6 months with Garmin Vector Power Meter

I purchased my Garmin Vector last September, but I have been really using them since November and the beginning of my IronMan training for Nice 2014. I am using them coupled to my Garmin 910XT, feeding  the data to TrainingPeaks, Strava and Garmin Connect.

Overall, the unit has been behaving as expected (hopefully if you consider the price), and I am increasingly using them for pacing in my training. The main changes have been that I have not been monitoring speed anymore for the past months, focusing only on Power, Cadence and HR (even not so much for HR as HR zones are falling below matching Power zones and are not the limiter).

As there are plenty detailed reviews of the Garmin Vector on the web, I will not write one here, but only mention the pain points I encountered during my training :

  • Cadence measurement (RPM) : The Garmin Vector are providing cadence information based on power detection. When you push down one pedal, you’re are making one revolution. Problem is that starting around 105 RPM and for sure after 115 RPM, cadence information is not usable anymore as the unit seems to be unabble to track it anymore. An issue beecause I removed my cadence sensor as I was having place anymore on the crank for both solutions. Still have to work around this to get accurate measurement as I frequently get up to 140 RPM during velocity exercice
  • Sensitivity to cold weather : With the nice days we got during this winter, I was able to ride most of the week-ends, some of them by -5 to 0°C. From time to time, I got a warning that the left unit battery was drained or that the left unit was missing. Anyway, it’s present on my bike, working and the battery was not drained back then for sure, even it was 4 months later 😉

Out of this 2 drawbacks, I have to say that training with power is really totally different from training without, and is greatly valuable especially when you are trying to see how you are progressing. When speed  depends on many factors (wind, bike, wheels, …), power can be matched to Heart Rate, whatever are the conditions. It’s even lessening the effect of strong headwind, because knowing that you are riding at 22k/h but with the right effort (power) is giving you confidence that you are doing the right thing (maintaining training power level during planned duration).

PS : Just found out that the left pedal issue may be related either to a known defect, or solved by the firmware upgrade of the vector (https://forums.garmin.com/showthread.php?49192-Vector-pairing-issues-left-pedal-Edge-800). Will try to upgrade them as soon as possible …

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