Best Cycle Computer for Navigation and Touring

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VeloGiro
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Best Cycle Computer for Navigation and Touring

Postby VeloGiro » Thu Feb 01, 2018 5:43 pm

Hi folks - My wife and i are traveling to Europe in a couple of months. We are cycling the Eurovelo 15 route down the length of the Rhine River from its source in the Switz Alps, through Germany, France and ending at the North Sea in Holland.

I know GPS options for training, metrics and the like has been covered elsewhere on the site, but we are not fussed at all with calories burned/max heart rate/strava segments/lap time comparisons etc...we are just wanting a GPS with excellent mapping and navigation functions. Its about way-finding for us.

Anyone have any experience that we could draw on here...Its all a bit confusing to know which way to go :?

Thanks folks...any insights would be most welcomed :)
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Tim
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Re: Best Cycle Computer for Navigation and Touring

Postby Tim » Thu Feb 01, 2018 5:56 pm

I've used a Garmin 800, 810 and an Etrex30 for bike touring over time.
Of the above three models the Etrex (which has a newer model) would probably suit your purposes best. It doesn't record all the fitness and performance data and is comparatively inexpensive. There is an optional handlebar mount available.
Avoid the latest Garmin 820, it's riddled with bugs and primarily a fitness and training devise.
The Garmin 1000 costs a motza, was plagued with earlier version bugs and also mostly fitness oriented. I think "rifraf" has one.
Wahoo has recently entered the bike GPS market with favourable reviews from RonK and Aushiker, I think.
Whatever you choose, a GPS can never satisfactorily replace a good map.
My main frustration with devices is the small screen size and inability to see the "big picture".
Have you considered an iPad or iPad mini? My iPad mini fits neatly in an Ortlieb handlebar bag and obviously has a much larger display than the handheld size GPS but still not as good as a map.
Last edited by Tim on Thu Feb 01, 2018 6:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

LG
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Re: Best Cycle Computer for Navigation and Touring

Postby LG » Thu Feb 01, 2018 6:10 pm

I used a cheap oppo phone with locus map pro for EV6 and other riding in Europe last year, was great. Not sure if there's any advantage using a specific gps, but with a phone you can also use for camera, Internet and calling.
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Tim
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Re: Best Cycle Computer for Navigation and Touring

Postby Tim » Thu Feb 01, 2018 6:13 pm

LG wrote:Not sure if there's any advantage using a specific gps


The only real advantage is much extended battery life (over a phone) if the GPS is used constantly for recording and displaying data.
On the other hand a hub dynamo can keep most phones charged on the go.

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Re: Best Cycle Computer for Navigation and Touring

Postby Aushiker » Thu Feb 01, 2018 8:01 pm

Tim wrote:Wahoo has recently entered the bike GPS market with favourable reviews from RonK and Aushiker, I think.


I sold mine after my Esperance to Albany ride; just does not work for me given my touring is often in areas without phone coverage and that I may want to re-route whilst on the tour.

Having to muck around with a phone and getting it to sync to a GPS head unit without phone range [yep it should work but well it is not as functional as it is suggested] and then on top of that have a GPS head unit that cannot cope with going off route saw it gone within days.

Oh it also so dependent on your computer to setup up routes using say RideWithGPS. I don't travel with a computer anymore so is just one more aspect that turned me off when the reality of actually being on the road came into play. Trying to plot routes in RidewithGPS on a tablet is not fun.

So back to a Garmin Edge 1030 in my case, but I would agree that for the OP the Etrex 30 would be worth a look. One criteria I would consider a must is auto-rerouting more so in a place like Europe where I have no understanding of the geography. Not sure if this is a feature on the Exrex 30 or not.

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Re: Best Cycle Computer for Navigation and Touring

Postby LG » Thu Feb 01, 2018 8:29 pm

Tim wrote:
LG wrote:Not sure if there's any advantage using a specific gps


The only real advantage is much extended battery life (over a phone) if the GPS is used constantly for recording and displaying data.
On the other hand a hub dynamo can keep most phones charged on the go.

