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Garmin slashes Vector pricing & adds Shimano pedals, Edge 25/810/Varia Radar & PowerPod on Sale

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Phew!

Ok, it didn’t all really fit in the title – I tried.  I used my bestest Twitter-like shorthand skills, but alas, it just looks messy.  So much stuff, so little space! So instead, here’s the quick bulleted version:

A) Garmin Vector2 now has a Shimano pedal compatibility upgrade kit you can get for $99.
B) Garmin Vector2’s price was also cut to $999USD (for Vector 2), and $599USD (for Vector 2S)
C) Garmin has on sale the Edge 25, Edge 810, Edge 810 Bundle, and Varia Radar (rear)
D) PowerPod (not a Garmin product) is also on sale, from $299 down to $249
E) That’s all folks!

So, if you just wanted the quick version – then the above pretty much covers it all.  However, if you want the longer version and some brief analysis, let’s continue on!

Garmin Vector & Shimano Pedal Compatibility:

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First up is both a surprise and a non-surprise.  The ‘out of nowhere’ surprise is that Garmin is introducing Shimano Ultegra PD-6800 pedal compatibility.  Yup, you can pickup a pair of Vector pedals and then swap out the internal cartridge and end up with Shimano pedals that have Vector inside.  Well, assuming you buy/have the Shimano Ultegra PD-6800 pedals, and the special converter kit.  But at the end of the day, you’ll end up with Shimano pedal powered Vector1 or Vector2

The cost for the conversion kit is $99USD, and it doesn’t matter whether you have Vector2 or Vector2S (or the original Vector or VectorS).  It’s a twofer deal.

There isn’t a ton of information on this to be honest, probably because there isn’t a ton of complexity to it.  Essentially, you’re buying a small kit which includes two cartridges, some spare parts and a nifty tool, seen here from their YouTube video:

image

Then you’re taking your existing (or new if you now go out and buy them) Shimano Ultegra pedals, and ripping the insides out of them, resulting in an empty pedal shell.  From there you take the Vector pedals and do the same.  The final step being to perform the heart transplant and stick the power measurement portion of Vector into the Shimano Ultegra pedals.

Since I don’t have the kit, here’s the YouTube video that Garmin has put together on how to do the swap:

I see this as a very clever way to test the waters on whether or not there’s enough demand for a Shimano variant of Vector pedals.  And, somewhat impressively – being able to do it with existing product in the market.

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On the flip side, it’s tough to say how valid such test waters would be, since this forces you to buy Vector2 ($999), then the converter kit ($99), and then the Shimano Ultegra pedals (~$85-$199 depending on store/sale/etc…).  So all in you’ve basically got an extra $200 in costs.

But if you’ve already got the Shimano Ultegra pedals (as I used to), then it’s only an extra $100 to not have to switch pedal types.  Which is likely worth it if you really like that pedal model.  Especially since there’s no other power meter pedals in that pedal type.

The $99 kit will be available sometime in Q2, which means anytime between now and the end of June (2016).

(Note: Updated section to add Vector1 compatibility)

Garmin Vector2 price drops:

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Next, is the non-surprise item of the day: Garmin Vector2 price drops.  As I’ve said since last summer, once the PowerTap P1 pedals started shipping and proved accurate/stable/etc, it immediately made Vector overpriced.  Garmin dropped the price a bit back in the fall, but it was still heavily overpriced.  Now…it’s only slightly overpriced.

Now because the Vector lineup has a bunch of SKU’s, here’s the full run-down of what’s changed.  Note these are permanent price drops, and not short-term sale prices.

Vector 2 Dual sided down to $999 (was $1299)
Vector 2S Single sided down to $599 (was $699)
Vector 2S Upgrade kit down to $499 (was $699)
Vector 1S Upgrade kit down to $499 (was $699)

As a reminder, the ‘Upgrade kit’ is how you make a dual-sensor Vector2 pedal set from a single Vector1S/2S unit.  So basically what you need to know is that the full dual-sensor system cost $999, and the single-leg system cost $599.

Now personally, I think it’s still a bit overpriced: By exactly $100.

See at $999 I would still recommend paying the extra $200 to get dual ANT+/Bluetooth Smart capabilities of the P1’s.  Right now, Vector is only ANT+.  And most people aren’t buying new power meters every year.  Rather, we expect power meters to be multi-year purchases – likely 5+ years.  In the case of The Girl for example, she’s had her Quarq some 6 years now.  During that time a lot of the head unit market has changed, and while ANT+ is still dominate for power meters, that’s a pretty big unknown/statement to make if you look 5-6 years down the road in 2020+.

Thus, I continue to recommend that folks really only purchase dual ANT+/Bluetooth Smart sensors if at all possible.  I think as a consumer having choice and flexibility is really important.

In the case of Vector2, the hassle of dealing with the pods and installation torque requirements, compared to none of that on the P1’s, is worth the extra $200 (and the Bluetooth Smart).  Whereas, if you were at $899, I’d say it might be a fair tradeoff.  Plus, you do get Cycling Dynamics on Vector. And I suppose it’s possible at some point this century that Garmin or someone else will tell us how to use that data in training or racing.

On the Vector 2S piece, it’s kinda the same price story.  Stages sits below it at $529, and 4iiii below that at $399 for left-leg only.  Once you start talking left-leg only, both units measure accurately enough, so you might as well just save the cash.  The marketing pitch on Vector though would be that if you planned to upgrade to dual-leg later, then that’s a better bet.

And that’s true – except, only do that if you have a very specific timeframe for your upgrade (like this year).  Else, you’re just wasting money.  In the last 6 months, Vector’s price has dropped now some 33%.  The power meter market in whole is plummeting.  Basing long term purchasing decisions more than 6 months out means you’re overpaying.

