General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Garmin watches Rss Feed  
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2017-11-06 3:19 PM


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Subject: Garmin watches
For Garmins is it worth to have the nice newer model or are the past/older models just as good?


2017-11-06 4:03 PM
in reply to: Guest

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Subject: RE: Garmin watches
Originally posted by bamf10

For Garmins is it worth to have the nice newer model or are the past/older models just as good?


This question is likely to generate some opinions, but I think everyone will agree that for basic/learning triathlon where you measure distance and time any of their past GPS multisport waterproof watches - which you can get at a serious discount in several places new or used - are just as good. You can easily pair one of those with their HR monitor (yuck) or get an arm based one (Scosche is the best one I've used that is Ant+ compatible).

GPS + Heart Rate is what you need for run and bike on a limited budget, and GPS/lap pool watch for open water/pool swims.

You can invest in the latest gadgets and get a lot more if you think you'll get something out of them.

I used the various "XT" models in the past, currently considering upgrading to the Pheonix but no rush. I'm on 920XT at the moment.
2017-11-06 8:52 PM
in reply to: FranzZemen

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Subject: RE: Garmin watches

I'm not someone who has to have the latest and greatest so previous models have been fine. My first two Garmins were used from the BT classifieds. My husband bought me the 920xt for Christmas last year and it does more than I have even taken the time to figure out how to use!

2017-11-07 4:26 AM
in reply to: trigal38

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Subject: RE: Garmin watches

Another 920XT owner here, bought it for like $250 on a Black Friday sale last year.  And to echo trigal above, it does WAY more than I'm prepared to learn how to operate.  I've also owned a 305 and the Fenix 2 (which I stil use as a day-to-day watch, but didn't love it as a tri watch).

You can get some good deals on prior models right around the time they launch the replacement.

2017-11-07 6:58 AM
in reply to: Guest

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Subject: RE: Garmin watches
Very subjective answers will ensue

I started with the 320XT (?). It was fine for what I used it for. I got the 920XT, next.....because I wanted to upgrade (all the cool kids at the pool had one).

When I heard I could ditch the HR straps (the Scosche was great.....but still a PITA) if I bought the 935 (it's still plastic), I jumped at the chance. No regrets. It's a fine tool.

My wife is currently getting RE-interested in running. If she stays interested, I'll either get her the F5 or get me one and give her the 935. NOT having a HR strap is that big of a deal, to ME.

Good luck.
2017-11-07 7:06 AM
in reply to: nc452010

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Subject: RE: Garmin watches
Originally posted by nc452010

Very subjective answers will ensue

I started with the 320XT (?). It was fine for what I used it for. I got the 920XT, next.....because I wanted to upgrade (all the cool kids at the pool had one).

When I heard I could ditch the HR straps (the Scosche was great.....but still a PITA) if I bought the 935 (it's still plastic), I jumped at the chance. No regrets. It's a fine tool.

My wife is currently getting RE-interested in running. If she stays interested, I'll either get her the F5 or get me one and give her the 935. NOT having a HR strap is that big of a deal, to ME.

Good luck.


Can't agree more on not having a strap on your chest! They say the strap is still more accurate, but the watches have become consistent. If you have consistency, accuracy is less important (do you care if you HR reading is always a couple of beats off, if it is consistently a couple of beats off? I think the answer is no...because you can still setup your zones according to your watch/arm strap).

I still prefer the scotche and will have to test the Fenix side by side for awhile when I get it. I like my wrist watch loose, which won't pair well with optical sensors. I don't mind the scotche tight because of the material and that you wear it on the forearm.


2017-11-07 9:49 AM
in reply to: jmhpsu93

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Master
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Subject: RE: Garmin watches
Originally posted by jmhpsu93

Another 920XT owner here, bought it for like $250 on a Black Friday sale last year.  And to echo trigal above, it does WAY more than I'm prepared to learn how to operate.  I've also owned a 305 and the Fenix 2 (which I stil use as a day-to-day watch, but didn't love it as a tri watch).

You can get some good deals on prior models right around the time they launch the replacement.




I've had a 920XT for two years now. Does everything I need and more. Battery life is good, no problem making it through a full IM.
2017-11-07 11:09 AM
in reply to: reecealan

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Subject: RE: Garmin watches

Originally posted by reecealan
Originally posted by jmhpsu93

Another 920XT owner here, bought it for like $250 on a Black Friday sale last year.  And to echo trigal above, it does WAY more than I'm prepared to learn how to operate.  I've also owned a 305 and the Fenix 2 (which I stil use as a day-to-day watch, but didn't love it as a tri watch).

You can get some good deals on prior models right around the time they launch the replacement.

I've had a 920XT for two years now. Does everything I need and more. Battery life is good, no problem making it through a full IM.

I run and do off-road rides with an F35.

2017-11-07 11:22 AM
in reply to: FranzZemen

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Subject: RE: Garmin watches

Originally posted by FranzZemen
Originally posted by nc452010 Very subjective answers will ensue I started with the 320XT (?). It was fine for what I used it for. I got the 920XT, next.....because I wanted to upgrade (all the cool kids at the pool had one). When I heard I could ditch the HR straps (the Scosche was great.....but still a PITA) if I bought the 935 (it's still plastic), I jumped at the chance. No regrets. It's a fine tool. My wife is currently getting RE-interested in running. If she stays interested, I'll either get her the F5 or get me one and give her the 935. NOT having a HR strap is that big of a deal, to ME. Good luck.
Can't agree more on not having a strap on your chest! They say the strap is still more accurate, but the watches have become consistent. If you have consistency, accuracy is less important (do you care if you HR reading is always a couple of beats off, if it is consistently a couple of beats off? I think the answer is no...because you can still setup your zones according to your watch/arm strap). I still prefer the scotche and will have to test the Fenix side by side for awhile when I get it. I like my wrist watch loose, which won't pair well with optical sensors. I don't mind the scotche tight because of the material and that you wear it on the forearm.

