issue is that here in the UK Garmin Vector buyers have created a squeeze in the market for “15mm Crow Foot Wrench – M386515- from Teng Tools” or anything similar!!!! Reply 94. I have had my Vectors now for a couple of weeks. This review and directions helped me a lot. First I did not have the proper crows foot so I rode several times with out the proper torque and they seemed to perform very well. I bought a crows foot and had to grind it down. Not that I have torqued them to 25 Ft./Lbs the problems have started. The left sensor keeps saying it is missing at times. Then when riding yesterday I had not cadence and power was all jacked up. Most the time I was not getting a power reading at all. Then I took them off and of course my 800 Edge said each one was missing. I reinstalled them and set the proper torque again. Before the ride they calibrated successfully both prior to the ride and then pedaling backwards they were set. I should get cadence from them too? As it turned out my GSC-10 had a dead battery. But I thought the pedals should display cadence. Getting ready to ride again and really hoping this was some fluke yesterday and not something already wrong with the pedals. Reply • Björn I have the same problem with Garmin Vectors, it regularly says that the left sensor is missing. The pedals then seem to work again but the issue is that calibration often doesn’t work because of this. I contacted Garmin and got the following response: “In most cases, this is a temporary problem and dismissing the message will likely result in the system working as normal with power and cadence reporting values as expected.” But i don’t think such errors are acceptable for a new product that costed me 2400US$.

Awesome review, thanks. I just got the pedals and didn’t realize I needed to be specific about torque. I haven’t put them on yet because it’s nearly impossible to find the attachment for my wrench in Canada. Ended up finding a local supplier for “Gearwrench”, which makes one that’s thin enough. They are ordering one in for me. I called all the local bike shops and they’ve been installing the pedals without a torque wrench. They all said “a little more than hand tight”. Doesn’t seem like the right way to do it based on your review. It would have been so easy for Garmin to just throw in a cheap attachment.

96. Andrew Sweet

Thanks again DC, excellent report, particularly useful when Garmin don’t provide all the tools for install (Crows foot adaptor)

97. Vince

Where on earth are you all getting your Vectors? Here in St. Louis no one has them. If you are getting them on-line did you get a warranty and receipt from a reputable dealer?

• I was able to find a dealer in Chicago that got a large initial supply. From my understanding they still have some and can ship to you.

• BobbyB

There are a few Garmin Licensed retailers selling them on ebay. That is where I got mine. Better price and came with receipt from their retail store – nothing linked to ebay. Same as though I walked in and purchased it from their B&M store.

98. Vince

Can you please tell me the name of the guy on eBay or the Chicago retailer? If it is a free ad/promotion I understand.
Thanks,
Vince

99. BobbyB

Vince – shoot me an email at rbower04@hotmail.com and I will give you the info I have.

100. Choco

If these were used on a track bike with say 165mm cranks, is it likely they would strike the ground at any stage of the rotation on a banked corner?

101. Andrew

Greetings from NL and thanks for another great review. Can you tell me what sensors are compatible and what are redundant with thist toy combination: vector + garmin speed/cadence sensor on chain stay and magnet on crank and wheel + bike in computertrainer with magnet on crank and sensor on chain stay.

I want to compare the power readings from CT and vector for the same ride

If I take off the garmin speed/cadence sensor and applicable magnets, the vector will give me my cadence, and my 910 will give me speed based on gps. Is the speed from the speed/cadence sensor more real time/instantaneous/better than that from the gps?

Finally, have you used vector with the 910?? I’m having difficulty finding a complete list of instructions for setting up the vector on the 910. I have the new 910 firmware.

Thanks again. If you’re ever back in town for the st.john’s tri I’ll owe you a beer

• BobbyB

The speed cadence sensor is redundant in a sense. You only need to GSC10 in the event you loose GPS signal for speed calculation (like riding in a tunnel or something). Cadence will come from vector when installed. Personally I am keeping mine on just because – it can’t hurt. Not sure on which one is more accurate, but my guess would be the GPS over the long haul, but GSC10 for instantaneous speed – assuming you have it set up right.

I compared power readings the other day with my CT and Edge 800 w/vector. 2W average variation over 30 minutes. I setup my 910 by calling Garmin reps since there are no pairing/setup instructions online that I could find.

• Andrew

The first time I compared my vector and CT. The vector average power seemed very low vs CT. I then when into my 910xt and ensured the average power calculation from the vector didn’t include zeros. Now my vector average and instantaneous powers read about 10 watts higher than what my CT shows. I’m not sure if the CT includes zeros in its average power calculation. Does anyone know?

102. EPluribus

Hi Ray,

great review
I also have a question:
I suppose, you didn’t use the vector powermeter with edge705.

I installed the vector, after searching, the edge 705 found the powermeter. After cycling a few meters, I had wattage and cadence on the display.
Whenever I start calibration, a new screen appears (“Calibrating…”), but nothing happens. There are several bars to indicate the calibration progress, but there is no progress.

Zero calibration is not done, right? In my opinion, the indicated watts on the display are not accurate. Today i had a ride, the values were definitely too high.
The firmware on the edge 705 is v3.30.

Anyone the same problem?

• BobbyB

Many of the computer set up’s are different. I had questions about pairing and calibrating with my edge 800. I called Garmin and they quickly resolved the problem. For the 800 you don’t have to set the installation angles as part of the setup process – it is done automatically and gives you no indication that it is or has been completed.

• Seppultura

I guess, the installation angles are right, because I have values on the display.
What’s about static calibration with the 800? What exactly happens, when you press the “start calibration” button? Is it necessary to do this step?

I also contacted Garmin, but no answer unti now.

• BobbyB

The start calibration is for the static calibration on the 800. Do it before you ride. It takes less than 10 seconds. Then once you are riding pedal backwards for the dynamic calibration. Not necessary but so easy to so so why not.

103. BHand

Another great review. Garmin really does need to think about providing a crowfoot adaptor with the petals since it is necessary for proper installation. It’s nearly impossible to get one right now, especially here in the UK. I ordered one online from the link above from Teng Tools. The called me this morning and said that that have literally had hundreds of orders for people trying to install pedals (all thanks to your review!). They are now back ordered. Several other sites are out of stock.

• JR

Guys, I just bought a standard crowfoot adapter (whole set for only $7) and used an angle grinder. Put it in a vice and grind it down. It only takes 5 minutes and saves you the time and money. Fits like a glove now. Reply 104. Andrew I got a set of crows foot adapters for less than ten bucks at Princess Auto (NL, Canada) I too just used an angle grinder tp thin it down Reply 105. BobbyB You guys assume everyone has an angle grinder……They have Lowes home improvement stores across Canada – crow foot adapter there is about 7 dollars – works fine. That was the best option I found stateside w/o ordering online or “making one” to work. Reply 106. Hi Ray, I wanted to bring to your attention a little tip regarding using a torque wrench with a Crow’s Foot. Due to the fact that the crows foot is extending the torque wrench, the reading on the torque wrench is no longer the torque applied to the fixing. Please visit this page for more info regarding re-calculating the torque figure to ensure the pedal is indeed torqued to what you want. link to engineersedge.com Reply 107. Anthony Anicete Hi Ray, Been using the vector with the wahoo kickr, I also use qrings, the pedals are at 25 ft/ lbs. Vector power readings are about 20 watts less. Any ideas? Reply • A few items of note. First is that qrings aren’t really supported with Vector, so you’re going to see some variance right there – likely in the 4-8% range (closer to 4%). Second is that then puts you in range of overlapping accuracy levels between the two units – so it’s really tough. Third is that they are measuring at different places, so you could see some impact there (though typically that’d mean Vector would be higher). Beyond that, make sure you did a few hard springs and re-calibrated everything following that. Reply 108. javier recio Any way to make the vector work with rotor flow cranks? Reply 109. Dominick How did you get that Right/Left graph. I am using an Edge 500 and WKO for analysis. Thanks! Reply • It’s from Garmin Connect. Reply 110. Tom Hagger I know Garmin have stated that they haven’t properly tested Vector with Q-rings and other elliptical rings but has anyone been using the two together? Be interested to hear if they work well enough to be useable? Reply • It’s going to be off, and the amount of off will vary based on cadence. It’s not just a Vector thing, it impacts others like SRM too. Funny, there was just a new thread on it the other day on Slowtwitch: link to forum.slowtwitch.com as well as this: link to djconnel.blogspot.fr Reply • Tom Hagger Thanks Ray – those links have cleared up my issue. As I “only” have a Vector and do not use anything else for power measurement there will be no issue in me using Q-rings as if I train on only one set of cranks, there really is no issue because a 10% increase in FTP is still a 10% increase not matter what the shape of the rings. Reply 111. I was wondering if you have heard if Garmin may try and update the 800 to provide the same data as the 810 has? I have switched my pedals back and forth several times now and they seem to be functioning properly now that I have been using the crows foot and torque settings. After a post yesterday I am a little concerned about the proper torque because of the crows foot. Is that why Garmin suggests 25 to 30 lbs/per foot? Reply • Hi Ross (and above Gareth)- I’m aware of the article (you can see it a number of times above), and also some conflicting thoughts on it (also above). However, it actually doesn’t change anything – and here’s why: The Vector team themselves is using the exact same crowsfoot and wrench as noted above. Exact model. I specifically went out and got what they got. The recommendation of 25-foot-pounds is the baseline recommendation, it’s a range between 25-30. The reason I don’t say in this post higher is better, is because someone will come along and assume that 35 is better and then decide 50 is best and break something. 25, even if you account for the slight variation in the article listed, is still safe. Further, my hope is that by concentrating on 25-ft-lbs as ‘the number’, a small portion of the population will remember that and actually do that (since it continues to be the single way that things get messed up on installs from what I’m seeing). Finally, the entire calibration/installation section was actually vetted by the Garmin Vector team (multiple folks, including the division lead). So I’m confident that they know what they’re doing as far as calibration of their device with the tools they themselves use. Cheers! -Ray Reply • There is an easy way to show ignoring the proper physics is good enough. In order for the crows foot to fit it would have to be from a right angle on one side to a right angle on the other or somewhere inbetween. A right angle would be almost the same as no adaptor in terms of torque and straight out would make it tighter then 25-ft-lbs, since it can go higher then 25 and higher then 30 and still work fine and produce good power numbers (those are only bad if you went low) then it really wouldn’t matter that you did it wrong. Reply 112. tim mcc Hi Ray – awesome work as usual!! Any insight from Garmin Engineering team or Garmin HQ as to why current team members aren’t using this when racing? Would have thought its an ideal marketing platform! I cant see any vector components from the Tour of Alberta pics Reply • Most pro teams won’t switch technology/components mid-season as they consider it a bit of a disruption – including Team Garmin. Starting at the ‘next season’ training camps in about a month, all Team Garmin members will be on Vector. Reply 113. tim mcc Thanks Ray – appreciate the insight … as always! Do you know what Garmin are using at the moment for power and is there a public source as to what all pro teams are using for their power data feeds? i havent found a summary to date. cheers mate tim Reply • It’s mostly up to each athlete, but some are using SRM. I’m not aware of a resource for all pro teams and power unfortunately (though it would be interesting). By the same token, I wouldn’t assume that what any pro team is using has to do with preferences, it’s really just all about who paid who. Reply • SRM’s 2013 sponsored teams are/were: Astana BMC Cannondale Orica Greenedge Lampre Merida Lotto Belisol Movistar Radioshack Leopard Saxo Tinkoff Argos Shimano I’m unaware of any other power meter company sponsoring Pro Tour teams. Powertap used to sponsor Phonak back in Flandis’ time. Of the rest we already know the following use SRM: Sky Katusha OPQS use SRAM Quarqs I’m not sure about Belkin but they use Shimano groups, and AG2R use Campag. Rest I’m unsure. Reply 114. tim mcc WOW impressive – thanks Alex Simmons and Ray Reply 115. Eli New update to the vector: link to www8.garmin.com Reply • It looks to be just the software suite and not firmware. From downloading it and attempting to install it – one will want to avoid grabbing that package as it produces an error upon install (PC side). Looking at the Vector forums, they’re going to rebuild the package and re-post. Reply • oops, my bad Reply 116. james Great review! I’m interested in temperature compensation, particular on long climbs where the temperature is changing and there is no chance to back-pedal/coast to auto-zero. The data DCR showed in the Stages review indicated that the Stages deals very well with this situation, the Powertap ok, and Quarq not so good. I’m wondering how the Vectors would compare to the stages – is their automatic temperature compensation as good? Reply 117. Paul Regarding a torque wrnech suitable – make sure its a two way model. I first bought a standard “click” torque wrench which are available everywhere. This will work fine for one side of the bike, but getting the wrench in between the crank and frame on the other side is nigh on impossible. So I went out and bought a digital torque wrench, which are almost all two-way (meaning you can reverse the direction of force being applied) and now it is much easier. Also, the digital model I got goes all the way from 2.5Nm to 120Nm. Huge range, which means I have one wrench for the whole bike (most mechanical torque wrenches are in ranges 2-20 onwards). Also, regarding the crow foot – I’m in Australia and got my local tool shop to source a teng tools 15mm adaptor ($15). Its about 0.5mm wider than the spec dc lists, which makes it tight. So you could leave it like this, or do what I did and grind off 1mm from the face.

