GPS reviews, have any of the magazines done one????

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  • GPS reviews, have any of the magazines done one????
  • Premier Icon cinnamon_girl
    Subscriber

    Check out mapping software, ie download demo versions from Tracklogs, Memory Map, Anquet, QuoPro etc.

    You can get pre-installed maps but I have no experience of these.

    Think there was a review in the Singletrack mag not long ago.

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    Singletrac did it's a popular magazine you may have heard of.

    Premier Icon nickjb
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    The phone ones are really good and a lot cheaper if you are on contract anyway.

    Premier Icon simon_g
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    My Forerunner (and I believe all the Edge ones too) can do that. The trouble is, it's not an advertised feature and when a mag has a dozen of them to review they'll stick to the info from the manufacturer. If used as intended, they are devices for recording your rides (as you say) and as a training aid that will show you your pace as a "virtual partner" relative to last time.

    The ones like basic Forerunner and Edge models require you to have the file in Garmin Course format (easy to convert – GPSU or bikeroutetoaster.com) and uploaded to the device, then you do a new workout based on that course. The devices don't do "navigation" per se, but if it thinks you've done the course before it'll let you bring up a screen which shows the route as a line with arrow, follow the line and it shows you the way. Works well enough for me, better for on road than off unless you know the route was from someone else's GPS actually doing the course, lots online are someone clicking on a map and can be way off.

    The higher-end ones let you just copy over plain .gpx files and follow them.

    Premier Icon cinnamon_girl
    Subscriber

    I personally would not want to have £300 worth of gps sitting on my riser bar. Managed to crack the screen of my basic Garmin Legend from an off. 🙁

    Battery life is pretty good on my Garmin, 12 hours I believe.

    I plot route on Tracklogs, send it to gps and then follow the screen. Never leave home without one!

    I've been using mapmyride.com to look up statistics on my road rides and found it could use .gpx files so thats at least half the battle. The problem with my last attempt was getting the PC to talk with the GPS and the software, couldn't force them to work whichever way I tried.

    neninja
    Member

    I use a Satmap Active – it certainly seems robust – I've had at least 2 crashes with it on the stem and apart from a scratch on the screen it's still fine.

    It's perfect for following new routes as it uses OS mapping and you can prepare and upload the route before setting off on the PC. It does exactly what you say – ie you follow a line on the map on screen.

    It doesn't record as many parameters for the ride as some gps but as a mapping system to guide you it's perfect.

    Premier Icon timmys
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    simon_g – Member
    The devices don't do "navigation" per se

    I'd have to disagree with you there. For some reason people seem to think you can only follow a previous track on these units which is not the case. I use my Edge 205 to do what I would call 'proper' navigation, as follows;

    You use either an online route planner or an off line program such as Memory Maps and make a route consisting of a series of connected waypoints. The only limit is that you can have a max of 99 waypoints. You then save this as a .gpx file and use appropriate software (on my mac I use Load My Tracks) to transfer it to your Edge. You then select the route under the Navigation menu and off you go.

    You can look at your route like this;

    and then (and here's the clever bit that makes it true navigation in my opinion), when you get within about 75yrds of a waypoint the Edge beeps and the screen shows you what way to turn at the waypoint (and time and distance to it). When you pass the waypoint it goes back to whatever screen you had it on before;

    I have no idea why people seem to think the Edge units can't do navigation other than the, admittedly crappy, follow-a-previous-track mode but I think they are pretty awesome little things when you figure them out properly.

    I have a feeling I read that the new Edge 500 model can't do this by the way which seems a very good reason to stay away from it IMHO.

    (Sorry for the crappy screenshots but these are the only ones I could find, which is maybe not surprising as people don't see to be aware that you can do this at all!)

    Thinking of giving GPS another go after the disaster that was my first attempt.

    Have any of the mags done a review of all/some of the models? I've had a browse of some models and they just seem to be £20 cycle computers being sold for £200 because thye can tell you where you were if you plug them into a PC. I want to actualy have a line/arrow on the screen telling me where to go.

    cheers, I've seen the edge 500 and figured it was 'different' anlthough I do like its looks, thats the kind of mapping I need, just enough to point me in the direction of the next turning or beep at me if I go past it.

