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Thread: Garmin Fenix 5 Opinions

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    Default Garmin Fenix 5 Opinions

    Figured I would post this here since I searched the Activity Tracker thread and only found one response with this.

    I am interested in picking up the Garmin Fenix 5 to use as a computer during races, recovery rides, and any ride where I am not doing dedicated intervals where I may glance at my computer. During cross races a computer is useless and in crits I would say it is as well. However, I like collecting my data and looking at everything in Golden Cheetah afterwards.

    I know the Fenix 5 can connect to a heart rate strap, cadence sensor, power meter, has GPS, all that fun stuff. But is it easy enough to use where I can hit start and stop before and after a race with ease? Can I upload files easily to Golden Cheetah? Does it work just as easily as my 510 where I can switch from Bike profile to bike profile (power meter on both CX and Road bike)?

    I think the watch looks great. I am hoping that it can collect data as easily as my 510. Any real life experience would be great! Thanks.
     

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    Default Re: Garmin Fenix 5 Opinions

    I was recently given one to experiment with for cycling purposes. My answer to you would probably be no to all of the above.

    The Fenix is made to be a jack of all trades -- I think you can even analyze your golf swing on it. It has more utility for triathletes who want one device to measure three different events, but for straight cycling, I'd be reluctant to recommend it. It can connect to all the right sensors but the connection isn't as good as with a dedicated bike computer -- sometimes you can simply move your hand the wrong way and you break contact which it then has to reengage. And I had more problems with pairing with an SRM, a Quarq, and a Pioneer. The input buttons aren't as convenient and foolproof as on a dedicated bike computer. You have superfluous menus to wade through. Profile switching ... again more menus, and profile switching is funky enough on a 520. As far as collecting data, you can upload it to Garmin Connect and then you can transfer it to Golden Cheetah from there, but it isn't a direct path and I was told that it strips some of the raw data compared to going from a 510/520 to Golden Cheetah.

    When you're riding, your wrist position isn't really going to be ideal for checking your watch. If you don't want to be looking at your watch, or don't want a 510/520 on your bars, you can drop the bike computer in your jersey pocket and forget about it till after the ride.

    If you want it to wear for daily use, that's fine. If you want to use it on your bike because you already have it on your wrist, that's fine. But I wouldn't rank it high for serious cycling use, as in I would never suggest you replace a 510/520 with it.
    Lane DeCamp

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    Default Re: Garmin Fenix 5 Opinions

    Thanks for the honest review. It's a good looking watch, and I thought it might be too good to be true.

    Question then... What do all the Euro cross racers wear during races? Do they make a more aesthetically appealing watch?

    I always ride with a watch. Always. During todays race never once looked at my computer, but sure as $hit the minute I got home, Golden Cheetah was being opened.

    Any recommendations?
     

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    Default Re: Garmin Fenix 5 Opinions

    As you said yourself, you don't use a computer during a cross race, so you only need to collect data. Why does it have to be on your wrist? Just put a 510/520 or anything similar in a jersey pocket or mount it under your saddle. With a watch you're just paying a lot extra for the same limited use. If you want a watch, the most popular that I've seen in Euro cross races has been the Suunto, in part because they provide lots of sponsorship a la Oakley. Having that watch handy on your wrist is more to let you know when to get off the course and be on the staging line. If you're always in the first couple rows, that's worthwhile. Otherwise ...

    I'd still suggest the best technical solution and the most cost effective is to get any small bike computer (a Garmin 20 or 25 should work fine for you, in fact) and put it in your pocket.
    Lane DeCamp

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    Default Re: Garmin Fenix 5 Opinions

    I always wear a watch. Trying to kill two birds with one stone. The computer works fine, but with everything that is available today in wearables I'm surprised there aren't more options. I have an email out to Garmin to see what it is they'd recommend. Tryin' to keep it classy, yo! Hopefully something will come back.
     

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    Default Re: Garmin Fenix 5 Opinions

    Quote Originally Posted by Trevor View Post
    I always wear a watch. Trying to kill two birds with one stone. The computer works fine, but with everything that is available today in wearables I'm surprised there aren't more options. I have an email out to Garmin to see what it is they'd recommend. Tryin' to keep it classy, yo! Hopefully something will come back.
    In case it's not obvious, Garmin wants you to buy both a cycling computer and a watch.

    Whatever you do, don't mention your plane or boat or hunting cabin - then they'll have good reasons for you to buy even more stuff.

    Kidding aside, there is no single 'swiss army knife' in the market today.

    Trust me, I've looked.

    There may be a market for such a device, but the unfortunate truth seems to be that gear-oriented people like to buy more gear, and gear-oriented companies like to sell more gear, and no one is truly motivated to build all-purpose products that also excel for specialized / niche applications.

    Interested to hear how Garmin responds to your question...

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    Default Re: Garmin Fenix 5 Opinions

    Funny enough I just took this plunge a few weeks back and I love it but let me explain that by saying I don't do much road riding anymore and most of my riding is on the mtb or cx bike. On my road bike I still have a garmin 800 that I use to monitor intervals and training needs.

    When mtb'ing and racing cx like you said there really is no need to check the computer and the only need for the data is after. The great thing though is I can use the watch to track all of my activity, when I go to the gym/hike/run it's all on the same device and all I have to do is remember to bring one device. I also hate having to remember to keep 2 devices charged all the time, it might seem like a simple task but half the time my bike cpu was neglected on the charging so having just the watch means it's more functional anyways.
     

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    Default Re: Garmin Fenix 5 Opinions

    Thinking of selling my boxed Fenix 5S Sapphire. PM if interested...
     

