The decision to move towards the low-power Bluetooth wireless protocol is key to the KeO Power’s success. Without it, the system is simply more expensive and less versatile than the upcoming Garmin Vector. With Bluetooth’s strength in the smartphone market and elsewhere in sports electronics, KeO Power users could actually have more and better head unit choices than Garmin users relatively soon.
The KeO Power is still more expensive than the Vector, though. Whether it is worth the extra cost remains to be seen, and will be largely dependent on the precision of the Vector as well as the quality of the pedal body itself. Garmin is using a body produced by Exustar, a brand without the caché and long-term reliability of Look. It is entirely possible that while the Vector’s electronics will be fantastic, the pedal itself will be the weak point.
Plus, in speaking with the other journalists here at Look’s launch, none have had a chance to get on the Vector yet, despite that fact that it will supposedly be available to the public in just a few months. Don’t be surprised if that date gets pushed back once again.
The entrance of pedal-based systems into the market is only a good thing for consumers. Usability and versatility are both drastically increased compared to anything currently on the market. If accuracy is truly as good as Rad Labor claims, then the SRM’s primary benefit becomes less potent. While prices are still high across the category, they are slowly declining and additional options can only hasten that process.
Tomorrow I’ll be visiting Look’s factory in Nevers, France. Check back for more.
Editor’s note: Look and Polar covered the costs associated with VeloNews.com’s attendance at the KeO Power launch in Europe.