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Garmin announces Vector S: $899 power meter, also announces Cycling Dynamics

Today, at the start of the outdoor portion of Eurobike, Garmin has made two cycling specific announcements.  The first is unveiling the Vector S power meter, while the second is announcing upcoming ‘Cycling Dynamics’ metrics that will be applicable to full-fledged Vector owners.

Vector S:


Here’s the simplest way to think of Vector S: Half the power meter for half the price.  Err…almost almost half the price.  Garmin has followed in the footsteps of Stages and now Rotor in releasing a left-only power meter.  This means that you’ll get a single left-pedal and associated pod.  As a result, the price is reduced from $1499 to $899US (side note: As of today, Vector’s permanent price is $1,499, from $1,699).  In the future, should you decide you want to ‘upgrade’ to the full system, you can purchase the right-side for $699, making it a complete set at the same price as the full-fledged Vector.

So what’s a left-only power meter?  Well it means it only measures power coming out of the left leg.  Stages pioneered this about two years ago, with a sensor pod attached to the left crank arm.  In the case of Vector, it’s in the left pedal just like the regular Vector system measures in the pedal, and measures using strain gauges in that left pedal.  The reason why this is important though is that it won’t capture your right-leg power.  So if you have an imbalance (normal), you won’t necessarily get an accurate picture of your power output.


Now, many would argue that as long as the power is consistent, it doesn’t much matter.  And, there’s some truth to that but also some elements that are incorrect.  In the case of Team Sky – that’s the approach they’ve taken with their recent Stages sponsorship.  It really depends on how you use it.  The imbalance variations you see do however differ from person to person.

For example, I have a slight imbalance to one side up until my FTP (functional threshold power), but then beyond that the imbalance becomes quite exaggerated.  So if my left-side was 55% (and right side 45%), that would mean that my total power would be incorrectly exaggerated by 10% (110%), as left-power is always simply doubled.  I’ve also found that my power balance changes the more I fatigue.  Thus, on a 90 minute ride I stay consistent, but on a 4+ hour ride, I start to slowly become less balanced.

Finally, this can become more challenging with long-term data if you start off with a left-sided power meter and then move to a full power meter, since the long-term data would be inconsistent and might not show your gains properly.

I asked Garmin what they thought the merits/downsides of a left-only system, and here’s what they had to say:

“In our research and data collection among testers it has proven to be reliable. There are left-right differences for every athlete and these are not static, but the changes appear to be reasonably repeatable and a single-sensing solution is a great entry point for cyclists interested in adding power to their training tools. If they decide they want direct left-right accuracy later on, they can always purchase the upgrade pedal for a dual-sensing system for additional insight into how they ride bikes. “

Now for me as a triathlete, I rarely (if ever) go beyond my FTP – so I’ve found in analyzing my data long-term that it’s less of an issue.  Whereas for a sprinter or track athlete, it might be more of an issue.  It’s really hard to say since there’s not a ton of good study information on it yet, just lots of data floating around.

Again, don’t misunderstand my explanation of the pros/cons above.  I think that anything that reduces the power meter price point is great.  And, I think everyone’s requirements are different.  To that end, I think that for many people, a left-only system is sufficient as long as they understand the limitations (no, it’s not as simple as “Team Sky is using one, so it must work for me!”).  As with all power meters though, you still have to do the hard work – merely having a shiny piece of metal installed on your bike doesn’t make you faster.


When it comes to what’s in the package, you’ll get the following:

– 1 left sensing pedal with Garmin Vector (the pedal looking thing)
– 1 right pedal with no sensor (just to match the left)
– 1 Vector communications pod (the silver pod looking thing)
– 2 cycling shoe cleats (for left/right)
– Some o-rings
– Some metal washers
– 1 ANT+ mini-USB stick for firmware updates/configuration

All of which you’ll attach to the left hand-side of the bike, just like this (except for the ANT+ stick):


Now, to be really clear – Vector S is again just half a Vector.  There isn’t any difference in hardware between them.  Though, there has been changes in hardware to Vector over the past year.  Since public availability last August, they’ve made a number of hardware and software tweaks.  These include:

Pod Material: The material of the pedal pod was changed from cast aluminum to forged aluminum (to reduce breakage during installation).
O-Ring: Units started shipping with a rubber o-ring on the inner thread of the pedal spindle to help self-center the washer(s) during installation.
Larger Pods: New larger pedal pod option was made available.  Technically it’s not the pod itself, but rather the pod cable that’s larger/longer.  This is for larger crank arms.  This will be available for Vector S as well.
Metrics: Released a software update adding in torque effectiveness and pedal smoothness
Error Logging: Released a software update that logs errors of the crank length or installation angles have been incorrectly set

Now for those of you looking at power meter options, do keep in mind that Interbike is still two weeks away.  As such, I wouldn’t make any decisions until any further announcements happen then.  Plus, it’s not like Vector S is available this week anyway.  In the meantime, check up on my most recent Power Meter Recommendations post from last September to get a bit of background.  I’ll be updating that post again in the week or two after Interbike based on all the announcements.

Finally, for those that do want to pre-order, you can do that through Clever Training for Vector S and support the site.  The DCR Clever Training VIP club discount is eligable.  However, it’s also worth noting that effective today, Garmin has dropped the price of the full Vector variant from $1,699US to $1,499US.  Yet, the $200 rebate remains valid through September.  So that gets you down to $1,299US, and that’s before the 10% DCR VIP club discount.

Cycling Dynamics:

In addition to Vector S, Garmin is also introducing the concept of ‘Cycling Dynamics’, which are a series of new metrics in the same line of thinking as their ‘Running Dynamics’ that were introduced last fall for higher-end running products.

The information on these is a bit slim at this point. While Garmin has given descriptions of the different metrics, along with screenshots of how it looks on compatible displays – we don’t yet have the actual data fields, nor how it’ll appear on Garmin Connect.  So, you’ll have to let your imagination run a bit here beyond these two screenshots.

Note that all this new new ‘Cycling Dynamics’ functionality requires a ‘dual-sensing’ Vector (aka, the full two-pedal Vector, not the Vector S).  While some of these might be quite achievable with Vector S, others are definitely two-pedal focused.  I suppose in some ways it’s kinda like how the FR220 is technically capable of capturing Running Dynamics from an HRM-RUN, but that’s reserved for the higher-end FR620.  So again, you need the original/full Vector version.  If you have Vector already, you’ll get a firmware update sometime later this year with these new metrics being transmitted. Here’s the rundown:

Seated/Standing Position:

CyclingDynamicsSeatedFirst up, Garmin will now record whether you’re seated or standing.  This is recorded into the activity files, allowing one to create a composition of a ride against whether they were in our out of the saddle.  This can then be correlated against power data (or, a spot on the map).  Garmin says that the change is detected instantly and recorded as such in the activity files on supported head units.

You can see your time in and out of the saddle as a new metric on supported head units, just like you might add average heart rate or average power to your screen.  You’ll notice that this metric carries through not only as a single data screen (Time Standing/Time Seated), but also as an arrow and icon on the Power Phase display as well.