Garmin Edge & Varia Price Drops:

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Next up we’ve got a flurry of Garmin cycling goods on sale.  For those frequent Garmin price watchers, this actually isn’t too much of a surprise.  Virtually every spring Garmin has sales like this of both cycling and running/triathlon units.  Typically we see cycling first, and then running/triathlon a bit later (May-ish in recent years).  Think of it like spring break for Garmin prices.

Here those are, all of which are part of a 10-day sale that runs through April 16th:

– Varia Rearview Bike Radar:  $169 (down from $199)
– Edge 25:  $149 (down from $169)
– Edge 810 Base:  $299 (down from $399)
– Edge 810 Bundle:  $399 (down from $499)
(Note: Coupons do not apply to sale prices, sale runs through Apr 16th)

The only item on this list that’s probably getting closer to replacement is the Edge 810.  It’s overdue at this point, just barely.  It came out in early 2013.  Whereas the Edge 25 just came out last summer, and the Varia Bike Radar in the same timeframe.

Both of those are great little units, and interestingly, both work together.  You’ll remember Garmin added Varia Radar support to the Edge 25, 510, 520, 810, 1000, and 1000 Explore.  Plus the Varia Vision heads up display works with the radar too.  Note that the only wrist-worn unit that supports the Varia Radar today is the soon to start shipping Vivoactive HR.

Oh, and lastly – no, I definitely don’t expect any sale on the Edge 520, Edge 1000, or Varia Vision.  Simply put: They’re too new(ish) and selling too well for Garmin to discount it.  Had the ELEMNT been priced lower than the Edge 520 – then perhaps, but since it’s not…well…don’t expect anything soon.

PowerPod Sale

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Last but definitely not least is that the folks behind the PowerPod (not a Garmin product) are doing a 20% off sale for the next 10 days, effectively matching Garmin’s sale dates.  That brings the unit down from $299 to $249.  This is the wind/accelerometer based power meter device that I released a review last month, it transmits via ANT+ to your head unit of choice.

You’ll remember in the review I noted that while I saw $299 as a good price, I thought it would sell far better at $249 (or of course $199).  I suspect this is really PowerPod testing those waters a bit.  Makes total sense.  I wouldn’t expect a $199 price anytime soon, so I think $249 is probably the best you’d see it until at least fall (when we’d see power meter industry adjustments across the board).  Speaking of which, here’s my most recent power meter pricing post from last month.

Various DCR readers continue to report good results within the comments section of my review, so folks do indeed seem just as satisfied as I was (assuming you are aware of the handful of limitations).

With that – thanks for reading all! And if you use any of those Clever Training links (main sale page here), you’ll not only support the site, but also save 10% on non-sale items with either the DCR Coupon Code DCR10BTF or the CT/DCR VIP Program – and get free US shipping on anything over $75.

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161 Comments

  1. Don

    Ray,

    Did you notice any difference in consistency/accuracy between the Vector 2 and Vector 1? Particularly in connection quality to the headset?

  2. Michael Swann

    I just picked up an Edge 520 bundle at A$100 off the regular price. Good time to switch from Polar. Edge 520 Base unit was also A$100 off as well.

    • Doogie

      Did you got the 520 for $199? The drop in price of the 810 unbundled makes it the same as the 510 ($299) I have my Polar V800 that works great for data, I’m just looking for the GPS so I can get lost and then un-lost here in Germany.

    • Michael Swann

      I’m in Australia, so I don’t think Australian pricing translates directly to Europe or even America. I paid A$439 for the bundle (normally its A$559). The 520 is not a true navigation computer, it has maps so you can see where you have been or where you have to go if you are navigating on a course. I think it will do Back to Start like Polar.

      If you buy the bundle you can use the Garmin HR transmitter on the Polar strap. Good news if you’re bigger than your typical athlete like I am.

    • Laurens

      Hi Michael,

      Would you mind telling me where you got that deal? My friend is about to pull the trigger on a 520 and I’m sure he wouldn’t mind paying less.

      Cheers,
      Laurens

    • Michael Swann

      Bicycle Express, a local store, was where I bought mine as I didn’t want to wait for it. Wiggle also has it at that price.

  3. MAGNUS

    I bought my Vector2 last spring… I would be REALLY unhappy had I not been able to buy using a 35% off code… Although it would have been pretty awesome to have paid $650 ($999 – 35%)…

    Alas, I am still quite happy with the pedals.

  4. Darrell

    I am oh so close to purchasing the garmin vector 2s. If it snuck down to $499 I am not sure I could resist.

  5. Doug

    Hi Ray,
    With these price drops is there a European dcrainmaker partner on the horizon with which we can take advantage of them? 😉
    Cheers!

    • Said European partner is actually beta testing now! You’ll find a handful of links from my various review pages (i.e. Tacx NEO, Garmin Edge 1000, Garmin FR630) to Clever Training UK* (which ships to all of Europe, VAT already included and with a 10% DCR discount for readers). There’s of course much more inventory than those three items, it’s just the ones I’ve added links in reviews to as we trial stuff. Also there are products/companies that are being onboarded daily, so things will look quite a bit different even a few weeks from now than today.

      There’s still some minor technical quirks that are being ironed out, but it is functional and feedback is more than appreciated.

      *Link here: link to clevertraining.co.uk & Coupon code DCR10BTF

      Note however that different manufacturers typically have different sale rules for different regions. So in this case, the above is a US sale for Garmin stuff.

    • Doug

      Excellent! Great to see it so close to go-live

    • Jonathan P

      Hmm, this was *nearly* a nightmare, as I’d just pulled the trigger on a Powered from Clever Training US (with UK delivery)

      However, the UK store doesn’t seem to have Powerpod so that’s OK… and Ray, THANKS for the 10% – I was close to pulling the trigger on the Powerpod anyway, NOW I get a $249 price *and* 10%. Yowsas…

      I’m not pro enough to really warrant an expensive power meter so I’m just dipping my toe in the water with Powerpod…

    • Crispin E.

      Excellent news Ray, particularly as I’ve been waiting to pull the pin on a Scosche Rhythm + and the Clevertraining UK price with the DCR discount wins!

