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Garmin FR60 Review – In Depth

When Garmin first announced the Garmin FR60 last spring, it honestly didn’t even catch my attention.  After all, why would I of all people – the person with a gazillion GPS based training watches – want a training watch without GPS?

Well, it turns out, there’s actually a lot of good reasons.  I contacted Garmin back in December about getting a temporary demo unit to play around with for a bit after I read it could wirelessly synchronize with the Tanita BC-1000 digital scale that I was testing.  The watch arrived a few days later and I got to work using it day in and day out – for some 45 days now.  I swam, ran, biked, skied and everything else in between with it…and it didn’t take long to actually really enjoy using this watch.

Now, before we get into the meat of the review, for those of you who’ve read my reviews in the past know that I tend to be pretty detailed…and in depth.  That’s just the way I do things around here at DC Rainmaker.  Think of them more like reference guides than quick and easy summaries.  I try and cover every conceivable thing you might do with the device and then poke at it a bit more.  My goal is to leave no stone unturned – both the good and the bad.

At the end of the day I’m an athlete just like you, I want the same things out of the equipment I buy.  I don’t get paid to write these reviews, nor do I keep the units from Garmin – they all go back after a period of time ranging between 30 and 60 days (in this case, it goes back tomorrow).  I write the reviews merely because I’m interested in them.  I work in technology for a living, so I understand how this stuff works pretty well and can relay what I love and hate about the devices – hopefully allowing you to make a better purchasing decision. But, if I’ve missed something or if you spot something that doesn’t quite jive – just let me know and I’ll be happy to get it all sorted out.  Also, because the technology world constantly changes, I try and go back and update these reviews as new features and functionality are added – or if bugs are fixed.

So with that out of the way…let’s get on with the action!

In the box:

Once the box arrives at your local mailbox or doorstep, it’ll look something like this:

FR-60 Box Shot

Pretty much your standard Garmin box.  If you happen to get the pink flavor, it’ll look like this next to Mr. Blue:

FR-60 Box Shot Comparison

Upon opening the box you’ll find a pretty clean and easy to identify set of plastic baggies:

FR-60 Unpackaged

Remove all the plastic away (far less plastic than previous watches), and you get the actual components inside:

FR-60 Unwrapped

What are they all you ask?  Here ya go – all labeled (you may have to click to view):

FR-60 Unwrapped Labeled

First up, is the watch itself:

FR-60 First Power On (It comes turned off, we’ll get to the turning on part in a minute)

Then you’ve got the premium heart rate strap (depending on the package you buy):

FR-60 Heart Rate Strap

Next up is the footpod – which is not much bigger than your average quarter…or Canadian Two Dollar (Toonie) piece for ya’ll up north.

FR-60 Foot Pod Loonie Comparison

Then you’ve got your ANT+ USB stick – which is what wirelessly connects the watch to your computer.

FR-60 USB Stick

And finally, you’ve got an assorted stack of manuals in 92 languages (ok, less than that), some warranty junk and some more papers.  No CD or DVD’s included here.  Everything is done online.

FR-60 Paper Junk


Size Comparison:

With everything out of the box, let’s compare it briefly to a few other well known watches, shall we?

Here we go, a side shot comparison with the Garmin 305/310XT/405 and FR-60:

Garmin Forerunner Comparison Shot

Garmin Forerunner Comparison Shots

And then the classic wrapped around a compressed air canister shot:
Garmin Forerunner Comparison Shots

(From left to right: Garmin 305, 310XT, 405, FR-60)

As you can see, the FR-60 is by far quite a bit smaller and thinner.  So while the 405 may look similar from a head on shot, when you look at the first shot up there next to it, you realize just how much smaller the FR-60 really is.  Onwards with getting to use it for the first time!

First use:

As I noted above when you first get the watch it’ll be in a turned off state, just like below:

FR-60 Initial Power On

Fear not though, it’s not dead – it’s just sleeping (or as my Grandma used to say – ‘Resting my eyes’).  You simply hold the mode button down for a moment and you’re off and running with a quick setup wizard – starting with language:

FR-60 Language Selection

You’ll go through a series of questions that take only a minute to complete:

1) Language
2) Time Format
3) Time
4) Date (Year, then Month, then Day)
5) Statue or Metric
6) Gender
7) Age
8) Weight
9) Height
10) Lifetime Athlete (Basically do you exercise a ton)
11) Fitness class (scale of 1-10)

Once you’re done answering the pop quiz, the watch will think for a brief moment:

FR-60 Wizard Complete

And then you’re ready to roll:

FR-60 Ready to goNow that the watch is all setup for the first time, let’s get onto configuring it for your first run.


Footpod based running watches have been around for ages, and by and large all of them have required some sort of calibration routine prior to using it.  In most cases it’s running between 400 and 1600m (quarter of a mile, to a mile), where the watch then creates a calibration factor – or the difference between how far you said you ran versus how far it thinks you ran.  That factor is then used in future runs to  give you a more accurate recorded distance of your run.

The challenge with these algorithms is that in many cases they don’t account for changes in stride that are accompanied by terrain changes (hills), weather conditions (snow), or performance increases (speed).  So while it may be calibrated at your ‘normal easy’ running pace, it gets all confused at a faster pace.  Would that hold the same for the FR-60 footpod?

Well, I set out to see how far off an un-calibrated watch was, and then I went ahead and calibrated it.  For the un-calibrated test I used a track, which allowed me to see how close it would come.  In all cases, I did two laps – or 800m (half a mile).

Here’s the first 800m, note the exact distance recorded in Garmin Connect (un-calibrated):

FR-60 Pre-Calibration Distance

So then I went ahead and calibrated it (just run any distance over a quarter of a mile) – and here’s the corrected distance (calibrated):

FR-60 Post-Calibration Distance

Pleased with my newfound calibrated watch, I went ahead and went for a bit of a whacky run.  I started off on the track for a few laps, then across a parking lot, down some roads, through some trails, up some hills, down some hills, more roads, more trails, a tunnel, and then more roads.  Basically, all over the place.  As a comparison, I had the Garmin 310XT GPS watch along for the ride.  And here’s what they recorded:


FR-60 Calibrated Run

Garmin 310XT:

310XT Calibrated Run

Look at the first two columns – pretty darn close – only .02 miles off, after 4.3 miles.  And who’s to say that the GPS isn’t off a bit here?  Especially given I was in the trees for some of it.  Note the other columns differ as the 310XT has additional data fields like elevation.

Of course, I was even more blown away when I went for a run with it this past weekend in the snow.  Of all things, snow will affect stride the most – add to that the fact that this particular training run I was doing had a slew of interval like sets in it, with varying paces from 5:00/mile to 10:00/mile.  If anything, I was expecting some pretty big errors here.

What’d I end up with?  Well:


FR-60 Calibrated Run in snow


310XT Calibrated Run in snow

And just in case that isn’t clear:

Garmin FR-60 and 310XT in snow after run

Seriously folks…I’ve never been more amazed – I’m relatively certain that two GPS watches – (or for that matter, even two FR-60’s) would never get me that exact of a reading again if I tried.  Though the difference in calories is pretty interesting.  I’d think the 310XT was more accurate in this case…

So..lesson learned here?  Its distance is accurate…and calibration is pretty solid.

Using it while running

Now that we’ve talked about calibration with running a bit, let’s talk about just general use while running.

The FR-60 is undoubtedly a runner’s watch first (and then a cyclist’s watch second).  In order to get pace/distance, you do need the foot pod – which comes included in some of the different bundles that the FR-60 is sold as (see bundling section at end).  Once you’ve got it all calibrated, it’s time to get out and run with it.

Garmin FR-60 while running

When running you have a three data fields that can be shown, and up to five data pages (that’s 15 potential pieces of data accessible on any given run).  Of course, all data is recorded at all times, so it’s just a matter of what’s shown.

A data field is simply a piece of data – such as pace, time, etc.. Shown below is a page with two data fields on it (time and lap count):

Garmin FR-60 Lap Data Field

You can use a feature called ‘auto-scroll’ to have the watch automatically scroll between the different pages at a rate of slow/medium/fast.  This is useful if you have more than three pieces of data you want to track (such as HR/Pace/Time/Distance), and don’t want to have to fidget with the watch.  It just automatically rotates through the different screens of data like a banner ad.

FR-60 Auto Scroll Field

Another way to avoid having to touch the watch is to use a feature called auto-lap.  Common to virtually all Garmin fitness watches, this allows you to automatically set a given lap (split) after a pre-determined time period.  For example, every mile you can set it to record a split.

FR-60 Auto Lap Option FR-60 Auto Lap Detailed Option

Now personally, I don’t use this feature (I turn it off).  This is because when I train, my splits are based off of the given sets I’m doing – which are either time or mileage based.  And I like to review my paces within each split based on that set.  In other words, I may have splits that are 5 Minutes, 10 Minutes, 1 Mile, 1 Mile again, etc… as opposed to simply having them set at a pre-determined distance.  The good news here is that to each their own, as you can simply turn this feature on or off at any point prior to a run, or during a run.  So for me, I just manually create the splits by hitting the lap button.

One feature I do like though to leave on is Auto Pause.  You ever stop at a stoplight, hit pause on your watch, then start running again a few seconds later only to forget to resume your watch?  Yeah, sucks, doesn’t it?  Well, Auto Pause takes care of it all for you.  When you stop running, it stops recording, when you start running again, it starts up.  Perfect for anyone running in the city or places with lots of stops and starts.

FR-60 Auto PausedFR-60 Auto Resume

Now, one word of advise here.  You’ll want to change the default ‘pause’ speed from the 30:00/minute/mile value to something more realistic.  For me I use a 20:00/mile pace – as that’s slower than I would normally walk.  Otherwise you get a bunch of false positives.

While running outside I find the watch super easy to run and pace by.  One cool thing is that it’s far faster to update than a GPS-based watch.  Typically on a GPS based watch (such as the Garmin 305/310XT/405/etc…), you’ll see a pace lag of about 5-7 seconds.  Meaning, if you start sprinting all out, it will take about 5-7 seconds until the pace is accurate, and then the same as you slow down.  But not with the FR-60, it’s instantaneous.  Which is kinda fun.

FR-60 Virtual Partner

If you find yourself outdoors at night while running you can use the little light on the watch to illuminate the console.  The light isn’t terribly bright though (nothing like the 305/310XT), and can only be set to stay on a maximum of 20 seconds (the default is 8 seconds).  I suspect the reason for a maximum timeframe of 20 seconds is that the watches battery is designed to last a year, and can’t just be recharged by plugging it in, which is fair enough.

FR-60 Backlight

(In case you’re curious – and I know you’re not – I was pretty excited about this shot of the backlight, I got it inside a dark bathroom hanging it on a towel hook.)

When you’re running with the watch you’ll get a number of data streams from accessories that are recorded, including run cadence (how fast your foot turnover is) and heart rate data.  However, do be mindful that both of these data streams do require additional accessories if you purchase one of the cheaper bundles.

Here’s what a typical recorded run would look like with time/distance/pace/cadence/HR:

FR-60 Pace GraphFR-60 Garmin Connect Splits

One thing you might notice when comparing it to something like the 305/310XT/405 is the lack of altitude (elevation).  Unfortunately Garmin decided to not include an altimeter in the FR-60.  The GPS watches I just mentioned include a GPS based altimeter, while most of Garmin’s cycling computers include a barometric altimeter.  I’m surprised at the lack of altimeter, especially given many sub-$100 watches include altimeters these days, so this seems like a significant oversight – or perhaps a specific reason to try and draw you towards a more expensive GPS watch…your call.

Using it while biking:

I’ll admit, I was a little surprised when I first realized the FR-60 could record your bike rides.  Not because a watch of this size shouldn’t, but just because it didn’t seem like it was part of its primary ‘mission objective’.  That said, it’s actually a great way to allow runners (who may be very casual cyclists) a way to record their rides.

FR-60 while on bike

Now just so we’re clear – in order to take advantage of the cycling mode you must have the optional cadence/speed sensor (see later accessories section)  This $40 accessory is compatible with all Garmin fitness devices, so if you already have one – then you’re in business.  The cadence/speed sensor is a small wireless device that sites near your back tire and records both the crank’s rotation (which is what the pedal is attached to), as well as your tire rotation via a spoke magnet.  The crank rotation gives you cadence data (RPM of your pedal), and the spoke magnet gives you speed and distance – both inside and outside.  I detail these a bit more in the accessories section.

The watch’s cycling mode features pretty much all the same options as during running mode.  These include:

– Auto Lap
– Auto Pause
– Auto Scroll
– Virtual Partner

I didn’t talk about Virtual Partner in the running section, so let’s talk about it here instead.  Virtual Partner is a feature common to almost all of the Garmin fitness line of watches.  It allows you to race against ‘the little man’.  This ‘little man’ is a small stick figure on the screen that shows you how far ahead or behind you are with respect to a predetermined pace you want to hit.  For example, you can set the little man at 15MPH for cycling (or for example, 8:00/min/mile while running) and then hit go.  The virtual partner screen shows up just like a normal data page does, allowing you to easily scroll to it.  It then shows you how far ahead, or how far behind you are at that moment.

FR-60 Virtual Partner on bike

If you speed up, you’ll either gain distance (or catch up), and if you slow down, you’ll lose ground.  I’ve found this feature pretty eye opening in training when using it – especially when thinking about things like walk breaks through water stops in races.  It’s amazing how much time/distance you can lose without realizing it.  I know…this section is about cycling…but here’s another running related Virtual Partner screenshot – configuration of the virtual partner setting:

FR-60 Configuring Run Virtual Partner(Above – configuring Virtual Partner for running)

This feature is primarily useful when you’re trying to hit a very specific target pace on less variable terrain, but it’s not always as useful in hillier terrain.  The key item to remember is it’s showing the average over the entire ride (or run).  For me, I tend to only use this when running, and not really as much when cycling.

Like in the running section, setting up the sensor ahead of time is pretty important.  It only takes a second and allows the watch to know the exact wheel circumference (size), which in turn allows it to determine distance.  You can follow my handy guide for how exactly to get it all setup.

FR-60 Bike Wheel Size Calibration

The watch supports one bike – compared to some of the Garmin cycling/triathlon watches supporting multiple bikes.  But I think this is a fair compromise.  If you want a watch that you’re primarily going to use for cycling, then this isn’t that watch.  This is in my mind a running watch with fringe cycling capabilities.  Think of it as a running watch with benefits.

In addition to wearing it on your wrist, you can also mount it on the bike mount.

FR-60 and 405 Bike Mount

FR-60 on bike mount

I discuss the bike mount a bit later on in the accessories section, but wanted to briefly show a picture above in this area just to make you aware of the option.

Using it in the water:

When I go to the pool I use a simple stopwatch to record my lap splits, I don’t want a big bulky Garmin 310XT with me.  I used to use my simple $20 sports watch for this purpose…until I killed it while diving with Great White Sharks.  So, I was in the market for a replacement to use at the pool.  It may sound funny, but for me a watch that I use for laps has to be visible when I slightly twist my wrist to see a split underwater.

This is actually not always the case on sports watches, as sometimes they have various plastic/glass designs that prohibit certain angles of viewing to see numbers, especially underwater.  Well, I’m happy to report that the FR-60 can be viewed quite easily underwater with a simple twist of the wrist.

FR-60 in swimming pool

Now, the FR-60 doesn’t automatically count laps or distance when underwater, it’s simply a stopwatch.  But, if you want to record laps and splits – it will do that.  That’s what’s cool about it. Meaning, now instead of trying to remember all my splits, or having to write them down, I simply hit the split function on the watch, and it records it and transmits it to the computer for later access.

FR-60 Lap Count in Garmin Connect

You can see above the simple splits for a swim I did last weekend.  Nothing more than times, but to me, those times mean something.  And I can easily correlate those in my training log to the exact sets I was doing.  Kinda handy!

Now unlike its GPS based cousins (305 and 310XT), the FR-60 can go pretty darn deep.  Up to 50m down (150ft):

FR-60 Back of watch

And I was determined to test that.  So on a trip back in December I took it along on multiple dives.  We ended up only going to about 30m (90ish feet), so that’s as far as I got with it.  But after multiple dives, I had no issues whatsoever:

Garmin FR-60 while scuba diving

I also had no issues with snorkeling with it, or any other sort of day after day beach-like activity – sand and water are its friends.

Using it indoors:

In many ways, the FR-60 is just as capable as any of the higher end GPS watches once you bring it indoors.  Like those watches, once indoors the FR-60 uses the footpod for tracking running related tasks, and the cadence/speed sensor for any cycling related tasks.

Assuming you’ve already calibrated the watch for running, it will easily work indoors.  And best of all, unlike the GPS based watches, you don’t have to remember to turn the satellite off before starting.  Just jump on the treadmill and go.

