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Metrigear Vector

Fri, 09/25/2009 - 12:00pm by Andy Shen
Photographer: 
Andy Shen

10/21 Update: There's a new blog entry on the Metrigear site, with a few seconds of raw data graphed. Instead of one data point for both legs per second, we're looking at about 38 per leg per second! Pretty amazing stuff, you can see the rider's pedaling technique change as he gets tired. If you add up the total power from each leg, you can see that when he gets tired he produces almost no power in the dead spots.

 

The Metrigear Vector power meter was by far and away the most exciting thing at the show. Why? Because it's a $1000 power meter that weights 50 grams and can easily be switched from bike to bike, and works on the road and the track. It's been under development for the last five years, and Metrigear hopes to release it in the first quarter of 2010.

For now, the Vector comes complete only with Speedplay pedals, because its hollow steel axle hasn't changed in years and has no reports of failure. Sensors are mounted inside the axle to measure flex. By adding the vectors from two axes, force can be measured through the full 360 degrees of a pedal stroke. Sensors are also mounted at each end of the axle to detect wasted force. 3 axis accelerometers measure cadence instantaneously, so the Vector knows the actual speed of the pedal for each sampling (SRM and Quarq take one measurement per revolution for cadence). The accelerometer also can detect side to side swaying, so the Vector can be programmed to sample at a higher rate while you're sprinting. A pod is attached to the back side of each pedal. One pod communicates with the other, which then transmits the data to any ANT+ compatible head unit.

The Vector can give separate readouts for each leg, but until someone programs such a screen for their head unit or creates an application, that information can't be displayed. However, the potential for all that data is huge – a kilo rider can break down every pedal stroke of his standing start. For an event that can be decided by a thousandth of a second, that could prove to be a real asset. The instantaneous cadence feature can also measure how smoothly you pedal – smoother strokes waste less energy on micro-accelerations, especially when climbing.

Crazy pie in the sky power meter concepts seem to hit the show every year, never to make it to market. Metrigear, however, seem to have their act together. The concept seems sound, and they had working prototypes on hand. We hope to get a set to test once they're ready to go. If this thing works, it would be the lightest (at 248 grams for the whole package, you'd actually drop weight switching from most pedals), cleanest, most versatile power meter on the market. The implications for the entire industry boggle the mind. 

The components of the Vector.
A light push on a test pedal registers on the display. Add the 2 vectors and you have your force measurement.
Son of Frankenrider torture tested two pedals continuously...
...while the data streamed live to the display.
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that dude is not on any diet
By: Adrien Crank
Thu, 12/31/2009 - 12:09pm

that dude is not on any diet

Most likely a taquito,
By: Mathias Polished
Thu, 12/31/2009 - 11:49am

Most likely a taquito, a.k.a., The Hipster Diet Burrito.

Was it a LiveStrong taco?
By: mite
Thu, 12/31/2009 - 11:41am

Was it a LiveStrong taco?

Was he rocking some hot
By: Giacomo Tarmac
Thu, 12/31/2009 - 11:35am

Was he rocking some hot sauce, or a mild green chile salsa?

i saw snob eating tacos
By: Adrien Crank
Thu, 12/31/2009 - 11:25am

i saw snob eating tacos

calling like a looser
By: Aurelien Stiff
Thu, 12/31/2009 - 11:22am

Bike snob has a lot to say and dorks are the ones that pay attention and worry about whether they are more or less cool than toy sailboat'ers in central park.

Great idea
By: Jelle Clamp
Fri, 11/27/2009 - 11:14am

Makes perfect sense to measure power at the nearest point to delviery, I hope they can keep it cheap and I wish them every success. But keep the price around £600 in the UK and is it ANT+ compatible?

OK, don't Google Danza Slap -
By: schmalz
Fri, 10/23/2009 - 10:22am

OK, don't Google Danza Slap - seriously.

Wanna see my helmet? Danza
By: Gilles Neck
Fri, 10/23/2009 - 10:16am

Wanna see my helmet?

