CityCyclingEdinburgh Forum » Computers, GPS, 'Smart' 'Phones

Which Garmin

(20 posts)
  • Started 5 years ago by dessert rat
  • Latest reply from paddyirish

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  1. dessert rat
    Member

    Have been holding off posting this, as I'm sure it's much discussed and people are well sick of it, but after a lot of reading I am none the wiser. Hence the request for hive-mind first hand experiences/recommendations.

    I find myself doing longer rides in places I don't know, brilliant as it is, my current garmin (edge 25) is of zero use with directions, as it was only bought to record stats and has a 5hr (on a good day) battery life.

    I generally plan a route and export the .gpx to my mobile, then when I'm sure I'm lost I'll stop, get the phone out and confirm I'm lost.

    Which Garmin/other device is popular with audex-ers ?

    Posted 5 years ago #
  2. paddyirish
    Member

    I'm doing a similar project (decided on after getting lost on a recent audax) and am moving away from Garmin, so will follow this with interest.

    Seems Garmin have 2 possible ranges Explore (best if you only want navigation) and Edge if you also want power/heart rate and all that lot. I have no interest in Power/HR data, so am not willing to pay a premium for it. They seem to have 520, 820 and 1000 as the different levels of product in both ranges.

    I've also been looking at Wahoo and Mio Cyclo ranges and am probably more interested in them.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  3. Greenroofer
    Member

    I use an Edge 520. It's compact and has buttons, which I prefer to a touch-sensitive screen. It plays nicely with my HRM and cadence sensor.

    I've uploaded a new basemap onto it, and this works very well. The only limitation with the 520 is that you can't expand the memory, so you can't put the whole UK basemap on at the same time. The new basemap is brilliant for riding in town, where the standard Garmin basemap on the 520 is useless. https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2013/05/download-garmin-705800810.html#part-ii-edge-520-specific-instructions

    Posted 5 years ago #
  4. amir
    Member

    I've had Edge 500, 800 and currently the 1000 explore. I gave up the 800 because it was really unreliable. It would often crash on longer rides. The 1000 in my case seems pretty reliable and has good functionality. It has crashed once which was very annoying (it messed up the trace) but I was using the active navigation. Now I just display the route on the map (passive navigation) and its been stable since.
    If there was an alternative brand with the right functionality etc I would try it.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  5. robyvecchio
    Member

    I use GPS units for running too so I avoid the edge series and lean towards wristband types. I'm currently using a Phoenix 3 without maps. I load a course generated at home and I'm pretty much set.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  6. mercury1and2
    Member

    Garmin for me is annoying me I have the 510 and it has gaps in recording where it always cut out at the Scotland st tunnel. It states i have been cycling for 5 hours 15 mits and 43 secs when i clearly have not and I am going to chuck it in the bucket soon. Anything with HR is dependant on how you feel on the day - week etc and some people state that a power meter is better but the price will have to come down for me.I now just calculate my cycling by the hour i keep a diary of sorts.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  7. hunnymonster
    Member

    The only current Garmin Edge devices with true mapping are the Edge (Explore) 820 & 1000....

    The 820 series is newer and smaller than the 1000. Some rant about the touch screen on the 820, I've not had an issue myself.

    You won't be sending any GPX tracks to it directly without a computer- but there is at least one ConnectIQ app that marries with an online service (free if I recall correctly) that means you can send a GPX-originated route wirelessly to your device...

    edit:The app is called routeCourse & the service it connects to is linked from the app page - https://apps.garmin.com/en-GB/apps/b7efc9ca-5446-4e1c-bc53-474e97f376ac

    Using mapping/navigation tends to approximately halve the quoted battery life - so the addition of a power bank is a worthwhile thought for rides longer than 6-7 hours.

    Difference between the regular & explore versions - the explore versions don't allow power meter connection - and a few other esoteric features.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  8. Murun Buchstansangur
    Member

    I gave up on Garmins due to the crashing and related navigation issues.

    Got a Mio Cyclo 505 instead, which has been fine, but you would struggle with battery life for audax.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  9. Cyclops
    Member

    Etrex range is far better for cycling than Edge unless you want heartrate and cadence. Powered by AA batteries (a set of lithiums last about 800km), just swap them when they run flat and replacements readily available almost anywhere. More robust and waterproof (it's an outdoor unit rather than a cycling one). No issues with freezing, lost tracks, crashing, etc. that you get with the Edge series. For navigation you can either just follow the line on the map or it can do turn by turn.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  10. rbrtwtmn
    Member

    Have extensive experience now with (older) Garmin Etrex 20 and many mobile phone apps. There's a good chance I'm out of date but key points for me (probably in a random order) are...

    Unless you want to do something fancy like measure heart rate the simple advantages of a dedicated GPS unit are no longer accuracy, but mainly robustness/waterproofness and battery life.

    In my experience mobile GPS accuracy caught up with dedicated (consumer level) devices some time ago (have tested in difficult conditions).

    The Garmin survives rain and a battering on the handlebars that the mobile wouldn't.

    The Garmin - as said by Cyclops - will run for a very long time on AA batteries, which are easily replaced/recharged.

    Consider whether you actually want to do more complex navigation on the Garmin, or to take a mobile. I now ALWAYS do the thinking/planning/decision making using my mobile, while the handlebar mounted Garmin provides the ongoing map in front of my eyes, and tracking my route.

    Make sure and understand the capacity for all of these devices to use Openstreetmap data. This is what I use for all but the most adventurous walking/cycling. The only times I use something else is if I need the rich detail provided by the OS 1:25000 for very rural off-road across-the-hillside trips.

