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First look: Garmin Vector 3 pedals

Pod-free power from Garmin's third-generation power pedal...

Power pedals are getting more competitive, and they're also very good. It's been a while since we reviewed the Garmin Vector 2 pedals, which at the time would have set you back £1,200. Since then the trend has been for power pedals to get cheaper, and that's demonstrated by the excellent Favero Assioma Duo pedals, which offer accurate and repeatable double-sided power readings for £735. So Garmin have had to up their game, and they have. The Vector 3 is a major update, and a dual-sided setup is now just £849.

> How to choose a power meter

The new Vector 3 is a brand new pedal: it doesn't really share anything with the previous version. Both the body and spindle are redesigned, and upgraded: you get needle bearing internals in place of the bronze bushings, for example, and the redesigned bodies are much better looking. The main difference, though, is that the pods have been binned. The Vector pedals used to use a separate pod containing the transmitter and battery, which plugged into the back of the spindle. The connection was prone to problems, and the pods themselves wer a bit fragile. For version 3, all the electronics are inside the pedal, meaning it's a much neater unit. The batteries (two LR44 button cells) will run the vectors for a claimed 120 hours, and Garmin have added Bluetooth Smart connectivity so it's easier to pair the pedals to your phone or tablet, and update the firmware.

> When should I replace my cleats?

As before, the Vector pedals use a Look-Kéo-compatible cleat, and cleats are supplied. Once fitted to the bike they're pretty much indistinguishable from a standard pedal: there's nothing to give away the fact that they're a power pedal save for a blinky status light in the back of the axle. And the fact that they say Garmin on the side.

We'll be giving the Vectors a thorough test here on and benchmarking them against the other power-measuring devices we have knocking about. Watch out for the full review soon.

Dave is a founding father of, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.

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