Garmin Vector power meter pedals now measure power stroke and cleat pressure offset and time seated and standing

At Eurobike we saw the new single-sided Garmin Vector S power meter pedal option, which tweaked the left sensor’s system to send a doubled up signal to the head unit and approximate total power for both legs from a single meter at about half the price.

At Interbike, they showed us the new Cycling Dynamics updated for the Vector and their cycling computers. The new screen interprets data from the pedals in a new way, showing your Power Phase (how strong you are at each point in the crank’s rotation), compare time spent seated versus standing and see how your power is hitting the pedals with their Platform Center Offset reading.

All three metrics will appear on a single screen and show up in Garmin Connect upon syncing the device with your computer after the ride. A software update will be available later this year for both the pedals and Garmin’s head units to bring it all to life…

Garmin-vector-power-pedal-dynamics-cleat-pressure-offsetThe Power Phase section shows the angles where you start and stop generating positive torque. They say you can use it to analyze the differences saddle position can make, and see how your output differs when seated or standing, climbing or riding on the flats. Of course, you’ll need the standard dual sided Vector pedal system to see right and left.

The Platform Center Offset shows how much of your power is being pushed to either side of the pedal’s center. This data can be used to improve bike fit and cleat position to improve efficiency and possibly prevent injury.

Lastly, it automatically figures out when your seated or standing and records the total time for each. Post ride, you can compare power output with the riding position to see which is more efficient, all in real time along your ride’s continuum. It’ll also show the corresponding cadence and speed, so you’ll know for sure whether it’s better to sit and grind or get up and chammy dance!

NEW GARMIN FORERUNNER 920XT

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Building off the 910XT, its successor adds running dynamics and smartphone connectivity, plus a hi-res color display, while keeping the GPS and other basic metrics we’ve all come to expect.

The hot new features include daily activity tracking, VO2 max estimate for cyclists, and notifications of incoming text, emails, calls, calendar reminders and more when paired with your Bluetooth 4.0 smartphone. It’ll automatically upload your workout data to Garmin Connect via that Bluetooth connection or over WiFi. It can even do live tracking

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For cyclists, the cool feature is it’s ability to use heart rate and power output to estimate your VO2 max, giving you another metric by which to gauge your performance. It also bundles in a sleep tracking and recovery timeline, which we all know we need more of. A built in altimeter provides accurate altitude measurements, too.

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The meat of the new features are for runners, though. Their Advanced Running Dynamics measure cadence, vertical oscillation (how far you bounce off the ground between steps) and ground contact time. It then presents this data in full color graphics and compares it to runners in general. Assuming you want to change your gait, a metronome will vibrate/beep to help you match a specific cadence. An UltraTrac mode boosts GPS tracking up to 40 continuous hours for ultra runners.

Swimmers get stroke type, stroke counts and distance. If you’re looking for an all in one package, the new Forerunner 920XT seems to check the boxes active (or those who want to be active) people are looking for. Bonus: It’s thinner and lighter than previous models, too. Retail is $449 on its own, or $499 with BT heart rate strap.

Garmin.com

8 COMMENTS

  1. Using the Platform Offset Center measurement seems like a great tool for bike fit. Moving the cleats side to side will change stance width, but I don’t think this is the real solution. They should also start offering pedal spindle lengths (like Speedplay and a couple other brands) to keep the cleat centered under the foot and adjust stance width to optimize the POC. Fit in the Z-plane is a complicated process and this looks promising to help with that. I’ll be interested to see how this is received in the bike fit community.

  2. Ehhh, still a bit skeptical of the concept. A guy I ride with broke a pod just moving his bike from rack to road. Too delicate to warrant the expense imho. Do the Garmin Sharp guys even use this stuff?

  3. @wolf,
    I agree, measuring lateral pedal force would be great for fitting, but this won’t give an accurate measurement because it is measuring force relative to the center of the pedal and not the center of your foot. I don’t follow you on spindle length vs cleat placement though. spindle length only comes into play when you can’t get enough movement out of the cleat alone. correcting this pressure involves adjusting for proper stance, foot tilt, and rotation. this measurement should really be measured at the insole.

  4. So this is something I can get displayed during a ride but actually only need once during a bike fit? Then how do I use it? What reading moves the cleat in or out? With what particular injury will the data change? How do I move my cleat to then prevent that injury or fix it?
    The gullibility of certain parts of the cycling community never ceases to amaze. Good job Garmin.

  5. Alvis, it is a tool. In the hands of someone trained to properly interpret the date (read: your bike fitter) it can provide more pieces to the puzzle. Is this something YOU NEED for every day use? No, certainly not. Is it a fun little toy to play with? Totally. Can it HELP nail down specific fit issues? Maybe.

    Something that worries me is people trying to use this to fit for power output. Truth is, your power can actually DROP immediately following a fit. Even though you’re now in the best position, those muscles are now activated differently and could take 8 weeks for your body to fully adjust for the new position.

    Again, it’s a tool. It’s data collecting. Knowing how to read it is key.

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