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Garmin Vector 3 Power Meter In-Depth Review


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’!


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!


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


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:


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?


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


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.


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.


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:


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.


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


Next, spindle-side:


Then the other side:


And finally, the rear:


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:


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.


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:


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:


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).


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


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.


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:


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).


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.


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.


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:


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-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.


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):




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).


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:


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.


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:


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.


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.


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:


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.


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


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.


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).


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.


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.


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.


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


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:


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:


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 Power Meter Pedals (Dual)Garmin Vector 3PowerTap P1 Pedals
Copyright DC Rainmaker - Updated November 23rd, 2023 @ 2:34 pm New Window
Price$459/$719 (single/dual)$999$679
Available todayGlobalStarted shipping October 2017Global
Measurement TypeDirect ForceDirect ForceDirect Force
Attachment areaPedalPedalsPedals
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 Power Meter Pedals (Dual)Garmin 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 Power Meter Pedals (Dual)Garmin Vector 3PowerTap P1 Pedals
Measures/Transmits CadenceYesYesYEs
Ability to update firmwareYesYesYes
Transmits Left/Right Power Balance (Measured)YesYesYes
Transmits Pedal SmoothnessYesYesYes
AccuracyFavero Assioma Power Meter Pedals (Dual)Garmin 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 Power Meter Pedals (Dual)Garmin Vector 3PowerTap P1 Pedals
Phone App to Configure/TestYesYesYes
PurchaseFavero Assioma Power Meter Pedals (Dual)Garmin Vector 3PowerTap P1 Pedals
Competitive CyclistLink
DCRainmakerFavero Assioma Power Meter Pedals (Dual)Garmin 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.



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

If you're shopping for the Garmin Vector 3 or any other accessory items, please consider using the affiliate links below! As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. It doesn’t cost you anything extra, but your purchases help support this website a lot. Even more, if you shop with TPC (The Pro's Closet), you'll save $40 on purchases over $200 with coupon code DCRAIN40! The Pro's Closet has been a long-time partner of the site here - including sponsoring videos like my cargo bike race, as well as just being an awesome Colorado-based company full of good humans. Check them out with the links below and the DCRAIN40 coupon!

Here's a few other variants or sibling products that are worth considering:

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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. And lastly, if you felt this review was useful – I always appreciate feedback in the comments below. Thanks!

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  1. Thomas

    Thanks for posting Ray 🙂 Now I know what to do the next hour or so 😉

  2. FatCatNasty

    I was very interested in power pedals until i found out about the loss of around 6 degrees on bike lean angle.

  3. Richard

    Hi Ray. I couldn’t find a definitive answer on the decrease in pedal stack heights V2 compared to V3 being ‘slightly’ lower. Do you have any insight on that one?

    • The stack height for Vector 2 is 10.50mm. The stack height for Vector 3 is 12.20mm. These measurements do not include the height of the cleat.

      The Q factor for Vector 2 is 55.00mm (56.2mm with 1washer, 57.4mm with 2 washers)
      The Q factor for Vector 3 is 53mm (55mm with provided 2mm washer)

    • Gil

      I think someone asked about pedal stack heights.

      Look Keo 2 Max Gen 1 – 15.7mm without cleats
      Look Keo 2 Max Gen 2 – 15.9mm without cleats
      Garmin Vector 3 – 12.2mm without cleats
      3.5mm difference

      I’m surprised Garmin was able to achieve a lower stack height then Look.

    • jeremy barnes

      Is this to say that my leg will travel an extra 3.5mm on the stack height further and may have to lower the seat?

    • Bart

      Exactly @jeremy

  4. Sean

    Don’t know if it’s a special deal or the new normal, but I just looked and Clever Training now says “FREE SHIPPING OVER $49”

  5. Pierre

    Great as always.
    One question regarding osymetric rings, support or not?

  6. Steve

    Have never posted here before (though always enjoy reading), but I think many folks must have the same question as me, so I’ll ask it: is there any reason to get these over the much less expensive Assiomas? So far I see differences in the appearances of the pedals (subjective), battery mechanism (subjective), and Cycling Dynamics (subjective re: usefulness). I’ve got no horse in the race, but bypassed the recent BF deals on the Assiomas because I wanted to learn more about the Vectors before choosing (first PM purchase for me). (Would love DCR’s thoughts on this–may be wrong, but I sense diplomacy because the differences seem so subtle and a matter of personal preference–as well as others’.)

    • I think you’ve summarized the differences well.

      And that’s honestly all it comes down to. Some don’t like the look of Assiomas, and some prefer varying battery technologies. The one minor one is the whole Zwift connectivity issue over BLE, which some Assioma buyers have been upset about (ANT+ is fine). But again, minor depending on your specific configuration.

      But again – really just the differences you’ve outlined for the most part (aside from some varying tiny minor tech/sizing differences outlined in detail in the other post).

    • Steve

      Thanks for the response. It’d be easier if there was a clear and compelling difference. I was hoping you might say that there was an obvious winner on build quality (though figured that assessment would take a year+) or that cycling dynamics had proved its worth as a training tool. But my sense is that it’s now a question of whether the slightly cleaner look of the Vectors is worth several hundred $$$ (we all put a lot of stock into the look of our bikes, so I guess it’s an honest choice).

    • Chris Ott

      IMHO this is rather a major issue with BLE and Strava+Zwift. I use my iPhone right on the bike and I see no point in using ANT when BLE is available.

      I think it was an important design decision for Garmin to make the pedals appear as one BT device and to strive for the official BT certificate. Another positive point is the auto calibration. All settings seem to be available from the Garmin app (no need for a separate head unit). This is all well-considered by Garmin.

      Looks or battery life are minor in my opinion. I really wanted to buy the Assiomas because of the price, but the unsolved BLE issues are a show-stopper for me. It will be the Vectors now, as soon as they are in stock.

    • Beni

      Hi Chris,
      Does the Phone is showing the power vaules live? Garmin Connect App?
      I will use the pedals on my indoor trainer without a separate head unit. The power and U/min should be showed right away on my phone(Android).

  7. Ludovic

    Hello Ray:

    Does include the Garmin Vector 3 weight the batteries?

  8. Sylvester Jakubowski

    Glad I took a chance and got these before the in-depth review, actually just arrived and mounted them today.

    Thanks for the RT Ray!

    Might be worth mentioning the 2 different tension setting areas on the pedals? Looks like both bar and allen key tension adjustment.

  9. Jesper

    Nice review as always. thx!

    On the “hands on” post/blog, there was quite a few people asking about upgrade/trade-in deals for existing V1 and V2 customers. Have you heard anything since? (guess you would have mentioned it) Could you poke Garmin for us??
    I’m very close to the weight limit for the old Vectors, and if I got any decent amount of riding done, I’d trash at least one set of Vectors each season. On my 3rd or 4th set now. Not sure if it’s my fat legs or the wet and salty environment here in Denmark. But I’m not a happy Vector owner at all…

    PS. Small typo: …you can turn off auto zero if you’d like to. This can be __down__ both on the head unit, as well as the mobile app.
    Assume down=done?

    • Thanks!

      No, I’m not aware of any trade-in deals at all (or talks of them). To be fair, Garmin has largely phased out such offers as a company in general (as have most tech companies these days I suppose). In the case of Vector 1 to 2, it was technically a simpler problem to solve. Whereas things are substantially different from a hardware standpoint in V3.

      Thanks on the typo, fixed!

  10. Brent

    Now that they are making there pedal in house they should start focusing on a SPD version. That is the only if I have.

  11. Brad Davis

    I have an issue where I tend to destroy the clip-but that is at the back of the pedal, specifically the part that clips in to the back of the cleat. It’s not clear to me why this happens – maybe I need to clean my cleats off more often? – but it happens pretty frequently. e.g. I just destroyed a set of pedals in about 7000 kilometers. So my question is, is this part servicable / replacable on these pedals?

  12. MAGNUS

    Mine were delivered today but a bit disappointed the crows foot was no longer included. I had a set of Vector 2 pedals so I went out and bought a torque wrench to swap out as needed… Now I’m the other way around, have a torque wrench but no crows foot to install or swap… Staring at my pedals until I get a chance to stop by the LBS should be as fun as riding them.

    • GianKam

      Can you explain? Hard to understand for me.

    • Magnus had an old set of Vector 2 pedals. Those required a torque wrench, and in particular, a crows foot adapter for said torque wrench. Garmin initially didn’t include those in the box, but eventually did. All of which allowed for proper installation of the pedals, but was well beyond what you’d need to normally install pedals.

      With Vector 3 you simply need a normal pedal wrench, which are widely and easily available (and what you’d need for many other pedals too). Magnus is simply noting that now he has an overkill tool of little use, versus the cheap and easily found tool.

    • Zman

      Hmm, I received a reply from Garmin support saying that Vector 3’s still require specific torque and they sent me the link to the torque wrench and crow’s foot tool links. Maybe support hasn’t gotten the memo? The user guide also says to tighten to a specific torque.

  13. Philip

    Hi Ray!

    I’ve got a pair of Vector 3 on pre order but I just can’t decide if I prefer the Assioma instead. Regarding durability, which ones do you think are the most durable? It does happen that pedals take a little beating, and it seems as though Favero’s design with the electronics being away from the pedal body would make them safer than the Vectors, where an impact would hit the electronics directly. What’s your take on that? There’s also the possibility to change the pedal body on the Favero’s where as I guess that the Vector’s electronics are so integrated that it is not possible on them, do you know?

    • I think they’re all pretty darn durable.

      I’d actually argue the inverse – that Favero’s pod-design makes it more susceptible to damage, because the pods have a point that could also get damaged, versus being protected inside the pedal.

      But ultimately, I’ve really seen no evidence of either design being a concern (either with Assioma or their previous generation bePro). With Vector 3 there will be service kits made available.

      Speaking of service kit – fun fact I didn’t mention in the review: Vector 3 is designed so that all the electronics are in the spindle, enabling them to more easily consider other pedal body types down the road…

    • Philip

      Ok! I’ll stick to Vector then, thanks for your reviews and the 10% discount at Clevertraining 🙂

    • Steven Knapp

      A good point. Assioma and Vector are both user serviceable.

      The Powertap P1 needs to be sent in for ~250USD, per their web site.

  14. Alan T.

    Hi Ray,
    Is there anything thing that the Vector 3 will not push to the BOLT? In other words, is there an advantage to pairing the Vector 3 to the 520 or other Garmin computer rather then parking w/ my BOLT ? Thank you.

    • Omar

      At this point in time, by reading Ray’s well researched reviews, the only thing you won’t get when using Vector 3 with a WAhoo Bolt is Garmin’s cycling dynamics information on the Bolt. Probably not a deal breaker for many people but worth a note. There is hope that Wahoo may implement cycling dynamics in the future now that garmin has opened them up for industry adoption (but that’s not a guarantee). At this time though, the advantage of using a Garmin 520 or similar from Garmin is the support for cycling dynamics.

    • Yup, Omar’s spot on.

      I didn’t run Vector 3 with the BOLT to my knowledge on any of my more formal tests, so if there’s any unexpected quirks, I wouldn’t have caught them. I may have paired to it here or there on a ride, but can’t remember specifically.

      I’ll probably try some Polar/Suunto via BLE units in the near future and add them in. With Polar you’ll get more detailed information on power meters than Suunto.

    • Suunto will only take a single BLE channel on SPARTAN. Polar should do both.

      Might be useful for single channel BLE to clarify what power you get (doubled one side but which side and can you choose which side Or combined)

    • That’s the key difference though with Vector 3 compared to Assioma and PowerTap P1: It shows as a single channel (with both sides within it). It’s not just doubling like the others. Thus, it’ll actually work even better for Suunto which only accepts single channel.

  15. Alexey Pal

    Thank’s for great review Ray!

    Any news on MTB (spd) version?
    I use spd pedals on all my bikes (MTB, CX, road) and will be glad to by Vector3 in Shipman a600 or XTR shell

  16. John Bru

    If you compare Vector 3 with prior versions, they look like beta products.

    I like the elimination of pods and now you don’t need a torque wrench. I’d prefer to use an allen wrench, but it’s not a big deal. LR44 batteries are not as standard as AAA from powertap, but they last longer.

    At last, pedal power meter are easily transportable/movable, but they are more exposed to falls and hits. It isn’t the best option for durability.

  17. Rodador

    What’s the reason that there isn’t Shimano compatible pedal power meter on the market? I prefer Shimano cleats because they has a larger platform and are more durable than Look Keo ones.

  18. Stuart

    Considering that I can easily find places that sell LR44 batteries for about 20 cents a pop, whereas the cheapest option I can find for SR44 is around 90 cents a pop (both AUD), I’d say it’s a good thing that Garmin have validated the LR44; I find it difficult to believe that the SR44 would last about five times longer than the alkaline option. If only I could bring myself to justify the upgrade from the Vector 2 … (sigh.)

    • Steven Knapp

      Ray, appreciate you asking Garmin about the SR44/LR44. Remain curious why the LR is more consistent… but I’m sure I can figure out a way to get over that. 🙂

    • Chris B.O.B.

      I’m a Garmin dealer and in speaking with them today regarding batteries they advised that the SR is the preferred battery. I wonder if something has changed in the past few days. I originally asked because Alkaline batteries (LR) leak while Silver Oxide (SR) don’t…and inside your $1000 pedals is not a good place for leaking batteries and I wanted to get their take as to preference between the two.

    • Marc Simkin

      According to the Garmin web site, either LR or SR is fine. They state they haven’t tested the SR for battery life.

      link to support.garmin.com

    • Steven Knapp

      …but expect it to be longer, as the specs would indicate.

      “SR44 batteries have not been tested for battery life however are expected to last longer that LR44 batteries.”

      All interesting. I doubt it matters much, honestly. I’ve not seen issues with charged LR batteries leaking in storage. And the battery life is solid either way.

      But then again I probably didn’t need to know my PCO is different between my left and right feet either..

  19. Peterf

    These look fantastic, but I greatly favour SPD cleats (the MTB kind).

    Is there a technical reason why nobody makes pedals with a power meter for SPD?

  20. Lorenzo Pasquale

    Hi Ray, thanks as usual for the useful review.

    I’m considering your statement ‘…nor are any specific torque specifications required.’

    Still, I DO see they’re recommending “25 lbf-ft or 34 N-m” on their quick-start guide (please, see picture #4 – link to media.dcrainmaker.com ).

    All this reminds me of the old Vector 1 installing recommendations ( link to youtu.be ).

    ‘…hand tighten those [pedals]. Achieve a nice firm tightening of the pedal, but not over tighten. Pedals don’t need to be over tightened. And if you’d like to use a torque wrench to achieve that exact 25 lbf-ft or 34 N-m, _by all means_ do so…’

    And we all know that a torque wrench was mandatory for a successfully installation of Vector 1 pedals.

    I must say it won’t bother me as I already have such a torque wrench (I bought it a few months after Vectors 1 had arrived).
    I just thought it would have been worth to point it out.

    Ciao 🙂

    P. S. Vector 3, here I come!

    • Yeah, I can say that they left it in there more as general guidance than anything else. In reality, there’s no reason for it, and they’ll more or less admit to the same thing when asked in a non-official capacity.

  21. Fernando Luiña Vela

    Great review, thanks

  22. Steve

    Terrific review. I’m still running my perfectly functional Edge 510, but have been shopping around for a power meter. Despite only the newer generation head units being listed as “compatible” with the Vector 3/3S’s, do you think I’d still be able to display power/cadence on that (minus all the cycling dynamics data)? There wasn’t much that I found on the Garmin forums.

    • Stuart

      They aren’t going to take a standard that has been in use since the original Vector and throw it out the window. Given that the original Vector transmitted cadence as well as power, and is listed as compatible with the Edge 510, I’m going to bet a significant sum of money against a single doughnut that the 3/3S will function in an identical fashion, at least as far as the 510 is concerned. You might miss out on some of the fancier, newer features (although the biggest is Bluetooth support – no big deal in this context), but if all I had was an Edge 510, I’d have absolutely no qualms about picking up the Vector 3.

      link to www8.garmin.com

  23. Nick

    Thanks for the review Ray!

    You mention that you tested with Stages. Any chance you can post the analyzer link for the Stages comparison?


    • Let me dig around a bit. I have a Stages arm on that bike for every ride, but don’t always bother to record it, since it’s left-only and thus isn’t super interesting from an accuracy standpoint.

      I’ll dig back, as I recorded some rides in August and September with it.

  24. Jason

    Are there any limitations with oval chainrings? I recall there was an issue with high power readings in the vector 2 with oval chainrings.

  25. Marc Simkin

    Ray, any idea of what the variances between the 2 & 3? I have the 2 on one bike and the 3 will be going on the other, once I receive it. (Looks like CleverTraining will be shipping them today). I just trying to figure out if the variance will be something I will have to worry about going forward.



  26. Rich Kaplan

    So now the question is pedal vs crank power. Pedal has the advantage of being swappable but I have only one road bike running time pedals and a gravel bike with spds. If money wasn’t the first consideration, how would you compare vector 3 with the new shimano and 4iii dual power meters?

  27. Ben

    I have read all your indepth reviews and find them fascinating. Just about to part with some hard earned cash for a pair of power pedals. If it was your money vector 3’s or P1’s? Can’t see much in it now.

