My Preferred, Personal Sports Tech for April 2021

buy Wahoo Elemnt RIVAL review specificationsMy Preferred, Personal Sports Tech for April 2021

This quick post is about what I’m using for my own data recording and for when I train with only one device. They are not recommendations per se, I just thought you might be interested.

Bike Computer – I’ve just given the Hammerhead Karoo 2 a few good months on my handlebars and enjoyed the experience. It will get pride of place again but in April it will be the turn of the Wahoo ELEMNT Roam which I’ve not used as much as it deserves.

Smart Watch – I’m using the Apple Watch SE (44mm aluminium). I’m hacked off that I’ve slightly scratched the screen and the NOT always-on screen continues to annoy me. I’m partly wearing this because I kinda like it in a non-sporty way and also because it links into another project I’m working on that’s not linked to this site (more the latter 😉 ). I tend to keep it on for sport as well and I would prefer the Apple Watch 6 but my partner nabbed it and likes it, FWIW: My partner like the Polar Ignite 1 as their sports watch, mostly because of the Polar FLOW app.

HRM – I’ve been using all sorts over the last month or so – TICKR, Verity Sense, H9/H10 and even my mouldy HRM-TRI yesterday. My HRM-PRO kept giving incorrect peaks at the start of workouts so I returned it and bought another from Amazon France…just to see what happens with VAT and duty….none charged so far. Anyway, the HRM-PRO will be my choice of HRM moving forwards as I will hopefully start some real swimming soon. On the subject of swimming, I’ve been using my VASA trainer a lot and it’s too uncomfortable to wear a chest strap so I’ll keep using Polar Verity Sense with that. I don’t think I will be in a lake until May and so I can’t see myself using the excellent FORM swim goggles until then.

Running Watch – I’ve got rid of my Forerunner 945 as the battery is too unpredictable and I was also disappointed to return the Garmin Enduro (I rarely return watches I bought for myself, I tend to sell them after a year or keep them). The plan was to use the Enduro for the rest of 2021 but a) it was too big, b) the initial bugs annoyed me – like not being able to save a workout, c) it might damage a wetsuit and d) my CIQ apps just don’t work properly on Enduro and I just can wait any longer. Polar Vantage V2/M2 had more than their fair share of my wrist over the last two years so…not 2021…sorry Polar (I do like V2 though). The Wahoo ELEMNT Rival is loitering on my desk and I am VERY KEEN to use that as soon as it properly works with a footpod for pace ie stryd. So what I ended up doing here was just buying a Forerunner 935, I always regretted selling it in favour of the 945 in any case, let’s hope the battery life reliability holds up.

CORE – I’ve been using the Core Body Temp sensor a lot as well but that was mainly to see what happened on longer rides when I felt too cold. However not being able to stop for coffee, eating properly and wearing the right clothes have surprisingly kept me warm so CORE was never able to detect anything unusual, which I guess is good. I’ll probably use that again in a few months once it starts to get hot.

Bike – I’m using my Cervelo P5 when it’s not raining and loving it despite still needing to get the fit fine-tuned. Using Di2…obvs, tho Wahoo could give some more love to the Di2 features. Not using Garmin Varia on the P5 as I haven’t yet got a Varia bracket that will fit but Varia IS on my Cervelo R5 (they should sponsor me…but they don’t). I’ve been using Shimano R9100p on my R5 (yes I know what you’re thinking but it’s fine) and I’ve been using a power2max on my P5 which I’m not sure if I like or not. I’ve just dusted off my Assiomas power pedals today and put them on the P5 in advance of some stuff that might soon happen there plus to do some 3-way comparisons of the P2Ms.

Coros? Suunto?..nope. No doubt we shall see something from them…definitely in the next two years. Hopefully sooner 😉

Tubolito and Schwalbe Aerothan special inner tubes…after about 2000 miles of great usage they just kept deflating or too regularly puncturing.  I have quite a few of these tubes and can’t use any until I get around to using the special repair patches to fix them. I’m not recommending them anymore as they have significantly annoyed me in the last two months, maybe it was the wet and gritty roads? They were excellent to start off.

Finally, Lumen has been a very interesting tool to provide me with insights into my carb/fat burn throughout the day and before/after workouts. I’ll revisit that again later but, for now, my partner has commandeered it. You can, sort of, share Lumen but…hey…hygiene and all.

