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Garmin fenix 5 good for biking?

redvisionredvision Posts: 2,816
edited January 2019 in Road buying advice
Just a quick one, I adore my Wahoo elemnt bolt, but am not going to be using it for some time due to injury. Have been spoilt in vouchers for Xmas and thinking of getting a new smart watch which can double for a bike computer when im back riding and also for other sports (namely running). Have read dcr reviews and others, but I'm keen to hear experiences from those who have purchased the watch.

So was just wondering if anyone has used the fenix 5 on the bike. How was it? Was the smaller screen an issue?

Also, is it worth paying the extra for the 5 plus series?

Thanks
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Posts

  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    I use the fenix 3. A bike computer is better if you just cycle but I run and swim so this works out. I can even put in routes to follow and you can quickly see where you go off course.
  • redvisionredvision Posts: 2,816
    Thanks Cougie. I have never ready looked at a multi sport gps before as was solely focused on biking, but longer term I am likely to pick up running (long distance/ cross country) again. Most reviews label the fenix 5 plus as the best ever but given the legendary garmin reliability I am hesitant to spend half a grand. The 5 series is £300 now and from what i can tell the only difference is slightly poorer maps, no galileo satellite (still had gps and glonnas) no contactless payments, no music storage, and possible shorter battery life (although reviews suggest the 5 battery life is actually longer than the 5 plus when all the functions are activated).

    Hoping to make a decision by the end of the week so would welcome any feedback from anyone who has the 5 or 5plus. Particularly interested in how well they connect to smart phones.

    Thanks and HNY all.
  • petecopeteco Posts: 179
    If you want to measure heart rate, then be careful with a watch on a bike. My Garmin watch struggles to record it, probably due to the bent wrists when on the top of the bars. My Apple watch struggles a bit too. Both work fine when walking/running.

    Peter
  • I'd not swap my Fenix 5 for anything. I'd echo the HRM comments though, for biking (and seemingly only biking) it under reads. Use the HRM for that and it's spot on.

    I have the performance bundle which had the Garmin TRI strap included. That in itself is a great bit of kit though not bluetooth and only ANT+.

    It's a brilliant smart watch, alarm clock, health tracker, step tracker, watch, barometer, compass etc. etc. Then you delve into the sports settings and it's brilliant/
    My blog: http://www.roubaixcycling.cc (kit reviews and other musings)
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  • https://roubaixcycling.cc/2017/01/11/garmin-fenix-3/

    This was my 3 review, the 5 is just better in every way (mostly cos it does everything it did before, and more and is better looking and smaller).
    My blog: http://www.roubaixcycling.cc (kit reviews and other musings)
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  • redvisionredvision Posts: 2,816
    https://roubaixcycling.cc/2017/01/11/garmin-fenix-3/

    This was my 3 review, the 5 is just better in every way (mostly cos it does everything it did before, and more and is better looking and smaller).

    Thanks censored , will have a read through now.

    Have you had the chance to look at/ try the 5 plus yet?

    Any negatives you can tell me about the model you have?
  • redvision wrote:
    https://roubaixcycling.cc/2017/01/11/garmin-fenix-3/

    This was my 3 review, the 5 is just better in every way (mostly cos it does everything it did before, and more and is better looking and smaller).

    Thanks censored , will have a read through now.

    Have you had the chance to look at/ try the 5 plus yet?

    Any negatives you can tell me about the model you have?

    None, save for the sarcasm. I've had 5 days with a cold and it's accusing me of "detraining." (It's quite true mind).

    Seriously though, there's no drawback other than it being difficult to see if you are cycling and want to pace yourself and there only being 4 fields. You could put it on a bar mount.

    In the winter it's also, arguably, necessary to wear it outside a jacket/sleeve etc so that you can operate it.

    I opted for this over the plus as I really couldn't see a use, personally, for the extra stuff. More an incremental upgrade really.

    I'd pay for a better 6 model if it had a nicer screen that didn't kill battery life (my Fenix lasts days and days, my son's Samsung a day or so with its lovely screen).
    My blog: http://www.roubaixcycling.cc (kit reviews and other musings)
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  • redvisionredvision Posts: 2,816
    Interesting you mention the Samsung. Someone recommended that to me this morning. I hadn't considered it as I have read that it's great as a smart watch but not great for tracking fitness and multiple sports, despite Samsung claims. Have you found this as well?