Power Phase (PP):

Next is Power Phase, which is about determining where in the pedal stroke the leg is generating the most wattage, down to a precise slice of the stroke (think of the stroke as a clock).  This then can be mashed up against metrics like left/right balance to put together a potentially interesting picture of a ride, or, a larger group of riders.

Now, given we’ve got lots of ‘interesting but non-actionable’ data from left/right power meters today, I asked Garmin how this new data could be used in real-life.  They noted that:

“The PP data can support the exploration of theories about the optimal crank angle in the pedal stroke for producing power, the smoothness of power created, and what that might indicate about fit or fitness. We also plan to provide summaries of PP stats by type of rider, as we collect data across a larger population of cyclists.”

This jives a bit with what they’ve been saying for well over a year in that in order to understand this data, it really needs to be aggregated en masse to look at trends and try to identify clear patterns.  I don’t think a single rider by his or herself will really get a lot out of this until smart sports science folks can clarify how to best train or race by it.

Platform Center Offset (PCO):

CyclingDynamicsStandingFinally, we have Platform Center Office (PCO).  This is likely going to be most useful in bicycle fit, to determine when a rider is offset from the center of their pedals.  Additionally, this can be used in injury rehabilitation.

What’s occurring here is that Vector is reporting the axial location of the force applied across the pedal body.  This includes along the spindle, from inside to outside of the pedal.  This is then visually indicated within the PCO offset.  You’ll notice if you compare the imagery to the right while the cyclist is standing it’s slightly different than the offset while the cyclist is seated.

Availability/Small Print:

These are all planned for “Late 2014”, and will require a firmware update to the Garmin Vector pedals.  So, if you can’t remember where you put that little tiny USB stick that came with Vector, now’s a good time to start looking (or, to steal a friend’s).

Of course, using these metrics will require a compatible head unit.  Just like Running Dynamics, only certain watches/units will support it.  Garmin won’t announce those units until closer to software release.  I’ve gotta believe that at a minimum it would be the Garmin Edge 1000, Edge 810, and Edge 510 – but that’s just my speculation.  I could potentially see them rolling in an update to all those with the Garmin Segments support (which, they haven’t promised either).

Next is the question on whether it’ll be ANT+ or private-ANT.  This is meaningful because it would drive whether or not other companies would easily offer similar metrics and compatibility with their own products.  If the Running Dynamics side is to be any indicator – the answer is a resounding ‘no’ to openness, as that functionality is still considered ‘private’.  I would expect that since the data is recorded into a standard .FIT file, once the data is there, then any 3rd party app could get it after the fact (i.e. Training Peaks, Strava, Sport Tracks, etc…).

Of course, I think ultimately it’ll be interesting to see these metrics trended over large groups of people, and the data funneled into research and bike-fit focused efforts.  I suspect that’s where the most bang for the buck will come.

Thanks for reading!

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  1. Eric Lofgren

    Oh, Garmin. Such cool hardware, such detailed metrics… and today upload to your website is completely broken for everyone. Hundreds of complaints with no official acknowledgment.

  2. Dan Lichtenberger

    I thought I was the only one having this issue Eric. Interestingly, it still synced my workout to trainingpeaks and strava thought not myfitnesspal.

    • Eric Lofgren

      Me too. Not sure how that’s possible, as I never saw evidence of a successful upload… but if it’s on Strava it must have passed through Garmin.

      Sometimes Garmin reminds me of some TV-stereotype absent-minded professor. Comes up with cool things all the time but doesn’t really know how to talk to people, or finish a sentence, etc.

      They really need a message “We’re having problems right now, and we’re working on it” so people don’t wipe their devices, reinstall Express, and generally cause themselves all sorts of stress for nothing.

    • Paul S

      Is your activity there this morning, when GC seems to be back to normal? At some point during the afternoon/evening, they were showing some kind of “not working” message, but it was Sunday in Kansas, so I wouldn’t necessarily assume that they were aware of a problem right away. (It also wouldn’t shock me, since it’s Garmin we’re talking about, that activities that went into the backend yesterday never show up on the user facing site. All mine are there, but mine went in yesterday morning.)

      Having been around for the beginning of the Internet, I find it truly weird that a not-very-important web site being down lead to all of the noise on the Garmin forums this morning. I guess that’s a good sign.

    • Drew

      This totally makes sense! My run this morning is not in my GC dashboard, but it synced over to TrainingPeaks just fine.

      At least my coach won’t get on my ass!

    • Eric Lofgren

      No, my run from this morning is not on GC yet, though it’s been on Strava and TP for hours. I’m still getting the embarrassingly-vague error “Sorry, we couldn’t sync your device. Please try again.”

      It’s not that the website was down. If the website was down people would have moved on and checked later. The problem was that individual uploads seemed to fail, and no one knew why, and no one (unless they went on the forums) knew that they weren’t the only one with the problem. And even then there’s a lot of posts like “I have one file that won’t upload” where people thought it was a problem only they were having.

      I haven’t seen any evidence at all, yet, that the folks at Garmin know that there’s a problem.

    • Well, looks like Garmin is just joining in on the outages/issues that everyone else has been having. Suunto was down close to 36 hours from Sunday to Monday. Polar V800 users have had to do resets to get their units working with GPS since Friday. Thus…everyone is kinda even (actually, Suunto had it worst).

      That said – since this post is focused on Vector and Cycling Dynamics – let’s try and keep things focused on that.

    • Barry D

      I posted in Garmin’s forums because I couldn’t input a strength training workout manually last night. Bunch of others replied with similar issues now. Says a data field is incomplete or unacceptable, but doesn’t tell you the field and changing everything doesn’t make a difference. Hope it gets fixed soon because that is where I keep all my data.

      Ray, thanks for the info on the Vector S. I have been thinking about buying the Vector next year, but this might be a stopgap so it isn’t as much money at once. Interested to see what shows up at Interbike and your thoughts as always.

    • Gabe

      Ha I am having issues as well with GC

      I just got my fenix2 and couldn’t sync. Though I do see my open water swim on strava

    • Lars

      Will Shimano pedals come for vector?

    • I don’t expect to see that this year. Perhaps down the road, but is think there would be larger demand for Speedplay, or a mountain bike focus.

    • Nontas

      I would like to say that I can’t see any data showing time seated or standing to cycling dynamics feature.
      Do you know why;

  3. Tosin

    It’s always hurry up and wait with Garmin, who knows when we’ll actually be able to buy Vector S.

    It’s promising that they are doing this now, but I’m pretty sure they were keeping their mouth shut when everyone was badmouthing Stages left-only philosophy. Garmin probably realized their was more cash to be made if they prices down by going left-only. Abs then there is a greater likelihood of that customer getting the full package later down the line.

    • Eric Lofgren

      I’m a runner who bikes for cross-training only – not a triathlete. But power meters are still way too expensive. I can’t possibly buy a pedal (one pedal!) that costs more than the rest of my bike. The data just aren’t that useful.

