new Garmin Vector Air Specs & Opinion

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Garmin recently leaked their own product details on their upcoming Garmin Vector Air product. It’s an opposing force power meter yet, more interestingly, it’s also a Drag Meter as it measures cDa and transmits cDa live to your cycling computer. That’s a pretty niche usage BUT it comes priced at $299.99, thus that niche of people who might actually NEED such a product will be expanded to people like me who might buy a drag meter on a whim to see if it can help me with a bit of free speed. At $299.99 there is not much about the price that we can baulk at.

Leak First Reported:

Briefly How it all Works

I don’t want to dwell on this as virtually everyone reading this post will understand the basic method.

In a nutshell: You must already have a ‘proper’ power meter based on the direct forces you are shoving into your bike and the Vector Air is also a power meter but it works out power from the opposing forces with the air as you move forward. The Garmin Vector Air CANNOT know your body shape which is a big factor in the opposing force calculation. The two power readings are equalised at some point and any subsequent change you make to your position will be reflected in a difference between the two power meters.

The Future of these Products

I’m fascinated by what this technology could bring. Yet I already have one. Well, I have a very similar Velocomp Aeropod and I certainly use it NOWHERE NEAR as much as I thought I would do despite my fascination. AND it’s a good product that even looks nice.

Velocomp AeroPod – First Rides

My view is that the future of this market is going to be twofold

Anything in the middle will fail without a decent value-added proposition bolted on to the basic product.

The Competition

I’ve already mentioned Velocomp’s AEROPOD. There’s also Swiss Side, Aero Lab & Notio Konekt

They all seem similar enough to me. If you want to read more detailed content on many of the factors involved then AEROLAB is a good place to start.

After the Garmin leak, I asked Velocomp for comment. I got none!

Elsewhere, I have been told that Velocomp own MANY patents in this field. Most likely I would guess that Garmin has kindly licenced some of the tech from Velocomp and hence the silence of the latter.

Let’s turn back to the Garmin Vector Air

Garmin Vector Air Specs

These are the high-level Garmin Vector Air Specs

cDa requires a separate ANT+ power meter

Garmin Vector Air – What Else We know

Here is the information originally leaked from the Garmin Vector Air product pages

The key points here are

Potential Usages

For the casual athlete, this kind of product will need to provide simple, actionable metrics. Most likely these metrics will need to be there when you are riding. Sure you can perform tests and write down your positional changes in between tests and then go back to your office and analyse the data to the early hours of the morning…I thought I ‘d do that with the Velocomp AeroPod data…but I didn’t.

I suspect that the in-ride uses will boil down to

Price & Availability

We saw with the leak of the chest strap that an inadvertent listing on the Garmin website does not necessarily mean that the product is ready for imminent release. Nevertheless, it would make sense that this product was released in Q1.2020 if it’s almost ready-to-go.

The price seems too low for Garmin. $299 is less than Velocomp’s price for Aeropod. Because of that, there might be some intentional (and false) leaking by Garmin going on here for some reason that I don’t understand unless it’s an unusual form of market research.










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