• Tim

I wish I had reads Paul’s comment before trying to install my vectors. I used a standard click torque wrench (link to bunnings.com.au) with a crows foots (link to buy1.snapon.com)

It only measures the torque when you tighten clock-wise. You tighten the left pedal anti-clockwise, so you need to put your torque wrench on backwards for this pedal, which as Paul says is pretty much impossible. I had to use a socket extension, and even then I managed to snap the pedal pod when trying to do this. I doubt I will get a replacement pod on warranty, but am going to ask.

For the moment I have just tightened the left pedal by feel, but I guess I will have to do what Paul did and source another torque wrench.

118. Bengi

I´ve been thinking about how the torque i s messured an have (possibly wrongly) assumed that it messures the amount of flex produced in the spindel. Is this correct?

If so, wouldn’t a cleat mounted close to the inside of the shoe (giving a higher Q-factor) give a higher power reading, compared to having it mounted more to the outside of the shoe (= smaller Q-factor)?

119. Sebastian

I just got Garmin Vector pedals, totally based on this review.

I will be doing ore comparisons with my PowerTap shortly. Here is first strange behaviour:

Left\right balance seems to be sketchy:
I did quick test:

Full calibration, placed bike on the trainer without any load. Started spinning cranks with my hand by holding crank not the pedal. Apparently Garmin shows 6-7W of power and power balance 43%-57%, then I moved to the other side of the bike and did the same, power balance was exactly the same 43%-%57
In my opinion power should be 0W and balance 0%-0%

Anyone can do similar test and see what values are they getting.

• ClaFio

I’ve tried your test (rotate crack without touch pedal). In my test I found 0W and 50/50 Balance.

If I hold only one pedal then I can reach 7/10/13W with balance 100/0 or even 65/35 (on right pedal never 0/100, but always about 35/65).

If I softly breake rear wheel so to reach 30W, always I read 100/0 (holding left pedal) or 0/100 (holding right pedal).

120. Lucian

Thanks for the great review.

One (hopefully) helpful comment with respect to measuring chain-crank clearance and the difficulty of eyeballing a ruler: I have found that hex keys make great feeler gauges for measuring a few mm between things, for example between pedal and chain, or for example measuring clearance to the chainring when setting front derailleur height.

121. Dan

I’m planning on buying Vector and use them on an stationary bicycle for my winter indoor training, but since the crank is very thin, I wonder if the pods be fastened enough?

This is how the crank looks from above with a pedal attached (pedal axis at top; crank at bottom):

Any ideas?

• Dan

Hmm, the picture seem to not load when clicking the link, but the link can be copied and pasted inte to the adress field of a browser.

The picture also got rotated by Dropbox so the description should instead read:

“pedal axis at right; crank at left”.

• I honestly don’t know. But, if you post in the Garmin Forums, the Vector folks there are incredibly responsive and should be able to help clarify (mind-bogglingly responsive).

122. Hello Rainmaker
I got the pedals from Garmin Italy to test them, I’m reporting on a sort of “daily diary” here:

if it’d be interesting/complementary to your awesome (as always) analysis.
Ciao!
Roberto

123. andreas juul

Hi

Any new perspective on the Vector? Or does the main conclusions from the review still hold?

• I would say everything continues to stay the same. The single biggest hindrance to accurate data still appears to be people following install instructions and the lack of availability of the crows foot adapter.

124. Mike

You posted “(September 28, 2013 at 7:25 am #182)

Fwiw, it sounds like things might be opening up in about a month when it comes to online sales (no 3rd party online sales are permitted, nor Garmin.com online sales are permitted today).”

As it is now a month later, anything you might can share as an insight on what is coming (soon, to a website near you… )?

• From recent discussions it sounds as though Garmin is going to continue to hold off a bit longer before allowing anyone (including themselves) online sales.

• David

Any update on discounts for these?

• It sounds like there’s a possibility of opening up sales to online retailers in January, but nothing is firm there.

