If you take your cycling seriously then knowing how much power you’re putting into every stroke is important, but pro-grade power meters like Garmin’s Vector don’t come cheap. That’s why we’ve a feeling cyclists will be interested in the Garmin Vector S, a single-pedal version of the Vector which comes in well beneath its siblings $1.7k price tag.
The Vector S is an upgrade pedal for the left side of the bike, and Garmin claims it’s so easy to install that you don’t need a mechanic to do it. Once in place, it figures out power in watts at different time intervals, as well as tracking cadence with an integrated accelerometer.
That data is fed to an Edge cycling computer, or any other ANT+ enabled device. There’s also the option to upgrade at a later point to a dual-pedal setup, with Garmin offering a secondary piece that effectively turns the whole thing into the equivalent of a Vector system.
With that, you also get left/right power accuracy, balance data, and Garmin’s new Cycling Dynamics information.
Cycling Dynamics includes seated/standing position, Power Phase, and Platform Center Offset, all figured out by the pressure placed on the two pedals. Coming in a software update for Vector owners late this year, it’s intended to give previously-unknown degrees of insight into how people ride.
Whether Vector or Vector S, Garmin’s system works by tracking the deflection in the pedal spindle a few hundred times a second, then comparing that to a factory calibration to calculate how much force is applied. It works by measuring the deflection in the pedal spindle as users pedal.
Garmin will offer Vector S come Q4 2014, priced at $899.99. It’ll be available in Standard (cranks 12-15 mm thick, up to 44 mm wide) and Large (cranks 15-18 mm thick, up to 44 mm wide) sizes, while the optional upgrade pedal for the right side will be $699.99.