    • Goncalo

      Great news Ray! Thanks. Glad to have this option. The european ecommerce landscape is still very messy and fractured, but hopefully will get better. This is a nice contribution for that.

    • You might want to explain to them about European pricing before launch as they seem to be doing the US thing of asking the RRP set by the manufacturer. Here in the UK that automatically makes them the most expensive shop even with the discount. Great to see them coming to the UK though.

    • Richard

      Cool!

      Richard… uk!

  6. Neil

    Excuse me – I’m probably going to come across as being a bit hard-of-thinking here:

    I bought the VectorS, then upgraded that to the Vector2S with the new pod, can I get an upgrade from Garmin that takes me to being both double sided AND Ultegra pedal compatible, or only 2 sided with the Exustar pedal body?

    • Russ

      Neil,

      The Vector 2S Upgrade Pedal (now $499 US) will turn your Vector 2S into a full Vector 2 set. Then, if you buy the Shimano Cartridge Kit and a set of PD-6800 pedal you can convert the pedal bodies for both. You’d end up with a full Vector 2 set with Shimano Ultegra pedal bodies and cleats.

      Cheers,
      Russ

  7. paul

    I don’t know if it’s just me that gets annoyed at $399.99 instead of $400, but since you’re not personally selling these items, don’t you think it would be better to drop the “99” charade and call $399.99 what it really is and make it easier for us all to read? Just a suggestion…

    • I’ll meet ya half-way – I got rid of the cents. 😉

      I had been pulling prices in via copy/paste, and forgot to zap the cents (usually I do). Thanks!

    • Walid

      There has been numerous psychological studies that shows that the $XXX.99 triggers something that makes us think it’s a better price that will entice us to buy far more than the rounded up price that is whole. It sounds crazy, but that penny makes a pretty big difference when it comes to actual purchase. I worked in the retail industry before and this was a common practice to end prices in 7, 8 or 9.

    • Andy C S

      It’s true. I’m always rounding up. 399€ I automatically read/say “it’s 400€”. My GF always says “It’s 300€” -_-

  8. Eric Bronsard

    Hi Ray,
    do you have time frame for the bluetooth version of the powerpod? On Clever training it said spring 2016?
    Thanks

  9. Vector “Ultegra kit” will be probably -only- for 6800 pedals (as in the video) and not older models (6700 version, as in these photos)

  10. David Manley

    Did not see Garmin supporting shimano pedals any time soon. Suprised that garmin are allowing an element of “self build” with these. Other manufactures yes but given vectors history I’d have thought they wouldn’t let joe public any where near them.

  11. Sean

    Here’s a question that will likely get me scoffed at, but is there a way to use the Garmin pedal conversion kit on SPD pedals?

    • Mayhem

      Shimano XT series pedals use a very similar axle, but as the part number for the axle are not the same as on the Ultegra PD-6800 pedals something is bound to be slightly different (perhaps axle length). Someone who already owns sets of both Ultegra PD-6800 and XT PD-M780/M785/M8000/M8020 pedals should be able to disassemble them and figure out the exact differences, I have both but sorry to say I cannot be arsed to do it…

    • Hank

      Not only will I not scoff, but I second the question and add this. I am in the following state of equipment: (1) I find the SPD pedal system, and the ability to have corresponding shoes which can actually withstand a month of cycling with some walking/ALOT of stopping at stoplights on the way out of town to be the way to go for me. I get that true roadies want a “race” pedal system. I do get it. But when I had looks it was replace the $25 cleats every month and, for what? (2) in other news, the pedal is the only thing easily shifted from bike to bike, including bike upgrades, either groupset or whole bike. Given those two parameters, I am very interested in this development. And I am sure we are not alone.

    • Brantel

      Would also love to know the answer to this question….

      Has anyone been able to apply this conversion kit to other Shimano pedals such as the SPD versions like the PD-M520, PD-M530 or the PD-A530?

      Would the cartridge on these be close enough to the Ultegra PD-6800 that it would work?

    • Jarett Atkins

      I’m not 100% sure if it would work, but I attempted inserting the spindles into a Shimano SPD pedal, and what I found is that it increases the spacing between the pedal and the crank… so 2 things here, that puts more torque and pressure on the spindle which can cause wear and tear, and it changes your bike fit and leg aliment. (causing injuries to your body).. your risk. no doubt though that Garmin isn’t looking into spd power meters, a lot of CX guys would love them.

  12. Thebucket

    Any answer of LOOK on the release date of The ANT/Bluetooth Powermeter?

  13. Chris

    Hopefully Garmin will release an SPD pedal soon. Given the complete lack of SPD meter pedals on the market today I’d have thought that would have been their priority.

    • Paul S.

      I have a set of Ultegra and a set of SPD pedals sitting in my garage. I think I need to take them into work and compare the spindle to see how much of a difference there is. Maybe just a little time on a lathe with the kit… 🙂

  14. BikeNerd

    Hi Ray, Thanks for the price update. Given this move from Garmin and earlier price drops from the likes of P2M, any chance PT may drop the prices on the P1 in the near future. Given the BLE/ANT+ compatibility and ease of installation, they seem to be a far better choice compared to the Vectors. Appreciate your response.
    Cheers

  15. now that I bought an Edge 1000, I am expecting the Edge 820 that I really wanted any minute.
    And a 1010 probably too.

  16. JP

    Ray, in light of your comment regarding triathlon items, should I be waiting to purchase a 920xt until next month?

  17. Bruce

    Ray,
    Appreciate you watching out for us…raise two requests for advice specific to me:
    1) For those of us who may have gotten a great deal to spring for Dura-Ace pedals, is it likely a Vector adapter kit may soon follow for those, or do the different innards and wider platform make that more challenging?
    2) My 5YO Edge 500 has decent battery life, but the long boot-up and cracked display have me considering replacements. To add power but not necessarily mapping, do you recommend 520 or 810 at the same price?
    Thanks…

    • 1) Not sure on this one.
      2) I’d go Edge 520. It’s got Connect IQ capabilities, as well as support for other devices (like Varia Vision, and soon eTAP, etc…). Said differently, the Edge 810 is kinda like grandpa in the retirement home, whereas the Edge 520 is all new-fangled and still getting major updates.

