Curiosity/Survey: Do you use a different device for running than cycling?


Over the past few weeks as I’ve been talking to folks in the industry a point that keeps coming up is whether or not folks care that Bluetooth Sensors (i.e. HR straps, cycling Speed/Cadence sensors, etc…) can’t be concurrently paired with two devices at the same time.  This is contrasted today with ANT+ (or even Polar W.I.N.D. or analog devices) that can be paired to as many watches or head units that you want, at once, at the same time.

To simplify:  Today with ANT+ (and similar) you can wear a watch displaying your heart rate as your bike computer can also concurrently display the same information.

Who would care about this?  Primarily triathletes and/or other multisport athletes.  Especially during the few minutes when you come into/out of transition.

Today in the Bluetooth Smart world, a single device “owns” the sensor connection and once established that sensor can’t be shared with other display devices.  So for folks that may use one device for cycling and another for running, this could cause issues if both devices tried to connect to the heart rate strap at the same time.  This is a limitation that won’t change overnight with a software update, and will require a hardware change.

Here’s my super-over-simplification drawing of this concept:


The debate amongst many is whether or not the loss of this functionality actually matters.  While it’s most common amongst triathletes  – it’s actually used quite a bit in gyms and by pro teams/coaches.  For example, in talking with SRM they walked through how TdF teams are using this functionality today in training sessions, and how they plan to leverage it further next season with their PC8 platform.  Similarly, we see gyms like Lifetime Fitness doing this in scale in spinning and other group sessions, as well as to things like treadmills and other gym equipment.  Additionally, applications like TrainerRoad and others are in the same boat.  And then of course there’s fools like me who use this daily in product testing five things at once.

But, I want to focus just on you with a super-simple survey.  Thus, here’s what I’m looking for in the embedded survey:

A) I have different devices for running and cycling, and do use them at the same time (or dual display at the gym).
B) I have different devices for running and cycling, but don’t ever use them at the same time.
C) I have a single device only, and thus, life is simple and grand.

If you don’t have any devices, then you can go ahead and skip right ahead to your weekend. Do not collect $200.

Here’s the survey embedded below (or, you can use this link to a separate page):

Feel free to drop additional/expanded information and/or related scenarios below that I may not have considered, or, that you may think various industry peeps would be interested in.

Have a great weekend, and thanks for reading!


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  1. Keith S

    Quick Q back. Is it strictly 1-1? Surely the head unit would need to get HR from one transmitter, power from another, cadence from another etc? So only the transmitter is limited to 1 destination?

    • Eli

      Bluetooth is master/slave based. A heart rate strap would be a slave and a head unit is a master. A master can have up to x slaves and a slave can only have one master

  2. Merrill

    I have multiple devices for cycling, and use a single one of them for “running”

  3. Anthony Anicete

    810 for biking, 910 for running/swimming

    • Charlie

      Same gear for me, but I continue to use the 910 for the bike (810 has better display, but I like to have all the data on one device).

    • I use the 510 for biking and 910 for running swimming too. i bought the 910 for triathlon use. now that the 620 is out i am considering buying it for run only – i like the trainer feature. am i crazy?

  4. Jani

    Edge 800 for cycling and forerunner 110 for other sports.

  5. I only have one device, and my HR strap has a flat battery!

  6. Zlatko

    The problem for the average triathlete is that 910 isn’t the ultimate do all watch-more of jack of all trades master of none, as many athletes still prefer a dedicated cycling computer. Ideally id buy a bundle – watch for swimming and running that is smaller then 910, head unit like 500, and a recording device size of gtu10 that sits in my pocket. This way i could use a watch during the swim and run, cyclocomputer on the bike and when i come home just plug in the little recording device and upload one file not multiple.

    • David

      Yes, I ticked the “Use two devices” box. 910 for running and swimming and 800 for cycling. Both when racing tri’s as the 910 monitors the whole event but the 800 is more convenient for monitoring the cycle leg. Bigger screen, better mounting position, more data fields etc…

  7. Mans M

    I dont run, but I use multiple devices for cycling and rowing:
    910xt for rowing
    edge 810 for cycling (gf uses the 910 when she cycles with me)

    oh and using leikr as a secondairy screen while cycling

  8. Matt

    When running I put my Edge 510 in a pocket and have an old FR 50 for HR. Edge records the run for later and FR 50 (non – GPS watch) is there to display current HR / Pace info. Works well for me.

  9. scrwdriver

    Suunto Quest for both: running and cycling. However: Quest connects with Foot Pod when I run and GPS Pod logs track without connection to watch (lately I merge data at Movescount). When I cycling, Quest works connected with GPS pod. In both cases Quest logs also data from HR strap.

  10. Thor R

    I used to use the Polar RCX5 for everything, but it just didn’t do any one thing right (that is, it did not meet 100% of my needs for either running or cycling. It was OK for races and far from OK for training sessions). So right I now train with a FR410 for running, iPhone paired with Viiiiva for cycling, and still using the RCX5 for races.

    • Thor R

      Just to clarify, I have both Polar W.I.N.D. and ANT+ speed & cadence sensors on my bike at the moment.
      Awaiting the FR620 (water-proofing) review as that looks like it will make things so much easier for me.

    • Thor R

      Just to clarify, I have both Polar W.I.N.D. and ANT+ speed & cadence sensors on my bikes at the moment.
      Awaiting the FR620 (water-proofing) review as that looks like it will make things so much easier for me.

  11. oldSAP

    C. i use only one device. no need to use another.

  12. Normally I use only one device, but in the last time, my forerunner 305 is getting more and more unreliable. Therefore I use my old ciclo on my bike as fallback when the 305 looses his gps again. It is realy annoying when you are on a triathlon with a round course with 5 or 8 laps and the distancemeasuring stops after a few kilometers and you haven’t count the laps ;-). Waiting for my leikr ;-).

  13. klonnolk

    Got 910 and old FR60. Using both on bike = 7 data fields total. Wondering buying another used FR60 :D It will look like your Cervelo cockpit :D

  14. Chris

    Garmin 910 and 800. Also trainerroad and 800 on turbo.

