Magellan's First Multisport GPS

The new bar- or wrist-mount devices ought to give Garmin some competition
Staff Writer

Magellan's new Switch GPS unit easily transfers from handlebar to watch.

In a classic David-versus-Goliath scenario, GPS-maker Magellan, heretofore best known for auto and outdoors units, is getting into cycling.

And it’s about time. Magellan has sat by for a long time watching Garmin line up lucrative pro cycling sponsorship contracts, and generally dominating the sports data- and life-quantification space.

The Switch tracks time, distance, speed and pace, while the upgraded “Switch Up” model adds a thermometer to track the outside temperature and a barometric altimeter to keep a more accurate tab on your elevation. The unit is water-proof up to 50 meters, and compatible with ANT+ power, cadence and heart-rate meters.

The rechargeable lithium-ion battery lasts for 8 hours of workout time or three weeks in watch mode. If you plan to head out on a backpacking trip or a weekend of riding, Magellan offers a Battery Extender Pack to basically triple the operational time of your GPS watch. The battery pack extender sounds a bit clunky, but we’ll withhold judgment until we try it.

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