    • Marc Simkin


      I went through that same debate a back in the late spring. I ended up originally picking up the Powerbeats. After 8 weeks with nothing but issues with the Powerbeats, I was able to return them and switched to the Vectors.

      I decided on the Vectors at that point because I was fulling invested in the Garmin ecosystem. I also felt that just having some of the metrics from the cycling dynamics would be interesting.

      The P1s also provide some of the same additional metrics, but only if you use a Powertap computer. Since I didn’t want to replace my computer, the Vectors were a better choice.

      If you are not after the additional metrics, then go with the one you can get the best deal on.


  28. BobBarker2017

    Many thanks Ray for this very good and in-depth review.

    It is greatly appreciated since l have been sitting on the fence over the last couple of weeks to decide on my next power meter.

    As for Mark, I have been invested since several years in the Garmin ecosystem for cycling computers, tri-watches and over the last year and a half the Vector 2 (dual).

    Overall, never had any problems with these things and I have been satisfied. Except for the Vectors for which I had to return two sets since my first purchase in August 2016.

    The first one was defective after couple of weeks and was fully replaced by the LBS/supplier under Garmin’s warranty. The second one worked without flaws until early fall this year when I have started noticing a power output difference of 30 watts on average and much more higher during sprints when I installed the bike on the Kickr. Before that, the difference was 4 to 9 watts. Balance between the two legs was also way off.

    This second set was also declared defective by Garmin’s supplier and available for full replacement with Vector 3 if I want to through the LBS. Not bad! 🙂

    So, although I want to give Garmin a third chance with these pedals since I enjoy the dual pedal power, switch between bikes and cycling dynamic data, I do not want to experience a third time this kind of failure. Electronics is electronics after all and Garmin through its supplier here has stand behind its warranty policy which is a good thing. I could switch to the P1 which are bigger or a Stage/4iii but I am not a big fan of crank-based power meters.

    This review is therefore helpful to help me decide on the next step.

    Anyway, no more pods, torque requirements and several steps calibration procedure is a good start…

  29. Antonio

    What do you think about pairing the V3 with a PC8? Doable? Not a hassle like with the V2?

    • Should pair just fine as an ANT+ power meter, assuming SRM aren’t doing anything funky in the specs.

      If it was a hassle on V2, then honestly that’d be 100% SRM’s fault, since Vector follows the standards pretty clean-cutly (no other vendor has had issues there).

  30. Silviu

    Thanks for the review. After reading around on the garmin forums I’ve become aware of a potential problem with the bearings so I’ve been watching every unboxing or review on youtube on the Vector 3.
    For example:
    link to youtube.com
    On that video, from 8:40 to 9:10, the pedals appear to be way too tight. Let alone the potential fraction of a watt you’re losing because of that, I wouldn’t want to start off on a busy intersection or an incline with my pedal hanging around on that position.
    What’s your take on this? How was your set when you first got them? Did they loosen up after a while? Anyone else had this problem?

    • I don’t remember it being like that on any units I unboxed. If only for the reason that for photo purposes that stickiness would actually make my life a million times easier – since it keeps the pedal perfectly level. 🙂

      The very first shot in the review is from just after unboxing a pair (I take them then to look pretty still). So if it were level, it’s actually be a niftier photo. Sometimes I’ll hold it level with something just out of view.

    • Asgerhj

      I just installed mine today (ordered beginning of October…)
      Turning the cranks they behave like in the video.
      If I position the bulky part of the pedal at app. “10.30-11.30 o’clock” the pedals will balance themselves and stay in that position. Any higher or lower they will find their natural position in about 2 seconds.
      All in all I find it nothing to worry about. I’d rather describe the feel of the resistance as snug and quality. Not grindy or over tightened. Actually I believe my ultegras were about the same when new, and now they “dangle” freely.

  31. Chris

    Problem with Stages is it drops connection with the Fenix 5 when I’m riding on the aero bars. Can I expect the same issues with Vector 3?

    • Honestly, nobody can tell you the answer to that. The challenge with the Stages issue is that it’s nearly 100% bike/human configuration dependent. For some people, no issues, for others, plenty of issues.

      One tip: Some folks that are seeing Stages/Fenix 5 issues have it solved by switching over the BLE transmission from Stages to the Fenix 5.

      That said, Garmin’s Vector team is incredibly aware of the Stages issue (the Vector team largely is based out of Canada, in the same building as ANT+/Dynastream). I suspect this is something they tested a boatload. But as always…never say never.

    • David García

      I don’t think that Vector 3 will have the same reception problems as Stages with Fenix 5, because both are Garmin products and they show Vector 3 as compatible device with Fenix 5.

      If any problem should occur, Garmin should take care of that in warranty. Anyway, I think they should have tested it before releasing, as Ray says.

      I ordered Vector 3 in Clever Training (thanks to Ray 10% discount) and I have a Fenix 5. When I receive them I can tell you more about how they perform.

      Thanks Ray for your detailed in depth reviewed.

  32. Dave

    Thank you for your continued hard work. Your review helped me pull the trigger on these. Merry Christmas to me!

  33. Kyle

    Just landed in Amsterdam from Kazakhstan and looking to get these. Notice you travel here often – any bike shop recommendations?

    • Honestly, it’s gonna be really hard to find one for at least the next few weeks unless you’ve pre-ordered somewhere (a while ago). It sounds like inventory will probably catch-up around mid-December.

      Of course, sometimes you might just luck out by calling various local bike shops in Amsterdam and one might randomly have a unit that came in for a customer that then cancelled a unit…but I think it’s gonna be tough. 🙁

  34. Adam Wenborn

    Great review as always!

    Interesting to hear that Garmin are now manufacturing the pedal bodies in-house; do you think Garmin will release a Shimano SPD-SL compatible pedal body at some point in the future?

    • Years ago after the acquisition they talked about other pedal types that wanted to go into….and it never happened.

      But I think they’re in a much different (more mature) position than they were however many years ago that was. Both from a product standpoint, but also a manufacturing standpoint.

    • Adam

      Thanks for reply!

      Garmin, if you’re reading this, please make an SPD-SL compatible pedal body!

    • TK

      I sent an email to Garmin support asking this very same question. They replied with the below:

      Regarding your question we have no updates on if that will ever come to fruition. This year on the V3 we designed our own pedal instead of using the Exustar body. So pending the market need and response we got from the Vector 2 Shimano kit, it may be easier for Garmin to do since in house design. But as of now no information.

  35. Phil A

    The curious question is if you can use a CR1/3N battery instead of the stacked LR44 batteries? Then it would be lithium instead of alkaline.

    • Steven Knapp

      The CR1’s capacity is ~160mAh per : link to mouser.com

      LR44 is ~175mAh per : link to data.energizer.com

      While not a perfectly accurate comparison, the capacity is roughly equal. Yet the cost of the CR1 is a good bit higher (14USD for both pedals vs ~1.20USD). Other than longer shelf life I’m not sure what the benefits of the CR1 would be.

  36. Steven

    Have the P1 pedals, but thinking of selling/buying vector 3 for the increased clearance (one of my bikes has a super low bottom bracket. Also the better compatibility with regular look cleats (I have found the PowerTap P1 stock ones are prone to breakage). Saving 100 grams. Cycling dynamics. Running look keos on my indoor trainer bike and running these on the outside bike.

    The battery choice seemed silly at first, but the chance to have different bodies in the future would be nice. I’m guessing this means potentially Shimano, but one can always dream for Speedplay-esque.

  37. Pieterjan

    thx for the great review!
    Why would I choose a power based pedal like vector 3 over another system like power2max NGeco? looking out for a power meter but don’t know what’s more interesting.. Price for my setup would be pretty identical (need new crank for p2max). swappability between bikes isn’t an issue..

    • The main reason to purchase a pedal based power meter is really portability between bikes. The secondary reason to purchase a dual sensing unit is for accurate left/right metrics.

      For what you’re saying, I don’t see much of a reason for you to go with Vector 3 over the NG ECO.

  38. Francis

    Hi Ray,

    Stupid question. My stationary bike computer is broken. Can i use the Vector 3 to replace it? Kinda thought might as well hit two birds with one stone. Thanks

    • You could (assuming the bike just uses standard crank arm that have removable pedals). Just be aware that you won’t get speed from them. You’ll get power and cadence though.

  39. Martin

    Hi Ray – I am looking at the data sets and checking how the units compare in terms of mean max power at the 20 minute mark. All of the outside rides you did in October look pretty good, within 5 watts @ around 240 so well within spec. All the rides you did in November look a lot more suspect. I think the dropout issue you mentioned with the P2Max explains why that unit is reading low, but also the G3 looks significantly more variable in the November data.
    Can you think of any reason why this might be?

    • Indeed, the P2M dropout issue complicates some of those data sets. But I’m not seeing anything obvious/of note with respect to the G3. Which specific data set and/or time?

    • Martin

      On 10/25, 10/15, 10/9 10/4 the G3 and the Vector3 are within 1 watt at 20 minutes Mean Max Power – looks impressive almost like the Wattbike sets. On 11/5 the G3 and vector are 15 watts apart at 20 mins MMP i.e. one of the units out of spec. On 11/19 they are about 6 watts apart so just about in spec but not as impressive as the rides from October.

    • It looks like it’s good through about half-way into the workout, and then you see a bit of a slight shift after that point on the G3 vs Vector 3. I’d say the P2M and G3 agree, which they shouldn’t, which means that likely the G3 went slightly higher than it should of.

      Could have been anything from a weird autozero or something else. Not sure.

      Keep in mind that in theory, we actually shouldn’t have Vector 3 and the G3 identical (or within a watt or two). Ideally we’d be talking 5-8w of difference, with Vector 3 higher. Assuming PowerTap doesn’t slightly skew their numbers higher on their hubs…

    • Martin

      Thanks Ray, that makes sense, I came to a similar conclusion that the Vector 3 looks the more solid of the 3 units in terms of accuracy but it takes a bit of reading between the lines. I have a couple of G3’s and now and again they do seem to glitch on the offset by up to 15 watts or so easy for me to believe that the G3 was slightly out. (Would be interesting to know if PowerTap do build in a fudge factor for the drive train!)

      At the moment Vector 3’s are notable by their absence in the UK but I will take a punt on a set once they do show up here – hope that the 1% accuracy claim stands the test of time….

  40. Mike

    I recently installed my vector 3 pedals and they seamlessly paired with my edge 520, yet I can not seem to pair them to my Garmin mobile connect app on my phone. Also as you pointed out there are two different numbers on the pedals. Does it matter which one I use when attempting to pair? Also on the left pedal it’s one digit less than the right pedal. Is that right? The app asks for the seven digits so I assume it should be the right pedal. I’m “waking” them up and can see the green light but nothing. The app states it can’t find the pedals. Is there something I am not doing?

    • You should only be seeing a single number on Edge 520, not two numbers. That’d imply that the two aren’t linked.

      As for the app not finding them, I’m not entirely sure on how to troubleshoot that. I know Garmin is monitoring the comments here, but it may be faster to hit them up on the Garmin Forums for Vector, which they are hyper-aware of.

    • Omar

      See procedure to pair with Garmin connect starting at 1:30 min mark in this video:

      link to youtu.be

    • Thomas

      You must use the left pedal (this is the master pedal) to pair with the phone.

    • Mike

      The app asks for seven digits and the left pedal only has six digits. Is that right?

    • Asger

      My pedals start with a 0, thus making it 7 digits.
      But a weird thing is, that the number on the left pedal is nothing like the one reported on my Edge 1000 and the apps I’m using, which shows only 5 digits.
      (Entering the 7 digits stamped on the left pedal into the “control [kickr] with ant+ power meter” field in the wahoo Fitness app automatically converts the stamped 7 digit number to the 5 digits ant+ number)

    • Asger

      I just found the answer to my own speculation of different ANT+ IDs.
      Apparently Garmin is rolling out a new 20bit ID format.

      link to forums.garmin.com

  41. Matthew Loggie

    Hi Ray,

    I recently received a pair of Vector 3’s and have done a few rides inside using Zwift comparing the Vectors power readings with the Tacx Neo using your analyzer software. I have found the Vectors to be running consistently lower than the Neo. Here is a public link to the charts: link to analyze.dcrainmaker.com

    Have you seen similar things when you have used the two devices and do you think I should be concerned about this consistent and pretty sizable difference?

    Thanks and I truly appreciate your hard work keeping us all informed,
    Matthew Loggie

  42. David

    Hi Ray,
    Love your work.
    Great review as usual.
    If one bought a pair of Vector3s, do you know if it would be possible to use the left and right pedals separately on 2 different bikes with separate head units?
    I like the idea if having L & R Power but bring able to use as 2 separate meters would help justify the cost over the single sided option.

    • Asger

      Actually Ray states that it’s not possible in the review (just below the first picture of an Edge 1000)
      Ray, do you have any idea why this is so?

    • Asger

      Sorry, I meant below an Edge 1030..

    • In Garmin’s topology, the left pedal is considered the master/primary pedal, and thus is required. Some companies have failover type topologies (such as 4iiii with their dual cranks), though that’s more the exception than the rule.

    • David

      I thought I read that if either pedal’s battery went flat then the other pedal could keep working on its own as a one sided meter.

    • David

      DOH. That’s quite clearly stated, isn’t it.
      Serves me right for trying to check this on my phone before posting my question.
      and then finding I can’t edit my last reply so I have to waste everyone’s time with a 2nd post to apologise for wasting everyone’s time with redundant questions. 😉

  43. Eric

    Really great review (as always)!

    I finally received my Vector 3s this week and I have a question that I am hoping Ray or someone else can help with. For triathlon races I keep my shoes on the bike in transition for a faster T1. To practice how I race I always leave my shoes on my bike. This also saves wear on the cleats.

    My question is whether or not I can calibrate the Vector 3s with my shoes clipped in or do I need to always disengage the shoes, calibrate Vector 3s, and then reengage the shoes before I start my ride with a standard running start. Thanks in advance for the guidance!

    • Theo

      The main issue with this would be auto-zero, which could occur when your bike is in transition with the shoes attached. The weight of the shoes would affect the balance but not the total power being reported.

      So make sure auto-zero is disabled before your event. Do a manual zero calibration with the shoes detached, the night before you race, and you should be good to go.

  44. Candace Carlisle

    “Garmin hasn’t yet released the firmware to the public for the Bluetooth Smart power transmission pieces.. early January for release” would imply you can’t yet use the Vector 3’s with Zwift on an iPad (i.e. only Ant+, unless you have some sort of conversion)? If so, is Garmin still on target for a January release?

    • That’s correct, without some sort of conversion (hardware based) – no go.

      My understanding is that it’s still on target.

    • Chris Ott

      Any news on the BLE firmware update yet?

      I just read some of the BLE connection posts on the Garmin forums

      link to forums.garmin.com

      and they are starting to worry me. Some users are having problems connecting to their pedals with Garmins GCM software. This looks like a chicken-and-egg problem. How do I update the BLE firmware with my iPhone (and without owning a Garmin head unit) when I am not able to connect to the pedals? Would it be recommended to wait for new units to come out, which already have the new firmware installed?

    • Nothing has changed there, still on target as far as I know.

      I think Shane figured out the silly workaround is to simply pair it to a head unit first, and then you’re good to go via the phone. I don’t know if that would trigger on a brand new pairing via a non-Garmin unit, though my assumption is yes. Obviously, no idea why it’s doing that, but it appears Garmin is active in that thread trying to see what’s going on. I suppose most of us know of a friend somewhere that has a Garmin to get it to wake up if all else fails until they can sort out a better workaround for those seeing the issue. :-/

    • Jean-Jaques

      It’s been released FYI!

  45. S. Savkar

    Well, just installed my spanking new Vector 3s from Clever Training and tested them out on Zwift for a short spin. All seems in order.

    Been using the Powertap P1 for the last year, probably going to switch those to my wife’s bike for her, and see how things go with the V3s. Hate having to use a pedal wrench versus just a simple hex tool though, obviously because of the location of the indicator lites no way around that.

    Since I was lazy I kept my cleats for the P1’s on which seems to sort of work with the garmin, though I threw on the new cleats on another pair of shoes i had and they seem to be a far cleaner fit with the pedal. I seemed to pop out here and there with the wellgo cleats. Not terrible, just had to be a little careful.

  46. David

    I just installed a new set of Garmin Vector 3 pedals. I was surprised to see how much friction there seems to be in the bearings. Unlike the Shimano pedals that I just removed, you cannot spin these petals around with your fingers. They turn slowly, like they are moving through a dense liquid. Place them in a level position and let go, and they take about 4 seconds for the heavier heel end to fully drop. It makes me wonder how many watts will be lost due to this extra friction. I found similar complaints by other purchases on the Garmin site. Does anyone else see this as a problem?

    • S. Savkar

      I noticed the same friction in mine, initially wondered if it was a problem with the pedals, but didn’t really feel any issues while actually pedaling itself. Maybe someone else can clarify why this is the case or if there is a break in period here.

    • David

      I found this thread on the Garmin site:
      link to forums.garmin.com
      Apparently, because the pedals contain sensitive electronics, Garmin had to install waterproof seals at the spindle. Those seals impart a level of friction that you would not tolerate in a normal bike pedal. Does that really matter? If the impact is 1/10 of a watt, it should be ignored. If the impact is 5 watts, that’s unacceptable. I would like Garmin to share data to put this issue to bed.

