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End of season splurge, turbo or gps?

After my first season in Tri I have circa £130 to spend on something to help my training over the winter and I'd like your opinion between a turbo-trainer and a gps watch.

I have done two sprint tri's and one olympic (which was a disaster after I completed an extra bike lap :roll: ). Improved in pace and stamina markedly through the season. My aspirations will peak at the Olympic distance for now.

My open 40km bike time is 1hr12m and my open 5km is 24m10s so I would say my bike is the stronger of the two disciplines. I think I would benefit from some instance pace feedback on the run. And, before you mention it, I am joining a swim group over the winter.

Haven't picked a turbo at the moment (but there are loads on wiggle at that price) and I have settled on a Garmin 210 from Handtec (thanks to a forum search for that little gem of a website).

Other factor to consider is the most painful aspect of the turbo will be the nagging to put it back in the shed the moment it has been finished with!

What say you? £130 is pretty much my max so no suggesting a 910xt anyone


  • I havent got a 210 but I go have a Garmin 305 and the fact it has the cadance elemet and Hr makes it great and the ablity to upload is great.

    A turbo and some sufferfest videos are also great. I am about to get back on my turbo and it help loads with my running last year. I think you will get gains from both. you can use the garmin on the trubo so I would sya get both
  • jonEjonE Posts: 1,113
    Given you did an extra lap, GPS would be the preferred option, shop around, you could get a decent second hand one.

    Turbos have their place, and can produce results, but not handling skills.

    Get the best GPS, one with a virtual opponent on it, so you can see instantly if you are on pace, etc.
  • Solved the turbo vs handling problem in one

    £500 give or take
  • Ha, classic, I knew you guys would take my budget loosely
    First season, so after getting ; bike, wetsuit, pedals, shoes, wetsuit, tri-suit, cycling shorts, helmet...you get the picture, my budget is STRICTLY £130(ish).
    I think my bike handling skills are ok, it's just my counting skills that aren't.
    Think I'm settled on a 210 unless anyone suggests a GPS from left-field?
  • I think my bike handling skills are ok
    Really ?

    I know of only a handful of triathletes who have excellent bike handling skills. Unless you have come from a biking background I bet, like most of us, you handling skills are shocking when it comes down to jumping your bike over cattle grids at 40mph, launching youirself over dropped bottles in transition etc

    And on reflection - I dont know ANYONE who has brought a tri related product and stayed within a budget. Its not possible......
  • Er, they're ok. I'm not on your list of triathletes with excellent biking skills but I'm happy with where they are at the moment. You're right about the budget though!
  • bathtubbathtub Posts: 280
    A tough call if you only have £130 to spend.

    A Garmin 210 with HR would be a good piece of kit for training and racing but ideally you would benefit with a cadence feature for the bike which the 210 doesnt support.

    IMO a turbo trainer would benefit you more over the winter but to get maximum benefit from it ideally you would need a HRM and also a cadence sensor so again would require more spending unless you could pick up a cheap second hand turbo like the Tacx Flow which as all the mentioned features.

    Unfortunately which ever option you choose, eventually you WILL want to spend more money on kit, its all part of being a triathlete.

    Good Luck with your choice and happy winter training.
  • ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385
    Garmin 395 Forerunner. Everyone is clammering for the 910 which drives down the price of the 305, about £120 I have one, battery will last an Ironman. HRM and cadence sensor will do pretty much everything your heart desires. The 310 can be had for an extra £50 or so and can be worn in the swim but that pushes the budget - but forget budgets you can always get the money by switching off the heating over winter
  • Good advice, thanks all. On the basis that I can't count laps in single digits would anyone believe I can count cadence myself?
    I've turned the thermostat down and broken off the dial, bought the mrs a jumper and am getting a 310.
    Congratulations on another budget broken all!
  • ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385
    Horters43 wrote
    ... bought the mrs a jumper...
    Whoa, hang on rein in the extravagance - got to set a total budget and stick to it.
    Essentials, carbon bike, carbon wheels, carbon tri bike shoes, aero helmet, GPS, bling shades, snot hot run shoes, Über fast wetsuit.

    Luxuries, non tri clothes, heat, light, yadda yadda
  • Turbo every time. Probably the most useful bit of winter training gear i've bought. I love my gadgets and a gps watch is nice to have as well, but you're likely to get more practical benefit from the turbo.
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