    The only other device I'm really considering is the garmin 935. Either way I think it will be a garmin product.... maybe the bang I took to my head has caused more damage than they said as I vowed never to touch garmin again after my last ( edge 520) experience.
  • redvision wrote:
    Interesting you mention the Samsung. Someone recommended that to me this morning. I hadn't considered it as I have read that it's great as a smart watch but not great for tracking fitness and multiple sports, despite Samsung claims. Have you found this as well?

    The only other device I'm really considering is the garmin 935. Either way I think it will be a garmin product.... maybe the bang I took to my head has caused more damage than they said as I vowed never to touch garmin again after my last ( edge 520) experience.

    It took luck, workarounds, prayers etc just to get the Samsung to sync with Strava. It's really not a full on fitness device. He's on the verge of selling it and getting (he's a runner) the Vivoactive. The 935 is very good. A plastic Fenix.
    My blog: http://www.roubaixcycling.cc (kit reviews and other musings)
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  • cattytowncattytown Posts: 647
    Sorry I am a bit late in. I have a fenix 3, 810 and elemnt.

    Is the fenix good for cycling? Kind of.

    It records everything I need to record, it pairs with everything that I need it to pair with. Do I use it when cycling? No.

    It's convenience. The 810 and the elemnt easily mount where I can look at them. They have quite large displays and are easy to use on the bike. Buttons/touch screens working well one handed.

    The fenix would be on my wrist, out of reasonable sight. To look at anything involved either strapping the fenix to the bars or turning my wrist. pressing any buttons is effectively a two hand job.

    I do use it to record cycling on the rare occasion I do a tri - one device to record everything. I also don't want to be too distracted by a screen in front of me or to be leaving a computer attached to the bike while racked.

    HTH,
    Paul.
    Giant Defy 2
    Large bloke getting smaller :-)
  • redvisionredvision Posts: 2,816
    Thanks both for your comments.

    I was about to pull the trigger this morning but am hesitating slightly as I am now thinking is there a smart watch which I would be happy wearing daily but has all the bells and gizmos I want for when I do start training again (biking, running and hiking)??

    I haven't been able to find the perfect watch, I guess it's not a surprise as it's probably not in the manufacturers interest, it seems that watches aimed at sport training (like the fenix) excel at that but their day to day smart watch capabilities are so so, and vice versa.

    How do you both find the fenix size wise? I know it's big but is it uncomfortably big?

    Thanks
  • bianchimoonbianchimoon Posts: 3,942
    If your 5 foot and 8 stone, it might appear too big, if you 15 stone and 6'6" then will appear fine, I'm in between and the Fenix 3 is perfect for me, it's a sports watch, not a dress watch per se, but I wear it for most occasions, a mate who's 5'6" and 10 stone has one and no one comments on the size on his wrist
    All lies and jest..still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest....
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    I've got small wrists but my fenix looks fine. It's on 24/7. Smart enough to wear in the office - it doesn't look out of place like the more plasticy sports watches do.

    Often it's out of sight under sleeves in winter but all it's doing is recording. I don't need to look at it.

    I do love it and being able to use it for all sports is great.
    I have a lot of mates who bought theirs after seeing mine and they're all very happy with the watch. One of my best purchases.
  • cattytowncattytown Posts: 647
    My fenix 3 has become my daily watch - ahead of some nice Seiko, Citizen and Tissot watches.

    5'10 ish, 14st8 and it's not ungainly but can be a snug fit under a dress shirt cuff.

    Paul.
    Giant Defy 2
    Large bloke getting smaller :-)
  • redvisionredvision Posts: 2,816
    Cheers guys.
    I have pretty small wrists, need small bands in my fitbit, hence the concern about how the fenix would feel.

    The more I look the more I realise pretty much every smart watch is big today.

    Ok, final question, how do you find the sleep tracking? I read that this was initially an issue with the 5 but was fixed via an update last summer.

    Thanks
  • You can always get a 5s remember.

    Sleep tracking is excellent. Really insightful too. Amazing how censored I am at deep sleep and how much I REM.

    Is there a better smartwatch? There are better looking ones, the Samsung for example. Is there a better sports and training watch. Absolutely not.
    My blog: http://www.roubaixcycling.cc (kit reviews and other musings)
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  • redvisionredvision Posts: 2,816
    You can always get a 5s remember.

    Sleep tracking is excellent. Really insightful too. Amazing how censored I am at deep sleep and how much I REM.

    Is there a better smartwatch? There are better looking ones, the Samsung for example. Is there a better sports and training watch. Absolutely not.

    That's great. Yeah it will be the 5s if I do go garmin.
    A mate is visiting me later with his garmin 935 and also a Samsung galaxy watch, afterwards I hope to finally make a decision. At the moment though I think it will be the garmin.

