There’s a saying that goes: If you didn’t track your ride, did it really happen? Mountain bikers have become obsessed with tracking their rides, counting up the miles they rode, the calories they burned and the watts they put out during a peak effort. For most riders, this data is collected by using a cycling computer or even just a smartphone. The data is then uploaded to a third-party website such as Strava. From there, riders can compare their times to others’ or to their own previous efforts. Casio, a watch company that needs little introduction, decided to make a smartwatch tailored for the outdoor enthusiast. Casio built this new watch based on its preexisting Pro Trek series, which was introduced back in 1995. The all-new Pro Trek WSD-F20, however, makes that original watch look prehistoric. This all-new smartwatch promises to be the ultimate tool for people with an active lifestyle. For that reason, we decided to put this new watch to the test to see if it could be a wearable replacement for our favorite cycling computers.
Tech features: The Casio Pro Trek runs on Android Wear 2.0 software, which is compatible with both Apple and Android smartphones. Casio offers free smartphone apps, which need to be installed in order for the smartwatch to work. The watch also features Wi-Fi connectivity and GPS. The GPS function allows the wearer to pull up a live, full-color map, which looks very similar to Google Maps. The watch does not have a speaker, but it does have the ability to vibrate, alerting its wearer of an incoming call or a fitness goal reached. There is also a microphone, which can be used to connect with your very own Google Assistant. This feature allows you to say a command, such as “Get directions to…” or “set a timer for….” The Pro Trek, of course, is also packed with a multitude of sensors that measure altitude, atmospheric pressure and direction. Making things simple, Casio pre-installed activity tracking apps designed specifically for trekking, fishing, cycling, paddling, skiing and snowboarding. Additional apps can be installed through the Google Play Store. Casio claims this watch is water resistant up to 50 meters and meets military standards for ruggedness. The Pro Trek has an impressive amount of technology packed into it, but it comes at a price that might be hard to swallow, especially considering a top-notch cycling computer can be had for close to half the price. At a cost of $500, this watch will likely be more appealing to those who want a watch they can use every day instead of one solely for cycling.
Field test results: Once we received our Pro Trek from Casio, we were eager to began tinkering with it. We downloaded the necessary apps to connect our watch to our phone and then downloaded Strava from the Google Play Store. One of the first things we noticed about the watch, other than its large size, was its less-than-desirable charger. The charger uses a weak magnet, which can easily fall out if you breathe too hard next to it. The watch did have a comfortable fit, though, and didn’t bother us while riding. We tried using both the built-in cycling app and Strava during a few training rides to see which we liked better. The cycling app tracks most of the information that riders want, such as average and max speed, distance and a map of the route; however, once we finished our ride, we found it difficult to access the data, which made tracking our ride feel pointless. The Strava app, on the other hand, worked well. Once we stopped our ride, it immediately uploaded to our phone via Bluetooth. The watch, however, lacks the ability to pair with either a heart-rate monitor or cadence sensor, giving an edge to cycling-specific computers. We also found the watch to be hard to use while riding, requiring our test riders to remove both hands to get a good look at the watch face. The Pro Trek has many great features, from accessing offline maps on a colorful LCD screen to providing interesting information, such as elevation, sunrise and sunset times, tide graphs and much more. The watch, although pricey, is great for the active outdoorsmen, but it’s not the best tool for the diehard mountain biker. We would have a hard time recommending this watch knowing there are cheaper and better alternatives for tracking ride data. That said, we’d like to give props to Casio for packing so much technology into a small device that can be worn on your wrist. It’s truly an amazing time we live in. wsd.casio.com
- Packed full of cool features and downloadable apps
- Durable construction that can handle outdoor abuse
- An expensive piece of equipment that doesn’t offer the same features seen on less expensive cycling computers
THERE ARE SO MANY WAYS TO GET ELECTRIC BIKE ACTION
In print, from the Apple newsstand, or on your Android device, from Google.
For more subscription information contact (800) 767-0345
Got something on your mind? Let us know at hi-torque.com