altimeter — BikeRadar
Road cycling forum
edited January 2008
I am training for the etape.
struggling to get my head around the climbs.
Is there a good altimeter available.
GPS vs Barometer??
Garmin Edge 305 has both.
Hypocrisy is only a bad thing in other people.
Plenty of decent altimeters around now, depending on what else you want with it. Don't bother with a GPS only one though - the accuracy is appalling - you want a barometric one.
Personally I use a Polar S710i (now superseded by the S725x), but this is probably overkill for what you want!
Both is best, like Edge 305, Etrex Vista
GPS only suffers from fluctuations and you frequently end up with way out climbing figures. Barometric only is a pain to keep calibrated unless you can always start from a known height (like home). Away from home, it can be a problem finding a height for your hotel, or getting other people to wait when you pass a spot height and want to calibrate (once or twice a day is adequate).
To be honest, the best climbing figures for continental climbs are obtained just by subtracting the height at the bottom from the height at the top. Generally there are no dips worth bothering about.
Here's another vote for the 305, though I had trouble keeping the unit in the mount.
Another 305 user - Great - Cadence and heart rate stats all in one toy, plus limited mapping capability that's more than adequate for me (with the additional mapping software - memory map).
GPS only altimeters, agreed - waste of space - GPS wasn't designed for accurate altitude information, and it's too inaccurate. Had one - was useless.
For the 305 with it's barometric altimeter, I've never found a way to calibrate but it doesn't matter since I'm simply measuring work done (i.e. change in altitude) rather than absolute altitude.
Assuming the pressure doesn't vary hugely during the day, it's not an issue.
In fact, from memory, I don't think it shifts more than a few feet in a day anyway. (Maybe 40-50ft)
Have a regular "commute" there-and-back ride - there is a small variation, but nothing worth commenting about.
I use the Polar S725X which is excellent, but quite expensive. It combines the altitude and distance and uploads into a diary with graphs.
There are cheaper altimeters only type watches on Wiggle (not sure how good these are)
http://www.wiggle.co.uk/CategoryProduct ... &cat=cycle
Also, if you want a quick, free way of working out how high the hills are, goto:
Once you have a login, you can create a route, then click Show->Elevation (sometimes takes a while to load)
If you have your average speed for the hill, you can calc gradient and work out your power output here:
I have used a CycloMaster CM215A for several years now. (this model no longer made)
I will probably buy the current version soon for the new tandem.