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Garmin Epix or Fenix 7 cycling power usage

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Garmin Epix or Fenix 7 cycling power usage

Old 05-15-22, 05:53 PM
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Garmin Epix or Fenix 7 cycling power usage

I'm looking at an Epix Gen 2 (or possibly a Fenix 7 version) for a backup cycling computer. We're going to be doing a two week tour in Norway above the Arctic Circle and I'd like to make sure that I have a navigation backup, a map backup and to capture all the cycling data as a backup to my cycling computer. Sensor suite will be speed, cadence, power meter, possibly HRM, Varia radar. I would like it to at least get through a 24 hour period with 8-10 hours of cycling. While cycling, GPS and navigation might be required.

Anyone have any actual experience with that?

J.
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Old 05-15-22, 09:13 PM
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It was a difficult choice for me, I went with Fenix 7X Solar. Very happy with the decision.

They'll both work identically in terms of your power meter, Varia radar, and navigation. It's a choice between a somewhat higher resolution AMOLED screen vs substantially longer battery. The Epix will be able to display more detail on the map thanks to the extra pixels, this was very compelling to me but I mostly use the watch in other ways than maps and my phone has a much better display for both.

I wear my watch during exercise and the rest of the time too, including at night. The transflective screen is great in sunlight, and unobtrusive in the evening, it doesn't glow.
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Old 05-15-22, 09:17 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
I'm looking at an Epix Gen 2 (or possibly a Fenix 7 version) for a backup cycling computer. We're going to be doing a two week tour in Norway above the Arctic Circle and I'd like to make sure that I have a navigation backup, a map backup and to capture all the cycling data as a backup to my cycling computer. Sensor suite will be speed, cadence, power meter, possibly HRM, Varia radar. I would like it to at least get through a 24 hour period with 8-10 hours of cycling. While cycling, GPS and navigation might be required.

Anyone have any actual experience with that?

J.
​​​​​​My F7x arrived a week ago, with about 80% in the battery. I've used probably 10-12 hours of multiband GPS. I have yet to charge the thing and it has 48% left. I've been using it more than normal to set everything up and learn the new stuff.
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Old 05-15-22, 09:25 PM
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Both of these watches let you set your data pages and fields up with your phone. The touch screen interface on the watch works well and takes a lot of the pain out of setting things up.

Both watches support all the standard metrics like raw power, 3, 10, and 30 second power, power zone, etc. They can tell you advanced metrics like normalized power, intensity factor, and training stress score in real time.

I find it useful to have just the map showing on the bike computer, but be able to see time and distance on the watch by rolling my wrist a little. Or HR and power on the main computer and something else on the watch. More convenient than changing pages to check something.
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Old 05-16-22, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
It was a difficult choice for me, I went with Fenix 7X Solar. Very happy with the decision.

They'll both work identically in terms of your power meter, Varia radar, and navigation. It's a choice between a somewhat higher resolution AMOLED screen vs substantially longer battery. The Epix will be able to display more detail on the map thanks to the extra pixels, this was very compelling to me but I mostly use the watch in other ways than maps and my phone has a much better display for both.

I wear my watch during exercise and the rest of the time too, including at night. The transflective screen is great in sunlight, and unobtrusive in the evening, it doesn't glow.
My use case is a bit different. I need something for backup for navigation so the mapping is going to be more important for me. In watching Ray Maker's review of the two, there is more detail available in a given zoom level on the Epix which is appealing to me as well as probably pretty useful. Too, given my "too short" arms now, it will be easier to read. Hence, I'm leaning to the Epix. The battery life is still days longer than I would typically need and I'd guess that in a broad sense the usage as a bike computer is comparable for battery consumption, display aside.

Question - on the mapping, in the Garmin maps, do they supply the POI databases on the watch too? Can one see closest POIs with a "near me" kind of function. It's been years since I've used Garmin's stuff and I'm, as a result, pretty much a noob when it comes to Garmin's nav software now. This would be extremely handy for us especially if all those POIs were loaded and we just had to get them to show up at no additional map curation on our part.

Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
​​​​​​My F7x arrived a week ago, with about 80% in the battery. I've used probably 10-12 hours of multiband GPS. I have yet to charge the thing and it has 48% left. I've been using it more than normal to set everything up and learn the new stuff.
Really good information - thank you! I saw on a YouTube video where the reviewer (can't remember the channel) said that the Epix would use about 4% of battery per hour with GPS running. I would guess that's higher than the Fenix 7. Using your numbers above, the F7 would be running about 2.6-3.2% per hour of GPS usage. Does that seem to you to be a decent figure of merit between the two? Seems to me like it fits together with the different display technologies.

Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
Both of these watches let you set your data pages and fields up with your phone. The touch screen interface on the watch works well and takes a lot of the pain out of setting things up.

Both watches support all the standard metrics like raw power, 3, 10, and 30 second power, power zone, etc. They can tell you advanced metrics like normalized power, intensity factor, and training stress score in real time.

I find it useful to have just the map showing on the bike computer, but be able to see time and distance on the watch by rolling my wrist a little. Or HR and power on the main computer and something else on the watch. More convenient than changing pages to check something.
I'd probably reverse that, but I like your idea of using two displays like that.

I also like the capability of controlling the Garmin InReach. We've been using the mini version for years on all our backcountry kinds of adventures. This Norway/Arctic Circle one will definitely qualify as being out in the sticks so backup communication to the mini, which has an awkward message sending interface in general, would be useful. Besides that, for international travel, trying to keep an Apple Watch charged can be challenging so the battery life on the Epix/F7 is pretty attractive. This watch would give me a complete backup in all respects for the bike computer without adding any additional baggage.

Great information. Thank you for the complete replies.
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Old 05-16-22, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
Question - on the mapping, in the Garmin maps, do they supply the POI databases on the watch too? Can one see closest POIs with a "near me" kind of function. It's been years since I've used Garmin's stuff and I'm, as a result, pretty much a noob when it comes to Garmin's nav software now. This would be extremely handy for us especially if all those POIs were loaded and we just had to get them to show up at no additional map curation on our part.
​​​​​​There's a large POI database in the watch, I think it only comes preloaded on the Epix and maybe the sapphire versions of the Fenix? It isn't hard to load them on other models, but it's time consuming.

I have some care giver duties today for an aging family member, since this appears to be the most important thing for you I can follow a route tomorrow and get some pictures for you.
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Old 05-16-22, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
​​​​​​There's a large POI database in the watch, I think it only comes preloaded on the Epix and maybe the sapphire versions of the Fenix? It isn't hard to load them on other models, but it's time consuming.

I have some care giver duties today for an aging family member, since this appears to be the most important thing for you I can follow a route tomorrow and get some pictures for you.
Oh, no worries. That's not necessary. I just wanted to make sure that I didn't have to identify, place on the map and then load all the POIs myself like some bike computers require. While cycling, I'd like to be able to stop and find what's close (water, food, etc...) or to be able to do the same when in an unfamiliar city while traveling in general. So it sounds like that will work just fine. So, actually, this should work out great for me - I can set the bike computer up with route etc.., have the watch being the backup recording the ride by have all the routes loaded on it should something happen to the bike computer. When we stop, I should be able to quickly figure out what's close by based on the map in the watch. I presume one can get at the map and it's POIs without running a route/course.

Thanks again. Very helpful.

J.
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Old 05-16-22, 09:46 PM
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I wanted to talk a little bit more about battery and the Fenix vs Epix choice.

For battery, everybody has expectations from what they're used to. If you're using an Apple Watch I think you'll be thrilled with the Epix battery life.

Also if you're used to an AW, the display on the Fenix might be disappointing.
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Old 05-16-22, 10:24 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
Oh, no worries. That's not necessary. I just wanted to make sure that I didn't have to identify, place on the map and then load all the POIs myself like some bike computers require. While cycling, I'd like to be able to stop and find what's close (water, food, etc...) or to be able to do the same when in an unfamiliar city while traveling in general. So it sounds like that will work just fine. So, actually, this should work out great for me - I can set the bike computer up with route etc.., have the watch being the backup recording the ride by have all the routes loaded on it should something happen to the bike computer. When we stop, I should be able to quickly figure out what's close by based on the map in the watch. I presume one can get at the map and it's POIs without running a route/course.

Thanks again. Very helpful.

J.
There's a heat map built in. By default the watches use it for routing but don't display it. I don't love the way it looks visually but have it turned on and find it useful. I know this isn't what you're asking, it's good to know about though.

The map is a data page, so you can get to it at any time while "in bike mode." I'm looking at it at home right now, it's showing me POIs. Not many when zoomed out (mostly bathrooms) but everything when zoomed in. There are a lot of settings to control this stuff, to see everything or have the map draw faster. I'm expecting to be able to touch one and be able to navigate to it, and that's not working, but this is the first time I've tried.

Keep in mind the Epix has a much nicer screen than this. The purple is the heat map.



This is without a route. The red arrow is north.
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Old 05-17-22, 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
I wanted to talk a little bit more about battery and the Fenix vs Epix choice.

For battery, everybody has expectations from what they're used to. If you're using an Apple Watch I think you'll be thrilled with the Epix battery life.

