Product Review: Cycling steadily with Garmin Vivoactive




This morning, I had a chance to cycle 42 km with a group of friends at Guthrie Corridor Expressway, Shah Alam. It was only my 2nd ride after 5 months lapse and it was also my 2nd time wearing my Garmin Vivoactive to cycle. But the cycling experience with Garmin Vivoactive is good enough for me to write this final product review for Garmin Vivoactive on its "bike" feature. 



Garmin Vivoactive: "bike" feature





I really love Garmin Vivoactive because it is very quick to detect GPS signal so that you don't have to wait for a long time to start. It's the same for swim, bike, run! 

Below are the "bike" features:

Data Screens

There are 3 default data screens:
  • Default data screen #1: timer, speed, distance
  • Default data screen #2: last time, lap speed, last distance
  • Default data screen #3: heart rate, heart rate zone, Avg heart rate


Since my Garmin Vivoactive doesn't come with heart rate monitor function, I can actually customize the data screen to any data field I like. This means I can change all the data fields for the 3 data screens. Personally, I find the default data screen #1 is sufficient for me as I only looked at the data screen #1 (timer, speed, distance) for the last 2 cycling experiences .Perhaps I'm still rather a beginner in cycling. Who knows, one day when I get into a triathlon event, I might want to use more than 1 data screen. And Garmin Vivoactive's 3 data screens for cycling is an excellent feature indeed!

Laps

You can set the distance for each lap. Example, autolap every 5 km. 

Alerts

You can set alerts for 6 different categories:
  • Custom: drink, eat, turnaround, go home
  • Heart rate: zone 1, zone 2, zone 3, zone 4. zone 5, custom (set your own bpm)
  • Speed: you can set your speed (i.e. 22 km/h)
  • Time (hours min)
  • Distance (km)
  • Cadence  (rpm)
I find the alerts function to be very superb if you want to alert yourself on your speed (too slow, too fast), the distance to turnaround or to go home in case you are late for your next appointment. It will send vibration to your wrist. Unfortunately, it doesn't alert with sound though.

Personally, I don't use this feature for now because my cycling has been rather leisure and non-competitive. Therefore, I just take it easy. But I think if I ever want to use, the drink alert might be good for me because I tend to forget drinking. haha!


Auto Pause

You can set it to on or off. 

Auto Scroll

This is for the 3 data screens. You can set it to auto scroll in different speed (high, medium, low). Excellent feature for cycling because your hands need to be on the handles all the time for safety reason.

Background 



  • Black or white

I set it to black background so that it's more condusive for night and day time to read the screen.




What shows on Garmin Connect

After cycling, you can use the blue tooth to synchronize with your smart phone. It can be done rather quickly and conveniently. No cable is required. And it takes only couple minutes.

Here are some screen shots of what are shown on Garmin Connect on your smartphone after the synchronization.











Basically, you will get to have all the technical information you need from your cycling. Awesome yeah? :)





If you are interested to know more about Garmin Vivoactive's swim and run features, you can also read my previous articles:




Final Verdict

I would strongly recommend sports enthusiasts who enjoy running, swimming and cycling to invest in this marvelous Garmin Vivoactive watch. It's the cheapest GPS watch out there that has the basic features of everything without burning a big big hole in your pocket.

For the serious triathletes, of course, there are the more advanced (and more expensive - doubling the price) Garmin watches.

Personally, I feel there is no such need. This Garmin Vivoactive will serve my needs well enough.

Thumbs up for Garmin Vivoactive? Definitely! :)




Written by Vincent Khor on Feb 11, 2017

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