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Triathlon Sport Watches Review: Apple Watch Series 5

Triathlon Magazine Canada 3 weeks 5 days ago

We wrap up our look at multisport watches with the Apple Watch Series 5. While this watch does so much more than track your workouts, it does a surprisingly good job of that and, for many, offers enough training features to serve as their go-to training monitor. Here’s the list of the watches that we’ve reviewed in the series:

Apple Watch Series 5

When most of us think of the Apple Watch, we’re not imagining something geared for training. It’s such a sophisticated piece of equipment that, in many ways, it can act just like a phone on your wrist (if you sign up for cellular access), making calls, sending texts, playing music and so much more. But can this powerhouse smartwatch replace the high-end training watches that have become a staple for avid triathletes? Are you just as cool and serious a triathlete if you’re wearing an Apple Watch instead of, say, Garmin’s flagship 945, Polar’s new Grit X, or Suunto’s 9?

For the most part, the answer to that question is an an only slightly qualified “yes.”

Smartwatch or fitness tracker?

At some levels its hard to picture the Series 5 as a sport watch because it looks so, well, stylish rather than functional. Available in a variety of different materials including titanium and aluminum, you can personalize the watch with a variety of different bands.

With cellular access the Series 5 can make calls, send texts and even stream music. Add the comfortable AirPods Pro to the mix and you can listen to that music on the go, turning up the volume with a simple spin of the dial on the side of the watch, and easily shifting from noise cancelling to transparency mode – we strongly suggest that mode while working out as it allows you to hear what’s going on around you.

The Series 5 seemingly spends much of the day tracking your activity. All day long it reminds you to stand and to “breathe” – a reminder to take a few minutes to “practice mindfulness” to reduce stress – while also keeping track of all your other activities. The watch literally encourages to reach your activity goals by closing your move, activity and stand rings (to close that ring you need to get up and move around for at least one minute during 12 different hours of the day).

Most active triathletes will blast through their rings with ease. So does the Apple Watch have something to offer them when it comes to working out?

Absolutely. The latest version of the Apple Watch features an always on display, so your workout metrics are always visible. The watch features lots of different workout apps to keep track of your training. The GPS sensor is both accurate and quick (the watch even figures out if your out for a walk or hike and you haven’t started a workout, asking you along the way if you wanted to track the activity.) Water resistant to 50 m, there are both pool and open water swim app options to track your swim workouts. The pool app records splits and can even recognize what stroke you are doing. The open water app tracks your distance and overall pace, and can even map your route after your done.

In addition to all the regular metrics like pace, distance and time, the run app provides pace alerts and monitors your cadence. The cycling app provides all the basic data you’ll want, too, including speed, distance and elevation. Like the Garmin 945, the Series 5 pairs with Form’s heads up display goggles, adding a really nice dimension to open water swims.

The GPS syncs faster with satellites with the Series 5 than any of the other watches we’ve reviewed, and seemed to stay rock solid for bike and run workouts. Which is why it was surprising to find that it dropped out a little more frequently in open-water swims that with other watches we’ve reviewed.

Apple has always been renowned for its huge app store, and the watch benefits from that library as well, offering numerous third-party apps to expand your monitoring capabilities. Everything from Strava to apps that will keep track of your power are available, which turns the watch into an impressive training tool.

After a few months of using the Apple Watch Series 5 as my main training watch, I’m pretty much sold on the fact that this watch can serve as a more than capable option when it comes to keeping track of even an avid triathlete’s training. There are a few aspects from other training watches that I miss, though. While the Series 5 has no problems lasting a full day, when you’re working out regularly with the watch it is pretty much impossible to get two days use out of it. A three-day camping trip requires bringing along a battery to charge up the watch each night – something I never had to think of while reviewing say the Suunto 9, Garmin 945 or Polar Grit X. While those watches don’t sync quite as smoothly with a phone for say, volume control, when it comes to getting texts and other alerts, the sport-specific watches can be quite functional.

If you’re a fan of the Apple ecosystem, and looking for a stylish smartwatch that can also keep track of your triathlon training, there’s lots of good reasons to look at the Apple Watch Series 5.

The post Triathlon Sport Watches Review: Apple Watch Series 5 appeared first on Triathlon Magazine Canada.

Canadian gravel bike brands

Triathlon Magazine Canada 3 weeks 5 days ago

There’s never been a better time to check out gravel bikes. After a summer of no racing, many athletes have turned their sites to the roads, getting out for some epic rides. As we head into the fall, though, it’s the perfect time for a new kind of exploring – the world of gravel riding.

This country has a huge amount of gravel and, particularly during the pandemic, cyclists in every province and territory have been riding out to the the less-explored roads of their local regions. Canadian bike manufacturers, for their part, have embraced the gravel trend. From bigger brands such Argon 18, to small custom builders, there’s a wealth of Canadian options for those looking to buy a gravel bike.

