Buying a Bike GPS/Computer

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Buying a Bike GPS/Computer

Postby nandystam » Sun Mar 16, 2014 10:08 am

HI all

My trusty Holux GP Sport 245 has developed a nasty habit of randomly shutting off during rides, so I'm looking for a replacement.

Normally I'd probably aim for a Garmin 500/510, but since there are now more than a few alternatives that are cheaper than the Garmins, I'm wondering if anybody has any experience with these other units and can provide some feedback or recommendations?

Ideally what i'm looking for is something than:

- Has an accurate GPS. I know the nature of GPS means it can never be 100% accurate, but something that is as accurate as possible would be nice :)
- Supports ANT+ for cadence/speed & heart rate sensors (the sensors don't necessarily need to be part of pack, I could buy them later)
- Can have it's data easily uploaded to Strava, or has software that can accurately convert its data to a Strava-friendly format, but will include HR data (I think Strava ignores for speed/cadence data?). I use a Mac, so Mac-friendly software would be good, but if it's Windows that's OK too.

The units I've been looking at include:

- Mio/Magellan Cyclo 105
- Mio/Magellan Cyclo 505 (this looks like a much cheaper alternative than the Garmin 800/810 range? Having map support is a nice bonus)
- Timex Cycle Trainer 2.0 (same as the Cyclo 105 , on sale at Harvey Norman atm, Seems it's data files are not so easily converted to a Strava-friendly format)
- Garmin Egde 500/510
- Motoactv (although there seems to be concerns about battery life?)

I don't really have a set budget, but as long as the unit represents good value for money, I'm happy to spend whatever is necessary.

I know most of you would probably have a Garmin, but if anyone uses something different I'm keen to hear your views :)
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by BNA » Sun Mar 16, 2014 6:38 pm

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Re: Buying a Bike GPS/Computer

Postby Duck! » Sun Mar 16, 2014 6:38 pm

I've been using a Bryton Rider 50 for the last couple of years without a hitch. This model is roughly similar to the now-supplanted Garmin 705 with its onboard mapping. Similar to the Garmn 500/510 is the Rider 40. The Rider 60 has recently replaced the Rider 50 and is similar to the Garmin 800.

The software can sometimes be a little flaky (usually following updates), but for the most part I've had very few problems. Battery life can be up to 10 hours with no backlighting and minimal screen-switching.
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.
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Re: Buying a Bike GPS/Computer

Postby vikramranna » Mon Mar 17, 2014 9:48 am

I bought the Magellan Cyclo 105/HC and for me it was a waste of money. The reason being that the unit does not even fit my bike. When i install the cadence sensor on the the rear there is not enough room left for me to install the magnet on to the crankarm.

I am not sure if it is because of my bikes dimensions. Probably your bike does not have that issue.

The unit has never been used and if you are interested then i can sell it for quite cheap as i have no use for it.
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Re: Buying a Bike GPS/Computer

Postby ball bearing » Mon Mar 17, 2014 9:56 am

vikramranna wrote:I bought the Magellan Cyclo 105/HC and for me it was a waste of money. The reason being that the unit does not even fit my bike. When i install the cadence sensor on the the rear there is not enough room left for me to install the magnet on to the crankarm.

Have you tried a rare earth magnet on your pedal?

http://www.bikeradar.com/forums/viewtop ... p=17681572
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Re: Buying a Bike GPS/Computer

Postby simonn » Mon Mar 17, 2014 10:07 am

I am not a huge fan of Garmin (bloody charging cable for my in-car GPS!! And they should have used micro usb, rather than mini-usb sockets which are not designed for they amount of use they get), but get a Garmin. They work* and do not require propriety software as they mount just like a USB drive and you can copy the files off using whatever - windows, OSX, linux, even my (rooted) android phone, etc - and upload to Strava, Endomondo, Garmin Connect etc as a file.

The most important thing, IMHO and for mapping GPSes, is that you can also use OpenStreetMaps maps which saves a lot of money. Bryton sort-of-claimed they could, but they cannot.

*I have had one glitch, once, in ~2 years of heavy use (almost daily for a while).
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Re: Buying a Bike GPS/Computer

Postby vikramranna » Thu Mar 20, 2014 8:55 am

If anyone is interested then i have advertised my Magellan for sale. Please follow the below link

viewtopic.php?f=84&t=73710&p=1104111&hilit=magellan#p1104111
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Re: Buying a Bike GPS/Computer

Postby Xplora » Fri Mar 21, 2014 9:57 pm

I've got a Bryton 35 which is similar to the Garmin 500. Runs HR and all the speed and cadence sensors. I've found it to be quite good, main weaknesses are Strava integration and the more advanced power meter advanced and advanced auto lap functions... if you aren't racing a lot of criteriums with a power meter, you probably aren't missing anything with it. Mine is about 12 months old? PM me if you're interested, because I'm racing a lot of crits with a power meter LOL
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Re: Buying a Bike GPS/Computer

Postby uMP2k » Fri Mar 21, 2014 11:09 pm

Not so much a recommendation (you cannot recommend something you don't have :)), but I am very interested in the Magellan 505. I currently have a Garmin 800 which is great, but the screen and UI on the Magellan looks clearer and possibly easier to read. I read somewhere, although I cannot find the review now, that the map screen has better daylight visibility than that on the Garmin, which I find pretty much impossible to read once I have sunnies on.
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Re: Buying a Bike GPS/Computer

Postby RonK » Sat Mar 22, 2014 11:23 am

vikramranna wrote:I bought the Magellan Cyclo 105/HC and for me it was a waste of money. The reason being that the unit does not even fit my bike. When i install the cadence sensor on the the rear there is not enough room left for me to install the magnet on to the crankarm.

