I can’t stand the rain

Actually, that’s not entirely true, I don’t have much of a problem running in the rain.  The Garmin Precious, however, does.

Today I set out for a run, well aware that it was pouring and had been for a while and that with the combination of the rain and the melting snow, my miles were bound to be damp.  I dressed accordingly, trying to strike a balance between warm and dry, even though I realized very quickly that dry was a lofty goal and didn’t really deserve to be preserved or pursued.  So that one flew out the window about as quickly as my shoes got water-logged, which is to say the moment I stepped foot out of my building.

As usual, I had the Precious strapped to my wrist.  Now, I love this thing.  If I didn’t, I wouldn’t call it my Precious.  But using it in the rain tends to bring out its flaws.  First, even when it isn’t raining, I think the bezel is a bit oversensitive.  Mine will often go nuts while I’m putting it on, just by rubbing up against my sleeve or some other part of my clothing.  I’ve also noticed that the bezel lock is hit or miss–when the planets are in alignment, things are just fine and the bezel remains locked.  At all other times, though, good luck.  Stick your Garmin 405 in a bag after locking the bezel and an hour later the battery will be dead because right after you put it into the bag, the bezel unlocked and other buttons got pushed and it spent an hour trying to locate satellites.  I exaggerate, but only slightly.  I just don’t think the bezel lock function is the Precious’s strong point.  And as I was saying, neither is coping with wet weather.

I was happily running along, and had just hit mile 4 of my 6-miler.  I glanced down at my watch to check my pace, and all was well.  A second later, I looked again and the watch was on the GPS scroll menu.  Now, how it got there, I have no idea.  Then the backlight came on.  I tried to get it to go back to the workout screen so that I could have my time and mileage displayed, but it wouldn’t respond to my touching it.  If my sleeve brushed against it, though, it would do all sorts of insane stuff, including beep about a million times, scroll up and down the GPS menu, show me the satellite location screen, and turn the backlight on repeatedly.  I could not for the life of me get it back to the workout display.  I have to say, it’s a little frustrating when your watch will respond to the slightest pressure of a raindrop or the brush of a sleeve but won’t respond to the pressure you apply with your finger.

About a mile and a half later I was at a stop light and able to get the workout display back by drying the Precious on my base layer shirt.  Even then, though, the backlight would cycle on and off.  I managed to salvage all my workout data, but man: I gotta say it really bothers me that a piece of gear that’s so expensive would perform so poorly in adverse weather conditions.  I don’t expect to wear my forerunner to go swimming, but I do expect more than this.

Has anyone else had this problem?  Or similar problems?  Do people with the 305 or other forerunner models have problems like this?

And I never got my $50 rebate, which makes me die inside every time I think about it.

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3 comments

  1. I’ve heard of a lot of problems with the bezels on the 405 . . . and if I’m honest, I can’t begin to get that thing to work on my boyfriend’s 405. I have the 305, and I’ve never had any problems with it (knock on wood). It’s all button based, which I think helps. But I agree . . . you would think a product that costs that much would be designed better!

  2. i was just nodding in agreement this whole time… well, some days my garmin and bezel cooperate but others… good lord i could just shoot it. when i touch the bezel with my finger it won’t recognize that i’m trying to do something and then magically when nothing is touching it – it will change screens and stuff. same troubles with locking/not locking/not unlocking when you want it to. very tempermental! good luck!

  3. Well…I haven’t even begun to figure out my Garmin 405. It got cold outside too quickly. I tried to get it to work before our relay race and could not figure out how to work it. Perhaps next spring. Not looking forward to this apparent bezel problem though.

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