Saturday, August 05, 2017

Cycle Courses with Garmin 935

The Garmin 935 is an absolutely astounding and capable GPS Sportswatch.    And the proof is that for several months now we have been a his and hers dual 935 family.

Yes, IOHO there is no better watch for 2017 endurance atheletes

We will make a full review later, this post concentrates on the setup of courses for road cycling

What is this Watch Doing?

Let's start with the summary basics

- The watch contains a GPS so it makes a precise record of your cycling route

- The Garmin GPS and the ANT based sensor that measures wheel rotation enables a precise speed measurement and pedal cadence

- The wrist based heart rate sensor is able to measure heart rate

- The Garmin pod sized Tempe sensor measures ambient temperature

What about Courses?

Garmin courses is an exciting addition that can totally transform your cycling experience in unfamiliar areas.  That is to say you can plan a route with literally tens to hundreds of turns ahead of time.

Transfer this course to your watch and use it to navigate your cycle route.

Step By Step

- Agata goes to the Garmin website

and she draws a cycling course

NB: I am humbled by her ability to do this.  I tried and nearly threw a mouse at the computer screen.   She has more patience than I

- Agata  saves the course with a unique name

- Agata takes the URL for that course as displayed in the browser and sends it to me (say in Google Hangoute)

- I start my Google Connect and Login

- In a separate browser tab paste here Garmin Course.   Because we are know to each other on Garmin connect I can see this course that she made

- It loads then I press 'send to device' , and normally I also tick KM markers and cycling segments beforehand.

- Then I manually start Garmin Express and do a Synchronisation

At this point the course with it turn signals is sent to my watch and I am basically ready!

Some Kit Modifications
If you are going to follow the route displayed on your watch whilst cycling trust me the watch cannot be on your wrist.  I tried it.

Also on my handlebars there is no room to mount, and mounting 90 degrees out of sync on the stem does not work well .  I tried that too.

So for bikes equipped with Triathlon bars I have the following workaround

- I use modest Token TK9741-2 Bars.   I reviewed their advantages here

- I invested in a Pro Aerobar Connecting Bridge

- I mounted the Watch on a  Small mount kit with some padding

This is the result

- Since the watch is not on my wrist how will I monitor heart rate?
The Mio Alpha monitor was brought out of retirement!   I reviewed it here

The Expensive Option
For those with deeper pockets who are not minimalists there is a different way

- Keep wearing your Garmin watch on wrist.  Use it for activity tracking on the bike including heart rate

- Buy a dedicated Garmin Bike computer.   The Garmin Edge 1000 is an established favourite.  DC Rainmakers review is here . Use the Edge for Maps

Using a Course

So back to our watch mounted version instead.

- Check that Course is loaded onto your Garmin watch

- Check that your wrist mounted Heart Rate monitor is on

- Check that Tempe sensor is in your cycling jersey

- Place Watch onto Tri bars

- Goto Cycling activity on the watch

- Select Navigation Courses and Load the course we made earlier

- Press GO.

Now you will see a small but perfectly formed black and white course map and in the bottom of the display turn by turn instructions.

It is just absolutely awesome!