    • I would expect availability to be relatively quick, since they’re already producing Vector in mass…and this is just half of that.

      Obviously, if you’re not a cyclist focused on performance – you probably won’t find the value in a power meter. But, for cyclists focused on performance, many do.

  4. Bert

    How fast can you change the Vector pedal from one bike to another?
    Is it the same as a normal pedal, or do you have certain torque limits, calibration to keep in mind every time you want to swap?

  5. Jeffrey

    what are you’re thought when you compare the garmin vector S to the watteam powerbeat?

    • Initially, I’d say that Vector S (or Stages or anyone else) is a product that’s here and available today (or shortly available for Vector S). Whereas PowerBeat isn’t targeted till next summer, so basically a year away. Given I haven’t yet seen a single power meter product that hasn’t slipped timelines significantly since announcement, I’d be hesitant to wait on PowerBeat based on historical trends from the rest of the industry.

      In the case of Vector S, I see that no differently than Stages or anyone else releasing a new crank variant. A minor manufacturing mod (really just in packaging and distribution), and not a truly new product with major risks.

  6. mike

    Is the vector pedal compatible with the Fenix 2?

  7. Claus Kaastrup

    Any news when Vector will support the use of elliptical rings?

  8. Chris O.

    This is interesting. Here’s another interesting one … Vector S is on the garmin web store, for $899 USD, and the upgrade pedal is there too (under “accessories”), for $699 USD … So, buy both for $1598 USD – $100 less than a full vector kit! lol

  9. For a full Vector set, the right pedal transmits the data to the head unit (based on your original full review). The left pedal transmitted data to the right pedal to be relayed to the head unit. It sounds like this was changed?

    Since the left pedal will transmit to the head unit, could you now buy a full set and put the left pedal on one bike and the right pedal on other bike?

  10. Don

    Ray, I see this single pod uses a new forged aluminum material. any chance you could purchase one and test its strength against the original pod?

  11. Graeme

    Any reason why they chose the left side over the right?

    Doubt it matters, just curious…

    • Phil Barnes

      away from the chain?

    • Hmm, I’ll ask when I see one of the engineers at Interbike. I could see the logic in simply saying “Stages is left, ROTOR is left, let’s just all keep it left.”.

    • Eric Lofgren

      I wonder if one side is more commonly stronger (e.g. most right-handers are more powerful on the left pedal). Certainly having different brands on the same side should improve consistency across single-pedal data.

    • In general, it seems to be slightly all over the map from the data I’ve seen from random people. It would be cool if Garmin looked at doing some infographics with existing Garmin Connect Vector data.

    • Patrick Myers

      Isn’t it obvious? The cyclist mantra is “on your left!” ;)

      I gotta say (as someone who is still a new triathlet and whose current bike came in under a grand) I’m glad Garmin has taken this approach. While eventually I’ll get up to wanting side-specific power info (and a nicer bike), we really need more budget friendly options for power meters, and doing single-side power is one way to start getting the cost down.

      Yes, this one little piece will equate to 2/3rds the cost of my bike, but it’s better than 1.5x the cost of my bike.

    • Tosin

      I just always assumed they don’t need more stuff on the chain side of the bike to work on…

    • jimmy

      Some people are right foot forward, others are left. It has nothing to do with whether you are right or left handed. It’s about a 50/50 split across population.

      When you do a bunnyhop, which foot feels more comfortable being forwards – left or right?That answers which foot you prefer.

  12. Phil Barnes

    any news if torque will be available?

    • You can get torque today from the calibration screen. And, Vector does transmit torque even while riding – it’s simply that Garmin head units don’t display it.

      For example, in one of the tools I have, I can see and record torque from Vector.

    • Phil Barnes

      do you have a link to that tool Ray?

  13. Nicholas

    Ray – will you be at Eurobike to report any further developments regarding Garmin’s Cycling Dynamics (if any) and all the other power meters and data software?

    I hear SRM will be venturing into Left/Right data and of course, their new PC8.

    • Yup, I have a packed Eurobike schedule, with mostly power meter companies (and trainers).

      That said I don’t expect anything further from them on Cycling Dynamics beyond what’s above since some of that is as recent as last night in my talks with them. I suspect we probably won’t see better definition on that till Oct/Nov (assuming an ‘End of year’ release for Cycling Dynamics).

      Note that Vector S is ‘Fall’, which while it technically ends Dec 22nd, I suspect we’ll see things far sooner.

    • Tim

      Garmin says “October” on their pre-order website.

  14. Gabe


    How is the durability of these pedals? Say someone riding on average of 100 miles a week.

    My pedals do take some bruises here. Not to mention people replace their pedals ever so often.

    • I haven’t heard of any problems with the pedal body’s themselves in the year since Vector has been out. the good news is if you did break a pedal body, you can actually replace just that component (without the cost of the entire strain gauge).

  15. Just a minor update/clarification from Garmin. The price of the full version of Vector has dropped by $200US down to $1,499US. In conjunction with that, there’s still a $200US rebate available for rebate through September. Thus getting you down to $1,299US.

    Now, for DCR readers through the Clever Training VIP program, you can still save 10% off the pre-rebate price, and save the $200 rebate. Which basically means you’re saving a crapton. Oh, and you get a free$1 crow foot adapter. :)

    (Updated, you get a crow foot adapter for $1…)

  16. Ray, a question about the price. A single left-only meter is $899 and to upgrade to a full one (get the right meter), it’s an additional $699. That’s a total of $1600 while the new price is $1500 so it’s actually a $100 penalty if you are indecisive, right?

  17. Jeff K

    So, stages is something like $700 directly from the manufacturer and the vector S will be around $800 with the DCR discount. I know there will be announcements with interbike, but given what I see right now, I would definitely take the vector S, solely for the ability to transfer between bikes.

    • Gunnar

      FWIW, in just a tiny bit longer than swapping pedals, I could change my Stages Ultegra crank arm between my commute, road, TT/Tri and CX bike (which all run the same type Utegra crankset). Very convenient.

      But I’m afflicted with the same issue Ray mentions with my left leg putting out less power than my right (which I notice using my Computrainer SpinScan), so I switched back to using a Powertap wheel.

      I’m waiting for a lower priced unit that I can use so I can keep track of my left/right power. The Full Vector unit through Clevertraining is getting enticingly close to my budget.

    • Steve G

      It’s insanely easy to swap crank arms.
      I think if you’re going for a left side only power meter, you can’t beat Stages.

  18. Nelson

    Hi Ray,

    If I want to purchase the vector S and I don’t have a compatible pedal system, is Garmin will sell a normal pedal with no power? At what price?

    Thank you for your great work


    • Patrick Myers

      Ray may answer as well, but looking at his “what’s inside the box,” it says:

      1 left sensing pedal with Garmin Vector (the pedal looking thing)
      1 right pedal with no sensor (just to match the left)

      2 cycling shoe cleats (for left/right)

      It comes with two pedals and two cleats, so you shouldn’t have to buy anything extra.

