Bike computers as they are commonly known are becoming as essential as food for racing types because riders want data to measure training gains or losses. Garmin who is considered a market leader, boasts a huge marketing budget evident in them sponsoring a professional bicycle racing team that recently appeared in the 2012 edition of the Tour de France. If you tuned in like millions of enthusiasts then you saw Garmin units mounted on the bikes of many of the professional riders but don’t bother rewinding your DVR searching for the Timex Cycle Trainer 2.0 because simply they were not present.
It is long believed that if a product is used by a professional then it works, thus creating product converts. Timex Group USA recently released to the market the Timex Cycle Trainer 2.0 to directly compete with Garmin GPS products; as a result, I took it out for multiple test rides.
COST AND PRODUCT PURCHASE
The Timex Cycle Trainer 2.0 can be purchased directly from the manufacturer or at any on-line retailer. At the time of print the unit sold for $250 and came equipped with a heart monitoring strap, USB cord for PC charging and the unit. The Timex Cycle Trainer 2.0 is strategically priced below the price of the Garmin Edge 500.
The unit comes with a little gem of a booklet, titled Quick Start Guide, that offers robust details about operating the unit and can be found by visiting the website user guide section.
UNIT SET UP
The Timex Cycle Trainer 2.0 set up was straight forward but one bike thing that puzzled me was the request for the bike weight. The typical consumer does not own a digital bicycle scale; as a result, asking for the weight of the bicycle is an unreasonable request.
In the long run, the Timex Cycle Trainer 2.0 is an adequate gadget to add to the bike for riders needing lots of data from their training rides. The unit operates wireless and is also able to provide power readings when the bicycle is equipped with a rear wheel mounted ANT+ hub power sensor. The Timex Trainer 2.0 is compatible with the Training Peeks software.
The Timex Cycle Trainer 2.0 mount interface does not hold the unit firmly thus causing it to wiggle slightly on it.
Strangely the magnetic compass needs to be calibrated while the unit has a GPS signal in order to work properly.
One can only save about seven days of training data because past that the memory is at capacity. Once that happens the unit gives an error message stating that the unit storage is full and has cero memory in which to save further data points. When this happens, the Timex Cycle Trainer 2.0 will provide actual speed and heart rate but none of the data will be saved. To resume saving all training data points, the training must be transferred to training peaks or erased manually.
I found out the hard way while on a training ride as the unit stopped recording any data points until enough memory had been re-stored.
Cadence and Electric Plug Adapter must be purchased separately at additional costs. Just having a USB charger could be problematic for persons not traveling with a PC or laptop.
Another issue I found with the Timex Cycle Trainer 2.0 is that occasionally it took a long time to connect to the satellites for the GPS to work. It is widely known that this is not an isolated issue with this product. From talking to other riders who do not use Timex I discovered that they experienced the same issue with other product lines.
Weather, clouds and electric poles are among things that slow down the unit from connecting to the GPS.
The device agent lets you upload files to TrainingPeaks or save to a PC in a ‘pwx file’ format (TrainingPeak’s file format), but the files are not supported by Strava.
The unit did not provide a reading for power per lap but instead provided average power, maximum power, current power and power zone. Power per lap is an essential data point for bicycle racers today.
The user must remember to turn the unit off because it does not automatically power down.
COLD WEATHER RIDING
Like most units, the unit did not react well to cooler temperatures. I rode in 36F-60F/2C-16C and the charge decreased rapidly. I hardly had any charge by the end of my century ride. This is for a unit that boasts 18 hours of continuous charge. This battery power rapid reduction did not occur during the summer weather riding time.
The unit comes equipped with a USB plug to charge the unit using a PC or laptop computer. This is a disadvantage should a rider not travel with a laptop. A wall plug adapter is available for purchase at an additional fee. I would suggest to Timex Group USA to take a page right out of the Apple Corp model of providing both options – PC charge and/wall electric adaptor for battery charging purposes.
The Timex Cycle Trainer 2.0 displays data points for 42 custom screens. Visit Timex's website for further information. (Page 21/28) LANGUAGES
The screens display in English, Spanish, Italian, French, German, or Simplified Chinese.
The screens display with either VERTICAL (portrait) or HORIZONTAL (landscape) orientation. I tested it using the portrait orientation.
ADDITIONAL ACCESSORIESCadence Sensor: A rider may purchase at an additional cost ($60) a cadence sensor that measures pedaling strokes per minute, otherwise known as RPMs (revolutions per minute) by visiting Timex’s website.
Electric Plug Adapter: A rider may purchase an electric adaptor at an additional cost ($10); however, to purchase the adaptor one must call the Timex Technical support/customer service line at 1-800-448-4639 to obtain the electric plug adapter.
TIMEX CYCLE TRAINER 2.0. FEATURES
♦ Real-Time Speed, Distance, Grade and Heart Rate
♦ Quick and Reliable Signal with SiRFstarIII GPS Technology
♦ Compatible with ANT+ Speed and Cadence Sensors and Power Meters
♦ Hands-Free Operation with Auto Start, Auto Split, Auto Stop and Auto Resume
♦ Review Maps and Performance with Online Software Powered by TrainingPeaks
♦ Location, Elevation, and Temperature Data
♦ Customizable Interval Timer
♦ Five Customizable Screens
♦ Customizable Settings on your computer
♦ 18-Hour Rechargeable Li-Ion Battery
♦ INDIGLO Night-Light
ON-LINE VIDEOS Timex Cycle Trainer 2.0 GPS Bike Computer Set Up- Part OneTimex Cycle Trainer 2.0 GPS Bike Computer Set Up- Part Two
Disclaimer: This product was sent to the Daily Peloton Cycling News for review purposes, courtesy of www.catalystpublicrelations.com, and all opinions are my own. I was not compensated in any other way, nor am I a Catalyst Public Relations employee, distributor or retailer of their products, or anyone else who might be obligated to provide positive reviews. Some information in this review was taken from the company’s website.About the author: An experienced racer, Imelda March lives in Chicago and is a member of Team Kenda. She is a frequent contributor to The Daily Peloton Cycling News team, reporting on women’s cycling news and general peloton ramblings. She also holds an MBA, is a marketing strategy expert, and is a social media team member/contributor to the Chicago chapter of the American Marketing Association.Share this: