.: Ski XCOttawa.ca :: Skiing in Ottawa and Gatineau Park

The Good. The Bad. The Ugly.
By:  Logan Hong   (2014/11/16)

 After searching out watches for a number of months and waiting to find the right one that suited my needs the best, I stumbled upon the Suunto catalogue at Runnerís Den. The appearance of the Suunto Ambit 2S caught my interest off the bat but I didnít know much about the watch or the brand aside from the fact that the watch looked nice. Not long after, I was training with a girl on the Ontario Ski Team and saw she was wearing the watch! After talking to her a bit and then later speaking with the Suunto rep, I found out a lot more about the watch, and was sold!†

 Having had the watch for a few months now I have been able to take it on many training sessions and have been able to put the watch to the test myself. In the grand scheme of things the watch is everything I had hoped it would be!

-The customizable screens allow me to see exactly what I need during my training and arenít convoluted with with details that donít pertain to my workout.†
 †Most nordic skiers train based on heart rate zones and are given a specific number of training hours to put in. When Iím out training, the 2 main things I want to know are, my heart rate, and the length of time I have been training, everything else is secondary. The customizable screens allow me to view a wide range of things, including: different measurements of speed, distances, heart rate, altitude, time, power, cadence and more. I can view 3 things on one screen at once which saves me from having to flip through multiple screens. If I wanted however, I could add up to 8 screens to view other information on the go. For me, the multiple screens are unnecessary. I like to keep thing simple during my workout and review the details after. The Ambit 2S allows me to do just that.

-The watch uploads all my workouts to Movescount for me to analyze†
 Movescount maps my workouts and graphs information from my training which I can then pick out and add to my online training log, ďSportlogĒ. The graphs allow me to see exactly how my heart rate, and pace changes over the time that Iím working out.†
-There are many different sports modes to pick from
As a nordic skier my training can be fairly flexible especially early on, during the dry land season. My training involves mostly running, strength training, and roller skiing in the summer, but I also like to throw in some road cycling. With the Suunto Ambit 2S I am able to create multiple sport modes which essentially allows me to select my type of workout for the day and the screens are already customized to what I want displayed for that type of workout. Up to 10 sport modes can be displayed on the watch at a time but you can always switch which modes are displayed through Movescount.†

-There are a large amount of shared Apps that can be uploaded to your watch.
 One of my favourite features about the Ambit 2S is that there are many apps that are available. With the Suunto Ambit 2S I have access to apps that other users have created or I can create my own. Basically, apps provide me with a way to record and time more complex workouts ex. pyramid workouts where the rest period and the work period change throughout the workout. There are also apps that are specifically created for daily purposes, competition, training, and environmental purposes to name a few. Using the app developer, I was able to create an app to take my daily Ruskos. The app allows me to go through the motions of going from lying down to standing and beeps at the specified times. When my Rusko is finished I can upload it onto Movescount and view my heart rate lying down, standing up after 15sec, standing after another 1min 15sec have past, and then again after 30sec of standing (total of 2min of standing). This app allows me to assess my level of fatigue, and helps me decide if Iím recovered enough to train.†

-Lots of other common features †on top of everything already mentioned about the watch, it also has a few more common capabilities.†
 This watch includes your standard interval timer which will beep after X long (either time or distance) for the work portion of the interval, and then it will beep again after your rest period for X number of repetitions. You can input your specifics ex. weight, height, gender birthdate, max and min heart rate which will be used to calculate your ideal heart rate zones. It also has a countdown timer, a stopwatch, a compass, and can be used in the water.†

-This watch is super user-friendly!†
 You can basically take it out of the box and follow the first few instructions to set it up (not a very complex process) and then next thing you know youíre heading out the door for a run with it on! I hardly needed the manual to figure out how to navigate through the watches many functions which I feared I might need to do since my previous Timex was very straight forward and had only your very basic functions.†

-There are very few ďbadĒ things to say about the watch!†

-The inconvenience of the interval timer†
 †Having used a Timex in the past I really liked being able to change my intervals directly on my watch. Now I have to log into Movescount in order to do so, which if Iím running late for a workout or if I forget to change it ahead of time then I canít time my intervals. (I think this is the case for most higher end watches though...)†

-The complexity of designing your own apps†
 After googling and trying to youtube how to design apps in Movescount I was unsuccessful and had no idea where to start. I had a fair bit of difficulty creating my own first few apps and had to rely on a website I stumbled upon to create it for me. I also had to result to using a lot of other pre-existing apps as templates for my own.†

-Er: 62†
 One day while I was training after about 2 months of having the watch, Er: 62 appeared under the exercise settings which prevented me from using my different sport modes. Occasionally the screen would also go blank and then reappear. I tried to flip through my manual to see if it contained a list of error codes and solutions and found nothing. I also couldnít find anything about it through google. After dealing with the problem for a few weeks I finally managed to sort it out although I still didnít know what I did exactly to fix it. A few weeks later the problem reoccured and I managed to fix it in a shorter amount of time. Iím still not entirely sure what the problem was, I think it just needed to get updated? Its up and working again just as normal though!†

 This watch is a relatively expensive watch and has a lot of cool features! Although you can make it show only your most basic functions and it is super simple to use, it's definitely not a beginner watch!†

-There is absolutely nothing ugly about the watch in my opinion!
 One of the main reasons the Ambit 2S appealed to me initially was due to the physical appearance of it. When I finally got to see the watch in person and try it on, it was just as appealing in real life as in the pictures. The white colour looked sleek and feminine. Just as I was assured, Iíve had no problems with discolouration and when I do accidentally get it dirty it comes off very easily with water or simply by rubbing it. The fit and overall feel of the watch is also nice, itís not too heavy and it fits my wrist snug just as I like it to. Iíve tried on many watches before deciding to get this watch and felt that a lot of them fit my wrist awkwardly.†

 †In general Iím very pleased with the performance of this watch. That being said I also donít have a lot to compare it to... I have however, heard reviews from friends about other watches including the Nike Sportwatch, the Garmin 610, Polar's RC3, and have personally tested the Tomtom watch myself. Since moving to Ottawa this watch has also been quite a conversation piece. Iíve had lots of conversations about the watch and it occasionally has caused me to meet new people solely because of their interest in my watch.

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