Forum home Road cycling forum Training, fitness and health

MetriGear bought by Garmin

CubicCubic Posts: 594
Interesting developments in the world of powermeters:

http://velonews.competitor.com/2010/09/interbike/garmin-acquires-metrigear-creator-of-pedal-based-power-measurement-device_142041

Anyone know if they're still making them for Speedplay pedals? As a current Speedplay/Edge 705 user this would be a really good product for me (providing the price doesn't soar!)

Posts

  • doyler78doyler78 Posts: 1,951
    :cry::cry::cry:

    Betaware for years. ANT+ will need a complete rehash. It won't be cheap either.

    Maybe the Polar/Look will not seem quite so bad then :lol:
  • PokerfacePokerface Posts: 7,960
    I could be wrong - but that article seemed to indicate that the product already WAS Any+ compatible (if Vector is the name of the product).

    It may not take as long to bring to market if that is the case.
  • doyler78doyler78 Posts: 1,951
    Pokerface wrote:
    I could be wrong - but that article seemed to indicate that the product already WAS Any+ compatible (if Vector is the name of the product).

    It may not take as long to bring to market if that is the case.

    That wasn't the point I was trying to make.

    1) It's Garmin - they send out betaware with regular monotony - be worried.

    2) Vector has the ability to analyse very much more data than currently ANT+ standard allows them to analyse so that means they will a) either ignore the extra datastreams - bad decision b) they try to change the ANT+ standard to allow them to the ability to push through all the data required - what impact on battery life and data loss c) they leave ANT+ as it is and build proprietery computers that can handle the data via non ANT+ data broadcasts - Look/Polar got shredded in some quarters for proposing something similiar however give me a Polar computer any day before a Garmin computer. At least they do what they are meant to do. Garmin rarely do. Requiring numerous firmware updates which are no simply feature enhancements but to correct fundamental errors.

    None of that is to say that I wouldn't go Garmin if the price was right however I still haven't gone Garmin yet preferring the rather basic powertap lyc and Polar CS600x combo so that says what confidence I have in them as a company to deliver worthwhile products. I realise I am in a very big minority here but that's the great thing about choice :lol:
  • jibberjimjibberjim Posts: 2,810
    doyler78 wrote:
    2) Vector has the ability to analyse very much more data than currently ANT+ standard allows them to analyse so that means they will a) either ignore the extra datastreams - bad decision b) they try to change the ANT+ standard to allow them to the ability to push through all the data required - what impact on battery life and data loss c) they leave ANT+ as it is and build proprietery computers that can handle the data via non ANT+ data broadcasts

    It's trivial to add new datastreams to ANT+ indeed the Power messages you get from a Cinqo, an SRM and a PowerTap are all different, so whilst ANT+ is indeed a standard (albeit one controlled by Garmin and Dynastream) the power messages are very different.

    And as the ANT+ is owned by Garmin, it's pretty unlikely that they're going to do anything but continue using ANT+. Would be a bit odd of them.
    Jibbering Sports Stuff: http://jibbering.com/sports/
  • PokerfacePokerface Posts: 7,960
    doyler78 wrote:
    None of that is to say that I wouldn't go Garmin if the price was right however I still haven't gone Garmin yet preferring the rather basic powertap lyc and Polar CS600x combo so that says what confidence I have in them as a company to deliver worthwhile products. I realise I am in a very big minority here but that's the great thing about choice :lol:


    I went to Garmin over the LYC. The power data is the same and I get the added benefit of the additional info that the Garmin provides.

    What exactly is it that you think is wrong with the Garmin as compared to the LYC?
  • doyler78doyler78 Posts: 1,951
    Computers that just die, gps unit that doesn't like to actually route dynamically, corrupt data, missing data, inability to check torque (I'm told this is being worked on at the minute and will be in the Garmin 500 firmware - it's in beta at the minute so should already have been out then :lol: ), bar mounts that well don't hang on to the computer (believe this was much improved in the 500 over the 705), interference in the data. Those are just some of the reported problems a simple trawl in google using recent search results (so not problems reported 3 years ago). However I must admit the real reason why I've not gone Garmin yet is still have all those problems with the 705 firmware rattling around in my head. That really did put me off big time.