When on a trainer, the story is much the same as outside.  Because the watch has no concept of exactly where you are (because of no GPS), it simply uses the same wireless speed/cadence sensor as it would outside, when indoors on a trainer.  Again, just jump on the trainer and you’re off and cycling.

FR-60 with Indoor Bike Trainer

Now, here’s the really really cool part about the FR-60.  And this is unique (as of this writing anyways) to JUST the FR-60.  With some specific treadmills and indoor stationary bikes, it can actually wirelessly communicate back with the device to get detailed data about your run or ride.  Meaning – no footpod or cadence sensor required at the gym using that equipment.  This is found in the watch menus under ‘Fitness Equipment’:

FR-60 ANT+ Fitness Equipment

You just simply swipe your watch in front of the area on the device (such as a treadmill) to pair it, and you’re ready to run.

Ant+ LogoAnt+ Link Diagram(Diagram from Garmin)

But, here’s the bad news.  The number of treadmills that support this capability is extraordinarily low.  Like…less chance of finding one than me becoming president tomorrow.  But, there are a few out there in a couple of gym’s that are nationwide.  You can check out the list of them here.

I tried calling the handful of gym’s that were nearby me here in DC to ask if they had capable machines, but I wasn’t terribly successful in getting them to understand what I wanted, or if the machines had it. :(  Though, in each case the employees did go physically inspect the machine to try and find the logo.

I also researched both companies that Garmin points to as having compatible ANT+ Treadmills, and neither one had any mention of ANT+ anywhere on their website.  A call to customer service was also unsuccessful.  Finally, I researched other companies that in a press release Garmin noted as having compatibility…and none appear to actually display any info on their websites.  So while the feature may be out there…it’s certainly not something anyone actually knows about, which is too bad.

Perhaps in the future these will become more common, though I suspect it will take a long time before you see them in a gym near you.

Integration with the Tanita BC-1000 scale:

One feature unique to only the Garmin FR-60 and Garmin 310XT watches is its ability to wireless synchronize with the Tanita BC-1000 scale.  What’s the BC-1000 scale you ask?  Well, let’s start with a picture:

BC-1000 Scale

Ok, picture complete.  It’s a relatively new scale that leverages ANT+ (that’s the wireless protocol/standard used/owned by Garmin) to transmit data about your weight, body fat, hydration levels, and more – to your Garmin FR-60.  This data is in turn transmitted to Garmin Connect.  Pretty cool stuff.

All you do to get it to work is hold down the light button for 2-3 seconds, which triggers a scan for the scale:

FR-60 Scanning for BC-1000 scale FR-60 Scale Found

Once the scale is found it will start blinking (the scale), and you simply step on.  About 3-5 seconds later it’ll beep again, and then display your readings right on your watch.

FR-60 weight results

The next time you synchronize your watch to your computer, the data is automatically downloaded to the computer and then transmitted to Garmin Connect.  This allows you to view all your data right in an easy to read console, just like below:

Garmin Connect BC-1000 Capture

Garmin Connect then supports the ability to graph the various data sets over time, enabling you to see if you’re making good progress on any goals you may have:


If you want to learn more about the Tanita BC-1000 ANT+ Scalecheck out the in depth review I did just a few weeks after publishing this one.

General watch use:

One of the biggest draws for me to the watch is the fact that it looks like a normal everyday watch.  Nothing big and clunky like most GPS watches, nor ugly like a lot of sports watches.  Just sorta middle of the road nice and pretty design.

Of course, adding to that appeal is the fact that the battery lasts a year.  Yes…a year.  At the end of that, you just simply run to your nearest watch repair place to have the battery swapped out.  Usually this costs about $15.  Remember though to ensure they do the waterproofing test on the watch, otherwise you could be in for a sad day when you go to the pool (or beach).

With respect to all around general use, it acts like any other watch would.  When not in active sports mode, it displays the day, date and time on the front.  These fields are not customizable.

FR-60 as a watch

You can however customize two times on the watch – Time 1, and Time 2.  So if you travel frequently across time zones, you can quickly and easily swap back and forth.

FR-60 Time 1 and Time 2

Also, you can set a watch alarm (to remind you to wake up in the morning and go run).  This can be set as a one-time alarm, or daily.

FR-60 Daily Alarms

Finally, if you’re feeling a bit linguistic, you can shift into a few different languages, including: French, Italian, German and Spanish (plus of course English).  Also, as a side note, you can turn on/off both key tones and message tones.  Meaning, if you press a key it will make a beep, but if an alert pops up, it won’t (or vice versa).

Data Synchronization:

One of the key features that differentiates the FR-60 from any other standard sports watch is its ability to download data to a computer.  Just like the Garmin Forerunner 310XT and Forerunner 405, the FR-60 uses a simple ANT+ USB stick to wirelessly communicate with the computer.  This stick can easily be swapped between computers if you have multiple computers in the house:

ANT+ USB Stick

Once you’ve got the USB stick all plugged in it’ll automatically trigger the Garmin ANT+ agent running in the tool bar (if you have a Mac, the process is similar).  The agent then wakes up and starts searching wirelessly for a nearby watch:

ANT+ Agent Stick in USB Stick

The watch itself can actually be quite a ways away from the computer.  I’ve been in cases where it’ll pickup the watch a number of floors and rooms away from the computer itself.  Kinda impressive.  I can literally walk in the door and it’ll start synchronizing.

ANT+ Agent Downloading Data

Once it’s done synchronizing the data, ANT+ agent sends it to both Garmin Connect and Garmin Training Center (if configured as such):

FR-60 ANT+ Agent Configuration Options

[Warning: Geek stuff ahead, no need to normally know this]
Now, it also keeps a copy of the data locally as well.  It puts a copy of every single activity you do in a .FIT file, which is then kept within your user profile.  This same location also stores information about your health (such as from the Tanita BC-1000 scale I mentioned).

FR-60 Windows Data Folder Structure

On a PC, this location is located within:

C:\Users\[Username]\Application Data \Garmin\Devices\DeviceID

Inside the Activities folder, you’ll find a copy of all your activities:

FR-60 .FIT files folderBecause the files are both in Garmin’s propriety .FIT file format, as well as lacking any GPS coordinates, they tend to be pretty small compared to 310XT files.  Now the .FIT file format is pretty new, so the ANT+ Agent also creates a copy of all the files within the ‘History’ folder, using the XML standards based TCX format:

FR-60 .TCX Files Folder These TCX files are much more widely accepted by sports applications out there, as well as contain the ability to be directly opened by any XML editor (or just notepad).

FR-60 XML Marker View (For those curious, the above is with XML Marker)

[End Geek Section…I now return you to your regularly scheduled review…]

Software Applications:

Once you have the data synchronized to your computer, the next step is choosing which software to use.  By default, the ANT+ Agent will send the data off to Garmin Connect, which is the web based training application allowing you to look at and analyze your data.  We’ll start off with that, and then talk about some of the other options out there:

Garmin Connect:

After the ANT+ Agent has downloaded the workout from your FR-60 to your computer, it will immediately begin transmitting it to Garmin Connect, like below:

ANT+ Agent Transfer to Garmin Connect

From there, your workout is available on Garmin Connect (GC).  What’s Garmin Connect you ask?  Well, it’s your one-stop shop for most all Garmin Devices – including the FR-60.  Once your workout is uploaded to GC, it’ll show up on your dashboard or details view:

Garmin Connect Activities

From there you can drill down into the details of the workout by clicking to show more details:

FR-60 Pace in Garmin Connect

Now, because the FR-60 doesn’t have GPS, you won’t see any of the route information like you would on a GPS watch.  But you can see items like pace and speed, which is provided by the foot pod (or cadence/speed sensor on the bike):

Cadence in Garmin Connect

In addition, as long as you have the heart rate strap on, you’ll be able to see heart rate information as well:

Heart Rate in Garmin Connect

In addition, GC allows you to create basic reports about your historical workouts:

Historical Graph in Garmin Connect

Now, the features are somewhat basic compared to some sports applications out there, but I think for the majority of users who are buying FR-60, most of the features available on Garmin Connect will do the job.  I’d love to see the ability to really drill down into data and re-arrange splits and laps based on whatever times/mileage I’d like.  But perhaps in the future…

Garmin Training Center:

Garmin Training Center is Garmin’s old school downloadable application that you can run on your computer locally without access to the internet.  It’s not exactly the smoothest piece of software, but if you’re in a location where you can’t get Internet, it’s a good way to quickly check on your run (or bike or swim).

Garmin Training CenterAs you can see, the interface is pretty ‘classic’, but there’s actually a fair bit of information in there if you drill around a bit:

GTC Detail ViewOne item to note for regular Garmin users is that unlike many of the other Garmin watches, you can’t download workouts from Garmin Training Center to the FR-60.  You can go the other way (FR-60 > GTC), but not GTC > FR-60.

All in all, you’re far more likely to use Garmin Connect than Garmin Training Center.

Sport Tracks:

If you follow my blog, you know I love Sport Tracks (ST).  I think it’s one of the best freeware applications out there for managing and analyzing your sports data.

Sport Tracks Overview

Within ST you actually have two options for importing in the data.  The first is to use the Garmin Communicator tool:

Sport Tracks import FR-60

This allows you to pull in the data from the ANT+ Agent that already downloaded it.  The other option is a direct import from the TCX file in the folders I mentioned earlier.  Regardless of which way you choose, from there simply select the activities you’d like to import:

Sport Tracks Import Data

Which then will show up in the individual workout view:

Sport Tracks HR data

One of the features I really like about Sport Tracks is the ability to create custom splits in software – as opposed to on the watch itself:

Sport Tracks Custom Laps

If you like what you see above, check out my Top 10 Tips for Sport Tracks here.  And remember, it’s all free, and downloadable from here.

Training Peaks:

Last but not least, is Training Peaks (TP).  Now TP has both a free version, and a paid version – so some of the options differ slightly.  Training Peaks allows for some pretty in depth data analysis of your runs/bikes (and any other sport for that matter).

The FR-60 is compatible with the Training Peaks device agent, which allows you to upload workouts from your computer straight to Training Peaks:

Training Peaks import FR-60

Once you’ve selected the file you want to upload, it simply transfers them to the online Training Peaks site.

Training Peaks overview From there you can drill into any given workout that you want to see:

Training Peaks detail data

Quite a bit of information is available, from the different menus.  I personally use Training Peaks to allow my coach to view details about my workouts.  I simple upload the workout and he gets notified instantly.  Pretty handy.  He can then view the workout and make comments as appropriate.  Pretty handy.


Like most Garmin products, the FR-60 is compatible with a wide range of accessories, some Garmin made, and some 3rd party.  Depending on the exact bundle you purchase, you have a few different options.  Because some bundles don’t include any accessories, I’ll go over all the different options available out there today.

Heart Rate Strap

The most basic addition you can make to the FR-60 is the heart rate strap.  This accessory allows you to monitor your heart rate while you’re training, enabling you to better target heart rate zones, or do specific heart rate based training.

The packages that do include the HR strap include the new Premium HR strap, which is a softer fabric strap that’s (in my opinion) much nicer than the older more rubberized HR straps.  Below is a picture of the newer Premium Heart Rate strap:

Premium Heart Rate Strap

Of course, the one challenge to the newer premium strap is that it can be a fair bit more expensive – especially on Garmin’s site. The good news here is that Amazon has recently started selling them, and the price is much more reasonable now.  In general, I’d recommend the premium strap over the classic strap.

Below is a picture of the classic strap:

Classic Heart Rate Strap

And here is a picture of both straps side by side:

Comparison of heart rate straps

Lastly, regardless of which strap you have or decide on, they are all compatible with all Garmin fitness devices.  So if you already have a Garmin Forerunner or Edge and it has a HR strap, there’s no need to buy another – you’re good to go!

Prices for the heart rate straps are: $37 for the normal classic one, and $40 for the Premium Edition.

Foot Pod

In order to get distance and pace with the Garmin FR-60, you’ll need the foot pod.  Now, depending on the exact package you purchase, it may actually come with it.  But if not, you’ll really want to get one (otherwise you’ve basically just purchased a really expensive stop watch).

Foot pod

The foot pod easily snaps right onto your shoelaces in a matter of a few seconds.  I mentioned earlier in the review how to calibrate it, and all the details around it, so I’ll just get on with the important deets – the price.  Now, here’s the important part – the foot pod is REALLY EXPENSIVE if bought separately – so if you’re planning on getting one, get the bundle…and save yourself a bundle.  How expensive you ask?  Well, $90 expensive.

Bike Cadence Sensor

If you plan to hook up the Garmin FR-60 to your bike, you’re going to want to pickup the speed/cadence sensor kit to get speed…and cadence (and distance).  The good news here is that these kits are relatively inexpensive (compared to the foot pod anyways…), and they’re also fully compatible with every other Garmin fitness devices.

Cadence Sensor labeled

This means that if you already have one for a different Garmin device – you’re good to go.  And if you get one now, and eventually upgrade your Garmin watch, then you’re still good to go.

The speed/cadence kit can be picked up for about $40.

Bike Handlebar Mount:

This mount kit was actually created for the Garmin 405, but has since been renamed to be compatible with the FR-60 as well.  It’s a simple (and cheap) rubber mount that uses two zip ties to secure in place.

FR-60 Bike Mount

The watch then wraps around the mount in the same manner that it would around your wrist.  It’s pretty secure that way – and highly unlikely to come lose.  The flexible rubber components mean it easily fits on most bikes.  Below are three bikes:

First up – the mountain bike:

FR-60 Bike Mount on Mountain Bike

Then the road bike:

FR-60 Bike Mount on Road Bike

And finally..but..not very functional – on the triathlon bike:

FR-60 Bike Mount on Tri Bike (not really functional)

As I noted in the Garmin Forerunner 405 review, this mount simply doesn’t work well on triathlon/time trial bikes, but given it’s not likely the target audience – I think that’s alright.

The mount itself is the cheapest Garmin accessory you’ll find out there.  It’s priced at a very reasonable $14.

Tanita BC-1000 Scale:

I mentioned the Tanita BC-1000 scale earlier in the review, but just to recap.  This ANT+ scale made by Tanita (the same company that makes your normal bathroom scales), will measure your weight, hydration levels, body fat – and a slew of other readings.  It will then transmit them to the FR-60 (or Garmin 310XT), which are in turn transmitted to Garmin Connect for easy tracking.

FR-60 with Tanita BC-1000

The scale is a bit pricey though, starting at $279.