    • Russ

      1) I found this on the Garmin forum: link to forums.garmin.com!!!

      Looks like the bearing structure on the Dura-Ace pedals won’t allow the same type of conversion process.

    • funkright

      I like the 520, just think the routing abilities of the higher end models would be helpful. Do people use that feature allot? I’m a little torn.. Is it possible to map out the route you want beforehand and then load it onto the 520?

  18. LEE

    Here’s a question. When will Garmin start selling the electronic guts without their pedal body?

  19. Hlvd

    Hi Ray, any news of an Edge 820? I’m holding out buying the 1000 in case an 820 is released. Thanks.

  20. Walid

    Hmm. With the DCR discount, it’s down to $224 at CleverTraining… that is indeed a very tempting price point for me to give the PowerPod a try.

    I wonder if using it on a tri bike with the water bottle cage will have any impact on the wind readings?

  21. Gabe

    $100 discount on the 810s hmm.

    Ray how is the field testing on the new Garmin 820 going? 😉

  22. Robert Rutscher

    Hi Ray,

    If I purchased Vector 2 pedals from clever training a month ago do you think they would honor the price drop?

    Thanks

    Rob

  23. John Watson

    Now we just need a $99 kit to convert Powertap P1s to use Dura Ace 9000 pedals.

  24. Steve

    Ray,
    I’ve been waiting for a pedal-based power meter that would work with my Shimano pedals so I’m hoping this is the answer. But I’m concerned with what looks like a plastic insert for the Ultegra pedal conversion. Do you see this as being a potential problem with component strength/durability and/or any effects on power readings?

  25. MAGNUS

    Ray (or anyone else) – what is the advantage with going with the Shimano pedal versus the standard Vector setup? I just got a new bike with Ultegra groupset sans the pedals.

    Are they lighter? More durable?

    • Mayhem

      The only advantage would be shoe/cleat compatibility for someone who has additional bikes with regular SPD-SL pedals.

    • I guess most won’t care, but for someone using these for commuting in the dark, availability of pedal reflectors as Shimano parts could be a reason to go with the Ultegra kit? Should be parts no SM-PD63.

  26. Luis R De Freitas

    Garmin burn me for a lot of time with their pedal and their issues… thx but no thx… Powertap A LOT MORE RELIABLE and A LOT easier to switch between bikes.

  27. Vaughn Temple

    So they didn’t discount the Vector S to both pedal upgrade?

  28. Jimbo

    Does the Shimano upgrade for Vector work with the Vector1.
    Seems like you have two different statements.

    Just below the video you have
    (albeit not Vector1).

    I think you missed this from your edit note at the bottom of the Vector section.

  29. Nate

    Ray what do you think the chances are that Powertap will respond by matching the price on the P1s? I understand they are still extremely popular but Im wondering if by dropping to the $999 price point if the P1s can overtake the market for pedal based power meters.

    • I’d put the chance between 0% and 1%. Trending closer to 0.1%.

      Simply put: PowerTap (still) can’t keep up with demand for the P1’s (and barely the C1), consistently going into backorder states on both. Inversely, everything I see says demand slowed to a trickle for Vector after the P1’s came out (along with other PM moves). This pricing move was about injecting new interest into Vector sales.

      Don’t get me wrong, as a consumer I’d love to see them have a lower P1 price. But, from a business standpoint, it’d take the cake as the least-wise PM business move of the year.

    • Nate

      Thanks for killing my dreams.

      Quick follow up…do you sleep? It’s gotta be like 2 am I didn’t expect an answer until tomorrow!

    • Hendrik

      Ray swims, bikes and runs. Then, he comes here and writes about his adventures. It’s as simple as that.
      This is clearly written at the top of his website 😉

    • Jeff G

      Do you think this will have any impact on the PM market?

      Particularly P2M. Is there and trade shows coming up?

    • No, I don’t expect this will have any impact on the PM market. At this point this move is reactionary, so it’s adjusting because everyone else has already adjusted.

      In the case of P2M, they’re already at the lower end of the price range anyway, so their in a good spot. Their main issue is simply lack of distribution (they consolidated down into a direct to consumer model, which hurts them at the LBS level).

  30. John

    Can someone explain the differences in Vector sizes: “Comes in two sizes: Standard: 12-15 mm and Large 15-18 mm.” Thanks.

  31. Thebucket

    So no price cuts on the vectors in europe? still 1149,-€ for the dual Vector 2.

  32. Jacky Wong

    Thanks for sharing the good news.
    I love the Garmin vector 2 but hate the high price and non-Shimano pedals. Hope it won’t affect the accuracy to switch to shimano pedals by myself.

  33. Steven

    Ray, I am curious about the torque requirement difference between the vector and powertap P1. I don’t understand the technical differences between how the vector and powertap, so I don’t understand why they would have torque requirement differences.

    Garmin doesn’t out right say but does recommend 40 nm of torque. Is garmin being conservative? Does Powertap effectively require the same torque? Would you mind a test where each is torqued to 20Nm, 30Nm, 40Nm?

    Personally, I am still irrationally concerned about pedal strikes due to a few crashes from crits. At this pricepoint, I am really tempted to get the Garmin Vector. Bluetooth future proofing is not a concern of mine, but portability is (I have a few bikes). It sounds like Vector2 is a lot more forgiving on torque requirement than Vector1, and I am curious how it compares to the Powertap.

    Really appreciate how you read and respond to comments.

    • molly g

      No difference in torque requirements for installation of Vector vs Vector 2. Vector 2 is easier to install because you don’t need the washers and you can put the pod on last. You will still need a torque wrench and crowfoot adapter which is included with the Vector 2.

