GPS Watch Recommendations

A light bike doesn't replace good fitness.

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853guy
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Joined: Sat Dec 30, 2017 8:48 pm

by 853guy

Hello everyone.

As someone who rides bikes because it brings me abundant joy (and to a lesser degree, confers bio-physiological benefits apropos physical and mental health, promoting longevity), I’ve begun to develop an interest in the idea of quantifying my fitness in a way I never have before. Perhaps that’s because I was predominantly MTBing, so the concept that my exertion could be measured objectively was not only foreign to me, it was anathema.

However, with a recent move and a change in perspective, I’ve come to enjoy riding road more than I could have ever imagined. I’m now planning a new bike build, and considering keeping my existing one with the justification that it can be used for seasonally specific inclement weather. Pfff.

Nevertheless, I would like to have some sort of way of beginning to track my progress via simple metrics.

And no, I’m not ready for a handlebar mounted GPS thing, nor cranks with power meters, nor strapping a HR belt to my chest.

But I could be tempted by a watch.

Does anyone have any recommendations for something that can provide HR; GPS tracking of speed, distance and altitude; and calories burnt?

I’m thinking this: http://www.suunto.com/en-GB/Products/sp ... -hr-amber/

Any other ideas?

Thanking you in advance.

853guy

by Weenie


chunky666
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Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2017 12:01 pm

by chunky666

www.dcrainmaker.com for all the reviews of all the watches you could ever want and some you don't.

Something like a Garmin FR235 would probably do exactly what you're asking for but i'm not 100% it has a 'cycling' mode.

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853guy
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by 853guy

chunky666 wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 2:34 pm
www.dcrainmaker.com for all the reviews of all the watches you could ever want and some you don't.

Something like a Garmin FR235 would probably do exactly what you're asking for but i'm not 100% it has a 'cycling' mode.
Hi chunky666,

Yeah, it was his review that actually made the Suunto a contender: https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2017/08/spa ... eview.html

Cheers!

853guy

jlok
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by jlok

Have been using Fenix 3 and HR strap. Pretty good.

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853guy
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by 853guy

jlok wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 3:24 pm
Have been using Fenix 3 and HR strap. Pretty good.
Hey jlok,

Thanks, I checked it out, but it needs a HR strap - prefer one without.

Cheers for the recommendation though.

853guy

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jekyll man
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by jekyll man

I've just had a suunto spartan trainer as in your first post.
They do a version without the bezel thats £40 cheaper.
Went for it as i wanted a swimming gps compatible watch, and the garmin equivalent was more quite a bit more expensive. Also the Suunto doesnt look like a 1970s star wars edition timex digital...
Lots to customise on it, but its mainly through pc connection so a bit of a pain.
It does most things well, apart from the optical HR is a bit of a random number generator, no matter how you position it on your wrist. Dont know if its any worse than any other optical system, but as i'm not really concerned with HR, i can live with it.
It is compatible with a bluetooth HR strap but not tried it to see if its better.

Sync'ing is currently slow to movescount, but there is a new app thats in beta mode. Currently using it. It seems faster and data is displayed better (at least on ios). Still not as quick as a garmin and connect.

I paid £219 for mine, and not £279 so it pays to shop around.
If you're in the UK, then try HS Johnson
https://www.hsjohnson.com/suunto-m35
Official cafe stop tester

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853guy
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by 853guy

jekyll man wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 4:24 pm
I've just had a suunto spartan trainer as in your first post.
They do a version without the bezel thats £40 cheaper.
Went for it as i wanted a swimming gps compatible watch, and the garmin equivalent was more quite a bit more expensive. Also the Suunto doesnt look like a 1970s star wars edition timex digital...
Lots to customise on it, but its mainly through pc connection so a bit of a pain.
It does most things well, apart from the optical HR is a bit of a random number generator, no matter how you position it on your wrist. Dont know if its any worse than any other optical system, but as i'm not really concerned with HR, i can live with it.
It is compatible with a bluetooth HR strap but not tried it to see if its better.

