The new clip on running dynamics pod is available in Q2.2017 and will come in at around £60/$70.
Features: small, light, auto on/off, 360 hour battery life, transmits 6x running dynamics metrics ie Cadence; Ground contact time balance; Stride length (Source: Garmin.com 29March2017. Me: How?); Vertical oscillation; Vertical ratio; and Ground contact time.
The old footpod was a mild faff to change between shoes. The benefit here is that you clip the new RD pod to YOU and wear any shoes you like. That’s not very exciting. But it is mildly useful.
For me the KEY factor will be “Does it transmit stride length” as stated in their specs and then “Is it accurate?”. I assume it can figure out cadence easily enough. With that information, IF IT IS ACCURATE, then it should be able to give you a decent estimate on INSTANT PACE on your watch. Certainly probably better than GPS. I doubt it transmits stride length.
I will let others figure out how accurate it will be as I am using STRYD for INSTANT PACE and STRYD is SUPER ACCURATE once configured. STRYD also has some other interesting running form metrics if you are interested in that sort of thing. Somehow I strongly doubt that a clip-on body pod is going to be as accurate in that specific regard. No doubt Garmin-adherents will tell me I’m wrong. (And then keep using STRYD in the real-world 😉 )
STRYD also produces a power metric.
The real reason for this pod is that Garmin are going optical. “Err what?” you say. Garmin are now responding to consumer demand to go for wrist-only solutions; that means increasingly there will be less and less people using the fancy HRM-RUN-type chest straps to produce the fancy metrics. So the new POD let the optical adopters also get fancy metrics. Sorted.
Remember: The fancy metrics are the ones you will probably never really use 😉 It’s CADENCE (AND PACE) that are ACTIONABLE for most of us and I’ve just said that the STRYD will very likely be more accurate.
Compatibility? Garmin 920XT and Fenix 3 obviously…err no! Just the 935, 735XT and Fenix 5/Chronos.
The elephant-in-the-room in this case is: “What else will it do with firmware updates?” I was hoping Garmin would add ‘power’ and/or dual-sided metrics but that hasn’t happened here. Maybe that will come? Remember STRYD started with the v1.0 product as a chest strap so interesting stuff CAN be produced from where the RD POD is likely to be worn.
Just a thought: These babies are going to get a LOT of washing 🙂 Let’s hope they are super waterproof over the longterm – it’s IPX7, oh dear. The lady in the picture above is wearing will be wearing it properly centrally but what if it is off-centre? What if the shorts are not so tight and it bounces about?
PRELIMINARY VERDICT: Not very exciting but certainly of some, very limited use. Garmin will not sell too many of them and eventually the RD PODS will be mostly sold as part of bundles to soften the price blow of buying a high-end Garmin sports watch.