has anyone regretted a garmin or similar?

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  • has anyone regretted a garmin or similar?
  • Premier Icon gonetothehills

    I know what you mean, but looking at the view rather than the bars is always preferable and it’s there if you want / need it. I have to say that the number of people I know and ride with who’ve ‘lost’ recording rides because their phones have run out of juice convinces me it’s the right tool for the job too.


    I know what you mean, but looking at the view rather than the bars is always preferable

    Love my garmin and feel utterly lost without it on the road. Stare at it constantly juggling cadence, power, heart rate, speed etc. But then rides are training. Off road I generally don’t bother with a GPS.

    Really like my GPS for running too, great for pace based intervals.

    I guess it all depends on what part of the experience is important to you.


    Hardly look at mine when on a ride just like uploading and seeing where ive been on a map.

    Ive got the 510 does all i want it to and more could turn the screen up and geek out on a ride if i felt that way inclined.

    As above, I like seeing my routes on a screen etc but I’d never use anything of the sort for owt else. My rides are measured in smiles not miles 🙂

    Premier Icon eddiebaby

    Love mine as occasionally I’ll be pootling along, look down and the immediately get the incentive to work harder.

    Pete B

    On the road it tells me all sorts of nerdish info and has also helped as a sat-nav.
    Off road it tells me all sorts of nerdish info and has also helped as a sat-nav.
    Back home I can re-live the ride, analyse the route & see how to make it better – or not as the case may be.
    The smiles are not diminished but the memories enhanced.
    And I managed 20+ years of mtb’ing without as much as a computer on the basis the data wasn’t important but the smiles were(always had one on my road bike).


    Having found a garmin not really pleasant when running, I am pondering if a GPS cycling computer would do my head in or not. I found that when running, the garmin just detracted from the experience. I was never serious about training etc…

    Has anyone regretted their purchase of a garmin (I’m looking at a 510) for similar reasons?


    What do you want from it? My Edge 500 provides so much data it’s hard not to get absorbed in it, especially when combined with heart rate monitor etc. Like blobby says, it’s a constant juggle…heart rate, average speed, cadence, elevation, gradient, temperature, lap times, wind speed … I don’t think it actually does the last one, but there’s a massive amount of data on there.

    On the other hand I also have an Etrex 20. It tells me where to go. It tells me how fast I’m going. Tells me how far I’ve been. And it tells me my average speed, amongst a few other things. All stuff that’s good to know and I don’t feel bombarded with data, or compelled to study it religiously. It’s there for when I need it.

    Premier Icon bails

    I’ve got an 800. Rarely bother with the HRM nowadays so I get speed, distance, time (and cadence on the road bike). What I really use it for is the navigation, that’s where it’s worth every penny.

    In terms of the other stuff, it’s no worse than a cateye or similar computer, if you don’t want to know how fast you’re going (?) then just set the main screen to show the temperature and time or something

    Edric 64

    I have a Garmin 800, very complicated to use battery life wont last a 200km Audax very hard to view the screen and the mapping is so difficult to see you may as well carry a map .Mine kept losing signal yesterday on a 200km event luckily I used the paper route sheet instead


    I use a Garmin Edge 200, use it mainly for navigating on the road, just following the line on the screen, nothing fancy, no maps on it. It saves a lot of time, allows me to get on and ride, I very rarely look at the speed etc. till I get home. I think it’s the best road bike riding thing I’ve bought. Not really used it for navigating off road, but I’m interested to try it.

    Premier Icon mactheknife

    I also have an 800 but i use it for following mountain routes i have plotted on the OS site. Its easier than stopping all the time to get a map out. For what i use it for its a great bit of kit.

    Battery life is really good as well.


    Bought a Bryton, which didn’t work properly so took it back and bought a Garmin 500. Don’t regret it at all. It’s great for longer road rides into unknown areas.

    Edric 64

    Battery goes in 9 to 11 hours on my 800 .I will have to buy the external battery pack to get any use out of it for long events

    Premier Icon mactheknife

    Edric, mine last way longer than that, probably about 16 hours.

    Edric 64

    Thats good mine is fairly new only been used about 6 times

    Premier Icon mikewsmith

    Edric 64 – Member
    I have a Garmin 800, very complicated to use battery life wont last a 200km Audax

    If it’s not too personal a question how long is 200km taking you?

    My 810 is fine for about 8hrs, not found a phone that gets close.

