Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    4

    Garmin Or Suunto HRM?

    HI,
    I'm in need of a new HRM to replace my ancient Polar model and I think I've narrowed it down to a model from either Garmin or a Suunto.

    The thing that I'm undecided upon is which training aid is best and what they do for you.

    Garmin has the "Virtual Partner" and Suunto has it's "training Effect" solution.

    I was wondering if anyone has used these two features and could throw some light on them - such as: ease of use, relevance, or if they are just a gimmick.

    The models I am looking at are the Garmin FR60 or FR310XT and the Suunto T3c or T4c

    My other option is the Polar RS300X + G1, this does not have a training aid AFIK and would probably be my choice if the Garmin and Suunto training aids appear to be just a gimmick

    Thanks in advance,

    Scud

    Thank

  2. #2
    Black and Sticky
    Reputation: Bituman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    493
    I went thru same decision recently. If it makes any difference, only Garmin offers support for Macs. In other words, if you want to use training software from the HRM manufacturer, then only Garmin supports Macs. If anybody knows otherwise, I'd like to hear about it. I bought a Mac program called Ascent to track activity data that I upload from my bike computer (Edge 305 when it works). But there are similar applications in PC land too. Good luck.

    Bob
    "Some people follow their dreams, others hunt them down and beat them mercilessly into submission." - Neil Kendall

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    4
    Hi,
    I'm on PC so as long as the software runs on XP or VISTA then I'm OK

    Cheers,


    Scud

  4. #4
    Black and Sticky
    Reputation: Bituman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    493
    You will have a lot more flexibility than me. I really liked the FR60 but it isn't out yet, that is unless it came out in the last week or so. I bought a Garmin Forerunner 50, which is a very basic HRM. Actually it works great, no issues. But it doesn't have all the bells and whistles as the FR60.

    Bob
    "Some people follow their dreams, others hunt them down and beat them mercilessly into submission." - Neil Kendall

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    4
    Hi Bob,
    Yes, the FR60 looks like the best bang for your buck and I've been told it should be in the shops by the end of May. I just want to know how the Garmin training feature compares to that of the Suunto - and if anything else on the market does something similar.

    Cheers,


    Scud

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    52
    I absolutely love my Suunto, however I haven't used the Garmin so I don't have a comparison for you.

    The Training Effect stuff was kind of weird at first. It's got levels based on your fitness level. I set it to the lowest setting to get a baseline and went from there. I would do something like cut the lawn and it would tell me to not exercise for 3 days afterwards.

    I went against it's advice and worked out anyway, and it finally got in sync with what I was doing. Since I was looking for both endurance and weight loss, I was doing cardio almost everyday, and until I got up to the higher levels I found that it was really only good for making excuses to quit early or skip a workout. At the lower levels it's trying to protect you from over excercising - now, they may have a lot of very scientific research into the algorithm they use to determine when you should exercise or not, but I didn't pay too much attention to it.

    Once I got to the higher levels, it really started to be kinda cool. It wouldn't advise me to rest so much, and the target level of your workout would be harder to achieve. I felt that I was making progress and was actually measuring something at that point, not to mention that a 30 minute workout was no longer what I needed to do. At that point my workouts became longer and more intense, and probably sooner than I would have chosen to do so (not based on how I felt, but based on how long I'd been following a workout plan).

    I also like the software. Easy to use, and it keeps all your workout data in an easy to use format. I'm kind of a data geek, so this was a big plus to me. It allows you to define what type of exercise you're doing, so you can get a summary of how much time you spend on a bike vs. in the gym, etc. The only thing I don't like about it is that you only get one workout record per day. So if I do cardio or go for a ride in the morning, then hit some weights in the afternoon, it's one record for the entire day. No biggie for the big picture, but I hate that I have 2 hours of exercise that I can't make a logical distinction for what I was doing...

    So what do I not like? Well, Suunto has the POD system. So, you buy the watch, then you have to buy separate PODs for other functionality. You have to buy another POD just to sync with your PC - this is probably the worst. The PC pod wasn't cheap, and I felt like it was something that should have been included with the watch in the first place.

    My original chest strap broke after about 6 months of regular use. It was a pretty bad design, and replacements aren't cheap. Luckily I had another, different chest strap that I got bundled with the PC Pod.

    Battery life has been decent. I have replaced batteries in the watch and HR monitors before a year has elapsed, but I don't think that's a flaw.

    I don't really feel the need for the Bike or Foot or GPS PODs. I have a separate GPS unit, so that, coupled with the HRM gives me what I need.

    Bottom line, check out Amazon for bundles to get everything you need.Here is the better belt:
    http://www.amazon.com/Suunto-Coded-H...322963&sr=8-14

    This is the bundle I got, but it's currently unavailable:
    http://www.amazon.com/Suunto-Home-Tr...1323064&sr=8-5

    Let me know if you have other questions.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    4
    Hi,
    Thanks for a great heads up Pmpski - your review of the Suunto was excellent and even with it's minor weaknesses (and higher cost) it sounds a great piece of kit.

    All I need now is someone to do a similar job on the Garmin Virtual partner feature then I can make a comparison.

    One thing Pmpski - which Suunto model do you have?

    Thanks again,

    scud

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    52
    I got the T3c. I bought it before I started riding, so I don't know if any of the higher level models will have more features. It was the lowest priced model with the "Coach" feature when I bought it.

    Check out Amazon for more reviews.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •