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Triathlon training watch with HR & GPS


Dirkitech
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Hello Hubbers.
 
I searched the forums and read every title and some posts under "triathlon", "watch" and "gps" and while some discuss triathlon training watches etc, they were very specific and beyond my understanding or scope. The goal is get more active in offroad duo/triathlons and perhaps later if logistics allows, road triathlons and eventually 70.3. 
 
Currently, my cycling training happens with my phone in a saddle bag and recording it on strava, so route, gradients, speeds and elevation are the information points available, with the Sigma bike computer giving cadence while cycling. I usually go running without it so have no frame of reference besides guestimates of distance on google and own timing. Swimming has been on hold until I can find affordable & safe pool access.

TL:DR
I'm in the market for a watch that can be used primarily for distance (if possible), active time, running pace (if possible) HR and GPS tracking while running, cycling and swimming. A watch with good constant gps battery life (if there is such a watch, maybe gps sleep mode while sleeping?) and android/samsung syncing capabilities will get massive preference, but anything else like vitality link up, step counters, VO2 max, watts, north point etc or message/call/appointment alers are considered non-Vital bonusses. The budget, while preferred as low as possible (R2000 and under, new or used), is largely dependant on the value that lies in the watches and avoid unecessary expenditure later with upgrading or replacement.
 
I've looked at several products like the Garmin Vivosport, Vivosmart (gps version) and 735XT, Fitbit Charge 2, Polar M430, TomTom Spark 3, Huawei Band 2 Pro, Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro (terrible battery apparently).
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Hello Hubbers.
 
I searched the forums and read every title and some posts under "triathlon", "watch" and "gps" and while some discuss triathlon training watches etc, they were very specific and beyond my understanding or scope. The goal is get more active in offroad duo/triathlons and perhaps later if logistics allows, road triathlons and eventually 70.3. 
 
Currently, my cycling training happens with my phone in a saddle bag and recording it on strava, so route, gradients, speeds and elevation are the information points available, with the Sigma bike computer giving cadence while cycling. I usually go running without it so have no frame of reference besides guestimates of distance on google and own timing. Swimming has been on hold until I can find affordable & safe pool access.

TL:DR

I'm in the market for a watch that can be used primarily for distance, active time, running pace HR and GPS tracking while running, cycling and swimming. A watch with good constant gps battery life (if there is such a watch, maybe gps sleep mode while sleeping?) and android/samsung syncing capabilities will get massive preference, but anything else like vitality link up, step counters, VO2 max, watts, north point etc or message/call/appointment alers are considered non-Vital bonusses. The budget, while preferred as low as possible (R2000 and under, new or used), is largely dependant on the value that lies in the watches and avoid unecessary expenditure later with upgrading or replacement.
 
I've looked at several products like the Garmin Vivosport and Vivosmart (gps version), Fitbit Charge 2, Polar M430, TomTom Spark 3, Huawei Band 2 Pro, Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro (terrible battery apparently).

 

Better to save a bit more and up your budget.

 

Most of the ones you highlight do not do open water swimming recording, only pool laps.  You will need it if your long term goal is 70.3.

 

Secondly, look at the battery life of the watch you are considering.  If just for cycling or running then most are not an issue.  If 70.3 or even if the bug bites then you will need a watch that will do 8hrs at least and 17hrs for a full.

 

Thirdly what sensors (speed/Cad, HRM) you considering connecting to, or already have?  The protocol of either Ant+ or BLE which may dictate the type of watch.

 

If the long term goal is a 70.3, then look at either the Garmin 735XT, Fenix 3 (can get for a good price is the classifieds) the Garmin 920XT or the Suunto Spartan wrist HR.

 

Of the ones you listed. Check the Garmin specs but I believe they do not do open water swimming recording, Fitbit highly unlikely,  M430 is also a no to open water swimming, TomTom are getting out of the watch market (so would not even consider), Huawei and Samsung are not multi-discipline watches more activity trackers.

 

Personally, with the Fenix 5 plus just been released, I expect a lot of Fenix 3's to be on sale in the classifieds soon once released here as many will have had the F3 for 3yrs or more and will be looking to upgrade.

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Better to save a bit more and up your budget.

 

Most of the ones you highlight do not do open water swimming recording, only pool laps.  You will need it if your long term goal is 70.3.

 

Secondly, look at the battery life of the watch you are considering.  If just for cycling or running then most are not an issue.  If 70.3 or even if the bug bites then you will need a watch that will do 8hrs at least and 17hrs for a full.

 

Thirdly what sensors (speed/Cad, HRM) you considering connecting to, or already have?  The protocol of either Ant+ or BLE which may dictate the type of watch.

 

If the long term goal is a 70.3, then look at either the Garmin 735XT, Fenix 3 (can get for a good price is the classifieds) the Garmin 920XT or the Suunto Spartan wrist HR.

 

Of the ones you listed. Check the Garmin specs but I believe they do not do open water swimming recording, Fitbit highly unlikely,  M430 is also a no to open water swimming, TomTom are getting out of the watch market (so would not even consider), Huawei and Samsung are not multi-discipline watches more activity trackers.

 

Personally, with the Fenix 5 plus just been released, I expect a lot of Fenix 3's to be on sale in the classifieds soon once released here as many will have had the F3 for 3yrs or more and will be looking to upgrade.