    I am warming to them but only because I want a more integrated headunit offering a much broader range of features and there just isn't an affordable option out there yet that competes with the Garmin terms of range of features (whether working properly or otherwise). If they get that raw torque figure into their units then I probably will buy but I can't say I will p1ssing myself with excitement should I but no doubt I will love it when I get it :lol:
  • PokerfacePokerface Posts: 7,960
    OK - so this is based merely on things you have read and not personal experience? Fair enough.

    I have a 500 - and have not seen these problems. Maybe I got lucky or maybe a lot of the bugs have been worked out. (I often take both the Garmin and lyc out on the same ride to compare data).


    Have you considered the Joule?
  • doyler78doyler78 Posts: 1,951
    Pokerface wrote:
    OK - so this is based merely on things you have read and not personal experience? Fair enough.

    I have a 500 - and have not seen these problems. Maybe I got lucky or maybe a lot of the bugs have been worked out. (I often take both the Garmin and lyc out on the same ride to compare data).


    Have you considered the Joule?

    And that's a bad thing. I would have thought that purchases of that value should be carefully considered so reviews are a pre-requisite for me. You took a leap of faith that I wasn't prepared to.

    So no problems at all ever with the 500?

    Joule - way overpriced IMHO.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    I have a 705 and have had zero probs whatsoever. Data from LYC and 705 when checked is exactly the same... :?
  • PokerfacePokerface Posts: 7,960
    doyler78 wrote:
    Pokerface wrote:
    OK - so this is based merely on things you have read and not personal experience? Fair enough.

    I have a 500 - and have not seen these problems. Maybe I got lucky or maybe a lot of the bugs have been worked out. (I often take both the Garmin and lyc out on the same ride to compare data).


    Have you considered the Joule?

    And that's a bad thing. I would have thought that purchases of that value should be carefully considered so reviews are a pre-requisite for me. You took a leap of faith that I wasn't prepared to.

    So no problems at all ever with the 500?

    Joule - way overpriced IMHO.

    I read positive reviews of the 500. Didn't see anything negative (although I didn't look THAT hard). I have had two of them (sold the first one to buy one in a different colour) and have not had any problems whatsoever.


    And yes - the Joule is overpriced - but if you were looking for something different it was an option.

    Buying a Garmin isn't really a huge leap of faith as you can sell them for close to what you paid (I did) if within a certain time of purchase.
  • swamanswaman Posts: 110
    +1 for garmin 705, works well, reliable, absolutely no problems with this unit, have read about some owners that have problems but considering how many are sold it seems to be a small enough percentage
    lots of good reviews out there too, so hardly a leap of faith
    maybe some people hold more stock with bad reviews rather than the positive, but any product will have its knockers
    try finding a hotel to stay in without a bad review !!!
  • doyler78doyler78 Posts: 1,951
    swaman - reality check. 705 went out as betaware. If you used power and a 705 when it came out then it was pathetic. Things may have improved signfiicantly since however when I was looking at seriously it was when it was released and that informed all my decisions since. That's what happens you release crud you have some that find it very hard to trust you.

    If you don't understand any of that suggest a look at the 705 firmware history - it makes depressing reading.
  • liversedgeliversedge Posts: 1,002
    doyler78 wrote:
    swaman - reality check. 705 went out as betaware. If you used power and a 705 when it came out then it was pathetic. Things may have improved signfiicantly since however when I was looking at seriously it was when it was released and that informed all my decisions since. That's what happens you release crud you have some that find it very hard to trust you.

    If you don't understand any of that suggest a look at the 705 firmware history - it makes depressing reading.

    I'm with doyler here. The 705 has been littered with firmware issues. I have lost rides or the data collected has been screwy or the device has just totally corrupted all the files. On top of that, there 'smart recording' function is the spawn of satan.

