Should You Buy a Cheap Tri Watch?

Is a cheap tri watch worth it? Do you actually need a triathlon watch to begin with?

Truth be told, given how tough a triathlon is, you probably aren’t doing it just because. A triathlon watch does come handy when you’re trying to monitor your progress in your training and pace yourself during races for optimal performance. However, whether You should buy one or not is not my choice to make based on the information I’ve gathered here.

So, rather than asking whether a cheap tri watch is worth it or not, the more appropriate question then is: can a cheap tri watch do the trick? And let it be known, when talking cheap, I mean around $200 to $300 (it’s $600 for a top of the line tri watch).

Discover the best affordable options in triathlon watches and how they compare in our guide to the best cheap triathlon watches.


Wait, Hold On, a $200 to $300 Tri Watch Is Cheap?

You can find something cheaper than a “cheap” tri watch, granted, but you’re not going to get a full experience with them.

Usually the older watches (and thus cheaper watches) use older technologies and have less fully functioning features. Thus the cheaper triathlon watches don’t provide you with a full experience for triathlon specifically when compared to the newer ones. Having less additional features you’ll likely never use is not really a problem in itself when it comes to those older watches. Regardless, they don’t seem to drop the prices of the older generation wearables by too much for marketing… reasons.

The better the watches get the more features get cramped into them. If that wasn’t enough, with time those features are half-assingly cramped into even the older watches. It’s because of that you’ll never find a true and simple tri watch without loads of additional features you’ll likely never even use in all actuality. from the companies’ point of view, it would be a waste not to make use of the newer technologies by not adding more and more features. For them, that means they can increase the price because on paper you’re getting more value out of it. It’s a fundamental paradox on the market you’ll simply have to cope with unfortunately.

Even a “cheap” tri watch is expensive…

I wish I could just say that, yes, a cheap tri watch can be worth it. But to pay hundreds of dollars just to get the cheapest true triathlon watch doesn’t really sound like a cheap option, now does it?

And why, oh, why is no one making simple yet useful tri watches without the multitude of additional features you might be wondering. A company is set out to make a profit, I guess.


So Then, Can a Cheap triathlon Watch Do the Trick?

Granted, a cheap triathlon watch is a much better option compared to your memory alongside a pen and paper.

Rest assured, you’re going to get more or less a full experience out of a “cheap” triathlon watch, especially as a beginner. However, you still have to be conscious about what a cheap triathlon watch can and can’t do. It’s because otherwise you’re in for a lot of frustration expecting from it too much later down the road when you start to get an ich for an upgrade. These are not so much your everyday lifestyle watches with sports features being an afterthought, it’s quite the opposite.

Can a Cheap triathlon Watch Do the Trick?

What Makes a Cheap Tri Watch Good?

I feel like there’s a very thin line between good and bad when it comes to fully functioning true triathlon watch, be it cheap or not, considering the market situation.

You can slap fancy words and features to an older generation watch that originally didn’t even have such new features via updates and whatnot at first. Sometimes they come out great, some other times you’re left with what feels like malfunctioning mess and feel frustrated.

I’d make sure the budget tri watch that peaks your interest has features You find useful that work as they should. I will tell you that there will be features you might never find yourself using or in need of ever. Like that, it doesn’t matter if those trivial features don’t work too well because you weren’t going to use them in the first place. You simply don’t run as big of a risk of being disappointed that way, and you’ll get a triathlon watch for cheap you can be happy with. Educated choices.


What To Expect From a “Cheap” Triathlon Watch?

Whatever you’re looking for when it comes to features of a multisport watch suitable for triathlon, you want to make sure those particular features work almost flawlessly.

You might not care about the following features, but for the sake of the example:

  • you wouldn’t want the watch to triple your laps in the pool when you only finished one.
  • You probably don’t want the heart rate (HR) function to be off by too much
  • and you likely wouldn’t want the GPS to not pick up the signal when needed,
  • etc

“Cheap” tri watches don’t exactly have these problems anymore. Some more nuanced newer features might not be in a perfectly working state however. The “actually cheap” tri watches, talking about the greatly less than $100 multisport watches, these have myriad of problems when it comes to triathlon specifically, especially in the swim leg.

With all that said, “cheap” triathlon watches can easily be worth it.

Where might I find a cheap triathlon watch?


Extra Reading

(links open in a new tab)

The TOP 10 Best Cheap Triathlon Watches | post | TriathlonsWay
Is a Cheap Triathlon Watch Worth It? | post | TriathlonsWay
Do You Need a Triathlon Watch? | post | TriathlonsWay
How Does a Triathlon Work? | post | TriathlonsWay
Why Get Into a Triathlon? | post | TriathlonsWay
Benefits of a Tri Watch | post | TriathlonsWay
What Is a Triathlon? | post | TriathlonsWay
Triathlon Safety | post | TriathlonsWay


Leave a Comment