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Garmin Vector 3 Power Meter In-Depth Review

Garmin-Vector-3-On-Bike

It’s been exactly three months (plus a day) since Garmin announced their latest power meter, Vector 3.  With that unit they introduced a slew of both technology features and non-technology new aspects.  From a physical standpoint they got rid of the dangling pods off the side of the unit; everything is now internal.  They also went away from a 3rd party manufactured pedal, and built the whole thing from the ground up in-house.  From a technology standpoint, they increased accuracy claims to +/- 1% while also adding in Bluetooth Smart transmission (*soon), and settings configuration with your mobile phone.

The real question is – when it came to real-world usage out on the road, how would it fare?  For that, I’ve done a boatload of riding.  Four months of it in fact, well before Vector 3 even was announced.  I’ve iterated through three sets of pedals: Two pre-production sets, and then the last two months a final production set.  Vector 3 started shipping back on October 14th, 2017 at the Kona Ironman World Championships.  While production was behind schedule and at lesser volumes than Garmin had hoped, many people have seen in the last few days a significant increase in units landing in stores (finally).

Speaking of which, as always, I’ll be shipping back the two remaining test units I have of Vector 3 shortly and going out and getting my own via normal retail channels.  Just like always.  If you wanna help support the blog, hit up the links at the bottom.

With that – let’s get cookin’!

Unboxing:

First things first is to get things unboxed. In this case I’ll be doing an unboxing of the Vector 3 dual-sending set (as opposed to the Vector 3S single-sided pedal).  I’ve put together a complete unboxing video that runs through all the bits in the box, plus some installation tidbits and a brief look at Garmin Cycling Dynamics:

Want all that in non-video format instead? No problem, here ya go!

Garmin-Vector3-Box-ExternalShot

More importantly than the exterior, you’ll crack open the box and find the pedal sittin’ there looking up at ya:

Garmin-Vector3-Box-Inside

Note that if you bought a Vector 3S unit, you’ll still get two pedals.  It’s just that one of those pedals won’t have any sensors/electronics in it.  The left pedal will have sensors, and the right pedal will be a blank.  The left power will simply be doubled to produce total power (identical to how other left-only products, like Stages Power, work).

While the pedals are fully self-contained, underneath are some additional parts you may use:

Garmin-Vector3-Lower-Box-Parts

These include optional washers (if the pedal pokes through too far), as well as cleats.  These are standard Look Keo compatible cleats, so if you already have such cleats, you don’t have to switch.  But everyone likes new clean cleats, right?

Garmin-Vector3-Parts-On-Table

There’s also the cleat mounting hardware in there as well, to attach the cleats to your shoes.

Garmin-Vector3-Cleats-Washers

Then there’s, of course, the pedals themselves.  But fear not, you’re going to get so many photos of the pedals by the end of this post you’re going to be…umm…a peddler.

Garmin-Vector3-Pedals

And finally, you’ve got the paper quick-start guide.  While short, it does a good job of covering everything you’d probably need to know in a concise manner.

Garmin-Vector3-QuickStartGuide

To briefly bulletize all the things that are new in Vector 3 compared to Vector 1/2, I put together this list of sorts.  I cover most of these in more depth throughout the review, so this fits in this section more as a prelude than anything else:

 No longer using Exustar pedals: Instead, they internally developed the pedal.  The Vector team said that while Exustar served them well, their goal with the pedal body “aimed to be considered like Shimano & Look”.  You can see the new pedal just looks really clean now – and I’d say that at least from a looks standpoint they achieved that (it’ll likely take me a year or so to find out if that’s true from a durability perspective).

– Contains Bluetooth Smart: This is used both for firmware updates, as well as connectivity to head units using Bluetooth Smart (i.e. to a Polar or Suunto watch, or Zwift on iOS, or similar).

– Elimination of pods also eliminated SKU’s: If you didn’t buy Vector you may not know there were actually multiple Vector SKU’s, based on pod sizes.  This, in turn, meant bike shops had to stock these multiple SKU’s and try and figure out who might buy what size.  Vector 3 eliminates that, there’s only one SKU.

– Decreased weight: The unit now weighs 162g, versus the previous 179g.

– Changed bearing type: Previously they were bronze bearings inside, now they’re needle bearings.

– Totally different spindle body: Simply put, it’s all different both inside and out. Much of this, of course, is the result of changing everything else within the pedal, like the bearings.

– Increased rider weight: The certified weight is 105KG (231 lbs) for rider weight, previously it was 90KG (198 lbs).  That may not sound like a lot, but that’s actually a fair bit different.

– Update pedals via phone or Edge: Previously you had to use the desktop or Edge device to update your firmware.  Now you can use the Garmin Connect Mobile app to update Vector 3 firmware.  That’s due to inclusion of Bluetooth Smart.

– Slight increase in spacer size: I think Garmin learned that people put too few spacers on, so you’ll notice the Vector 3 ones are a hair bit thicker so that if someone only puts one on, it’s still safe.  Though, at the same time, spacers are no longer required.

– Slight decrease in battery life: Previously it was 150 hours on Vector 1/2, however with Vector 3 it’s roughly in the 120 hour range with Cycling Dynamics and Bluetooth Smart enabled.  If you don’t use a Cycling Dynamics capable head unit (it’s smart enough to know that now), it’ll get you closer to 150 hours again with just normal bike power.

With that, let’s see how these compare in size to other options on the market.

Size & Weight Comparisons:

PowerMeterWeigh-In

Let’s start with all the weights of comparable units.  This includes the following line-up:

– Garmin Vector 3
– PowerTap P1
– Favero Assioma

There’s no real reason to belabor this point in text, here’s the weights of each pedal, and then the total set of pedals.

PowerTap-P1-Weight-Single PowerTap-P1-Weight-Dual

Garmin-Vector-3-Weight-Single Garmin-Vector-3-Weight-Dual

Favero-Assioma-Weight-Single Favero-Assioma-Weight-Dual

For each one, I excluded spacers, since not all cranks/pedals require that.  For fun, here’s the weights of the spacers.  I just weighed one spacer from each, but obviously you need either one or two per pedal, again, depending on your cranks.

DSC_1831

Next, here’s how they look side by side.  First, front on:

PowerTap-Vector-Assioma-Front-Size

Next, spindle-side:

PowerTap-Vector-Assimoma-Spindle

Then the other side:

PowerTap-Vector-Assioma-Other-Side

And finally, the rear:

PowerTap-Vector-Assioma-Back

To state the obvious, the Vector 3 is the slimmest of the bunch from a sizing standpoint, and the P1 the chunkiest.  The photos otherwise kinda speak for themselves.

With all of our sizing goodness out of the way, it’s time to install and start using the darn things.

General Use Overview:

Garmin-Vector3-Solo

We’ll start out with getting them installed on my bike, which is virtually identical to installing any other pedal.  In general though, there are two ways you can install pedals (depending on type):

A) Using a pedal wrench, which wraps around the pedal axle
B) Using an Allen (hex) wrench, which sticks into the end of the axle

Alternatively, you can just spin it on with your hands/fingers most of the way.  But you’ll want a wrench to really tighten it up.  It doesn’t need to be gorilla tight, just normal tight.

In any event, with Vector 3, you have to use ‘Option A’ above, since the end of the pedal has the LED status lights on it, so you can’t stick a hex wrench in there.

Garmin-Vector3-Install-Pedal-Wrench

In the case of Vector 3, I use my hands/fingers to get it most of the way in the crank arm, and then a quick twist of a pedal wrench to finish the job:

Garmin-Vector3-TightenByHand

Note, while I have the large pedal wrenches like seen above that are more common, I also bought this tiny little travel bike tool which includes a mini pedal wrench.  It’s not the best pedal wrench on earth due to its size (in terms of leverage), but it’s great if you want something small for travel:

Garmin-Vector3-Mini-Pedal-Wrench

You’ll repeat installation for both sides.  Unlike past Garmin Vector pedals, there is no requirement to use a torque wrench, nor are any specific torque specifications required.  I’ve simply tightened it to what felt fine, and my accuracy numbers have been spot on every time.  Speaking of which, unlike previous generations of pedals, there’s no need to do multiple rides to ‘settle’ the unit.  I find doing a simple 4-8 second long sprint once or twice will ensure it’s nice and snug – same as most other pedal power meters.

So what about those washers/spacers that came with it?  Unlike in the past, you don’t need to install those.  However, you want to install them in two scenarios:

A) If the pedal rubs up against your crank arm
B) If the pedal spindle goes through too far and clips the chain

The spacers simply push things out.  Again, most pedal based power meters have them for the same reasons as Vector (those two listed above).

Garmin-Vector3-Spacers

While installing the pedals you’ll likely have noticed the little lights on the inside of the pedals:

Garmin-Vector3-Light-LED-Status

These are status indicators, which let you know what’s going on.  These are most useful not just for ensuring the batteries are working, but also during firmware updates.  From a handy list on the Garmin Forums, here’s what the lights mean:

3 Green Blinks: Cannot find other pedal – battery good

1 Red Blinks:
Battery low

Long series of alternating red/green blinks:
File transfer during firmware update – could be from the display unit to the left pedal. This will also be seen on both pedals at the same time when the left pedal is sending the update to the right pedal

20 Green Blinks:
File transfer/Firmware update successful

20 Red Blinks:
File transfer/Firmware update failed

That same list also details all of the Garmin Vector 3 error codes that can be generated too.

On the flipside of each pedal is the battery compartment.  In the case of Vector 3, the company is using LR44 batteries.

Garmin-Vector3-Battery-Compartment

Each pedal uses two of these batteries, which are placed in a little pod holder which slides into the pedal, sorta like peas in a pod:

Garmin-Vector3-Battery-Pods

As for using LR44 versus SR44 batteries, that’s a good question which many readers asked since launch.  I went back to Garmin on this after your questions and asked what was the difference, specifically, in their recommendation of using LR44 versus SR44 batteries.  They said they started to validate both LR44 and SR44 cells, but found “much more consistent performance” with the LR44’s than the SR44’s.  They noted that “in the validation, we found overall that the SR44’s had higher variability and some even performed worse than the LR’s”.  Interestingly, as part of that testing they did find that SR44 was giving longer battery life, but that given the variability they saw they settled on LR44’s as the official recommendation, coming in at 120 hours (on LR44’s).

Garmin-Vector3-Battery-LR44

Next, cleats.  It comes with Look Keo compatible cleats as noted, so you’re pretty much set there.  One thing that’s worthwhile pointing out is that both competitors Favero Assioma/bePro and the PowerTap P1 use slightly unique cleats that are a Look Keo variant.  This means that in theory they aren’t fully compatible with Look Keo stuff.  In practice, it varies.  I find they are compatible when they’re new – but that over time (wearing out), they become less compatible and you pop out more.  None of this affects Vector, but a lot of people ask about it, so I figured I’d mention it.  Similarly, the lack of precise compatibility doesn’t matter too much if you only have a single set of shoes…or if you just buy an extra set of cleats – they’re cheap.  Don’t let that be a hindrance to what you decide to buy (I’ve used P1’s for years with the non-conforming cleats without issues), but just be aware of it.

Garmin-Vector3-Keo-Cleats

Now that everything is installed (which btw, should only have taken about 30-60 seconds), you’re ready to pair it to your bike computer.  I’m going to use a Garmin unit here for purposes of demonstration, but it works with any ANT+ or Bluetooth Smart unit, or app.  I cover which other units I’ve tested a bit later.

To start you’ll pair with your bike computer by searching for a power meter.  Vector 3 broadcasts as both ANT+ & Bluetooth Smart (BLE).  In almost every scenario, most vendors will recommend using ANT+ first for power meters, unless you see issues there (primarily due to some standard quirks between companies on the BLE power meter spec).  By default, Garmin will search for ANT+ first anyway.

Garmin-Vector3-Edge-Pairing-Step1

You’ll see the ANT+ ID listed on the head unit.  That ID won’t match what’s etched on the side of the pedals, as with Vector 3 each pedal has its own unique ID.  Note that you can actually ‘de-pair’ a dual Vector 3 set into a Vector 3S and then…a secondary useless pedal.  By that, I meant that you cannot take a full Vector 3 set and put one pedal on one bike, and another pedal on another bike.  The left pedal is considered master and thus required.  In a Vector 3S kit, you’ll get the left pedal with sensors in it, and then an empty right pedal to match.

Once you’ve paired the pedal, you can go ahead and rename it as you see fit:

Garmin-Vector3-Edge-Pedal-Paired

Additionally, and this is really important, you need to set your crank length.  This is listed on the inside of your crank arm, and if you’re not sure, look for something like 172.5mm or similar.  In my case, it’s 175.0mm (but the default in the industry is shipping with 172.5mm cranks).

Garmin-Vector3-Crank-Length-Setup Garmin-Vector3-Crank-LengthSetup

And then finally, you’ll want to do a zero offset, which is a variant of doing a calibration.  As a general rule I do this prior to each ride to ensure there’s no quirks.

Garmin-Vector3-Zero-Offset-Calibration

Garmin-Vector3-CalibrationTest Garmin-Vector3-Torque-Value

Note that unlike previous Vector units, you can turn off auto zero if you’d like to.  This can be done both on the head unit, as well as the mobile app.  And as with previous Vector units, you can hang weights on them to do a static check if you’d like, as it’ll show you the torque value above.

Speaking of the mobile app, if you use Garmin Connect Mobile (Garmin’s mobile app), you can pair up Vector 3 there as well:

2017-11-30 16.25.46 2017-11-30 16.25.57 2017-11-30 16.26.02

This allows you to configure settings on the pedal and update the firmware:

2017-11-30 16.26.31 2017-11-30 16.26.41 2017-11-30 16.26.21

Additionally, if you have a recent Garmin Edge unit (1030/1000/820/520), it’ll also download updates for Garmin Vector and update the firmware when required.  Note that updating the firmware takes about 4-8 minutes, so it’s best not to do that sitting outside on a cold winter day.  Just defer the update till after the ride while you’re taking a shower or something.

Speaking of riding, let’s talk about what you’ll get while riding.  Of course you’ll get the basics like total power, as well as cadence.  And you’ll get other ANT+ standardized metrics like torque effectiveness and pedal smoothness.  These metrics are shown on pretty much any head unit/watch that supports power meters by pretty much any vendor.

But then you’ll get the Garmin Cycling Dynamics metrics as well.  These include things like platform center offset, seated time, standing time, and power phase.  These advanced metrics are shown live on Garmin Edge devices, and then on Garmin Forerunner devices you’ll get these metrics afterwards.

Garmin-Vector3-Cycling-Dynamics

Up until a few months ago, these Cycling Dynamics were only available on Garmin devices.  However, back in September Garmin started opening things up.  First, it was TrainerRoad to get the new Cycling Dynamics metrics:

And then they followed that up a few weeks later with opening up things to the ANT+ power meter working group, enabling any vendor to implement cycling dynamics into their products.  Nobody has done so yet, but it’s still early.  Read my full post on that to understand what that’ll take.

In addition to real-time display of these metrics, you’ll also get the metrics recorded for review on Garmin Connect later.  Here’s what a sample ride looks like (you can click here to view the full activity and dork around with it):

image

image

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Note that some 3rd party apps like WKO4 also support displaying these metrics as well as SportTracks.

To summarize all of the protocols and standards that Garmin transmits upon, I’ve put together this quick list;

ANT+ Power (total)
ANT+ Power Balance (left/right)
ANT+ Cadence
ANT+ Pedal Smoothness
ANT+ Torque Effectiveness
Bluetooth Smart Power
Bluetooth Smart Power Balance
Bluetooth Smart Cadence
Garmin Cycling Dynamics (currently private-ANT)

One uniquely interesting tidbit on Garmin’s Bluetooth Smart implementation is that it appears to apps as a single unit.  That’s logical you say, isn’t that the norm?  Actually, no, it’s not.  Most other power meter pedals that also transmit on Bluetooth Smart show up as both a left and a right unit.  Some bike computers and apps are smart enough to merge this data together, but most don’t.  Instead, they only permit you to connect to one side or the other (meaning you wasted your money on a dual system).  Note, this doesn’t impact ANT+.  Update: You can read all about the Vector 3 Bluetooth Smart update here in my separate post.

In Garmin’s case though, when you use an app or device to connect to the Bluetooth Smart side, you see a single all-encompassing Vector 3 unit.  Take for example Zwift below (again, just on Bluetooth Smart, in this case on an iPad).

vlcsnap-2017-11-30-19h25m09s566

If using Vector 3, I get both pedals’ data.  Whereas with the PowerTap P1 or Favero Assioma, I get both the left and right pedals shown.  That means with those systems I can only connect to either the left or right side, but not both sides.  And again, if you connect over ANT+ to those pedals, this isn’t an issue.

Finally, wrapping things in the general use section up, what about less technical things?  Stuff like clipping in or float?  All that feels good and natural to me.  I’m not a huge pedal/component junkie (I’m a tech guy), but everything feels perfectly fine to me.  Additionally, since Vector’s been shipping almost two months now, I haven’t seen any complaints from anyone in this area.  I also haven’t seen any issues with wear/tear on the pedals in the four months I’ve been using them.  They’ve held up quite well, despite me treating them pretty harshly.

Update – March 2018: Some users are reporting issues with the battery holder mechanism, which results in dropouts during a ride (and sometimes spikes). It can also result in high battery burn (less than the stated results). This is seemingly mostly due to lack of contact between the battery and the connector, likely due to differing batteries having a variance of +/- .2mm. Garmin says they’re working on it, and they’ve started shipping out new battery pods to some customers.  While the Garmin Forums and even the comments section below would make it seem like everyone is impacted, I don’t think that’s really the case. I think it’s starting to come up more often as people hit the end of their first set of batteries. Garmin says it’s a small number of customers, and in looking at the sell-through rates I see, I think we’d see far more comments in both locations if it was actually a massive widespread problem. Just my two-cents.

Update – April 2018: See this big-ass long comment I wrote down in the comments section after a multi-hour meeting with Garmin on the issues some folks have seen with Vector 3.

Update – May 2018: Garmin has begun production of new battery pod/caps, which will be sent to all registered Vector 3 users. Non-registered users can also request them via support. Currently it sounds like these should all go out by the end of May. Garmin states this will resolve virtually all outstanding issues with respect to drops and connectivity.  Of course, ultimately it’s just going to take time (such as June or July) to know whether that ends up being the case. 

Update – June 1st, 2018: Garmin began shipping the new battery caps the last week of May, and people have begun to receive them.  Garmin is sending the new caps to all users.  Additionally, on May 31st they released a new firmware version. It’s too soon to know whether or not this fixes things for good. I suspect by the end of June we should have a much clearer picture of stuff.  Fwiw, my Vector units from normal retail back in December are still fine – I just swapped the batteries again about two weeks ago.

Power Meter Accuracy Results:

Garmin-Vector3-Pedal-GreenLight

I’ve long said that if your power meter isn’t accurate, then there’s no point in spending money on one.  Strava can give you estimated power that’s ‘close enough’ for free, so if you’re gonna spend money on something it shouldn’t be a random number generator.  Yet there are certain scenarios/products where a power meter may be less accurate than others, or perhaps it’s got known edge cases that don’t work.  Neither product type is bad – but you just need to know what those use/edge cases are and whether it fits your budget or requirements.

As always, I set out to find that out.  In power meters today one of the biggest challenges is outdoor conditions.  Generally speaking, indoor conditions are pretty easy to handle, but I still start there nonetheless.  It allows me to dig into areas like low and high cadence, as well as just how clean numbers are at steady-state power outputs.  Whereas outdoors allows me to look into water ingest concerns, temperature and humidity variations, and the all-important road surface aspects (I.e. vibrations).  For reference, the Garmin Vector 3 pedals have a claimed accuracy rate of +/- 1%.  It also does not require any magnets for cadence, while also automatically correcting for any temperature drift. Both of these are pretty common though on most power meters these days.

In my testing, I generally use between 2-4 other power meters on the bike at once.  I find this is the best way to validate power meters in real-world conditions.  In the case of most of these tests with the Vector 3 I was using the following other units on four different test bikes equipped at varying times with the following diversity of units:

4iiii Precision Dual power meter
Elite Direto Trainer
FSA PowerBox
Power2Max NG
Power2Max NG ECO
PowerTap G3 hub based power meter (two different units)
Stages Left-Only Power Meter (LR soon!)
Wahoo KICKR SNAP 2017/V2 Trainer
Wahoo KICKR 2017/V3 Trainer
Wattbike Atom Indoor Bike

Given I tested these over the course of four months, I was using a lot of different gear.

In general, my use of other products is most often tied to other things I’m testing.  Also, when it comes to data collection, I use a blend of the NPE WASP data collection devices, and a fleet of Garmin head units (mostly Edge 520/820/1000/1030 units).  For the vast majority of tests on the Garmin Vector 3 I just used the Garmin Edge 1030, and a FR935 watch.  But I also recorded on apps as well, including TrainerRoad and Zwift.

DSC_1794

Note all of the data can be found in the links next to each review.  Also, at the end is a short table with the data used in this review.  I’ll likely add in other data not in this review as well.

With that, let’s get right into it and start with analyzing an indoor trainer ride from earlier this week, in this case a workout on Zwift.  Note that this particular workout also had a PowerTap PowerCal on it (non-direct force power meter), but I’m going to skip it for these charts.  This was a structured workout (Jon’s Mix, long-form variant). Here’s the DCR Analyzer file set if you want to dig yourself:

image

What we’ve got on this one is Vector 3 vs a Power2Max NG ECO vs the Wahoo KICKR3/2017.  As you can see, all three units are very close in comparison across everything (save one brief second where the NG Eco lost contact momentarily with the head unit recording it).  You do though see that the KICKR3 undercuts power slightly on the 30-second intervals for reasons I’m not super clear on.

image

The Power2Max NG ECO and Vector 3 are very close.  Note that some of the KICKR’s undercutting can be blamed on drivetrain efficiency losses (or rather, lack of drivetrain efficiency), which is typically in the 5-12w range.  Though this is a tiny bit more than that at 10-20w on 450w.

If we look at the steady-state sections, we actually see a slight flip between the P2M and KICKR3 in terms of who is highest/lowest between them.  The Vector 3 remains highest (as expected in the proper order of loses).  Note that despite how big that gap may look in the chart below, in reality if you look at the numbers we’re only talking 4-6w difference here, which is really darn close.  That’s above the margin of error for the accuracy of the two units combined.

image

For the most part the above is somewhat of a boringly clean set, so let’s shift gears to another ride…which is also boringly clean.  In the below ride, I’m using the Wattbike, and as such since I can’t swap out the cranks I can really only have two power meters (versus the 3-4 I prefer). Still, I thought I’d include it just because it looks so darn perfect.  In fact, you probably can’t even tell there’s two power meters there:

image

Save a few very tiny variances, they match up almost perfectly.  Up above you see around the 27-minute marker a tiny blip on Vector that Wattbike doesn’t follow.  That’s where I specifically applied extra pressure on Vector 3 that the Wattbike didn’t seem to catch (too short perhaps, only a second or so).

And then below, inversely, you can see on the 3rd interval I seemed to undercut it slightly, and the Wattbike appears to carry the momentum of the flywheel through that couple second sprint, when in actuality I probably didn’t – thus matching Vector 3.  But when I didn’t cut things short, the units are near perfectly matched – far more than I usually see actually.

image

And again, if we look at another portion later in the workout with more repetitive intervals, it’s all the same – boringly clean.

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So let’s head outside for a moment.  This couple hour ride includes everything from city streets to cobbles to off-road riding on it.  Below I’m first showing it smoothed at 5-second intervals, but then I’ll re-smooth it again to make it easier to spot any issues.  You can dig into the full set here.

image

Here’s everything smoothed at 30-second intervals.  You can see that over the course of the entire ride, there’s virtually no moments where the three units differ in any manner. Almost the entire time they are within a couple watts of each other, with the PowerTap G3 being the lowest (as it should be).

image

Within that, if I back down the smoothing factor a bit in the graphs, I want to look at one sprint.  This is still smoothed slightly, thus the peak is actually higher than this.  But I find when comparing power meters, about a 2-3s smoothing factor for sprints helps to make it clear what’s going on.

image

In this case, the sprint is a touch over 800w.  We see the Vector 3 and P2M units very close – 6w difference on 800w (thus 0.7% apart), and the PowerTap G3 seems to shoot slightly higher.  Of course, anytime you’re talking max sprint power, it’s incredibly difficult to get units to match due to the differing transmission rates and then corresponding recording rates.  So you end up with situations like this were sub-second maxes just get averaged out to a single second, and you get slight differences.

Still, you see the overall trend on this 800w sprint, and then the following 600w efforts is very close.

And if we look at cadence on this ride, all three are nearly identical. Only a handful of times the PowerTap G3 hub gets flustered with its estimated cadence (typically when you quickly back off a sprint).  But this is well known.

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Now, let’s look at another set – another outside ride.  This has some totally funky stuff in it that’s 100% unrelated to Vector 3, but I figured I’d use it briefly to show some data comparisons.  In short, you see how halfway through the Power2Max NG sees drops?  Something started on the most recent Edge 520 firmware with the NG ECO causing this precisely every 60 seconds for 1-2 seconds.  I hadn’t analyzed this set till later, so didn’t catch it initially since it happens so quick.

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So instead, let’s just look at the first 45 minutes where the units are all happy.

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You can see here that things are really darn close.  If we zoom in on that sprint again, we’ll see very close alignment as well:

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As always, once you start talking few second long sprints, you get slight variances at the peak, but throughout this sprint things are very close between the units.

And then again here later in that ride on another 800w sprint:

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Ultimately I’m not seeing any issues with Vector 3 from an accuracy standpoint.  I’ve ridden across messy cobblestones, as well as rougher dirt roads – none of which have proven to be an issue.  Same goes for indoor riding, as well as both low and high cadence work.  All of it seems very solid to me.

Here’s the full table of rides since the unit started shipping (I’ve skipped including rides from previous to shipping – such as August and September), since they were on beta firmware.  Though, by and large, I saw very few accuracy issues in beta hardware/software, especially once I got into September and the issues evaporated with software updates.

Garmin Vector 3 Data Sets

Workout DateDCR Analyzer Link
Nov 27th - Zwift WorkoutAnalyze
Nov 21st - WattbikeAnalyze
Nov 19th - Outdoor LongchampAnalyze
Nov 9th - Zwift WattbikeAnalyze
Nov 7th - TrainerRoadAnalyze
Nov 5th - Outdoor LongchampAnalyze
Nov 2nd - WattbikeAnalyze
Oct 26th - WattbikeAnalyze
Oct 25th - VersaillesAnalyze
Oct 15th - Outdoor FarmsAnalyze
Oct 9th - Outdoor VincennesAnalyze
Oct 4th - Road Grand ToursAnalyze

(Note: All of the charts in these accuracy sections were created using the DCR Analyzer tool.  It allows you to compare power meters/trainers, heart rate, cadence, speed/pace, GPS tracks and plenty more. You can use it as well for your own gadget comparisons, more details here.)

Power Meter Pedals Shoot-Out:

Earlier this fall I did a complete power meter pedal shootout.  So if you can’t decide which power meter pedal is best for you, then it’s definitely something you should check out.