Garmin Product Comparison:

If you’re looking at some of the different watches out there to train with while running, you may be a bit confused as where to start – and which direction you should go in.  So I went ahead and put together this handy chart of the major Garmin running watches, in hopes of illuminating the options a bit:

Function/FeatureGarmin Forerunner 60/70Polar Ignite 3Garmin Forerunner 55Polar Ignite 2Polar Unite
Copyright DC Rainmaker - Updated March 24th, 2024 @ 12:36 pm New Window
Product Announcement DateJUL 24, 2009Nov 8th, 2022June 2nd, 2021Mar 24th, 2021June 30th, 2020
Actual Availability/Shipping DateAUG 2009Nov 8th, 2022June 2nd, 2021Mar 2021July 2020
GPS Recording FunctionalityNoYesYesYesOnly via Phone Connected GPS
WaterproofingYesYes - 30m50 metersYes - 30mYes - 30m
Dive/Snorkel FeatureNo
Battery Life (GPS)Days.Up to 30 hours20 hoursUp to 20 hoursUp to 50hrs with phone GPS (4 days standby)
Solar ChargingNo
Recording IntervalSmart1s1s/Smart1s1s
Dual-Frequency GNSSYes
Display TypeAMOLED
Backlight GreatnessGoodGreatGreatGreatGreat
Ability to download custom apps to unit/deviceNoNoYes (all Connect IQ Apps)NoNo
Acts as daily activity monitor (steps, etc...)NoYesYesYesYes
Voice IntegrationGarmin Forerunner 60/70Polar Ignite 3Garmin Forerunner 55Polar Ignite 2Polar Unite
Has Mic/SpeakerNo
Can make/receive callsNo
Voice AssistantNo
MusicGarmin Forerunner 60/70Polar Ignite 3Garmin Forerunner 55Polar Ignite 2Polar Unite
Can control phone musicYesYesYesNo
Has music storage and playbackNoNoNoNo
Streaming ServicesNoNoNoNo
PaymentsGarmin Forerunner 60/70Polar Ignite 3Garmin Forerunner 55Polar Ignite 2Polar Unite
Contactless-NFC PaymentsNoNoNoNo
ConnectivityGarmin Forerunner 60/70Polar Ignite 3Garmin Forerunner 55Polar Ignite 2Polar Unite
Bluetooth Smart to Phone UploadingVia Wahoo Fitness AdapterYesYesYesYes
Phone Notifications to unit (i.e. texts/calls/etc...)NoYesYesYesYes
Live Tracking (streaming location to website)NoNoYesNoNo
Group trackingNoNoNoNo
Emergency/SOS Message Notification (from watch to contacts)NoNoYes (via phone)NoNo
Built-in cellular chip (no phone required)NoNoNoNoNo
CyclingGarmin Forerunner 60/70Polar Ignite 3Garmin Forerunner 55Polar Ignite 2Polar Unite
Designed for cyclingYesYesYesYesYes
Power Meter CapableNoNoNoNoNo
Speed/Cadence Sensor CapableYesNoYesNoNo
Strava segments live on deviceNoNoNoNo
Crash detectionNoYesNoNo
RunningGarmin Forerunner 60/70Polar Ignite 3Garmin Forerunner 55Polar Ignite 2Polar Unite
Designed for runningYesYesYesYesYes
Footpod Capable (For treadmills)YesNoYES (ALSO HAS INTERNAL ACCELEROMETER)NoNo (but has accelerometer for indoor running)
Running Dynamics (vertical oscillation, ground contact time, etc...)NoNoNoNoNo
Running PowerNoNoNoNo
VO2Max EstimationNoYesYesYesYes
Race PredictorNoNoYesNoNo
Recovery AdvisorNoNoYesNoNo
Run/Walk ModeNoNoYesNoNo
Track Recognition ModeNoYesNo
SwimmingGarmin Forerunner 60/70Polar Ignite 3Garmin Forerunner 55Polar Ignite 2Polar Unite
Designed for swimmingNoYesYesYesSorta (waterproof but HR only tracking)
Openwater swimming modeN/AYesN/AYesNo
Lap/Indoor Distance TrackingN/AYesYesYesNo
Record HR underwaterNoYesYesYesYes
Openwater Metrics (Stroke/etc.)N/AYesN/AYesNo
Indoor Metrics (Stroke/etc.)N/AYesYesYesNo
Indoor Drill ModeN/ANoNoNo
Indoor auto-pause featureN/AYesYesNo
Change pool sizeN/AYesYesYesNo
Indoor Min/Max Pool LengthsN/A20M/Y to 250 m/y20M/Y to 250 m/yN/A
Ability to customize data fieldsN/AYesYesYesYes
Captures per length data - indoorsN/AYesYesYesNo
TriathlonGarmin Forerunner 60/70Polar Ignite 3Garmin Forerunner 55Polar Ignite 2Polar Unite
Designed for triathlonNoNoNoNoNo
Multisport modeN/ANoNoNoNo
WorkoutsGarmin Forerunner 60/70Polar Ignite 3Garmin Forerunner 55Polar Ignite 2Polar Unite
Create/Follow custom workoutsFR60 OnlyYesYesYesYes
On-unit interval FeatureYesSorta (offers structured workouts)YesSorta (offers structured workouts)Sorta (offers structured workouts)
Training Calendar FunctionalityNoHas daily suggested workoutsYesHas daily suggested workoutsSorta (offers daily workouts)
FunctionsGarmin Forerunner 60/70Polar Ignite 3Garmin Forerunner 55Polar Ignite 2Polar Unite
Auto Start/StopYesNoYes
Virtual Partner FeatureYesNo (but can give out of zone information)Virtual PacerNo (but can give out of zone information)No (but can give out of zone information)
Virtual Racer FeatureNoYes (Race Pace)NoNoNo
Records PR's - Personal Records (diff than history)NoNoYesNoNo
Tidal Tables (Tide Information)NoNoNoNoNo
Weather Display (live data)NoYesYesYesNo
NavigateGarmin Forerunner 60/70Polar Ignite 3Garmin Forerunner 55Polar Ignite 2Polar Unite
Follow GPS Track (Courses/Waypoints)YesNoNoNoNo
Markers/Waypoint DirectionNoNoNoNoNo
Routable/Visual Maps (like car GPS)NoNoNoNoNo
Back to startN/ANoNoNoNo
Impromptu Round Trip Route CreationN/ANoNoNoNo
Download courses/routes from phone to unitNoNoNoNoNo
SensorsGarmin Forerunner 60/70Polar Ignite 3Garmin Forerunner 55Polar Ignite 2Polar Unite
Altimeter TypeNoGPSNoGPSNone
Compass TypeN/AN/ANoneN/AN/A
Optical Heart Rate Sensor internallyYesYesYesYes
SpO2 (aka Pulse Oximetry)NoNoNoNo
ECG FunctionalityNONoNO
Heart Rate Strap CompatibleYesYesYesYesYes
ANT+ Heart Rate Strap CapableYesNoYesNoNo
ANT+ Speed/Cadence CapableYesNoYesNoNo
ANT+ Footpod CapableYesNoYesNoNo
ANT+ Power Meter CapableNoNoNoNoNo
ANT+ Lighting ControlNoNoNoNo
ANT+ Bike Radar IntegrationNoNoNoNo
ANT+ Trainer Control (FE-C)NoNoNoNo
ANT+ Remote ControlNoNoNoNoNo
ANT+ eBike CompatibilityNoNoNoNoNo
ANT+ Gear Shifting (i.e. SRAM ETAP)NoNoNoNo
Shimano Di2 ShiftingNoNoNoNoNo
Bluetooth Smart HR Strap CapableNoYesNoYesYes
Bluetooth Smart Speed/Cadence CapableNoNoNoNoNo
Bluetooth Smart Footpod CapableNoNoNoNoNo
Bluetooth Smart Power Meter CapableNoNoNoNoNo
Temp Recording (internal sensor)NoNoNoNoNo
Temp Recording (external sensor)NoNoNoNoNo
SoftwareGarmin Forerunner 60/70Polar Ignite 3Garmin Forerunner 55Polar Ignite 2Polar Unite
PC ApplicationGTC/ANT AgentPolar Flowsync - Windows/MacGarmin Express (PC/Mac)Polar Flowsync - Windows/MacPolar Flowsync - Windows/Mac
Web ApplicationGarmin ConnectPolar FlowGarmin ConnectPolar FlowPolar Flow
Phone AppGarmin FitiOS/AndroidiOS/AndroidiOS/AndroidiOS/Android
Ability to Export SettingsNoNoNoNoNo
PurchaseGarmin Forerunner 60/70Polar Ignite 3Garmin Forerunner 55Polar Ignite 2Polar Unite
DCRainmakerGarmin Forerunner 60/70Polar Ignite 3Garmin Forerunner 55Polar Ignite 2Polar Unite
Review LinkLinkLinkLinkLinkLink

In short, the 305 and 310XT are targeted towards the triathlon crowd, while the FR-60 and Forerunner 405 are targeted towards the running crowd.  While both the FR-60 and FR-405 can do cycling, it’s simply a matter of not doing it as well as the 305/310XT.  Meaning, the screen is harder to read on a bike than that of the 305/310XT, and the lack of multisport mode is a huge differentiator as well (this feature allows you to change sports with the press of a single button, ideal for a triathlon race).  Here’s all my previous Garmin Forerunner reviews:

Garmin Forerunner 305 In Depth Review
Garmin Forerunner 310XT In Depth Review
Garmin Forerunner 405 In Depth Review


If you start to do research on the FR-60 the first thing you may notice is the number of different colors it comes in.  The next thing you may notice is that you can’t just pick whichever color you’d like.  Nope, you have to pick a certain bundle – and that bundle in turn comes with specific accessories.  To start with, let’s look at all the colors available:

FR-60 Color Options

Ok, with me so far?

Good, cause here’s where it gets messy.  Real messy.

Now, depending on which color you want, you are forced to get (or not get) certain accessories.  So let’s take that pretty picture above, and overlay the required accessories (heart rate strap, foot pod, USB stick) below:

FR-60 Bundle Options

(For the record, if you actually split out the two different men’s and women’s black bundle and plain options, then it gets even messier)

Of course, you can always buy accessories that aren’t included in the bundle – and in general, the bundle doesn’t save you any more money than just buying them individually (with the exception of the foot pod, it usually saves a ton there).  So no harm no foul there.  But what if you (like my girlfriend) want the pink version, but already have all the accessories?  Well, you’re out of luck.  You have to buy the whole package.

Now, here’s where it gets a bit weirder too.  There are actually male and female versions of the watch…driven by color.  The only real difference between the two versions is the band size, which varies slightly – but are primarily a color thing.

Speaking of bundles, here’s some of the prices associated with each bundle – from Amazon.

(Full disclosure note: If you happen to find this review useful, and happen to purchase anything from any of these links, I get a few percent back from Amazon.  This review has taken me about 25 hours to write, and dozens more hours playing with the FR-60.  I don’t make any money on writing these, so the above is an experiment to see if I can recoup some money to put towards picking up future devices to review.  So far though, I think I’ve only made enough to cover a 5K race…)

Here’s the simplified accessories table:

Accessory name/Description

Retail Price

Amazon Price

Heart Rate Strap (Classic)



Heart Rate Strap (Premium)



Running Footpod



ANT+ USB Stick



Bike Mount Kit (for FR60/FR405)



Cycling Speed/Cadence Sensor



Tanita BC-1000 ANT+ Weight Scale (My Review here)




Because all reviews must have a pro’s and con’s section, by law of the International Review Association of Me, I shall submit my own Pros and Cons section.  Though, if you’ve made it this far in the review, I’m going to assume (hope?) you’ve probably got the gist of the watch:


  • Small Form Factor – looks just like a regular watch
  • Measures your run distance using a a very small and unobtrusive footpod
  • Super accurate once calibrated
  • Works just as well indoors as outdoors
  • Battery lasts a year (yes, a year!)
  • Waterproof to 50 meters
  • Functions as a normal watch (alarms, time, date, day, etc…)
  • Can associate with ANT+ gym equipment if available, as well as Tanita BC-1000 scale
  • Can store 20 hours of data


  • No GPS, thus requires the foot pod or bike sensor
  • Somewhat expensive given the feature set, compared to rest of Garmin line (specifically Forerunner 305 these days)
  • Doesn’t link up with some ANT+ accessories (Power Meters for example)
  • Forced bundling options leave you spending more than you might want to
  • No elevation/altitude/altimeter


All in all, the FR-60 is my favorite watch for all around use.  And from a Garmin standpoint, it ranks second only to the Forerunner 310XT.  If you’re a new runner looking to get into some basic run and cycling data, the FR-60 makes for a great choice.

But even in my case as an ‘advanced runner’, I love the FR-60 because of the fact that it’s small and normal looking, and I always have it on me.  I know that at any point in time the watch is ready to jump into action – such as on a training run or in a race if my primary watch fails me or if I don’t want to carry the bulkier one along.  And finally, with the addition of the synchronization between the Tanita BC-1000 and the FR-60, it makes for an easy way to get my daily weight details recorded.  As I said before, I love it.  So much so that I ended up purchasing one for myself (the demo unit heads back tomorrow), and my girlfriend also liked it so much she ended up getting one too (pink, of course, in case you are curious…).

As you’ve seen throughout the review there are numerous compatible accessories for the unit. I’ve consolidated them all into the below chart, with additional information (full posts) available on some of the accessories to the far right. Also, everything here is verified by me – so if it’s on the list, you’ll know it’ll work. And as you can see, I mix and match accessories based on compatibility – so if a compatible accessory is available at a lower price below, you can grab that instead.

ProductStreet PriceAmazon
Garmin ANT+ Heart Rate Strap (Classic Plastic Strap) - HRM1
Garmin ANT+ Heart Rate Strap (Premium Soft-Strap) - HRM2
Garmin ANT+ Heart Rate Strap (Premium Soft-Strap) - HRM3
Garmin ANT+ Replacement HR Strap (for HRM3/HRM-RUN - just the strap portion)
Garmin ANT+ Running Footpod (Mini)
Garmin ANT+ Speed/Cadence Cycling Sensor (GSC-10)
Garmin ANT+ Transfer USB Stick (large sized)
Garmin ANT+ USB Transfer Stick (mini sized)
Garmin Bike Mount Kit (for mounting any watch onto handlebars)
Lifesource UC-324 ANT+ Enabled Weight Scale (My recommendation)
Motorola ANT+ Speed/Cadence Cycling Sensor (Quick Install) - BEST!
Suunto ANT+ USB Transfer Stick (mini sized)
Suunto ANT/ANT+ Running Footpod (good for both ANT types)
Tanita BC-1000 ANT+ Enabled Weight Scale
Wahoo Fitness ANT+ iPhone Adapter (for uploading workouts wirelessly)

Thanks for reading!  As you’ probably realized, this post is just one of many different ones I do related to triathlon and running.  So if this interested you, check out my sidebar for many more posts like it.

And as always, feel free to post comments or questions in the comments section below, I’ll be happy to try and answer them as quickly as possible.  Further, you can always e-mail me at the address on the sidebar.  And lastly, if you felt this review was useful – I always appreciate feedback in the comments below.  Thanks!


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  1. great review Rainmaker! a comment/question about the table comparing features between the FR60, FR305 and FR310XT. About the waterproofing doesn’t the 310XT have a much higher rating than the 305 (not sure about the FR60)? Like if you went swimming with the 305 that would kill it dead in no time.


  2. Jen

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I am determined to link my foot pod today. I have been nervous about it and worried about its accuracy… but now I have directions! I have the FR60 in lilac. Did I say thank you, yet?

  3. Dekel

    It would be interesting to see the accuracy of the footpod when running FAST two laps on the track.

  4. Hi Ecclesiastes-

    RE: Waterproofing

    Yes, the FR60 has a higher waterproofing level than the 310XT, which has a higher waterproofing level than the 305. The 305 is rated at 1m (3ft) for 30 minutes, whereas the 310XT is rated at 30 meters (98.4ft). I’ll go ahead and update the table to list the depth and times. Thanks!

    Hi Dekel-

    RE: Fast Laps

    Interesting idea. Though, on that 7.78 mile run, I did 3 x 6 minutes at 6:18/mile, and then a few sets of shorter intervals at 5:00/min/mile – andit held up through those. My other runs that I didn’t post seemed to confirm the same (which actually surprised me).

    Thanks all!

  5. Ian

    Great review. I especially appreciate the size comparison with the toonie.

    I’m considering upgrading my current footpod (something around the 2nd generation footpod) that consistently drops my RPM to 40 (misses footsteps). A half hour run that should average 90rpm is 78-80rpm. Is this new version any more reliable?

  6. Great write-up as always. Wish I’d waited to see your links before I purchased the lilac one for the gf. Tracked down a good price on the footpod though and hoping the watch comes with the new HR strap. Thanks for all the hard work and for confirming that it was a great purchase!

  7. great review – do you know if that handlebar mount can be used with a 2/305? It looks like it would be ok, but not sure if it would fit or how it would sit? it would be awesome if you could take apic ;)

  8. Lisa Fox

    Another great write up. Thorough as always.

  9. I bought a FR60 at the end of December and have been very pleased indeed. My thoughts after a months use:

    – very impressed/surprised with the accuracy; compared to GPS

    – No pace lag, makes it ideal for running races

    – simple no-nonsense design and usability

    My wife has also bought one to compliment her 405, which she finds:

    – a bit big for her wrist

    – needs constant feeding (battery)

    A couple of comments regarding TrainingPeaks on the Mac.

    – The FR60 is not yet compatible with the TrainingPeaks Device Agent for the Mac. There should be an update in March according to TP, so for the time being you have to manually upload the .tcx files from:

    /Users/~/Library/Application Support/Garmin/Devices/DeviceID/History

    – TP have made some positive noises about supporting the basic data from the Tanita BC-1000/FR60. Maybe more when ‘Classic’ goes.

    Our Tanita body fat scale is about 8 years old now, so I’m keen to hear what you have to say about the BC-1000.

    Thanks again for the great reviews!

  10. Love the review (read it after Id done the research and bought one!). Just wondering if buying the footpod alone works with the FR60 and where the best place to get one is (no bundle option was available at time of purchase). Think you mentioned Amazon but just checking. Thanks again, and keep up the good work!

  11. Stephen

    I have a Forerunner 305 – is it worth getting a footpod for the better response to changes in pace? Have you tried linking the footpod to one of the gps enabled garmins?

  12. Hi Ian-

    RE: Footpod reliability

    I have the older one as well, and they both work equally as well for me. I never had the issues you described with my older one, or the newer one. So for me, they’re both reliable. ;) I average between 90-92 usually, but do high cadence stuff upwards of 110 on occasion, and all of that comes through without issue.

    Hi Werner-

    Thanks for the comments!

    Hi Bobby-

    RE: Handlebar mount

    Yes, the 405 mount can be used with the 305 watch (I don’t have a 205 handy to test, but effectively it works with just about any watch I’ve tried). I’ll be uploading a gallery of pics later tonight, so I’ll add that to the list, you’ll see the gallery later on in the main post towards the buttom.

