Garmin Etrex 10 any good for bike?

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  • Garmin Etrex 10 any good for bike?
  • Premier Icon NorthCountryBoy

    Never really used a gps device for navigation but have been offered an etrex 10 from someone i work with. Is this a decent unit can i upload routes onto it then follow from the device?
    ANy pointers appreciated


    You can upload routes (.gpx) to it and follow them on the black and white screen. What you can’t do compared to the eTrex 20 or 30 is upload ‘proper’ maps to it so its a bit like following a line where you can’t anticipate the terrain ahead, unless you know the trail already.

    For basic navigation and recording your own tracks / trails then the 10 is fine. For advanced navigation / orientation then you’ll want the 20 or 30.

    Premier Icon deejayen

    I find a basic GPS to be really good for certain things. They’re still popular in audax circles.

    Battery life is usually good, and if they use AA or AAA batteries you can use lithium batteries which last for a day and night (and are obviously replaceable during a ride). That’s good for logging tracks.

    As for navigation, they’ll do what devash says.

    However, they’re also good when planning a set route. Using certain mapping programs, you can put waypoints at each road junction, then download the ‘route’ to the GPS. On the road you don’t see any map, but if you set it to the ‘compass’ page it can show you the distance to the next waypoint, and when you get there an arrow will pop up and show you which way to go. If you name your waypoints sensibly (ie audax-style) they can indicate which way to turn at the next waypoint. Eg call waypoints something like “01-L, 02-R, 03-SO” (Left, Right, Straight-On) then after you pass waypoint 1 it will indicate “Distance to waypoint 02-L = 1.3 miles” so you’ll know that you can relax for 1.3miles then you have to turn left. It sounds a bit fiddly, but it can really keep you on track even when you have no idea of where you are or where you’re going!

    Premier Icon NorthCountryBoy

    Thanks for that info for recording routes it doesn’t sound like it offers anyone than my phone on strava can you record a route then play it back and follow it again?
    What software do you recommend to up load routes?


    You’ll be able to upload a route and follow it. (And also record the route you ride). But it will be a breadcrumb trail only. That’s OK for a lot of stuff, because as long as you’re on the trail, you’re fine. But if there’s any question, say a fork in the road, lots of junctions, or somewhere really remote off-road and the trail on the ground is not clear, then it can become harder to follow. That’s when it’s nice to have maps, and why the Etrex 20 is worth the extra outlay.

    The 10 is pretty basic in this day and age, but it will run for 25 hours on a set of decent AA batteries. It’s pretty robust too and will survive the weather and a few crashes, unlike your phone.


    what he said you really need mapping and it is worth the extra outlay so that you can get the optimum use it of it

    think of the 10 like dial up it will work but it is limited

    20 is like broadband.

    FWIW i have a non mapping one and i only use it like a cycling computer these days.

    Premier Icon NorthCountryBoy

    Cheers guys I think that the mapping version sounds like what I need. I’m usually riding in the lakes and some of the off the beaten track paths are fairly vague would like to keep it simple.

    I’ve had a couple of older Garmin devices (E-Trex Vista C and Etrex 30 I think) have never used one with the maps. I find them horrible things to use and not at all intuitive. I’m often cursing the thing. But it does eventually do exactly what I want.
    I can plot a route at home, install it on the device and (if it’s in the mood) it will show me where I am relative to the route all day. I used to take a map with me in case I wanted to divert for some reason but now probably just have a phone with maps on it. The real benefit is just not having to stop all the time to look at the map. On the odd occasion where a path splits and I can’t tell which to take I just guess and I’ll see within a few metres if I’m wrong.
    I wouldn’t be put off by the lack of maps, especially if it’s very cheap, but it is an infuriating thing to use.

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