Looking for a watch or watch/computer combo- Mtbr.com
Results 1 to 15 of 15
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Posts
    165

    Looking for a watch or watch/computer combo

    Hi,

    I currently have a Fitbit Alta (bottom of the range), it's years old and due for replacement.. I've been eyeing off Garmin watches but I'm getting a bit lost in all the different models so I'm looking for a little advice...

    Important features:

    - Half decent sleep tracking (would consider a separate stand-alone sleep tracker if it integrates with this other stuff well)
    - Reliable GPS is the big one
    - Works with Trailforks (is that possible?)
    - Works flawlessly with Strava
    - Works with Myfitnesspal (i.e. uploads activities to MFP for calories burnt)
    - HRM on the wrist for full time monitoring but happy to wear a chest strap for higher accuracy if needed
    - Control music from my phone

    Turn-by-turn navigation isn't SUPER important but wouldn't be a bad thing to have I guess. If I go with a bike computer/watch combo, the computer would want to be small enough to mount on my headset or somewhere else out of the way, I don't want to destroy it in a crash and I don't want a huge iPhone looking thing on my bars.

    I'll use this 99% for MTB and 1% for walking, ice hockey, swimming, etc, so the combo needs to be mainly geared towards MTB.

    My budget is about AU$500 all up. I'm sort of leaning towards something like a Garmin 510 + a Fenix 3HR.. I can get a used 510 for around $150 (or a 520 for ~$200) and a used Fenix 3HR for around $400, so that would work out OK.

    Are there other items or combos I should be looking at around that price range?

  2. #2
    Sneaker man
    Reputation: mik_git's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    3,250
    probably a 945...strike that sorry, missed the budget bit

    I find this a handytool, just select the ones you might be interested in, gives a rundown...with links to reviews of each...
    https://www.dcrainmaker.com/product-...son-calculator
    All the gear and no idea.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    209
    I have a Garmin Instinct Tactical and the Tactix Charlie, and an Edge 830 for the bike. I prefer my Instinct when I'm riding as it's not a touch screen, it's much less thrills and simpler than the Tactix which is easier to deal with when riding.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: NorCal_In_AZ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Posts
    408
    I got a Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music for Christmas. I got it for 90% mountain biking,
    then walking and hiking. Also the GPS locator/marker function is handy for hunting for me, but I use another tool app primarily for that.

    -The GPS has been plenty accurate for me.
    -I love being able to play music from my watch and not having to mess with my phone. Also being able Amazon Music compatible was a huge plus for me.
    -I donít believe it works with trail forks. Iíve looked a little for a widget to do so, but didnít find anything.
    -Links with My Fitness Pal.
    -Links with Strava, but I donít use Strava to give you a good report.
    -I wear it all day for HRM and sleep tracking.

    Itís well within your budget. I also like the size as it isnít huge. The quick straps are also a nice feature. Lastly I like the activity tracker starts and stops with a button, not the touch screen, which is great considering I wear gloves while riding.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    1,454
    I've got the Garmin Fenix 6S. It can definitely replace the need to have a stand-alone computer and has all the features you listed.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    1,007
    I bought the Garmin Edge 530 and sync with my Polar H7 HRM strap. Iíll eventually get a Garmin watch, Iím done with Polar HRM watches. I like the Forerunner 945 but the Coros Apex Pro is the same price and made with better materials. The Fenix 6 is really nice too but with a bigger price tag.
    Seven Sola fully rigid MTN SS
    #1⚙️All year
    Seven Evergreen gravel grinder
    #ride4lifefit4life
    Esker Hayduke hardtail

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
    Posts
    88
    Quote Originally Posted by kameramandan View Post

