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Which GPS?

Posted: 18 Mar 2011, 5:08pm
by martin blain
I'm considering buying a GPS equipped cycling computer principally as an "electronic map". I need it to cover Europe as well as the UK.

Is it worth buying or should I stick with maps?

Recommendations please

Re: Which GPS?

Posted: 18 Mar 2011, 6:20pm
by herzog
It's a difficult decision... Maps don't malfunction (only the reader :D )or run out of power. However, depending on how far you're going and what type of roads you'll be taking (determines scale of map required), they can take up a significant amount of room in your panniers, weighing a fair bit.

Personally, I use maps but I can see the benefits of using GPS. There have been times during a long journey when I've needed to take a small turning that was difficult to see on the map (due to scale) - GPS would have come in very useful then!

Herzog

Re: Which GPS?

Posted: 18 Mar 2011, 6:44pm
by bikes4two
There's lots of discussion on this topic, so crack out a search and enjoy the differing views. I've done a 1200 mile trip in Europe just with pages torn from a road atlas plus hand-held compass and not had any navigation difficulties. On the other hand when doing LeJog, I plotted every twist and turn down the many country lanes on my Garmin 60GPSMap and thoroughly enjoyed NOT having to refer to paper maps at multi-exits at junctions, town centres and so on. If you cycle camp, think about getting a GPS with disposable batteries or one that can take an external battery supply as you may not always be in a position to re-charge the GPS. And what if you want to change your pre-plotted route half way through? Can you do this without the aid of a computer (more weight to carry). Again, I've travelled with a small netbook for this purpose and made great use of mobile internet access for B&B booking on the hoof and to knock out alternative routes to download to the GPS for the next day's journey. In summary, I like having a GPS in my bike kit but I don't use it all the time, just most of the time.

Re: Which GPS?

Posted: 18 Mar 2011, 6:53pm
by philg
Loads of discussion here and elsewhere
My short answer, all Garmin
If you want a proper GPS with basic cycling info - Oregon (or Legend/Vista as cheaper alternative)
If you want a cycle computer with a basic GPS ability - Edge

Others may disagree!

Re: Which GPS?

Posted: 18 Mar 2011, 7:16pm
by Chodak
Audax UK do some very useful, very extensive links on the subject.

http://www.aukadia.net/gps/

I've recently started using a Garmin etrex Vista HCx. It's colour screen is small but clear, maps cover European roads but is not OS style for off road. It's two rechargeable AA batteries give me 15 hours of use before recharging. It has speed, altitude, distance, more measures than you can ever usefully use BUT no cadence or heart rate. It's buttons rather than touch screen, so works well with gloves on and is more robust than thinner touch screens apparently. it was £110 plus the map.

I can't give you an adequate review as my experience is still too short, but so far so good, although I do struggle with the Garmin Connect website and one lesson learned is forget Garmin software if you have a mac rather than a PC (not essential to have either), but bikehike.co.uk seems useful if you do have a computer.

I'm sure you'll get loads of more experienced advice from others and from the Audax website. Good luck.

Re: Which GPS?

Posted: 18 Mar 2011, 11:22pm
by bigfoot
Wouldn't be without my Edge 705, although I covet an 800

Only downsides... cost & learning curve. Using mine for my LEJOG this summer, done C2C with it. Maps as a failsafe.

I think I read there was an Far East copy of the 705 quite a bit cheaper - think I saw it on BikeRadar last year.

Maps

The road maps are what you need, not the topo, but you can use free OSM mapping as well. I think its available for Europe. Haven't done this but read about it on the web.

Re: Which GPS?

Posted: 19 Mar 2011, 2:44pm
by 3tyretrackterry
get on ebay and find a battery powered car sat nav Garmin Quest,Streetpilot etc i bought one and the only thing it doesnt tell me is cadence which i can live without
the quest i have is rechargeable and battery life is approx 20 hrs Maps come on CD easily worked if you can work through a manual. Only downside is they are not made anymore
HTH