Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Garmin/Bike Computer Questions

Alright, all you gurus out there, I've got questions! I posed this question a little bit ago on my Facebook page, but I've got more questions and a broader audience on the blog.

Here's my problem...I've got a wired Cateye Strada with cadence that I use for my bike computer. It probably only works about 30% of the time. It almost always gives me cadence but rarely gives me speed. The husband (who has exactly the same issues with his) and I have narrowed it down to either the sensors on the computer itself, which I don't think it is or else I don't think the cadence would work either, or the sensor that's actually on the bike to read the magnet and speed on the wheel. My problem is that my regular "training" wheels and my racing wheels are not the same widths so the sensors gets moved around and fits really loosely on the bike. Even if I get it working, every time I hit a bump, the sensor moves and I lose the speedometer.

Switching gears....

I train with a Garmin 310XT. I have a love/hate relationship with it. I think it's been a big help to my training. I love being able to program it and being able to track heart rate and speed, etc. BUT, I hate to race with it. I prefer to race on feel, especially with running, and don't like to know how fast or slow I'm going. With longer endurance races on the schedule (half ironman, full ironman), though, I need to wear a Garmin for the heart rate and speed on the bike. In general, in a race no matter what the distance, I don't wear heart rate for the run.

So, I've been thinking about getting a quick release for my Garmin along with the speed/cadence sensor for the Garmin to use on the bike. I like the idea of having all of the information I need all in one place so I'm not looking down at my computer for the cadence then up at my watch for the speed and heart rate. Here's the thing, though. I don't envision actually using the quick release portion in a race. As I mentioned before, I don't like to run with the Garmin and I don't really need it on the swim. I envision myself turning the Garmin on while setting up my transition and then using it only on the bike portion. Here are my concerns.
  1. I would hope that all triathletes are trustworthy, but that's a might expensive piece of equipment if it were to get stolen off my bike.
  2. If I turn it on before the race actually starts and make sure it's reading my heart rate, but then I go away for say, and hour and a half to two hours, will it still read my heart rate when I get to my bike?
  3. The Garmin 405 turns itself off after a period of time when not in use, does the 310? (I don't think it does.)
  4. My different wheel size problems are not going to change, will I have the same problems with reading any sensors? (This isn't a problem when riding outside because it will use GPS, but I do a whole lot of trainer riding.)
  5. Is the quick release a "piece of crap" and will I be ruining my Garmin by changing it?
  6. I've heard that the same Cateye in the wireless version is much better. Should I just invest in one of those?
Alright smarty-pants, I need your input. Please help me out!


Ashley said...

Hey Meredith - I train with a Cateye wireless and love it. I've only had the sensor budge once in the past year, but I have the guys at my LBS put it on and check it whenever I have my bike in. I run with a Garmin 110 and if you walk away from the watch with your HR monitor on it will lose the signal and NOT automatically pick it up when you return (have to restart it). Mine goes to sleep automatically, too, but I think that is a setting you can change. Some of my friends bike with their Garmin and they like the quick-release, but I say go for the wireless Cateye.

Big Daddy Diesel said...

- I leave mine on my bike during the swim, I still have it, no issues there

- It should read your HR when back in range of the unit, sometimes, you need to snap the HRM strap against your chest, like a rubberband (doesnt hurt, light snap) to get it reading your HR again

-310 wont auto turn off

- Its ok, its just a velcro strap, last about 2 years before you have to replace the strap, cheaper then buying a new Catseye.

Kristin Deaton said...

Ok so I'm not a guru but I can answer from my 305 (i'm sure it is the same for the 310). I turned my garmin on right before I left transition in Knox and had it read for me when I arrived after the swim. Yes it was still there. I worried about other Garmins that might pick me up or mine pick them up. But this was not the case. It picked up my heart rate and cadence sensor fine. Hope this helps

Ben said...

The garmins are so ubiquitous, that the odds of someone choosing to steal yours would be really small. If you dont want to run with it, hide it in your transition bag and it should be fine. I never have probelsm with my garmin, other than my 305 probably doesnt have the battery life for the bike and the run.

Betsy said...

i use the quick release and i don't think its a piece of crap. It won't turn off if you're out swimming awhile because there is no auto off function on the 310xt. But if you're just going to leave it on the bike a the Cateye might be the way to go....

I usually run with my garmin but I realized during my race on Sunday that I left it on the bike in T2. I thought about going back for it for about a half a second.

Melissa C said...

I just leave my 305 on the bike the whole time for shorter tris. It has settings for multiple bikes. This was nice for me since I have my road bike and tri bike and the have different wheel sizes. I got a spare magnet from a bike shop. I did learn that if I didn't have it set to the proper bike setting it would not give me a cadence reading (likely because it didn't make sense with the distance from the gps reading). My 650 size was entered manually but my 700 size it calculated. However, once it calculates the wheel size by itself outside you can bring it inside with no problems. You gave small wrists like me, so you might like the Velcro strap better anyway. I can't swim with just the strap, though. I don't have enough Velcro overlapping in the strap for it to stay closed while swimming. It kept opening when I swam with it. My friend who had bigger wrists than me did not have this problem. She also did not have the huge tab if leftover strap sticking out that I did.

Janet Edwards said...

I have the garmin bike mount and quick disconnect. Works very well for me and I have never thought twice about someone stealing it...altho now I might!

The only think I dont like is the velco strap that I now wear on my wrist when i run...gets stinky too fast! ;-)