    • Yup, correct, comes with two pedals. One has the sensor, one’s a blank.

    • David

      Maybe you could change the text on the second picture. It pretty clearly states “Your Existing pedal here”. I actually was thinking the same question. But I’m not in the market right now, so I did actually ask.

  19. Joshua Parks

    aw yes, the first of the Power Meter Pricing announcements (clearly this one counts). And I love the comment about more good things to come…but what?

    Ray, keep it up. Always a pleasure to read and great stuff!

  20. Matt

    Focus group of 1 here, but I’m much less likely to go for “one-sided” meters because it compromises comparability with friends using other systems. I want to beat my friends’ FTP! As long as PowerTap is close to the same price point, seems better for me.

  21. Alex

    I might be a bit behind on this one, but does anyone know how Vector plays with non-Garmin head units? I have a cheaper CatEye Stealth 50 GPS computer which is ANT power compatible. Obviously I don’t expect any of these new cycling dynamics metrics to transfer over but would the basic power info be visible?


  22. Ted H

    I’ve been debating P2M vs Stages for awhile. I like the idea of trying to save money by going with Stages, but then I would have to get new crankset because none of my cranksets work with the stages arms (I have specialized). Garmin lowering their price really puts me really closer to choosing them. I just have to decide to “like” the look pedal system.

  23. Greg Hamm

    Hey Ray,

    As an owner of the full set I am excited to see Garmin bringing out new software to further enhance the experience. The new metrics of PCO and PP…are they in real time when displayed on bike computer? (Sorry if that’s an obvious question). Just curious how it’s displayed or how it will be displayed whether on bike computer or on Garmin Connect.


  24. Great new price Garmin but I can’t give up my Speedplay pedals.

    • Steve G

      I hate the pedals… if they had a speedplay solution, then sold! I’d just move my Stages over to another bike.

  25. Joel Mulligan

    Garmin really needs to lead the way and stop using private ant with all their cool new features. Bluetooth is rapidly gaining ground and frankly I much prefer ant+. I would hate to see support in the wider market start is disappear because of an inability to compete. Suunto have already thrown ant+ to the dogs.

  26. Troy

    Hi Ray, I just tried to apply the coupon code for Clever Training and it isn’t working to buy the Vector Pedals. Is this considered a deep discount?

    • Hi Troy-

      With Vector (and about 7 other Garmin products), Garmin requires that you use the DCR Clever Training VIP program instead to save the 10%. It only takes a second to sign-up and there’s a bunch of other benefits too like the faster shipping and then it supports Girls On The Run (non-profit group). Details here: link to dcrainmaker.com

      And of course, it helps support the site. I appreciate it!

  27. James


    I have been reading your blogs for some time now and absolutely love the thoroughness and level of detail you provide. Your testing seems quite extensive and appears to cover all scenarios.

    I bought the Vectors about 2 months ago now and after some initial hiccups, including a broken pod (which was replaced by Garmin at no cost) I have them installed on my TCR Ultegra cranks (Di2) and they have been excellent. They provide consistent and reliable data. The price was great, around AUD$1200 on special.

    I understand Garmin have problems and they can at times have poor customer relations, however in general I have found them to be what I would expect from a large global company, helpful and reasonably responsive with good product support. People seem to have one issue and then decide to bash companies. I think most of us just need to be patient, which I know can be difficult when your expensive product is not doing what it is supposed to.

    As for the Vectors. I use the 510 and 910XT (do some triathlon) with them and they are great.

    I must say however that, though I have done all I can with resetting, calibration, spoken to Garmin and I still get a balance variance L to R. I generally get 54% left to 48% right imbalance. It comes closer to 50/50 or on 50/50 if I concentrate, it does vary at different power levels and it seems to get worse at FTP and above.

    I think this new “S” pedal setup would be good if you could factor the value, however you would have to know what the imbalance factor was to start with, which would require a double set up and some kind of testing. An algorithm could be used to allow different factors in the power multiplication of the left hand side only power output to allow for variances during sitting, standing, high and low power and torque values. Just a thought.

    Otherwise I would not trust one pedal as I believe for someone like me, I would get consistently high power values due to this imbalance. In saying this however, I guess it is all down to using power for training and as long as the value is consistent and repeatable I guess the accuracy in relation to other systems is not important.

    Love you blog. Keep it up.


    • Mark

      I think the problem with trying to “pre-calibrate” the imbalance factor when using a single-sided power meter is that, as Ray Points out above, the imbalance is not consistent. And I can confirm that in my case. It varies with level of fatigue (as per Ray) and also with the power output level itself. So while you might conceivably be able to simulate the latter factor (power output level) in a controlled lab or bike fit setting, I can’t see how you could easily simulate the important fatigue factor.

  28. Roberto


    I have both Vector pedals .
    My understanding was that the Vector system has the right pedal being the primary one, and the left pedal communicating to the right one and then to the ciclocomputer.

    now , this Vector S is a left pedal. in case of an upgrade , buying the right pedal, does it mean the left pedal is the leading one in the upgraded Vector S system?

    i also understood that pedals cannot be mixed. is this still true?

    one note about Vector’s issues; has owner i am following the Garmin Forum. Many users report the pedal body being loose, as the bearing inside the pedal body is not well designed.
    Are you aware of this? Do you address this question to Garmin Vector’s team? (sorry Garmin Forum is down and cannot paste the link here)
    Has the Vector S having the same design as of the Exsustar pedal of the previous Vector release?


  29. Charlie

    Hi Ray,
    I’d echo the above, I am now on my 2nd and about to get my 3rd set of Vectors as the left pedal body keeps going loose on the axle (very poor bearing interface). The left pedal now actually rattles when you roll the bike over bumps its that loose.
    Is there any news on this at all? If not could you ask them?
    The support channel online has gone very quiet!

    • I’ll talk to them about it at Interbike (that’s where the Vector folks would be), less so at Eurobike since they aren’t sent over here.

    • Charlie

      Thanks, its would be interesting to get some direct feedback.
      My Garmin rep has just offered to keep changing them as they’ll “Have to do something one day…”
      Great system, shame it just doesnt last so well.

    • Yeah, there’s some changes focused on that coming down the road, but I’ll have details at Interbike (and it will be back portable).

  30. likepend1

    link to polar.com

    compatible with smartphones (and of course with the v800) …. for 999 Euro!

    pretty interesting!!

  31. Mr Nofish

    At the end of the day, I’m a little non-plussed, all of these new products are just me-toos. Not really competing on price, simply appealing to customers who are fine in theory with a left-only DFPM, but can’t or won’t buy Stages.

    I wonder if this will put pressure on Stages to further drop their prices (since I can’t see many other ways to improve their current product, except offering a dual-sensing variant) or not. It’s been mentioned elsewhere on this site Stages is already running at full capacity or close to it, so they might as well hold to their price point and just leverage their Sky sponsorship.


    (no, it’s not as simple as “Team Sky is using one, so it must work for me!”).

