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Garmin (Finally) Releases Vector 3 Bluetooth Smart Firmware

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As of today, Garmin finally has their first sensor that actually broadcasts via Bluetooth Smart (in addition to ANT+).  Vector 3 was of course announced last August at Eurobike, and then started shipping back in October (my in-depth review dropped in November).  That was slightly behind initial plans to ship in late September, but in the tech industry being only a few weeks late isn’t unheard of.  However, at the time the secondary part of the plan was to release the much awaited Bluetooth Smart power meter support, which would allow you to pair Vector 3 to any head unit, app, or thingamajig, as long as it supported ANT+ or Bluetooth Smart.

That secondary timeline was initially early October, just after Vector 3 was slated to ship.  Unfortunately, that timeline slid faster than Janet Jackson’s wardrobe, and soon October became November, then January, and then February.  But today, it’s finally here.

Better later than never, right?

The Quick Details:

Now the main reason most folks care about BLE connectivity on Vector 3 is for pairing to apps, predominantly indoor trainer apps.  This includes apps like Zwift, TrainerRoad, Kinomap, Rouvy, and so on.  All of these apps also of course support ANT+ sensors, but that usually requires a dongle/adapter.  For users on iOS, for example, using an iPad with Zwift is easier via Bluetooth Smart sensors than ANT+ sensors.

And Garmin has been clear from the beginning that’s actually a core reason why they added Bluetooth Smart sensor capabilities to Vector 3 (of course the reality is that if they didn’t, they’d no longer be competitive).  It’s also why virtually all Garmin fitness devices announced in 2017/2018 also support Bluetooth Smart sensors too.

In any case, getting your Vector 3 pedals updated is pretty easy.  You’ve got the following options:

A) An Edge 520, Edge 820, Edge 1000, or Edge 1030: If you have any of these, and you’ve previously paired Vector 3, it’ll go grab updates for you the next time it chats with Garmin’s servers.

B) Garmin Connect Mobile App: Assuming you have a smartphone, you can pair it via Bluetooth Smart already (even before the update) and then update your pedals that way.

There are a few minor caveats to either method.  The first is that sometimes getting the updates to show up on the Edge devices can require a bit of a tango, especially in the first day or so when the update is being rolled out systematically.  The second caveat is somewhat part of the first: Garmin says that the update might not show for 100% of people until tomorrow sometime, as it tries to stage them a bit more slowly.

In my case, I just used the Edge update method, which you can see here:

The unit will prompt you to upgrade a split second after it connects to your pedals. Obviously, you’d click yes if you wanted to update:

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My general practice with updating Garmin Vector pedals is to place my phone in between my two pedals on my water bottle cage.  I find this gives it the best signal for both pedals.

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It only takes a few minutes, during which the LED’s will blink for a bit.  After it’s done…well, you’re done.

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At this point, you’ll be able to find the Vector 3 pedals via Bluetooth Smart and ANT+ concurrently.  It’ll always broadcast on both, just like most other power meters these days.  And you’ll get power, power balance, and cadence on both.  Here’s TrainerRoad for example:

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Except, you won’t get Garmin Cycling Dynamics data (the advanced stuff like pedaling metrics) on Bluetooth Smart, even if paired to a Garmin head unit.  That’s because there’s no standard for this advanced data on Bluetooth Smart.  Thus, only the baseline pieces are there.  Additionally, there isn’t a method to set crank length via Bluetooth Smart head units today (that I’m aware of anyway).  So you’ll want to set that separately.  Vector 3 will remember that and apply it to any other connections.

However, there is an interesting Bluetooth Smart tidbit here on Vector 3 that’s not on any other pedal based power meters: Vector 3 properly shows as a single power meter in Bluetooth Smart device lists.  This is different than the PowerTap P1 pedals and Favero Assioma pedals, which show up as two devices (one left, one right).  So, for example, in Zwift, if you use the PowerTap P1 or Assioma pedals, you’re actually just connecting to either the left or right pedal and it automatically doubles that…which isn’t super accurate.  Vector 3, however, shows up as a single cohesive device, which is a neat little trick.

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From a compatibility standpoint, I’ve been using the Vector 3 on Bluetooth Smart update since early this fall (in beta).  In doing so I’ve tried a bunch of apps and devices over Bluetooth Smart: Zwift, TrainerRoad, FR935, Edge 1030, Hammerhead Karoo, Suunto Spartan series, and probably more apps and devices I’m forgetting.  I haven’t seen any Bluetooth Smart specific issues with any of those devices.

