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Elevation Gain Data very different from Garmin Vivoactive

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  • Elevation Gain Data very different from Garmin Vivoactive

    My buddy and I go MTB riding regularly. He has a Garmin VivoActive watch and I have a Fenix 5X. After every ride his Elevation Gain data is substantially higher than mine.

    How is elevation calculated between these watches? Is one using GPS and the other using Barometric Pressure differences?

    I can't understand why the watches would be so far off from each other. I can understand a few meters, but many times the difference is over the 100s meters difference.

    Do I have to calibrate my watch to sea level?

    Thank you for your feedback.

  • #2
    Unless you are on Fenix 5X beta firmware 10.51 or later you will find that the 5X under-reports the elevation gain. This was a long standing bug in the firmware that appears to be fixed or at least much improved in the beta firmware. There is not a released version with the fix yet. That will probably reduce the difference. Calibration will only improve the absolute altitude displayed but does not have much effect on altitude gain. I will add that from my cycling computer experience that it is not unusual to see 10% elevation gain differences between different brands of computer and even different models within the same brand.


    • #3
      The original vivoactive (the rectangular one) doesn't have a baro altimeter, and elevation there is solely GPS based. By default, when uploaded to Garmin Connect, "elevation correction" is applied, as the GPS only data isn't that great.
      My Connect IQ Apps in the Store
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      • #4
        Thank you; I have upgraded the firmware to 10.51 I will see how it does today during my ride with my buddy and report back.