Having owned and used the Garmin Forerunner 25 for a couple of years (which suited my needs at the time), I began to venture into the world of Triathlon, more recently entering into the Wales Ironman 2017. As a result, I felt the need to invest in some new technology to assist me in my latest challenge.
Many hours were spent researching Triathlon specific watches, but a bit like sticking to apple I phones, I felt I needed to stick with what I knew and went for the Garmin Forerunner 920XT.
On paper this model had everything I wanted and needed. My brother and his girlfriend also both owned its predecessor the 910XT and rated their watches very highly. It confirmed my choise when my brother offered to sell me his 910XT so that he could buy the 920XT for himself!
My first challenge was persuading my wife that spending £300+ on a watch was necessary, luckily with my impending birthday this hurdle was easily cleared.
I researched the internet for a retailer, obviously looking for the best deal out there. Amazon gave me the best price at the time and with being an Amazon prime member I wouldn’t have to wait long for the postman to deliver my new purchase.
The following review is in relation to the watch only, I chose not to purchase the tri bundle to include HRM (including swim strap) and cadence monitor as this would add a further £100 to the watch price! At the time, being new to triathlon I couldn’t justify the extra expense, but this is an upcoming purchase 12 months on.
Pro’s of the Garmin 920XT
- Very long battery life
- Powerful GPS signal
- Accurate GPS
- Easy to use
- Sync to Iphone APP via Garmin Connect
- Transfer of Data for Strava addicts
- Looks good
- Recieves incoming text messages and notifications which are readable
Cons of the Garmin 920XT
- Its NOT cheap
- It’s a bit chunky
Having used the watch for 12 months or so, I wholly recommend this device if you budget allows.
This watch is easy to use, and enables you to record no less than 7 activities. There are 7 option screen dependant on the activity you are doing.
Activities to choose from
- Indoor Bike
- Indoor Run
- Outdoor Swim
- Pool Swim (you can select pool length)
I have used all screens so far in training. I have found that in the main accuracy has been amazing. There are also options to set up your own personalised workouts, but I am yet to use this feature.
For one of those people who is still very much new to the Triathlon sport, I have found the simplicity of the Triathlon mode an added bonus and one less thing to worry about on the big day. Simply go to Triathlon mode and at the start and finish of each transition simply press a button! The downloads provide you with more information than you’ll ever need at my level of competition to see where you can make up time in your next event.
I live in a rural location where mobile signal ranges from poor to non existent, yet this watch picks up the GPS tracking with ease. As stated, the accuracy of the tracking is spot on. My regular commutes are plotted within a few metres each day (unlike my Strava experiences on my Iphone where my 5 mile commute can vary up to a mile or more on occasions.)
My only issue has been with the accuracy of the pool swim recording at times. I can swim a 200m set and knowing I’ve done 8 lengths (based on the fact I’m at the correct end of the pool!!) on occasions the watch may show 175m or 225m. Now this may be due to stroke or the odd occasion where you have to do a few strokes of breaststroke before the pensioner in the fast swim lane gets out of the way. This is however a minor issue and one that doesn’t really bother me. It just means I have to do an extra length now and again to get my distance in. I would guess that a 3km swim will be accurate to 50-100m based on my experience.
This watch is also easy to set up. Simply take it out of the box, and away you go.
Of course, over time you set things up how you like them, but you can literally put it on and start running.
Connectivity with the I-Phone is amazing, and the Garmin Connect APPs and online site where you can connect with friends, set challenges and review your workouts and daily/weekly/monthly activites.
The phone charges quickly and easily via USB cable, if not training it will last months from a full charge. I did a half Ironman last year – 6 hrs and 12 mins of work! And the battery symbol was showing about a 20% loss of life so this would indicate 30+ hours of GPS tracking.
IS THIS JUST A TRIATHLON WATCH? Absolutely not, but if you are a triathlete, you’ll want this watch for the triathlon feature.
There are many good deals out there currently. Currently retailing around the £300 Mark. I purchased mine from Amazon. I did have an issue with the watch after a few months, but the service from Amazon Prime was amazing and they sent me a replacement next day and I had to return the old one within 28 days – I therefore only had 1 day without my beloved Garmin 920XT