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Nike+ Sportband Review

Posted by Filed Under: Speed & Distance Trackers

Who likes gadgets? Me! Who was disappointed with the Nike+ Sportband? Me. Well, kind of. I’m still holding out hope. It’s not always love at first sight, right? Tell me it’s not. The thing is there are aspects that I want to like about it, even if I’m not quite ready to move in. Or, even offer it my husband’s side of the bed.

Let’s start with the parts that keep me coming back for more.

I can use it without having to be plugged in to music. I love running to tunes just as much as the next gal. But, I also appreciate my unplugged jaunts to myself. It’s nice to be able to use the Nike+ technology without having to use an iPod.

It’s sleek and not heavy. I have wrists the size of pipe cleaners, and even though I have to clip it in at nearly the tightest notch, it doesn’t feel like I’m carrying around a grapefruit taped to my wrist.

It tells me what I want to know. I don’t (yet) need to know the exact coordinates of where I was 11 minutes and fifty-five seconds into my run last Sunday. The Nike+ Sportband offers me the usual time, distance, and pace parameters that keep me satisfied.

At $59, it’s cheaper than a Garmin.
But, maybe that’s not a fair comparison because Garmins and Polars are designed to give you more information than the Nike+ Sportband. It really depends on what information you want to collect from your runs and what your personal needs are.

But then there are the aspects that make me wonder if I’m wasting my time.

The connectivity is not always great. Six out of ten times, I plugged the unit into my USB port and it linked just as any gadget-happy technophile could ask for: it was quick and brought me right to the Nike+ site, without disrupting any of the other tabs open in my browser. But, those other times? They weren’t so good. “No internet connection was found or no server connection was possible.” Yeah, the Web’s not perfect, I know, and maybe I’m expecting too much. But it’s frustrating all the same when you start to see a pattern.

It wasn’t the easiest to get cookin’. I tend to think of myself as pretty tech-savvy. And yet, I had to install, uninstall, and then install the software again before I could get it working right. And while it’s true, many pictures do say a thousand words, the ones that pass as instructions in the Nike+ Sportband package do not. I think there are many out there that might find it more confusing than it has to be.

If you don’t wear Nike shoes, you have to get creative.
When it comes to running wear, we can’t be too brand-selective. If it doesn’t fit right, it doesn’t fit right. So, I’m not going to change my shoes just because I want to stick a sensor in it to link to my Sportband. I was hoping there’d be a way to tie it to my shoes. But, I suppose Nike doesn’t want to make it too easy for non-Nike shoe wearers to use it. The sensor’s solid. So, I stuck it into my shoe pocket with my personal information. I wonder what other people have come up with.

I don’t feel it’s completely fair to end on a bad note though. I’m still considering the Sportband. It is sleek and comfortable and I’m sure having one will make me feel included when I go out to London for the Nike+ Human Race on the August 31st. The real test will be if my mileage comes out right on a measured race course. So far, I think it’s about right, but I don’t have the best ways to judge. This could be the deciding factor on whether I pursue this relationship. Or, if instead, I introduce it to my husband to see how they get on.

About Nora

I am a native Californian currently settled and running my way bit by bit around the South East of England. Besides running, my training activities include biking, hiking, swimming, yoga, and tap dancing in place while in line at the grocery store. I am addicted to photography and run most races with my camera in hand, just in case.



9 Comments
  1. der5er on July 24th at 6:07 pm

    I’ve got the Nike+ Ipod kit. IAnd I love it. While I haven’t used it on any meticulously measured courses, I do know that the distance will vary depending on your stride. It doesn’t seem to miss a great deal, but if you’re running anything longer than 10k, I’d recommend resetting the workout at a known distance. Running from my house to the main road has received readings of 0.50 miles, 0.49 miles, and, once, 0.55 miles. Or, calibrate with the procedure in the manual on a track. I’m accepting it for what it is, because I do not have to add another device to my arm before I run. I’m also kind of a ‘close enough’ person. I’ve got a friend who’s Garmin told her she’d run 26.2 at about 25.2 (if they lose their signal, they have no clue how far you’ve gone)….so no solution is perfect.

    der5ers last blog post..Hello? Is anybody there?

  2. Mike in Calgary on July 24th at 8:10 pm

    I’m a longtime user of the Nike+iPod system and love the accuracy, I was looking forward to this product so that I could get accurate distance and pace without having to use my iPod.

    It was awesome for the first 59:59, then I discovered that on runs longer than an hour, it doesn’t display seconds.

    This is (to me) a huge deal – I like to time walk breaks, and to time splits. Absolutely useless.

  3. Bill on July 24th at 8:14 pm

    So far, I’ve been fairly impressed with the Nike+, understanding what it’s for — and most of that has to do with the website and the challenges. I’ve gone so far as to have a Garmin on one arm to keep all my stats, and the Nike+ Sportband on the other arm, just to make sure I can keep up with the challenges! That being said, there are some drawbacks:

    - Do *not* get it wet! I’ve heard horror stories of people who left them out in the rain or tried to take a shower with them, and they just stopped working. Mine has been working just fine, though, even up against the sweat produced by a Florida summer.
    - I wish there were a backlight on the screen. Very hard to read in low light.
    - I wish it would work with Linux, but so far, it can only be used with Mac and Windows.

    As far as attaching it to the shoe, you want it to be fairly tight, so just being in the shoe pocket may not be enough. I’ve got a little sensor pocket that I got from Amazon for $7 that I use:

    http://tinyurl.com/6a96qh

    Finally, it does work much better when you sync it. Mine was about 10% off until then, and now it may be 1% off — not bad at all.

  4. ruthie on July 27th at 10:02 am

    I found a great, cheap way to attach sensor with pictures and instructions at:
    http://www.web-goddess.org/archive.php/postID/6190

  5. Leon on August 1st at 9:00 am

    Do note that attaching the sensor to a non-Nike shoe this way might affect the accuracy of the sensor. Using a Nike shoe puts the sensor in its most ideal position.

    Check out this blog post:
    http://boogadget.com/nike-sportband-is-inaccurate-and-lacks-backlight

  6. bigRahn on August 14th at 4:22 am

    I’ve tried both the Ipod version and the sportsband. All said and done, I’m back to the Ipod.

    The failed connections on the sportsband drove me nuts, and after “losing” a couple runs, it got very frustrating. On the Ipod, it’s not hard to go in and reset it to send to the server if it gets lost.

    Also, the face isn’t very impact resistant. After about a month and a half of use, I can’t even read it anymore. Trying to decide if it’s worth trying to return it/see if the warranty covers this.

    bigRahns last blog post..Another day, another mile or so

  7. GPS Reviews on March 24th at 12:30 am

    I prefer the garmin for its extra bells and whistles, but looks like the Nike works well for the price.

    GPS Reviewss last blog post..Garmin Colorado 400t Review

  8. sinema izle on October 1st at 12:30 pm

    Vezi ca iau alti bugetari 650 milioane lei vechi pe luna.Normal ca nu fac greva . Daca n-ai avea mentalitate de infractor,caracteristica jurnalistului roman, ai scrie despre aia.
    .-= sinema izle´s last blog ..Sahtekar filmini izle =-.

  9. cep telefonu al on June 8th at 2:46 am

    The failed connections on the sportsband drove me nuts, and after “losing” a couple runs, it got very frustrating. On the Ipod, it’s not hard to go in and reset it to send to the server if it gets lost.
    .-= cep telefonu al´s last blog ..İnternette En Fazla Satılan Ürünler Nelerdir ? =-.

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