I am sitting on the edge of temptation at the moment as to whether or not to blow $308 on an Edge 500 pack (with HR & cadence) from Wiggle. It seems like a really good offer (love the 800, but sadly can't justify stretching to $553). Now before you all dive in and say "do it", lets see why I need one... or do I?
I have a computer that does most bikey things, including temp
but, it freaks out from time to time with my light, & the mount is a bit dodgy..
I have a polar HR watch
but, that's 10 yrs old now and the straps about to break...
I have an altitude watch
but, it doesn't show gradient...
So I'll gain by having these all in one device, plus a few xtra features like cadence, which I've never had... all good I hear you say! BUT it's still 308 bucks which is a fair hit in these cash challenged times... so what I want to hear is any personal experiences that might sway me one way or another....
Now I've read the reviews so know about broken mounts, battery life, good but not great software.... and the HR & cadence graphs I've seen posted look as useful as tits on a bull.
I'm going to pull off the manual tonight and have a scour thru it and see if I 'really' need one.
I don't know that retrospectively looking at data will help that much - a Garmin won't tell you whether the road surface was rough, or if there was a headwind, or who you are riding with, or what chicky babe you were chasing?
I think you could get by with just a HRM and a computer. Calculating your "zones" from a max heart rate test on a stationary trainer, and riding in a zone up a hill and timing it will give you a pretty good idea of how you are progressing. You have ridden enough to know how you are going without independent verification from your computer - you should be suffering regardless of the grade!
I still think bike fit first, then contact points, and then accoutrement.
Although having said that, a powermeter is something completely else - I would love one of them!
"Don't buy upgrades, ride up grades" Love it!
My cateye computer died about 5 months ago and I've not replaced it. I've got a fair idea what my cadence is and I generally just enjoy the ride rather than overly analysing it all. I've used mapmyride whn I got home to track what I'm doing over the weeks.
I do think I'll get another basic comp though simply so I can hold a steady speed in a paceline such as we will be doing on the way to Clare.
Depsite all this, heaps of people have Garmins and the comments seem to be positive. Each to their own...
I love my Garmin 500.
As well as all else that's been mentioned the ability to ride against your own timed courses and or laps gives a great edge (no pun intended) to solo riding for those who love a little competition.
As an obsessive hill-climber the combination of gradient, elevation and the lap function is awesome. (Riding up Heather Rd Stirling and seeing 24% on the screen through my lactate-induced blurred vision is one of life's simple joys!)
BTW ... the 500 + HR + cadence is currently $295 at PBK http://www.probikekit.com/au/training-performance/cycle-computers-h...
Personally I can't see the advantage in going to the 800, but that's just me.
£149.90 exc VAT, which works out to $229.50. add postage on top of that.... you should have it within a week :)
** for what it's worth, given your previous budget of ~$308, you could buy a garmin 705+cadence+HR from handtec for about the same.. just sayin' is all ;)
Assuming you are who i think you are (were you just working in a building on franklin st? :) ) then i could have demonstrated both a Garmin 500 and Garmin 800 for you before you left so you get an idea about the usability of both of them :)
Not to hijack the thread at all, but Ive found this extremely useful and cost effective, for a little step up the price range :
Prices are in USD, so its a bit cheaper now with the exchange rate.Yes, its more $$$, but its a step up into power measurement ;)
No GPS on this thing, just lots of good gadgetry, data logging and CPU power to calculate power based on a number of factors. They work well once you calibrate them properly (which can take a few rides)
Compared to a Garmin 500, not as sexy, but it provides power output figures as well as headwind / tailwind stats instead of GPS tracking, plus a number of other features aimed at training with power.
Next up the product line is $560, which includes HRM and wireless sensors.
Top of the line is $660, which includes dynamic CdA calculations - havent seen this work, but it supposedly shows in real time what your current CdA figures are for the position that you are in.
These things work by calculating power based on acceleration, slope, air pressure and speed rather than strain gauge measurements. The basic calibration process is fiddly at first, but very accurate. It is used to calculate your CdA (aero resistance) and Crr (rolling resistance) for your particular bike setup. If you are ever concerned about the dead-accuracy of your unit, you can rent a powertap for a day and tweak the CdA / Crr manually so they match exactly.
Lots of other features on there as well - it has a built in FTP test, training intervals, real time display of TSS numbers for the current ride, etc.
The data files from the iBike import directly into GoldenCheetah, and Ive posted patches to the GoldenCheetah software to handle the iBike headwind/tailwind tracking features as well. Other than that, it works with WKO software out of the box. GoldenCheetah rocks my boat though, because I like a bit of coding and being able to extend it.
Ah - one other thing, the wireless setup uses ANT+, so its able to pickup data feeds from existing Garmin units, and can also be used in conjunction with Quark and powertap units, and maybe future metricgear units as well if money becomes no object down the track. So you could use it as a head unit for a direct-force power measuring device if you were that way inclined.
After having used this one for around a year, its been a great companion on the bike. It would be nice to have GPS I suppose, but having power numbers is the ducks whiskers IMHO. Getting into power numbers under $500 - not a bad setup.
Then of course there is the complete DIY approach to build your own head unit for low cost power measurement, or make a DIY clone of a GPS bike computer :