Yes, I used a hub dynamo and charger, pretty common to end a day with a near fully charged phone. There are lots of signs on the part of EV15 (which is also EV6) we rode and navigation was pretty simple, thus unless you want the screen on all the time a phone for navigation would be fine and save the purchase of a gps.
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V2rocketeer
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Re: Best Cycle Computer for Navigation and Touring

Postby V2rocketeer » Fri Feb 02, 2018 6:33 pm

Don't forget Open Street Maps
I plan on using OSM with an Etrex 20x
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Warin
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Re: Best Cycle Computer for Navigation and Touring

Postby Warin » Sat Feb 03, 2018 10:24 am

VeloGiro wrote:we are just wanting a GPS with excellent mapping and navigation functions. Its about way-finding for us.


In addition to the 'way finding' there is also the POI finding .. things like a hotel/backpackers/camping, cafe, or even just some drinking water.

Other than the GPS the maps you download onto the GPS will determine the number and accuracy of the POIs. OSM does a good job .. don't think the $$ are worth it for the commercial GPS maps over the OSM sourced ones.

Cannot help on 'which GPS' as I'm not really looking at the moment.

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rifraf
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Re: Best Cycle Computer for Navigation and Touring

Postby rifraf » Sun Feb 04, 2018 3:48 pm

Tim wrote:The Garmin 1000 costs a motza, was plagued with earlier version bugs and also mostly fitness oriented. I think "rifraf" has one.

I upgraded to the 1030 a little earlier than Andrew.

I decided for economic reasons to be an early adapter.

When I upgraded my 800 to 1000 I dallied too long and when I finally made the move, my 800 unit was worth chump change.

By comparison, when I went to the 1030 and sold the 1000, I lost little and it was much more acceptable.

With regards the Etrex versions, I'm sure I read that the 35T accepted the usual Garmin bicycle sensors like HR, speed/cadence, etc.

I think from memory my Edge had a slightly larger screen which is important for my ageing eyesight.
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VeloGiro
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Re: Best Cycle Computer for Navigation and Touring

Postby VeloGiro » Sun Feb 04, 2018 5:45 pm

Thanks Tim/LG/Aushiker/V2/Warin and Rifraf...Food for thought indeed...Lots of options from the Locus Map Pro though to the Edge 1030...

I have never really dabbled in the world of cycle computers and apps..I'll keep pondering and fishing...Cheers and thanks
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rifraf
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Re: Best Cycle Computer for Navigation and Touring

Postby rifraf » Mon Feb 05, 2018 2:47 am

VeloGiro wrote:Thanks Tim/LG/Aushiker/V2/Warin and Rifraf...Food for thought indeed...Lots of options from the Locus Map Pro though to the Edge 1030...

I have never really dabbled in the world of cycle computers and apps..I'll keep pondering and fishing...Cheers and thanks


I make a habit of waiting for one of the eBay 20% off sales so would suggest if possible you don't make a rush purchase if theres time.

Pushy's also has decent sales from time to time too.
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rifraf
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Re: Best Cycle Computer for Navigation and Touring

Postby rifraf » Tue Feb 06, 2018 1:30 pm

Ryda.com on eBay started a 20% off deal today.

Not saying they are the cheapest but may be worth checking out

http://stores.ebay.com.au/ryda-online

Its 20% off the listed price with the code PRESENT20

There may be other companies offering gps units - I just spotted these:

https://www.ebay.com.au/rpp/valentines- ... ronics/gps

A list of sellers whom honour the discount include: https://pages2.ebay.com.au/Buyer_coupons/present20
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LG
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Re: Best Cycle Computer for Navigation and Touring

Postby LG » Tue Feb 06, 2018 3:59 pm

Have a read through this article, it's what helped me when I was pondering the same thing about 12 months ago

https://www.cyclingabout.com/gps-naviga ... martphone/
LG = Low Gear

iNGE
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Re: Best Cycle Computer for Navigation and Touring

Postby iNGE » Tue Feb 06, 2018 4:19 pm

Aushiker - the auto re-routing is possible on the Etrex. If you use route instead of track it automacally keeps sending you back to the programmed route. For me a reason to use tracks for I sometimes deviate from the original plan and then make my own way to get back on track.

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RonK
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Re: Best Cycle Computer for Navigation and Touring

Postby RonK » Tue Feb 06, 2018 4:48 pm

There is a lot to be said for using a smartphone. They can be bought quite cheaply now, much cheaper than Garmin and other cycle computers. Cheap enough to have as a second smartphone so you are not risking damage or the loss of your expensive iPhone or Galaxy.

