Author Topic: Watches for day-to-day riding  (Read 3772 times)

ElyDave

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Re: Watches for day-to-day riding
« Reply #25 on: September 29, 2019, 05:56:34 pm »
However, the Brompton has a 3-speed rear hub and a dynamo front, so both are large hubs. I think you can sort of cobble together a fitting for a speed sensor with those, but it's not designed for them?

If it's an accelerometer-based speed sensor that attaches to the hub shell with an o-ring, it just needs a longer rubber band (or functionally equivalent bodge).  The usual attachment method doesn't work very well if the hub shell is more spherical than cylindrical.

On the newer versions the O-ring is part of the structure, adn loops roudn to hook on the body, so bodge needed to extend it.  I have an asymetric hub, but it works OK even when wonky.
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Watches for day-to-day riding
« Reply #26 on: September 29, 2019, 09:08:34 pm »
On the newer versions the O-ring is part of the structure, adn loops roudn to hook on the body, so bodge needed to extend it.

Well that's just shitty design.  What happens when the rubber snaps?


Quote
I have an asymetric hub, but it works OK even when wonky.

I suspect these sensors don't care about orientation in the slightest, judging by the cadence sensor's ability to function in all sorts of positions on the crank or shoe.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
Re: Watches for day-to-day riding
« Reply #27 on: September 29, 2019, 09:23:32 pm »
Sorry,   slightly misleading, the sensor can come out of the rubber, but the body of it has a hook that the rubber goes onto. You could replace the rubber, but knowing Garmin its probably more than buying a new one
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

Re: Watches for day-to-day riding
« Reply #28 on: September 29, 2019, 10:31:18 pm »
I wonder whether electrical cable ties would work?

Re: Watches for day-to-day riding
« Reply #29 on: October 01, 2019, 04:24:47 pm »
Garmin's wrist-based HR isn't as accurate as a chest strap though.
I knew this, but I've been using my rehabilitation sessions to test it out. I wear my own Vivosmart on one wrist, and the provider's (Polar) watch, which uses a chest strap, on the other. For significant periods today, the Vivosmart was showing twice what the Polar read :o It did settle down in the end. Someone said that he had found that optical sensors take ages from when you first look at them (in a given session) until they start giving sensible readings.

I don't think I could place any faith in what the Vivosmart says (but then, I mainly got it as a step counter, and it seems fine on those). The physio staff keep saying that the best reading is with a finger on your neck. But that means taking your hands off the bars, and we know what happened to Chris Froome :o

fuaran

  • rothair gasta
Re: Watches for day-to-day riding
« Reply #30 on: October 01, 2019, 05:49:23 pm »
Optical heart rate can depend on how you wear it. ie it needs to be quite tight. And can try different positions, on the inside of the wrist, or a bit further up.
Though I've had some mixed results from the Garmin Instinct wrist HR. Usually pretty good for running, but not so great for cycling or gym. A Polar OH1 (on the upper arm) is a lot more reliable for me.

Re: Watches for day-to-day riding
« Reply #31 on: October 15, 2019, 10:43:50 pm »
Going back to the Sensor 2, some practical experience I've picked up that may be of use to others:

It's really helpful that the Sensor 2 can record mileage independently of a GPS "head" device, and that you don't have to remember to switch it on and off every time. What's more, it doesn't record you at 80mph when you've ridden to the station and got onto a train to get to work! (Because the wheel's not rotating.) However, there are issues:

* Once the phone and Sensor 2 are communicating, they don't seem to drop the connection, and the Sensor therefore stays awake as long as the two are in Bluetooth range of each other. This is bad for the batteries of both devices, and leads to the Sensor recording very long rides, during most of which you were not actually moving. If the Brompton lives by your desk at work, and on the train is also close to you, it may not go out of Bluetooth range all day.

* If you have a Touring Plus and Sensor 2 on the same bike, they don't communicate directly of course. However, Connect then doesn't seem to spot that two recorded rides are the same, and so does not deduplicate them - it has you doing two different rides at the same time, which is daft. As most of the logic must be in Connect, I can't really see why it couldn't do this, or allow the merging of activities.

