Ed. note: Andrew, our resident Cat 1 roadie reviewed this new gear for us
view from the eyewear of the setup
I’ve spent the past couple weeks testing out with the Sportiiiis Heads-Up Display (HUD) System. It was pretty clear to me from the outset that this is a tool that could be quite effective for someone like me who does the majority of their training at night. In the past I’ve tried to fit in some structured workouts on my commute home, but I’ve done it by feel. Trying to read my Garmin in low light has been a challenge, at best and that’s where the HUD makes a lot of sense. The software is pretty simple to setup. To be most effective you’d want to reset your target zones for each workout, but that’s really pretty quick. In use, there is no time indicator, but you can set it to remind you of your effort every minute so you can back into some time durations pretty simply. As far as keeping in the zone, I found the lights and audio reminder to do a good job of keeping me on target. When I passed under a street light, I could check and validate my effort with the Garmin and it was always spot-on.
As I head into winter next year, I expect that having access to the Sportiiiis would be very helpful as I slog through some of those longer tempo efforts. Apart from night time riding – where else does it’s use make sense? For a timetrial where you want to peg a wattage or a HR, it would be really useful. Less looking at your computer and more focus on keeping the zone and position. You can put the indicator at the right spot to stay in your aero position which would be useful for some. For Triathletes I think it makes similar sense. For their longer efforts, it’s important to keep things even and the target zones of the Sportiiis would certainly help with that.
What’s it missing?: I’d like to see a button that gives you an audible timer. Something that counts off the seconds and minutes (maybe in 10s increments?) as you do your workouts. I also found some of the buttons to be a little hard to get just right, but I got better with time on those. For anything without a graphical UI, it’s going to be hard to manage that feedback. It’s also missing the workout history/tracking aspect, but I actually think of that as a good thing. This device does one thing and it does it well. To try and over-complicate it may result in excess bulk that doesn’t add a ton of value.
Would I use the Sportiiis – for sure. Would I use it everyday – probably not, but if you are serious about maximizing your training time it can certainly be a valuable tool.