  34. Michael Smith

    Will the Vector’s also work with Dura Ace PD-9000

  35. hlvd

    link to wiggle.co.uk

    Wiggle showing big price drops on the Vector 2 and Vector 2s today, showing at £791.99 and £483.99 with platinum discount.

  36. Hello Ray,

    I am very impressed with the power pod from all that I have read. Biking is a very expensive hobby, and devices like this are really cool for those of us with a high-end tech appetite, and a low-end cash flow. I currently use a PowerCal, but would like to have something with more accurate numbers to use to train and race with. The powerCal numbers (as you have mentioned in your reviews) are fair (and a great intro into power) but too jumpy and imprecise to use as a guide for racing.

    I am very interested in this product, however, as I currently have no cycling computer (I usually strap my Fenix 2 on my handlebars), I am also very interested in the Ibike Newton 6.

    I understand it’s limitations as a cycling computer, and at $399 (plus mount) it’s still a bit too high for me to justify, especially given the lack of certain functionality (namely stand-alone GPS), but if it were to have a similar drop in price….

    Since Mr. Hamman has said these items are “kissing cousins”, and the PowerPod is on sale, will the Newton have a “relative” sale price?

    Should I just go with the PowerPod, and pair it with my F2?

    (currently the Newton is not listed on clever training, and there seems to be no sale at Ibikesports.com for any product).

    • Greg

      I’ve had my power pod for a few weeks… my first power meter. So far, I’m very pleased. After initial calibration, it has worked smoothly. As Ray suggested, I turned off the built-in dynamic power smoothing (felt too jumpy for me) and set my Garmin to 3s smoothing, and the numbers seem to track my perceived effort nicely. I realize that averages are comparatively easy to get right, but my normalized power over a long ride has come out consistently to within a few watts across several hard rides on quite different terrain (short hard hill climbs versus a more paced major mountain ascent). In other words, even if you think it lacks absolute accuracy, it certainly manages consistency/precision. I don’t race… I just want to improve for my own sake, and the power pod seems good enough to bring my training to the next level.

  37. Tien Charoenchai

    Ray, any insight as to timing of Varia compatibility with any other wrist worn devices? Thanks.

  38. Eoin

    Anyone seen vector2 with the american price in europe. Wiggle still over €1100 with platinum discount.

  39. hlvd

    It’s showing as £799 with platinum discount in the UK.

  40. Emil Praun

    CleverTraining is still showing the old prices for the Vector upgrade kits, any idea when/if they will update them?

    Thanks.

  41. Rob

    Ray,

    I think you hinted but I’m curious whether you have more info. I want a Garmin Edge series device with some navigation capabilities:

    Edge 520: too basic
    Edge 1000: too big
    Edge 810: too old

    Is an Edge 820 coming down the line? Proper navigation, smaller form-factor than the 1000 but bugger than the 520 etc.

    • Rob

      Obviously meant “bigger”…

    • Rally

      The Garmin Edge 1000 too big?
      I actually love the size of the screen v.s. the 810 that I had (technically still have 😛 )

      I have not regretted a single ride the purchase of the Edge 1000. And the speed and cadence sensor are also a lot easier in use (not having to fiddle to get the sensor properly setup). And yes… I know that they are compatible with the Edge 810 too, but they happen to come with the Edge 1000 bundle that I purchased 😉

    • Eli

      Would love to see how an 820 replacement could come out and not overlap too much with the 1000. Seems like they could just go with a smaller screen so stay the same as the 810 in screen size but would seem like in 2 years since the 1000 came out the technology inside could be much better

  42. Dave

    Not certain of the reason for this nor is my knowledge about technology very deep–the article author said “The only item on this list that’s probably getting closer to replacement is the Edge 810. It’s overdue at this point, just barely. It came out in early 2013.”

    Being that the GPS unit is a computer and has to communicate with other technology systems, in what ways would the 810’s abilities and performance be reduced in say another five years? I intend to use this to perform basic functions: accurately track mileage and speed, for pre-programmed routes and general navigation/orientation.

    • Yup, for those core things it’ll keep on ticking. Depending on how much you use it, you may see degradation in battery after 5 years, but generally speaking that’s rarely an issue in Garmin products (many folks talk about worrying about it, but I actually rarely see it impact people down the road).

      Even if you look at something like the Garmin Edge 500, released in 2009 (7 years ago), people are still using that like crazy. Same goes for even the good ol’ FR305, which I think was 2006/2007 offhand (too lazy to lookup). Folks still using it. Garmin is pretty good about not sunsetting products already in the marketplace.

    • Dave

      Thanks a lot Ray.

      Any input on how stable the basic mounting accessories (not additionally purchased ones) keep the Edge 810, when dealing with not so great roads? The Motor City has some of the worst roads probably in the U.S., throughout the metropolitan region, averaged out.

      My current bike has a straight up, circular stem with a circumference of about 4.5 inches/ 1.4 inch radius. I use lights, day or night on the roads around here, and even like having an AirZound for those super antsy drivers at intersections and/or those not paying attention. So, not a whole lot more room to spare on the handlebar.

    • I use the standard rubber mounts for 3 out of 4 Edge units I use on my ride (including Edge 810’s and 1000’s). Never had an issue with cobbles, which are worse than almost anything the US can throw at a cyclist. 😉

  43. Jonathan Patterson

    **UK Public Service Klaxon!!**

    I know John has promised some alternative buying saolutions for UK consumers in the coming days but for ayone interested. I ordered mine from Clever Training US (my first ever purchase from them – complete with their sales offer AND DCR 10%) on Thursday and today (Tuesday) it arrived in London.

    Better than that – it was waiting for me when I arrived home from work, with no duty or VAT to pay. Maybe I got lucky, maybe not. What I know is that I have a Powerpod waiting to be added to my bike for a total of £181 delivered from the US…

    That HAS got to be a bargain..! Thanks for the advice Ray. Now, any pointers on a beginners guide to training with a power meter?? 🙂

    • Thanks for the support!