There are pros and cons to each of the pedal platforms, be it price, compatibility, or sensor aspects.  I did it with a mind-boggling number of those aspects, including:

– Size/Dimensions
– Weight
– Installation requirements
– Cleat compatibility
– Float
– Stack Height
– Max Rider Weight
– Advanced analytics

And much more, all that can be found here.  Alternatively, here’s the super short comparison table of specs alone:

Function/FeatureFavero Assioma PedalsGarmin Vector 3PowerTap P1 Pedals
Copyright DC Rainmaker - Updated March 5th, 2019 @ 11:44 amNew Window
Price$414/$649 (single/dual)$999$679
Available todayGlobalStarted shipping October 2017Global
Measurement TypeDirect ForceDirect ForceDirect Force
Attachment areaPedalPedalsPedals
Attachment limitationsLOOK KEO COMPATIBLE CLEATS ONLYLOOK KEO COMPATIBLE CLEATS ONLYLook Keo variant cleats only
Weight (additional/net)150g per pedal (inclusive of pods)161g per pedal216g per pedal
Wireless Connectivity TypeANT+/BLUETOOTH SMART (DUAL)ANT+/Bluetooth SmartANT+/Bluetooth Smart (Dual)
Unit auto-turns on when on bikeYesYesYes
BatteryFavero Assioma PedalsGarmin Vector 3PowerTap P1 Pedals
Battery Life50 Hours120-150 hours60hrs+
User or Factory battery replacementFACTORY (SUPPORT ISSUE ONLY)UserUser
Battery typeRechargeableLR44AAA
Low Battery WarningYesYesYes
FeaturesFavero Assioma PedalsGarmin Vector 3PowerTap P1 Pedals
Measures/Transmits CadenceYesYesYEs
Ability to update firmwareYesYesYes
Transmits Left/Right Power Balance (Measured)YesYesYes
Transmits Pedal SmoothnessYesYesYes
AccuracyFavero Assioma PedalsGarmin Vector 3PowerTap P1 Pedals
Measures all power outputYesYesYes
Claimed Accuracy Level+/- 1%+/- 1%+/- 1.5%
Includes temperature compensationYesYesYes
Supports auto-zero functionYesYesYEs
Supports manual calibrationYesYesYes
Supports hanging weights (static test)YesYesNo
SoftwareFavero Assioma PedalsGarmin Vector 3PowerTap P1 Pedals
Phone App to Configure/TestYesYesYes
PurchaseFavero Assioma PedalsGarmin Vector 3PowerTap P1 Pedals
Amazon LinkLinkLinkLink
Clever Training - Save with the VIP programLinkLinkLink
Clever Training Europe (Save 10% with DCR10BTF)LinkLinkLink
DCRainmakerFavero Assioma PedalsGarmin Vector 3PowerTap P1 Pedals
Review LinkLinkLinkLink

But what if you’re not sure you want a pedal based power meter? That’s great – there’s tons of options out there, and pedal based units are just one option (and often one of the most expensive options).  So you should check out my full 2017 Annual Power Meter Buyer Guide, which walks through every power meter on the market, and the pros and cons to each one.  It’s massive!

The full power meter buyers guide can be found here.

Summary:

Garmin-Vector3-Parts-Pile

[Update: Please be sure you read my comments above about some of the battery issues some portion of people are having. These are located just before the start of the ‘Accuracy’ section.]

It’s easy to say that Vector 3 is Garmin’s best power meter yet.  That’s true, but that’s also a cliché cop-out.

It’s more important instead to understand that in being their best power meter yet, they finally arrived at many of the original promises and goals of Garmin acquiree Metrigear’s founding ideas more than 8 years ago.  The goal was an easily transportable/moveable and accurate pedal power meter.  Up until now, there were always caveats with each of those aspects on Vector.  It was accurate, but only if you did X and Y.  And it was moveable, but again, only with A and B.  And it was compatible, but only with P and Q.  And it was supported on R cranks, but only with Z SKU.  Thus, it was full of ‘but only if/with’ statements.

When I first sat down to listen to Garmin’s pitch on Vector 3, they started with the common marketing sentence of ‘We wanted to address all of the past complaints’.  Mentally I rolled my eyes at the polite Canadian driven team.  But after four months of using them, it’s actually clear they did exactly that.  And your (reader) comments on them checking off all the other requirements boxes are clear too.  They went dual ANT+/Bluetooth Smart, and even opened up Cycling Dynamics to be an open standard.  They removed all those ‘but only if’ statements with past Vector products and ended up with a clean and sleek power meter pedal that’s easily moveable between bikes, and is accurate as well.  Full stop, no more buts.

Third time’s the charm.

With that – thanks for reading!

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Thanks for reading! And as always, feel free to post comments or questions in the comments section below, I’ll be happy to try and answer them as quickly as possible.

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1,104 Comments

  1. Liz Stryker

    Do you have any knowledge on using a single power meter? I have the GArmin Vector 3S and it is registering the right leg as less power than the left leg. Makes sense to me however, I was told that should not happen. that the single power meter would register the anticipated power of the right leg? I have been trying to find a discussion and haven’t.
    My Garmin Connect registers my right leg at 25% and the left leg at 75%. Disclaimer, I broke my right leg 2 years ago and it could be performing at less power.
    ALso, I’m not a techie….
    Thank you,
    Liz

  2. So just as a general update, after spending time at Garmin this week for a variety of topics (primarily related to the Connect IQ Summit). But, I sat down and talked Vector 3 issues with all levels of the Vector team for the better part of two hours earlier in the week. As you might imagine, it’s hard to summarize a meandering two hours discussion, but in general it was me pointing at the numerous comments here and asking for answers.

    I’d bucketize those into three areas:

    1) Support Requests

    More than anything my concern was that folks have been reporting issues where support is telling them long timeframes for replacement of parts or pedals that have issues. Quite frankly, anyone that has received a unit and is experiencing issues should *always* be ahead of backorder queues. Meaning, it sucks if someone in a backorder queue has to wait another week to get their new unit, but it’s unacceptable that someone who received their power meter and needs a support swap has to wait weeks for that to be processed. They agree and are making some tweaks.

    At this point, there should be zero queue for Vector support parts/replacement requests in the US. Further, they are validating that all non-US service points around the world are operating that way. If folks here are hearing anything more than ‘it’ll ship tomorrow’ for a support issue, please drop a note here and they will help run that down.

    2) Existing units

    As noted by Garmin and others via support, there has been issues with some existing units. In talking with them, it sounds like the percentage impacted continues to be low…but as I noted above, if you’re shipping a thousand+ units a week, it’s still impacting people.

    Garmin has outlined various ways to improve connectivity for batteries for those having it. They also believe the V3.30 firmware released should resolve all outstanding software-specific issues at this point (some of which were compounded by the battery problem). Further, some battery issues were compounded by the battery cap/hold threads on some early batches (not entire batches, just portions of them) being…less than ideal. Specifically the threads could become damaged easily, which meant that the pods wouldn’t be fully set. That’s been fixed a while back to ensure all units leaving the factory are meeting the specs. If you have issues with threads on your pedals, reach out to support. Or really, if you have any issues, again, reach out to support.

    Note that production has never ceased for Vector 3 (aside from Chinese New Year, like virtually all companies manufacturing in Taiwan and China). It’s maintained at full factory capacity. They’re just far beyond what they ever expected to have orders for. They’re backorder queue along exceeds their entire first year expectations.

    3) Going forward

    So the bigger question is ‘Is it safe to purchase Vector 3’. And that’s a tough one to answer. Manufacturing is in process for the new battery caps to become the default for all units leaving. Some folks have received those new caps/pods via support already if they were having issues. Of course, plenty of others aren’t having issues with the existing caps.

    I suspect there’s also an element of folks ending up with crappy batteries also contributing to some, but not all issues. I suggested they put together a list of ‘recommended batteries’, just like they do for headphones on the music side, and other areas of their business. They strongly noted that going with name-brand batteries will definitely help (and I’d agree, especially in the LR44/SR44 battery world). They’re looking into doing this.

    Still, I don’t think we’ll have an answer on whether things are past the storm for a while. Not because they don’t feel confident in these combined software+hardware changes (they do), but because if you turn back the clock, it was calm seas for the first three months of units. It wasn’t until really late January that issues starting occurring.

    Finally, I would note that the Vector/Cycling team definitely isn’t thrilled about how this played out, especially the way the support requests have been prioritized/handled. There were no happy faces during that discussion, it was as if someone had died (true: we had just finished discussing an hours worth of my Edge 520 Plus issues). I think they want to find the end of the tunnel as much as anyone else.

    In any case, hope this helps shed some light a bit. Also, I’ll update the concerns portion of the review with a link to this comment as well.

    • AM

      Thanks. I’m ready to buy this thing, as it checks everything I’m looking for, but I’m going to hold off until things are smooth and steady. 1K is too much to commit for rough seas.

    • Dembo

      Wow, thank you Ray for keeping the communication channels up and running – I am a support as of today!

      FYI: I received my Vector 3 set on Dec 29th and is has performed totally fine so far. Only issue I had is the 3.30 firmware update which I just couldn’t send from all the iOS devices available to me. Ended up borrowing a 520 and now everything is up and running.

      I wonder how Garmin is structured internally, since they keep producing relatively decent/good/excellent hardware but large chunks of the software appear to be beyond repair (Garmin Connect for iOS, I am looking at you). Are those contracted out to some third party?

    • Chris Furner

      Ray,
      I think they need to work on a program to address battery holder issues. They should make it clear on how to identify various versions of the battery holder, and have a easy process for owners of the faulty design to get replacements. Right now no one really knows what the difference between the old and new designs are, and we have no idea if Garmin is shipping a new design battery holder. Ideally they should create some sort of self-service portal to allow owners to request replacements. Their support team is doing a bad job as far as response time, and I bet if they offload the battery holder replacements from their support queue, it will help. I also had to ask them about new battery holders, if this is a known issue that should be suggested early in support cases. These are $1k pedals, they should not have a big issue with shipping some little bits of plastic in order to make their product work better.

      I work in tech support, and I can tell you that if I performed in the exact same way that Garmin did with my recent support case, I would be let go.

    • George Hotopan

      Hi Ray,

      Thanks for the great feedback you offered this community and for sharing with us the latest on Garmin V3. I am an owner of Vector 3 dual setup with currently around 40h of usage with no problems to report so far, however the thought of first time battery change(based on previous reports from a consistent I would say mass od people) makes me “tremble”.

      I am with Chris Furner here, in the sense that Garmin,( knowing there has been an issue probably somewhere in the production chain involving tolerances for the whole battery cover/housing) should make an inventory on the exact batches which might have been compromised, and based on the serial number of the affected units it should make available a list of those, so that customers in posession of those units and who notice abnormal behavior of the pedals can immediately contact Garmin and receive asap the redesigned battery doors. Existing customers with problems should be immediately handled irrespective of the current stock situation. In the end it is a 1000€ product at its 3rd itteration, this kind of issues should not be in the first place.

      With the hope that my set is not within those units which have been affected, I really expect Garmin will as quickly and efficiently as possible solve the problems. And I would recommend them for more transparency. Most of the times I have the impression that customers are kept in the dark e.g. we have to wait for you to get into contact with them to get a more official statement from their side on this topic.

      Cheers from Germany!

      George.

    • R. Ray

      I have been using the Garmin Vector 3S since mid December. I use them outdoors with a Garmin Edge1000 via ANT+ and indoors with Apple TV 4K/Zwift via Bluetooth. The only issue I have had is battery life. Seems the use with Bluetooth cuts the battery life quite a bit. I have recently switched to the Duracell Lithium CR1/3N battery to see if that helps. So far so good.

    • Frederic

      Well just got mine and did a training at a place that use perfpro studio program. I know there is alot of untis like pedals or powermeter wheels but I’ve had a hard time being in my %zone with my pedals (I own 3s). The training before having my pedals were with Wheel that use powertap and I could easily be more accurate in my % zone. I just hope that I didn’t went to fast in buying Garmin pedals with some issues…it’s alot of money for a weekend-warrior to get good trainings. But my big question is : DID I MADE A GOOD BUY or should I have waited a bit more to buy?

      PS: Please reassure me!

    • Ken Ridout

      My right pedal lost communication the other day. First thing I did was check battery power with my DVM. It was showing only about 1.8 volts for the stack (still mounted in the battery “doors”.
      so I pulled them out. A blackish substance had developed where the two batteries make contact. I cleaned them and re-inserted into the doors. Now the voltage read 2.8 volts! I think there was a loss of good contact where the batteries mate together.

      So, I ordered and received these batteries from Amazon.

      link to amazon.com

      They look like they’ll be great replacements. I’ll try them just as soon as the present batteries run out.

      Ken

    • GILLES

      Hi Ray,
      Thank’s for all these informations. I ‘ve the vector 3 since december….and i’d many issue with it (basically the same as everybody here). I’ve send them back to the french garmin support (i live in Paris) mid march – They told me the total process of fixing them should be 10 days ; but after 5 weeks, they still haven’t ship them back….of course i’ve called them many time, and they say that i should wait for at least 2 more month (nothing before june) to get them fixed…(and between the line, i could understand that it may be longer) After many talks with them, i’ve ask for a refund…and they seems to be ok with it as they are not able to provide any solution for fixing it or replace it before month…i’m waiting the confirmation of it…Just to say that Garmin seems to have a major issue with the vector3, and they are not able to provide any solution for the moment (at least in france)…except to refund it…

    • Richard

      Hi Ray

      Thank for you look into the Vector 3 issues. However I don’t believe Garmin does the right thing. I’m an engineer and I looked at the hardware.

      With the cork solution I can make my V3 work, without dropouts. All other solutions are not working. Reason being: the pressure on the battery contacts is to low, especially on hard intervals (vibrations).
      With the software cover up Garmin just interpolates the dropout, so the power measurement is compromised!!!
      The Baby oli should solve the oxidation of the contacts, because the pressure is to small.

      Can you call this engineering solution????? THis are cheap chinese cheats, not what I would expect from a company like Garmin.
      Think of the product in 2 to 3 years –> The spring will be more loose! More people with troubles –> No guarantee anymore.

      Please pressure Garmin to the correct solution, to redesign the cap and the contact spring on the board! They have to make a product recall and fix the issue correctly. Else a lot of customers feel themselves cheated. And I promise month by month there will be more. Some due to the age of the product, some due to the broader use of the pedals.

      Thanks

    • I’m confused Richard – I wrote above that they are redesigning the battery cap/pod to do exactly that. That’s what’s going in production.

    • Yakov

      Richard,
      100% correct!
      You’ve summarized the situation in a precise way.

    • Ingo Himmeldirk

      Thanks for this briefly update.

      My experieces:

      Hardware:
      We got two pairs of Vector 3 beginning of April. After the first ride there started to be dropouts on both channels (ANT+ and BLE). I investigated the battery box and adapted the spring deep inside the case a tiny little bit. This fixed the issues completly. Nevertheless this could not be a solution for anybody out there!

      Software:
      I will do the update on FW 3.30 this evening to keep the latest software issues sorted out.

      Accuracy:
      Seems to be quite accurate to me. I checked with Tacx Flux and Stages Powerpeter to compare them. The results are ok and in the range of 1-2 % deviation.

      Batteries:
      Yesterday I got the first “battery low” warning. This was after approx. 35 hours of use. I will use the batteries further on to see when the system really stops working.

    • Yakov

      Ingo,
      From my experience, you are only at the half way with the batteries.
      40 hrs – low batteries indication.
      80 hrs – shut off.

    • Richard

      Ray, but why, they do not communicate any of it and stop the delivery of inferior products? They let customers try new software, oil and what ever. I would prefer to wait 6 months for a final top product, over spending 4 weeks with false measurements, Threshold-Efforts wrong measured and software updates which are difficult do do, because of power drop outs!

      But if they would say, we are coming with a new spring on the printed circuit board and a new battery cap, so many customers would not have to hassle with new trails. Which in the end are cover up (and messing up the measurements).
      Go in the Garmin forum and you will see the complains and customer want to return the product.
      Anyway thanks for your support with difficult suppliers. My Goal is a happy Garmin customer base, because I believe the product idea is great, but the execution is worthless (just because of a battery holder).

    • I totally agree. I think by and large their communications sucks here, as well as their support execution (I’m actually less concerned with the fact that some users are having issues, as I am more so with Garmin’s mostly cumbersome response to it). And I told not just the Garmin Vector team that last week, and the head of the fitness division, but the CEO as well when I met with him (all of which were face to face meetings). That’s resulting in some changes, or at least, promises for changes. But ultimately it’s up to them to make that happen.

      For example – they’ve validated that US customers who call support can get new units/parts immediately, no wait. But non-US folks are still being told May/June for parts. It’s been 8 days after my discussion, which would include a single shipping cycle from their factories (they deliver units each week). Thus, I’m not clear why they aren’t just holding back units to new customers this week to ensure that all support facilities have units in stock for broken customers. As I told them then, having to delay backorders a week sucks, but it sucks more than a customer has a unit in-and that’s not working for them.

      That said, there are some Garmin folks here responding. Joey from Garmin watches over and answers questions here, and on the Garmin forums they do try and assist folks in most threads. But that’s mostly one to one, and lacks the overall direction messaging they need to get in front of.

      I would however as always caution that basing impressions of a product on a companies forum generally is misleading, because almost nobody goes to a companies forums to shout from the mountains they are having no issues.

    • MAGNUS

      I’ve had my pedals since late december but haven’t spent much time on the saddle due to running focus goals… In my experience thus far has not been great… Pedals have continuously read lower than my Kickr17. After a number of resets, calibrations (both on the pedals and Kickr17) I reluctantly settled on both PMs not matching.

      I’ve gotten the ‘low battery’ notice a couple times, surprised considering I haven’t ridden much, but I went ahead and swapped the batteries… I used name-brand Duracells and have now noticed that my right pedal drops from time to time.

      I did a ride today, with hard intervals, and each time my right pedal dropped.

      Full disclosure, this thread is far too long to read through, but I’m guessing this has been common… I will definitely be reaching out to Support first thing in the morning.

    • In short, if you haven’t updated your firmware to 3.30, then do so first. If you have, then contact support.

    • Lutz

      I bought my V3 in december 2017 in germany.
      From the beginning i got trouble with drop outs. After the first battery change there is no ride without dropouts.
      I wrote to the german garmin support more than a week ago. No answer till now…
      I will send them back and by the cheeper Favero Assioma.

    • As Ray mentions, we are working to fulfill any open warranty orders as quickly as possible. We have inventory prioritized for this purpose and UK warranty orders started shipping this week. The rest of the EU inventory is in transit to local European distribution centers and will be shipped to customers awaiting warranty orders as soon as possible. We expect these orders to start shipping early next week.

      The power dropout, spikes, and “right sensor missing” issues that some users have reported are also being treated with an extremely high level of attention. Software version 3.30 has resolved a software issue that could cause these issues, and we are also well underway with the design of a new battery cap that will resolve the possibility of a hardware issue being the culprit of similar symptoms. We are charging ahead with this new design and expect to begin distributing this part to affected customers in mid to late May.

      We value our customers and their decision to purchase Vector 3. We will stand behind our product and make sure you are satisfied with your purchase.

    • Dembo

      Just a quick heads-up that I am one of the rather silent happy users (aside from having to borrow a 520 to update to 3.30, GC for iOS kept failing): I think I had a short dropout with Duracell LR44s that reported a “low” battery level the ride before, so I am back to Vartas and the perform just fine: No dropouts, power seems to be okay. I added a few drops of baby oil during the installation but I don’t think it is necessary. This is my second battery swap and I received the pedals on 29/12/2017.

    • Dembo

      Just a quick heads-up that I am one of the rather silent happy users (aside from having to borrow a 520 to update to 3.30, GC for iOS kept failing): I think I had a short dropout with Duracell LR44s that reported a “low” battery level the ride before, so I am back to Vartas and the perform just fine: No dropouts, power seems to be okay. I added a few drops of baby oil during the installation but I don’t think it is necessary. This is my second battery swap and I received the pedals on 29/12/2017.

    • Yakov

      Dembo,
      Let me check if I’ve got you correct:
      You already darin the batteries twice in 4 months (120 hrs?),
      You’ve got dropout,
      You’ve got low indication,
      You’ve got to use a specific battery brand,
      You used a baby oil,
      You didn’t succeed to upgrade the firmware using GC app,
      And you are a silent happy customer…

    • Dembo

      Well, I think I need to be a bit clearer, Yakov:

      – Yes I changed batteries twice – the first after about 90h riding around in, from time time, zub-zero conditions. However, I never got a battery low warning on my computer or watch. Once the battery status is reported as low in Garmin Connect post-ride, which implies that the battery is down to 33%, I tend to change batteries because they are cheap and I’d rather change them a bit early than losing data. I am not interested in field testing Garmin’s claims regarding the max runtime. Not that during all my battery changes the old batteries where reporting a “good” status prior to any ride.

      – Yes I got something that might be a dropout – look at link to analyze.dcrainmaker.com – you can see that the blue line drops out around 40min and then a couple of times during the rest of the workout. Now, the orange line kept on going. The blue line is a 735XT connect to the Vector 3, the orange line is a Wahoo Bolt connected to the same (!) Vector 3. So is this a dropout? Yes! Is this related to the Vector 3? Probably not – I did a firmware update of the 735XT right before starting the ride and didn’t reboot the watch afterwards. A recent group ride with a lot of waiting for rides shows no dropouts on neither the Bolt, nor the 735XT: link to analyze.dcrainmaker.com

      – Yes, myself and other Garmin users might have to use a certain battery brand, so what? I have no idea how rigidly battery dimensions are defined and I am sure there will always be some cheap crap / bootleg copy that is completely off the charts. Of course Duracell is a well known brand, however, Vartas are the same over here, so I am happy to buy those. Even CR1/3N are not much more expensive if we have to end up using those.

      – Yes I used baby oil – do I have to? No idea, we still had some supplies left from when my kids where younger so I figured, I might as well add it. I did not have issues with the stock installation so I would probably be fine without the oil.

      – And finally: Yes the firmware update attempts via bluetooth sucked big, big, big time. However, I tend to put the blame on the GC for iOS team since that software is crap. Doesn’t sync correctly to Apple Health has all sorts of issues that drive me mad. I wish Garmin would provide a way to update the pedals via an ANT+ hooked up to my computer as a backup.

      So once again: Yes, I am indeed a happy customer. Swapping the pedals is a joy and riding outdoors with power helped my tremendously. I even used the PCO data to adjust my cleats. Would I be a happy customer of Assioma or Powertap? Probably, yes. I actually like the rather bully look and proven technology of the P1, the Assioma seem to be fine too. So chose whatever rocks your boat. I am pretty sure we’ll see a slight re-design of the battery caps at some point and severely constraint supply chains for some time, so it is up to you.

    • George Hotopan

      Hi Shawn,

      It is great to finally hear (at least it is the first one I came across regarding the V3 issues, except one of the firmware updates which only recognised one potential software issue…) from a Garmin official that Garmin are fully aware of the software and hardware problems that some users are facing. It is also encouraging to hear that EU inventory is in transit to EU distribution centres and that “wheels” seem to be finally spinning; and also the fact that it seems that now users under warranty are given priority and that Garmin are fully behind their product.

      Let us just hope that this whole “fiasco” start-up is at its ends and that the right steps have been taken to resolve all the dropouts/zero readings/misaligned threads/ battery caps/baby oil/battery springs etc…

      My current update: I am currently on aprox. 50h+ with the V3. So far nothing suspicious, except from one-two times when the power readings on my Bolt went from figures to no power and just 2 horizontal lines (however this lasted aprox. 10-15 sec). This might be related also with the fact that my Bolt now registers the battery of the right pedal as being low….will have to see…. When I will replace the batteries I will probably try the CR1/3N model, so I will go with a single battery in each pedal at least to avoid the need to use baby oil between two LR44s.

      This was my update guys and let’s keep the fingers crossed.
      I salute Garmin on their initiative of beginning to be open with us, the customers, and for giving us the hope that things are on the right track.

      Cheers,

      George.

    • Roger

      Thanks for this update Ray. So, to the best of your knowledge, do all new units shipping now have the new battery caps/pods, or are there still units out there selling with the old hardware? In Australia most retailers are advising of 3-4 weeks wait on units if ordered now. Will we be guaranteed to get the new caps with any orders from now on?

      Cheers
      Roger

    • I don’t know the exact date as to when full new units will go out with new pods/caps. It doesn’t sound like it’s overnight.

      It sounds like first Garmin is going to ramp out relatively quickly pod/cap production to backfill to existing consumers, and then along the way the switchover will occur for the production line.

      I suppose their damned if you do, damned if you don’t in terms of that switchover point for new products.

      When I chatted with them Friday in person they were hoping to have pods going out in ‘days’, so sometime this week. They also e-mailed last week saying they were going to circle back once they had pods/caps going out with precisely what their plan was on that. As soon as I get such an e-mail I’ll let folks know here.

      My general hope is simple though: That they just simply send an e-mail to all Vector 3 registered consumers that allows them to specify the shipping address to receive the new pods/caps.

      Finally note: I wouldn’t necessarily assume that any past prototype new pod/cap designs are the same as what’s going into full production. Given full production hadn’t begun until just this past weekish, that means things were likely to have been tweaked. Which certainly doesn’t mean Garmin solves everything 100% either. I don’t think anyone will know that until months down the road after things have settled (which Garmin themselves agrees with).

      Anyway…as the Vector 3 world turns…

  3. Ronni Barak

    Hi
    Regarding DC Rainmaker post about support requests, in Israel there are’nt any Vector 3 units for support swap. The saller assessment of receiving new units is at July 2018.
    I bought my Garmin Vector 3 at march 2018 and i can’t use the pedals because as i posted earlier the Head unit Garmin Edge 1030 has no connection to the pedals at all although i have the latest firmware 3.3 on Vector 3 and firmware 3.9 on the Edge 1030.

    • Manuel

      Hi Ray,

      I think the maths just don’t do…
      First, I’ve read (from yourself and I think that also from some other blog as well) they have the production chain at 100% meaning 1000s of units built per month (or maybe per week) Due to the complete underestimation they calculated for selling this product.
      Then, If you go to go ahead and try to purchase an unit, you get at least a 6-8 weeks of delay. Anyone can check this out in CT
      Finally, people with issues, that seem to be a tiny percentage vs happy users (as you have supposed several times) are suffering delays of even months to get their product replaced, and, from what I read is not only outside the US, unless this change you mention happened last week. It seems Garmin is prioritizing replacing Vectors vs to customers with faulty ones versus new customers willing to get their Vector 3’s.

      Okay, now, if you mix all that up its easy to see that Garmin is not telling the truth on al least 1 of the cases. If there are that tiny %, how it’s possible faulty unit users have to wait up to months to get their powermeters replaced, when they have the production plants at 100% and they are no serving almost anything to the supply chain? Maybe the faulty units are not that trivial, or maybe they’re not producing as many Vectors as they said (I assume that would be because THERE IS a design flaw), or probably both.