    Turn-by-turn navigation isn't SUPER important but wouldn't be a bad thing to have I guess. If I go with a bike computer/watch combo, the computer would want to be small enough to mount on my headset or somewhere else out of the way, I don't want to destroy it in a crash and I don't want a huge iPhone looking thing on my bars.
    If you end up getting an actual bike computer, there are stem mounts available that ride the computer over the stem, not out over the handlebars. They mount using the stem cap bolt and nestle nicely on top of the stem.p, giving the computer more protection in a fall. Specifically for mtb.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Joe Handlebar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Posts
    465
    Second for the Vivoactive (although I don't have the music version). I just sold my 510 due to the Vivo doing almost everything it did. I've seen navigation apps on Garmin IQ, although I haven't tried any of them yet. You can run/adjust/tweak all of it's features through the Garmin Connect app pretty easily. It'll go for at least a few days on a charge including a daily 1-2 hour GPS activity. Garmin Connect will also sync to give you as much info as you want like sleep, rest, intensity, average resting HR as well as the high for the day. Just tons of stuff. One cool thing (I think) is the huge amount of apps available to include watch faces, apps, widgets, etc...
    The member formerly known as Redtires....

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    1,007
    I bought a Polar Vantage M watch since I have the Garmin Edge for my bike and has all the features Garmin has available for cycling except touch screen and address search. But I'm using for MTN biking and won't be searching for Starbucks.
    So the way I see it Garmin Edge 530 $250 (discounted) plus Vantage M $230 (discounted) = $480 . Still less than the Garmin watches with maps and most other brands. Plus I would rather have 2 devices. Just my thoughts
    Seven Sola fully rigid MTN SS
    #1⚙️All year
    Seven Evergreen gravel grinder
    #ride4lifefit4life
    Esker Hayduke hardtail

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    1,007
    Quote Originally Posted by kameramandan View Post
    Hi,


    Turn-by-turn navigation isn't SUPER important but wouldn't be a bad thing to have I guess. If I go with a bike computer/watch combo, the computer would want to be small enough to mount on my headset or somewhere else out of the way, I don't want to destroy it in a crash and I don't want a huge iPhone looking thing on my bars.
    You really get a ton of cycling and map features with the Garmin Edge 530, a lot more and at a lower price than any Garmin watch. As for the lame looking iPhone strapped to you handle bar look. I agree it's out of place and risky for the steep technical local trails near me. Personally I stash my Garmin in my CameBak for my descent and the only mount I use is the small handlebar/stem (rubber band attached) mount that comes with the Edge. The out in front mount is on my gravel bike where it belongs. Next I'll try the small mounts on my frame top bar behind the headset, it won't fit my short stems anyway. My frames are standard round tubed steel and Ti hardtails, so it should fit.
    Seven Sola fully rigid MTN SS
    #1⚙️All year
    Seven Evergreen gravel grinder
    #ride4lifefit4life
    Esker Hayduke hardtail

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation: SoDakSooner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    845
    Fenix 5x sapphire for me. Getting cheaper now that the fenix 6 is out. Pretty much does all you ask, just don't know the exchange rate. I don't use a seperate HRM strap. The wrist mounted is good enough for me. I do have several, but the one built in is good enough. I do like not having stuff on my handlebars. knock on wood, but I have beat the crap out of it for 2 years and it still keeps going.

    Don't know about trailforks, but I have an app on it called routecourse that you can make up tracks and send to the gps. You can get turn by turn, but the basic version will alert you when you are off course. To be fair, I have only used it with my road bike though.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Posts
    124
    Quote Originally Posted by SoDakSooner View Post
    Fenix 5x sapphire for me. Getting cheaper now that the fenix 6 is out. Pretty much does all you ask, just don't know the exchange rate. I don't use a seperate HRM strap. The wrist mounted is good enough for me. I do have several, but the one built in is good enough. I do like not having stuff on my handlebars. knock on wood, but I have beat the crap out of it for 2 years and it still keeps going.

