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The quick release kit–solving one of life’s great problems

When you first get your Garmin Forerunner 305 or Forerunner 310XT – you’re abound with happy.  Snugly tied to your wrist, life is grand. You can run with it on your wrist, bike with it on your wrist, and even slide down the twisty slide at McDonalds with it on your wrist.

But then one day you wonder – what would it look like if it were mounted on my bike?  Which is shortly followed by: How would that work in transition?

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Well, a while back I wrote a rather lengthy post about how to use a Garmin in races/triathlons.  Some might say it was over the top (actually, I think some did say that), so I’m going to go simple on this one – and just simply talk about the quick release kit itself.  The reason being I see a TON of questions about how to use a Garmin during a race, and to me – the center of that experience is the quick release kit.

And at less than $20…you really can’t go wrong.

So what is it?

Well, in short, it’s a replacement band for your Garmin 310XT or 305.  But it’s not just a band. Instead, it’s actually a new mounting system that replaces your entire band.  It’s not something you’d swap out during a race – but rather something you do well before hand.  Once in the race though, you’ll just be able to quickly click between the different mounts.

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(Forerunner 305 on left, Forerunner 310XT on right)

This quick mounting system enables the watch to essentially go band-less (kinda like bandit, only different) and thus be attached to a bike mount system.  And, because it’s designed to just snap in place – you can quickly swap between the two (bike and run)…just like you might in transition.

Running:

When you’re running, you’re likely going to be wearing it on your wrist (the exception here being if you still have it in your swim cap from the swim and forgot to take it off a few sports prior).  Assuming it’s on your wrist, with the FR305, it’s a fabric band (best thing evah!), and in the case of the 310XT – it’s a plastic band.  They look like this:

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(Forerunner 305 on left, Forerunner 310XT on right)

In the case of the FR305, the band pops out vertically.  While with the 310XT, it uses a twist lock mechanism.  This is one area that’s greatly improved on the 310XT over the 305 – which is the new twist lock system, removing any of the 305-ejection problems that some folks have reported on the bike.  While there were some initial issues with the 310XT pins, those have been resolved and you can ring up Garmin support to get your band swapped out for the sturdier ones.

Cycling:

If you’re on your bike, the quick release kit enables you to simply snap the watch in place.  And once in T2, you can snap it back out to go onto the run.  The mount system on the FR305 uses two zip ties, as does the 310XT mount.  However…here’s a bit of a secret: The Edge 500 mount kit uses the same system – and because it uses nifty industrial strength rubber bands, it’s super quick to install (I haven’t had my pop off yet in almost two thousand miles of riding).

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(Forerunner 305 on left, Forerunner 310XT middle, Edge 500 on right).

Oh – and here’s the kicker.  That Edge 500 kit above, it’s less than $10…for TWO mounts, and a gazillion bands.  That’s like the end of evening hot dog special at the county fair.

Swimming:

Now – what’s the one greatest feature of the quick release kit?  It removes the need to have the dorky band in your swim cap when you’re swimming with it.

(Ok, side note: Yes, you can use the watch on your wrist – and yes, it does work sorta-ok using the new 310XT Swimming Mode, but, in my opinion, it’s much more safe on your head than on your wrist in a race.  Training is different.  Plus, the data is way more accurate.  Just my two cents…)

Ok, right, back to swimming.

See, without the strap – the unit just sits there all nice and pretty.  Nice, ehh?

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Now – a few weeks back a reader sent in this super-cool idea for how to utilize the quick release kit in conjunction with your goggles and the swim-cap method..  This removes the issue where the 310XT is floating around aimlessly in your cap, but now ties it to your goggles – much more secure.  This is all Dustin Schneider’s idea – so I can’t take any credit for it…but it’s brilliant.

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(Photo Credit: Dustin Schneider)

See, he’s just zip-tied the quick release kit to the goggles straps, which incidentally is the perfect location on your head for the 310XT to receive coverage while your swimming (horizontal).  This secures it to your goggles, while also making it easy to twist off in T1 to take onto your bike.

Wrap-up

Note, there are actually a few different quick release kits available – here’s the rundown:

Forerunner 305: $19
Forerunner 310XT Variant 1: $20 (First generation edition)
Forerunner 310XT Variant 2: $21 (Second generation edition: This one includes the Edge 500 style bike mount as well as a better design to reduce pin popping issues – I prefer this)
Garmin Edge 500 Mounts: $9 (two mounts per box, a million rubber bands)

So there ya go – the in’s and out’s of the quick release kit.  Now go forth and conquer your race (and transition) without stumbling all over trying to undo the strap while running. :)

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28 Comments

  1. Ray,
    Great write-up. What’s the difference between the two 310XT quick release kits apart from the 500-style bike mount? From the pictures on Amazon it seems that number 1 comes with the black plastic strap, and no 2 comes without a strap. Do you use the original nice sturdy strap on them? Is this one actually also an original Garmin made?