The only issue I have seen isn’t Vector 3 specific on the Hammerhead, but rather how it handles power meter zero value data points causing some incorrectly high values.  But Hammerhead is digging into that.

FAQ’s:

Here’s what I suspect are probably going to be the most common questions:

Ok, that’s nice and all, but when will Vector start shipping?

It’s actually been shipping since October (Ironman Kona to be very specific, they had units there).  Since then it’s been pretty easily obtainable in the US, sorta easy in Europe, and less easy in Australia/New Zealand.  For North America, they seemed to largely catch-up right before Christmas, and then it slid a bit in availability where I think they’re close to catching back up again. As for Australia…well…at least you’ve got warm weather.

Should I pair my Garmin device to Vector 3 with ANT+ or Bluetooth Smart?

Definitely ANT+. 100% ANT+.  The reason being is that if you pair via Bluetooth Smart you’ll lose out on the additional metrics you get over ANT+.  Not to mention if you pair via Bluetooth Smart, that’ll block you from pairing a second device via Bluetooth Smart (such as Zwift or TrainerRoad).

Can I pair both a Garmin Edge and Zwift at once?

Yes. Pair your Garmin Edge via ANT+, and then Zwift via Bluetooth Smart.  You can change ‘Garmin Edge’ to ‘Any ANT+ bike computer/watch’, and it still applies.  You can connect unlimited devices via ANT+, but only one via Bluetooth Smart.

Can I pair two Bluetooth Smart devices/apps at once?

No, that Bluetooth Smart limitation is still there.  That means only one concurrent Bluetooth Smart connection.  That could be TrainerRoad via BLE, Zwift via BLE, or even a Polar or Suunto watch via BLE.

Why doesn’t the update show up yet?

Because it’s Wednesday, which is in nowhere-land in terms of the middle of the week.  Thus, things never quite work on Wednesday.  Try it tomorrow, it’ll work then (probably).  As noted, in reality it’s just because Garmin is phasing the roll-out over the next 24 hours or so.

I’ve done something wrong, I think I killed it.

Assuming you didn’t put it in the microwave…your best bet if something went horribly wrong is to reach out to Garmin support, specifically, their Vector support team.  Phone works, as does their support forums.  They respond pretty quickly in both those places.  As a side note though, I actually do often put sensors in the microwave, as it’s the perfect faraday cage. Just don’t press ‘Start’!

Why do you have a Zwift water bottle on your bike?

Funny story actually. I forgot to pack cycling water bottles in my bike case for my trip to Australia. When I got to Adelaide, I went to the Rapha pop-up shop and figured I’d buy a water bottle there.  But holy f’in @#$@# balls.  They were like $30 or $40 for a water bottle.  A @#$@#$ water bottle!!!

A few hours later I was loading up bikes and gear with Lama to go for a ride and turns out he had a gigantic garbage bag of like 90 of them. Thus, I stole one. Or three.  Shhh…

Will this show me power balance in Zwift?

No, Zwift doesn’t support power balance. Nor Cycling Dynamics.

Does this work on Vector 3S too?

Yes. Simply yes.

Which power meter should I get?

Read my full power meter buyers guide here!

Should I get Vector 3, the PowerTap P1, or Favero Assioma pedals?

Read my power meter pedal shoot-out post here!

Going forward:

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Now that Garmin has Bluetooth Smart on Vector 3, you may be asking when they’ll release a firmware update for other sensors.  Unfortunately, that won’t really happen.  The remainder of Garmin’s existing sensors (I.e. older cadence, speed, heart rate straps, etc…), don’t have the dual ANT+/Bluetooth Smart chipsets required.  They lack that hardware.

So it’s really a going forward type of item.  Going forward, Garmin needs to look to refresh their sensor lineup to be dual ANT+/Bluetooth Smart, like the rest of the sensor world.  It’s a major reason I recommend Wahoo speed/cadence cycling sensors over Garmin ones, even though I actually prefer Garmin’s cadence sensor design (it doesn’t require zip ties).  Similarly, Garmin’s latest generation HRM-RUN/HRM-TRI heart rate straps are actually pretty comfortable, but I’d be hard-pressed to recommend them unless you really needed the HRM-TRI swim offloading capabilities – because you can’t easily use it with Bluetooth Smart apps.

