GPS Device for navigation

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chrisMartin
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Buying a GPS bike computer

Postby chrisMartin » 18 Mar 2018, 2:03pm

I'm fairly new to cycle touring and I'm looking to buy a GPS bike computer.
All I want is a computer that can upload routes and provide turn by turn navigation, nothing else really.
I would be grateful for any advice.

mattsccm
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Re: Buying a GPS bike computer

Postby mattsccm » 18 Mar 2018, 5:37pm

Dream on! Most are way to complicated offering all sorts of training aids as well. I think some of the Garmin Touring models may be a bit simpler.
It all depends what your need in detail. Usable maps of just a bread crumb type trail to follow? Want to attach your phone?
The simplest I know that uses decent maps from something like a road atlas up to OS level is the Garmin 800 series. (820 now I think)
Anything with a number less than 800 doesn't show maps and the 1000 series is way to complicated.
Can't speak for any other make.
Some walking models work quite well.
Finally do you want rechargeable or AA batteries?
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NUKe
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Re: Buying a GPS bike computer

Postby NUKe » 18 Mar 2018, 6:52pm

Not strictly a bike specific GPS but you can get abike mount GARMIN etrex might be what you are looking for you will need either a 20 or 30 , or 25, 35 if you want touch screen. If you want turn by turn instructions you will probably need to buy mapping as the open street stuff tends not to be brilliant at this.
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Si
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Re: Buying a GPS bike computer

Postby Si » 18 Mar 2018, 7:02pm

Second hand etrex 20 with openstreetmap does all the basic functionality for me. Some find the screen a bit small.

Or you can download a free app and tryout gps nav on your phone before spending money on a dedicated device.

steady eddy
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Re: Buying a GPS bike computer

Postby steady eddy » 18 Mar 2018, 9:45pm

Look at the Lezyne range they have a number of different models some of which will give you turn by turn directions linked to a phone. They get good reviews and are cheaper than Garmins - otherwise the etrx 20 or etrex 30 should give you what you want and seem to be more reliable than some of their other models and some what cheaper. Alternatively you can down load aps to your phone like ride with GPS which will give you some of what you want but use up battery power very quickly.

chrisMartin
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Re: Buying a GPS bike computer

Postby chrisMartin » 19 Mar 2018, 9:56pm

Thank you all for your help.

I didnt realise it was so complicated but your replies have helped me enormously.

Thanks.

GideonReade
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Re: Buying a GPS bike computer

Postby GideonReade » 20 Mar 2018, 10:32pm

Not absolutely on-topic, but...

We're touring with both a Garmin Edge 1000, and a midrange Sony Android phone.

The Garmin we load country by country with OSM maps from Raumbezug or Openfietsmap (needs a computer to do this), the phone uses Maps.me offline mapping.

The phone is streets ahead with all ergonomic issues, far better navigation/map display, much clearer & brighter screen. The Garmin has particularly poor destination entry, dumb searching, very limited POI capacity, and laughable sound.

Both devices claim to be waterproof, however, the phone's touchscreen is utterly unusable if rain is hitting it. I mean, totally. Each raindrop is a press. Whether naked or in a 3rd party bike mount. The Garmin is unaffected by rain, although the power input doesn't look protected so we unplug it in rain.

The Garmin came with a good mount, the phone was - difficult, but now happy in a Klikfix thing.

The Garmin, navigating, will run many hours on a charge, and with USB dynohub, normally doesn't lose charge in a day's ride, unless many hours very slow uphill. The phone runs down pretty quickly, even on a dynohub it will go flat over a day.

A Smart-phone is your friend, but only a fairweather one, with no stamina.

