Garmin today (24 March 2021) launched three new models of power-measuring pedals, named Garmin Rally. Mountain bikers are sure to embrace the XC model, which is compatible with Shimano’s SPD cleats, the most popular mountain bike cleat/pedal system in South Africa.

By Sean Badenhorst

Most committed and virtually all highly competitive mountain bikers use power measurement of some kind to gauge their effort in both training and racing. Power cranks and hubs have previously been the most popular for mountain bikers, but that will probably change with Garmin’s newest product.

The Garmin Rally pedals cover Shimano SPD (mountain bike), Shimano Road and Look Keo (Road), the three most widely used pedal systems for mountain biking and road cycling. They have been designed with the sensors housed in the pedals on a removeable spindle, so you’re able to swap one pedal body for another, allowing those that ride mountain bikes and road bikes to only require separate housing for the different cleat system.

Besides power measure reading, the dual-sided-sensor Rally pedals will also deliver right and left side metrics independently, while also measuring total power, cadence and time spent seated and standing. The cheaper single-sided-sensor Rally models use the forces detected on the left pedal only and double it to give total power. You can upgrade a single-sensing system to dual-sensing one at a cost.

Garmin isn’t new to making power pedals. It’s Vector pedals, which have seen limited success in South Africa, are compatible with road cleats, but can be used with Shimano SPD cleats via a retrofit kit. A bit of a mission.

Garmin claims the Rally power meter pedals have a battery life up to 120 hours and are accurate to +/- 1%. They are compatible with the Garmin Connect app for uploading data and updating software. They’re also linkable with popular indoor training platforms such as Zwift, TrainerRoad and Tacx Training via a compatible smartphone app.

According Garmin Southern Africa, the new Garmin Rally pedals will be available in South Africa in the near future. The arrival date is dependent on when Garmin will get approval from the Independent Communication Authority of South Africa (ICASA), the regulatory body responsible for approving electronic communications and associated devices.

As with most government-based approval, it’s difficult to predict an approval date, but it is hoped that the Garmin Rally pedals will get an official nod by the end of April 2021. We don’t have any South African Rand pricing at this stage, but the US$ pricing is listed below with the three models.

Garmin Rally XC: Shimano SPD – MTB | Dual-sided sensor $1199 | Single-sided sensor $699 | Pedal housing only $249

Garmin Rally RS: Shimano SPD-SL – Road | Dual-sided sensor $1099 | Single-sided sensor $649 | Pedal housing only $199

Garmin Rally RK: Look KEO – Road | Dual-sided sensor $1099 | Single-sided sensor $649 | Pedal housing only $199