    On road I use the sat nav feature for directions, average speed on the road bike and time out. The gradient and elevation help to explain why a ride is feeling harder or easier than expected.

    Off road it has heaps of useful info, the current time being one of them, time of sunset, simple stuff like checking distance travelled when your looking for a turning or seeing if there is a road or track near you or where the one you are on goes.

    I’ve raced with it and knowing the stage elevation/climbing is good, there was another stage where I was convinced I was really suffering, but as I checked the trail was still climbing rather than flat slightly descending as my brain was convived.

    I don’t spend hours staring at it but having the info to hand is great.

    So no real regrets.


    Nope, can’t think what I used to do before my 500…

    Premier Icon rickmeister

    All of the good stuff above for the edge 800, plus you can hop it across bikes you own with different wheel sizes …

    800 here. Brilliant bits of kit but true about getting lost in all the data. I use mine just to track routes and the mapping.

    Premier Icon jameso

    Interesting read. Considering one (w/o all the ride data, just GPS and maybe route recording for later) for mapping when I get my dyno set up, til now not seen much need. But a GPS is much more compact than a whole load of maps. Anyone used one in place of maps for a week or 2’s ride, not a pre-marked route but more of a daily direction+options guide? My concern is that the screen’s too small to get an overview of an area but that may be unfounded.

    Pete B

    Mine’s an 800 & is simple to set up & use. Touch screen is brill even with thick winter gloves. The OS mapping is good but needs good eyes & is slow to refresh sometimes. Better than nowt but we’re spoiled with modern phone displays.


    Got a 500 towards the end of last year and loved it so far – much easier than phone faffing, battery life loads better and my favourite bit is banging routes in, so I can plan rides on quiet, traffic-lite roads. It’s not perfect as satnav by any means (small display, shows the route with nowt else to judge it by, occasionally seems to lose the will to show you the route, but will then revive a minute or two later, which can be frustrating if you’re approaching a junction), but it IS very good. If I lost it today I’d buy another tomorrow.

    Premier Icon ononeorange

    I use a Garmin 110 on the bike which is ideal as it’s on my wrist. I use proper paper maps for navigation which I much prefer.

    The only three downsides are:

    – The rubbish connectors when dowmnloading / charging;
    – The random altitude change figures;
    – Garmin Connect.

    Other than that, perfect for keeping tally of just how far I haven’t ridden and should have done so far this year.

    Premier Icon iainc

    I had a 200 and replaced it with a 500. I dont have the HRM and Cadence.

    I found the screen autoscroll distracting so put it to a manual scroll between 3 screens. I like it a lot although if paying RRP I’d choose the 200 over the 500, for simplicity and ease of use.

    I dont use it to navigate, just to see speed etc as I’m riding along and compare with previous/see routes etc.

    Premier Icon andytherocketeer

    Regretted a Navman Bluetooth one. But that was back before phones had in-built GPS. Was a monumental PITA, cos the app and the device would drop the bluetooth connection, and to re-establish that while riding or driving, realistically means stopping to sort it out, especially when the GPS bit auto powers off after 1min of no bluetooth link.

    Never regretted a Garmin, although never used the Garmin Connect bit (which I hear has gone from bad to worse).

    Tempted to get an Edge Touring+ to fit to road/cx bike rather than carry eTrex in rear pocket.

    edit: and I never carry maps locally (only the map in the etrex and phone), but always carry maps when away somewhere, especially if slightly remote.


    Garmin 800 edge I just bought is great, only issue is that it gives worse (read more accurate) readings on strava so not as quick as off the iphone 😉 Lucky I’m getting a bit fitter to counter act this 😀

    Premier Icon Pawsy_Bear

    Garmin 800 with UK OS map best bit of kit I have ever bought. Allowed me to go loads of places on my mountain and road bike. I would simply buy another if it was lost or broken. Its used 4 – 5 times a week and has been going strong for I think about 4 – 5 or more years with no signs of problems.

    Battery life is still 12 hours. I did 132 mile Bristol ball buster Audax on Sunday and it still had 36% of its power left after some 10 hours. Its a fire and forget bit of kit. Charge it up and go. Easy up load and great free mapping software.

    Look for the positive in life not the negative

    Premier Icon weeksy

    had several, had Endomondo, strava etc…

    Just kills the enjoyment…. destroys the soul.

    Premier Icon andytherocketeer

    endomondo/everytrail reminds you where you went, and gives memories of big days out (esp. with photos)

    strava destroys the soul.


