Triathletes love their data. Speed, distance, cadence, power, altitude … we want to know it all. There’s no shortage of devices out there that will help you get that information these days. Whether you’re looking for a computer that will stay on your bike, one that you can switch between a few bikes, or a more versatile unit that will go from your wrist to your handlebars, there are lots of options.
Edge 200 – $150
This lightweight wonder (2 oz.) offers a high-sensitivity GPS receiver, requires no calibration, can be switched quickly and easily between bicycles and can be used in all types of weather. The Edge 200 stores up to 130 hours of ride data and sorts activities to quickly look up the fastest, longest or last ride. The battery lasts for 14 hours and there’s a USB interface for data transfer and charging. – providing motivation and inspiration that’ll keep cyclists on track. With a 14 hour battery life, Edge 200 features a USB interface for easy charging and data transfer. The Edge 200 also allows users to set alerts for distance, time or calories to make it easier and more fun to achieve their goals. You can even challenge your times from previous rides, too.
SpeedZone Analog Elite Altitude – $135
This computer is perfect for those who like to climb, and see how much they’ve climbed thanks to a barometric-based altimeter with resettable altitude, elevation gain and percent-slope gradient. There are, of course, all the basics, too, including: current, maximum and average speed, along with an odometer and trip meter. The unit also offers an auto-stop feature, which is nice for those of us who forget to restart our computers at lights, along with lap and interval timer functions.
Axact Pro Plus – $150
This wireless multi-function cycle computer includes cadence information in addition to other features. In addition to all the standard speed and odometer info, you’ll also get current altitude and temperature measurements, too. A nice touch is the wireless transmitter battery monitor that lets you know when its time to for some new batteries. You can also set up two bikes on the Axact Pro Plus, a popular choice now that so many triathletes have both a road and a tri bike these days.
RC X5 – $400
The Polar RC X5 is an amazing training tool that can even provide coaching information as you’re riding or running. Using the Polar Data Link you can download training programs from Polar’s website and the ZoneOptimizer will ensure you’re doing those workouts at the right intensity. The watch is super-light (46 g) and offers eight to 11 months of battery life. Polar monitors have always been renowned as amongst the best when it comes to HR information. The RC X5 takes that to a new level for multi-sport athletes since it can provide lots of info for all three sports. The hybrid HR transmitter is waterproof, so you can use it for swimming. You can enhance your multi-sport experience by adding either the G5 GPS sensor for speed and distance info, or the s3+ stride sensor for accurate running pace and distance measurement. You can complete the cycling package with a cadence sensor. One tiny watch can do all that – really.
Run Trainer – $200, $245 with heart rate monitor
Timex has nailed this GPS watch, which features the fastest satellite acquisition of any of the company’s GPS offerings so far, fits comfortably on your wrist and looks like a regular wrist watch. It’s also ANT+ compatible, so you can use it as both a running watch and cycling computer and still have access to power and cadence data. And we haven’t even started talking about how simple this unit is to use, while still providing lots of customizability for those who want to eke out every little bit of information they can from each and every workout.
Gone are the days where you’ll have to ask your buddies to give you a couple of minutes so you’re watch can find the satellites and provide you with info. The Run Trainer is noticeably quicker than the Body Link and Global Trainer options when it comes to satellite reception and even worked during our downtown Toronto tests, which have sunk more than a few GPS units in the past.
The biggest selling point for Timex GPS watches in the past has been the ease of use (one button press and you’re literally into stopwatch mode and on your way) and the multiple timers and workout set up options. That remains with the Run Trainer, which, like the Global Trainer before it adds the ability to customize the screen to two, three or four lines of data and much more.
The rechargeable battery provides about eight hours of battery life, which isn’t enough for most of us during an Ironman, but certainly suffices for pretty much any training session. The Run Trainer certainly provides Timex with a unit that truly competes with the best GPS watches on the market at a great price.