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  1. #1
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    Garmin Watch and Computer

    I'm looking to get a Garmin watch and wanted to get some input. I guess first off...would most suggest a more basic watch and dedicated computer or just go with the better watch to cover it all? I would think having the computer would be better for actually being able to get any information much easier. So I imagine the combo is the way to go. Thoughts?

    Second...If I do both would the fenix be worth it or just go with the Vivoactive? Best Buy has the fenix 5x for $300 right now, which puts it at around $60 more than I can get the new model vivoactive for or about $100 less than I can get a fenix 6.

    I'm so lost on which to go with.

  2. #2
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    I debated the same thing. I went with the Fenix 5x, but the plus size and sapphire glass. I did it just for the multisport aspect as I run and hike some too. I don't typically look at my data until the ride is over so that may not work for you. I don't really worry about speed. Actually I don't even have any speed related items programmed on the display. All I look at is mileage for the most part.

    Everyone has their opinion, but for my purposes the watch made more sense. Plus I can wear it all the time as a watch, so I feel like I get more use out of it.

  3. #3
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    I picked up a basic F5 over a year ago and prefer it over a computer in every way EXCEPT it doesn't have crash detection, and for when I am riding road.

    I'm also a multisport person, so that plays in to it.

  4. #4
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    Take a peek through this subforum (GPS), where you posted. There are four or five threads that aren't too old discussing the same thing.
    Could be some good reading about why people choose which method they have.

  5. #5
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    I've got a Vivo 3 and it pretty much will do everything I need it to do. With that said...I don't really like wearing a watch when on the bike. The watch gets all grimy and sweaty while wearing it while riding. Gets uncomfortable after a while. I also have a 1st gen Garmin Tactix...I've got some skinny wrists and the watch is so big that it was banging on my wrist bone. At least for me...I like the bike mounted computers.

  6. #6
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    As I've mentioned before, my vivoactive 3 works so well, I hate garmin even more for making my lousy bike computer, now that I know they are fully capable of making things that don't suck.

    Slight caveat: A recent firmware change is making the vivoactive 3 HRM read low for the first 10-15 minutes of my activities. This may not apply to the newer models.
    The above statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration

  7. #7
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    ghettocruiser,

    How is your vivo as a smart watch? I feel like it may be better at that than the fenix, but not too sure. I think I definitely want a seperate computer too or road/gravel when I'm following maps or if a text message comes through. If I'm doing that I feel like the fenix might be overkill for everyday tracking and fitness duties.

  8. #8
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    If you are needing to view maps, Iím not seeing any watch thatís going to be useful. Generally, the larger the screen, the easier it is to deal with maps. Lot of folks wanting maps migrate to the larger cycling specific GPS units, Wahoo Roam, Hammerhead Karoo, Garmin 830, Explore or 1030. Garmins can as well have alternative maps added, topo or Open Street Map Topo, as example. Useful for mt. biking

  9. #9
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    I have a Fenix 5S although bought it before the new Vivoactive 3 design and admittedly mostly because I preferred the design of the Fenix over the Vivoactive 1/2. If the Vivoactive 3 had been out at the time I'd have probably gone with that as I tend to use the Fenix for recording rides when I'm not navigating or needing to monitor any data which the VA3 can do fine. That said I do like the Fenix's buttons rather than the touchscreen of the VA3.

    If I'm navigating or wanting to check any data as I'm riding I prefer having the cycle computer on the bars particularly this time of year when the watch is tucked away under a jacket and gloves.
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  10. #10
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    Thanks John,

    Thats helpful info. I'm definitely going to get a seperate bar mount computer, so it comes down to which watch. Like you said I think the Vivoactive will do most of what I need and cover rides in a pinch if I forget my computer. I think the Fenix will probably be over kill for me, but do think about the buttons vs touchscreen and that I can get the Fenix 5x for $300 right now.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by csheakos View Post
    Thanks John,

    Thats helpful info. I'm definitely going to get a seperate bar mount computer, so it comes down to which watch. Like you said I think the Vivoactive will do most of what I need and cover rides in a pinch if I forget my computer. I think the Fenix will probably be over kill for me, but do think about the buttons vs touchscreen and that I can get the Fenix 5x for $300 right now.
    I've used the old Garmin 405 watch for a few years on the bike. I used to run all the time, it was my training watch. Then started wearing it on the bike.