Danza SLAP!

feldheimer, you suck
By: anti-helmet argument alliance
Fri, 10/23/2009 - 9:55am

oh fuck, let's have THIS discussion. awesome.

i saw snob riding around
By: Chad Feldheimer
Fri, 10/23/2009 - 9:46am

i saw snob riding around brooklyn without a helmet

6:43am
By: Alessio Wave Ring
Fri, 10/23/2009 - 8:16am

WorD

Love the SnoB
By: Andrea Seattube
Fri, 10/23/2009 - 6:43am

He calls it like it is. The hipsters, Tri Guys, Cat5 Powermeter guys etc. We are all rediculous all the way up to the local Cat 1 guy (beating Cat2s and 3s in races on old airports) who is too cool to teach the new guys proper race etiquette and training methods. We are really no different than the people who play with their toy sailboats in central park. Actually, they are cooler because they know they are total dorks. We actually think we are part of some elite group of athletes.

Next on Bravo: Bike Blog Eye
By: Mael Internal Routing
Fri, 10/23/2009 - 6:24am

Next on Bravo: Bike Blog Eye of the Loser Guy

the real loser
By: i am bike snob
Fri, 10/23/2009 - 1:39am

would be the one saying he likes reading the "loser's" blog, and then calling him a loser

not really
By: i am bike snob
Fri, 10/23/2009 - 1:37am

but I'll bite and take up his defense. So, you like reading the ones that make fun of everyone but you? Look, I'm sure he's training with one too, it's largely self mockery, and even if your training methods serve a purpose, as you claim, it's good to have a bit of perspective and laugh at the absurdity of it all.

bullcrap
By: to bike snob
Thu, 10/22/2009 - 11:41pm

I love reading the bike snob blogs, but being "slow" is no reason to not train with power. power is just the current language of the sport. First coaches spoke in "time", then they spoke in HR, now they speak to their athletes in terms of watts, hell, we speak to each other in terms of watts. Same shit different measuring stick. It's where the sport is, no point in saying some people are worthy and others aren't. fact of the matter is no person who is not on the national team or better "needs" sram red or zipp wheels, or a personal coach, or tt bike, or whatever.

we invest in our hobby called cycling. At the end of the day we work hard to constantly improve ourselves...double bonus if that brings "results." we may be dorks for investing in power meters, but bike snob invests his time in writing about dorks with power meters...who's the real loser.

do "yoy" really think it
By: uptight road racer
Thu, 10/01/2009 - 10:46am

do "yoy" really think it doesn't, for better or worse?

Total wast of time. Are yoy
By: dim wit
Thu, 10/01/2009 - 10:29am

Total wast of time. Are yoy jokers fucking kidding, thinking this has any bearing on amature bike racing????

They'd have to create an app
By: Andy Shen
Thu, 10/01/2009 - 9:30am

They'd have to create an app that can look at all that. Probably a bit down the line.

andy, did these guys say
By: Andrea Neck
Thu, 10/01/2009 - 9:23am

andy, did these guys say what's done with the "wasted force" measurement? in other words, i assume it doesn't factor into the power calculation, since the only watts you usually want to know about are the ones you're making with the pedalstroke, and i'd guess none of the computers out there have a way to measure "power-into-the-pedals" vs. "crazy-clown-shoe-power-in-every-direction"... still, it would obviously be nice to know how much of your power is being lost to inefficient pedaling, then be able to mess around with position and pedalstroke to maximize efficiency, etc. the implications BOGGLE THE MIND.

The battary units
By: DA
Wed, 09/30/2009 - 7:18pm

The battary units are in the illustration above. They are in the black units on the non-pedal side of the crank-arm.

Battary life
By: DA
Wed, 09/30/2009 - 7:14pm

Battery life at the moment is planned at about 20 hours. There would be two rechargeable batteries, which would attach to the back of each pedal arm. You'd have to charge each one on the bike separately. Not too much fun there.

They are also considering larger, longer life units that would be optional.

I talked to them about having something that was removable, so you could take one set out and put it in a cradle to charge, while riding the other set. They seemed open to considering that approach.

also...
By: Ilias Rear Entry
Wed, 09/30/2009 - 6:36pm

whats up with the battery installation? how long does it last and does it cost a fortune?

warranty?
By: Noah Locknut
Wed, 09/30/2009 - 6:33pm

because crashes happen. Do they replace the unit. does one have to send shit in and not have it for an entire season? are the parts easy to replace?

Bike Snob ID'd on this very page?
By: Morelli Tank
Wed, 09/30/2009 - 4:31pm
wow, seems like someone's
By: Baptiste Threadlock
Mon, 09/28/2009 - 5:19pm

wow, seems like someone's pretty defensive about their power files.