I have these sensors fitted to two bikes. One (roadie) has quite tight dimensions and the cadence pickup sits more to the top of the chainstay. The other (tourer) has more generous dimensions and the cadence pickup fits right on the side of the chainstay.

These sensors would have to be the easiest I've ever fitted - and I've fitted quite a few. I could fit one on any bike in less than 10 minutes.

If this is the reason for selling your unit, you should go back and take another look. I can produce pics if you need them.
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Re: Buying a Bike GPS/Computer

Postby RonK » Sat Mar 22, 2014 12:01 pm

uMP2k wrote:Not so much a recommendation (you cannot recommend something you don't have :)), but I am very interested in the Magellan 505. I currently have a Garmin 800 which is great, but the screen and UI on the Magellan looks clearer and possibly easier to read. I read somewhere, although I cannot find the review now, that the map screen has better daylight visibility than that on the Garmin, which I find pretty much impossible to read once I have sunnies on.

After a bitter experience with Garmin I was very reluctant to buy another GPS unit - and I will never buy another Garmin. But since its focus is on navigation the Cyclo 505 HC offered pretty much everything a cycle tourist could need so I finally bit the bullet. I've had mine my since they were released in February so I'm just coming to terms with its features and some idiosyncrasies.

Here are a few observations:
- the map screen is indeed quite clear and easy to read, as long as you are not looking from too much of an angle - but the viewing angle is easy to adjust since the unit is supplied with an out front mount in addition to the standard handlebar/stem mount
- despite not being focused on training, the 505 has quite a useful set of workout functions and can integrate an Ant+ power meter - and there are plenty of stats
- even with the bike profile set to use only roads, route finding tries to take on-road bike paths, which in Brisbane are a shemozzle, so the generated routes can be quite convoluted - this may be fine if you're a bike path rider but I'm not, however I'm sure it will be quite useful should I loose my bearings in a unfamiliar location
- loading your own routes is easy, and route following is fantastic - quickly recalculates if you stray from the route, and there is plenty of warning before turns
- love the elevation function which tells me how far to the next climb, the grade, and how much further to the top, although on flattish routes the start of the "climb" may not always be apparent to the rider
- if you're a Mac user, there is only the web app, which doesn't have the functionality of the PC app
- the wifi sync function is fantastic
- I'm still a little uncertain how best to pause and resume reliably after an extended stop for lunch or a coffee break when the unit powers off.
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Re: Buying a Bike GPS/Computer

Postby GH » Sat Mar 22, 2014 12:18 pm

My vote is for the Garmin 510 if you don't need maps or 810 if you do. OSM maps work
on the Garmin 800/810 via an uploader.

The main factor in my choice is the ability to remote track the device via the
Live Track feature. Very useful when on a ride but I also use it when travelling
long distance so the wife and select others can see where I am with an updated position every
minute via phone data.

Good battery life is another bonus, I can not comment on battery life for
anything other than the Garmins.
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Re: Buying a Bike GPS/Computer

Postby nandystam » Sat Mar 22, 2014 12:23 pm

RonK wrote:
uMP2k wrote:Not so much a recommendation (you cannot recommend something you don't have :)), but I am very interested in the Magellan 505. I currently have a Garmin 800 which is great, but the screen and UI on the Magellan looks clearer and possibly easier to read. I read somewhere, although I cannot find the review now, that the map screen has better daylight visibility than that on the Garmin, which I find pretty much impossible to read once I have sunnies on.

After a bitter experience with Garmin I was very reluctant to buy another GPS unit - and I will never buy another Garmin. But since its focus is on navigation the Cyclo 505 HC offered pretty much everything a cycle tourist could need so I finally bit the bullet. I've had mine my since they were released in February so I'm just coming to terms with its features and some idiosyncrasies.

Here are a few observations:
- the map screen is indeed quite clear and easy to read, as long as you are not looking from too much of an angle - but the viewing angle is easy to adjust since the unit is supplied with an out front mount in addition to the standard handlebar/stem mount
- despite not being focused on training, the 505 has quite a useful set of workout functions and can integrate an Ant+ power meter - and there are plenty of stats
- even with the bike profile set to use only roads, route finding tries to take on-road bike paths, which in Brisbane are a shemozzle, so the generated routes can be quite convoluted - this may be fine if you're a bike path rider but I'm not, however I'm sure it will be quite useful should I loose my bearings in a unfamiliar location
- loading your own routes is easy, and route following is fantastic - quickly recalculates if you stray from the route, and there is plenty of warning before turns
- love the elevation function which tells me how far to the next climb, the grade, and how much further to the top, although on flattish routes the start of the "climb" may not always be apparent to the rider
- if you're a Mac user, there is only the web app, which doesn't have the functionality of the PC app
- the wifi sync function is fantastic
- I'm still a little uncertain how best to pause and resume reliably after an extended stop for lunch or a coffee break when the unit powers off.