      No specific tips post at the moment unfortunately. I think in general, for most riders when they start with power it’s better to just record power for a while and start to understand trends. In this case, I believe ‘for a while’ is at least a month. Helps to understand your patterns a bit.

      Training Peaks does have some good blog articles on it though, kinda how to get started with power. Definitely worth while.

  44. Karl

    Hej Ray,

    The PowerPod discounted price, combined with your Clever Training discount code, brought it down to a comfortable 224 USD, which translates it to about 190 EUR for me. I’m picking up the package in May when I stop by company office in US. (Free shipping in lower 48, yeah I’m cheap that way. 🙂 Thanks enabling a good deal!

  45. Husain

    Ray…Im in the market for a new PM after having destroyed my Powertap hub in a bike crash. I would go for a pedal based system but I’m undecided on whether to choose Vector or P1. I hesitate because I’m reading about issues about reliability and precision (never mind accuracy) of both units.

    Is it a case of a few bad units out there or is it a real issue that is showing up now for after the units have been ‘out in the wild’ for a while now?

    • I’d have no hesitation with P1’s. I think the base of issues that comes up is simply the quantity of units shipping and a few units here and there. So even 1-3% of bad units ends up looking like a lot (especially since every one of those seems to post to my post).

  46. Griffin

    Ray, I’m shocked no one has asked this here (or least that I saw). Given this statement: ““The only item on this list that’s probably getting closer to replacement is the Edge 810. It’s overdue at this point, just barely. It came out in early 2013,” what do you foresee being done about it? Is another device possessing fully navigable features, i.e. Edge 800 and above, on the release horizon for later this year? Something grander than the 1000, or probably more popular, an 8xx variant or new 9xx series?

    • Noting about being ‘done’, just ‘overdue’ for replacement. Natural product release cycles, that’s all. Typically Garmin carries about a 2-year product release cycle.

      Note product cycles have nothing to do with support, which basically goes on forever (seriously, you can call about your FR305 if you want).

    • Griffin

      I think they must come out with a device that fits between the Edge 810 and 1000 later this year, or they seriously risk being completely tone-deaf to a large segment of their consumership. After all, I would like to have full navigation capability in an updated device (graphics, features, etc.) without mounting a mini-tablet from my handlebars.

  47. Jarett

    I rode the Ultegra Vector 2 pedal yesterday, I have nothing but positive things to say. It was exactly what I expected!!! If you like Ultegra, you will love this setup!

    My questions is, where do I get the parts to get the Look pedals operational once again? I’d like to sell them because htey are going to collect dust. I don’t use Look pedals, but since they came with the kit and others are likely to have the same leftover parts, how do I get them going again?

    Ok, too many comments to read thru to see if my question was already asked.

  48. Steve

    I think the Wahoo element will eventually put pressure on Garmin’s innovation cycle and price point. The 810 is something I have been interested in for a while but it’s just now getting close to a price point I can see as reasonable. However since I have a perfectly usable 510, it’s hard to rationalize an upgrade at this price point yet.

  49. Todd

    I bought the Vector S. Is it possible to use the Vector 2 kit to upgrade or are you stuck with the Vector S upgrade and buying the Vector 2 upgrade kit?

  50. Doug Connor

    Hey Ray, what happened to the $249 sale price on the PowerPod? After waffling about getting one for a couple of weeks I finally decided to pull the trigger. But when I went to the Clever Training website its back up to $299 for the ANT+ version and $349 for the ANT+/BLE that will ship out in May. Do you think it will come back down to $249 or was that an anomaly? Thanks and I really enjoy your reviews.

    • Hi Doug-

      The sale ended Apr 16th (just a 10 day sale). Sorry!

      You can still save 10% though with the DCR coupon code DCR10BTF though, so that would at least bring the price down about $30 or so (plus free shipping).

      I don’t know if we’ll see it drop yet. On one hand I think it’d great appeal to more people. On the other hand it seems to be doing fairly well at $299 (though obviously did really well at $249). Not sure.

    • Doug Connor

      I guess I should have read the article closer – its right in there. Oh well, you snooze you lose. Thanks for the info.

    • John Kensek

      Just to update everybody because I had to call clever training, my ant+ powerpod is backordered until mid-May. If you are contemplating getting this you may want to hold out for the bluetooth model since it is to release mid-May too. I guess that could get pushed back too though.

  51. Felipe

    you are sure of compatibility with the vector 1?
    and compatibility with Ultegra 6700 pedals?

  52. Ash

    Ray just trying to get around the super high prices for power meters. Interested in the Garmin vector 2s, just thinking outside the square is it possible to purchase simply the vector 1 to 2 update kit and the Shimano axle inserts and come away with a fully functional Garmin vector power meter cheaply

    • Jarett

      Ash.. The only way that would “save” you money is if the Garmin Vector 1 was given to you for free. Lol. Just find an used Powertap wheel. Prices on power meters are dropping, you should be able to find something used for $300-$450.

      link to mybikeshop.com

    • Ash

      Yep what was I thinking only realised it after I had posted just hoping no one else sees the comment to avoid any embarasement

    • Jarett

      Another thing to consider is that oh have to have an edge 520 to be able to update the firmware on the pedals. There’s a bad glitch in the original firmware.

    • Jarett

      I found the Vector updater on Garmin’s website. I thought the update came through Garmin Express. Oops

  53. Lee

    Has anyone tried the conversion on a PD-5800 (105) pedal? I’m staring at the dealer manual and exploded view. The part numbers are different but they look exactly the same.

  54. Alan T.

    Are the parts in this image those needed for the Ultegra PD-6800 conversion? These parts were included w/ the Vector 2 upgrade kit that I received this week. They certainly are not needed to upgrade from Vector 1 to Vector 2.

  55. Matt R

    Note: I currently don’t have any Garmin Vector parts, and I was considering purchasing the Garmin Vector2 system.

