Tech Toys - Help or Hindrance?

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Tech Toys - Help or Hindrance?

Postby brett.hooker » Thu Dec 05, 2013 12:24 pm

Go!
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by BNA » Thu Dec 05, 2013 12:32 pm

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Re: Tech Toys - Help or Hindrance?

Postby g-boaf » Thu Dec 05, 2013 12:32 pm

If it's a Garmin 800, a bit of a help.

Though when I got lost the other weekend, I got off the road, sat down in a park and got the iPhone out. iPhone maps are easier to read than the Garmin ones when you are outdoors.

I really don't use half of the functions of the Garmin that I could use. But the one that is good is the virtual training partner, I've used that a few times as a bit of added motivation to chase down a certain average speed. Knowing that the average is only 400m ahead gives you that little extra when you see it ticking down. 400.. 390, 370.. 8)

It's also useful when your friends are riding somewhere, you can download their ride and put it in the Garmin and it'll give you directions on screen. That's handy.
Last edited by g-boaf on Thu Dec 05, 2013 12:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tech Toys - Help or Hindrance?

Postby MattyK » Thu Dec 05, 2013 12:44 pm

As a commuter, no*.

I care naught for speed, cadence, distance, location, power, etc. A clock might be useful in telling me exactly how late I am running, but it wouldn't get me there on time anyway so no point. I Strava'd for a week, realised how painfully slow I was, and gave it up. Plus it's not very interesting to know that I did 8.1 km and the same amount of climbing every ride...

*On the other hand it depends how you define "tech toys" - I live by my high quality LED lighting, expensive tyres, disc brake, etc. They're pretty techie at a base level.
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Re: Tech Toys - Help or Hindrance?

Postby george-bob » Thu Dec 05, 2013 12:52 pm

Massive help, if:

-You are an inexperienced athlete (so you don't know how to train by 'feel')

-You are training for racing (or racing)
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Re: Tech Toys - Help or Hindrance?

Postby g-boaf » Thu Dec 05, 2013 12:56 pm

In the case of that last one, part A applies to me, part B absolutely doesn't. :lol:

It's a nice motivation when you see on Strava that you are getting quicker. It's also nice if you''ve time yourself on a particular long section and you can see on the Garmin that you've done it well. I'm very subdued about things, but even I get a bit fired up when I've done something well. :)
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Re: Tech Toys - Help or Hindrance?

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Thu Dec 05, 2013 3:18 pm

A minimalist toolkit, backpack, basic odometer and a good light. Anything else is extra weight.
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Re: Tech Toys - Help or Hindrance?

Postby jasonc » Thu Dec 05, 2013 3:24 pm

ColinOldnCranky wrote:A minimalist toolkit, backpack, basic odometer and a good light. Anything else is extra weight.


unicyclists are the original weight weenies. one wheel and all that
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Re: Tech Toys - Help or Hindrance?

Postby jacks1071 » Thu Dec 05, 2013 3:28 pm

brett.hooker wrote:Go!


After constant distractions from technology I rode for several years with not so much as a speedo on my bike. Very refreshing.

A speedo got put on when I did a 130km race as it was an unfamiliar circuit and I needed the distance to be aware of when the finish was comming.

Since then, I now have every gadget known to man on my bike again...

One of my buddies has dumped his speedo and says he's never enjoyed riding so much.
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Re: Tech Toys - Help or Hindrance?

Postby open roader » Thu Dec 05, 2013 4:15 pm

Tech Toys - Help or Hindrance?

Help.

5 years of riding bikes with a speedo, HRM read out and cadence meter assisted me greatly to set a tempo and make basic analysis my riding performance.

However.......I now have a separate road bike fitted with nil tech toys, a gentler ride/ recovery bike - a true joy to ride, just pedal and steer and enjoy the passing scenery........

Also use an external speaker MP3 player on my teched up bikes to enhance enjoyment and assist cadence maintenance.........
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Re: Tech Toys - Help or Hindrance?

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Thu Dec 05, 2013 7:00 pm

jasonc wrote:
ColinOldnCranky wrote:A minimalist toolkit, backpack, basic odometer and a good light. Anything else is extra weight.


unicyclists are the original weight weenies. one wheel and all that

Less tha 6kg, and that's after adding a full bottle of water, toolkit and meters. At a cost of less than $200!

Eat our heart out. :twisted:
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Re: Tech Toys - Help or Hindrance?