Hopefully though, Garmin will see this as an opportunity (because it is).  The chipset cost for them is barely pennies on a per unit basis, and I think the pride thing around ANT+ only is largely gone (as seen in the rest of their product lineup).  They can look to the retail success they’ve had with Vector 3 thus far (in terms of sales volume) and see that easily.

As for ANT+, it’s still just as popular as ever before (one only needs to look at the sold-out Symposium last fall to see that). It’s just that the applications shift a bit. Gone are the days where for purely heart rate only you ‘must’ have an ANT+ strap.  Instead, now are the days where for advanced cycling metrics that are cross-manufacturer compatible, you want to use ANT+.  At least, for now anyway.  As with any tech, it’s a see-saw effect with competitors.

All of which is good for consumers.

With that, thanks for reading!

Related posts of interest: Garmin Vector 3 Power Meter In-Depth Review | Power Meter Pedal Shootout: Vector 3 vs PowerTap P1 vs Assioma

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92 Comments

  1. Ray,

    The Video linked is to the AirHub.

    Duaine

  2. Stikman

    RE: the water bottle. Were you not previously aware of the “Australia tax” placed on everything here?

  3. Doug

    Is it possible to use the Vector 3 pedals as the power source in ERG mode or will I need to stick with the trainer for that?

    • Assuming your talking for Zwift/TrainerRoad? You definitely can.

    • Doug

      Yep, and thanks!

    • stu

      Ray, on that topic quickly. Do you have any experience/what are your thoughts on Power Match? I’ve done my last few trainer sessions (Flux with Vector 3s) on TR and found the resistance fluctuates wildly/is quite laggy (apparently due to the calculations required in Auto). I ended up disabling it mid session and noticed that when doing steady power intervals the power reading from the trainer was at least 20 watts (+6%) less than on the power reading on my bolt was showing from the vector3s.. Is there a recommended method to simultaneously record power data on a trainer and plug it into your analyser?

    • Yeah, I generally don’t recommend it (for the reasons you noted).

      I’d recommend just recording your power meter on a separate device (i.e. your Garmin/Wahoo/whatever), and then basing your intervals off of the number displayed there, rather than the trainer*. That way indoors and outdoors all match.

      *So if you want to do an interval at 280w, and when you set your trainer to 280w your power meter only shows 265w, then simply set your trainer higher until you see 280w on your bike computer.

  4. Brendan

    Did the update and lost the ability to get all of the cycling dynamics besides left/right power. Frustrating to say the least.

    • Double-check via the mobile app that Cycling Dynamics is enabled. Pretty sure it is by default, but that’s a quick way to check.

      Also – double-check that somehow your Edge isn’t paired via Bluetooth Smart now (can’t imagine that being the case, but a good troubleshooting step).

  5. Karl Billeter

    Oh and definitely don’t try power match with a left only power meter when doing single-leg drills. It’s… challenging in all the wrong ways :-)

  6. Guillermo

    Hey Ray,

    Thanks for the report. We’ve been waiting this firmware release for a while.

    Were you able to test again the issue that Shane GPLama reported about the power difference in ERG mode with Vector 3 vs other power meters, then after the sprints the differences are less?? Garmin were working on this as far as I remember.

    Guillermo

    • Joel

      Hi Ray,

      I too am interested in your thoughts on Shane’s experience on seemingly Vector 3 losing accuracy at higher cadence (above 80 rpm – not that 80 is terribly “high” for most folk). There was one test (test 2) where there was slight discrepancy of Powertap P1 at high cadence but in general this seemed to be confined to Vector 3 “high” cadence (>80rpm) issues. Someone also made a comment on his blog that he too was also seeing same discrepancy.

      Wondering if you have tested similarly to Shane. I really like Garmin gear, but if the Vector 3’s lose accuracy above 80rpm then I am not keen to part with good money.

      Link to Shane’s blog article: link to gplama.blogspot.com.au

      By the way – hope you are enjoying Perth. Awesome place to live.

      Joel

    • Yeah, I simply haven’t seen any cadence type issues like that. I typically ride at about 90-100RPM, and my accuracy looks really solid. 80RPM is somewhat low, as you noted.

      In the next few days you’ll see my Stages LR (dual) power meter review, and that too agrees with the PowerTap hub and Vector 3.

