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A reasonable walking GPS that's good for cycling too?

Posted: 3 Apr 2019, 4:08pm
by Tangled Metal
I've looked into getting a new walking GPS unit for a few years now to replace my venerable gps60 that I've not used for years. It got me thinking that something newer with mapping could be a reasonable cycle touring GPS too. Mapping GPS units for cycling seem more expensive than equivalent hiking GPS units to me. A lot of hiking units can come with bike fittings too.

So any recommendations?

I've considered Garmin etrex 20 / 30 x or no x versions in the past. Cheaper the better tbh providing they are good enough.

Re: A reasonable walking GPS that's good for cycling too?

Posted: 3 Apr 2019, 4:17pm
by Mick F
Garmin 600 series.
Knocks spots off anything else.
Handheld, sits in a pocket, mounts on a bike or a motorbike, mounts in a car. It does everything.

Big and chunky and clear bright screen. All the maps you can think of to fit into it. Takes the standard Li battery or three AA batteries of any sort. Runs all day.

https://buy.garmin.com/en-GB/GB/p/523640
http://www.burrowsgps.co.uk/hiking/010-N0924-00.html

Re: A reasonable walking GPS that's good for cycling too?

Posted: 3 Apr 2019, 7:45pm
by freeflow
Your smart phone?

Re: A reasonable walking GPS that's good for cycling too?

Posted: 3 Apr 2019, 9:13pm
by Sweep
Mick F wrote:Garmin 600 series.
Knocks spots off anything else.
Handheld, sits in a pocket, mounts on a bike or a motorbike, mounts in a car. It does everything.

Big and chunky and clear bright screen. All the maps you can think of to fit into it. Takes the standard Li battery or three AA batteries of any sort. Runs all day.

https://buy.garmin.com/en-GB/GB/p/523640
http://www.burrowsgps.co.uk/hiking/010-N0924-00.html

What advantage does it have over the much cheaper etrex20/X ,- just the size of the screen?
I must also admit that I am biased against anything with a penchant for battery threesomes.

Re: A reasonable walking GPS that's good for cycling too?

Posted: 3 Apr 2019, 9:22pm
by iandriver
I bought a cheap silicone case and attached a lanyard to it and found my Edge Touring was fine for walking. Easy to boost the charge with a power pack too. The opposite of what you asked, but at the end of the day, you follow a line on a screen. The etrex 20 is still highly regarded in the Audax community to this day, the smaller screen is not such an issue when it's not clamped to the bars. so I think you have a whole bunch of options.

Re: A reasonable walking GPS that's good for cycling too?

Posted: 3 Apr 2019, 9:29pm
by AMMoffat
I'm with Mick F on the Garmin Montana. Large screen and good clear maps. The interface is rather clunky and non-intuitive and it is quite heavy and looks chunky on the bike but in terms of practicality for both walking and cycling it's great.

Re: A reasonable walking GPS that's good for cycling too?

Posted: 3 Apr 2019, 10:26pm
by Steve O'C
I guess this depends a bit on what your priorities are. I have an Etrex 20 that I use mainly for walking. It is fairly small so it sits in the hand nicely and uses 2 AA batteries that last 2-3 days. I also use it for cycling where a slightly larger display would probably be better.

If I am planning a walk or a ride I plot the route in Basecamp and transfer it to the Etrex as a Track. I then just follow the line.

If/when it breaks I will buy another (or perhaps go for the Etrex 30 which has a compass).

Steve

Re: A reasonable walking GPS that's good for cycling too?

Posted: 3 Apr 2019, 11:23pm
by Tangled Metal
freeflow wrote:Your smart phone?

IMHO never a good answer. Especially if your smartphone is a few years old like mine is with non-replaceable and aging battery. Even so if you're using your GPS on a tour or backpack with limited charging capability you don't want to waste phone charge on gps use IMHO

BTW I do use the phone on short family walks as a check on exact location. I use viewranger with the free mapping the app comes with. It positively eats the battery charge in front of my eyes. I can practically see the charge counting down. It has a 3200 maH or so battery iirc so should be better. The curse of 2 year old phone batteries.

Used to use a gps60 bought before mapping was commonly found on GPS indeed before it was available I think. AA batteries lasted a long time too. What are modern GPS batteries like?

Re: A reasonable walking GPS that's good for cycling too?

Posted: 3 Apr 2019, 11:34pm
by Tangled Metal
Just found a good site for information. They carry out GPS training courses but also sell units. Good reviews and recommendations.

One point they made is bundled mapping. It is cheaper to buy mapping with the unit. For example full UK 50k mapping bought with the GPS might cost £50 or separately £200. Apparently some GPS units aren't sold bundled with mapping. I think the etrex 20x/30x don't come bundled but etrex touch 25/35 do ss do the Montana and iirc oregon units too. The touch range have 3 axis electronic compass.

It looks like the touch range or Montana one fit larger screen. Depends on what I want to spend I guess.

Re: A reasonable walking GPS that's good for cycling too?

