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Thread: Timex Computer

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    Timex Computer

    Anyone have any experience with the Timex computer? Timex Cycle Trainer 2.0 GPS Bike Computer - Free Shipping at REI.com

    It gets pretty good reviews for road riding, but can't find much for MTB. Nate?
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    I used the GlobalSat 580 version of this computer (GlobalSat makes a version for Timex with a few firmware tweeks, but the hardware is the same).

    It works great for MTBing. Reception and acquisition times seem comparable to my friends' Garmins. It has a good chipset (Sirfstar III). Data display is very configurable. Battery life is outstanding compared to most GPS, up to 20h. I found the compass function useful. Other than that, navigation is limited obviously (you can't upload maps) but it does have the ability to direct you down an uploaded GPX trail. The numerals on the display could be a bit larger -- too much screen real estate is taken up by labels, in my opinion -- but this is not a dealbreaker.

    The Globalsat PC software mine came with was pretty limited, but I used Sporttracks to down and upload data (Sporttracks rocks BTW). The Timex version seems to have different software so this may be a completely different situation for you.

    Mine died a premature death in a crash, but it was a good unit while it lasted.

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    Look up dcrainmaker. He has reviewed some timex computers.

    His conclusion is generally that they are not as good as garmins, but they are drawing closer. They used to be terrible. Not so anymore but I don't think they've drawn even yet

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    Thanks TWM/Nate! I saw DC's review and it is the reason I'm considering it over the Garmin 500 bundle. >33% less and pretty close sounds like a better value. I'm most interested in its ability to accurately measure distance during climb/descents. I read an old thread about combining a wheel sensor with the GPS for more precise speed readings. Can't figure out if it is calculating an algorithm based on GPS/magnet sensor distance/speed or independently displaying results. I suspect it'll be independent.
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    Quote Originally Posted by wmac View Post
    Thanks TWM/Nate! I saw DC's review and it is the reason I'm considering it over the Garmin 500 bundle. >33% less and pretty close sounds like a better value. I'm most interested in its ability to accurately measure distance during climb/descents. I read an old thread about combining a wheel sensor with the GPS for more precise speed readings. Can't figure out if it is calculating an algorithm based on GPS/magnet sensor distance/speed or independently displaying results. I suspect it'll be independent.
    Value is one reason I chose it (the Globalsat). I paid $200 including HR strap, speed and cadence sensors. For MTBing I think it is at least the equal of the Garmin 500, if not better given it has an electronic compass and the route following is ok. As DCRainmaker says, the main drawback is that the handling of power is more rudimentary than is the Garmin's, but for me that doesn't matter.

    Regarding speed sensor-vs-GPS data handling: I don't remember, unfortunately. It might be worth checking out the GlobalSat 580 forum as some of the firmware engineers seem to hang out there occasionally. The Timex branded unit may be different in how it processes sensor data, but probably not...

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    I wish there was a traditional computer with an altimeter, heart rate and speed or a GPS unit that can calculate using combo GPS and sensor.
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    REI dropped the price on the Timex to $212. Not bad, but I think GPS sucks in the woods.
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    Quote Originally Posted by wmac View Post
    I wish there was a traditional computer with an altimeter, heart rate and speed or a GPS unit that can calculate using combo GPS and sensor.
    Not sure what you mean by this. With a wheel sensor, speed and distance measurements are provided from the sensor for Garmin. Position comes from the GPS for mapping. Not sure how Timex does it because the early Edges would only use the sensor when you lost GPS signal. Now they preferentially use speed/cad sensor data if it's available.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wmac View Post
    I think GPS sucks in the woods.
    Based on what assessment? Most of the time it's pretty good. Occasionally it gets off but IME that has more to do with hill aspect than canopy cover

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    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    Based on what assessment? Most of the time it's pretty good. Occasionally it gets off but IME that has more to do with hill aspect than canopy cover
    Sorry - The Timex in the woods doesn't get good reception based on some reviews I've been reading. Didn't realize they can simultaneously operate independently. I thought you had to turn one of the functions off.
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    Quote Originally Posted by wmac View Post
    Sorry - The Timex in the woods doesn't get good reception based on some reviews I've been reading. Didn't realize they can simultaneously operate independently. I thought you had to turn one of the functions off.
    Ah, I have read the same about the Timex's GPS reception.

    And yeah, with the 500 & 800 at least, the computer automatically reports the dist and speed measurements on the computer while you ride. Most websites will ignore those parts of your data file, however, and calculate speed and dist from the GPS position data. You will have to check each one individually to find out who will report speed and distance from the sensor when you upload the file. I am not sure on that one.

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    Times doesn't come with a wheel sensor - $40 add-on. Blah. Maybe I'll just do nothing. iPhone/Rintastic is fine except it only lasts an hour and a half and adding the heart rate strap is just going to make it worse.
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    Ug, talked with a friend who has the Garmin 500 and loves it. Says it's very accurate on all the trails around mid-TN. Wish I had the balls to take a gamble on the Timex.
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    Well, here's irrationality for you. I wound up buying the Sigma 2209 because it has speed, heart rate, cadence and altitude. Those are the areas I wanted the most and the GPS just seemed like a neat toy to have. I've got GPS on my iPhone if I really want tracking, but I decided it's just not that important to me. Thanks for your help anyway!
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