    There's no issue at all, even on my old devices, with having the whole of the UK Openstreetmap data on both devices. Actually there's little issue with also having several other countries on there too. I imagine we're getting rapidly closer to the point where we can carry data for the whole planet around with us...

    The Garmin mapping styles seem more limited than what I can see on a mobile. I'd want to research what Openstreetmap mapping can look like on comparable devices. On the mobile there are hundreds of alternative attractive/useful map styles. Do any of the Garmin units allow this flexibility yet or are the displays still a bit limited?

    And what I particularly like is that I have two devices so backup if one battery causes problems.

    So - like I say, this may all now be out of date, but seemed worth adding...

    Posted 5 years ago #
  11. amir
    Member

    I use the dynamic watch app to download routes now. Much better than the old palava via Garmin Connect (then having to delete the route automatically uploaded to strava with 15mph averages up steep hills).

    Posted 5 years ago #
  12. I've had a 1000 for around 2 years now, and wouldn't recommend it at all unless you fancy getting completely lost or regularly cursing at it and resisting the temptation to smash it off the road.

    As a satnav it's been utterly hopeless. It regularly either won't give any guidance at all once I set off (though I can see the route on the screen and I just have to ensure I'm keeping on the line), or it just stops guiding part way along a route and requires a reboot to try to get it to respond again.

    At other times, it will show that I'm still on my planned route, but start beeping and warning that I'm off-course and the screen tells me to "do a u-turn in 1.5 miles". A further 1.5 miles on, it continues to tell me I'm off course for 3 or 4 minutes before it beeps and I'm suddenly it's back on track again as though nothing happened.

    I've followed every tip & Garmin forum advice thread there's ever been to try to prevent this, and I've ensured that the software and maps are always kept up-to-date.

    Probably the biggest waste of money I've ever had - it's now mainly used as a glorified speedo / mileometer / thermometer.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  13. Also got an edge 1000, for about 2.5 years. Other than once or twice losing GPS lock its been brilliant. The touchscreen can sometimes be a bit unresponsive but not enough to bother me much.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  14. Cyclingmollie
    Member

    I've used a bottom of the range Edge 200 for four years. Maybe there's just less to go wrong with it but so far it's been 100% reliable in rainy and icy weather. You load routes onto it by copying GPX files into its New Files folder (when viewed as a drive) and it converts them automatically. The route is seen as a dark line against lighter alternatives - eg at junctions. It warns when you are off route. It can show time distance, calories, height climbed etc. by cycling through several screens. It has a backlight which is on during charging and can be set on or off. It can be charged on the fly and needs to be for anything over 250km.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  15. amir
    Member

    @threefromleith
    After my 800 experience, one crash from the 1000 was enough to stop using its navigation function. However those systems tend to annoy me anyway with all the nagging. On the other hand the maps are great and you can easily impose the track on the map and follow that. The only problem comes if you forget to look!

    Posted 5 years ago #
  16. ARobComp
    Member

    I used a Garmin Dakota + SD card loaded with Open Street Maps (I now use a Wahoo Elemnt)

    Super cheap and easy to use. Runs off two AA batteries for AGES even while navigating. Never crashed and when it runs out of batteries you just chuck two more in and it restarts on the same recording.

    Other options for medium rides is a Garmin 200 which can do a "follow a line" type nav. I liked that one and I was a bit frustrated when I washed it in my cycling shorts. It's currently spending a month near the boiler to try and see if I can resurrect it.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  17. Snowy
    Member

    I'm still using an old Edge 500 which also does the 'follow a line' route guidance. It's basic but really good and I have no desire to replace it any time soon. I have the HRM and cadence sensors but after the initial enthusiasm wore off have rarely used them. I don't fancy a touchscreen on a bike computer; just because they can build it, doesn't mean they should.

    I have a Garmin Forerunner 405 watch which is just about the most useless bit of kit I've ever bought. I'd gumbay it but can't bring myself to inflict it on someone else. The touch bezel goes bonkers at the slightest hint of moisture which is far from ideal if you ever sweat or go out in the rain. Avoid avoid.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  18. panyagua
    Member

    Another vote for the Edge 500 here - I use the 'follow the line' method of navigating, and while it does occasionally take a long time to redraw, on the whole it's been very reliable especially now I'm familiar with its quirks. </tempting fate>

    For more serious navigation requirements, I've used my phone (waterproof Sony Xperia compact) attached to the stem using a QuadLock Universal mount. I use the Viewranger app with 1:50,000 OS maps loaded onto SD card so I can use them offline. With the phone set to flight mode, it will record GPS for at least 12 hours without recharging and with occasional use of the screen for navigation. It doesn't give you turn-by-turn directions, but I prefer to follow the line anyway. I temporarily disable security stuff so a simple press of the power button will show the map centred on where I am. Of course if you have the screen permanently on, it will go flat a lot more quickly, but that's not necessary except for the more intricate sections or if unsure. I carry a power bank with leads to recharge both Garmin and phone as needed.

    For long rides I record a track on both the Edge 500 and on my phone (using Viewranger or Strava, depending on whether I need the map or not) so I can be reasonably confident of having at least one complete track for submission - especially important for DIY Audaxes.

    Would be tempted by an eTrex if I was going to do a lot of riding in unfamiliar territory, but so far have managed fine with the Edge 500 and phone combo.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  19. amir
    Member

    I must say, given my age, a big screen is a plus. One day I'll end up using a tablet

    Posted 5 years ago #
  20. paddyirish
    Member

    @panyagua,

    you pre-empted my next question on whether I could get away with my phone. I too have an Xperia Compact which also has a very long battery life. The mount is good to know about and I'll look at the mapping software

    Posted 5 years ago #

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