CX PM & Watches


So I am looking back over the course of my first season of racing cross - Holy cow was that fun - and the biggest disappointment I have is the lack of data and the lack of credit I get from Strava and therefore TR for TSS.

I started the season with my head unit (TERRIBLE IDEA) and just dropped to using Strava App on my Apple Watch. The POS crashed on me repeatedly and even when it did work, I get credit for like 4 mi of riding - forget the fact that my heart rate was pegged the entire race and the sheer amount of power it takes to slog through the mud some days.

Long story short, I’d like to get a PM and Watch (in place of ever going near a head unit again) that talks to the PM. I see a lot of guys with Garmin watches, does anyone know which particular one is the best suited for CX or is there an alternative brand people like?

I also am not sure which PM to use. Obviously, Garmin has their Vectors that pair with their watches, but surely no one is riding those in cross? Do these watches connect with any BLE/Ant+ PM? What about HRM do the watches record the data from their onboard HRM or can I / do I have to pair an external one?

Appreciate the insights.


I’m a big fan of my Forerunner 935 :+1: It’s light and comfortable and does everything I need it to. The only other watch I have experience with is the Fenix 3, which I had to return since the weight and size had a tendency to really hurt my wrist.

The Garmin watches pair via ANT+, and have an onboard heart rate monitor, but they are able to pair to external HRM as well. For cross, a pedal based PM will definitely not be a good choice, but any crank based power meter should work well for you :slight_smile:

A few of the major players in the Power Meter market are Stages, Quarq, SRM, and Pioneer. I’d recommend reading this article by DC Rainmaker for a very in-depth analysis of the options currently on the market:


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I was going to make this thread a couple days ago. I think the Lezyne Micro Color GPS is the best that uses Ant and Blueteeth data from a power meter and from a heart rate strap. It’s also affordable.

This past season I used my powertap wheel for CX (it has a velocity a23 rim so it works for both and is pretty solid). Of course, the con for that is if you need to swap a wheel you’re down a power meter. I’d really like to get a stages (I have an fsa crankset so that’s pretty much the only option), but I’m also considering getting favero assioma pedals and using them on my road bike and saving the powertap just for CX (swapping tires and cassettes is a pain for me!).

After having nothing but problems with a Garmin head unit I’m hesitant to drop money on a watch of theirs.

The Lezyne is hideous, which is unusual for a company that generally makes beautiful things.

Wahoo filed with the FCC for a watch and there was a manual leak but it’s about a year late now so who knows. I’m hoping they release it before CX season. If not I’ll probably just race with my Bolt again.

I have similar sentiments as I’ve sent three Garmin bike computers back for replacements. However, I am quite happy with my 820 and like the map functionality for night-time gravel races and frequent travel.

I know, but it’s only $130 and the functionality is there. You can look at the display in the rain and read what you need and I don’t think you can find that with other watches. I bet the next gen will be pretty.

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I use a Quarq DZero on my CX bike, and I go back and forth between putting my Garmin on my bars, and in my back pocket. Watch would work relatively the same too. Honestly, I typically only look at my Garmin to know how much longer I have to suffer, as its too surgey to make the power numbers useful.

You could try this “Garmin Forerunner 910XT Wrist to Bike Quick Release Kit”

This is not a watch, just a quick connect kit for the 910 watch. The 910 is a pretty outdated watch also, has to be physically connected to pc to download files and no Bluetooth either. Oldest model Garmin anyone should probably ever buy is the 920.

I know it’s not a watch, but if you want to use a cycling head unit, either Garmin or wahoo then you can use this as a quarter turn mount for it on your wrist.

I presume that the main issue here is that for CX if you’re changing bikes the OP doesn’t want anything bike mounted.

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For the past several years I’ve been using my quarq on my CX bike with my Garmin 920xt on my wrist. Works like a dream.

I’ve been using a Polar V800 with a Stages Gen2 SiSl crank with less than stellar results. Too many dropouts when the battery is anything other than brand new.

Next season I’m not going to bother with the power meter for racing as it doesn’t really give that much useful information.


I use a Garmin with Stages power meter. It works fine, but the data is honestly less than useful. I find HR data from cx races more useful than power.


p2m and quarq are good PM options
Watch out for the watches as garmin will software lock some of them (to not have ant+ power) ie: a running watch with ant+ will connect to a HRM but be locked to powermeters (they want you to buy the multi sport watch)

Seriously? Shit that is underhanded. Not surprising, mind you, but definitely underhanded.