With years of experience behind power-meter pedals going back to 2013, Garmin launched the new Rally series that comes in three models: a Rally XC for gravel and mountain bike that works with Shimano SPD cleats; the Rally RS for the road that works with Shimano SPD-SL cleats; and the Rally RK, which is basically an update to Garmin’s Vector 3 that works with Look Keo cleats.
Further, the Rally system is modular, and you can swap pedal bodies on the pedal axles. So you could buy the road Rally RS dual-sided system for $1,099 and use it with your Shimano road cleats, and then buy the $249 Rally XC pedal body conversion kit to use the system for gravel or mountain bike. The pedal bodies are compatible with Vector 3 spindles, too.
The conversion process is not quick, but confident home mechanics can do the work, and Garmin retailers can also perform the service.
- Related: Garmin Vector 3 review
All the Rally pedals install like a normal set of pedals with a 15mm pedal wrench and can be similarly moved from bike to bike with only a few presses of a bike computer needed to recalibrate.
Battery life is a claimed 120 hours. As with the Garmin Vector 3 pedals, each Rally pedal takes two SR44, LR44, or CR1/3N batteries.
Rally XC for gravel and mountain bike
An SPD power-meter pedal system is big news. SRM has the X-Power pedal system, but that system is not yet widely available nor without issues. (See my review on the Garmin Rally XC for more on this.) To date, power meters have come in a variety of configurations — at the crank, at the spider, at the rear hub, and inside the crank spindle. Pedal-based power meters certainly exist — Garmin’s Vector series is the most well known, but Favero Assioma and SRM/Look also make them — but those are road pedals, not MTB/gravel.
The Rally XC is slightly larger than a standard Shimano XT or XTR pedal. The stack height — measured from the center of the pedal spindle to the cleat contact surface — is 13.5mm, compared to the 8.4mm for a Shimano XTR.
“The reason for that is because we were ultra-focused on robustness and durability,” said Garmin senior product manager Kenny Carlson.
The Rally pedals have more than 125,000 miles of cumulative testing on them over the past few years, Carlson said, in a wide range of temperature and weather conditions.
Garmin also did durability testing in the lab, smashing the rotating pedals into a cinder block, over and over.
Weight is 220g per pedal. For context, a Shimano XT pedal weighs 170g.
The Rally XC system comes with SPD cleats, and works with SPD cleats you may already own, although Garmin recommends new cleats for the best performance.
The pedals have 12 clicks of tension adjustment.
I tested a set of Rally XC pedals for a few weeks — on a few gravel bikes and comparatively against three other power meters — and you can read about that in my review.
Rally RS for Shimano SPD-SL, Rally RK for Look Keo
From the time Garmin launched the original Vector in 2013 until now, using Garmin’s road power-meter pedals meant using Look Keo cleats. For riders on Shimano pedals — or riders who had multiple bikes with Shimano pedals — this wasn’t convenient, to put it mildly.
Now, Shimano riders can keep their cleats unchanged and get accurate left/right power meter data, too.
As with the other Rally pedals, you can buy a set with left and right meters for $1,099 or a set with single-sided measurement (that doubles the reading for a comparable number) for $649.
The Rally RK is basically like the outgoing Vector 3 in that it uses a Look cleat, but with a few improvements including metal threads instead of plastic and a reinforced battery housing.
How the Rally pedal spindle differs from the Vector 3
Despite the bulk of the design carrying over to the Rally, Garmin wanted to change the name to call out the new SPD-SL and SP-compatible pedals. And although the Vector 3 spindles are compatible with all the new Rally pedal bodies, there are a few differences.
Instead of plastic threads on the battery compartment, Garmin uses metal on the Rally pedals. This adds a bit of weight but also durability. The battery contact system was also reinforced on the Rally pedals. And the battery life has also been improved to 120 hours, Carlson said, thanks to work on improving when the pedals go to sleep.
Carlson said accuracy, durability, and transferability were key goals with the Rally pedals.
“Being able to swap easily between bikes, and not have to worry about various bottom bracket sizes, or frame clearance, or different chainrings, is one of the key features of this system,” he said.
Carlson said he sees riders switching pedal bodies more as a seasonal thing between road and cyclocross, not a regular back and forth.
Our friends over at Triathlete created this time lapse video on how to swap pedal bodies:
New software updates to Garmin Edge computers is in the works: When searching for a power meter on ANT+, riders will be able to see “Rally” pop up instead of a number on ANT+. (You can see “Rally” now on Bluetooth, but Carlson recommends connecting via ANT+ because you don’t get some data like cycling dynamics when using Bluetooth.)
Mountain-bike cadence reading improvements are also part of a pending Edge update.