One more from the Interbike files, and a timely one, given the approaching holidays and the chat ongoing about data. Today's Ambush is with the good folks from Garmin, makers of various GPS units and other electronics for sports and travel. Many of us know Garmin from our watch or the computer on our handlebars or the GPS setup in our car. All of us know them as the sponsor of marquee pro cycling men's and women's teams. The latter says a good bit about the former: Garmin may have started making GPS units for your dashboard, but they have turned toward cycling in a big way.
For several years the Edge line of GPS-equipped cycling computers has marked Garmin's approach to cycling. Sponsorship of the team kicked off in 2008 with the organization's Tour de France debut, and the Edge 705 was one of the tech stars of the Grand Boucle, winning plenty of praise from the riders and curious looks from their rivals. The device combined GPS capability with enough of a screen to display mapping and profiles, while compiling data on speed, distance, cadence, heart rate, elevation gain, calories expended, and power too -- if you added an ANT + device. [I've had one since 2009, and love it.] The Edge 800 upped the stakes with touchscreen capability, but there was one big missing piece: a Garmin-made power add-on.
Coming next March, that problem is solved. Garmin is rolling out the Vector, a pedal-based power meter that works with Edge devices to produce total power and balance between the two pedals. Take a look and hear from Clark Foy, co-founder of Metrigear which was acquired by Garmin for the purpose of creating the Vector... on the flip!
For more details, one of the best reviews I've seen is here. One nice thing about this talk is hearing how the pro peloton interacts with a sponsor like Garmin. Obviously every team gives feedback on the gear it gets from sponsors, and the sponsorship itself is fundamental to the existence of the team. Here, though, we see a company and a team growing together in a sport they didn't inhabit all that long ago. Even if that relationship isn't destined to last forever, it's been a productive one, for sure.