  15. Ian

    I use an Edge 800 for cycling with a 610 for redundancy, and just the 610 for running.

  16. Andre

    I do use my edge 800 for cycle, and 310xt for running/skiing/swimming. If Im at the gym I use alpha heartrate with bluetooth smart connected to iphone using wahoofitnessapp.

  17. Jørn

    I use a single device for training (910XT for swimming and running and 810 for cycling), but use both for triathlon races.

    • Kai

      Same here!
      Train with single device 310xt for running&openwater /edge 500 for biking / swim for Pool
      Tri Race use 310xt for full Event. But Edge for the bike leg.

  18. Hari

    I’ve been using my Garmin 610 for both cycling and running, but have just got a PowerCal Joule that I also use for cycling and am getting a 310XT for multisport events, ultras (my 610 battery is done by about 3:30:00) and long rides, so my life is getting more complicated – the ANT+ compatibility is what I’m counting on.

  19. Alex

    For 1/2 and full IM use Edge 800 for bike and 910 for run. Not at the same time but same race so I’m not pairing etc during transition.

  20. Dennie

    I use the Bryton cardio 60 for running, cycling and swimming outdoors, so C) life is simple and grand.

  21. Mikael Klingbjer

    I have an 910XT for everything, BUT I would love ho have a simple ANT+-“slave” with a large display on my bike.

    • Another excellent idea. Especially for people like me who have trouble seeing the 910 screen in a quad display setup.

    • Bill

      +1 on this! I’ve got the quick release mount for my 910XT on the bike but would much rather have a large ANT+ slave display. Had to go with the bifocal sunglasses to see it better.

    • Mans

      I am using a leikr for that. Though it only shows speed by gps and HR by ant+ (power and speed/cadence is not implemented yet)

  22. Laurent

    Ambit 2 s FTW !

  23. Christoph

    I use a single device (910XT) for datalogging but also use a Bontrager Node at least in races as display unit. its not easy to read a watch while in aero position. In training it just gives me more datafields

  24. Olivier

    I use miCoach and a 610 for training. It’s very important for me to get my pace or HR without pressing any button on the micoach Pacer. Both, the foot pod and the HR strap, are connected at the same time to the watch and to the Pacer. I also use the 610 and a edge 810 at the same time because the Edge 810 doesn’t record the R-R variability. I keep the Edge 810 for Garmin Connect and the .fit file for the firstbeat athlete software. With BLE it’s impossible to do that.

    • Marcus

      Almost same here: I use the Suunto Ambit and an Adidas Micoach Pacer simultaneously. The Ambit tracks the run, while the Micoach gives me audible information on my training efforts without me without having to look at the watch. This combo had proven superior to any other method of logging training sessions while following a training plan accurately at the same time. Only possible with ANT+ asfaik.

  25. Nicolas Christin

    I have a single device but life is not simple and grand, because my device (Edge 500) is not made for running. I use it while running though, with the quick release wrist strap.

  26. Running i Use Garmin FR610 because i prefer the smaller watch and the touch display. Using just one field with Pace on fist page and easily just “hitting” the watch to change page.

    On the TT bike I use Garmin FR910xt just need speed and power upp.
    The same watch for swiming.

    For Trainer indoor sessions and my road bike when training I have Garmin Edge 500.
    Usually here I’m doing alot of laps and want to have more info att the samme time. So with the edge 500
    I can get power, lap power, laptime, cadens, heartrate, total time on samme page.

    I if would only go with one it would be the 910xt, it has everything i need, but i would be restricted to 4 pages
    during bike training.

  27. Mladjo

    I use 3 devices:
    – Cateye Velo8 for cycling
    – Timex Run Trainer with HR for running and cycling (HR data)
    – iPhone for running and cycling (GPS data)

    I would love to have everything in one device.

  28. Fredrik Jönsson

    Single device, sort of. Used a Garmin 310XT for all purposes before and then got a 910XT as a present. Since then I still use the 310XT on the bikes since it has the quick-release band and use the 910XT for running, swimming and general stuff, so I can keep the original band and keep it more comfortable.

  29. Damien

    FR 305 for everything. Wishing I could justify a edge 510 / FR 620 combo

  30. Jari Lilja

    This dual system is very handy also in many sports: One display for navigating (MTB, Cycling) ant the other for data (power hr). I also use it for cycling intervals.

    But the most import is when you have too displays and one set of sensors, you don’t need to pair devices all the time!

  31. The 800 for mapping if I don’t know where I’m going and the 310XT for cadence/speed/HR.

    If I do know where I’m going, only the 800 or the 310XT, depending on which one is charged :D

  32. Huw

    I use an FR60 off of ebay for swim/bike/run, and run it in parallel with Strava on my iPhone for GPS. This generates two separate files which isn’t ideal…

    It doesn’t really fit any of your categories but I chose c).

    I’ve got a 910 on my Xmas list!

  33. Other scenarios where I use multiple devices, either at the same time or through immediate switch over.

    – “oops I forgot to charge the bike” – I chuck a 2nd on the wrist/in pocket so the data is there even if I go longer than the remaining charge has left.
    – Commuting to running races – need the nav functions of the bike computer, but the run watch ready to go.
    – multiple power meters, so multiple display units but single HR, whilst it’s somewhat specialised to run two regularly, we often share power meters to validate friends new cranks against a PT.
    – Ultra long distance cycling events – swapping between multiple bike computers, I wouldn’t want the compromise of excessive battery saving to make the bike computer last 24 hours, swapping in pit stops and keeping one charged is easy, so long as they’re both immediately paired.

    It would be an absolutely blocker on me adopting the technology.

  34. Harmless Harm

    Doing B, since there is no device supporting me for preferred C.

  35. cycling: Edge 800 with heartstrap (and speed/cadence on one bike). With mobile in the camelbak for music through bluetooth or cable. When I am on the bike I have enough space for lots of toys.

    running: mobile phone with gps & strava & music. no HRM.

    what I would love for running: a watch with hrm + bluetooth + mp3 + gps which is a bit weatherproof. maybe a motoactv2 if they ever make one.