Sync'ing is currently slow to movescount, but there is a new app thats in beta mode. Currently using it. It seems faster and data is displayed better (at least on ios). Still not as quick as a garmin and connect.

I paid £219 for mine, and not £279 so it pays to shop around.
If you're in the UK, then try HS Johnson
https://www.hsjohnson.com/suunto-m35
Brilliant, thanks, jekyll man. I'm in France but can order the black one through Amazon Prime (UK) for £208 including shipping.

I'm also a Mac user, so your experience with iOS is encouraging.

Thanks agin,

853guy

joejack951
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Location: Wilmington, DE

by joejack951

My Garmin Forerunner 35 was only $150 (on sale) and has running and cycling functions (and everything else you asked about) plus pairs easily with my iPhone for seamless uploads to Strava. I considered a 235 but didn't want the touchscreen and the added functions offered me nothing given the price increase.

I should add that when kept warm, the optical heart rate sensor seems to work fairly well, though I haven't taken the time to compare it to my Polar heart rate strap. When it gets cold, either when it's 40F out and I'm wearing a loose shirt or when it's colder but I've left the watch exposed so that I can see it, all bets are off. Covering it up with a thick sleeve and glove cuff seems to help a lot (the plots and numbers look reasonable at least), but again I'd need to wear a strap at the same time to see how well it really tracks.

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853guy
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by 853guy

joejack951 wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 5:25 pm
My Garmin Forerunner 35 was only $150 (on sale) and has running and cycling functions (and everything else you asked about) plus pairs easily with my iPhone for seamless uploads to Strava. I considered a 235 but didn't want the touchscreen and the added functions offered me nothing given the price increase.

I should add that when kept warm, the optical heart rate sensor seems to work fairly well, though I haven't taken the time to compare it to my Polar heart rate strap. When it gets cold, either when it's 40F out and I'm wearing a loose shirt or when it's colder but I've left the watch exposed so that I can see it, all bets are off. Covering it up with a thick sleeve and glove cuff seems to help a lot (the plots and numbers look reasonable at least), but again I'd need to wear a strap at the same time to see how well it really tracks.
Cool, thanks. I don't see it listed on their site anymore, but will have a scour through the usual channels and follow up.

Thanks again, joejack951.

853guy

joejack951
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by joejack951

853guy wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 7:00 pm
Cool, thanks. I don't see it listed on their site anymore, but will have a scour through the usual channels and follow up.
The FR35 is fairly new so should be readily available. You have to look under 'Running' on their US site to find it: https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/p/552962

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853guy
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by 853guy

joejack951 wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 7:52 pm
853guy wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 7:00 pm
Cool, thanks. I don't see it listed on their site anymore, but will have a scour through the usual channels and follow up.
The FR35 is fairly new so should be readily available. You have to look under 'Running' on their US site to find it: https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/p/552962
Aha! Found it - brilliant, thanks!

853guy

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Prair1984
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by Prair1984

Have you ordered it yet? I can give you few more ideas otherwise, i think.

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Juanmoretime
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by Juanmoretime

I have a Garmin Forerunner 235 that I’m selling on Slowtwitch. Love the watch but was given an iWatch as a gift.
RESIDENT GRUMPY OLD MAN.

maquisard
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by maquisard

Wahoo are launching a GPS watch called the ELEMNT Rival in the next few months.

by Weenie


joejack951
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Location: Wilmington, DE

by joejack951

Juanmoretime wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:30 am
I have a Garmin Forerunner 235 that I’m selling on Slowtwitch. Love the watch but was given an iWatch as a gift.
I know not everyone cares about cold weather performance but one of the main, if not THE main, selling feature for me of a 'real' fitness watch like a Garmin was it's ability to remain functional even in very cold weather. Unless well covered and right against my body (i.e. out of sight) my iPhone will shut down from 'overheating' when the temperature dips below 0°C. I have had my FR35 out in -15°C temperatures with -25°C wind chills for over an hour and it had no issues. Based on what I've read, Apple watches function similarly to their phones in cold weather so they were a non-starter for me.

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