    I recently got the 830 bike computer. I'm glad I did.
    My watch was getting beat up from years of branches hitting it. It is still in great shape, just a lot of scratches.
    One major benefit to the bike computer is no weird watch tan line from hours on the bike through the summer.

  12. #12
    Loud tyres save lives
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    Quote Originally Posted by csheakos View Post
    Thanks John,

    Thats helpful info. I'm definitely going to get a seperate bar mount computer, so it comes down to which watch. Like you said I think the Vivoactive will do most of what I need and cover rides in a pinch if I forget my computer. I think the Fenix will probably be over kill for me, but do think about the buttons vs touchscreen and that I can get the Fenix 5x for $300 right now.
    I had the original Vivoactive and used it for the same reasons which I found worked fine for that, although it didn't have much smart functionality the notifications and music controls on the watch are very handy. One of the handy features with the Garmin smartwatches with HR monitors is you can set them to broadcast the heartrate to another device allowing the Edge to see the watch as an HR sensor and both show and record the HR data.

    What's the price difference between the Fenix and the VA3? I bought my Fenix 5S on launch when it was around three times the price of the VA3 but I guess the 5's must be a better price now there's been two successors for them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Forest Rider View Post
    One major benefit to the bike computer is no weird watch tan line from hours on the bike through the summer.
    Admittedly not an issue here in Scotland
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  13. #13
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    I can get the new va4 for about $60 less than a Fenix 5 with sales going on. That's part of the problem...so close in price, but am I getting way more than I'll ever use?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by csheakos View Post
    ghettocruiser,

    How is your vivo as a smart watch? I feel like it may be better at that than the fenix, but not too sure. I think I definitely want a seperate computer too or road/gravel when I'm following maps or if a text message comes through. If I'm doing that I feel like the fenix might be overkill for everyday tracking and fitness duties.
    Minimalist, but pretty reliable. Text, whasapp messages etc are forwarded from the phone, but only one can be viewed on the watch at any given time as older ones disappear. There are a few "canned replies" you can send in response to the last message, but not compose anything. It doesn't have a beep or sound, everything works by vibration alerts. Since there is only one vibrate, you don't know what you're being alerted for until you read it.

    It has no meaningful maps or navigation functions that I'm aware of.
    The above statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration

  15. #15
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    Ordered up the Fenix 5 Sapphire from Best Buy and just waiting for it to arrive.

  16. #16
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    Thinking of getting the Fenix 6 but Iím concerned about 2 issues
    1. Does it work with HR straps so I can remove from my wrist during bike rides and still capture HR data?
    2. Is it completely compatible with iPhones iOS and sync apps and data?
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by hardmtnbiker View Post
    Thinking of getting the Fenix 6 but Iím concerned about 2 issues
    1. Does it work with HR straps so I can remove from my wrist during bike rides and still capture HR data?
    2. Is it completely compatible with iPhones iOS and sync apps and data?
    I can pretty much promise that the F6 does work with a strap like the F5 does, because the triathlon strap is designed to work underwater where the wrist sensor still doesn't. Not being able to use a HR strap would defeat the purpose of being able to track HR underwater with that strap. And my F5 does accept one (I use a strap when I am more concerned with seeing my accurate HR).

    I don't know about iOS, I am an Android guy.

  18. #18
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    Thanks, yes Iím getting sick of all my iPhone issues. The BT to my Jabra ear buds has issues to. Looking at the S10 phone.
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