That’s it, I think.

I’m not entirely sure what new tech I am looking forward to in 2021…maybe a new Wear OS watch (Samsung maybe or Fossil) or the Apple Watch 7 in September. I have some unusual new gadgets lying around now and know some watches and bike comps are inbound at some point but I think I’m more excited about training and maybe, just maybe, racing again.




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19 thoughts on “My Preferred, Personal Sports Tech for April 2021

  1. “I’m not entirely sure what new tech I am looking forward to”

    When’s the Garmin Air coming out you think? Have you tried other CdA tools?

    I often think me and my TT look the slowest at the club TTs, but it’s not easy quantifying aero gains, especially on windy days, which we have a lot lately.

    1. I’ve only use Aeropod. That probably will be heaps cheaper than Air (if it ever surfaces) and I found it actionable and very interesting. However, it was just too time-consuming for me to use on a regular basis to really understand the impact of positional changes. I thought I’d be personally willing to do that…turned out I was wrong. (it’s probably analogous to triathletes doing weights…many just cant be bothered but really know they should AND it makes a difference)

  2. Interesting choices. Who would have thought that you’d give up on Enduro so early…

    What are your thoughts on a combo of Apple Watch 6 + Corps Pace 2 as a replacement for Fenix 6s? It’s a combo that I’m considering (as a runner). Apple Watch could be a daily smart watch while Pace 2 would be used as a hard core run & structured workout watch (and a built in native power is a Pace 2 is a nice touch). As Apple Watch has to be charged on a daily basis, this could be done while I’m out on the run with Pace 2 🙂
    The only thing I’m not sure is does Apple Health can get a date from Corps ecosystem as it does from Garmin right now 🤔

    1. yes I was surprised I gave up on it too. It’s a good watch but the factors I list just summed it up for my personal use-cases. for that sort of money it would have to do it all.
      aw+P2 … yes that makes sense just as it makes sense for me to swap the P2 (run) for the 935 (tri). consider the Polar M1…you can get them REALLY cheap right now.
      that said i don’t see the ability for the coros app to write to health.

    1. its also an mtp device which, for me personally, means it wont attach to a pc as a drive letter. this is important for me but irrelevant to most. 935 is different

      1. I’ve had a 945 for ~5 months now & haven’t really noticed any battery problems. Only time I’ve see it drain a bit is when I use it for a run with music going at the same time. Am I just lucky?

      1. u mean whole body, 1,2 inch screen is pretty standard, i would take such small body watch if not weak battery

  3. Your choice between polar v2 with track run and garmin 945 with running power from wrist ?

  4. I’ve used the AW6 SS versions with the sapphire screens, they never scratch, love them. I’ve thrown in the towel with Garmin, their software is utter rubbish and unpredictable. I’m looking forward to see what health features and MAYBE battery life gains the AW7 carries. I was such a big Garmin fan, but boy is has that train left the station.

  5. On a different subject about Stryd. I’m waiting for Workoutdoors to add stride to the data it can monitor. The audio queues and layout of Workoutdoors is quite amazing. It has made the AW the best running watch i’ve owned. no phone needed and I know if my old arse hits the dirt, help is on my wrist.

    God I hate sounding like an Apple advertisement. I can’t stand being so locked into their ecosystem, but damnit, it just works.

    1. It’s always great to hear from people who love the tech that they have found is great for them – be that Garmin, polar, apple, coros, suunto or whoever. no single tech is right for everyone.
      Whilst I agree that the AW ‘just works’, I wouldn’t say the same about every single WatchOS app every written…somewhat beyond Apple’s control but I take your point.

      That said workoutdoors is one of my favourite apps and I specifically am impressed with the mapping.

      I’ll get Ian at workoutdoors to respond about stryd. below.

      1. I am the developer of WorkOutDoors. It’s great to hear that you like the app so much! I am currently adding Stryd support at the moment, so it will be in the next version.

        The current status is that I have got the app connecting to the footpod and have integrated all the new metrics throughout the app’s features (screen configuration, interval schedules, alerts, graphs, exporting etc). I still need to allow the user to configure whether to use Stryd or the watch for distance/pace/cadence etc.  

        I am currently not sure when this version will be released because it depends on what other features are included. Hopefully it won’t be too long (and a beta will be available even sooner).

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