      It sounds very strange the amount of people who have had the vectors replaced twice or even 3 times… Just don’t matches the claim of “minor” faulty units

      I really really REALLY want this product to be ready, I had it backordered, but if they don’t clear up things I’ll go for a Quark or Rotor… I’m a fairly happy Garmin user for years who have had several wrist products (FRs and all Fenix’s up to date), and edge products as well, but this “vectorgate” is really damaging Garmin’s reputation, mostly due to the way they’re handling it. At least that’s the way I see it.

      Anyway, thanks a lot for your efforts in giving us some info about all… and again, sorry for my English!

    • It’s actually pretty easy: Garmin wasn’t allocating enough units to support versus new sales shipments.

      Let’s use a random number 1,000 units per week. As everyone knows, Garmin is well behind on backorders, and has been since day one. That doesn’t appear to be change anytime soon. 1,000 units a week really doesn’t go that far when you start breaking it down. If we assume all 1,000 of those goes to the US (false assumption, but just for the sake of simplicity), that means only 20 per state, or basically only a handful of bike shops per week get units in each state.

      But, that’s not the point here – support is. In this case, support was acting as effectively any other retailer in the priority queue. Meaning, they were no different than Clever Training or Bob’s Bike Shop. They were waiting in the queue for replacement units just the same. Obviously that was (and still is outside the US) stupid and wrong.

      I think the number of people that have had double-faulty units is incredibly small (I can count only a handful), and likely a combination of pure bad luck…or specific handling (for example, the poor threads on some earlier units could more easily be threaded, thus if someone was a bit less gentle, that’d hit them twice). Same goes for those maybe using the same types of batteries, etc… None of which is an excuse, just explaining how the things actually work.

      Ultimately, as I stated at the start of this thread we’re mostly going to have to wait and see, which includes the following for whatever likely single-digit percentage of people are having issues:

      A) That 3.30 fixes the majority of software-focused issues
      B) That the new caps resolve the remainder of the hardware issues
      C) That they can figure out a consistent battery model that works well
      D) That they can re-prioritize non-US folks in support queues ahead of backorder queues

      That’s really about it.

    • Robert

      Ray, I hear everything that you are saying but I’ve had these since December and am now on my third set. Both the second and third units failed without my every touching the battery compartment and long before battery life should have been an issue. (For example, the second unit failed right out of the box.) I have worked amicably, hand-in-hand with Garmin support throughout this process, run the beta software, and now have version 3.30 installed. I have tried various batteries and a replacement battery door and PCB. So far nothing has worked beyond the short term. Some of the issues were clearly software related and others, apparently, hardware. I think that it is great that you and others have had no issues but I would not count your blessings just yet. I still believe that there is an endemic problem in the design beyond some units failing to meet design tolerances and that that issue will become more apparent overtime.

    • Tobias

      While we can certainly agree that Garmins communication (or lack thereof) really sucks I still suspect the problems run deeper… a lot deeper!

      This backlog story is all very nice, but we are well into the 21st century and conveyor-belts, industrialization, automation and robotics is widely adopted – hopefully also at Garmin. To ramp-up a production to whatever demand is required is a question of weeks – not six months. My suspicion is that Garmin has stopped (or at least drastically reduced) production because the know there are serious design-flaws.

      I am totally with Richard: better wait for a re-designed working solution than all the mess this is currently causing. And this applies for both sides – Garmin AND the users.

      However as Garmin is not communicating anything substantial we all need to draw our own conclusions. And mine is to stay away from Vector 3 as far as I can. Which is really sad as I am a heavy and happy user of a lot of Garmin-Tech…

    • Yeah, ultimately one can’t really have it both ways. One can’t be upset that Garmin isn’t producing more but concurrently be upset Garmin hasn’t stopped producing.

      We know Garmin has been producing constantly, since we can see and hear of people receiving units virtually every week since October (except Chinese New Year). This isn’t a black box, if the Internet is good at one thing, it’s letting everyone know about everything.

      As for production spin-up, it’s not really that easy. If it were, then companies like Apple wouldn’t have backlogs to deal with either (as they often do when they launch popular new products – sometimes extending many months).

      I know if we look back at Vector 1/2, one of the limiters of production volume wasn’t so much assembly, but actually testing/validation/calibration, which occured on every unit. They talked about the dynamic calibration process being far more complex because the pedals are initially calibrated while rotating (just like a pedal would in real-life). Versus a hanging weight test that someone like PowerTap would do on a hub (you can see how that works in the PowerTap behind the scenes post). These sorts of longer duration tests take time. Quarq for example was backordered for the better part of 8-10 months last year for their D-Zero series. Again, in their case they do temp compensation tests on every unit – that process has a fixed time and a fixed number of units that fit in their machines – thus, is a limiter.

      Garmin is actually in the incredibly unique position of entirely owning their factories – something virtually nobody else has/does. In 99% of cases, that gives them far more flexibility than most others. But in certain situations (such as dealing with significant backorders) that can hurt them slightly since they don’t have quite as much flexibility for certain product types (specifically, Vector). For other product types like watches they can more easily ramp up/down production lines. But Vector is mostly a different beast.

      Again – not trying to make excuses for them here – but just giving a bit more insight into why things aren’t exactly an easy button when it comes to manufacturing. After all, if it were then Garmin would certainly press it. They want the money just as much as you want a consistently functional power meter.

    • Yakov

      Ray,
      Somehow I’ve got a feeling (all the way with the vector 3 issue) that you are taking the company’s side.
      That’s will make me read in a different way all your next reviews.
      It’s sad.

    • Nope, not at all. I’ve been pretty clear cut about where their failures are here, as well as with them. After all, I’ve updated the review multiple times with warnings about the issues, and linked to comments in this thread about the issues. I’m curious what other major reviews have done that?

      But I’m also trying to give insight into things that aren’t quite as obvious as people like them to be. I know folks want me to always agree with them, but that’s not really how I roll (which I think is a good thing, otherwise I’d always agree with everyone and then you’d never get correct information).

      After all, it’d save me time to not bother to explain how dynamic calibration works in the factory in the comment above, or to not bother to be running interference behind the scenes for a multiple of non-US customers to get them replacements sooner. Or to reply to comments like yours.

    • Tobias

      Thanks for the insight, Ray!

      I have to admit that I did not consider the calibration and temperature compensation. That is indeed time consuming and limits the production volume. It is crazy though that Garmin is not talking about this – it is positive and would be understandeable.

      Whatever, thanks to Garmins rigorous calibration I am spared all the other Vectorgate mess and look forward to my Assiomas that should reach me today :-)

    • Dan

      Thanks Ray. I appreciate your candor and insigh. Thanks for the updates and points of view from a user and from someone who has the ability to communicate with the company and provide extra insight.
      Interesting to read about production problem/delays with other companies.
      I look forward to getting my pedals.

    • AM

      My friend I disagree – having all that automation means that when something changes, its a big pain to reconfigure, readjust, requalify, and retool. Having a more manual process would likely lead to faster response/change. This isn’t tweaking a Process Parameter on a piece of Equipment, which would still have its own subsequent work to Qualify that it consistently makes good product. Once all that upfront work is done, then, yes, automation is beautiful when it comes to speed.

  4. Joe

    On the Vector 3 forum Garmin has stated that no one has received the newly designed battery doors yet.

    See post #6 – link to forums.garmin.com

    So far Garmin has been sending the old battery doors to anyone with issues. They do acknowledge that they are working on a new design.

  5. rory

    hi will the vectors work with a garmin 910xt watch there is a power meter setting on the 910xt cheers rory

  6. Martin Engstrom

    I have used a set of Vector 3 since December 29th and although no issues with batteries/dropouts etc. I do have some concerns around the accuracy and also the quality of the technical support. The main reason for going in this direction was accuracy and ease of swap between bikes (especially given that I use different crank lengths. In particular I want to be able to accurately compare efforts on my road bike with my TT bike so using the same power meter eliminates potentially large inaccuracies between different power meters.

    I swap between bikes every couple of rides and it usually works OK, there is a period of self adjustment after which the results should be accurate. I have found that in some cases though, the unit just doesn’t seem to self adjust properly until the next ride after which it always seems OK though. I did capture some data on this effect by using a Stages PM (not perfect with it being left only) where the left side was around 20 watts higher that the stages until the third time I did a zero offset calibration in the ride after which it agreed. I do not have the energy to capture all rides with a second PM, however I do think this effect occurs periodically, the power just seems wrong and then on analysis the left/right balance is generally way off normal for me.

    I have spoken to Garmin about this with disappointing results. About a week after filling in the contact form they came back asking me for the data files. A further week later they came back and told me to go through a long list of checks e.g. crank length. zero calibrate etc. without any reference to the files I sent over. Eventually they told me that they had opened a software support case, but that was the last I ever heard on the subject.

    Needless to say this episode did not do much for my confidence in the Vector 3 accuracy or in Garmin’s technical support so in order to try to convince myself that fundamentally the units are accurate, I did the Advanced Torque Test. I found that there was a significant difference between left and right, also significantly different to the predicted value.

    Again I contacted support to ask for advice, basically I want to know if the differences are enough of a cause for concern that the units should be returned or could it be that I did something wrong with the test? After about a week, they came back and asked for the software version. A further week later they came back with the standard advice about the battery problems. Bearing in mind that I have had absolutely no evidence of dropouts or connection issues I asked them why they thought that putting bits of tape in the battery compartment was relevant to dodgy Advanced Torque Test results. A few days later they came back and asked me for the test result data (which I had already provided at first contact).

    Given that Garmin do not seem particularly interested in helping, I wondered if anyone else out there has any similar concerns/experiences with swapping between bikes and/or overall accuracy?

    • Antoine

      I also had accuracy problems, despite calibration before every ride. It happened that the unit recorded way too many watts. I remember one particular ride where suddenly I was riding around 280W at a heart rate of 130bpm for example. I’m not that good unfortunately. This was definitely wrong, as I was cruising easily.

      I won’t go into details, but I simply have no trust in Vector 3. I never had that feeling with Powertap P1.

      Vector 3 went back under warranty in the meantime. Waiting for Assioma to be shipped.

    • Unfortunately, when comparing against Stages (left only), it’s really tough to have any valid comparison – because of the variations of the files. If you can post a link to two files from the same ride (the .FIT files, labeled, ideally just in a zip folder), I can throw them in the DCR Analyzer* and it’ll show the Stages left overlaid against the Vector left side – thus normalizing the data.

      Generally speaking, unless there’s a defective unit, accuracy issues tend to come from calibration. Meaning, if there was weight on the pedals during a zero offset or such.

      *Http://www.dcrainmaker.com/analyzer

    • Martin

      Hi Ray,

      Thanks, really appreciate your offer, but the data is already in the analyzer:

      link to analyze.dcrainmaker.com

      Unfortunately this ride was done after the V3 software update which broke the left right and cycling dynamics to start with.

      You can see that the data is miles of for most of the ride, then at the end after the 3rd zero calibrate it starts to look better.

      Here is another suspicious ride, this time with left/right data after I recovered the cycling dynamics by re-pairing the right pedal…

      link to analyze.dcrainmaker.com

      Again you will see the data seems miles off until the last few minutes when it seems to recover (though the right pedal still seems a bit high)

  7. Benn Clemence

    Hi Ray

    Quick question I just upgraded my Dodgy Stages meter for the Vector 3S. On my first ride where I had the 3S paired to both my FR935 for data collection and my Edge 520 basically for display. The 3S was connected using ANT+ to both devices and I noticed constant power and cadence drops down to zero for 1sec then back up to a reading then another 15sec and same would repeat again.

    When I switched the FR935 connection to bluetooth it appeared to resolve the issue. I would prefer to use ANT+ for both connections as I never had this issue with the stages. I am worried I have a dodgy unit and surprisingly Garmin support has been more than useless and offered no solution as yet.

    • Which Vector 3 firmware version are you on?

    • Benn Clemence

      3.30 the most recent one

    • Steven Knapp

      do both devices have the same settings? crank length etc…?

    • Theo

      This is a communications problem that affects Vector 3S on firmware 3.00, 3.15 or 3.30, when using ANT+ to broadcast to Edge or Forerunner units. The next firmware version will resolve the underlying cause. This does not affect Vector 3 (dual sided) units unless there is a conflict in settings between the different head units; and it does not affect the BLE link.

  8. Chris McReynolds

    It looks like the “battery” issue is huge, especially while trying to add BLE power metrics while also running (in theory) ANT+ Cycling Dynamics. The control panels are also very weak. No doubt Garmin has plenty of development tools that they could integrate in to some advanced troubleshooting modes for the paying plebs out there. At the very least for running reports that can be forwarded to Garmin’s techs.

    I honestly do not understand how a company that got in to top level sports metrics through top level sponsorship can still be putting out products at this level of development. The hardware is superb. The Cycling Dynamics and other protocols are top of the heap. The firmware and software tools are truly horrible. It doesn’t seem like the engineers win many important arguments at Garmin HQ.

    My suggestion is, rather than debating which industry labeling standard is supposedly superior (LR versus SR), how about getting Garmin in record as to design spec for optimal voltage and when the “low” signal is triggered. These are very precisely measurable. That’s far, far more useful than wondering if the magical lablels are going to make a difference. I measure the voltage before putting batteries in. The LRs that I used started with 1.6 to 1.7 volts. The batteries as shipped with the Vector 3 reported “low” (but no sign of failure) at 1.4V.

    The reason that this matters is that the batteries Garmin shipped with my Vector 3s went “low” after about 7 hours of recorded sessions (with Cycling Dynamics) and maybe 1 hour total of testing. It’s not known how long it takes for the units to go in to sleep mode so I can’t say for sure how long exactly these batteries are going to last under the current firmware or as designed. I know that Garmin has massive problems and contradictory design goals. Having a more precise handle on battery voltage specs and real world performance is helpful in triangulating and narrowing down problems. Garmin is also propagating this idea that moisture and and battery compartment defects can lead to problems but because of how they handle tech bulletins they are just propagating this idea that you try a litany of solutions until you’re happy. How about teaching people how to actually measure things that are easily measured? Vector 3s have the potential of ruining Garmin’s brand among serious athletes and engineers.

    They should also “fork” the development for BLE so that users can choose to ignore firmware that is used for BLE power. Perhaps 3 “tangs” for the fork can be current path (ANT+ and BLE with power metrics), BLE power only, and ANT+ only (aside from being stuck with Bluetooth as an admin tool). I’d even be happy with firmware pushed over ANT+ only for that path if that is feasible. Customers will be happier and so will the engineers because this would solve a lot of problems.

  9. Benn Clemence

    Ray

    I really think you need to amend your in depth review. I purchased this product based on your review, which I trust. I will be looking for another source of information in the future, as i feel let down as I have made many purchases based on your reviews.

    I have just purchased a brand new Vector 3 and am having un-told issues already with power drops and no explanation or support from Garmin. I will be in the refund camp I think. I will hang on for another week or so maybe.

    • I did amend my review (three times since January), did you read the amended sections above?

    • Benn Clemence

      Quotes from the “Summary” of the review. May be worth addressing if these still apply. With the apparent magnitude of the issues being presented with no real solutions.

      “It’s easy to say that Vector 3 is Garmin’s best power meter yet.”

      “Third time’s the charm”

      To be fair I haven’t owned previous versions of the vector but my goodness if this is the best yet the others must have been pants.

  10. David Killen

    Ray, I’m having issues with right pedal missing on an ongoing basis. I’m not the only one. Another buddy has the same issue which on looking into seems to be linked to the battery compartment. What are Garmin doing about this if anything?

  11. nHerrero

    Yesterday I replaced the batteries and I noticed that the new Duracells where SIGNIFICANTLY thinner than the stock Vartas. When you stack them up and compare them there’s easily a 1mm+ difference between them.

    No wonder the are fretting and loss of contact issues, over 1mm is a huge gap to bridge just with the give and pressure of the PCB contact spring.

    I haven’t ridden with the duracells yet but i’m not even gonna try. I went right ahead and ordered some Varta replacements. They are cheaper than the Duracells, too…

  12. George Hotopan

    Hi guys,

    Some updates on my side:

    I am currently on 42hours usage with the Vectors 3. I am still on firmware v2.3. So far I have had no problems with bad connections or pedal dropouts or any abnormal Watt values/spikes. Everything seems to be consistent and OK so far.

    However, now my Wahoo Bolt shows my right pedal battery level as being LOW and the left one as GOOD, even though on my Android GC app(v.4.5.1) the level of the battery (probably overall level left+right) is GOOD with the maximum bars. How long do you think I could go on until I will see improper behaviour of the pedals (power dropouts etc…) and will have to change the batteries? Also is it normal that the Bolt only shows the right pedal as LOW, shouldn’t both batteries drain at more or less constant rate?

    Do you advise me to update the firmware considering that I have had no problems so far? I have home both Duracell LR44 as well as Duracell CR1/3N batteries. Which one do you recommend based on your previous experience (power dropouts, pedal disconnection, durability, etc…)?

    Your feedback is greatly appreciated!!!

    Cheers,

    George.

    • Yakov

      George,
      From my experience, you can still use the pedals until 80 hrs before replacing the batteries.
      Even though I’ve used the recommended LR44 batteries, I would recommend you to go with the CR1/3N.

      As for the GC app battery indication, it’s depends on the checking time. If you check it few minutes after stop pedaling you will get the full bar indication. If you check it seconds after pedaling, you will get low indication.

      I didn’t update my firmware as I don’t want to spoil if there is no need.
      I don’t know how software can truly fix a real dropouts and not just cover/fillter. I hope it’s not just a patch and that there is no effect on the whole operation (accuracy?)

    • George Hotopan

      Hi Yakov,

      Thanks for your input. It is greatly appreciated. Then, when time comes I will first try to swap the old batteries with ghe CR1/3N. For the moment being I will keep the firmware version as itvstands, v2.3 as I have not seen any misbehaviour.

      I wish you all a great day!

      George.

  13. zlatko

    hey ray.

    i got hooked on power training, so i bought yearly subscription for your analyzer. could you comment on my todays wokout. calibrated direto and vectors. it seems they track well, beside few watts of ffset, which i presume are normal

    link to analyze.dcrainmaker.com

    • I’d say that looks pretty good if you ask me. You see a bit of separation at the low end during your recovery between intervals (~112w vs ~121w), but I suspect that’s because you’re hitting the resistance floor on your Direto for the specific gear you’re in. Typically you’d see some variances in accuracy for many trainers when you get below that resistance floor (you can tweak your gearing to maintain a higher speed, even in ERG mode).

      But once you clear that value, the two units are incredibly close – roughly 3 watts or so, which seems spot on.

      (P.S. Fixed your link from your second comment into your first one. P.P.S. – Thanks for giving the Analyzer a whirl!)

  14. stuart bailey

    So I have been following this thread with interest. I’ve had my Vector 3S since february and haven’t had too any issues with it other than sometimes taking a few attempts to zero offset it when I switch it between bikes.

    Although today I finally got the low battery warning on my Wahoo bolt. This is obviously crunch time when it comes to this product, so I was wondering if there was a consensus on the brand and type of battery to use? Given the comments on here, there is no doubt the type impacts the life and dropouts on the device…. Any feedback would be appreciated.

  15. was a satisfied user with vector 3 for round about three months.
    Three weeks ago one of my vector pedal lost accidentally the battery cover, which i realized a few kilometers later.
    Tried do contact the Garmin Service for a replacement part but it seems that due to design failure of the battery section in the pedals the cover, maybe even the whole pedal is going to get reingeneered by Garmin and so no replacement parts for the old vector 3 pedals, only 4 months after they were released to the market, are available.
    Strange Situation and three weeks after contacting customer suppor still no solution for this minor Problem.
    Sorry to say but I wouldn’ t buy the pedals again.

  16. Rick

    Hey guys/Ray,

    Some more confusing info from my side on the vector 3. I ordered them last week through a retailer in my area. I had called them before ordering with the qeustion when they would expect new sets to arrive. They responded that their order was currently scheduled at week 20, but that they could of course not do anything if there were delivery issues Garmins side. They promised me to call garmin to verify week 20.

    Today I was called again by my retailer who told me that the current date was still set at week 20, but that Garmin could not guarantee it. This was caused, he told me, because Garmin encountered serious production errors in the product they first had to solve, before they could ship out new units. He got his information after having a conversation with the Garmin staff (of course I dont know who he spoke to specifically).

    This is rather confusing, since on both the Garmin forum and here I see Garmin staff members posting that units are being shipped every week, contrary to what was told to my retailer. This adds up to the confusion about the status of the product. I believe that Garmin should be a little more clear and consistent in its newsgiving about where they stand in the production, replacement and problemsolving of the vector 3.

    I am currently patiently waiting until I receive my order, and I am (almost) sure that Garmin will supply me with a satisfying product, but I am not quite at ease with how they communicate any challenges they encounter on the supply, updates etc. I sincerely hope that this will be improved in the future.

  17. Jay

    Just purchased a pair of vector 3’s a week or so ago. Last night, I after my ride, discovered a spike in my ride file of ~2500 watts. I’m certainly capable of anything close to that. Have you seen anything like that in any of your ride files with these pedals? Also experienced a couple messages of right pedal missing, but did some single leg pedaling when I got home and both pedals were giving wattage readings. Didn’t think to do this when the message first appeared unfortunately. Thoughts?
    Thank you!

    • Ken Ridout

      I don’t mind a momentary spike like that. Stuff happens. Problem is: I can’t seem to eliminate the spike from Strava. So there it is forever. Anyone know how a spike like that can be eliminated?

    • Dan

      Ray had a post on fixing. Fit files awhile back if I remember correctly.
      Here’s a website that you can download your data and correct it. One of the links is to eliminate power spikes. I had to do that once after riding over railroad tracks.
      https://www.fitfiletools.com

    • Yup, FitFileTools rocks! So much so that I hired the developer to create the DCR Analyzer. :)

      You can fix the spikes quickly, and then re-upload manually to Strava, or have it upload to Strava. You will have to delete your old Strava activity though, so you’ll lose any comments/kudos on that one.

      Fwiw, I don’t accept any spikes from power meters (I’d rather a dropout than a spike), because of exactly the reason you noted. Even moreso on platforms like Training Peaks, Today’s Plan, and Xert, whereby those spikes can have pretty devastating effects for various metrics. Albeit, most of those platforms allow removal of spikes. And one of them (I think it’s Today’s Plan), even allows you to set a power ceiling, so that anything above that value is automatically discarded.

      Thus for me, I’d set that ceiling at about 1,100w – since I know I can’t get above that. Anything above that is fake data.

      Finally, since you just got your pedals and may not have read all 660 comments here, short version: Update your firmware, that should resolve many spike situations (at least till the new battery caps arrive).

    • Yakov

      Ray,
      “Update your firmware, that should resolve many spike situations (at least till the new battery caps arrive)”.

      1) Is that saying there will be a global recall on battery caps?
      2) does it mean that the current firmware contains a petch?
      3) if so, will it be removed after supplying the new caps?
      Thanks,
      Yakov.

    • Hi-

      1) Not sure on “recall”. Garmin noted above (as well as a noted to me) that they’re working on starting shipping of caps. They were hoping to circle back shortly with the details on how exactly that’ll go. I don’t know yet whether that’s everyone or not. Personally, I think they should just send everyone new caps and be done with it. Else, they’ll continue to get dogged by it if they only send to people that have put in support tickets. Proactive is better than reactive, and caps are cheap and easy to ship (and far less costly than endless support tickets). Either way, I hope to hear very shortly. As soon as I do, I’ll post here (and I suspect they will as well).

      2) The most recent firmware update does contain a number of fixes. Garmin believes that with the most current firmware and the upcoming new pod caps, that it should resolve all outstanding issues for units. The only exception would be units that got threaded, which would need to contact support to get handled. Note, I believe that more precise guidance on specific batteries is needed, which I told them in person two weeks ago.

      3) I think this is answered in #1/2.

      Cheers.

    • Jay

      Thank you Ken, Dan and Ray!

    • George Hotopan

      Hi Ray,

      I fully stand by your remark, in the sense that Garmin should send everyone the new battery caps once they are ready to be shipped. This way they would avoid the whole hassle of receiving on a daily/weekly basis requests from customers which are affected by battery cap issues. One important aspect is that, even though a user might not have currently issues, this does not mean that he/she is free of such problems, at least once they do a first, second or third battery change (as it seems that the original design has had some flaws….).

      I look forward to see Garmin’s statement and way of resolution on this fragile topic. As said, in my opinion the best would be, once the new cap design is ready to be shipped, Garmin (through its network of dealers, or on a basis of – customer contacts directly Garmin giving the serial number on the pedals) takes initiative and sends customers the new battery caps.

      Cheers guys!

      George.

    • Chris Smith

      Totally agree with George on this one. Garmin should be contacting existing users and advising they will all be issued with new/ updated battery caps,in due course, unless the customer declines the offer.
      I feel as though I am holding a time bomb (metorphorically) with my pedals. They have been flawless sine my last battery change at the end of April (used with Zwift) but today on my first IRL ride, I suffered numerous right pedal missing alerts on my Edge 520, from about halfway through the ride. I carried on with the ride but noticed that my power was some 50-75 watts down on what I had been doing for the 1st half. The downloaded stats post ride confirmed this. I may, I stress may have had a problem with the battery cover on the right pedal. I checked post ride and it seemed a little loose. I tightened it to 1.5 N/m on my torque wrench and hope that this has resolved it, but I still feel as though I will have further issues down the track. If I get past my warranty period will Garmin then hang me out to dry, should I experience any battery cover issues.
      C’mon Garmin. Get existing customers contacted and send them the new covers.

  18. zmansbr

    After much trepidation reading this thread, I embarked on my first battery replacement for my 3S purchased late December. To date, I’ve had zero problems with these pedals.

    In short, it was a piece of cake. Of course having Garmin’s guide helped…
    – Unscrewed the cap counting turns. Yes indeed it pops out after 1.75 turns of the allen key.

    – Used rare earth magnet to pull batteries out. Piece of cake.

    – Inspected tape and metal prongs. Both prongs were sticking up just right. The tape on one side did not come up all the way as described. I tried tugging on it with a tweeters but no go. I figured : leave it alone. Besides I was using a single Duracell CR1/3N.

    – Inspected the bottom of the pedal well to see if the positive prong was sticking up. Yes indeed.

    – Inserted the battery and then inserted the cap. But before turning clockwise, I backed off until it sort of fell into the grooves. Then I advanced. It started to get snug after 1.25 turns. I kept going until it was not quite tight feeling. Possibly too loose?

    – Instantly paired it to my iPhone GC app with no problems. Battery 100%. Unpaired it.

    – Fired up my MacBook Zwift using my Kickr and it instantly found my Garmin. However, for a brief nightmare instant, power was reporting “–“. I went back out to the pairing screen and it fixed itself. I rode for 10 minutes and it worked perfectly.

    – Knock on wood, crossingfingers, hopefully no dropouts coming.

    One happy customer.

    • Dembo

      I raced a (B-) race on Sunday and noticed two things regarding dropouts when recording the power readings of one set of Vector 3 with a Wahoo Bolt and a Garmin Forerunner 735XT (link to analyze.dcrainmaker.com):

      Right at the (flying) start I noticed a power dropout on the Bolt – probably while crossing the starting line which would cause quite some electromagnetic chatter due a ton of time chips chirping away quite happily (see the attached picture). So I guess when you try to diagnose dropouts and you happen to have to devices that can record ANT+ data: Run them both and see whether that changes things.