      I’m not sure where Lama stands on some of those earlier accuracy issues he saw specifically indoors, but I know he was chatting with Garmin on it. I didn’t see them in my tests, on any of the 3 or 4 different pedals sets I’ve had (including my final one via just normal retail). I don’t think I’ve seen anything similar from others either. Part of the challenge though with power meter testing is getting body-specific nuances. For example back in the day I saw this with the original 4iiii unit, where my pedaling style messed with it badly. Shane and I both saw similar then indoors with the ROTOR 2inPower units as well, which weren’t really explainable either.

    • Joel

      Good to hear. Thanks Ray.

  7. Matthias

    Good article. Have you tested the BLE function with the Polar V650? Thanks.

    • Danny

      I managed to pair the V650 with the Vector 3. Had no time to do exhaustive testing, but at first sight it looks like display is indeed limited to a single power value. So, no sophisticated Dynamics stuff, not even Left and Right split or balance.
      Is this to be expected?
      Again, only tested for a minute or so to make sure I got the connection working.

    • Danny

      OK. I think I got it figured out and am afraid it’s not such good news.
      Ray is right that the head units or apps connect to only one pedal (left one), which acts as the aggregator for both during BLE communication.
      While this is a presented as a plus – in the case of indoor trainer apps like Zwift – compared to other brands, it actually is a disappointing limitation for non-Garmin head Units, like Polar V650, since these sort of head units assume separate pedal connections to measure separateL/R values.
      The effect on the Polar V650 is that readings are only displayed for your Left pedal and none for your right.
      I actually bought these Vector 3 mostly to analyse difference between my left and right leg (due to a difference in leg length). I’m afraid in that sense it has been a waiste of money, unless I decide to spend another 400-500€ on a Garmin Head Unit on top of the +1000€ spent on the pedals alone.
      Only hope left is that I’m doing something wrong on my side …

    • Matthias

      Danny, keep us posted. I’m using a V650 as well and would like to check on left-right balance as you want. If even the dual side version of the V3 in combination with the V650 does not work as expected…

    • I suspect we’ll see Polar adopt it pretty quickly. They’ve been pretty good about that actually, and even had a slide at one point in presentations about them trying to be more forward-focused on power meter compatibility.

      Realistically it’s the right way to do it, because otherwise you just get useless fragmentation that every other player is doing on dual-sided BLE power meters. At present, if using BLE as a power meter and you had a dual sided unit (except Polar), then you’ve basically wasted your money.

    • Danny Willen

      Not sure I understand completely. Must be that I’m not native English …
      The reasoning about Polar’s strategic choices indeed sounds sensible, but am a bit sceptical for 2 reasons:
      1) Polar had updated their firmware for the V650 quite regularly up until a year or so ago and then it brutely stopped. No more updates. I think it’s not a coincidence that it was around the same time they introduced a new model on the market: M460. So I’d be surprised if they would still update the V650 firmware.
      2) I’m afraid it will not be possible ‘by design’. There is simply only one communication channel and – admitted I’m not a BLE protocol expert – I think the standard simply does not allow for transmitting 2 different power values over one single bluetooth channel. (I wonder how the unit communicates with the Keo power sensor(s)).
      I sincerely hope the latter is incorrect, because then we can still put our bets on Polar. Not a reassuring thought though …

  8. Robin

    Speaking of Garmin, when is the winner of the Clever Training $500 spending spree going to be announced?

  9. lovemyway

    Hey Ray,

    Did you make some power comparison already (Vector 3 Bluetooth / Vector 3 ANT+ / Other PM’s)? Is everything good on the Bluetooth side? No dropouts? Spikes? I’ve been reading too much official Vector 3 forum and I’ve seen some complaints about the pedals in general; just want to make sure everything’s good before I get myself a set.

    Marcin

    • Yup. I’ve done some previous BLE/ANT+ dual comparison sets without issue – primarily in Zwift. I actually attempted to do the exact same thing this past weekend again outside, but I had used the Hammerhead Karoo as my BLE paired device (since you can only have one BLE paired device).

      Turns out that was a mistake, since the Karoo has a weird zero-value power bug in it, so it inflated all my power values anytime I stopped pedaling. Steady-state pedaling was fine though. I’ll re-do it again in the next day or so with two Garmin units (i.e. Edge 1030 paired via BLE, Edge 520 via ANT+).