    • The bearing seals in Vector 3, to ensure water resistance, do create the feeling of more pedal stiffness when moved by hand.  The drag is minimal when moving and causes no significant penalty in wattage while riding. The consequential power loss is less than a ¼ watt total.

    • David

      Shawn@Garmin, thank you for clarifying.

  47. Frank

    Hi Ray,
    I went out for a couple of spins with the V3, did an FTP test, that was quite similar to my results with vector 2S, so in general I was satisfied, however:
    -During the first rides I just torqued the pedals with a small wrench and they showed 50-50, 49-50 and so…balance
    -After this they started to loose, so I realized I made a mistake not torquing them harder -» torqued them not gorilla tight, but about the advised torque with my big wrench
    -Started to realize that the balance gone far to my right (43-57, 44-56)
    -Did a static calibration and the left was 0,999 of the expected the right 0,89…I guess this is not normal. I don’t want do always static calibrations, do you think it is warrant to a replacement?

    • Hi Frank-

      That’s weird, in general when you pedal on a bike the pedals will actually get tighter, so it’s odd they got looser. :-/

      On the static calibration, can you clarify the procedure you used?


    • Frank

      Te static torquing that garmin advices: put on a 11 or more weight. Measure twice the shown NM on garmin. Average and calculate the expected value weight*9,81*cranklength

    • Frank

      Update: Removed the pedals, wiped off a bit of grease from the threads, torqued them snug by hand with a smaller wrench…just for feeling, not NM 🙂
      I was worried a bit, because the static torque test showed negative values on the right, but the left was spot on.
      I rod a bit on the rollers, one legged, both legs, different effort.
      Performed the static test again and now both sides were spot on, within 0.01 of the expected value on both sides.

      So honestly…I think it was the too much grease. And now not just Ray confirms, but I do as well: No need to torque them to 40NM anymore, just have them snug.

    • Martin

      I finally received my set of V3 a couple of days ago, I had some similar anomalies so far. Bit too early to tell for sure, but they seem to need a bit of bedding in after swapping bikes (Ray’s method of performing a couple of sprints after fitting seems wise)

      In my case, I set off for a road ride comparing the V3 with a PT G3. All looked OK then the V3 started showing much higher readings than the PT. Stopped an did a re-calibrate, problem went away. V3 reading around 8-10 watts higher than the PT which is completely expected with a chain in shocking condition like mine.

      Changed them to a different bike today to do a short test against my Stages. This time the PT was reading far to low. Again the pedals were nice and tight, repeated the test after a new calibration and ended up with exactly the results I expected.

      In both cases during the period with suspicious results my L-R balance was way off indicating to me that one or other of the pedals was having an issue until the re-calibration.

      I will be keeping a close eye on this over the next few rides as the reason for going this route it ease of swapping between bikes and accuracy.

    • James

      Having decided to go with the Vector 3 rather than Quarq I am having similar issues. A number of times I’ve calibrated before setting off and had crazy l/r imbalance. Re-calibrating seems to correct that but the power readings just don’t look right afterwards with maximum effort up climbs producing readings well below FTP. As I don’t have another power meter I’m relying on feel and HR to judge but I know what a 10 mile TT effort feels like and I’ve put in harder efforts than that, producing a high HR and power readings at least 60watts below FTP. Today a 1 1/2 hr ride produced an I’m using a Wahoo Bolt so would like to try a Garmin unit and do some turbo sessions before contacting the retailer. Any suggestions welcome.

    • Martin

      Yesterday I swapped the pedals to my TT bike on the turbo, no issues at all, swapped back to my winter bike today and again had some inconsistent results vs my Powertap G3 before the pedals settled down.

      The only think I can think of is that they just need some time to bed in – not ideal, they are after all marketed as easy to swap between bikes. I did them up pretty firm so I really don’t think that torquing them any harder will really help.

      This was a 2 hour steady ride. when I set off and readings from the V3 looked too high so I re-calibrated after about 4 minutes (later analysis showed l/r balance out of wack also). Set off again, this time the V3s were reading too low (again later analysis showed l/r balance out, this time the other way around though). Another re-calibration at around 8 minutes and things started to look better until around 30 minutes in when I saw things drifting again. Another re-calibration at around 34 minutes and everything looked exactly as expected for the rest of the ride, V3 reading 3-5 watts higher than the PT which it should do if both are reading correctly.

      Here is the comparison for those who are interested:
      link to analyze.dcrainmaker.com

      I will do another ride Thursday without touching the pedals, hopefully I will see good accurate results from the outset this time (otherwise time to be concerned).

    • Johny

      In my case, it is also happening the same things. With the Garmin (820) unit I have about 40-60w less, with the Wahoo Bolt unit it’s all right. I can not explain it.

      See the segment at the picture!

    • Any chance you have the two .FIT files to download? It’d help tell the story of what’s going on. Or, you can upload them yourself using the Analyzer: link to dcrainmaker.com

      Makes it super easy to pin-point where the discrepancy is form (head unit or power meter).

  48. James Burrows

    Has anyone reported any reliability issues with the Vectors? I had the first type and ended up getting my money back under warranty so am wary. Also considering the Quarq Dzero but the ease of changing bike with the Vectors is tempting – can they take the odd knock in case of an occasional ‘off’ or would you consider them prone to crash damage?

    Reliability/consistency and portability are my priorities. I have a Cannondale BB30a frame and a BSA frame and Quarq advise with Rotor BSA/BB386 bearings I can move the powermeter between bikes, obviously swapping pedals is easier but would swapping cranks be straightforward or a pain?

    • Karl

      Hi James.

      I bit like you I had reliability issues with my Vector 2 and about 6 months ago switched to a Quarq Four. The Quarq has been fantastic and has been totally reliable and I now have 100% confidence in my power meter on every ride. What a difference!!!!!

      I swap the Quarq between 2 bikes. Both Specialized road bikes which required an adapter to convert the press fit BB to GXP. Initially the adapters were a bit tight and moving the Quarq was a pain. However after ever so slightly sanding the inner surface of the adapter the Quarq can now be moved by hand without the need for a rubber mallet and the whole process from start to finish honestly takes no more than 5 mins to do methodically & carefully. This is faster than I could change my Vector 2 but obviously not as quick as Vector 3.

      So for me I am very happy to stay with the reliability and confidence of the Quarq as I think I have just had too many bad experiences with my Vector 1 and 2 upgrade kit. I contacted Quarq before purchasing and they said “no problem with moving from bike to bike on a frequent basis”.

      Just sharing my perspective but obviously others will have equally valid and different experiences.

      Good luck either way with what ever you go for.

    • James

      Hi Karl, that’s very helpful – thanks very much. Edging closer to the Quarq!

    • Do keep in mind that the core changes made to Vector 3 were largely focused on addressing some of the issues seen in Vector 1/2.

      Of course, it’s far too soon to know about long term reliability on Vector 3.

    • James Burrows

      Good point, but I still can’t decide for some reason. As I have no particular pedal/cleat allegiance and have eTap and the Cannondale SiSl2 cranks on my Supersix it’s hard to overlook the Vectors. But if they are that good why buy anything else unless you are set on another pedal system? Price wise there’s nothing in it once you add chainrings, except you get a top of the range crankset plus powermeter instead of a set of pedals plus powermeter!
      I guess from your comment you’d be tempted towards the Vectors?

    • Main advantage of a Quarq or similar at this point (ignoring any hypothetical reliability items), would be pedal type choice as noted (inclusive of pedal format as well as things like stack height/weight/etc…), as well as slightly more cornering capability (for those that care about that in races).

      Like a lot of other people, I think Garmin has finally found the product they were aiming for three generations ago. And within that, I think it’s going to do what people thought it’d do half a decade ago. The challenge they have now though is undoing all those perceptions from half a decade or so’s worth of internet comments about not just Vector 1/2, but also various perceptions on the PowerTap P1/etc…

  49. David

    Hello Ray, I may have missed it but I see Questions circling but not asked that I have seen. That being, what about Bearing servicing,adjustment and replacement issues? Your site is the first I’ve read about the Garmin Vector 3. Your reviews are very informative, thanks for that.

  50. Samuel

    I wonder if this multi-tool can be used to unscrw the pedals ?

  51. Sam

    Thanks for the review Ray! I am going to get them ordered when my powertap p1 are returned (I had very weird issues of balance inaccuracy or battery caps not working)

    I wish I could order them with your affiliate link on Amazon! Clevertraining (UK) returns policy don’t seem as easy as the Amazon one for european (France) based customers!

  52. Mark

    Hmm, that’s not look good: link to youtube.com

    “power tap P1” vs “Tacx Neo” -> OK
    “vector 3” vs “Tacx Neo” – > more than 3% difference

    Drive train losses can be explanation but then “power tap P1” is not accurate?

    • As always, when using 2 power meters, you never know which is right.

      In my case above, I only saw a +/- 3% difference, which is inline with expectations. I don’t know what occurred in that one section on his trainer ride where the two differed by more than that. It’s odd it only occurred for that section (which was flat and relatively easy). While typically I’d side with the Neo, I also saw a case a month or so ago in a different power meter review of mine where the Neo did actually have an off section as easily demonstrated by three other power meters.

      Unfortunately, this is the fun and often confusing reality of power meter testing.

    • Frank

      Honestly, I’m using the v3-s for 2 weeks now. It is consitent (the data was almost inline with the v2s, apart that it is more accurate due to stronger right leg), I did static calibrations as well, both pedals are spot on the expected value (maybe a few 0.1 Nm difference). The pedals are much more stable than v2 , the data is stable (no sudden zeros, no strange peaks, lows). All in all, what I feel in my legs , that is reflected well on the screen, always. 🙂

  53. Chris Smith

    Ray, took delivery of my vector3s today and after fitting did a 20 km ride on zwift. Delighted with them and a big thank you to you for the reviews and accessibility (answering questions). It has given me confidence to buy through informed decision making.
    Thanks again,

  54. MY

    Very informative review, Ray. Seems like the power aspect of the V3s are pretty spot on, but just wondering how they are as actual pedals? I had to stop using Look pedals because of their creaking, and I can’t stand noise coming from the bike. Do the V3s creak, given they seem to be using Look cleats? Also, can you swap the spindles onto Shimano SPD-SL pedals as with the previous version?

    Thanks again.

    • No swappage at this point, though Garmin has left the possibility open. You’ll probably remember that last time it was some time down the road before the Shimano swap-out option was announced/available.

      No creaking from my Vector 3 units, though, at only 4 or so months in, perhaps that’s too soon (then again, I’ve never had any pedals creak).

  55. Jarda

    Great testing and review, as always.
    This time, I am trying to find out which power meter would be best on a new road bike: the Vector 3, or the Stages LR UltegraDi2. Any thoughts? Which performs best after 30,000 km? Is maintenance (replacing driver gear wheel) an issue with Stages?

  56. Frank

    Did today a test to calm everybody down, and let Shane know that his device or his tacx might be faulty:
    did a couple tests on 200W with 90 rpm and a few above 200 ones with 100 rpm:
    link to prntscr.com : overview
    link to prntscr.com : zoomed into the 200W efforts
    link to prntscr.com zoomed into the 250-300W efforts
    link to prntscr.com: cadence
    link to prntscr.com : left/right

    apart from that I can’t pedal smoothly: Yes….occasionally happens that for a point in time the difference between the two is 10W, but in general, even around 300W-s they are within 4-5W.
    We did a couple tests and garmin is consistent, when the pedaling is smooth the rpm is consistent (so the tacx does not have to compensate) the data is totally OK and within the error range.

  57. Eric Roe

    Hey Ray – thanks for the fantastic reviews! I was super pumped to get my vectors in last week, but am somewhat equally deflated to discover upon installation that they are still Bluetooth dumb and won’t be working with my trainer set up until firmware is released at some point in the future..

    Egg on my face for not catching the consequences of your firmware update note you added to the post above about this topic. It may be worth calling a little more attention to the fact so folks getting these as a holiday gift can have their expectations set accordingly. And it irks me that Garmin is marketing these as dual ant+/ble capable, when that’s not yet the case..

    Perhaps you could throw an asterisk in where you mention at the top that the pedals are Bluetooth capable? I’m hoping Garmin is getting plenty of pressure to get the cert pushed through and out of beta. I chatted with them earlier and they had no firmware release timeline they were willing to give me.

  58. Rob

    Any update on when Bluetooth is going to work? Bought these as I love cycling dynamics but it really sucks they come without BT enabled… hoping its not too far away especially when its on the box 🙁

  59. LordyW

    Hi, I received my V3 pedals a couple of days ago and so far have only used them indoors on Zwift. Everything seems good, except my pedals seem to lose connection very quickly when you stop pedalling.

    A specific example: on Zwift, the mountain route – near the top there is a short downhill before the final push to the finish line. I freewheeled down that slope (estimated 5-6 seconds) then started pedalling as the road flattened out and then ramped up, however my power stayed at zero for about 2 seconds (with the watts & cadence greyed out) – after this delay connection was re-established. This happened a few other times on the ride in similar situations.

    I assume this is a power-saving feature and is of less concern outdoors, however indoors it’s quite frustrating.

    Has anyone else experienced anything similar, or know of a workaround?

    Thank you.

  60. lars siemen

    Hi great review, a question

    I have resently tranfered from Shimano SPD SL to the set look(a like) who followed my 3mnth old Powertap P1. They have some special cleats which I think is floating around in the pedal (+/-6%?) – I will for my next set of pedals go for the Garmin Vector 3 but I’m not sure if Powertap cleats will fit the Garmin pedals and can I for the Garmin use ordinanary look keo? Can ordinary look keo fit the Powertap?

    br Lars

  61. S. Savkar

    I was too lAzy to switch off my p1 cleats for the keo ones on one pair of my shoes and they sort of work anyway. A little less secure than using the keo compatible cleats that came with the v3 as I found when I put those cleats on my other set of trainer shoes.

  62. Hi – Thx for yet another great test. 🙂
    I am having the pleasure of riding these Vector 3 pedals, and has dicovered a problem in the POC, (Platform Offset Centerline), where I see that you also seem to have some problems. On your results you have 8 & 7 mm. offset whick is pretty much and for me it is even worse as I have 10 & 8 mm despite that I have tryed to place the cleats as far away from the pedalarmside as possible which should bring the offset to the smalles value or maybe to a negative offset. This also means that the Q factor will be higher and therefore a cause for knee problems. Do you have any solutions or have you heard if Garmin are aware of this issue? Thx.

    • Q factor doesn’t cause knee problems, ask any fat bike owner.

      Why do you think a positive PCO is a problem, what research have you read to support this?

      Moving cleats will not change your PCO, if anything moving your cleats towards the outside of the shoe will make PCO larger. PCO is simply the way you push down with your foot, you can easily change it by pressing down with the inside of your foot – I can make mine -15 up to +15 very easily and consistently. Historically though, forcing your body to do unnatural movements has not been awesome from an injury perspective.

      Ray mentions the dubious usefulness of cycling dynamics on a regular basis – well OK maybe he says it more politely by refering to the lack of research, but still there’s no way to tell what is better or worse.

  63. Frank

    link to bike-components.de
    Nothing bad about the pedals…on pair with dzero

  64. Paul

    I’m having a consistent problem with my new vector 3 pedals and the Edge 520… Since getting the Vector 3’s, my Edge 520 silently turns off about every 6 miles. It never did this before pairing with the Vector 3’s. My Forerunner 920XT does not exhibit this problem. All software/firmware on both the Vector 3’s and Edge 520 are current.
    I contacted Garmin support and they asked me to download my 520 history files and send it to them. I did this a few weeks ago, and Customer Support said that Engineering is now looking into it.
    Anybody else having this issue with the Vector 3 and Edge 520?
    I’m starting to feel like a Beta tester.

    • If it’s ‘about’ every 6 miles, that almost sounds like it might be failing every 10KM, which almost sounds like perhaps there’s some sort of alert/autolap/something that’s triggering every 10KM causing a crash.

      Either way, I’d bet pretty strongly it’s not Vector, but rather an update or similar that got to your Edge 520 that’s causing it. It would be interesting to go for a quick drive with your Edge 520 and see if it triggers a failure at the 6mi marker again.

  65. Paul

    Thanks for the quick reply on the Vector 3 / Edge 520. I’ll try de-pairing with my 520 and see if the shutdowns continue. With respect to some sort of auto-lap shutdown, the events may be a bit too random for this, but software issues escape me. To elaborate on perhaps some boring chronology, I received my Vector 3’s from Clever Training on 12/7. Most data is from commutes to/from work, which, depending on route, is about 16 miles each way. Note the miles between shutdowns and the occasional successful ride to completion:
    12/8 AM: 17.25 miles – no issue
    12/10 AM: 7.14 miles – shutdown
    5.47 miles – shutdown
    19.46 miles – ride end (no shutdowns for over 19 miles)
    12/11 AM: 6.26 miles – shutdown
    5.47 miles – shutdown
    2.45 miles – ride end
    12/11 PM: 5.70 miles – shutdown
    5.88 miles – shutdown
    1.23 miles – ride end
    12/12 AM 6.34 miles – shutdown
    9.10 miles – ride end
    12/12 PM 15.8 miles – ride end (worked the whole ride home!)
    12/14 AM 5.89 miles – shutdown
    6.11 miles – shutdown
    1.19 miles – ride end
    12/15 AM 5.48 miles – shutdown
    5.86 miles – shutdown (didn’t turn back on)
    12/15 PM 5.36 miles – shutdown
    4.97 miles – shutdown (didn’t turn back on)

    • Thank you for the details Paul. I can confirm we are investigating reports of shutdowns when the Edge 520 is paired with Vector 3. We will reach out to you through our support channel once we have a resolution. Apologies for the frustration.

