Garmin’s new downloadable set-up is fantastic value and simple to use. You can input your own training zone and set the watch to beep if your effort drifts, while the interval timer allows you to plan differing periods of work and rest.
The memory will store info from up to 100 laps and around seven hours of exercise so you can check back and record the duration of your session, time spent in your training zone, average HR and so on.
Even better, you can wirelessly download all of this data to Garmin’s free TrainingCenter software on your PC (Windows 2000 or Windows XP) or to the online Garmin Connect site where you can analyse it at your leisure. A £42 speed/cadence sensor gives you a wide range of bike functions, or if you’re a runner too you can get a version with a Foot Pod (a lightweight and accurate speed sensor) for £119.
Downsides? The bottom line of the display is a bit weedy and you have to keep the light button pushed in to activate it, which is a pain when you’re moving, but overall this is excellent, especially for the price.