      In addition when you look at the whole set, you can see quite a few spikes in the Wahoo data only – these more than often record as one pedal giving a rather large power and the other reporting zero (e.g. at 1:57:37). Again: the 735XT didn’t record this.

      I am not saying, it is all about the computer and that all Vector 3 units are fine – just if you happen to have the chance recording two tracks do so and see what’s going on.

  19. MAGNUS

    Contacted support… After back and forth they offered/caved and put in order to send replacement pedals. Was given the option to ‘wait in line’ due to limited availability (eta 6-8 weeks) or pay deposit to have replacement sent next business day. IMO this was quite sh*ty. I don’t mind paying the deposit but explaining that due to availability the wait time would be 6-8 weeks when clearly they have some (or a few or whatever) available to ship is not the best route in communicating with your core customers.

    Anyway, I received my replacement pedals. Installed and setup without issue. Paired with my watch and edge no problem… Howver, about 5-7 minutes into my ride they disconnected and never reconnected.

    WTF!

    • Not sure on the disconnect/reconnect thing. However…

      You definitely should not have been upcharged to get units shipped right away (I could perhaps see a slight upcharge for overnight delivery, but even that given the situation is questionable). You should have been able to have a unit shipped out the next business day (and arrived whenvever it arrived).

      I met with Garmin again about it on Friday, and they assured that virtually all regions now have replacement units on-hand (or would, by early this week). US definitely does, which is where you are (and they have had for a bit now). The only regions that might not quite yet are distributor-led ones (such as Israel), whereby Garmin doesn’t have an official support office there and they need to stock distributors that deal with support.

      Again, no reason you should have been basically held hostage for paying an overnight fee versus 6-8 weeks, unless there was simply a miscommunication. I suspect the 6-8 week period was for new Vector 3 units with new pods (new battery pods/caps by themselves are days away from being shipped to the masses).

    • Robert

      I have been dealing with this for five months across three sets of pedals, one battery door/holder and PCB replacement, multiple battery changes with various battery combinations and installation suggestions, several firmware/software updates, provision of documenting photographs and .fit files, countless emails and phone calls, and thousands of road miles. One thing is absolutely clear, whatever the problem is the parts currently in the supply chain do not resolve it.

    • Joel

      ”new battery pods/caps by themselves are days away from being shipped to the masses”.
      This is news! Can you elaborate?

      Also, is 6-8 weeks your view on the waiting if one orders vector 3 now?

      Best regards

    • MAGNUS

      No miscommunication… The rep I spoke to clearly said ‘you can wait until June 20-June 22 before more units are available to ship… or, if you want to pay now, we can ship your replacement on Monday’…. I called on a Friday.

      As you said, if they dont want to spring for overnight, give me the option to pay for overnight costs, but don’t force it upon your customers.

      One question, are current replacement units the same design as the original or new design? I’m almost scared to open them in fear that I’m going to have the same issue as before.

    • Andy

      My battery pod kit is shipping May 31 and I put in the service call May 1.

    • MAGNUS

      Had a chance to get my second ride in with the replacement pedals… I took the batteries out and put them back in after having my pedals disconnect on my first ride.

      Pedals connected immediately, but like my first ride, they disconnected a few minutes into my ride… Although this time after about 3-5 minutes they re-connected and stayed connected.

      Also, this was the first time these (Vector 3, not replacement units) tracked within 1-2% of my Kickr17. My original units were always 6-7% higher.

  20. stubs

    Ray, interested to know your thoughts on this situation.

    I’ve had my vector 3S since feb and haven’t had too many issues with them. I had been using your analyser for a number of workouts when I first got them and noticed the vectors would read in the realm of 10watts higher than my flux trainer when recorded separately on my bolt. This didn’t really bother me as this was likely in the expected error + drivechain losses and it was pretty consistent in this regard..

    However, I did the firmware update and changed the batteries (energiser) last week and since then the Vectors are reading consistently lower than the flux on the data files when I put them in the analyser…

    I’m using Trainerroad, always calibrate both trainer and vectors before each ride and using the same recording set up before.. the only thing that has changed is my chain is waxed instead of using normal lube.. however I doubt this is the cause.. Any idea why this might be happening? Usually, I wouldn’t be too fussed, but I’m doing a triathlon this week and it’s really thrown a spanner in the works for my pacing!

    • Hmm, odd.

      Honestly, with two conflicting data sources it’s always hard to know which is which, especially when they’re relatively close (such as 10w). Obviously the wax would certainly impact power on the Flux side, but not that much that it would invert the relationship entirely.

      I wish I had some good advice for you, but without a 3rd data source and with the numbers in the same ‘sanity check ballpark’, I don’t know which is right. It sounds like you’ve done all the right things in terms of calibration/roll-down/etc too.

    • Richard

      Stubs,
      Check the V3 file for dropouts. If you changed batteries, I would expect dropouts and they make you averages lower! That’s watch happend to me. Now I use cork under the contact and all is fine again. Never trust Garmin on V3’s

    • stuart bailey

      Thanks Richard, I do get very brief dropouts occasionally, but they don’t seem to be recorded in the data files. I was more interested on the second to second power recordings between the trainer and vectors.

      For some reason they are now spot on, which leads me to believe that maybe when you switch them between bikes they need more than a few hard sprints!

    • stuart bailey

      Yeah has me stumped. My most recent workout had them actually reading very close together! I do wonder if the mode on TR has anything to do with it or even if there is consistency with the TR spin down.

      Also, do you know how to get my files on the analyser to match up more closely? All my data files seem to have a ~20s lag between them, which is weird because I start them at the same time and I use the bolt outside for a ride at least a couple of times a week.

    • Within the Analyzer you can correct for time differences by using the time offset option (click on a given file at the bottom for the options, and enter it in seconds). i.e. 20 = 20 seconds forward, whereas -20 equals shifting 20 seconds back.

      I also uploaded a video on using the Analyzer (link to dcrainmaker.com) – and the part where I show how to shift offsets is at ~8:00

  21. chris

    I Have had the vector 3 for four months. First set lasted two months then Right sensor missing started to happen.Complete drop outs for minutes then half power figures. Returned to Garmin at my own expense.Received Brand new set., three rides in Right sensor missing and now every ride this happens almost immediately.Contacted Garmin today to be told this was a known problem they do not know the solution but they will email me as soon as they know what is happening.I was told to keep hold of my pedals and wait for an update.So now am left with no PM for training.Hoping that this means they can just send out some new doors when they have them.But They could not tell me this.Very frustrating and the lack of a clear solution & timescale worrying.Fingers crossed this is resolved quickly

  22. Dale

    Just got mine on Friday. Went for a 3 hour ride on Sunday. Way too dropouts to count in the first 39 minutes alone. Contacted Garmin Monday and sent them the ride file and pictures of the battery holders. Waiting to here back.

    Sad to say, but my $299 PowerPod outperformed the $1000 Vectors on my ride…at least it gave me usable data.

  23. ms

    I spoke with Garmin CS today and was told things of note.

    First, the new redesigned battery doors/holders would start shipping by late May & would be shipped automatically to registered owners.

    Second, they will supply the doors to all users, even if not the original owner.

  24. RDT

    Started using Vector 3 pedals on an indoor spin bike – December 5, 2017. They worked flawlessly for 1.5 months….14 x 90 minute classes (approx. 20 hours…WAY short of the advertised “up to 120 hours”). Then the batteries needed to be changed and everything went to hell….same old story: constant drop-outs, right pedal signal loss, battery fretting, crazy power spikes (yes, I’d love to actually kick out 2200 watts), etc. Updating to 3.3 software seemed to help, as did adding Mineral Oil between the batteries…and then the electrical tape inside the covers failed. Now I’ve been playing with adding tape to the outside of new batteries. Battery life has been short…to say the least. Seems like getting the exact Varta spec battery might help…although supermarket Duracell and other brands work as long as you don’t mix/match manufacturers and use the same battery specs (LR44 or SR44) within each pedal.

    In theory, the pedals are outstanding. Just used them for 2 hours at the local Velodrome (track bike) and they didn’t glitch once….knock on wood. The battery cover issue will hopefully be addressed soon. These batteries need replacing frequently so there’s no avoiding the essential nature of the user-friendly and effective battery cover.

    Garmin support has been responsive and understanding. They’re currently sending a replacement set of covers…still the old flawed design…but that should provide 20+ hours of use before everything goes to hell again. I was told late May for the re-engineered covers….but realistically I’m expecting June – July. Really hoping there’s a complete and effective fix.

    RT

    • ms

      Try plumbers Teflon tape. Thinner than electrical tape and seems to work pending redesigned battery doors.

    • zmansbr

      Use a single CR1/3N. Doesn’t require tape at all as long as you don’t install the batter upside down.

    • RDT

      I’ll try the Teflon tape. The CR 1/3N (3v) options seems like a remarkably simple alternative to the 2 x 1.5v fretting problem and electrical tape issues. Why hasn’t Garmin suggested it?

      RT

  25. Graham MacRaild

    been using a G3 as my portable/switchable PM..however have 10 and 11 speed conflicts going on and to make switching easier considering a set of pedals. This article has swayed me from P1s to Vector 3S, seems to be lighter, more accurate, lower profile, longer battery etc however I’m wondering about pedal bearings, ease (can I replace??) and cost (of parts or entire service). Can you comment on this pls Ray?

  26. David

    Just to add my tuppence-worth to the unfortunate “few” .
    I have been right through ALL of the comments on these V3 pedals after my pedals began to play up recently with all of the issues Identified by others on this site.
    I live in Australia and ordered the pedals in November 2017 via the Garmin Australia website. Surprisingly the pedals arrived from the U.S. only 2 to 4 weeks later. I was impressed by the quality and performance of them.
    However, following the first battery change (at around 30 hours) I began to experience the drop outs etc. I have the latest 3.30 update and will carry out the various temporary fixes mentioned on this site. Hopefully this will keep me going until there is a permanent fix.
    I will contact Garmin tomorrow regarding the supply of either the new battery pods/caps (“doors”) or a replacement set of pedals (with the hardware updates) or a refund. I would prefer the new battery caps as I am reluctant to ship the pedals back to the US unless Garmin Australia do this at their cost.
    Hopefully Garmin can come up with the goods without too much hassle as I would prefer to stick with them as all of my other garmin stuff has been excellent. I’ll let you know how I go.

    • Adrian

      Hi David! I am in a very similar situation and would really like to know if there are any updates on your case. Has Garmin provided any Information on how they want to solve the problem? I’d be surprised if they offered an actual refund, though.
      Cheers!

  27. Gav

    Hi Ray

    Please can you assist? I’ve just installed the vector 3s pedals and updated the firmware and did the calibration. Also connected fine to my fenix 5 but no power data is showing only cadence. Have you experience this before?

    Your help would be greatly appreciated

    • I vaguely remember someone having this problem some months ago (like December or something), but I can’t remember whether I saw it here or on the Garmin forums. Which power field specifically are you using, how long did you pedal for, and did you press start (as some specific fields won’t show anything till start is pressed).

    • Gav

      Hi Ray

      Thanks so much for the reply. Appreciate it!

      I’ve tried “Power”, Normalized Power”, Average Power”, “%FTP”, “Work”. Nothing shows. Only cadence. I’ve pedaled a few minutes at a time. I’ve tried on ant+ and Bluetooth. Yes i did press start on both “Bike Indoor” and “Bike” profile.

      Thanks

    • Sounds like you’ve tried all the norms. For fun, if you haven’t yet (but my guess is you have since you have both ANT+/BLE sides in there), remove Vector 3 entirely from your watch. Then power off the Fenix 5.

      Then power it back on again and re-add/pair the sensor. Else, I think you’ll have to give Garmin a ring to figure out if it’s a Fenix issue or a Vector issue.

      For fun, you could use a quick phone app to test for it showing power via BLE (if you have Zwift/TrainerRoad/etc those would all work, or even the Wahoo Fitness free app should show power from Vector 3 as a sensor).

    • Gav

      I have tried it with trainer road and the wahoo app. Shows cadence but no power.

      I’ll have to contact Garmin. Thanks for the assistance Ray

  28. Jay

    just saw on the forum someone posted they got rid of spikes and drop outs using energizer batteries? vs duracell batteries in which person was experiencing numerous dropouts and spikes. Any insights on this?
    Thanks in advance!

    • Charlie

      I’ve experienced drop-outs and spikes with 3 different brands of batteries.

    • Ken Ridout

      On Saturday, I finally installed the CR 1/3 N batteries that I bought several weeks ago. For the first time, I experienced absolutely no drop-outs or “Right Pedal Sensor Missing” or any other problems during 2 long, hard, road race rides.

      I think that much of the problem is due to the electrical connection where the 2-batteries contact each other. I’ve found some black residue on them where they make that contact. The CR 1/3N batteries with 3 volts from one battery case seem to have eliminated that as a problem source.

      The latest firmware eliminated the spikes and most of the “Right Pedal Sensor Missing” error messages. The new single-package batteries may have eliminated any other issues I had experienced.

      link to amazon.com

  29. MAGNUS

    Following up to share my experience with my replacement pedals.

    Takes a while to connect but still continue to experience numerous drops throughout each/every ride. I’ve tried removing/add sensors repeatedly. Trying both Ant+ and BLE. And even though the replacement pedals are only two weeks old I went ahead and replaced the batteries. Still, no luck.

    So incredibly frustrating to say the least.

  30. Robert

    I have had the Vector 3 since December and have thousands of road miles on them. I have experienced most of the problems described in these comments. I am on my third pair of pedals and second set of battery doors and PCBs. I have installed each and every software/firmware update. I have had scores of communications with Garmin support staff and have tried several of the solutions described in this forum and others. Garmin is very much aware of the problems and, I have been told, hopes to soon distribute redesigned battery doors to all purchasers. Until that happens the “fixes” described herein will at best resolve things temporarily. To those that have not yet purchased these pedals my advice is to wait until the redesigned battery doors are included and have been proven to work. To those that have purchased the pedals and are experiencing problems, try the fixes if you like but, ultimately, you (we) will have to be patient a little longer.

  31. Nicolas

    hello,

    can someone post a picture of the new redesigned battery doors / caps?

    thanks a lot

    • To my knowledge nobody has received those yet. I think some people a while back may have received via support some test ones, but not the final production ones.

    • Andy Downs

      Having continued power drops and right side sensor issues, I today (29th May) specifically asked garmin support if the new battery doors would be sent automatically or whether i had to request them (my pedals are registered and i had previously reported the issue to garmin support). I was told I would have to request them, support then offered to do this there and then. delivery 2 weeks. not sure if there are different processes UK / US / EU.

  32. DRowley

    Ordered Vector 3 on March 13th from Competitive. Received them on May 1st. I have only been on a few rides, but was constantly getting right pedal drop out. Didn’t bother me too much, figured it was signal interference. Then I read this discussion, and wondered if I made a wise choice. Pretty discouraging to say the least.

    This morning I downloaded beta release 3.44. Went for a short ride. Right pedal dropped out once, but then stayed steady. The release notes don’t say anything specifically concerning a right pedal dropout issue was fixed, but lets hope it helps.

  33. Chris Furner

    Looks like auto-shipping of new battery doors is starting soon.
    I got a notice for new battery doors. That is great except the shipping address they are sending them to is an address I have not lived at for almost 10 years, and that address is nowhere on my Garmin account. They made this same mistake when they sent the last set of battery doors. Had to wait an additional week due to their screw-up.

    Emailed social@garmin.com and asked for a follow-up, no response so far. Would be nice if someone would let me know that this is handled.

    CHECK YOUR EMAIL, read your Garmin email and make sure the shipping address is correct.

  34. JimBob

    Hi,
    Does anyone now what the display is on the Edge computer with the left and right power phase, platform offsets time standing?
    Thanks

  35. Christian

    Hi
    Essentially I have the same issues as many of you. Premature low battery at my right pedal, power spikes / Drops after replacement and now complete loss of right pedal connection. As a heavy Garmin user I am really appaled by this experience.
    All the fixes have not worked. Therefore in the meantime this question: is it actually possible to use the left pedal only and let it behave as a Vector 3 S model, simply doubling power? So far I managed to ride with the left power readings only but this is of course only half of the truth :-)
    I am using a Garmin Edge 1030 as head unit.
    Thanks,
    Christian

    • Ken Ridout

      Christian, yes. You have to turn the right pedal OFF in the software. Then, the set works like the single-sensor Vector 3S. You don’t have to double the power reading to get the information. It gives the total power your producing from the left pedal, only.
      I did that when the right pedal sensor missing problems just got too annoying and chronic to deal with any more. A firmware update from Garmin fixed 99% of my issues. I turned the right pedal back ON to fully restore the set.

      Ken

  36. George Hotopan

    Just a quick update on my set of Vectors:

    I am now on 80h+ with the Garmin V3 and today I started to experience two power/cadence dropouts (the fields started displaying — instead of numbers) of about 20sec in average: one was halfway through my loop and the second was 2 km before the finish. Moreover checking now the status of the batteries in my Garmin connect app, the level is at its minimum, indicating LOW and in red.

    What I want to say with this is that I am I guess among the lucky owners or should I say not among the unlucky ones respect to the life of the batteries. However I fear somehow that the moment I change the batteries I will start experiencing the same issues many of you folks had, and that would be a disaster for me considering in a month time I have the event I have been preparing this year: Maratona dles Dolomites.

    I have both kinds of batteries (CR1/3N and LR44). Which one do you recommend? I didn’t go through the instructions yet, but is there an order in which the batteries should be changed? (e.g. right pedal first and then the left or viceversa).

    Please give your comments!!!

    I wish you all a nice day,

    George.

  37. David Barnes

    I was experiencing all of the commented problems with my v3 pedals. This occurred after the first battery change
    using LR44 batteries. I have now fitted CR1/3N batteries and so far everything is working great again. It will be interesting to see the new battery doors and how Garmin have (hopefully) remedied the problem. Presumably the new doors will still use the LR44 batteries. The CR1/3N batteries are probably a lower cost online compared to buying LR44 batteries from retail shops. The ones I bought are “no name” so it will be interesting to see how long they last.

    • Steven Knapp

      George, David, Garmin commented on this in their forums a bit.

      The key take away I saw was to be very careful to avoid shorts and putting the battery in backwards.

      The internal resistance of the CR1/3N is much lower than the LR44 hence when shorted it can deliver more current and could cause damage where the LR44 might not.

      I had changed my batteries with new LR44 without issue. If you need to, be very careful and follow the advice Garmin provides.

    • George Hotopan

      Hi Steven,

      Thanks for replying. I know, I have read some of the comments. My question was more in order to get an update from various sources and users in order to build myself a statistic on the percentage of successful replacements of the batteries and whether or not the CR1/3N could be better than the LR44.

      I won’t play around and try first with LR44 as per Garmin’s instructions. I went through the document on best practices of battery replacement and did not see a specific order to do the change left Vs right, so any order works I guess.

      Either today or tomorrow I will do the replacement and install fresh LR44 and keep you posted on the outcome.

      Meanwhile, any feedback or experiences from other users are welcomed.

      Cheers,

      George.

    • Steven Knapp

      Some of the issues appear to be the junction between the two LR44 batteries. Hence the recommendation for “just a dab” of mineral oil there. The CR1/3N is a single cell, even internally, so it won’t have this issue. Also some CR1/3N (at least the ones I purchased) come wrapped with an insulating layer, which makes Garmin’s tape somewhat redundant.

      Order, left vs right, should not matter at all.

      I found removing the batteries to be the most challenging. More so without tapping the holder on my bench and damaging the contacts. Also pulling them out at an angle with a screwdriver could possibly damaging the tape. The magnet method Garmin suggested is brilliant.

    • George Hotopan

      Hi Stveven,

      Thanks for your recommendations. Respect to the battery change I already have some smaller and larger size magnets which should ease the job hopefully, so using a screwdriver is out of question.

      Respect to the use of mineral/ baby oil, I only have chain type lube/oil. The one I have and should resemble mineral oil is from Morgan Blue, syn lube course (no teflon or ceramic based, so hopefully it will work).

      Your comments are welcomed and appreciated.

      Cheers!

    • Steven Knapp

      I rubbed/wiped the new battery surface against the old which transferred enough oil to the new cells. I suspect this works only once. ;)

      I’d think the oil you mention would be OK, but I don’t know for sure. As long as you use *very* little of it such that it’s only on the batteries I’d think it’s OK. You don’t want oil getting all over the internals of the pedal electronics.

      FYI, 16oz of mineral oil can be had for 2USD at most drug stores, it is sold as a laxative.

    • George Hotopan

      Just a quick update folks,

      I replaced the old batteries. It all went smooth, the insulating tape was not wrinkled at all and after placing the new Duracell LR44 batteries it remained as in the beginning – no problems whatsoever. Moreover, to remove the old batteries out, I did not use the magnet I had prepared, I did it gently by hand (you could say I have a surgeon’s hands…) and it all went smooth as silk.

      The only concern I had was not to over-tighten the battery door into the pedal body due to the plastic threads in the body. Therefore, I did the recommended 1 and 3/4 of a turn. After this step I was surprised by the fact that both pedals are now spinning more easily as before: if in the beginning I would leave the pedal horizontally and it would barely-barely turn on its own weight, now it turns easily and if I spin them, they do a bit more than 1 full turn. Before when on the bike, I had to look longer for the proper pedal position in order to engage with the cleats due to this fact. This makes me think that from factory they might have been over-tightened. Could this be true? How is it in others case? Now they spin much more easily, but then it makes me wonder if I should tighten them just a tad more…However, I am afraid of causing any damage to the plastic threads. Shawn@Garmin, do you have any feedback on this? I do not want to fall onto the other side, and possibly loose one of the battery doors during a ride… To me, the tightening feels just right and snug.

      Ok, moving on, next I spinned the crank backwards and after 20 green blinks from the left pedal’s LED, the Wahoo Bolt unit detected my Vectors. Next, I did a manual calibration to check this was working fine, and voila, calibration successfully performed. Next step, I checked via Garmin Connect (Android version) the status of the pedals, both pedals are being shown and the battery status indicator is at MAX.

      The final step is to go out, ride and check whether or not I see something unusual. Unfortunately the next 2-3 days, I am out and will not able to do that. Saturday or Sunday however I will be able to do this and I will let you all know.

      But so far, except the small concern I have regarding the tightness of the battery doors, the signs are positive. Shawn@Garmin or others with experience on this topic I would really appreciate your input.

      Cheers guys and thanks to all for your valuable comments!

      George.

    • George Hotopan

      Update:

      I managed to get out today and a 55km loop. The battery replacement seems to have been successful. No dropouts whatsoever and the power figures (max, average, pedal smoothness L/R balance) seem all as before the replacement.
      So far, after one ride, everything seems OK!

      Will keep you updated if something changes and also on the battery life of this second set of batteries (Duracell LR44). By the way, what I forgot to mention in the previous post is that I also applied one small drop of oil on the contacts of the batteries.

  38. Bill Sandoe

    Old guy still riding as hard as possible.

    • Ken Ridout

      I received my re-designed battery doors from Garmin just now. They are indeed “redesigned”, but it’s very subtle.

    • Ken Ridout

      Basically, the conductor that is the recess on the sides, no longer needs that little bitty square of tape. Instead, the conductors run up from the inside base of the door; and then turn deeper into the side before terminating with the contact point at the end. This eliminates the possibility of the conductor touching the top battery case.

    • RDT

      Yes, the one on the left of your photo is the re-designed door. Just had 1 delivered today. Problem is….I own 2 pedals! It’s always something. I emailed Garmin and will follow up with a phone call when the wait isn’t over an hour.

  39. MAGNUS

    Got my second pair of replacement pedals today along with the redesigned cap… As noted earlier, the change is there, but it’s subtle.

    [img]https://i.imgur.com/6z72sYI.jpg[/img]

    [img]https://i.imgur.com/5Wef8ZI.jpg[/img]

    [img]https://i.imgur.com/ZAAZK6G.jpg[/img]

    [img]https://i.imgur.com/tay19kr.jpg[/img]

    On a side note, I was once again left with no choice but to provide my cc in order to have Garmin send a replacement set of pedals. Only this time, instead of a couple hundred dollars, they charged my card the full MSRP of the pedals. And the icing on the cake, they wanted me to pay for return shipping… I called ‘support’ and basically had to argue with the rep in order to get him to send me a return shipping label.

    There was no clear explanation as to why I was charged the full MSRP as the deposit as oppose to the few hundred I was charged the first time around.

    • MAGNUS

      I should also mention, these pedals read 14% higher than my Kickr17… Not that its been a good experience thus far but still not looking so good.

    • Yakov

      So, what about the pcb? No redesign?
      No solution for the cork patch?

    • Sorry to hear about the support call concerns you had Magnus. Thanks for the details. I will make sure we have someone get in touch with you and find out what is going on.

  40. Robbie

    I am trying to set up my new vector 3’s. The pedals work as I can connect using my FR935. However as soon as I start to pedal, I lose connection instantly and only pairs again once the cranks have stopped moving. Not sure if it’s due to the ongoing battery placement issue or not. I have performed firmware updates, however, the Garmin Connect app still says there is firmware updates available. I am not sure if the updates were unsuccessful on the pedal side (note I never did see the multiple green light flashings indicating success on the pedal end) Or, do I just have several firmware updates to perform since i just received the pedals. Any ideas?

    • What firmware version does either the Garmin Connect app or your 935 day the pedals are on (check both pedals)? They should be 3.50

    • Yakov

      It seems like you are connected through BT, and as DC wrote you aren’t in the latest firmware.
      Try to make sure that you are connected by ANT+, or/and update to the latest firmware.

    • Robbie

      The pedals finally updated to firmware 3.50 after about 2 hours; after calibrating and doing a quick ride on zwift everything seemed to be going good. However, this morning, the pedals could not connect to zwift via ANT+, only bluetooth option was available. I know its something with the pedals because my wahoo KICKR and garmin HRM paired just fine via ANT+. So I instead of simply giving up and going back to sleep, I decided i would compare the power readings from the wahoo KICKR via Zwift to the vector 3 via bluetooth to my 935. Five minutes in the power seemed to match exactly, but after that the power seemed to drop by 50% on the vector 3’s. I was holding a steady 180 watts on Zwift but the pedals were registering at a constant 80-90 watts. After analyzing, it looks like the right pedal was dropping out which leads to me think its a battery issue. Any thoughts? Also I’m not sure what the issue is with the lack of ANT+ connection. Starting to regret my decision on spending so much money for a defective product.

  41. Chris Furner

    I got my “new improved” battery doors this week. I had time to look at them this morning. 100% certain that I got shipped a set of the old battery doors. Comparing these to the ones that came with my pedals, and the pictures of the new and old on the Garmin forums, I got shipped another set of the faulty old battery doors.
    Not sure how to get this fixed. Cycling season is NOW. I bought these things 5 months ago, half my warranty is gone and they have never worked right.

