The Timex Ironman One GPS+ features stand-alone wireless connectivity, giving the unit one-up on Garmin’s 810, 510 and 1000, which require a smartphone connection.
The Timex Ironman One GPS+ uses wireless data networks (the watch requires a phone service provider subscription), and although it seems predominantly geared towards runners, it’s a glimpse at what a standalone cycling computer could offer riders.
The Ironman One GPS+ includes email-based messaging, location tracking, an emergency ‘Find Me’ SOS mode, and real-time speed, distance and time metrics that can be instantly shared over Strava.
Messaging is a sound idea, though we’ll reserve judgment until we have a better idea of how easy it is to send using the small touchscreen. Location tracking isn’t only great for training rides, but would let supporters keep up with your progress during races or sportives, while the Find Me mode, which features pre-programmed messages, is a great addition.
While we loved the back-pocket iPhone solution offered by Garmin, there’s no doubt that weight weenies looking to eke every marginal gain on Strava segments would prefer not to have a smartphone weighing them down – the Ironman One GPS+ means instant upload, so gloating can begin more quickly than ever before.
The Ironman One GPS+ also comes with 4gb of memory for music (played via Bluetooth headphones) and 50m of water resistance in case you want to go fording on your bike.
US and Canadian consumers will also receive one year of data connectivity by AT&T included in the $399.95 price, European prices are to be confirmed.
There’s no word on whether an updated bike-specific version is in the works. Timex’s two-wheeled range has been thin on the group, but all these features could add-up to a must-have cycling head unit. In the meantime, there could be enough here with the messaging and safety features to make it a worthy addition to your gadget collection.