      As for other PM testing, yup…every ride. :) Stay tuned for my Stages LR (dual) power meter in-depth review in the coming days. Though, I’ll give you the spoiler version and note that I don’t see any accuracy issues with any of the PM’s on that bike (Vector 3, Stages LR, PowerTap G3), though, I did see some Stages LR dropout issues depending on the specific head unit you use. I’m waiting for a second comparison Stages LR to arrive via FedEx sometime today…maybe.

  10. James

    Thanks Ray, updated without problem.

    Quick question though – on the Connect iPhone app I had (and still have, post update) a red exclamation mark on the settings sub-menu, as per picture.

    Does anyone know what it might mean? The pedals seem to work fine but it irritates me every time I see it!

    Thank you, James.

  11. Alexey Pal

    Any news on MTB (spd) Vector 3 ?

    • Fred2

      Ray has been quiet on this subject, which means: 1) he is bound by a non-disclosure agreement with Garmin or 2) he hasn’t heard anything. :-)

    • Dave Lusty

      I’m not sure the market is big enough for people wanting to use MTB cleats on road bikes to justify the investment there. I think most people who want/need a PM on a road bike just suck it up and use the cleats available.
      Pedal based power while actually mountain biking would be hopeless as most of the force at the pedal is not caused by pedaling and is not predictable enough to filter out. Consistent power output is irrelevant in those sports as power tends to be used in small bursts, leaving max power as the training goal – this doesn’t need a PM to train for and certainly doesn’t require a display of the wattage other than perhaps for tracking purposes. Power on a MTB often comes from pumping rather than pedaling so training leg power with pedals wouldn’t necessarily improve performance the way it does on the road, and suspension setups will almost certainly mess with pumping power numbers. Other than roadies with multiple bikes I don’t see much demand/discussion in MTB forums either so there may be no market there.
      I think if this happens it’ll be because Garmin can do it and they can do it cheaply. If that’s not the case I just don’t see it happening. They have the ability with the Vector 3 spindle, although whether this is strong enough to withstand a drop I wouldn’t even guess at.

    • Garmin has long talked about the idea being that the pedal spindle for Vector 1 was designed to be easily movable to other platforms.

      However, I think reality struck a bit with some of the engineering limitations of Vector 1 (including the pods) that probably limited their desire to get into the mountain bike side. It does sound like the Vector 3 pedal spindle design is quite a bit more robust, which might make for other variants to be an easier transition.

      Still, as Dave says – I’m actually not convinced there’s a big enough market for a pedal based mountain bike power meter. Merely for the fact that I think about 50-75% of market will probably dismiss it out of hand, regardless of vendor. On the flip side, much of the Garmin Vector team based out of Calgary are very avid mountain bikers…

    • Fred2

      I agree that the market is smaller and that tracking power on mountain bikes may not be as useful, but the TrainerRoad Podcast often encourages the collection of MTB power data. Similarly, Xert pretty much ignores anything that doesn’t include power. As such, CX, city and trekking bikes add to the market for a MTB pedal. I’ll even mention the very small market of triathletes who like to run through transitions in MTB shoes. Haha! I admit that I hadn’t considered the pump aspect of mountain biking since that skill is still missing from my repertoire. :-/

  12. Juri

    Hey Ray,

    Could you also please ask your garmin contacts on any updates on the “better integration between the fenix / edge series, like cross syncing and such” that was mentioned last year? It’s still annoying to have to record everything twice, just to have updated data.

    Can you also figure out what the plan is for the newly FCC’d fenix 5 model is? Already in production as a newer batch?

    Best regards,
    Juri

    • Dave Lusty

      +1. The complete lack of cross device features is embarrassing for the leader in the market and could ultimately be Garmin’s downfall. Their settings sync is a joke and more often causes issues than solves them while the disjoint application of training effect makes recovery estimates worthless on all devices.

      How hard can it be?!

      Oh yes, completely separate teams in different locations working in isolation. May as well be different companies we’re buying from.

    • Andrew M

      A recent comment from a Garmin mod on Garmin’s discussion boards noted they were working on it, but couldn’t give a release date.

    • It was previously penciled in as Q1, but I’m not sure where they stands. Or to the full extent of what will be there on X day 1.

      You actually can start to see some of the elements coming together over the last few months if you look carefully at GCM and GC. Various FirstBeat driven attributes are starting to flow centrally, which is part of the step in getting them to then flow back out.