    Don't know about trailforks, but I have an app on it called routecourse that you can make up tracks and send to the gps. You can get turn by turn, but the basic version will alert you when you are off course. To be fair, I have only used it with my road bike though.
    I have a 5x plus and agree with this except the part about the wrist HRM. I use a chest strap for all activities that I care about the HR data. My wrist HR numbers are always way off. Not just by a little, I'm talking about reading 80 when HR is over 140. Seems to go haywire over 130. When riding, I like the watch mounted on the bars, so a strap is needed anyways. A friend has a 3HR and his wrist HR data is actually good, so it might just be my watch.

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation: SoDakSooner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    845
    Quote Originally Posted by joshtee View Post
    I have a 5x plus and agree with this except the part about the wrist HRM. I use a chest strap for all activities that I care about the HR data. My wrist HR numbers are always way off. Not just by a little, I'm talking about reading 80 when HR is over 140. Seems to go haywire over 130. When riding, I like the watch mounted on the bars, so a strap is needed anyways. A friend has a 3HR and his wrist HR data is actually good, so it might just be my watch.
    Ive had a few crazy ones over the years, but for the most part it seems pretty accurate, at least the rates it displays make reasonable sense. Most of the time, I don't really care...lol. I just ride fun, so it's good enough.

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    1,358
    So here's my observations;

    I think the Garmin 245 ticks most/all your boxes...

    I have a Garmin 520 with a Garmin HRM strap - I dislike wearing a strap
    I have a Fitbit Versa which I really like for tracking my walking, but without GPS it's wonky
    I take my iPhone with me on most all rides to be able to take pictures and make a call if I need to.

    So I'm tired of wearing / carrying 4 devices including the HRM strap. Yes, the Fitbit can track HR, but it's upload to Strava has proven elementary at best. Yes, I could use Strava on my phone to track the rides and leave the 520 home, but then no HR data (which I need), and no Barometric Altimeter. So how to get rid of at least one device? Enter the Garmin Watch. I just bought a new Garmin 245 for cheap on Ebay. I am able to broadcast HR data from the Watch and pair it to my Garmin 520 on the bars. I wear a watch anyway, so at least I'm able to ditch the HR strap and still have the power of the 520 on the bars, and capture reasonable good optical HR data from the watch.

    Side benefit is if I forgot my Garmin 520, the Garmin watch will record and upload to Strava with HR data. I do still like the 520 on the bar to see more data, but it's an option. Additionally, the Garmin Forerunner is obviously a great run/jog watch too. Even if I got the Garmin 945 or 935 watch with Altimeter, I would still say I really like having the Garmin on my bar to be able to see ride data real-time without having the try to read a watch as I ride. But I could leave the 520 at home on less critical rides and just have the watch and iPhone for pictures/ calls. Your thoughts?

  15. #15
    Old enough to remember ..
    Reputation: RhB HJ's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2020
    Posts
    31
    I bought a Vivoactive3 HR a few years back. Originally strictly intended for XC skiing, walking etc.
    Cycling got added this year since it is way better than the CatEye Velo (ca. '83) on my '81 road bike.
    Running will be next, now that I'm back in better shape.
    But.... I'm experimenting with a Smartphone for the road bike.
    Looking at the smallish readout is a bit "iffy" at speed, but I sure like the data it presents via Garmin Connect.
    Cheers

    HJ

    _________________

    Hans-Joerg Mueller
    Coldstream BC Canada

Similar Threads

  1. GPS Computer With Maps vs GPS Computer Without Maps
    By GeauxLSU in forum GPS, HRM and Bike Computer
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 05-18-2015, 03:07 PM
  2. Replies: 17
    Last Post: 05-15-2013, 07:52 PM
  3. Garmin Vs Bike Computer (computer more accuratte)?
    By Ilikejeeps2 in forum GPS, HRM and Bike Computer
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 04-22-2012, 02:33 PM
  4. Computer or No Computer?
    By 6guitars in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 47
    Last Post: 01-02-2011, 05:32 PM

Members who have read this thread: 48

Posting Permissions

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

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2020 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.