June 3, 2016
I’ve managed to accumulate quite a few GPS bike computers and watches over the years, and lately I’ve been really excited about the new TomTom Spark GPS Fitness Watches. These are available in four different models, ranging in price from $150 up to $250. The base model offers both GPS and 24/7 fitness tracking. The next two models add to the base model with either a built-in heart rate monitor, or 3 GB of music storage. At the top of the heap, you get everything previously mentioned in one tidy package, and that’s the watch I opted for.
The TomTom Spark Cardio + Music is a GPS fitness watch that not only has a really long name, but it also has just about every feature a fitness guru could want. The 24/7 activity tracking estimates your steps, calories burned, and hours of sleep, while the built-in heart rate monitor displays your beats per minutes. Speaking of beats, you have 3 GB of internal memory so you can load up all your favorite tunes. Out of the box, you get an included set of Bluetooth ear buds that you can synch to the watch.
For cyclists, the GPS feature is likely your #1 reason for paying attention to this watch. Once you get the hang of toggling around through the various functions, it’s pretty easy to start logging and recording your activities. Once you’re ready to upload your ride, you can head over to TomTom’s own MySports website. Once you’ve uploaded your ride to their service, you can view all your ride stats, as well as a map of your travels. You can also have TomTom MySports automatically export your ride to another ride tracking website, such as Strava, Endomondo, or MapMyFitness. That’s all handled in your personal account settings.
For $250, this watch is a lot of fun. It’s comfortable on the wrist, lightweight, and slim when compared to other fitness watches. When selecting your watch, you can also select the size of the wristband, which goes a long way towards getting a good fit.
Photos courtesy of TomTom
TOURING GEAR & TIPS is written by Joshua Tack of Adventure Cycling’s member services department. It appears once each month, highlighting technical aspects of bicycle touring and offering advice to help better prepare you for the journey ahead. Look for Josh’s “Fine Tuned” column in Adventure Cyclist magazine as well.