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Reviews Coros Pod 2 review - Power Meters - Tri-tech

Coros Pod 2 review

Is the Coros Pod 2 the device to unlock your run potential? Or just another gadget that'll impact your bank balance more than your performance? We find out...

Coros Pod 2

Coros has made massive moves in the competitive training-tool market in recent years thanks to a range of impressive products, while being given a huge marketing nudge by signing the likes of sub-2hr superstar Eliud Kipchoge and trail-running demi-god Kilian Jornet.

The success of their Apex range, in particular, has laid the foundations for high-tech accessories including this second-edition pod, which is designed to deliver myriad running metrics and greater accuracy once clipped onto your run shoe.

That greater accuracy’s needed, Coros admits, when running in areas of tall buildings that interferes with satellite data; when running indoors; and the fact that wherever you run, pace changes on a training watch can have a 10sec delay.

Turning power into pace

Arguably the greatest change over incarnation one is what Coros term the ‘Effort Pace’ feature, replacing the power feature of that first edition.

Why the change, say, Coros is down to three key reasons: each brand has a different algorithm so there’s no universal power standard; it’s a difficult metric to understand; and it’s not personalised, in that it might tell you that you’re running 300 watts on the flat for an hour, but how would that relate to running 300 watts uphill for an hour?

All three limiters have their merits, but is Effort Pace the answer to these problems? It’s debatable… You see, Effort Pace is essentially a rebrand of what was previously termed ‘Adjusted Pace’. If you use a competitor like a Garmin, you’ll know it as ‘Grade Adjusted Pace’.

In essence, it adjusts your flat-parcours pace to account for the gradient of a hill so that you don’t burn through your matches too quickly. Which is useful but hardly the panacea of run metrics that Coros claim.

To be fair, in the Effort Pace explainer on their website, they do highlight that they’ll expand this algorithm to throw into the mix altitude, environmental temperature and humidity at some point in the future. But there’s no deadline to that statement so we’ll watch that space closely…

Data overload

A stream of top-end metrics flow from every step, including stride height, left-right balance, ground contact time and stride ratio, albeit this level of detail, we’d suggest, remains the preserve of not only the peak of the performance pyramid, but also those athletes whose coaches are well-versed in unpicking this data and actioning improvements.

But arguably the biggest disappointment is that it only syncs to Coros watches. So, if you’re a Polar, Garmin, Suunto… user, look elsewhere.

You can’t even download a training app and sync it to your phone, which is a shame as it’d be of much wider appeal for triathletes as a whole.

Meanwhile, Coros says the battery lasts for 28hrs of continuous running or 50 days in standby mode, while the portable charging doc (pictured at the top of this article) can restore power five times over before needing to be recharged itself via USB.

Verdict: A rare back ward step in Coros’ ascent to the training tech top table.

Score: 70%

Pair this with…

Coros Pace 2

If you’re in the market for a new multisport watch and are tempted by the functionality of the Coros Pod 2, take a look at the Coros Pace 2.

This is a watch that outperforms its modest £179.99 price tag and ultimately performs like a watch that costs considerably more.

In our Coros Pace 2 review, we praised the watch for its improved battery life (30hrs in GPS mode) over the original, its light weight and full multisport tracking.

The GPS and HR monitor both gave a good account of themselves, too, delivering a reliable package that’ll be fit for most athletes.

Looking for ways to become a faster runner? Here’s our guide on how to improve your run form.

Profile image of James Witts James Witts Freelance sports writer and author

About

Former 220 Triathlon magazine editor James is a cycling and sports writer and editor who's been riding bikes impressively slowly since his first iridescent-blue Peugeot road bike back in the 80s. He's a regular contributor to a number of cycling and endurance-sports publications, plus he's authored four books: The Science of the Tour de France: Training secrets of the world’s best cyclists, Bike Book: Complete Bicycle Maintenance, Training Secrets of the World's Greatest Footballers: How Science is Transforming the Modern Game, and Riding With The Rocketmen: One Man's Journey on the Shoulders of Cycling Giants

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