Timex Speed Distance - Review

Part One

16 messages
17/11/2002 at 21:16
Just thought I'd share a few comments about the Timex Speed and Distance 100 Lap watch which I tried out earlier today. I bought it off Ebay for around £120 including delivery so saved £100 on UK prices.

The unit consists of the watch and Transceiver with an arm band. There is also an optional belt clip for the Transceiver but I decided to go for the arm band. I have to admit that my first reaction on seeing the Transceiver was that it was a little on the large clunky side - about the size of a pack on playing cards with 3 AAA batteries. However, having attached it to my left arm I felt no discomfort at all from either the unit or the armband during my run.

The first job is to switch the Transceiver unit on and when you do this for the first time it can take up to 5 mins for the red light to stop flashing and turn green as it finds the appropriate satellite. True to form it took around three minutes. Subsequently it should only need around 45 seconds to find the satellite unless you move abroad or race a few hundred miles away.

17/11/2002 at 21:18
PART TWO....

I'm not a great one for manuals so didn't spend as long as I should have done before my first run but managed to get the Chronograph set to zero OK. Having read the instructions tonight I'm much clearer about the watch functionality - especially the Speed/Distance button which allows you to view different real-time information on the top line of the watch display.

The watch itself is very comfortable with a typical black plastic strap.

Now to the run itself - I set off on my usual Sunday morning training run which I had always believed was 5.45 miles after I clocked it some years ago by bike. I know the route backwards and all the mile markers. It was clear from the first marker however that the Timex was showing my miles as short (first split was around 0.94 miles) and by the end of the run it showed my total distance as 5.26 miles - I wish it had been the other way naturally having ran it for years thinking it was further - but if my cycle measured distance was correct then there is a discrepancy of 0.19 miles making the Timex 96.5% accurate - outside of the 99%+ accuracy claimed. However, I am by no means certain that my measurement is correct and intend to do the route again my new bike with a well calibrated cycle computer. I'll post that measurement on this thread as soon as I get out.

For those of you who know the area my route starts in Kingston-runs through Busky Park, through Hampton Court and back along the towpath to Kingston - the unit only had difficulty in picking up a signal in Kingston centre - no doubt affected by the tall buildings. I just wondered whether the trees may cause problems in the non-Autumn period but I guess I'll have to wait until next year to find out.

It was raining today - light but heavy rain (if that makes sense!) and there were no problems except the display was a little hard to read en route. Previously I wore a Nike 26 lap watch and was spoilt by the large display.

I didn't really use the unit to the full today in terms of data but I think in future I'll run with Chronograph and average pace - there seems to be several permutations of display options.

The only disappointing factor is that it doesn't seem to automatically record your split times (eg - each mile). Given that it has all the data I am surprised this is not an option (or maybe it is and I have not read my instructions well enough-anyone else help here?).

So after my first run - I am very pleased. I was delighted to get the deal I did but would have been happy to pay the UK price as I think I'll get good value out of it.

PS: Sorry for starting a new thread but I thought this would be useful for people to contribute who already have the Timex opposed to those thinking of buying. I would be interested to hear from anyone else who runs with the Timex with dislikes/likes.
18/11/2002 at 00:05
Thorough report there DS. I've had the Timex for about 6 months now and I'm very impressed with. I quite agree about the lack of automatically recording mile splits is annoying, so I just have it beep on each mile and hit the button as soon as I hear the beep. Think Timex messed up a bit there.

I've found it to be very accurate indeed - the 10k I did today it measured as 9.888 km, i.e. almost 99% accurate. Other races have been similarly close.

Hope it works out well for you anyway. I'm certainly delighted with mine.

venom
19/11/2002 at 08:34
Had my timex for 3 weeks.

Last night the GPS unit kept turning itself off. The battery level looks ok but have probably done around 10+ hrs. Note Timex recomend 12 hrs - any thoughts on wether its the batteries ?

Wylie
19/11/2002 at 09:06
The same happened to me yesterday, I just assumed it was the batteries (which I replaced and now its fine.
19/11/2002 at 09:10
I might try rechargeable AAA's - probably get less than 12 hours though.
19/11/2002 at 09:58
My other half has suggested a mains adaptor & a long extension lead - not sure if she's actaully refereing to the SDM ?
19/11/2002 at 15:10
I've only worn my SDM at one race - a marathon, and it read 26.24 miles at the end.
Pretty good, but still not sure if it really copes with undulations (could explain your shortfall David).

Got a spurious pace reading this morning when I used it to run to work. I had it on the average pace seetting and was doing 7 minute miles for 3 miles. It then suddenly dropped to 7:18 on average for the 4th mile (even though I had timed this last mile at 7:07)

I think it does pick up some spurious signals or gets it's sums wrong now and again, but on the whole it is pretty good.
19/11/2002 at 15:44
GPS isn't very good for instantaneous speed because there's too much variability. It should be reasonably accurate over the overall route providing that it has had good sight of the sky. If it hasn't, it assumes that you've travelled in a straight line from your last known point which is why it might be slightly under.

If you want a true realtime speedometer, then the Nike SDM should be better but they're not without their own problems.
19/11/2002 at 21:51
I've been looking at buying a handheld GPS for mountaineering until I read about this unit, which I'm obviously rather excited about as a runner. Can anyone tell me whether the Timex gives details of your location (i.e Grid References)?
19/11/2002 at 21:54
It doesn't to the best of my knowledge I'm afraid Loon.
19/11/2002 at 21:55
Damn - never mind - that's TWO gadgets for my Christmas pressie list then! Thanks David.
22/11/2002 at 13:50
Loon,
I take my Garmin GPS (Venture) out running with me sometimes. It doesn't have a stop watch, but it can show you current speed, average speed, distance covered, trip time, eta to waypoint, direction of travel, navigate to waypoint..... the list goes on. I bought it because I wanted a GPS for orienteering (fell running) and also liked the idea of being able to go running off road in a unfirmiliar place with the reasurance of not being lost. That and the fact it can show me speed and distance during a run won me over. The other thing I would say is it does measure slightly under distance due to loss of signal when in woods and tall buildings (needs a clear sight of the sky). When the signal is lost it assumes a straight line of travel was made between the current location and the last known point. Garmin make the unit used by the Timex watch.
22/11/2002 at 14:28
Thanks TR. Sound just what I need. Shame Timex haven't incorporated the lot though isn't it, 'cos it would be an absolute gem!
26/11/2002 at 19:10
I have just returned from the U.S. Where I managed to pick up the 50 lap Timex Speed and Distance watch for $180 (about £125 I think). Great little gadget!
26/11/2002 at 23:22
Recently bought a 100 lap Timex Speed/distance monitor from www.watchmerun.com (a US website).
Cost $168 plus $20 delivery and £22 import tax. Total cost about £135 !! Much cheaper than the £200 -220 you have to pay in this country. It does work over here, and has an international warranty.Took about 10 days to get here.Will give update when I have spent a couple of weeks playing with it!

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