Garmin delays Vector power pedals

Company cites complex design requirements in fourth release delay

Garmin has delayed the release of its highly anticipated Vector power meter pedals once again via a press release Wednesday morning. The company now says it “cannot estimate delivery date.”

The pedals were originally slated for release in late 2011, then March 2012, then “late summer” 2012, and now Garmin has given up attempting to set a date.

From the release:

After testing our latest advanced prototypes of the Vector system, we are still not satisfied with the results. As you can imagine, Vector is a complex, precision measurement instrument and as of yet, we are unable to ensure that this device will meet the expectations of the cycling community. Presently, we cannot estimate a delivery date but we do not expect the product to be ready in the summer of 2012, as previously targeted. We understand that this is a highly anticipated product within the cycling community, but Garmin’s commitment to quality necessitates this additional delay. We will update our customers when we have additional information to share. Thank you for your understanding.

Pedal-based power meters are considerably more complicated than their crank or hub-based brethren, since the system must deal with and differentiate between more varied force inputs. The pedals must figure out, for example, whether pressure applied to them is applied on the front or back of the pedal stroke (or else you could spike wattage by bunny hopping), or is simply caused by a bouncing foot or road vibration. Advanced accelerometers and algorithms aid in this differentiation, but also make the system extremely complex.

Look’s KeO Power is currently the only pedal-based option, and has been released to the public for $2,000. VeloNews has a pair in-hand, and a full review is coming soon.