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  1. #1
    Senior Member MulliganAl's Avatar
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    I just ordered a Garmin Fenix fitness watch with HRM to track my cycling workout

    in addition to a number of other activities, but I'm not sure which cadence/distance until to purchase to go along with my watch.

    I'm fairly new to the fitness watch 'movement' but I went ahead and purchased a good watch as a 50+ birthday gift to myself and now I need all the accessories to connect to my bike. I also purchased a Kinetic Rock and Roll trainer so I can get a good workout when I can't get out so I also need whatever accessory is necessary to connect to my home computer while I'm working out.

    I did a search but it was just a very daunting task to make heads or tails of what I needed so I hope you guys don't mind me probably rehashing an old topic.

    By the way, I ordered the Garmin Fenix3 which is the new watch from Garmin so I hope it's getting some good reviews from the cycling community out there.

    Thanks in advance for your help guys.
    Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. -Albert Einstein

    When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. -H.G. Wells

    The best rides are the ones where you bite off much more than you can chew--and live through it. -Doug Bradbury

  2. #2
    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    Eschew simplistic dogma.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    Which one did you get? My F3 Sapphire should arrive today.
    Don't believe everything you think.

  4. #4
    Senior Member MulliganAl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
    Which one did you get? My F3 Sapphire should arrive today.
    I looked at getting the Sapphire but I'd probably never wear the metal band so I went with the standard gray and the HRM. I was wondering for step counts would I need a foot pod or will the watch count steps without it? Also, are you going with the Garmin Speed and Cadence sensor?
    Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. -Albert Einstein

    When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. -H.G. Wells

    The best rides are the ones where you bite off much more than you can chew--and live through it. -Doug Bradbury

  5. #5
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    I plan to sell the metal band. I doubt I'll ever wear it, and Garmin is charging $130 for the thing, so I hope I can get $100. I'd honestly prefer the red highlights in the gray model but I'm pretty sure I'd scratch it.

    From everything I've read, the watch will count steps (and do a very good job) without a foot pod. If you're wearing the HRM-Run it'll take its step count from that, and if you aren't wearing it, the step count will come from the watch itself. In fact it'll ignore the foot pod all together, except in very specific cases, like if you're running outdoors but go through a tunnel, it'll use the foot pod to calculate distance until it gets GPS back. Not sure about indoors on a treadmill.

    I've got the speed and cadence sensor, although ironically I've only been using the cadence sensor and get speed from GPS. I've got an Edge 800. I'm going to continue using it as a display, but use the Fenix to record and upload my rides, since it can do wireless uploads. (The Edge bike computers have thermometers, it isn't info you really need but since the F3 is going to be the record keeper, I feel like I'd rather spend $30 than lose this data.)

    I'm going to be getting two Tempe sensors, one to mount on the bike and one for my backpack.
    Don't believe everything you think.

  6. #6
    Senior Member MulliganAl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
    I plan to sell the metal band. I doubt I'll ever wear it, and Garmin is charging $130 for the thing, so I hope I can get $100. I'd honestly prefer the red highlights in the gray model but I'm pretty sure I'd scratch it.

    From everything I've read, the watch will count steps (and do a very good job) without a foot pod. If you're wearing the HRM-Run it'll take its step count from that, and if you aren't wearing it, the step count will come from the watch itself. In fact it'll ignore the foot pod all together, except in very specific cases, like if you're running outdoors but go through a tunnel, it'll use the foot pod to calculate distance until it gets GPS back. Not sure about indoors on a treadmill.

    I've got the speed and cadence sensor, although ironically I've only been using the cadence sensor and get speed from GPS. I've got an Edge 800. I'm going to continue using it as a display, but use the Fenix to record and upload my rides, since it can do wireless uploads. (The Edge bike computers have thermometers, it isn't info you really need but since the F3 is going to be the record keeper, I feel like I'd rather spend $30 than lose this data.)

