What gps would stw buy?
I’m considering gps options. I want something that i can load a route up to and it can navigate me. When i go off route it needs to get me back on track. I don’t need to create routes on the device itself but i do need something that has an intuitive ui. It needs to cope equally well offroad and on-road. My friends garmin 830 has a ui i really don’t get on with and when i go off route it’s usually lost for 5-10 mins before it comes up with a plan. So better than that please. I’ve got a garmin hrm/watch so if that can sync too then all the better. What do you recommend?Posted 2 weeks ago
For something different to the usual Garmin and Wahoo items it’s worth checking out the Hammerhead Karoo 2.
A friend recently got one and I’ve been super impressed with the mapping and re-routing.
Check out DC Rainmaker for reviews.Posted 2 weeks ago
Roam for the screen size.Posted 2 weeks ago
Many like Wahoo, but I returned my Element Bolt about about 3 weeks. I just didn’t get on with it and thought the screen was very poor, really hard to read the mapping screen while riding. The app was good and it connected more reliably than the Garmin.
Previously I’d had an Edge 500, then a 520. I replaced the Wahoo with an Edge 530. It has its flaws I guess, but I find it to suit my needs perfectly well on and off road.Posted 2 weeks ago
When i go off route it needs to get me back on track
What do you mean by that?
Routing on-road is a solved problem. Garmin’s in car satnavs have done this reliably for the best part of 20 years. The mapping is high quality, reliable and *nearly* always knows whether something is a junction or a bend in the road (still a few oddities in the databases). In theory Garmin’s (and other makes) bike satnavs should be the same but there is the slight question of what you want to do when you’re off route – If you’re in a car you want the quickest route to your destination so recalc is easy. On a bike ride that’s very likely to give you completely the wrong answer – forget your route that winds through the quiet lanes, here’s the A road that takes you home.
Off road routing is massively unreliable, even more so if you’re riding anything but footpaths and bridleways. Turn by turn directions is still a massive ask as path ‘junctions’ just aren’t in any way reliably coded. So the best you can really hope for is a coloured line on the map and follow that. For off route stuff the most useful thing is what I had way back on basemapless B&W low res Garmin etrex running off AA batteries – an arrow pointing in the direction of the nearest bit of your pre-plotted route.
Screen on the Hammerhead Karoo is superb – actually visible in sunlight with sunglasses on, large enough to show some detail. Navigating on road is really good, off road I’d expect the same issues as any other.Posted 2 weeks ago
If battery life is not an issue then a Garmin Edge 1000 or 1030. When I am following a route I turn off the re-find route function as sometimes it can re-route you to the bottom a valley you’ve just spent two hours riding to the top of as it is the ‘quickest’ way on a flat map. It bleeps when you go off course usually within 10 mtrs of msissng the turn. It’s not difficult to see where you need to go to get back on course from the screen when you are riding. The only thing that annoys me is that when you do go off course the screen freezes at the point you went off course and you need to touch the screen for it to reset which I often forget to do and spend sometime riding wondering why I don’t seem to be getting any nearer to rejoinging the course.Posted 2 weeks ago
If you want to use the device for more than 7 hours at a time then the Wahoo devices are apparently the ones to go for.
I really like my Garmin edge 530. First one I received had the sticky buttons so I sent it back but the 2nd one was fine.
Those Hammerheads look good but aren’t cheap and seem more like an android phone.Posted 2 weeks ago
Garmin Edge Explore for me – the best navigation device if you don’t want loads of features, and they’re cheap too.
When I am following a route I turn off the re-find route function as sometimes it can re-route you to the bottom a valley you’ve just spent two hours riding to the top of as it is the ‘quickest’ way on a flat map.
Should be able to change from ‘shortest’ to ‘least elevation’ if you want in the routing options.Posted 2 weeks ago
Garmin 530 does what you want, it has its issues but so do all of the available options but I think it gives the best balance of cost/features.Posted 2 weeks ago
I bought a Karoo 2 a few months ago and I really like it. I haven’t had anything else recently to compare it to, but it’s way more useable than the old Garmin eTrex I had.Posted 2 weeks ago
Lovely screen and plenty of personalisation available.
Wahoo Roam, what I’ll be changing to if my Bolt ever dies.Posted 2 weeks ago
Hammerhead is partly financed by Armstrong’s people if that sort of thing matters to you.Posted 2 weeks ago
They are small electrical items out in the rain.
I bought a much older Garmin 800 when my old Garmin800 died last month.
I just use a route plotted on a map and navigate myself back on course using the map.
£60, not £250.
Is it going to die in the rain-yep. And then I can get another without crying 🙂Posted 2 weeks ago
Surely just using a phone is the easiest option these days? Handlebar mount and/or waterproof case. Loads of different apps available, so can try them out and find the one that suits best.
In my experience GPS fix is also quicker and more reliable than on a dedicated GPS unit – I think due to phone using the mast details to get a rough location first?
EDIT – also makes transferring route easy. Plot on PC and save to server, route appears on your phone app straightawayPosted 2 weeks ago
Surely just using a phone is the easiest option these days? Handlebar mount and/or waterproof case.