    The flimsy plastic mount is awful. I am on my second one and it is on its way out. Bad design imho. I ride over pretty poor quality roads in the surrey hills and the vibrations are too much for it.

    Having said all that, it collects a stack load of data (but not temperature which I really miss from my polar) and downloading files is a snap since it is just a USB drive. I don't know of any other head unit that is as feature rich and widely supported.
    --
    Obsessed is just a word elephants use to describe the dedicated. http://markliversedge.blogspot.com
  • swamanswaman Posts: 110
    all I will say is that I have a 705 for over 6 months now, not one problem

    data is good, never a lost ride, no problems uploading, no problems with the bracket ( and i ride some of the roughest roads known to man ) and i like the operation of this device

    i have had polar before and while they had no problems really there were things i didnt like about them

    i have used other devices also, such as timex, suunto etc etc so I have had experience of these things

    for me the garmin has been the best device i have used up to date for both the data it collects and its reliablity, and it is also one of the simplist to use

    add to that its compatability with other devices and software, i simply cannot think of a device i would swap it for for what it does

    ok, maybe others have had problems with earlier versions, maybe i would have a different view had i experienced these, but right now i have only a good opinion of the garmin

    at the end of the day there is a big difference in saying that something used to be censored , and in saying that something is censored now
  • I've had the Garmin 500 since the start of the year and have generally been pleased with it.

    However, i'm now into my 3rd week of a Powertap wheel rental and the unit has decided to longer communicate with the PC, so i can't upload any data. No idea why, it just stopped working. It still works fine as a recording device.

    Garmin support have asked me to return it and expect a 14 day turnaround.

    Now i wish i had a LYC :!:
  • doyler78doyler78 Posts: 1,951
    Very interesting article here.

    http://www.dcrainmaker.com/2010/09/censored ... n-and.html

    Well if they can deliver what they say they can deliver at a price they are hinting at and have the flexibility to adopt new standards well then I'm a whole lot more interested now. I just hope metrigear are allowed to do the job right (assuming they do pull it off).
  • G-WizG-Wiz Posts: 261
    I had an interesting chat with one of the Garmin guys at the cycle show yesterday.

    I told him I'm after some sort of power measurement through this winter and appreciate this isn't likely to be ready by Christmas and should I look at renting or buying a powertap in the interim. i.e. is Metrigear going to be out soon enough that just renting is worthwhile.

    To be fair the guy had a lot of sympathy and really didn't want to fob me off, but has obviously been told not to make promises Garmin can't keep. Reading between the lines I think they're hoping for a spring launch but it's obviously a very complex product and they're not prepared to let anyone down, so don't hold your breath.

    He was very frank that Garmin had done their homework in making sure the product does what it says it does, but that they need to be diligent to make sure the levels of accuracy are maintained in a mass-produced item. I think they appreciate that the average buyer of a powermeter is even more sophisticated than the average buyer of a 705 and won't accept a 'beta' type product. I'd expect to see it on some pro bikes before it appears on the market.

    They also said that to get the best out of it you really need to look at an 800 as the head unit. It seems they've already thought about the amount of data metrigear produces, and that the firmware upgrades to the 705 probably won't keep up with this. If you just want the same sort of readings you can already get from a Powertap then a 705 is fine, but the finer data of left/right power and all the rest that Metrigear will give you will probably need an 800.

    I had a play with the 800 on the stand and it looks nice, but not enough to convince me to make the switch just yet. If you don't have a 705 already I'd definitely go for the 800 though. It sounds like the 705's days are numbered. Not surprising as it was the first product of this sort.

    The other thing I saw was the basecamp software for route planning which is already available as a free download. Looks very nice, there's a new 3D view which gives a great impression of the ground covered by your route.

