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Wearable Watch Computer or Cycling Computer?

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway
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Wearable Watch Computer or Cycling Computer?

Old 08-28-17, 01:23 PM
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UCDaHacker
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Wearable Watch Computer or Cycling Computer?

Main things I'm looking for are
Cycling speed/cadence/distance, gps turn by turn.

Nice to have sleep tracking, running speed, elevation, %grade, and swimming tracking.

Around $200-$250 range.

Any product recommendations? Go with Watch or Cycling computer?

Thanks!
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Old 08-28-17, 01:38 PM
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If you want it for anything other than cycling go for a watch. I have the Garmin VivoActive HR and like it. Does not have turn by turn though.
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Old 08-28-17, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by RPK79 View Post
If you want it for anything other than cycling go for a watch. I have the Garmin VivoActive HR and like it. Does not have turn by turn though.
But isn't there a turn by turn app that you can install on your VivoActive HR?
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Old 08-28-17, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by RPK79 View Post
If you want it for anything other than cycling go for a watch. I have the Garmin VivoActive HR and like it. Does not have turn by turn though.
Not going to find anything in your budget (from Garmin) with turn by turn either.
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Old 08-28-17, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by UCDaHacker View Post
But isn't there a turn by turn app that you can install on your VivoActive HR?
I dunno... maybe? Not something I need.
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Old 08-28-17, 01:48 PM
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I have had a Garmin Forerunner watch for over a year and recently bought a dedicated cycling computer (Edge 520). The watch worked just fine, but I bought the Edge for the larger screen, more features and so I wasn’t having to charge my watch every 2 days.
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Old 08-28-17, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by UCDaHacker View Post
Main things I'm looking for are
Cycling speed/cadence/distance, gps turn by turn.

Nice to have sleep tracking, running speed, elevation, %grade, and swimming tracking.

Around $200-$250 range.

Any product recommendations? Go with Watch or Cycling computer?

Thanks!
A vivoactive watch will give you everything you want minus %grade and turn by turn. I would think there is a free app for your phone that can do that and you are most likely carrying your phone with you.

I like the watch because I wear it as watch in everyday life so it saved me money since I didn't have to buy a watch when I needEd to get a watch and coincidently a replacement for my bike computer. I prefer the non HR version and added a separate strap for HR. same total cost but a strap is probably more accurate and I just
like the look of the non HR vivoactive better. Also the watch with HR must be worn on the wrist since it is an optical pick up. Much easier to mount the watch on the bars like an old cycle computer.
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Old 08-28-17, 02:55 PM
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Garmin Triathlon watch with quick release kit. I have the 310xt, and apparently it can do turn-by-turn, though it's complicated and I never use it. The newer models supposedly have much more user friendly versions of it.

The main thing you seem to be looking for is the QR kit. You just swap out the strap for a bracket that fits in a standard Garmin mount, and fit the strap to a wrist-ready Garmin mount. I swap my 310xt from my 2 bikes, to my wrist, to my jogging stroller (when taking the kids on my runs) with ease. It has all the other functions you describe, and switching from running to cycling (to swimming if you so wish) is a breeze.
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Old 08-28-17, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by UCDaHacker View Post
But isn't there a turn by turn app that you can install on your VivoActive HR?
Please send a link. I would install it.
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Old 08-28-17, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by johnny99 View Post
Please send a link. I would install it.
Take your pick
https://apps.garmin.com/en-US/search...ivehr&count=30
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Old 08-28-17, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by UCDaHacker View Post
Do any of those work well with RideWithGPS? I clicked on a few and the reviews were sucky.
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Old 08-28-17, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by johnny99 View Post
Do any of those work well with RideWithGPS? I clicked on a few and the reviews were sucky.
RidewithGPS? How is it different than Strava?
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Old 08-28-17, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by UCDaHacker View Post
RidewithGPS? How is it different than Strava?
My bike club uses RideWithGPS for sharing route maps.
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Old 08-28-17, 06:47 PM
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Polar M200 lists for $149 but it doesn't do turn by turn.
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Old 08-28-17, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by johnny99 View Post
My bike club uses RideWithGPS for sharing route maps.
Why not just use Strava?
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Old 08-28-17, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by UCDaHacker View Post
Why not just use Strava?
RideWithGPS gives you a lot more route-mapping features at the free level. Most clubs around here use RideWithGPS for that reason.
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Old 08-29-17, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by UCDaHacker View Post
Why not just use Strava?
Strava has a bug in their route planner where they will insert loops. With RWGPS you can insert more specific instructions and points of interest.

Vivoactive HR does not do turn-by-turn out of the box. I have not seen a good app for it. In my opinion/experience, if you want visual turn-by-turn, you want something in front of your eyes, so not on your wrist. I've tried using OsmAnd for following GPX tracks and it works in ~90% of the cases... but in those 10% of the cases where it's silent or lags, doing a loop/detour/stop&check on the phone kind of sucks.
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Old 08-29-17, 08:32 PM
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Originally Posted by UCDaHacker View Post
But isn't there a turn by turn app that you can install on your VivoActive HR?
Yes.

https://apps.garmin.com/en-US/apps/3...c-646f6d63a197
https://apps.garmin.com/en-US/apps/3...e-720ca1d3610c

I haven't tried them thought. I have a GPS on my cell phone that I mount on my bike.
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Old 08-29-17, 08:50 PM
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I have an Apple watch and a Garmin Edge 820. I was considering a Garmin cycling/tri watch but decided the computer was better )for me) as I wouldn't need to move my hands.
Of course, in situations where I can't take my hands off the bar (or move them) to see the watch face i probably won't want to look down at the computer... YMMV.
The computer allows me to track lots of cycling-specific stuff (basic monitors, grade, elevation etc.) but the watch is more of an all purpose tool.
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Old 08-30-17, 12:15 AM
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Originally Posted by SylvainG View Post
Yes.

https://apps.garmin.com/en-US/apps/3...c-646f6d63a197
https://apps.garmin.com/en-US/apps/3...e-720ca1d3610c

I haven't tried them thought. I have a GPS on my cell phone that I mount on my bike.
Has anyone tried these out? If so, what is your experience with the turn by turn garmin apps?
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Old 08-30-17, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by UCDaHacker View Post
Main things I'm looking for are
Cycling speed/cadence/distance, gps turn by turn.

Nice to have sleep tracking, running speed, elevation, %grade, and swimming tracking.

Around $200-$250 range.

Any product recommendations? Go with Watch or Cycling computer?

Thanks!
Get a refurbished Garmin Edge 800 for $170 with a new case, new battery, and Garmin warranty. Install the openfietsmap maps on a micro SD card. It will give you turn-by-turn directions switching to a map screen with a big white arrow pointing the right way even following breadcrumb trails without software generated TBT, and won't crash at some intersections like the 810. Store rides on the SD card and split ones longer than 70-100 miles into pieces recombined with fitttools.com to avoid crashes.

You'll need to plug it in to snag files for upload to Strava, although without a dynamo hub and USB power supply on your bike you'll be doing that anyways to charge it.

Get a different gadget for other sports.

Most Garmins have "turn by turn," although the less expensive models only have a bread crumb trail and display what was generated by your software. That leads to wrong turns when there are multiple streets nearby or your software incorrectly swapped the directions because there was a slight wiggle before the turn itself. You need at least a 700 series bike computer for maps and more intelligence.

Last edited by Drew Eckhardt; 08-30-17 at 04:50 PM.
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