  36. Edwin

    Polar rcx5 for running n iPhone with H7
    Garmin for cycling since I have ant+ power tap

  37. 910xt is used for swim/bike/run

  38. Frank Z

    I use the the Garmin Edge 800 and iPhone with Wahoo ANT+ as head units. I also have 3 bikes with various cadence sensors and a power meter. I flip between these as and when required – e.g. this weekend I did a 400+km ride and switched from the Edge 800 to the iPhone when the battery on the Garmin died. The fact that the ANT+ setup can transmit to multiple heads without reconfiguring has been a useful benefit for me.

  39. Matt Underwood

    For me, Edge 800 for cycling, 910xt for running and swimming. During triathlons I use just the 910 with the quick release strap.

  40. Rob

    Good ol’ 310XT for me does everything as regards run/bike, i.e. training and racing. [Side note: Use a Finis Swimsense for pool swim, 310XT (swim cap method) for open water.]

  41. Marius

    310xt for bike/run
    Garmin Swim
    Ideally, would need something simple for the bike like a Powertap Joule (non GPS) or a Garmin 500.

  42. mik

    I use an FR610 always, running and cycling, but I also use my android on my bike mounted on the bars so I can see stuff easily (and its a place to put it). But I will also use my phone on longer runs so my GF knows where I am (this is also a use on the rides). Am about to receive a leikr, and will use that with all the others till I figure out if its any good/can replace any or all of the others…

  43. jveithmac

    Could live with the 910XT – no brainer for racing – only but might change to a setup with FR620 for running and WAHOO RFLKT for cycling.

  44. Marcus Jahn

    I own the 910xt and edge800. In Tri races i use both at the same time.

  45. Herman

    If the 910 had existed when I bought my Garmin Forerunner 610, I’d definitely have bought that one so I could use one single device for swimming, running and cycling. Now I have the 610, which I use for both running and cycling. Less is more.

  46. Even though I answered that I use single device I strongly understand your point. I use Polar devices for years. At the beginning of my “weight loss war” I used it for nordic walking, swimming and short runs. I looked thru the spec sheets and chosen RS300X with sensors.
    Recently when I changed my focus to triathlon I needed to change not only the sensors, but the entire watch AND the sensors, because they were not talking to each other. If the industry would follow your idea it would be sufficient to simply add another computer to the set.

    • that is not ray´s point. your polar sensor could transmit data to two (supported) devices at the same time – what bluetooth can´t. your problem was due to polar not using a open standard, but a private system and limiting the compatibility when developing new versions of their transmission system.

    • The industry did already do exactly that. It’s called ANT+ and in every respect it is great. Cell phones jumped on BT, but now they realized a growing segment and invented a subset of BT4.0 that is called Low Energy. It uses a lot of the same idea’s ANT+ has been doing for years. There are hundreds of interoperable devices using ANT+. Suunto even switched from their private ANT to ANT+ (just uses a different network key and frequency). Polar has invent WIND avoiding interoperable environments for some strange reason. Sadly you made a poor choice years ago and it’s kicking you in the butt. Switch to ANT+ and all problems go away. Just make sure it’s ANT+, and not another private or proprietary protocol.

  47. Anders

    I’m using my Edge 800 for both cycling and running. Works great!

  48. Ken

    edge 500 on the bike, 910 during races.
    HR goes to both when racing.

  49. 6co

    I definitely like having my HR or other to pair with multiple devices.
    A little comment though: I find that ANT+ is not all that stable when it is connecte to multiple devices at the same time. I have seen the FR610 freeze during a run, or the wahoo app display and record non-sense when the two of them are connected to the same ANT+ device

    it does not work so well in the end….

  50. Pablo

    Garmin 810 for cycling and Gatmin 910XT for swimin and running, I also use both at the same time for bricks and races

  51. N

    Fr 610 for running, Edge 500 for cycling; life is still grand tho.

  52. Charlie O

    I standardised on Bluetooth sensors when cycling and running. I knew about the single device limitation when I did so and didn’t think it would be an issue. In practice, I’ve found this to be one of my only concerns with the system. When doing long rides (100 miles+) there’s always a concern at the back of my mind that the iPhone battery may not last. Similarly, I’ve had the (very rare) occasion when my iPhone app has crashed and I’ve lost all ability to record information (though now that I have a RFLKT I would notice the crash and reset everything).

    In an ideal world, I would have two head units – one specifically for cycling and one that could be used as a backup and act as the primary device for running. If I was looking again, I might be interested in 510/FR220 combination to give me some flexibility on the bike.

  53. Max

    I only have one device but wasn’t sure how to answer the poll.

    When i’m biking on the trainer, my “unit” is my computer that receive ANT+ data coming from my speed/cadence sensor. So technically I have 2 units even though I only have 1 real unit (forerunner 305), because both record in same time the workout.

    Waiting for an upgrade on the 910XT, I don’t need too many units, save the planet ;)

  54. Joe

    When using TrainerRoad, I have a Garmin 800 on my bike for more detailed info than the TR interface can provide and also am using a Ant+ dongle plugged into my laptop to simultaneously pick up HR/Power/Cadence which is displayed on the laptop screen.

  55. NJtriathlete

    Garmin 310xt for running, Garmin Edge 500 for biking. I only use them at the same time during races.

  56. Jenn Sears

    Garmin FR70 for the running. iPhone w Cyclemeter/Digifit/WahooFitness App for the bike. I need more space than a watch can provide for tracking my cycling stuff, plus I prefer the phone’s audio cues when I’m doing fartleks.

  57. Paul S

    Edge 800 for road and mountain biking and indoors on rollers, Fenix for cross country skiing and hiking. I bought the Fenix because I got tired of digging my old 705 out from wherever I was carrying it when I wanted to consult it during skiing or hiking. Edges are too big to be wrist mounted (they’d catch on something on trails). I lose auto scroll and navigation by map with the Fenix, but all of my ANT+ sensors (HRM, GSC-10, Tempe) work with it. iPod only in the winter when I’m skiing someplace I don’t need to hear, usually with wired headphones, or indoors on the rollers with an old Bose Sounddock. I have used the Fenix and Edge together a few times back when I first got the Fenix just to see how well it compared, and then again recently when Garmin finally added full GSC-10 support.