They are a good solution if you are primarily interested in navigation and don't care to pay for a plethora of training features. But of course have all the usual phone functions. And there are plenty of bike navigation apps to choose from.

Take the Asus Zenfone 3 for example. Made by a reputable manufacturer, has an outstanding 16.7 hour battery life, and can be purchased locally for less than $300, and even less on eBay.
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RonK
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Re: Best Cycle Computer for Navigation and Touring

Postby RonK » Wed Feb 07, 2018 11:55 am

For touring navigation you might consider the Teasi One Extend. It has a very user friendly navigation interface and also provides basic bike bike computer functions.

It can be loaded with A/NZ maps when you return from Europe.

And you can buy one now from Bike24 for around $222 at the current exchange rate, including shipping.

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Aushiker
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Re: Best Cycle Computer for Navigation and Touring

Postby Aushiker » Wed Feb 07, 2018 12:40 pm

RonK wrote:Take the Asus Zenfone 3 for example. Made by a reputable manufacturer, has an outstanding 16.7 hour battery life, and can be purchased locally for less than $300, and even less on eBay.

I haven't looked but how many of these low end phones come with weather resistance or better still waterproofness at least to an acceptable standard for use on a bike?

Then there is still the issue with the screen in bright sunlight. My high-end Samsung Galaxy S8 still suffers this problem and can be a pain to read. At least this was a good feature with the Wahoo Elemnt.

I am not convinced yet that a phone is still a better option.

polishbiker
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Re: Best Cycle Computer for Navigation and Touring

Postby polishbiker » Thu Feb 08, 2018 1:25 pm

When I was touring Europe I just used an iPhone 4 with google offline maps, worked well.

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Re: Best Cycle Computer for Navigation and Touring

Postby polishbiker » Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:08 pm

Also, just received this:
https://www.gearbest.com/bike-holder/pp_679672.html

Aluminum construction, well made with no issues in the design.
Mounted it on my touring bike, solid connection with the bar.
Paid 9$ when it was on special 2 weeks ago.

had lots of positive reviews.
Quite impressed with it for so little money.

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Re: Best Cycle Computer for Navigation and Touring

Postby polishbiker » Sat Feb 17, 2018 6:15 pm

hopefully i am not hijacking anyone thread but this phone mount is simply awesome, did 80km with it today, solid as :O

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Re: Best Cycle Computer for Navigation and Touring

Postby Baalzamon » Tue Feb 20, 2018 10:03 am

rifraf wrote:
Pushy's also has decent sales from time to time too.


This is where I got my 1030 from as well. Only had the 1030 for a few weeks and it's looking good as well. Much better than the 810 I upgraded from. And I was toying with the idea for a bit of using my phone as a mount, but got turned off that when even my dynamo wouldn't keep the battery alive for 3hrs with display on.
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VeloGiro
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Re: Best Cycle Computer for Navigation and Touring

Postby VeloGiro » Sat Feb 24, 2018 1:57 pm

Thank you all for your input and discussion here - It has been most informative and helpful. I ended up picking up a second hand Garmin Edge 1000 (for a song)!

I wasn't intending to go that route...more actively exploring apps/phone/ipad combos... but in the end a second hand Garmin, in really good nick, for 1/4 of the price of a new unit was the compelling option. I'll use < 10% of its 'capacity' but it seems to do what i was wanting from a GPS navigation tool nicely.

Before we head to Europe we are spending a week cycling in the Murray Mallee region. Starting at Calperum Station, crossing the Murray at lock 7 to Neds Station, crossing back again at Lock 8 - Rufus River Road, Old Wentworth Road, Hattah Lakes and then on the river tracks through to Swan Hill...I'll put the unit through its paces and iron out any issues (mostly related to me and technology :? ) prior to our month in EU. Ripper! Thanks again all...
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VeloGiro
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Re: Best Cycle Computer for Navigation and Touring

Postby VeloGiro » Wed Feb 28, 2018 6:35 pm

Tim wrote:but still not as good as a map.


Agreed Tim - Just got the Europe maps in the mail today - love a good map!
One of the main reasons for wanting the GPS navigation is to track the Eurovelo 15 route which a couple of folks have mapped as GPX file - the route ducks down lanes and all manner of twists and turns.The step by step directions in the guidebook are difficult to follow from what a mate of mine experienced last year so with navigation prompts from the Garmin and the maps we should be sweet...
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