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Customer Review

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Become a better athlete and gain more freedom in your workouts, February 21, 2011
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This review is from: Timex Global Trainer Speed and Distance with Heart Rate GPS Watch (Sports)
UPDATE: 10/2011 - Over the summer Timex release updated firmware. GPS acquisition is much improved. Firmware update also provides functionality for ANT+ foot pod for cadence tracking. This in additional to ANT+ compatible HRM, bike speed, bike cadence and bike power. Love this product!

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I have been a long time user of the Timex Ironman watch series including the RaceTrainer with HRM. I'm a triathlete turned marathoner and decided it was time to upgrade to a GPS unit, primarily so I could more easily track mileage without having to use tedious applications like MapMyRun or MS Excel. I reviewed Garmin and Suunto but read so many mixed reviews that I could not make a decision. Knowing the reliability of previously owned Timex watches, I was really happy to see them launch a GPS device.

My first couple of weeks using the watch was a little frustrating so be prepared for a learning curve. I had a hard time getting the GPS to acquire a position and didn't entirely understand some of the configuration settings. The user manual isn't particular helpful but I kept at it until I had it working the way I wanted. Now that I've owned it for two months, I can say that without a doubt, I am very pleased with the Timex Global Trainer GPS.

Features:

SIZE - Like all built in (non-external pod) GPS watches, it is a little bulky. Not exactly something that you would want to wear outside of training and racing.

SCREEN - The fairly substantial screen size allows you to customize viewable items. For example, I have mine setup for RUN I, RUN II, BIKE I, BIKE II and SWIM. For RUN I, I have it configured to show distance, pace, HR and split. In RUN II, I show altitude, pace-average, HR-average, lap. For biking, I purchased Bontrager ANT+ Speed and Cadence sensors so I can show bike specific items. Any ANT+ compatible sensor is easily found by the device (HRM, Speed, Cadence, Power). The ability to customize screens and features is really nice and can all be done using the device agent software rather then on the watch directly, a great feature.

POWER - No problems. I charge mine with the USB computer connector when I sync to TrainingPeaks. Even on long runs (2+ hours), the power meter shows plenty of power remaining (70%+). I might be concerned about power in a 10+ hour full 140.6 IM. However, I'd probably just use the device for the bike and run portion and skip using it on the swim. Device does include a bike mount which works fine.

GPS - As I said at the start, I did experience a little trouble getting a signal at first. I'm not sure why, but that initial problem has gone away. Maybe it just knows where I live now? :-)

Indeed, you should not expect to just turn it on and immediately get a signal (but sometimes I do), so plan to power up the GPS 3-5 minutes prior to beginning your workout. On occasion and when it doesn't find a signal within 60 seconds or so, I simply power off and power back on. Problem solved. I get a signal on the first floor of my house and sometimes even in the basement when I'm working out on my bike trainer.

One issue I do have with the GPS is that if I'm running a zig-zag route, it does tend to "cut the corners" which likely results in a decreased pace reading and underestimated distance figure. I would have to think that this is common of all GPS devices. Also, the altitude readings seem to go up and down a little more then they should. Not a big issue.

TRAINING PEAKS and DEVICE AGENT - Device Agent is the syncing and configuration software and trainingpeaks.com is the website where logs are sent and viewed. Basic features on trainingpeaks.com are free but you can purchase a subscription to add more features (or PODS). I know there are some critical posts about the website and the "need" to pay for the subscription but for 95% of us, the free service is more then adequate.

Like the watch itself, it took me a couple of weeks to get used to using trainingpeaks.com. Now, I love it. Again, I only use the free service but I love being able to view my workouts, see maps, charts, weekly summaries, and so much more. To be honest, this watch has helped motivate me to increase my training volume just I can ring up bigger numbers each week!

Furthermore and with the combination of GPS and TrainingPeaks, I feel a lot more freedom in my running and biking. Rather then running the same old routes where I know the distance, I'm free to "turn right", "turn left" or just explore on long runs. I know the GPS is keeping track so I just go wherever I like.

Bottom line, I highly recommend the product but do be prepared for a 2-4 week learning curve. I paid ~$215 less a $50 promo discount that was running around Christmas '10. Great deal.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 18, 2011 7:46:12 PM PDT
Dylan Wood says:
this is a fake review how sad!

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 19, 2011 8:10:47 AM PDT
S. Ackerson says:
Excuse me? Why would you infer such a thing?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 31, 2011 11:57:30 AM PST
Nate says:
It doesn't look fake to me; s/he listed many of the drawbacks, but s/he clearly liked the watch overall. If you criticize the reviewer then it helps to explain with reasons, otherwise it sounds like someone is just having a bad day.
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