2:25
By: William Headset
Mon, 09/28/2009 - 3:39pm

yah. seems like dude sucks at racing and projects his shittiness upon the rest of us.

i find that sticking a wet
By: Gigga Watts
Mon, 09/28/2009 - 2:26pm

i find that sticking a wet finger in a 110v socket after an easy spin to nyack gives me the extra power workout i need, without the added expense or hassle of fancy equipment.

Weiss is an incredibly shitty
By: Jules Crank
Mon, 09/28/2009 - 2:25pm

Weiss is an incredibly shitty racer who enjoys reacharounds with Armstrong. Why does his opinion matter?

Power Meter and on
By: Eddy Smercxxc
Mon, 09/28/2009 - 2:18pm

For 2 seasons I trained with power (Powertap SL). I got stronger but not faster. My threshold power was good and I could hammer all day. What I lacked was race tactics, as well as rest and fun. I was so focused on doing my workouts with power that I stopped having fun on the bike. Now I ride without power or even a computer on the bike. I am a free man at last. The best part of it all, I am just as slow as I was with power...

Bikesnob yet again proves
By: Bartolo Torque
Mon, 09/28/2009 - 1:57pm

Bikesnob yet again proves he's no Geraldo Rivera. Quote of the f'ing YEAR, lolz.

http://bikesnobnyc.blogspot.com/2009/09/power-struggle-sucking-and-sucki...

"While a power meter is certainly an important tool for a professional cyclist, the bulk of them are of course sold to amateurs who misinterpret their amateur status and poor results as signs that they need to spend a huge amount of money on a power meter when in fact their amateur status and poor results are actually the very reasons they don't need a power meter. If you're an amateur, buying a power meter to train is like hiring an accountant to tell you how broke you are or like buying an iPhone just to check your Cannondale stock. Yet amateurs not only buy power meters, but they think $1,000 for a power meter is actually cheap. Clearly then, I will make a fortune when I introduce my own power meter at next year's Interbike, since it will be the cheapest and most accurate one ever. Yes, for $5 you'll get an LCD display which constantly flashes the message, "You suck."

power
By: dim wit
Mon, 09/28/2009 - 5:18am

So now everybody is going to make this monumental leap forward and the racing will be fast fast fast! Right? Andy and Smallie have the "data" and look at them. I guess I better start using the contraptions I've bought over the years!

Specialized are coming out
By: Ivan Bentspoke
Mon, 09/28/2009 - 12:28am

Specialized are coming out with a $300 ANT computer and I think the new lower end Garmin will also be in the $300 range.

No head unit.
By: Andy Shen
Sun, 09/27/2009 - 11:21pm

No head unit.

is the head unit included?
By: Jonas Topcap
Sun, 09/27/2009 - 10:57pm

You mention the price, but not if that includes a head unit. If no head unit is included, that makes it even more expensive. At least $500 more. Speedplay only also makes it less attractive.

They said they had sensors at
By: Andy Shen
Sun, 09/27/2009 - 10:02am

They said they had sensors at either end of the spindle to filter out useless force. Also, the accelerometer knows where the pedal is in the pedal stroke, so it can cancel out the non-tangential component of the vector.

I think they just started with Speedplay because that spindle is reliable and probably won't be redesigned in the foreseeable future. No reason why it won't work with other pedal systems eventually.

I've also never had any durability issues with Speedplays. Even if the bearings are shot just have the pedal rebuilt.

Someone tried the insole power meter already, didn't make it to market. It would only be able to measure downward force.

details
By: Pulley
Sun, 09/27/2009 - 9:49am

some pedals just flex more...exert more lateral force (Q factor) than others...but that flex has nothing to do with increase in force applied. does that kind of perceived flex screw up the vector system?

Is this system only reliable when its in a speedplay shaft?

re: number cruncher
By: Pulley
Sun, 09/27/2009 - 9:44am

you don't crunch numbers during the ride friend, just ride to plan; same as when hrm's hit the scene, and cyclocomputers before that. crunching and analysis post ride.

enjoy

P.S. Thank you Andy!!! My wife had no idea what to get me for my birthday, she just had an epiphany. I'm dumping look pedals the second this meter hits market.

So
By: Drool
Sun, 09/27/2009 - 2:14am

These come under $1k including pedals. Will they work with existing Speedplays and thus the price is actually $600-800?

Oh really
By: Siebe Butyl
Sat, 09/26/2009 - 5:54pm

Let's see, I have about 60,000 miles on a set and they are still going strong. They get greased every 2K miles as specified by the manufacturer. Better come up with a better reason than that. I can't wait to get my hands on one of these units!

