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Old 02-02-05, 01:28 PM   #1
timhines
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Which Altimeter watch do you use?

Just curious if there was a preferred altimeter watch that most cyclists use.

I know Nike released a Lance Armstrong watch....but i'm not dropping the cash on it just because it has his name inscribed on the back. :-|
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Old 02-02-05, 05:41 PM   #2
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I got the Timex Helix A_B_T for christmas, $49.00, dwn from $139.00. The watch has been dis-continued, but Campmoor still has them.
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Old 02-02-05, 07:29 PM   #3
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cool, i'll check it out.

Trying to find a good cheap one to help measure total climbing feet on our rides.
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Old 02-02-05, 08:03 PM   #4
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I live at sea level, no need for an altimeter.
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Old 02-02-05, 11:55 PM   #5
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i have the nike "lance 4" watch. i am not a nike fan but i like the watch. it has a titanium head so it is quite light despite its large size. the strap design works well and i love the strap keeper

the altimeter works great for elevation changes..ie how high is that hill i am climbing. it is accurate within 5' of all the local hills (these are usually 2-300ft climbs) and that is pretty darn accurate

for the true elevation you must calibrate any barometer based altimeters against a known elevation marker or sea level if you are at the ocean...there are several usgs markers around my city to calibrate against

if i calibrate my watch...it usually keeps a pretty accurate absolute measurement for a week or 2. for instance...i calibrated my watch and drove to the mountains of Va/NC...an 8 hour trip. i was suprised to find that it was usually dead on or within 5-10ft of the true elevation (this was on survey markers not road signs) at elevations between 2300-4000ft.

i have owned older casio and suunto altimeters and they were nowhere near this accurate. my frustration with them is why i bought the nike
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Old 02-03-05, 03:08 AM   #6
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I have a Suunto X9. It is pricey but is very accurate ( within 3 ft of true) and it is also a heart rate monitor, compass, barometer, etc, etc and it will keep a log of your heart rate/altitude/time of race for 100 hrs straight that you can download to your computer. It is really more of an adventure race watch.
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Old 02-03-05, 06:49 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timhines
Just curious if there was a preferred altimeter watch that most cyclists use.

I know Nike released a Lance Armstrong watch....but i'm not dropping the cash on it just because it has his name inscribed on the back. :-|
I also have the Lance watch and like it a lot for biking. In addition to the altimeter and compass, it has a handy hydration alarm that you can set to remind you to drink at regular intervals such as 15 or 20 min. I believe there is a plastic non-Lance version that is somewhat less expensive than the Ti version. It makes a nice-looking everyday watch too.
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Old 02-03-05, 04:30 PM   #8
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didn't know you had to calibrate those things....hmmm, i might not buy one now.
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Old 02-03-05, 04:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DieselDan
I live at sea level, no need for an altimeter.
How'd you know that without an altimeter?
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Old 02-03-05, 09:33 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by operator
How'd you know that without an altimeter?
The ocean is right here, not too hard to figure that out.
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Old 02-04-05, 09:54 PM   #11
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If you already have a basic bike computer, you can get a Casio Pathfinder. Has altimeter, barometer, thermometer, digital compass, and of course watch/alarm functions.
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Old 02-05-05, 12:25 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timhines
didn't know you had to calibrate those things....hmmm, i might not buy one now.
you only have to calibrate it to get an accurate "true" elevation at low altitude..it still works great for measuring climbs and such. my town is hilly so i set the true elevation via the markers...if you live in a relatively flat area you can use a map or other reference source
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Old 02-08-05, 01:53 PM   #13
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Rather than just an altimeter, you need a "recording altimeter"...in other words, one that is smart enough to keep track of the total amount of climbing you're doing. This requires a unit with a fair degree of precision (3' or so is optimal), along with a decent "sampling rate" (so you get sufficient credit for small rollers).

I've used a Vetta V100A cycle computer for the last couple of years to record my climbing (>200,000 feet last year). It's reasonably accurate, and is a decent wireless cycle computer. Costs around $80-90 as I recall.

In addition to current, max altitude, and total climbing, it will also show you the current grade percentage, along with the max uphill and downhill grade percentages encountered on your rides (thought the grade percentages have to be taken with a grain of salt).

I've also heard the Specialized has an altimeter cycle computer with similar features.
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Old 02-08-05, 06:38 PM   #14
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Suunto Vector. Also has compass, baromter, etc.

I'm running a Ciclosport HAC4, which, in addition to a lot of amazing bike and HRM features, has altitude and % grade.
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