Argon 18—Dark Matter

Founded by retired cyclist Gervais Rioux in Montreal in 1989, Argon 18 has grown to distribute bikes aross the world and sponsors a number of professional cycling teams and triathletes. The company’s gravel bike, the Dark Matter, comes with a fork rake specific to frame size, to allow for tight turn clearance on more technical runs. It also features seatstays designed to flex and dissipate shocks and an extendable head tube.

Aquila cycles—CX-G

Aquila is the in house brand of Oakville and Toronto based bike shop Racer Sportif. The company offers carbon road, triathlon and track bikes that have been ridden by Canadian development squad Team RaceClean as well as by Canadian track athletes on the international circuit. The company’s gravel bike, the CX-G is capable of running a 700 wheelset, or 650B wheelset to adapt to more demanding terrain. It also comes with a top a tube compartment, or an additional water bottle cage on the underside of the down tube.

Brodie Bicycles-Various models

Founded by Paul Brodie in 1986, Brodie Bicycles began manufacturing custom steel hardtail mountain bikes in Vancouver. They expanded into making complete bikes and working with aluminum to expand their offerings. Brodie now has a catalogue of dozens of bike models.

The company has a number of gravel bikes available—from the Remo, which specializes in ‘road+’ rides, to the Elan Vital, made for ‘back country adventure seekers’ to the year-round commuter-specific Revel.


Connecticut based Cannondale was opened in 1971. Today the company which distributes a range of aluminium and carbon bikes is owned by Canadian company Dorel Industries which is headquartered in Montreal. While the bike company holds onto its American roots, it’s been owned by Dorel since 2008. Dorel also owns bike companies GT Bicycles and Pacific Cycle who in turn own Iron Horse Bicycles, Mongoose, Roadmaster and Schwinn Bicycle Company.

Cannondale supplies road frames for WorldTour team EF Education First. The company also produces a range of mountain bikes, urban bikes and gravel bikes. The Cannondale Topstone comes in a variety of models, all of which feature Cannondale’s ‘kingpin suspension’ in the rear and some of which feature the Lefty Oliver gravel fork.


Cervélo was founded in 1995 by engineers Gerard Vroomen and Phil White. The company started by making high-end aerodynamic carbon race bikes. The company’s headquarters are in Toronto but it is now owned by Dutch conglomerate Pon Holdings.

Cervélo’s gravel bike, the Áspero, is made with racing in mind. Unlike some other gravel bikes, it was built for speed not for carrying added cargo or bags.

Circa Bicycle Company—Custom

Circa was founded by Moise Bensimon of Toronto who also owns a company that designs and builds upscale custom carpentry for residential and commercial properties. The company offers titanium city single speeds, road, track and cyclocross and gravel models. Circa also gives buyers the option of adding a Circa carbon wheel set to their custom builds.

Cycles Golem—Custom

Guillaume Desy is the welder and owner of Cycles Golem. It is a small bike company with the frames built in his Québec City workshop. Trained a mechanical engineer, Desy builds steel bikes based from his passion for road, mtb, gravel and cyclocross racing with a host of custom options and add ons.

Because the bikes are custom built, Golem can build a gravel bike that can accommodate 700C and/or 650B wheels.


Peter Daam started DaamBuilt bikes during his 10-year career as a mechanical engineer. Since then, Daam’s relocated from North Vancovuer to Montreal and left engineering to build frames full time. DaamBuilt creates full suspension mountain bikes, road, track bikes, and gravel bikes. With his engineering background, Daam will custom build your bike to your riding style, down to fine tuning the suspension linkage and progression.

Dekerf Cycle Innovations—custom

Chris Dekerf is the frame builder behind Vancouver-based Dekerf Cycle Innovations. With over thirty years in the business, Dekerf produces frames, forks, bars, stems and complete custom bikes, as well as doing paint and OEM frame building for other brands. At NAHBS 2016, Dekerf was recognized with the show’s Artisan Award.

The brand makes some really interesting special project bikes, such as the Pinion bike pictured above.


Devinci was established in Chicoutimi, Que in 1987 by two engineering students and have expanded to headquarters in Saguenay under new ownership. The company makes road, gravel and mountain bikes.  Devinci also make Montreal’s Bixi bikes and the ones for Toronto Bike Share.

The company’s gravel bike, the Hatchet, has MTB-inspired geometry and includes a longer top-tube and shorter stem for handling on loose, technical terrain.

KindHuman—The Don

KindHuman is a made to order bike company based in Toronto that offers complete bikes. Kindhuman offers stock sized frames and gives customers the controls on choosing the groupset and components the bike is built with. Kindhuman have road, gravel and cyclocross models to choose from with the frames painted in Canada.

