Reviewed: 08 March 2006
THE ALL-EMBRACING MULTISPORT TOOL
The watch will synchronise with your PC to both design and monitor your training.
The over-training test makes sure that you don't become stagnant, or, if you do, that you are aware of it - this is perhaps the most dangerous pitfall for runners and cyclists.
Can be used in conjunction with Polar bike accessories, making it great for those of us who like to dabble in triathlon/duathlon.
Worth considering over GPS, as it is very accurate regarding speed and distance, and still takes altitude into account. No waiting around in the cold for a GPS lock, and no '3600 metres per second' speed readings! (Though this can be flattering).
Poor students like me will be pleased by the fact that it doubles as a watch (shock horror!) with up to six reminders too - I knew there was a reason why I found myself in lectures all term!
Switching between bike and run requires stopping the programme you are on and recalibrating the watch, which is enervating (unlike a GPS such as Timex where you just hop on or off your bike and hit 'lap'). To get it fully rigged-up for the bike is pricey too, and involves the installation and testing of lots of parts. A GPS unit is only a couple of pieces of equipment. The foot-pod has to be calibrated for each pair of shoes you have too: beware, make sure you have it in the same position each time!
First and foremost, this is a precision heart rate monitor. I have had other brands, but this gives the most detailed feedback, both during and after exercise, especially with the VO2 predictions, overtraining tests and progress reviews.
As far as multisport is concerned, it can be a bit fiddley for triathletes due to the transition problems between sports (see 'weaknesses'). But it is functional, beeps at you when you're not pushing hard enough (or too hard!) and guarantees a weird sense of satisfaction when you bring up your week's training on screen on Sunday afternoon.