    Do any of the online mapping places have OS (or comparable) maps for plotting offroad bits, mapmyride.com only covers road maps which it pilfers from google, but presumably has a topo map in the background for calculating elevation changes?

    edit: mapmyride.com has topo maps but they're USGS ones so coes out blank in the UK. It does have 'terrain' maps though which presumably contain the elevation data even if it is hidden.

    rootes1
    Member

    think gps 20% off day at wiggle is this sunday

    *makes mental note and warms up the credit card *

    😀

    Premier Icon Simwit
    Subscriber

    Wheres the path (wtp2.appspot.com/wheresthepath.htm) allows you to plot out a route on OS maps & then save it as a .GPX (and other formats). It also has a direct transfer button if you have a Garmin unit. It is however becoming very popular and it's not uncommon for it's daily data allowance from the Ordnance Survey to have been used up by early evening which is a pita. I use it to put routes into my Garmin Oregon and it is very good.

    Premier Icon Andy
    Subscriber

    Garmin Dakota 20 (£160 from F & T) with full UK 1:50,000 OS maps (£100 from ebay) here. Whats not to like about it. I plot my routes on MM, transfer to the GPS and I have my position, and route, on an OS map on my handlebars. Its also a pretty good car satnav as well.

    I'm a trad map and compass man and a like to think I'm a pretty good navigator but I like this set up as it means I can concentrate on enjoying the trail and the view. Used 3 times so far in open country Scotland rides this summer and didn't need to get the map out once. Wikid awsum 😀

    Mindyou agree with C_G; I do take it off the bars and pop in a pouch on the front of my camel back for really rough descents.

    Premier Icon timmys
    Subscriber

    thisisnotaspoon – Member
    cheers, I've seen the edge 500 and figured it was 'different' anlthough I do like its looks, thats the kind of mapping I need, just enough to point me in the direction of the next turning or beep at me if I go past it.

    Just in case you missed it the 500 doesn't do what I've described above. It only does the lame follow a previous track thing. I can't see what the point in the 500 is – it costs more than the 205/305 but does less as far as I can see. Looks like the 205 is quite scarce now but that's what I'd try and find.

    Do any of the online mapping places have OS (or comparable) maps for plotting offroad bits, mapmyride.com only covers road maps which it pilfers from google, but presumably has a topo map in the background for calculating elevation changes?

    http://wtp2.appspot.com/wheresthepath.htm and
    http://www.bikehike.co.uk/mapview.php

    Can't vouch for them as I use Memory Maps for off road but they have OS maps and the requisite "make a track" and "export to .gpx" buttons.

    Cheers 🙂

    Looks like things have moved in the right (IMO) direction since my last failed attempt at GPS (i.e. free mapping) !

    neninja
    Member

    I plot my routes on http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk – you need to register for free but can then use 1:50k OS maps to create the route and save the gpx file.

    It used to have 1:25k mapping but Multimap stopped them using them. I understand that they are negotiating a deal direct with OS to use 1:25k maps again.

    Premier Icon simon_g
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    timmys > that's essentially what I do with my Forerunner (minus beeping at waypoints), but as I say Garmin don't explicitly market these things as doing that – they're "training aids" for measuring against past sessions with no mention of that functionality. Market segmentation I guess.

    The Edge 500 is aiming at the roadie market – as light as possible, compact and it will log data from power meters.

    Does anyone use a Garmin Foretrex for MTB use? A mate is looking at getting some kind of GPS to record rides/walks with some basic route-following. They're cheap, pretty small and seem to take GPX for navigation with less faffing about converting formats. AAA batteries so good for multi-day tours too.

    CraigW
    Member

    Does anyone use a Garmin Foretrex for MTB use? A mate is looking at getting some kind of GPS to record rides/walks with some basic route-following. They're cheap, pretty small and seem to take GPX for navigation with less faffing about converting formats. AAA batteries so good for multi-day tours too.

    I'm using a Foretrex 401, for running and mountain biking. I'm mostly just using it for recording where I've been, with heart rate data. It has a rather good GPS receiver, much better than my older Garmins. And decent battery life (15 hours or so).

    Though I've not used it much for following routes – if I'm going somewhere unfamiliar I think my eTrex with OSM maps loaded is more useful.
    And yes, it works as a USB mass storage device, so its easy to copy GPX routes or tracks on and off.

    I also have a Satmap Active 10 that has survived several crashes plus being left on the back of my car as I drove home and bouncing across the road in the central roundabout near Swinley.