Mounting an iPhone to a bike handlebar off road can damage the image stabilisation hardware. I suspect all phones, with decent cameras, are susceptible as they all use similar methods.
Saw that today too, seems to be related to vibrations generated by motorcycle engines though. I’ve not had an issue, sometimes remove the phone for downhill sections in any case.Posted 2 weeks ago
I wouldn’t use a phone on the bars, I lost my bike the other week, garmin attached, could of been a lot worse if my phone was attached to the bike.Posted 2 weeks ago
What gps would stw buy?
The correct STW approved answer is none. No one needs this technology. You should only ever have a paper map, a bar of Kendal Mint Cake, a whistle and a compass. See also ‘getting lost is half the fun’ and ‘this isn’t a boring shitty bridleway its exploring’Posted 2 weeks ago
I’ve an old Garmin 820 with OS 1:50000 maps installed (card) – it’s really hard to follow a route as the screen is getting a bit old (touch screen), but because it’s got OS maps I always know where I am.
I’d get something with OS maps.Posted 2 weeks ago
Going back to the off-road re-routing, do you use Komoot at all? it seems reasonably good at this and there are some devices which it will sync with – Wahoo, Lezyne, Garmin, Hammerhead – https://www.komoot.com/gps-devices
Not tried that myself as I tend to use the phone itself, either on the bars (Quadlock / Topeak) or on voice mode in a pocket.Posted 2 weeks ago
I wouldn’t use a phone on the bars, I lost my bike the other week, garmin attached, could of been a lot worse if my phone was attached to the bike.
It doesn’t need to be your everyday phone. Just get something cheap and second hand. Big screen, all the apps and cheaper than a Garmin. Most of the apps work without data, or you can stick a cheap SIM in or connect it to your real phone if you really want (but without a sim the battery lasts ages)Posted 2 weeks ago
Use a Wahoo Element Roam. When it dies I’ll be buying another Wahoo Element Roam. Great bit of kit. Easy to sync with other apps, uploads with no issues. Good, clear mapping, and am amazed at the battery life.Posted 2 weeks ago
Garmin 1000 for screen size and visibility but use Komoot to send new routes to it as the Garmin interface sucks. As above, the ability to reroute depends heavily on how good the data is. Garmin uses openstreetmap data now so you can fix it if it is wrong or even get new tracks in if you likePosted 2 weeks ago
My 830 works just fine.
I’d have got the 1030 if money allowed purely for the bigger screen. A must for the older blinder than a bat cyclist now with a bloody stigmatism.Posted 2 weeks ago
I would go for the mobile phone option for off-road but as above, get a cheap or rugged one. 99% of the time you will get a signal, if not, just be sure to download the relevant map before you go.Posted 2 weeks ago
I’ve not had an issue
I get the impression you wouldn’t be able to tell, the stabilisation would just be impaired but it still takes photos, just when the phone is moving they won’t be as sharp. Be very hard to notice without some sort of lab set up.Posted 2 weeks ago
Phone. yes. Don’t use a posh phone (well you can, it’s your wallet! but most of them are too big) . Get A Cubot Kingkong mini mk2.Posted 2 weeks ago
Surely just using a phone is the easiest option these days? Handlebar mount
No, because people with a phone on their handlebars look silly.
Also battery life, and visibility, and risk of damage, and physical size and physical buttons etc. But mainly because it looks silly.Posted 1 week ago
No, because people with a phone on their handlebars look silly.
ThisPosted 1 week ago
They look like, and are the same size as some dedicated gps units. Bit of a wierd argument. Especially for a bunch of middle aged men on mountain bikes. Also comparable battery life too.Posted 1 week ago
Old Garmin 800 or 820 here. Grown up on OS Maps and for UK use they’re top. Screen is modest compared to newer ones – but as one of the other posters sets out – they’re cheap – I’ve paid from £70 – £110 for them with the UK on 1:50000 SD cards and am still on my original, albeit I lost one being an eejit.Posted 1 week ago
Maps in GPX and I think other formats are transferable via PC.
THE 800 isn’t bluetooth compatible, 820 is albeit I can’t work out how to transfer new route files from phone to device when out and about. Quite possibly user error – see above.
For overseas I think it’ll be another Garmin, subject to price & availability.
Interested in the comment re potential damage to a phone on the handlebars. My phone has done >20K miles on my motorbike, and a few on my mtb. Just been comparing photos on my computer of phone when new and now, similarish type photos and thankfully can’t spot any differences.
I’ve found Komoot to work pretty well on my phone fwiw.Posted 1 week ago
Is it going to die in the rain-yep
Got to admit that surprises me- a branch got fired back at me by the rider in front and knocked my garmin (510) off the bars. I didn’t notice until we got to the cafe. Went back to look for it and eventually found it in the mud at the bottom of a puddle. Been in there ~40 minutes, never skipped a beat. Countless wet rides, never a problem.
I bought a 530 a year back, it’s been good, although I think I’d have preferred the 830 for the touch screen. Assuming you don’t expect miracles off road the routing is reasonable, if a little unwilling to reroute on the fly. Gpx+map is better. Garmin tipped wahoo because it was a bit cheaper and I liked some of the ‘gimics’ like the bike alarmPosted 1 week ago
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