Garmin Rally – Power Meter Pedal Range | Opinion
At $1200 a pair, Garmin is coming in with premium market pricing for their new series of RALLY power meter pedals. That sounds expensive to me for trail pedals and even the cheaper road pedals at $1099 are still expensive considering the option of the Assioma models, available at still lower prices. That said, many Garmin products command and receive the RRP for the first few months of sale until production catches up and all the first adopters’ needs are fulfilled. Simply put, as consumers, we are willing to pay these prices.
Even ignoring the slightly unusual conditions around a new product launch, these are still expensive and must have something special, right?
Garmin Rally – In a nutshell
A comprehensive power meter pedal series of solutions from Garmin to suit most types of riding. Cheaper, single-sided power models give the competition something to think about and justify the lower price tag by omitting cycling dynamics.
Other key specs like accuracy and weight are broadly unchanged from the earlier Vector 3 but Garmin has made the Rally’s design more robust to address longstanding durability issues. Now the range is widened with the support of the 2 main road cleat types (SPD-SL, KEO) and, with SPD, also provides a compelling off-road option. These choices can scoop up significant market share simply by responding to what customers demand.
If you urgently want a pair they are initially in very short supply. For example, the off-road pedals have been MASSIVELY ordered by dealers and there is insufficient stock – you likely won’t get a pair of those for at least 3 weeks. Grab the first you see.
Garmin Rally – Key Specifications
Here are the key Garmin Rally Specifications
- Battery life: up to 120 hours
- Weight: 316 g
- Water resistance.: IXP7
- Maximum rider weight: 105 kg
- Accuracy: +/- 1.0%
- Cleat type: SHIMANO SPD / SPD-SL, LOOK KEO
- Q-factor: 53 mm (55 mm with provided 2 mm washer)
- Stack height: 12.2 (road), 13.5 mm (off-road) – compare to regular pedals DuraAce is 8.8mm and M9100 is 8.4mm
- Field calibration, automatically calibrates with temperature changes
- Adjustable release tension
- Battery type: LR44/SR44 (2 per power sensing pedal) and/or CR1/3N (1 per power sensing pedal)
- Measurement location: spindle, nicely hidden away with no ‘hub’ like on the Assioma
Garmin Rally, Buy Now – USA, UK, EU
- RK200 – Garmin Road Keo DUAL – AMAZON.com – UK £969, USA $1099 (Power Meter City)
- RK100 – Garmin Road Keo SINGLE – AMAZON.com – UK £579, USA $649 (Power Meter City)
- RS200 – Garmin Road SPD-SL DUAL – AMAZON.com – UK £969 USA $1099 (Power Meter City)
- RS100 – Garmin Road SPD-SL SINGLE – AMAZON.com – UK £579, USA $649, (Power Meter City) – Assioma is $200 cheaper @$414
- XC200 – Garmin Off-Road SPD DUAL – AMAZON.com – UK £1059 USA $1199, (Power Meter City)
- XC100 – Garmin Off-Road SPD SINGLE – AMAZON.com – UK £619, USA $699, (Power Meter City)
Confused at what model name to order? Example: Garmin Rally RS100 is the single-sided version for Shimano road cleats.
- 100 = single-sided power, no cycling dynamics
- 200 = dual-sided power, plus cycling dynamics
- RK = KEO ( Look/KEO cleat)
- RS = SPD-SL (Road cleat)
- XC = SPD (MTB cleat, XC Cross Country)
Garmin Rally – Cycling Dynamics
I love my data but most of us will end up not even looking at the power balance stats let alone the wealth of cycling dynamics that come on the DUAL models, namely, Platform Centre Offset, Standing/Seated, Power Phase, Pedal Smoothness. Really, don’t persuade yourself to buy the DUAL model because of these extra stats. You get cadence and power on the single-sided pedals…that’s all you need.
Garmin Rally – Durability
Garmin’s press release claims that RALLY has undergone extensive testing. Naturally, they would say that. I do believe them and I do believe that they will want to avoid the fiasco that was the Vector 3 battery covers. So using the latest gen covers plus a more durable threading mechanism plus lots of testing should mean that these pedals are good for the long haul. Or you could buy the less pretty Assiomas that ARE good for the long haul.
2021 – The Year of Wider Cleat Compatability
We’ve just seen Wahoo announce a SPEEDPLAY compatible power meter for launch in a few months time and there is even more to come.
For sure, this year will see power meter pedal companies FINALLY responding to one of the last unmet, high priority needs, summed up as, “I want to use MY preferred cleats“. Whilst Garmin still doesn’t support SPEEDPLAY they have excelled themselves this time around and instead released THREE power meter pedal variants covering Look/KEO, Shimano SPD-SL and Shimano SPD. Even better, each of those comes as a single-sided (100) or dual-sided (200) version – ie 6 SKUs. Of course, if you are a gravel/trail/MTB cyclist then this means that you can choose Garmin pedals for those different types of cycling too.
Note: There ARE significant stock shortages at launch and I’m pretty sure there are zero discounts at launch. So if you want to be one of the first owners of RALLY then just find the model you want and hit the trigger.
This new Vector was leaked to me way back in September 2020 and yet today’s new name came as somewhat of a surprise. I don’t think it’s a good name on a variety of levels of connotations with Raleigh Bike, Rally motoring and demonstrations, however, I guess that ultimately doesn’t really matter. What DOES matter is how these perform and how they stack up to the competition.
The problem Garmin HAD was that their Vector 3 was essentially hard to differentiate from the Favero Assioma in the minds of Jo Public. The Favero Assioma is and was significantly cheaper and probably technically superior and more reliable in many respects. With Garmin Rally pedals, much of that technical ambivalence may now have abruptly changed but ONLY IF you stump up the extra cash. Even then, many will not bother to pay more as Assioma remains a perfectly good solution.