• Karl

Down to $1249 AUD in Australia Reply 125. Vince Has anyone used the Vector whilst on a Computrainer? I can’t seem to get the speed to read out on my Edge 800. The only reason I would like to have speed is this would make it easier to upload to my WKO+ and Garmin connect. Sorry if this has been addressed. Reply • Yup, check out the above photos (most of them are on a CompuTrainer). 😉 Note that the CompuTrainer by default doesn’t do ANT+, thus can’t do ANT+ speed. Vector of course doesn’t do speed, since it has no method of measuring that (just cadence/power). The way I bridge that gap is to use TrainerRoad to control my CompuTrainer, and then use their PowerRelay option, which will automatically transmit out the CompuTrainer speed as ANT+ speed, and then the Edge 800 (or any Garmin) can pick it up wirelessly. It requires a computer (Mac/PC to do this however). Finally, there used to be a piece of software out there called CTAnt (search here for it for old post), but it’s no longer being supported by the developer, so I wouldn’t recommend it at this point. Reply • Vince Thanks for the TrainerRoad tip. I am noticing a 20 to 25w difference between the Computrainer head unit and TrainerRoad. Question, can I just use the ANT+ stick that comes w/ the Vector as a relay between my computer and the pedals or do I have to get the Garmin ANT+ USB stick? Thanks for your help, Vince Reply • Yup, that stick works perfectly fine for TR. Reply 126. Dave Installed my Vectors tonight, great step by step guide dcrainmaker thanks! Only issue is the left pedal is not recognised, checked all fittings etc only right pedal returning a power reading to Garmin 800. I switched batteries over left to right and then nothing at all unit wouldn’t pair or return a power reading, so changed back but even the right then wouldn’t work then!! So I have the worlds most expensive pedals without power readings at all. I don’t have a spare set of batteries to check, so will have to try tomorrow, but looking at other threads this appears a known defect, so reluctant just to keep trying new batteries? Reply • Rich Worth checking that connector is definitely all the way in. I had the same issue and had to remove a washer to ensure the connection was complete. Reply 127. Boris Konjar I just got Vectors to test and found that on a Bianchi 61cm frame running Campag super record 11 the chain/crank clearance was not sufficient. I also checked on a friends bike that runs 10 speed Shimano and that clearance is hardly better. 3mm and 4 mm respectively. So I am a little hesitant to install the system to write a local review. While riding 53/11 did you find any sings of wear and tear on the back of the pods from chain slap?Since this technology does not come cheap I would think that it will find buyers with high end bikes and the clearance issue not going away? Reply • Ross I have Super Record 11 on my Wilier Cento Uno and the clearance is 2-3mm and has been no problem. No signs of the chain ever touching the back of the connector. It is not required but you can always try using 1 washer if you want to get the connector to sit even more flush with the back of the crank. Reply • Boris Konjar Thanks Ross. I have a pic of the clearance. Would be happy to send to you. Reply 128. Martin Harris Blackhawk crowfoot appears to have been out of stock for some time, but Snap-on’s website has FCOM15A available, for overnight delivery too. Thanks for great review and related info! Garmin should give you commission (I bought these significantly based on your info & review), my pedals should arrive today and can’t wait to install, going to be using them exclusively for track use. Reply 129. Steve I am in Singapore and have got a spare crow foot from Autoparts Warehouse for sale for 30 Aus. (9002 8245 – send me a text) Reply 130. evdv Hi. Do you have any idea of the torque that will make the pedal stop to enter in the crank arm naturally with the pedal stroke movement? If I put the pedal by hand in the crank arm and just turn the crank arm, the pedal will be tightened until some torque stop it. I would like to know what torque is this.. probably it will be less than the ’25’. Just curious, because the folks here are talking that the pedal will adapter to the right torque ‘naturally’. Reply 131. Kyle Thanks a ton for the review. I really liked the design and portability of the Vectors and it was this information that swayed me towards buying them over another brand. I can also vouch for the Kobalt brand crowsfoot that another commenter posted the link to. These are really easy to find here in the States and would probably be a good one to throw in the article with the other links. They’re super cheap too. Reply 132. James Following a broken ankle and surgery to repair (fibula and fibula both broken, plate+6 screws one side, 2 screws the other) I decided to take training seriously to be back on form for the Etape du Tour next year, so I bought (on the basis of reviews on this site, mainly – which are super-useful, so thanks!) a Kickr triner and the Garmin Vector pedals, and updated my Edge 705 to an 810. Retail therapy works for ankles too… Just getting started on them now after cast is off etc. However, there’s a bit of a frustrating thing with the ability to use the three devices together. The Kickr acts as a power meter, and also gives speed (and hence distance) to the Edge810. The Vectors also act as a power meter (also giving L/R balance – obviously of interest with my knackered ankle/weak leg), and give cadence. HOWEVER, as they are both power meters the Edge can only use one, so you can’t record a workout on the Edge810 that has power L/R, cadence and distance/speed. I guess one can just choose which one to use and upload to Strava/Garmin etc, and can always record both – one via the Kickr iPhone app, one on the Edge810. And for current training purposes it’s the power and L/R balance that is of most interest. But I wondered if you’d found a sneaky way to combine all the data together, Ray (or anyone else on the forum)? Reply • James (replying to myself) – I just found your reply #264, Ray, about using TrainerRoad – but not sure that works with the Kickr. Unless the Wahoo Fitness app can see data from the Vectors?… Reply • You need something like the WASP app on iphone or iPad, which enables collection of data streams from multiple devices simultaneously. But I’m not sure why you’d need it. Just use the Kickr to control your pre-programmed resistance using the software of your choice to do that (e.g. PerfPro can control the Kickr), and use the Vectors to record what you actually did. IOW just pair the Garmin head unit with the Vectors. Good luck with return to fitness, injuries suck but they at least remind us what it’s like when we can’t ride. Reply • James Thanks Alex. In an ideal world I’d have a complete data set including speed/distance, although I guess being on a trainer it doesn’t really count… WASP looks good but is probably a pain to upload to Strava / Garmin. And in the new world of training with power it’s watts that count, plus possibly HR. So your suggestion makes the most sense, to just use the iPhone app to control Kickr and upload the ride with the Edge. Might switch if using the Segments app to race against my Strava times I suppose. It seems strange though that the Kickr can’t function as a speed sensor and a power meter separately – maybe it’s something that could come with firmware updates, although I’m sure it’s not that simple… Time off definitely makes you appreciate bike riding all the more! Have managed two 15min sessions so far – the Kickr doesn’t know what’s going to hit it when I’m fit again…! Reply 133. Great review! The Garmin Vector is a really nice product! For Belgian cyclists: here (link to chamizo.be) you can get your Garmin Vector installed for free with your purchase. Reply 134. Larry Lem On a recumbent bike, where should the pods point? At the “bottom” of the power stroke or straight down with gravity like and upright bike? Thanks! Reply 135. Jamie Has anyone tried using the Vector with a Forerunner 310 XT? I am consistently having problems with the cadence and power readings dropping out. I have tried re calibrating, updated firmware, sent it back to the shop and tried every configuration setting you can imagine. But still no luck. I can’t help but think perhaps the 310 XT is just a little bit old for the vector. Reply • John 04 There’s good news and bad news. The good news is that the Vector works well with the 310XT. I have both and Edge 500 and the 310XT and they both give the same readings. The major handicap of the 310XT is that it doesn’t give left/right balance – but personally I don’t think that’s big deal. In fact I find the most useful thing about left/right balance is that if there is a big difference it means that there is an installation issue with one of the pedals. The bad news is that power readings dropping out are an issue that is tough to resolve. Once properly installed (and properly torqued) I find the system reasonably reliable, but from time to time you need to reinstall, retorque etc. and I can’t figure out why. Sometimes it will stop for two seconds, sometimes two minutes, and sometimes it gives readings of 2300 watts. Overall I am a bit disappointed with this product as I spend quite a bit of time on maintaining it and it still doesn’t work very reliably. For example I have tried to install on one of my other bikes, which has cranks that are exactly 15mm thick – so should work. One of the pedals works perfectly and the other doesn’t work, despite spending several hours trying. For the price we have paid for the product, these issues should not occur. Reply • Have either of you guys tried ringing up support? Or, the Vector support via their forums? I only ask because the Vector team is probably the singular team at Garmin that has really solid support and pretty much runs down and tracks down everything (either via call or forum). Reply 136. Chris Morning, I’m a track cyclist and I haven’t trained with a powermeter as of yet, but am going back and forth on choosing between a powertap & vector pedal system. Having to backpedal eight times before initiating a workout isn’t an option on a track bike… What are the pros & cons? Chris Reply 137. Jamie I have tried e-mailing customer support and placed a message on their facebook page. I agree usually they are pretty good but uunfortuntely I haven’t heard anything back yet. So far this forum has been the most help. Reply • Yeah, I’d consider their FB page pretty useless for support. E-mail can be sketchy. Phone generally works best, but in the case of Vector, the Garmin Forums (forums.garmin.com) are awesome. The guys were responding today (a Sunday). Impressive. Reply 138. Mike Z Hi Ray, Thanks a lot for your thorough blog – it’s a wealth of information I cannot find anywhere else! I’ve owned a Garmin since September and finally the crowfoot wrench came via Amazon! I finally re-calibrated the pedals using the torque wrench and went out for a ride today. To my great surprise my power numbers went down by about 30W (from 250W to 220W on one climb about 36mins and from 225W to 193W on another climb of 53mins). I actually got slightly better times today by tens of seconds and my weight hasn’t changed much. I’ve been climbing these very same hills ever since I got the pedals and I’d say I’ve probably climbed them a dozen times each and the numbers have been very consistent. I’m also obsessed with numbers so each time I would “tie out” my times along with my weight and power output. Prior to getting the crowfoot I tightened the pedals pretty tightly. I’d put my entire body weight into it. I guess I am not really disappointment in the “loss of power output”, they probably weren’t there to begin with anyway. but I am very surprised at how much I’ve lost. In your experience do you think this is within the realm of reason? Thanks very much for your time. Mike Reply • It’s within the realm of reason, no doubt. I assume that you did the full re-calibration as well (software-wise) with the pedals post-torque wrench (including popping the pod connectors out for a few seconds to reset)? Reply 139. Dex Hmmmm, must admit the whole “proper installation and torque” issue is putting me off buying these. I know you say most of the problems are around improper installation, but you don’t have that worry with a Powertap or Stages do you? I have a Powertap and its worked very well for me, and installation is a doddle 😉 I’m considering buying another power meter and was seriously looking at the Vector, but have a constant niggle in my mind about the installation process and having to get it just right, how many washers, proper torque etc etc. By comparison, a powertap just works. I noticed that Wiggle in the UK are selling the Powertap G3 (I have an SL+ at the moment) hub for £581 now (including my 17% Platinum Price loyalty discount ) but I could have two of those without having to worry about installation for the price of the Vector. Notwithstanding the fact that all my pedals/shoes are currently Shimano and the hassle/cost of converting to Look is a pain in the b**t. I really like the Vector, but do you think I’m overly concerned about having to get the installation issue right. After all if you are training with power, you are inherently concerned with getting the numbers reported as accurate as possible. Reading Mike Z’s post above is concerning in terms of how the installation is so critical to reported Power numbers. I’ve heard you constantly say how important it is, I just think I’d be constantly worried that the numbers are not right. Perhaps I’ve answered my own question? Dex. Reply • No doubt, the PT is ‘easier’ to deal with. I don’t think anyone would argue that. But, people choose different PM’s for different reasons. As for calibration, I’ve seen a big drop-off in calibration issues since around early October. I think people are finally learning to install them correctly (shops, end-users, etc…). Said differently: People are actually following the instructions. 😉 There are of course more ways to hose up a Vector installation than a PT installation, but none of the steps are hard to getting good calibration numbers on Vector. Reply 140. Mike Z Thanks Ray. I did re-cal the software but I didn’t think it was necessary to reset the actual pedal, i.e., unhook the pods, etc. I will try that and report back in a few weeks! Reply 141. Larry Lem Per Garmin at the Garmin forums (thanks for pointing out that resource!): The orientation of the pods has no affect on how Vector operates. We recommend placing them on the leading edge of the cranks on a standard road bike as this means that they are out of the way when you clip in/out and also if there is any chain slap the chain will run down the back of the pedal pod cable and will not catch and pull the cable out of the spindle. I would think that placing them in similar orientation on the cranks on a recumbent would be the best position. Reply 142. Jamie Hi All, This forum is by far the most useful. After hours of research on the net and my own research using the pedals. Vector is working very well. After a few more rides I think I’ll consider myself a happy customer. The key is the installation. Take your time to do it properly the first time and you won’t have any issues. Think of it like your rear derailer. If you throw it on you’ll have untold gear problems. If you take the time to tune it, your ride will be that much smoother. Before you go out for a ride try back pedalling a couple of times. This allows the unit to check the installation angles. Take this time to check your chain before your ride. It’s that easy. After understanding the system a little better life is much better. And relatively effortless. Reply 143. Paul Hi Ray, I’ve been using the Vectors for about a month now. They work well (i.e. no issues in functionality), but the power readings are quite different from my powertap. See the following pics: link to flickr.com The average is 20-50 watts off (Vectors higher) and the max can be as much as 250 watts off (pic 3a)! What do you think? Even accounting for some loss of efficiency between the pedals and hub, and for tolerances in both products, the differences seem quite high. Cheers, Paul NB. In the first two photos (1a and 2a) the Vectors were connected to an Edge 800 and the Powertap was connected to my computer using Trainerroad. In the second two photos (3a and 4a) the Vector was again with the Edge 800 and the Powertap was connected to an Edge 500 with the same settings. Both power meters were manually calibrated, I did the dynamic calibration (backpedaling), and the Vectors are installed with a torque wrench as per the directions. Reply • Yeah, definitely strange. The problem is that both units track against each other very well, which means it’s really tough to know who’s wrong. Any chance you can find a friend with a CompuTrainer and put the whole setup on there (and use TrainerRoad to record it)? That’s one of the main reasons I always try and aim for 3 power meters when possible, as it helps to at least nudge me in the direction of who may be right or wrong. Reply 144. Paul Unfortunately no access to a computrainer. I think I’ll just re-base my threshold power for training from now on… unless you think it might be worth contacting Garmin about…? Reply • Assuming you’ve triple-checked calibration on both units and they’re still doing it, yeah, kinda limited choices. :-/ The guys within the Garmin Forums for Vector are incredibly helpful as well (more so that you’d imagine actually), they might have some ideas too. Reply 145. Paul Ok, I’ll post it there as well then. Worth a try. Thanks! Reply • Just to circle back after noticing your forum post with the PT calibration values, it’s definitely the PT. If your curious, you can see in my CycleOps behind the scenes post where they do the calibration and the stated ‘good’ values. Cheers! Reply • Larry Lem On your PowerTap readings, how long have you had your PowerTap, what model, and have the readings been consistent throughout its life? I have two older non-ANT+ PowerTaps and they were rock-solid consistent (whether accurate or not…). I bought a G3 and am having trouble with the consistency of the calibration. Sometimes I’ll calibrate just before a ride, then the readings will look way off, coast for 10 sec (during which it auto-calibrates) then the readings look “normal”. Sometimes the opposite happens. It is frustrating as if you can’t trust your meter, it is useless. It at least has to be consistent. Now that you have two meters… Yikes! All you can do is “recalibrate”, gather data and see how things fair. Too bad we don’t have a “dynometer” power source that we can replace ourselves with, set the dyno at 200 W, then see what the meters read. That would be the purpose of Ray’s recommendation to find a Computrainer. But then you’d likely get 3 distinct, separate readings! (But hopefully 2 would be consistent so you could believe them (even if those two were wrong and the single was right, ha ha). Good Luck! Reply • Paul Larry: I have the G3 that you speak of! I’m running some updates now (G3 and Edge 500) and I’ll retest after – fingers crossed. Ray: Thanks, and nice walk-through of Saris. Thinking about it, I’ll be glad if the Vector’s power readings are more accurate – 20%+ power boost! Reply • Paul Just tested again quickly, and things are much more in line now: link to flickr.com I made several changes at once so I’m not sure which one really fixed it, but I think it was resetting the installation angles on the Vectors (left/right power changed quite significantly which leads me to this conclusion). Thanks for your help! Reply 146. Rick What is the process for IM racing with 910xt. If I calibrate in transition before the swim will the 910xt sense Vector once I’m on the bike. Then all I would have to do is peddle backwards to calibrate? Reply • Exactly. Do all your calibration ahead of time pre-swim, and then simply backwards peddle once you’re up and cooking. Reply 147. Adam Rosser I am trying to decide between Vector pedals and a Power2Max spider for my Rotor crankset. First question – are Vector pedals compatible with Rotor 3D+ (or 3DF) crank arms. Measurement-wise, they seem to be OK, but has anyone tried them? Secondly, the price of Vector has dropped dramatically so that, for me, it is basically the same price as a Power2Max spider. The only real downside is that I would have to change from Shimano SPD-SL to Look pedals. For consistency, I would need to buy a set of Look pedals for my second road bike too. For the same price, is Vector the stand out choice? Reply • Larry Lem Off topic, please add more detail to “the price of the Vector dropped dramatically”. Thanks! Reply • Adam Rosser I don’t know about any official price drop, but I have seen it advertised for under$1300, so it falls into competition with some cheaper systems.

