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Cooper1960
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I saw these sport watches at our local Best Buy and am wondering if anyone has used one. I was looking at heart rate monitors but if I could get something to use for biking, hiking and running that would be great. I would love the altimiter function if it works well.

Any input?
 

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Bought one and wanted to love it.

Returned it to REI after 2 runs.

So incredibly inaccurate that there wasn't any point in keeping it. I run in an area that has solid GPS signal (little tree cover) in suburban Minneapolis, and I ran the same route 2 days in a row and the first day it said my route was 4.48 miles, and the 2nd day it said it was 4.72.

The actual route when chipped (and MapMyRun) is 4.98.

Again, I really wanted it to work (because I liked the look, could wear it as an everyday watch, etc.), but it was terrible.
 

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FYI: Here is part of the review on the watch on CNET, and they seemed to note the GPS issue I had too:

Performance
...

As for the SportWatch's actual performance, we had some initial problems with the GPS. On our first run, the watch couldn't lock onto a GPS signal at all, so we just used the shoe pod to track our distance and pace without route information. We ran into the same issue on our second run, but after toggling the GPS off and on again, we finally got a GPS fix. We didn't have any subsequent problems getting a signal.

When reviewing our run data, however, we noticed that some of the GPS data was off. For example, we noticed the starting point for one of runs was about seven blocks off from our actual position. We didn't experience GPS inaccuracy all the time, but it did happen more than once. Also, while the SportWatch does a good job of covering the basics, it does lack some of the more advanced features of other GPS watches. For example, the Garmin Forerunner 405 has a "virtual partner" to challenge you to pick up your pace and offers wireless data transfer.
 

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I have had the complete opposite experience with my NIKE Sport Watch GPS, I have been using 1 for over a year now with no complaints. I primarily use it for running and tracking my work outs at the gym (using the Heart Rate sensor) but I have used it on some road bike rides along with my Cateye computer and it is always matches up mileage wise or at least with in a few hundredths of a mile. In fact I used it yesterday for a Mt. Bike ride in a very heavily wooded area and had no GPS issues. I will tell you this though it does not have a true "Bike Mode" but it will display in mph/kph or pace. Here is a review of the early version of the watch... Nike+ Sportwatch GPS In Depth Review | DC Rainmaker

The customer service from NIKE is top notch as well. I have been in contact with them a couple of times through email and they have always been really fast to respond (even during odd hours). The first time I contacted them was because my computer wouldn't download the GPS data (something to do with my hardware) they quickly sent an firmware update that fixed it. The other time which was just recently (watch was out of warranty) was because the watch wouldn't download my work outs or for that matter my computer wouldn't recognize the watch when plugged in, it would charge but nothing else. After a few emails I was told to look for a "crack" near the USB and once I said I think there is 1 he said they could replace the watch free of charge. He even called ahead to my local NIKE Town and told them I would be coming in for an exchange.

I do highly recommend this watch, especially now that it is down to ~$170. But I did come to realize when I was first looking for a GPS watch there is no perfect GPS Watch out there. They all seem to have their own faults and strengths, so I compared and picked the 1 I thought fit my needs the best.

SS-
 

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I was given this watch, and the heart rate monitor strap, as a gift in January 2012. I returned it in April 2012 (thank you, REI) for similar issues to MN_Roadie. Using the over the course of three months and multiple runs, I only had one run where I could get all 3 sensors (gps, shoe pod, heart rate) working at the same time. Most runs the best I could hope for was 2 out of 3. The time for the GPS to achieve a fix was very slow most of the time - slower than a "cold start" with a Garmin Oregon GPS. GPS fix and accuracy suffered in anything but clear blue sky.

I had multiple support contacts with Nike about it, and they were as helpful as they could be with an imperfect product. One thing that really disappointed me: My assumption is the GPS does not store the almanac data. Nike told me the best way to get a quick fix is to sync the watch with the computer immediately before running; this did seem to help. However, it makes using the watch when traveling difficult without bringing a computer too.

There were a lot of things I liked about the watch - the looks, and the large-digit display primary among them for me. But ultimately I couldn't justify my wife spending the cash she did on this as an anniversary gift when I would wind up cussing the damn thing almost every time I ran.
 

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I would go with a Garmin. There are a number of models that will work for run mad bike. Check out DCRainmaker.com for reviews to narrow down the models you may be interested in. I use the 310xt for triathlon training and races. Works great though bulky.
 

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Cooper1960
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the input folks, I will pass on buying the Nike. Too bad really, I liked the functions it offered and the large easy to read display, but frankly it sounds like a very unreliable devise.
 

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I have a Garmin 405. Once I figured out to lock the bezel when I run in the summers (I'm a really heavy sweater), it became the most awesome tool ever. Now, I used it while riding and it's great. I think the 210 would be a great GPS to have too since it's smaller than the 405 and does all of the basic functions I need.
 
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