    I’m wondering about assembling a vector 2 system using the following parts, but what am I missing? I like the fact of using the Shimano Ultegra PD-6800 pedals, and if I purchase the Shimano upgrade kit, the Garmin Vector to Vector 2 upgrade kit, and the USB ANT Stick™ what parts am I missing for putting together a new installation of the Garmin2 Vector.

    Garmin2 Vector System $1000
    Vector 2 pedals
    2 pedal pods
    Cleats and hardware
    Crowfoot installation tool
    USB ANT+ Stick™
    Manuals

    Garmin Ant + Stick $50
    Garmin Vector To Vector 2 Upgrade Kit $149
    Shimano Ultegra PD-6800 pedal $100
    Total: $299

    What am I missing, are the cost of the Vector Pedals worth $700?

    Thanks, Matt

    • Matt R

      I forgot to add the conversion to the Garmin Ultegra PD-6899 Pedals, this cost is $100

      Garmin Ant + Stick $50
      Garmin Vector To Vector 2 Upgrade Kit $149
      Shimano Ultegra PD-6800 pedal $100
      Garmin Ultegra PD-Pedal conversion $100
      Total: $399

  56. Jarett

    You’re missing the instrument that measures the power… It goes inside the cartridge, the Ultegra conversion kit is just a cartridge you slide the power meter instrument inside. The upgrade kit is just the pods.

    • Matt Ritz

      Thanks Jarett,
      I think the Vector 2 upgrade kit $150 has the cartridges, and it is an upgrade from a one pedal to two pedal system, so I would expect there to be at least one power meter with the kit. Also, reading the last line of the upgrade kit spec says it has the electronics (see below).

      The Vector 2 upgrade kit $150 has the following parts:
      2 Vector 2 pedal pods
      2 Vector 2 cartridges
      2 Vector to Vector 2 upgrade tools
      2 upgrade washers and hardware
      Manuals

      Upgrade your current Garmin Vector Pedal Set to the next-generation Vector 2.0 Pedal Set. The Vector to Vector 2.0 Upgrade Kit comes with everything you need to take the next step in measuring and monitoring power output and pedaling style. The Vector 2.0 is a dual-sensing pedal-based power meter system that measures forces on the pedals to approximate total power (watts). All the electronics are securely and permanently sealed within the pedal spindles.

    • Matt R

      My mistake, the upgrade kit I was refering to is not for going from left side to left and right side power meter. That upgrade kit is $500+. So now I see you can’t just purchase the parts, I will need to purchase the $1000 package.

      Thanks for your input.
      Matt

  57. Jan

    Hi

    do you know if the Garmin adapter to make the Garmin Vector compatible with the Ultegra PD 6800 also works on the Shimano PD-R550?

  58. Martin Björgvik

    Finaly the prices in Europe on vector 2 has dropped to the same level as the US market 🙂

    link to powermetershop.de 939 Euros

    link to shop.edelrad.de 925 Euros

  59. Yigit

    Hi Dcr

    Just a question that I’ve been trying to understand.

    I just bought the Vector 2 and an Edge 820.

    As per your own thoughts, for the Watts calculationd should I include the zeros or exclude the zeros during a training ?

    How do the pros do normally, what is the standard in the cycling world?

    What data screens should I be concentrating on ?

  60. Andrew

    I can’t help but wonder if Garmin will release a new version of the Varia soon! Any insight on this Ray?
    I really think I’d like the piece of mind of the Varia, but I’m a bit reluctant to buy because of the size, and I bet Garmin will make the next iteration smaller….

    • Nah, I don’t expect anything new.

      I think Garmin is taking a wait and see approach. They kinda rushed into the market (not in a bad way though) to try and compete with Recon Jet, Google Glass, and others.

      But the market has kinda fizzled a bit and now we’re in a wait and see phase.

  61. DaveS

    Ray .. any info on potential varia radar updates or refreshed product .. e.g. it’s on sale, are they doing that b/c they are winding down current inventory in advance of something new or ‘just’ a spring sale to move inventory? (e.g. don’t want to buy one to find out a new model is just around the corner that may be worth waiting for, e.g. smaller size, lower power, etc). Thanks!

    • Andrew

      See Ray’s response to my question just above yours

    • DaveS

      Right Andrew .. your Q / A was about varia vision (or at least that’s what it seemed – the unit that mounts to your helmet / glasses and gives you head’s up display).

      My question is about varia (rearview) radar .. that’s the unit that mounts to the seat post and has rear-facing radar, the readout of which which is displayed any of several ways (stand-alone head end, varia vision, or computer head end). I am just checking around for any info on revisions / updates to that product – the rear-facing radar unit.

    • Andrew

      Afraid not, my question was also re:the Varia Radar….I’ve been thinking about buying one for the last few weeks but had the same concerns as you!… although now that I read Ray’s response you may be right…it looks like Ray may have mis-read my question as well as his response references glass-type displays.

    • I do not expect new hardware updates to either at this point. Garmin is clearly still invested in the tech on both, but I think they’re just letting it cruise for now.

  62. Stuart Brown

    I don’t know if anyone can answer this question.

    I have a set of shimano pd6800 pedals and have just acquired a set of original Vector pedals from a friend who upgraded to powertap.

    Does anyone know if I need to buy the vector 2 upgrade kit as well as the shimano inserts? Or can I just get the vector 2 pods and the shimano inserts (and not require the other bits in the upgrade kit?)

    Or do you really need the other nuts and screws and stuff?

    • Jarett

      Vector 2/2S pedal pods should not be ordered for Vector or Vector S systems. In order to upgrade your existing Vector or Vector S system, please order the Vector to Vector 2 upgrade kit or Vector S to Vector 2S upgrade kit.

      link to buy.garmin.com

    • Stuart Brown

      Thanks, but looking at Ray’s article – nothing changes apart from the pod and the addition of a washer? So I can’t see how the Vector 2 pods can’t be used on Vector 1 without the kit?

