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Review: Timex Ironman Global Trainer GPS Sports & Fitness Watch

About.com Rating 3 Star Rating
User Rating 1.5 Star Rating (6 Reviews)


Timex Ironman Global Trainer GPS watch review

Timex Ironman Global Trainer GPS watch review. The Global Trainer is well-suited to multi-sport athletes.


The Bottom Line

Garmin has dominated the GPS sports & fitness watch market, but now has a formidable competitor in Timex's first entry, the Timex Ironman Global Trainer. As its "Ironman" name implies, the Global Trainer is designed for multi-sport athletes and triathletes. It is waterproof, and has an array of modes and zones to satisfy the most particular multi-sport athlete. The Global Trainer is a bulky watch, at 2.25 inches wide and 0.63 inches thick. Its 7-button interface takes some time to master, but is reasonably easy to learn. Read on for road test results.
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  • Completely customizable, multi-pane display, with 50+ performance parameters.
  • Waterproof, durable, long battery life.
  • Comfortable heart rate strap.
  • Accurate distance and speed data via the unit's GPS.


  • "Premium" features of online Training Peaks cost $19.95/mo. or $119 per year (3, 6 mo. plans also).
  • Training Peaks device agent software not available for Mac yet.
  • Global Trainer Watch is on the bulky side, at 2.25 x 0.63 inches.


  • Price: $249 (without heart rate monitor strap) to $299 with heart rate monitor strap.
  • SiRFstarIII GPS chip.
  • Rated water-resistant to 50 meters.
  • Rechargeable battery: 15 hour life in active GPS mode.
  • 20-workout memory with dated summaries for up to 1,000 laps.
  • Calorie burn stats.
  • Multisport event modes.
  • Sync with Training Peaks online software for workout/race storage and analysis.
  • Compatible with third-party bike power sensors using ANT+ technology.
  • In the box: Global Trainer sports watch, USB download/charge clip with AC adapter, heart rate strap, bike handlebar adapter.

Guide Review - Review: Timex Ironman Global Trainer GPS Sports & Fitness Watch

If you're a multi-sport athlete, it's nice to have a device that you can use for running, cycling, and swimming, and that describes the Timex Ironman Global Trainer. The Global Trainer's multi-pane display may be configured to show the performance stats that are important to you, and you can select and set up an array of training zone alarms for distance, speed, and heart rate. Serious triathletes or cyclists who have bike power meters will find the Global Trainer to be compatible with a range of ANT+ capable power meters.

Like other GPS sports watches, there is no need to use a foot pod stride sensor or in the case of bike use, a wheel sensor to gather speed and distance data when using the Global Trainer, a nice plus.

The Global Trainer has a "navigation" mode that will provide you with your current latitude, longitude, and altitude; the ability to save and list waypoints, and create and store routes, a compass, and a very basic (and not very useful) line-track map. Athletes will find the routes feature most useful, but trail runners may also have use for the compass and navigation features.

I used the Global Trainer and its optional wireless heart rate strap for running and cycling workouts. For cycling, I set up the display in a two-pane mode showing heart rate and speed. The display is completely customizable, however, and I used it in a four-pane mode for running. See the links below for the unit's manual, where you can review the full list of more than 50 performance parameters you can measure and display.

Compared to other GPS watches I've tested, the Global Trainer's display is on the dark and hard-to-read side, with small fonts. It does, however, have a backlight button that helps in dark or near-dark light conditions.

The Global Trainer is controlled by seven buttons, and to Timex's credit, I was able to walk through and use most of the functions with just an occasional glance at the manual. That's quite a feat in a watch with so many functions and options.

When you complete a workout, you may store the data on the watch, which stores only 20 workouts. To save your data over the long term, you'll need to upload to Training Peaks online, which is free for very basic data storage and review. To get all of Training Peaks' decent feature set, you'll need to pay $19.95 per month, or purchase a discounted multi-month plan. Ouch. This is especially painful in contrast to Garmin's rich-featured and free Garmin Connect. Connecting to Training Peaks requires that you install "device agent" software on your PC or Mac. As of this review, Mac software was not available, but "coming soon."

The Timex Ironman GPS Global Trainer is an ambitious first entry into the GPS sports watch market for Timex that impresses in some ways, and comes up short in others. Be sure to take a look at all of the options before investing.

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User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 1 out of 5
piece of cr#p, Member vitaleye

Don't buy it. I can say that GPS simply doesn't work. I tested it for a week, and most of the time it didn't fix on satellites (even after I spent 20-30 minutes each time trying to make it work instead of using this time for running), which makes it pretty much useless. As some other people wrote here already - the software for Mac is the ugliest piece of software I've ever seen in my life. Grade 5 school students can design a better software. And on the top of that if you want to see some stats you'll have to pay a membersip fee for their web site access. So $350 went down the drain. I think this is my last Timex watch. I can't believe that somebody can sell a product of such poor quality.

48 out of 58 people found this helpful.

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