    I think it is exceptional – the only problem is cost. £300 for the unit and then map cost – I have a 1:25k 70kx70k map centered on Guildford that covers my riding on the Surrey Hills and Swinley Forest, which cost about £70 – and a 1:50k UK whcih cost £160.

    The display is the OS map in 2D – which you can have orientated with north up or as 'trail' up which has your direction of movement as up. Hence you can see if you have to turn left or right and when – I find riding at 1:3K resolution best for this. You can therefore ride at full speed most of the time, unless the trail has changed…

    Obviously you can upload gpx and google kml files onto it, and you can trace out a route on the unit using the joystick, whcih you can also use to edit trails if you find that part of it has moved (tree felling, etc).

    You choose which trail you are going to follow (the active route) and it is highlighted in light brown. You can also set the unit to show inactive trails also, which are shown as light grey.

    Therefore as you follow the route you can see all the other trails you are passing in case you wish to detour onto them – it could be a loop of singletrack for example.

    I have all my routes as kml files and use Google Earth to view them all and work out which one, or combinations, I am going to follow. I have grabbed loads of routes for Surrey Hills and Swinley from the net as well.

    I have to say that the display on the Garmin 305 looks prehistorically poor in comparison…

    Apparently they are working on a new model – I meet a friend of the guy who started the (UK based) company the other day whilst riding – the founder is an ex fighter pilot from the UK air force.

    Andrew

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    The Edge is a training tool primarily, there are better displays out there, the Satmap doesn't really do anything but navigation, so it depends what you want.

    Timmys, you seem to be an expert on this! If I try and upload a gpx file for an offroad ride from bikehike to my Edge 705 with City Navigator it doesn't work. Even with the navigation options set to 'off road' it tries to route me on the road the whole time, deviating from the nearest road to the waypoint, then back onto the roads.

    I can of course do them as a course, but it'd be nice to know more accurately where I should be looking for turnings!

    What am I doing wrong!?

    Premier Icon timmys
    Subscriber

    njee20 – Member
    The Edge is a training tool primarily, there are better displays out there, the Satmap doesn't really do anything but navigation, so it depends what you want.

    Timmys, you seem to be an expert on this! If I try and upload a gpx file for an offroad ride from bikehike to my Edge 705 with City Navigator it doesn't work. Even with the navigation options set to 'off road' it tries to route me on the road the whole time, deviating from the nearest road to the waypoint, then back onto the roads.

    I can of course do them as a course, but it'd be nice to know more accurately where I should be looking for turnings!

    What am I doing wrong!?

    Sorry, my only experience is with a 205 which is quite a different beast than the 705, so I don't think I can help as your problem seems to be with the mapping on the unit which is something I have no experience of.

    My only suggestion would be to load the .gpx you are interested in onto a mapping site then see if you can then trace your own new route over it and see if that works. Actually that probably won't work as I guess you can't have more than one track displayed at a time on these on-line mapping sites. Could work if you can get hold of a copy of Memory Map.

    This guy's site is about as good a guide as I've found to Garmin stuff (it's all from the perspective of on-road riding though);
    http://frank.kinlan.co.uk/garmin-705-knowledgebase/
    http://frank.kinlan.co.uk/garmin-705-knowledgebase/garmin-edge-305/

    +1

    garmin dakota 20….superb piece of kit got me out of trouble a few times! cannot fault it in the slightest! think i payed around 350 for mount, unit and park uk 1.50k os maps

    i believe there is whole uk card now for about 100 which seems pretty good!

    Premier Icon yoshimi
    Subscriber

    timmys – really helpful that – I've got a 305 and never really got the best from it -will be having a play now as oppsed to just using it for recording rides.
    thanks

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    Cheers for the advice, it's not why I got the 705, so I'm not that fussed, but the way you've got the route displayed does look better! I'll have a play.

    theflatboy
    Member

    i had view ranger on my nokia 5800, and while it's definitely excellent in itself, the lack of handlebar mount made it a real pain to use – like a car satnav that you had to keep in the glovebox and stop to look at everytime it was needed.

    would definitely like a bar-mounted one for the proper HUD-type ability to check on the move. debating whether to get viewranger for my iphone, but there's no way i'd trust a bar mount for the iphone when out on the trails. unless anyone has any positive experience with a rock-solid mounting mechanism?

    theflatboy
    Member

    anyone got any thoughts about that last post of mine, as i'm about to be in a position where a bar-mounted iphone gps would be ideal!

