open topic, for anything cycling related.
Just in case you haven't shelled out your money yet, my experience with an Edge 705 was that it was utterly useless in navigating by bicycle around Sydney. It had very few bicycle paths, and errors on those it did have. If you continued on a bike path it didn't have, it would spend so long trying to re-route you, it would just stall. Even if travelling on roads
it did have, and you made a wrong turn, re-routing would crash the Edge 705.
Unlike virtually every car GPS, it did not annunciate the turns - you had to be looking at the screen, and as SoGood points out, there are clear adverse safety implications in that.
The only good thing I can say about it was that it tended to avoid high traffic routes (like Sydney's Parramatta Rd through Leichardt).
Garmin may have improved the 800 series - but I'd find it hard to trust anyone that could put out such rubbish as the 705. No review of the 705 ever mentioned anything adverse about the routing, so unless someone can vouch for how well the 800 re-routes, your money could be wasted.
FWIW, I bought a TomTom Via 220 recently (for my car). It purports to route for car, bicycle or pedestrian. Testing it on the Gold Coast indicated that the bicycle mode was pretty useless - just avoided high-traffic roads, and seemed to have no preference for designated or off-road cycleways.
IMHO, RideTheCity and the opencyclemaps are the best resource you'll find for. RideTheCity does better than avoid high-traffic routes. Print the route from RideTheCity and take something like a smartphone with GoogleMaps on it as a backup should you get lost. Leave the smartphone GPS off until you need it, if riding for more than 1 hour as you could flatten its battery.
WombatK - Jerry Garcia, Grateful Dead
In my experience with 5 years on the 705 routing was in most parts great. It does let you know when to turn IF you are using City Navigator. It beeps before you turn. I don't know how the 810 does as I haven't used it for navigation yet.
Masi Speciale CX 2008 - Brooks B17 special saddle, Garmin Edge 810
Well $$ has been spent and I also have a test run on the Saturday morning, tried to ride from home (Salisbury) to University of Queensland (St Lucia).
As for bike computer, it's is excellent and there is many references stated how good it is, but for that I am the least interested.
As a sat nav, in short it is actually competent but not perfect. The following is how I have found:
- It does give me the maximum bike paths BUT in the decision making of travelling time vs bike path, it tend to choose saving time rather than saving life :p
- Unfortunately the whole navigation experience is not completely fool (me) proof! You do need to use it with a bit of common sense. At one instance, it told me to turn right at 200 meters.... except my right hand side is the river bank and I don't know if MTB can actually float :p But I realise there is a overhead bridge (exclusive for bike and pedestrian) at about that distance on my right, so I assume the sat nav is asking me to find a way to get onto that bridge. (So I just have to find a way to get to that bridge) Once I was on that bridge, everything is fairly straight forward.
- To get your attention, what it does is it has a really loud beep. So far it works for me.
- if I miss a turn it sort of just stops there. When I realise it's "frozen" *(well it really isn't) then I knew I have make a wrong turn or something. But once your corrected your course everything will be back to normal again.
Overall I feel this thing is useful and usable. But it's not fool proof like that car's sat-nav which I would like it to be. But it does get me from A to B. So far so good
The 705 could recover from a wrong-turn - provided you returned to its suggested course soon enough, it would unfreeze. But if you followed an unmapped bike path for 20 m or so, it stalled and couldn't be recovered without a reset.
That's well below par compared to the way even cheap car navigators work. And it was exacerbated by the lack of on-road and off-road cycleways - so you'd often need to take what it interpreted as a "wrong turn". The turn indications (beeps and arrow display) were passable, given it has to be waterproof.
WombatK - Jerry Garcia, Grateful Dead
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