    Thanks again for all the info.
  • You’ll swoon over the galaxy but I guarantee you that, in reality, buttons are better
    My blog: http://www.roubaixcycling.cc (kit reviews and other musings)
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  • redvisionredvision Posts: 2,816
    You’ll swoon over the galaxy but I guarantee you that, in reality, buttons are better

    You weren't wrong. The Samsung watch is a real looker! And the moving bezel is, for some reason I can't explain, cool and almost satisfying. Like a fidget spinner or something.

    Got to say I'm tempted. My mate seems thrilled with his. Although he did buy it purely for a smart watch, and whilst he has been using it for running he made it clear it wouldn't replace his 935 as his main training device, especially as the fitness tracking is intermittent at best - he showed me a run he did with both watches this morning and the garmin tracked everything spot on, but the heartrate on the Samsung was no where near. Distance was close though.
    He has also noticed the step counter is way out and the sleep tracker doesn't really work (which seem common complaints on the Samsung forum).

    Anyway I'm now down to a straight choice between the fenix and the galaxy as the 935 was just a bit too plasticky for my liking (at its price anyway).
  • cal_stewartcal_stewart Posts: 1,840
    Got an Fenix 3HR and Wahoo Elemnt Bolt. Use the Fenix as a back up and for cyclocross. I’d stick with a bike computer
    eating parmos since 1981

    Canyon Ultimate CF SLX Aero 09
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  • mercia_manmercia_man Posts: 1,426
    For people interested in a Fenix 5 but who are a bit concerned at the price and bulk, it may be worth considering Garmin's most recent Forerunner model, the 645. It has identical smart watch and training functionality as the Fenix 5 and 935 minus open water swimming and triathlon but adds Garmin Pay and music (in the music model). You get the same coloured screen, training functions, VO2 Max, training status and load, performance condition, Strava connectivity, Garmin Connect, altimeter, barometer, breadcrumb navigation, sleep and steps tracking, smart phone notifications, downloadable watch faces, apps,data fields, widgets etc

    As a running watch it is perhaps better than the Fenix 5 as it is half the weight so is not so noticeable on the wrist and is less likely to jiggle about and upset the wrist heart rate monitor. It is better for someone with small wrists like me and fits fine under sleeves. Screen size is I believe the same as the Fenix 5S. On appearance, it has a stainless steel bezel and is not so plasticky looking as the 935. You do miss out on the very long life battery of the Fenix. You get 14 hours using GPS and mine needs recharging every 6-7 days. I use mine (non-music model) mainly in running, cycling, trail running, walking and hiking modes. I've had it for nearly a year and am really pleased with it.
  • redvisionredvision Posts: 2,816
    Mercia Man wrote:
    For people interested in a Fenix 5 but who are a bit concerned at the price and bulk, it may be worth considering Garmin's most recent Forerunner model, the 645. It has identical smart watch and training functionality as the Fenix 5 and 935 minus open water swimming and triathlon but adds Garmin Pay and music (in the music model). You get the same coloured screen, training functions, VO2 Max, training status and load, performance condition, Strava connectivity, Garmin Connect, altimeter, barometer, breadcrumb navigation, sleep and steps tracking, smart phone notifications, downloadable watch faces, apps,data fields, widgets etc

    As a running watch it is perhaps better than the Fenix 5 as it is half the weight so is not so noticeable on the wrist and is less likely to jiggle about and upset the wrist heart rate monitor. It is better for someone with small wrists like me and fits fine under sleeves. Screen size is I believe the same as the Fenix 5S. On appearance, it has a stainless steel bezel and is not so plasticky looking as the 935. You do miss out on the very long life battery of the Fenix. You get 14 hours using GPS and mine needs recharging every 6-7 days. I use mine (non-music model) mainly in running, cycling, trail running, walking and hiking modes. I've had it for nearly a year and am really pleased with it.

    Thanks for the info. The 645 does sound like a good watch and dcr review was pretty positive. I'm not at all bothered about music and so for me it's a straight choice the Samsung watch or the fenix 5s.
    This said, if i find a 645 at a bargain price then that may change.
  • mercia_manmercia_man Posts: 1,426
    You can get 645 non-music for just under £300 at Wiggle which is only a £50 discount but it is a relatively new watch. Good deals around on Fenix 5 as it is due to be replaced by 6.
  • redvisionredvision Posts: 2,816
    Mercia Man wrote:
    You can get 645 non-music for just under £300 at Wiggle which is only a £50 discount but it is a relatively new watch. Good deals around on Fenix 5 as it is due to be replaced by 6.