    I'm going to be getting two Tempe sensors, one to mount on the bike and one for my backpack.
    Thanks for the reply, you saved me $45 on a foot pod, now I can spend the $45 on extra wristbands or other toys :-). I read DC Rainmaker's review of the standard watch face and he said it was very durable and he hasn't scratched it even after banging it about, that's the only reason I went with the standard face the Sapphire - I hope he's right about that though. I wonder what the standard watch face is made of, I hope not plastic?
    Last edited by MulliganAl; 03-16-15 at 11:18 AM.
    Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. -Albert Einstein

    When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. -H.G. Wells

    The best rides are the ones where you bite off much more than you can chew--and live through it. -Doug Bradbury

  7. #7
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    Standard watch is mineral glass. My F3 is going to replace a Suunto Core watch I've had for a year, also mineral glass, and no scratches. It's probably good enough. I like to play on the granite walls in Icicle Creek, I scratched another watch up pretty bad climbing out there. Will probably keep this in a pocket when climbing but still. Sapphire was a precaution "just in case."

    It sounds like you probably run.

    The watch has a lot of swanky exercise features: training effect, recovery adviser, race predictor, etc. Even the calories are a pretty meticulous formula they (Firstbeat) have been researching and working on for 20+ years. One thing I've read that isn't terribly obvious is the watch has to learn you before this stuff works very well. You should go for 5 to 10 runs (with HRM and speed) or you should go for a few longer rides (with power) for the watch to figure out your VO2max, for all the other stuff to work. Personally I'm not a runner so I'm going to rent a power meter for a week to get the watch enough data to be able to tell me all this stuff.

    What wrist band(s) do you plan to use? Are you ever going to swim with yours?

    What do you think about the live tracking feature?

    Any apps or widgets you're in love with?

    How have you set your HR zones up?
    Don't believe everything you think.

  8. #8
    Senior Member MulliganAl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
    Standard watch is mineral glass. My F3 is going to replace a Suunto Core watch I've had for a year, also mineral glass, and no scratches. It's probably good enough. I like to play on the granite walls in Icicle Creek, I scratched another watch up pretty bad climbing out there. Will probably keep this in a pocket when climbing but still. Sapphire was a precaution "just in case."

    It sounds like you probably run.

    The watch has a lot of swanky exercise features: training effect, recovery adviser, race predictor, etc. Even the calories are a pretty meticulous formula they (Firstbeat) have been researching and working on for 20+ years. One thing I've read that isn't terribly obvious is the watch has to learn you before this stuff works very well. You should go for 5 to 10 runs (with HRM and speed) or you should go for a few longer rides (with power) for the watch to figure out your VO2max, for all the other stuff to work. Personally I'm not a runner so I'm going to rent a power meter for a week to get the watch enough data to be able to tell me all this stuff.

    What wrist band(s) do you plan to use? Are you ever going to swim with yours?

    What do you think about the live tracking feature?

    Any apps or widgets you're in love with?

    How have you set your HR zones up?
    You are a wealth of information and way ahead of me with these watches and their features/settings. I was a runner, a tennis player back in the day but after a torn MCL and a medial meniscus tear (years of football) I do mostly cycling, rollerblading and a lot of power walking - my substitute for running these days. I plan to use the standard band and I don't swim. I'll have to do some research on live tracking, apps and widgets and the HR settings since all of these are new to me. I like your suggestions to do some longer rides to get the settings right though. I may be following your future posts to see how you're dealing with your new F3 set ups.


    Question, with the F3 do I need a USB ANT stick to transfer data to my computer while I'm on my trainer? garmin-usb-ant-stick-78.gif
    Last edited by MulliganAl; 03-16-15 at 12:36 PM.
    Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. -Albert Einstein

    When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. -H.G. Wells

    The best rides are the ones where you bite off much more than you can chew--and live through it. -Doug Bradbury

  9. #9
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    Mine just arrived! I ordered it Feb 11.

    I don't know about the trainer, as I don't use one. I suspect that if you want your info on the computer while you pedal you'll probably still want the ANT+ stick (the F3 has wifi but I believe it's off except when you finish an activity to save battery power). If you want the data after the fact (but not during) I believe it will happen automatically, either by wifi if available or by bluetooth through your phone if it can't use wifi.

    The metal strap is very heavy, I can't see myself ever using it. The rubber one is pretty comfortable. I know a lot of folks use velcro cloth ones, but this shopuld work for me.

    Going to do a ride tonight and try live tracking. My girlfriend doesn't like city riding, but has promised to have dinner and iced tea ready when I get back if the tracking gives her a good idea when I'll get home.
    Don't believe everything you think.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    Hey, Mulligan, what firmware are you running, and what do you think of the GPS accuracy? How long does it take to get a lock?
    Don't believe everything you think.

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