Mountain Bike Action Product Test: Polar Grit X Smartwatch
Polar Grit X Smartwatch
It’s important to listen to your body during and after training sessions; however, Polar believes real performance gains are made through understanding what’s going on under your skin. Since 1977, Polar has striven to understand athletes and improve their results. The newest product to come from Polar is the Grit X smartwatch—a wearable technology that offers heart rate, GPS, training information and a whole bunch more. We decided to put this watch to the test to see how this innovative product could help us with our fitness.
Polar’s new Grit X is a tough yet lightweight watch built to meet military standards at just 64 grams, excluding its charging cable. It is a feature-rich watch, including coaching tips, fuel reminders, course settings and much more. Hill Splitter was the feature we appreciated the most; it automatically detects climbs and descents, then offers data for those sections, including heart rate, distance, speed and elevation. Another cool feature the watch offers is Nightly Recharge. When you wear the watch to bed, it measures how well you slept. Practicing better recovery is said to greatly increase performance during training and on race days.
Grit X offers weather updates to help you avoid being caught by a storm; however, should you want to ride in wet conditions, the watch is more than capable of handling some water. We mainly focused on the watch’s ability to track cycling activities, but it’s good to note that the watch offers data tracking for over 130 different sports. Other interesting features include the ability to track your energy sources, dividing your energy usage into carbs, proteins and fats. The Grit X also offers breathing exercises to reduce stress and relax the body. The long list of data the Grit X is able to track is quite impressive, but how does it affect your riding experience? Let’s find out.
Field test results:
The watch is lightweight and comfortable, thanks to its silicone adjustable strap and relatively slim watch face (considering all the technology crammed inside). The watch can be operated with its five surrounding buttons or by using the touchscreen to swipe through settings. With gloves on, we found it easier to navigate using the side buttons. While riding, the watch can be hard to look at compared to a handlebar-mounted computer, so Polar offers a handlebar mount kit for an additional $19.95, but, keep in mind, a heart rate strap will need to be paired, since the watch won’t be able to track your heart rate on your wrist. With the watch on, it tracked our heart rate well.
Although it’s slower to react than our chest monitors, the data was still accurate enough for training sessions. The Grit X is for the data guru looking to know every detail about his or her body. Many riders will find all this information overkill, but riders who love technology will love this watch’s ability to track their performance, remind them when to refuel and collect recovery data while they are sleeping. If you’re in the market for an outdoor watch that can handle your active lifestyle, the new Grit X is an excellent tool for the job.
• Collects an impressive amount of data
• Slim and comfortable fit
• Hard to see live information while riding
Star Rating: ★★★★½
Mountain Bike Action is a monthly magazine devoted to all things mountain biking (yes, that’s 12 times a year because we never take a month off of mountain biking). It has been around since 1986 and we’re still having fun.