  42. David Barnes

    All I can say is that the CR1/3N battery solution is still working well for me. This is with the original battery caps/doors and no oil between the batteries and no cork. I have not received the new doors yet. The recessed side strips (positive polarity) in the new doors obviously gets rid of the need for the bits of insulating tape. It is not clear from the photos if they have also modified the height of the two contact points (positive polarity) which sit at the bottom of the doors. I would expect that such a mod. would give more contact pressure between the batteries themselves and the +/- negative contacts. Perhaps this would stop the batteries “jiggling” around at the interface and give a more reliable voltage. However, so far the “El Cheapo” CR1/3N batteries from Ebay are working well.

    • S. Savkar

      I am the same as you, only one swap out so far, but just using CR1/3N batteries, and it was flawless. No issues whatsoever (knock on wood).

  43. Jim

    Hi,

    I just received my Vector 3 and set them up this afternoon. After taking them out of the box and installing them when I try and connect them to my 820 they connect but I keep receiving the “Right Power Missing” message. When I spin the crank arms I see 1 red light followed by 3 green flashes. Looking at the manual this indicated that the left pedal cannot find the right one and that the battery is low. Seems odd that they are low when they are brand new.

    Should I have to replace the batteries already? I haven’t even had a ride on them yet. Also, when looking for LR44 batteries, I am unable to find them. Has anyone tried the Energizer A76 which is said to be an LR44 replacement.

    Thanks in advance for any help.

  44. Brian

    Hi Ray,

    Have you heard anything about the manufacturing back-log, and when Garmin hope/expect to clear it? I ordered my pedals nearly 4 months ago and my expected delivery date has been pushed back, for the 5th time, to the start of July. Surely they should be on top of it, this long after the launch, and should have ramped up production capacity after seeing the initial demand?

    Any info would be appreciated.

    Thanks

  45. Mick Kanik

    Any long distance radar news about a future rechargeable factory installed version of Vector 3’s in the pipeline? If the rest of the V3 product is sorted by then, could be the winner. I’m not in a rush to buy a power meter but having thought Vector 3’s were the answer and being close to going for it, theres no way I’d buy them now after so many folks have had issues. A fully functioning rechargeable version, that’s a different story. Or another brands slightly quirky but functioning pedal system, accepting the limit of single sided doubling of Power via Bluetooth, or accept that’s just wasted money and go for a version 2 4iii single crank.

    • Malcolm

      Thank you Ray for talking with Garmin about this.

      I contacted Garmin UK support on 14th March with issues with right pedal dropping out and going through Batteries, they sent me replacement door which did not solve the problem. So I contacted them on the 19th April about the issue persisting and they stated that I would need the pedals replacing, but they were out of stock and so I should contact the retail store that supplied them to get replacement pedals.

      The store then accepted the pedals on 30th April but then had to send them to Garmin to confirm the replacement, this took until 17th May before they agreed that the pedals needed replacing. At this point I am now waiting, I have been told, until the end of June before I am likely to get my replacement pedals back. I had got the pedals to train for an event that I took part in on the 3rd June, I have been without the pedals for over a month and it is likely to be another month before I get them replaced.

      Not a very happy customer.

  46. Scott

    Disappointing. Took a brand new pair of Vector 3 pedals for their inaugural ride today (2018-06-04) paired to a Garmin Edge 520. Dropped out within two blocks. Got them reconnected and worked intermittently for another 12 miles or so, then failed completely for the return ride. In the latter part of the ride, they’d connect briefly when not pedaling, but as soon as I started pedaling again, they’d disconnect. Even removed the sensor and reconnected to no avail. Firmware version 3.50 on the pedals and 12.60 on the Edge 520. Garmin Connect upload reported good battery charge. Didn’t remove the battery cover to see if it’s the new or old style since I didn’t want to mess with something that’s going straight back. And back they’ll go tomorrow.

  47. Ian S

    Picked up a set of Vector 3 pedals on Friday, now done 2 rides with them. Saturday’s ride was 2 hours long and broadly fine, other than power spikes. Sunday’s ride was 3 hours long and I switched my head unit back onto my P2M after 50 minutes – multiple disconnects, power spikes (apparently I can do north of 4000 watts, I should have been a pro sprinter…). I ran both PM’s in parallel onto two head units and used Ray’s tool to analyse (thanks Ray, it’s nifty..).

    I upgraded to ver 3.5 firmware before riding the pedals but I do have the old design of battery doors. So I can confirm (in my case anyway) firmware doesn’t resolve the issues here, if anyone is buying these pedals I would reject at point of sale if they don’t have the new battery doors on them. Whether the new battery doors resolve the issues it will be interesting to see. If Garmin can ship me them this week I’ll test, otherwise I’ll just return these to the store for a refund.

  48. Struan Lownie

    Anyone able to suggest what I might have done wrong? Fitted my new V3’s on Saturday and get no left data just the data from the right. Both pedals flash their lights when I spin the crank but no data.

    • S. Savkar

      Are you using bluetooth? And if so, have you paired separately to both pedals? If not, this would suggest why you are getting that behavior.

      My recollection (which is the same with the powertap p1 pedals) is that with bluetooth you have to pair to each pedal individually which obviously doesn’t really work with programs like Zwift. So instead most people use Ant+ I believe where the left pedal acts as a master, and the right as a slave.

      Anyway, may want to try that if my suspicion is right.

    • Struan Lownie

      I thought I’d paired via Ant but good suggestion to double check.

    • S. Savkar

      Pretty sure the left pedal is the master so it would be very odd if you were using ANT+ and not getting data from the left, but only the right. Then again, I did see one site that suggested when in master/slave, it is the right one that transmits, but I am pretty sure that is not right since the single pedal solution is a left side pedal if i recall correctly.

    • Struan Lownie

      Definitely appears I’m using the ANT+, I’m getting the Cycling Dynamics data just only for the right Pedal

    • Struan Lownie

      For reasons unknown it’s now all working. Both rides today have full data.

  49. Andrew

    I bought a pair of Vector 3 form Clever Training and installed them last week after a longer than normal backlog. My test ride on Thursday seemed to be fine. I went for a long ride on Saturday and they were simply a source of frustration the whole ride. I had power spikes over 9,000 watts, but that didn’t bother me as much as the constant drop outs.

    I don’t know if I have the new doors or not. I will contact Garmin on Monday when they are open, but I have also contacted Clever Training to start the return process.

  50. GP

    Why is Garmin still shipping Vector 3 with defective battery covers?

    I just got mine a week ago – lasted half a ride when the right power sensor went ‘missing’ – not to mention the 1700 W power spike. Have not been able to get it going again. Waited months for the pedal. Shouldn’t there be a total recall of all Vector 3 – they know they are selling a defective product.

    After emailing Garmin (and waiting days to get a reply from them) – finally called and they said they would ship replacement doors (estimated time 2 weeks – who knows what that means).
    Paying $1000 for something and the battery does not work – really ????

    Has anyone gotten a replacement battery door and is it fixing the problem?

    • There’s a bunch of folks up above that have received replacement covers. I’m not aware of anyone here who has received replacement battery covers and has the absolute latest firmware, and is still having issues.

      I’d caution that if someone had a situation where their threads got threaded earlier on, then they could potentially still see issues. But Garmin has stated to call them to get the pedals swapped out.

    • GP

      I would not say ‘bunch’ – obviously I cannot read through all the comments (too many) – but there also seem to be some that did get the replacement cover and are still having issues.

      Again – why is Garmin still selling these instead of recalling ALL of them.

    • Probably because if they recalled all of them, then the 90% or so of the population that’s working just fine would be in a pickle. Versus addressing the folks that have the issue.

      Now, I do agree that at this point they really need to stop shipping full new pedals until they have have either the new pods/caps in those pedals, or have them attached in a bag to the outside or whatever.

    • GP

      Agree.

      Hopefully this will solve the issue for me and others – Garmin will ship two new doors and an anti-fretting lube (I guess that is needed whenever you change the batteries in the future).

      link to buy.garmin.com

      … new covers are listed on the Garmin website now – sad that this entire issue / defect is due to a $30 part for a $1000 pedal.

    • Yakov

      Let me check if I got it right?
      We should pay 30$ on each (plus shipping costs) on Garmin bad design?
      This is ridiculous…

    • Support sends them for free, that’s just if you want an extra supply of them or something.

    • Andrew

      Update: Clever Training offered a no hassle return. They have great customer service. I am dropping them in the post today.

      I will probably wait a few months before I reorder. I want to make sure all the kinks are worked before I try again.

    • fred

      For myself, I’ve got a refund and now I am looking for the power2max NGeco.

    • José

      My back ordered Vector 3 from February (2018) finally came in last week. My first ride on Saturday (2018.06.09) had massive drop outs. When I called Garmin customer support I was told my Vector pedals were manufactured 26 Apr 2018 and was having issues with the battery. I was asked by the Garmin customer service representative if I had read about how to service the batteries. I replied the batteries were brand new. After too much back and forth about the batteries, I asked if I had the new battery caps. Garmin said mine were made with the older designed caps. Garmin asked if I wanted the new ones. I had to push for the new caps, but Garmin said they don’t have any and I’d have to wait until they got more in.

      I’m frustrated that I’ve been given the run around regard the battery caps. If you know there is an issue that you’ve already tried to design a new part to address the issue, just send me the new part. This doesn’t even get to other issues like the fact that my iPhone fails to update the firmware on the Vectors and when I tried using a different iPhone/GarminConnect the Vectors don’t show any update available.

      For a $1k product, this is very disappointing and the poor customer service isn’t helping.

    • Rich Ray

      With out asking Garmin, I received the Garmin email with voucher code for free replacement battery doors. Ordered them. That said my Garmin Vector 3S pedals have worked flawlessly from the start. Thank you for Garmin for being proactive.

    • George Hotopan

      I also got a call last week from Garmin Germany letting me know that I can order the new battery doors(free of charge).

      Thanks Garmin for the proactive action!

    • José

      As an update, I finally got my new battery doors yesterday (2018.07.06). I installed them last night and went for a ride today. I’m still having the right pedal drop. So I have the newest battery doors and latest firmware, but I’m still having issues. Very disappointing.

      As an aside, I noticed when I took out the old battery caps, the left pedal batteries had some sort of clear gel, while the right side didn’t. Anyone else notice this?

    • José

      I spoke to Garmin today and they want to warranty exchange my Vectors. I have to pay to send my Vectors back to Garmin. It is a small thing, but just adds to my anger with Garmin. My month old Vectors that never worked, I have to trouble-shoot and now pay Garmin more money to try and fix. Not only that, they initially quoted me $1k deposit to have the replacements sent out first. I already gave Garmin $1k when I bought the pedals, I shouldn’t have to give them more money to get a working product.

    • José

      I received and put on my new warranty replacement Vector 3 pedals. Still losing the right pedal. I sent a follow up email to Garmin and got this error:

      Your message to service@garmin.com couldn’t be delivered.
      service wasn’t found at garmin.com.

      Great work Garmin. Just outstanding.

  51. GP

    I would not say they are proactive (took a long time to admit to the problem) – more like reactive – I spoke with Garmin 2 days ago and they saw nothing wrong with shipping out defective product at that time.

    Anyway – this is what they sent out yesterday

    link to www8.garmin.com

    So they recommend that everyone tightens the spindle nut ? (how to know if that needs to be done or not – seems like it should have been done in the factory).

    My favorite is the last one (at the bottom) – make sure there is no separation between the pedal body and the cartridge – really – pedals got shipped like that – where is the QA ????

    • José

      I haven’t received any communication from Garmin outside of me calling customer support and waiting over an hour to speak to someone.

      Again, this whole thing is a fiasco from a well established company like Garmin.

    • Ian S

      Far from proactive, I just spoke to Garmin to order some new doors. They can’t commit to any delivery date as they have zero stock and their systems aren’t showing any predicted delivery dates.

      So for pedals I bought 4 days ago, that Garmin sold me knowing they are defective, they can’t give me a date when the product is going to be fit for purpose.

      This is a million, million miles away from being proactive. As we sit here now Garmin are happily selling product that is defective without any clear path to make right. It’s poor

  52. Andrei

    Hi Ray,
    How can I be sure that the new battery gate is being shipped to me as I haven’t given my address to Garmin

  53. Dan

    Thanks for all the follow up and updates on what Garmin is doing.

  54. GP

    I guess the price went from $30 to $50 in a couple of days !

    link to buy.garmin.com

    P

    • AM

      I’m SOOOOO happy I didn’t bite the bullet. This is a bit of an insult – anyone ordering caps are just trying to fix defective product…I keep holding off because I wanted the battery life, but now I really need to reassess.

  55. GP

    Can you trust Garmin ????
    See attached.
    Said they would ship on June 15 – have not heard anything – it does not say expected shipping !!
    So if you are waiting for Vector 3 – keep on waiting and waiting and ……..

  56. Guillermo

    I was so exited when I heard about the Vector 3. I put a preorder but I cancelled just after hearing about the battery doors issues.

    Now, I’m going to wait for the long term review with these new doors AND $200off price to even consider switching my P1 pedals.

    #GARMIN #FIASCO

  57. Manuel Paquette-Dupuis

    I’m still experiencing power dropouts with my Vector 3S (new battery door, firmware 3.50, Edge 520 with firmware 12.60). It’s better than it was but still.. There’s plenty of reliable powermeters on the market. I might try to get a refund. Here’s an example during a short sprint.

  58. Chris Smith

    Hi Ray,
    I guess I am one of the few as I am really pleased with my 3s which I got in December 17.
    They have not been without problems and from following this thread and experiencing drop outs and right pedal missing messages I contacted Garmin early May to ask about the new battery doors.
    I was advised I would be sent them free of charge. So far so good. Well today one (1) door arrived!,
    There was no explanation as to which pedal I should use it on. Given both pedals have battery doors and there is clearly a design fault with them then why wasn’t I sent two and which pedal should I use this new door on.
    Thanks in advance.
    Chris

    • Just to clarify – do you have a 3S or a 3? if the 3S, then the unit with the sensor/battery – which is the left pedal.

      If the 3 (dual), then…I’d e-mail Garmin and have them issue another one, as there must have been some confusion somewhere as you should have gotten dual.

  59. Chris Furner

    So far so good with the new battery doors. I have a 40mi Fondo on Saturday on typical Michigan roads so that will be the true test.

    Wondering what the “anti-fretting lube” is supposed to be. The label says it was included but I saw nothing of the sort in the package.

    • Chris Smith

      Thanks Ray.
      Yes I have the dual sided pedals and emailed Garmin just after my post. No reply yet.
      They have the serial number of my pedals, access to my GCM account. They should have known that I needed 2 doors. It kinda sums up their approach to customer service with this product.

    • Apologies for the frustration Chris. We will make sure we get another door sent out. If you have any trouble reach out to us at social@garmin.com and we will double check the order for you.

  60. Dave

    Shawn

    I am going to buy the Vector 3, but want to make sure i will receive the new battery designed doors on the unit. Will that be the case if I order now? Do all units being shipped include the new door?

    • Joshua Charteris

      Also would like to know this!

    • José

      The pair I received in June 2018 were manufactured 26 Apr 2018 with the old battery caps. I’m still waiting on new battery caps from Garmin as they don’t have any.

      My guess is Garmin will continue shipping Vectors with old caps for a while longer and just help the folks having issues.

      As Ray mentioned, I think this is a really bad idea and poor customer service.

    • José

      See my update above. At least for me, the new doors and firmware didn’t fix all my issues. I’d suggest waiting a bit long to see if Garmin has actually fixed the issue. I don’t think they have.

  61. MalOSB

    Shane Miller has done a Youtube vid on the Service Advisory, he runs through the recommendations. He then tests his Vectors and finds with a static weight test that the right side is calibrated wrong.

    In all honesty, I do not think I had the same issue with my Vectors before I sent them for replacements.
    Still waiting for my replacement pedals, nearly two months since I sent them back.

    Sad Panda

  62. José

    Does anyone know how many users are having issues with the battery, right pedal drop and power spikes? According to an email I saw from Garmin, they are claiming that only 9% of users are affected. They also claim there isn’t an issue until after the first year, which is why they extended the warranty to two years.

    I’m really curious how these will hold up over the long term. I’m also wondering the percentage of folks affected. From the LBS that sold me mine, they are seeing ~70% failure.

    • AM

      Wow 9%?

      With all of DCRainmaker’s claim that only a small number of customers are affected, 9% is HUGE! For the way this was downplayed, it would be <1%. My perception may be skewed because of the industry I work in (even 1% is a lot for us). However, even for consumer electronics that is incredible, imagine 1 in every 10 iphones being defective.

    • Ian s

      Like you, if it’s 9% I’m absolutely stunned. Garmin are still selling product with a 9% failure rate, that would be shocking if true.

    • I’ve actually pretty consistently stated I figured it was in the single-digit percentages.

      The challenge to keep in mind is that for a long time, it didn’t manifest itself. It was nearly 3 months until the first few issues started cropping up. In other words – until people started changing batteries.

      According to an e-mail I received from Garmin last week, all new units being manufactured these days are with the new caps. What remains to be seen is whether we see issues with new caps either now or down the road (1 month, 3 months, 6 months). We’ll see…

    • José

      Ray, do you know when they made the switch over to producing Vectors with the new caps?

      Being in the 9% I’m a bit conflicted. From a business perspective, what should Garmin have done with the new battery caps? If you hold all your sales until you have new caps ready you potentially lose out on sales. If you just keep going you are able to sell all your inventory (given all the back orders) and deal with the 9% that have issues. How bad will the 9% care going forward?

      As for myself, I don’t think Garmin customer service has been great. Assuming the new battery caps (whenever I get them) solve the problems, going forward I will be a lot less likely to purchase new products until they have proven themselves and I’m also a lot less likely to buy Garmin for their supposed quality/features. For example, I wanted the cycling dynamics from the Vectors, but if the data is garbage, all the Garmin only features don’t matter. I’m also less excited about some of the other purchases I was considering (lights, radar, etc.).

      Ultimately, I think this will mostly blow over, but what matters will be what competitors put out. The EXAKTs look really nice and hopefully PowerTap and others put out some good products. Garmin has lost some credibility for me that will factor into future decisions. I’ve switch from Polar over to the Garmin family, but I think they’ve lost that advantage from me going forward.

    • I don’t have a date when the cutover was made, merely that once they approved the new doors for production, all new units going out the door had them.

      I agree with you – I’m conflicted on whether or not they should have produced further units prior to that. I’ve seen both sides of the issue, and honestly, I think everything’s been said there that could possibly be said.

      I don’t actually think customer service is so much the issue here, but rather just the darn delay in getting new caps out. I get they wanted to get it right, so that too is a balance. To me it’s more of a product engineering thing than a CS thing.

      As for SRM…we’ll see. In doing another re-install of the pedals today after swapping cranksets, the whole install thing is actually (at present) a bit more muddled than they made it out to be at the event. I think we might be back in a situation there like Vector 1 (and to a lesser degree Vector 2), where very specific installation is going to be a big deal. I thought on today’s ride I had installation right, but the data very clearly shows the left pedal was fubar’d. It’s still beta though, so things might work themselves out there…but given the extra install tools, I’m not so sure.

    • José

      I’m harping a bit on the customer service issue because from my perspective if I buy something new, there shouldn’t be any issues. The fact that I have to try and get ahold of customer service means we are already on negative terms. Customer service is how Garmin can try and recover, and in my case, I feel they failed to do so. I do realize things happen, and in the past most of my interactions with Garmin customer service have been positive, but I feel they dropped the ball in regards to the Vectors.

      If the new battery caps fail to resolve the issue long term, this could play out very poorly for Garmin. I used SRM as an example, but frankly this hurts my perception of all Garmin products across all product categories. e.g. I really need to upgrade my Edge 810, but given issues like this with the Vectors and the Fenix 5 antenna issues, I’m a bit afraid to buy anything Garmin for fears of getting stuck with a dud. I’m especially hesitant to pay a premium for anything Garmin. I’m not sure what else Garmin could do though beyond getting the Vectors working. Short of offering some sort of credit or free gift, there are a lot of upset users that spent a lot of money only to get months of frustration. I do think at a minimum Garmin should extend the warranty on the Vectors even longer. The whole point of a warranty is that Garmin should show they are taking care of their customers and by failing to do so in a timely manner, they have lost a lot of good will.

    • Manuel

      I agree with you.

      In other industries (Auto or even tech, that you Ray, know well) when an issue of this kind is detected in an amount way smaller than 9% (or even 1%) the make a recall right away to their customers. Besides, a 9% of product failure is insane. Half of this (or even third) should be enough to stop producing any product until a fix.
      Anyway, Garmin should have partnered with retailers to get this fixed locally and quickly, just a letter/email to every single Vector 3 customer inviting them to get their pedals fixed at the nearest Garmin retailer. This would have impacted much better to its reputation.
      I do believe Garmin credit has been seriously affected by this issue, mostly due to the way the have approached it, and still do. They should’ve been way more proactive to fix this issue.
      And I tell all this assuming the new doors will actually fix the problem.

      Also, @Ray: Have you spoken to Shane Miller about the right pedal accuracy deviation from his last video? Have you had the opportunity to test yours?

      Thank you!

    • Ian s

      My new pedals (purchased 1.5 weeks ago) failed with 30 minutes of use. Multiple prolonged dropouts, power spikes to 4.5k, completely dud. That’s straight out the box, batteries and battery doors untouched, all I did was update firmware.

      Two issues with this as I see it, (i) i should never have been sold something that the supplier knew had a resonable chance of failure – garmin should have stopped sales until they had remedies in place; (ii) what on earth is going on with garmin testing and QA process? It’s never been a strong point but this is another level of bad

    • MalOSB

      That’s just not true, unfortunately… take the Xbox 360 for example, even excluding the red ring of death, they have a failure rate of 11%. Did Microsoft stop selling the console because of the RRoD issue? No, they replaced them and extended the warranty.

      I get your frustration. I have been waiting nearly 2 months for my replacements but this is not a failure that is dangerous or life-threatening so expecting a recall/stop of sales is just silly.

    • José

      Both Ray’s comment and the email I saw mention this is only an issue when you change your batteries. I had mine fail on my very first ride. I wonder if something else is wrong beyond the battery caps.

    • José

      In regards to the Xbox RRoD, I recall folks being very unhappy and it being a crisis for Microsoft at the time. For me though, the Xbox MSRP was ~$300 – $500, the Vectors have an MSRP of ~$1k. I think the higher the price, the higher the expectations. Also, having a broken bicycle part is a bigger issue than a broken console in my opinion.

    • Ian S

      Don’t think it’ silly, you just have a very different customer expectation than I do. Feel free to be a customer at my business any time you fancy…;-)

      Re Xbox, no idea of the backdrop or history of that. But by my reckoning MS should also have stopped sells of products that they knew had a good potential to be faulty. But two examples of poor corporate behaviour doesn’t make that course of action right.

    • MalOSB

      Well the 11% excluded the RRoD issue. Do you think Garmin are not getting roasted on the forums and here? I don’t agree with price making a difference, your paying for a Powermeter in a pedal and the price Garmin is asking is reasonable (see Rays comparison article on the tree pedal power meters).

      Well… the pedal technically still work as pedals… you can still get up the hardest climb in the world using them… you just might not have that magic number you want to see/record. So I would say that your broken bicycle part is not as bad as a product that does not work at all.

      Look I am not trying to upset anybody, I just think that claiming that Garmin should stop selling the stock they have or should do some massive expensive recall (which would make everybody wait longer for a replacement) is not going to help anybody.

    • Ian S

      Depends on how you view it I guess. My point of view is that Garmin are shipping product which they know is likely to be defect and they know they don’t have an expedient way to resolve. I think their resources would be better spent resolving current customers without deliberating making that problem bigger.

      From my perspective I refunded my pedals today – given Garmin couldn’t give me any date by which I might receive new battery doors and also that we’ve yet to see any real data that confirms the issues are resolved, I don’t really fancy being a pseudo kickstarter.

      Hope the issues are now resolved, I’ll be an interested observer. I’m likely to add to my P2M collection, I’m still not entirely clear why I deviated from something that has reliably and consistently just worked for me.

    • Shawn@Garmin

      Sorry for the slow response to this thread. The 9% figure that was previously mentioned here is simply not accurate. While it is true that a relatively small number of users have experienced power drops, spikes, and “right sensor missing” issues, we are confident that we have resolved these issues with the release of software version 3.50 and our new battery covers. If anyone is still having issues, or needs help updating or acquiring new battery doors, please get in touch with your local Garmin Product Support team. Demand of the new battery doors has been quite strong, but we are looking to be all caught up with orders within the first few weeks of July.

    • GP

      define “small number of users” – if the number is so small how come the demand for the new battery door is so strong?

    • Zlatko Vlašić

      because everybody wants new doors, even people without any problems (like me) ;)

    • Jerome

      Hi Garmin,
      How can you explain that,despite having pre ordered the vector 3 pedals back in September ! I still not get the pedals ? and looks like I’m not the only one in europe.
      how you can anounce a product a day and slightly 1 year after not all your customer have their pedals … without any words to your reseller neither any official comunication … every month I’ve been told that stock should be improved but still no luck in getting the pedals !
      I was a huge fan of garmin with several high end watches and bike computer … ( 910XT, 920XT, 935Xt and even a Fenix 5s for everyday watches, couples of edge aslo … ) but I’m very disapointed and thiniking of moving away from garmin for those vector pedals but I’m very curious what’s cycling dynamics will give me … so I’m still waiting but for how long, and I would strongly expect that Garmin will make a serious goodwill for loyal customer that are waiting so long …

    • Hi Jerome-

      While I’m certainly not Garmin, I suspect I can answer your question better in this case. For the mere fact that they have to pretend to be more polite.

      Simply put: If your order was placed in September, and you don’t have units, then your retailer is 100% to blame here for misleading you. I’m not aware of any backorders from anyone that far back. Remember back in December they were fully caught up in the US, and almost totally caught up in Europe (Australia was a bit behind there).

      The way it works is retailers/resellers place orders for product. Ideally, they place those ahead of when your order comes in, so that stock is already in the queue. Sometimes though, they’re caught off-guard (just like Garmin was).

      Garmin has also slightly reduced new production unit shipments in the last few weeks, merely to ensure that bulk of new caps are going to existing customers versus to new units. In my discussions with Garmin, given the high demand for Vector 3 pedals since day 1, they don’t expect to fully catch-up till later this summer.

      In any case, I’d seriously consider looking at another retailer/avenue (there are plenty of good ones out there). Even if they hadn’t placed orders until after your order came in, they’d still have them here by now. Checking a few random European sites, most are showing delivery times of a few weeks from order placement today.

    • Jerome

      Thanks a lot Ray, I’m very surprise to ear that, and I do not understand why the reseller ( powermeter specialist) is not able to get more than a very few unit in Germany.
      that would be great if Garmin can answer here that they don’t have any backlog in Europe so that I can get back to the reseller with that afirmation and get this sorted once for all.
      thanks a lot.
      I’ve already train without power meter for the ironman france, I do not want to lose more times now :(

  63. GP

    Got the new battery cover and followed all the instructions on the Garmin website. First ride fine except for one power spike (see picture). So far so good (although the previous one failed after several hours on the road). One question – how do you see right and left power and compare the two? I see total power in Garmin connect and L/R balance but not the W for the right and left separately.