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    Not used one but viewranger is excellent on the iphone, I did see viewranger recommending one of these though.

    http://www.roadcyclinguk.com/gear-news/biologic-iphone-bike-mount/4923.html

    Not sure if I'd trust it though.

    Better link

    http://uk.dahon.com/accessories/2010/biologic-bike-mount-iphone

    theflatboy
    Member

    nice one, that's definitely interesting. the fact that that looks about as good as you're likely to get, but i still feel like the phone probably wouldn't survive an offroad test in it speaks for itself, i guess!

    Premier Icon BadlyWiredDog
    Subscriber

    You really want a sacrificial mount, don't you. Something that breaks under direct impact rather than allowing the phone to take the hit. Rock solid just means that when you hit the ground, the mount/phone is going to absorb the impact. expensively. But I'm hardly a bike-mount engineering expert… 😉

    DaveGr
    Member

    Saw the Satmap model at MM and it looks really good for navigation though as said above it's expensive when unit and maps added together. Some people at work have them and think they're great with the OS maps and have survived being dropped on rocks etc. Though I currently use Oziexplorer for mapping and an old Garmin Geko unit so I'm in the prehistoric age when it comes to GPS !!!!

    theflatboy
    Member

    yeah i'd def be worried about the impact of any crash. but i would also be worried that it would get damaged by the general vibrations and shocks it was subjected to by general rocky terrain and the odd hop, skip and/or jump.

    I've just got an Edge 605. I've added OpenStreetMap UK mapping – it's definitely not an OS map but it's a lot better than nothing (+improving all the time and free).

    However, I'm a bit puzzled by the navigation options. I uploaded a GPX format 'tracklog' but when I selected Navigate the route the Edge chose was just bizarre. In the end I just displayed the track on screen and followed the crumbtrail. I'll try a 'course' next time but can anyone explain what the 'Navigate' option on a track/saved ride is MEANT to do?

    clarkpm4242
    Member

    garmin dakota 20….superb piece of kit got me out of trouble a few times! cannot fault it in the slightest! think i payed around 350 for mount, unit and park uk 1.50k os maps

    i believe there is whole uk card now for about 100 which seems pretty good!

    I splashed out on the Dakota 20 with the UK map package a few weeks back.

    Very easy to use and great map definition. Keep it in the shorts pocket.

    Idiot proof?? ;))

    Take a spare set of AAs though…

    sem
    Member

    Good info here. I want a naviagtion GPS to help with new area offroad routes, and assumed they'd all more or less do that at least. Noting some of the difference and units in the thread, can anyone compare the Garmin Dakota 20 vs the Satmap 10? Not a huge difference in the price, so I'm curious if they are both more or less the same feature and finish wise?

    Premier Icon Andy
    Subscriber

    Cant compare Satmap and Garmin Dakota/Oregon as I concluded they were much the same and it came down to price in the end. So went with the best deal I could find. Some say the Dakota screen is difficult to read in daylight, but have never had a problem and dont know the satmap to compare.

    I do find with the Dakota that I need something on my computer screen to plan the route on before downloading to the GPS; MM etc or some of the options discussed above are worth a try.

    Oh and 15 hours + off rechargable AA batteries.

    Bigface0_0
    Member

    My question, I had a 305 which was great but when it comes to cross referencing with a map its useless it doesn't have any map coordinates so does the new 605 do this? Im in the market for a 605 but really want this option

    Rip
    Member

    Bigface0_0

    My question, I had a 305 which was great but when it comes to cross referencing with a map its useless it doesn't have any map coordinates so does the new 605 do this? Im in the market for a 605 but really want this option

    What firmware are you running?

    On mine, if I go to Navigation/Mark position, it shows my current coordinates.

    I've never really understood using waypoints when, for me, using tracks created in Memory Map and then downloaded to the 305 are much nicer to follow. The 500 does this too so easily fulfils my navigation needs for 5 day trips in remote areas.

    What more do you really need?

    The 500 now displays power too, which is a great addition.

    theflatboy
    Member

    i was thinking about that iphone mount – it does look pretty good, i wonder if you can modify it with a bit more padding on the inside to insulate it from the rigours of mountain biking…

    on the other hand, these look good too – wonder if something could be concocted with one of them:

    Bigface0_0
    Member

    It shows you gps coordinates not a map reference?

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