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Garmin hits $900 with one-side power meter, bolsters power metric offerings

Published August 26, 2014

FRIEDRICHSHAFEN, Germany (BRAIN) — Garmin made two product announcements as the Eurobike show opened here with an outdoor demo day Tuesday.

The U.S. electronics brand is introducing a new pedal-based power meter that measures forces on the left pedal only, rather than on both sides as with its first power meter, the Vector. The one-sided Vector S will retail for $899.95, which includes a pair of pedals and a single transmitter unit for the left crank. Users can upgrade the right pedal with a meter and transmitter for an additional $699.95. The original two-sided Vector has an MSRP of $1,699.

Garmin also announced a more advanced suite of power measuring features that will be available through a software update later this year.

The Vector S makes Garmin competitive on price with offerings like the Stages power meter, a left crank-based meter that retails for under $900, depending on the crank model chosen.

Garmin said measuring forces at the left pedal allows the system to "approximate total power," while also measuring cadence and other factors.

"It allows cyclists to start receiving the benefits of tracking power output right away, while its upgrade pedal gives them the opportunity for unique additional metrics – without having to invest in a whole new system," said Dan Bartel, Garmin's vice president of worldwide sales.

Vector power meters send information wirelessly to compatible Garmin Edge cycling computers or other ANT+TM enabled devices, including some smart phones.

Upgrading the Vector S to a two-pedal system adds more metrics including left/right balance data, and the new Cycling Dynamics metrics.

Upgraded software

Cycling Dynamics gives cyclists and coaches access to more data from its power meters. It distinguishes between power measured while the rider is seated or standing, analyzes the power phase of the pedal stroke and shows how force is distributed across the pedal platform.

“There is no ‘one size fits all’ solution for improving cycling efficiency – bike fit, position effectiveness, and training techniques all need to be personalized,” said Bartel. “Cycling Dynamics’ in-depth metrics for form and riding style are intended to help save time and frustration during the typical trial and error stage of assessing weaknesses and determining best solutions so cyclists can ride longer, faster and more comfortably.”

The seated/standing measurement, for example, can show riders how often and how long they ride in each position, as well as the associated cadence, speed and power for each position.

The new power phase feature detects where the leg is generating positive torque in a pedal stroke, where the greatest concentration of positive torque is, at what angle these forces begin and end, and where the concentration of power is produced. It also compares left and right leg power output.

The Platform Center Offset measurement identifies how force is distributed across the pedal platform during the pedal stroke, which can give insight into bike fit and cleat positioning. 

Cycling Dynamics metrics will be available to dual-sensing Vector users via a software update late this year. 

Topics associated with this article: Eurobike

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