Timex ironman w/ heart rate & Garmin 301 ...need feedbac

I have been looking at the timex ironman series of watches w/ heart rate monitor but can't figure out which one would be best .I'm looking for feedback please from those who own them

I want 1 that will give me a timer that can be set to repeat for interval training and also has the heart rate monitor .

I have looked at the 5C411 but I have read the bands break and are expensive to replace ,So now I'm looking at the T58491 .Anyone useing one of these for training ?

I also considered getting the garmin 301 but have read there are problems w/ the heart rate monitors .How many of you are useing the garmin 301 and what are your opinions on it .

Has anyone tried to mount a garmin to their oc so they can just look down rather than wear in on their wrist which would make it hard to read ?

Anyone have any other advice or options

Submitted by OCsprinter on Thu, 12/01/2005 - 4:52pm

I have a 301 and i couldn't imagine a better product (actually, my first one broke from water damage, but they quickly replaced it--- and my second one wont load the data onto my computer... so i guess i could imagine a better product). Unfortunately, i lost the heart rate monitor strap within like the first week--- so i dont know much about the performance of the heart rate monitor. But the unit itself works great and does pretty much everything i need it to do. If i were to buy again i'd probably just go for whatever is cheaper-- all you really need to know is your speed and to have an interval function. I'm not sure what your timex one is like, but my Garmin easily mounts onto the front 'iako-- as long as i wrap a sock or something around the 'iako first to thicken it up a little. goodluck with whatever you get--

#1 Thu, 12/08/2005 - 12:45pm

If you don't need heart rate get the foreruner 201. It has been pretty reliable for GPS data for many people and it's much cheaper.

#2 Fri, 12/09/2005 - 12:26pm

Well I bought both a timex iron man w/ interval timer which beeps at a preset time and I also bought a fore runner 301 which I am going to mount between the footwells .

I got both on e-bay and they have the best pricing I have found so far .

Thx for the responses ...

#3 Fri, 12/09/2005 - 1:38pm

I own the full Timex bodylink speed and distance system with the data recorder. For heart rate data and gps info the watch works well and is reliable. The data recorder works great for recording workouts over days/weeks/months. The only problem is with the original bulky GPS reciever unit (which is now replaced with a smaller lower power use unit using one single battery) which only lasts for about two hour runs on 2 AA rechargeable batteries. Timex now has a smaller unit that lasts up to 12 hours on a single battery. Though it is a wristwatch unit and the display is small for paddling, from what I have read and heard from paddlers it is more reliable than the new Forerunner 301 units. The advantage of the Forerunner is the larger readable display while paddling if you strap the unit to an Iako or the OC.

I just created a plexiglass bracket to hold the Timex watch on my OC-1 so it was not on my wrist while paddling and that makes reading it much easier as long as it's not too far away from you.

The ForeRunner 301 is supposed to be a good all round unit. I have not used one, however I have heard from people that they have had issues with HR consistency and quality problems with the original units produced. Not sure if those early problems have been fixed now.

If the Garmin 301 was a solid reliable unit and measured HR with good accuracy, it would be my choice for paddling solely for the LCD size readability and GPS acuracy that Garmin is known for.

Hope that helps....Aloha


#4 Fri, 12/02/2005 - 4:00pm

Well as we speak Garmin is updating their 301 line to a new unit the 305. It is supposed to fix all the reception problems and HR issues with the 301 unit and offer improved GPS accuracy.

Read here... http://sportsim.blogs.com/weblog/2005/11/new_garmin_fore.html


#5 Sun, 12/18/2005 - 6:47am

does anybody know whether any of these units that come with gps capabilities provide readouts for location or does these watches/monitor only use the gps function to measure distance and speed?

#6 Tue, 03/21/2006 - 1:45pm

The Timex unit does not provide location or mapping functions, only speed/distance data. I think the new Garmin 305 does provide location data. Don't take my word on that and check the specs and data manual at Garmins web site first.


#7 Tue, 03/21/2006 - 4:10pm

You can set waypoints with the 301 and it has a directional arrow option (e.g. set a weighpoint at Diamondhead and the arrow will show you the direct line from Molokai). I found one downfall to be that you cannot set a manual waypoint (can't punch in the coordinates.) You have to actually be at the waypoint to set it. The software that comes with it allows you to view maps etc on your computer (check your last run, etc.) but the 301 does not have mapping capability on the unit itself.