    • Ian S

      The DCR analyser is your friend….;-) Well worth a play

    • GP

      I would have just thought that if you are buying right and left power pedals that you should be able to get the right and left W and not just the balance %. I am sure it is possible and that I am doing something wrong (I hope).

    • Lee Sutton

      I’m pretty sure it’s just total power and balance that’s transmitted over Ant+. On the cycling dynamics screen it does split them out, but it’s instantaneous power so it jumps around quite a bit.

      Have to say I’ve got the Vector 2 though so I couldn’t comment on whether Wahoo head units can show it over the Bluetooth connection?!

    • Karl Billeter

      Sounds about right from memory. The idea is that head units that don’t know about L/R get the total power. If they do know, they can do what they want with the extra info :-)

    • GP

      Got the DCR analyzer. Seems to be working. I assume this is the real right and left data from right and left pedal. Interesting is that the total power is always 1W higher than the combined right and left (no big deal just wondering why).

  64. David B

    I am still using the CR1/3N batteries in my vector 3 pedals and they are still performing flawlessly with the original battery doors with no oil etc.I am still on my first set of CR1/3N batteries. I am not sure why Garmin did not recommend the CR1/3N batteries at least as a temporary (or permanent) fix until users receive the new battery doors. Presumably Garmin did not do this as they specified the LR44 batteries which are widely available and there would be some loss of face if they went to CR1/3N batteries which are not a readily available (but easily available online).
    Has anyone who has used the CR1/3N batteries in their pedals had continuing problems??
    The new battery doors will presumably avoid the need to use CR1/3N batteries but Garmin would probably have lost less face in a temporary fix using CR1/3N batteries than the current Hoo-Ha with users waiting for the new doors.
    I would recommend any current users to try the CR1/3N batteries whilst they are awaiting the new doors. They cost only a few dollars and so are worth trying. They may also reduce your heart rate and blood pressure.
    For me I am happy with the V3 pedals and the quality of the hardware.
    The fact that Garmin have followed up on the current issues with what appears to be a permanent fix is commendable albeit that it has taken some time.
    It will be interesting to see Ray’s new review on the V3 pedals with the new doors, in particular regarding the inaccurate readings from the Right hand pedal identified by GP Lama .

    • Chris Smith

      Hi Dave B and thanks for your post.
      I have just ordered some CR1/3Ns as have had a troublesome couple of days with my 3S’.
      As previously posted I have had a good run with mine since purchase in Dec 17.
      However on Friday I started experiencing more significant problems, including regularly, right pedal low battery messages on my edge despite GCM saying full strength.
      On the ride the pedals seemed to go through a cycle of reading ‘ correct ‘ wattages then dropping to 0W (as if I was free wheeling) then totally dropping out before reconnecting and repeat every 90 secs for a 2 hour ride. When I got back I had a power spike of 64217 Watts!!!
      As I was only sent one replacement battery door ( see previous post) and am still waiting for 2nd to arrive I thought I would check the batteries and applied a minute amount of oil between each one before refitting. I also noticed the black mark of ‘fretting’ and cleaned that off before refit. My GCM confirmed them as active with a full battery status.
      Went out this morning and the pedals wouldn’t even connect so no data on my 60 km ride. GCM showed a red status for my batteries, which was a 180 degree turn in less than 24 hours
      When I saw your post I thought, in the absence of new battery doors, to try the CR1/3N s as they should be with me in a couple of days as opposed to up to 25 days for the doors. Case of nothing to lose and a gain of reduction in blood pressure to gain.
      Thanks for tip again.

  65. Blake Murdock

    I have had my pedals replaced twice now, and received 3 sets of battery covers that were supposed to fix the problem. Yet, I just got back from a week riding in the Dolomites and experienced the “Right Pedal Missing” problem, and pedals that yielded wildly inaccurate power measurements for the entire trip.

    The company’s posts about Firmware 3.50 and new doors fixing the problem are either blindly hopeful or wholly disingenuous. The reality is that there continue to be serious issues with these pedals – probably from a flawed design – that have not yet been addressed. I wouldn’t recommend them to anyone.

  66. Benn

    Contacted Garmin about dropout issues. Applied all suggested fixes. Still not happy. Requested the new battery doors. I live in United Arab Emirates.

    I was first of all referred to the Saudi Arabian distributor. Sorry Garmin wrong country. Like referring an American to the Mexican distributor not good enough.

    When I got the contact details of the United Arab Emirates distributor was told they don’t have battery doors and couldn’t answer and refused to answer IF or WHen I may get them. So currently I have very expensive paper weight. So PLEASE BEWARE of the Garmin Vector pedals with a non Garmin distributor in your country. I reached out to Garmin again and guess what they haven’t replied to me. Hence why I am trying to warn people.

  67. Sander

    Hi DC Rainmaker,

    Do you know if the new garmin edge 130 is vector 3 compatible?
    Next to that… can all functionality be used like eg the 520 does.

    Thanks in advance.

    Sander.

  68. Rick

    Dear all,

    Thanks to Ray and his positive comments I decided to purchase the vector 3 pedal, and countering all the negative feedback I have read, I wanted to contribute a positive story. For all, I know that most negative stories come from the dark age of the ill designed battery cap, and I need to add that I received a pair of vector pedal a few weeks back with the new caps already installed on them. I double checked it by removing them and replacing them, without any problems, and no special tools/hacks needed.
    So far I have done several training rounds and a number of races with them, without any failures. Although I cannot speak for those using cycling dynamics ( I use a Sigma Rox 11.0 as a head unit, so not able to read that info ), my head unit receives and displays all information correctly and accurately. No signs of drop-outs, powerspikes or missing pedals so far (yes, the Sigma can read both pedals).

    Ray, many thanks for giving me the courage to buy this product! This is one very happy user!

    Rick

    • gilles

      That leave some hope for the rest of us.
      My first vector 3 (bought in december) where not working (and it was the same for the 3 friends who has bought it at the same time – so 100% of failure for my little group). So after month of fight, many many emails, letters, and hours on the phone, i got them refund in May by garmin…
      and listening to my retailer who told me everything is fixed now, i have bought some new one 2 weeks ago (mid-june)….but obviously you were lucky to get the new caps, cause i didn’t…

      So after hours on the phone (again) with garmin, after my retailer has tried to fix it following garmin procedure (and not succed) , I’m waiting for the new caps and expecting to received it in july…maybe…or later…not sure….but anyway it will be too late for all the races i’d plan this year…

      i’m happy to ear the caps could fix the problem cause i was beganing to seriously doubt about it…but anyway garmin was terrible in the way they have (not) handle the situation.

  69. Mike

    All too often the loudest voices are the negative ones. I wanted to add to the discussion here that the battery doors seemingly have solved my problems with the Vector 3. Yes, I had MAJOR problems with the pedals (and the replacement pedals Garmin sent me), and was REALLY frustrated with all the dropouts (and all the time trying to fix the problem with Garmin). But anyone considering getting the pedals now should know that at least from my perspective the new battery doors seem to have solved the problem and they’re working reliably now for me.

    I LOVE Ray’s reviews – the one tweak I would suggest is in the summary, where I’d recommend saying “3.5 times a charm.” They’ve now nailed it from my point of view, but the new battery doors are critical to that success.

    • GP

      According to the Garmin Forum – still issues after the new battery doors for some. Makes you wonder if this is going to happen to many more with time.

      link to forums.garmin.com

      With regards to Garmin customer service it is basically non-existent. Takes a week to get an answer if you send them an email and the answer has nothing to do with the question (copy and paste text). So you reply and wait another week … etc … etc.

      Wonder why anyone buys from Garmin anymore – they used to be the only ones but now there are so many good and better options out there.

      Garmin seems to follow comments made on DCRainmaker but they have been very silent (don’t blame them).

    • Chris Furner

      I have been trying to get Garmin to help me with new/recent issues, but since they have gone silent, I guess ill throw them here and see if anyone else has seen this. Ever since I put in the new doors, I am seeing a rather significant 55/45 balance. This is unusual and I swapped to a different L/R power meter, as well as borrowed a friend’s Vector 3 pedals, which showed no significant imbalance.
      Garmin just said that I need to calibrate, and suggested that I have an injury that is causing this imbalance. I replied back that I had verified that my legs are fine with multiple other power meters, and got no reply since July 1.

    • Sorry for the delay in response to your email Chris. Our support team has experienced a high volume of emails and we are behind due to the July 4th holiday. Can you email a few of your .fit files from your rides with the 55/45 balance issue to us. Please mention in your email that I asked for you to send in the ride data.

    • GP

      Do not hold your breath. I sent Garmin a fit file on June 24 and I am still waiting !

    • GP, I do apologize for the delay. Please reach out to us at social@garmin.com and mention in your post that I asked you to reach out to us. Please attach any .Fit files that show your issue taking place and we will make sure to add them to the ticket.

    • GP

      Is is normal – still getting spikes – new battery door – anyone know?

    • GP

      and the plot thickens ….
      just looking at the data (new battery cover etc).
      the Right PCO – gets stuck (see graph) – not on the left.
      I guess Garmin still has not gotten this to work !!

      also sent them my fit files again some days ago – still to reply !!

    • Theo

      This is a known issue that will be fixed in the next firmware release. Enabling torque effectiveness/pedal smoothing fixes the PCO reporting.

    • GP

      Did that beginning of July – and still no reply ….

  70. David Barnes

    For what it is worth this is my positive experience with these pedals.
    I ordered my V3s last year online in Australia on the Garmin website. This was when they first became available and I received them within a few weeks.
    This was well before all of the drop out/battery door issues were being reported.
    The pedals performed faultlessly, however after the first battery change I experienced drop outs, right pedal missing etc. etc.
    After looking through this blog I decided to try the one piece CR1/3N batteries purchased on ebay.
    Since then the pedals have performed perfectly with the original battery doors and no baby oil.
    I have been on numerous rides since then and they have not missed a beat and I am still on the first set of CR1/3N batteries which are still showing full charge on Garmin connect.
    I have now received the new battery doors free of charge from Garmin. I will try these with the LR 44 batteries once the CR1/3N batteries run down.
    I will initially use the LR 44 batteries without oil and then if necessary with baby oil.
    Depending on the outcome I will either continue with the LR 44’s or go back to the CR1/3N batteries (if the LR44’s prove troublesome)
    I would recommend that anyone still having issues with the new battery doors should give the CR1/3N batteries a try.
    From the above experience I will still purchase garmin gear in the future but appreciate the frustration of other users on this site. My pedals must have been from some of the first ever manufactured so possibly there could be some manufacturing issues on later batches of pedals??

  71. Marvin

    If i order now on clever will i get the vector3 with the new doors?

  72. Patrick R

    Does the clever training DCR-VIP membership still get you 10% off on the garmin vector 3s? I added it to my cart but the price for the cleats don’t drop by 10%.

    • S. Savkar

      You get points which amount to 10 percent. Garmin doesn’t permit discounts like that separate of their own promotions I believe.

  73. Fabio Pires

    Ray or anyone,

    Do you know if PowerTap P1 cleats would work with Vector?
    My P1 died and I’m thinking move to Vector 3, but don’t wanna buy 3-4 new cleats. (Yeah, too many shoes).

    Thx

    • Chris Furner

      They use the same cleat. I have used them without issue.

      The cleat is the Wellgo RC-7, specifically RC-7B which has 6 degrees of float.

      I get them cheap on eBay, shipping is slow but the price is right.

      I use the same cleat on Powertap P1, Vector 3, and two different Look Keo pedals.

    • Fabio Pires

      Thank you very much

  74. This Unboxing is awesome!

  75. Marvin

    Any updates on the problems with the vector? I would like to buy them but i still see people mentioning problems even with new doors. Kinda useless to buy these of there are still problems and i would go for the assioma then.

    • Charlie

      Mine have been solid for several months. Installed the new doors a few weeks ago. No problems.

    • Chris Furner

      I would avoid based on the poor support of the product. I have an obviously defective product, issues with power balance, and it takes them a week between each email, and no progress on either fixing or replacing the pedals. I regret buying these, I wish I had bought Powertap P1 again.

    • GP

      Tough question. Mine seems to work now with the new door but only been out few times.
      If I were buying a power meter today – I would not get the Garmin because of customer service – you email them and then wait for days or weeks for a reply. My other bike has a quarq and I regret not getting it for my road bike also.

    • José

      If I had the choice again, I would not get the Vector pedals. I received mine in early June, they didn’t work so Garmin eventually sent me the new doors. Still didn’t work so Garmin warranty replaced my pedals (which I had to pay for). New pedals still don’t work. Now Garmin is blaming my Fenix 3.

      If you buy the Vector 3, be prepared to be a Garmin beta tester. They take forever to respond and they’ll want you to go through ridiculous levels of trouble shooting and don’t want to admit there are any issues with the Vector. I honestly think they still have major issues and Garmin doesn’t know what to do. Maybe they are just stalling for time to come up with something.

    • Ray

      My Vector 3 pedals have 700 miles on them and are on their way back to Garmin for a warranty replacement after hours, days and multiple telephone calls troubleshooting them. I have replaced the doors, endured multiple battery changes, exchanged e mails, and spent in total about 4 hours on the phone with technical support.

      I agree with Jose and would not buy them again. The quarq looks like a better choice for my intended use.

    • Malcolm O'Shea-Barnes

      Unfortunately, I have been waiting months for my replacements making it very hard to recommend the Vectors to anybody. When they worked between November and February they were a great product that worked really well, I have now been without the pedals for over 3 months and it will be about 4 months by the time I get the replacement pedals from Evans Cycles… if the date does not slip again!

      Malcolm

    • Ray

      Replacement warranty pedals arrived. Fourth ride -> right power meter missing. I still regret paying $1K for these and recommend buying something else. I’d almost rather buy an SRM for twice the money as long as it worked reliably.

  76. Chris Furner

    I forgot to mention, my pedals have started reading something other than 0 watts while I am unclipped from the pedals. After having to ask Garmin several times for an update, they have offered to replace the pedals, but I am concerned that I will be without them for an extended time due to their general slowness with customer service.

    These pedals have not been right since I got them early this year. I should have taken Clever Training up on their offer to accept a return for them.

    • GP

      Seems obvious that first Garmin sends you a replacement and then you send them yours – but then again this is Garmin support ….

    • Chris Furner

      Only if you provide a credit card and trust them to not screw that up. By default I would trust a company like Garmin unless they have given me reason to not. In this case I really do not trust them due to the complete lack any organization in their CS dept.

      Without a credit card provided, you have to wait for them to receive the pedals and ship out new ones.

    • The credit card swap thing works really well actually – especially if you convince them to upgrade you to free overnight/2nd day shipping (which you usually can). You’ve then got around 30-60 days to eventually send back the other ones.

    • José

      If you call and request the advance RMA/credit card process, make sure you give them your credit card information over the phone at the same time.

      I would not agree with Ray that the credit card swap works well, at least it has not been my experience. Apparently they have been having issues with their online payment system for the last two months. I was told to wait for an email where I would be sent a link to enter my credit card information to pay for my advanced RMA. I eventually got the link, but then I had errors with the website trying to pay Garmin. I had to call Garmin again and give them my credit card over the phone. I was told I was good to go and that my pedals would be arriving by that Friday. When the pedals didn’t arrive I had to call Garmin again and they said there was a glitch with their payment system so they had to sort it all out again. Eventually they said we were good to go and my pedals would be shipped shortly. When I still didn’t receive a shipment confirmation I had to call Garmin again for them to sort it out. Eventually I got my pedals, but I would not say the process works well.

      I would be less unhappy if the new pedals actually worked. I also don’t understand why I have to fight with Garmin that the data from the Vector pedals are incorrect. If I have 0 watts for 50% of my ride and I’m still moving, something is wrong. Also, if I’m 100% power on the left, something is wrong. Garmin even wants to fight their data being wrong when I have my PowerTap hub to compare against.

  77. Greg

    I’m on my second pair of Vectors. Received and installed the new pedal doors. I continue to experience the same dropout issues I experienced with the first pair and old battery doors. I’m seeing more power spikes now, too.

    Agree with the comments above re: slow and superficial Garmin customer service. Typical response time is about 4 business days and the response is usually superficial, such as asking a question you’ve already answered in an earlier email.

    I’m close to returning the second pair for a third and final pair, in hopes I get one of the sets that work w/o issue.

    Kudos to your analyzer tool, Ray. It is extremely helpful in pinpointing and evidencing dropout issues. Would be neat to have a feature that allows me to select/show either 1) only left pedal data 2) only right pedal data) 3) right and left power data side-by-side 4) the combined left/right data as one line.

    • Thanks Greg-

      Actually, you can do all four of those things in the Analyzer already. :)

      Directly below the first graph is a graph titled ‘Left/Right power’. When you hover over the plotted lines you’ll see the individual left/right values on the right side. At first this might be a bit overwhelming if you have a lot of power meters, but it’s showing you everything by default.

      You’ll see the left and right channels separately. You’ll also see what’s called ‘Virtual Left’, which is if you have a total-power device (non-left/right) it shows the total power there split in half. So basically the inverse of a Stages left-only unit. This is useful however if you did have a Stages unit, because then it allows you to compare a left-only unit against a left/right unit.

      But, say you don’t want to have so many data sets. Perhaps you just want left, or just right, or no virtual left? You can toggle those individually for each file within your set. At the very bottom of the Analyzer page you’ll see your files listed. Next to each file there’s a little ‘edit’ button. Click that and you can toggle things like ‘Left power’, ‘Right power’, and so on.

      Finally, if you haven’t seen it – I put together a bit of a ‘How I use the DCR Analyzer’ video here: link to dcrainmaker.com – just some random tips and such.

      Thanks for giving it a whirl!

    • Ian S

      Yep, Analyser rocks for trouble shooting!

      So, it looks as if Vector 3 still isn’t solid from the emerging feedback. I refunded my first pair after 2 weeks but have another pair (with new battery doors) sitting in a store waiting to be picked up. Looking like I’ll release those.

      I think the smart money would bet on a Vector 4 being released within 3-6 months with a ‘fixed in place’, rechargeable battery…….which is probably what should have happened in the first place. Whether anyone buys it after this fiasco is another question.

    • Marvin

      That would be to fast after the vector 3 and i don’t see that happening unless Ray has more info on that.

      Sad to see the vectors are flawed and not ready for using. I would have liked the dynamics and looks more then the assomia but if they don’t work it useless to buy them.

    • I see zero chance of that happening near-term. I suspect long-term they’ll follow others into that arena.

      I suspect near-term their going to continue cleaning up the mess. My bet is that most of what their fighting now is related to customer support and blends of old versus new (caps/parts/etc…). I haven’t followed every single comment the last few weeks due to Eurobike, but I’d be curious to find folks that got brand new sets with brand new caps that may or may not be having problems. Just to understand if there is still an issue with that scenario.

      Obviously, I know lots of folks got new caps and are now happy. And even some folks with old caps are still happy. And then folks with new caps may not be happy if blended with a dorked up non-cap pedal. And so on.

      Fwiw: I’m still on old units (Nov/Dec 2017) with old caps with no issues. I know, I know, the new caps are still sitting here – but going into Eurobike and while riding, I didn’t really want to mess with what was working to potentially make it un-work. Next battery change I’ll probably swap to new caps.

    • Ian S

      Ha, I’m sticking with my bet!

      The garmin forum is showing people with new doors and issues, as are a few comments above. As ever, it’s the people with the issues that post on forums so it’s difficult to see how wide spread any issues genuinely are. Looking like it’s not a complete fix though.

    • marvin

      thank you for the fast response on this!

    • Marvin

      Ok, still took the gamble and ordered them @CT. Some donation for DC, the wife and the 2 peanuts :)

      Will report back if I have problems or not as soon as i took a ride with them. Will use the stages as backup.

    • Thanks for the support Marvin – The Nuts thank you!

    • Marvin

      Ladies & Gentleman, i got them!

      Updated to firmware 3.5 took a ride and had zero problems. So far so good.

  78. Chris Furner

    Their support is just a joke. I now have multiple agents replying to my case. One tells me the pedals need replaced. The other says nothing is wrong with them. We have been going back and forth for weeks. The latest thing is that I am seeing power readings that are not zero while unclipped from the pedals. Garmin is telling me this is impossible. I guess they must know better than me. I am seeing it with my own eyes but they are asking me to do a bunch of other stuff to prove that this is happening.
    At the start of all this I regretted buying the Vector pedals. But now I am starting to regret owning Garmin products at all. I own a lot of Garmin products but if this is the direction that support is going in, my next bike computer will be a Wahoo.

  79. Sorry for the confusion Chris. We had multiple emails in our system from you. I will reach out and get this sorted out.

    • Chris Furner

      Thanks Shawn.

      Shawn and I had a good conversation. I am very hopeful that out plan going forward will a) get me into functioning pedals, and b) get Garmin some more data that will help them to improve software and hardware.

      I do believe that Garmin is trying their hardest to support this product. I think if we all, myself included, do our best to be patient with them and give them the best info possible, they will be able to be more efficient at resolving the outstanding issues. Ill admit I have been impatient with them, and when my customers do that to me it sucks. Ill try and do better. Hopefully Garmin is able to work through the backlog that they are in, and support response times will improve.

  80. GhetRekt

    Great article!! Researching different PM’s, and the Vectors have just about sold me. Just wondering though, I have an older Garmin Edge 510 head unit…will this work or do I have to upgrade?

  81. Patrick R

    I just got these pedals and I’m totally bummed out they don’t work…

    They came with the *new* battery doors, and I upgraded to the newest software version (3.50) but my right pedal doesn’t seem to work.

    I did some tests and the L/R balance was coming out around 97% / 3%.

    I also couldn’t see a light on the right peddle.

    I went to the forums and sure enough there’s several people who have the new doors but still experiencing problems. Shoot – I pulled the trigger thinking these issues were fixed but now I’m really regretting it.

    Will see what support says tomorrow when they open but I don’t really want to burn all the time that others have burned – might just return and get the assioma’s.

    • Patrick R

      I solved the issue (fingers crossed) with a new pair of batteries… I checked with my multimeter and sure enough the batteries in my right peddle were dead. (link to imgur.com) A little concerning that things are shipping with dead batteries. And they aren’t that cheap – cost me $10 at walgreens to replace.

      I suppose I freaked out a little but glad to have things working now. Hopefully that’s the last issue I run into :) 

    • Patrick R

      Just to update here. I got one decent ride in last week after I installed new batteries. This week I went to do another ride, and I got the “power meter battery is low” warning. So these batteries are draining ridiculously fast! In the forums people are recommending you use these single 3V batteries, but Garmin has stated that using those will void the warranty. Damn, assiomas looking pretty good… I’ve already wasted a solid amount of time researching the issue and writing up support tickets to Garmin.

  82. Kendrick H

    My Vector 2 pods finally gave out after 2+ years consistently riding them. Was contemplating getting the Vector 3’s as I love the Cycling Dynamics, can switch them between by Giant TCR, Defy, and Trinity, and can get rid of the pods. But, reading the reviews from even a few days ago…. I may just get the $110 or so replacement pods, and wait for Vector 4, because the 3 is not sounding so hot… not sure what to do…

  83. Jay

    This is incredibly frustrating.

    I bought a pair of Vector 3’s in December. Then a second pair for the second bike in February. Both got sent back to Garmin for a replacement for the faults that everyone is aware of. As race day was coming up last week and the replacement had not arrived yet I bought a third pair. Brand new Edge 820 with updated firmware and brand new Vector 3’s with updated firmware and the power meter overshot the watts by over 100 watts.

    Did everything exactly according to the troubleshooting Vector Power Meter Data guideline. Still this.

    Does Garmin accept if I just send all three pairs back and ask my money back? I feel I’ve gone a lot further with my patience that can be expected.

    • Ian S

      Out of interest, how did you baseline the 3rd set of Vector’s to see that 100w delta?

    • Jay

      I know exactly what I can do over an Ironman distance. It showed about 100W (+-10watts) too much. One will not just find 100 extra watts average over 180 km because he felt better that day :)

      Also
      62% L / 38% R L/R Balance
      100% L / 87% R L/R TorqueEffectiveness
      37% L / 22% R L/R Pedal Smoothness

      Left pedal is clarely acting up.

    • 100w is a crazy amount.

      But short of you having won the IM (and not competed on the run), then the left/right balance numbers noted above don’t seem to be horribly off enough to make-up for 100w offsets. Meaning, if they were 100w off, I’d expectd numbers like 75/25 left/right split.

      What was the avg power it showed?

      Also – any chance you had your foot clipped in when you calibrated?

    • Jay

      Bike was calibrated completely still without anything touching anything. Done that so many times and will not mess up like this.

      It showed 417AP.

    • Michal

      Torque effectiveness and pedal smoothness values look very fishy. There was something very wrong with the left pedal. Effectiveness for right leg is pretty high too so right pedal might had take part in overstating the power too.

    • Jay

      The right pedal numbers are more or less where they usually are and the balance should be around 52/48 in the worst case for me. Also 100% torque effectiveness is pretty much impossible.

    • Yup, 417AP would definitely be wrong for any IM athlete. Not even a Kona champ would hit those numbers.

      For example, Craig Alexander’s 2011 IM Kona win was at 258w AVG: link to trainingpeaks.com.

      I’d agree something is amiss, but I don’t think it’s purely left-only pedal, because with the left/right splits, that simply wouldn’t account for enough.

      I would of course point out that average power for one person doesn’t compare to another, since power output is often heavily dependent weight.

    • Jay

      It should have been around 300w mark.

      I don’t even know what to do now. Especially weird is that when I installed the new pedals two days prior to the race then on a 500m test ride everything was ok. Two days later this happened.

      Will have to start a third marathon support discussion with Garmin. It seems to be a full time job lately.

    • José

      “Will have to start a third marathon support discussion with Garmin. It seems to be a full time job lately.”

      This, so much this. Garmin customer service isn’t handling support of the Vector 3 very well. Especially when they need to “send the files to engineering”, which means a black hole and you have to keep calling week after week to try and get an update.

  84. Kendrick Hanson

    Update for anyone interested… bought a pair of Garmin V3 pedals the other day. I loved my V2’s but, it was time for an update. I knew full well the problems with Garmin V3’s, but, their customer service has always been good to me from my Edge 1000, V2 pedals for 2.5 years, Vivoactive watch, some aviation products, my wife’s HRM, her fitness watch (which they sent out another one completely free without even asking for the original back) as her screen went out on it, etc…

    So, the caps were the original style ones. Left pedal worked fine, 3 flashing green aka searching for other pedal. Put left cap on right side, right pedal now worked, 3 flashing greens. Put working cap back on left, and for the life of me when I click “Unlink” on the Garmin Connect app under “Device Setup” it doesn’t actually disconnect the right side meter so the left is constantly stuck in pairing mode. Each time I hard close the app and reopen it, it gives me option to “Unlink” which means the left is still searching. I also have sent the 3.50 update via iPad (as app crashes on my iPhone every 15 seconds) to the left pedal twice but all it does is blink green 3 times aka pairing mode. Am I missing something here?

    Lastly, talked to Garmin about new battery caps. You’ll have to send pictures to product.support@garmin.com so they can see if the threads or caps are being overtightened, stripped, or damaged. Mine are 2 days old and I can figure out when they’re overtightened. (Apparently some people are complaining of the pedals not moving after unclipping, that’s because your battery caps are tightened by Hercules himself apparently.) Anyway, 2-5 DAY shipping for new style caps, and there will be 2 of them as I asked to make sure. They seem to be caught up on backorders because before this was more like 6-8 WEEKS back only a few months ago. Hopefully this clears up my issues… Now, to figure out how to disconnect right pedal and keep it that way until caps come in…

  85. David

    I noted in one comment today it was stated that using the single 3volt (one piece) batteries in the V3s will void the warranty!!
    After the LR 44 batteries supplied in my V3s ran down quickly I installed a new set of LR44s .I then started to experience the various problems shown in this blog.
    After switching to the one piece 3 volt batteries (3 to 4 months ago) all of the problems disappeared and they have worked faultlessly and the batteries are still showing full charge.
    Logical questions to ask are:-
    1. Why did my V3s work faultlessly upto the first battery change (why does changing the batteries initiate the faults)?
    2.Why did my V3s work faultlessly out of the box (they were some of the first delivered after release) and yet many recent users have problems straight out of the box?
    3.How can changing the batteries to either the LR44s or the one piece 3volt type result in what appears to be permanent damage to the function of the pedals of some users.Admittedly if the threads on the battery doors and /or the pedal bodies are stripped then you would expect this to cause issues with poor battery contact, however, I doubt that everyone damages the threads on their pedals when they do the first battery change.

    I doubt that Garmin will ever answer these questions in public even thought they must know what is going on.

    • GP

      It would be nice if Garmin would confirm (or not) that using the single 3 volt batteries will void the warranty. I do not think there is any documentation that comes with the pedals staging this.
      Garmin??
      Petur

    • Joe

      The issue with the CR1/3 battery is that if you put it in backwards into the old holder design, which also has the insulating tape missing or misaligned, it could short out the terminals resulting in the battery leaking and damaging the pedals. See post #179 and #180 at link to forums.garmin.com. The new battery doors have eliminated the insulating tape and have no issues with installing a CR1/3N battery backwards. There would be no short with the new battery doors. Since Garmin needs to provide warranty for both the old doors as well as the new doors they will never recommend the use of the CR1/3N battery.

      If you have the old door design and If you are careful to always put the battery in the correct way then you will not have any issues. The CR1/3N is a lithium ion battery and is an excellent battery for your pedals and should last a long time without issues. It will also perform very well at cold temperatures.

  86. DLinLV

    My V3-dual set will be here today. Are any stocked pedals retrofitted with the new cap, or do I need to immediately request them from Garmin? I ordered early this week from Clever Training, if that matters. Maybe a serial number or revision noted on the pedal/box?

    I would also like to see a statement from Garmin on the 3v battery.

    Has anyone tried dielectric grease between the 2 batteries to resolve the fretting/contact issue?

    • All units as of back in Mayish should be getting the new caps straight out. Knowing that Clever Training has only just barely caught up on backorders in the last few days/weeks, there’s no risk of older units from them specifically (since that’s where you ordered from).

      You can double-check though by looking at Garmin’s page on how to see the differences between old caps and new caps here: link to forums.garmin.com

      Cheers!

    • giorgitd

      I’ve held off commenting, but it is time. I have a pair of V3 since December 17. Mostly ok, originally, but way off in power vs my Tacx Vortex Smart. Could be the trainer though, right? Lots of dropouts during indoor rides. The Tacx is reporting by ANT+ to a Windows laptop to Sufferfest – no dropouts and about 10% higher in power than the Garmin. Then, lots of dropouts, pedals not reporting for duty. Complain to Garmin (great customer service), get new battery doors. Install those, new batteries, yada yada yada. Still, wonky behavior, but inconsistently. Today, attempted to calibrate an got an error 65535. Hmmm. Spun the pedals and was able to calibrate. Off we go! But only reporting about 1/2 power. End of ride, RH pedal mostly AWOL. Contacted Garmin. GREAT support. They are ready to replace and I have an RMA. Here’s the Q…do I sell the refurb pedals on arrival and get an pair of Assiomas? Or stick with the Garmins and hope that the version sent now will be reliable? I’m leaning toward selling the Vectors at a loss (small, I hope !) and going to a different arrangement. But I am a Garmin guy, multiple Forerunners, etc. Just frustrated that I am a beta tester for $1000 pedals….

    • Joe

      I wanted to get the Vector 3’s but seeing all the reported problems I got the Assiomas. They work perfectly with absolutely no issues from day 1. With the rechargeable batteries I always know how much capacity is left and can choose to top them up before a triathlon or a very long ride.

      When you look at the pedals on their own the pod stands out but once they are mounted on the bike you hardly notice them, even less so when you are clipped it.

      I would go with Assioma.

  87. Klaudiusz

    Hi Ray, I just recieved my new V3 set and had a strage readings on the first ride… Power/Speed/HR relationship was strange – way too high power (over FTP) for easy spin with Z2 HR. I put the file in to DCR analyzer and found that L/R reading of the pedals are almost in all points 56W apart. Ride was done without updating Vectors to 3.50 software – just out of the box and with delivered battery set. Did anyone faced an issue like that? I update the software yesterday and will give the pedals one more chance tomorrow to see how they perform with new soft…

    Regards, Klaudiusz

  88. Gilbert Bollinger

    I’ve had a replacement set of pedals with the redesigned pods and have done a dozen or so ride without a single drop out or weirdness.

    I was ready to return my vector 3 pedals after fighting with them for the last 8 months. I’m happy now and not fearful of recommending the pedals to a friend. Yes. I’ve changed the batteries.

  89. Emlyn

    Garmin customer service was spot on for me, replaced some faulty out of warranty vector 2s for v3. Superb. (I paid an upgrade fee). Was very pleased with them, and emailed to thank them etc as it really was great service.

    Having used the pedals three times I was very happy with them, then last two rides had a right pedal missing, then today had a drop out and a huge power spike (>5000w). Will email Garmin customer services, but very frustrating that they don’t seem to be at the bottom of the issues as yet. Was told they are post battery issue fix.

  90. Greg

    Ray,

    If you’re out pedaling around with the Vector dual pedals and both a Garmin and Wahoo headunit equipped, I’d be curious if you’re able to replicate the following results. I’m on my third pair of Vectors. My current pedals came straight from Garmin w/ the new doors. The data seems off, but I’m unable to determine if it is a Garmin or Wahoo issue. Garmin says they can’t analyze Wahoo fit files and Wahoo says it is entirely the Vectors causing problems.

    – Pedal Smoothness displaying a ‘–‘ value for several seconds but never on the left side. For example: data will go from from ’17/17’ to 17/–‘. Occurs everyone 2-3 minutes, for 3-5 seconds duration each occurrence. These dropouts do not show up on the fit file.

    – PS and TE showing a positive value on the left pedal when only pedaling with the right leg. Screenshot attached showing this occurrence. A similar screenshot is attached showing data when pedaling with the left leg. This data looks normal.

    – Data dropout when pedaling from a stopped position or from coasting to spinning cadence back up (screenshot attached showing dropout).

    No worries if you don’t have time. You’re the only guy I can think of who regularly uses more than one headunit at a time. ha! Thanks Ray.

    I have a post w/ screenshots up on the Garmin forums:
    link to forums.garmin.com

  91. Emlyn

    In good news I’m likely to win the world track gold in Tokyo with my 40,000w reading.
    In bad news it was recorded with my new/they’ll be fine vector 3.

    • José

      With just 40 kW? According to Garmin I’m hitting 60 kW, so the gold is mine.

      I think for me the most frustrating part is having to argue with Garmin that the data can’t be valid.

      How many sets of Vectors have you gone through?

  92. Ian S

    Ray, what’s your sense on vector 3 issues now? I’m trying to track and am still seeing issues reported on the Garmin forums and here that suggest the new battery doors haven’t been a complete fix. Its hard to gauge the extent of a problem from internet posts thought, any thoughts?

  93. José

    I think in general there are four groups after the battery cap/firmware upgrades:

    working -> working (~90% of folks)
    Vector 3 pedals worked great before and after battery cap/firmware

    not working -> working (?%)
    Battery cap/firmware upgrades fixed all issues

    not working -> not working (?%)
    Battery cap/firmware upgrades didn’t resolve all the issues

    working -> not working (?%)
    I would imagine a small percentage, but have to be some. A lot of folks initially didn’t notice any issues until they changed their batteries.

    I would say the battery cap/firmware upgrades helped, but didn’t resolve all my issues. At this point, my Vectors are just random number generators.

    The key thing I would stress is that the battery cap/firmware upgrades are not a complete solution. So if your Vectors still don’t work, Garmin doesn’t have a solution. In my dealings with Garmin, they will blame everything but the Vectors because they see the new battery caps as an absolute solution. This is a bigger issue if you use anything non-Garmin (like Wahoo bike computers). Even if you are using Garmin products, Garmin will fight internally or make inane comments like you can’t use the Vectors outside due to there being too much variability in terrain. I have wasted months trouble shooting with Garmin and still don’t have a working product. I have thousands of dollars invested in Garmin equipment on my bike giving me garbage data.

    I would not suggest buying Vector 3 pedals, but if you do, buy from somewhere with a good return policy.

  94. Zlatko Vlasic

    how do i get cycling dynamics on trainerroad? i use v3 to control elite direto (power match), both via ant+. i don’t get third screen with dynamics on android or pc.

  95. JB

    I’ve just purchased a brand new pair of Vector 3 to use with my Polar V800 for triathlon via BT smart connection.

    Easy to install and configure, lightweight and absolutely no change from my standard pedals (same cleats…) ; love them on many aspects.

    That being said I observe some weird power data on all my sessions ; looks like there’s a regular signal drop (like every 2 minutes – see attached example – extracted from my latest triathlon last weekend, on an uphill section). Any ideas behind such behaviour ? Tried to contact Garmin directly but they are far from being good in terms of after sales service …

    Need to mention that the battery caps are the revamped ones, batteries are fully charged and firmware up to date ; so nothing related to the data loss issue that was happening on the early versions.

    • naisss

      Yes, for me it is the same, power is ‘consistent’ except these 3 power dropouts to zero, and all these are separated exatcly by 194 seconds. Cadence is all over road too. I am using Polar V800 and Garmin Vector 3S new desing and. etc.

  96. Mike

    I purchased a pair of Vector 3’s based on a recommendation from a friend who has a pair (which initially didn’t work well, but were fully resolved with the new battery cap). I bought them as I have a pair of Powertap P1’s and in two years I have had three pairs on warranty, and my right pedal has just gone, with the expectation that the left will go soon and I’m beyond my warranty period. So, I needed a replacement and the Vectors seemed to be the more reliable.

    My experience so far.

    1. Straight out of the box the batteries were flat.

    2. When I replaced the batteries I did so without following their service advisory. link to www8.garmin.com. The left side pedal seemed to work fine, at least it gave readings, but the right side pedal kept dropping out randomly.

    3. I put the batteries in following the service advisory with a bit of oil to improve the contact, etc. No improvement on the right side drop out.

    4. I found a link online advising installing a little sliver of cork under the battery contact to hold the arms out and in more direct contact with the battery. That seemed to resolve the drop out problem but I found the left pedal was reading low as I was averaging 60/40 for right/left power balance, when I always average approx 50/50. I’m not 100% sure it was the left pedal reading low but I’m basing it on how the power levels felt – I’ve been using power for several years so have a good feel for what I’m putting out. I have no physical imbalances that could explain 60/40.

    5. I’m now about to return them to Garmin but I’m not expecting a great outcome unless the dealer foots the bill personally. I removed the sliver of cork (just in case Garmin could use that as a warranty voidage excuse), and I noticed it had come out from under the battery contact arms and was sitting between the contact arms and the battery, which could explain the problem, but more importantly highlights the weakness of the battery contact design – if it was snug it wouldn’t have come loose.

    6. I’ve installed the Powertap P1’s back on my bike. Can’t believe I’m saying this but they are the more reliable product so far, as at least their customer service for replacement has been superb. I’ve actually been in touch with them again and they have offered to send me a replacement set, despite being out of my two year warranty. $1000 for three years of power metering, works out about 3cents/km for me.

    • marvin

      Hi Mike, i have had 0 issues with vector 3.

      You did what most people do, not follow up the guidelines Garmin made.

      Buy the correct battery and use maybe a bit of oil and you are fine. To me it looks like you have

      1. connected only the 1 pedal at first, you can correct this by unpairing and pair again
      2. bought cheap battery’s. They dont work on vector 3, buy the more expensive ones.
      3. have old battery doors, replace them

      This should solve your problem with the vector 3 if not garmin will replace them for new ones. Never use cork or other strange solutions. If you followed the 3 guidelines of garmin it should work if not garmin will replace.

    • Ken Ridout

      It’s been about 3 months since last posting here. Maybe 4 months, I don’t remember. But that post was about my using the double-thick single battery instead of two in tandem.
      I got a message on my Garmin computer that the battery was low. This is after almost 4,000 miles of hard and dedicated training and riding. Since I went to the double-thick battery, I haven’t experienced any issues at all.

      Garmin sent a new (improved) set of battery doors. They’ve been here on my desk since June. I haven’t even opened the package. The Vector pedals are working too well for me to screw with them.

      I replaced the batteries in both pedals 3 days ago with new double-thick batteries. They’re also working perfectly.

      I was worried I’d wasted $1,000 on the Vector pedals. But since June, I could not be happier. I don’t even think about them any more. They have just been working flawlessly.

    • David Barnes

      I have had the same experience as Ken with the single batteries which take the place of two LR44 batteries in each pedal.
      They have been in for 4 to 5 months with zero issues and are still showing a full charge on garmin connect.
      I am still using the original doors, no need for oil or cork packers.

    • Mike

      Hi Marvin

      I don’t think you read my post properly. I did follow the Garmin guidelines (I mention the service advisory in point 3). The service advisory says to check the doors, but I didn’t need to as I already checked them before I bought the pedals. And I never use cheap batteries.

      Mike

    • christo

      what type of single battery do you use?
      Thanks David

    • David Barnes

      The single batteries that I use is the CR1/3N which I bought locally on ebay.
      Elsewhere on this site it is said that using these batteries will void the warranty, the reason being that if the battery is installed the wrong way around it could cause issues.
      hence you need to ensure that they are installed correctly . The batteries have the positive end clearly marked with “+” on the plain (Large diameter) end so it is easy to install them correctly. Both the new and original battery doors have “+” cut into the metal terminal on the inside of the door. All you have to do is ensure that the battery is inserted with the “+” end to the “+” on the inside of the door.
      David

    • Mark Manner

      In the FWIW category, Garmin in a chat with me about my new V3 pedals having some dropouts, told me to try CR1/3N batteries as well. My V3s are a couple weeks old (From CT) and had dropouts resulting in average power 7% lower than a PowerTap Hub and Tacx Neo as a result. With the CR1/3N batteries (and with Eveready 357s too), the average power was slightly above the NEO and PT hub (as would be expected for a pedal based system).

    • Hi, I spoke a bit soon, after a short ride, the power dropouts L/R have returned and power is lower than it should be. This with either 2x357s or the single CR1/3Ns. I have done all the things possible to address this (no thread damage, firmware update, mineral oil, batteries), so will probably swap for a new pair, and see if I just happened to get a bad set.

    • To continue my report, new V3s arrived today, and with one short ride (on my Tacx NEO), there aren’t any zero power dropouts so far. I will update after a few more rides. FWIW, I am using the CR1/3Ns and a dab of mineral oil.

    • Final report. Day 2 of my second pair of V3s (after new batteries, mineral oil, firmware update confirmation, battery door updated and no thread damage, etc.), the power dropouts returned and power isn’t as it should be compared to other power meters. Garmin fits files show the frequent 0/100% power issue. So I am returning for a refund. I like the form factor of the V3 pedals better than my P1 pedals, but the dropouts and battery drain that is apparently associated with it isn’t acceptable. I don’t fully understand why some see the issue, and others don’t. I can say that both of my V3 units worked ok after brand new batteries were inserted, but after one overnight sitting around, the dropouts presented. Measuring battery voltage shows a drop overnight, so there must be some battery drain going on even in the new battery door and new firmware versions.
      I hope this is of some use to others.
      Best,
      Mark

    • Mike

      An update to the above.

      I rode (put up with) the original pedals for a total riding time of 24.5hrs and they didn’t once give me good, clean, consistent data.

      I returned the Vector 3’s to Garmin and they gave me a replacement pair. Straight out of the box they didn’t work, I couldn’t communicate to them via the Garmin Connect App. Yes, they’re the latest version with the new battery covers. So I changed the batteries following the Garmin advisory (oil, etc) and still they didn’t work. I occasionally had the right pedal light come on but nothing at all from the left, and I couldn’t communicate with either. These were a brand new replacement set straight from Garmin remember. I checked both sets of batteries with a multi-meter and all read ca. 1.5V so the batteries were good. The pedals simply didn’t work.

      So I’ve returned them again and am awaiting a response from Garmin. Amazingly Garmin don’t offer a refund service in Asia – WTAF! So, I paid $1000 four months ago for something that just does not work.
      Ray, I’m hoping you can have a word with Garmin here as this is killing me. I’ve had enough, they’ve broken me.

    • Michael Tighe

      So an update from Garmin on my pedal situation.

      As a recap, I purchased these back on the 24th Aug 2018, rode them (put up with them, they never worked properly) for a total of 24.5hrs until I finally returned them to the shop on the 5th Oct 2018. Garmin supplied a replacement set to me on the 12th Nov, I checked them on the 30th Nov and they didn’t work, so I returned them on the 3rd Dec 2018.

      In various emails to Garmin service centre in Taiwan (supporting SE Asia) from the 20th Dec (having been requested to do so by the bike shop) this is snippets of what they have said. I’m trying to be fair so have included positive comments from them. Overall though, it’s hugely unimpressive. Please ignore and don’t ridicule the imperfect English as that’s unlikely to be their first language.

      20th Dec

      “First of all, please accept our apologize about your problems. I understand what you’re going through and I know you want to refund and get your money back. Having say that, since your Vector is bought from xxxx, may I suggest you to get assistance from them, because I’m not sure their refund terms and conditions and I’m very sorry to say that we can’t help you in refund case. I hope they can help you and again, we apologize for the inconveniences caused.”

      No, you can’t get a refund.

      26th Dec
      “We’ve discussed about your requirement for refund but I’m very sorry to say that we can’t make it since it had been used for a period of time. Otherwise, we ‘re more than willing to give you another replacement which will ship from Taiwan HQ. May we require for a chance from you to try again our products? We believe that it will work properly and we promise we will try our best to fix any of the operating problems in the future.”

      “Used for a period of time”. Used implies the pedals actually worked, they never have. I returned them after 42 days, that’s hardly a period of time. I communicated back to them of course.

      27th Dec
      “Thanks for your reply. I clearly understand your requirement but as per email we are trying our best to fix your device problems and we will give you another replacement which is expected to ship from Taiwan HQ next week. Garmin Vector 3 isn’t a does not work product and so far it gets good market responses from end users. Of course, the products imperfect is inevitable in different status as every electronic products do, that’s why we’re try to assist you to trouble shoot and get repair/replacement and I’m very sorry to emphasize that refund is not an alternative for us.”

      An admission that issues are inevitable, which is fair enough. However, when they do happen they should take responsibility as the product manufacturer. It’s not the user’s fault.

      27th Dec
      “Thanks for your reply. As per last email, I can’t help you to get refund, because the products has been sold to you more than 4 months. That is more and over than a reasonable time to get refund and also, we’re trying our best to help you fix the problems but seems like you can’t accept it.”

      I returned the pedals after 42 days, not 4 months. I emailed them after 4 months when Garmin Malaysia told the Bike Shop owner that is what I had to do.

      15th Feb
      “I’m here to update the status. Garmin Malaysia had already received our replacement. I’ve contacted with xxxx and they will contact you once they get the replacement from Garmin Malaysia within these few days. Your patience is highly appreciated. Have a nice day^^

      Patience. I’m out of it, just out.

      Like all victims I’m starting to blame myself for their faults. “I knew I shouldn’t have gone with Garmin again, I just knew it, it’s my own fault”.

      Does anyone know how I can contact Garmin worldwide??

    • GP

      Time for all to send an email to the consumer protection agency ?

    • The Garmin folks do tend to check-in from time to time here (you’ll see one them listed as Shawn @ Garmin above), usually stepping in when regular support appears to fail – as it seems like it is the case here.

      He asks that folks hit up social@garmin.com – and reference the thread here. From there it seems like things get course-corrected pretty quickly.

      (Usual disclaimer: Not saying it’s going to solve every vector world hunger issue, but in general that social team does a good job at fixing trains that have someone fallen off the tracks.)

    • Thanks for the mention Ray. We certainly would like to hear from customers who need additional support for their system or have concerns. Please email social@garmin.com, mention Shawn@Garmin asked for details about your Vector 3 support concerns and we will be in touch.

  97. giorgitd

    A huge, very grateful shout out to Clever Training. Without dragging on about the details, I have a pair of V3 from CT and their outstanding customer service was WAY beyond expectation. I am very disappointed in Garmin (my 1st pair of V3s failed during my ‘A’ race this summer and the replacements (in September) failed after a few rides, just before my final duathlon of 2018). The experience was super frustrating wrt to the timing of the failures (and the multiple failures, even with a very recent, presumably updated pair). Garmin customer support made me jump through some seemingly strange hoops (i.e. send pictures of the inside of the battery compartment of the pedals they had just sent me a month before), but stood behind the product and did the right things, so that’s fine. But CT went well beyond that – really terrific support. I’m a fan of CT! Support ’em!

  98. Lukas

    Ray. I ride vectors 3 almost a year. I bought a month ago elite direto. Both calibrated and configured. First few rides power indications were quite alligned but after i changed battery in vectors (and after recalibrating) direto shows roughly 15-20 wats higher than vectors.. i have no idea what’s going on. Any thoughs? Thnx!

    • I wish I could give you a good answer either way, but honestly, it’s tough to know.

      Generally speaking though – if you only made one change (Vector and re-calibrating), I’d look in that direction. But, if you re-calibrated, then that could have well corrected things too. Direto is generally pretty dependable once you’ve done at least one calibration.

    • Lukas

      One more idea: does it matter if I control direto via bluetooth instead of ANT+ ? I mean that bluetooth transmission (old ipad2 air) can influence direto behaviour ? what I also noticed that my edge520 sees direto but I can’t control it with edge.

    • You should only ever pair a trainer via the control side once (meaning, don’t pair it via ANT+ FE-C trainer control to more than one device at once, and don’t pair it via both BT and ANT+ control to more than one device at once). Otherwise it’s like two kids playing tug of war with a tissue – it won’t end well.

      But, for the broadcasting side (just regular power profile), it doesn’t matter. The transmission is identical on both. The only caveat however is to ensure that crank length is correct on said device. Sometimes BT devices don’t properly support that or see that.

      In your case it sounds like your Edge 520 is paired via ANT+ to the power channel (versus the trainer channel). If you’re trying to control the Direto with your Edge 520, you’ll want to search for ‘Trainer’ in the sensors menu. But don’t do that if you’re also controlling it on Zwift/TrainerRoad/etc…

    • Lukas

      After 2 hrs of playing with config: i changed battaries to ultra-expensive duracells in V3, disabled direto from trainer and power channel in edge520, reseted angles and calibrated pedals and looks i have somehow alligned indications from my training app setup with vectors. When I just added direto only in speed/cadence channel to have a distance in edge520 than in fact vectors started to show some wats more than direto in my training app. I will observe it (maybe test was too short) and eventually I swith off even speed/cadence channel as it is not important for training sessions. Thanks to all for input.

    • Lukas

      Just wondering – I have one-pedal measurement – does it influence measurement precision ? I mean those ~ 15W difference between direto and vector(~5%-10%) possibly comes from averaging the readings from one leg only. I can imagine that if I sit stronger on right buttock than the left one then total power could be undervalued. Can it be the case ? I’m still considering whether I should complaint to garmin or not.

    • Michal

      Yes, such difference can easily by caused by imbalance.

  99. Rick

    Sadly I too have hit the drop-outs. From my first set of batteries the vector 3 have operaties excellent. When I got them at the end of June, I checked whether I had the new battery caps and the power of the batteries. All worked fine. For almost 70 hours of riding they worked flawlessly. I started first noticing drop-outs when the battery status tot really low, stated by both my Sigma and the Garmin Connect App at different times. I changed the batteries for a quattro of duracell LR44 , both pedals, and the first two rides after all weekend fine. After that, things went downhill…first drop-outs of the right pedal, and currently both pedals wont respond. I checked everything according to the Garmin website, and all weekend fine to me. I only havent applied a bit of oil, as I assumed that with good working pedals, this would not be an issue. I am now considering changing to cr1/3n batteries to see if I can circumvent the problem, but I am getting a little frustrated on it…My hopes were so high…

    • Pattie Keller

      I purchased the Vector 3s pedal in February 2018 I had issues with power dropping out during my Ironman race in May, which was very frustrating.I received the new battery cover in June, but still had major spikes and dropouts after 25 miles into any ride I did. I ended up getting a replacement pedal from Garmin (excellent customer support) and have had no issues since then. Fingers crossed.

    • Michael Tighe

      Hi Pattie

      How long did it take Garmin to get you a new set of pedals? Sadly I’m still waiting for mine…

      Mike

    • Lukas

      I think I’ll end up with pedals exchange then. I’ll try to use higher rank batteries before (no use some no names) but probably this not going to work. Thanks All for feedback.

  100. Manuel

    I think I’ll either wait to an upcomig Vector 4 (If I were Garmin is the way I’d be going) hoping for a soon release or just go with the Assiomas or the Rotor 2 Inpower cranks.
    Since I just started the “trainer season” I’m not in a hurry for this (specially given I’ve been waiting since last February to get them) But for February 19 or so I’ll buy whatever fits me, but it won’t be a pair of Vector 3…
    What it seems clear is that Vector 3’s have a serious hardware/design faults that are not fixable.

    • AM

      I just ended up buying an Assioma Favero about 1 week ago despite waiting the entire time for the Vector 3 and living through Drama of almost 1 year. Been using the Assioma Favero for about 5 rides now. No issues, firmware updated just fine, calibrated without issue, and battery seems great. Even now I’m thinking that long term it will fare better because it is a sealed package so there is no way the electronics and battery can get affected.
      I was honestly skeptical about 50 Hours per charge, knowing most Lithium Ions are ~500 Cycle Charges. That said, once you see the numbers, you realize you get a ridiculous battery life for how many hours we really spend on a bicycle. I tend to think

      That said – I’d recommend to move on just like I did. The only option that seems worthwhile without issues have been these.

      Sorry Garmin – I *REALLY* wanted to buy into your product: it had the aesthetic, it had the battery approach (replaceable) and type…but it didn’t have the Quality. For spending ~1K, I simply couldn’t play that game.

  101. Karen

    Do you get all the cycling dynamics that Vector 3 offers when pairing it with an Edge 810? (which is what I currently have)

  102. Gil

    Has anyone noticed Garmin has stopped releasing firmware updates for the Vector 3 pedals? The last update was released in May…. It makes me wonder if Garmin is preparing to replace the pedal with a new model.