* As I understand it, Connect should improve the calibration of a Sensor 2 using measurements from a GPS. This doesn't seem to happen with the Touring Plus, even though it's not obvious why it would depend on the Touring Plus and Sensor 2 connecting directly. This is probably linked to the previous point.

* As above, some Brompton folders have a three-speed rear hub and a front dynohub, so the Sensor strap doesn't fit either. A spare Cateye Nima light strap works well as an extension.

As I say, it does provide a means of recording commuting mileage without having constantly to switch a GPS on and off, but hope these points are of interest to anyone considering this approach.

Pingu

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Re: Watches for day-to-day riding
« Reply #32 on: November 09, 2019, 03:44:05 pm »
Having owned quite a few GPS watches I have finally found one that suits my needs in the Amazfit Bip.  Most astonishing is its battery life which lasts up to a month between charges even with frequent use of the GPS and HRM.  The only slight issue that natively it doesn't export to Strava but there is a very good 3rd part app called "Notify and Fitness" which vastly enhances the functionality of the watch, including sync to Strava.  I would say that you need to be fairly tech savvy to get the best out of it but it's well worth the learning curve and its only £63 on Amazon at the moment!

Mrs P bought an Amazeballs Bip and I've been trying it out. Yes the battery lasts a long time, but I doubt you'd get a month out of it with regular GPS use. Today's wee pootle used up nearly 20% of the charge. I haven't used assisted GPS as I don't have a smart phone. The GPX trace looks good enough for what I want to use it for though (just recording rides). I did a comparison with my eTrex today:

eTrex track vs. Amazeballs track

ETA: it does seem to take quite a while to find satellites when you start an activity.

Re: Watches for day-to-day riding
« Reply #33 on: November 09, 2019, 08:28:24 pm »
I'm pretty certain that the watch only uses assisted GPS to speed up initial GPS acquisition and lock.  If you can find a smart phone or tablet that you could connect it with occasionally you would receive updates to the GPS almanac which will help with initial acquisition when the watch is not paired with a device, also this will allow updates to the watch firmware.  If you do decide to this purely for updating the watch I'd recommend using the official amazfit app in preference to the 3rd party app I mentioned.  In terms of battery life with GPS I would roughly estimate that mine uses about 20% of the battery over about 5 hours of gps use.  There's not many settings that affect battery life but I wonder if that the fact that you are using it without a phone is a factor as the watch may be constantly polling its bluetooth to find a connection?
Most of the stuff I say is true because I saw it in a dream and I don't have the presence of mind to make up lies when I'm asleep.   Bryan Andreas

Feanor

  • It's mostly downhill from here.
Re: Watches for day-to-day riding
« Reply #34 on: November 09, 2019, 08:37:16 pm »
Yes, in order to extend battery life, watches power down the GPS chipset when they are not recording an activity.
So the almanac goes stale quite quickly.
And it's then quite slow to update via the sat channel.

My Suunto is the same.
If you just go for a run after a few days, it takes a minute or two to get a GPS lock.
But if you sync it with Suunto's web service either over PC/USB or Mobile App/Bluetooth first, then one of the things it does is update the GPS almanac.
Then it gets GPS lock within a couple of seconds.

Pingu

  • Put away those fiery biscuits!
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Re: Watches for day-to-day riding
« Reply #35 on: November 19, 2019, 08:53:54 pm »
Having owned quite a few GPS watches I have finally found one that suits my needs in the Amazfit Bip.  Most astonishing is its battery life which lasts up to a month between charges even with frequent use of the GPS and HRM.  The only slight issue that natively it doesn't export to Strava but there is a very good 3rd part app called "Notify and Fitness" which vastly enhances the functionality of the watch, including sync to Strava.  I would say that you need to be fairly tech savvy to get the best out of it but it's well worth the learning curve and its only £63 on Amazon at the moment!

Mrs P bought an Amazeballs Bip and I've been trying it out. Yes the battery lasts a long time, but I doubt you'd get a month out of it with regular GPS use. Today's wee pootle used up nearly 20% of the charge. I haven't used assisted GPS as I don't have a smart phone. The GPX trace looks good enough for what I want to use it for though (just recording rides). I did a comparison with my eTrex today:

eTrex track vs. Amazeballs track

ETA: it does seem to take quite a while to find satellites when you start an activity.