    Hi Lisa-


    Hi Greg-

    Thanks for all the detailed comments, I’m all about other feedback! Funny to see you’ve had some of the same conversations with TP regarding the classic mode and BC-1000/FR-60 – good things are coming….

    Hi Neil-

    Yes, you can buy the footpod alone and it’ll work with any of the Garmin’s, including the FR60. Amazon is the cheapest (just barely).

    link to amazon.com

    Now, I usually mention it in other reviews – but it’s getting harder and harder to find these days – but if you can find the older style footpods in stock, there are two different ones, then those work two. They used to be about $40-$50, but with the newer one these slightly larger ones have been phased out. Good luck!

  13. Hi Stephen-

    RE: Getting footpod for better pace on 305

    I actually use my footpod with all of the Garmin’s (305/405/310XT) in order to get cadence info. In cases where indoors, it’ll pull the pace/distance as well as I can simply turn off the GPS.

    Outside though, I wouldn’t recommend turning off the GPS just for increased pace feedback – on either the 305, or the 310XT.

  14. great review once again Ray!
    ive got the 305, but im in the market for a new sports watch…with the recent purchase of the cadence sensor *thanks amazon* i think this watch seems to be a likely option for me

    I’m going to chose NOT to accidentally mark to receive future comments on this thread, as ive been too lazy to remove myself from the 500 list

  15. Bob

    Staggering! The awesome thing about a blog is you can use more space than a glossy could possibly devote to a review (as you surely have!)

    Great review, you could make a career of it – I look forward to the BC-1000 write up, interested in how accurate you feel it is.

  16. Hi Ray! Great review as usual. I had a question about the premium strap. I have the 310xt, and I’ve found that the premium strap has got worse over time! I get such inconsistent readings -it seems fine, then jumps to 230 for 2 minutes, then returns to normal. Then goes to 200 for 10 minutes. The other day I did a 40 minute run with an average heart rate of 220. When I switched back to the classic strap, no issues. Have you had this experience or know of anyone else that has? Maybe it’s a battery issue?

  17. Great reviews of everything, thanks! I’m finally changing from Polar to Garmin after buying the edge 500 for the GPS/ANT+ capabilities. I was thinking about using a 405 at first for my watch but think that the FR60 will do just fine. I want an everyday watch that isn’t too bulky and something that will still be useful for tri racing and training. Do you the edge 500 and FR60 is a good combo? I’ll also be doing some run only training for a marathon in the fall which is why I’m leaning to the FR60.

    Also, I think your chart with the bundles might be incorrect. I think only the blue/pink watch comes with the premium strap and any other HR bundles come with the old style. Am I wrong there? I’ve heard a lot about the premium strap being unreliable with reading that are way off and that it seems that it wont last very long. Have you noticed any of this?

    Thanks again!

  18. Hi Adam-

    RE: Premium HR Strap

    A couple of things can to this – especially in the cold winter. On cold, dry days I usually add a HR gel to the strap, which helps until I can generate enough moisture a few miles in to fix this. Also, some DryTechish type fabrics generate more static electricity that make the situation worse. I know Polar actually has some stuff in their HR straps to combat this, but I’m unsure about Garmin. For me, I see it normally when there’s just not enough moisture.

    Hi Dan-

    RE: Combo of Edge and FR60

    Yes, I think this is a solid combo – and I know one guy who does something very similiar (PT and FR60) for Ironman’s, due to the accuracy and simplicity of the FR60 in that kinda race – also never having to worry about the battery dying. The only thing you may regret is lack of GPS on the run…so keep that in mind.

    RE: New Premium HR Strap

    There were some issues with the 310XT HR straps when it first came out (first run units) that I’m aware of (Premium HR Straps basically), but I’m under the impression that has been fixed. However, what’s unclear is if those units are still floating out there in retail anywhere.

    As for the regular strap with the cheaper bundles…very impressive catch (I just verified it) – I didn’t even notice that little switcheroo. I’ll update the pictures/etc in the next few days (I have a few other minor edits to do, so I’ll bundle them all together). Thanks for the tip!

    Oh, as for my Premium HR strap, I’ve had the same one since September thus far, and it’s been working great…but it’s possible I’ve just been lucky. I use mine every day (literally).

  19. Hola from Spain amigo !
    Good job, you´r simply the best blogger i know….!
    i linked you to my blog time ago to keep me informed about you…
    Nice blog, i really like all you do.

    Do you know about the new IRONMAN WATCH with GPS??? do you like it?

    Best regards from Gavá ( Barcelona),

  20. I forgot to ask about the different modes it uses and how that works for tri’s. I hear it has a separate running mode and cycling mode but for racing how would you use it without having to change them and wasting time? In the swim all I really want is the time while on the bike I’ll get data from the Edge 500. Running I’d use the watch for HR, pace and time but when I upload the info to the computer I don’t want it to be all screwed up and have to sort through a bunch of swimming, cycling and transition data that’s labeled as running data. Solutions that you know of? Would it be the same with the 405 only w/GPS info?

    Thanks again!

  21. Wow. Great review as always. Bought my 305 on your recommendation. And now it looks like its time for a new toy. I couldn’t wait to buy one, so I ran out got one at REI. I concur that the black set comes with the old HR monitor. I was kind of bummed about that. Oh well. I actually really wanted the Red/Black but I needed the pod.

    But I was thinking of buying another at Amazon. I couldn’t figure out how to link from your site, so that you get a %. I couldn’t find an easy link. Don’t be shy. Make that link easy. You should get some of that cash for your hard work!

    I bought the FR-60 for two main reasons:
    1. Battery lasts forever. It is getting old to see the “Low Batter” flash on my 305 right before I want to go running.

    2. Race Day. It was a pain in the butt to take the 305 off after the bike and THEN put it on the strap THEN on my arm. I was fiddling with it for the first 20 sec of each run. The FR-60 totally eliminates this problem. Can’t wait for my first race of the season.

  22. @Dan McGowan
    On how to split up the data for a tri. I wouldn’t worry to much about fixing the data. If you hit a lap at the transition. Then you will know when your swimming becomes running.

    Then you can manually edit this easily in Sporttracks.

    I usually split out all of my data for laps etc after training and runs using sporttracks. I find it easily then in the middle of the activity.

    Anyway just my two cents…

  23. question:
    Is it possible to pair a HR strap with more than one device, say an EDGE(either 500 or 705) as well as an fr60 at the same time? Such that it would send HR data to the edge and the fr simultaneously? I’m asking mainly for the question of whether there would be any issue with the HR strap transitioning from bike to run..

    2)is there anywhere to get just the watch and the ANT+? with the loss of my 305, i’ve already got the foot pod, cadence sensor, and TWO Hr straps…any way around this? and do you think I’m better off spending $50 more and just getting another 305? i’m playing pricing games in my head and can’t come to a conclusion

  24. Good day Rain,

    I just read your review about this product and others and many, many thanks for it!

    I have recently purchased this product and used at a race today.

    It was a 4.0 mile Race. Although the time and distance the watch recorded relative to the race results posted were accurate, the average pace differed a lot. The FR60 recorded a 5.33 min/mile pace whereas the race results posted accurately as 5.42minute/mile. That is a big difference.

    Must say that reading your article and advice just now, I had not calibrated the watch prior to the race and since I bought this watch, so would you think that explains this discrepancy on the average pace?

    For a second, I though about already returning the watch since I am on a grace period of 1 month since I purchased it, but if it is just going to be a matter of calibrating the foot pod from time to time to obtain accuracy, then I might as well keep it.

    Another question, would you know if the blue bundle is compatible to the Anita Scale?

    Many Thanks


  25. Hi Dan-

    RE: Running modes

    Yes, it has a seperate run and bike modes, but there is no multisport mode (like 305/310XT). You would need to stop the timer, and then change it, and then start it. If efficient you could do it in 5-8 seconds tops.

    So yup, essentially identical to the 405 but without GPS as you noted.

    Hi Rick-

    RE: Linking from my site

    I appreciate the though(s). To link to my links, simply copy the shortcut on any of the items from mypage and that’s it. Super easy. I greatly appreciate it!

    Rearding your reasons for the FR60, I’m in the same boat – I love the simplicity and having to not worry about the battery.

    RE: Editing the data post-race/training

    Yup, I do that often. Sport Tracks makes it so easy to splice and dice data.

    Hi Tarheel-

    RE: Pairing with more than one device.

    Absolutely. That’s exactly what I do. On my bike I have Edge, and then on the run I have a Forerunner. Yes, I wear the same HR strap throughout. I move between sports, and the different Garmin’s I have simply pickup the pre-paired HR monitor. Just be sure to have them all paired PRIOR to arriving at transition on race day, as you don’t want to try and pair a ANT+ device on race day in transition, as you’ll pick up everyone elses. Of course, once paired (like at home), you never have to worry about it.

    RE: Just the watch

    The cheapest packageis the $93 one with the watch and basic HR strap. I’m not aware of anywhere to get it with just the watch (eBay aside of course…). If comparing the FR60 and the 305, I’d honestly go 305 in almost every case (except the case of wanting a prettier watch).

    Hi Eduardo-

    RE: Differences in distance.

    Yes! I did some other tests with a non-calibrated watch and found it varied quite a bit. Calibration will certainly help a ton. One other thing that’s super-important to keep in mind is what kind of line you ran in the race. For more info, check out this:
    link to dcrainmaker.blogspot.com

    RE: Blue Bundle compatible with Tanita

    Yes, all of the FR-60’s and 310XT’s are compatible. I’m currently using the Blue bundle with the Tanita scale.

    Thanks all!

  26. Wes

    I haven’t had much luck with the calibration for my Forerunner 50. It’s always way off from my 310XT. I thought it might be the difference in stride length going fast, but I’m also wondering if one foot pod is a little more accurate than another (not picking up unnecessary steps) or something?!? I have the older one.

  27. Good day Rain,

    Now in addition to calibrating the foot pod, the heart rate monitor is not picking up. The watch says ”HR found”but no bpm displayed on the screen. It seems that all of these watches are not good for everyday usage and runners that run average from 70 to 100+ miles a week. I may be wrong but so far the Polar and this FR60, they work well for the 1st few days before they start showing problems. It has been less than a month and I am already encountering issues. I like the watch, but if still possible I will probably change to the 405 and give that one a try. It seems that the less additional stuff that comes with the watch like foot pod, the higher the chance of something not going wrong.

  28. C’mon man, I wanted a detailed review. You’re giving the details of the details. How long did it take to write all this? Fantastic review. Your blog is bookmarked. Thanks a lot.

  29. Hi Wes-

    RE: Foot pod differences

    From what I understand, the older footpods used implied cadence in the unit itself to determine the cadence, whereas the newer ones let the head unit do it. How that ends up relating to accuracy, I’m not sure. But I suspect that there were indeed changes in the units.

    Hi Eduardo-

    RE: HR issues

    I use mine every day without fail (the HR strap), and I’m putting it upwards of 14-16 hours a week, so i don’t think that’s the issue. One thing that can be an issue is sometimes not getting good contact. Have you tried any HR gel – or just simply spit, to see if that improves the situation? Some folks have problems getting a good Heart Beat to get picked up, by using the HR gel or similiar, it can resolve those problems.

    Hi George-

    This one took probably about 25 hours to write and double-check items, give or take.


  30. Thanks for the great review, ordered one today off of your site. I am also looking at a GPS for cue sheet functions (road biking) and so I don’t get lost. I am torn between the Garmin 705 and Garmin Dakota 20, which looks to have more full GPS features – any thoughts?

  31. Thanks for another geekfest of a review!

    Would you please add your Amazon links to each of the bundle pictures?

    Do you know if the ANT USB stick can communicate with multiple devices simultaneously? Rather than record to a device then download, I’d like to can use my laptop to record (and display) directly when I’m indoors on my trainer.

  32. Excellent review – the review persuaded me to buy the watch and so far not disappointed – only had it a couple of days!

    The only problem I’ve found so far is the inability to find the files to transfer to the 3rd party trackers like training peaks etc.

    I mostly train in the gym with the Concept 2, Elliptical Cross Trainer and stationary bike. Do you have any suggestions for other training data trackers apart from the ones you’ve mentioned that possibly take in rowing? As I have the footpod I am going to try get into walking and running more so that’s another positive!

    Cheers. Miles..

  33. hey rainmaker,
    thanks again for the crazy good review.

    i’m trying to decide between an FR60 bundle ($177) or a 305 ($155). I just got a trainer who wants me to upload data to Training Peaks. So I need to move up from my old Polar RS200 with footpod. I’m mainly training for Boston marathon, and once a year sprint tri. I’ve never used a Garmin or a GPS watch.

    You mentioned you’d go with the 305 in almost every case. Can you say more to that, given my situation? Thanks man.

    – John

  34. Hi Tom

    RE: Between 705 and Dakota 20

    Unfortunately, I haven’t looked at the Dakota 20 at all, so I’m not terribly familiar with it’s featureset. I’m sorry!

    Hi Bob-

    RE: Adding Amazon links to bundles


    RE: USB Stick with mutliple devices

    Yup, indeed. I use a single USB stick to sync with my 310XT and FR60 and 405 – all without an issue. However, to do what you’re talking about (having USB stick talk directly to the sensors), you’d need to look at some alternative programs. Check out Golden Cheetah – they’re currently implementing this, and it’s free. Cool stuff!
    link to goldencheetah.org

    Hi Miles-

    RE: Location of the files

    Check out this post for details on exactly where the files are:
    link to forums.garmin.com

    RE: Cross training

    I haven’t looked too carefully into these, though it’s on my list of things to try and figure out how to jury rig – if possible.

    Hi John-

    RE: FR60 vs FR305

    Given they you’ll be looking at a possible sprint tri – I’d recommend the 305. Further, given you’re doing Boston, you’re probably a bit more advanced runner and thus having the elevation data is pretty useful (especially for later analysis on a hilly course like Boston – really makes the graphs come alive, and more importantly, explains why the first 10 miles will be fast, and 13-20 won’t be).

    Further, having the GPS I’ve found is super useful in analyzing where I was when I ran – which is great when I’m looking back at something 2-3 years ago. Helps me understand better what I might have been facing (i.e. a known windy location, or just me running badly).

  35. Gys

    Hi, Great review, was thinking about getting this watch and read your blog with great interest! I see that “advanced workouts” (I assume that means adding training goals to workouts) are not possible with this watch, but I need a watch that can do non-repeating intervals:

    4 min. run
    1 min. pause
    6 min. run
    2 min. pause
    5 min. run


    Can the FR60 do this, and can I prepare this kind of schedule on the PC and send it to the FR60?


  36. Thanks for yet another ridiculously in-depth review Ray! I can’t say enough how helpful these reviews are. I will definitely be using the Amazon links to buy myself a FR60 (but I’m mad the all black men’s watch bundle comes w/ the crappy HRM strap :(

    I really think you should add a Paypal donation link so people like myself who truely appreciate your hard work can send you a few bucks directly. I know I would never have the desire or free time to spend 25hrs writing up an article like this. And the fact that you come back and answer more questions in the comments is awesome!

    Thanks again!

  37. Hi Gys-

    RE: Intervals

    Unfortunately, you can’t quite do non-repeating intervals on the FR60. I just tried to set it up, and all intervals must be identical.

    On the FR60 you cannot send a workout to the watch unfortunately.

    Hi Nick-

    RE: Bundles

    Yes, I do wish the bundling options for the FR60 were less restrictive. Some of them just don’t make a lot of sense. :(

    Thanks for your comments – I appreciate them! And thanks for droping by!

  38. Nick

    Hey Ray, just wanted to update you and say thanks again!
    I ordered a FR60 bundle this past weekend (using your Amazon link) and just got to use it last night and today. Must say I’m really enjoying it so far!

    I went ahead and bought the premium strap even though the bundle came w/ the regular strap and I must say it is WELL WORTH the cost! It is soooo much more comfortable! I even slept w/ it on to see what my heart rate is like when I sleep (curiousity is killing me as this is the first HRM I have ever used!).

    Anyways, thanks for ALL of your crazy in-depth reports. You helped me find exactly what I was looking for! This watch is gonna see a couple thousand miles this season!!!!

  39. I dont understand this.

    I was comparing FR60 and FR305 in the web. As Iam in India, I asked my friend to buy this from Sanfransisco – Frys electronics. While I was busy, my friend asked me if he can get FR60 instead of FR305. I said yes. Now, I realize that the watch has come without footpod for 142$ ( but has ant+ ). When I was in US a few days back, I checked FR305 and I realized that it is available for 172$ and it also has a GPS.

    I have a brand new FR60 without a footpod. I am training for marathon and Iam wondering about the use of this equipment.