  58. Ben Vanmarcke

    I have a Forerunner 310XT and an Edge 500. I use the 500 always for biking, and the FR for running, however when doing longer rides in training for a HIM / IM I use both. I set the FR to show me summary data of my ride (total time, avg power) whereas I’m using the 500 to show me the details (current power, speed, hr etc) so I don’t need to press any buttons and can entirely focus on my training effort. (So i voted I use both at the same time).

  59. Carter Tracht

    Motoactv for both cycling and running. Works well but looking for new solution now that it is discontinued. Really would prefer to use my Android phone as a cycling computer, just trying to decide whether to put up with Ant+ dongle or limited/no Bluetooth Smart apps for android with 4iiii strap.

  60. Dave

    I have a 910XT, so technically and only typically use only one head unit, so I answered C. Very rarely, I’ll use the watch AND TrainerRoad (typically brick workouts). But why not build this protocol to be the most flexible it can be? I can envision any number of situations where you’d ant to connect to multiple head units in the future. Why box yourself in.

  61. I have an RCX5 I run with; I lost the GPS pod from under my swim cap during a swim at Loch Lomond a few weeks back :-( I have an Edge 810 on the bike and a Garmin Swim for the pool. I’m definitely keen on the Forerunner 620 when it appears – it looks like a gigantic improvement. Not sure I’d bother with a 910XT again (although I’m happy to be convinced by a new version). On my next 70.3 I plan on leaving the Edge on the bike and using the 620 (or something else) on swim and run.

  62. Mark

    I have a Powertap Joule, and a Timex Race Trainer watch. For racing triathlon, I use the Timex strap, and pull heart rate from the strap to the watch and to the Joule. I get redundant heart rate data for the cycling leg. In cycling training, I don’t usually wear the watch, and have all the data on the Joule.

    I do a lot of indoor bike training with friends, and am very interested in displaying data from multiple Powertap hubs and HR sensors on one device, say a tablet computer. Is this currently possible?

  63. Edge 510 and Forerunner 910XT when biking, then often run off the bike using only 910XT. This would be huge issue for me if HR strap or power meter didn’t talk to both. Dealbreaker.

  64. Durrin

    I use multiple devices, sometimes (during triathlons) at the same time. So yes, it would irritate me if my HRM only worked on one head. That irritation might be _slightly_ less, if a BT HRM worked on multiple head units, just not simultaneously.

    One other thing that irritates me: I can only have one ANT+ HRM paired with a given head unit. I like to use my CycleOps HRM/sort-of-power-meter for riding, but it has a tendency to be a bit unstable, especially after a couple hundred km on one ride. So for long rides/running I often choose the Garmin soft strap. Unfortunately, I have to re-pair every time I switch.

  65. Mike in Everwet

    Timex GPS GT. added cycleops (at the time) HR based power meter but all goes thru TGT. Separately use phone apps for tracking up to friends & family, on both run and cycle.

  66. This questionaire simplifies things a bit too much.

    I have Garmin Forerunner 910XT and a Garmin Edge 800. I never use them at the same time, but I do use the 910XT while running on a treadmill and during the occasional spinning session I take during the winter. While indoors I use the Garmin as a recording device and have the vitals on the machines display during the exercise. When on a training ride outdoors with my bike I use the Edge, when running or swimming I use the 910. In competitions I use only the 910, since usually I can find my way around the race course without navigation…

    So for me the only lost functionality with Bluetooth Smart would be the bigger display on exercise machines. I can live with that, but what would I gain in exchange?

    • It does simplify, but that’s somewhat my goal. In your case, the correct answer is ‘A’ – you do use multiple devices (at the gym) to display sensor data.

      My goal isn’t to understand tradeoffs (because I could write dozens of pages on that alone), but simply to understand whether or not folks are actually using sensors with two devices at once (regardless of brand/model/reason/etc…).

      When looking at putting a survey together that would get a few thousand responses, I had to simplify as much as possible.

  67. Chris

    Edge 500 for cycling and Forerunner 405 for running. I grab the watch in T2.

  68. I don’t cycle, have a single device (not BT), and I think life besides workout is already complicated enough :)
    However, before skipping to my weekend, I was wondering if the following would be technically possible with BlueTooth (if software would support):
    Sensor => Device 1 => Device 2
    Might that do the trick? Or can a master device not be the slave of another?

  69. Anonymouse

    I plan to change to two devices sometime early next year, although I answered the survey with my current situation — one device. And I likely will try out Trainer Road this winter, so that would be another reason I’d be a two device guy in the future.

    Thanks for checking into this!

  70. Brian

    I use a Suunto Quest (with GPS Track Pod) for all my training.

    I would love to have ONE ‘do it all’ watch like the Ambit2 with a slave display to give info on the bike – just a mirror of the watch – kind of like how Wahoo RFLKT works with the iPhone.

    That would be cool.

  71. Chris Yeung

    Garmin Forerunner 405CX (will upgrade to 620 when available) for running
    Garmin Edge 500 for cycling
    Wahoo ANT+ dongle to collect additional data through my iPad2

    Blue Tooth 4.0 only with my Kurt Kinetic inRide.

    Waiting on my RFLKT+ to tie it all back to my iPhone 5.

    I am not crazy about my Viiiiva, but, like DC Rainmaker, it saves me from having to switch out HRMs when switching activities.

    I prefer ANT+.

    My $0.02.

  72. Matt

    Life is simple with just the 310xt… However, if I was buying again I would get separate devices for bike and run. I don’t like having the watch on my wrist on the bike, and I don’t like the quick release strap on the run.

    As long as the sensor could quickly disconnect from one device and pair with the other, it wouldn’t effect me that it could only connect to one at a time.

  73. Frisk

    Have 310xt when i have jog and smart phone to listen to music. Hope hr sensor send values to both.

    However, only one click of “rescan” ANT+ sensors at theevent or races, I have to give up using the sensor because of the ANT+ rule. This might never happens to BT.

  74. BennyC

    have Edge 810 for cycling and FR 610 for running, have only one wahoo HR for both, garmin speed/cadance for cycling and wahoo footpod for running… and love it so much… no plan to buy or use other.