    Hope that helps anyone who is hanging on or about to buy any of these products? I think I'm going to try to get a cheap powertap and flog it on Ebay when metrigear comes out.
  • PokerfacePokerface Posts: 7,960
    Update on the Garmin Vector pedal-based power measurement system:

    "Over the past few months we’ve been around the world working with the various parts of Garmin’s engineering and manufacturing organizations – it is truly a global effort to pull all of the pieces together. Development is proceeding well, and Garmin has brought invaluable experience to the Vector development process as we move from a MetriGear prototype to a highly manufacturable Garmin design. Robustness, wireless data integrity, weather proofing, power consumption – design areas that are incredibly difficult to get right the first time unless you’ve “been there, done that”. A few changes here and there, all of which we believe will improve Vector’s overall ownership experience.

    We have received a number of questions about Vector compatibility with Garmin Edge and other ANT+ compatible cycling computers. Here are a couple points that we hope will clarify things:

    - If you own an ANT+ cycling computer today and it can receive power (watts) from an ANT+ power meter, Vector will work similar to any other power meter and transmit total power and cadence to the cycling computer head unit.

    - If you buy a Garmin Edge today (e.g., Edge 500 or Edge 800), it will be compatible with Vector when released.

    In terms of Vector’s availability, we’re not yet prepared to communicate a specific release date, but we are prepared to say that we are targeting a release in the second half of 2011. Still much to do, and working hard to deliver Vector as an easy-to own and reliable solution."
  • jonmackjonmack Posts: 522
    Hmm... Interesting!
  • JackPozziJackPozzi Posts: 1,191
    Have they announced which pedal system they'll be using yet? I'm currently running Keos and at present only have 3 bikes out of 7 with pedals on, but I'm loath to buy anymore as I want to get this system when it comes out and the only thing I'm 100% sure of is that they won't be using Keo's...
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    Whichever it is, I'll have to factor a new bike fit in to the cost if I decide to get some...
  • mclarentmclarent Posts: 784
    Last I heard it was speedplay. Good news, cheers for the update post!
    "And the Lord said unto Cain, 'where is Abel thy brother?' And he said, 'I know not: I dropped him on the climb up to the motorway bridge'."
    - eccolafilosofiadelpedale
  • PokerfacePokerface Posts: 7,960
    Didn't Look team up with Polar for their power-pedal system?
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    They did. And it costs a bomb.
  • jonmackjonmack Posts: 522
    And isn't ANT+ compatible, so you have to then buy a Polar head unit which from memory costs about £400.
  • doyler78doyler78 Posts: 1,951
    I think you overestimate the importance of ANT+. What is more important to you? Robustness? Accuracy? Longevity? or are you willing ot sacrafice all for betaware?

    The SRM is still considered to be the gold standard of all powermeters yet even it's best models cannot come within the margin of error the powertaps (no matter how cheap). People will pay for a product that gives them consistent, accruate products that can be calibrated. Garmin may get an initial bounce from a low priced model, just as polar did with their chain sensor power meter, however its defciency, if any, will soon become apparent.

    I'm not saying the Garmin will be a poor product I'm just saying that ANT+ is periheral inspite what all the the other commentators say. If Polar/Look give people a robust, accurate power meter which is as portable as it should be and Garmin deliver betaware (as they have been prone to delivering in the past) then the Polar will win. Yeah it might not get the numbers that the Garmin would get if it was a decent device but it will take business from powertap, Quarq & SRM for those that have the means to spend the money.

    In any case, so long as one provides a compelling solution to the opposition, then we can all expect cheap second hand power meters so who gives a censored ?
  • doyler78 wrote:
    The SRM is still considered to be the gold standard of all powermeters yet even it's best models cannot come within the margin of error the powertaps (no matter how cheap).
    There can be a difference between actual accuracy and claimed accuracy.

    For example, the zero offset displayed on an SRM is nearly 10 times more sensitive than the torque zero check displayed on the Powertap, so the precision of slope calibration checks is already at a different level.

    But provided they are operating properly, they are both very good meters, reliable and sufficiently accurate and repeatable for all tasks. SRM does also provide a greater temporal resolution which enables a few things that other meters cannot.

    They are also more robust that Powertaps.

    I agree on the ANT+ thing - what matters most with a power meter is the quality of the data - everything else is a feature.
Sign In or Register to comment.