…in the field
6h MTB Tropy Loipersdorf (Austria)
This last Sunday I had the chance for a first real field test of the Timex Ironman Global Trainer. I was starting at the 6 hour Mountainbike Trophy in Loipersdorf – a perfect place to test the TGT and see how it performs under bad weather.
As it was raining the days before the race the track was very muddy and dirty and even on the race day it was sometimes raining > a hard test not only for the TGT, but also for my Scott Scale 29er.
My VDO Z3 PC-Link was set up as my main bicycle computer (as always), and at the same time acted as the benchmark for the TGT. I was especially interested to see how far off the two computers were when it comes to distance travelled – especially as some TGT users complain that the Global Trainer is short of 3-2% of the overall distance. For being able to really compare the two devices I cancelled my ANT+ connection of the TGT with the VDO sensors, so the TGT would get the distance really via GPS.
The track, a 4.8km circuit through the woods, wasn’t too technically, but 80% of it ran under dense foliage > interesting to see how the GPS reception would be.
As mentioned above, the weather was not too good, and the track was ver muddy. So after the first round not only my bike and my cloths were dirty beyond recognition, but also the TGT was covered by some mud and was getting wet from the rain.
During the race I didn’t have too much time to check on the TGT too often – the TGT was set on Performance Mode (cycling, 4-split display) and the watch was locked – but whenever I was able to take a glance at the TGT it was both showing GPS/SAT reception and all displays were constantly updating.
first conclusion – even bad weather and mud do no harm to the TGT and GPS reception under dense foliage AND bad weather (cloudy, rain) is excellent
After about 3 hours the track conditions got even worse than in the beginning, and after 1 bigger crash and two minor crashes I decided to quit the race.
By then the TGT was really dirty and so I took it with me under the shower, hoping that the TGT really is water-resistant. I was able to wash of most of the mud and dirt and the TGT survived the shower and a short swim in the spa without taking any harm.
second conclusion – the TGT really is water resistant, swimming and showering doesn’t do any harm
Now the most interesting part started – comparing the data of the VDO Z3 and the TGT. And what I saw on my computer really amazed me!
The VDO Z3 and the TGT showed pretty much the same data:
29.6km (VDO) – 29.3km (TGT)
conclusion three – my Timex Ironman Global Trainer is pretty accurate on recording the distance. The difference compared to my VDO Z3 is minimal. This difference might result in a short loss of the GPS signal or is due to a not perfectly set up bicycle computer.