We reported last summer that Garmin purchased California start-up MetriGear for their pedal spindle power meter technology. Garmin has now fully developed the product and yesterday unveiled the Vector pedal based power meter, offering a more accurate way to start adding power data to your training.
Unlike other power meter options, Vector is fully pre-calibrated before hitting your local bike store shelves. You will be able to install the pedal based power meter yourself within minutes. As cadence measurement is also included in Vector via an integrated accelerometer, you have no other external sensors to install on your bike. This simple design means you can swap the power pedals between your bikes or take them with you on your cycling vacation.
The power based pedal meter works by measuring the deflection or displacement of the pedal spindle under the load of your pedaling. By comparing this to a deflection caused under a known load, Vector can determine how much force you are actually applying to the pedal. Couple the force measurements with cadence over time, and the pedal based power meter can calculate your power output in watts.
Using ANT+, Garmin Vector transmits your power data to any compatible cycling computer. If you already own an Edge 500 or Edge 800 cycling computer, you can see total power, left and right leg power, cadence, as well as real-time power metrics from TrainingPeaks.
The lightweight, injected carbon fiber pedals are LOOK Keo compatible to start, while the ANT+ wireless pedal pod transmitters will fit most cranksets. Garmin Vector will be available in March 2012 and will have a hefty suggested retail price of $1,500.