Best Garmin type computer for bicycle tourist?

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
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Kapalasa
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Best Garmin type computer for bicycle tourist?

Postby Kapalasa » 2 Aug 2020, 4:46pm

I'm sure this topic may have been covered before, but these type of products and suppliers seem to update and change so rapidly. Can anyone advise which device would best suit my requirements?
I'm not worried about how many Watts I'm turning, or knowing my heart rate or vo2max. I'd like to have a device where I can upload, say the Way Of The Roses route, and follow it. Also request "bicycle friendly route to..." without diverting through ploughed fields etc, like maps.me takes you on.
When the world eventually gets back to normal, I also intend cycling from Cairo to Cape Town, so the ability to download internationall maps is also required.
Thanks in advance

Tangled Metal
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Re: Best Garmin type computer for bicycle tourist?

Postby Tangled Metal » 2 Aug 2020, 5:20pm

Perhaps get a hiking GPS unit with bike mount.

Alternatively get a tough smartphone with viewranger or osmand maps. There's a few £300 or so tough smart phones that don't need a waterproof case and have a high rated battery twice as big as main, high end phones. I think I've seen a phone mount for bikes that take just the phone without a built in case to get in the way.

Other than that Garmin seem to offer good ones that are bike specific if you have the money.

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matt2matt2002
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Re: Best Garmin type computer for bicycle tourist?

Postby matt2matt2002 » 2 Aug 2020, 5:50pm

Garmin 64.
2017 Ethiopia.5 weeks.
2018 Marrakech 2 weeks.
Lots more in hot countries.
Always on a Thorn Raven/Rohloff hub.

Jdsk
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Re: Best Garmin type computer for bicycle tourist?

Postby Jdsk » 2 Aug 2020, 5:50pm

Yes, you do need to decide whether to use an app on a smartphone or a dedicated device.

It sounds as if you'd like decent maps and turn-by-turn navigation. If I were buying a dedicated device now with those features it would be a Garmin Edge 1030.

Convenient recent comparison of Edges in BikeRadar:
https://www.bikeradar.com/advice/buyers-guides/garmin-edge-bike-computers-buyers-guide-to-all-the-models/

Jonathan

bohrsatom
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Re: Best Garmin type computer for bicycle tourist?

Postby bohrsatom » 2 Aug 2020, 9:56pm

I’d recommend either an eTrex or one of the latest Edge series (830 etc). The eTrex is more basic and better if you just need mapping, the Edges are better for navigation and connected features (Syncing to Strava, uploading routes via the internet, etc)

Don’t be tempted to buy one of the earlier model Edge devices on discount as they have a poor battery life and terrible touch screen.

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Kapalasa
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Re: Best Garmin type computer for bicycle tourist?

Postby Kapalasa » 3 Aug 2020, 8:36am

Thanks everyone for the help.
I'd like a dedicated device as opposed to an app/smartphone.
After reading the review link JDSK posted, I'd be interested if anyone has experience using the Garmin Edge Explore?

Mr.Benton
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Re: Best Garmin type computer for bicycle tourist?

Postby Mr.Benton » 3 Aug 2020, 1:11pm

I use a Wahoo Element, which I class as an advanced bike computer rather than an advanced navigation device.
It provides real time information on the ride such as distance, time and elevation. After the ride these can be uploaded to Strava or similar websites.
For route planning I use Kamoot or cycle.travel to create routes and then use the companion app to download the route to the device.
Once the route is on the Wahoo element then it is easy to follow using the basic map and the turn by turn directions, however if you wander off route it won't calculate the way back to the original route.
Battery life is about 18 hours which is about 2 - 3 days of touring for me.

Overall I like it, but I don't have any experience of the Garmin devices so I can't do a direct comparison.

freeflow
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Re: Best Garmin type computer for bicycle tourist?

