Garmin has announced today that it has acquired MetriGear Inc., creator of a pedal-based power solution for cyclists.
â€œPower is becoming the must-have information for cyclists who want to improve their performance,â€ said Cliff Pemble, Garminâ€™s president and COO. â€œAdding MetriGearâ€™s talents and technologies to the Garmin family is a natural fit as we share a passion for fitness and are dedicated to making advanced technology affordable and easy to use.â€
At Interbike 2009, MetriGear showed off some prototypes of Vector, a pedal-based power meter that integrates MetriGearâ€™s custom force and motion sensor platform into pedal spindles to measure a cyclistâ€™s performance.
Because it’s pedal based, rather than being built into cranks or wheels, Vector will be easy to move between bikes…just like Garmin’s easy on/easy off computers, which should be a big hit among serious athletes and those that race multiple disciplines.
The other big benefit is that it can the independent measurement of pedal force for each leg.Â Garmin’s Jake Jacobson says this can lead to some really interesting features in the future…such as helping athletes determine optimal cleat placement because the 60 piezoresistive strain gauges can measure force in all directions.Â So, for instance, if you’re pushing forward on the pedals too much, future applications may help determine whether sliding the cleat around can increase power on the downward pedal stroke.
â€œFrom the start, our vision has been to deliver an easy-to-own cycling power meter with unique capabilities,â€ said Clark Foy, CEO of MetriGear. â€œGarminâ€™s world-class engineering, wireless, manufacturing expertise and their ability to deliver an end-to-end solution from sensors to displays will be instrumental in realizing this vision. We canâ€™t imagine a more capable partner to bring Vector to market, and we are absolutely thrilled to join the Garmin team.â€
And that quote sums up what has a lot of people excited. Since showing at Interbike last year, Vector hasn’t gone much of anywhere. Garmin hasn’t announced a timeline to bring it to market, but we’re betting sooner rather than later given Polar’s recent partnership with Look for a similar contraption.
Vector communicates via ANT+ wireless protocol and will work with any compatible cycling computer that displays power, which should give it an edge over Polar’s proprietary wireless tech. Other details for Vector have yet to be announced, but when it first appeared it was using a Speedplay road pedal/spindle.