    You don’t talk to a lot of roadies do you?

    j/k :)))

    As with all power meters though, you still have to do the hard work – merely having a shiny piece of metal installed on your bike doesn’t make you faster.

    And as you’ve been saying that for a long time, your continued popularity is proof 3 out of 4 readers are simply skimming (still kidding yeah but not just)

  32. Gilbert

    i tried ordering the garmin vector full set but the ‘DCR10WHP’ code doesnt work. was hoping to take advantage of the rebate and discount. any way this will work?

    • Hi Gilbert-

      Yup, there’s still a discount, you just have to use the DCR Clever Training VIP program instead (Garmin requirement), for a handful of products 8, including Vector. It’s super quick and easy though and still saves you a crapton while also still supporting the site: link to dcrainmaker.com

      Plus you get faster shipping and help support Girls On The Run.


    • Gilbert

      Thank you Rain. will do this again tomorrow.

  33. Jon

    Hi Ray,

    Really enjoy reading the reviews on your website, thank you.

    Is there any news on a possible Edge 510 head unit replacement/upgrade? Possibly with some of the features of the of the 1000, for example Di2 information?



  34. I’m hoping Garmin will announce a replacement for the 500 sometime soon. The 510 was a disappointment, and the 1000 is ridiculously bulky and heavy.

  35. Emil

    Would you recomend using Garmin Vector S on the left side and continue with a Dura Ace 9000 pedal (as I have to day) on the right side ? weight vs similar pedals/cleats. A slight possible difference in power output (L/R) is acceptable to me. The L/R Vector is too expensive but the S looks affordable. I have a Garmin Edge 800 and Garmin Forerunner 610 and like them both…

    • Hmm, it does include a pedal for the right side (so they match). I don’t know enough about the exact impact on fit/etc to have them different.

      For me personally, I’d just use the extra pedal included.

  36. Barry D

    Seriously thinking of purchasing the Vector package from Clever Training after being reminded about the VIP discount and the mail-in rebate. I also need a new set of pedals for my bike now too.

    Any idea if the Vector large will fit the FSA Gossamer 53/39T crankset? I tried doing the measurements, but it is hard to see if it is exactly 15mm in thickness or just a bit under. I have the chain clearance and the width is around the 36mm mark. Reason I would like to get the large is because I want to switch the Vectors to my Shiv with Specialized cranks in the race season otherwise having them isn’t very useful.

    Lastly, if I do need two different size Vectors, can I just buy the smaller pods for the FSA bike and keep the larger ones on the Specialized set with just switching the pedals between bikes?

    Is this something the folks at Clever Training could answer?

    P.S. Been enjoying the twitter updates this week. Thanks for the great info.

    • Yup, the large pod goes up to 44mm, so you’re good there. Though, the standard goes up to 38mm, so technically you should get away with that.

      Thanks for the support via Clever, I appreciate it!

    • Bryan

      Using the vector s, clearance isn’t an issue on the left side. Couldn’t you just use the large pedal pod for both standard and large size?

  37. “lots of ‘interesting but non-actionable’ data”….
    Great quote.

  38. loksta

    I have Garmin vector and Garmin edge 500. I am having problems with a lot of dead spots and zero readings and won’t register cadence either. It was fitted by a bike shop so I assume they have done it correctly. I find it happens a lot in lower gears or just bounces out at random times. Is this usual or is there a problem? It’s pretty frustrating and hardly conducive for accurate training. Any help is greatly appreciated or if I can be pointed in the right direction for help.

    • It’s really hard to say, it sounds like perhaps the battery cap might not be in place though – or the little pods might not have the left or right side rubber piece fully pushed in. Try removing the little rubber piece and sticking them back in, and then try removing/sticking back in the battery doors.

      Else, the Garmin Forums have a very active Garmin Vector sub-forum, which the Garmin Vector team is actually on (even on weekends many times, though, maybe not a holiday weekend).

    • Darren

      Thanks Ray , the battery cap wasn’t in properly, all sorted and working well now. Thanks for your help

  39. Paul

    If you don’t own one of the suggested compatible head units but own their Fenix2 or some other ANT+ device, will the advanced metrics be saved and then assessed with their online tools (eg., Garmin Connect)? Or are the metrics lost?

  40. Mik

    with the verctor s, what is “calculate” the right leg power? The pedal or the unit? If it’s the pedal no problem, but if it’s the unit and if i use a suunto unit (ambit 2 ant+), this unit don’t calculate it and on my screen, i will look only the left leg power, that’s right?
    Sorry for my english limited.

    • Vector S sends full power, which it does internally by just doubling the left power. So any head unit (such as the Ambit2/2S will work just fine). Enjoy!

    • Tony


      I just installed the vector S. It seems to be reading only the left side. Any thoughts on the issue. I have not registered it so maybe that is the issue?

    • It’s only a left-sided power meter, so it won’t show left/right balance.

      Or do you mean that it’s not showing a doubled number? Also, have you done a calibration on it?

  41. DT

    Ray, thank you for the review. I train with my kickr and I love having power as part of my training. I am trying to add it to racing 70.3s. I do not need a super power meter, just one that will keep me in line during the race. What would you recommend? Is that correct that CT does not carry Stages? Thank you!

  42. Mike S

    I have read and I have had the same problem with my Garmin310xt version 4.50 not showing the correct HR reading doing their (my) workouts. I got tired of Garmin telling me to change the battery which I’ve a number of times. After calling Garmin a number of times and 3 HR monitors two new and a replacement Garmin 310xt. Still having the same problem I called and wanted my 310xt set back to 3.90. After 3 1/2 hours on the phone with a tech and software support I finally got it back to version 3.90. I have used the 310 for my last 4 runs and I have not had one issue with the HR monitor. I was also able to download my workouts with Garmin Express. Please let your readers know if they like and want to keep their 310xt with the HR monitor to call Garmin to get their watch pushed back to version 3.90. They can do it they don’t want to but they will.

  43. Tomer Shahar

    Do you of the cycling dynamic will be support with the 910XT?


  44. tudor

    Hello Ray,

    after almost 2 months from the initial release, have you tested the Vector S any further? As in pod / pedal durability or any other software bugs? Can’t really think of any but still, since this is a new launched product, I think there might be still some quirks…
    Bottom line – is the power output realible? :-)


  45. Todd

    It’s been almost 2 months and still no release? Isn’t it simply a difference of packaging one pod instead of two? Why such a delay?

    • It was released earlier this week. And, just for clarity, it’s been just over a month, for a product that said ‘Late Fall 2014’ as expected availability. So basically, they were ahead of announced schedule by 2 months.

    • Todd

      Thanks for the quick follow-up!!!

      It’s like Christmas because I wanted the vector and a vivofit but with the vector s and 920xt being released I can get everything I want for the same price and eliminate the 910xt! Saweet!

  46. Salvo

    Hi Ray, I was thinking of buying a power meter and I’m torn between “Power Stages” and “Garmin Vector S”, which do you recommend?
    Which seems more reliable and that does not have problems?

