MetriGear have pushed the release date for their highly anticipated Vector power meter back to mid-2010.
The system’s complexity – data has to resolved from over 60 strain gages – has apparently warranted unforeseen additional development and testing time.
Aside from the relatively minor delay, the process is still on track, with the original target specifications still intact and beta test units already out in the field.
Once available later this year, the Vector is poised to quickly grab a chunk of the increasingly competitive power meter market.
According to MetriGear, it will add just 50g, will fit inside a standard Speedplay pedal, will offer +/-1.5 percent accuracy (inline with the competition), will be easily transferrable between different bikes, and will even be relatively reasonably priced at a target figure of US$1,000 (including pedals).
In spite of the Vector’s complex electronics, company spokesperson Mandi Mena said early adopters wouldn’t have to worry about being crippled with bugs.
“The units have been designed to be field updatable and when shipped, they will include an ANT+ USB dongle as part of the Vector purchase,” she said. “The firmware in the pedals can be wirelessly updated as any revisions or updates made and posted for download on our website.”
Most end users will have access to simple scalar power readings, as is currently the norm, but as the name suggests, the Vector’s unique four-sided sensor array will also offer more advanced directional information to users such as physiologists, biomechanists, bike fitters and sports medicine scientists.
“These units will transmit raw data to a fob that can be downloaded and analysed,” said Mena. “Our goal with this is to enable the analysis so that meaningful research-based metrics (eg. “efficiency”, ” cadence smoothness”, etc) can be developed and validated, and then ultimately implemented in the head units and analysis tools by others. We haven’t made any decisions about commercialising these research units beyond this initial research team.”
That initial research team includes the cycling group at the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine (BCSM), who are already outlining experiments moving forward with their beta test set.
“Clinically, an interesting aspect of these pedals is that we will be able to tell exactly what each leg is contributing, and treat imbalances and asymmetry with improved effectiveness,” said BCSM biomechanist Sean Madsen.
“These pedals can measure all the forces acting on the pedal, in various planes, separate on each side, [and they are] wireless so we can do some actual data collection of the pedal forces outside under real world conditions.”