The Vector is Garmin's answer to pedal based power. Take a look at our first thoughts from Interbike.
The much anticipated Garmin Vector pedal based power system was finally announced 1 month before Interbike. Needless to say the Garmin booth was buzzing at Interbike last week, you kinda had to push your way in to even get a glimpse of the new Vector. The Vector is Garmin's answer to pedal based power. We have been hearing about this technology for several years now and it looks like it will finally be available. We had the chance to check it out in person at Interbike, and will hopefully be reviewing it in detail soon.
We began hearing rumors of a little company called Metrigear and their pedal called (you guessed it) the Vector a couple of years ago. We had high hopes of getting a set of those pedals way back then, but there were numerous delays and other hurdles for such a small company to bring this technology to the market. The release date was continually pushed back and it seemed like we would never see these things in the real life, you can actually buy this and take it home today, type of existence that we were eagerly anticipating.
What this system really needed was a company to adopt it and bring it from "hey that's a cool idea" stage of development to the "yes it is, and it's available for purchase" stage of development. Enter Garmin and the knowledge, not to mention the funds, they bring to the table to actually get a project like this up and running and voila! About a year later and we are almost there.
The Vector is attractive to people for many reasons. You have the ability to easily switch between bikes, track power data for each leg, plus it is a very compact and lightweight package. The pedal based power meter is obviously a popular idea, as Look and Polar have teamed up to create their own system as well (Keo Power Pedal).
The Vector will come with a Look Keo compatible pedal (the key word here is compatible). The durable injected carbon fiber pedals will actually be manufactured by Exustar. While we don't see any faults with this approach, it will be interesting to see how the pedals hold up.
The Vector will transmit data via the ANT+ protocol, which seems to be the standard (Polar, did you hear that?). It will instantly work with your Edge 500, 800 or 310XT head unit once you have installed a simple firmware upgrade.
By having the ability to receive data from each pedal, the Edge will be able to display a lot more information such as left and right leg power, cadence, and power metrics from TraningPeaks including Normalized Power, Intensity Factor, and Training Stress Score.
The Vector is expected to be available in March of 2012 with a suggested retail price of $1,499.99, which puts it in line with most power meters.
As we stated above, we are on the "list" to receive the Vector so we can provide a detailed review and will get it posted as soon as possible.