148. Larry Lem

Hi. Where did you see it for $1300? Retail is$1699.99 and I haven’t seen anyone drop the price except for few odd ones on eBay. I think everyone was disappointed that it wasn’t released at the previously rumored $1499.99. Thanks. Reply • Adam Rosser It has been in that ball park at expos and online in Australia. Possibly the first time Aussies haven’t been shafted on international price conversions. Reply 149. Paul Kinnane I purchased these as soon as they were released, and have had nothing but trouble. I couldn’t get anything like a 50/50 distribution between the L/R pedal, so purchased the tool to attach to the torque wrench to get them exactly right. After waiting 3 weeks for the tool to arrive, I then snapped one of the alloy pod holders getting the pedals torqued to the right amount. Returned to Garmin, waiting 3 weeks for them to arrive back, installed on the bike, went for a ride, noticed left leg was at 60%, right leg at 40% (and no amount of re-calibrating would fix it). When I got home I had a look and noticed the same pod holder had another crack in it. My theory is that the pedal spindle is too big/small for the pod housing and is placing too much force on one part of the housing when done up. Reply 150. Andrea Are Vector compatible with Durace 9000/Ultegra 6800 crankset? Reply • ClaFio I’ve measuered Duraace 9000 crankset today. It’s Ok for Vector, infact it’s just few than 15mm in width and 37mm in height on external side (where pod is fixed); it reaches about 40/41mm on internal face but this isn’t a problem Reply 151. RickR Fabulously thorough blog, thank you so much! I put Vectors on my and my wife’s Vilier Zero.7’s and they didn’t work at all. Vector exchanged the pods for me and I installed them, but I am having trouble with getting it to zero calibrate, and I the the problem is the pod angle calibration on our Edge 500’s. Specifically, do I set it to calibrate before I spin up to 80 RPM? That is, Select: Settings/Bike Settings/Rick’s Bike/Ant + Power Backspin pedals – message: Power Meter Detected, Do You Want To Calibrate? Select “Yes” This will result in message: “Calibrating…” NOW do you go for the angle calibration spin, where you spin up to 80 RPM? Or do you switch to the power and cadence display before you do the spin? Or do you just hop on the bike and do the spin without selecting a calibration mode? All the blogs and Garmin support etc I have read are unspecific about this. What I am finding is that after I hit the “Calibrate” button it just sits there and reads “Calibrating” forever without ever putting a number in the box. With my Quarq I just backspin, hit Calibrate, in 10 seconds a number, usually about 300 or so, appears in the box and you get a “Calibration Successful” message – and that’s it, time to ride. If the angles are set properly will you always get a “Calibration Successful” message after back spinning the pedals (by hand, just to wake them) and before you climb on the bike and do the 8 back pedal rotations? Or do you wake the pedals, wait for the “Calibrating…” message, THEN hop on the bike and do the 8 slow backpedals? Help! Garmin support is unsure about this, maybe because the pedal is so new. One more comment your blog and no one else, either, specifies: Get a torque wrench with a small radius end. I bought one with about a 5/8″ radius on the end and found it’s too big – won’t allow the crowfoot to fully engage the flats on the spindle. Now I have to go buy another wrench! Reply 152. erico Hi, Do you know why garmin uses this torque wrench (manual – crafstman – mr. bean model)? Is there any diff from using the new models of torque wrench (automatic – Micro-Clicker )? Reply • RickR It’s because the Craftsman beam torque wrench has a small radius. I originally tried to use a click-stop type wrench and the problem is that the head of the wrench is too large (most are about a 5/8″/16mm radius). The crank arm bumps the end of the wrench and doesn’t allow the crowfoot to fully engage the flats on the pedal, making it almost impossible to properly tighten it. Reply • Adam Clicker torque wrenches seem, in general, to have larger heads to accommodate the ratchet mechanism. That may make it hard to use in the confined space between pedal and crank. There may be some that work, though. The old-school type (I used Park Tools) have a smaller head and fit fine. They also allow you to see how close you are to the required torque before you get there. I actually found it quite hard to tighten to 33nM because of the difficulty of holding the cranks still. Reply 153. Kristian Hy DC! Great review. I have LOOK 695 with Look ZED 2 carbon crank. You stated clearly about Vector’s crank limitation 15mm in width and 38mm in height. If I measured correctly, look crank has 16,85 mm in width and 35,40 mm in height. What do you think, will the less than 2mm in width cause the problem, eventhough height is just fine? Thanks. Kristian Reply • Sam Overton Hi Kristian, Short answer is they won’t fit because the cranks are too thick and the plug won’t reach the contacts correctly. I too have the ZED 2 cranks and have purchased the Vectors…have a read of this see how this guy overcame the issue… link to plus.google.com I’m probably going to just die grind the triangular inserts too get the required clearance for the plug instead of machining the inserts down. But it does look like its doable… Reply • Kristian Thanks Sam, great news. On the link you provided I can’t see if guy used no washers on the pedals. I think he didn’t because clearence is very tight. I don’t know if using no washers (come with the pedals, as you can see on DC Rainmaker pictures) can cause some problems (loose pedals eventually)? Reply • Sam Overton Hi Kristian, Have a look here… link to cyclingtips.com.au The fifth review done by “chris howard” also fitted the vectors to the ZED 2…I actually thought this was the same guy that I linked to earlier…but its a different guy. So, if you read what he did he machined 2mm of the inserts and used a washer that was 0.6mm thick. Looking at my bike I definitely need to use a washer but the Vector supplied washer is thicker than necessary…so I’m thinking a thin 0.6mm washer will be the go…this is also probably why Chris Howard was able to get away with machining 2mm off the inserts where as Andrew Moss machined 3mm. At the moment I have installed the vectors on my Quarq equipped Trek Madone…just to play with them while I’m away on holidays…done one quick five minute ride and the data looks to match up well. I’ll be putting them in my Look when I get back home first week of January so I’ll post up how it goes. Reply • Kristian Thanks Sam. Looking forward to see how you did it. Kristian Reply 154. Brad Are we able to upload data into another program such as Training Peaks or are we only able to use with the Garmin program? Reply • Yes, no problems with TP (it’s what I use daily). Reply 155. Bill This is just a shot in the dark but hopefully, there’s some truth to it. The other day i got an email advert from LOOK showing pics of their new KeO Blade 2 that features a thicker spindle. Any chance the pedal body for the Blade 2 is compatible and interchangeable with the Vector? I’m gonna get the Vector but would love to be able to have my cake and eat it too! Besides, it makes sense in my mind for 3rd parties to offer Vector-compatible pedal bodies providing they fit within Garmin’s interface requirements and don’t void any warranty. Anybody got any insight on this? Reply • No, won’t happen outside the Garmin channel. There’s a lot of reasons, some are support, some are warranty, some are around the fact that they simply want to control the product end to end. The challenge power meter companies have (across the board) is anytime ‘unknown’ components are introduced into the system, it becomes really difficult to track down issues. That’s why for example many power meters that are crank-based only work with certain spiders, certain crank arms, or the like. Reply 156. David Ray, quick q re the pedal pod cap. Is it best to pop this off or to open the battery caps if resetting the units? If pulling off the cap, what’s the best method to avoid damaging? Heard using a flat head screw driver isn’t a good idea. Thanks for the excellent review. Reply • Garmin recommends popping off battery caps over removing pod cap. A join is likely the best overall method to remove battery caps if doing frequently. Reply 157. Frankie Thanks Ray – great review as usual. My Vectors read a bit lower than the Quarq. just 2 rides both on the turbo but I notice you recommend a much higher torque than what is written in the Garmin quick start manual (4- lbf-ft or 5-8 Nm). You recommend 25 pounds -foot, that’s 33 Nm , way higher than what says in the quick guide. I’m no scientist but my torque wrench is in Nm. Am I getting the conversion wrong or the tightening? Thanks Reply • Theo Smit The 5-8 N-m applies to the cleat bolts (into your shoe); the pedal spindle torque specification is 25 to 30 lb-ft or 34 to 40 N-m as stated in point 7 of the ‘installing pedal pod and pedal’ section of the quickstart manual. Undertorquing of your spindles (especially with as little as 5-8 N-m) will damage your cranks as well as giving inconsistent Vector readings. Make very sure that the pedal pods don’t rotate into the cranks as you tighten the spindles; you may have to hold them with one hand while tightening the spindle with the other hand… it helps to have the bike set up on a trainer stand while you do this. Reply • What Theo says. Always listen to Theo in these matters…always. 😉 Reply • Frankie Thanks DC and Theo. I’m an idiot! rule 1: read the instructions till the end and two times! Currently awaiting crow foot adapter. Garmin should really include one in the box given that torque is such a critical step with the pedals. Reply 158. Are the Look Keo cleats totally compatible or do you need to replace the ones shipped with the same type? If so what are they? Reply • Adam They appear to be standard Look non-slip Keo red (9deg) cleats. Reply • The float on the Garmin and Keo cleats are a little different. See this posting. link to forums.garmin.com Reply 159. The Garmin and Keo cleats have slightly different float values. See the posting on the Garmin Vector forum. Reply 160. Alan The Garmin and Keo cleats have slightly different float values. See the posting on the Garmin Vector forum link to forums.garmin.com Reply • Any idea what the float is on the Garmin ones? Reply 161. Alan From the post on the forum Garmin Red (These are the ones shipped with the product), 6 degrees of float Grey/Gray 0 (zero) degrees of float The Look Keo cleats are available with the following degrees of float, 0, 4.5 and 9. Black is 0 Grey/Gray 4.5 Red 9 Reply 162. bwc I’ve seen some discussion in the Garmin forums about dynamic calibration causing inaccuracy in L/R balance measurement. Having tested this myself I tend to agree that L/R balance is more accurate if static calibration is completed and dynamic calibration is skipped. I guess you sacrifice +/- 0.5% in overall accuracy but gain appropriate balance numbers. Any thoughts on this Ray? Thanks. Reply • I could potentially see an issue if one was really aggressive/wonky there, but honestly, I just didn’t see it in my testing (nor have I seen it since). Reply 163. Simone Hi Ray, according to bwc comment I’ve seen in Garmin Vector forum that different people experience small difference between different PM after dynamic calibration, but everything seems ok if the static calibration only is performed. In your long term (months) of use have you noticed this difference? Thank you! Reply • Like noted above, I just haven’t seen issues there. The challenge with comparing PM’s is that many folks can’t equivocally state which PM is incorrect (or correct). Thus it’s pretty important to have more than 2 peoples if you want to start some trending (outside of very obvious errors). Reply • bwc I should clarify that I have no dispute with the absolute (or combined L/R) power readings being reported by the Vector system. As Ray says, there is no way to know which PM is correct. My concern was specifically related to L/R balance as I’ve been consciously trying to use my right leg more than my left during workouts as a result of the imbalance shown by Vector. This hasn’t made much sense to me since my right leg is typically dominant. After skipping the dynamic calibration, the balance was a perfect 50/50 – obviating the need to focus on my right leg. Everything just made a lot more sense to me after skipping dynamic calibration. Of course, this could also be coincidence! Reply 164. Above you have that you can use your own cleats?… how do you do this… I called Garmin and they said you have to use the cleats provided Reply • You can use any compatible cleats. Reply 165. Dave Any ideas what happens to the power reading if the pedals are too tight, my torque wrench doesn’t go high enough so gave them an extra twist slightly worried i over did it, readings seem ok possibly 5-10% lower than seen on a powertap I borrowed from my bro last year, obviously i need to get a wrench that is up to the job but just wondered if you had any typical readings above the suggested torque levels not just below them? Thanks Reply • While it’s possible you over-tightened, you’d have to go considerable ways beyond the spec to get to the point of concern (likely breakage first). Keep in mind though that unless you’re comparing from the exact same ride, and can ensure that the PT is calibrated properly (and within the specified calibration value range), it’s really hard to say Vector is wrong (or right). Reply 166. Andrea Does anybody know where i can found BLACKHAWK BCF15M Crowfoot Wrench 3/8 Dr 15mm to be shipped in Europe? Seems to be un available everywhere Reply 167. Philip Hi Ray, Any rumors about a price drop and when it could occur? Cheers Reply 168. Larry Lem I wouldn’t expect a price reduction being that they just introduced the product in Sep 2013. They’d just piss off everyone who bought the system since then. We were hoping that the initial price of the Vector would have been lower than the long-rumored$1500 price due to the introduction of the Stages system and the subsequent price drop of the PowerTap G3. But they went in the other direction.

• And, honestly, more importantly (from Garmin’s perspective) than pissing off past owners is the simple reality that it’s a high-demand product still new in market and priced quite competitively compared to other products that measure left/right. There’s no chance we’ll see a price drop before next spring – 2015 (short of something major in the industry changing).

169. Mel Landuyt

I actually got them for 15% off during the holidays in San Diego. Was a great deal so could not pass them up.

170. felix

ive followed the set up with particular attention to detail, including the pedal torque. i have a edge 705 and again ive followed the tutorials. however, when out riding ive had intermitant power data.

the 705 unit initially picks up the read out and then returns to zero then a further mile down the road it will once again pick up the read out and then return to zero (fustrating as you can imagine).

ive ensured to undertake the updates to both the vector (which there isnt any currently) and to the 705.

anyone got any ideas here? (i havent as of yet popped the back off the pedal pods)

much appreciated.

• Don

I’m having the same problem. Anyone know a solution?

171. Derek Lessard

Just purchased new Vector pedals. Everything is working fine, I went through the calibration process etc without any issues. However, I ran into problems with the Garmin Updater. I keep getting the following message

“A device was found, but the check for updates failed. Verify your internet connection, and restart the search to try again. Click continue to proceed without a software update.”

I run the usual non-computer expert diagnostics…installed updater, uninstalled updater, re-installed updater, installed updater on both a PC and MAC and got the same message. Any ideas or anyone else run into this problem?

172. Garmoan

Just about to send my second pair of Vector pedals back for warantee refund (not replacing this time). The problem is that the bearings just wear out realy quickly. I did about 2,000 miles on my first pair and they were so worn my LBS refused to even let me cycle home on them in case they broke! I hadn’t ridden the pedals through any puddles or water (other than the normal British rain) incase you were thinking I abused them – my Durarace pedals have survive 2 winters and work perfectly with no wear. Now my warantee replacements are showing signs of terminal wear within a month . I am gutted these pedals are a great easily transferable tool but are no where near robust enough for the job. I have just ordered a Rotor 3D+ power crank I don’t think I can wear that out quite so quickly! Will now be honing my crank removal skills – anyone after a 15mm crowsfoot?