Posted: 4 Apr 2019, 8:03am
by Vantage
The etrex20x is supplied with Garmins topomapping covering the UK and Western Europe. At around 3.75GB it takes up almost every bit of memory the unit has but a workaround I use is to move the map over to a memory card.
The etrex20x and it's predecessors were designed as a jack of all trades to covers cycling, walking, running etc and free mapping is in abundance in the form of openstreetmaps, openfietsmap, velomaps to name but a few. All perfectly good and with better detail than Garmins own mapping.
The etrex will set you back around £150 from Amazon and a cycle mount is another £10 I think. You'll get 20+ hours from a set of eneloop batteries and it uses 2 at a time. Memory card if you don't have one is another fiver probably (you only need about 5 gig on it). The thumbstick and side buttons don't cause issues in rain. The electronic compass does work but you need to be moving for it to do that. Once you stop it'll go all squirrely.
Yes the screen is much smaller than the Montana etc but that unit is gonna cost you £300+.
I bought my old etrex in 2012 and have only just retired it for a newer 20x but is still working. It's always been a bit glitchy since new but is no worse really, I just got tired of the glitches. The newer 20x seems ok so far.
So you're looking at £150+ for a slightly bigger screen on the Montana and using up an extra battery. If using rechargeables, that third battery is gonna be a pain to recharge unless you've a smart charger and they cost around £20 at the cheapest.

Re: A reasonable walking GPS that's good for cycling too?

Posted: 4 Apr 2019, 8:35am
by Tangled Metal
Thanks everyone. Lots to think about. Montana is more than I wanted to spend. Not sure we're the sort to bother with sorting out the free maps. We are more likely to suit a unit that comes with a full set of os 50k maps bundled with it. (BTW when did extras get bundled with things instead of being included?).

There's reports of issues with touchscreen units and button units are better. The "Satmap view" if you like. The gloves issue is covered with those etip type of gloves / liner gloves besides I'm not going to be using it in conditions where that's a real issue these days. So I'm not bothered either way, buttons or touchscreen.

I've got enough touchscreen kit to know they can work in the rain and Garmin are good enough company to get that right I reckon.

So it's the 20x/30x, touch 25/35 or Montana in some number flavour. Cheap, not as cheap or "how much? You're kidding right?" price options. First faff with sorting the free mapping. Second and third can come with os mapping included = faff free with good quality maps we're used to.

On another note, can you get Harvey mapping on gps? I actually like their 40k area maps and own a few to use with os maps in the past.they're a bit more detailed than 50k os and show details more relevant to walkers.

Re: A reasonable walking GPS that's good for cycling too?

Posted: 4 Apr 2019, 8:56am
by Norman H
The issue of mapping is important I think, especially when using for both walking and cycling. I prefer OS mapping for walking but I think some form of vector mapping is more versatile for cycling, especially on a device with a small screen. The advantage of most Garmin devices is that you can have both types maps. You can even store them on different cards.

Re: A reasonable walking GPS that's good for cycling too?

Posted: 4 Apr 2019, 9:07am
by Audax67
+1 for the eTrex series. I have had an eTrex 30x for the last 4 years and love it. OK, the screen isn't as big as the Montana et al but it's not a wretched touch screen (ever tried using a touch screen on a bumpy road?). It's just solid and reliable, economical with the batteries (25 hrs out of a couple of NiMH cells) and can be hooked up to ANT+ heart & cadence sensors, which don't have to be Garmin's. Came bundled with W. Europe incl UK maps. Will take a µSD card but you've no real need of one unless you want extra maps. Costs about half the price of a Montana.

Drawbacks: in the bike mount it vibrates. Irritating but a loop of black tape round the end and under the mount damps that down until the mount gets worn, at which point you fork out 9€ for a new one. Also, the Garmin chest strap is short-lived: mine got iffy in six months or so. However, if you buy the much cheaper Polar strap and circumcise the contact press-studs to render them compatible with the Garmin transmitter it'll work for years.

Re: A reasonable walking GPS that's good for cycling too?

Posted: 4 Apr 2019, 9:16am
by Mick F
Still highly recommend the Montana.
Buy this one from Burrows.
http://www.burrowsgps.co.uk/hiking/010-N0924-00.html
You need the clamp thingy.
https://www.gpstraining.co.uk/store/acc ... gIoDfD_BwE

This is mine on Moulton.
2016-03-11 14.38.36.jpg

Re: A reasonable walking GPS that's good for cycling too?

Posted: 4 Apr 2019, 10:36am
by andrew_s
Any of the Garmin hiking GPSs will be fine.
Etrex 20x, 30x, 25, 35, GpsMap 66, Oregon, Dakota, Montana.
For cycling use, the drawback is that they are larger (to make room for AA batteries), and the handlebar mount is an optional extra, and not as neat.
If you are going to use it for walking, a model with a magnetic compass sensor is best, as the movement-based compass on the 20x or 25 isn't reliable much below 4 or 5 mph.
The decisions is going to come down to screen size, cost, and whether you want buttons or a touch screen.
I don't really like touchscreens for cycling - you can't work them without looking at them (increasing the chance of riding into a pothole or parked car), and they can be problematic in rain or when wearing gloves

The "cycling" models are smaller (including screen) and neater, have built-in batteries that last long enough for a day's ride (mostly), but will need recharging every night, are touchscreen, and tend to have a lot of "training" features that aren't of any great interest to a touring-type cyclist who's only really interested in navigation and recording miles. To my mind, the only thing that's good (other than size) is the quarter turn mount.

I have an Etrex 30x, but now mostly use a GpsMap 64 (larger screen, more buttons, and came as a special offer with national OS 1:50,000 maps).
I discounted the Edge models on account of the built in batteries - I normally camp when on tour, and the nightly recharge would be difficult.

I use the on-screen maps to make up a route as I go along, rather than sticking to a pre-planned route. The vector OSM maps are better than OS 50k when in urban/built up areas, but not as good in the countryside, where the junctions are a fair way apart, and if you zoom out to get a bigger area, the minor roads turn off (and can be awkward to distinguish from streams and footpaths when the handlebars are vibrating). I find the extra buttons on the Gps64 allow me to swap maps without looking at the screen (though I usually glance a couple of times).