Garmin Vector 3 maintenance and lubrication

For Vector 3 users, has anyone had issues with one of the pedals “sticking”? I have dual-sided Vector3, roughly a year old with probably 3500 miles or so on them. I noticed on an outisde ride that my right pedal wasn’t spinning freely when I would unclip; the left pedal spins freely. This weekend, I removed the pedal and conducted the lubrication procedure in accordance with the video on Garmin’s website. Prior to lubrication as I was disassembling the pedal, I noticed that the pedal would spin freely when I loosened the screws that held the electronic connection into the spindle inside the pedal. This led me to believe that it’s not a lubrication issue.

I completed the lubrication per the video’s instructions, and reinstalled the electronic connections. I left the screws for the electronic connection about 1/4 turn loose and the pedal spun freely about the spindle. I’ve ridden twice since conducting the maintenance, and again the pedal is binding to where it spins under force, but doesn’t spin freely. I haven’t tried backing off the battery cover or anything like that since re-installing. I’ve literally not touched the pedals other than riding them, and the right pedal is not spinning freely again.

I’m concerned I’m losing “watts” to unnecessary friction here. Anyone have a similar experience with these pedals? Thoughts on a solution?

I’m sure you’ve looked at this already but the seals on the pedal spindles are more robust than other pedals due to the electronics inside. They have more drag due to this. Both my pedals are slower to return to a down position when I unclip. I would not make any adjustments to the torque settings, battery cap, or screws that hold down the electronics. Any lost watts, if any, are absolutely not worth jacking with a $1,000 power meter for.

I remember a thread about “sticky pedal spindles” I think on Weight weenies, roadbike review or maybe the garmin forums and the answer from Garmin is what I posted above. They are designed that way to not let water in.
I do think that one pedal vs the other can end up with a slightly looser seal so that is probably why that one turns a little easier. I wouldn’t worry about it at aqll.

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Agree with all of this. I torqued the nut to 10N-m; and checked that the battery connector was secure, despite being backed off a quarter turn on the screw (no torque spec on the screws). I may go back in and recheck torques and screws to see, but I suspect as I pedal, the seals are under more pressure and thus causing the friction. I can check to make sure I put the seals back in correctly as well, but pretty sure I did. (That video is really damn specific!)

It’s not like I can notice the difference between pedaling each leg, but I do notice that it’s a bit of a pain to get clipped into the right pedal sometimes, and that’s the foot I usually put down at stoplights, etc.

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https://forums.garmin.com/forum/into-sports/cycling/vector-3/1267680-pedals-don-t-spin-freely

Here is the thread I mentioned.

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Thank you for the link. I admit I didn’t search their forums thoroughly because they tend to devolve into useless discussions quite a bit IME. That thread makes me feel better, and at the end on page Four is a link to a service advisory that addresses this specific issue on non-new Vector3s. Appreciate the assist!

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hey guys, just on a side note have you managed to get your platform centre offset to 0 on both pedals . currently using the same pedals , done all the bike fits and also adjusted cleats but still struggling to get the PCO to neutral on both sides. any tips or previous experience will help]
]thanks

6 posts were merged into an existing topic: Cleat Positioning and Vector PCO

Just an update here in the event anyone experiences similiar. Thanks to @Bikeguy0 for his link, which pushed me to two known issues with the Vector 3s, in their troubleshooting section. The first is the well-known battery cover issue which has since been resolved for the new-release pedals. If you’re experiencing power dropouts or out-of-whack power readings even after zero torque offset, there’s a good chance you have old battery covers and replacing them (at no cost to you) will resolve the issue.

The second, less well-known issue is apparent pedal body separation from the cartridge. This is very small, on the order of a mm or two, but apparently can cause issues with BLE communication from the right pedal, also causing power drop outs. It’s possible - according to Garmin - that this is not only causing the minor pedal binding I experienced on my right pedal (which makes sense), but also the intermittent communication issues between my pedals and TrainerRoad. Sure enough, my right pedal exhibits a small seperation between the pedal body and the cartridge, while my left pedal (which spins freely) does not. This also makes sense since the Vector 3 right pedal is the master which communicates data externally. Hence an issue with the right pedal causes communication issues to third party software, whereas an issue with the left only affects the actual data reported. More than you probably ever wanted to know from @dcrainmaker here.

Garmin sent me a brand new pair of Vector3 (dual sided), and I’m shipping back my old ones. They allowed me to put a deposit down so I could just put new pedals on and ship the old ones back without a break in training with power, which was nice. The outcome here, if all works, is I just replaced my 18-month old Vector3s with a brand new set for about $20 shipping, which is nice.

No questions about warranty coverage or when I purchased them. While Garmin’s customer service isn’t always the easiest to work with, this one is a “win” for them in my book.

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Good to know on the cartridge separation. I hadn’t heard of that problem. Glad it worked out.

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im now on my 3rd set of Vector 3’s, the first two sets failed in exactly the same way with the pedal body coming away from the cartridge.

First set bought in march, 3 weeks of riding and the right pedal failed, could barely turn the pedal by hand it was so bad. Sent back, took 11 weeks!!! for replacement set. Replacement set lasted 1 week before same issue arose. Waited 4 weeks for another set. am now about a week into the 3rd set and cant wait for them to fail so that I can finally get my money back. Worst product ive ever bought. Come to think of it my Edge 820 unit went the same way, dont know why I bothered reinvesting £750 into a company that clearly gives no mind to its customers or and quality control. Piss poor.

That’s pretty bad. I’m sorry you’ve had that experience with them! My second set hasn’t had any issues (yet?) now four months in at about 150mi/wk.