    • I haven’t toyed with Vector S per se, but have tons of time on Vector, and given Vector S is simply half a Vector…

      As for the differences, it depends. For example, if you don’t care about pedal type – then Vector S might be an option. If you do care about that, then Stages might be better. Conversely, if you have crank arm limitations, then Vector is better.

      I think the reliability is superb on both.

    • Salvo

      How to use the Shimano pedals but I’m not sure, have the attack of the “look”.
      I take the “Vector S” so you can upgrade maybe later, but recently I have advised me that suffer from some problems not to mention that I have reported that after a certain number of miles you create a sort of play in the pedal, of Therefore I was opting for the “Stages”.
      The “Vector” suffer from these problems? according to your experience.
      I have a crank “Ultegra 6500”, I could mount a “Stages Ultegra 6800” or possibly a “Dura Ace” in this crankset?

    • The cartridge play issue isn’t really an issue, as if it does develop, Garmin will swap out the cartridge no questions asked. And, down the road they’ll be making a manufacturing change they believe should further minimize it (and again, if you start developing issues they’re swapping it out free).

    • Salvo

      I would not take advantage of your kindness too, but the “Vector” they need more maintenance than the “Stages”?
      What preferiscitra 2?

  47. Salvo

    **Which do you prefer between the 2?**

    • They both work equally well, so it’s really a case of which best fits your needs as far as any specific crank or pedal requirements, or, if down the road you plan to upgrade to a full Vector system.

  48. Liam

    Hi Ray, do you know if having the crank length set wrong on the vector will have an impact on the power readings? I’ve bought myself a Vector S and a 910xt, only to find out that my laptop is too old to support the required OS for Garmin Connect (You can probably tell that my gadget buying priorities are a bit mixed up!)
    Anyway, until I can hook myself up with sore more science, I’m stuck with the vector thinking that I run 172.5mm cranks when I actually run 175mm.
    Does this matter for the power metrics, or is it only relevant for crank torque etc?

    • Yes, it will indeed impact the wattage values. I can’t remember offhand, but I believe it’s about 3-5%. So definitely ensure you tweak it. See if you can find a friend to install the Vector software. It’s tiny and only takes a second to configure.

    • Liam Nicholson

      Thanks Ray,
      I’ll grab a friend’s laptop and get on it.
      Out of curiosity, do you know which way the readings will be skewed if the actual crank length is a little longer than the inserted value?

    • I don’t remember offhand which way they are skewed.

    • Paul S

      Assuming that it’s measuring the force correctly, it should underestimate the power. Energy is just the integral of the force along the path the pedal takes. If the force were constant, that would simply be force x circumference of the circle, and power is simply the time derivative of that (rate at which the energy changes, or with a constant force, force x pedal speed). So since it thinks that the circle is smaller than it actually is, it will underestimate the power. It should be linear, so the power will be underestimated by (175 – 172.5)/172.5, or about 1.4%.

      Of course, if calibrating it correctly requires the crank length, errors in the calibration might compensate for errors in the path length. But Vector is pedal based, right? So I wouldn’t think that would be a factor.

    • Liam Nicholson

      Thanks again for the quick response Ray, it’s somewhat comforting to know that you’re human after all when it comes to knowing about this stuff ;)

      Paul, you are my hero for two reasons:
      You know science.
      You just handed me about 5 watts at FTP :)

      My (rapidly fading) memories of A Level physics had me running through the vague principles of those calculations, but I was struggling to solidify them in my head. Assuming that your reasoning is correct about the internal calibration method and the PM is underestimating me my ~1.4%, I won’t bother to adjust my results before I get hold of a laptop from this millenium.

  49. Dave Lee

    Great resource – thanks so much.

    Anybody see an issue with putting a Vector S on a spinner bike (Lemond Revmaster Sport) strictly for the purpose of getting feedback WRT performance improvements? From all that I can tell one of these things will ‘fit’ (mechanically) onto my bike. I’m willing to put up with the vagaries of a ‘one sided sensor’. I’d be using a Garmin 800 Edge as the receiver.

    Originally I thought that the requirement for ‘dynamic calibration’ (reverse pedaling will NOT generate basically zero force on a spinner bike) would be an issue. But from what I was told by Garmin that is no longer a requirement. I can’t think of another ‘gotcha’, but …



    • I’d agree, if mechanically you can get it to fit – then you’re golden. In fact, Garmin has long stated they see quite a market in spin bikes and some variant of Vector there.

      And as you noted, Dynamic Calibration is no more…

  50. Dave Lee

    Thanks for the response (and for making this incredible resource available to all of us).


  51. Adithya Gajulapally

    Is a special shoe required or can I use this with any normal shoes? I am asking because the box comes with cleats.

    • Any cycling shoe is fine.

    • Adithya Gajulapally

      I have never owned a cycling shoe and have never seen one. Are these special shoes for attaching cleats. Do I have to buy a pair of cycling shoes or can I use any everyday walking shoes or sandals and ignore the cleats? I cycled a lot in India wearing sandals and normal every days shoes, school uniform shoes, etc. I see that the pedals for Garmin are different from the pedals I had back home. Are the cleats necessary? I am currently renting cycles from bikelink. I plan to buy a bicycle early next year and get garmin power meters. I just want to make sure I understand all the requirements.

    • Honestly, I think it’s probably best to focus on getting a basic road bike and cycling shoes and get used to the feel of the bike and being clipped in. Then, a year or two down the road transition to a power meter.

  52. vince harman

    Does anyone know how to update software on vector s, I can’t get past the screen that requires me to put a pedal ID in for the “accessory pedal” it says that can be found on the pedal but I can’t see one, thanks in advance

  53. Gary f

    I just purchased and installed the vector s. It’s working great, set it up by yours and garmins videos, so thanks, but I can’t get it to do a dynamic calibration. I’ve been using on trainer (ohio winter) and performing static calibration before every ride. Unfortunately, I could pedal backwards for miles and I still don’t get a dynamic calibration message. Any thoughts?

  54. Nontas

    I would please tell me where I can find the data screen for time seated and time standing.

  55. Seha Özden

    Hi,in this shop there is an option “choose width” and you choose between 38 mm and 44 mm ..could you tell me what that mean?Thank you..
    link to racycles.com

  56. Wes

    If I have an imbalance of 55%-45% and I ride at 200Watt, will the Vector S say that I ride at 210 or 220Watt or…
    Can it be calibrated, knowing what a persons imbalance is?