    • Dave Lusty

      Thanks for the update Ray that’s great news as this is something that’s been missing for way too long. Hopefully they’ll do a better job here than settings sync which is still a nightmare. Especially when I get a new device and set it up only to have Garmin overwrite what I configured. Their OOBE is atrocious and I’m surprised you don’t mention this more often considering how many times you get new devices to set up. Perhaps being from the US your settings tend to align better with their defaults (miles vs KM for example). Also, I’m guessing you don’t often set up in GCM and on the PC, but that user journey makes me feel mildly violent every time I have to endure it!

  13. Chris Ott

    This is great news! Thanks, Ray, for publishing the review so quickly.
    Now I just have to get my hands on a unit here in Germany…

    Chris

  14. Mark

    Hmm wait I can not update Vector with Garmin 1000? what with such expensive device is not possible but with lower models and new 1030 yes?..?

  15. Michal

    That seems like a proper way to implement BT power sensor connectivity. No dual sensor BS. Funny thing it’s against “official” BT protocol guidelines but who cares, it works better that way.

    Also one question. Is Stages LR review coming any time soon?

  16. Tom Marshall

    Welcome to Australasia and thanks for another great update. Unfortunately though Garmin New Zealand took my money at the beginning of the summer cycling season it looks as though it will all be over before I ever see my Vector 3. So much for training with power. They estimated 3-5 weeks till delivery. Since then I have heard nothing from them. No better than fly by night fraudsters in terms of their communication. I wonder how many others are in the same situation. Anyone willing to guess when this will be resolved?

  17. naisss

    I have been waiting for this very long. Does anyone have tried to use it with Polar V800 after this update? Just need to know does it broadcasts just basic power via bluetooth? If yes, how should crank lenght be set, if like Ray said: ‘there isn’t a method to set crank length via Bluetooth Smart head units today’ . It is possible via Garmin Connect with phone? Really appreciate any help.

  18. Theo

    Ray,

    Do you foresee PowerTap implementing the same way of transmitting power through BLE (one PM signal for the left and right pedal) for the P1 now that Garmin has done so?

  19. Mark

    Hmm strange, my Garmin shows that 2.3 is the latest version?!? But when I first run program it shown to me that update is avaiable. I tried to remove and again set up connection with vector 3 but again ” firmware is up to date” ?!?

  20. Thomas Purcell

    Tried to update firmware using the Garmin Connect app but it crashes every time I select it. I tried it on two different phones, same outcome?

  21. a

    Does this mean that my Edge 520 can now talk to my Stages via BTLE? Or would that be too nice of Garmin to actually implement? :)

    • No, unfortunately not. That requires additional hardware. Only Garmin’s 2017/2018 new devices have that hardware.

    • a

      Doesn’t the 520 have BTLE for smartphone connectivity? i.e. it has that hardware already? Or is there something different in the chip for that vs. what can speak to my Stages?

    • Slightly different purposes. In the case of the 520, it’s using one of those BLE channels to chat with your phone, versus in Stages it’s using it to broadcast power.

      Now, that said, I do suspect that if Garmin really wanted to, the hardware on the 520/1000 could probably actually handle it (since I’m pretty sure it has a full BT stack, and not just a sensor set). But at the same time, we know they were battling some communications stack issues, so that may be a contributing factor.

      Whereas, on something like Fenix 3, that definitely only has the sensor side of things for BLE.

    • a

      Awesome, thanks for your replies! (And I really hope they bring BTLE support to the 520… I get ANT+ dropouts with my Stages… and I don’t know who to blame :P).

    • Michal

      Blame both. And I’m not joking. Worst combo ever.

    • In the case of the Fenix 5/5S for example, definitely blame both (they’re both operating at the limits, and eventually someone gets bit).

      But in the case of the Edge 520? No…that’s definitely on Stages. I run 2-3 Edge 520 units on every single ride I do, connecting to literally every power meter that’s come out in the last few years. And no unit has had dropouts…except Stages.

    • Michal

      Yet I know people who resolved their Stages dropouts issues by swapping Edge 520 for Elemnt Bolt. But it’s purely anecdotal evidence so I’m not gonna argue. I would say Edge 520 is not bad on that matter, but not perfect either.

    • Dave Waterworth

      I fixed my stages issues by putting some folded up card between the battery and the battery cover! The design of the battery enclosure isn’t particularly good, the battery keeps popping out as there’s a space between the top of the battery and the cover with nothing to hold it in

  22. Kasper

    Hi. I have no experience with apps for indoor training since my trainer isn’t “smart”. Does this new update mean I will be able to ride Zwift just by pairing my Vector 3 pedals with my pc?