  75. LV Bob

    Can you pair more than one of the same kind of device from the master? For instance, can you have 2 HRM paired to the same iPhone?

    What I am really thinking about is something like an iPhone paired to, say and HRM and a device like the Amiigo or Beddit. Would the Amiigo/Beddit present itself using a custom device profile?

  76. BennyC

    additional for my previous comment – have withings pulse for daily and sleep activities… and ihealth blood pressure dock to monitor my blood pressure… hmmm… kind of data geek…. :)

  77. Kjell-Tore

    I use a FR60 or FR610 for running/spinning, and FR610 and/or EDGE500 for cycling. I like sometimes to compare, then I’ve often been using them all three at a time for comparison.

    I do prefer ANT+, for the following reasons:
    I have a Tanita BC-1000 scale for logging my “body condition” ;-)
    I have two Cycleops ANT+ power wheels on different bicycles to perfect my training and TT races.
    I am sometimes comparing stability on different heart rate straps; Polar, Garmin etc. with different Garmin transmitters.
    I would like my Tacx Flow to transmit the power readings, then we wouldn’t need using the extra power wheel while doing indoor watt intervals.

    If you care to read this; a result I got from running with both the running pod and the three computers is that the result measured by the FR60/pod was a distance BETWEEN the result from the FR610 and EDGE500 in GPS mode. This accuracy on the pod measured distance impressed me as it impressed you while you were running through tunnels etc. ;-)

  78. JWM

    With BT is it hard to switch between devices as long as it is one at a time ? I’d think that’d be a bigger deal for triathletes.

  79. Tibs

    I still don’t really understand the benefit of BT over ant+ ? After buying footpod, bike sensors and 910xt the only thing i would want is a small ant+ adaptor for my iPhone 5.

    Could send hr, speed, cadence, data at anytime to 910xt, edge on the bike, computer when training indoor, and iphone for any specific app (strava…)… And more if needed!

    I feel the viiiva can be a good bridge to send data to iphone.

    • Eli

      From a technical side there really isn’t an advantage to BLE. The only advantage it has is lots of cell phones support it and very few support Ant+ built in (although easy enough to use a USB attachment to get Ant+)

  80. Gunnar

    I could live with one device (the Leikr could be close to answering that if they get their act together with maps, power, cadence and speed…AND better battery life).

    But, for the couple of triathlon’s I do a year I do like having my Edge 810 mounted on the bike and keep my 910xt on my wrist. So for those few instances it would be handy to have data go to two devices.

  81. Gunnar

    ….AND, I would love to just get the soon to be released 220 for running. A Garmin swim and stick with my Edge 810 for cycling. BUT, I do use my 910xt for CX season, as I don’t want a big bulky computer on my stem (810) and do collect power data (Stages) during the race with my 910xt. The 910xt sits nicely out of the way on my wrist and I don’t need to see data during a CX race as I already know I am redlined for the whole thing!

  82. 8bit_Marlon

    Thanks for asking/posting this survey. I’m new to this triathlon thing and still trying to figure out which way to go as far as buying gear, as all I’ve used to date is my iPhone.

    I’m curious as to which combination of watch, bike computer+sensor and heart rate monitor all work in seamless harmony.

  83. H M

    I cycle road and track.

    I usually use my SRM Powercontrol 6 for seriously recording the training, but use my phone (with IpBike) to record the same data for strava with GPS

    On the velodrome I only use my Powercontrol 5 (different bike wired cranks) but I wouldn’t bother with strava anyway (for going around in circles, why bother)

    I went for a run the other day (while travelling) and just used my phone but it was hard to read, so I can see why you would want a watch if running regularly.

    Back in the day (~ 2008-10) when I did triathlons, I used to record my bike rides on a Polar s710 and a Powertap LYC so I always had the piss taken for having stuff all over my handlebars and wore 2 HR straps, so I used to record (triathlon) races on both or rather the whole race on the Polar and the bike leg on the (wired) powertap

  84. Alex

    I would love to answer C but my polar RS800cx is unreadable when I ride my TT bike.
    I tried many things to make a quick release kit for my watch but still no solution.

    So I plan to add a CS500.

  85. Tim


    I did the survey question first, then read you explanation/reason for the survey. I didn’t answer the survey based on your reason for the question.

    I have typically use Edge 800 when I ride, and 610 when I run. Very little cross-use.

    BUT I want one set of sensors to work with both devices – once in a while at the same time.

  86. Matt

    Garmin Forerunner 310XT is the only device I need/own. I bought it on recommendation from this site through Clever Training when the price dropped several months back. Perfect for my not-very-competitive running and cycling needs.

  87. Berto

    Note: I voted for the one-device option for all workouts. But this needs explanation.

    – I currently run a 910XT and voted for just using one device; however, if I had the opportunity (funds) to purchase an Edge 510 or 810 for the cycling, I would have done so already. I use a Power2Max PM and I think ant+ is great.

    – I would never imagine myself using more than one device at one time. If I wanted to do my brick workout – I’d love my 910XT. If I were to stay on the bike for a 6-hour ride, then I would definitely appreciate the functions of the edge, but never concurrently. For a race – I wouldn’t even think about doing using two devices – I’d just stick with the 910XT.

    – I also use TrainerRoad, and I do not use any of my Garmin devices concurrently with TrainerRoad.

    • @Hu3ain

      Hi Berto, I use the 910xt for all 3 sports, as well as having it record my sessions on TrainerRoad. It simplifies downloading all of the data on platforms like Training Peaks.

  88. Rob Pineau

    Quite often even just running I have two devices going, I use my iphone and a wahoo key for tracking, and my watch(FR70) simply for quick reference…never could I afford a 910 and thought both the 910 and the 310 were too bulky for me. Didn’t like the waterproofing story on the others. Pre-ordered the 220 so that should solve this issue…but bottom line for me is I use, and quite like, the ability to have multiple “head units” using the same sensors simultaneously.

    • Jenn Sears

      This is almost exactly what I do. I use the watch for quick reference and the phone for gps and for logging. I only do duathlons so anything above the fr70 (I used to have a 410) quickly became more complicated than what I needed, plus gps satellite reception was annoying.