I forgot to mention the size of the GPX files. The Amazeballs file is 10 times the size of the eTrex one. Part of that is explained by the Amazeballs having heart rate data, but it also has 5 times as many track points as the Garmin.

Re: Watches for day-to-day riding
« Reply #36 on: November 20, 2019, 11:45:19 pm »
I forgot to mention the size of the GPX files. The Amazeballs file is 10 times the size of the eTrex one. Part of that is explained by the Amazeballs having heart rate data, but it also has 5 times as many track points as the Garmin.

I've never looked at the file size that the "amazeballs" creates and am intrigued as to how you are able to examine the file created by the watch,  I'm guessing that you are pairing to a smartphone to parse and extract the file?  If you're using the 3rd party "Notify and Fitness! app there are options to configure the format of the exported activity file, with the "Strava pace fix" switch seemingly giving more optimistic accurate results of the exported activity.  There is also an option to export to TCX format which should reduce the size of the file if this is an issue?

I'm not sure what the maximum limit is of activity data that can be stored in the watch, but looking back at my current activity history on the watch it's showing around 400km of rides.
Most of the stuff I say is true because I saw it in a dream and I don't have the presence of mind to make up lies when I'm asleep.   Bryan Andreas

Pingu

  • Put away those fiery biscuits!
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Re: Watches for day-to-day riding
« Reply #37 on: November 21, 2019, 08:49:05 pm »
I forgot to mention the size of the GPX files. The Amazeballs file is 10 times the size of the eTrex one. Part of that is explained by the Amazeballs having heart rate data, but it also has 5 times as many track points as the Garmin.

I've never looked at the file size that the "amazeballs" creates and am intrigued as to how you are able to examine the file created by the watch,  I'm guessing that you are pairing to a smartphone to parse and extract the file?  If you're using the 3rd party "Notify and Fitness! app there are options to configure the format of the exported activity file, with the "Strava pace fix" switch seemingly giving more optimistic accurate results of the exported activity.  There is also an option to export to TCX format which should reduce the size of the file if this is an issue?

I'm not sure what the maximum limit is of activity data that can be stored in the watch, but looking back at my current activity history on the watch it's showing around 400km of rides.

Mrs P has an app on her phone to get the GPX files off the watch which she then emails to me. I look at the files in Basecamp on my lapdog.

I don't think the size is going to be an issue, I was just surprised is all.

Mrs Pingu

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Re: Watches for day-to-day riding
« Reply #38 on: November 21, 2019, 08:55:56 pm »
I'm using Gadgetbridge with GPS Viewer, not Notify & Fitness.
Do not clench. It only makes it worse.

Re: Watches for day-to-day riding
« Reply #39 on: November 23, 2019, 09:01:12 pm »
I'm using Gadgetbridge with GPS Viewer, not Notify & Fitness.
Interesting, thats a new on on me, I shall take a look Does gadget bridge run alongside the official amazfit app?
Most of the stuff I say is true because I saw it in a dream and I don't have the presence of mind to make up lies when I'm asleep.   Bryan Andreas

Mrs Pingu

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Re: Watches for day-to-day riding
« Reply #40 on: December 09, 2019, 01:44:28 pm »
I'm using Gadgetbridge with GPS Viewer, not Notify & Fitness.
Interesting, thats a new on on me, I shall take a look Does gadget bridge run alongside the official amazfit app?
I have both Mifit and Gadgetbridge installed but I'm really only using Gadgetbridge to connect and download the files from the watch. It appears that you then have to open them on GPSViewer for it to be saved to the phone. Or at least I haven't found where Gadgetbridge stores them.
Do not clench. It only makes it worse.

Re: Watches for day-to-day riding
« Reply #41 on: December 09, 2019, 10:13:16 pm »
I've actually got a birthday coming up.. The final choice may be down to others ;D
Thanks to everyone who offered me advice in this thread. The generosity of others means that I've ended up with a Fenix 5 and Garmin HRM chest strap. I've also got a Speed Sensor 2 on the Brompton, to record commuting mileage, and another on my Audax bike. So rather more than I anticipated at the start!