  57. Robert

    Hi, I am currently looking into getting a power meter and I’m tossing up between the Vector S and the Stages as here (Australia) they are the same price.
    Would you have any suggestion as to which would be the best way to go? I know that’s probably not at all a straight forward question, but I have read through your reviews of stages, part 1 and 2 aswell as the normal Vector review. If I have the money I’d get the vector normal but that just won’t happen… Thing is if I ever do get the spare with the S I can always buy the second one sure but lets not consider that as a possibility just now :)


  58. Kevin

    Ray, I am trying to decide between a Vector S and stages rival power meter. Both are a similar price here in the UK. I like the idea of stages as it seems more fit and forget but the vector would give me the option of transferring to my race bike (however this is equipped with rotor cranks and Q-rings which I understand do not support elliptical rings). I am also planning on equipping the race bike with a P2M at some point in the future so not a deciding factor. I want something easy to use and reliable (i.e. weather resistant). From a user perspective which would you prefer to own?

  59. Steven Ellison

    From what I can tell the Vector S last much longer between battery replacements which would be a plus for me! I hear so many people having to replace the Stages battery often!

    • I’m not sure that’s necessarily the case. I’d say that assuming you don’t have battery issues, then the differences between the two are probably a wash.

      The benefit from Stages however is the dual ANT+/BLE transmission. While the benefit for Vector S is that you can install it on any crank arm you’d like. The downside there being you’re limited on pedal choice.

  60. Frank parrish

    The bearings in my vector pedals have worn out after 9 months (7500km). My wife has a set and the bearings are also begining to wear so it is not an issue of weight and absolute power. Has anyone else had this problem?

  61. Thomas

    Hey Ray, thanks for the great reviews (as ever). Maybe I have read past it (or I am too lazy to look it up thorougly), but here’s my thought, could you let me know if it is technically feasible?

    Suppose I buy a regular Garmin Vector (two pedals) and split them up to different sets for two different bikes (then having one-sided power, one on the left, one on the right)? Then any time I want power measured on both sides, I can combine the two pedals on the same bike.

    Would that work? Or is single-sided power measurement limited to left-side?

  62. Charlie Revell

    Hi Ray… Did you notice this about data capture rates?
    Seems garmin jumps from 4hz to 8hz when using Pedalling Dynamics.

    link to forums.garmin.com

  63. Wes

    Do you know what the stack height is of the vector pedals?

  64. Matt Dickinson

    Hey DC would you recommend vector S or the full vector.

    • I’d look at it more from dual-sided versus single-sided. While I get the desire for saving money on single-sided, I think that longer term folks will come to realize how much variation there is athlete to athlete, and even workout to workout with single sided power meters. Thus, I’d recommend something that captures both sides – be it Vector full, or something else.

  65. joan alcover

    Interestingly, when riding using a Quarq Elsa powermeter, I get the “Power Phase” values on the screen of my Edge 1000.
    However, these values are not copied to the “log” (.fit) file for the activity. So no analysis possible after the ride!

  66. Justin

    Hey DC,

    I too am curious about Vector or Vector S. Would be interesting to understand whether you really are better off buying the full Vector than the S or whether for us mere mortals the difference in left / right leg is something that you really can’t address and the Vector S will suffice.


    • Liam Nicholson

      I currently use a Vector S and am (mostly) happy with it. It certainly gives most of the benefits of “full” powermeters, but the question mark hanging over potential drift in my left/right balance means that I can’t pace with the same certainty as if.I was measuring both sides.

      If you are a potential powermeter customer and don’t have much cash then the Vector S is a good choice due to the ability to further invest at a latwr date for both sided measurement. I will most likely do this over the winter before next season.

      I would consider the new powertap C1 too, it looks like a good value product and measures both sides. The only downside that I can see is that it is incompatible with chainrings smaller than 36t so may not be suitable for those who want to use compacts (although its nothing that a wider cassette can’t make up for)


    • Justin

      Thanks for your feedback, but even if you have a left / right leg power difference how would you utilize the information the Vector gives you to correct the difference?

      Would you take the raw information and spend time in the gym focussing on single leg squats .. and time in the saddle doing single leg drills?

      I wonder how easy/beneficial it is for a leisure / weekend rider/racer to try and correct imbalances or whether you just take the data you get from the S and focus on the total watts. eg, you don’t care how the left/right leg contribute to the total wattage figure.


    • Liam Nicholson

      You seem to be very focused on the left/right imbalance being a bad thing and therefore something that should be corrected.
      While there are some people out there for whom the imbalance is large enough that it constitutes a problem, for most of us its not a “problem”, its just something that we should bear in mind if only measuring one side. There are no proven benefits of having 50/50 output, and trying to achieve this is largely a waste of time. IMO,as long as you are mostly within 55/45 then its no big deal.

      The only stumbling block regarding left/right imbalance and single sided power measurement is the drift in balance when tired or at different intensity levels means that you can be putting out different wattage under different circumstances and see the same number on your head unit.

    • Justin

      Hi Liam, I am not focussed on left/right imbalance, I am just playing devils advocate. I agree that if the left/right balance does not change for a given rider from one ride to the next, then the wattage figure reported is a very meaningful figure. What I am trying to say is that if I did a ride/workout one week and chose the same ride/workout another week the 2 wattage figures obtained would provide a meaningful comparison. That is a simplistic example, but one that hopefully explains what I am trying to say

  67. Dave Lee

    I posted the following the the Vector forum at Garmin, but thought I would put this here as well – lots of useful input from DC and others.


    I had been using a Vector S on my often used spinner bike and decided to add another to my road bike. I installed it today and things seemed to go OK. It has a Sensor ID recorded on the 800, senses Power Meter Detected, the 800 thinks that it can properly calibrate the device, Power Meter Yes, etc.

    But all that I can get is a Zero (not blank) power reading. Here is everything that I can think of that might be a factor.

    1) This is a relatively flush crank mount (Campy Chorus 2014 crank, but I used a single washer just to be sure)

    2) I do have my other Vector S installed/paired on a different bike (and different Bike Profile on my Edge 800)

    3) A couple of times trying to do different things I have received a message “Multiple Power Devices Detected” (with maybe a Confirm/OK – don’t recall). I do have another power device paired on this Edge 800 (Bike 1 vs. Bike 2). But the older Vector S was ‘not awake’ (I have no idea how long a Vector S will broadcast zero before it stops, but I assume that overnight is long enough). And it was about 60 feet away through 3 or 4 walls.

    4) I have a Bontrager Ant+ Cadence/Speed sensor on this bike. Do I need to remove this and repeat some set of steps? It was ‘awake’ when this was going on.

    5) A few days ago I was unable to pair my Bontrager Cad/Sp Ant+ sensor to ‘Bike 1’ (to which it had been paired previously). I had intended to ‘share Bike 1’ between my spinner bike and road bike (same crank length) but I was unable to get this sensor ‘re-paired’ (have no idea why I lost it in the first place). I had no problems pairing it to Bike 2 – speculation is that I have a corrupted system file and maybe need to start all over.

    I don’t know for sure if this is a Vector or Edge 800 issue, but I do get zero power readings regardless. And from what I know if the Edge 800 was getting no data the field would be blank, rather than zero (set on a 3 sec sample rate, BTW).

