The Vexing Pedals

Garmin’s Vector 3 power meter pedals are rather excellent. Their connectivity to my Wahoo ROAM head unit (via ANT+) has been spotless. However, their ability to connect to my iPhone via Bluetooth to check battery status and update firmware has not been great, good, or even passable.

Pairing a bluetooth device should be painless by this point in the evolution of technology. The process for doing it should go:

  • Turn on both devices
  • Enable bluetooth on the phone
  • Find the device in your phone’s bluetooth settings menu
  • Click it
  • Enter a pairing code, if needed
  • Boom, connected, done

Not so with these Garmin pedals!

The Garmin Connect app requires a setup process to take place once you’ve got that bluetooth connection established, and it is not a smart one. It would continue to bomb with an error after making me stare at it for 20-30 seconds of “searching” or “connecting”. After a failed attempt, it would offer me to enter a Pedal ID found in tiny text on the side of the left pedal. It would take that input, spin some more, and error out again!

In search of a solution I attempted:

  • Toggle bluetooth on / off on the phone
  • Forget the pedals on the phone and re-add them
  • Restart the phone

Nothing worked.

Until, I found a lone forum post where the poster claimed success by first connecting the pedals to their head unit. Upon connecting my very own Garmin Vector pedals to my Wahoo head unit via ANT+, the bluetooth connection on the phone suddenly began to work. No fussing, it was just there.

Ugh.

Do better, Garmin.

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