173. Andrea

Someone knows where to find a Blackhawk by Proto BCF-15MM in Europe?

174. Roy

I can attest to two truths in the article. First, the tool bits are a pain. That was sorted out by Amazon and a hand grinder. Second, the max width of the crank arm is gospel. My (two) Lightning cranks that are 18mm wide will go to a new home soon, supplanted by a new Shimano. MEH! Reply 175. Hi Ray and thank you for all the great reviews. I have now made the habit of stopping by your site before buying anything tech. I’m experiencing problems with graph display on Garmin Connect while using Vector and 910XT. The Power Balance and Elevation graph windows will not show and stay blank until selecting the drop down box switching the option (Even though it appears blank) couple of times. I submitted the issue to Garmin support but after a couple of weeks of back and forth emails, I realized that Garmin is unable to help me. Here is their last email: Thank you for contacting Garmin International. Thank you for the information you have provided. Unfortunately the issue is not with the Vector pedals, instead it is an issue with Garmin Connect. You can view the charts that are not visible by selecting the drop down box for that chart. By switching the option (Even though it appears blank) 2-3 times, the chart should appear like normal. Please let me know if you have further questions. With Best Regards, Tim Customer Care – Fitness Team Could you please take a minute and go on my Garmin profile page to take a look at this issue. Unlike Garmin, you might have an idea on how to resolve the problem. Best regards, Frederic (a Parisian living in Arlington!) Reply 176. Adam G New owner of Vector Pedals and current powertap user (several years). I found both to be highly accurate; however, pedals appear more sensitive to picking up readings out of the gate so to speak. My question deals with the cleat / pedal interface. Having trouble clipping in with their RED ARC pedal by Garmin. Was working ok at install but all of a sudden failed to secure into the pedal. Problem with both Right and Left but more of an issue with right pedal. Only change was weather. I live in FL but we had some days in the 30s, when problem started. Went back to actual LOOK Cleat and was able clip right in. Are you aware of any issues, alignment problems with Garmin Cleats? Thank you. Reply 177. My NP is allways (both in hills and on flat courses) lower than my average power. I am using Vector with Garmin Edge 810. Everyone else seems to get the opposite. Do anyone have an answer to this? Reply • Karl Make sure your data settings include zeros for power. Reply • Adam G NP is not generally a good indicator for workouts or intervals lasting less than an hour and yes, per other comments, do include zeros for power. Reply 178. Hi Ray, any update if/when mountain bike compatible pedals are coming? Thanks Reply • Siegi This would also be very interesting for me. Are there any update? Reply 179. Dan Contant Hi Ray, can I use my powercal as a heart rate monitor only while using vector pedals and edge 500. If yes, can you walk me thru the setup please. P.S. I use the edge 500 on 3 different bikes, vectors on bike 1 and powercal on bike 2 and 3. Thanks. Reply • Yes. You’ll simply pair them individually, and without each other around. I’d recommend pairing up the HR strap first. Next go and pair the power meter to the PowerCal on Bikes 2/3. Then, take the HR strap and put it out of range (just disconnect it and leave it alone for five minutes). Then, go and pair your Vector unit on Bike 1 for the power meter. Donezo. Reply 180. Jason Chong I just saw this pic of a garmin team bike from TDU. IT shows them using the qring with the vector. Wonder if they are testing a new firmware. OR just living with the variance. link to cyclingnews.com Reply 181. It’s 2014 now and I’m wondering any news on: 910XT; Pedal Smoothness on 910XT; and Torque Efficiency? About to get mine next month I think, I only have a 910 that I can use tho! Many thanks tfk Reply • Unfortunately Garmin has never committed to bringing either of those metrics to the FR910XT. I suspect we’ll see them at some point on a FR910XT replacement, whether it’s April or August or October, remains to be seen. Reply 182. ty Reply 183. Michelle Im trying to figure out if Vector pedals are compatible with my upgraded crankset which is a carbon VISION TRIMAX Crankset BB30 170mm 53/39 by FSA. I ride a QR CD 0.1 tri bike. I called FSA/Vision and they were no help. What do I need to measure on my cranks and where to see if they fit? Thank you in advance for any help or advice. Reply • Adam Goldstein If you go to Garmin online (a little hard to find but its the vector owner site), there are videos you can watch showing you how to measure. Essentially you want to make sure when the chain is on smallest cog of your cassette and big ring on the crank you have enough clearance between pedal and chain at the tightest spot (usually just past the chain stay). Once the pedal pods are installed you need at least 5mm (garmin says about 3 pennies thick) of clearance. The second measurement is the thickness of the crank. Again, best thing to do is watch the video, very helpful. Reply 184. Matt Dreyfuss Ray, I shot you an email the other day, but thought I’d catch you here too. I’m having trouble following the process for calibrating Vector with a 910XT. Can anyone shed some light? Do you stay clipped in? Do you clip out? Etc. etc. etc. Would it just be better to get a 510 or an 810? Reply • These steps here (link to forums.garmin.com) from the Garmin team outline the procedure, including when to clip in and out. Enjoy! Reply 185. Matt Dreyfuss Thanks Ray, I had seen that before, can you actually edit the crank length on the 910, I can’t find where that would be done. Also, the 910 never asked me to pedal at 80-90 rpm for the initial calibration, so I’m just trying to make sure my power readings are accurate. Reply 186. YES you can DEFINATELY edit it on the 910. However it may be the case that the menu option to do that does not always appear. I have only tried to do it twice. once when it was paired and near the Vector and I could NOT find the crank length; next time when I was well away I found it easily (can’t remember exactly where right now but it was in the ‘obvious place’). but I’ve not really looked into it in detail as I have a std crank. as I say tho it is DEF on the 910xt with firmware v3. Reply • Matt Dreyfuss I’ll look for it tonight then before I “wake-up” my Vector. Reply • Matt Dreyfuss Do you remember the 910 prompting you to spin at 80-90 rpm on initial calibration to set the pod angles? Reply • Matt Dreyfuss Before my ride last night I looked around the menus, you can set the crank length in the overall bike settings, not in the power meter settings menu. Reply 187. No I don’t remember that. In fact I think it did not ask that. could be wrong. but I seem to remember being confused as it didn’t (I get confused a lot these days ) but it does ask to calibrate when you turn the 910 on and it finds the vector. you do that calibration with the pedals horizontal and you OFF the bike. get on. get going, pedal backwards a bit and voila…sorted. Reply • Matt Dreyfuss Yup, I’m good with the calibration before every ride, but I guess i’m just concerned the initial calibration may not be correct if it doesn’t go through the full initial calibration process. Reply 188. Will I’ve had a fair few issues with the pedals developing free play and wobbling slightly on the spindle. It’s caused by a critical design flaw in my opinion – I’m being sent a replacement set but I dont think this will solve the issue as the design will be the same! Has any one else experienced this? Reply • Garmoan Hi Will yes I reported this issue a while back on this thread. I am waiting for my Rotor Power crank to arrive before I send back my warantee pair of pedals for refund. The replacements developed play within 1,500 miles – I agree Garmin have a fundamental design flaw here that they need to overcome before I would use or recommend these to anyone. Reply • Will I’m very disappointed with them! Do you have to return to your point of purchase for the refund? I’m very tempted to go this route and not even bother with the replacements. Reply • Garmoan I loved them and think they are a great product if only they were more robust. I have gone straight back to my LBS – they have a dedicated Garmin expert there who knows the company really well. It is a real shame as I was hoping to use them when borrowing bikes when travelling etc. Will have to pack my own bke now Reply • Will I’ve even offered Garmin my services to design a fix as I’m a mechanical design engineer. There’s so many easy ways they could be fixed – apparently their engineers will be contacting me soon. My LBS will have to liaise with the UK distributor and then to Garmin…too many middle men! I feel reluctant to put them through the hassle but when you spend this much money, you don’t expect this. For the price of the vectors, you can get 2 Stages power meters. As my power split is within 1% i don’t really need the LH/RH functionality and both my bikes are covered. I think this will be my solution. Reply • Garmoan and Will – Why wouldn’t you work directly with Garmin support? Reply • Will I have been working with Garmin Support and to be honest, their customer service is excellent! If they do contact me RE: the design, I would love the opportunity to help. The problem lies with the pedals and a replacement set will just wear out the same as mine have done in about 6 weeks of use. As someone who trains and races alot, this isn’t something I can afford to keep having problems with especially as we get into the race season. Garmin won’t refund the value of the pedals, you have to go through the point of purchase. Reply • Jesper Nygaard Ray, You seem to have pretty good contact with Garmin. Have you asked them what their thoughts are on the vectors losing grease and developing play??? Are they just gonna keep selling vector as is and not care about, and hope not too many produces more than 300 watts. And keep telling the +300w riders, they have to re-grease twice a week??? This have been a known issue for month now and it seems like Garmin does not care. VERY odd, considering this is one of their most expensive products, if you look aside from their cockpits…. Reply • I guess for me I just haven’t seen that on any of my bikes (I have two sets of Vector that I rotate between a handful of bikes). I’ve never had to grease them. Not saying you’re not having problems, but I’m just not seeing it. I wonder if it’s something related to a specific crank that’s causing that problem. Cranks & pedals are designed to self-tighten. Reply • Jesper Nygaard Until Monday I have never had to either, but I have only had them for a few month. The main bike has Record crank and the winter bike has a no-name “tekno” crap crank. I have also used them twice on the MTB, which has Shimano XT. I actually doubt the pedal arm is much of a factor though. From my own limited experience and from reading the garmin forum (linked in my post in the bottom here) I suspect it’s either environment (dust/rain) and/or rider style. Sounds like really high pwr sprint type riding will kill the seal, and then it’s downhill quickly. In my case, it was probably this weekends 12 hour MTB race that did it. Completely dry, so very dusty. You being a tri rider, I suspect you mostly try to cruse steady at your 250-300 watts most of the time??? Or whatever your number is. Anyways. If you get a chance, it’d be cool if you could read the mentioned thread on garmins forum and ask them next time you talk to them. I know it’s a killer 11 page thing The otherwise very helpful/responsive “VECTOR-INFO” seem to have abandoned that thread. I’m hoping it’s because they are working on a fix behind the scene, but at this point we don’t even know if they acknowledge there is an issue for some of us… Reply 189. If you’re a SportTracks 3 user – quick note to mention we’ve just released an update to support showing Left/Right Power Balance in the detailed workout chart. link to sporttracks.mobi You can use the same overlay features with power plots and you’re able to get much more detailed views than for example Garmin Connect by using the mousewheel zoom and pan. We’ve tested this with the FIT files generated from a 910XT. Works great. We’re currently collecting more test files from the Edge units to see about the torque effectiveness and smoothness metrics and potentially adding those as plots to the software. Reply • he he he. My 910 methinks! My Garmin contacts suggest that the pedal torque/smoothness metrics will be out imminently ie March … not 100% though. I don’t know if these metrics will be on the 910 however. I don’t know as well if these new metrics will be real time … if so then some amazing people doing sporttracks plugins will no doubt have something to rival a watt bike polarview within weeks. HOW exciting. Big IFs tho. Reply • **LOOK** AFIK the sporttracks plugin LIVE DATA RECORDING AND HR can show the TE/PS metrics LIVE as you pedal so you can see a track of them over the duration of your session (which you can’t on your watch). And as far as I cold see that data was not available yet on Garmin connect. Reply • Just an FYI, they were released on March 6th: link to www8.garmin.com They are available if paired with the Edge 510, 810, and Fenix2. They are not at this moment shown on Garmin Connect. Reply • wellll they are available in the sense that the watch shows the data. So you can only see the metrics you configure for your watch. as you and I say, you can’t see it on garmin connect (yet) you CAN now see the data in sporttracks suing the LIVE plugin (by OMB) which graphically shows your TE/PS metric second by second throughout your session IF YOU HAVE A PC NEXT TO YOUR TURBO trainer. Your very own watt bike (sort of!) Reply 190. Eddy Anyone know if Garmin will release a version of the vectors (or just the pods) that would allow them to work with thicker cranks? I see some rumours on the net from a while back that there would be pods sold seperately designed for thicker >15mm cranks…. but there is nothing recent/concrete Ideally they’d do that so I could swap the body between oversize and normal cranks….. Reply 191. Hi All- Just a heads up that as of a few minutes ago, you can now purchase Garmin Vector through Clever Training. I know many of you have been asking when that’d be possible. As you know, that both supports the site – and also gives you a great deal with all the benefits they provide to DCR readers. Further, in order to ensure you get things installed correctly, they’re tossing in the hard to procure crowfoot adapter for1. They’re using the one I recommend (which is the exact one the Garmin team recommends). Pretty sweet. Just ensure you add the adapter to your cart (I list it above, and it’s listed on the Vector page on Clever Training).