    • Paul

      I installed a beta software update from Garmin into my 520, and after several weeks of use with it, it appears to have resolved the random shutdown problem I was having when using the Vector 3 with the Varia radar.

  66. K1989

    Top review again Ray!

    Just about to pull the trigger and buy a set but before i do can i ask a couple of questions?

    Are the shutdown problems only between the vector 3 and the garmin 520? Or are other gps computers affected?

    Shane miller had to connect his to his 520 before he could apply the latest updates. If you have a Wahoo elemnt would this stop you applying updates?

    Finally, I know the cleats are look compatible but do you know what make and model they are as I have heard they are rebadged exustar.


    • 1) Shutdown’s: I haven’t heard of other units impacted, but then again, the one individual above is I think the only instance of it occurring.

      2) Updates: Not sure there, the theory is you’d be able to update via the mobile app, though I think Garmin is looking into why that’s not triggering for some people (I opened up a new pair the other day, and the mobile app found it just fine before i ever contacted it with a Garmin head unit).

      3) Correct, they are Exustar ARC2 cleats (you can make it out in the picture), but are fully Look Keo compatible, so you can use Keo cleats if you prefer.

    • K1989

      Thanks for the reply and info.

      Just ordered a set!!

      Thanks again Ray.

  67. JP

    Hi Ray,

    Are you aware of any implemented beta functionality or plans for a >60Hz sample rate using Bluetooth once the Bluetooth capable firmware arrives?


  68. Ludovic


    Although not available yet, in http://www.bike.discount.de the Garmin Vector 3 are announced at a price of 840 EUR: link to bike-discount.de

  69. Ludovic


    Has anyone measure the nut thread total length (from extreme to extreme) in the Vector 3. I would like to check if I will need the washer spacer or not. I’ve searched in the Garmin Vector 3 user’s guide but there is not such data. I add a picture with the measure I’m looking for

  70. Kristof

    Hi Ray,

    Like always I very much enjoy reading your reviews. Your site is the first I go to when buying some new technology for bike or running (got the Kickr and the FR35 after reading your in debt reviews).
    I’m now on the market for a power meter and very much like the look of the vector 3 pedals. The only concern I have is the tests Shane Miller (Daily Lama) has conducted where he found discrepancies when using ERG mode where the new vectors seem to read a lot higher. I’ve followed his thread and Garmin has replied to his comments but yet not found the reason why the vectors were doing this. As Shane is using your software and I’ve seen him mention you occasionally, I wouldn’t be surprised you are aware of his issue with the pedals? If you do, what is your take on it? And have you experienced anything like it when using ERG mode for a constant effort (e.g. sweet spot work,…)

    Kind regards


    • Yup, aware of it, and been chatting with Lama about it as well.

      Neither of us (nor apparently Garmin) are clear why it’s happening to him. Be it a certain use case with his hardware (other pieces), his Vector units, or something else.

      It’s actually not seen in my files. The differences shown in my files are all within spec. Definitely following it though (though, I haven’t seen anyone else show the same, hopefully we’ll have clarity soon).

  71. Philip Coleman

    Ray – Just received my V3 units and noticed the battery covers behave differently on each pedal. On the right hand side the cover screws closed to a stop. On the left hand side, it screws closed to just beyond finger tight then, on further tightening it loosens slightly and goes around the final tightening circle again – and so on. When left at max screw-in, the LHS is sitting snug, so not sure if this is a manufacturing defect or something to be worried about. Any advice?

  72. Kenneth Jones

    Gonna try to be brief. Seek your input based of what follows:
    Which power pedal for what I desire (Favero Assioma, Garmin Vector 3, Powertap P1)?
    Not sure what I will do in 2018 in the way of specificity. I desire to capture data for left and right pedal strokes to assist in understanding bike fit (cleats forward/back, seat up/down, slide forward on seat and slide back, to shimming a cleat. The additional pedaling analytics GPR,GPA, Power Phase… is welcome to the power balance and pedal smoothness.
    Most of the time will be spent on the trainer for each bike. I even desire to see what occurs on my mountain bike when I change the link on my full suspension to adjust the degree of head tube angle and setting up my hardtail. Of course I will be wearing road shoes and hopefully understand bike fit better when I get to this trial.
    What would I see on a Garmin 502 head unit when using Favero Assioma and Powertap P1?
    I’m thinking my goal is to see the power phase and is this only available with Garmin Vector3 and Garmin Cycling Dynamics? Is it viewable with Powertap P1 with or without their app? Will Favero Assioma offer anything more than an accurate watt number?
    You might say that this is over kill. But with the mindset of the least amount of the most effective exercise at the appropriate time leads to the time counting. I have had bike fits and read as much about them as there is on power meters.
    I am now at a place where I can satisfy me after reading your power meter articles. I see the discounts you mention available from using the code. It looks like Clever Training also has another 10% available???
    Getting the Garmin Vector3 pedals within $100 of the Favero Assioma almost settles the issue.
    You may tell me that I am going about this all wrong.
    I welcome your reply.

  73. DAREN

    No hex key removal. Compared with better look cleat compatibility. Want to swap a single pedal frequently and have both Park spanner and their pedal hex key. Much prefer the hex key (Assioma). How big a deal do you find this Ray when swapping daily?

    How do the cranks look after being assaulted by that big blue spanner on a daily basis?

  74. Kristian Frafjord

    Really love the site in general and this review in particular.
    Do you have updated info on transmission of Power data using Bluetooth?
    All the best
    Kristian, Norway

    • Carl S

      Hi Kristian,

      Just checked with Garmin now and they say that BT Smart is still in testing with an imminent release date. Ray may have more up to date info though.

      Carl (UK)

    • My understanding is that it’s still on the same timeframe as from back in November ‘Early January’. I’ll see them next week at CES, so can ask then.

    • Kristian Frafjord

      Awesome. The Vector 3S is my first powermeter and was really looking forward to playing around with them. Problem is that since I am using a Polar computer the pedals are pretty much useless at this point. Crossing my fingers for a actual imminent release.


    • Carl S

      Thanks Ray. Great review BTW, it really helped in my buying decision, when looking at all the options.

    • Kristian Frafjord

      Did you by any chance test the pedals With a Polar computer given that you have Access to the beta firmware that transmits Power data over BT?

    • I didn’t, though, I should be able to give the V800 a whirl here shortly (just a bit sidelined doing other stuff ahead of CES next week).

  75. John

    Hi Ray,

    I am in the market for a Vector 3 power meters but do not want to invest in an expensive bike computer.

    With that said, I understand that a lack of computer will limit my display options unless I can hopefully pair it it with my Forerunner 935 and/or Iphone 6 running Garmin Connect.

    My questions are the following:

    1. If paired to my 935, will I be able to see the wattage displayed?
    2. If paired with my Iphone 6 running the Garmin Connect and setting is on LIVETRACK, will I get be getting instantaneous and live wattage values and pedal metrics and if so, can anyone send a screenshot of what it would look like as an example?
    3. If no to question #1 and #2, are there apps I can use I can install on my 935 or Iphone and display live metrics in place of a bike computer?



    • Hi John-

      1) Yes
      2) You’ll get live power, but no pedal metrics. Honestly though, using that app that way for just displaying on your phone is a bit of a complex solution. Personally, I’d just use some free 3rd party apps. For example, the Wahoo Fitness app works just fine (once Garmin enables the BLE support here any day/week now).


  76. Carl S

    Hi, I have the Vector 3S and can see that the readings on Zwift from a Tacx Vortex is way higher than the Vector 3s. Around 60 watts higher on Zwift at FTP, though I am inclined to think that the Vector’s are way more accurate than what the Vortex measures, even for a single sided power meter (I probably have a leg imbalance as well). The Vector 3S numbers seem to feel right for my ability.

    The only downside is that Garmin have not yet released the software update for BT smart – I checked with them today and they confirmed it is in testing and will be released soon, so I will just have to stick with an Ant+ dongle.

  77. Digital Fury

    Late? check, buggy connectivity? check – yes, it’s another Garmin product.

    Favero, please have my money when your Assioma is back in stock.

  78. Markus

    Hi DC Rainmaker,

    do you maybe know when the Vector3 will be finally on sale on the Garminpage. The release date gets prostponed all the time.

    Thx a lot, Markus

    • I’m not sure. They’ve said they were start doing Garmin.com orders after most other retail channels caught up. I think they’re getting closer.

      But given you can purchase it in the US or Europe with relatively minimal delay these days (and if in Europe, at a discount), I’m not sure what the advantage is of Garmin.com.

    • DJ

      Ray, following up to my other comment on the 4 month delay, any reccomendation on where to get these in europe?

    • Anonymous Coward

      Still not available to order via <a href="link to buy.garmin.com US, and EU stores show a “Processing time is 3–5 weeks” blurb.

      Doesn’t look like Garmin’s getting anywhere close to meeting retail channel demand yet.

  79. AZ

    Searched a bit and it seems for now Cycling Dynamics is not accessible unless you use Garmin supported devices or a very short list of clients like Trainer Road. I’ve got an Elemnt and even with TWG stuff, its going to be a while if ever.

    I’m surprised Garmin doesn’t make possible saving CD data via the Garmin Mobile app. There’s not reason for me to get the Vector 3 over the 3S. Am I missing something?

  80. Bart

    I have had two issues with my Vector 3 pedals my first set which were returned under warranty would flash green and red lights on both pedals and after a couple of weeks the pedals would only stay connected for about 10 seconds.

    My new set will occasionally show a message on my Edge 820 “Right Sensor Missing” and when it happens the left pedal will go into a series of 3 flashing green lights the first time I noticed this was about two hours after powering down the head unit I assume it would have flashed until the battery was completely drained had I not reconnected the sensor and powered off the head unit while both pedals were connected.

    A couple of days ago I got the alternating lights again green and red, I think the problem might be in the Edge 820 anyone else seen behavior like this?

  81. Alistair

    I was looking forward to these but with it now being just shy of 4 months since full payment on a pre-order with no concrete shipping date, I’ve finally given up and got a refund to spend the money on something else or possibly still get them down the track when they are readily available and have had some long term usage by the lucky recipients…

    • Where did you order that you haven’t received units yet (but paid)?

      They’ve been shipping to retailers since October.

    • DJ

      Same story here.. 4 months, ordered the second they were out from powermeter24.com and got nothing yet. Maybe they have an incredibly limited supply?

    • Alistair

      Melbourne, AUS. “Pre-Ordered” (paid in full) with local retailer 16th September ’17…

    • Hmm, weird on both.

      In general, retailers had to place pre-orders back before it was announced (and/or the same day it was announced). But still, most of those types of orders have been cleared in the US and Europe. My guess is that for retailers that aren’t having major delays (i.e. only a few weeks), is that they place significant pre-orders early to account for sales well through early 2018.

    • Paul

      I’m in the same situation, but in NZ… we use the Australian shipping channel though. ordered and paid through LBS in September last year. Local Garmin product info is next to useless…

  82. Chris Furner

    Clever Training sent an update last night, their expected shipment this week did not end up shipping, they are now estimating end of month to receive a shipment to satisfy current backorders.

  83. sam snell

    Does anyone have any further update on the bluetooth Smart firmware?

    I’m looking forward to using zwift but cant until zwift can connect my pedals!

  84. Arp

    Congrats for this website.

    Actually there is a lot a powermeter in the market, and the choise is difficult.

    What is your advise for the best solution price/accuracy/durability :
    – Used SRM with PC8 – 1000/1200€
    – Garmin Vector 3 with – 520 1200€
    – P2M ng eco / 520 – 900€
    – Assioma Duo / 520 – 1000€


  85. XS Travel

    Great review – thanks.

    I have a Wahoo Elemnt and recently purchased Vector 3s.I’m a bit disappointed that I can’t sync with Garmin Connect (should have checked first) and that I can’t use Cycling Dynamics.

    Before I sell my Elemnt and purchase a Garmin.

    Can anyone answer these questions:

    – Does anyone use an Elemnt with their Vector pedals and are you happy that they are producing an accurate ouput?
    – Why is there no calibrate option on the Elemnt (just one to Forget the sensor)?
    – How do I calibrate the pedals without this option?
    – If I have left and right average of 45/55, does this just mean that I put more power down with my right leg or do I need to recalibrate?
    – On smoothness, one pedal keeps cutting out – is this normal? What am I aiming for here – matching numbers?


    • James

      Hi, I use an Elemnt Bolt. At first the readings were a bit wayward but now they match a Garmin 520 readings. You calibrate by pressing the power button once on the lower edge, this takes you to settings and you scroll down to sensors. As long as you’ve turned the cranks the powermeter will be recognised and the left hand of the bottom 3 keys gives you calibrate option.
      When I got the Vectors I sent my faulty 520 back for repair so I could get Cycling Dynamics, not sure why I bothered really as the Bolt gives me all the data I can use.
      Each to their own but I don’t think you’ll gain much by getting a Garmin head unit – certainly not £200 worth.

    • XS Travel

      Thanks James

      That is where I was looking but I will have another look in case I missed the calibrate option. I’m now wondering whether this works on the Elemnt Bolt but not the Elemnt.

      Presumably there is no need to set crank length anywhere?

      Are you using a 3s or 5s average?

    • James

      Hello, I think I set the crank length in the app on my smartphone. Yes I use 3s average on both my 520 and my Bolt.

      I’m due to do an FTP effort on Saturday and will record it on both head units to see if there is any difference but I don’t expect there to be. At first I had similar concerns about The Elemnt but I think The issues were down to the pedals bedding in after swapping bikes and me not being clear on the calibration process – which is dead simple. After swapping bikes I now do that before any ride and then a few minutes in after a couple of short harder efforts.

    • XS Travel

      Thanks James

      Now calibrated as per your instructions. A couple of failed attempts but if anyone else if reading this, try unpairing and repairing first.

      Presumably the app sends the crank length info to the pedals – I input this through the Garmin Connect App.

      FTP for me now!

  86. Patrick66

    Incredible review of a product I’m really interested in! Overall, more than I needed to konw, but there was one key (for me) issue that you didn’t comment on. With the original Vectors, which I am still riding, the cadence limit was 150rpm or something and in practice I find that over 160rpm it just cuts out meaning that I cannot measure very high cadence sprints. You comment on this limit in the review of the original Vectors but nothing about it here. Do you know if there still a cadence limit and whether or not this point is the same?

    • Carl S

      Hi Patrick66,

      I have the 3S with a Garmin Edge 520 head unit. Having seen your post, on my workout tonight I whipped up my cadence to 169 which registered on the Vector 3S and Edge 520 head unit. I could only hold for about 3 seconds though :-). One thing I did notice when I ramped it up, the cadence briefly displayed erratic readings – it must have been milliseconds but I certainly did see it register. It looks as though I had a drop out in connection but I cannot remember if I stopped then tried again – I think I must have done, as a wattage of 22 registered. Looking at my cadence in the files after the workout, the increase in cadence over the 3 seconds each time I tried was smooth (I took off smoothing on TrainingPeaks).

      Hope that helps. I can have another go during my next workout and report back.

      I only had that in me the once and I was spinning a light gear – my power at the time was around 340 Watts, so I am not going to be troubling any sprinters any time soon. It was on an indoor trainer as well. I have a attached the peak in cadence for reference.

      Hope that helps.

    • Carl S

      Here is the 169 RPM peak.

    • Patrick66

      Hi Carl S, Thanks very much for testing this out! Your sprint is actually very similar to the kind where I get complete loss of data. I use an indoor training program called TrainerRoad which includes ‘form sprints’ (high cadence low power) and before I get to the high cadence you achieved both power and cadence drop out even though I’m still pedalling. From your description and the helpful graph you posted, it looks like the situation has been greatly improved with the 3S but not entirely eliminated as you mention the eratic readings. Anyway, this is very informative and a real help. Thanks again for literally going the distance to check this out! I know this is not an easy thing to research!

    • Carl S

      No problem Patrick66.

      BTW I use TrainerRoad and a Tacx Vortex Smart, with an Ant+ dongle connected to my Mac. TrainerRoad works fine with this set up, with readings from the Vectors, controlling the trainer through the app during intervals. I am really happy with the Vector’s so far and they feel very constant from ride to ride, providing all the calibration protocols are done.

    • Patrick66

      Thanks for the follow up, Carl S. It sounds like you have an excellent set up there for TrainerRoad, definitely something I would like to replicate in the long run. I’m not in a position to get a smart trainer at the moment as I will be moving overseas in a few months so making do with resistance (dumb) rollers but upgrading the Vectors is looking like an atractive option at the moment.

  87. José Rosa

    My Vector 3S is blinking red/green (which should mean SW upgrade) for the last 30 mins . My Garmin connect app say device not connected.

    Is it normal to take so much time? how do I know it didn’t just hang…


    • Brent Gustafson

      I had the same issue starting Jan 14th after my GC mobile updated. Both Vector 3 pedals would blink Green/Red whenever my Android phone would be in range of the pedals even though the GC app says not connected. Tried unpairing/repairing, restarting phone, removing battery from pedals,…etc. I also let Pedal blinking/update run all night draining the batteries but it never finished. If I remove the Vector 3 pedals from my GC/phone, the blinking/updating stops and the pedals work fine. Tried adding the pedals back again yesterday Jan 17th and the blinking/updating started again. Had no issues prior to the GC mobile update.

