Activity tracker best for Cycling

PaigeMed
PaigeMed Posts: 27 Member
Currently I have an Apple Watch which I absolutely love but it has terrible battery life. I need one to last at least 24 hours without charging. Looking into buying a garmin or Polar. Any input would be great!
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Replies

  • rileysowner
    rileysowner Posts: 7,714 Member
    What do you want from it? I use a Moov Now, but I need to have my phone with me to track cycling.
  • PaigeMed
    PaigeMed Posts: 27 Member
    What do you want from it? I use a Moov Now, but I need to have my phone with me to track cycling.

    Heart rate monitor is a must and gps
  • rileysowner
    rileysowner Posts: 7,714 Member
    From what I have heard the Garmin is probably your best bet.
  • JetJaguar
    JetJaguar Posts: 801 Member
    edited May 2017
    Well, I currently have an older Garmin 800 that I'm happy with, but if I were buying today I'd give the Wahoo Elemnt or Elemnt Bolt a close look. Just be aware that if you read reviews, the software was a bit rough when the Elemnt was first released, but it has been greatly improved since then. The Elemnt Bolt is the same functionally but in a smaller size. Reviews of the Bolt are more representative of the current state of the larger device as well.
  • ShansGotGoals
    ShansGotGoals Posts: 928 Member
    I have the Polar M400 w/the H7 bluetooth HRM which I absolutely love! It has GPS I've had it for a cpl years. Polor Flow gives a great analysis daily weekly and monthly. My watch can go a cpl days before charging so long bike rides and runs aren't a problem. It also will track your sleep patterns and give training advice bases on your target HR zones. Also customer service is outstanding!

    Good Luck!
  • Machka9
    Machka9 Posts: 21,096 Member
    edited May 2017
    Strava ... with a HRM that Strava is able to pick up.

    Also just an ordinary computer on each of my bicycles.
  • MeanderingMammal
    MeanderingMammal Posts: 7,870 Member
    PaigeMed wrote: »
    Currently I have an Apple Watch which I absolutely love but it has terrible battery life. I need one to last at least 24 hours without charging. Looking into buying a garmin or Polar. Any input would be great!

    Are you after an activity tracker that is good for 24 hours of cycling, or an activity tracker that lasts at least 24 hours and is good for cycling, or are you after a cycling GPS?
  • scorpio516
    scorpio516 Posts: 955 Member
    No activity tracker is good for biking. None that I know of can use bike sensors. Activity trackers track steps, you don't take steps while biking.

    You are better off either phone w/ Strava or anything else (all sunk costs), or a simple bike computer ($25-100), or an advanced bike computer w/ GPS ($100-600) or a GPS watch ($200-600). The Apple watch sucks for biking too.
  • BrianSharpe
    BrianSharpe Posts: 9,148 Member
    Go check out the reviews on https://dcrainmaker.com/

    There are numerous options, personally I use a Garmin 920 (I've owned and loved other Garmin models too) but I like its multi-sport features for tracking my running, riding, swimming etc. It's got great battery life, works as a sports watch and you can find some great deals on them now.

    Another option, if it's purely biking you want, is one of the Garmin Edge products.
  • NorthCascades
    NorthCascades Posts: 10,895 Member
    A Garmin Edge unit is best for cycling, mainly because of the big screen. I mostly stopped using mine and rely on a wrist watch, which, as you can imagine, is hard to see especially coming down a hill. Edges talk to power meters, heart sensors, some have maps, they have workout features, turn-by-turn routing (with or without maps), and basically everything else.

    Garmin-Edge520-Comparison.jpg

    I like mine on the stem but most people prefer keeping them out front, for visibility.

    photo.jpg
  • ab0161
    ab0161 Posts: 3 Member
    MapMyRide on the phone links to MapMyFitness for calorie counting. I still use it (since I have my phone with me anyway) although I use a Garmin Edge. If you want heart rate, too, the Garmin VivoFit HR is frequently discounted. The Edge can display HR along with cadence if you have a sensor.
  • KeithWhiteJr
    KeithWhiteJr Posts: 233 Member
    I have a Microsoft Band which I charge when I go to bed. It is usually still around 40% when I plug it in.
  • rileysowner
    rileysowner Posts: 7,714 Member
    scorpio516 wrote: »
    No activity tracker is good for biking. None that I know of can use bike sensors. Activity trackers track steps, you don't take steps while biking.

    You are better off either phone w/ Strava or anything else (all sunk costs), or a simple bike computer ($25-100), or an advanced bike computer w/ GPS ($100-600) or a GPS watch ($200-600). The Apple watch sucks for biking too.