I don't especially recommend Maps.me, it doesn't need Internet, but it's very urban focused, lousy display rules for navigation, especially in rural or remote areas, and the bicycle routing is non-adjustable and often suggest huge dirt track loops to avoid a quiet minor highway. But it sort of works, is free, and is much easier to rummage around in than the Garmin. I've heard others recommend OSMAnd, not tried it myself.

mercalia
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Re: Buying a GPS bike computer

Postby mercalia » 20 Mar 2018, 10:58pm

The only time I find a gps computer useful is when I get lost and want to know what wrong turning i made. Other wise its a matter of having a map. I think the problem with the current species is that they are useless in bright sunlight, why I am sticking with my ancient pocket pc with installed Anquet/Memory Map maps - unlike the "modern" devices it has a transreflective screen like the original Kindles so the brigher it is outside, the brighter the display, as it uses the ambient light ( it also has a backlight you can turn off). So much for advances in technology. I dont see any point in having a device which tells you which way to go ( unless you have an earbud attached )

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TrevA
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Re: Buying a GPS bike computer

Postby TrevA » 21 Mar 2018, 8:08am

There are some interesting videos on YouTube comparing various GPS units. There is one by Shane Miller where he uses a Garmin 820, a Wahoo Elemnt and his smart phone, all at the same time, to navigate a route. The Wahoo is paired with and relies on the phone for some of its functions and only has black and white maps.
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GideonReade
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Re: Buying a GPS bike computer

Postby GideonReade » 21 Mar 2018, 8:36am

Regarding comments about preferring paper maps - we like those too, but not always available in a useful scale, and if you're travelling fast a long way, quite expensive. Electronic mapping seems to be available for everywhere, tho I've not been to Africa or S America and quite a lot more.

Examples - Cycling across Kazakhstan - huge, flattish, smooth, empty and where to buy maps? Or try to find the Eurovelo route north out of Colchester City centre. Electronic wins in both cases.

ANTONISH
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Re: Buying a GPS bike computer

Postby ANTONISH » 21 Mar 2018, 8:42am

I use an etrex 30. I mostly use it for audax and I generally load a track rather than a route - the route requires more memory but will give turn by turn directions.
I just follow the track shown on the map - some people find the screen too small. You can choose an illumination level for the screen which is very useful at night or in dim conditions. Obviously the higher illumination reduces the battery life which is normally about 22 hrs.

When I am touring I take paper maps but I use the etrex in "where to ?" mode. Basically I know where I want to go and use the function to choose intermediate towns and villages to navigate to. The etrex will provide a route over quite a large distance and gives turn by turn instructions.
I've even used this in a car - my companion looking at the etrex and giving directions.
I'm not really "au fait" with a lot of new technology but at 76 I'm very happy with the etrex.
Also the "joystick control" is amenable to using with gloves which I think not be the case with a touch screen.

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jamesbradbury
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Re: Buying a GPS bike computer

Postby jamesbradbury » 21 Mar 2018, 2:25pm

I second the etrex 30. One of the best and most reliable bits of tech that I've ever bought.

I use it for audax in a simple track "follow the coloured line" way. Rechargeable AA batteries seem to last more than 24 hours and are easily replaced when they wear out unlike built in lithium ones.

Note that the etrex won't record your power, cadence etc. If you want those features I hear the wahoo elemnt is good.

I'm a trendy consumer. Just look at my SAMSUNG-SM-G891A using Tapatalk

freeflow
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Re: Buying a GPS bike computer

Postby freeflow » 21 Mar 2018, 2:56pm

If you have a smart phone you already have all you need.

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jamesbradbury
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Re: Buying a GPS bike computer

Postby jamesbradbury » 21 Mar 2018, 3:09pm

The main disadvantage I've found with a smart phone for navigation is battery life. Maybe it's OK for an hour or two, but if its all day you'll need to think about charging options.

When you're miles from anywhere and lost its nice to know that you can at least make a phone call or text. For me the phone, with orux maps or similar is a backup option to be used occasionally or in emergencies.

I'm a trendy consumer. Just look at my SAMSUNG-SM-G891A using Tapatalk

freeflow
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Re: Buying a GPS bike computer

Postby freeflow » 21 Mar 2018, 4:22pm

5 years of navigating 200 km and 300 km Audax with a smart phone and external battery pack would lead me to suggest that your disadvantage is perceived rather than real.