10 October 2012

Product Review: Timex Cycle Trainer 2.0

Yes, I know I said previously that next up would be Interbike, but I needed to pause for a review.

Way back in August, during Outdoor Retailer, I met with the fine folks at Timex so they could show me their new bike computer, the Cycle Trainer 2.0.

They were also kind enough to send me one so I could put it through the paces and get some first hand experience with it.

So, two months later, I have been using it every time my butt hits the bike seat. From the mundane commute to and from the bus stop to longer rides around my little town. Rain or shine. I even took it with me down to Vegas for the Tour de Lake Mead.

Here is the press release from Timex:
The Timex® Cycle Trainer™ 2.0 is a GPS-enabled bike computer that tracks speed, distance, elevation, routes, and heart rate with its included Flex Tech chest sensor. With its ANT+ technology, the bike computer also tracks cadence and power for dedicated cyclists. The device offers incredible value for cyclists looking to track their rides and monitor performance, along with a temperature display and a barometric sensor for live elevation and grade data. The product boasts five customizable screens, and hands-free operation with auto start, auto split, auto stop and auto resume functions. The Timex Cycle Trainer 2.0 originally launched in March 2012, and is currently available in U.S. Sports Specialty retailers and on Timex.com, priced at $250. Timex currently offers a compatible bike speed and cadence sensor, available in sports specialty retailers and Timex.com, priced at $59.95.
My opinion of the Cycle Trainer 2.0 is that it does everything you need, and then some. What information you see, and where you see it is completely customizable; with five screens that can display as few as two, and as many as six pieces of information. You can even change the orientation to a landscape view. And, since it is a Timex, it of course has indiglow for easy nighttime viewing.

Ride information is downloaded via a mini-USB cable to the Timex DeviceAgent software on your computer, where you can upload it to your Training Peaks account (the device comes with a free account). You can also configure the screens, and update your profile information using the DeviceAgent software – which is easier than doing so on the unit.

The Cycle Trainer 2.0 comes with a quick start guide that will help you with the basic setup so you can get going, The full manual is available online – although I think it would be better if it was included.

Using the Cycle Trainer 2.0 was very simple. Under most circumstances, It acquired the satellite fix fairly quickly – the only time I had trouble was when I was in the city, and was surrounded by tall buildings. The information that it acquires is rather complete. I haven’t found myself saying, “if only it would tell me _____”, because it already does. I especially like the temperature display, because now you can complain to your buddies on a ride “ did you know that it is only __ freakin’ degrees out here?”

The GPS data is not compatible with Strava, but I haven’t decided if that is a good or bad thing yet.

Retail price for the base unit – which includes a chest strap for the heart-rate monitor is $250. Priced competitively with other GPS enabled bike computers.

More information can be found online at www.timex.com


holsen said...

Thanks for the review. I'm very interested in getting one but I've heard that the Timex Cycle Trainer won’t remember to re-pair ANT+ accessories like speed / cadence sensors each time you start the unit up. Instead, it requires you to manually enable them each time. Is this correct? It would be Super-annoying (especially in race situations) if true.

holsen said...

It's not true. It remembers and pairs automatically with the last paired device, but when you change devices you have to manually repair it. I run two bikes, each with their own Speed Cadence Sensor. If i take bike one each day for week, it's already paired with that bike's GSC 10 but when I take the second bike I need to pair it up to the new sensor. When I return to bike 1 I need to do the same. I hope that ex[plains it. It has proven to be no issue for me.

Unknown said...

I know it's an old bike computer, but I really love it.
Now you can upload your files not only to Timex's trainingpeaks.com but to
strava too.