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Timex Speed and Distance - does it work?(4 posts)

Timex Speed and Distance - does it work?gtx
Jun 27, 2003 10:54 AM
Anyone have one of these? It uses GPS technology to track speed and distance. I tossed my cyclometer back in 1986, but this is pretty cool if it's at all accurate. Not cheap at $225, but I'm sure the price will be coming down...
re: Timex Speed and Distance - does it work?purplepaul
Jun 27, 2003 3:53 PM
I'm not sure this is the best idea. There are two types of anntennae that GPS's use: whip and quad helix. Of the two, the whip is the cheaper and more common but also less able to receive signals when obstructed by trees (although not specified on Timex's site, I suspect they're using a whip). I had a friend who tried a cheap Garmin (whip antenna) while skating and he returned it as worthless. It would lose satellite contact so often in Central Park that there was no way he could determine speed and distance with any degree of accuracy.

I have a Megellan Meridian GPS (quad helix) and it only loses signal when going under a structure, like a tunnel. Even so, altitude changes can affect its distance readings (its altitude readings are so inaccurate that the only altitude I'm sure I'm not at is the one it's reading out). It's kinda big to mount on my road bike, though there is a bike mount for it. And it's really cool to watch where you are on a moving map. Unlike the Garmin, it never loses signal in Central Park. But it also doesn't agree with my bike computer on the exact distance around. There is a discrepancy of about 2/10ths of a mile over a 6 mile loop.

Anyway, if you are on level terrain and not making tight turns, the Timex would probably be pretty accurate. Anything else, and I wouldn't put any stock in it for distance. Speed should be okay. Just watch out for trees and buy it from a place where you can return it should it not work well.
re: Timex Speed and Distance - does it work?glia
Jun 28, 2003 5:52 PM
I have had great success using a Garmin Legend GPS system. I picke dmine up on EBAY for ~$100. It has a nice handlebar mount and 8MB of memory. I compared it to my cycle computer and it is very accurate. One nice option is that it displays up to 10 parameters on one screen. I.e. you may have moving average, current speed, total distance, max speed, current time, altitude and even the distance to destination or to the next turn. I use it whenever I am checking out new routes. I have all the local street maps on it and the unit can route me through almost any new route. Pretty cool!
re: Timex Speed and Distance - does it work?annoyance
Jun 30, 2003 7:42 AM
well, i have not used mine on my bike, only for running and it seems mostly to work. yeh, it reads wrong on occasion, but it seems to even out. too low for a minute, then realizes where you are so it is too high for a few seconds. i know pretty well how fast i run and how long the routes are and it seems about right. i also run on trails with lots of trees so that may make it worse. i will have to try it on the bike though and see how it compares to my cateye astrale.
if you can get one for relatively cheap, i think it is fun to have.