    I run with my blackberry with Bones in Motion and it tells me the speed, distance, calories and also posts the same in the blog.

    Can you please help me. I am pained to see your post that – without footpod, I have purchased a expensive stop watch.

    Is it possible to use FR60 with anyother footpod. Please let me know as to how I can make use of this expensive watch.

    I wanted a heartrate monitor+distance+speed+calories calculator.

    Thanks a ton in advance.

  40. Hi Nick!

    Thanks for reading – and for ordering via the link – I appreciate it!

    Hi Jayaram-

    RE: The wrong product

    Unfortunately, the FR60 does not have a GPS chip in it, and thus without the footpod…is largely useless for tracking running. :(

    Your best bet is to get your friend to return it to Fry’s (they have a good return policy), or to pickup the Foot Pod. Though, given the price of the foot pod, you’re pretty much better off just getting the GPS 305 instead, which also includes the HR strap you wanted. Good luck!

  41. great review & very helpful! I am comparing 310xt vs FR60 purchase for running (already have Edge 500). I can’t seem to justify the cost & size of the 310xt for what seems to be just the added ability to map my runs…

    Is the pace read out on the FR60 stable? Will I look down one second and see 8:00/mi and then 5:00 the next? Personally, that’s the only question left in my head that would make me lean back towards the 310xt. Your review has answered almost every question I had so far, thanks!

  42. Hey all,
    just a followup. i ended up getting the FR305 instead of the FR60, got a price match at Best Buy for $150 incl. tax (used Amazon). For that price, I’m very pleased.

    I’m in training for Boston, and although I’m not a data head, being able to see my progress in HR and pace is very motivating. And now that Training Peaks Device Agent supports the 305, the 305 is very convenient.

    I was worried that the size or weight would be a problem. Really, you won’t even notice it.

  43. Hey Justin-

    RE: Pace stability on FR60

    Yes, that’s actually one of the nice benefits of the FR60 – because it’s using the footpod, and because you generally don’t drift a ton on pace, you’ll actually see really stable paces compared to the GPS based devices. It’s pretty cool actually.

    That said, while you do have the Edge 500 already, I find that the 310XT and the Edge 500 is just about the most perfect combo you can have from a flexiability standpoint. The 310XT can still do Power on the bike, and uses the same mount system as the Edge 500. But, I completely get that the FR60 is a great day to day watch, and can be worn on your wrist (even on the bike) as a backup. You’ll be happy either way!

    Hi JMilanski-

    RE: Size

    First, great to hear you got them to price match – always nice! Do note that the older device agent did support the 305 for Training Peaks, just the newest one allows all devices in one piece of software instead of having two. And yup, I agree, you don’t even notice the size. The FR305 is great that way.

  44. Thanks you so much. This is exactly what I was looking for to determine whether or not I should buy it.

    So far, the only question I have is, will it measure distance when you are walking as well? So if I was hiking or just walking around the city, would it tell me the mileage?

    My e-mail is jamhealth@gmail.com and I will check here as well for your reply.

    Jim from Boston

  45. JezzaJ

    mate your reviews are awesome!! thanks…garmin should pay you…

    quick q- is it true that the FR60 only shoes heart rate in BPM and not % of max? i really need this!! argghhhh… hehe

  46. Hi James-

    RE: Walking around

    Yup, it works great for that. In fact, I actually use it quite a bit for exactly that. Business trips, tourist wanderings, the whole bit – really rather accurate.

    Hi JezzaJ-

    RE: Showing % of Max

    Actually, you can select to add the “% HR” data field to the watch. And you can customize it on any one of the data pages. So you’re good to go!

  47. Dimitris

    Amazing review ! I am buying one.

  48. Great review .
    Did you calibrate your footpod up to 104%?

  49. Anonymous

    Wow! Just got the FR60 as a gift. Considered switching to something else until i read your blog. Fantastic detail….keeping the watch and bookmarked your review. THANK YOU! Andi

  50. hey Rainmaker,

    firstly awesome reviews! if everything I thought to buy was so thoroughly covered online I wouldn’t have buyers remorse ever again!!

    so some background, I’m a cyclist first but I’ve decided I’d like to become a triathlete or at least do some tri kinda training. I’m torn between the FR60 and the 310xt, but I might spend the money for the FR60 and prob not the 310xt..

    If I don’t expect to be too serious about data collection but would like to be more targeted in my training, which watch/HRM is better? would the one button tri mode of the 305 and 310xt be worth the extra money for a weekend warrior such as myself? also, what can the 310xt do in the water that the FR60 can’t do? and what do you really need in a HRM in the water during swimming?

    Thanks heaps

  51. Thanks Dimitris & Andi!


    RE: Calibration factor

    Yes, I’ve found 104% works pretty well for me. Of course, yours will likely vary.

    Hi Keys (Michael)-

    RE: FR60 vs 310XT

    I think if you’re looking at tri training, you might regret not getting the 310XT down the road, just from the flexibility and features perspective – especially on the bike and showing more data fields. During the swim the HRM function is useless on either watch (simply because Garmin’s ANT+ signal doesn’t work underwater), but the GPS can be used in your swim cap to record distance.

    The one-button tri mode is pretty useful on both the 305 and 310XT during races, but it’s not a deal killer. If you really want the 310XT but it’s out of budget, go with the 305 instead. It’s got virtually all the features of the 305, just missing a bit of battery (20h vs 10h), extra waterproofing and power meter support. There’s a few tiny little details outside of that, but not many.

  52. Rainmaker ,
    I mentioned 104% , because I was next in line to test this unit.
    When I scrolled through options ,104% ( and a change)was in manual calibration.

    I had quite an ordeal to calibrate it manually , even I had a tech support fellow to answer most of my questions ( I am old school).
    Interesting that he does not think positioning the foot pod with its arrow facing forward is any different than the arrow is directed towards the user.
    The instruction is very specific about that – “the arrow on the foot pod must be pointed toward the toe of your shoe”.

    I tried several variations by running several times one lap , around high school track.

    Initially, with your setting the error was 24 meters. I adjusted it down to even 400m and ran again. The result was just the same , even with my own adjustment, down to 89%.

    I tried different things , like running faster or slower or repositioning the pod higher up the foot ( further away from toes).
    Each and every time the margin of error was pretty significant , being the biggest when I secured the pod with just one lace.
    Obviously , when the pod wobbles and moves more than the shoe it is attached to, reading will be off.

  53. Hi there,

    Supergreat review there. I am located in India and am looking to buy this watch via a friend from the US. Does this watch require charging or do you just change the battery once a year?

  54. Hi Wortek-

    Re: Calibration

    The pod wobbling sounds like something isn’t connected correctly – or in the right way. My pod doesn’t move at all. It sounds to me like the one-lace is the issue. The pod is designed to be secured much lower down and with both laces. Othewrise, it’s going to get incorrect readings.

    Hi Johy-

    RE: Charging

    The device is charged already, so no charging to do. Just a once a year battery swap.

  55. Thanks there DC Rainmaker. I am also undecided between the Forerunner 305 and the FR60.

    I am tending to lean towards the FR60 purely due to its size (I have a small narrow wrist).

    Also, I run (only run) exclusively outdoors, so would the FR305 suit me better? I understand that the Forerunner 305 will also charge via the USB connected to the computer, so I don’t need to worry about looking for a 110 to 220volt adaptor for India.

    Is the footpod intrusive during running? Or the somewhat large Forerunner 305?

  56. RE: 305 size vs FR60 size

    Indeed, the FR60 is a nice small size, but the 305 delivers a ton more information compared to the FR60. While it may seem big, I find that virtually everyone gets used to it within a minute or two on their wrist, and then never thinks of it again. Even guys/gals with small wrists. It also includes a small wrist strap in the box, just in case.

    The footpod isn’t instrusive, it’s tiny – about the size of a quarter, so I never even notice it’s there.

  57. I’ve been using the FR60 for a handful of months for walking, lumbar fusion has restricted me to “low-impact” activities. Now that the Doc has released me to get back on my bike, I’ve been looking at the Edge 500, I really don’t like the lack of cycling features on the FR60. Before I buy one will two different ANT+ products sync on the same Garmin Connect and SportTracks?

  58. oops, I meant two different Garmin products sync on the same account, not ANT+ products

  59. Hi Michael-

    RE: Two different products in ST or GC

    Yup, I’ve got…well…a lot of Garmin products and they’re all under one single account in both Sport Tracks and Garmin Connect.

    Good to hear you’re able to get back on the bike!

  60. JezzaJ

    hi DC, this is probably a stupid question, but where is heart rate %? I have looked in the data fields and theres only Heart Rate, AVG Heart Rate, Lap Heart Rate HR Zone, any ideas what i’m doing wrong?

    Thanks mate.

  61. Hi,

    Just got me FR60. Then, found your review. Duh. Now feel very chuffed and confident with my purchase. And you settled some footpod nags I had.

    Fantastic review. Nice work fella.

  62. Nicola

    This is such a helpful review – thanks so much! I am in England, literally poised to click ‘proceed to checkout’ on an FR60 bundle, and your review has given me the confidence to go for it. I have never used a HRM or foot pod before so it’s all very exciting. I’ve added you to my favourites. Thanks again!

  63. Amanda

    Thank you for your review. I received the Women’s Black Bundle watch yesterday for Mother’s Day. I’m already regretting that I opened it because the classic HR strap is very uncomfortable. Wishing I realized before hand that the pink bundle (which is hte same price on Garmin.com) has the premium HR monitor.

    I’m having some issues with the calorie counter feature, which was one of the features I most wanted in a watch.

    I did a 40 min step aerobics class today and it said I only burned 41 calories. Then I spent 15 minutes on the elyptical machine and my calores stayed at 41 and didn’t budge. After the gym I went grocery shopping and when I left the store I finally hopped up to 110 calories… So according to the watch I burned more calories at the grocery store than I did spending an hour at the gym…

    Have you had any issues with this feature or any suggestions to what I might be doing wrong?

  64. Hi,

    First of all; nice review!

    But I have a question; is it possible to put the pod IN my shoe? (I have a special shoe with a hole in the bottom.) Can it still connect to the watch if I do so?


  65. Anonymous

    Nice review, now I ordered this FR60 + footpod. Thank you for this deph review!

  66. Hi Jezza-

    RE: Heart Rate %

    Under ‘More’ within Training Pages configuration you can choose “% HR”. Note, based on a post I found, there was a firmware version which accidentally removed it – so just make sure you’re updated to the lastest firmware.

    Hi Jabster & Nicola!


    Hi Amanda-

    RE: HR Strap

    You may indeed want to look at swapping out for the premium strap – I just enjoy it so much more. The return policy is pretty generous.

    RE: Calorie counter

    Unfortuneatly, counting calories using heart rate only (such as on an eliptical) is a very difficult thing to do. One of the first things you’ll want to ensure is correct on the FR60 is which ‘activity level’ is set in settings, to at least get closer results. That said, this thread may help explain why calorie counting using just heart rate is a very inaccurate science:

    link to forums.garmin.com

    Hi Jeroen!

    RE: Footpod in shoe

    From a transmission standpoint, you’ll have no issues with it picking it up – that’s not a problem at all as the signal strength is actually pretty impressive. The only thing I’m unclear on exactly is if it’ll correctly pickup the foot turnover (stroke mechanics). I think it would, but unfortunately I don’t have a shoe with a hole in it. :( But – please do report back! Also, most retailers (like Amazon), will indeed take the units back if it doesn’t work out.

    Thanks all!

  67. onezerotwo

    Thanks much for the fantastic review!

    I just have a simple question. Let’s say you swim, bike, then run, does the FR-60 immediately pick up the signal from the foot pod as soon as you put on your running shoes without the need for pairing (assuming it was already paired before the race)?

    Have you tried this watch in triathlons?

    Thanks again!!

  68. Jezza

    Hi Mate,

    THanks for the tip again but it never showed up the HR% it was like a ghost!! after much trawling through the forums i followed the advice found here, post #5:

    link to forums.garmin.com

    after resending the hr zones from garmin connect 3 times, magically it appeared! voila! thanks again and keep up the awesome work

  69. One Onezerotwo-

    RE: Pickup of foot pod

    Yup, it’ll automatically pick it up – usually within one or two steps, so basically as soon as the foot pod gets activated by movement and starts sending out a signal, your FR60 will note that the previously paired foot pod is making noise and tell you that it’s picked up the foot pod. Yup, I use it all the time during triathlons, even this weekend. I primarily use it to record my overall time, from swim to bike to transitions to run. Works quite well!

    Hi Jezza-

    Great to hear. Thanks for that thread!

  70. Hi,

    I’m not sure, but i don’t seem to find anything about HR-zones. Is it possible to view the HR-zones (like zone 1 to 5). AND, does the watch beep when you’re out of a zone?

    Grz, Jeroen

  71. Anonymous

    Hello Rainmaker….i have a gramin FR60 and a footpod. How do i manually calibrate my footpod? the easy way? I did run my recent half marathon yesterday without any manual calibration…my wacth shows i ran 14.67 miles – while the half is supposed to be 13.1…also the pace on my watch shows 10.47 while it is 11.34 on the chip given during the run. I do not trust my uncalibrated watch and i am no tech savy…could you please help me? i would appreciate.

  72. Hi,

    Just a quick word of thanks on such an in depth review. Answered every question I had. Helped me decide to purchase this.

  73. Your review was so in depth, and I love that you’re reviewing from an athlete’s perspective. Thank you thank you! Although I decided against the FR60, I did go for the FR 305 based on your comparisons, just had to have the GPS.
    Keep up the awesome work.

  74. Thanks a lot for your extremely thorough review. I actually bought the FR60 six months ago for indoors training during winter, and have found it to be a very practical HR watch, although (as should be expected) fairly basic compared to the Edge 705. I am a cyclist who also runs, so I am considering a GPS watch though.

    The cool thing about the FR60 is the simplicity of it. It is great for simply tracking HR, but it’s easy enough to monitor other things like laps etc. I like that laps can be time intervals – I set it to beep every 15 minutes when I do ultra cycling races in order to eat regularly. My next race will be 540 km (340 miles) and the Edge battery is useless. The FR60 is great for rides like that.

    Your review made me look at my FR60 with new eyes!

  75. Hi Jeroen-

    RE: HR zones

    You can setup zones in GTC, which can then be converted to alerts.

    RE: Beep when out of zone

    Yup, you can setup alerts using Garmin Training Center to do this.

    Hi Anon-

    RE: Manually calibrating footpod

    To calibrate the footpod, you’ll need a track – such as a typical high school running track. or you can use a known distance (such as a trusted marked trail). Each person is different, so simply adjusting teh values won’t help any. :( I’d be very hesitant to trust a treadmill, but you could use that as well.

    Hi Alan-


    Hi Kel-C-

    Makes sense, enjoy your 305!

    Hi Tormod-

    Thanks for the comments, and glad you enjoy the FR60!

  76. Thanks for your review. It was very informative. I have had this watch for approximately 4 months now and I’ve been having some issues with the foot pod staying connected. I have already exchanged the first unit I had for the same reason but I am starting to see the same problem with my new watch. I did not start having these issues until I changed the battery of the foot pod (which was before Garmin says it should be changed. I am using the recommended battery (Energizer) and I have the footpod in the hole in my Nike runners. Did you have any problems like this once you had changed the battery?


  77. Hi Melissa-

    RE: Footpod battery/connectivity

    I haven’t had those issues after battery replacement. Given you’re having it after both battery swapout, and unit swapout, it sounds like it may be the watch itself. I’d ring up Garmin again and just have them swap it out.

    Good luck!

  78. Marc

    Excellent review and report. Found it very comprehensive and can’t wait to get mine.

    Thanks very much.

  79. Fantastic review.
    1 question tho – I note that the distances measured is in miles – I’m planning to train for a 5/10k so was wondering if there is an option to switch to metric distances? *please say yes!*

    I find the myriad of packaging differences frustrating! the red on black watch is sweet – but lacks the footpod and the premium chest band. *frustrated*


  80. Yellowcat

    Unreal detail and follow-up, Rainmaker! As you indicated, the bundles are very specific, and of course I want a combo that isn’t sold as a bundle … Men’s Red FR60, premium strap and Foot Pod. So am working on finding the best deal I can ordering them separately. In considering your comments on older and newer pods, Amazon.com displays a couple versions. How can I tell which one is the newer one? Many thanks.

  81. cjw

    Rainmaker, your reviews are second to none. I’m trying to compare the FR 60 and 110 for triathlon. Will either watch pick up the HR belt when the stop watch is already running? With the 110, can you run the stop watch without the gps to save the battery and then activate the gps for the run? Thanks!

  82. Hi Marc-


    Hi Aaron-

    RE: Metric vs statue

    Yup, no issues at all there. You can easily swap back and forth.