Postby Xplora » Thu Dec 05, 2013 7:12 pm

What kind of help do we want? Enjoy the ride, punish your mates, or improve your performance? I think dump everything to just enjoy the ride, maybe a cadence sensor to help with discipline on the flats. You need a GPS to put things onto Strava LOL apart from that, you can't beat technology to hurt you when there is no other motivation.
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Re: Tech Toys - Help or Hindrance?

Postby toolonglegs » Thu Dec 05, 2013 7:17 pm

After my back problems a couple of years a go I went with out anything visible for a long time, but had a phone running stava in my pocket... but then in a 100km race I attacked a group coming into what I thought was the finish, went through the line and pulled over, only to see my group go flying through for a finishing circuit of 8 kms ( luckily I got back on :oops: ). Since then I have had a speedo at least.
Have always been given a garmin with loaded routes when guiding during the TDF as often in areas I have never been, finally bought an 2nd hand one from my employer... the maps on the 705 are great ( theres a reason 705's are still very expensive 2nd hand! ). I have lived in the same area for over 5 years now and there are still literally hundreds if not 1000's of climbs / rides I have not down within 100kms of my house. Since having the garmin I have been exploring the beauty of the Beaujolais much more instead of spending all my time in the Dombes and the Bugey 8) .
Having gone for 4 years with out a HRM I am now wearing a strap again... don't really like it but I have been wearing it most rides, I want to test it's accuracy though :| .
Also been tossing up getting another power meter... but so far haven't bothered as I just ain't that good!.
Through and through strava addict though... having my club watching over my shoulder is good motivation even in winter at -10 :D
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Re: Tech Toys - Help or Hindrance?

Postby il padrone » Thu Dec 05, 2013 7:19 pm

For touring rides in the boonies, the Garmin GPS is invaluable. But bugger the Strava thing, I use it for navigation. Other than that I value the LED lights, the dynamo battery charger, and a good digital camera to record the riding images. That's about it.
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Re: Tech Toys - Help or Hindrance?

Postby brett.hooker » Thu Dec 05, 2013 8:27 pm

Awesome stuff guys... There is a theme here, and I think it applies to all tech...

- simplicity rules
- tech toys add value up until price, complexity or weight become obstructions

So, it's a balance. It doesn't matter if you start simple, or start complex, a balance will be reached over time if you use it enough...

Thoughts?
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Re: Tech Toys - Help or Hindrance?

Postby minhyy » Thu Dec 05, 2013 9:04 pm

I had a mini wireless computer with basic stuff like speed, dist etc which I found myself looking down at frequently to try and be within a certain figure, which I suppose may have been good for training purposes but I think I was a bit too reliant on it

Then I crashed and took the computer off and haven't looked back. Riding by feel is so much more enjoyable, plus you're aware of everything else around you imo, rather than just what's on a tiny screen

I do use strava on my iphone to track my longer rides but for the most it sits in my back pocket and only gets pulled out a rest stop or to check maps

But in any case, if a new toy helps you ride more, then it's never a bad thing
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Re: Tech Toys - Help or Hindrance?

Postby Coolabah » Thu Dec 05, 2013 9:57 pm

brett.hooker wrote:Awesome stuff guys... There is a theme here, and I think it applies to all tech...

- simplicity rules
- tech toys add value up until price, complexity or weight become obstructions

So, it's a balance. It doesn't matter if you start simple, or start complex, a balance will be reached over time if you use it enough...

Thoughts?


Well, I am just a simple ( and very,very old ) bear. Not sure if I have many thoughts when I'm riding. Or , generally at all if it comes to that ; but nevertheless i think you nailed it. I DO like to have at least a simple odometer on my bikes - helps me keep track of the km's put on since I last did this/that/theother regarding general servicing. I recently picked up a Garmin 810 and must say I am enjoying it for maybe not so obvious/traditional reasons... like being more interested in the temperatures at various points on my ride home ... or .. more worrying , seeing that my heartrate is close to 100% of suggested maximum for my age at various points ( eg steep hills ) ... YIKES !!! Cool that I can select any bike and view accumulated km's etc... also sometimes I forget that I own certain bikes .. then *pow* oh yea it is listed right there ... now where did I last leave it ???? In retrospect, it works out only a little more expensive to have this *one* device rather than an individual speedo on each bike.

So , yeh , do love this sort of stuff. I vote for "help" rather than hindrance
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Re: Tech Toys - Help or Hindrance?

Postby moose85 » Thu Dec 05, 2013 10:39 pm

Like others, a help if it makes you ride more... I run strava on my s4 but it lives in the back of my jersey and that's it, no other tech. Mind you, someone broke my KOM time a few weeks ago on a short sprint and now I have to go and take it back... :-)

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Re: Tech Toys - Help or Hindrance?