    Thoughts on the proper next steps?



    ps. Some of the Garmin instructions for various Ant+ devices talk about briefly pressing the PowerOnOff button to initiate pairing. This has never, AFAIK, done anything useful for me when pairing either successfully or unsuccessfully. Is this a necessary step? I just get this funny screen with (probably) Ant+ icons across the top, some screen brightness stuff, and that is about all.

    pps. Is the Sensor ID printed on all Vector S pedal sets? I have read where it is on the spindle of the Garmin Vector pedals, but I do not see that anywhere on my current pedals (purchased from an LBS a few weeks ago). My ‘older’ (Jan. purchase) Vector S pedals do have the Sensor ID printed.

  68. Dave Lee

    Have no idea why I had to make this post before this occurred to me. I would be willing to bet that I have not pedaled enough to set the installation angles (hence no power).

    I’ll update once the rain stops and I can give this a real try.


  69. Philip

    regards strava – garmin

    strava is talking of becoming multi billion dollar brand in next 5 years, Garmin is valued at 3 billion dollars so if all goes according to plan, strava purchasing Garmin would be a cinch. What would the benefit be for Strava?

    interesting links:
    link to quora.com
    link to angel.co

    • Not a chance in hell. Strava is barely making money today (if at all). In fact, they did some layoffs last year. They continue to raise funding, but that doesn’t mean they’re actually making any money. Obviously they don’t share these numbers, but there’s plenty of talk in the industry.

      In fact, it’s often rumored that Strava makes more money selling merchandise than subscriptions. The only thing that might finally turn that tide is the Garmin integration. Ironically enough, much of the money made selling things…is selling Garmin units. Go figure.

  70. Haroldo

    Hey DC. Any updates to this review since it came out?

  71. Haroldo

    Anyone with a Single Pedal:
    1- what’s your experience?
    2- would you recomend?

  72. Dave Lee

    I have a single sided pedal on a spinner bike for the ‘indoor season’. And I use the two sided version on my road bike (a bit of a splurge, I admit). What I have found is that my typical power balance across an entire ride comes in pretty consistently in the 47%(L) vs. 53%(R). It is interesting that there is a surprising variation on an instantaneous basis across a ride (going anywhere from 40%/Left to 60%/Left).

    So in my case the S pedals are underestimating power (across a ride) in the range of 6%. For me that is enough to care about, but really on the edge as to whether it was worth the extra cost over a plain S set of pedals. Since I use a Garmin Edge 800 I don’t have full cycling dynamics available to me, so can’t comment on what I am missing in that regard.


  73. Hans

    Hi DC,

    I’ve just installed the Vector 2 system. Apart from coming with flat batteries, they were quite easy to install. I’m not totally sure I got the initial calibration right. You’re supposed to start spinning at 70rpm and build up to 90. I was on a small hill with a bit of traffic so it wasn’t as constant as it might have been. The query I have is about the differences I get between my Tacx Flow trainer and the Vector 2. I wouldn’t be too worried about a constant difference, but the difference varies markedly with cadence, not completely consistently. I can set a constant power input on the Tacx, which feels fairly constant across a range of cadences and gear ratios. At cadence 100-105 rpm the Tacx power reading is 1.27-1.21 times the Vector. At 75-80rpm they are fairly similar. At 60rpm the Vector is about 1.2 times the Tacx. I have the right crank length. I saw a reference somewhere to the torque on the pedal bolt needing to be right, which it might not be. I haven’t seen anyone else describing this on the Garmin forums so thought that you or your other readers might have some ideas. Thanks for all the good work. Cheers, Hans

  74. Mihai Tintea

    Hi, Ray, Hi, Garmin Experts and Hi, Wahoo Fitness experts !

    I have the Garmin Vector 2S, the Garmin Edge 500 and the Wahoo RFLKT+.

    I eventually paired and calibrated the Vector with the Edge 500. I also set the crank length in Edge 500.

    Then I paired the Vector with the RFLKT+, in the Wahoo Fitness iPhone app. I did not enter any crank length since this app does not have such a parameter. Now this app asks me to calibrate again the Vector. This app cannot know that there’s an Edge 500 around (and that I already did the Vector calibration with this device), so it must only care about that I just paired the Vector with the RFLKT+ and that I haven’t done the calibration yet in the app.

    Questions (some aspects of the questions are related and some are contradictory, I know):

    a) I understand that getting readings from a powermeter is process involving two parties: the transmitter (Vector 2S) and the receiver (the Garmin Edge 500 or the Wahoo RFLKT+/Wahoo Fitness app). Is the calibration “writing” anything in the Vector’s memory, or is just setting some parameters in the receiver (i.e., in the Edge 500 or in the Wahoo Fitness app) ?

    b) Does the Vector actually compute anything (e.g., read the torque from its strain gauges and multiply that value with the cadence and eventually transmits the final computed value to whoever is connected via ANT+) ? Or it just transmits the torque value and it is the receiver’s job (i.e., the Edge 500 or the Wahoo Fitness app) to do the computations ? If the Vector doesn’t compute anything, isn’t the Wahoo Fitness app useless, since it didn’t ask me to enter a crank length value ?

    c) I also saw in Ray’s reviews that I can use Garmin Updater software to set the crank length from Windows (using the ANT+ USB stick). Does that mean that the value crank length is actually “written” in the Vector’s memory and in consequence it doesn’t matter if the Wahoo Fitness app doesn’t ask me for it ?

    d) Is there any problem if I simultaneously use three (the Edge 500, the RFLKT+, and the Windows PC with the ANT+ USB stick) or more receivers to record the ANT+ data transmitted by the Vector ?

    e) Sub-question for question “d” above: does it matter if I do the calibration in two or more ANT+ receivers ? (i.e., in the Edge 500 and then in the Wahoo Fitness app)

    Thanks and regards

  75. Mihai Tintea

    Hi, Garmin experts !

    I saw somewhere that Garmin’s Marketing team says that in the future they will come up with a pedal power meter for mountain biking and then with another pedal power meter for spinning bikes. Now, I understand what’s the problem/concern with pedal power meters and mountain biking (harsh conditions, rocks etc which could destroy the pedal power meter). But I don’t understand why the separate focus on a pedal power meter for spinning bikes. Why is it not OK to use the Garmin Vector 2/2S on an indoor spinning bike right now ?

    Thanks and regards

  76. Mitch

    Has anyone used Vector2 with software to do analysis separate to the Garmin Head units?

    Im interested to hear what experience people may have with doing pedal stroke analysis with software that supports the Vector 2 (left & right pods)

    Any comments and feedback?

    thanks in advance

    • No other options for head units that can receive the Cycling Dynamics data, because Garmin’s made that channel private.

      As for post-ride analysis (if captured with a Garmin), I believe Sport Tracks supports it.

    • MItch

      Thanks Ray,
      Any options you know about which can use the ANT+ feed directly from the Vectors…ie Laboratory style while on a trainer ??
      I did have a look at Golden Cheetah but did not see anything obvious

      thanks in advance

  77. Date


    Question: Do you know if Garmin Vector 2 pedals are compatible with Rotor QXL chain rings?

  78. John

    how often do you have to recalibrate?