Route navigation

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
LeBrignall
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Joined: 12 Nov 2014, 6:20pm

Route navigation

Postby LeBrignall » 9 Nov 2018, 4:28pm

Can someone please give some tech idiots some guidance on finding a route planner. I prefer using paper maps, but my wife who has recently become obsessed with day rides and short touring is getting fed up with losing lots of time stopping to check maps - and frankly getting a bit lost.

She needs a unit that she (or me) can easily pre-load a route - or download GPX files - that will last all day battery wise and cope with a bit of rain/ abuse. She needs turn by turn navigation. She's not interested in data anal - just getting to her destination.

Ideally it needs to be super intuitive to use, as frankly I spend too long sitting in front of a computer and would rather be cycling than faffing around around trying to make it work. This is really important.

She has a smart phone but fears that the battery won't do a whole day's riding.

I have read various cycle websites suggestions but don't really understand them.

I think this Mio does the job - https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07DDC3KGC/ref=emc_b_5_i

but I also read it won't work with windows 10 which we have at home.

Any advice would be very welcome - sorry if this seems very basic. Assume you are talking to an idiot. Ideally I will pay £150 - used is fine
thanks

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mjr
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Re: Route navigation

Postby mjr » 9 Nov 2018, 5:40pm

Low tech: have you considered trying cue sheets or route sheets instead of a device? I think I know what I'm doing and I still spend far too long fiddling with routes on the devices. My phone does a day ride navigation and tracking on one battery charge easily, though.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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LeBrignall
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Re: Route navigation

Postby LeBrignall » 9 Nov 2018, 5:53pm

I have tried that but I it's not really an option for longer rides. For example she'd like to do the Lon Las Cymru route in Wales. It would be great if she could plug it in and download the route - and head off. I assume that's what the GPX files I see on routes will do.
Is there a recommended phone app that you use?
thanks

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mjr
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Re: Route navigation

Postby mjr » 9 Nov 2018, 6:12pm

I use OsmAnd. Not the easiest user interface but the most reliable for me over years.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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Norman H
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Re: Route navigation

Postby Norman H » 9 Nov 2018, 6:57pm

I don't believe there's a one size fits all solution to this problem. So much depends not only on personal preferences but also on where you are riding. In some areas, Scotland for instance, where there simply aren't that many roads, a paper map is more than adequate and requires only the occasional reference to it. Do you use a map case? A waterproof map case mounted on the bar bag or handlebars can minimise a lot of unnecessary interruptions to consult the map.

Most of my navigation is accomplished with paper maps, (OS 1:50k and 1:250k) which I print A4 size from Memory Map software.

I've also use various GPS units but not with turn by turn by turn navigation. My GPX route appears as a red line superimposed on the map with my position shown and centred on the screen. If you've previously been using paper maps this is the equivalent to highlighting your route with a text highlighter and tracing your position with a fingertip. It really couldn't be much simpler. I currently favour a Garmin e-Trex 30, I wouldn't describe it as intuitive but once mastered its fairly straightforward.

I Can't comment on the particular Mio model that you linked to but I do have a Mio 105 GPS computer. It doesn't do mapping but has been ultra reliable and was very competitively priced when compared to similar units from Garmin..

bikerta
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Re: Route navigation

Postby bikerta » 9 Nov 2018, 11:12pm

For example she'd like to do the Lon Las Cymru route in Wales.


I did this route 2 years ago and used paper maps all the way. To be honest, this route is very well marked with only a couple of places where I was unsure. I also have a Garmin E trex 20, which I tend to use only if I cannot tell which way to go and it gets me out of trouble. Would definitely recommend doing Lon Las Cymru though, some challenging hills but stunning scenery.

LeBrignall
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Re: Route navigation

Postby LeBrignall » 9 Nov 2018, 11:26pm

Thanks for the replies. I assumed this would be easier than it appears. I agree that maps are fine in many areas. On a ride through Suffolk recently she says she waisted so much time because there are lots of small roads, and junctions every few Kms. Hence I thought a GPS might help...
Thanks again

climo
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Re: Route navigation

Postby climo » 10 Nov 2018, 6:11am

Use your phone and komoot which is easy to use but not as good as osmand.

Put phone in airplane mode leaving GPS on and set komoot to turn screen off between turns to minimise battery usage.
Carry a battery power bank for "emergency" charging

.

I'm a trendy consumer. Just look at my Lenovo P2a42 using Tapatalk

bikerwaser
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Re: Route navigation

Postby bikerwaser » 10 Nov 2018, 8:29am

I use my phone too. although , like you i do prefer paper maps.

As climo says, just put your phone into Airplane mode to save battery if needed.

I use back country navigator which allows me to download maps for offline use. It's about £8 or so for life and you can download as many maps as your phone can hold. I've also used it for Spain but they use a different map source. here it's OS maps by bing.

In addition to that Google maps allows you to download areas of maps for offlinne use.

Get a good map holder. Mine is a topeak one that is 100% waterproof and can be used while the phone is inside.

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meic
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Re: Route navigation

Postby meic » 10 Nov 2018, 8:38am

With my phone the GPS gobbles up battery many times more than the things that you turn on and off with airplane mode do.
Yma o Hyd

bikerwaser
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Re: Route navigation

Postby bikerwaser » 10 Nov 2018, 8:51am

meic wrote:With my phone the GPS gobbles up battery many times more than the things that you turn on and off with airplane mode do.


That's strange.
Mine uses a fair amount but I can get a full days ride out of it no problem.
I do put it on "power saving mode" which helps though.
The thing is , I don't see the point in spending out a few hundred £'s on something that my phone already does perfectly.

I just bought a Samsung S6 and it has an energy saving mode that shuts down all the other apps etc and gives me 3 days use.

You can also buy piggie back batteries for pretty much any phone that has 10,000 mah which is equivilant to 4 days charge so you can use what you want.

If you are riding in fair weather then bring a power pack. I use an Anker 13000 mah pack .

LeBrignall
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Re: Route navigation

Postby LeBrignall » 10 Nov 2018, 9:22am

Thanks again for the interesting replies.

So if I wanted to plot a route between say Cambridge and Harwich, how would I get that on to the phone app?

Do I go onto onto one of the mapping website create the route using the mouse and then once I'm happy click on create GPx file?

Can I do this on a computer or do I have to do it on the handset?
Has anyone found an article that explains how to do it.... ideally in idiot proof terminology
Thanks

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NUKe
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Re: Route navigation

Postby NUKe » 10 Nov 2018, 9:24am

Garmin Etrex 20 or 25 if you want the touch screen is possibly worth a look, takes AA batteries. Last for 25 hours on a set of rechargeable. you. Buy with the maps preloaded, you download trails to follow. You can load routes or use like a car sat nav but it’s not quite as good on that front. Another option from Garmin is the edge touring.
NUKe
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meic
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Re: Route navigation

Postby meic » 10 Nov 2018, 9:47am

I ruled out the Garmin Etrexes (despite being my long term favourite gps) because they dont do good turn by turn instructions.
In order to get that from a downloaded route you would want a GPS which accepts .tcx files or is better than the Etrex in some other way which I am not familiar with.
Yma o Hyd

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mjr
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Re: Route navigation

Postby mjr » 10 Nov 2018, 10:14am

meic wrote:With my phone the GPS gobbles up battery many times more than the things that you turn on and off with airplane mode do.

Newer phones are much improved at this.

Also, I find there's no need to go full airplane. Switching 3G and 4G/LTE and data off minimises battery use enough unless in a no signal area, but still allows calls and texts to arrive (but calls use more battery IIRC). Of course, you might prefer to be uncontactable for other reasons...
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.