January 26, 2011
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WHAT IS IT? It’s a sports performance measuring and analyzing device that uses Global Positioning Satellites (GPS) and accelerometers to collect data while skiing, running, cycling, kayaking, mountain climbing, sledding or riding motocross. With the current controversy surrounding the use of data acquistion devices in Supercross (and the use of GPS to aid in the collection of that data), the Ripxx device is very up-to-date.

WHAT’S IT COST? $199.00.

CONTACT? or (877) 286-3405.

WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that stand out with the Ripxx personal measurement device.

(1) Measurements. The Ripxx records the elapsed time, time of day, distance traveled, top speed, average speed, top acceleration, average acceleration, jump distance, jump height, time in the air, roll rate, roll count, vertical drop (from any two points), steepness, highest altitude reached, turn sharpness, lateral drift and repeated runs for a given location.

(2) Analyzing data. Although some basic data is shown on the device, it must be connected to the computer to access most of the data. A lot of data relies on the user imputing the mounting position so the device knows which way is up, down, forward, or backward, and because it needs Google Earth to plot the course on a map. The software takes the measured data and gives several useful graphs and comparison charts, depending on the sport. A portion of each graph can be highlighted to show data from that segment. When a graph is highlighted, a corresponding portion of the course shown on the map is isolated. The program is very cool.

(3) Testing. We cross-checked lap times taken by the Ripxx with our own stopwatch lap times. The Ripxx was more accurate than we were. We cross-checked pedal count and step count on the running and cycling settings against a mental count and found them to be quite accurate. We checked speed against the speedometer in the Jodymobile, and it was spot-on. Finally, the Ripxx clock matched up perfectly with the time on our cell phones, which further facilitated analysis.

(4) Reliability. Thanks to the plastic and rubber exterior of the device, it can take drops and douses. The battery lasts for eight hours of continuous use. We went for over a dozen motos before recharging.

(5) Crossover. The Ripxx isn’t moto-specific. Actually, we got some of our best data while running and cycling?not racing. The pedaling and stepping cadence and charts that compare the cadence to distance, speed and time were very exact. Plus, it was much easier to dissect one big loop than multiple laps around a track.

WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? We were troubled by a couple aspects of the Ripxx. (1) Lap/split feature. In our opinion, this is the most useful, accurate and fun feature, but it requires downloading data to your computer before viewing it. Also, the course lines that represent the path traveled can potentially be 20 or 30 feet off and crisscross each other on a tight track due to GPS margin of error. Because they are dependent on those course lines, the start/finish/split points may be restricted when you do a bunch of laps. (2) Hype. The Ripxx has awesome functional features, but also some features that flopped. We couldn’t analyze which line around a corner was faster based on the map. We had to remember which line we took each lap. The total airtime readout was always a Supercross level numbers (we think the device counts each little bounce as airtime). Jumping distance seemed accurate sometimes and suspicious other times. Finally, we could never get the “Ripxx Replay” program to work very well. We think it’s for skiing. (3) Mounting. It wasn’t all that easy to mount the Ripxx on a bike. We tried all the recommended mounting places for the different activities and didn’t like them. We used the clip and put the Ripxx inside our pant waistband for motocross, cycling and running and got good results.

Even though we had some major gripes, the Ripxx did record pertinent data in a race or practice session. A few features need work to be moto specific, but it’s a useful tool and fun to play with.

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