Also if you're used to an AW, the display on the Fenix might be disappointing.
The Epix has, I think, more than adequate battery life for my use case. The 6 days number Garmin quotes seems to be borne out by reviewers and that works well for me.

Youíre right - Iím more interested in the display resolution and quality. That would be important for me. I am on an Apple Watch and, while very nice, it depends too much on the internet for any navigation. The battery is really not quite enough for long travel days especially for international travel. Apple uses 18 hours as their figure of merit and that is just not adequate for a long travel day. For camping or touring, itís not at all convenient to have to charge as frequently as the Apple Watch requires.

Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
There's a heat map built in. By default the watches use it for routing but don't display it. I don't love the way it looks visually but have it turned on and find it useful. I know this isn't what you're asking, it's good to know about though.

The map is a data page, so you can get to it at any time while "in bike mode." I'm looking at it at home right now, it's showing me POIs. Not many when zoomed out (mostly bathrooms) but everything when zoomed in. There are a lot of settings to control this stuff, to see everything or have the map draw faster. I'm expecting to be able to touch one and be able to navigate to it, and that's not working, but this is the first time I've tried.

Keep in mind the Epix has a much nicer screen than this. The purple is the heat map.



This is without a route. The red arrow is north.
That looks how I was hoping it would - pretty detailed for a watch. I presume touching the POI then gives some information about it.

Iím going to depend on this for a thorough navigational backup to my bike computer so itís important to be able to have good visuals and map detail.

The heat map is nice, I use that on my current bike computer at times especially when Iím off a route and kind of ďad libbingĒ my way around.

Thanks for all your help. I ordered an Epix after I read this. I was in need of a new HRM, a backup computer, and a better travel watch. All that fed my rationalization to get this.
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Old 05-17-22, 09:49 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
The Epix has, I think, more than adequate battery life for my use case. The 6 days number Garmin quotes seems to be borne out by reviewers and that works well for me.
​​​​​​I replied earlier saying I had a very hard time choosing between the F7 and E2. My previous watch was a F6 and got 50+ hours of GPS recording. I value display quality above almost everything, but stepping down from what I was used to would have been a hard pill to swallow. It was a very niche reason that drove me not to choose the Epix. You made exactly the right decision.

You can ping me with any questions that pop up once you take delivery. You seem pretty bright and curious though so you'll probably figure it out pretty easily without needing help.

I would love to see photos from your trip when you get back!!
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Old 05-18-22, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
​​​​​​I replied earlier saying I had a very hard time choosing between the F7 and E2. My previous watch was a F6 and got 50+ hours of GPS recording. I value display quality above almost everything, but stepping down from what I was used to would have been a hard pill to swallow. It was a very niche reason that drove me not to choose the Epix. You made exactly the right decision.

You can ping me with any questions that pop up once you take delivery. You seem pretty bright and curious though so you'll probably figure it out pretty easily without needing help.

I would love to see photos from your trip when you get back!!
yeah, I completely understand what youíre saying. The tech is getting better and better every year but itís still not possible to get everything in one package. Doesnít help that expectations are constantly rising either.

I dropped out of the Garmin ecosystem in 2018 and jumped on the Karoo bandwagon primarily because of the display and responsive touch screen. So that led to a couple of problems with this watch decision - understanding the UI that Garmin is offering now and what their infrastructure looks like.

On this trip, Iím the organizer and Iím the only one that ďunderstandsĒ navigation, weíre out in the sticks most of the time so I felt it was pretty important to have a solid backup for navigation. If I get lost, which means my bike computer has a problem, then weíre all really lost.

The E2/F7 (starting to get the Garmin nomenclature down) seems to fill the need in terms of map comprehensive features, battery longevity, sensor connectivity. On top of that that itís small, light and multipurpose and solves some problems Iíve had with the Apple Watch for travel. I can load all the same routes, probably has a better POI database of anything out there which makes it more than a just a good backup. So seems like a winner on multiple fronts.

So I really appreciate your help. The thing should be here maybe even this week, and I should be able to get it all up and running soon. That will give me plenty of time to figure it out before we leave in a couple of months.

We did Norway in 2018 and it was really amazing. One of the segments we did was the Rallarvegen which is the road that they built in the 1800s when they were building their railroad from Oslo to Bergen over the mountains. Thatís now a gravel (I use the term loosely - big rocks not so much gravel) route that is through the wilderness and goes from the ďtopĒ of the country in the mountains down to the fjords. The country just got in our heads and weíve been wanting to go back to the northern end above the Arctic Circle and through the Lofoten Islands but the pandemic has been in the way.

Iíll send you some pictures when we get back. Should be a bucket list kind of trip.

thanks again.
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