GPS Showdown #1

I have been using GPS devices on my rides for probably 4 to 5 years now.  I started with a Garmin Edge 205 until it eventually started randomly cutting off during my rides.  Garmin wouldn’t replace it, so I had to buy another one.  With a limited market of products available, and not wanting to spend more than $200, I bought another Edge 205.  It worked well, though the screen developed a large black blot in the upper left part of the screen.

Frustrated that Garmin would not replace this device, I ended up buying a Timex Global Trainer in January 2011.  As luck would have it, after a few months of use the unit would randomly turn off during my rides….sometimes within the first few seconds.  Ready to abandon GPS units for good, I contacted Timex.  Without any questions asked, they replaced my unit free of charge and I could not be happier.

Showdown: the reason for the showdown is to compare outputted data from my old Garmin Edge and my new Timex GT.  I have long known that the Garmin would occasionally lose GPS signal and therefore “jip” me on some mileage.  I also knew that my original Timex GT would rob me of approximately 15% of my mileage.  This was most prevalent on the trails, and not so much on the road.

Showdown #1 occurred on a very casual road ride at Oak Mtn State Park.  I was still suffering from bronchitis, so my pace was down and I was unable to log as much distance as I intended.  Still, I believe I got enough for a decent comparison between the two devices.  Below is the final data:

Garmin Edge 205:  13.68 miles, 693 feet of elevation gain, 17.7 mph average.

Timex Global Trainer:  13.53 miles, 1759 feet of elevation gain, 17.5 mph average.

Mileage is relatively close, though I still believe I am getting robbed a little by the Timex unit.  The big difference is elevation gain, which is actually such a huge discrepancy that I have no idea which one to believe.  While there are some significant hills, I find it hard to believe that I logged 1759 feet of gain.

Showdown #2 will take place on the trails, which is where I do most of my riding anyway.  I expect even larger mileage differences due to spotty GPS signals.  I might even include my iphone’s Every Trail app as part of the showdown.

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One Response to “GPS Showdown #1”

  1. […] couple of years ago I did a GPS showdown between my old Garmin 205 and my then-new Timex Global Trainer GPS.  Now that I have become hooked […]

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