Garmin Vector 3S Right Hand Upgrade Power Pedal

  • €390.31

The Garmin Vector 3 Upgrade Pedal is a single sensing power meter that can be added to existing Vector 3S sytems to create a dual-sided powermeter for maximum power data and analysis

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Product description

Season : 2018
Code : GMV57800
Weight : 0KG

The Garmin Vector 3 Upgrade pedal is a Single-sided power pedal that augments the Vector 3S to create a dual-sided power meter. Like the Vector 3, this dual sided system then offers access to a full range of pedalling and power analysis tools through Garmin's Cycling Dynamics suite and gives the user a more affordable, stepped entry into the dual-sensing power meter market.

Vector 3 / 3S Overview

Power meters have been around for a while now, hub based, crank based and pedal based. In the early days, the likes of SRM cranks and Powertap hub based systems were the preserve of the pros and serious racers.

The Garmin Vector was one of the first systems to bring Power to the masses, and while it wasn’t particularly cheap, it did bring flexibility to the market. The original Vector – a pedal based power solution – allowed users to keep their preferred cranks and wheels and, more importantly, move their power meters from bike to bike with relative ease. Perfect if your riding is data-driven and you wanted to see your power data on your training bike, on training camps or when hiring a bike abroad.

Since the Vector, numerous other pedal-based systems have emerged, most notably the Powertap P1, which did away with the pods which, initially at least, caused some problems for Garmin in their Vector 1. This issue was subsequently addressed in the Vector 2 and 2S but, like the P1 has been eliminated in the Vector 3.

Garmin’s new Vector 3 / 3S has been engineered from the ground up and the remit has been to eliminate the issues flagged in earlier generations in order to regain it’s position as a market leading power meter. Further, it was to remain accessible, accurate and reliable for a broad spectrum of riders, whilst simultaneously providing an incredible array of Power Metrics and Dynamic analysis.

The Vector 3 / 3S are almost completely new – inside and out.

The most obvious change is the absence of the Power Pods, with all data transmission and battery storage now taken care of from within the newly designed stainless steel spindles themselves. Power to the units now comes from 2x LR44 cells (per pedal) rather than the old CR2032; these are housed in the external end of the pedal and are accessible by unscrewing the end cap using an Allen / Hex key. In addition, and more importantly from a longevity perspective, is the use of needle bearings rather than bronze bearings of previous units.

Concurrent with the changes in axle design, Garmin have moved away from the Exustar pedal bodies that formed the basis of the previous incarnations, in favour of an in-house composite body design, this is presumably to mitigate against pedal body failures (as experienced very early on with Exustar that ultimately led to a delayed release) whilst offering more control over assembly and pre-production design tweaks. Garmin are also keen to have their Vector 3 viewed in the same light as the likes of Shimano and LOOK when it comes to their pedals, ie dependable products of good standing. While that may seem harsh for Exustar who produce good pedals themselves, the liklihood is that it is a matter of market perception if nothing else and is a good thing for the consumer and Garmin alike.

The re-engineering of the pedals and removal of the pods has led to a decrease in weight of the pedals, each unit shaving a solid 17g off the Vector 2 weight. Despite this, the rider weight limit has increased significantly, from 90KG to 105kg, ultimately broadening their market and reducing the liklihood of failure. In addition, the design - which looks like a blend of both Shimano and Look pedals, has improved stack height to provide greater cornering clearance and smarter looking ergonomics.

Operationally, the Vector 3 pedals now feature Bluetooth Smart communication protocol as well as ANT+.

What does this mean? Well, firstly and most importantly it allows for Firmware updates and connection to head units using Bluetooth Smart such as Polar and Suunto.

Ultimately Bluetooth Smart communication is ideal for connecting to Apps such as Zwift on iOS, Trainer road or similar, which is where Garmin see the most benefit and the primary purpose of the tech.

It is unlikely that existing Edge users will use the Bluetooth Smart functionality for anything more than firmware, mainly because there are no Bluetooth Smart standards for the transmission of Pedal Smoothness, Torque Efficiency or the whole of the Cycling Dynamics suite – lucky then that ANT+ has you covered!

The updated communication protocols do mean that the battery life is slightly reduced over the Vector 2 (120 hours rather than 150) though it is fair to say that this only stands if you are using a head unit capable of displaying Cycling Dynamics and are using the suite, if not then you’ll likely get close to the 150.

With the removal of the power pods, the Garmin Vector 3/3S are now far simpler to install, and less risky too. Like most pedals on the market, the Vectors can be easily installed with a 15mm spanner. No torque wrench is required either, they just need to be suitably tight and initial testing suggests that the Vector 3 are consistent with a range of installation torques, just don’t wind them on by hand and expect reliable data. Once installed, an LED status indicator mounted within the axle at the threaded end can be used to gauge battery life and troubleshoot the units if necessary.

Over the course of the last 5 or so years, power metering has become increasingly reliable and accurate – certainly for the established players. The Garmin Vector 3S is no exception and when tested against the other big names are precise and accurate, yielding repeatable data. Ultimately there should be little to deter you from getting yourself a pair.

The Vector 3S are the lightest, slimmest pedal-based power meter and the one that most closely resemble a standard pedal system. They are available as a pair or like their predecessor, in this 3S single power-pedal format with a dummy pedal that can be upgraded in future – making the Vector 3 an accessible, flexible way into the power market.

Description by Owner, Dave Words by Dave
Look like a Pro, Act like a Pro, Ride like a Pro.

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