Saturday, November 25, 2006

Bike workout with the Garmin Forerunner 305

Here's what I did today: 24.1 miles on the bike (an out-and-back starting and ending with a slow section through town; stop at the turnaround for a snack). I did a 5-mile warmup and then a series of "stomp" pickups for 1 minute every 5 minutes, visible as the regular heart rate spikes in the graph:

The heart rate meter seemed to work much better this time (perhaps the conductivity was better because I was sweatier and not bouncing up and down as I do when I run), but I'm not impressed with the plotting software. I can't seem to find a way to adjust the scaling of the speed (right vertical axis). That thin squiggle between 15 and 20 mph isn't very helpful!

The average speed from the Garmin only said about 15 mph, while the bike computer average speed said well over 16 mph. That's a big (9%+) discrepancy! Total distance measured seem to be fairly close, though.

While it's nice to also have a little map plot of the workout, I can also do that with gmaps quite easily - plus switch to satellite view also, so that's no big advantage in the Forerunner. Yeah, the cadence function would be interesting, but I didn't have that today and that's still more $$ for the sensor unit.

Yeah, the product still has some drawbacks. It does lots of things automatically quite well, but I need the ability to customize it a little more if the automatic functions don't work how I want.

Weather was pretty nice for the end of November! Not much wind, sunny, about 50*F. I'm enjoying it while it's here, because it's sure not to last!


Dawn - Pink Chick said...

I love my Forerunner. I have the 301. There are some great downloads out there to enhance the mapping, etc. Check out sport tracks. I wrote about it over at

21st Century Mom said...

I like my 201 and I think I'll stick with that for now. Having an integrated HRM would be nice but not a couple hundred dollars nice. Thanks for another honest review.

Charles said...

Did you stop at all on the bike? Stop sign or something? I have found that my bike computer stops the timer when I stop moving while the garmin keeps going. That is likely why the Garmin had a lower avg speed. That is even more likely since they both had roughly the same total distance. Same distance but different speeds means different times.

nancytoby said...

Aha, yeah, that's the difference! I stopped at the turnaround for perhaps 4 minutes to eat.

Bigun said...

I've been using the 301 for a long time now, and the ability to keep pace on the run, and also have it to use on the bike, plus it's my only HR moniter - made the buying decision easy for me. I'll upgrade when Garmin makes a waterproof version and/or something with power. Any spikes or drops in pace or speed opens up the graph and makes it hard to read....I'll have to check out dawn-pink chick's advise.

Bigun said...

oh yea, if you use (the free version even)and look at the training summary, you'll see your average moving speed vs. overall speed - that's a really cool site.