Thanks for the detailed advice shaper. I coincidentally read about the 735XT and Spartan Trainer in the last few minutes and your advice resonates.

I was entirely unaware of different capabilities on open water, so thanks again for that bit of info!

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If you want to record HR on a swim, then you will need a HR strap capable of recording in water.

 

The (Garmin) devices mentioned by Shaper will pair with the SWIM~ or TRI-straps, and cost upward of R1800 (depending where you shop, and the strap). The wrist-based devices will work fine on the cycle and run legs.

 

I have a 735XT and the battery gives me about 8h on 1s recording and about 14h on smart recording. For most activities it’s on 1s, but will change it to smart recording when doing a ride for >6h in duration.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Thanks for the detailed advice shaper. I coincidentally read about the 735XT and Spartan Trainer in the last few minutes and your advice resonates.

I was entirely unaware of different capabilities on open water, so thanks again for that bit of info!

If your long term goal is a triathlon, then check the specs of any watch you look at for open water swimming capability... else in the short term you will have a watch that would be good for gps/hrm for cycling, running and then pool swimming laps,... but will have to upgrade again for a watch to do gps for open water when you get into triathlons
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Thanks for the detailed advice shaper. I coincidentally read about the 735XT and Spartan Trainer in the last few minutes and your advice resonates.

I was entirely unaware of different capabilities on open water, so thanks again for that bit of info!

You would do a well to listen to the advice from Shaper, he knows a thing or two about multisport.

 

My 2c: save up and get the Fenix 3

 

I have one and it is perfect for the job required. I would advice you to go for the sapphire edition, my standard one is looking worse for wear after 2 and a half years. Plenty of specials on new ones and if you can find one in good nick in the classifieds it will be a bonus.

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Thanks for the help so far everyone! I'm really glad I asked because none of my reading thus far mentioned anything about straps for open water swimming!
I have some fun new reading to do today :thumbup:

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Hello Hubbers.
 
I searched the forums and read every title and some posts under "triathlon", "watch" and "gps" and while some discuss triathlon training watches etc, they were very specific and beyond my understanding or scope. The goal is get more active in offroad duo/triathlons and perhaps later if logistics allows, road triathlons and eventually 70.3. 
 
Currently, my cycling training happens with my phone in a saddle bag and recording it on strava, so route, gradients, speeds and elevation are the information points available, with the Sigma bike computer giving cadence while cycling. I usually go running without it so have no frame of reference besides guestimates of distance on google and own timing. Swimming has been on hold until I can find affordable & safe pool access.

TL:DR

I'm in the market for a watch that can be used primarily for distance (if possible), active time, running pace (if possible) HR and GPS tracking while running, cycling and swimming. A watch with good constant gps battery life (if there is such a watch, maybe gps sleep mode while sleeping?) and android/samsung syncing capabilities will get massive preference, but anything else like vitality link up, step counters, VO2 max, watts, north point etc or message/call/appointment alers are considered non-Vital bonusses. The budget, while preferred as low as possible (R2000 and under, new or used), is largely dependant on the value that lies in the watches and avoid unecessary expenditure later with upgrading or replacement.
 
I've looked at several products like the Garmin Vivosport, Vivosmart (gps version) and 735XT, Fitbit Charge 2, Polar M430, TomTom Spark 3, Huawei Band 2 Pro, Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro (terrible battery apparently).

 

I have a suunto ambit 3

 

brilliant and affordable and comes with a waterproof HR strap so you can use it to swim

 

The software and analytic tools are great too

 

PM me if you want to chat about it

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Suunto Spartan trainer will do it all and for less than 4k brand new...

 

Just make sure that you have only bluetooth sensors (powermeters, heart rate straps etc. as Suunto doesn't have ANT+).

 

My vote would be to save up and get a fenix 3 - solid reliable units with good battery life.

 

All of the ones you have listed, bar the 735 are step counters for vitality and won't survive the rigors of triathlon and also won't give you all of the information that you require. 

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Get the Garmin Fenix 5 and you can close the thread.It's expensive but it works very well and you'll never use half the features :thumbup: :whistling:

Sounds like my polar V800

It’s like a Toyota.... just keeps on going

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Get the Garmin Fenix 5 and you can close the thread.It's expensive but it works very well and you'll never use half the features  :thumbup:  :whistling:

You should go and read the shortcomings of the F5 before recommending it... GPS issues, ANT+/BLE sensor connection/dropping issues, OHR issues.... and yes I have a F5... and have first hand experience of the shortcomings!

 

Edit:  You will note as such I did not recommend the F5 in my earlier detailed reply.... better to get the 935XT which is all but name the F5 without the issues... but well above the OP's budget.

Edited by shaper
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Just make sure that you have only bluetooth sensors (powermeters, heart rate straps etc. as Suunto doesn't have ANT+).

 

My vote would be to save up and get a fenix 3 - solid reliable units with good battery life.

 

All of the ones you have listed, bar the 735 are step counters for vitality and won't survive the rigors of triathlon and also won't give you all of the information that you require. 

 

 

well in the order of things to buy a HRM sports watch is probably first before HR straps and power meters so really not an issue. Fenix 3 is double the price with not much more functionailty to be honest

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