The Don gravel bike, named after Toronto’s Don River Valley Park, had rack and fender mounts, internal cable routing and room for 42c tires.

Knolly Bikes—Cache Photo: Nicholas Kupiak

Knolly Bikes has been building mountain bikes in Vancouver since 2002. With a focus on quality manufacturing, durability, and founder Noel Buckley’s background in engineering, Knolly’s are built tough to thrive on the notoriously tough North Shore trails. While carbon fibre frames have recently been added to the line, there are no plans to stop making the alloy frames Knolly built its reputation on.

Knolly’s gravel bike, the Chache was inspired by mtb geometry. It comes in either steel or titanium, with suspension fork options.

Kona—Various bikes

Kona was founded in Vancouver in 1988 by Dan Gerhard and Jacob Heilbron. The headquarters are now in Ferndale, Washington. Kona make bikes from carbon, titanium, aluminum and steel. The company has a world-class gravity team, Kona Factory Team which races internationally.

Kona sells a number of gravel bikes. The Libre, which they call “the quintessential drop bar adventure rig”, the Rove, made to carry a variety of gear, and the Sutra, which falls somewhere between a mtb and a road bike.


Vancouver-based, Landyachtz came to the bike building scene in the summer of 2016. The company was building longboards, skateboards and skateboard accessories and decided to enter the cycling industry thanks to the founders Mike Perreten and Tom Edstrand interest in the sport. Landyachtz makes city, touring, gravel road and custom bikes.

The company’s gravel bike, the AB1, is designed for daily commute, exploring local trails or a fully loaded bikepacking expedition.

LT Wiens Fabrications—Custom

Lyle Wiens has been building bikes in Altona, Manitoba under the LT Wiens name for four years now. Wiens first started building to meet his own needs: at 6’8” he couldn’t find a bike that fit him properly. Having built everything from road bikes to dual suspension mountain bikes, Wiens is comfortable with all kinds of projects, but admits he has a particular knack when building for other extra tall riders. Recently he built the gravel bike pictured above for a rider looking for a comfortable and fun ride.


Since 1969, Mariposa has been hand-making frames in Toronto. The company was founded by John Palmer and Mike Barry, the father of former professional cyclist Michael Barry Jr. who now operates the business with his wife Dede since the brand’s relaunch in 2012. The company makes custom classic steel frames. For its gravel bikes, Mariposa offers a number of custom options, such as 2x or 1x, electric or mechanical, hydraulic or rim brakes, thru-axles or quick release, internal or external cable routing.

Moose Bicycles—Express 2

Based in Quebec, Moose Bicycles is a consumer direct company that offers budget-friendly commuters, city bikes, fixies, gravel bikes and fat bikes. At just $999 CAD the Express 2 gravel bike is an entry-level option for those looking to get into the world of gravel.

Naked Bicycles—Custom

Naked Bicycles based on Quadra Island in B.C. has been building custom frames since 1998. Founded by Sam Whittingham, Naked Bicycles makes road, cross and mountain frames out of steel and titanium. The company’s custom gravel bikes are titanium and can be built with a dropper post option as well.

No. 22 Bicycle Company—Drifter

Owned by two Canadians and named after the atomic number of the company’s favoured material, No. 22 make hand-made titanium frames in their Johnstown, New York facility. With seven models, custom options and ready-made complete bikes, No. 22 have been growing rapidly in recent years. The company also offers in-house anodized finishes. No. 22 won the People’s Choice Award and Best in Show at the 2018 edition of NAHBS. In 2019 No. 22’s Drifter X bike took Best-in-Show at NAHBS.


Norco opened its doors in 1964 as Northern Cycle Industries and was founded by Bert Lewis. The company changed its name but has grown considerably from its humble roots. Norco introduced the first full suspension BMX bike in 1973 and in 1975 began making 10-speed road bikes. The company expanded into mountain biking as the sport became more popular and continues to have the strong Norco Factory Team of pro riders who race internationally in various disciplines.

Norco’s gravel bike, the Search has a carbon frame and fork decked out with a generous tire clearance, rack, fender and bottle mounts, and a quick rider compartment.


Opus began in Montreal focused on building road bikes but has expanded in recent years with particular emphasis on commuting and urban riding in mind. They also offer e-bikes, trail, gravel and youth models in its line-up.

The Opus Horizon, the brand’s gravel bike, is designed to accommodate everything from light road slicks to mud-friendly wide knobbies (up to 42 mm).


Panorama is a Montreal company that currently offers two types of carbon fibre bikes. They make a fat bike and a gravel bike. The companies emphasis is on creating bikes for outdoor enthusiasts.

For the Katahdin bike, the company had Vancouver-based artists Pellvetica decorate the surface of the frame.

