Product Review

Polar Grit X Pro – Keep your training and Moto’s on track

Author: David Hogan

Posted:

The Polar Grit X Pro

Data is data, Much like knowledge is power. The more you understand about your body and the effort that is going into your Moto’s the better your next Moto will be right?

That’s what the saying implies. But how can one get more data from your moto without going to insane lengths and adding complexity to the ease of your ride or day of training? That is the aim of many of the world’s fitness watches in the modern day. Polar Grit X Pro has taken this concept and managed it into not only a high-performance data-collecting beast of a fitness watch. But also a sleek, fashionable wrist-worn device that becomes a 24/7 necessity. 

Now the Grit X Pro is not an apple watch or the Samsung version. You are not sending texts or answering calls from it. That is for the tech nerds who don’t go outside and break a seat regularly. The Grit X Pro on the other hand. It is for anyone who has opened this article. You have an outdoor hobby or sport in Moto and you like training during the week to improve your Moto ability.

If you are already using a GPS-enabled fitness watch. Great. I mean who doesn’t like to know where you’ve been and at what speed? But the Grit X Pro is the next level you should be looking to move to. Not only can it track the GPS of your ride, tell you your speeds and inclines, and link to your phone and the Polar Flow app to see the ride on a map. But if you are like me and tend to explore on trail rides when a new track presents itself. Maybe even occasionally get lost following that new track. The Grit X Pro can get you home with its navigation options that are available during any activity tracking enabled with GPS from your sports profiles.

A simple pause of the tracking and a tap into the setting and you can navigate to home. Either by the route taken to get there or by the most direct route (Polar calls this beeline) following the arrow on the screen. This feature is great to make it back before dark but also once home you can use the Polar Flow app to save the route. Making it available to navigate the next time you go to that same area. Corner by corner on the screen of the watch as you go.

Following a breadcrumb-type map that on this model allows you to zoom out and see the big picture of the route. Or even switch to an altitude view of the route and where you are at on the hill so you know how much further you have of any climb. Something we Moto riders might not necessarily use for moto rides but when we cross-train on the MTB, go for a run or a hike. This is a great feature to have access to.

The navigation is coupled with an ability to live access a compass, altitude and pair it with your phone to bring you weather and length of day data. The length of day info is something I didn’t think I needed but now love having access to. Knowing what time the sun will be up or heading down can really help you plan your day to maximise your daylight hours. Nothing worse than getting home late from work and planning to go for a ride and it is too dark to start. Or getting up too early to MTB because it’s still dark. A quick check of the dawn til dusk screen before bed and you are in business to maximise the next day.

For the Moto riders not out exploring the Forest. But cutting laps on laps on laps at the MX track. The GPS feature has something for you too. This feature has to be top 3 of my favourite things about these Polar GPS-enabled watches. Automatic lap timing based on a GPS point. In this instance where you start the activity tracking. Every time you pass that point the watch will flash your lap time on the screen. This needs to be set up within the Polar Flow app but is a quick 2min job that can save you a lot of hassles on training and even race days when set correctly. No more pit boards needed by your mate or girlfriend who complains about standing out in the sun while you moto down. 

Customise every sport profile to have its own training views to allow you to see the data you want as you go.

Now I won’t rant about where to wear your watch in this article. But just know that if you partner this watch with a bike mount from Polar. You are doing it right. The watch being on your handlebars allows you to look down quickly once you pass the GP point to see your time clearly on the screen. 

The screen on the Grit X Pro is of Sapphire Glass. The whole unit is Miltary tough for durability so it will withstand being on your handlebars during most crashes. Let’s just stay upright people and you won’t have to find out how tough it really is. But from day-to-day use and a few tip-overs myself it has not got a mark on it. Unlike my past Polar Products of the V800 and Vantage V, The screens have all ended up with minor marks from them being bumped getting in and out of machinery or once even just contacting the edge of the kitchen bench. Those things won’t happen on the Grit X Pro. Don’t tell Polar, I tried to mark it. Nothing happened!

The watch itself is a bit chunky compared to other Smart Watches. But you get used to it. It houses so much tech with the GPS and continuous heart rate tracking capabilities it’s not surprising it’s a little thick around the middle. It still fits on my wrist nicely. It just sits a bit taller than my past Polar watches as you need to factor that in when you reach for something in a tight space.

Now let’s talk fitness tracking in Moto and how this Grit X Pro can assist you to perform better and continually learn from your past efforts and know when you are ready to perform and push your limits.

Some simple aspects of this watch are some of its best. Let’s start with the continuous Heart rate tracking option. To get the most out of this device you need to wear it 24/7. I do tend to take it off to shower. But outside of that, it’s on my arm 95% of the time. That allows me to track my heart rate continuously. I get to see my day Max and Mins. along with my heart rate minimum during sleep. I find this a very simple way to track my day and my overall fitness. I know when my fitness is going well. I’m generally in the low 50’s for resting heart rate. When I’m getting slack or whilst I’ve been in my rehab phases recently post-injury it creeps up into the 60’s. But it’s a quick reference point of how I’m doing. Something I look at a few times a day. I also when things are going well like to see that I put my heart through its full range daily. Not for long at max every day as I scale my sessions. But once for a few seconds a day, I like to see a 180+ on there with a low 50 to show it’s been a good day.