  89. philippe marc humbert

    I don’t run.

  90. Juan Otavo

    FR910xt for everything, love this watch!!!

  91. Mike

    210 for running, 800 for cycling. During races I put on the 210 during T1, so I’ll probably get the new waterproof one when it comes out.

  92. Brett

    I just carry my Edge 705 with me when running. I don’t run enough to justify a separate device (though I do have a team deal with Garmin, so might look into the FR620 reviewed here, thanks Ray!)

  93. morey000

    With the exception of Race day- I don’t see the point of having a 910. And even on race day- I’d rather have my dedicated cycling computer waiting on my bike (assuming that theft isn’t a problem), and then I just grab my running watch at T2 when I grab my hat and race belt. Can’t see a 910 on your wrist when cycling anyway.

    so, I’ve got a Swimovate for the pool (would like a Garmin Swim), a 405 for running (would like a new 620), and my trusty 500 for the bike. It all works.

  94. Tom S

    910 for everything, wouldnt mind a separate head unit on bike, but funds limited

  95. I have a SRM PCV on the bike, and 910 for everything. I would prefer to just use the 910 for everything and get the vector pedals, but it’s not in the budget.

  96. Russell

    Edge 500 or 800 on the bike with no watch. 610 only on the run.

    I will use both the edge 800 and an iPad w/ wahoo key/app together during trainer sessions though.

  97. Matt A

    For races I use 2 Garmins concurrently. A 510 for convenience on the bike and a 910 for the entire event. When training I use TrainerRoad with ANT+ power for real time tracking and a 510 for recording and post ride analysis in Golden Cheetah.

    the 1:1 device/accessory ratio is a deal breaker for me.

  98. I’ve been a single device Polar (S625x/S725x) user for ~9 years for rowing, biking, running and tri and have been holding off upgrading in case Polar was going to come through with a true next gen 910xt beater, or for Garmin to do so. But it doesn’t look like happening, so instead I’m nervously planning on becoming the latest of late adopters of the 910xt. That’d still leave me as a single device user, so I answered C…. But I could see advantage of larger display on bike, and/or on my Android phone, or syncing simultaneously with treadmill HR display. Hmmm…

  99. use a 910 & 810….. like the increased bike data options for 70.3 and 140.6 distance races

  100. RNOTinMan

    I use a 310 and a Swim. Can barely remember which buttons to push when, as it is. If I could afford the 910 I’d go there to simplify life. But then again I am on the downward slide to 60-ish, so, ah, hey, what am I doing here…

  101. Neil

    When running I have a 910xt that pairs with a Powercal HR strap and a footpod in my shoe.

    When riding my road bike I have a PC-7 on the bars that displays the information from my SRM, the Powercal HR strap acting purely as an HR strap and the speed sensor on the rear wheel.

    I also wear my 910xt on a ride but don’t refer to it- it’s job is to record GPS and provide a backup.

    The 910xt data gets uploaded to Strava (automatically when I get within range of my laptop at home) and the PC-7 data gets uploaded to TrainingPeaks (via export from SRMwin).

    For commuting (approx 120 miles/week) I wear the Powercal HR strap and it connects to my iPhone via a Wahoo Fitness dongle- this gives me both (estimated) power and HR, so I can have a TSS entry for those miles (the commuter is a fixed gear, no powermeter).

    I think that the ability of ANT+ devices to connect to multiple displays/devices is a significant advantage- for people like me, but then I’m a bit of a nerd.

  102. Geir O

    I use 810 for biking, 910 for running/skiing, but I use both the 810 and Taxc Genius roller display at hte same time, watch my data at the screen during rides on the roller and upload from 810 to Strava afterwards

  103. Jose

    iPod Nano, 6th gen, worn as a watch for running. Was using Motorola Motoactv for cycling until it died last week. Evaluating wearable replacement with GPS.

  104. Idefix

    Here’s another use for more than one display-unit showing the same sensor data:

    When two not really similarly fit people like to bike together the fitter one gets an old extra unit (in our case a 305) on the handlebars displaying the not-so-fit persons HR. When the fitter person rides in front they can watch out (or have an alarm) for the other persons HR and adjust their speed accordingly.

    The other possible solutions that I can see would be only the not so fit person may ride in front (if the fitter one is the one who knows the way that’s not so smart) or the not so fit person has to yell to go slower when they are already out of breath or the fitter person rides so slowly that they are both bored. So IMHO Ant+ is the clear winner here.

    It’s a bit similar to the coach scenario but for totally unprofessional to really casual cyclists. Works well for touring as well as training. The fitter person won’t get anything out of it trainingwise anyway but that’s often not really the point of going cycling together, is it?


  105. Mike Scannell

    I use my 910XT for running and biking. However, I also still use my 910 while using Trainer Road. So in that case, my heart rate and speed/cadence are going to 2 devices at once. I’ve also had my coach go on rides with me where he syncs his bike computer with my HRM so he can monitor my intensity (and of course, I’m getting the data on my watch too).

  106. Hugo Noronha

    If Forerunner 610/620 could measure power I would use it for both running and pedaling, otherwise Edge for pedaling and FR for running

  107. RhoBot

    I use a footpod which I see my speed live on my FR60 watch and my phone which records the data in my pocket, so I qualify for A.

    The advantage of ANT+ is at a deep technical level. In Bluetooth Smart, the display/master controls the timing and RF parameters that the sensor/slave transmits at. I imagine in the newer versions of Bluetooth Smart, they’ll allow more displays to connect to a sensor, but the sensor will need more RAM/memory to keep track of these displays. So in Bluetooth Smart, there will always be a practical limit dependent on RAM, memory etc.

    In ANT+, each sensor/master transmits in fixed length timeslots, like cars on the lanes of a road. If one of the cars tries to enter a lane, there could be a collision, so in ANT+, if one of the sensors begins to transmit on top of another sensor, the other sensor will “shift lanes” so to speak and change timeslots.

    What this does is allow many sensors to occupy a single road (RF channel), and so you can have an “infinite” number of displays listening to the sensors, or at least as many as you can stuff into a building ;)

  108. Guy

    Have a F910XT for walking, running, xc ski, and occasional capture of commute times across various route options. May someday use for swim.

