General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Tri watch VS. running watch+bike computer. Rss Feed  
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2017-04-03 1:32 PM

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Las Cruces, New Mexico
Subject: Tri watch VS. running watch+bike computer.
I know there is not an universal answer for everybody but I want to hear your opinions/experiences with either option. Myself, I use to have a Timex Global trainer which I used for both until Timex decided to not support anything after windows 7. Currently I am using a Garmin FR15 for my runs and I usually carry my phone on my rides (on my back pocket) and use Strava, for indoor training on the bike I use Trainerroad. I am looking at either buying the FR920 or keeping the FR15 and buy a Garmin 520 or maybe the new wahoo element. I really don't relay on data when I am exercising as much as looking at it afterwards. Also, I don't have a powermeter or plan to purchase one in the near future or do any open water training.

Thanks for your time.

2017-04-04 11:36 PM
in reply to: DaniD

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Eugene, Oregon
Subject: RE: Tri watch VS. running watch+bike computer.
Depends on your needs, but I do fine with a FR15 for runs and the Garmin 520 as a bike computer. (I race only with the latter.) Tri watches are pricey and tend to be bigger than my arm anyway. Particularly if you're not doing OWS, it doesn't provide a lot of interesting additional data to look at that a run Garmin and bike computer wouldn't. Not sure if it takes HR on the swim or not, or if it requires a chest strap for that. I've just never felt the need to have that kind of detail for the swim--I do little OWS in training, in the pool, I know my distance/pace from laps and pace clock, and I have a good sense of pace for racing tri swims. Maybe it would give helpful data for people who tend to start too fast or push too hard on the swim, or do a lot of OWS in training?

The 520 works very well both indoors and out and if you do decide to get a PM in the future, it syncs well with that, as well as a HR monitor. Easy to upload to various logging sites. There are a few quirks, but probably common to most computers--sometimes the power or GPS will cut out if there is electrical interference (from other athletes' tech toys, cars with onboard navigation, beacons near harbors and airports, etc.). Kind of annoying. It also appears to fail if water gets into the contact point where the download/charging cable goes. The only time my 520 has ever failed was at 70.3 Worlds.....Arrrgh! I basically eliminated all possible causes except it getting wet with a leaky water bottle en route to transition. Maybe keep it covered and closed with duct tape or something when racing/riding/ in wet conditions or setting up transition.
2017-04-05 9:41 AM
in reply to: DaniD

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Aledo, Texas
Subject: RE: Tri watch VS. running watch+bike computer.

Like Karen said, it depends on what you intend to do. 

I previously had a FR225 and used an Edge 500 for cycling. Those worked fine for the individual activities, but was a bit awkward for racing. I now use the FR735xt, and it's been awesome. It is about the same size as a regular running watch. It is great for bricks, and I use it for pool swims. It is expensive. I received it as a gift, otherwise, I probably would not have purchased it (at least new). If you keep an eye out, you can find some gently used tri watches on these classifieds, or over at ST. I bet more will be available with the recent release of the new FR935.

TL/dr version: you can get by with what you've got. The tri watch is an upgrade, but probably unnecessary.

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