    Hi Yellowcat-

    RE: Different versions of straps

    The key is it’s called “Premium Heart Rate strap”, here’s the exact link:

    link to amazon.com

    Hi CJW-

    RE: FR60 vs FR110

    Yes, both will pickup the HR strap once you start running. That’s exactly what I do during races. Note that the FR110 isn’t waterproof (I killed the review unit they sent me in less than 20 minutes in the pool on the first day), whereas I’ve gone scuba diving without issue with the FR60. Yes, you can stop the GPS and resume again later to save battery on the FR110. It will actually automatically turn off the GPS after a period of inactivity (roughly about 5 minutes, need to time it some day).

  83. Billy Dunn

    Thanks for the review totally switched to Garmin now bought edge 500 ,had edge 705 too many software bugs ,500 rocks ,bought FR60 had polar rs400 with footpod good kit but I think the Garmin is better ,I put the foorpod in my Nike shoes with excellent results ,Garmin software sucks Polar is much better

  84. Hi Rainmaker,
    Thanks for your feedback. I understand the difference between the straps. My question was actually about the different variants of the Foot Pods. How do I ensure that I will receive the newest version? Thanks again.

  85. Anonymous

    Thanks very much for the review, really helped me make my decision regarding which watch to go for!

  86. Marc


    Looks great thanks for the report.

    Can you download training programs the same as with the 305?

  87. Summer

    Great review – thank you – I’m sold! I’m female but I have found the men’s bundle cheaper…I was just wondering whether you know if the chest strap is a different size between the men’s and women’s bundles, or if the only difference is the slight difference in watch size? Thanks!

  88. Hi DC – Awesome blog, I really appreciate it.

    Question – I have a new FR60, so far I love it and have only had one problem that I can’t solve. For some reason, none of my settings save. Time, date, sex, weight, etc. all get set back to square one basically every day. The watch appears turned off (like when I bought it) and when I power up, everything is gone. Appreciate the help. Lee

  89. Hey I have a really random question about the FR60. When it’s in the regular watch mode does it show seconds passing and/or can you use the basic stopwatch function? Thanks!

  90. Hi DC. Fantastic review. I agree with many others in saying that you should do this for a living.

    One note that I have seen. The new footpods on the Garmin Website all show $70. Am I looking at the same footpods?

  91. Look forward to buying my FR60 through your link. You earned the discount. Pay for that 5K. :)

  92. Leigh

    I couldn’t be more pleased with my purchase. Great watch, great review. If it could only transmit a HR signal while under water, oh well.


  93. Wil

    Hi Rainmaker,

    Thanks for the review. Quick question: What happens when you run out of the 20 hours of memory? Does it keep recording laps, etc.

    I ask since I do adventure races (rogaines too) that require a watch with 100+ laps and go for more than 24 hours. Ideally the memory would last longer than this (several days for some events) but most importantly when the “heart rate” memory runs out it is very important to be able to still use the laps/splits and get the timing data off the device once I’ve finished.

    If you don’t know is there any chance you could test this for me. I have a Forerunner 310 but need a device I can use when GPSes are prohibited.

    Alternatively can you stop the heart rate recording to allow longer use of the laps.


    PS: link to forums.garmin.com

  94. this was so helpful. i was torn up on having to spend so much money on the 405cx and opted for the fr60 to use for my first ironman. your review really put me at ease on the decision with the fr60. I just wish I had found your site first and would have picked it up from Amazon to help you out on the 5k race.

    Thanks for such an awesome site. keep it up!

  95. Hi Billy!-

    RE: Polar vs Garmin desktop software

    Honestly, both of their desktop software sucks. That said, Garmin’s web site is pretty good for basic information (not as advanced as TP though). For desktop software, I recommend the free Sport Tracks

    Hi Plushmesiter-

    RE: Footpod variants

    At the moment, pretty much the only variant you can find is the new one now. Also, if you utilize the Amazon links, I only link to the new one now. Good luck!

    Hi Marc-

    RE: Downloading Training Programs

    Yup, the FR60 is the same as the FR305 in that respect.

    Hi Summer-

    RE: Bundle differences

    Nope, only one chest-strap size. The only difference between bundles is the watch size and colors. The Girl now has the FR60 pink one, and it actually uses a slightly different metal-ish rim around the watch edge.

    Hi Run for Life-

    RE: Watch mode seconds

    Yup, it’ll show seconds in normal watch mode. After 60 seconds, it’ll rever back to just time with minutes/hour. Though, in stopwatch mode (which is what I use when I’m swimming), it shows seconds and down to .01 seconds.

    Hi Tony-

    RE: Foot pods

    Yes, the price fluctuates quite a bit with the foot pods, that sound about right. And thanks for the link usage!

    Hi Wil-

    RE: Out of memory

    It will actually warn you when you’re a few hours away. It will not overright the older activities, but will instead actually not record new activities when you hit save. I learned this lesson the hard way. Just beware and you can delete older ones off the watch via the history menu quickly and easily. When you start a new activity and it has low battery, it will visibly and audibly warn you.

    Hi Jade-


  96. Great Review!
    I was wondering if you have the option of preprogramming several different interval sessions and saving those, say 1 with 1 mile intervals, another with 5 minute intervals, etc and just saving them to the watch and just chose what you need for the day?
    Also is there a way to preprogram and save alerts as well and just chose what alert you want for the day depending on what you want to do for the day (HR, pace, etc).

    Thanks a bunch!

  97. Anonymous

    Hi DC. I am interested in the FR60 for working out at home, mostly DVD’s and some treadmill. Do you think this would be a good choice for tracking calorie burn and HR? Awesome review by the way!!

  98. Hey Rainmaker – I am glad I ran across your site! I found a Garmin FR60 on Craigs list and found just the info I was looking for on your review to help make my decision – mainly if I could use it for swim training. I plan on getting it and heading back to your website for all of the informative instructions! I do triathlons so this looks like a good choice! Thank you! Gail M

  99. Hey Rainmaker…..found that the FR60 loses HR signal while swimming, Any fixes for that? Nice to have the data after the swim/tri.


  100. Edgar

    I have a Polar RS200 that quit on me. I have the option to get th FR60 at a good price or trade in the polar for a RS300 or RS400 for 30% off. Any preferences you see for say FR60 versus RS300? Polar only syncs with PC, but FR60 with PC or MAC, correct?

  101. I also did not find any information about HR zones and this how to control in witch zone you realy are and how many time (also %) you have spent in each zone…

  102. Hi Rainmaker, do you know whether it is possible to use one ANT+ UBS stick with two different FR60s? I would like to buy two FR60s (one for me and one for my wife) but I am not sure whether I would need two ANT+ sticks to connect to our computers.
    I couldn’t find an answer on Garmin’s page nor have they answered to my email so far so I’m kind of lost here though I would like to avoid buying two ANT+ sticks if I don’t have to.
    Thanks in advance

  103. Wondering where I can get a replacement ANT stick in Sydney? My FR60 memory is full and I need to clear it but dont want to lose all the data! HELP!!!

  104. Hi Mike-

    RE: Custom Intervals

    Yes, you can do this with the Garmin Training Center application, and save them just like you would save a file in Microsoft Word.

    Hi Anon-

    RE: Calorie tracking

    As far as Garmin devices go – this is the best device for tracking calories, especially as it supports New Leaf calorie profiles. And has Garmin’s most up to date HR based calorie calculations.

    Hi Gail-


    Hi Chuck-

    RE: FR60 while swimming.

    No, unfortunately the FR60 while it works in swimming, it doesn’t transmit/receive ANT+ HR while swimming. This is limitation of the ANT+ protocal more than the Garmin itself.

    Hi Edgar-

    RE: FR60 vs RS300

    I find that the overall software suite is far better on the Garmin side than the Polar side…but that’s just my two cents.

    Hi Tautas-

    RE: HR Zones

    You can set this via Garmin Training Center, or via Garmin Connect. Garmin Training Center will also display time in zones as well.

    Hi Mario-

    RE: Two different FR60’s with one stick

    Yup, you can do this without a problem. In fact, both my fiancee and I have FR60’s and just use one stick between the two of us (sometimes even on the same computer). No issues there!

    Hi Neil-

    Hmm, not sure. Though, one idea would be to call around a local tri shop. The Garmin stick is the same for all products (310XT/FR60/FR405/etc…) – so my bet is that you’d be able to find someone to let you borrow it for a quick second. Likely a store would have a demo nearby.

  105. Hi Rainmaker,
    thanks a lot for such a quick answer, much appreciated.
    Take care and go on doing the great job you’re doing already. It’s clear you’re passionate about what you do and people the world over should thank you for your dedication.
    All the best,

  106. Mrfish

    A question on the FR60 – can we use it on a tandem? That would involve pairing the FR60 and my Edge 500 with the same speed / cadence sensor.

    As ever, great review. I just spent this evening catching up on your reviews and blogs.

  107. Stacia

    Hey there. Been reading forever, am tired, so sorry if I missed this. How many workouts will the FR 60 hold? Compared to the 305 and the 310? Thanks. By the way, my husband is your superfan.

  108. Hi MRfish-

    RE: Tandom

    Yup, you can pair sensors with as many head units as you like, no issues there.

    Hi Stacia-

    RE: Workout holding

    It depends a bit on how long each workout is, since it’s more of a meory thing. In general though – about 20-25 hours worth of workouts before you need to download them to your computer or clear them. That’s using the HR strap and/or other ANT+ accessories. I’ve found with just simple stopwatch style workouts, it’s much longer.

  109. KT

    KarTai said…
    Hi, I have just placed an order for the FR60 bundled with HRM from Amazon via the link on your page. I hope it comes with the premium HRM as per your report. One important question, will my ANT agent and Footpod that work on my older F50 work on the new FR60? I assuming that they do, that’s why I only choose the bundle that include the HRM. Look forward to your response.

  110. Hi KT-

    RE: Footpod and ANT Agent

    Yup, it’ll work without issue. Thanks for supporting the site!

  111. Anonymous

    Hello Rainmaker,
    Thank you for the effort you did in this review. I was wondering if you checked the accuracy of the FR60 with other shoes?

  112. Thank you for a GREAT review with LOTS of information! I am looking for a heart rate monitor/watch for my husband for running and swimming. He already has the Edge 305 but as you know, he can’t use it to swim and running with it is a pain. It seems this is a great choice even though it doesn’t have the GPS. We are hoping to do some triathlons so I figure this would be good. I asked him about the FR310XT but it is so big and bulky it seems crazy to get that when he already has the Edge.

    Again, thank you very much for your great insight!

    Kind Regards,

  113. Hi rainmaker, I found your post when I was looking for a new runnning watch, and I have purchased a 310xt and by incident an FR60, and I agree its a great watch. Thanks for your big work and for sharing.

    Christian ( denmark )

  114. Excellent review. Thanks so much for being so thorough and descriptive. I just bought an FR-60 bundle for myself from Sams Club for my Christmas present and wanted to read some reviews on it before I open it. I was curious. Does it have the ability to link a virtual training buddy on it? I run and train alone but really would like to have a virtual buddy to help me run faster.

  115. Thanks for your review! I just would like to know if the distance metric can be customized to km instead of miles. thks again.

  116. Great writeup! Very detailed and amazing. One question I had though: how frequently does the watch measure/record data? For example, if you had the HR monitor bundle, does it record your HR for analysis every minute? Once every 10 seconds? Every second?

  117. Anonymous

    Hi Rainmaker! Thank you this very informated review!
    I’d ask one thing. I saw on the amazon site a new garmin foot pod with gps reciever, if I use this with fr60 is it capable storing the results (distance, and my routs) and after upload show all of them on the map like the fr305?

    Thank very much!


  118. Hi Rob, could you put the link for this new garmin foot pod with gps reciever?

  119. Anonymous

    hi Rafael!

    I found this: link to amazon.com

    but I didn’t find the garmin site same device. Maybe the amazon link is inaccurate.


  120. Thank you for the great review.

  121. David

    Merry Christmas to you! Thank you for your great reviews. Don’t know if you heard about a recent product I recently bought: the Sigma RC1209 which is to my opinion a competitor to the FR60. With the new R3 Comfortex+ chest belt, the RC1209 enables the measuring of the trip distance, speed and heart rate values in one device and without additional accessories like, for instance, a foot pod.
    Would really like to get your opinion on this product!
    A link to the product description: link to sigmasport.com

    Thanks again for your great reviews!

  122. FR-60 is my favorite watch! Great review. Thanks!!

  123. Jill

    Wow I am so glad I came across this review and your blog. I have been in limbo for months over the best watch for me. I have finally narrowed it down to the FR60 and the Polar 400 SD. After reading your review I am more inclined to go with the Garmin. Can you shed any insight on the comparison of the two devices? Thanks so much.

  124. Dear Ray,
    my best wishes for a happy new year along with my compliments on your great reviews.I am interested in buying a Garmin FR 60 watch from amazon.co.uk,and I got confused with the components each version/bundle offers, and I’d appreciate your help in making things clear for me.So, here we go:The black version bundle:The footpod is the new one(2.5×2.5×2.5)or the bulky old one?The HRM is the Premium or the classic?The watch strap is the same of the blue version or not?
    I also need the pieces of information for the blue version bundle.Finally,please do not forget I will order from amazon.co.uk(of course trough you-it would be rude not to)
    Thanks John Pap

  125. Hey DC!

    Great blog. Shame I’d already got the watch or I’d have used your links. I have a few questions and some ideas you can use your prowess to ask Garmin?

    Q: How do I tell the watch if I’m about to go running or cycling or doing a general exercise?

    I’m trying to use the hr strap on it’s own at the moment as I play a lot of football/soccer and don’t want to destroy the footpod. I also want to record squash matches. So, I now have 4 squash activities that are listed as Run, Run, Bike and General. Ideally I’d like these all to be general. HELP!

    Idea: is there any way a geotagging accesory can be paired with the fr60 so gps data can also be recorded? This would be like the little gps receivers you can get to pair up with the timestamps on your photos.

    If this was a similar device to the Chirp that’d be awesome. All it needs is a gps receiver and an Ant+ transmitter…

    Thanks again

    Liam Salmon, Salisbury UK

  126. Oh Yeah, another idea.

    Can a new firmware update be implimented to allow the activity log to automatically alter what activity level the user is, rather than putting our own 1 – 10 scale?

    I realise there are metrics for each point, but the watch would know best as it were…


    Liam Salmon, Salisbury UK

  127. Anonymous


    Regarding the Forerunner 60 – can the 3 data fields be programmed to display what I want (i.e., pace/distance/HR, or pace/HR/Total Time, or Pace/Total Time/HR, etc.).

    Also, can you switch sport modes with the FR60 (say going back and forth from bike mode to running)?

    Thanks! Very helpful blog!

  128. Thanks MR. R.
    Your review tipped me towards buying this. Downgrading (or upgrading) from 405CX, which really really annoyed me.. really!. Must say, this is perfect for indoor winter training, or just for training passes in the Forrest. It gives adequate and precise information on my training progress.

    Regards from Denmark. Jimmi

  129. Stretch

    Rainmaker, Great Review! Thanks for sharing your extensive experience with all these Garmins!

    Quick question on FR60 (or 310XT), how can I see the total time in each of my 5 HeartRateZones for a particular workout?

    If I can’t see it on the wrist, which software package(s) will let me easily see that?
    Thanks again!

  130. Thanks for the great review, I’m looking for a good mid-range HRM and this has got me leaning towards a FR60, will make sure to buy a bundle through Amazon link on page if I settle on this one.

  131. Anonymous

    Hello, I just wanted to point out that 800m in the calibration, is not half of a mile, but 0.497 miles

  132. Anonymous


    Loved your review and the fullnesss of it, I’ve recently ordered this product and realise the amount of over claim in this market is horrific (first sports/HRM I’ve purchased).

    Anyways your review said you used it to ski, bike, swim etc.

    I do ballet, skipping, ice skating, cycling.

    When Ski – did you use the foot pod or did you just use heart rate etc. I’m keen to know if I can fit it to my ice boot and it work.

    Also for ballet/pilates work out – will it give reading beyond heart rate.

    Thank you – seriously good robust review.


  133. Dc Rainmaker,

    Awesome review! I bought the watch just because of how great it was (hopefully you got the credit cuz I bought the watch through your site.

    I have a question about the foot pod. I am not sure if I calibrated it wrong or something, but I went out for an 10 miler yesterday, but when I mapped my run online, I had actually done 10.96 and where my watch said my avg pace was 7:43/mile, it was actually 7:05. And I just got in from a 4 miler and it said 3.71 on my watch.

    How should I go about fixing this accuracy problem?

  134. Anonymous

    Hello! Thanks for the reviews! I am currently debating between the FR60 and the new 410. I have fairly small wrists so that is a concern. However, I also was curious if the watches work well with a Mac? I apologize if I missed any of this info in the review or other comments.
    Thanks so much!

