Power corrupts, and training with the Garmin Vector, you’ll become a tyrant on the bike. Power meters married to heart rate monitoring provide the purest performance feedback and the surest means for refining a training program. The arrival of Garmin’s much-heralded version was long in coming -- a tease of over a year -- but the pedal system is worth the wait.
Sure, Look’s Keo Power Pedal system preceded it, but the Vector is a significant improvement on the concept and less expensive (though still not cheap at $1,700). While limited to the same Keo cleat system, the Garmin system uses ANT+ rather than the proprietary Polar head unit, which means the Vector is not only compatible with Garmin’s outstanding Edge cycling computers but any head unit that uses ANT+. That versatility is particularly appealing when matched with ease of installation. Setup doesn’t require a shop wrench (mechanic) or tech support; with a few tools and attention to a key details like washer placement, crank length, and pedal attachment with the proper torque, you’ll be cranking out watts in no time.
Certainly there have been complaints that the Vector system is finicky and prone to power issues, problems Garmin has wrestled previously, and the current form factor's exposed battery and antenna pods make it impractical for the bump and grind of mountain biking. Yet there is little doubt the company will improve on the concept across the range of cycling pursuits -- and that’s what truly makes the Vector a GP 100 pick. The potential for the power meter as interchangeable accessory across every cycling platform (road, tri, mountain, cyclocross), when paired with pricing and ease of installation, makes the Vector entirely accessible to the amateur athlete. Garmin has opened the door to absolute power. You're gonna be a terror.
Excellence, innovation, craftsmanship, and an unwavering desire to challenge expectations -- these are the constants that have captivated our attention since Gear Patrol's inception in 2007. This year we're proud to announce the next step in our role as a champion of quality in product design and execution: welcome to the GP100. Our inaugural product awards are dedicated to honoring the 100 best consumer products released during the calendar year by companies of all sizes and scope.
The GP100 is not a ranking or a contest. These selections represent the collective expertise of our entire editorial staff, who have scoured every corner of the vast product universe -- from automotive and electronics, to men's style essentials, home goods, spirits and outdoors -- to find the inspiring and the practical, the ground-breaking and the traditional, the priceless and the accessible. In short: products that define or defy their respective categories to better the life of the modern man.
Motoring Watches Style Technology Sports Outdoors Home Spirits