Rocky Mountain—Solo

Founded in Vancouver in 1981, Rocky Mountain have been making bikes used at the top level of mountain biking for decades. The company’s line-up is punctuated by various models for different mountain bike riding styles but their wide catalogue also includes gravel bikes as well. The brand’s HQ are now in Quebec, and Rocky continues to sponsor elite and pro freeride, enduro and cross country athletes.

The Rocky Mountain Solo has a 1x specific frame and is designed with the ability to run a full-length dropper post.

Rollingdale Cycles—Custom

Rollingdale Cycle was established by Dale Marchand. The Alberta-based frame builder primarily focuses on building custom titanium frames, trailers and components (including stems and seatposts). Because these bikes are custom made, gravel tire clearance and custom mounts  can easily be included in the frame design.

Squad Cycles—Root

Squad bikes are assembled in Montreal. The company offers different models of road, gravel and triathlon bikes with custom paint, builds and are constructed to the riders desired fit. Squad’s gravel bike, the Root can be customized in hundreds of different ways.


T-Lab builds titanium bikes in Montreal. The company designs, engineers, manufactures and finishes their bikes at their facility. The brand came together lead by founder Tony Giannascoli after Guru bikes folded in 2016.

T-Lab’s X3 gravel bike has a titanium frame and is made completely to order based on rider specifications and preferences.

True North—Custom

Founded in 1993, in a farm workshop in Alma, Ont. by Hugh Black, True North history began with mountain bikes. Now based in Belwood, Ont., True North build steel and titanium frames ranging in riding styles from touring to mountain biking. The company makes gravel bikes with either titanium or steel frames.

Velos Levesque—Custom

Alain Levesque has been building custom steel bicycles in Toronto under the Velos Levesque name since 2011. Focusing primarily on road and gravel bikes, from race light to rugged, Levesque will build both lugged and fillet-brazed steel frames. Each bike is purpose-built for its future owner, and no two bikes are the same.

Wildwood Cycles—Custom

Wildwood Cycles bikes are custom built from steel in Victoria. The company was founded in 2013 by Jesse Hildebrandt who is a Red Seal welder by trade. He’s also a very skilled and experienced BMX rider. Hildebrandt builds all sorts of bikes using a range of tubing and joined together using different methods to deliver custom bikes.

The post Canadian gravel bike brands appeared first on Triathlon Magazine Canada.

The Life of Tri Podcast: Angela Naeth

Triathlon Magazine Canada 4 weeks 1 day ago

This week Phil Wrochna catches up with Canadian pro Angela Naeth.

Canadian triathlon fans are all too familiar with her impressive racing results that include three sub-nine hour Ironman races and three Ironman wins, 19 Ironman 70.3 wins and an impressive eighth-place finish at the Ironman World Championship in 2018. What made that impressive Kona finish even more incredible was the fact that she was suffering from Lyme disease that year.

Naeth is also extremely active in the triathlon community. Her “I Race Like a Girl” club provides “an opportunity for women of all ages/abilities to support, encourage and inspire one another in the sport of triathlon, and all endurance sports.”

Listen to this week’s podcast on iTunes or Spotify.


The post The Life of Tri Podcast: Angela Naeth appeared first on Triathlon Magazine Canada.

Summer-Talk: Patrick Lange

Tritime 1 month 1 week ago

Nach drei überaus erfolgreichen Jahren lief es 2019 für Patrick Lange aus sportlicher Sicht nicht wirklich rund. Nach dem DNF auf Hawaii folgte in den Wintermonaten mit Björn Geesmann eine Neuausrichtung seines Trainings. Im Summer-Talk unterhielten wir uns mit Patrick Lange nicht nur darüber, sondern auch über den Rückhalt durch die Familie. Summer Talk mit […]

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Triathlon : retour aux courses

Trimes 1 month 1 week ago
Samedi dernier « La Montagne Noire » près de Carcassonne a été le théâtre d’un des premiers essais de retour du triathlon à une vie normale. Une course adaptée, différente mais normale. L’épicentre de ce coup de maître se tenait au lieu bénit du département de l’Aude dit Fontier-Cabardes , population 454 habitants au dernier recensement .…

Helveticman – ein besonderer Triathlon in der Zentralschweiz

Tritime 1 month 3 weeks ago

Helveticman? Noch nie gehört! Ging uns bis vor Kurzem auch so. Allerdings sind wir uns mittlerweile ganz sicher, dass sich ein Ausflug in die schöne Schweiz für dieses Rennen, das dieses Jahr am 5. September stattfindet, definitiv lohnt. Wer ein Triathlonrennen der ganz besonderen Art sucht, ist beim Helveticman in der Schweiz genau richtig. Natur- […]

Der Beitrag Helveticman – ein besonderer Triathlon in der Zentralschweiz erschien zuerst auf tritime - Leidenschaft verbindet.

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