Choosing the Best Sports/Fitness Tracker for Cycling
For some reason, sports or fitness tracker for cycling are usually large and have a rugged appearance. Even a woman’s sports watch with a basic heart rate monitor for monitoring the optical heart rate is typically more rugged in appearance than a more formal dress style timepiece.
Probably the first and foremost consideration when selecting a fitness tracker for cycling is to understand what the purpose of the watch is for. Rather than just opting for the first apple watch or Fitbit Versa you can lay your hands on, you should consider what else you need it for and what other features it has.
Do you need it to have GPS tracking? Will battery life be an issue? Do you need an activity tracker? What kind of display are you after? How often do you check the time?
Some of the popular brands – like the Fitbit ionic, Fitbit blaze, Garmin Fenix, Fitbit Versa, Garmin forerunner and Fitbit charge – all do this and more. So they are not just wrist-based fitness trackers but come with a lot of additional features included.
You may say that the purpose of choosing a sports watch is because you participate in sports, but that doesn’t necessarily require you be restricted to a particular type of watch. The way to look at it is that those who participate in the sport of tennis may prefer a watch that appears more like a bracelet than a rugged timepiece.
What to look for in a cycling watch
A sports watch will usually be somewhat larger than watches intended for more formal occasions, however, watches, in general, have grown larger over the past few years. Choosing a sports watch that is not large enough on the face of the watch to easily place and read all the features is a waste of money. At the same time, choosing a large bulky watch can interfere with playing some sports, and can even be dangerous to the player in others. Catching parts of the watch on other objects is hard on the watch and may cause injury to the wearer as well.
The dial should be large enough to easily read the numbers and view the placement of the hands. A luminous dial is helpful in some situations. Placement of the hands or the digital readout should be done with readability in mind. If there are other features on the face of the watch, they should be intuitively placed and easily seen. Hands versus display are a matter of personal preference.
Obviously divers, swimmers or those who work in moist weather conditions will want to review the water resistance level in the watch options they are considering. If you are a diver, keep in mind that most sports watches are water-resistant to some degree, but you shouldn’t assume that a 50-metre depth watch will be okay at 49 meters.
Almost all sports watches are made of either stainless steel or titanium. Hardened titanium is beautiful and durable as is stainless steel and much less expensive than watches made of precious metals such as gold or platinum. Gold is easily scratched so would be less desirable for a sports watch. Stainless steel is the preferred choice for most sports watches.
The composition of the band typically is metal, leather or synthetic material of some type, such as plastic. You should look for a band that fits your wrist correctly, no matter what the style of the sports watch is or what the composition is. Any watch that is too lose will tend to catch on objects while the wearer is active. A watch band that is too snug will never be comfortable to wear and will tend to rub or chafe the skin of an active wearer.
The watch crystal is generally not an option on a sports watch or any other. You will find the harder the substance the better quality the crystal. Synthetic sapphire is the typical choice, as they are next to diamonds in the hardness scale. Less expensive watches will typically use mineral glass or even plastic. Mineral glass is coated so as to make it more resistant to scratching.
The weight of a watch for an active sports enthusiast can become critical. If you are wearing a watch that weighs above 100 grams you will begin to feel the weight of the watch on your wrist. Unfortunately, not all watch manufacturers provide information on the weight of the watch in the specifications.
Quartz vs mechanical
The decision about whether a quartz or mechanical watch is preferable to you is going to be linked to the price you are prepared to spend on the watch. Lower priced and lower quality watches typically will have a quartz movement while higher quality and higher-priced watches will nearly always have mechanical movements. The exception may be where the case of the watch is made of a precious metal.
Some add ons include a stopwatch, a calendar and clocks from other time zones or alarms for example, but these items are simply personal preference items.
In summary, finding the perfect sports or fitness watch is a matter of determining how the watch will be used and how it will look and feel on your wrist. Checking the quality level of the watch will be critical unless you are planning to replace the watch periodically. Finally, the price of the watch will be an important factor in choosing the ideal sports watch. You may want to think about looking for a quality watch that has been cared for if you want the best quality for the price, but you lose some assurance of the condition of the watch in this instance.