Garmin Vector 2 power meter review£1,200.00

GPS guru’s pedal-based system

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The Vector was the world’s first power meter pedal but it wasn’t perfect. For the revised version Garmin has added lots more analysis and changed the pods, which proved very robust.

Transferring between bikes isn’t as quick as with PowerTap's P1s, but still takes only a few minutes. As well as having to mount the pods, you also need to torque the pedals correctly to 40Nm. That’s higher than normal and you can’t afford to get it wrong, as the Vectors will read incorrectly if not tightened to spec. Each pod takes a CR2032 battery.

The Vector 2 requires an ‘installation ride’ to teach the pods the precise angle they are set to in relation to the crank. This only takes about 30 seconds, then your computer asks you to confirm crank length and do a manual zero offset calibration.

The Vector 2 is also available in a single-sided Vector 2S as a more affordable entry point that can then be upgraded to a dual-sided system. You can also upgrade your original Vector pods to V2.

The new Cycling Dynamics features are interesting. Using a Garmin Edge 1000 you can see live displays of your left/right power, stroke efficiency (Power Phase) and seated/standing splits. Some of this is a bit gimmicky and only there because it’s possible, but the Power Phase feature is useful, especially if you’re a newer rider working to develop a smooth spin.

The Vector 2 performed well for lots of rides but also gave us a fair bit of grief. It’s sensitive to temperature and it also over-read sprint efforts of over 900W by as much as 30% compared to two other meters when it had tracked alongside them for the rest of the ride.

Then the left pedal started reading low, before cutting out completely. Swapping the batteries and pods didn’t fix it. Garmin said it was a ‘firmware issue’ but replaced the whole set with new ones. It should also be said that Garmin’s warranty backup is very good, and for the rest of our testing the second set performed without any problems, so maybe Garmin is ironing out some bugs.

If you’d like to know more about how the Vector 2 stacks up against the competition, check out our nine-way power meter test video.

If you’d like to know more about how the vector 2 stacks up against the competition, check out our nine-way power meter test video.

This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

Jamie Wilkins

Deputy Editor, Procycling / Editor, Urban Cyclist, Procycling Magazine
Rides fast everywhere, all the time. Jamie started riding age 12, first on mountain bikes, progressing through cross-country and downhill racing (followed by motorcycle road racing and a dark time as a runner). A dedicated roadie since 2007, Jamie has dabbled in road racing, crits and time trials, but has the most fun simply riding hard with a couple of friends, chasing daft average speeds. Needless to say, Jamie values pure performance above all else and loves aero kit. Fiercely honest in his reviews. Has a chain-cleaning fetish.
  • Age: 37
  • Height: 185cm / 6'1"
  • Weight: 71kg / 156lb
  • Waist: 79cm / 31in
  • Chest: 96cm / 38in
  • Discipline: Road
  • Preferred Terrain: Mountains, rolling stuff, flat and windy, hacking through the city…
  • Current Bikes: Ridley Noah SL 20, Scappa Purosangue, Canyon Speedmax 9.0 SL
  • Dream Bike: Canyon Aeroad CF SLX 9.0 LTD, in red, please. And a Pashley Guv'nor.
  • Beer of Choice: Recovering teetotaller, still working this one out
  • Location: Bath, UK

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