  88. naisss

    Thanks for great review! Does anyone have tried to use these Vectors with Polar V800 or other Polar unit? Because in the Polar page, Vectors are not on the supported power sensors list: link to support.polar.com

  89. Chris Smith

    If my technology skills allow (not hopeful) I intend to start a closed FB group for vector 3 users. Have no intention of stepping on Rays shoes or stealing any thunder but such a group may be able to ask questions and discuss experieces as the product becomes more main stream leaving Ray to product review.
    Any thoughts?

    • Simon

      That would be a great idea.

    • I’ve got no issues with that at all!

      There’s a similar ones for Wahoo out there.

      The only caveat I’d note is that Garmin does have their official support forum, which they are pretty active in. My guess is it’d be hard for them to follow more places on-line. But if that’s not a desire, then no worries.

  90. Simon Donoghue

    I’m looking to invest in the Vector3 as my first power meter. Firstly the device I am going to be pairing with is a garmin fenix3 as I don’t own a head unit. Will all the cycling dinamics be available to that device and will it transfer all data to garmin connect via that device?
    Secondly I am using a campagnolo Bullet crank which was one of only 2 that wasn’t compatible with Vector1/2s because of the thickness and addition of the pods. I was hoping the new version 3s would be fine. Any thoughts.

    P.s. Thanks for all the articles that have influenced me in various products, be it to purchase or not

    • Chris Smith

      Thanks Ray.
      I have now created a Facebook group called Vector 3 users and would be delighted and honoured if you were able to join it so as to keep the advice coming.

  91. Karen D.

    Thanks for such a great review! Just trying to decide on the single or double Vector 3. No idea how much of a power discrepancy I have on the L vs R. I am sure that changes all the time. It is a lot of money an I am trying to justify the double pedals. Thoughts?

  92. Gijs

    Thanks for the great review. I’m considering the Vector 3’s but I’m a bit concerned with the weight limit of 105Kg. I’m normally 104Kg so with cycling gear on would be a bit over 105Kg. I don’t see this limit with other pedal power meters. Don’t want to risk any problems with the pedals so would you recommend others?

  93. Mark

    One question:

    Do I need every time before usage of Vector 3 (on the same bike, just different day) calibrate it via Garmin 1000? Is there any effect on calibration if I unclip pedals and press “calibrate” at horizontal level or vertical level pedals versus floor level ?

    • Mark

      ? Anyone ?

    • Hi Mark,
      It would be helpful to do a zero calibration before each ride as a best practices approach. Pedal position will not impact the calibration if there is no load on the pedals. After a re-installation of the pedals a manual calibration is recommended.

    • Paul

      Hi Shawn@Garmin

      I don’t know where in the world you are from, but are you able to find out what product availability for these pedals is expected for the AUS/NZ part of the world? I don’t think Garmin wants the southern hemisphere to use their products 🙁 I have been advised by local bike shops in NZ and AUS, that nowhere has recieved any stock, despite numerous pre-orders. Shocking support by Garmin International.

    • Dave

      Hi Paul
      There’s a number of AU online retailers advertising “in stock” (Highly Tuned Athletes and Pushys for example). I talked to an NZ retailers today and they’re expecting their first stock over the next couple of days

    • stuart bailey

      Shawn, can you explain the process of a manual calibration please? I have vector3s and want to switch them between my Tri bike and roadie…

    • Hi Stuart-
      You will want to use your Edge or Forerunner/Fenix product to calibrate the pedals when you swap them between your bikes.

    • stuart bailey

      Am I able to do it in Garmin connect app? Or is it a different calibration to that. Issue is I don’t use an edge and I don’t take my forerunner on rides and as per Rays recommendations, I should do a few short sprints before re-calibrating. Would be nice if I could do that then just do it on my phone?

  94. tmai

    Thx for great review again! With many years of bad itch to get a power meter I finally decided to go for it and get 3rd gen Vectors. Pedal makes most sense for me with a total of 6 road/cx/tri bikes in use (w/o MTBs). My question: does anyone know for sure that Garmin Vector 3 will support simultaneously ANT+ and BLE? I.e. can I have L/R power displayed on a compatible Garmin Edge device and get one channel/combined power on some BLE device (like Polar V800 that I am using)? To Garmin: I have high hopes that you would implement two-sided L/R BLE later with a firmware upgrade, but until that I would have to go with using 2 devices to get full benefit.

  95. Mike High

    I’m curious what the Power field is in your Garmin head unit photo. The graph with a max and avg reading.

  96. Todd

    Are these vaporware? Does anyone have these . . . purchased via a retail outlet? I’ve been on the Garmin’s email notification list since November . . . no update. Should I be concerned that there is a quality issue as these haven’t been released for mass consumption?

    • Hi Todd,
      We tend to sell through our retail outlets first and are currently shipping to our retailers. You might want to reach out to your local Garmin Dealer. Please feel free to reach out to us if you are unable to locate a set and we will help.

    • Todd

      Thanks Shawn. I will. I used to shop at the Chicago store, but it closed . . . and there aren’t any local shops that are going to stock this product.

    • Todd

      Shawn – I contacted local dealers who would stock or would order a 1K specialty bike product, and they do not have any in stock or plan to have any in stock. Many would order but have no idea as to availability.

      So, I reached out to customer support and got a big fat zero . . . I was told I can try to order of 2/16/18.

    • Michal

      Shopping in local shops in 2018? I admire you 🙂 But on serious note. Power meters are still rather niche products and are not widely available in local shops (never were). The best way to buy power meter of any brand is through online retailer or even directly from manufacturer.

    • Chris Furner

      None of my local shops carry any power meters. They will overnight anything their distributor has in stock though.

  97. jason Sheppard

    Hi DC

    I have a set of vector 3s coming my way will they work ok with my Wahoo elemnt? and as my first power meter which i want to use to help track and increase fitness have i made a good choice?

    kind regards Jason

    • Andrew


      They work great with the ELEMNT. Well I only have the 3S, but I think the dual setup 3 will work transparently but will *not* have the Cycling Dynamics features that show power differences left and right.

    • jason Sheppard

      i only have the 3s through warranty so im a happy chap with them ?

  98. Kevin Stuart Trainor

    Hey, do you know if the Edge 500 is compatible with the Vector 3 pedals? I have asked Garmin and they pointed me to their compatibility page which suggests the Edge 500 isn’t compatible but since it works on ANT+ why wouldn’t it work? Thanks, Kevin

    • It works all good, except you don’t get Cycling Dynamics information. So you’ll get total power, power balance, cadence. But none of the seated/standing type stuff, nor the platform center offset pieces or power phase stuff.

    • Kevin Stuart Trainor

      Thanks Ray. Will cycling dynamics be available on Garmin Connect for post ride analysis if the ride is recorded on the Edge 500? Or not available at all?

  99. James

    Hi Ray
    Tested my vector 3/Edge 1030 against watt bike atom and vector 3 are running at lower power output by c15%. Anything I should check on the vector 3 settings that Im missing. Thanks

    • Quick hit list:

      A) Double-check crank length is set (or just set it to something like 170.0 for a few seconds, then set it to whatever your crank length is, which 110% ensures it’ll confirm that entry).
      B) Do 2-4 super quick sprints, just 5-10 seconds is fine, reasonably hard. Then do a zero offset.
      C) Then see where things are. I’d expect Vector 3 to run slightly higher than the Atom, just slightly.

      Beyond those things, the next trick would be figuring out whether it’s Atom or Vector that’s out. Unfortunately, that’s a wee bit trickier.

    • James

      Thanks Ray. That seems to have solved it.

  100. Kees

    Great review!! I purchased a vector 3S. But somehow I can’t get the pedal to pair with my Suunto spartan watch?! I can pair the pedal via ANT+ to my Garmin Edge. I can pair it via Buetooth to the Garmin app on my phone. I can connect my watch via Bluetooth to my phone, But I can’t pair the vector pedal to my Suunto watch. I had no trouble at all pairing a stages power meter to the watch. Can anybody help me out here?

    greetings Kees

  101. Chris Furner

    Got my Vector 3 pedals last night. Only got to check them out for a few minutes but this feels like a very well-made product. The prior versions of the Vector did not really feel like a finished product. The Vector 3 from a hardware standpoint looks like a finished product. So far, very happy that I switched to Vector from the PT pedals. I bet Powertap starts getting real nervous.

  102. Anders

    Is the issue withthe vector 2 that showed faulty watt readings in temperatures below 5 degrees centigrade adressed with these V3’s?

    • Where do you see Vector 2 having issues below 5*C? They’re rated for -10C*, and given the Vector team is based in the mountains of Alberta, Canada which is pretty much below 0*C all winter long…

      (Never heard of Vector 2 issues with temp)

  103. Jacky Wong

    I just bought the Garmin Vector 3 recently and would like to share my experience with everyone:
    I was using Shimano 6800 pedal and switched to the Vector 3.
    I replaced the cleat come with the Vector 3, it works ok but don’t feel comfortable with the cleat installation done by myself. Place a visit to my bike fitter to re-install the cleat and found that my bike fitter can’t use Ergon tool to install it because Garmin cleat is not the same sharp as Look Keo. I bought a Look Keo 4.5 degree float cleat and get the installation done by using Ergon cleat tool.
    I ride on the trainer last night and discovered that the float of the cleat is bigger than I thought. This 4.5 degree float Look Keo cleat and bigger float than the 6 degree Garmin cleat. I wonder the pedal is not 100% compatible with Look Keo cleat….
    Anyone else have the same issue?

  104. Massimo

    Thank you Ray!! very helpful review!! I started use Vector 3 after year of Stages PM. I noticed a small difference from power value between them (a little bit higher for V3). What do you think? Is that it?

    • Fairly normal. Technically speaking Vector 3 would measure almost negligibly higher than Stages due to losses.

      But realistically what you’re likely looking at is that your left/right balance is skewed slightly on Stages (since it only measures left leg and doubles it). Versus Vector which measures both legs.

      Fwiw, if you really want to dig into it, you can actually load both files (from the same ride) up in the DCR Analyzer (link to dcrainmaker.com), and then within the graphs you’ll see a left/right balance graph, which allows you to compare the left leg of Stages to the left leg of Vector 3.


    • Massimo

      Thanks Ray for your reply

      sorry….I wrote Vector 3 but I actually have a Vector 3s. So I think you are right….the higher values for the Vector 3s depend on the losses in the measure that are different for the two PM. The Vector 3 measure the power on the pedal axe….so the losses are smaller then the Stages.

  105. Chuckolotte

    Wow! This article answers all the questions I had about pedal power meters and, I guess, all the ones I should have had but didn’t. Unfortunately after reading this I realize I better read the other articles on power meters as well before assuming I was right in limiting myself to pedal meters.

  106. Paul Malone

    Hi I just got a set of vector 3 pedals and installed them on my bike, I am using a wahoo element bolt and paired the pedals to the device, I am a bit unsure on how to calibrate or do a zero offset using the element bolt if you could advise that would be great.

    I connected through the garmin connect app and changed in settings from the default crank length to 175mm which mine are but do I need to do this on my ELEMNT bolt also?

    Finally as the weather was too bad to go outside to test the pedals I put my bike on my kickr and connected to zwift I changed from the kickr to the pedals for power source and went riding my power figures seemed way higher using the pedals as power source. So when I unpair on the sensor screen I can see what the kickr is reading and the pedals and there was a difference of 300-40watts with the pedals reading higher.
    Have I don’t something wrong?

    Tnx Paul

    • Andrew


      I’m using your exact setup. On crank length, you set it in the Garmin Connect app and it stores it in the pedal. No need to change it in other apps.

      On calibration, if you have latest firmware for your ELEMNT, go into the sensor screen (power button), scroll down to the sensor, you should see a “calibrate” option above your center button.

      On Kickr power, I noticed that too. One source of difference is that there is power loss in the drive train and in the Kickr itself. The pedal is receiving raw push power not reduced by the transmission drive train. Did you mean 30-40 not 300-40? 🙂 Even 30-40 seems too high. Try the calibrate button.

    • Paul Malone

      Hi Andrew thanks for your reply.
      I had seen a post somewhere about the calibration and tried it initially but it didn’t work as I was spinning the crank.
      So tried it again with the crank stationery and it calibrated fine, re tried zwift again and it was matching the kickr.
      Slightly disappointed cause I thought maybe the kickr was reading low and I was actually putting out more power but sadly not haha.

  107. Rafael

    Hi! Still no word of when the Bluetooth is available? I don’t want to buy an ant+ stick for $100 to get in trainer road. it’s crazy that it has taken so long… thanks

    • Very very soon. Garmin stated ‘early Feb’ last week or so, and re-confirmed that two days ago to me (along with the final version to try out). They also noted their displeasure at it taking so long.

    • Tom T

      I just got a feedback from their Customer service in Germany that the upate is announced but they have no idea when and if it will work for example with a Suunto Spartan. Thanks Garmin…

  108. J Rogiers

    Hi DC

    Bought a set of Vector 3 pedals and seeing some odd behaviour when comparing against my Tacx Bushido Smart.
    Did a ride on Zwift and for the first 45 minutes the Vector 3 and Bushido track very closely and my L/R balance is about 50/50.
    After a period of low Watts (downhill from mountain) I’m suddenly seeing a gap of 30-40W between the Vector 3 and Bushido (also, the L/R balance is now 55/45, the right pedal is reporting less power).

    Have you seen this behaviour before?
    Wondering if there’s an issue with the pedals…

    Link to analyzer: link to analyze.dcrainmaker.com

    Tnx Jil

    • That’s weird. I’d agree that your left/right split totally goes wonk at the 40-minute marker. But I suppose that could also be after a hard effort for your first 40 minutes (if you didn’t see that as a hard effort, then I’d lean towards something else being up).

      I’d be interesting if you did a zero offset if the left/right balance is still weird. If so, I’d hit up Garmin Support. If it had just been a total power shift between the two units, I’d be more inclined to blame the Bushido (temp shifts, etc..), but for the left/right balance to randomly go out, I’d lean towards Garmin.

    • Yakov

      I’ve got just the same issue with my vector 3. The total power drop 30-40w down, and it’s the right pedal fault.
      D.C – it’s not related to high watt at the beginning, for me it’s appear for the start of the ride. Nothing solve the problem.
      It’s was the 5th ride with the vector 3, after 4 good rides.
      I’ve left them at the warranty support lab yesterday, and I’m waiting for them to reply.
      I’ll keep you posted.

      It’s happened while I was on the Bushido too – hop it’s not the issue…??

    • Yakov

      By the way, I’ve operated the vector as 3S and it worked well.

    • J Rogiers

      Hi Ray and Yakov

      Thanks for you replies.

      I’ve done a few more rides and a number of zero offsets as well.
      The Bushido and the Vector seem to be much more in line now.
      See this ride from today, they track closely except at the lowest watts.
      The L/R balance was 50/50 as well over 75 mins.
      link to analyze.dcrainmaker.com

      I’m happy with this evolution.
      Thanks and keep up the good work!

    • Yakov

      How did you get it back working well?
      Just by itself?
      For me nothing goes until replacement.
      I even try to remove the batteries.

  109. Jairo


    I have one question and I know you can give some light in the matter. I am pretty closed in buying a power meter now, I know they are great tools to track your progress and do your training. I going to buy a pedal base power meter since they acurate, easy to move and also price accesible for me now and my question is the following what are the differences between a single leg or dual leg pedal base power meter?, I mean how can I benefit in real life from a single leg to a dual leg one?

  110. stu

    Hi Ray,

    Long time follower, first time poster!

    I’ve just purchased the Vector 3S and will switch them between my roadie and Tri bike. I was wondering, can you buy a single right sided Garmin pedal? Given my tri bike just sits on the trainer, it would be even better only having to swap the one pedal each time!

    • Hi Stu-

      No, I’m not aware of any way to buy just a blank right pedal. Though, I agree, that would be kinda logical. Perhaps reach out to Garmin support and see if maybe there’s an option through a special service SKU or something? I suspect they must have some option to handle damaged non-sensor pedals.


  111. Carl S

    If anyone tries changing the batteries, be really careful when removing them and then inserting the battery door into the pedal. Plenty of info on the Garmin forums about this but it is really easy to strip the threads and screw the door in at the wrong angle.

    Be careful when removing the batteries from the holder as well, as you can remove some clear strips from the side contacts, which can cause false readings. I would use your fingers, rather than a knife edge/flat screwdriver.

  112. Yakov

    I’ve got a completely new device.
    Under warranty replacement.
    Yet to check it.

    • Kendrick

      From the field: Garmin Vector 3 Battery Life Report

      Short version:

      Lasted 87 hours; battery warning problems; durability issues with rubber o-ring


      I just had to change out my first set of batteries for the Garmin Vector 3 Pedals (dual-sided) since getting them at Xmas. My total run time according to Strava was 83h10m, but I added a 1.05 multiplier to get 87 hours or so because the pedals were probably on for some of the time before and after rides, and more importantly, before and after cafe stops. I live in Northern California and temperatures ranged from 45-75F during this time. I did not use these in the rain. I did not spill coffee on them during my cafe stops. Pedal smoothness was disabled.

