Which navigation gadget or app for LEJOG?

Specific board for this popular undertaking.
rareposter
Posts: 243
Joined: 27 Aug 2014, 2:40pm

Re: Which navigation gadget or app for LEJOG?

Postby rareposter » 17 Oct 2020, 7:03pm

afanasiew wrote:Planning for a 16 day LEJOG next year, I'm wondering what to use for navigation. I'm dizzy from reading Garmin and Wahoo reviews which, if you keep looking, always seem to come up with off-putting negatives. Now I'm looking at android apps for use with a spare phone and powerbank, but there are so many to choose from, even when you're only looking for offline mapping and turn-by-turn navigation. What's your preference? Anyone used Naviki?


Most cycling GPS units have a few negatives, the problem is that it varies wildly between different users - some people will love a certain feature, others will hate it! You just need to pick something that has the lowest number of negatives for you and your ride.

At the very top end, the units are like complete fitness / performance centres designed to connect to power meters, heart rate, cadence sensors etc. If you don't have any of those things, it's fairly pointless buying a unit designed to connect to them.

In the mid-range you (generally) get a better mix of navigation features and fewer of the "fitness / performance" features so something like the Garmin Edge Explore. The trick then is to work out how you're going to calculate your route and transfer it to the unit - some like Wahoo require pairing with the phone app, the advantage being that it's then quite easy to update the route on the go via the phone and send it to the unit. Some (older Garmins in particular) require plugging into a laptop with a cable for upload / download which is obviously impractical for extended touring.

Most units will accept routes from a range of sources - so long as it's a .gpx or .tcx file it'll generally work no matter which route planning app or website you've used. Worth trying out a few sites and seeing which one is most intuitive - route planning is far and away the biggest logistical challenge and the settings on your chosen site need careful checking as it;'ll often give you the option to route via most popular, via "quietest" (which often puts you onto NCN, towpaths and so on) or via shortest / quickest so make sure the settings match what you want to do.

Same with the unit, the routing settings need to match. This just requires some local rides on routes that you know where you can deliberately go off course and see how the unit reacts - does it try to send you back to the last known point, does it try and pick up the route further along, will it cut the corner, will it re-route you via towpaths or A-roads...? This is also useful for trialling battery life. Most modern units will do about 10hrs+ even with navigation but constant screen use or re-routing will lower that considerably. If you're going to be camping en-route, you probably want to look at something that uses rechargeable AA batteries but if you're staying in B&Bs / YHAs etc, you can use a USB rechargeable one. A Powerbank is another option but again, needs factoring into the logistics.

Once you've created your route, you should just be able to upload it as 16 different files (Day 1, Day 2........Day 16) and work through them. Check the unit has enough memory to handle 16 routes being stored in it.

One of the best sites for quick independent (but very in depth) reviews is this one: https://www.dcrainmaker.com/

My personal preference is to calculate a route on Strava which (personally) I find the best combination of features for me, transfer it to the unit and then let the GPS take care of any re-routes. If I or it get confused, I'll stop and consult the OS Maps app on my phone and use that in conjunction with the GPS to ride the way I want to go which is not always the way the GPS wants to send me. It'll generally catch up after a few minutes of complaining and trying to turn me around but you need to understand those foibles before you arrive in Lands End!

pwa
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Re: Which navigation gadget or app for LEJOG?

Postby pwa » 18 Oct 2020, 5:45am

My e-Trex 32x runs on AAs and a pair can do a couple of days quite easily. I do B&Bs rather than camping so I just take a AA charger and recharge the best AA rechargeable batteries I can get, Annesmann 2850s, in the B&B. So power is not a problem. One pair of batteries in the unit and a second pair fully charged and ready to use. I use the backlight all the time and follow the purple line on the map. Simple.

The unit will take memory cards so in theory you can have endless capacity.

The handlebar bracket is an extra but only costs a few quid and works well.