The Nightly recharge screen can help you quickly understand how ready you are for the day. Whether that be Moto, gym training or even just the office.

The Nightly Recharge Screen is the automatic version of gauging your recovery and readiness for a big Moto or not. The Recovery Pro utilises Orthostatic tests which are also great. But for someone with limited time in the morning. I just don’t remember to or have the time to stop as often for a few minutes before a session to do the Recovery Pro.

But the automatic nightly recharge works perfectly for me. I generally feel it’s an accurate reflection of how I feel and how hard I should go in my session that day. The breakdown of the sleep cycles, length of sleep and deep sleep percentage is quite fascinating. Particularly the interruptions screen. I didn’t realise that I was somewhat awake for 20-30mins a night around my old man’s bladder pee stop each night. The best part about this function is it’s automatic if you wear the device snuggly each night. This feature also makes my top 3.

Don’t feel like you slept all that well? Know for sure when you wear your Polar watch to bed each night.

Next up is the sport profiles and the variations of screens available during the profile that you can set up to your own preference. The Grit X Pro like all of the Multisport devices from Polar has access to over 130+ sports profiles. So when you hit the start activity tracking ad come to look at that session in a few weeks. You can tell that one was MotoX, one was Mountain biking, one was a gym session and one might have been a golf game. This is where you can then link into the Polar Flow app to see even more data on the big screen.

Pick from over 100 different sport profiles on the Polar Grit X Pro.

Now in each profile, I like to know different things on the fly and as such have customised my screen views to suit. 

When I’m doing Moto’s, I like to have the Heart rate zone pointer on top and the duration since I started on the bottom. It will still flash up lap time when I pass the GP point. But it’s good to look down and know I’m 20mins in on my 30min moto. But when im on the Mountain bike I like to know the distance travelled and the time of day, as well as my heart rate and duration so I have 4 options on display. But you can have almost an infinite amount of screens as you can scroll screens in each profile and have various data views. Say you want to know your pace per km, altitude and current temp. You can set that for a screen view. The polar flow app enables so much adjustment, not just a link to your Polar account and training history.

For the more advanced user, the built in fitness tests are extremely useful and simple to complete. With on-screen guidance instructions helping you through each step is so simple to understand your fitness.

The Orthostatic testing provides a review of your heart rate in lying and standing, as well as when done with your H10 chest strap a review of your heart rate variability. Something to show how relaxed you are and how well you are utilising the blood flow from each beat. In short, a low variability indicates good current and future health. 

Training isn’t just about repeating the same effort again and again. Knowing you need to progress each session and when to back off can really make a difference when it comes to your race day performances. The simple monitoring of your training load on the Grit X Pro can help keep you on track.

The Leg recovery test is something so simple yet probably underutilised in this device. That day two DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) days that you wonder if you have the same pep in your step can easily be confirmed with this test. I just wish they had an arm version of this test as My legs seem to be always good to go. My arms on the other hand hate me after a solid overhead pressing session in the gym.

For the regular readers, you will have seen our earlier article on the H10 vs Verity Sense products from Polar to track your heart rate. If not check it out here. But this Grit X Pro deserves the best heart rate monitoring device possible to really complement the data collection this watch is capable of. The H10 in my opinion is a must-have with the Grit X Pro. Particularly for us Moto riders who will do anything to avoid arm pump.

My 3rd and final top 3 aspects of this Grit X Pro isn’t actually the watch itself. It’s the device’s ability to sync to your phone and your Polar flow account. Something Polar has done exceptionally well is the ability to store your training history in your Polar Flow account. As I’ve been using Polar devices since 2015. Every session since the first one in MAy 2015 is in my Flow account. I can compare race data from the same track. Before each Hattah desert race, I would review the previous year’s data to see what my top speeds were, what lap times I did, and what my average speed was on my good laps to try to benchmark what my efforts could and should be for the following event. Something that goes back to the opening line of this article. Where I said, “Data is data.  Much like knowledge is power”. This file of my physical performances in all areas since 2015 is my power. It has become a powerful tool to assist me in progressing my riding on many fronts.

If we stop and review whether the Grit X Pro is for you. The simple answer is yes. If cost is an issue there are other devices in the Polar range that will get you close to the Grit X Pro. But if you truly want to explore both your riding areas and your body’s capabilities. Then just do it. Buy the Grit X Pro and thank me later!

The Grit X Pro is available through Polar Australia for $749.00 at their online shop here.

Here more about our experiences with the Polar Grit X Pro in this episode of The AlwaysMoto Podcast

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