      I started getting low battery warnings on my Garmin 820 head unit for the last 40 hours or so, but when I checked the battery life using the Garmin mobile app via bluetooth on my phone, it showed 3 full bars. Finally, today, the 3 full bars instantly turned into 1 red bar and I was convinced to change them. During those 40 hours though, I had perfect data from both pedals. This sounds like a voltage calibration issue before the pedals should start (prematurely) issuing the warning to the head unit. Garmin should address this via a firmware update.

      The battery change was straight forward, just needing a 4mm hex. The problem though, however, is the yellow rubber o-ring. Af part of the waterproofing, Garmin opted for a thin, yellow o-ring that freely floats inside the spindle. This o-ring is not going to cut it. It’s incredibly flimsy and seems to get caught in the threads of the cap, no matter how careful you are (I have a very steady hand for this type of task). If I were to guess, the o-ring will break after a couple more battery replacements … so where do we get o-ring replacements??? Garmin? Anyone figured out a replacement from a random hardware store? We shouldn’t have to do that for a $1,000 product …

      Hmmmm ….

    • Paul Malone

      @Kendrick I’m nearly 100% sure in my box there was a bag with some yellow o rings in them!
      Now I’m worried my pedals have no O-rings fitted at all!
      Do the pedals come from Garmin with batteries already installed?
      Hopefully they are just spare o-rings.

    • Carl S


      I raised the low battery message on the head unit with Garmin support (GCM gives three bars an ‘good’). They got back to me saying they had added my issue to the case, so I think mine is not an isolated issue. They said the are treating it as urgent and hope to resolve it quickly.

      FWIW, I split protein drink on my pedals – the expected turbo boost in watts did not materialise.

  113. nHerrero

    I’ve been offered a set of these second hand with only a couple of month’s use and I’m SERIOUSLY considering the offer since the price is rather tempting. Does anyone know if Garmin’s warranty is transferable or it still applies if the product is bought second hand (but inside the warranty period, naturally)


    • Chris Furner

      As long as you get a copy of the original sales receipt from an authorized retailer, you should be fine.

      I am basing this on my experience with Garmin product warranties, and this section below:

      Online Auction Purchases: Products purchased through online auctions are not eligible for rebates or other special offers from Garmin warranty coverage. Online auction confirmations are not accepted for warranty verification. To obtain warranty service, an original or copy of the sales receipt from the original retailer is required. Garmin will not replace missing components from any package purchased through an online auction.

      Source: link to garmin.com

    • Yakov

      I’ve got vector 3 service last week only by scanning the bar code on the box.

  114. Just as a quick heads up to those following along on comment subscriptions, Garmin has released the Vector 3 BLE firmware. Details here: link to dcrainmaker.com

  115. Nate

    I ordered the Vector 3 in early January from Clever Training and as of now it remains in pre-order status through at least March. Any explanation for the break in the supply chain?

    • I know they got delayed coming out of Christmas a few weeks, and then started catching up. But now you’re battling Chinese New Year (Garmin’s factory is in Taiwan, which celebrates as well). That basically takes everything in the tech world offline for two weeks (+).

    • Steinar Hansen

      I went with an alternative version to get dual side sensors.

      Bought the 3S, and then Garmin had a 3S right-pedal upgrade in stock. Voila, two pedals – No waiting

      Now, they just need to release BT support before I take them offshore for training 6th of March

    • Todd

      You are a f*&king genius! Hats off to you! I wish I had thought of that

    • That’s pretty smart…

      Btw – the BT upgrade is available: link to dcrainmaker.com

    • Steinar Hansen

      Very happy that I was able to get them instantly, instead of the indicated 5-7 weeks (which has been pushed several times)

      Thanks for the Bluetooth upgrade info. Great to be able to stick to my training program when at work offshore and it will be great to have a small kit like this for travel. Just now realising all the potential that opens up with these and a small pedal key.

      Thanks Ray for all your super detailed reviews that always answers way more issues than I ever thought I would be curious about.

  116. stuart bailey

    Just wondering if there’s anyone who has been using these pedals and switching them between two bikes regularly with success?

    • Martin

      I have been switching my pedals about once per week since the end of December when my V3 arrived.

    • Martin

      It works fine with one major caveat. Once you switch bike, you will need to ride it for a while before you can be sure of correct readings. There are a couple of reasons for this,
      – V3 needs to adjust for the new installation torque,
      – also needs to adjust for the spindle orientation
      In addition to this, the pedals may “bed in” over the first couple of hard efforts and so again the torque may alter slightly and all the above adjustments take a finite period of time.

      When I first used the pedals I was quite worried that there was an accuracy issue (I bought them specifically for the accuracy claims plus the ease of bike switch so I get no variation due to different PMs when testing on TT bike vs road bike) because they seemed off after moving between bikes almost every time, but once I understood the above process I am happy enough to work around it.

      You can speed up the adjustment by resetting the install angles – some more info appears in this thread. link to forums.garmin.com

      My change bike routine is once I switch the pedals over I do the normal zero offset calibration followed by the install angle reset, ride for a few minutes and repeat the zero offset reset. After that it seems to work well.

    • stu

      Thanks Martin. You’ve made that sound quite simple. One question, can you do a install angle reset without owning an edge? I use a bolt (although I do have a forerunner 935 but don’t take it on rides). Also, is there anyway of knowing when you are ok to do the second zero offset or do you just give it a couple of short hard effort like Ray suggests? Cheers

    • Martin

      Hi Stu, I think the reset install angle might be available in the Connect app (although the app seems a bit flakey from what I can see, e.g. it ignores when I adjust crank length for example) – if not, then it will still self adjust but might take a bit longer so shouldn’t be a show stopper.

      I generally do the second zero offset after a 10-15 minute warm up and that seems fine, probably the quick couple of sprints is enough though. It would be nice if Shawn@Garmin or someone could give us an estimate for best and worse case for the V3 to self adjust so that we know 😉

  117. Jeremy Nicholes

    Ray – If you had your bike setup on a Cycleops Hammer with Garmin Vector 3 pedals, which method of power tracking would you pick when recording your indoor training sessions? Would you use the built-in Cycleops Power Meter or Vector 3 Power Meter? Many thanks!

    • Personally, I generally go with the power meter over the trainer, since the number is applicable inside and outside. Sometimes with the Tacx Neo specifically, if I’m lazy I’ll just use that. Since it’s one of the few trainers I truly trust on power accuracy.

  118. Jude

    Great insights and usual on this site.

    One question occurs to me now that the BLE firmware has been released – when connecting to a Wahoo Elemnt. Bolt, which is the best way to connect- BLE or ANT+ ?

    • Michal

      Ant+. Quote from comment written by official Wahoo representative under Elemnt Bolt review:

      “(…)After several comments and emails I’ve been looking into the reported problems and unfortunately we had some internal confusion and things didn’t get escalated correctly. There is two known problems:

      1. L/R BT Power Sensors are not supported, this has been a known limitation since we launched, this is because they actually two sensors. Our preferred solution here is to always connect via ANT+, you still get L/R data and this is our preferred method for all duel BT/ANT+ sensors as it leaves the BT connection open for the phone for things like firmware updates without blocking connections. We normally do this prefer ANT+ logic internally but require a few things from the manufacture.”

  119. Paul Malone

    Just wanted to make a quick post that may be useful to someone.
    So I was riding on my zwift using my kickr and vector 3 pedals and my left pedals started creaking really bad, of course I panicked and thought I had got a faulty product.
    Anyway a quick google and I came across a gcn YouTube video about noisey pedals and a quick spray of lube on the cleat sorted the issue.
    A lot of people may of already been aware of this solution but if you weren’t hopefully this will help you.

  120. Great review, in depth. Validates my purchase of the pedals. Always nice when you spend the $$.

  121. Robert

    Some users (myself included) are experiencing dropout issues after replacing the Vector 3’s batteries. Garmin is apparently aware of the issue and suggests that it might be hardware related. Given that early adopters are only now beginning to replace the batteries, the number of comments already posted online, and the possibility of the issue becoming more commonplace following multiple battery swaps, Garmin could have a major issue on its hands. Kudos, however, to Garmin support for acknowledging the issue without hesitation and immediately offering to swap my pedals and pay the return shipping.

    • Frank

      @Robert: did they pay the shipment to the garmin service facility?

    • Robert

      The Garmin representative said that they would send a return label with the new pedals but they did not. I will call and see what I can do. BTW, I’ve been getting dropouts on the right _replacement_ pedal. This may be due to my use of additional spacers (to balance the R/L Q-Factor) which has the impact of pulling the spindle end back into the crank and, perhaps, degrading the signal. I’ve gone back to one spacer (which I need to keep the spindle end from contacting the chain) and will see what happens on my next ride.

  122. Frank

    Would you see any problem in using these with pedal extensions? I called garmin and was basically told they didn’t know because it hadn’t been tested. Seems like if there were some added inaccuracies due to the extensions that it would be consistent to my setup and still useful in that I’d be comparing it against myself as a baseline.

    • Fred

      Hello Frank,
      Did you ever receive any feedback on this topic or have you come to any conclution yourself.

  123. johny

    Has anyone tested PR44 batteries? If Vector 3 could work with 1.4V, the stamina could be much higher. You need to be careful because this type of battery is used, for example, in watches where the peak load is not high.

  124. Paul Malone

    Have the pedals a few weeks now and the one thing I didn’t like about them was the amount of float the standard red cleats have. I came from using shimano pedals with yellow cleats and these garmin cleats just have way too much float.
    When I got these vector pedals I removed 3 sets of shimano pedals from all my bikes and sold them, so I bought a set of look keo blades to put on the bike I’ll be using on wahoo kickr so I don’t have to be swapping the vectors around 3 bikes. They arrived today and came with grey cleats so I tried the grey cleats with the vectors 3’s and they are so much better.
    I will be ordering another set of grey keo cleats and bining the garmin cleats!

    • Jacky Wong

      Same feelings. I love the solid feel from Shimano cleat and pedal. I am using 4.5 degree float Look cleat, it it’s still too much float. It affected the way I pedaling…
      Matt need to try 0 degree float cleat next time…

  125. Nick

    I haven’t ridden with the new firmware yet but I have been getting HORRIBLE drops between my vector 3 and edge 520. All the rides were on a trainer (haven’t been able to go outside yet) but I even have a video where the power, cadence, etc all dropped for a full minute. It was typically happening after an hour of use or so. I will ride outside and see if I get the issue. Also the new firmware may have fixed this problem.

    • That’s pretty odd, haven’t heard that I don’t think.

      Any chance your HR or trainer also dropped out? That’s a good way to tell if it’s more a transient interference thing, or a Vector 3 specific thing. Though I’ve certainly had WiFi/whatever interference in the past that only impacted one sensor at a time randomly.

    • Nick

      Update: I just rode for over 1.5 hours and got over 32 minutes of 0W data (yes, I stopped a few times at lights but honestly pedaled the entire ride). When the power cuts out it can be for just a second or up to minutes. I only use garmin equipment (HR, 520, and vector 3). During the ride I was connected to my phone via bluetooth and tested some things including turning wifi off on my phone partway into the ride, next I turned bluetooth off on my phone, and next I turned bluetooth off on the garmin. In all instances, the drops were never fixed. During that time, the data that dropped were only from the pedals. Both my 520 and vector 3 are completely up to date and I calibrated my vector 3 twice before and during the ride. If there is interest I was able to take a few more videos, but obviously that’s difficult to see.

      I would say one of the worst parts, besides not getting data for a significant portion of the ride, would be that when it “reconnects” I will get spikes in the data, whether it’s cadence or power or whatnot, it changes every time. This past ride I saw max cadence of 246 rpm which I can promise I cannot achieve. These spikes were typically 2-3 times more than what I was seeing immediately before. Some spikes though were in the thousands. I regularly see 2-4k watts (this past ride I saw 3627W). I had to turn off zero averaging to get any sensible data and its ridiculous that I would my avg power for the whole ride is 20% higher than my max 20 min power… which makes no sense. These spikes destroy the normalized power too as it is usually 25+% higher than my average power for the ride even though my intensity factor is usually very close to 1.

      I honestly bought these because of cycling dynamics, but if garmin is releasing that to other companies, these things are honestly worthless.

    • Michal

      Seems like battery issue to me. It might lose contact for some periods of time. Power and cadence spikes occur when power meter reboots after being powered on again.

    • Steve Knapp

      Nick, any chance the black plastic caps on the end of the pedals are recessed in the crank arm?

      I just helped a friend who was seeing drops from one of the two pedals. The pedal with the drop accidentally had two washers on it making the plastic bit with the antenna recessed into the crank a good bit. Removing the extra washer and having the antenna no longer shielded by the crank arm seems to have fixed things up.

    • Charlie

      This is becoming a recurring problem for a number of users on the Garmin Forum.
      link to forums.garmin.com

      I’ve been fighting it for the last week. Same symptoms. It’s been blamed on GCM, head unit, and a number of other factors. However, it sounds like the battery housing, cover, whatever, design or manufacture is problematic. Some report backing off the battery cover 1/8th of a turn will help. Not very encouraging for product longevity in my opinion.

    • Frank

      Just had the same issue. Sent back the pedals, spent a fortune on the return shipment. After the replacement I’m considering selling the pedals and moving over to quarq. Measurement is reliable, build quality is questionable.
      For me, it is getting enough of Garmin.

    • Robert

      I’ve been getting dropouts on the right pedal where I use additional spacers to balance the R/L Q-Factor. I’ve gone back to using only one spacer which I need to keep the spindle end from contacting the chain and will see what happens.

    • Nick

      This may have done it. I replaced the batteries and so far the communication is good. I will try a few more rides before I say that it’s fixed. I have read similar issues on garmin forums and this was the thought and it still didnt work for everyone

    • DFWKen

      Nick, have you been in contact with Garmin? Has the problem gotten worse with time. I’ve had my V3s for 2 weeks. They were perfect for the first two rides. Then, started getting “right pedal sensor missing over and over during a training race. That went on for a couple or three rides before the Edge 520 started reporting — Watts. Now, that’s all I get. “- – – Watts”.
      I’m also using an Edge 520 with ANT+ connection. No Bluetooth at all. The Cadence also goes away occasionally with the pedal power indication. Garmin tells me that with the Vector3s, I do not need cadence sensors. That’s fine for outdoor riding, but Zwift needs cadence that comes from my Garmin cadence sensor.
      I really don’t want to send these back for a refund. I absolutely loved the pedals for the first 2 or 3 rides. I’ve never had a power display and recording before . . . it was marvelous. But now, after spending $1,000.000 for this set of pedals, I am feeling very frustrated.


    • Just to clarify Ken – have you removed it from Garmin Connect Mobile?

      Though, you should 100% be seeing it in Zwift assuming the firmware did properly update, which tells me something is amiss that doesn’t actually match what other folks are seeing. Perhaps the firmware update failed and only updated one side? You can double-check this on your head unit looking at the sensor details.

    • Nick

      @Ken and @DCRainmaker

      I have gotten in touch with Garmin and they are sending me a redesigned battery door. I will keep you all updated to see how it performs. I will probably ask them to send me the left side as well, but for now I will see how right side fix works.


    • DFWKen

      I think I’ve removed it from the Garmin Connect Mobile. Not sure how to tell. Will work on that subject this evening when I go All-In to try to get the Vectors to work again. I’ve purchased some new batteries, even though last time I had a status on the Edge 520, it indicated that both pedals’ batteries were fine.

      By the way, I cannot seem to log in to your blog. When I try, it doesn’t recognize my email address or username. I tried “lost password” and it cannot find my email address. So I tried registering (even though I’m pretty sure I’d already done that) and it says that my email address already exists.

    • Ken Ridout

      NO JOY.

      First, I bought a new set of batteries for the right pedal. Measured the voltage of the existing pair at 2.75 volts. Then measured the two new batteries at about 1.5 each. Combined, they measured at 3.1 volts. I don’t think the original batteries were in need of replacement at only 1/4 volt lower than brand new ones.

      The battery connection points are really dinky. But I could see witness marks in the dielectric grease on the contacts and on the positive side of the first battery in the hole. It appears that they contacts are indeed making contact.

      Spun the cranks. A red LED in the left hand pedal glows briefly, and then it goes to three green flashes (indicating that it cannot find the right hand pedal). Every 10 seconds or so, 3 more green flashes. It doesn’t matter how much pedal/crank spinning I do, the right hand pedal isn’t waking up. In fact, I think it’s muerto! (dead). I’ve never seen any LED activity from the right-hand pedal. Granted, I never looked during the few days that the pedals were functioning.

      So here I sit . . . . with a $1,000 set of power-indicating top-of-the-line pedals that don’t function. Really disappointing; especially after waiting so long for them and exhausting my toy budget to buy ’em. Oh well. I hope Garmin comes up with a fix soon. I fear that mine will need to be replaced since the right pedal shows no signs of life at all.

    • Antoine

      I have similar issues. I find that my cadence (and therefore power readings) are more stable/smooth when bluetooth on my phone is turned off (the phone is in direct vicinity of the my head unit). When bluetooth is turned on, there are occasional spikes while pedaling very steadily (indoors!). Sometimes there are also no cadence (nor power) readings at all for a few seconds, as described by other users.

      At least for me, as soon as I turn bluetooth off on the phone, there seem to be no more spikes (nor 0 readings) and the numbers are less volatile.

