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Elevation consistently inaccurate (reading too low)

I'm having issues with the Instinct reading lower elevation than it should, which results in considerably lower elevation gains than what you should be seeing. One might be tempted to blame this on sweat, poor weather conditions and what not, but that's actually not the case. I'm noticing this on a very short ride (roughly 11km). Start and finish elevation are typically within 5m of each other (which is IMHO fairly accurate). I've had three different devices prior to this one (cycling computers)

After looking more closely at the graphs, I've noticed that the Instinct just plain out ignores certain elevation gains, and instead chooses to think I'm riding a flat profile. It does so very consistently and given that the starting and ending point read the same elevation, I'm inclined to believe this is a sofware issue. Naturally, the watch mode is set to altimeter. 

So my question is whether this is a known issue and whether I can expect a fix. Difference of 40m in 11km is pretty big in my opinion. 

  • I have the same problem and I am on Instinct #2.

    First one worked decent for 6 months then the altimeter was useless. Garmin eventually sent me a replacement under warranty but this one is the same way. 

    I agree with the above that it is too slow to adjust.

    I mainly do hill repeats and it cant keep up.

    Does anyone know if this is a Garmin altimeter problem or an instinct problem? I was actually thinking of upgrading to 945 in near future - not if it has altimeter of the Instinct.

  • I am facing the same issues, the elevation gain is not accurate and there is a huge difference in the result comparing with my friends that have other GPS devices (Garmin, Tonton, whatever).

    If I enable the elevation correction at Garmin Connect site the elevation gain seems to be more accurate and the other problem is that for Instinct disable is default and we need to enable it every time in order to try to correct the elevation gain, it is a pain.

    Do we have any hopeness to have this issue fixed by Garmin?

    Or the solution is to sell and buy other device?

  • I am just adding my voice to those constantly shortchanged on climbing stats.  Mostly use for mountain biking.  I've tried every different setting connection, and like some people have mentioned, it is impressively consistent, and impressively wrong.  Recently, I completed a ride that typically has 1100 ft of climbing and it recorded as 400ft.  It is very hot and humid and I am sweating a lot.  Perhaps it is a sensor issue.  If anyone out there has had luck with a particular setting, please let me know what has worked.   

  • I'm wondering if this was introduced with a firmware update. Has anybody gone back and reinstalled an old firmware, say 3.10, to see if it goes away? When I compare activities on the old firmware they look as expected, not smoothed like I've seen with latest firmware.

  • Former Member
    0 Former Member over 4 years ago

    I did write my comment as separate thread here

  • Guys,

    A new beta version 5.50 is available and Garmin's support told me that is to fix the issue with elevation gain.

    I've already installed and I still need to test and see the results.

  • I've installed the beta version 5.50 but unfortunately the elevation issue is not fixed...

  • I have an open help ticket w/ Garmin on this elevation smoothing filter issue. I was told that so far I am the only one who has reported the issue. If you want them to take this seriously, please send an email to [email protected]om with examples.

  • I reverted back to the 3.20 firmware and the elevation filtering issue is gone. I'll stick with 3.20 until Garmin fixes the filter. 

  • Former Member
    0 Former Member over 4 years ago in reply to Danny
    I was told that so far I am the only one who has reported the issue. If you want them to take this seriously, please send an email to [email protected]om

    That's great advice and hopefully Garmin will get this fixed.  But just a heads up, it doesn't matter if 10, 20 or 50 people email support, they'll all be told that they are the only one who has reported the issue.