There are a few hints to the solution of the topic of this post in my list of “unusual Christmas Gifts suggestions” where I say what sports stuff I think I’ll get for Christmas. Mostly that post only covers a few items that I bought for myself to give to other people to give back to me!. Ah the joys of Christmas giving!
Over several years I’ve learnt that most people don’t really understand my sporting desires and wants. Even the cherished friends that patiently nod and listen to what I say about sports watches (OK that’s one person!) still end up buying NOT QUITE the right thing. AMBIT 3 SPORT vs. AMBIT 3 PEAK … must be just different in the colour and how rugged they are, surely? (A: no).
Christmas has historically been a sporting-gift disappointment-zone.
Well, all I have sportingly lined up for me (effectively from me) are: a few pairs of running socks; Joe Friel’s new Training Bible book; and a new, rather nice, aero road helmet. I suspect there might also be a few special sporting surprises (with receipts) from significant ‘others’. We shall see. The evidence so far is similar to previous years – all the Christmas cards seem to be of a 27-year old riding some kind of bike whilst wearing a Santa hat (no helmet, tut tut). Usually up a hill in Yorkshire. I can’t wait (ahem) for all those books on cycling’s favourite moments from the 1943 Tour-de-France. Yes, there probably were none. A VERY quick read.
What about my gifts to other people?
This is probably a bit more interesting.
Do I put my money where my mouth is?
I’ve only bought 3 sport/activity devices as gifts and these are:
- Fitbit One. This was just about the original Fitbit. It’s pretty much devoid of functions, displays and indeed devoid of most things to do with activities and sports. At least it is when compared to modern products ie ones that are at least 6 months newer. The great thing about it, for the recipient, is
- It’s EXACTLY the same as the previous one that went through the washing machine
- It does steps and stairs and sleep
- IT CAN BE CARRIED IN A POCKET with an optional add-on for wrist-wearing.
- It is supported by Fitbit’s great data ecosystem that, itself, supports lots of ancient phones, tablets and near-defunct versions of Android/Bluetooth.
- HOWEVER it was £$^%^%&%& expensive. I think it cost about £70 and it should be about £30 at most. They were essentially all sold out EVERYWHERE in the UK. It’s a supply/demand/economics-101 thing. I suspect the demand was highish because this is a good present for older people and/or people who don’t want to wear a wrist-device and who just want simple steps/floors/sleep recorded digitally…there are lots of those people and few nice options….and because marketing people have failed to do their research on what people actually want.
- Polar A360 – I’ve always liked this device. Mainly because it is good. It actually looks good both in terms of the colour display and the general form. As with the Fitbit One, Polar’s data ecosystem for the A360 is pretty good. The A360 is thin and lightweight with optical HR and a half-decent battery. It comes over as more high-tech than much of the similar competition with the way some fairly rich data is displayed on the colour touchscreen. The main thing going against it is that sometimes the electronics bit pops out of the rubber strap bit. (The real reason I bought it for someone else: I lost mine! and I need some better photos…sssh don’t tell anyone)
- Finally there is the LeapForg LeapBand. It’s not great. I wouldn’t recommend it. But I bought it (Argos, I think).
My Fantasy Christmas Presents
If I had a closer relationship with Santa than I actually do then I would convince him to divert some of your presents into my tri-sack at the end of my bed. I’d probably get a few spares of various things like running shoes and lots of Rapha clothing (I have none). I’d get a better bike but I don’t particularly yearn for a £10,000 super bike. Just something a bit better would be nice. I would get the best Zipp wheels going so I don’t have to keep borrowing them from a mate.
I would honestly get the Suunto SPARTAN ULTRA for me; if I had no gadgetry. But I have gadgetry AND I have an ULTRA. Well I would get the fantasy ULTRA in that fantasy scenario unless Santa got pre-orders of the Fenix 5 or 930XT.
The 930XT would be my ultimate Fantasy present, I suppose.
Sports Gadget Festive Materialism
Despite the “Me” focus in the title I am not particularly materialistic (unless it involves carbon or lycra). I’m probably more functionally materialistic than hoarding materialistic. Everything I have is for a purpose even that silicon rubber toe cover from 2 years ago has its place. Christmas for me is a time to drink more than I do (which is not a lot) and to go running in a new place ie a long run every day near my in-law’s house 🙂 Looooong.
Having said that, I ‘obviously’ have a cupboard full of gadgets. So I’m probably just talking rubbish. I’ll move on…
As in yesterday’s post, in no particular order, these are the products that you’ve been buying for other people from the Amazon links on this site (thank you). Lots of nice and safe bets there. 2017 is the year of living dangerously apparently.
Many thanks for your support and in no particular order:
- Suunto Ambit 3 (various models)
- Garmin Vivoactive HR
- Garmin 735XT
- Garmin 920XT (various colours)
- Garmin Fenix 3 (various models)
- Garmin Forerunner 235 (various colours)
- TomTom Spark 3/Runner 3 (various models)