These are some of the many factors at play when buying power meter pedals
- Consistency vs Consistent Accuracy – This falls down to your personal preference, providing a realistic level of systemic accuracy being achieved. One of the original reasons for pedal-based solutions was that you could move your single measurement tool from bike to bike. It was consistent. Now with the rise of FE-C/smart trainers and Zwift, more riders need to consider consistent accuracy across multiple power sources.
- Calibration – I know people who bought PMs because they were accurate but then rarely, properly calibrated them #Shrug. Now that we have more widespread automatic calibration (Assioma and others have it too) then this means something to those people. I’m just not quite sure what.
- Single/Dual – Does the difference from doubling up a single side to measuring both sides really matter? I have dual-sided solutions and an imbalance but I don’t think it really matters as some of the dual-sided solutions I use are flawed.
- Battery life – We love long battery lives and what’s important here is having a mechanism to be alerted to the need to recharge the battery or replace it. Unless you’re riding more than 15 hours a week most battery lives are fine, so Garmin’s excellent battery life is great but I don’t think you should put too much sway on it. What we surprisingly discovered over the last few years was that rechargeable batteries can be better because they can be better protected from the elements by means of a permanent seal, Garmin Vector’s rubbish battery cap caused no end of problems. Thankfully that issue now seems to have been put to bed by Rally. Or has it? No-one knows yet for sure but I would have thought so with this design. Carrying a spare battery is easy only needing to carry one battery for a one-sided solution is even easier.
- Clipping in – Me and some fellow LOOK/Keo PM pedals owners prefer Shimano SPD-SL because clipping in/out is easier. And you do that A LOT. Think about it if you have the most awesomely accurate longlasting pedal ever made it’s a rubbish experience if each time you clip in/out you have to fight with the pedals. Sure you can adjust tensioning and sure sometimes the pedal just isn’t balanced properly and hangs incorrectly…whatever the reason I prefer Shimano SPD-SL.
- Charging – Having temporarily mislaid my ASSIOMA charger recently I was somewhat shocked by the potential £50 replacement cost. The earlier bePRO’s generic, micro-USB charging port and cover were alright but I was nervous about the longevity of that aspect of the product even though mine is still perfectly fine. The ASSIOMA has charging pins rather than a USB port, and that is the correct solution for a rechargeable battery-based power meter pedal in my opinion. Garmin currently has an issue with the battery cover, I would REALLY ensure that the one you buy has had this rectified or guaranteed for life that it will be fixed.
- Balance – When you are clipping in, a pedal that doesn’t naturally rest in the ‘correct’ position and spins too much becomes difficult to clip into. This is one of the drawbacks of Assioma,
- Clearance – there was a relatively minor issue with the clearance of the Vector 2 on some frames and with the width of some cranks. I don’t think that’s a factor any more with Vector 3/Rally. There is/was an issue with Favero where the ‘hub’ must never touch your shoes/cleats. This varies by shoe and requires shims in some cases, this did (kinda) affect me on the bePRO but not the ASSIOMA.
- Unified BLE channel (means that the two dual pedals appear as one device when pairing).
- Multiple BLE Channels – one BLE channel is enough for most people for their Zwift connection. Some might need two BLE connections to also connect to legacy head units or some sports watches.
- Serviceability – Your pedals might need some attention if you bang them or if you wear them out through use. I have an issue on my right side that wears out that side’s bearings, albeit after LOTS of miles. I’ve not encountered that eventuality yet with any of the power meter pedals over 3 years but, as a test, I did swap out and clean the bePRO’s bearings and it was simple enough to do. Similarly changing a Vector 2 pod is a simple task as bike mechanics go. However as both the measurement and transmission components get ever-smaller and placed inside the pedal spindle then the ability of you to tinker with it might be a DIY job you’d rather entrust to the manufacturer – that is CERTAINLY the case with PowerTap, where the pedals have to be sent off to have bearings changed at $150.
- Carbon crank support – I don’t think this is an issue now with any model.
- Elliptical chainrings (eg Q-Rings) – Not an issue with the ASSIOMA (claimed) or P1/P2. I think it still is with Garmin Rally, I’ll have to check.
- Single-sided vs. dual-sided – if you are concerned about accuracy and you want a single-sided solution then you might want to think more carefully as I am sure that you are not perfectly symmetrical. There is a whopping $500 premium for a dual-sided solution. Which is a lot and which also might not be worth it for many of you. Personally, I DO recommend dual-sided pedals but if you only have one power meter (these!) then single-sided is fine.
- Upgrading from single-sided to dual-sided – you can do this later if you like but it makes an expensive DUAL pair even more expensive plus then comparing to your historic data might be invalid.
- Bike Swapability – yes it’s all easy now. Gone are Garmin’s tricky pods and the original bePRO’s unusual tightening routine.
- A 5-second pre-ride calibration is recommended by nearly all PM manufacturers, your head unit or watch might even prompt you. All is good. 2021 and beyond will see further improvements to automatically calibrating devices.
Buy Garmin Rally Power Meter Pedals
If you get a RALLY PM shipped immediately from one of the first batches you’ll be lucky eg in the UK even Sigma Sports won’t get stock to ship until April. If you have to pre-order get in there ASAP as these will go like hotcakes and the complications of stocking 6 SKUs makes it even trickier to find what you want from a dealer you can trust to get it in for you.
Reserve/Buy yours now – the highest chance of early stock in your preferred configuration will be at larger retailers like Power Meter City (USA), Amazon.com and Wiggle (UK, Eu). I’ll link to a few more retailers in your country in the blue banner immediately below but those 4 are the ones I recommend and other dealers will likely only receive very small parts of their initial orders.