Ray's Weekly Sports Electronics Mailbag
Written by: Ray Maker
Date: Wed Nov 24 2010
If you enjoy what you find here, then feel free to click the links to find even more in depth information on each topic. And if you have any questions, you can always e-mail me directly. Thanks for reading!
I've decided to mix it up a bit this week and offer a bit of a quick-fire edition, primarily to common questions I get that don't require a really long explanation, but rather a quick and simple answer. After all, you've all got turkey's to go get ready…
1) Recommendation for Mac-friendly Website for managing workout data
2) Is the Forerunner 305 being discontinued?
3) Which slim GPS watch to get?
4) Garmin Training Center or Garmin Connect?
5) Garmin Forerunner 210 Molded Band?
"I have a software advice question, specifically I was wondering if you could recommend a non-Garmin website or application for managing workout data? I know you've positively reviewed Sport Tracks in the past, but their software is only for Windows and I have a Mac. Any suggestions you might have would be much appreciated."
I use Training Peaks for the majority of my data, which does have a Mac device agent as well - works great on both Mac and PC. It's also got more detail and analysis than Garmin Connect, and is roughly in line with Sport Tracks for the majority of operations. Some areas it offers more detail than ST, and other areas less detail than ST (comparing core functionality, excluding plug-ins) - but generally speaking, it's pretty solid andas my primary tool for uploading workouts daily.
"There seem to be a lot of rumors that the FR305 is being (has been?) discontinued in light of the next gen watch coming down the pike. There doesn't seem to be definitive info out there, however. As someone toying with getting into tri's, I've been toying with buying the watch because it's so cheap and will be a good training tool (even if I stick mostly with bikes and 5Ks). But if it's going bye-bye, I wonder if the FR310XT is about to drop a lot in price, making it make sense to wait a bit. Any thoughts appreciated."
Ask, and you shall receive! I just finished up an in depth post on the topic, including comments from Garmin. In short, the FR305 isn't going anywhere. Rather, Garmin's found they're still "selling like hotcakes". Thus, don't expect a drop in the FR310XT anytime soon - rather, look for something probably in the spring timeframe.
"I am looking for a GPS watch. I am debating the Garmin 405 or 110. I like them because they aren't GIANT! I want it to track my information, but the main thing I want to be able to see while I am running is my current pace.
I have read reviews of the 110 - and I am not 100% sure if it actually gives your pace as you are running or just of your last lap/mile. With that in mind, which watch should I get. I am open to other options too if you like something else."
Your best bet would actually be the new FR210. The FR110 and FR210 are identical except two tiny little things: The FR210 includes instant pace (the FR110 doesn't), and the FR210 includes foot-pod support for a treadmill (the FR110 doesn't).
I've been using the FR210 the last few weeks and love it - works great as a running watch and looks like a normal watch.
"Love your website, very informative. I just got a Garmin Forerunner 305 and had one quick question. I know you said that you like the Sport Track software better than the GTC. My question is about the Garmin Connect. Is the Garmin Connect something I would use instead of the GTC? Have you used it, if so how do you like it compared to the other two? I tried doing a search through your site but I could not find it."
Yup, Garmin Connect (GC) is better than Garmin Training Center (GTC) by a fair bit. GC is essentially a web-based version of GTC- and unlike GTC it's actually updated occasionally with new features. While GC is a bit simplistic compared to the more detailed analysis that ST offers, it will probably help get you started and then from there you can decide what works best forthe level of information you need. Garmin Connect, like GTC, is free. Sport Tracks (ST) is free too - assuming you don't use more than two plug-ins. If you look in my more recent reviews such as the FR310XT Review, I have brief sections on Garmin Connect.
Question #5: Garmin Forerunner 210 Molded Band?
"I know this is a little premature, and you're posting your full review in a couple of weeks, but I have two quick questions about the 210. My FR60 just took a crap on me and I'm in the market for a new watch. One: Does the 210 have a band like the FR60 where it is molded to the band, or is the 210's band actually replaceable? Two: Does the 210 have a 'general' mode like the FR60. I find myself using it in the gym, for things like the elliptical, and my weight training."
Yes, the FR210 band is molded, just like the FR60 - and is not user-replaceable. The FR210 doesn't have a general mode per se, but it can be used in indoor mode, which is what I've been doing in the weight room with it (or other situations not requiring distance as a metric). Not quite as simple or clean as the FR60 in that respect, but it works. Also do not that unlike the FR60, the FR210 is not fully waterproofed - so if you're looking to use it in the pool, you'll want to reconsider (it'll be dead in less than a swim workout).
Weekly Mailbag - November 16th, 2010
- How to secure Road ID to your Garmin Forerunner 305
- LeMond Revolution Trainer and ANT+ Distance Tracking
- Timex Global Trainer and Cadence-Only Sensor
Weekly Mailbag - November 2nd, 2010
- Effect of discontinuation on Garmin models
- Edge 800 availability
- Which workout logging software to use
You can find all past Slowtwitch Mailbags here, and all prior ones here.
[Editor's note: our capable editor-at-large for electronics Ray Maker is the publisher of the online sports tech blog DC Rainmaker, one of the top-ranked sites by Google for extremely in-depth reviews of advanced GPS and Heart Rate Monitors for triathlon, cycling, and running. ]
In this week's installment of our weekly Q&A column focusing on personal sports electronics, Ray covers questions on Garmin footpod orientation, and suggestions for waterproof watches and HR monitors for women. 12.10.10
In this week's installment of our weekly Q&A column focusing on personal sports electronics, Ray covers questions on color options for Garmin's Forerunner 210, high-end scales from Withings and Tanita, and the difficulties with getting raw heart rate data for analysis. 12.18.10
In this week's installment of our weekly Q&A column focusing on personal sports electronics, Ray covers a question on the new LeMond Revolution trainer and shares a special tip on how to integrate your Road ID with your Garmin Forerunner. 11.16.10
In this week's installment of our weekly Q&A column focusing on personal sports electronics, Ray covers a question on the new Garmin 800 and workout logging software. 11.03.10
In this week's installment of our weekly Q&A column focusing on personal sports electronics, Ray covers a question a question on CompuTrainers & tire life and also ANT+ gym equipment. 10.23.10
Reviews only about garmin & timex and trainingpeaks & sports tracks
Reviewed by: jason, Nov 25 2010 11:36AM
There are number of device brands waiting for review review such as polar, SRM, suunto, swimovate etc.
And great number of software/websites for review such as runkeeper, dailymile, polarpersonaltrainer, Movescount, mapmyrun, endomondo etc.
So it would be nice to see a reviews with little more broader spectrum.. Thanks!