    Moov Now goes on your ankle to measure cadence, the app uses the phone GPS to track distance and speed. Add a Bluetooth Smart HRM strap and you have pretty much covered everything except a power meter. It is what I use and am quite happy with. Once cycling is done, put it back on my wrist, and it covers other activity tracking. The coin cell battery last up to 6 months. The only down side is it does not sync with MFP. Cost is about $50 if I recall correctly.
  • Rogus1
    Rogus1 Posts: 60 Member
    PaigeMed wrote: »
    I need one to last at least 24 hours without charging. Looking into buying a garmin or Polar. Any input would be great!

    You're doing 24 hour rides or you just don't want to charge it until it has 24 hours of ride time on it? It also depends on what metrics you want to track. The more complex the more often it needs to be charged. A simple distance, speed computer runs off a "coin" battery and lasts for months. My 4 year old Garmin 500 gets about 10 hours before it needs charging, but, like others, I charge it way before it runs out. Garmins are the most popular, but the newish Elemnt Bolt is looks very interesting.

  • NorthCascades
    NorthCascades Posts: 10,895 Member
    Garmin's new Fenix 5 wrist watch gets about 25 hours of GPS time to a charge. I opted for the 5X with "only" 20 hours of GPS time because this one has maps, and faster hardware (processor, memory) to support them.

    34298910941_1c8222fdae_z_d.jpg

    This actually has some cool fitness stuff (relevant to cycling) that's not in the newer Edge devices.
  • pedermj2002
    pedermj2002 Posts: 180 Member
    What do you want to track? That's the most important question. I could write for several paragraphs on this.

    I started with a Garmin VivoSmart HR+ and Strava. I found that I wasn't tracking some pieces that I didn't know existed. I added speed, cadence, and a heart rate chest strap. That got me most of what I wanted, and then I wanted to get outside. I've added a Garmin Edge 820, and learned to use it fairly well. First rides, though, had my calorie count *way* off. I added a power meter to the bike. Now I'm tracking everything I can think of to track.

    Then I'm looking at Strava, and finding that it's got some great social side for biking, but for analyzing the data, it lacks some of what I want to see. I've added TrainingPeaks. Group rides out here use RideWithGPS to get navigation onto the Edge. And all of that data gets passed around between systems, including MyFitnessPal, which helps me estimate calories burned on a ride.

    As you can see, there's a *lot* you can track, and a lot of options for how to do that tracking.

    So, what do you want to track? With that question answered, we can make recommendations.
  • NorthCascades
    NorthCascades Posts: 10,895 Member
    Like @pedermj2002, I've also found Strava lacking for data analysis.

    That's kind of a weird thing to say because their segments - and this is really the defining feature of Strava - is all about Big Data.

    But if you have a power meter, there are a few pieces of information that are pretty key, and Strava doesn't provide them.
  • PaigeMed
    PaigeMed Posts: 27 Member
    What do you want to track? That's the most important question. I could write for several paragraphs on this.

    I started with a Garmin VivoSmart HR+ and Strava. I found that I wasn't tracking some pieces that I didn't know existed. I added speed, cadence, and a heart rate chest strap. That got me most of what I wanted, and then I wanted to get outside. I've added a Garmin Edge 820, and learned to use it fairly well. First rides, though, had my calorie count *way* off. I added a power meter to the bike. Now I'm tracking everything I can think of to track.

    Then I'm looking at Strava, and finding that it's got some great social side for biking, but for analyzing the data, it lacks some of what I want to see. I've added TrainingPeaks. Group rides out here use RideWithGPS to get navigation onto the Edge. And all of that data gets passed around between systems, including MyFitnessPal, which helps me estimate calories burned on a ride.

    As you can see, there's a *lot* you can track, and a lot of options for how to do that tracking.

    So, what do you want to track? With that question answered, we can make recommendations.

    I should have stated that I keep my phone with me so I don't necessarily need any maps. I use map my ride for that. I want to track Calorie burn more than anything. My Apple Watch I feel like is Great for that but it only stays charged when in use for 6-7 hours on rides.
  • NorthCascades
    NorthCascades Posts: 10,895 Member
    The high end new Garmins will probably be best at guessing calories from a chest-strap HRM, but it'll be off by as much as 40+ % in my experience. (I can send you plenty of data.)

    A power meter will measure the energy you put into a bike and not be off by more than 5% calories, but they're expensive.
  • PaigeMed
    PaigeMed Posts: 27 Member
    The high end new Garmins will probably be best at guessing calories from a chest-strap HRM, but it'll be off by as much as 40+ % in my experience. (I can send you plenty of data.)

    A power meter will measure the energy you put into a bike and not be off by more than 5% calories, but they're expensive.

    40%! Over or under that's a lot wow