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Best Garmin Vector 3 Black Friday Deals & Sales 2020
Easy to transfer between bikes
Endless battery problems
Price as reviewed:
Review last updated: May 1, 2020
This overview of the Garmin Vector 3 pedals has been over a year in the making, with unique testing from November 2017.
The original Cycling Weekly review was published in January, 2018 – and the pedals received an excellent 10/10 for offering accurate power readings and also a host of other useful metrics in a package that designed for easy swapping between bikes.
However, around per month after publishing the shining report, the pedals commenced to demonstrate problems: power spikes, battery draining and ‘right sensor missing messages’. A straightforward Google search revealed multiple forum threads with customers having identical problems – and, if it’s not really a dirty word, anecdotally a higher percentage of our cycling peers who had invested were exceptional same issues.
After changing the batteries many times, Garmin sent another couple of pedals to try. Issues persisted with both pairs. Then in June 2018, Garmin admitted that it had a problem with water damage and mold due to an insufficient battery cover design. All customers were treated to a fresh group of revised covers, and new pairs come fitted with the updated cover as standard.
The first replacement cover pinged off after being clipped in a crit race – however the second replacement group of covers hasn’t yielded incredible results, either. It appears performance could be boosted by using a clever hack involving a bit of cardboard which closes the gap between contact and battery – but this might void your warrantee and isn’t advised by Garmin.
In March 2020, Garmin released another new cover, once more to address problems with the look. We’ve not had the opportunity to get our practical a couple of these covers – we want to, and really should we succeed we’ll update this review if we find the update boosts performance.
All of this is a shame, for the reason that Vector 3’s will be the most beautiful power meter solution on the globe. If they’d only work consistently.
Garmin Vector 3: the construction
When power meter pedals arrived they seemed like the best solution.
The professionals: easily transferrable between bikes, unlike cranks; well suited for all rides, events and all weathers, unlike wheels. For a rider like myself who would like to train with power on the highway, track and with time trials, they’d be ideal. However, the positioning makes them fragile and vunerable to damage.
How exactly to train with a power meter
The Vector 3’s looked to fix the cons. Unlike the outgoing Vector 2, the energy meter is housed inside pedal – eliminating the thought of having a pricey strain gauge dangling around unprotected and with the necessity to set them up with an ideal level of torque.
A pair weighs 324g (claimed weight is 316g). The pedals themselves, primarily created by external brand Exustar, have grown to be an in-house project, made by Garmin. They use needle bearings rather than bronze and may support a rider weight up to 105kg.
They’re both Ant+ and Bluetooth compatible, making them friendly to more software options without the utilization of a dongle. The pedals can be bought as a pair – ‘Garmin Vector 3’ – or as an individual pedal in ‘Garmin Vector 3S’ form. The latter measures power from the left pedal and uses an algorithm to determine output.
Garmin Vector 3 Create
Sometimes learning a power meter, cycling computer or other particularly software heavy item has a side order of hassle and dressing of irritation.
That wasn’t the case at all with the Vectors. The pedals were simple to fit, simple to hook up and calibrate.
The pedals are Look style, and the box includes a pair of cleats.
There’s no special trick to fitting the pedals: remove your old ones, apply just a little grease, put in a supplied spacer if there’s threat of rubbing (in my own case there is not) and they’re fitted. The battery indicator is in the area where you may use an Allen key to tighten the pedals, nevertheless, you may use a pedal wrench.
To hook up to a GPS computer – I was by using a Garmin Edge 1030 – you just get into your settings > sensors, and seek out sensors. The energy meter should appear – it did so for me personally in less than one minute. Afterward you set crank length and calibrate.
Calibration has to be performed before every ride. Thankfully, it had been very easy: I simply had to choose the sensor, hit ‘calibrate’, unclip from the pedals and wait a couple of seconds.
Updates could be administered via your Garmin Edge unit, and you could also adapt settings using the Garmin Connect mobile iphone app – including scaling if you’re using the Garmin 3S (single pedal) version and know you have a po