    Yeah I'm looking at the fenix 5 which can be had for similar money.

    The fenix 6 was launched last year and is the 5 plus. As dcr said in his review, why they named it the 5 plus instead of 6 is strange, but he and other reviewers do not expect any new fenix model this year. (Not that I've been reading every single review I can find :lol: )
  • mercia_manmercia_man Posts: 1,426
    redvision wrote:
    Mercia Man wrote:
    You can get 645 non-music for just under £300 at Wiggle which is only a £50 discount but it is a relatively new watch. Good deals around on Fenix 5 as it is due to be replaced by 6.

    Yeah I'm looking at the fenix 5 which can be had for similar money.

    The fenix 6 was launched last year and is the 5 plus. As dcr said in his review, why they named it the 5 plus instead of 6 is strange, but he and other reviewers do not expect any new fenix model this year. (Not that I've been reading every single review I can find :lol: )

    There's a lot of internet speculation about the release date of the actual new model 6 as opposed to the updated 5 plus. Activejr has recently suggested as early as Jan 2019, which might upset 5 plus buyers. Other reviewers guess later in the year or Jan 2020. But whatever happens, the currently heavily discounted Fenix 5 looks like a great buy at, for example, £349 from Sigma.
  • mercia_manmercia_man Posts: 1,426
    Mercia Man wrote:
    redvision wrote:
    Mercia Man wrote:
    You can get 645 non-music for just under £300 at Wiggle which is only a £50 discount but it is a relatively new watch. Good deals around on Fenix 5 as it is due to be replaced by 6.

    Yeah I'm looking at the fenix 5 which can be had for similar money.

    The fenix 6 was launched last year and is the 5 plus. As dcr said in his review, why they named it the 5 plus instead of 6 is strange, but he and other reviewers do not expect any new fenix model this year. (Not that I've been reading every single review I can find :lol: )

    There's a lot of internet speculation about the release date of the actual new model 6 as opposed to the updated 5 plus. Activejr has recently suggested as early as Jan 2019, which might upset 5 plus buyers. Other reviewers guess later in the year or Jan 2020. But whatever happens, the currently heavily discounted Fenix 5 looks like a great buy at, for example, £349 from Sigma, although you've apparently seen it even cheaper.
  • mercia_manmercia_man Posts: 1,426
    Mercia Man wrote:
    Mercia Man wrote:
    redvision wrote:
    Mercia Man wrote:
    You can get 645 non-music for just under £300 at Wiggle which is only a £50 discount but it is a relatively new watch. Good deals around on Fenix 5 as it is due to be replaced by 6.

    Yeah I'm looking at the fenix 5 which can be had for similar money.

    The fenix 6 was launched last year and is the 5 plus. As dcr said in his review, why they named it the 5 plus instead of 6 is strange, but he and other reviewers do not expect any new fenix model this year. (Not that I've been reading every single review I can find :lol: )

    There's a lot of internet speculation about the release date of the actual new model 6 as opposed to the updated 5 plus. Activejr has recently suggested as early as Jan 2019, which might upset 5 plus buyers. Other reviewers guess later in the year or Jan 2020. But whatever happens, the currently heavily discounted Fenix 5 looks like a great buy at, for example, £349 from Sigma, although you've apparently seen it even cheaper.
  • redvisionredvision Posts: 2,816
    Mercia Man wrote:

    There's a lot of internet speculation about the release date of the actual new model 6 as opposed to the updated 5 plus. Activejr has recently suggested as early as Jan 2019, which might upset 5 plus buyers. Other reviewers guess later in the year or Jan 2020. But whatever happens, the currently heavily discounted Fenix 5 looks like a great buy at, for example, £349 from Sigma, although you've apparently seen it even cheaper.

    Yeah there will be. Although i think most reviews from owners are very positive, so unless garmin bring some incredible new feature I imagine 5 plus owners will be content.

    Not that this will affect me. I'm not looking at the 5 plus as I just don't see why it's so much more expensive. The music isn't a big deal for me, the maps may be convenient but I don't need them, and whilst the garmin pay would be handy in the UK it's only available to Santander I think.
  • My Fenix 5 was £379 with the TRI strap. Which was pretty good I thought. Wiggle had that bundle for ages.

    The 6 will be better, I am sure, but will retain the core of the 5. I expect a higher res screen, and incremental improvements.
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  • https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Garmin-Fenix ... :rk:8:pf:0

    Pay with paypal and that's as good as a cast iron guarantee
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