Postby freeflow » 3 Aug 2020, 1:38pm

A simless smartphone **is** a dedicated device, one with much more flexibility than a dedicated gps. Given that you can buy very well specified smartphones for around £100-120 you would be doing yourself a disservice to ignore the value for money factor.

Thatsme
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Re: Best Garmin type computer for bicycle tourist?

Postby Thatsme » 3 Aug 2020, 11:30pm

I bought a Garmin Edge Explore about 3 weeks ago, I am getting to know it and I think it is very good. My only interest is its capability as a bike Sat Nav, you can tap an address into it with postcode and it will plot your journey, it will also re route you if you go off course. You can also import bespoke routes from external apps or from Garmin connect, I added a few data pages that show miles, compass direction and speed etc. The screen is good in bright daylight and updates quickly. This is my first experience of Sat Navs and it really is quite useful.

borisface
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Re: Best Garmin type computer for bicycle tourist?

Postby borisface » 4 Aug 2020, 3:30pm

Just gone through the process of replacing my old Garmin 800 as the battery life is not much more than 5-6 hours now and was getting a bit idiosyncratic. What was important for me was mapping, a barometric altimeter, a decent battery life and the ability to use an HRM. The new Garmin's for me didn't really do the trick, a lot of user reviews suggested that the touch screens were flaky and battery life is not great and the QC not great. Also they had a lot of functionality which I didn't want or need. My view is that Garmin have lost their edge (sorry for the pun). After a bit of research, I went for a Bryton aero 60 unit for which I paid £130, the equivalent Garmin unit was over £300. Its been fine, has an easy mapping program and importantly the battery life is 35 hours.

sbesley
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Re: Best Garmin type computer for bicycle tourist?

Postby sbesley » 4 Aug 2020, 11:45pm

A vote for the Garmin Etrex 20. Pretty much bullet-proof in my experience.

Should be able to get good one second-hand one on ebay for around £100

or buy Etrex 22 new for £180

Pros. Powered by 2 AA batteries, which give approximately 24 hours use. So great for a multi-day tour.

You can load it with free street level mapping.

Easy to upload pre-planned routes.

The newer Garmins seem very expensive with little useful extra function and a much worse battery life.

Cons: Navigation possible but not great. Dependant upon the mapping. Screen quite small.

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philg
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Re: Best Garmin type computer for bicycle tourist?

Postby philg » 5 Aug 2020, 8:01am

I've had an Edge Touring but much prefer the larger and better screen of my current Oregon so that would be my choice, given that as a tourist you probably won't be too bothered about a small increase in size and weight of the GPS!

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Sweep
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Re: Best Garmin type computer for bicycle tourist?

Postby Sweep » 5 Aug 2020, 8:36am

freeflow wrote:A simless smartphone **is** a dedicated device, one with much more flexibility than a dedicated gps. Given that you can buy very well specified smartphones for around £100-120 you would be doing yourself a disservice to ignore the value for money factor.

How is it more flexible if it has no sim in it?
£120 isn't that cheap, i paid little more than that for my etrex 20.
Won't ramble on as there are lots of other threads on this topic where I have posted, but i would recommend the etrex20/20x, both now superceded by 22x i believe, tho i have no hands-on experience of the latter.
Last edited by Sweep on 5 Aug 2020, 8:46am, edited 1 time in total.
Sweep

freeflow
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Re: Best Garmin type computer for bicycle tourist?

Postby freeflow » 5 Aug 2020, 8:43am

How is it more flexible if it has no sim in it?


I' think that if you can't see the enormous difference in capability between an simless smartphone and an etrex20 you are beyond help.

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Sweep
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Re: Best Garmin type computer for bicycle tourist?

Postby Sweep » 5 Aug 2020, 8:49am

freeflow wrote:
How is it more flexible if it has no sim in it?


I' think that if you can't see the enormous difference in capability between an simless smartphone and an etrex20 you are beyond help.

Always saw this as a helpful place.
Help me.
Sweep