Considering that a heartbeat is a distinct event that is being counted, I would be skeptical of something that is "consistently" a couple beats off.

2017-11-08 5:49 AM
in reply to: Guest

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Subject: RE: Garmin watches

I'm still rocking my old Edge 500 on the bike and a Forerunner 220 for running.

2017-11-08 7:37 AM
in reply to: brigby1

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Subject: RE: Garmin watches
I have no idea if mine is a couple of beats off.......or not. I don't compare it to anything. I don't notice any dropouts or idiosyncrasies, so if it's "off", I wouldn't know it. On a similar note......I wouldn't know if the HRM strap caused my 920XT to be "off" or not, either.

I've run one half and one full since purchasing the 935. The battery life on the 935 is outstanding. I charged it before IM LOU (10/15) and charged it again the day before I left for vacation (10/27). I haven't charged it, since.

The 935 will broadcast optical HR to my 510.....so, I never wear a strap.....period.


2017-11-08 8:22 AM
in reply to: Guest

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Subject: RE: Garmin watches

I've got the 735XT (which just came down in price). I like it a lot; it doesn't have all the features that the 935 has, but I don't really care about altimeter. I like the optical HR monitor in that there's no chest strap, but it can be very finicky. You have to make sure the watch is on tight so that no light gets in (which affects the accuracy). 

The newest models tend to have features that seem more geared toward social media. If you don't care about that, there's no reason not to get an older model. You can find great deals on lightly used Garmins here and at slowtwitch. 

2017-11-08 8:57 AM
in reply to: LundyLund

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Subject: RE: Garmin watches

I've had the 310,910, 235, and now 920.  (Besides an Edge 500 and now 520).

I like that the historical tri watches have four data fields.  Makes it easy to to see what I want.  Three data fields feels constrained.  However, the round form factor is easier to use as an every day watch.

On HR: I didn't like the 235 generation of optical HR.  Before the 235 I was using a Mio Link for optical HR, and I think that was more accurate than the 235 generation of Garmin optical HR.  I could never get Garmin's optical HR to play nice on the bike.  And I had a hard time believing some of the higher bpm numbers.  When I got my 920, it came with a chest strap, and I've actually been enjoying it, even though I've had a bad experience with chest straps in the past.

On newer watches: I'm all about finding good deals.  920s are going for about 200 on the use market (and holiday deals are coming up).  I want to skip the 735 model because I don't trust the HR monitor, and will be waiting for when 935s come down in price on the used market.  My 310, 910, 235, 500, and 520 were all used.  There are good deals out there, and money to be saved in this expensive sport of ours.

It's actually kind of on my mind to get a 230, which is super cheap refurbished, and get a HR strap for it, since I have the 520 for the bike, and don't really use my 920 for swimming.

2017-11-08 10:52 AM
in reply to: ponderingfox

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Subject: RE: Garmin watches
It seems like I'm an early adopter for some technology and pretty late for others. I'm still using my Vivoactive. It is off just slightly on the run in a few spots but seems to be really accurate for the bike. If I swim with my fins for some reason it won't pickup some of my flip turns.

It certainly is better than what I used to have to do. I had the Huret odometer. You would reset it and then hit your stop watch on your handlebars. If you finished a mile in 2:30 you were going 24 and if you hit it at 3:00 you were going 20. The .1 intervals you had to finish in just about 15sec if you wanted to maintain 24mph. Here's a picture of me finishing a triathlon with it.

2017-11-08 12:40 PM
in reply to: Guest


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Subject: RE: Garmin watches
I really appreciate everyone's advice and input.

is there a good place to buy used ones? Amazon? Ebay? Craigslist? any others?
2017-11-08 1:26 PM
in reply to: bamf10

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Subject: RE: Garmin watches

Look first at the classifieds here on BT, and check out the classifieds over at slowtwitch.com. 



2017-11-09 10:33 AM
in reply to: bamf10

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Subject: RE: Garmin watches

Originally posted by bamf10 I really appreciate everyone's advice and input. is there a good place to buy used ones? Amazon? Ebay? Craigslist? any others?

I've used Amazon and eBay and Craigslist.  There's also a marketplace on FB for tri gear that always has great deals on everything tri related.

2017-11-10 5:30 PM
in reply to: Guest

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Subject: RE: Garmin watches
I'll echo everyone else here with a 920XT, does way more than I can figure out. Love the watch, especially the indoor swim feature. I have it paired with a cadence and speed sensor for the bike, awesome on the trainer with Zwift.
2017-11-12 11:28 AM
in reply to: Guest


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Subject: RE: Garmin watches
LOL I'm still sporting a 910XT. However I did get an Edge 520 this year so that I could load the training ride maps. Nothing like getting to the front of the paceline and not knowing where to go. The only "problem" with the 910XT is that I have to have my laptop to upload the data. The edge bluetooths to my phone and it is there by the time I load up my bike..
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