    Primary sport is cycling and have Edge 705 as primary display, with the F910XT as a secondary display on early season rides display & recording HR for Training Effect summary.

    Have second Edge 705 purchased as a back up and for occasional longer rides, and for weekend rides in the country where the entire day is dedicated to enjoying the ride. Used primarily as a second or third display since I’m not a fan of Auto Scroll or switching pages manually. Displays route map during windy periods, elevation profile when the uphills seem concerning, or virtual partner when re-living past glories is attractive.

  109. Frankie

    Garmin 910xt for long distance running, biking and swimming. I also wear it as a every day watch. It is worth every cent I paid for.

  110. Steve R

    I use an FR910 and an Edge 500 for triathlons. The edge is mounted on the bike and stays there for display while riding the 910 stays on my arm. This greatly reduces the complexity of transition. I have also seen people on the run without their watch as they’ve left it on the bike, not a problem in my case.

  111. Javel

    Here in Brazil I use an FR310 + an old garmin HR strap + a small garmin footpod for running.
    I use the same FR310 + a powercal HR strap + a GSC-10 for cycling .
    I use a Finis Swimsense watch (gonna buy a Garmin Swim) for swimming, .
    I use an FR60 at the Gym.

  112. Best thing about this survey – I’m not the only one who uses two devices at the same time! :) I then combine the two files in SportTracks so at the moment am happy with my setup (FR70 & Nike+ when cycling, and just the Nike+ when running unless I’m curious about my HR so I pop the FR70 in a pocket).

  113. Adam_Ant

    Was just thinking about this today. Just bought a second bike and have been debating between a Garmin 510 or getting a Cateye. Either way I will be using my 910xt as well. So many choices.

  114. Eric Siebert

    Garmin 800 for cycling. Garmin 910XT for running.

  115. bob

    910xt user but sometimes I throw in my iphone with iFit (garmin app) with the live tracking so that my family can see where I am.

    It would be cool if they would have the iFit talk to the watch and save the phone battery since the watch is already doing the gps stuff.

  116. jlz

    Garmin edge 510 for the bike. Forerunner 405 on wrist as a backup, just in case, recording the same data. I lost too many times ride data, now I always bring 2 devices.

  117. Jim

    910 for swimming, cycling, and running because I’m too cheap to get an edge 500. Prior to the 910, I used a 305 and LYC.

  118. OperationOne

    only Edge 500 for bike, only FR610 (and a FR210 sometimes) and footpod for run, an HRM paired to both. no concurrent use (can’t stand anything on my wrists when i’m on the bike). ANT+ makes every setup change plain and simple.

  119. Dan

    Massive show stopper for me. Two cases:

    1. I do most of my training (bike, treadmill, rower etc) indoors. I have all my data displayed by PC on big monitor so I can see it live, but also recording on garmin watch for later analysis etc.

    2. When I run outdoors, I have 910xt, but also o-sync screeneye for easy reading of HR, pace etc. I think this will be the big one with google glass, recon jet etc on the way.

  120. Garmin 500 for cycling ; 305 for running ; Garmin swim for swimming. Although I think I have owned every polar known to man and toyed around with others as well. My wife call me Captain sports watch.

  121. Jaap

    800 for cycling
    910 for running (and sometimes for swimming)
    Swimsense other times for swimming.

  122. Andre

    O-Synce NV2 for road riding / Garmin Fenix for mountain biking and nordic skiing.

  123. Andre

    Make that N2C instead of NV2.

  124. Rudy

    I’m not a triathlete, but if I were to run a race I’d try triathlon for sure (maybe in the future).

    BIKE: When I ride my bike I always record GPS and ANT+ data on two devices, Garmin 705 and Sony Xperia Active with Oruxtracks.
    They are both capable of receiving ANT+ from HR and cadence/speed.
    The 705 is more accurate, but sometimes somehow it reboots in the middle of the workout. This happens very rarely, but with double recording I fixed this annoying problem. Plus I have live maps on the mobile.
    I managed to fit the two side by side on the bike, making me look like a wannabe Rainmaker :-)

    RUN: Xperia Active with Endomondo. It ignores barometric sensor data, however I don’t really need it because I run on flat. The web interface is neat and the data is just there, in the right place with the right charts, no cables and dummy usb things.

    SWIM: Garmin Swim.

  125. Evans Routsis

    I use Garmin, 910, Edge 500 and 610 depending on sport. I wear FR50 to keep time when I ride.
    During Triathlons and longer ride events, I use 910 and Edge, this gives backup in case one fails for some reason..

  126. Rolf

    started Tri training 3 months ago and couldn’t make up my mind which device to use – got the Polar RCX 5 and now use it for Run, Bike and Swim. Used daily. Couldn’t be any happier!

  127. Edge 500 for cycling, and since I’m not much of a runner so I use the Edge 500 on runs only if I want to record a new route, so I really need the GPS.

    Even if the industry moves to Bluetooth you still need a Ant+ HR for gym equipment; I use my old Suunto HR strap for gym workouts exclusively

    • Dan

      This would be a problem – but almost all gym machines are old style analogue polar, not ant+ for HR (Concept2 PM4 being an exception)

      Was your Suunto HR the dual comfort ? That one broadcasts in both ant and polar specifically for this kind of thing. I imagine when things settle down we will see a BLE belt doing the same thing (next Viiiiva maybe ?)

  128. Nicky

    I use the Garmin FR for both cycling and running, but also have the Edge 800 for cyclingtrips where I use the map and navigation of the device.

  129. Arturo

    Can bluetooth devices be nested? A solution for this issue could be you pair all the cycling sensors to a bike mounted computer and then pair the bike mounted computer to the wrist computer. The wrist computer would be the master of the universe owning both the bike mounted computer and the running sensors. The only issue would be with the HR sensor, but if you train with power this wouldn’t be an issue.

    • With the right chipsets, yes, that can be done.

      Note that bike power and HR aren’t exclusive of each other. Many folks use both when training as they tend to give different information that can be used to have a more full picture.

