Coros Pace 2
Coros gained traction in the world of sports smartwatches by eclipsing its rivals on battery life. Interestingly, the Coros Pace 2 comes in cheaper than the original, but that doesn’t mean it lacks upgrades.
Coros claims the new processor is 1.5 times more powerful than the previous model’s, has five times more RAM and four times more storage, which means a whole host of new features.
For those who do multisports or running, these include running power metrics. As for cycling power, it’ll link up to every conceivable meter thanks to ANT+ and Bluetooth.
The training plan feature is a new addition and is useful if you finally have a sportive to train for. This is via the Coros app, which is synced by scanning a QR code on your phone. You can then choose your session via work and rest time, heart rate (HR) and/or power, and sync to your watch – especially useful for indoor cycling where training intensity is more controlled than outdoors.
A TrainingPeaks link-up is also useful for the serious cyclist. Even better is the app’s ‘strength training’ feature, which prescribes a catalogue of exercises in pictorial detail.
The Pace 2 is incredibly light at 36g, thanks to its slimline design. The face measures 42mm – 4mm less than the original but with the same 1.2in, 240×240 pixels display. It’s more legible than you might think, though daytime screen brightness lacks the ping I’m looking for, but clarity is better in Night Mode.
This affects battery life slightly, but the battery largely lives up to its 30 hours-in-full-GPS billing. GPS retention and accuracy are good due to both GPS and GLONASS compatibility, although Coros states it’ll switch to Galileo in the future.
This should improve things further, but I had no problems apart from a slightly slow pick-up.
While there’s huge bang for your buck here, that unsurprisingly doesn’t stretch to navigation and routes.
Features extend to optical heart-rate monitoring, which is decent enough – but like all wrist-based measurements, it’s erratic at high intensity. There’s no touchscreen either; instead, there are two buttons, one being a dial.
This works better for running than cycling because it’s a little cumbersome when a holding handlebar, and especially if wearing thick gloves.
If you don’t need navigation, the Pace 2 is unbeatable for the features it offers for the price
Smartwatches for cyclists
Are smartwatches truly essential for cyclists when an all-singing bike computer, such as a Garmin Edge 1030, will give you all the two-wheeled features you’ll ever need… and probably some that you don’t?
A smartwatch can do a lot though: provide 24/7 data; comprehensive cycling stats; sleep pattern, recovery status and physical fitness analysis; and some can even tell you how well you’re acclimatising to altitude and give real-time advice on when to fuel your rides.
Combined with data from any other sports you’ll have a holistic view of your training and can create training plans and analyse your routes/rides in detail.
There are a lot to choose from though, and some of these features you simply won’t need so, beyond our test of six popular options, make sure you do your own research too.
Also on test
- Garmin Forerunner 745
- Garmin Forerunner 945
- Huawei GT 2
- Polar Vantage V2
- Wahoo Elemnt Rival