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For those of you unfamiliar with the Nike+iPod, it's a "device which measures and records the distance and pace of a walk or run."  Sensor goes in your shoes, connect the receiver to your iPod and the iPod displays how fast and how far you have been running.  When you sync your iPod with your PC the data is automatically uploaded to the Nike+ website and you can easily track your runs on a easy to use web interface. 

One of my biggest concerns before purchasing was how to replace the battery and how long does it last.  The Apple website cleared that right up:
"Is the sensor battery replaceable? How long does it last?

No. The sensor’s battery has a life of over 1000 active hours. The sensor sends a low battery signal when there is around 2 weeks of life remaining (based on usage pattern), indicating that the sensor needs to be replaced.

Most Nike + iPod runners and walkers can just drop the sensor in their Nike+ shoes and forget about it. When inactive, the sensor enters stand-by mode to save battery life."


1,000 hours!  That's a hour a day for almost 3 years!  Even if 1,000 is a gross exaggeration I figured I'd still get a couple hundred hours out of it, still plenty of runs before it needed replacing, and I liked not having to turn it off all the time.

So I bought a Nike+iPod November of 2007 and had been very happy with it.... until now.

I've put 196 miles on it, and at my current pace that's roughly 36 hours. Today when I sync'd my info with nikeplus.com I got a message saying it has less than 10% battery life left.



36 hours out of 1,000?  That's only 3% of the total amount.  Not 30% mind you, three percent.  That's like buying a 300hp car and getting 9hp.  That's like a 30mpg car getting 1mpg.  That's like being told your laptop battery will last 6 hours and getting 10 minutes!  That is atrocious and a gross overstatement. 

These are dedicated running shoes too, I don't wear them daily to walk around in, I only use them when I'm running.  I guess I'll have to try and replace the battery but now I'm scared to death to wear the shoes for anything but the actual run. I usually put them on at home, drive 5 minutes to the gym, walk inside then start running, so sure I might have put another dozen hours on it but not 900+ hours.

So I went to the Nike+ forums to see what I could find...



That's not bad, so I kept going.



hmmmm....



1.2 days?  28 hours?  Jeez that's horrible, and I thought my 36 hours was bad.



3 sensors in a year??  1000 miles total, and unless he's running 1 mile a hour that's not even close to 1,000 hours.



300 miles a sensor, I almost got that.




so 89 hours and 119 hours.  Still much better than my 36 but no where near the "1,000 hours" Nike promised.  In fact, I can't find anyone who said they've even gotten 50% of the claimed 1,000 hours, all the posts range from 3 to 30 percent. 

I guess if the sensor is that delicate I might have to carry the shoes in a bag or constantly turn the sensor off whenever I'm done running..... really not sure if it's worth all this aggravation and I'm feeling horribly deceived. Doesn't the iPhone have a GPS running program? Maybe I'll just go that route.

Had Nike been honest and said "these will last 25-100 hours and the battery is not replaceable" I don't think I would have bought the Nike+iPod system.  Why hasn't someone filed a lawsuit yet? 

UPDATE 4/1:  One guy tried to replace the battery himself and here is the result

In the video the narrator says the Apple stores will replace the sensors for free, even if out of warranty.  I do have a Apple store within driving distance but it's not exactly close, so I called ahead to see if they had them in stock.  The woman who answered knew nothing about the Nike+iPod sensors, even though she said she did know what it is.  When I asked about replacing it she said "We can look up the information on your iPod to see if it's still under warranty."  I explained that this is not a iPod, it is the Nike+iPod sensor and the battery had died.  She kept insisting they could replace my iPod under warranty if they looked, then asked if I would like to know how much a new sensor costs.  Feeling frustrated, I told her I'm sure it's the same $29.95 everyone else charges and thanked her for her time.

So now I'm at an impasse:  do I spend $30 on a new one and mail this one off and hope they replace it for free or do I hack it and risk ruining it?  But my question really should be:  Apple/Nike, was it so hard to make the battery replaceable? Posted on Tuesday, March 31, 2009 5:50 AM | Back to top


Comments on this post: Nike+ipod sensor died after 36 hours, not 1000

# re: Nike+ipod sensor died after 36 hours, not 1000
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Left by lose weight on Jun 07, 2010 6:01 AM

# re: Nike+ipod sensor died after 36 hours, not 1000
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# re: Nike+ipod sensor died after 36 hours, not 1000
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I liked the stuff wanted to read more.
Left by growing organic food on Jul 22, 2010 1:25 AM

# re: Nike+ipod sensor died after 36 hours, not 1000
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How much an Ipod touch can run
Left by cure fibromyalgia with herbs on Oct 12, 2010 4:59 AM

# re: Nike+ipod sensor died after 36 hours, not 1000
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If it has a rechargeable battery where one could plug in to a charger & let charge the battery in the sensor.
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# re: Nike+ipod sensor died after 36 hours, not 1000
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# Mr
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# Mrs
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# re: Nike+ipod sensor died after 36 hours, not 1000
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Yes even the same question arise on me, is there any solution for this plz share it
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# re: Nike+ipod sensor died after 36 hours, not 1000
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# re: Nike+ipod sensor died after 36 hours, not 1000
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Left by delaware casino on Dec 27, 2010 3:18 AM

# re: Nike+ipod sensor died after 36 hours, not 1000
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I have had my sensor for just under 2 WEEKS and it is DEAD NOW...it won't work.(I wasn't aware that it had such a small battery life)
I walked a total of 1.08kms and now it won't work.
I am very upset and I think something should be done about this. It's basically like you are paying a dollar per hour of walking.
Left by Debra on Jul 06, 2011 3:57 PM

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