You’ll find all the relevant links at the bottom of this review. Thanks for the support, I appreciate it!

192. David Smay

Ray,

Thanks for another great review. Quick question – I own a Joule GPS computer (no Garmins in my arsenal) and I was wondering if I would be able to perform all the same Vector calibration steps (static and dynamic) you outlined above for the Garmin computers. It sounds like the Joule GPS will connect to the Vector and even provide some of the newer pedaling metrics, but I haven’t been able to find anything on Saris’s or Garmin’s site that specifies whether a Garmin-style calibration can be performed on the PowerTap Joule GPS.

Thanks,

Dave

• Yes and no. Some of those steps are performed behind the scenes, regardless of which head unit (for example, initial pedaling pre-static). The only one I’d have to double-check on is the dynamic calibration (upon start of ride), which I think is still sent from the pedals to the head unit and not driven by the head unit. But I don’t remember for certain.

193. bob

Any update as to possible release of pods for cranks wider than 15mm. ?

194. Will

Brilliant customer service from Garmin – I received my replacement pedals very quickly (4days!). I rode 200miles the first weekend with them, 10 hrs riding – all seemed to be ok. Then I did a 1hr turbo session with max sprint efforts and the pedal body play has returned on the brand new set. So that’s only 12 hrs of use…

• Will

I don’t know whether this is me just being fussy and something most people put up with…

195. Frankie

Hi Ray

I’ve had the vectors for a couple of months now and kept my Quarq as well to check accuracy of my installation. It strikes me that when at the beginning I was undertorquing the pedals (with no torque wrench) the Vector would read higher power than the Quarq. At the recommended 30lb-ft the pedals track Quarq within 2W (at steady state – sprints or significant out of the saddle work alter that – perhaps understandably). Now: if I tighten the pedals even just a little bit higher than 30 lb-ft (say 33-35) the Vector reads 10W lower! Is this something you have seen?
It makes getting that 30 lb-ft torque spot on really critical.
Cheers

• Honestly, I haven’t over-tightened that much. Mostly because I’m a weakling…and lazy. 😉

196. Frankie

thanks RAy – I take I better stick to 30 lb-ft then ?
😉

• Yup.

197. Larry Lem

Gee, that’s pretty horrible that the powermenter calibration is so sensitive to the tightening of the pedals into the crankarms. Once tightened, there shouldn’t be any stresses induced on the spindles to cause differences in power readings. There will still be stresses between the threaded portion and the surface that bears against the crankarm, but what does that have to do with the strain gauges inside the spindle???

• Honestly, every power meter on the market is sensitive to proper installation. It’s just that up until this point, most power meters are installed by bike shops. If you under-torque a Quarq, for example, you’ll get similar issues.

Once tightened, you’ll see just some initial first ride tightening, and then you’re good. Same on all PM’s. There’s tremendous forces that a rider exerts compared to a torque wrench, so you’re going to see some further tigthening. In fact, almost every crank-based PM out there talks to that in their manuals. I just noticed that the ROTOR PM for example notes “30 hours of riding” to re-check calibration.

198. Simo

Hi Ray,
it this can interest you for Italian users I have found that USAG crowfoot is absolutely perfect for Vector installation.
Here are the specifics form USAG website:

199. Doug

Hi Ray, just seen this pedal power meter break cover at Taipei on road.cc. Not something I’ve seen on your blog yet, have they been keeping it under wraps?

• I’ve loosely followed it, but haven’t had a chance to chat with them deeper.

200. valdlaw

I am curious about the max wattage readings as compared to Powertap. I noted in your tests that max wattage was lower on the Powertap vs. Vector in the 300w range but significantly higher on the Powertap in the 600+ watt range. When doing sprint efforts at 1200-1300 watts I am getting 100-150 watts lower readings on the Vector as compared to my Powertap, this is despite the two being only 3-5 watts off in the 200-300 watt range. Any ideas as so why and which is correct? Thanks!

201. Josh W

Ray,

I looked on the garmin forums for an answer to this but, obviously, the search terms are a little misleading:

I do the 3-9 manual recalibration and then dynamic calibration before every ride. I even do it mid-ride if I have to unclip. Takes all of a few seconds so it’s not a big deal. What I’m wondering, though, is that with race season coming up, how does leaving your shoes pre-clipped affect the calibration process? Or is it something that just can’t be done?

Thanks.

• Pre-clipped during calibration would definitely hose things up, due to it adding load.

It’s best to simply do calibration ahead of the race (while in transition area), without clipped in – just standing to sie. And then at some point in the first mile do the backwards pedal for a few seconds.

202. Fábio Giovanni Xavier de Oliveira

Hi, My name’s Fábio and i’m from Brazil, i have a doubt about my Garmin Vector and I hope you can help me.
I’m distrust about the power values of my vector, i suspect that they are lesser than the others power values of the other cyclists of my team. I was riding side by side with other four cyclists and the power values of their pedals were about 30% higher than mine. I already calibrate and update my Vector, but nothing else happened. What can i do to adjust my pedals?

• Honestly, without seeing data from everyone, and seeing how they calibrated – nobody could realistically tell you.

However, remember that if you (or you + bike) weight less than them, then that’s a key reason why their wattage will be far less. I was riding with a friend yesterday and he weighs about 30lbs more than me. Thus, while I was explaining wattage to him I showed how he was a fair bit higher than me. That gets into the whole watts/kilogram thing.

• Fábio Giovanni Xavier de Oliveira

Thanks for the answer, but it’s not the reason, my weight is the biggest. How can i reset my vector? I’ve already change the batteries.

• Follow the steps in the calibration section – including ensuring you’ve properly torqued the pedals onto the crank (using an actual torque wrench). Has you (or your bike shop) used a torque wrench with the unit?

• take off the plastic caps on each side and wait 20 seconds. that effectively ‘reboots’ the pedals. also if you draft that will lower your power quite a lot. as dc says the heaviest person will prob have the higher power at a given speed.. your aeroness will also affect the power compared to the others. even having rubbish tyres might make a marginal difference.

203. Yariv

I have Edge 500 (software version 3.3) and Vector (software version 2.4, HW version 3.4). After first calibration, namely static calibration, the screen displays “Calibration Successful” and the display changes only if I press the “back” button (starting riding the bike also doesn’t change the display). Then the display of the Edge turns directly to the ride screen and no dynamic calibration is performed (or if it is performed the edge 500 doesn’t give any indication of it).
Did rhe Garmin developers intentionally omit dynamic calibration in Edge-500 or I cannot perform dynamic calibration due to other factor? If the first alternative is right then what is the error estimation of the power data?

• RickR

Hi, Yariv – your confusion is due to the fact that no prompt is given on the 500 head unit asking for you to dynamically calibrate. Just static calibrate, hit the Back button to get back to the ride data display, clip in, and pedal until the bike can be coasted for 10 seconds or so, then spun backwards 8 times. The 500 unit will beep and display the message, “power meter calibrated.”

204. Jeff

Yariv – The dynamic calibration is performed by getting on the bike and pedaling backwards 8 times. I have an edge 500 and this works for me.

205. Yariv

Jeff, thanks for your answer. I did it after static calibration ended (i.e. getting on the bike and pedaling backwards 8 times) and a new row was added on the edge 500 screen: torque 0. Is it the same with your bike?

206. Jorgen

Hi, thank you for an excellent review. Regarding the crow foot – the 15mm Crow Foot Wrench – M386515- from Teng Tools is not a perfect fit. It is actually almost 8 mm high and needs to be planed by 3-4 mm.

• Weird, at least half a dozen other folks have gotten the exact same one and it fit perfectly. :-/

• seriously. I just used my normal spanner and did it ‘pretty’ tight. it’s fine.

207. Norway

Du you have any knowledge about the Garmin Vector 2.0 predictions for 2015, or new pedalarm for speedplay etc, MTB pedals…?

AT

• Garmin just added last week new torque effectiveness (TE) and pedal smoothness (PS) functionality to Vector, among a lot of other smaller fixes and interesting messages that it can produce to detect install errors.

• just updated the pedals. TE and PS don’t work on the 910. I guess those will be on the 920 (or whatever it will be called). Don’t suppose you know Ray? ty in advance

• As of today, it’s just on the Edge 510/810. I haven’t tried the Fenix2 yet to see if it has them.

• Josh W

Is that a hardware restriction or a business decision?

208. Andrea

I hope that business decision will be to fix the transmission problem with the 910/Vector when on wrist, since with Power2max doesn’t happen and may add avg 3,10,30″power zone

• It’s not really a Vector thing. More of a 910XT hardware thing with reception (also impacts a few other units like Stages & Quarq from what I’ve seen/heard).

• how far is your wrist from the pedals? put your hands on the handlebar not on your head. 910/vector works fine for me with 910 on the wrist.

209. Nic

Hi Ray,

I just heard of a similar pedal-based power meter, the Xpedo Thrust E. Have you heard of it?

Thanks!

• Yup, it was on display at a bike show this past week, and has been ‘seen’ in a few places. I have yet to see anyone actually use it though.

210. Chris

Hi, fantastic review. This is probably a question more about Look Keo pedals. I use Shimano SPD pedals currently. Just wondering if these Garmin pedals are significantly narrower, and if so, whether this would take some getting used to after using Shimano?

• I went from years on Shimano SPD’s to the Look Keo pedals. Took about 5 minutes for me. But then again, perhaps I’m just oblivious.

• i found the look keo could be set a bit further towards the heel which suited me. maybe a bit less float as well. DC is better than me. It took me 6 minutes to get used to

211. Jon

Hi

Has anyone had problems with the pedals coming undone. I’ve done as described. Light grease on pedal pod and thread. I’ve used a torque wrench. On 3 occasions the pedals have been loose by the end of the ride, so much so that they aren’t even finger tight. The cranks are ultegra 6800.

Any thoughts?

• I don’t really see how they can come undone. when you are pedalling the forces you apply will cause it to tighten if anything. could it be vibration in transport or the grease (I didn’t use any)

212. Yariv

Lately it took me as 20 minutes until I succeeded calibrating vector in edge-500.
If calibaration fails and I start riding will it 1) Use last successful calibration parameters values, or 2) Use default values ? What can be the error compared to riding after successful calibration?

• I don’t know what it uses but from my experience it makes virtually no difference whatsoever. ( I ‘verify’ against a 3rd party display which is not calibrated)

213. Dave

I downloaded the latest firmware update for the Vectors but not getting the TE and PS readings on Garmin Connect, it is just showing the same outputs as earlier version, any ideas? Do you need a later Garmin head unit got an 800 (my 800 has the latest firmware as well though)? Thanks

Extract below:
Power
Avg Power: 176 W
Max Power: 620 W
Max Avg Power (20 min): 168 W
Left/Right Balance: 50/50 %
Normalized Power (NP): 210 W
Intensity Factor (IF): 0.794
Training Stress Score (TSS): 36.1
Work: 368 kJ

• No, those metrics don’t show up yet. I asked a week or two ago, apparently they are on the radar for addition.

• The metrics ARE there. They do exist on the display unit but not on garmin connect. You can use Sporttracks + LiveRecording to see the data. I did that today myself so I am 100% sure

The data will be on garmin connect just that the display of that data is not yet ready (I imagine)..ie you can’t see it but it’s there

• Mark

Torque effectiveness and pedal smoothness are now displaying on Garmin Connect (at least for activities from Mar 25, 2014 onward; perhaps earlier).

214. thanks mark, where exactly can it be seen? I can’t see it on some of my historical sessions where it shoud eb showing.