    • Arturo

      I understand, but typically people that train with power don’t look at the HR during training. It adds value afterwards to check things like aerobic decoupling.

  130. Ted H

    I generally only use one unit for whatever sport I am in. But during a race, I use the 910 to record everything and also have my Edge running to show me all my bike related info… yea, I know, I can strap the 910 to my bike, but with old age eyes, the screen on the edge is larger plus I am so used to looking at the data on it from the training rides… I just leave the 910 strapped to my wrist… Thus, I am happy in my little ANT+ world…

  131. Chaim

    Edge 500 for Cycling
    Runkeeper app on iPhone for running (with pandora for music)
    $13.97 casio stopwatch for swimming laps

  132. Michael Arcilla

    I use an FR610 for running primarily and the 910xt for when I plan to swim or bike in the same session… or whenever I forget to charge the 610.

    However, I recently finished my first 70.3 IronMan (in Cebu, Philippines) and in the months leading up to it I was finding my 910xt’s battery life a bit dodgy. Some days I’d get up to 10 or 12 hours with GPS, some days it dies at around 5 hours. Because of this, I used the 610 as insurance on the run. I rode the bike leg with the 910 on the bike mount and the 610 off. I turned it on in transition and ran with both watches.

    Thankfully, the 910 managed to make it with me to the finish line. So I ended up with two run workout files.

    I also have an Edge 500, but I’m finding I use it less and less as the months go by. I don’t even remember the last time I pulled it out of the drawer. Besides the screen size (number of concurrent fields displayed) and the power metrics (I don’t own a power meter, so that’s a wash for me), what is the advantage of using an Edge 500 over a 910xt?

    • Arturo

      I have a 500 910XT setup. The 500 screen is much better than the 910 and in a race you don’t have to fiddle dismounting the 910 from the quick strap and mounting it on the handlebars.

      Plus, some people say there are many 910xts in river and lake beds…. due to the quick mount not being reliable.

  133. Dan Wendell

    I just wish the Garmin devices were smart enough to allow me to use two different footpods or heart strap. I switch shoes every day and don’t want to move the footpod every time. If I could have a second footpod on my second pair of shoes, life would be easier. I also occasionally switch my heart strap if the first is still wet or I left it somewhere. I end up having to go into the menus a link to the new device. It does not take terribly long but it still can be a pain (especially if I forget to do it until I am around some other garmin users). I guess I could solve my problems by using a second watch on the alternate days.

  134. Rick

    I use a Garmin 310xt for running and cycling. It’s been very reliable, and the battery life is excellent.
    For running, I would like to have the new Garmin 220 because it’s lighter, thinner, has blue tooth and a color screen.
    My only complaint about the 310xt, and it’s a minor one, is that it’s a little bulky — but I hardly notice the additional size once I get running. On the bike, the bigger screen size is a plus.

  135. Rick

    Update to my previous comment:
    Given how versatile and reliable the 310xt has been for me, the only REAL REASON I would want to get the Forerunner 220 is I would want another gadget to play with. Some of the features on the 220 are appealing, but the 310xt does everything I need well and has a few things the 220 lacks.

  136. Niclas

    It is not true that Bluetooth can not support data on multiple displays. A Bluetooth device can be in a connection and broadcast at the same time. Companies so far has elected to implement mostly connections as the connection mode is robust (frequency hopping), reliable, secure & authenticated etc. A company with an interesting strategy is Wahoo that actually controls all devices from the phone and have data on multiple devices. Wahoo is betting that everybody will want a cloud connection and the phone for Bluetooth audio/music, messages etc.

    • Eli

      You’re talking about a broadcast link but those aren’t really the same as an Ant+ link as they lack lots of functionality from what I see. Ant+ is bi directional just mostly one way while bluetooth is this mode is true one way (bi directional is used for things like power meters that have to be told to calibrate) Ant+ channels know to listen to data at a set interval so the radio receiver isn’t constantly awake (battery drain) and so a packet of data is only sent once. Seems like bluetooth just depends on broadcasting many times and hoping one gets through

  137. Sean

    I use 2 devices simultaneously when cycling.
    A watch to monitor heartrate in realtime, and an iPhone that records GPS data and heartrate (Strava).
    So I need a multi-protocol solution like the Viiiiv or the Polar H7.

  138. giovanni

    Yes #1

  139. sietse

    I use an fr910xt for running and edge 810 for cycling, because the course function of the 910xt is horrible.

  140. Tassignon Bart

    For cycling 800 and for running Iphone with wahoo HR strap.

  141. Arcadio

    i use my Garmin FR910 for running, riding and swimming. For gym use i wear a Polar HR band in addition to my Garmin HR band.

  142. Kjell-Tore

    I use a FR60 or FR610 for running/spinning, and FR610 and/or EDGE500 for cycling or nordic/cross country skiing. I like sometimes to compare, then I’ve often been using them all three at a time for comparison.

    I do prefer ANT+, for the following reasons:
    I have a Tanita BC-1000 scale for logging my “body condition” ;-)
    I have two Cycleops ANT+ power wheels on different bicycles to perfect my training and TT races.
    I am sometimes comparing stability on different heart rate straps; Polar, Garmin etc. with different Garmin transmitters.
    I would like my Tacx Flow to transmit the power readings, then we wouldn’t need using the extra power wheel while doing indoor watt intervals.

    RAY: If you care to read this; a result I got from running with both the running pod and the three computers is that the result measured by the FR60/pod was a distance BETWEEN the result from the FR610 and EDGE500 in GPS mode. This accuracy on the pod measured distance impressed me as it impressed you while you were running through tunnels etc. ;-)

  143. David

    FR 910XT for everything since your fantastic review. Tried all sports individually, no triathlons (yet). Only downside is shipping to the UK through clever training was really expensive, especially import tax. Great product, great blog. Thanks for kickstarting my fitness again. David

  144. Jeff_Thomson!

    Well I don’t mind using a couple of devices for this purpose! Especially for cycling, I prefer relying on some fantastic devices. In fact, I also use iPhone to track pulse rate while cycling. You can also find some awesome apps in the Apple app store such as Runkeeper App!