  135. Alex

    Very thorough and best review on the FR 60 on the internet.

    Can’t be more pleased with my purchase.
    Wish you all the best!

  136. I am seriously considering the FR60, as I am a somewhat beginner runner that splits indoor and outdoor training.

    I was curious if you had the link to the pink bundle on Amazon so I could purchase through that since your review was so thoruough and helpful??

  137. pjbe

    Thanks for such a great review. The detail was wonderful. Glad I ordered a footpod. I got tired of taking my Polar watch and a pedometer

  138. Laura

    Hi there.

    Thanks for the great review. I bought the FR60 in December and its been great. im training for my first half marathon which is in three weeks and the FR60 has been such a great tool to help with it.
    however, last week, all of a sudden on a 10km run – after around 5km, suddenly the reading went haywire- telling me i was running 1m15s per km. It only settled back to normal after 15 minutes. i tried resetting it, everything but it was stuck on that pace. next run was fine, no problems but then today, on my long run, after around 9kn the same thing happened. it got stuck telling me i was running 1m50s per km and would not go back to normal at all. i have not calibrated the watch. have you heard of any issues like these beofre with it?
    Thanks, Laura

  139. Anonymous


    As others have remarked, your blog is pretty surreal (needless to say, that’s a compliment)! I just happened to stumble upon it, but it should really get more exposure: not just for your, but also for other people’s benefit. Can it e.g. get a link on the Runnersworld website?

    I think you just convinced me to get an FR60 (and I’ll make sure to use your link here). Quick question (I think you have implicitly already given an answer, but want to make sure before pulling the trigger): my Forerunner 50 recently died during some light swimming recently, but I still have the Footpod, Hart Rate Strap and Ant + USB Stick that go with it. Would those Forerunner 50 accessories work with the FR60 or should I get the FR 60 accessories?

    Many thanks!


  140. Great review on the FR60 – I’m a proud owner for the past year. But I do have a question. My watch is showing me a total run time which is different from what loads into Garmin Training Center. It’s done this on the last few runs – anyway between 30 seconds and almost 7 minutes of difference.
    Have you ever heard of such a problem and what it could be? Also, my watch is less than 6 months old as Garmin has already replaced it once.

  141. Hi Rainmaker. Your review really helped me decide on the FR60 and the BC-1000. However, I have a question I can’t find an answer for. It’s me and the wife, so I’ve figured out only one profile per FR60. However, if I get another, will I be able to configure where the data from two FR60s can be read from the BC1000, to one ANT+ receiver in one computer, up to GarminConnect and back to the Tanita SW? I don’t want to go buy another FR60 until I’m certain its doable. Thanks!!! frazicl@gmail.com

  142. I really liked your review!
    Is the best.
    I am going to buy an HR monitor for my running.
    I am MTB cyclist in my bikes i ride with the Garmin 705 is the perfect mate to my rides.
    To run i am going to buy something to start loging miles in my Garmin Connect, I use to Run once to tree times a week, I Dunno if buy FR60 or the FR110, the FR110 have a better look in my opinion.

    The FR110 is nice because can creat the altitude graph, nice to country hike in the offseason.

    What is your opinion? I like to run, actually i run just with a stopwatch, I want to start knowing better my pace know my values. HR inclusive ;)

    Can the FR110 show in the watch the %HR ???

  143. Anonymous

    I have been looking at HRM for a week now, and this is the best review I have come across. I’ve just started running and need something to keep me motivated. Thanks so much for this review, I’m in Aus so I will buy it at my sports store but if I was in USA I would certainly be buying from Amazon, thanks to you!

  144. Anonymous

    Awesome, awesome, thank you, thank you.

  145. Hi Anon-
    RE: Accuracy with others shoes

    Yup, I’ve used a few others – no issues as long as you calibrate each time.

    Hi Cheryl-

    Hi Christian-

    Hi Bwalya-
    RE: Virtual Partner

    Yes, it includes the virtual partner feature…I love it!

    Hi Rafael-
    RE: Metric

    Yes, you can change to metric – no problems.

    Hi Barret-
    RE: Data Frequency

    It uses smart recording, which ends up being between 1 and 7 seconds, usually about every 2-4 seconds. It changes based on changing data paramters (i.e., a shift in HR or speed).

    Hi Anon/Rob-
    RE: Showing route map

    The FR60 will not show a route map, given its lack of GPS. Sorry!

    Hi Rafael-
    RE: New Link for Footpod

    Sure, will do!

    Hi Eeeeej-

    Hi David-
    RE: R3

    Hmm, interesting – haven’t seen it before, I’ll poke around!

    Hi Coach Joe-

    Hi Jill-
    RE: Polar 400 SD

    Unfortunately I haven’t spent much time with the Polar 400SD. Sorry!

    Hi uapia-
    RE: Footpods

    All FR60’s come with the new footpod (slim and not-bulky). all HR straps include the premium one. The only difference is the strap colors and which components.

    Thanks for supporting the site!

    Hi Liam-
    RE: Changing sport

    You can change sport via the menu to switch from running to cycling. In the case of HR only type activities, I just use general. The good news is you can easily change it online with Garmin Connect afterwards.

    RE: GPS components
    Unfortunately, I suspect we won’t see a GPS accessory added – as that would eat into their GPS product line. Sorry!

    Hi Anon-
    RE: Display options

    Yes, you can change which display fields to display. And yup, you can easily switch sport modes quickly.

    Hi Jimmi/iver007-

    Hi Stretch-
    RE: Total Time in zone

    All of the above software packages will show that, so no worries no matter which one you choose!

    Hi Jessica-

    Hi Anon-
    RE: 800m

    True, though, for the purposes of discussion I was willing to let the .003 miles slide. ;)

    Hi Anon-
    RE: Skiing

    I just used it from a HR standpoint, not to gather distance. For the other activities, it’s pretty much just going to be HR. Thanks!

    Hi Ryan-
    RE: Accuracy

    It sounds like calibration may be the issue – try recalibrating it with a slightly longer calibration period. And thanks for the support!

    Hi Sher-
    RE: Mac compatibility

    Yup, both work with a Mac without issue.

    Hi Alex-

    Hi Shia-
    RE: Link to Pink bundle

    Yup, here ya go:
    link to amazon.com

    Hi pjbe-

    Hi Laura-
    RE: Weird speed readings

    Sounds like the footpod battery needs to be replaced, that’s a common symptom. Here’s a full footpod post, for future reference:

    link to dcrainmaker.com

    Hi Anon/LR-

    RE: FR60 accessories
    Yup, they should work just fine!

    Hi Janel-
    RE: Total time differences

    Are you stopping along the way? It sounds like one is displaying elapsed time, while one is displaying total time. For example, if you ran from 12PM to 12:45PM, but stopped for two minutes – one will show 43 minutes of time, whereas the other 45 minutes.

    Hi Chris-
    RE: Two FR60’s to one BC-1000

    Yup, you can easily pair two FR60’s to a single BC-1000

    RE: TWo FR60’s to one computer

    Yes, and no. You can easily pair them both – but it’ll send the data into a single Garmin Connect account. If you’re on a PC though you could create a seperate user profile for each of you and then it’ll send it to seperate Garmin Connect accounts.

    Hi Anon’s-

    Thanks all for the support, I appreciate it!

  146. Tom

    Thanks for a great review. It never occurred to me that a non-GPS watch could do all that. And 1 year battery life – WOW! I’m definitely buying one.

    I currently use edge 705 for kayaking/surf-ski and I think this FR60 for running will make the perfect combo.

  147. Just wondering where I can get a new battery for my watch (in Sydney)? Is there anywhere I can send it?! Thanks…and great review and follow up!

  148. Hi Neil-

    Any local watch/jewelery place will be able to swap the battery out for ya.


  149. Anonymous

    Hi Ray, There is one thing that has been driving me crazy on my FR60. On the USER menu, under SETTINGS there is a field that says – View Name. How do I enter my name?

  150. I’m almost convinced in buying this watch to replace my (still working though) Polar M52.
    Would you be able to tell me if the watch can be used to upload data to Runkeeper.com??

    Thanks in advance…


  151. This is a great review and relieved some of my concerns on accuracy. However, I’m wondering if the speed it displays is “current” or if its an overall average of your running speed?

  152. Hi Todd-
    RE: Entering name
    Oddly enough – there actually isn’t a way to change the name. See this: link to forums.garmin.com

    Hi Boke-
    RE: Uploading to Runkeeper.com

    Yes, you can upload

    Hi Blanca-
    RE: Current speed

    It’s instant. You can utilize Lap or Overall average data fields if you’d like though, either instead of, or in addition to.

    One of the reasons folks like the FR60 so much is just how fast it responds on speed because it’s foot-pod based, compared to GPS based where there’s a bit of a delay.

  153. Wow- let me be the 153rd person to thank you for that detailed review.

    Just picked up an HR60 after reading the review and finding a new one for a good price ($69 off ebay). I’ve been using the free micoach on my Iphone but look forward to keeping a better tab on my current pace.

    I’m not a techie nor data cruncher, and frankly I’m hardly a competitive age grouper but I do want to train smarter. So knowing this, let me make the causal observation that all the apps coming out on smartphones will push $300-400 watches down in price if not make them obsolete. Any thoughts?

  154. Superb review, it helps a lot, as well as comments.

    I will check again this post when I recieve my FR60 at home.

    Regards from Spain.

  155. Hi DC!

    Thanks for the detailed review. You have a knack for explaining things in detail. I’ve been eyeing the FR60 for quite sometime now, and your blog led me to my final decision of getting one.

    I’m a female with about 6″ (~15cm) wrist size and I’m getting the men’s version of it. I tried it on from our local REI store here in Tustin, CA and I don’t mind the watch strap overhang of the men’s version. The watch strap for the men’s is much more flexible than the women’s version. I love the red/blk color too. The women’s face version though a bit smaller is a bit thicker than the men’s. I tried the HRM to see if it’s not overly large for me, and it fits fine. REI didn’t have any red/blk in stock and the last one is the display. I’m clicking your amazon link instead so you would get credit for it.

    I only workout at the gym and rarely runs outside (even in the CA weather). The main activities I do is lift weights and cardio exercises. I vary my cardio from spinning classes 2x a week and on some days I do run/jog/walk on treadmills, and elliptical. Maybe this FR60 will motivate me to run outside, hmmm…

    My question is what accessory do i need to measure distance/speed on an indoor cycling machine (the ones normally on indoor cycling classes, not the recumbent and upright series).

    My 2 main things why i’m getting this watch is HRM and calories burned. Would getting a foot pod affect accuracy of calories burned? Can you give me a the amazon link for the FR60 blue LTD version, just in case I decided to get this bundle with the foot pod? Also the link for just the foot pod alone, just in case i buy the blk/red version separately.

    Thanks again for your help.


  156. Anonymous

    Wahou. This is a review.

  157. Hi again from Spain!

    I received my FR60 and I’m really happy!

    However I don`t think it has a proper calibration. In the manual calibration, what % do you have?

    I know that the best way to calibrate is on a track, however there’s none near home.

    Do you think you get good distance dates when you run with different paces?

    Regards a thanks.

    Manuel Escaño.

  158. Jill

    DCR You are a good person, the world needs more people like you! My question is: Do I need to upgrade to premium on trainingpeaks in order to share my data from my FR60 w/ my coach? I already transferred my data from my device to trainingpeaks, but I am using the free version. Does it have that feature? And what are your thoughts on the premium if you get the chance to respond.

    Thanks, Jill

  159. I appreciate your thoroughness and thoughtfulness on your review of the Garmin FR60. What is your opinion as to whether or not this device will work with rollerblading as well?

  160. AVo

    Rainmaker…you have been phenomenal and don;t realize the impacts you are having on people worldwide. About a year ago I read your reviews on FR60 and was so impressed that I bought one with the HRM and the footpod. To cut the long story short after running for about a year and losing 90 pounds…i am just a huge fan of this product….and all thanks to you.
    I do have an issue now and hoping you can help. I just replaced my batteries in all 3 units and the watch and the HRM are working fine but the foot pod has an issue and it states that “SDM could not be found”. Do you how to fix this. It feels like my life has come to a stand still without this.

  161. Awesome review. Thanks a lot!

  162. staunen2

    Hi, I agree with all the others that have been blown away by your impressive review (in fact, I bought the watch based on it), great job! I hope you can help with two questions:

    in your review and in others I’ve read, the watch is described as ~95% accurately calibrated out of the box; mine, though, was off by more than half a mile. I’m going to the track today to calibrate it, but even still, should I be concerned about this?

    also, the foot pod is rated as waterproof to 10m (as opposed to the watch to 50m). Should I be worried about using it in a heavy rain?


  163. staunen2

    OK, so after calibrating the watch and foot pod today at the track I ran a lap with both the FR60 and my old 205 and was happy to see only a only a very slight difference (.01 mile) between them.

    When I went for a 3 mile run after that, though, the difference was .1 mile. This is not a huge, but it’s alot more than what you measured comparing your 310 to the FR60. Also, over a long run that difference could approach 3/4 of a mile.

    I’m left feeling a little concerned about the accuracy of the watch. Should I have run more than a single lap to calibrate? Should I keep calibrating until it’s more exact? Is it possible the 205 has the accuracy problem?

  164. I followed the link and purchased the FR60 bundle with footpod and HRM. Upon receiving the package I was disappointed to see the HRM is not the premium heart rate version. Checked Garmin website and they list only the Blue and Pink models come with the premium heart rate monitor. Oh well a minor inconvenience as the HRM should work regardless of which version was included.

  165. Hi Patrick-
    RE: Smartphone Competition

    I think you’re starting to see that in some areas, in particular bike computers. In the case of the FR60 though, with the base price being around $90, I don’t expect it to go much lower.

    Hi Aileen-
    RE: Accessory for bike

    For a spinning bike, you’re somewhat out of luck unfortunately as there currently isn’t anything that fits that. However, for a normal bike on an indoor trainer you can use the GSC-10 speed/cadence kit.

    RE: Calories

    Getting the footpod would not affect calorie burn stats. In the case of the blue LTD bundle, here’s the link:

    link to amazon.com


    Hi Inkel-
    RE: Calibration

    The calibration will depend heavily on placement and stride. In my case, it’s 100.4 – but that doesn’t mean it would be right for you. How about a treadmill instead? It’s not quite perfect, but it would work well!

    Hi Jill-
    RE: TP Premium to let coach view

    No, you can use the share workout option and send him a direct link to any workout. I use Premium as I fall under my Coaches TP plan – which may be the best long term option for your coach (for him to get a coaching account).

    Hi Ronda-
    RE: Rollerblading

    Unfortunately, this would not work with rollerblades as it’s not GPS based. You’re best looking at something like the FR110/210.

    Hi Avo-
    RE: Awesomeness

    Dude, that’s freaking awesome! Serious congrats on losing the weight, and your success in running – so very cool! Hit me up on e-mail if you can, would love to hear more.

    RE: Footpod

    Hmm, it sounds like either the footpod has died, or needs to be paired again (I suspect you’ve tried that though). I’d recommend a quick ring up to Garmin and they’ll get you going pretty quickly.

    Hi Staunen-
    RE: Calibration

    Yes, I highly recommend 800m (two laps around track) versus just doing the quarter mile calibration. I found that it was ‘mostly close’ with one lap, but ‘darn near perfect’ with two laps.

    Hi Maddocks-
    RE: HR Strap inbox

    Hmm, that’s a bummer. I’ll get that noted clearly above. I just wish they’d simply send out the premium straps with everything…it’s all a matter of a few cents to them anyway.

    Thanks all!

  166. staunen2

    Thanks for the reply – I’ll try a longer calibration run today. But, what about the waterproofing of the footpod? Have you had any trouble with it used in a drenching rain?

  167. No waterproofing issues with the footpod. I routinely run across streams and the like without issue (will do so again during this evening’s long run). :)

  168. staunen2


  169. Nik

    Great review!
    A lap button fell off the FR60. Can it be fixed?
    Thank you,

  170. Kathy

    First, thank you for the review. I purchased the “pink” FR60 2 weeks ago and love it. Just one question. The first time I ran, I put it in “auto-calibration” mode and the watch read “2 miles” which was the distance I ran. So I accepted the data and have been recording distance/pace since then. Well I ran with my friend yesterday who was wearing Garmin FR310XT. After the run the 310XT showed 4.3 mles while the FR60 showed 4.6 miles….not too much of a difference but which is the “real” distance? My bigger concern was in average pace. The FR310XT showed average pace of 9:41 while the FR60 showed average pace of 9:11. My friend wearing the FR310XT actually left me in the last mile running faster so I would think the FR310XT average pace would have been faster but data showed 00:30 slower. What gives? Which watches data is more accurate for pace? Should I manually calibrate my FR60 and then run with my FR310XT friend again. Since pace is important in my training I want to make sure the FR is giving me accurate data.