Postby AUbicycles » Thu Dec 05, 2013 10:56 pm

Tech toys often have the higher purpose of improving performance and when it comes to performance there can be more tangible effects by (where applicable) losing weight, drinking less wine or beer the night before (and generally), better eating & nutrition and getting a proper bike fit. The list goes on.

But even simple tech can be useful even without elite level performance aspirations e.g. maintaining or riding to a certain speed and keeping a tab on and increasing total distance over time.

In the grand scheme however, each to their own - high tech or low tech.. whatever tickles your fancy.
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Re: Tech Toys - Help or Hindrance?

Postby sogood » Fri Dec 06, 2013 3:30 am

Simple answer. If the user knows (how to use) and fits the objectives, then it is useful. Not if not.
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Re: Tech Toys - Help or Hindrance?

Postby 3DKiwi » Fri Dec 06, 2013 3:50 am

I love my Garmin Edge 510 GPS. Definitely has helped me improve my speed. For road riding having speed and cadence is pretty essential to maintain optimal performance. Then when I get home I upload to Garmin Connect and Strava. I can then enter the data into a spreadsheet training log. Strava is a lot of fun as myself and a couple of guys from my local club follow each other and we can see what each is up to.

I always ride with a heart rate monitor connected to the Garmin. Most useful for endurance training where you want to train within a certain heart range range and not overdo it. Also useful with interval training.

Plus of course I can use the GPS unit as a Navigation device on unfamiliar roads. What I don't use is the live tracking where say my wife could follow my progress from home of where I am out on the road or bush if on my mountain bike. That uses the Garmin and a smart phone. That's going too far in my book plus your phone needs to have a data connection to the internet the entire duration of the ride.
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Re: Tech Toys - Help or Hindrance?

Postby Xplora » Fri Dec 06, 2013 7:30 am

Kudos for Coolabah's "odo for servicing" stance, and while he loses a bit for getting the 810, he makes it up for the epic n+1 (forgets he owns a bike until its on the garmin bike list. )

Well played sir!

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Re: Tech Toys - Help or Hindrance?

Postby TonyMax » Fri Dec 06, 2013 7:36 am

For me they're a help, I use my phone to listen to music while riding, and my tracking software and GPS to try to go faster/further both on individual rides and over the course of a week.

"If I do 35km on Saturday I can push my weekly total up to 100km"

"I need another 10km somewhere so I can go further than last week"

"If I can just push this last half a lap I can set a new record on my lunch time 20km ride"

Stuff like that.

Distance tracking is much easier with GPS and an app than an odometer, and average speed/pace tracking is very much easier than using an odometer and a watch/stopwatch.

Also I can track my weight loss and set a goal and hopefully get warm fuzzies some time this month when I get to >82kg.
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Re: Tech Toys - Help or Hindrance?

Postby trailgumby » Fri Dec 06, 2013 7:50 am

For me, definitely a help. Twice the 705 has saved me from having to make embarrassing calls for help when lost on (I thought) familiar trails at night (well I was familiar with them during the day). Secondly, monitoring HR on the ride home saves me from going too deep/hard and not being able to sleep from my metabolism being too wound up.

Thirdly, the automatic tracking, and uploading to strava, helps monitor performance and provides a motivation when I'm lagging and a sense of achievement when doing well.

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Re: Tech Toys - Help or Hindrance?

Postby bychosis » Fri Dec 06, 2013 8:29 am

Help for me, but I've backed of using a little. I like having a speedo/odo on my bike, helps me figure if I should be going faster, especially the ones that compare to your average for the ride a little minus on the display seems to make me work harder. Lately my speedo devices have stopped working and I haven't been bothered to repair and haven't really missed them, except when in MTB enduro events and I would like to know how much punishment is left.

I carry a phone with tracking software in my pocket or pack, but that is used as Tonymax does. Check weekly distances etc and try to get more km/time on the bikes or beat my previous efforts.

The term measurebater has been bandied around, fits well with "all the gear and no idea". Heaps of data tracked and compared, but not used to improve training, just trying to impress your mates.
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Re: Tech Toys - Help or Hindrance?

Postby skull » Fri Dec 06, 2013 8:35 am

Power meter and garmin. Been using this combo for about 1.5 years.

Aides me in being able to accurately track ny training progression, intensity of session and assist with timing for nutrition. Also allows for keeping track of mileage.

Hinders I am so reliant on it now that if I don't have power data I feel like I am wasting my time. Also garmin failed during tge tour of bright. So I almost went to pieces not being able to track myself or know the time to take in food.

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