• Mark

TE and PS are under the “Power” category on GC (listed right under “Left/Right Balance:”). I saw TE and PS on an activity as of Mar 25, 2013. As far as I can tell, prior activities are not updated with the addition of these two metrics. My previous activities, Mar 22 and earlier, do not show TE and PS.

• how exciting…I’m onto GC right now thanks Mark

215. Lee

Having used a Tacx trainer for the last 3yrs I’ve been saving cash to eventually get a power meter that I can use out on the road.
Due to stock issues the choice was eventually limited to the Vectors.
Having got them home I’ve done some additional reading up and while the general feedback is that the vectors work, there appears to be too many people having issues when you search all the forums which lead me to a simple but sad conclusion.
1. Broken pods as a result of fatigue in repeated swapping between bikes isn’t good and for me means they loose one if the selling points.
2. Concerns of bearing wear and the fact that its non-replaceable. Not what you expect at this price point!
3. Two batteries required with a short lifespan again increases cost.
4. L/R balance not really of great use albeit it’s being developed.
5. Figment requires the soucing & purchase of additional tools
6. The units are clearly being developed to capture and report additional data which subsequently cant be used unless you’re prepared to purchase a new head unit every couple of years.
7. And lastly I wasn’t able to even register the things as the serial number had fallen off the box in shipping and I was required to provide a raft of info and spend nearly and hour on the phone to demonstrate that I had bought them legitimately.

Having taken all this into consideration I decided to leave the investment in the box and will be returning it to exchange for a quarq when they’re in stock. Yes I’ll still need additional bits ie dongle to update firmware but other than that it will be a straight swap and hopefully will let me concentrate on the job in hand rather than worrying about it, also as I’m not worried about L/R balance I can get the lower spec item and save myself a bit more cash which can be put to much better use.
I know I could save even more by going the stages route but I don’t fancy the idea of fitting an alloy arm to a carbon crank. At least I’ll now have a spare carbon crank as a backup, or I can sell it on to further offset the investment cost.

Having saved for sometime and watched the development and release of the vectors I’m a bit disappointed that I now need to wait a little longer but at least I’m now more confident in the choice I’ve made.
Sorry Garmin for me it was a good try but you’ve fallen a little short to get my cash.

• So Lee; you were aware of all those negative things – which you believe to be true. Yet you still bought them. And then, without using them, you are returning them? Can’t figure that one out myself.

• Mark

That’s too bad for you Lee, as you’re missing out on a great product – I’m a very happy Vector user. To take just one of your objections, the one about the cost of batteries: The expected duration of the batteries used by Vector is 175 hours. You can buy CR2032 batteries on Amazon for $2.95 for a pack of five. With using two batteries in the Vector pedals (one battery in each Vector pod), that works out to less than one cent per hour of use ($.007/hr, to be more precise). Doesn’t seem like a very compelling reason to avoid Vector.

• I think others have largely covered your other concerns, but as far as concerns about wear goes of the spindle – I’m just not seeing that be a concern that has any data at this point behind it. Way back earlier in development they had discussed a 5-year target, but that was assuming someone was cycling hours each day….every day. Most, don’t do that.

Nonetheless, all units have wear concerns. For example, the PowerTap has ball bearings that need to be replaced (and they specify how often as well).

When it comes to newer metrics requiring newer head units, the Edge 510 and 810 have been been updated for the just released metrics. And non-Garmin units like the O-Synce has supported it long before Garmin.

Don’t get me wrong, the Quarq unit is very solid (and one I own), but given the prices these days, it’s really hard for me to recommend the Quarq over other options – purely on price vs functionality.

216. Lee

No I actually wasn’t aware of any issues when I went into store with an amount of cash to spend and I looked to the dealer to give me the advice to make a decision.
I was initially advised they had several types in stock and they would run through each including benefits and disadvantages etc.
I had read up on some basic info in relation to each (Garmin / Quarq / Stages) and got to a point where all 3 seemed to fit what I needed in general.
Stages was ruled out due to two reasons. Existing crank is SRAM force and as mentioned above I didn’t fancy a non-matching crank and due to the over/under accuracy of measuring just from left.
That left me with the Garmin and Quarq.
They didn’t have the Quarq Riken in stock so that fell off the list at the time leaving Elsa & Garrmin. Both seemed to tick the boxes and were the same price

On the basis that the Garmin offered the ability to switch between cranks/keep existing crank, and offered true in dependant L/R it made it a no brainer so I walked out with the Garmin and the instruction to google fitting.
I was happy until I got back and followed the instructions which is when the issues above started to be identified.
I’m not too fussed about the battery issue but it does increase the full life cost but its minimal and I could live with it. I can even live with the hassle that will need to be gone through to register.
What I’m more annoyed about, and I don’t necessarily blame Garmin for this, is the fact I will need to locate and purchase additional tools to fit the units to get accurate readings.
I then read info which implies (I have no first hand experience) that the bearings wear and can’t be replaced other than by replacing the whole pedal, and that there have been some pod breakages as a result of swapping them.
This is worrying and are basic issues which shouldn’t exist and are enough to make me question the design and support.
I accept the other items I’ve mentioned are minor but they do influence my thinking.

So should I go with something I am already sceptical about having done more reading or just go for a tried/tested item which appears to have less issues and would also cost me less.
If I was sure the issue of bearings and swappability had been sorted then I would actually stick with the Garmin as I’ve had no issues with other products from them and I genuinely think they are an exciting product with a lot to offer and the future benefits will be good.
I may have missed updates/responses to these two issues and if I have then its not too late for me to reconsider if someone can point me in the right direction.
I’m genuinely interested in users views and open to feedback to help me decide and clearly once they are fitted I can’t go back so its an expensive step.

217. you’ve taken a lot of time to write your views, so I am sure everyone appreciates that.
1. additional tools?: I used a regular spanner and did them up ‘quite tight’ AND I use oval front rings…the readings come out just fine ‘despite’ those two factors! (for me)
2. breaking while changing pedals: really? I’m DIY-phobic but I can use a spanner quite competently.
3. you read “someone’s” bearings wore out, but yours haven’t.

• Lee

5k Iyou may be right and I may just be over worrying about something based on others experience rather than finding out for myself. You may be able to persuade me to change my mind so have dropped you a message on FB.

218. Lee

Quick update. Thanks to those who have provided additional info and first hand experience and feedback.
Taking everything into consideration I have now decided to keep the vectors.
Apologies for the length of the previous posts and thanks for those with first hand experience for putting me straight and allaying my concerns.
Here’s hoping for a great relationship……

219. Matt Dreyfuss

Has anyone cracked their pod in half during installation? I had my right-side pod installed with two washers (i.e. there was space between the pod and the crank as required) and when I got to 20 lb-ft of torque the pod cracked clear across. I emailed Garmin support, but wanted to see if anyone else experienced this.

• Yariv

I cracked one pod when I screwed the vector-pedal with one washer into a crank that its screwing-edge was flat. the handle of the pod was broken to two halves. If I wouldn’t put the washer would the pod not get broken.

220. washer(s) between crank and pod right? If you didn’t do that, then, well……there’s your problem. Do you mean a ‘spacer’ (washer) between pod and crank or a ‘space’ between pod and crank. I can’t see how the physics involved will cause the unit to fail at the correct torque IF the instructions are followed regarding the spacer/washer.

• Matt Dreyfuss

As I said, I used two washers so there was proper space between the pod and the crank. I have installed them (per the written instructions) several times swapping between my bikes and never had this issue.

221. Mario Fernandez

After riding the Vector a number of times on my TACX, I noticed that the Vector measures my power app. 7-10% higher for the first 10 minutes, fading towards similar readouts, and after another app 5 minutes the Vector power read outs drop below TACX by 10%. My perception tells me that the power read outs from TACX are more correct, and as this seems to happen each time I thought of sharing this information.
The readouts are all done while full brakes are on the TACX, doing a one hour climb. The room temperature is generally around 18 deg. celcius. Could perhaps rise a degree or so during the hour.
If anyone has similar experiences, i.e. that the Vector seems to drop in readouts after a few minutes I would like to hear.
Should be said that all rides were started with a calibration of pedals

• I would agree that I wouldn’t depend on the TACX unit accuracy. Just so many variables there, and it’s hard to get those variables to line up.

As for Vector dropouts, is this just indoors? It is likely interference, usually caused by WiFi (for example, a closely placed iPad near your handlebars streaming video). I occasionally see it myself. It’s usually easy for me to spot though because I’ll have 3-4 power meters + HR/cadence sensors running and you’ll start seeing them all drop out. Usually not at the exact same time because signal strength differs and comes from different directions, but in different spots.

• daniels

I have an explanation for the Tacx power reading as I have experienced exactly the same situation (I won’t call it an issue, as I don’t think it is one if you understand how the Tacx works):

In order to get a correct power readout on a Tacx i-Genius, you have to warm up for at least 10 minutes, with a power level at the end similar to what you will be doing in your workout. When you finish the warmup immediately perform a Tacx brake calibration. Then the power will track the Vector nicely.

If you do the Tacx calibration cold, the power on the Tacx will climb over the first 10 minutes as the unit warms up. This can be seen as the Tacx calibration figure gets lower depending on how warmed up the unit is, depending on when you calibrate.
As long as you do both static and dynamic calibration (Dynamic is a must – I read 20W low if I don’t do it) the Vector should be the more accurate power meter if there is a discrepancy. Vector is +-2% and Tacx +-5% accurate in my experience.

222. i have a tacx. some tacx devices are widely reported to be inaccurate. with mine the different ‘brake’ levels showed quite a variation to the vector by differing amounts on differing brake settings. at lower power levels the variation between the tacx and vector was different to at higher and medium power levels…I think the issue is the tacx. my vector showed no drops in power as you describe

223. Gil

Has Garmin provided updated information about additional POD models? I have a DA9000 crankset on a PF30 frame and the clearance is razor thin with the pod attached. I think it was around 4mm of clearance before the pod was installed. Does the Look power pedals have the same clearance issues? I realize they don’t support ANT+ or Bluetooth v4.0 (SMART) yet.

• Not quite yet. Yeah, 4mm would have been close, but functional. The Look has similiar issues, since it’s more or less the same kind of design. However, I know they were re-working some of that for their next version pods for this summer.

• Gil

Anyone have the crankarm width for the DA9000?

224. Just as a heads up for subscribers, today Garmin announced larger Vector pods. These new pods fit crank arms up to 18mm thick (wide) and 44mm deep (height). I put a tiny bit more detail here: link to dcrainmaker.com

The pods with will be available shortly, and can be bought both as just a pod-set, as well as with with the full Garmin Vector get-up. Clever Training should have the listings all completed by roughly lunch Florida time. Usual DCR goodness applies to Vector like any other product. Enjoy!

225. Andrea

Hi Ray, this new pod have a better antenna in order to avoid random signal lost with the FR 910XT when on wrist?

• Not based on my understanding.

Honestly though, it’s actually not really a pod problem, it’s more of a 910XT problem. Garmin has said for a number of months now they’re looking into it (since it affects other PM’s as well), but they haven’t provided any solution.

226. Andrea

If you remember next time you talk to them 😉 would be a nice feedback

227. Jon eames

Hi

My power seems to a lot higher outside than on kk turbo could I being something wrong
When fitting them to outside road bike, do the peddle pods need to go directly straight down or does it matter if they are a little bit of angle when cranks are at 3 and 9

Jon

228. Larry Lem

It doesn’t matter where the pods point. Having them point down at 3 and 9 was just to keep them out of the way.

229. CarlosC

Hi Ray

Great review. It has helped me make up my mind to purchase.

Few questions. I use Shimano yellow (floating) cleats on all my shoes and have standardised on SPD-SL pedals for all my bikes. Never used the Look cleats (not to say that they are inferior).

What is the stack-up height difference between the two?
Would you recommend that I have to change bike settings (seat height, etc.)?
Will the look cleats fit on Shimano shoes that currently have the yellow cleats above?

Also, are the Look cleats included in the Vector box?

Hi Carlos
I moved from Shimano yellow to the Vector cleats and noticed no real difference either in float (although there is a little) or stack (I don’t think there is a difference). Doubt you will need to change anything.
The Shimano and Look cleats use the same standard three-bolt pattern. Same shoes will work.
The Vector kit includes cleats. The cleats are Look Keo compatible, but are not Look brand. I bought another set of standard pedals for my other bike and they came with Look cleats. Completely interchangeable with the Vector cleats.
Hope that helps.