  171. After getting my FR60 (due in no small part to your review) I’ve discovered a few things your readers might want to know about it.

    First, any battery replacement or firmware upgrade completely resets the device. If you keep your profile and heart rate ranges on Garmin Connect, however, you can use that application to resend the information to the watch, saving you from having to manually re-enter that information. You will, however, have to redo all your Training Pages and Alerts.

    Second, while the first gen foot pod pairs and seems to work with the FR60, its has a peculiar behavior. You’ll get pace, distance and steps information, but you won’t get cadence information. It seems a little counterintuitive to think you could get steps without the FR60 being able to calculate cadence, but there you have it.

    Next, if you use multiple food pods, you’ll need to calibrate each one separately, especially if one of the is a Gen 1 foot pod. Given how easy it is, to move the Gen 3 foot pod between shoes, it might just be less of a hassle to just move it, especially if you rotate through multiple pairs of shoes.

    Finally, while the Garmin Training Center accepts and stores data from the FR60, it appears that you have to manually ‘receive from device’ within GTC once you define the device.

    Thanks for all the great info! I’m looking forward to being in DC for the Marine Corps Marathon in October!

  172. When you do a triathlon with the FR60 do you start in General mode and then switch to Bike and then Run mode or do you stay in one mode and use the lap function? I have a 310xt, but it’s a bit cumbersome in the water and would rather leave it on my bike and use the FR60 for splits. I have done one triathlon starting the swim in run mode and just lapping for T1, bike, T2 and run (relying on the 310 on the bike for stats). The only problem is that the FR60 didn’t pick up the footpod on the run leg (I didn’t bother trying to scan the foot pod on the run as I was trying to race). Any suggestions?

  173. LH

    Can you comment on using the FR60 in triathlons? I currently have a 310XT with the quick release kit but have not been using it in the swim for fear of losing it (either in the cap or wrist).

    I was thinking about using the FR60 as I want to see a total time for the race. Then I’d use the 310XT just for the bike. But I saw one person report that if you start it in Run mode in transition (with a paired footpod), when you come back later on it won’t pick up the footpod. Thoughts?

  174. Hi Ray

    Have you realised that changing the location of Foodpod (shoelaces to Nike+ sock) you can get different data.
    Even, when I changed from left foot to right foot I got a different data.
    Have you experienced something similar.

  175. Hi Nik-
    RE: Front fell off

    Unfortunately, I’m not aware of any way to do that aside from sending it in. But they’re quick!

    On the bright side, watch this video in the meantime, it’s applicable to your situation: link to youtube.com

    Hi Edward-
    RE: Battery resets

    Yeah, I do wish it maintained state. But I figure this is fairly rare (once a year or so).

    RE: First gen footpod
    Hmmm…my first gen one does get cadence on other units (the big twinkie looking one). I’d have to dig it up and see if it gets it on the FR60 as well. Weird.

    RE: Multiple footpods

    Yes, indeed – I do wish they’d support multiple footpods, but none of the Garmin’s do today. Only a few iPhone apps do.

    Thanks for the comments and tips – and good luck at MCM, it’s awesome race!

    Hi Karoly-
    RE: Triathlon

    For me I just leave it in general and use the lap function. I’m primarily just looking for overall time just to track against the whole course. If you need it to pickup the different sensors you’ll want to switch modes. By leaving it in run/general mode it’ll pickup the footpod sensor automatically though.

    Hi LH-
    RE: Using it in triathlons

    As noted above, that’s exactly what I do – just leave it on to track total time for race. I have an edge on the bike for that, and then for the run piece along I just toss on a FR310XT or FR610. The FR60 is just like a simple stopwatch for me in a race.

    Hi Asesor-
    RE: Changing location

    Indeed, if you change location of the footpod you must re-calibrate it.

    Thanks all!

  176. Anonymous

    thank you for all the details.

    I’ve just a question : what about the combination of FR60 and Edge500 for a triathlon ?

  177. That’s a great combo – and one that I rock occasionally during tri’s. More so because the FR60 is fully waterproofed so you can use it on the swim as a simple timer. And then as a backup on the bike. Finally, once on the run it’ll simply pickup your footpod sensors and you’ll be off!

  178. Anonymous

    Hi Rainmaker,

    Thanks for a great review :)

    I’m a start up runner and i’m looking for a watch, but is FR60 still the best choice or what do you recommend?

    When i’m reading your review it seems like the FR60 with a footpod is a okay choise compared to other watches with GPS?

    Do you know if there is a replacement on ist way to FR60?

    Thanks, Carsten!

  179. 210 vs FR60:

    Hi Rainmaker,

    I am a casual runner/walker (both indoor and outdoor). Weekends I will be doing either hiking or biking.

    Recently I started using Runkeeper on my cell phone. Which is awesome and I got hooked on uploading and analyzing the results etc. As I am getting more into it, started getting kicks out of it, I am looking for a watch to do this.

    That is how I came across your awesome blog. You are providing a great service for all the people shopping for anything in this category.

    I am tying to decide between fr60 and 210.

    For 210:
    GPS, Maps, altitude
    No waterproofing, need to charge

    For FR60:
    Can swim with, no need to charge regularly and bike sensor compatible.
    But no Gps so no maps.

    For me with 210 getting map of the bike trail is good enough may not need cadence.

    As I started with RunKeeper, I am more into looking at the tracks on the map. So I was inclined towards 210. But battery and waterproofing of FR60 seems compelling.

    Please help me decide.


  180. Hi,

    Great review and outstanding blog with so many information.

    Stupid question :
    I’ve been running using the Nike+iPod combo for a year and would like to go into higher technology. I have been considering GPS watch as it seems like it is the global trend… and until today I thought they were more accurate than footpod-based watches. I typically see significant variations in distance recorded by the Nike+ footpod depending on my running pace (whether I’m going out for 5k or 10k, or depdending on the weather). Despite the MASSIVE amount of data on your website, I didn’t find anything about the Nike+ footpod. Is the technology different from the Garmin one ? Is one significantly better then the other ?

    Thanks again for sharing your knowledge,



  181. Anonymous

    I have had a FR60 since September and I have loved it the entire time!! I use it on my bike and my runs as well as a few tris! I swear by this watch!
    Unfortunately, I have had the same issue with 2 different watches since September. The strap has torn from the bottom of the face! It happened the morning if the Disney marathon, where garmin had a booth! They swapped it out for me with a brand new one. Now, 4.5 months later, it’s happening again!!!
    Garmin has been incredible about replacing it, but this is not a process I am interested in going through every few months! Advice? Should I look to a new model? Which one? The 310xt is way too huge for me!!

  182. Anonymous

    Hi, thanks for all your reviews, in the last few days I’ve become hooked on your blog. Anyway, my question is what kind of watch is best for me. I’m from Toronto and have gone into quite a few stores that carry heart rate monitor/gps watches, but have found the sales staff don’t really know the differences between the watches and which ones would suit my needs best, so hopefully you can help me make a decision. I’ve been procrastinating for a while now on which watch to buy.

    I mostly work out in a gym doing step and kick boxing classes, but in the summer I do run and walk a lot outdoors. I am interested in keeping track of my heart rate and calories burned, but I’m also wanting to build up to doing a half marathon at some point so I’m also interested in my pace and distance. However, because I mostly do classes I don’t know if I should go for more of a fitness watch like polar or a garmin. At the moment I’m torn between the forerunner 210 and the bundled fr60 with the footpod. For my needs is there a specific model or brand you would recommend? Will the garmin give me accurate calorie/heart rate info in my classes.

    Like a lot of people who have commented I have a pretty small wrist and feel like the 305 looks like I’m wearing a computer on my arm (yes, I’m a bit vain, lol).

    Any tips or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

  183. Due to the death of my Polar 800cx I started using my FR60 outside. (I would only use it on the TM.) Went for a run this weekend that has consistently shown as about +/-8.1 miles. My FR60 recorded as 7.65. I was also running with my iPhone set on the TrainingPeaks app for RunTracker and it showed 7.38. I went to the TP site and created a route that showed 8.05. It seems that the Polar and TP are close, but why so different on the FR60 and TP Run Tracker? Have you ever done a comparison on the different GPS tracker sites: iMapmyrun, GPS Tracker, etc. Thanks for all of your great reviews and help. Thanks,

  184. hi rainmaker! thanks for all your reviews so far. they have done a stellar job on enlightening me on all the pros and cons of the hrms im considering (fr60 and fr210).

    could i ask if the backlight on the fr60 compared to the fr210 would be sufficient for using during cycling/running in the dark?

    also, which would you recommend for primarily cycling usage? (although i would use it for running as well)


  185. awesome review, i was just wondering if the fr60 could show both average and current pace?

    Thanks Jack

  186. After reading this review I have NO questions, just wanted to say that I LOVED reading your post!!! Very informative, funny, smart & did I say funny? Sincere thanks for taking the time to do this.

    — South Florida triathlete :)

  187. Eric C.

    Very informative review! I was looking for an HRM for the past few days. Almost hit the checkout in Amazon for another watch last night. I was sold to the watch after I read your full review this morning. Grabbed one during my morning break and used it in my evening workout (run and swim). Worked as expected! Just what I needed – simple, functional and can be used as daily watch. Thanks RM, thanks Garmin.

    Eric C.
    Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

  188. Mikal S

    Hello, I just bought the FR60 with footpod, and I have one question that isn’t answered directly in any of the manuals.

    Can I leave the foot pod in my shoe and use them for casual use, without draining its power? Or will the foot pod always drain power while moving?

  189. Anonymous

    I am looking at the fr60 vs 305 for training for marathon training, I do a lot of running on trails and I know the 305 has a history of showing extremely slow paces in tree cover, so ideally the fr60 would be better for this situtation, but would it be accurate enough in tempo runs and in the marathon to check pace? Also real time pace sounds good compared to the gps watches if its accurate

  190. Cedric

    Thank you very much for this very detailled test!

  191. Hi Anon-
    RE: FR60 choice

    Yup, I love the FR60, especially in the sub-$100 level. But, I think that at $125, the FR305 offers the best value for the buck.

    No known replacement on the FR60 front at this time.

    Hi Seenu-
    RE: 210 vs FR60

    Between those two, I’d go with the FR210 given you want to do more outdoors type stuff, and the GPS gives you a bunch more flexibility there. Enjoy!

    Hi Sebastien-
    RE: Nike+ Footpod

    The footpod is indeed different, and based on my testing I find that the calibraiton offerings from the Garmin (or other ANT+) footpod allows it to be more accurate once calibrated. There’s actually a few cool tools to really get it just perfect.

    link to dcrainmaker.com

    Hi Anon-
    RE: New Models

    There will be a new watch model in the fall, but exact timeslines are unclear. See this post with my conversation with Garmin about it, from a week ago:

    link to dcrainmaker.com

    Hi Anon-
    RE: HR based calorie metrics

    You’ll want a watch that can do HR based calorie metrics, check out this post for which ones are the best bets:

    link to dcrainmaker.com

    Hi dsware-
    RE: Footpod distance off

    Did you have a chance to fully calibrate it for at least half a mile on a track? That’s the key to success with the distance. I’ve done a bit of a comparison of different GPS tracking devices (see sidebar), including RunKeeper on both an iPhone and an Android phone.

    See this for the comparisons: link to dcrainmaker.com
    See this for the Footpod info: link to dcrainmaker.com

    Hi Gavin-
    RE: FR60 to FR210 backlights

    Both are good, but the FR210 is better in that it can be set to stay on longer because it has a rechargeable battery. For primarily cycling I’d go with the FR210 due to the GPS versatility. Both support the speed/cadence sensor.

    Hi Jack-
    RE: Avg and Current pace

    Yup, shows both (if configurd as such)

    Hi Candice-

    Hi Eric-
    Thanks, I appreciate it!

    Hi Mikal-
    RE: Footpod on forever

    Yup, I leave my footpod on my shoes constantly – and I often wear those shoes for casual use. Battery will last about a year anyway, so i figure even if it shortens it a month – that’s totally acceptable for $3. ;)

    Hi Anon-
    RE: FR60 vs FR305

    The FR60 would actually be the same as the FR305 is you set the FR305 to footpod only mode. So in that sense, you could just pickup the FR305 and stick it into footpod only mode to get the same effect. Both would be the same.

    Hi Cerdric-

    Thanks all, and sorry for the delay here – been a bit of a crazy few months with wedding and honeymoon, just getting a chance to catchup on all the past comments.

  192. JF

    Rainmaker, because of your review, I have bought the FR60 and I love it.

    Another advantage of the FR60 should be that it does not have a GPS: if you are training in an area with large building or in a dense forest, your GPS may not be able to capture your data accurately.

    Thanks again.


  193. >RE: Uploading to Runkeeper.com
    >Yes, you can upload

    I wish I were wrong, but I am afraid that’s not correct, as runkeeper will not upload activities withoud GPS data.

    There are many messages/requests regarding this issue. One example: link to support.runkeeper.com

  194. Hi Doalvares-

    Sorry about that, I didn’t realize they decided to differentiate between the two types. Somewhat silly of them since the file type is the exact same and data parsing is the same. Bummer.

  195. Thank you for your answer. I was very disapointed with Runkeeper when I noticed this issue after buying an FR60.. I like Runkeeper’s service (I used it with my phone until now) and the FR60 is the model that better suited my needs although I loose the ability to get maps, but now I have to look for another watch or another web service :(

  196. Hi
    Got my fr60 about 1 year ago as a b-day present. Loved it until I changed the battery, now it just flashes with some numbers that I think are the firm wear version, have searched forums and tried resetting via holding mode and enter buttons without success. Don’t have the receipt so Garmin won’t fix without 89$. Any help you can offer is appreciated. Was considering an upgrade to GPS watch but now very disappointed with Garmin.
    Thank You

  197. is it possible to attach the footpod on a strap around my ankle? would it still give an accurate data?

  198. Hi Rhonda-
    RE: Broke

    I wish I had a good answer, but unfortunately I don’t. Obviously for $89 you could get a brand new one – but if you were considering a GPS watch, then that doesn’t make much sense. One thought would be to disassemble it again and see if it fixes it.

    Hi oldSAP-
    RE: Funky footpod

    I haven’t tried it myself…but I’ll give it a whirl anyway. My only concern would be the limited range of motion may impact the accuracy. There’s no doubt it would record something – but whether that something was semi-accuracy is the question. Typically the footpod should be set in a very specific position after calibraiton and not changed, given I suspect you’d want to take it off your leg at some point – that would change calibration and require re-calibration (less than ideal).

  199. Thank you for your answer. there are days when i run with huarache type sandals and i don’t think the straps on the sandals would be able to hold the footpod firmly so i was considering having it strapped to my ankle :)

  200. Rainmaker, thanks for the outstanding review – I bought the FR60 off the back of it. I was thinking it would be a budget solution to timing my triathlons and a great solution for training in the individual disciplines. But it seems that’s not the case. I’ve trawled the review and all the comments and you’ve come close to answering this question, but not quite – so I’ll try and be very specific. I want to start a triathlon and start the watch. I want to time my splits (and maybe transitions) using the manual lap function. I want to swim, bike, run then stop the watch at the end and know my final time. I know the FR60 can do this (and this is what you say you use it for in triathlon races). But so can a $5 stop watch. My question is: (i) will the FR60 pick up the cadence sensor automatically as soon as I start cycling, then will the foot pod pick up that I’m running as soon as I start running, all without me having to stop the stopwatch and reset and thus loosing my overall time. I don’t mind a bit of button bashing, if that’s what I have to do to get it to switch modes SO LONG as I don’t lose the overall race time. The button pressing is not ideal, and if I knew this I would have upped my budget for a multi-sport watch (the definition of which I only now know!).

    Alternative to the above (if that’s not possible); what I really care about in races is monitoring my (i) overall and split times, (ii) HR throughout bike and run, and (iii) running pace. Is there a way I can set the watch up to do this? Do I just put in run mode from the very start (before the swim) and wait until the run section and hope it is monitoring my pace. If this works, cool. That way I get my splits and monitor my run pace as well as HR on bike and run (I’ll do my cadence separately with my cycle computer). I can then edit afterwards – its the realtime function I really care about.

    The FR60 has been advertised as an “ideal” non-GPS triathlon watch across the internet (just try a google search for FR60) and, sadly, this seems not to be the case. On second reading, your review nails the capability and does recommend looking elsewhere for multisport – but I came to your review the first time with preconceptions from elsewhere and so didn’t focus on this aspect until I got the watch and started to realise its limitations.

    Sorry for the long post. Like yourself, I am a man of detail!