      For information, I updated my Vector to the latest version, I use a Garmin Edge 520 and my phone is a Galaxy A5 2017.

      As far as I can tell so far, it feels like a bluetooth or interference problem…

    • Did you de-pair the Vector 3 pedals from the Garmin Connect Mobile app?

      There’s some sort of bug in the latest version causing it to hold open the connection and trigger drops.

    • Antoine

      Ray, thanks for your quick answer.

      I tried that on my next indoor ride. De-paired the Vector 3 and maintained bluetooth on on the phone. There were no drop-outs and no spikes. So that bug-thing might indeed be the reason. I’ll keep a close look during the next rides…

      However, cadence feels sometimes too unstable (even with bluetooth off). For example while riding steadily around 90 rpm, it might suddenly jump to for example 94 then 87 for a couple of seconds. It’s not dramatic but it does feel weird. I don’t have the impression my Powertap P1 did that.

      (You’ll find this post a second time further down the page, it came up on the wrong location, sorry for that).

    • Slight fluctuations at +/- 1-2RPM is pretty common even for super stable peddlers, but 3-4RPM (for a total spread of 7RPM) is a bit much. One thing to validate is if you’re also seeing power fluctuations there from a trainer, as that might cause variations that might have a ripple impact.

      (No problem on duplicate, just took care of it. Thanks!)

    • DFWKen

      I dd that for yesterday’s 3 hour training ride, DCR. And using the pair as a Vector 3 S, it worked wonderfully as a single-pedal power meter. I haven’t seen that result in weeks.

  126. Steinar Hansen

    I’m amazed that it still impossible to get hold of theese until March at the moment here in Europe. Wonder if they are so incredibly backed up with orders, have a low production yield or if it is so complex that it’s hard to produce at high enough numbers

    • Doug

      I’m in the US and ordered a set from a well-known online retailer in late December, and they have been on backorder ever since. The ETA has moved from mid-January, to early February, to late February, and now to early March.

      No one seems to have them in stock currently. My new bike will be arriving in the upcoming weeks, and I’m currently riding indoors on a Computrainer, and I also have a number of wheelsets built with Powertap G3 hubs, so I can be a little patient. But I’d like to have some time to get used to the Garmin pedals indoors before the ice and snow goes away and I finally can get outside, as I’ve used Speedplay pedals for decades and I’m sure there will be a period of adjustment.

      I’m thinking that if I can’t get the Vectors in the next few weeks, I may have to reconsider the Powertap P1 pedals or another option.

  127. Do the pedals need a torque wrench as in vector 1&2 – these needed 35-40nm torque when installed or the power values were invalid?

    • nHerrero

      One of the Vector3 main selling points over its predecessors is that they no longer require a torque wrench for installation, although Garmin still recommends it.
      If you read Ray’s review above you’ll find that he tested them at a range of tightening torques and apparently the consistency was rock solid.

      I installed mine with a torque wrench, but that’s mainly because after blowing 80€ on it i’m itching to find excuses to use it.

  128. Gromen

    Is the weight limit of any practical concern if your normal weight? And how does that limit transfer to watts? Will the reading be off after a few years of use?

    I’m 70 kg btw.

  129. Anonymous Coward

    Still not available to order via Garmin US, and EU stores show a “Processing time is 3–5 weeks” blurb.

    Doesn’t look like Garmin’s getting anywhere close to meeting retail channel demand yet.

  130. Kye Gilder

    Great write-up. I have a Garmin 1000 and am using both a cadence and speed sensor. If I go with the Vector3 pedals, would I need the separate cadence censor sensor if the pedals already provide that info? Or if I did keep the cadence sensor on my crank arm, would I then have two cadence readouts — one from cadence sensor and on from pedals. Thanks in advance.

    Encinitas, CA

    • Vector 3 will provide that, so no need for the cadence sensor anymore. You’ll only be able to get one cadence sensor reading anyway.

      Now if it’s a combo sensor, then keep the magnet on there so that you don’t get zero-values coming off the cadence sensor.

      Whereas if it’s a seperate speed and cadence sensor (two units), then go ahead and remove the cadence sensor if you want.

  131. Inge H

    Thanks for nice work during many years!
    I am considering buying Garmin Vector 3, mainly for indoor spinning use both at home and in my cycling club’s training studio. I have a silly question: Since this is a dual side system, would it be possible to set up one pedal (e.g. the left pedal) on one trainer/bike and the other one on another trainer/bike? I guess there must be some redundancy in any case, whenever the battery of one pedal dies before the other pedal’s battery. If it’s possible to use the pedals separately like this it will actually give me two power meters. Or: Is it too good to be true?
    Best regards,
    Inge H.

  132. Robert

    I’ve had the Vector 3 since late December. Initially everything went fine. They were easy to install and gave accurate readings. They provided a great deal of data, some worthy of contemplation and some not worth my attention. The pedals are a bit stiff on the spindle but it’s not a major issue (less than 1 watt power loss) and they seem well placed when I need to engage. The cleats appear to have more float than my equivalent Shimano cleats and I will experiment with alternatives. (Note, I’ve used Vector 3 only on actual road rides where I average over 200 miles per week.)

    Problems, however, began with the first battery change. The change itself was easy having read other users comments and being sure to treat the battery compartment gingerly, ensure correct placement of the yellow o-ring, and not over tighten the end cap. (It’s not rocket science.) Unfortunately though, I began to experience dropouts almost immediately thereafter. The dropouts grew in frequency to the point where the data and the Vector 3’s were useless. I searched the Garmin forums and discovered that others were experiencing the same problem following a battery change and found that none of the suggested fixes (mineral oil on the batteries, tape, backoff 1/8 turn on end cap, etc.) were working consistently. Moreover, even if these fixes worked, the fact that users would have to preform them and that the problems were occurring so early in the product lifecycle suggested a serious problem. (If this occurs with the first battery change what about after the 7th or the 30th?) I contacted Garmin and the very helpful representative reviewed my data on Garmin Connect, confirmed the problem, _stated that it was a known issue_, and immediately exchanged the pedals.

    The replacements arrived quickly and I promptly installed them and went for a test ride. Sadly, I experienced and have continued to experience frequent dropouts with the right pedal. I checked the torque and ensured that the spindle end was clearing the crank arm. (I went from using two spacers to one which is the minimum I require for chain clearance.) Everything with the installation is correct but again the product is unusable.

    I’ll call Garmin today and see what its support team suggests. Unfortunately, I suspect that there is design flaw in the battery compartment and that the issue will become widespread as users begin replacing the batteries. Sadly, I cannot recommend the Vector 3 at this time.

    • JCB

      A similar experience here. Left pedal not spinning freely after 2 months and lots of use. Garmin have offered an exchange when they have stock – end of month apparently. In the meantime right hand pedal has dropped out on a couple of occasions which I rectified by disconnecting and then reconnecting the pedals after removing and reinstalling the batteries. However the battery covers are a real issue to refit and tighten as they tend to cross thread and you need to proceed with extreme caution to avoid damaging the thread or shredding the yellow o ring.
      I’ll reserve judgement until after the replacement set and Garmin have been very helpful but after reliability problems with the V1s first time round I’m yet to be convinced.

    • Ludovic

      Hello, Robert:

      Thank you for your information. About the thread, I know the external cap of the batteries hosting is alluminium made. But what about the internal piece where the external cap is screwed? Is also metallic or is plastic?


    • Robert

      It appears to be made from the same material as the pedal body. Garmin is sending me replacement battery doors and PCB boards.

  133. Ludovic

    Hello, Ray:

    I’ve seen lots of messages (various in this post) about problems with the pedals related to the battery change: dropouts, problems related to the cap thread, with the yellow washer, with the metallic contact piece, etc. Also apparently Garmin knows these issues. In my case I purchased on January 5th the Vectors, but they have not still arrived, because, as from powermeter24 have said, Garmin have not yet supplied (they receive some pedals apparently next week). But I’m affraid because I have no idea if Garmin has yet fised these issues.

    Have you any information from Garmin about?

    • Yeah, I wrote up a long comment somewhere, but it must have been on a different post.

      In short, I don’t know the specifics or how widespread the problem is. I think some people are discovering it now because it’s about the first time they’ve needed to change batteries. It sounds like Garmin has changed the battery caps a bit, lately, and they are supplying different caps to folks that contact support with an issue.

      I don’t think it’s a blanket ‘everyone is broke’ sort of scenario on batteries, as my battery change was simple and straight forward (I just did one a touch over a week ago). Took less than a minute, no issues since.

      I do know from way back in the beta cycle that both I and the Vector team individually discovered slight differences in batteries. Meaning, not all batteries are exactly the same, and fit slightly differently. The pods are supposed to be designed to handle that, but there may be cases where they don’t properly – which perhaps the new battery caps deal with. It’s on my to-do list to reach out and see what the proper story there is (or perhaps Shawn from Garmin will comment here).

      Garmin’s fulfillment process is incredibly quick. So if PM24 says they’re getting units to start going through backorders next week, that means those units are likely not yet even produced (or being produced today/tomorrow). They’d then be sent to distribution centers over the weekend, and from there at retailers within 1-2 days depending on if the retailer has paid for expedited shipping or not.

      Keep in mind, that weekly process has been happening since October, every week (except for Chinese New Year, the previous two weeks).

      As always with forums posts, I’d put them in context. If you count individual user names (and people that are actually having problems versus just being concerned about having a potential problems), and then do the math on how many units are shipping per week (my guess is 500-1000 units per week, maybe more), then you’re talking relatively tiny numbers. Not broken situation ideal, but context is always important.

      Just my two cents.

    • Charlie

      I wouldn’t minimize the concerns we have. Garmin Engineering has a file open on the issue, but I’m a week plus with no reliable power data. If you haven’t had an issue yet, consider yourself fortunate. In my opinion, the problem is more than a hardware defect with batteries or the battery case. There are software problems related to GCM and the Vector version 3.0 firmware as well. For version 3, this is a major f* up by Garmin. I would not recommend this product at this time to anyone considering it.

    • It’s not minimizing, it’s simply putting it into perspective. It’s more or less just a numbers game.

      There’s a thread on it on the Garmin Forums, I count 10 unique individuals on this thread. That’s it. Let’s say there’s a few more here and there that are also having issues. A few people having GCM connectivity related issues, but that’s sorta a different bucket.

      And how many have shipped? Let’s assume 500 units a week since mid-October as a minimum till first week of Mid-Feb (my bet is that’s double that, but that’s OK). So that means 16 weeks give or take, or roughly 8,000 units in the wild. So 10 in 8,000. To me, it’s all mostly a numbers game.

      As I noted above, obviously, Garmin thinks there’s something to it, given they’ve redesigned the battery caps. But I don’t think it’s world-ending. Hopefully, Garmin can shed some light on it.

    • Robert

      Time will tell how great a problem or combination of problems this is but let’s keep in mind that only a small segment of users have had to replaced their batteries to date and only a very small percentage of those experiencing problems will post here or in one of the Garmin forums. The fact that one has to be very careful when replacing the batteries so as not to over-tighten the cap, strip it, or damage the yellow o-ring does not bode well for long term durability. Looking at 8-10 battery changes per year x 2 x the number of users and that represents a real issue for Garmin. In my case, I experienced complete dropouts after the first battery change. Garmin immediately replaced those pedals but the right replacement pedal experienced dropouts from its very first use. (No battery change required.) I worked with Garmin support today to document the problem, review the software on my pedals, iPhone, and Edge, pull the batteries so the units could reset, reinstall the batteries, hand tighten the caps, recalibrate the pedals, and take the bike for a test ride. Still right side dropouts. Garmin downloaded the additional data, escalated the issue, and says that it will get back to me within 24 hours. In the meantime, the pedals are not only worthless as a power meter but are turning out invalid data that I’ll have to clean-up less it alters my fitness metrics.

    • Frank

      Hi Ray,
      That’s great that you’ve put it in context, but eventually, the no. of problematic customers is increasing daily on the forum. Everyone is really-really frustrated. Mine worked just fine in Dec- Jan. Then the battery drain issue came, after this, the battery door on the left pedal and finally the whole system went down 🙁 Not to talk about the issues with fw 3.00, which is causing drops and peaks.
      A better metric would be how many people reached out to garmin, the forum is a weak metric I think. I was really happy with mine, they were accurate, stable, but after 2 months they just gave up.

      We’d really appreciate a communication from Garmin if they admin the issue if they’re investigating it and will figure out something for the existing customers.

      In my case it’s maybe too late anyways…I’m considering selling the brand new ones and never go back to the garmin world 🙁

    • As Ray states above, the battery change is a fairly simple process and should not cause any problems. We are actively reviewing reports of battery door issues and researching returned products. We encourage anyone who is having issues reach out to our support team for us to investigate their concerns. We appreciate the continued excitement and discussion about Vector 3.

    • A Zee

      Sure, but you have quite a few problems being reported on multiple forums. You shouldn’t say the process is easy when you’ve got people doing the following things under advice from Garmin support:
      – needing to pry up the battery terminal with pinky
      – needing to tape the batteries with electrical tape to avoid rattling
      – needing to put baby oil on the battery surfaces to bond them
      – need to replace some sort of transparent contact tape on the inside
      – needing to backoff the caps 1/4 turn

      I’m super happy to see Garmin is being responsive, but I would not go so far as to say the procedure is “fairly easy”. Its fairly easy if none of the above things go wrong.

    • Frank

      Hi Shawn,
      Yes I agree it should be simple, but not it is not 🙁
      Garmin has one of the best support teams I’ve ever seen, which is awesome and really enjoyed the discussions, honestly. However, there are a few of us who has to send back the 2nd set of the pedals and that’s usually a whole lot of money if you have to send it to a different country. In my case, the first set’s shipping cost was 5% of the total pedal cost. All the hassle with the pedal + sending them back and hoping for a better one, simply just incovenient and expensive and btw unacceptable from a user standpoint.

    • Ludovic

      Dear @Shawn, thank you for your answer. I would like to ask you some questions related to the pedals issues exposed in this and other forums, and the steps taken by Garmin about.

      You said that Garmin is reviewing the reports about the battery door issues, but has yet any solution? Are the pedals sent this weeks any upgrade (battery door, metallic contact piece, washer) or are the same as the December version?

      @Frank has said in post #355 that he sent his pedals to Garmin and he has paid the shipping costs, which were about 50 €. Are the shiping costs not covered by warranty?


    • CS

      Hi Ray,

      Do you know what the OEM batteries are that the Vector’s ship with? I remember reading somewhere that they may be manufactured by Varta but I may be wrong. Which battery manufacturer did you replace yours with? I have used Duracell LR44’s and they seem good.

      Just thinking that if like-with-like are replaced, it may help.


    • Chris Smith

      I replaced with Duracell LR44s and so far so good

    • Robert

      (1) Let me second the kudos to Garmin support. Although they have not yet solved the issues they are certainly being responsive and reasonable. (2) As to the batteries, I use Energizer LR44’s. (3) I am unaware of any hardware changes having been made to the Vector 3 since its release. If someone knows differently I would appreciate the details. (4) The battery change is not complex but one does have to be careful not to over tighten or strip the threads of the cap and to ensure that the yellow o-ring is properly placed and undamaged. I understand that there is also a clear tape strip and conducting pins that can be easily damaged but did not notice these components when I changed the batteries. Regardless whether these factors are related to the dropout issues, I think that the design of the battery compartment and its components lacks durability and might cause long-term headaches. (5) As to the dropouts on my right pedal, bear in mind that that pedal is part of a replacement pair that I received from Garmin after my first set failed following a battery change. Unlike the original pedals, the new pedal experienced dropouts without my ever having made a battery change, Inexplicably however, after a brief initial dropout my right pedal appears to have worked solidly yesterday over a 50-mile ride. No changes were made to any of the factors since the preceding day when I was getting dropouts every minute or two. I suppose that I should be happy about this spontaneous resolution but gremlins bother me more than understood problems. I need to trust my components and not be waiting for something to go wrong. In any event, I’m waiting to hear back from support regarding this new information.

    • Ludovic

      @Robert, what about the shipping costs from you to Garmin and back again?

    • Robert

      I paid it but it was far less for me since it was entirely domestic. I imagine that I could seek reimbursement but it is not worth my time. If I have to return the second pair I will certainly resolve that issue upfront.

  134. Vandenbrande Johan

    Hey, i AM interesten in the Garmin vector 3. Bud Will this work on me edge 800? And if yes, can i see the left and the richt power on this edge?
    Thanks !

    • Frank

      Hi Johan, yes it will work. L-R option is there, cycling dynamics is the only thing that you won’t see on the 800.
      If you interested in them more in-depth reach out to me in private. godoferenc at gmail dot com

  135. George Hotopan

    Hello guys,

    I am a Garmin Vector 3 user since almost a month now. I have been lucky enough to spot a small batch of Garmins arriving at one online store here in Germany(bike-components) and have ordered a pair (imemdiatelly after they went out of stock so lucky me I guess :)).