  23. John

    Kasper,

    Correct, when you set up sensors at the beginning of a Zwift session, instead of configuring a speed sensor with your dumb trainer for estimated power (zPower) you’ll configure the Vector as an actual power source and rely on the dumb trainer to provide resistance.

    The difference is that the Vector power will be far more accurate.

    You’d still need a smart trainer if you were looking to automatically set power levels for ERG mode, etc.

  24. Paul

    “They can look to the retail success they’ve had with Vector 3 thus far (in terms of sales volume) and see that easily.”

    Interesting. Success in terms of comparisons to V1, V2? In comparison to competitors? Or they’re exceeding targets?

    • In terms of orders to time in market ratio, as well as orders to competitors sold ratio. They’ve basically wiped the P1 pedals off the sales map in every channel I can account for. It’s literally as if the P1 doesn’t even exist anymore on sales reports I can see (which mirrors what I hear from retailers/etc elsewhere). That’s saying a lot, since the P1 dominated the pedals market the last few years. Like a light switch overnight.

      And while Assioma is taking a piece of the pie these days, I’ve been surprised by how many people are going with Vector 3 due to purely looks.

  25. Bart

    Rode the Vector 3 pedals on Zwift last night the connection was solid:)

  26. Chris.K

    Great news I have been holding off until this update. So after seeing this I ordered the Vector 3s today. I already successfully use Stages for 99% of my road cycling and Powertap P1`s with Zwift on a Ipad on a spin bike in the gym at work.
    But the problems I have are the P1`s seem very chunky on a light weight bike thus I prefer stages.
    European airlines wont let me carry the Stages in my hand luggage when I travel and hire bikes thus I have to use the P1`s.
    The new gym bike at work has no clearance for a hex wrench between the crank arm and belt cover so I have great difficulty fitting the P1`s.
    Hopefully the Vector 3 with solve all my needs, Light, easy to fit with a 15mm spanner, allowable in hand luggage and now Bluetooth compatible.

  27. Gerald

    Hey Ray,
    first of all i want to thank you for yor great product reviews over the last years….

    I have paired my Vector 3 pedals with the Polar V800 with BLE. The Powermeter works well but the Cadence is wrong it jumps like 40 to 80 or 50 to 100. It seems like sometimes only one Pedal is shown in the Cadence View….
    Is it a Polar Problem or a known BLE issue.

    Have a nice Weekend best regards from Bavaria

    • It’s tough to assign blame in this specific case. On one hand, Garmin made it easy for every other app/watch to consumer the BLE data, on the other hand, Polar has been pretty good about making power meters work with their V800 (and to a lesser extent the V650).

      My guess if Polar will probably issue a firmware update for it, but it’d be good to log a ticket with Polar to add some pressure/weight there.

      That said, what you see is the exact problem I have with using BLE for power meters (still!) today. Every time any company on either side of the fence makes a firmware update, everyone breaks for a while till it gets fixed. It’s been this way for years. Part of the problem from what I understand was that the original BLE power meter spec wasn’t actually written by power meter companies, so it ended up being basically written by people who didn’t know the nuances of power meters and thus is clunky at best to use. I can’t speak to the accuracy of that from a coding standpoint, but it is the sentiment that virtually every power meter company in the industry I’ve talked to (which is all of them) have noted.

  28. Mike D

    Hey Ray,

    Do you know if the Garmin vector 3 is compatible with the Wahoo Elemnt Bolt? I know that vector 1 and 2 were, but I’m not sure about vector 3. Apparently there were recent Garmin software tweaks that may have made some problems.

    I am interested in the vector 3 but need to know if it will work with my setup.

    Thanks,
    Great blog!

  29. M.Darley

    I have updated to 3.0 software today via Garmin 820 (12 minutes) . I can confirm that Cycle Dynamics are turned off as part of the update, I think I had to turn them on via the Garmin Connect app when the pedals were new and I have switched them back on manually via the app following the update. All other settings were unchanged by the 3.0. update. I had 2.20 software beforehand.

    • Simon O’Brien

      How do you switch on the cycling dynamics?I too have lost mine since the update.Also won’t connect to the connect app on my I Phone.

    • Apart from the app, I vaguely remember a conversation somewhere with Garmin that I think they said if you had the pedals connected to your Edge and turned on the cycling dynamics screen (data page), it’ll in turn toggle it on the pedals.