#8 Tue, 03/21/2006 - 7:48pm

I beg to differ.You can set a waypoint manually in Navigation mode on the Garmin 301. A great feature for West Coast foggy mornings.
Personally I like the Garmin. A Buddy of mine lost his in 10 feet of water and we found it after about 30 minutes, and it is rated only for about 4feet (1 meter) and still works like a charm. I've banged and beat mine to no end and the the only thing I do is put a small piece of electric tape over the computer port to give it extra protection. Even when I lose the tape all I do is wash the unit in fresh water and blow dry the port with low heat setting. No problem
Love my Garmin

#9 Wed, 03/22/2006 - 9:18am

Wassup all, I have a garmin 301--I had the same problem that luke had it didn't want to dawnload info back to my computer, but they were good about replacing it....The heartrate monitor works fine, it gives you a really good idea of how you're workout is going. I love it and it has helped me be more efficient with my training....

I found a way to wrap a band around my leg so I can get a good view of it when I'm in my oc1 or oc6. I didn't trust mounting it on my boat just in case I flip or something.

#10 Wed, 03/22/2006 - 3:51pm

My Timex unit with the new GPS NavmanII has been awesome for my purposes. It has been accurate and very reliable.

I will be buying one of the new Garmin 305s this year for my sugarmomma to also use when we go out so we can use the additional navigation/mapping features of the Garmin. I have read and heard from people about how many probs they have had with the 301s. Glad to see some 301 users are doing ok with their units/replacements. If you plan on getting a new Garmin stick with the new 205/305 units. They were developed to be better and address some of the quality and functionality complaints people have had with the 201/301 units.


#11 Wed, 03/22/2006 - 4:37pm

I was actually wondering whether there are any watch-sized gps units that gave gps coordinates instead of just direction and speed. The garmin units are a little to big for my taste. I wear a Timex Triathlon watch just about everyday. It would be nice to have a watch that had the HR capability and could calculate speed, distance and give you coordinates for a position so I wouldn't have to carry multiple pieces of equipment.

#12 Wed, 03/22/2006 - 7:51pm

That is a lot of features to ask for in such a small package. I have not seen anything with all those features yet. Give it one to 2 more years and I am sure Timex/Garmin will be there.

#13 Thu, 03/23/2006 - 4:15pm

I have a Garmin 201, and it's just the best thing for training and racing for that matter. You can really break down your race and see where your strong points are etc. A friend (Rambo) uses his in conjunction with a heart rate monitor that can be downloaded too, so then it's just a matter of overlapping the results to get a picture of whats happening.
As for training, the interval capability is great as is the virtual training partner for when your buddy doesn't turn up!
I have mine mounted on the front iako of my Hurricane with a little foam wrapped around it so it doesn't move around. It's easy to read there (don't have to look down between your legs to read it while paddling) but obviously can't be adjusted on the move, but that hasn't been a problem yet. And it doesn't get knocked off punching out through white water if you get caught out, if you were really worried you could also tape it.

#14 Fri, 03/24/2006 - 1:49am

Hi OC Sprinter,

You may want to check out this previous post re Garmin and Polar Heartrate Monitors ............ http://www.ocpaddler.com/node/1204 ...... There are two posts i made with sample charts and explanations.

Hope its of value to you. Don't hesitate to ask for more.

201s are so cheap now theres no excuse not to have one.

As Thor pointed out i use a separate heartrate monitor and a 201 due to the unreliabilty of the 301 heartrate monitorfunction.

Cheers Rambo

#15 Fri, 03/24/2006 - 4:31pm

Looks like Timex may have come out with a 2006 product that fits the bill of an all-in-one device.

Timex on ebay

#16 Mon, 03/27/2006 - 10:50am

It's basically the same unit as last years model. Ok new colors on the watch :-) with the updated smaller NamanII GPS module. I have last years model and it works great with the smaller and longer battery life of the NavmanII GPS unit replacing the old clunky GPS that chewed batteries every 1.5 hours. No mapping features though, but great for speed/distance/HR chrono/laps/splits etc.

#17 Mon, 03/27/2006 - 2:28pm

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