Speedplays?
By: AEFGHI
Sat, 09/26/2009 - 5:26pm

Sounds like a really cool idea... And maybe a really great product, too!

My only serious doubt is that I have known Speedplays to have an incredibly short life, even when maintained properly. I love the pedals, but they just don't last... So are you looking at dropping another G every year/two when your pedals' bearings are shot?

Also, how about batteries and servicing? Any info?

Thanks for the report

Ummm Yeah
By: Kyllian Saddlesore
Sat, 09/26/2009 - 1:09pm

If you are looking for a way to ruin any joy in riding and training on your bike, buy a power meter.

Nothing like crunching numbers while riding!

OIURE
By: Louis Post
Sat, 09/26/2009 - 9:05am

Ouire- Its a lot more complicated to make a powermeter than a pedometer. Plus, cyclists are so anal about stack height. They'd never give up 5mm for powermeter shoes.

Question
By: OIURE
Sat, 09/26/2009 - 7:05am

So when are the big shoe companies (S, Sidi, DMT, etc) going to come out with a Powermeter shoe with sensors in the foot base? Nike comes to mind as the company that would jump on this first. Seems that the technology is there already.

JG

$1000 - good deal
By: Benjamin Seattube
Sat, 09/26/2009 - 6:51am

For a bucks a power meter I can move from bike to bike with whatever wheels I want! Show me the pedal wrench!

price not decided
By: Matheo Brifter
Sat, 09/26/2009 - 5:29am

They said sub $1k on the price. I'd expect lower to compete with the powertap.

i dunno, some kind of ANT+
By: Andy Shen
Fri, 09/25/2009 - 8:24pm

i dunno, some kind of ANT+ dongle plugged into a PC?

How was it connected to the pc?
By: jimmy
Fri, 09/25/2009 - 7:40pm

Andy,
What's receiving the data? How are they streaming it to the pc in real time?

btw, I love Speedplay zero pedals because they're the only ones that allow you to adjust each parameter independently: fore/aft, q-factor and heel in/out. I can get my feet exactly where I find them most comfortable. I could not do that with Shimano spd-sl pedals and couldn't get comfortable with them after 5 years of trying.

Randy Quaid: Innocent or Guilty?
By: I. P. Frehley
Fri, 09/25/2009 - 6:08pm

I like coming here for the genuinely positive and meaningful comments!

Have a nice day!

Speedplay? Blech!
By: Mathias Locknut
Fri, 09/25/2009 - 5:29pm

Speedplay? Blech!

too bad they only work with speedplay pedals
By: Gabriel Saddlesore
Fri, 09/25/2009 - 5:26pm

too bad they only work with speedplay pedals. speedplays sucked ass for the last 2 years that I attempted to use them for.

whats next power bars??? oh,
By: stopwatch
Fri, 09/25/2009 - 4:48pm

whats next power bars??? oh, Connor! I made a double entendre!
;)

o-synce not at the show as
By: Andy Shen
Fri, 09/25/2009 - 3:58pm

o-synce not at the show as far as I knew, so i wasn't able to utilizate it.

Utilizate O-Synce power for bikers
By: Sam Dry Lube
Fri, 09/25/2009 - 3:50pm

This O-Synce website has made up words on it.

energy crisis solved!
By: stopwatch
Fri, 09/25/2009 - 3:39pm

energy crisis solved!

$1000 is cheap for power.
By: Alexis Seattube
Fri, 09/25/2009 - 3:36pm

$1000 is cheap for power.

Another pedal PM?
By: Quentin Liner
Fri, 09/25/2009 - 3:27pm

Saw this floating around other forums, were they at the show?

http://www.o-synce.com/en/cyclometer-power.html

It'd be more exciting if wasn't $1000
By: Baldo Rim
Fri, 09/25/2009 - 3:21pm

$1000?! Common!

But what about my Shimano
By: Samuel Chamois
Fri, 09/25/2009 - 2:49pm

But what about my Shimano 7810's? Will other pedals ever work?

I'm all over this like a hobo
By: Jeremiah Powerovich
Fri, 09/25/2009 - 1:15pm

I'm all over this like a hobo on a ham sandwich.

When is it coming to a Nashbar near you?

cool
By: Baldini Maypop
Fri, 09/25/2009 - 1:10pm

will you get to run it through the shen testing labs?

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