Timex launch RT3 GPS cycling computer

Feature set competes with Garmin’s Edge 500

Global wristwatch giant Timex aren't about to let Garmin walk away with the GPS cycling computer monopoly, launching their new RT3 as a direct competitor to the popular Edge 500.

That direct targeting is evident in the RT3's packaging. It's nearly identical in size and shape to the Edge 500 and according to Timex's advanced products product manager, Jason Tillinghast, the feature set is essentially the same, too. That means no advanced mapping and limited navigation functions but a comprehensive data set aimed at roadies who don't need help figuring out where they're going.

The backlit screen is about the same size as on the Edge 500 and it's user configurable so you can display only as much or as little information as you want. Timex fit the RT3 with up to five configurable screens with up to six data fields each, as compared to three screens and up to eight pieces of information for the Edge 500.

On-screen prompts on the backlit Timex RT3 screen make for easy navigation of the various functions

Built-in ANT+ circuitry will make the RT3 compatible with third-party cadence sensors and power meters, and an on-board barometric altimeter should help generate reasonably accurate elevation data, too. Claimed battery life is a generous 18 hours, with easy recharging via the mini-USB port on the back panel.

One potential drawback for Garmin owners curious about switching teams is data downloading. Timex include TrainingPeaks training software with the RT3 and Tillinghast tells BikeRadar that ride data can be uploaded to Strava, but currently there's no direct path to the GarminConnect database.

Timex have one final distinct advantage, with pricing; the RT3 costs US$250 – the same as the base Edge 500 – but it comes with a heart rate monitor strap, a feature which Garmin sell separately.

The back of the new Timex RT3 GPS bike computer incorporates the sliding mount pocket and a covered USB charging and communications port

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