230. CarlosC

Thanks.

I read (somewhere in this post I think) that the Vector cleats had to be shifted almost past the limits toward the heel of the shoe (I think the individual was even looking at opening the slots) before tightening the bolts when replacing with Shimano.

Has this been your experience when you changed over from Shimano?

I go through a lot of pedals in a year as I average around 800 to 1000km a week.
Have tried replacing metal inserts on Ultegra pedals but find that the rear plastic spring loaded pedal assembly plastic portion which clicks into the rear of the cleat (toward the shoe heel) eventually wears out and causes a lot of float and unexpected click out of the shoe. So I end up chucking them out and replacing with new ones.

I am aware from this post that with Vector you can purchase the pedal assembly and just transfer the spindle, but I am just interested in finding out what sort of durability to expect.

How have you found the wear on the pedal surfaces?

Carlos

231. Graham

I have had my Vector for two weeks. I have had 2 pods split after the bearing face between spindle and crank has broken away. Appears that when you are required to use the supplied spacer/washers, the internal diameter of the spacer/washer is too large and part of the pod face is left unsupported when tightened up to required torque and subsequently part of the pod shears off each time it is shifted between bikes.

• Sidney

I just sheared off a pod while installing them as well. What did you do to rectify the situation? Did you call Garmin and were they receptive to helping fix/send another one for a lower cost or am I now on the hook for a new pod?

• Matt Dreyfuss

Garmin replaced mine for free. Just go through the website for a warranty repair. You’ll have to send them the broken one back and they’ll send you a replacement.

• Yup, I’d agree with Matt. Contact support and they’ve been pretty good with Vector owners.

232. Gil

Has anyone noticed a 5.5 to 6.1 sec lag / delay for the cadence and power readings from the Vectors?

233. Lars Jonsson

Has anyone figured out if it is possible to do a torque validation using the Edge 800? I can see torque on the calibration screen but the value is not updated when hanging weights on the pedals.

234. Neil Thompson

I am thinking about purchasing the Vector Power Meter Pedals and currently have Look pedals with an extra 3mm washer – essentially increasing the Q Factor by 3mm. Do you know if the Garmin pedals will allow for this? p.s. I have called Garmin but they did not sound confident, although they said it would work – of course…!!

• Theo

The pedal pod effectively increases the Q factor over standard pedals by about 1.6mm to start with; then you can (or in many cases, you have to) add one of the 1.2mm thick washers between the pedal pod and the crank arm in order to get pod clearance to the side of the crank. That brings you up to 2.8mm. If you really need to, you could stack a second washer inside the first to get you to 4.0mm. If you do that, make sure that the washers are as concentric as possible with each other and with the pedal pod.

235. Jesper Nygaard

Hi. Just wanted to bring this to everybody’s attention. There seem to be quite a few Vector owners that have issue with excessive play in the spindle bearing after a short time. Myself being one of them. My pedals are only about 2-3 month old and not ridden that much.
The thread on the forum is long, but several guys have gone through both 2 and 3 sets on pedals. And a few “lucky” ones have gotten their money back.

236. patrik

What about the “install left pedal first” Instructions coming with the vectord says left first, how come?

• It’s not terribly important, but just basically streamlines a bit. The reason is that the right pedal is the master, and the one that communicates to the head unit. So by putting the left unit on first the head unit won’t see anything. Thus, when you install the right unit it’ll go talk to the left unit and then talk to the head unit.

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter a ton.

237. Phil Harrison

As a track rider can the vectors be used on indoor tracks

238. Works for me! Used Vectors on the track through the winter logged 1500 km, no problems at all

239. lannie

Hi,

I have a race coming up and suddenly my power data isn’t showing up on the watch. It says calibrated successfully at zero but the power data is not coming through on my 910 watch. Power data stays at 0 on the watch and Ive tried resetting my watch and updating the software for the pedals. Any suggestions?! This is extremely frustrating as I am not very tech davy.

Thanks,
Lannie

• I would try and pull the batteries out of the Vector for a few minutes and then re-pair it to the watch and re-do calibration.

Failing that, the Garmin Vector forums (forums.garmin.com) have active Vector support folks that do often post on weekends (Garmin telephone support is closed on weekends).

240. Fábio Giovanni

I have two bikes and i have one pair of Vector pedals. Can i use one pedal on each bike. The only problem is about the balance or there are more?

• No, the system as implemented today requires both pedals since only the right pedal transmits to the head unit.

241. Fabio Giovanni

242. Jimbo McKona

Hi Ray,
In the situation of a tri where you mentioned that calibration would be easy with the 8 backstrokes, does that mean you would not be getting data till that is done?
The 910 allows you to track your entire race in detail. Wasn’t sure how that would be impacted if you get on the bike and need to calibrate the pedals before use. Or would it just record power data both pre and post calibration?

• It’ll still transmits power just fine prior to do the backstrokes, and that power will be within a few percent. The backstrokes increase the accuracy further. That’s all.

243. Dimitri Garnier

As always, Your review is the best available on the net. Congratulations for gathering all these information and get so far in the details ! (Details make all the difference)

244. mike burton

This appears to be the go to website for those interested in the vector pedals and was a deciding factor for me, so two things- everybody should know by now that the pedal pods are delicate and need to be handled with extreme care, I did a lot of bike to bike transfers, had all of the normal issues, last saturday both of my pods failed… that is, they broke. one cracked and the other interface just disintegrated. pods are on back order across Canada… hmmm, i wonder why that would be? I know have three sets on order, the good chap at Garmin mentioned something about a re-design to make them more… robust. Was he just talking about the new larger size, or is there something else in the works

• The reason they’re likely backordered is actually pretty simple. Garmin announced a new slightly larger pod size (well, the pod is the same but the connector piece accommodates larger crank arms). In doing so they’re effectively phasing out the older SKU, but the new SKU isn’t quite here yet (a few weeks away). Most retailers though are trying to get rid of the older inventory though so they’re likely going thin on inventory until the newer SKU is out.

That said, I think depending on how many ‘a lot of bike to bike transfers’ you’re talking, that’s probably the core driving point to failure.

245. Patrik

Great website! I have something like “45/55” in balance L/R. What to do about it, should I just don´t care or should I try to end up more like “50/50”? Could the difference come from uneven tightened pedals, or doesnt that make any difference?

Second one: I use a samsung galaxy 3 and a 510 and does not succed in connecting and download wireless, any tips and tricks? Doing it by the book, at least I think so.

• For balance, definitely go with “don’t care” and don’t try and fix it – for that piece virtually every well informed coach/specialist in the industry is in agreement there. The question is more ‘what’ to do with the data, which people are still trying to figure out. I think it’ll be a few years until studies sort that piece out (now that they have a viable means of capturing the data).

For the S3, that’s probably more in the realm of troubleshooting. You may want to hit up the Garmin Forums there, as I know the Garmin Connect Mobile team does actually follow and respond to requests in their sub-forum.

246. Simo

Hi Ray,
I ask you an information after several months of Vectors use..
do you check the torque of pedals regularly? Sometimes I’ve experiences a low reading (10/15%) issue…
Do you uninstall and reinstall them sometimes to check if everything is ok?

Thank you!

• I do a calibration before every ride (as you should), as well as usually about 10-15 minutes into it (Garmin says it’s unnecessary, but I just like doing it).

If don’t un-install/re-install unless I have to move bikes. For the most part I kinda leave well enough alone once I have it all properly torqued.

247. Martin

Hi,

I’ve got an injury on my left foot (shin splints), however, I’m able to cycle. Because clicking-out of the left pedal hurt when twisting my heel outward, I loosened the locking mechanism on my left pedal. Now, I noticed that the Power Balance has changed. Prior to my injury and loosening of the pedal pedal the balance was always in the 50-50% range. Now it’s somewhere at 45-55%.

My question is: Is this shift in my power balance due to the injured leg, or can it be due to different tensions of the locking mechanism of left and right vector pedal?
Has the tension of clipless pedals something to do with the measured power?

Thanks!

• I’d be wagering it has to do with the injury. Assuming you’ve backwards pedaled until the calibration message appears, that’d clear up any tension issues.

248. Joaquin

Hi Ray, do you know if Garmin are planning to develop a Bluetooth pod?

• There’s no current plans, however they’ve long-said that if the market dictates that the system was designed to simply swap out the pod piece.

249. I have had problems doing a static calibration on my Vectors with Edge 500 for the past few weeks. My Vectors just simply won’t static calibrate. I have changed the batteries, re-set the installation angles and updated the Firmware, and done everything I “should be” doing.

But no luck with getting my Vectors to properly static calibrate.

I can get power readings and dynamic calibrate, but I’m not able to static calibrate.

Any thoughts or help for me? What should I do and who should I contact?

• You’re best bet is calling Garmin support, or also posting to the Garmin Vector forums (forums.garmin.com). In this case you’re lucky in that the Vector team responds on the forums pretty quickly – often even on weekends (most other Garmin teams don’t respond at all on the forums).

• Mark

Definitely trying not to offend anyone, and I may take some flak with this comment, but here goes anyway: I really enjoy reading the comments on the DCR blog, but I would prefer not to see the comments section turned into a venue for troubleshooting individual issues with devices. As Ray points out above, those issues are usually much better handled in the device makers’ own forums. Almost all of the devices covered here have manufacturer forums; and in the case of Garmin devices, all of them are covered in the Garmin forums. Also as pointed out by Ray, some of the Garmin forums (Vector being a good example) have good participation by Garmin reps. Other Garmin forums remain user-to-user, but you can still usually get good info there from some knowledgeable individuals. My own personal view is that it would be better if the DCR comments section remained devoted to more general discussion of the subjects in Ray’s posts.

250. Gordon Mah

My LBS installed my Vector pedals initially but did not give me the spare washers. Do you know where I can get these washers? Are they something I can buy at a local hardware store?
Thanks

• Eek, I wouldn’t risk it with local hardware store ones to be honest. That said, if you call up Garmin Support, I’m willing to bet they’d send you some for free (at least, the US folks likely would).

251. Gil

Has anyone noticed the 6.1 sec lag reporting of cadence and power information? The dedicated garmin speed/cadence sensor and quarq on my second bike has about a 3 sec reporting delay. I do have an older head unit (Edge 500 with the newest software release).

• Gil

The Vectors have the v2.4 software update installed.

252. Chris Michaelides

Hi there,

I posted comments on this site at March 14, 2014 at 6:54 am under Chris.

Based on this forum, I purchased the pedals. After the purchase, my new coach tried to dissuade me, based on the fact that apparently the pedals do badly in wet conditions. DC Rainmaker had tested in the rain, so I felt somewhat assured that there was a contrary opinion. My coach tried to steer me towards Quarqs and Stages (cheaper option). I still felt that based on DC’s review, that if the vectors delivered, I would have a power option that I could transfer from bike to bike (ie my training and racing bikes). Also, I picked up the pedals at a great price = AUD \$1,299.

Installing the pedals was easy (I also bought a torque wrench). The reason I am posting here however, was that getting my older Garmin Edge 500 to work with the pedals was a bit harder. DC’s review really only covers the Garmin 810 (I think). I thought I would share my experience here since I had to piece this together from many forums.

In essence, what I had to do was:

1. Install Garmin Web Updater software which could see my Garmin 500 and properly upgrade the firmware to version 3.30 (since I bought the head unit second hand, I don’t have any ANT+ unit to go with it). I had no luck using Garmin Express to update the firmware, it couldn’t see the head unit when it was connected by USB.

2. Install Garmin Vector Updater app which along with the ANT + USB dongle (which came with the pedals) uploaded latest firmware to the pedals, upgrading them from 2.10 to 2.40 version.

Then it was a matter of finding the power meter on the Garmin 500 when you were pedalling, then calibrating, as well as setting your crank length. If you get to this stage and are struggling, I suggest you call the USA Garmin support centre, they talked me through this final part after I had updated the firmware on both units.

It is understandable that the older Garmin 500 needed a firmware update, but new pedals as well? Guess I wouldn’t make a good software engineer.

Anyway, I just posted this to hopefully help anyone running into this problem.

Thanks DC, I’ll let you know how these go in the rain, as well as generally. I’m hopeful they’re going to do the job.

Chris