    Thanks,

    Caspar

    Reply
  2. Genious. Simply genious. I was trying to figure out a clever way of mounting it and there you have it.

    I love your write ups and reviews man, I learn something every time I read your blog haha!

    Reply
  3. and i thought i was geeky… loving your work.

    my 310xt strap broke at the seam where the metal catch is mounted (and the week after i’d tried out the new 2.9 firmware in OW non wetsuit *gulp*), put this down to using the rubber bike mount alot and maybe having to overtighten for it to stay put on the bars… replaced by nice garmin people.

    of course this happened on the tuesday before a race, so i ordered a QR kit expecting the first (with strap) and got the second (sans strap).. so i had a bike solution but still no strap for the run.

    in a stroke of desperation/genius on friday i took it along to the local watch chap who had and fitted a fabric/velcro sports strap (much like the original 301) to the QR mount.. job done, panic over and all for £5.

    i’m still in two minds whether to fit the new strap to the QR kit or keep the cheapo velcro job, but just a tip that QR kit 2 could be a good means of using any strap of your choosing (if it fits!).

    Reply
  4. Incredible. I have used my 310XT under the swimming cap several times, but the idea of attaching it to the goggle straps is amazing…

    Reply
  5. Ray,
    That is a great idea. I suffer from floaty 310xt on the brain too, so I’m always paranoid about hitting the correct button. This solves the problem. Now I guess the only question is, do you put the straps under/over the cap?

    Regards
    –jeff

    Reply
  6. Wes

    When I saw the QR on the goggles, my jaw dropped :-) brilliant.

    Reply
  7. While speaking of transitions I thought this would be a good place to post. This weekend I ran my first race with the 310xt but I don’t have the QR kit so I just raced with it on my wrist. But while the swim was off because of loss of signal I thought it would at least keep the time going. But during my transition I think it auto stopped cause I was in my T1 and T2 area. My official time was 57:38 while my watch time was 55:25 what can I do to keep it from auto pausing when just racing. I still want it to do in during training like in biking and running.

    Reply
  8. Good info, man! Thanks!

    Reply
  9. First, your blog is fantastic. So much information, written in a style that is just fun to read.

    So…have you noticed that the bike mount for the 310XT variant 2 (or the Edge 500 mount, I guess) is a significantly looser fit than the bike mount in variant 1? Mine has almost no “click” whatsoever. It hasn’t been a problem – just seems like it could be.

    Reply
  10. I’ve never had my goggles knocked off in a race, but I’m wondering how you would solve the problem if they got knocked off completely. Some sort of floaty?

    Reply
  11. Personally, I do not like the quick release for the 310XT. I tried it but quickly dismissed it. I do not like how high it makes it sit above your wrist especially if worn under the wetsuit sleeve – which I do in races, and it jiggles more when running.

    The black wrist strap is also too cheap looking/feeling compared to the stock orange one.

    So I went back to the stock strap, and got the Edge500 for the bike :)

    I wear the 310XT under the cap in Open Water training sessions, and on my wrist under the wetsuit in races. This way, I do not need to swap anything. I just need to worry about pressing the lap button when crossing T1.

    My 2 cents!

    Reply
  12. TDTS (too dumb to stop)

    Great blog.

    I started out looking for 305 information and ended up having a great read on all your adventures.

    I am now training for a Duathlon here in Cornwall, Ontario. No Triathlon because I come from a long line of sinkers!!!! 2.5 km run, 20 km bike, 5 km run. I am spending more time on the bike to get ready for the 20km. Any advice on a training regime as the event goes Aug 21st? I did a baseline time, full bike 20km then 7.5 km run….1 hr 26 min. Not Olympic time but not bad for 1st time around and I do realize it will be different doing the proper splits. Should I focus more on doing the whole bits of the race or break it down into long run/short run/long bike/short fast bike?????

    Thanx again for the great read. I admire your energy and sense of humor…oh, and the will power too for training at 3am. Keep it up

    TDTS…(too dumb to stop)
    Cornwall, Ontario

    ps…our triathlon keeps getting bigger and bigger every year. Here is the website for the event if you are ever intersted;

    link to cornwalltriathlon.com

    Reply
  13. Hi TDTS-

    I’d focus on each sport individually for the majority of the week’s workouts, and then once or twice a week focus on a brick-style workout. Ensure that on both the run and the bike you have a lower-intensity ‘long-bike’ and ‘long-run’ in there that’s more than the distance of the actual race. You’ll want another day or two of each sport having higher intensity, but shorter durations. And then consider another day where you have a longer bike, but a shorter run immeditaely after the bike (brick).