    I wouldn’t say regret, but I don’t use my 800 to it’s full potential these days. I’ve gotten to know the roads and trails round my way so rarely make use of the navigation. An most of my rides are sub 2hours so I use strava on my phone for tracking because I can’t be bother to dig the laptop out to upload the data.

    Still, I’ve thought about selling it but I wouldn’t get anything as good for similar money, and one day I’ll want to nav option and be glad I’ve got it. Maybe I’ll stop being a lazy arse and do some proper training in the summer…

    Premier Icon legspin

    Used my Edge 800 in the Lakes this weekend. Programmed in the Borrowdale Bash from Keswick. Didn’t have to stop to look at a map once even though I have never ridden in that area before, never mind that route. Brilliant bit of kit. I suppose it depends if you like to go to new places or just ride the same stuff.

    weeksy – Member
    strava etc…destroys the soul.

    andytherocketeer – Member
    strava destroys the soul.

    And it does…you give it your all on a climb, get a PB and it’s still 50% slower than the quick guys 😀

    I love my 800 for the same reasons a blobby; there’s something a bit zen about balancing, HR, cadence, gears etc. I love to get back from a ride and check my stats because it’s an indicator of how far my fitness has come on and consequently, a great motivator.

    There are many things that dislike about the 800…enough to put me off Garmin as a company; I’ll definitely look elsewhere before buying another GPS and I’ve ruled out their Vector pedals for this reason. Oh, and price!

    Examples? The beep to tell you that you’ve dropped out of a training zone is the same whether you’re too high, too low…or when you’re back in the zone! How hard would it have been to have a low beep if you’re below the zone, a high beep above it and a quick double beep when entering the zone!

    The menu and screen building system is just a **** shambles. I want to build a screen on my ‘puter and then drop it on the device. Not dick around in a million sub-menus on something the size of a matchbox.

    It’s slow to update maps when zooming and the screen resolution is pants. I’ll concede that it’s adequate, but this is a premium product and needs to be better.


    And it does…you give it your all on a climb, get a PB and it’s still 50% slower than the quick guys

    Heh! It’s up to you whether or not you let that bother you. 🙂

    Premier Icon curiousyellow

    I don’t regret buying the Garmin (Edge 800), but I resent them for:

    – Shitty interface compared to what’s available on a smartphone.
    – New Edge still doesn’t address the basic issues with visibility the old one has.
    – Not enough guidance on what the device is capable of.

    I thought about buying the new Edge 810, but then I realised the philosophy I’d be buying into technologically. They don’t address the current problems and they’ve got no intention of fixing the ones users flag. So why would I give them my money?

    When you’re the best of a bad bunch and make no effort to improve then it makes the consumer think they’re just phoning it in. I’d love to see a competitor come along and knock their socks off the complacent gits. I’ll use my Edge until the damned thing falls apart otherwise, or only ever buy them second hand.

    Can you tell I’m bitter?


    My Garmin800 is one of a select things I wouldnt want to be without.
    Keeping an eye on your cadence or HR during a ride can make a boring route interesting if you set a target.
    Then analysing the data when you have finished .. sad I know. But you can then set targets for the next ride.


    My concern is that the screen’s too small to get an overview of an area but that may be unfounded.

    I’d say thats probably the biggest drawback of any GPS. They are great for following a predetermined routes but the screens are not big enough if you just want to randomly explore. If you need to get between two points 20k’s away maps will always win.

    Edric 64

    200KM Audax takes 9 to 13 hours depending on terrain .Did one in Tewkesbury the other week and the battery just about did 11 hours luckily I always use the paper route as well .Barrys Ball Buster We turned it off as we couldnt get it to find the route .I hate the bloody thing (Garmin 800 )along with smart phones ,digital cameras and this laptop .They are all far to complicated for a lazy Luddite like me to understand

    Pete B

    The small screen is no match for a pukka map.
    However a paper map won’t tell you where you are and requires a halt, remove from backpack & unfold. The latter van be a pain if there’s a breeze.
    A handlebar mtd device requires one foot to be put down & a bit of squinting.
    Often you only want confirmation of a way point.
    If you’re unfamiliar with the area then a back up paper map makes sense.

    Premier Icon kiwijohn

    I use a Garmin Fenix mainly to track where I’ve been. I don’t train.
    Connects to iPhone to show the route on google earth.
    Also use it at work to read emails without having to dig the phone out of a pocket. Turn notifications off when riding though. They can wait until I get home.

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