    So far everything good, I have done about 5-6 rides (due to bad weather here in south Germany) and the power metrics seem very consistent. Moreover I have no dropouts. I didn´t update the firmware yet (I am I gues of v2.3…) as I read many of the users have reported problems after the update. I am using the Garmin V3 with the Wahoo Bolt unit. But I am getting really concerned reading more and more posts of people which have to change the batteries, and after that the pedals just give up completely. I haven´t changed mine as I have done probably around 14 hours of riding. But what will happen when I need to change them? I am an engineer and I do not fear the process itself, moreover I am quite handy and skillfull with hands, but it seems that the procedure is way too sensible, with minimal tolerance accepted, and seems like even if you do it by the book, there is a great chance that things will go wrong. And the proposed solutions I read of taping the battery compartment, baby oil between the batteries, etc…..this is just not a robust product and solution, and excuse me if I say but this is not an engineering solution expected from a product that costs 1000€. I am only hoping that as I got mines in late January-early February, they may be from one of the latest production batch, where Garmin has already addressed the battery cap/replacement issue. I will keep you updated once I need to replace the batteries.

    @Frank: And regarding the need to send them back, in such cases where Garmin admits there is a problem with that specific set of pedals, they should include the shipping costs, it seems only natural that someone like Garmin should do that for their customers covering the shipping expenses, and not make them pay 5% (around 50€).
    @Garmin: please consider that very serriously!!!

    @DCRainmaker, I agree with other users, the forum here is not relevant enough to quantify that out of 8000 units only 10 have been reported (one needs to consider first, out of the 8000 how many have actually needed to replace the batteries? I for one, am one of those who didn´t have to do this process so far…)

    Bottom line, I am somehow worried,but I hope though that it is all in vein. I will post an update once I need to replace the batteries.

    Cheers guys, and hope to have good news to report in future!!!

    • Nick

      I understand that the battery change may cause problems or may fix them. I am lucky enough to have seen my drops stop after my battery change. My biggest concern is that these battery doors seem to be WAY too delicate. I don’t know about the rest of this community but I race pretty regularly and if you have any kind of accident, the most likely thing that will touch the pavement will be the edge of the pedals. I am seriously concerned that a moment of scraping will break the battery door and render the pedals useless. Does anyone else have my fears? This product almost definitely WILL BREAK if and when you have an accident/crash.
      @DCRainmaker I would love to hear your opinion on this. This type of issue is pretty negligible to most other PMs though other pedals do have similar potential. I am just so worried that the vectors can’t handle the slightest scrape.

    • What’s funny to me about this whole battery thing is I actually changed my batteries almost every other ride all summer on earlier prototype units (there was a battery short problem in some prototype units, which was resolved by late summer).

      I changed them on the side of the road, in small shops, outside an RV, in the Cave, everywhere. Just never had any issues. I also undid the batteries multiple times on the final production units this past fall for photos and videos, also no problems.

      Not saying people aren’t having some sort of issue – but I think it’s probably overblown.

      As for scrapping the battery pods, both the P1 and Vector 3 do have their battery doors in the same spot. I don’t actually think the battery door would be your biggest issue in a clipping crash. I suspect other concerns around accuracy would be a bigger issue (damage). But even then, it really hasn’t been the issue a lot of people thought it would be 5 years ago when Vector/etc were first announced.

      As for slight scrapes? My bike falls over constantly taking photos (seriously, look at some of my recent photos to see how scraped up my Vector 3 pedals are). No issues.

      RE: Shipping/etc (from above)

      I do agree that companies should cover shipping costs to/from consumers when the product/issue is caused by the company. When it’s caused by the user, then the user should cover it. In this case, I presume it’s a company-driven issue, thus, they should cover it. Though, I’m not entirely sure how one spends 50EUR on shipping unless it’s overnight. Within Europe I presume you’re sending to Garmin UK’s support center, though maybe Germany handles them internally.

      Speaking of which, Garmin actually has a support policy that allows you to do what’s called a ‘cross-ship’, which means that you provide a credit card and they ship you a new device straight away. Then you’re given the RMA number and as long as you ship back your device within a set period (30 days the last time I did it), then your card isn’t charged. You can even request fast shipping. Perhaps there’s not enough inventory for Vector 3 at this time, but typically Garmin keeps inventory on the site for support.

      RE: George

      I guess it’s tough because in some ways your post sorta illustrates my point. At present your pedals are working just fine and dandy. But then people might come along and skim and think that you’re having a battery problem given the length of the post, when in reality your talking about the potential to have a problem that you read about. But not actually having it. It ends up being somewhat of a feeding frenzy over actual people exhibiting the problem.

      Just my two cents.

    • George Hotopan

      Hi Rainmaker,

      Thanks for your extended feedback on mine and on some other replies.
      But I think I was quite clear when I said that I DO NOT HAVE PROBLEMS/ISSUES with the Garmins, I am just worried and it seems that I am not the only one here. The length of my reply was so, because I wanted to address several topics (such as availability, battery compartment/battery replacement issues/shipping costs which the consumer needs to address apparently,etc…).

      Anway, let’s keep fingers crossed and hope that what was so far reported as faulty, is indeed as you suggested just a infinitesimally small fraction (10/8000) and that this will not increase as more people start changing batteries.

      Me I am 100% satisfied with the Garmins so far, no dropouts, good consistency of the power data, battery life seems to be at its max(even though my rides ave been done in 0ºC averages), so I only hope for the best.


    • Frank

      Shipping: It was actually 43 Euros, and it is simple. Budapest, Hungary to Southampton, UK shipping with Hungarian Post for 2-4 business days with insurance for the half of the price of the vector.
      If I went for 5-7 days that would’ve been 33. And since I wanted to arrive there fast + secure I opted for the more expensive one, but the problem is not with the price, it’s with the policy.

    • Robert

      Or it’s possible that you’ve been very lucky. I am now on my second set pedals and have experienced dropout, power spike, standing vs. seated, R/L balance, and other issues from first use. In other words, before any battery change. For the time being I am willing to work with Garmin and have given them access to my files and tried several suggested fixes, none of which have worked. I appreciate Garmin Support’s responsiveness, want the company’s product to be successful, and ensure that other purchasers have a great experience. Hopefully, a resolution will be forthcoming soon.

    • Nick

      @DCRainmaker So I lightly clipped the pedal yesterday in a race on a turn and the pedal completely stopped working today. Right pedal will pair to the other but after pairing, it does not report any power data and I will keep getting errors during calibration basically stating that the pedal is not working. Going to get rid of them now.

    • Yeah, I’d just give Garmin a ring and see what options they have for you.

  136. Nate

    I ordered the Vector 3’s in early January and it looks like they will be arriving sometime next week. After reading some of the recent posts, my excitement over the new purchase is moving towards trepidation. Is there any way to know whether the product I receive has the new battery cover? Thank you.

  137. Michal Sz.


    Ray, how’d you recon Vector 3 would behave on a track bike?

  138. julien penvern

    Thanks a lot for your website and video, i’m a french cyclist from britany, i loved your review, video (And shane miller’s too !) Thanks to improve my english and spend my money. After reading yours articles, I want to buy The power meter Vector 3 and the Gps unit Wahoo Bolt element. I’am afraid to loose some informations “cycling metrics’ and others. For you and your readers is it a clever choice or i should take the garmin 520. Thanks a lot. Hope to see you one day on the beautiful road or beach here in Britany (Bretagne)

  139. Frank

    Haha this is freakin’ funny….Garmin..solve the refund I don’t care how. Never again a vector.

    Dear Ferenc,

    I refer to your recent enquiry concerning the above.

    I am contacting you regarding your RMA

    Please be aware we do not currently have stock of the replacement item until early April.

    I am sorry for the inconvenience caused, unfortunately we do not currently have an alternative.

    Thank you for your patience.

  140. Marshall

    Another dynamite review – thank you DC for putting in all the work! So I’m contemplating the Vector 3 pedals, but it appears they don’t work or they don’t work well with elliptical chain rings (like my Rotor QXL). Just how much do the elliptical chain rings effect the readings? A little? A lot? I ask bec I’m considering the Garmin Edge 1030 and would like to take advantage of all the technology.Garmin has to offer. But, this development throws a wrench into my plans.

  141. Vince

    Any word on when these will actually be available to purchase? I can’t find anyone who has them in stock. Production seems extremely slow.

    • They’ve been shipping since the second week of October. They mostly got caught up around Christmas, but since then things went downhill with the supply vs demand ratio. It doesn’t sound like they’ll recover from a production standpoint till at least April.

      They are still shipping each week though. In a nutshell if you’re looking to order a pair it’s best to get a an order in with a retailer (since Garmin prioritizes that over Garmin.com), and then wait till they ship. Garmin generally focuses on shipping to retailers with active backorder queues.

  142. Kevin Stuart Trainor

    Hi, I bought a dual sided Vector 3 and installed the pedals this week. I use an Edge 500. It paired with the Vector 3 straight away so I did two rides indoors with them I then analysed my rides and discovered that my L/R balance was 100%L therefore the Right pedal isn’t recording anything. I noticed during my second ride that the right pedal lights were flashing Green/Red alternating throughout the ride. I tried using the Android app to connect to the pedals for more information but when I did the connection would not go through and then the LEDs on BOTH pedals would flash Green/Red alternating. I haven’t touched the batteries and calibrated before both rides though I did get an error when calibrating on the first ride, I think it was error 514? Any help would be greatly appreciated.


    • Your best bet is opening a case with Garmin support. That way they can either figure out a quick fix, or ensure you get a long-term fix.

      I think the error codes are also listed on the Garmin Forums too.

  143. Timo

    Thanks Ray for another great review.
    I have just purchased a set of vectors through clever training with your discount code.
    Thanks again


  144. Manuel

    Hi Ray,

    Thanks for the deep review. I ordered from CT mine (With the DCR´s VIP membership!) . They should be shipping hopefully sometime this week. I’m a little bit scared about possible failures since I ordered on CT USA from Spain… lets get fingers crossed.
    I’ll pair them with my Edge 820. I feel that this computer is quite slow in general, not really “responsive” (An really slow if you are following a map (It was a nightmare in the last Powerade nonstop Madrid-Lisboa),
    Do you see real advantage upgrading to the 1030 from a computing speed point of view, and why not, from a feature improvement as well?. As far as I read there’s not a ton of new features in de 1030 over the 820, but just wanted to know your opinion about it. The size of the 1030 does not thrills me, but if is worth it, I may think about it. Other point would be waiting and hold the 820 until de launch of the 830… If the improve the speed would be worth it. Anyway, don’t think they’ll launch an Edge 830 until next year or so…

    Thanks (and sorry for my English!)

  145. donal

    I have my Vector 3 now for 11 weeks.
    2 things…
    The LR44(duracell) batteries are only lasting 30-35 hours, not 120+.
    The battery cover is a pain in the neck. Though im being very careful and never over tightening them, the 4 flimsy O rings have already disintegrated, its very awkward to get the batteries out, and the battery cover now turns in the pedal housing before even getting snug.

  146. Yakov

    Vector 3 dual sides low battery warning after 40 hours.
    I’m using with ANT+, no BT, no cycling dynamics.

    And this is a replacement unit, the first one has been replaced after 10 days because right side zero measurement.

    Looks like a very bad product!

  147. Robert

    Here is an update to the issues with my Vector 3 pedals. The first pair worked fine until I replaced the batteries after approximately six weeks of use. Then I started getting dropouts that grew more frequent and longer until the units were largely nonfunctional. Garmin confirmed the issue and swapped the pedals for a replacement set. The second set suffered right pedal dropouts immediately. (Before any battery change.) Garmin again confirmed the problem and had me reset the pedals by uninstalling/reinstalling the batteries on both sides. Although the dropouts became less frequent there were still a number of anomalies including right and left dropouts, power spikes, and miscalculation of standing/seated times. Garmin reviewed my daily workouts and had me send photographs of the high pedal interior and exterior battery cover threads. According to Garmin support, a preproduction issue was identified regarding problems with the battery cover threads that the company thought it had solved. Unfortunately, they are seeing this same problem in some of the pedals suffering right side dropouts. Garmin will now be sending my a third set of pedals that I have been assured will be inspected for any battery cover thread issues before shipping. Here’s hoping the third time is a charm.

    • Papajimbo/jcb

      Similar problem here. Right pedal drop outs preceded the first battery change, following the battery change I’ve had some very erratic readings and right pedal connection loss. From day one (late December) the left pedal has not spun freely. Garmin offered a replacement for the stiff spindle before the drop outs started occurring but now do not have stock until 3rd April. They have been nothing but professional in my dealings with them however following a warranty refund with the original Vector S and now these issues my confidence is evaporating and surely you need to believe the data a power meter is giving you. This is also the critical period for me for power meter based training. Tempted to go back to the retailer for a refund on exchange for Quarq or similar. I have commented on the spindle issue here before so this is an update rather than a new user with concerns/issues.

    • Robert

      Garmin states that it will now send me replacement battery doors and PCB boards rather than a third set of pedals. Certainly a less costly and time consuming fix if it works.

  148. lovemyway

    I wanted these pedals really bad but then I started reading the Garmin forums and seeing people complaining about the battery life, drop outs and power numbers really make me thing if this product is even ready to hit the market (I mean it’s probably not because the release date is being pushed back every few days – I know you can get single units somewhere, but in general it’s very hard to find).

    I’m not sure what’s the call in this situation – whether I wait for Garmin to sort things out (will they?) or do I just get Favero Assioma Duo.


    • Chris Ott

      I’m in the same boat. Have been thinking about the Vectors for a few months and been closely monitoring the reviews and issues here.
      I had originally planned to buy the Vectors vs the Assiomas. Because of the better BLE compatibility with Strava and Zwift.

      My reasons not to buy the Vectors now are:

      1. I own a Wahoo Bolt now, which has Ant+ (no more need for an iphone and a BLE connection)
      2. troubling issues (drop outs, batteries) with the Vectors
      3. the Vectors are still not available in Germany

      I am leaning towards the Assiomas. They have a battery pack (which suddenly sounds very easy and convenient), they are cheaper and available. I like the looks of the Vectors better but thats only a minor point for me.

    • Chris Furner

      Couple hundred miles on mine so far and no issues.
      People with no issues tend to keep quiet. Its the ones with issues that make noise on every website out there.

  149. Yakov

    Couple hundred…
    We’ve been there, pls replay again when you over the first thousand.

    • Ken Ridout

      I certainly wish him luck. It’s totally frustrating to have gotten addicted to having such good data and goals; to have completely lost the ability. I’m still going through withdrawals. And mine only worked properly for a little over 300 miles (mostly indoors because of lousy weather).

  150. We have added the FAQ link below that gives some recommendations for how best to replace batteries and some troubleshooting steps.

    If you do encounter repeated problems or if you identify mechanical damage with your parts, please reach out to your local Garmin support team.

    link to support.garmin.com

    • zmansbr

      This is super helpful!

      So when users are reporting backing off the cap a quarter turn, they are actually fixing an alignment issue with the positive contact prong with the positive contact pads on the PCB? So Over/under tightening by even a small amount will cause them not to be aligned? Or is there some mechanical limits on the threads that prevent this from happening?

    • The battery contact mechanism is self-aligning. Backing off the battery door does not impact the alignment.

    • Ex-Vector User

      Seeing this FAQ, now I’m really glad that I’ve sold my Vector 3 after replacement. Honestly…I had fewer issues with Vector 2S, considering all the torque, pod things.
      If the users need 1 page long FAQ about a battery replacement the product is so to say crap.

    • Robert

      Shawn, I appreciate this helpful response but the added information only highlights my concerns. How is such a fragile mechanism, one that is already suffering issues, going to withstand years of hard riding and scores of battery changes? Need I really have a magnifying glass, toothpicks, and mineral oil on hand for every battery change? Will this mechanism ever be made idiot proof and durable?

    • DFWKen

      Changing the battery doors without damaging them shouldn’t be a concern to anyone that takes care. They’re not that fragile. If you don’t take care to not cross-thread them and don’t torque down beyond “good and snug”, replacement of the batteries should be easy and fool proof.
      I worry more about clipping a pedal or falling while riding where the battery doors will be the second or third thing to hit the tarmac (after hips and shoulders).

      My Vectors aren’t working, with “Right Pedal Sensor Missing”; so I’ve had the batteries out of both several times to try to diagnose. So far, no luck; but they’re sending a new pair just as soon as they can get some in their replacement stock.

    • Gnomen

      Perhaps take it to a watchmaker and make ask them to change the battery, they are used to work with tiny fragile things. Some just have thick fingers or clumsy hands.

    • Ken Ridout

      I’d like to say something good about the Vector3 pedals.

      They’re the easiest and quickest pedals to clip into than any pedal I’ve used in the past 12 years.

      NOW, that may be due to the fact that I’ve been using Dura Ace pedals for the past 12 years’ and that I’ve missed clipping in several times and had to bridge up to the racing pack several times. In one race, I missed it three times in a row while the race left me at the line with my left pedal invisibly spinning.
      Yes, bridging up at light speed to a crit pack that was out of sight probably made me stronger; but it wasn’t a fun way to start a race. I could see my entry fee evaporating with the blur of the spinning pedal, not once but 3 times!. The race went around the corner and was out of sight before I finally regained my composure (in front of the spectators, by the way), clipped in, and began my chase. How embarrassing! So much adrenaline ws in my blood that I flew by at least a half dozen riders that were dropped or in the process of getting dropped on my way to rejoin the pack. Whew. This was one of my most memorable crits. . .. all because of my inability to clip in first time and the chase back into the pack that surprised everyone (including me)

      With these Vector 3 pedals, I have never missed a clip-in. Without looking, the pedal always seems to be in position and my cleat has inserted and locked every time. I should have changed