I opted to get the unit with the default Open Street Map rather than paying extra for OS because for on-road and cycle track use OS gives a cluttered view when what you need is simplicity.

whoof
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Joined: 29 Apr 2014, 2:13pm

Re: Which navigation gadget or app for LEJOG?

Postby whoof » 18 Oct 2020, 8:39pm

afanasiew wrote:
whoof wrote:I use a Garmin Etrex 20x. It shows a trail which you follow which is very simple to do. Battery life is excellent, last weekend I rode 110 miles on Saturday and 125 on Sunday and it still showing 3 out of 5 bars which means anything from 40 - 60% left. It takes two AA batteries which means I carry a spare pair of rechargables so if they do run out I just swap then over. It comes with very little memory. However I bought a 3Gb data card which you can insert and it then holds dozens of routes. Has a smaller screen than some GPS units or phones, hence high battery life but I wear glasses for reading and don't find it a problem.

Mrs Whoof uses a Smart phone together with Kammot. The advantage is she only needs one device. The down sides are if you follow a trail on the screen as above then battery life is only a few hours. She does use it with An ear piece given directions but these are harder to follow than a trail. As sometimes these are a bit late and you over shoot and at other times out can be confusing as to which left you should take.


This looks mighty interesting. Do you upload gpx files to the device?


Yes I create them in Cycletravel save and export them and then load then onto the Garmin. It also has the ability to make routes on the Garmin by creating waypoints but as yet never used it. I know someone on here does but can't remember who.

afanasiew
Posts: 33
Joined: 23 Jun 2020, 10:10am

Re: Which navigation gadget or app for LEJOG?

Postby afanasiew » 20 Oct 2020, 7:14pm

rareposter wrote:
afanasiew wrote:Planning for a 16 day LEJOG next year, I'm wondering what to use for navigation. I'm dizzy from reading Garmin and Wahoo reviews which, if you keep looking, always seem to come up with off-putting negatives. Now I'm looking at android apps for use with a spare phone and powerbank, but there are so many to choose from, even when you're only looking for offline mapping and turn-by-turn navigation. What's your preference? Anyone used Naviki?


Most cycling GPS units have a few negatives, the problem is that it varies wildly between different users - some people will love a certain feature, others will hate it! You just need to pick something that has the lowest number of negatives for you and your ride.

At the very top end, the units are like complete fitness / performance centres designed to connect to power meters, heart rate, cadence sensors etc. If you don't have any of those things, it's fairly pointless buying a unit designed to connect to them.

In the mid-range you (generally) get a better mix of navigation features and fewer of the "fitness / performance" features so something like the Garmin Edge Explore. The trick then is to work out how you're going to calculate your route and transfer it to the unit - some like Wahoo require pairing with the phone app, the advantage being that it's then quite easy to update the route on the go via the phone and send it to the unit. Some (older Garmins in particular) require plugging into a laptop with a cable for upload / download which is obviously impractical for extended touring.

Most units will accept routes from a range of sources - so long as it's a .gpx or .tcx file it'll generally work no matter which route planning app or website you've used. Worth trying out a few sites and seeing which one is most intuitive - route planning is far and away the biggest logistical challenge and the settings on your chosen site need careful checking as it;'ll often give you the option to route via most popular, via "quietest" (which often puts you onto NCN, towpaths and so on) or via shortest / quickest so make sure the settings match what you want to do.

Same with the unit, the routing settings need to match. This just requires some local rides on routes that you know where you can deliberately go off course and see how the unit reacts - does it try to send you back to the last known point, does it try and pick up the route further along, will it cut the corner, will it re-route you via towpaths or A-roads...? This is also useful for trialling battery life. Most modern units will do about 10hrs+ even with navigation but constant screen use or re-routing will lower that considerably. If you're going to be camping en-route, you probably want to look at something that uses rechargeable AA batteries but if you're staying in B&Bs / YHAs etc, you can use a USB rechargeable one. A Powerbank is another option but again, needs factoring into the logistics.