    • Zero chance of that.

      It’s honestly pretty normal to see power meter firmware updates taper out over time. For the most part, once things stabilize (with all brands), people generally don’t want power meter firmware updates.

      The once exception to that is Favero, though, most of their feature firmware updates have been adding features Vector 3 already had. Of course, they have some other differentiating features (like non-round ring support).

    • Manuel

      I just gave up waiting, and ordered the S-Works cranks. Maybe not as flexible as a pedal based PM, but really reliable and surprisingly lightweight!

      Will see If Vector 4 (?) adresses all V3’s issues. But as I see from Garmin with their latest products I suspect they’ll be faulty in some way.

  103. Gilles

    Hi Ray,
    I’ve bought some vector 3 in December 2017 and like almost everybody I had problem with it. Garmin has replace it in June and has send me some new doors in July…but after 1 month the problem was the same. they are now refunding me and I’ll need a new power meter. It’s been about 6 month now that Garmin has released the new caps for the vector 3, for me it didn’t fix the problem on my “old” vector (by old I mean sold with the old cap), but what about the other users…do they still have problems? what do you think/hear? I’m still hoping that a brand new vector 3 with the new covers fitted in the factory and the latest software update installed can work without issue…or should I go and see something else?

    • Gil

      Gillies,
      I like you bought the Vector 3s in December 2017 and found the issues frustrating. The new battery caps didn’t resolve my issues either, but Garmin sent me a brand new pair of vectors with the new battery caps as one last attempt. This was 5/6 months ago and my vectors have been flawless since. I’ve taken them across the globe multiple times, mounted onto multple bikes and replaced the batteries a few times. All without issues now.

      I recommend asking Garmin for a replacement pair of pedals that come with the battery caps then request a refund if the situation continues. Otherwise Stages or 4iiii are good options.

    • Ken Ridout

      My Vector 3’s have been working marvelously since I switched to the single 3-volt batteries instead of the stacked 1-1/2 volt batteries.

      But last week, I started getting Right Pedal Missing errors on an 80-mile hills ride. That night, I changed the batteries, thinking that they must be getting weak. Next day, same problem, but 100% of the time. It wasn’t the batteries after all. The old batteries measured at 2.755 and 2.812 volts (left and right). So they were probably good all along.

      Next step for me was to increase the contact pressure on the + end of the battery by pulling the center contacts out just a little. That absolutely fixed the problem. 150 miles since then over the past few days and I’m back to 100% satisfaction. I guess the little springy contacts became weak and weren’t pressing hard enough of the back end of the batteries to make good reliable contact.

    • AM

      Just move on; this is one of the biggest bullets I nearly avoided, and I’m the type who wants it Day 0. Like other said, you can try Stages or 4iiii. In my case, I wanted the pedal solution and ended up going for Assiomo Favero and haven’t looked back. Quality has been excellent, and the small circular discs actually aren’t quite noticable; I think product photography makes it look like this ugly because, but its honestly not noticeable at all.

    • Gilles

      thanks guys for all your answers…I’ll mix that in my head and make up my mind.

    • Gilles

      so here we are, 2 month ago I was posting here, asking if I should give another try to the vector3 (it would have been my 3rd tried)….and…I didn’t…I have change for the Quarq Dzero Crank….and I don’t regret a single second. What was a concern for me each time I was riding my bike doesn’t exist anymore. I take my bike, I turn on my computer and…that ‘s it…I don’t ask myself anything about my powermeter……no drop, no right pedal issue, no low batterie when it’s not low….it just works…all the time.
      I have been to my bike dealer, they have install it in 30 min..and that’s it.
      So of course 2 month it’s not a long period, but still…I’m confident…it much more user friendly than the vector…

  104. David Barnes

    I continue to have excellent results using the one piece 3V batteries (and still using the original battery doors).
    Since using the one piece batteries I have only seen the “right pedal missing ” message a couple of times but I have ignored this as after “accepting” the message it disappeared and both pedals continued to work properly. In view of Ken’s recent post this would suggest the the issue is from intermittent poor battery contact so I will follow his remedy if it becomes neccessary.
    When I bought the pedals just after their release it was a toss-up between the V3’s and the Assiomas. In hindsight I should have gone for the latter, however, as the V3’s continue to work well I am satisfied with them.

  105. Steven Knapp

    For those having issue I would suggest removing the pedals from Garmin Connect Mobile app on your phone and removing them from paired devices in your phone’s BT settings as well.

    Some time ago in the Garmin Forums having the pedals connected to GCM was mentioned as a possible cause of dropouts. Later Garmin said this was resolved.

    For me it’s still not resolved. If I have the pedals paired to my phone (Android, Pixel2 or 3XL) there are noticeable data drops in my Zwift data despite Zwift connecting via ANT+.

    Not having the pedals paired to my phone isn’t a big deal for me. I repair them if I need to check settings or update firmware then remove the pairing after.

    And not claiming this will solve everyone’s issues either. But it is something easy to try if you are seeing issues.

  106. Sam Bixby

    Now that the replacement caps been fully introduced, and firmware stabilised, has then number of new reported issues all but fallen to zero?

    Cheers

    Sam

  107. José

    There are still problems even with the new firmware/battery caps. It does seem like there are a lot less issues, but there are still issues. I’m not sure if we are at the point where the errors percentages are normal?

    • José

      Apparently there is a new design for the battery caps as of Jan 2019 (so version three?). I’m curious if anyone has tried them?

      Also, how many folks still had issues with the second version that Garmin felt the need to redesign them again?

    • GP

      Where did you see that – link ?

    • José

      Sorry, see my response below.

    • While the changes we’ve already made to the battery doors have resolved a majority of the issues for our customers, we’ve still seen rare cases where fretting can occur to the point that power data either drops out completely or spikes to unrealistic values. To further reduce these issues, we’ve made a small change to the battery cage and battery holder. New production has already incorporated these changes and while we don’t feel that most customers will need these changes, anyone who continues to see power dropouts or spikes should reach out to our support teams in your region for assistance as we’re confident we can get you back up and running.

    • Gil

      I just called Garmin USA and they told me a 3rd battery design change does not exsist and the battery door design change from last summer is the current design.

    • Gil

      What is the part number / sku for the revised parts?

    • Sorry for the confusion Gil. We did make a change to the battery cage and holder and we will iron out the confusion on our support team. The part number is S00-01030-00.

    • GP

      So there is a third generation of battery design?
      How is that different from the 2nd generation?

    • José

      Apparently the change is more involved than just battery doors. You also have to change the PCB in the pedals. I’m still waiting on my parts and Garmin’s service video.

    • Jon Moon

      Hi Shawn, or anyone else familiar with the 3rd gen battery doors,

      Are there any instructions available to install the 3rd gen battery doors, and specifically what should I do with the squidgy black rubber washers (picture attached)?

      My support team have insisted there are no better instructions than the ones for changing batteries generally, but the parts supplied included the lower contact (and PCB?) which is an internal part. There are some screws holding this in place and so I’ve managed to change it – but I’m left with the washers mentioned above. To be clear, these are different from the yellow bands which form a seal on the battery cap screw thread.

      Thanks

    • Ismo

      There is discussion about the 3rd gen battery doors in the Garmin vector 3 forum: I think the parts are the same that are referred here.

      link to forums.garmin.com

    • Hi Jon,

      The battery door kit contains a dust seal and water proof seal as well. These can be changed when Vector 3 needs service. They do not need to be used for changing the battery board. The video below shows the service process where these seals are replaced.

      link to youtube.com

      The video below shows the process of changing the battery board:

      link to youtube.com

  108. José

    I spoke to Garmin customer support and they want to send me the new design to try and resolve my issues. 8 months of trouble shooting so far, with these being my 4th or 5th pair (I lost track). I have my doubts about another redesign, but I was curious if anyone has tried them.

  109. Petr Divis

    I have a feeling that Garmin is baking a new version, because all the stock has been withdrawn at our local distributors.

  110. Craig

    Does anyone know what the pedal release tension range is for the Vector 2, Vector 3 and Assioma pedals.
    I have no trouble clipping out on Look Classic 3 pedals at lower tension but find it very difficult to clip out on Vector 2 at lowest release tension using Garmin red 6 degree float cleats.

    Wanting new power pedals for a new road bike and would appreciate any advice.
    Thank you.

  111. Gil

    I’ve received conflicting answers about whether the newest battery door design requires the mineral oil. I was recently having power drops, power spikes and missing right pedal.

    I added mineral oil and bam. 100% reliability. The mineral oil needs to be re applied periodically due to evaporation.

    • ismo

      I am pretty sure the baby oil or mineral oil are not the best products for getting rid of the battery contact issues. There are so many products that have been made just for this purpose. Has anyone tested some contact grease or contact oil with the batteries, for example? I suppose that using a very thin layer of contact grease should prevent fretting; the grease also should not evaporate so quickly.

    • Andrew

      I tried dielectric grease and it didn’t work at all. It made the issues worse.

      I don’t know about the rest of you, but I get a low battery signal every week. I let it go for a few days than I have to change the batteries due to dropouts. I have tried batteries from different sources, but I always have the same problem. It even happened with the OEM batteries that came with the peddles.

      I tried posting about this on the Garmin Forums, but my account won’t let me post. I have reached out to the Garmin Forums help desk a few times, but I never get a reply. I tried calling them, but their estimated hold time was about an hour so I hung up.

    • Gil

      My batteries last for a while. LR44 or SR44 should work. Applying mineral oil generously to the batteries has really resolved my remaining issues.

    • ismo

      I am not a specialist in the area so I had to google the dielectric grease. According to the sources I found it is electrically insulating, so that may be the reason for even worse performance. Someone mentioned on Garmin Forums that contact oil solved all connection issues. Unfortunately no product name was mentioned there.

    • Ken Ridout

      Yes, it is a dielectric. But the contacts easily rub through it and make electrical contact. The grease keeps moisture out so that electrical connection is isolated from the elements.

      link to w8ji.com

  112. Bill

    Hello. I recently bought an elemnt bolt and I am having connection problems with my vector 3. The bolt doesn’t connecting to both pedals almost every time. In 10 rides only in 3-4 it’s shows both pedals connected. Any suggestions?

    • Gil

      I would replace the batteries then apply mineral oil to the front and back of each battery. Hand tighten the battery caps.

    • Bill

      The pedals work fine and the problem it’s not from the batteries. The bolt missing connection from right pedal from the beginning when I connect them. It just doesn’t connect to right pedal. In my 1030 working both absolutely fine, no drop out etc.

    • Tariq

      I have the same issue on the Wahoo Bolt. The right pedal doesn’t appear in the information and my readings suggest that the power reading is coming from one pedal only… It is intermittent and hence very frustrating

    • The way Vector works, all communications go through the left pedal. Head units *never* talk directly to the right pedal, thus why you won’t see it listed individually in the pairing menu. You will of course see data from both pedals, which is how you know both pedals are sending data via the left pedal.

      If you’re seeing right pedal dropouts, but not left pedal dropouts, that indicates it’s not a head unit issue but a Vector issue of some sort. Typically that means the batteries are dying on the right pedal, or, if that’s been tried, then it means there may be something wrong with the contact or battery pods in the right pedal.

    • Bill

      Thanks for the reply. The problem is that in some trainings bolt used to show me in the sensor information both pedals and their battery level and also in training results the balance of L/R was working. Now that stopped and i am trying to find out why and how this can be fixed

    • Bill

      Forgot to mention that when i open my 1030 both pedals working immediately and fine both of them.

    • Hmm, that’s really odd – I’ve never seen a case where one head side by side will do that with Vector over ANT+ (I’ve seen wonk on some other BLE type connections, but even that’s super rare). I presume both are paired via ANT+?

    • Bill

      Yes both of them with ANT+. I am having 1030 and Bolt side by side and that’s why i am sure that it’s not any batteries or door issues. In 1030 connects instantly with both pedals and both works just fine. Bolt in the other hand connects only with left.

    • Tariq

      Thanks for your feedback DC Rainmaker. To clarify, when I connect the pedals to the Bolt, I connect to one device (Power). Once connected, you can see additional information which shoes the battery level for both left and right pedal. Recently, I only see the left pedal power in the information.

      In addition, I am experiencing drop outs as my power readings are variable, often half of what they should be

    • Weird, yeah, that’s definitely odd. For fun I’d try removing the pairing and re-adding. After that, I’m out of ideas. :(

    • Tariq

      I have tried the following: removed the power pedals from the Bolt and re-added them, re-calibrated them, added the new battery covers (arrived last week), used mineral oil between the batteries. Unfortunately, when I went on a ride over the weekend with the new battery covers, the right pedal kept dropping out.

      I have a Garmin 1030 and will see if it works with that.

    • Bill

      I have tried this over 10 times! Nothing happened. I just came from a ride and the bolts was connected with both pedals and the balance worked. That is my problem, it works “sometimes” and not “every time”. 1 ride with both pedals then 4 rides without the right one. I am watching me turning back to my 1030..

    • Tariq

      Bill… agree. The issue is that it is random. Even within a ride it works sometimes then stops working and then can start working again.

  113. wannez

    Recently I had to replace the batteries. Last year I received the new end caps and installed them. Upon removing the new caps I saw some black debris. When placing the new batteries, the end cap didn’t close as well as before. It seems that the debris is screw thread that came loose. Anyone else has experienced this?

    • Gil

      A new firmware was released today. You may want to give it go. It supports a new ANT+ Power Profile…

      Changes made from version 3.50 to 3.60:
      Tuned low battery warning indication
      Add support for ANT+ Bike Power Profile v5.1
      Limit computed TE/PS values to 100%
      Fix Right Side PCO when TE/PS is not enabled
      Improve ANT reception while coasting for short durations (4 minutes or less)
      Prevent Vector 3S from getting stuck in the Install Angle Wizard on Edge 510/810
      Fix setting Crank Length to report Manual/Default correctly

    • GP

      I updated – now vector 3 will not connect to Garmin 820.
      Went back to Quarq some time ago – works perfectly – NO issues – never looked back.
      Only one word for vector 3 …..

    • GP

      nor will it connect to iphone

    • Tariq

      I have updated to version 3.60 and continue to face the drop outs sadly

    • GP

      I contacted Garmin. They were unhelpful as usual. They claim that there is a third set of battery doors that works ‘perfectly’ (they said the same about the second set of doors). My LBS where I bought the Vector 3 from – has also given up on selling the Vector 3 – time to move on to something that actually works !

    • Philip Tieu

      I just experienced this and sent my pedals back to Garmin. They said since it’s still under a two year warranty they would replace it with a refurbished set. I don’t even think the pedals have been released for two years so yours should also be covered under warranty.

      I know how the threads on my set got stripped. The yellow o-ring on the cap of my pedal was getting squeezed out as I tightened the cap. Normally, I push it in with my finger nail as I tighten the cap but this time it came out on the side that wasn’t visible from the bottom of the pedal. The o-ring wasn’t offering any resistance while tightening, making it easy to strip the threads.

    • Gil

      The drop outs are probably related to the battery door situation. I’ve had the 3rd generation battery door kit installed for a few weeks now with no drop outs or spikes. The 3.6 software update didn’t make any noticeable difference with my Edge 1000. I’m hoping the low battery reporting improvements are tangable.

  114. Andrea Tosolini

    Hello Ray
    Were you ever able to make the Vector 3 work with the Polar V800?
    I got them to pair, however the readings seem to be off and there is not all the data on display on the Polar V800
    Is there any updated software from Garmin or Polar that would help?
    Thank you
    Regards,
    Andrea

  115. Crissy

    I got a pair of Garmin Vector 3s pedals specifically to train on Zwift. I think my pedal is reading way too high. Like 300 FTP is perhaps 100 higher than I would expect. Of course, I really don’t know what my FTP is as I’ve never ridden with power, but looking at other peoples numbers, 200 seems like a good number for me. Called Garmin, the rep really had no suggestions other than “try them on a different bike”. After going over a few options and realizing none applied (low battery, interference/spikes/drops, correct pedal length, weight, etc) Why should that make a difference? Has anyone been able to correct what you feel was a too high watt? I don’t have an Edge to do the torque test. Normally I wouldn’t care, but I’ve come to discover some people on Zwift take virtual riding seriously. I don’t want to make them mad.

  116. Jacky Wong

    Believe I am the lucky one. I bought Garmin Vector 3 in Jan 2017. So far no issue found with my unit except battery becomes empty very fast.
    I apply baby oil on the batteries when replacing them and use a magnet to remove the old batteries instead of fingers. Not sure it helps to reduce the chance of failure.

  117. KL

    I’m done with these pedals.

    I’ve had two pairs of Garmin Vector 3 (left and right power meters). I’ve tried all the service bulletins, including adding baby oil to the battery contacts every time I change them … I can’t make this up. Garmin has warranty replaced the battery doors, and again, the entire pedal set with the newer version. Still, the power drop outs/disconnects continue. It seems this is a design defect where the batteries still jiggle inside the pedal and causes power disconnects, especially from the right-to-left pedal Bluetooth bridge. You can solve this by permanently disabling the right pedal and use the left one on ANT+ only, but then you just paid $999 for a very heavy paperweight.

    Garmin refused to give me a refund, even after the second pair of warranty pedals kept disconnecting.

    I got the Assiomas and they are not only cheaper, but they are lighter, made better, look good, spin far more smoothly (the Garmin Vector 3 pedals spin like there is glue inside), and basically just work.

    • Ken Ridout

      Mine used to not spin. But I’ve had them for a year. Now, if I miss clipping in, the pedal can spin so fast that it’s just a blur.
      And now, I can never predict where the pedal is going to hang. The inertia of the bicycle moving forward causes the pedal to swing very easily. In fact, it often swings to an upside-down position just about the time I try to clip in. When the seals were stiff, that never happened and I got used to it. Now, I’m fumbling with trying to get clipped in about half the time.

      I’ve been training and racing for almost 35 years. But now, I look like a beginner than can’t get clipped in.

    • KL- I will have one of our support team members reach out to you and work to resolve this to your satisfaction. Thank you for brining this to our attention.

  118. Mike B

    Ever since I purchased the Vector 3 the numbers seemed high. I have defaulted back to the Vector 2’s since they were/are always in line with my kickr.
    I made sure to update everything yesterday in an effort to get to the bottom of this, so i can actually reliably use this expensive item.
    Did a workout today, recorded the Vector 3 on my Edge 1000 and the Kickr on my 935.
    was off the entire time. Values were bouncing around significantly even when at a steady pace/cadence.
    I understand that the pedals will bounce more than the kicrk in ERG mode, but this was much more than I ever saw with the V2’s. all in all the value averaged 15W higher. Ran both files through DCR analyzer, and have attached. This seem right, or is something off?

    link to analyze.dcrainmaker.com

    • Mike B

      And here is today’s ride,
      link to analyze.dcrainmaker.com
      They appear to track well, the Vector 3 is just high. I think the left pedal is broadcasting higher than it should.

    • It’s slightly odd (ok, a lot odd) that I’m not seeing left/right breakout on your Vector file. Are they single-sided, or dual-sided?

    • Mike B

      They are dual sided.
      exported original and here it is
      link to analyze.dcrainmaker.com

    • That’s weird.

      So that particular .FIT file shows it connected to both the Wahoo KICKR and the Vector 3 pedals concurrently. I see both ANT+ ID’s listed in there. I don’t know exactly which one the power is coming from though.

      Fwiw, on the left/right balance (which would imply Vector 3), it seems like the right side is showing a fair bit high. Whether that’s real or not I don’t know.

    • Mike B

      Garmin support said something similar yesterday, that it may somehow have been picking up power from both, and they may be whey it seemed higher. They had me do a short sampling completely disconnected from everything else to verify.
      On a sprint, I am not shocked that my right leg would be stronger, but outside of that, it looks like left leg is consistently higher, or am I imagining that.

    • Mike B

      And another file for reference.
      link to analyze.dcrainmaker.com
      I think I just like using the DCR Analyzer too much at this point!.
      Left leg seems to be broadcasting high still.

    • Sorry, one quick/silly question – did you turn off ERG mode smoothing on the KICKR? It appears to be on (thus, skewing that side unfortunately).

      That aside, yeah, left is definitely high. Whether that’s real or not is the tough one. If you do some one-legged drills (30-seconds ideally), what happens?

    • Mike B

      Here is latest file…no ERG mode here.
      link to analyze.dcrainmaker.com
      Do you have any public links to your analyzer files where you use pedal based meter and a trainer? Maybe i’m just being unrealistic in my expectations.

      On a side note, if you’re in Kansas, shoot 3 hours south to Bentonville Arkansas. Some solid MTB trails down there these days!

  119. Struan Lownie

    Other than a support ticket, any alternatives for fixing a pair of Vector 3’s that lost connectivity during a firmware update? Tried a reset by taking the batteries out but only getting a flashing red light on the right peddle.

    • Theo

      Use your Edge or phone app to unlink the pedals. Then relink them. The seven digit ID is etched onto the right spindle.

  120. Julius Caesar

    So as of 15th April 2019 – do we all recommend buying the Garmin Vector 3 pedals or is it still a minefield?

    • I don’t think there’s any issues remaining for new buyers of new units. In talking to Garmin about this very issue last week while at the CIQ Summit, they said that support tickets on new Vector 3 pedals have basically gone to zero (obviously, people still call support for normal stuffs, but in terms of the issues everyone was having, those are gone).

      They noted that they do see some tickets that pop-up with earlier produced pedals (that customers have had for a year or so) where people either may have bad pods still or similiar things along those lines, but they’re pretty much taking care of those people either by replacing parts or entire pedals if need be.

    • Ismo

      According to the posts on the Garmin Vector3 support forum the company may have a bit too optimistic view of the situation. Of course the support forums never show the full picture, because the happy customers usually don’t post their status there.

    • Strange, I’m not seeing anything in the last four weeks that’s referring to new purchasers (I stopped after looking back a month as a random cutoff). I’m seeing people with units from a year+ ago that. And even within that, we’re only talking a couple people – the rest just seem like run of the mill typical troubleshooting.

    • José

      Didn’t Garmin also say the version 2 battery caps fixed the issues? Is Garmin responding any different between version 2 and version 3 in regards to how they believe it is working?

    • GP

      That cannot be true – does not matter how good a product is the support tickets never go to zero. This was just posted yesterday

      “The Vector 3 Pedals are completely unreliable junk”

      link to forums.garmin.com

      I guess Garmin must have missed that one?

    • Ian S

      I wouldn’t touch, I owned for a week and took back. Fundamentally it seems like theres a flawed design here that Garmin have iterated and improved upon but there still seems to be noise about. Given so many other options available that are proven why take the risk?

    • Chris Furner

      I still regret my purchase. After several sets of new battery doors and a full pedal replacement, they are still unreliable. They are nothing more than just pedals to me. As a power meter it is a worthless tool. Luckily I have my old Power2Max Classic on my Tri bike, that thing just keeps on ticking with no issues. But on my road bike I just have the Vector 3 available, my early season rides have indicated that the pedals are still having issues, mainly I get dropouts followed by a huge spike in power.

    • Gil

      I might be the exception. My pedals have been flawless since installing the 3rd generation battery doors / base and lathering the batteries in mineral oil.

    • DLinLV

      I have not had issues, with new doors and single battery (CR1/3), no oil. Granted, I live in the desert, so no rain or humidity/moisture to affect them. Not seeing any issues.

      That said, when I fire up the Edge 1030 and rotate the left pedal, I get a warning that the right pedal is missing. This is very predictable and repeatable. BUT, if I rotate the cranks a few times by rotating the right pedal along with the crank, there is no issue with the Edge seeing both sides and they connect.

      Even when I did get the pedal missing warning, once I started riding the Edge would quickly “see” the right pedal once it started rotating, so it was a non event. Still, I rotate the cranks via right pedal ‘just in case’.

      Good luck to those having any issues. I understand concerns paying $1k for $150.00 pedals.

      Dennis

    • GP – Read what I wrote about the ‘zero’ comment, it was for new purchases, not existing ones.

      The person in this section of the thread specifically asked about new purchases, not someone who purchased 12-18 months ago. I don’t doubt there are issues with folks who have older units, but we’re just not seeing (here, Garmin forums, elsewhere) seeing comments from folks that went out and bought pedals recently and then having troubles. Doesn’t mean those folks don’t exist, but the question was asked – so I gave the most accurate answer based on all the data all of us can see. Plus, gave the answer given I asked the exact same question to Garmin (where they also noted people with older units are still calling in with support issues).

    • José

      Didn’t Garmin also say something similar after a certain point with the release of the version 2 battery caps?

      I feel that Garmin is overly optimistic about the performance of the Vectors and dismissive of folks with issues. I think with each hardware/software upgrade the Vectors have become less bad, but they still aren’t great. Even Garmin has said that they can go from working to not working in a single ride (due to fretting). So Garmin says I either have to know my own power numbers or have another power meter to see if my Vectors are performing correctly. For the easiest power/cadence number of 0, my Vectors lag in picking up the changes (either spinning up or down). For the reference PowerTap I have on my bike, the Vectors consistently read lower.

    • GP

      I thought using a ‘single’ battery voided the warranty (that was the rumor) but now some are saying that works.

      Also I am surprised how much DC is defending Garmin – I have not seen one negative comment about a product that (maybe until now) has not worked for a large number of people.

    • DLinLV

      Maybe using a single battery will void the warranty, but how will Garmin prove that is what I used, should I need warranty help? They really cant…tho if asked I would tell them. I wont lie to them.

      But I also doubt I will have a warranty claim, personally. I have had my set over 1 year and use them for road and light cross riding, without issues.
      Dennis

    • “Also I am surprised how much DC is defending Garmin”

      I’m not defending them at all. I don’t care what anyone buys. Assioma is a great pedal, and as I’ve said many times, the best value for the money here. And I sure as hell wouldn’t buy a pair of used Vector pedals…especially Jose’s. ;)

      I’m defending critical reading/comprehension skills. Roughly how this thread went:

      Original poster: I’m looking to buy new pedals, what’s the deal today?
      DCR: For new purchasers, Garmin says things are good, for older purchasers, they admit there are still issues/tickets
      Gallery: How dare you say there are no issues.
      DCR: I didn’t say that. And if I look at Garmin forums, there are no recent threads from people with new units (aside from common troubleshooting stuffs)
      Gallery: Look, there’s tons of threads in the forums
      DCR: They’re all from older purchased products
      Gallery: While I didn’t read anything that I linked to, LOOK, there’s tons of issues in the forums, how dare you say there are no issues
      DCR: Jumps off bridge

      Again, I don’t care what folks buy. But I think one of the things that I (generally) like about the comments section here is that folks (including myself) can give detailed answers that have if/then statements in them, and that people tend to take the 7 seconds required to parse that statement.

      Also – for those saying I haven’t said anything negative about Vector pedals, read what I wrote in my power recommendations guide last fall. Or in umpteen other places. Still, I tend to be a numbers person. The numbers that I see from all the data sources I have (rough estimation of units sold each week vs returns vs forum posts vs posts here vs posts elsewhere, etc…).

      It’s really as simple as that.