Garmin Vector pedal power meter
I've been a long time fan of Garmin since the days of the Street Pilot GPS back in 2001.
They made a great transition into the world of cycling and have changed the way we view computer data on the bike with their Edge series. Only if you were living under a rock, would you be oblivious to that fact that training for cycling nowadays is all about power , joules and wattage. The world of cycling training used to be heart rate, and now it is ALL about measuring power.
Its an interesting and yet radical approach bringing the tech to the pedals ? With the war between Dura Ace, and Speed Play, now there's Garmin ? Garmin are definitely a company that tends to do proper R&D, so if this vector is anyting like their edge series computers, this is going to be the start of a revolution in power meters and the big guys like SRM and CycleOps should be taking notice.
The system works through the pedal spindle which in fact is the data transmitter. This data is sent to the ANT+ head unit which would be your Garmin Edge 500 or 800. The actual power is measured through the deflection of the pedals through each power stroke. I like this approach as they are able to see imbalances between left leg and right leg. Most of us know what our dominant leg is, so it will be interesting to see if this unit would be able to show that difference ?
Garmin are breaking into two cycling markets. The power meter market and the pedal market. What we the consumer do not know, is how the pedals stack up by themselves without any sensor/spindles. How do the pedals work by themselves ? Only time will tell.
It will be interesting to see if their own Garmin-Cervelo team will remove their speed play pedals and SRM units in favour of this ?
Do the long established SRM and CycleOps now have some real competition in this Garmin unit ? The true test as always however, will be the pro peloton. Right now, that is SRM dominant. Only time will tell with its durability factor. Will it survive the pave of Arenberg ? Will it survive the abuse of the pro level cyclists ?
The Garmin Vector is a new shift in power meter measuring. At a hefty $1,500 price tag, we'll see if it can stack up against the big two. I for one am excited about this and will be following their progress for the 2012 season.