Once you've created your route, you should just be able to upload it as 16 different files (Day 1, Day 2........Day 16) and work through them. Check the unit has enough memory to handle 16 routes being stored in it.

One of the best sites for quick independent (but very in depth) reviews is this one: https://www.dcrainmaker.com/

My personal preference is to calculate a route on Strava which (personally) I find the best combination of features for me, transfer it to the unit and then let the GPS take care of any re-routes. If I or it get confused, I'll stop and consult the OS Maps app on my phone and use that in conjunction with the GPS to ride the way I want to go which is not always the way the GPS wants to send me. It'll generally catch up after a few minutes of complaining and trying to turn me around but you need to understand those foibles before you arrive in Lands End!


Thanks for taking the trouble to post such a detailed response.

I downloaded the gpx files from https://www.cyclelejog.com/routefiles.html, then amended them in Viewranger to reduce my version to 16 daily routes, excluding the author's excursion to Leeds, his home town.

Wanting only satnav features, I've opted for an Etrex 22x and have added Open Cycle maps as well as my routes to it. I'll have either Bikemap or Viewranger (or both) on a phone as backup, with another phone for comms. I now look forward to testing the device on training rides.

afanasiew
Posts: 33
Joined: 23 Jun 2020, 10:10am

Re: Which navigation gadget or app for LEJOG?

Postby afanasiew » 20 Oct 2020, 7:18pm

whoof wrote:
Yes I create them in Cycletravel save and export them and then load then onto the Garmin. It also has the ability to make routes on the Garmin by creating waypoints but as yet never used it. I know someone on here does but can't remember who.


Thanks for your suggestion, on the strength of which I now have the 22x.

I've added Open Cycle maps as well as my routes and now look forward to testing it.

afanasiew
Posts: 33
Joined: 23 Jun 2020, 10:10am

Re: Which navigation gadget or app for LEJOG?

Postby afanasiew » 13 Jan 2021, 1:36pm

whoof wrote:I use a Garmin Etrex 20x. It shows a trail which you follow which is very simple to do. Battery life is excellent, last weekend I rode 110 miles on Saturday and 125 on Sunday and it still showing 3 out of 5 bars which means anything from 40 - 60% left. It takes two AA batteries which means I carry a spare pair of rechargables so if they do run out I just swap then over. It comes with very little memory. However I bought a 3Gb data card which you can insert and it then holds dozens of routes. Has a smaller screen than some GPS units or phones, hence high battery life but I wear glasses for reading and don't find it a problem.


Hi whoof, with your Etrex I'm guessing you don't use the turn-by-turn option available with On Road navigation, since you're limited to 50 waypoints per route?
My routes use around 17 points per mile, so over 1,000 per average 65-mile day on LEJOG. Using over 20 routes per day would be tedious to say the least.

MJNGP
Posts: 7
Joined: 4 Jul 2020, 11:33am

Re: Which navigation gadget or app for LEJOG?

Postby MJNGP » 18 Jan 2021, 12:21pm

Jamesh wrote:
Paper maps with Google maps backup!

:roll: :roll: :roll:

Cheers James


Non-volatile fibre based storage with magnetic guidance.
aka paper map with compass.

OSMap on the phone for figuring street names at unmarked intersections.
Keep the ocean on yer left and head north, till you see a large body of water.


Haha.., my kind of navigation :lol:
Keenly following this thread however as I've never really used GPS out riding/touring, always used maps. I quite like the idea of just riding though, without stopping every so often to check the route or make sure I'm on track.

Jdsk
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Joined: 5 Mar 2019, 5:42pm

Re: Which navigation gadget or app for LEJOG?

Postby Jdsk » 18 Jan 2021, 12:35pm

MJNGP wrote: I quite like the idea of just riding though, without stopping every so often to check the route or make sure I'm on track.

Speaking as a mappist so do I, it makes an enormous difference on unknown routes.

