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Garmin 910 XT Is Here!
CBD Cycles - 12/01/2012
The Garmin 910 XT represents an update to the previous generation triathlon focused 310XT. The goal of the multisport watches that Garmin makes has been to offer a watch that ‘does it all’ – and in the case of the 910XT – it really does seem to deliver here, covering the majority of needs for the triathlete.The 910XT is the smallest multisport watch that Garmin has made to date, being both slimmer than the 310XT and the earlier 305XT.

Without question, the biggest changes in the FR910XT boil down to the addition of an indoor swim mode – effectively making the watch a complete swim/bike/run watch as opposed to just a bike/run watch.
The 910XT has the ability to support lap-swimming in different length pools as well as open water swimming recording distance, speed, strokes and more. For years no Garmin product has supported the ability to gather lap data while inside a pool. But now the FR910XT does exactly that.
For the cyclists and ultra runners, they’ve added in a barometric altimeter. For years cyclists have managed to get barometric altimeters within their bike computers, while runners have had to put up with GPS based altimeters. Now in general, GPS based altimeters work just fine – but they aren’t as accurate for more complex elevation situations (mountains), or for determining things like grade – which requires a better understanding of the elevation changes.
It's great to see Garmin have integrated a barometric altimeter into the 910XT, over the GPS altimeter that was previously used with the 310XT and 305.

For the runners, they’ve added in walk/run mode – becoming more and more common for longer distance endurance pacing.This has become popular in recent years as a way to try and keep a consistent overall pace in an endurance event, such as a marathon or longer. Essentially the idea being that if you manage the walking aspect of it, it’ll keep it from snowballing into just non-stop walking.

Typically this is setup based on a specific time, such as 10 minutes of running and then 1-2 minutes of walking. The FR910XT now supports the ability to create these alerts, along with all the normal alerts you can still setup (time/distance/calorie). Naturally you can also use this alert as a reminder to eat or drink in Ironman events or training.

Of course, the 910XT isn’t necessarily for everyone, as I believe it’s important to identify your rough category of watch needs and find a product that fits. So looking at watch recommendations, you’ve got a few different basic categories:

1) The Triathlete: No question, if you’re a triathlete – this is the watch if you want a single device that does it all. There’s simply no other product on the market today that can do recording in all three sports with respect to distance and recorded data, especially in the pool.

2) The Casual Runner: The casual runner should probably look at the cheaper FR210. In general the FR210 is probably a better entry level watch in that it’s simplified enough where you can just go out and run. By the same token, I still believe that for 95% of runners, the FR210 is a perfect fit. As for the 910XT and casual runners, bringing the 910XT to the table for a casual runner is like bringing a gun to a knife fight.

3) The Advanced Runner: The FR 610 is really aimed at this market. But if you want the additional barometric altimeter (such as an ultra running in the mountains) – then clearly the 910XT is your best (and only) bet.

4) The Pure Cyclist: You probably want the Edge series of devices, so check out the Edge 500 – it’s the best bet here. If you need mapping, then check out the Edge 800. Of course, if you dabble between running and cycling, then that’s where the 910XT really shines. The only thing you really lose coming from the Edge 500 to the 910XT is 8 concurrent data fields down to 4 concurrent fields.

The 910XT is available now for $449 for a complete bundle kit.