Customer Reviews: Timex Ironman Road Trainer Heart Rate Monitor Watch, Plum/Silver, Mid Size
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on March 25, 2011
After much research I decided that using a heart monitor could really add a lot to your workout.

Researching the available options I basically found 3 categories / units worth pursuing. The first is Omron's heart rate monitor, which people seem to love as an inexpensive monitor but the rate transmission is not encoded so two of them can't be used in close quarters. My wife and I are doing P90 so that ruled those out. There's also a category of very nice units with GPS features and other goodies that were way beyond our needs so I wasn't keen on paying that premium. The third is any of the Timex. There are a lot of listings for Timex HRM's and the differences are mostly asthetic (with the exception of whether it has lap capability or it can show where your current rate falls in the desired range graphically).

My wife picked this watch / HRM and I picked one with a men's look. Their use is exactly the same though, and the straps are identical. Per other reviewer's advice I ordered a tube of Spectra electrode gel at the same time.

At first all was well for both of us. Just goop up the strap, it fits comfortably across the chest, hit 1 button on the watch and it started giving a rate. Setting a target range on the watch was pretty easy. You hold down the "Heart Rate" button to turn the rate alarm off and on quickly and easily which is really nice to activate it once you're warmed up so it's not beeping at you constantly while you're starting your workout. If you use the chrono feature the watch keeps track of averages, calories burned, etc on its own. It is even easy to get averages for each lap, so in my case I could hit the lap button between phases of the workout to get insight into each individually in addition to the overall info.

After a couple weeks my wife's continued to work well but my monitor started giving me weird readings and not wanting to sync up to start. I tried using more goop, less goop, played with exact placement, using water, but all to no avail. Then I figured the battery must have been half dead already so I replaced that. Still no joy. In an effort to isolate the problem my wife and I swapped chest straps for 1 workout. With her identical Timex chest strap I got readings *immediately* and it gave very accurate readings, but with my chest strap she couldn't get accurate readings. I don't know what the chances are the "new" battery could have been dead so I tried swapping out the batteries. Same thing.

Keep in mind we have two chest straps we are using at the house in identical conditions, used the same way, cleaned the same way, etc. I'd always heard that if electronics lasted 10 hours they'd last 1,000 hours but there's something else going on with these chest straps.

I do like the HRM system so I'm going to give it 3 stars but given the prevalence of other reviewers who report difficulties I don't think my experience represents a tiny rate of failure that can't be avoided but instead a design flaw that makes the Timex chest straps unreliable even when used carefully and cleaned after every use.

If you're not looking to spend $150+ on an HRM and need something nicer than the Omron I would say to order this anyway, from Amazon anyway, but save the box because it's likely you'll need it to exchange for a new one. Thankfully Amazon is all aces about returns / exchanges. If you're considering buying from a source that might be less accommodating about returns then I would say stay away because you will probably not get your money's worth.
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on February 21, 2010
I have now had this watch for 6 months and it is really fantastic. The heart rate monitor works very well and it is very comfortable to wear. I debated if I wanted to get a heart rate monitor watch with a chest strap and I am really glad that I did. It is very accurate and so easy to use. Also, I have a very small wrist and it is very comfortable. Lastly - I did a lot of research and found you can change the battery on the chest strap yourself, I haven't had to yet, but am glad I have that option.
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on June 26, 2011
I researched a lot of HRM before deciding on this particular model. I am very happy with my purchase and highly recommend this watch to others.

I am an individual who excercises 4-5 days/week for health and weight management. I was interested in seeing how my different workouts (running, spinning, weight/cardio classes, etc...) compared as far as my exertion/heart rate and the number of calories burned.

This HRM is easy to set up (although the instruction manual could be a little clearer and in a better order) and easy to use once you have it set with your maximum heart rate and other options. I am a petite female (5ft. 2in. approximately 110 lbs) and I have to wear the watch on the tightest setting. The chest strap fits great. I don't even realize I have the chest strap on and it fits easily under a sports bra for a comfortable fit. The face of the watch is a good size (I wouldn't want it any bigger for my size wrist)---the screen is easy to read and it is easy to toggle between settings. I know other reviewers mentioned it being easy to hit a button by mistake but I haven't had that problem. The calories burned and the heart rate monitor seem accurate and I haven't had any problems with interference from gym equipment or other HRMs. One of the selling points for me to purchase Timex was that I could change the batteries myself or take it to a local battery retailer and have them do it. I know other manufacturers (Polar for example) have you send your watch in for battery replacement.

