Timex Ironman Bodylink Trail Runner review
Over recent years, Timex has spread its wings from geeky digital watches into ultra-sophisticated training products such as the Ironman range. As you’d expect from the brand, this is a good-value product. The only other sub-£200 device here is the Garmin Forerunner 305, but while that’s purely a training device the Timex is more stylish and wrist-friendly.
This is thanks to the fact that the GPS receiver is in an off-board AA battery-powered POD, which can be attached to a belt, your shoe laces or strapped around your arm using the supplied elastic strap. And it works well, too: we got a GPS signal in a minute, even in built-up areas. We had no trouble with loss of signal on our test route, and the watch connection is a no-brainer – just put the watch in the appropriate mode and you’re away.
It’s also extremely easy to use: more so than Suunto’s X9i and t6. And, aside from the standard heart-rate zone and speed alerts, you also get a recovery timer, predictive finish, and vertical mode giving ascent and descent rates.
But the Timex has its shortcomings. First, you can’t record information from the supplied heart-rate belt and GPS POD simultaneously. To do that, and to download information to your PC for analysis, you have to buy an additional recorder POD. Second, its navigation facilities are limited: although there’s a waypoint mode, position is displayed in latitude and longitude, which means it’s tricky to relate to an OS map.
Overall, we liked the Ironman’s ease of use and down-to-earth approach, but there are just too many shortcomings here and these keep it behind the leaders this month.
|GPS recommended use||Running|
|In-car mount type||N/A|
|External GPS antenna included?||no|