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947 Views 6 Replies Latest reply: Dec 11, 2007 3:01 PM by AKTrail RSS
sclark2085 Rookie 34 posts since
Dec 14, 2007
Currently Being Moderated

Dec 11, 2007 12:04 PM

Garmin Forerunner - is the 50 a suitable option?

I know there are a lot of fancy, new GPS systems out there for runnners and I was hoping to get some insight from the many of you that have used them.

I am looking for a watch (with the basics: time, date, alarm) that can be worn everyday; additionally, I would like this watch have HRM capabilities, and calculate things like pace, calories, distance, time, etc....

From what I've read, the Garmin Forerunner 50 is just those things; however, I certainl;y understand that it's "the bottom of the barrell" compared to other models.

Cost is definitely a factor. I'm trying to stay under $200.

Any opinions on this model or others (doesn't have to be Garmin) please pass them along.

Thanks so much!

Shannon

  • Long Run Nick Amateur 277 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Dec 11, 2007 12:17 PM (in response to sclark2085)
    Re: Garmin Forerunner - is the 50 a suitable option?

    My suggestion buy a Garmin 305. You can shop around on line and with rebate pay less than $200. Then you can spend $20-30 on a Timex daily wear watch. I have used way too many running watches/HR monitors/foot pods, etc. I have found the 305 to be well worth the money--especially if you are planing on making running a life long pursuit. You and your health are priceless. Nick

  • lgreenberg98 Amateur 143 posts since
    Nov 5, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. Dec 11, 2007 12:24 PM (in response to sclark2085)
    Re: Garmin Forerunner - is the 50 a suitable option?

    The 50 is a nice, inexpensive alternative to the 305.  And it does something the 305 does not, it works everywhere.  Yes you can add the foot pod to the 305 to achieve this - but not out of the box.

    The 50 is a watch that can be worn everyday but because of that it lacks some of the nice features the 305 has - mainly it only has a two line display. This was the deal breaker for me.

    I'd also look at the Polar rs200sd. It's a tad over $200 but gives you a three line display in a watch that can be worn everyday. Also comes in two colors (red and black.) The foot pod is larger than that of the Garmin 50 though.



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  • dgb2n_2 Amateur 136 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Dec 11, 2007 12:46 PM (in response to sclark2085)
    Re: Garmin Forerunner - is the 50 a suitable option?

    Only issue with the Garmin 50 is that it isn't a GPS system.

    That might not be an issue for you and may even be an asset if you live in someplace like NY where satellite coverage can be spotty.

    It is a nice form factor, uses a foot pod to measure distance, and can wirelessly transmit data to your PC so that you can analyze your performance.

    My big issue with it is that by the time you add the footpod, the price is nearly that of the 305 (about $200). If all you want is the HRM, then I suppose it is a good deal for $100.

    I wear a fairly dressy watch so having a single device to wear all the time and during workouts isn't an issue for me. I prefer the 305.

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  • AKTrail Rookie 360 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    4. Dec 11, 2007 2:27 PM (in response to sclark2085)
    Re: Garmin Forerunner - is the 50 a suitable option?

    If you're going to get hrm and footpod, I'd get a Polar rather than Garmin. They have better software, but not sure if the low end models have the good software. Someone mentioned the Polar rs200sd, which I haven't seen, but I do have a footpod Polar that works reasonably well on normal terrain once calibrated. I use a Polar hrm and separate Garmin handheld GPS for the data I want.

  • AKTrail Rookie 360 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    6. Dec 11, 2007 3:01 PM (in response to sclark2085)
    Re: Garmin Forerunner - is the 50 a suitable option?

    quote:


    Originally posted by sclark2:

    Thank you all for your replies. I guess a main concern for me is that I run in the woods a lot and it might not work too well with a satellite (GPS). Which is why I thought the Garmin 50 was a better option.


     


    With the older model GPS units, sky visibility was a major issue, and why Polar went the footpod route for their pace info. With the newer Sirf chip in the Garmin 205/305, some of the newer Garmin handhelds, and in the new gps attachments for the Polar units (not sure what chips they're using), that isn't an issue, or certainly not as much as what it used to be. What does happen now though is that you sometimes get signal rebound off canyon (building?) walls and get spurious routes.

    I do have a FR 305 that I got when I sent my Polar in for battery replacement and also to check for suitabilty for local trail projects.  I generally didn't like the 305 for a number of reasons, like it's size and no real-time hill accumulation data like one gets with barometric altimeter units (I recognize that may not be an issue for you)., as well as lack of decent software for hrm training (or maybe it's so buried I can't find it). (It also seems to like to connect workouts if I didn't download in befween.) This is why I suggested that if your main concern was hr training, go the Polar route, esp. if you get a unit with the software. Lower end models use on-line software, I think, and not sure what that's like.

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