Recently, I was looking for a power meter for my do-it-all bike. I decided to opt for a pedal-based uint. Having been a long-time power meter user (left-sided and spider-based), a pedal-based power meter would be more versatile and give me the ability to swap between bikes.
I decided to go with the Garmin Rally RS200, for which I paid $1,099 from Competitive Cyclist.
The Garmin Rally RS200 is the successor to the Garmin vector 3 which was the pioneer in pedal-based power meters. From my viewpoint, Garmin has completely redesigned the Rally, taking into consideration that Shimano and LOOK pedal systems are the most common these days. Besides, a lot of cyclists also own multiple bikes. Many have both road and gravel bikes which use different pedal systems.
In the past, one would need to have multiple power meters and/or swap their cleat to LOOK Keo if they want to use a pedal-based power meter such as the Garmin Vector or Favero Assioma before they made the Shimano version.
The Garmin Rally solves all these. They’re available in three types of pedal system :
- Shimano SPD-SL (RS100, RS200)
- Shimano SPD (RS XC100, XC200)
- LOOK KEO (RK100, RK200)
The 100-series is for single, left-sided measurements. The right-sided pedal is just a standard pedal. There’s an option to upgrade to dual-sided in the future by purchasing the upgrade pedal (right side).
The 200-series are dual-sided and can provide cycling dynamics data such as left/right power balance.
In addition to that, I know I won’t be restricted to a particular pedal system as the pedal bodies are interchangeable. For example, I can convert the SPD-SL to an SPD pedal body via the conversion kit for my gravel and off-road rides. There’s also a conversion kit from SPD-SL to LOOK Keo, but not vice versa.
Let’s take a deeper look into the Garmin Rally RS200 power meter.
What I like
- Versatile and cmpatible with Shimano SPD-SL, SPD, LOOK cleats (pick the correct model)
- Similar fit to Shimano and LOOK pedals with the same Q factor
What I dislike
- Pricing is higher than nearest competitor such as the Favero Assioma.
First off is the unboxing. The Garmin Rally RS200 comes in a nicely packaged box. It’s nothing fancy and purely functional. The pedals sit inside a foam pad cut precisely to its shape for protection.
Inside the box :
- Left and Right side pedals
- A pair of SPD-SL cleats (Garmin’s version)
- 55mm cleat washers (if you want to extend the Q-factor)
- User manual and safety documentation
The Garmin Rally RS200 very much resembles the Shimano SPD-SL pedals that we’re all familiar with. The pedal body looks identical to Shimano models. After all, they use the same cleats.
The release tension nut and indicator are located at the same spot. In short, nothing new here.
The Garmin Rally has a stack height of 12.2mm vs Shimano’s 13.7mm (Dura Ace R9100).
The Garmin Rally RS200 has a Q-factor of 53mm. This can be expanded to 55mm via the 2mm washers provided. In my case, my Shimano Dura Ace pedals have a 52mm Q-factor and a 1mm increase is not an issue to me. pedals.
If you’re currently running the +4mm Shimano pedals, take note that the maximum Q-factor you can achieve with the Garmin Rally RS200 is only 55mm.
Garmin has done a great job in housing all the electronics and batteries in the pedal axle. The claimed battery life is up to 120 hours, although I started to get the low battery notification on my bike computer after around 80 hours. According to Garmin, there are still 10 to 20 hours of operating time before the batteries go completely flat.
Each pedal requires either a CR1/3N, or two LR44/SR44 batteries. It’s easy to remove the batteries by unscrewing the battery cover using a 4mm hex. As a good practice. I’d recommend replacing all the batteries at the same time and don’t mix and match.
Garmin claims the weight is 320g a pair. My unit weighs 318g, so that’s right on the spot.
For most cyclists, this will represent additional weight, depending on your current pedals. If you’re coming from a top-of-the-line pedal such as the Shimano Dura Ace R9100, then there will be more weight gained. In my opinion, it’s a small tradeoff for the ability to measure your power.
Here are some of the popular pedals’ weight :
- Shimano Dura Ace R9100 – 228g/pair
- Shimano Ultegra R8000 – 248g/pair
- Shimano 105 R7000 – 265g/pair
- LOOK Keo Blade Carbon – 230g/pair
- LOOK Keo 2 Max – 260g/pair
Installing the pedals
Installation is straightforward and similar to other pedals. Just thread in the Left and Right sides and turn anti-clockwise. Do take note that you’ll need a 15mm pedal wrench to tighten the pedals to the crankarms. There is no 8mm hex hole on the pedal axle, unlike the standard pedals. This hole is replaced by the Pedal Status LED.
The instruction manual states 30Nm torque, but I just made it tight. The pedals won’t come loose as you pedal because of the thread direction.
One thing that caught my attention is the pedal axle protruding past the crank arm. It’s not an issue for most bikes unless it comes very close to the chain line. The user manual recommends having at least 2mm of separation gap.
Pairing with a bike computer
The unit supports both ANT+ and Bluetooth communication protocols. I have the pedal a few spins to wake it up and then perform a quick scan on my bike computer.
In this case, I’m using a Hammerhead Karoo 2. I picked Bluetooth because the Hammerhead Karoo 2 had a maximum of 15 paired ANT+ devices.
Updating the software is among the first thing I do with any electronic device. This enables me to get the latest updates and have all the bug fixes in place.
The software version can be updated via a Garmin Edge bike computer seamlessly. It’ll be downloaded in the background and you’ll be prompted to install the software. But because I’m not using one, I’ll have to use the Garmin Connect App and follow the instructions given here.
Competitors and other alternatives
There are only two leading models when it comes to pedal-based power meters on the market today. The Favero Assioma is the obvious competitor to the Garmin Rally.
While both are equally accurate and have positive reviews, I’m leaning more towards the Garmin Rally for the reason I’ll explain below.
Garmin Rally RS200 vs Favero Assioma DUO Shi
For me, the main difference between them is the Q-factor. The Garmin Rally has a similar Q-factor (52mm) to the existing Shimano and LOOK pedals (53mm).
The Favero Assioma DUO Shi has a wider Q-factor (64mm). This goes up to 65mm if you’re using the Shimano R8000 or 6800 pedal body.
Availability and where to buy
Pricing in US dollars for dual-sided Garmin Rally models :
- Garmin Rally RS200 (Shimano SPD-SL) : $1,099
- Garmin Rally RK200 (Look) : $1,099
- Garmin Rally XC200 (Shimano SPD) : $1,199
Pricing in US dollars for single-sided Garmin Rally models :
- Garmin Rally RS100 (Shimano SPD-SL) : $649
- Garmin Rally RK100 (Look) : $649
- Garmin Rally XC100 (Shimano SPD) : $699
Pricing in US dollars for conversion kit :
- RS / RK conversion kit : $199
Pricing in US dollars for upgrade pedal (right side) :
- RS / RK conversion kit : $599
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