    • Theo

      Specifically, the upgrade kit includes some (blue coloured) steel washers that take up the space where the pods used to be sandwiched between the pedal spindle and the crank. If you assemble the spindles into the crank without these washers or without the Vector 1 pods, you will likely damage the cranks as well as not providing for a proper load path between the pedal spindles and the cranks.

      The silver pedal spacing washers that are provided with the Vector 1 kit do NOT fit over the spindle step – the inner diameter is too small for that. You need the blue washers that have the proper inner diameter.

  63. Lee

    Garmin forums are down. I think I’m getting weirdly high power readings from my Vector 2’s. I took the pedals apart this morning and there’s a bit of play in the right pedal. Cleaned up and re greased everything re-installed on the bike. Is there a rebuild kit out there? Really only need the cartridges but it seems you can’t buy just the cartridges you have to purchase the vector 2 upgrade kit? I don’t need more pods. Would a bit of play cause power fluctuations? I see you can buy just the Shimano 6800 cartridges. I’m surprised and not surprised that Garmin doesn’t sell just a washer kit As it looks to me that the brass washer is the main part that would wear and cause play.

    • Jarett

      I converted my Garmin 2’s to the Ultegra pedals. I’ll sell you the cartridges for the standard setup. Also the Garmin pedal body

    • Lee

      Thanks for the offer. But I may go ahead and do the conversion. If rebuilding the Ultegra pedals is only $99 and the Vector upgrade kit is $149.

    • Jarett

      Do you have the 2s? My friend is having issues too

    • Lee

      I have the Vector 2 not the 2s. My 5min and 20min average power has been going up quite a bit in the last 3 weeks more than I think it should be. I find I can push myself very hard in the Crits, but I don’t believe the power numbers. I was wondering if the small play in the right side is contributing to the high readings. I’m going to put my bike on the Magnus tonight and compare the two. I found when fully calibrated the Magnus and Vector 2 would read within 3% of each other.

  64. Bjorn H

    Avoid buying vector pedals. A lot of problems and service very lacking. The DC rainmaker review doesnt capture this as he gets special service from Garmin. And service level varies by region (Garmin doesnt allow to service in other regions)

    • Odd, I actually don’t recommend buying the current generation of Garmin Vector pedals. But, I suspect you didn’t read that since you’ve posted this comment everywhere you can find in the shortest time period possible.

      In unrelated news, the Garmin Vector support team is usually incredibly responsive to customer service. If there’s any team at Garmin that people are almost universally happy with – it’s that specific team. I’d be curious what region it is you’re in, and what method you tried to contact support.

    • Lee

      I will add an update to my post above. First I have to say that Garmin customer service has been amazing by phone. I called in to report my issue. Turns out it’s my cranks and not the pedals. I have FSA SLK Light which measure a tiny bit more than 15mm in width. I’m running the standard pod which has a rating of 12-15mm. Reading through Garmin documentation they say I should be using the large pod which is 15-18mm. Garmin customer service took a look at all my files on Garmin Connect that had weird power numbers. They were surprised the pedals even worked in the first place let alone ten months.

      What was/is happening is the springs in the contacts are all the way out due to my crank width. My weird high readings are on hard efforts only, what Garmin thought is the crank is flexing just enough that one or more contact is pulling away just enough to still read but give wrong readings, and the pod pressfit is a bit worn allowing the pod contacts to move just a bit. This movement is totally normal and wouldn’t matter if I had the large pod as the spring contacts would have 3mm of movement more than the pods I have now which are past their limits.

    • Bjorn H

      Thanks for reply DC rainmaker
      Yes correct i bought the first version based on your review. I read that many times before buying
      Im glad you have changed your mind now and are less positive on this product.
      I dont blame you for the review, i know you help a lot of people, i just think your first Vector review doesnt apply for a general consumer based outside of key Garmin markets where service is terrible

      Btw i generally like other Garmin products. But on the Vectors they have failed on many fronts

      I only posted on two locations, dont think that counts as everywhere, to be fair 🙂

      I sent my Garmin vectors twice to Taiwan at a huge cost and they never fix just replace pods. They barely speak English so almost impossible to have a diacussion about what the issues are

      Thanks and have a good day

  65. Bjorn H

    In case you are interested here is my issue with Garmin service in full details
    The garmin vector mechanical issues are a separate thread
    I sent them in November 2016 and they havent offered any help, just say these are the rules.
    I would like to help other people avoid these problems thats why i post here

    I recall you got a Garmin team riding with you when you got the Vectors. I can only dream of getting very basic service from them

    —–
    Dear Garmin team It would be very very much appreciated if you could provide good support to customers in Singapore. Or as plan B allow customers to choose to which region in the world they send their Garmin device for repair. The number of cyclists here is huge and always growing. And yet you dont offer any local support here. We have to email to North Asia, in Taiwan. The service there is very inconvenient, costly, time consuming and unreliable for us. It takes long time for them to answer emails usually. Their English is not very good. And customers have to arrange their own postage. I dont mind paying for postage but it is a lot of hassle to manage the logistics. Importantly, the we customers have to pay import taxes each time we get an item back from Taiwan! Because Taiwan Garmin doesnt label the box as used item. The Singapore authority assumes its a new item. I asked Garmin in Taiwan to fix this issue and they said its not their responsibility. How is it acceptable that customers have to pay import tax on used items sent for repair just because Garmin doesnt offer local support? It would be so much appreciated by cyclists here if we dont have to deal with Garmin Taiwan ourselves and can just talk to someone locally in Singapore. Another issue is that Garmin doesnt allow customers to choose which service centre to send their devices to. Even if we pay the postage. I wanted to get service now from Europe instead of Asia, but it was declined by Garmin and told I dont have the right to choose. Even though I bought my device in Europe. Reason given was that I live in Asia so I have to accept the service from Taiwan. I really hope you will help us and provide same level of service here like you give to customers in America and Europe… Many thanks Bjorn