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    Default Re: Garmin Fenix 5 Opinions

    FWIW, I have a Fenix 3 HR. I bought it primarily for nordic skiing, hiking etc as I wanted something I could glance at but not as big as the 800 I tried on an arm band

    I wear my Fenix and download my rides via WiFi -- and I have my 800 on an out-front computer mount as my primary display. I could go with the Fenix as a once-and-done, but not when I want to see data regularly when I'm training. (well, Ok, my training is sporadic so let's just say when I'm riding....)
     

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    Default Re: Garmin Fenix 5 Opinions

    The Fenix 5 works great until it doesn't. This is the Fenix 5 sapphire of a mate :



    Anecdotal data, I know. It will be taken in charge by Garmin under warranty but it is still annoying as it means days (possibly weeks?) until he get it back or a replacement.
    --
    T h o m a s

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    Default Re: Garmin Fenix 5 Opinions

    Have been using a 645 for about a month now. Band is stupid comfortable and the face is nearly small enough for my "huge" wrist. Comfortable and I forget it's there. Haven't worn a watch daily for a couple years now. Added a series of apps and a couple of screens all by the same guy and am pleased with those. Running, hiking, XC skiing, mtb and road are unique faces as well.
     

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    Default Re: Garmin Fenix 5 Opinions

    I had a Garmin Fénix 3 for a while but it was big and heavy. Much happier with the lighter and more compact 735xt.
    Nathan H

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    Default Re: Garmin Fenix 5 Opinions

    So I bit the bullet and bought a Fenix 5S Sapphire. A quick unboxing and set up is revealing that I can not update it to the most recent version. It keeps timing out while trying to sync. Hopefully I can fix that after work today. This also is limiting the number of "watch faces" that I can choose. That stock faces are not that great and look pretty ... dated. However, I am genuinely shocked at how light the watch is as well how comfortable the straps are. So that's a big plus. In terms of for why I actually bought it, riding, I won't know until after the weekend. Hopefully it connects to everything with relative ease. Holding out hope. Anybody have any nice faces they would recommend in the mean time? Or if there is something that I am missing as to why I can not get the watch to sync fully? I have an iPhone 6.
     

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    Default Re: Garmin Fenix 5 Opinions

    Congrats on the new shiny, Trevor. That's the model I'm considering, so please do tell us how you like it after the rides this weekend. Many thanks and happy trails!
    -Jasper

    "I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend." - Thomas Jefferson

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    Default Re: Garmin Fenix 5 Opinions

    Might try plugging it into a computer. That normally works best for a tricky update versus Bluetooth
    Nathan H

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    Default Re: Garmin Fenix 5 Opinions

    I have the middle sized Fenix 5 Sapphire. I really like the watch overall, but I wouldn't and don't rely on it as a road cycling computer. I use it as my only computer when I'm offroad, and I've played with using to record my road rides but I much prefer something conventional mounted on the handlebars when I'm road biking. I wouldn't normally care about using it to record my road rides but I'm curious to see what the "training" features spit out and that requires the software having all of my workouts to be meaningful.

    But I do enjoy using it for running, hiking, and as a daily watch that is also a fitness tracker. I didn't go for the bigger fenix watch because I just don't use that type of navigation much when I'm out on trails, or in the mountains. If needed I prefer a paper map, but the "compass" on the watch seems pretty good to me. I do like having a GPS track and elevation plot of places I've been, things I've done to look at down the road.

    I haven't been using it long enough to have any idea how well it will hold up to daily/outdoor use. It is much more user friendly than the previous Garmin devices I've used, I've gone away from them to Wahoo stuff for the bike because I find their products easier to use. But the Fenix 5 works well with my phone without me needing to link them together every time I want to upload something etc.
     

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    Default Re: Garmin Fenix 5 Opinions

    I sprung for a Fenix 5x. Was looking for an activity tracker, and the sapphire crystal was appealing. So far it's exceeded my expectations. I use it as a smart watch, for my runs, and on the bike. I dig it!
     

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    Default Re: Garmin Fenix 5 Opinions

    Quote Originally Posted by earlfoss View Post
    I sprung for a Fenix 5x. Was looking for an activity tracker, and the sapphire crystal was appealing. So far it's exceeded my expectations. I use it as a smart watch, for my runs, and on the bike. I dig it!
    Ditto. I hate Garmin GPS's (and I've owned one of every model in the 5xx-10xx range) but I really like the 5X. I bought it primarily for heart rate/sleep tracking and it does a decent job of that and I've also used it to record rides up to 60 miles. Battery life is pretty good (less so when recording rides).

    Very happy with it and I don't say that about most Garmin products.
    Greg

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    Default Re: Garmin Fenix 5 Opinions

    I had a Fenix 3 for about 18 months, and then replaced it with a Fenix 5s last summer. So much better, more compact, and more versatile. Don't miss the wifi option, as its always connected to my iphone via Bluetooth. Only thing I've not managed to get it to do is broadcast its heart rate to another device (apple TV) when riding on the Kickr/Zwift.

    I've passed the Garmin 820 to my wife now for recording her rides as the 5s does such a decent job of it for me.
    IF Club Racer / Colnago Master / Ritchey Road Logic / Ritchey Steel Break Away

    Instagram: rellonchris

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    Default Re: Garmin Fenix 5 Opinions

    Putting this in here as a solid competitor for the smaller Fenix 5 watches. Same face size as the Fenix 5S and nice and light. After looking at specs and using it, very happy with the non-music 645. It's a near clone to the Fenix 5S. Even the smaller size is still large on my wrist. Haven't worn a watch for a couple of years and this is on all day every day (apart from social occasions that require a "proper" gal watch. Doesn't make itself known and very comfortable.
    Attached Images Attached Images
     

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