Jonathan

Psamathe
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Re: Which navigation gadget or app for LEJOG?

Postby Psamathe » 18 Jan 2021, 12:35pm

MJNGP wrote:.....
Keenly following this thread however as I've never really used GPS out riding/touring, always used maps. I quite like the idea of just riding though, without stopping every so often to check the route or make sure I'm on track.

I suspect different people enjoy different aspects and styles of touring. For me I far prefer having a device tell me about turns and navigation so I can cycle along enjoying the countryside, smells, sights, etc.. But I recognise others also enjoy other aspects (maybe being independent of technology) and each to their own and it's probably a balance.

On one tour I was badly let down by the GPS device I had at the time (never touch that make again!) and had to manually navigate for a couple of days and whilst I still enjoyed the ride, the keep stopping to check a map was not something I relished. I still made use of my cycle computer (basic wired type) so each stop I'd use the map to note miles to next turn and keep an eye on the cycle computer trip so still technology assisted.

Ian

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Paul Smith SRCC
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Re: Which navigation gadget or app for LEJOG?

Postby Paul Smith SRCC » 18 Jan 2021, 1:49pm

afanasiew wrote:..I'm dizzy from reading Garmin and Wahoo reviews which, if you keep looking, always seem to come up with off-putting negatives...

That is the trouble with GPS technology it can drive you around the bend instead of navigating you around it! That said when it works then I am impressed, I still enjoy my Garmin 810 that I have had since 2013, not bad for a peace of tech'. Personally I would much rather use a GPS unit than a phone with an app.

To balance the "off-putting negatives" over the years what has personally worked for me to achieve reliability and stability that make using a Garmin GPS viable is to download the course from whatever site I created it on (currently RWGPS) and then uploading via USB using a genuine Garmin lead; I never use Bluetooth or upload it to another site before sending it to the unit.

You also referenced taking a Powerbank all be it for use with a separate phone and android app to navigate by. Modern GPS units like the Garmin 830 have a much longer battery life than my old 810 so a powerbank even for longer days will probably not be needed, although on very long days mine would do, so if I needed I will carry one in my bar or top tube bag, the USB lead reaches perfectly. Last summer I rode an 8 hour day using tbt on the map screen, mid way around the course I was down to 50% battery so I knew I would be pushing my luck just using the 810's battery reserve so I plugged in the Power Bank. When I got home it had charged back up to 100%, the Powerbank (a Goji G10PBWP17) itself has battery indicator with four LEDs so you know how much charge it has left; it had all four still lit.

power.jpg
Carradice Super C Bar Bag.jpg
Topeak Tri Bag.jpg

I already had that power bank, I didn't buy it with this in mind, it's waterproof and robust but you can get them much smaller, lighter and cheaper, plus I have a USE Exposure light I could use as a powerbank if needed. Yes damaging connections could potentially be an issue, the way I look at it this is an old unit and I'm a bit less precious with it than I once was. I have had that powerbank three years and only needed to use it once; most of my long days are on routes I know where I don't need the map screen permanently on, I can easily complete those rides without issue. I've seen a few who use a power bank to top up their device at a rest stop which would help minimise potential damage to the Usb connection.

If I was buying one now the new Garmin Edge 530, 830, 1030 and the older Explore would all be a consideration although the latter has been left behind a bit interms of battery life. For me the clear winner being the 830, the 1030 is a bit too big for my liking and the 830 I find far more intuitive to use than the 530; the latter effectively a button version of the 830 which is far more swipe screen, that said it would not take long to get the hang of the 530 plus it would save a money and work better when wearing gloves.

Would I still buy a Garmin? Yes definitely; when it works, as it does do most of the time, then I have to confess even though I am a bit of a technophobe I do love it!

pete75
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Re: Which navigation gadget or app for LEJOG?