    • Tomas

      I had the same problem…… after many tries I got the vector 3 connected to my iPhone again. In the Garmin app the right pedal was not connected. Had to put in the serial for the right pedal again and turn on cycling dynamics…… Now it works. Looks like the update made them single side pedal and you had to connect the second pedal once more. Now I have cycling dynamics.

  30. John

    TBH, I would’ve expected some sort of updated P2 pedal from PowerTap by now. In fact, I’m surprised they haven’t developed an SPD-compatible power meter pedal.

  31. Tuomas

    A few notes:
    – firmware update on Android (Oneplus3) with Garmin Connect crashed every time I tried (before being able to start actual update); it worked smoothly over iPad although it took pretty long time like 10-15 minutes
    – Vectors have paired nicely with Edge 810 and Polar V800, I just had some issues pairing with V800 when my phone was around; I turned bluetooth off after which it worked
    – I had same cadence issue as Gerald and someone else pointed; on V800 cadence showed often just half like 40 instead of 80 or 48 instead of 96 etc. (my test bike already had dual ANT+/BLE speed & cadence sensors, so I am not fully sure, if Polar took cadence from Vector 3 – but before adding Edge 810 and Vectors I did not have this issue)
    – on my 1st 30min test ride on rollers about 1min of power data was missing from V800 graph

  32. Jay

    Having an issue with vector 3 and the MyETraining app by elite via Bluetooth
    It Shows that the vector 3 connects to the app in the power spot but no values show up for power or cadence in the app while using it
    Anyone else have this issue

  33. Richard Hamilton

    Anyone else still having update problems via the Garmin connect app? I’ve tried on two android devices and they keep crashing and also on two IOS devices but they aren’t showing the latest firmware update, only the 2.3.0. Unfortunately I only have the edge 810 so I’m out of options.

  34. Dave Waterworth

    Good news, I have a pair on pre-order in New Zealand. Talked to the shop today, they received their first pair a few weeks back but they’re coming in 1 by 1 not in a single shipment so I’ll be waiting a few more weeks it appears.

  35. E Bike

    Updated the garmin app. Getting that 2.2 is still the latest available. Thoughts?

    • OJ

      for what it’s worth, the 3.0 firmware update is causing a LOT of issues, I would recommend avoiding it if at all possible (my pedals are basically non functioning after the update and garmin forums have many posts stating similar issues)

  36. Brian

    I am having problems with repeated 20-30 sec power and cadence dropouts while riding ever since updating to 3.0. Have you heard of others with this problem and any ideas from Garmin? Really unsure how they get such a market share given how touchy their stuff is.

    • There’s some info in the forums, but I also think there’s a few wires getting crossed in some of the threads.

      In reading through things, there are basically two issues that people see (and if you count, we’re only talking a handful of people, but nonetheless, they are):

      A) Battery cap issues: I think we’re getting to the point where people are hitting the end of their first set of batteries, and as such running into whatever issue Garmin is having with some battery caps. Apparently they’re sending out new caps to people on request while they build up stock. In any case, this can cause the dropouts. I suspect people weren’t seeing this issue until now simply because people hadn’t touched their batteries – so it was fresh from factory and undisturbed. Obviously, this doesn’t impact everyone, since plenty of people like to poke at things and open up battery compartments when they get something (like me).

      B) A GCM connectivity bug. There’s reports of an issue/bug where the latest GCM (Garmin Connect Mobile) version is interrupting the connection for the pedals, causing dropouts. One recommendation I saw was to de-pair GCM from your pedals after firmware update. Given there’s little tangible day to day value in GCM and Vector 3 being paired (it’s more for setup/config), this sounds like a good short term fix until they can figure out what’s up.

      I haven’t seen any dropouts on my pedal yet (and I just changed batteries last week)…so fingers crossed.

    • Tomas O

      Hi,
      It seems to exist one more issue with the v3.0 firmware. After updating my pedals with GCM from 2.30 I can’t activate the TE/PS option. Everything looks good when toggle the switch to Active, during the update the sensor indicator doesn’t show any errors and the procedure ends with 20 green blinks. But when stepping back into the Settings section, the TE/PS toggle is deactivated again. With v2.30 it worked as expected and I was getting the pedal smoothness/torque effectiveness values to my Wahoo Bolt.

  37. That is great news. Better later than never