    Good luck!

    Reply
  14. Dear Ray,
    First of all I would like to say, that I really like your blog! It is in fact the only blog I follow regularly since discovering it more than a year ago! Keep up the good work :)

    I have a question. After picking up a forerunner 310xt for my first full-distance IM, I order the “Forerunner 310XT Variant 1″ through your link at amazon.
    I received the “010-10615-00″ which supposedly is for the Forerunner 201, 301 and Foretrex 201 models. Is this the correct quick release kit for the 320xt? I don’t want to open it in case it’s the wrong one and I need to send to back to amazon.
    Should your “Forerunner 310XT Variant 1″ have linked to the “010-11215-00″?
    The “Forerunner 310XT Variant 2″ links to the “010-11215-02″ version.

    Thanks very much!
    klemens

    Reply
  15. Hi Klemens-

    Very weird. The picture shows the correct kit, but you’re right – the part number appears incorrect.

    There’s 010-11215-00 and -02, which are basically the two variants. It seems the one I’ve linked to – though the right picture, may be the wrong part. Sorry about that!

    I’ll get that fixed here shortly. Just need to find the other one out there.

    Thanks!

    Reply
  16. Hi Rainmaker

    I’m thinking of using the Edge 500 for running and I don’t have the 310xt. What is the Garmin product number for the 310xt quick release that includes the wrist straps so you can use the Edge 500 for running.

    Is it the 010-11215-00, 010-11215-02 or 010-10615-00? And what is the difference between the different products? It looks like the 010-10615-00 is meant for the Foretrex 201?

    Thanks
    Gavin

    Reply
  17. 010-11215-00: First generation kit that occasionally has some isues with popping off and uses zip-tie mounting as opposed to rubber band mounting (I prefer the 2nd edition)

    010-11215-02: Second generation kit that aims to reduce the issues by changing the plate design – and includes the wrist strap (despite the picture) It also uses the newer Edge 500/800 style rubber band bike mount system (way nicer than zip ties).

    010-10615-00: General use kit with the bike zip-tie mounting – though some have said it’s for an older model – so I’d shy away from it.

    Ultimately you want 010-11215-02:
    link to amazon.com

    Enjoy!

    Reply
  18. Chad

    I have the 305 and i like having the computer mounted on the stem, but it appears that this is not possible with the 305 QR Bike Mount? Have you figured out how to get this time?

    Reply
  19. Anonymous

    Hey, what about attaching it right to the gogles right eye? %)

    Reply
  20. I bought the product here: link to amazon.com

    hoping to get a replacement band with it (as the original’s pins have ripped through the rubber holding them in place). But the picture is actually correct – there is no band with this product. What gives?

    Reply
  21. Interesting, they seem to have changed around that SKU a bit. It looks like that’s the 2nd generation quick release kit, which aims to fix some of the pin falling out problems of the earlier generation units.

    I know Amazon will easily allow you to return/swap it out. Here’s the full kit:

    link to amazon.com

    I don’t see just the plastic strap offered unfortunately.

    Reply
  22. I’m in the same boat as Chad. I just picked up a 305 and the quick release kit and see that’s its made to mount on the the bars and not the stem. Any way to get this to mount on the stem?

    Reply
  23. Ask and you shall receive:

    link to jvanis.blogspot.com

    Reply
  24. Tim

    This is very great kit. Thank you for great idea.

    Reply
  25. Megan

    Does this product work to wear the 800 on your wrist? I am trying to get this as a gift, but none of the wrist mounts I see online specify the 800. Help please!!

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Yup, you can pickup the FR310XT or FR910XT quick release kits, and then attach it that way. Note that it will only attach lengthwise (parallel) to your arm. Also note that while you can track distance while running, it won’t show ‘pace’ on the unit itself (just speed, as in 25MPH or 25KPH). After you upload the run online though you can change from speed to pace.

      Reply
  26. Glenn

    Hi there! Very well review I must admit. Thanks! I have ordered the Garmin 310xt, it will be arriving in about a weeks time, i was just wondering, do I need a mount for on my mountainbike or will it just work as accurate driving whilst having it srapped to my wrist?
    Also, how exactly can I strap it to my goggles and will it sink to the bottom or does it float, as I swim in the Atlantic and it could sink to deep to recover it!
    Thanks

    Reply
  27. FL Equestrian

    Thanks so much for the detailed post. I use my Garmin 310XT on a saddle with the equine adapter, and your information about the mounting kit provided the level of detail I needed. The vendor web sites just show you a generic picture and a description of about 10 words, and I couldn’t figure out if/how it would work for me. Your photos and explanation helped tremendously. Thanks!

    Reply

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