Postby pete75 » 18 Jan 2021, 7:44pm

I use a phone and have done for many years. Basically a phone and a GPS are computers and just run whatever navigation software is installed. The GPS units are much inferior to phones as a computer. There are many different TBT apps available for Android, it's just a matter of choosing one you prefer. Long journeys with many days without charging facilities just get one of the many front lights with a USB port and charge from that. Garmin units are vastly overpriced. If a Motorola can make and sell a G9 for £160 a Garmin Edge Explore should really be about 30 quid.

Jamesh
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Re: Which navigation gadget or app for LEJOG?

Postby Jamesh » 18 Jan 2021, 10:01pm

£2.99 AA atlas with the pages torn out!

I did take the major roads though including the A49 and A9!!

Next time I'll take the back roads and a tent and a month!!

Cheers James

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NATURAL ANKLING
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Re: Which navigation gadget or app for LEJOG?

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 19 Jan 2021, 11:44am

Hi,
Brianjeff50 wrote:
NATURAL ANKLING wrote:Hi,
Paulatic wrote:Have you looked at Lezyne?
I use a Mega XL the battery life is great the screen is easy to read and TbT is good. Make your route from your phone Lezyne app, Lezyne web site, Komoot, or import from your favourite source.

2ND, excellent :)

I’m new to this GPS stuff being an old school maps man.
Review comments criticise the Lezyne for poor turn by turn navigation. That seems a fundamental reason for getting one - at least on the unfamiliar roads I’ll be on. Or have I got this wrong?

I don't normally use the turn by turn notification at all although I have tried out and it works okay.
Because of the excellent clarity of the display where you can customise contrast and light for nighttime navigation, you need only need to follow The main arrow on the screen, no difference at night either.
You can use turn by turn notification with also the beeper, it's loud.
But it will also use the battery at a higher rate.
At the price of the unit and the type of customisation you can do with the unit I would say it's a pretty good bargain all-round.
NA Thinks Just End 2 End Return + Bivvy
You'll Still Find Me At The Top Of A Hill
Please forgive the poor Grammar I blame it on my mobile and phat thinkers.

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NATURAL ANKLING
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Re: Which navigation gadget or app for LEJOG?

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 19 Jan 2021, 11:45am

Hi,
I see I've just repeated myself :lol:
NA Thinks Just End 2 End Return + Bivvy
You'll Still Find Me At The Top Of A Hill
Please forgive the poor Grammar I blame it on my mobile and phat thinkers.

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NATURAL ANKLING
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Re: Which navigation gadget or app for LEJOG?

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 19 Jan 2021, 12:34pm

Hi,
MJNGP wrote:
Jamesh wrote:
Paper maps with Google maps backup!

:roll: :roll: :roll:

Cheers James


Non-volatile fibre based storage with magnetic guidance.
aka paper map with compass.

OSMap on the phone for figuring street names at unmarked intersections.
Keep the ocean on yer left and head north, till you see a large body of water.


Haha.., my kind of navigation :lol:
Keenly following this thread however as I've never really used GPS out riding/touring, always used maps. I quite like the idea of just riding though, without stopping every so often to check the route or make sure I'm on track.

My kind or riding (my bold emphasis above) But you can do that with sat nav as well
If I were to visit an unknown area then a small paper map for guidance and a compass is handy failsafe, but other wise we all carry mobiles well almost, failing that ask a local bod :)
Sometimes its nice to venture with no idea where you are or what you might find.
Sat navs a good tool but you don't need to look at it if you are just cruising.
The lezyne xl gps does not give names on the sketch looking map so you would need to look at your mobile to see where you are unless you know via road signs or familiarity, I commonly cruise on through towns at stop mainly for grub in spar / garage shops, I am anti social too......suits me... :mrgreen:

When local I use the sat nav to record my route, its hides in my backpack till I look at specs later.
NA Thinks Just End 2 End Return + Bivvy
You'll Still Find Me At The Top Of A Hill
Please forgive the poor Grammar I blame it on my mobile and phat thinkers.