Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Review: MyTach GPS Sport Trainer

In the spirit of my “review” post I thought I would follow up with my review about the MyTach GPS Sportwatch. I was contacted by the makers of the MyTach late last year and asked if I would be interested in reviewing it, I replied yes and several weeks later it arrived in the mail.

The MyTach is created by AIM, located in Milan, Italy they are better known for their on board telematic systems for racing cars, dragsters and karts and for after market upgrades to sport motorbikes.

From their website: “Established in 1976, AIM Sports is today a world leader in Biker sports and race data acquisition technology, electronics, instrumentation, dataloggers, digital displays, lap timers, stopwatches and gauges for performance and racing vehicles. AIM has set new standards in many application fields: from kart to car, from bike to dragster, from Formula1 Biker boat to snowmobile.”

This is certainly something that is evident in some of the data measurements that are available, but more of that later.

The obvious competition for this watch is the Garmin Forerunner in any of its more recent guises; 205, 305 or 405, other competitors could also include Polar or Timex GPS variants. While this is not meant to be a vs. the 305 review some comparison is inevitable by way of a benchmark, especially as I own a 305.

The box contains the watch, a standard USB cable, Instruction manual, the bike mount bracket, a wall plug and the charging cradle, the software is downloaded from their website, oh yes, there is a big sticker too!

From an aesthetic perspective the MyTach is more about function than form. As you can see from the photos it is large, comparable to the 305 in size but without the wrist wrapping curve, not such a problem on a large wrist but could be a problem for someone with a slimmer one, just as a comparison I also compared it to my day to day watch a Casio G-Shock (the tape is because the G-Shock has a curved strap and kept pinging off!), weight wise it does weigh less than the 305 but that is minimal. The strap is rubber and is unchangeable but there is a handlebar attachment to allow you to attach it to your bike although that it very bulky.

Like most Manuals this one is confusing, throw is some dodgy Italian translations i.e. instantaneous speed which is current speed, and your left scratching you head; that being said it does tend to make more sense once you’ve used he watch a few times and actually have some data to look at.

All the other things were pretty standard, you can charge it by way of the plug and USB cable or via the cable and your pc, it charge pretty quickly, 1.5-2 hours and has a battery life of around 8 hours, so it’s fine for short and medium runs but anything over 50k and you’ll be in trouble, assuming you’re as slow as me! One really noticeable thing is the speed it acquires satellites, literally 5-10 seconds and you’re good to go, none of this waving your wrist around at the moon, c’mon we’ve all done that right? Also the backlight is really effective.

So now let’s look at all this data, it’s actually quite staggering the amount you can have rotating through the watch as you move, there are two customizable screens that separate into four quarters and five standard screens with 1x1, 2x2 and 2x3 data fields so there is a maximum of 18 separate telematic data streams and the current time!

This really is a good demonstration of their motor racing background.

As mentioned earlier it helps to have some data in there first and I only discovered this more recently, in no particular order here are the options, at least this is what I set it to, I think there actually a few more that are available:

Clock time
Distance Miles (km is also an option throughout)
Speed MPH
Average MPH
Running Time
Slope in %
Dist Mil
Stop Seconds
Stop cm
Run TimeL

Ok so I am good through to Average MPH but the remainder is a bit confusing, although I quite like SpdUp which if taken at face value could be quite motivating!?! The problem here is that (unlike the Garmin) if you change the fields is does not populate them, so I will need to wear it again to see what FSpeedH means; maybe it’s like HTFU?

Personally I think this volume of data is a strength and a weakness; too little and you unsure of what or how you’re doing, too much and it’s overload, it’s testament to their motorsport heritage where 1000s or a second can make all the difference and where you need to have this information at the tips of your fingers in the pit lane to tell your driver what’s going on, but for the average runner, in fact for the elite runner I would suggest it may be too much.

Ok so now your set up and you want to run, well that’s pretty simple, firstly make sure it’s charged, it’s always on and therefore it's always draining the battery (the same as a 405 I understand), so now your battery is charged, well, you simply press Start and when you’re finished press Stop, once home you plug it into your pc and you can start to analyze all this lovely data.

In Summary here are the Pros and Cons:

+Weight; it’s lightweight
+Available Data streams; a lot
+Satellite pickup; very fast

-Size; it's big on your wrist
-Aesthetic design; form over function
-Battery life; at use and when idle is shortish
-Always on; see above
-Available Data streams; a lot

There are a lot more photos for review here.


  1. Great review Stuart. It does look pretty big, and i agree with the confusion with some of those items in your list. Have a great day.

  2. Great review-- I don't know much about the GPS alternatives to the Forerunner. Honestly, though, I'm turned off by any training tool that takes longer than my run itself to figure out and program.

  3. Awesome review!! I didn't even know this product! Wow. Garmin is like Nike. I could never part. I'll buy new models before I switch brands LOL

  4. I forget, Stuart, are you a Brit? You used the transition, "firstly" which isn't really an American use. Just curious.

    Anyhoo, thanks for the review. It does look pretty big, and I already complain that my Garmin 205 is so big. And I just don't know if I need all that info. Me not so smart when it comes to numbers, so the more simplistic, the better.

  5. Jess

    Firstly, thanks for the comment
    Secondly, yes I am a Brit


  6. Gah! Not ANOTHER technical gizmo :-) LOL...

  7. You, Stuart, are an awesome manual!

  8. Hmm I'm a diehard Garmin fan but it's nice that Garmin has some more competition. Maybe that will mean cheaper prices on future models!

  9. You're born to review products! I am so jealous. I want to review MyTach, too!!! Great review. Seriuosly. Btw, are you taking your PMP exam this month? Did you cram? You want my books???

  10. Looks okay. Nice review. I missed the part on MSRP? Where is it available. Keep us updated. Great review!

  11. I like how you said "form over function" on the looks category. Mighty polite of you. It's downright ugly. Haha, what? I can say it. It wouldn't hurt them to hire a product designer to redesign the look and feel of the thing. Italians make beautiful sportscars, they can design a better looking watch. That said, it sure does take down a lot of info.

    While I'm here I might as well answer the question you posted on my blog. I use a cheap Nikon snapshot camera. I go through one a year since I'm so rough on them. I get them online for about $115. I take many shots so I have a lot of options and I run the photos through a photo editing software. It allows me to bring up or bring down the contrast and crop the photos. Makes a big difference.

  12. You give good reviews. I think for the average runner, it might be too much info. All I want to know is pace, time, and distance, really.

  13. hi..thanks for your a athlete aneed to measure time and distance...this GPS sport trainer will surely be helpful....


Thanks for reading this post and leaving a comment, if you are entering a contest, please ensure you put some sort of unique name down so I can get back to you. E-mail addresses are ONLY displayed to me, and never shared, sold, pilfered, or anything else unhappy.