Overall, I love my watch so far and it has become an asset to my workouts. I would highly recommend this watch to others.

On a side note, the first HRM that was shipped to me was defective. Amazon was wonderful and easy to work with on an exchange/return!
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on March 18, 2011
My wife initially bought this wanting something a little more streamlined and user-friendly than her Garmin, plus, yea it's purple. From the first day she has been very pleased with it's function and usability.
She was lucky enough to have had a Body Bugg(from The Biggest Loser TV show) system shortly after to compare it to. With all the items you needed to buy the Body Bugg was a couple hundred dollars easy and the membership was still in trial, so more money once that started up.
The Body Bugg is probably accurate for an individual who might feel as though walking down stairs is physically taxing. If you are physically fit or even newly pursuing a workout program you will see caloric stats from 1000 one day to 300 the next in the same exact workout. Essentially it's a gimmick but since the Timex was never taken out of the mix, we were able to see how accurate and consistent this device was for HRM and certain calorie measures.
The Bottom Line: If you want an easy accurate HRM this is a great device to get; lightweight; stylish; user-friendly, just don't abuse it or the watch band probably won't hold up. While the calorie burn stats seem to be pretty accurate when compared to medical and fitness formulas, it is taken on a 'Lap' basis, which means you can't leave it running 24/7 and more closely monitor your patterns like calories burned in sleep. Still a great product for the price point. She likes it, I'm happy, I would recommend it.
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on May 24, 2010
I really like this heart rate monitor although I do have to agree with a few of the other comments concerning calories burned, this morning on the treadmill the watch gave me a calorie read out of 349 calories and while the treadmill had 279 calories used. The treadmill reading seemed to be more in line with the workout I had done. The heart rate readings appear to be very accurate and I like being able to see the review that is given at the end of a workout for total time, time in heart rate zone and average heart rate.

I would definitely recommend this heart rate monitor to others. It has also been fun to wear it at work (I wait tables) and see that when we get busy I am often getting a real workout even while I am working.
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on May 2, 2012
This is a great product. You can find Polar etc, which are perhaps fancier but IronMan has 2 big advantages. First, unlike Polar you don't have to send the watch in to the company itself for changing batteries. Second, unlike Polar you don't have to hit a button to scroll to each item being monitored.

It took me 10 minutes to set this up and it works great.
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on August 5, 2010
This was a gift to my sister who does Ironmans. She tells me it took some time to figure everything out and get it working. But that done, she is pleased to see it does have all the different features she wanted. Here's a comment from her: "at the end of the run, it tells me how long I have spent in the training zone I had programmed, what my max/min HR was, how many calories I burnt." One negative perhaps is that it's "not quite as easy to read on the run" as it has a smaller face to a previous HRM she had. All-in-all however, she is happy with this Timex..
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on May 23, 2011
Ordered this watch/heart-rate monitor as motivation. My Nursing class was having a competition for 10 weeks on 'who could burn the most calories.' I wanted to find out how many calories I was burning per workout and which workouts burned the most. I'm extremely happy with this purchase! I tested the HR monitor against the ones at the gym and this was spot-on accurate. I was worried that the chest strap would be uncomfortable and it isn't. I even wore my heart rate monitor to work (waitress) and found out that I burn almost 2,000 calories on my shifts!!
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on April 22, 2010
I bought this HR monitor watch not only so that I could get an idea of where I was during running, but also so that I could improve my conditioning during my runs. The chest strap is comfortable & stays in place (ladies should wear under your bra). The watch has a lot of features, some of which I haven't tried yet. I love the indiglo feature, perfect for those pre-dawn runs! It's definitely helped me improve my pace!
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on September 22, 2011
I bought this for my girlfriend and she loved it. The watch looks good so she even uses it when she is not working out. I have the same model but full size and it has completely change the way I train, you get more control over your workout and use your time more efficiently. I definitely recommend it for anyone looking to improve their performance.
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