Garmin Epix Gen 2 Worth It?

I bought the Epix Gen 2 on @dcrainmaker’s recommendation. I’ve never been a watch wearer in general, but given my heavy use of TR and Garmin, thought I would give it a try. Overall, I’ve really appreciated the ability to track training status and readiness at a glance. And it’s nice to capture some activity (walking, running) that I wasn’t getting ‘credit’ for because it was all happening off the bike.

TLDR. As watches go, it’s really good. Especially if you’re a heavy Garmin user.

EDIT: The OEM band is pretty vanilla. And Garmin accessory bands are wayyyy overpriced. Found some decent options on eBay. If anyone has any good leads, please let me know.


Update: I think I’m going to end up with the Venu 3s. After having seen the watches in person, the Epix is just too big for my taste and is probably not something I’d wear to bed. I’m going to buy it from REI so I can return it if I don’t like it after a couple of months. I really appreciate all the feedback!

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That’s a good one as well.

Take a look at the Forerunner 965 and 265. They’re very similar to the Epix in terms of features but they’re lighter and slimmer.


I bought the forerunner 255s at REI during this sale.

I enjoy having the smaller watch, most of the training metrics, ability to record rides with the full sensor pool, and the 1-2 week battery life.

I considered the 265s, but the differences weren’t worth the extra $200:

  • training readiness score (which is just a composite of other metrics)
  • WiFi (since I rarely will record rides on the watch)
  • theoretically longer lifespan since it was released a year later.

And I definitely don’t need maps on my watch like the Fenix or Epix.


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Related: is there a list somewhere of which Garmin watches have the very latest sensors? So if I want a second watch (say, something lighter to wear to bed) and I want to make sure the sensors on it are as good or better than on the Epix, how do I figure out what my options are?

May help the OP or others, but would surely help me too. :grin:

I have had an Epix 2 for nearly 6 months and love it. Worn nearly 24/7 apart from when on the bike (Garmin 520 + Polar H10 covers that) to cover all other activities. It’s been great.

The one problem I did have with it though was the strap. The quality is good but the material (silicone based) reacted to my skin. Quick swap to a nylon based one from eBay (actually prefer it to original!) and that was all sorted.


@dcrainmaker lists them in his reviews. I think that either the Epix 2 or the latest Fenix 7 Pro has the elevate v5 optical sensor and that the rest of the available watches have the elevate v4…

Garmin’s product pages do a decent job of showing what you can measure, but they don’t site what’s missing from any watch, and I don’t think they have a compare button…


Anyone had any issues mounting the epix to their handlebar? Heard some issues about the display turning off due to it being “off wrist”. The trouble is, I can’t see my watch either if it’s on my wrist. It’ll be hard to follow routes and watch my watts if I have to keep waking up the display on my handlebar

I didn’t have that problem with my Fenix when I used it as my computer, but that was a couple of generations ago and there could be a setting to disable that.

I would be interested in views about whether the Epic Gen 2 is a worthy upgrade from Forerunner 955/965. Based on DC Rainmaker’s comments I am not convinced there is value in that “upgrade”. Thoughts?

From what I’ve read it’s a specific behavior tied to the amoled screen

That makes sense. AMOLED isn’t exactly miserly when it comes to power.

I use it on the handlebars and never had that problem.

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I used the 955 for a few weeks but returned it because I got a defective unit. I got the Epix gen 2 instead because it was cheaper at the time.

I wouldn’t consider it an upgrade but a lateral move.

I like the Epix a lot more but mostly because of the looks. So, it’s totally subjective.

In terms of functionality, I couldn’t tell the difference. I don’t remember if there was something meaningful but they’re very similar. Iirc the Epix base model doesn’t have multiband gps, I don’t need but it depends on your usage.

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The Epix screen automatically dims after so many seconds to prevent burn in and that can’t be disabled. That means you can’t use it anywhere where you have the slightest bit of sun in case you depend on checking the screen often (navigation, power etc.).
That is true on the handlebar but alo on the wrist. You don’t want to make a lifting gesture every few seconds while riding just to wake up the screen.
That’s the reason I returned the Epix after half a ride and got the fenix.


The Epix 2 is going to be a sturdier, more rugged product than the Forerunner. The Epix 2 has better resolution than the 955, but the 965 is similar. I think it mostly comes down to what your eye prefers. As I mentioned above, I prefer the more military style that is chunkier with a protective metal bezel and after scratching Apple Watches in the past, I always pay to upgrade to a sapphire screen. Some people prefer the lighter weight/plastic look, and something that is slimmer and they are willing to give up the protective elements to get it.

TLDR; Imho, it really does mostly come down to which look you prefer and how hard you are on watches.

After reading reports of that problem, including @Slowwithouttwitch’s reply, I wondered why I didn’t have this issue.

The Epix wakes up when you get an alert or notification during an activity. I ride with a varia radar and have a few alerts (distance, weather, etc). So, just by riding with traffic basically keeps the screen awake.

Also, I ride mostly in the morning or the evening so brightness is not a problem. I can read the screen when it’s dimmed and use it in the lowest brightness setting. Under these circumstances, it’s not a problem.

However, yesterday I tested it by riding in a trail around noon, it was sunny (East Coast, US). I confirmed what others said, it dims even if you set it to always on display. I could still read it, except when the sun was hitting on certain angles. I definitely see why this could be annoying in a sunnier area.

For a using experience like mine, it’s probably not an issue. However, in plenty of cases it’s going to be annoying.

The Fenix series (or any with MIP display) doesn’t have this problem and it’s nearly identical to the Epix, except for the display and having better battery life. Also, if you plan to use it for long rides, both do well but you’ll have to charge the Fenix less often.


“Always on” for the Epix means the screen doesn’t shut completely off, but still dims. I am riding in Spain, so 95% under bright sun. In NL or UK dimming might indeed not be a practical issue.
Epix has the better screen resolutions and colors which I’d have taken over the longer battery life of the Fenix. But dimming was a breaker for me. I regularly squint over my wrist to check power/HR without the lifting gesture (which I also found not to be very reliable)


Yeah, just went for a noon ride in central California, and in direct sun i couldn’t see the screen. I have it mounted to my handlebars, always on turned on, max brightness. I found myself having to tap the screen to wake it up and it was still hard to read. Really a bummer. Might look for a cheap edge to use just to see maps and data… lol.

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I have the Edge 830 and find it also extremely hard to read under sun, even with display set to full brightness. Not sure if the x40 series is better in that regard.