Thanks for the feedback - I am a Mac user, but can use the PC software in a virtual machine so no biggie (I already do this now with the Holux GPS) - does the software allow exporting to TCX for the HR data? I think I read somewhere it can export GPX, but iirc the GPX standard doesn't support HR info?
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Re: Buying a Bike GPS/Computer

Postby liamw » Sat Mar 22, 2014 1:29 pm

I have used a couple of different Garmins now (after using my phone initially a few years ago and getting sick of the lack of accuracy - although that may no longer be the case, the rides that people post using the Strava app seem to be quite decent) and I have to say that I am happy with the Garmin 510. It does everything I need, the connectivity to my phone is reasonably seamless at the moment with the latest version of the app (the same could not be said for earlier versions) and the fact that the storage is online means I don't have to worry about losing data. The 500 that I had previously was also quite good - I never experienced some of the buggy behaviour that other folks have reported. I only upgraded because I tend to like wireless connectivity features :)

I have also ridden with people who are Magellan users and they say that they are happy with those as well - I think it just comes down to personal preference.

PS: Oh, and being both a Mac and PC user, the web based approach of the Garmin means that they are reasonably OS agnostic - updates work on both, as do uploads if you want to upload to things like Strava or don't want to use the mobile app.
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Re: Buying a Bike GPS/Computer

Postby RonK » Sat Mar 22, 2014 6:25 pm

nandystam wrote:Thanks for the feedback - I am a Mac user, but can use the PC software in a virtual machine so no biggie (I already do this now with the Holux GPS) - does the software allow exporting to TCX for the HR data? I think I read somewhere it can export GPX, but iirc the GPX standard doesn't support HR info?

I've been unsuccessful in installing the desktop software to my Mac using Crossover. I'll install it on my Netbook, but as yet I haven't seen it and don't know what exports it can perform. But exporting HR data holds little interest for me.

The web console is a simple tool to upload and view your recorded rides and find tracks others have made.
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Re: Buying a Bike GPS/Computer

Postby WITHND » Sat Mar 22, 2014 8:35 pm

Hi all, I'm thinking of buying a Garmin500 bundle for $275

It has a HR monitor and Cadence sensors, is this easy to set up the cadence sensors & also is this a good value unit that I can add a power meter to down the track?

Cheers
Scott
2014 Jamis Xenith Race
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Re: Buying a Bike GPS/Computer

Postby AUbicycles » Sat Mar 22, 2014 9:32 pm

Currently have the Magellan Cyclo505 on review. Of course it does everything you would expect from a GPS cycle computer. They do promote the mapping features and the value of this depends on the type of riding you do - for cycle touring it would be good and also for carefully structured workouts. I have followed a few of the routes it has provided, sometimes I feel that it takes me off busier routes even if I feel they are more suited however if you know the area you ride where you want. That said, setting it up so you can ride when and how you want (eg. power meter or ANT) can fit.

No issues on the mac, setup was not quite as straight forward but once you work it out it is simple and also has a wireless capability to connect to your network and upload your data (incl to strava).

Nice looking unit, comes with a mount that works well. On the default settings I turn off the screen sleep - so I can always view my data and also the 'beeps' which i found distracting when using the navigation.
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Re: Buying a Bike GPS/Computer

Postby Xplora » Sat Mar 22, 2014 11:23 pm

WITHND wrote:Hi all, I'm thinking of buying a Garmin500 bundle for $275

It has a HR monitor and Cadence sensors, is this easy to set up the cadence sensors & also is this a good value unit that I can add a power meter to down the track?

Cheers
Scott

The sensors work to a standard wireless transmission protocol. The 500 will be able to manage all that fine enough. Worth bearing in mind that if you've got cash to pony up for a power meter, you have cash to upgrade from a cheaper GPS unit... even cheap power meters aren't cheap :shock:
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Re: Buying a Bike GPS/Computer

Postby WITHND » Sun Mar 23, 2014 9:27 am

Xplora I probably won't have $ for power meter till December & just have $300 in my bike gear fund at the moment...

I could hold off all together till December but I think I can really benefit from a cadence meter & HR monitor now..

Might pull the trigger later today...

Is setting up / installing the cadence sensors hard?

Cheers
Scott
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Re: Buying a Bike GPS/Computer

Postby Xplora » Sun Mar 23, 2014 12:29 pm

Yep it's not hard at all, possibly time consuming but it's a good learning eperience (in case something fails later). You're right, well worth learning the CAD and HR (and SPD) now, power is a different kettle of fish, but so is CAD and HR for the first time!
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Re: Buying a Bike GPS/Computer

Postby trailgumby » Sun Mar 23, 2014 1:40 pm

Maybe jump on this?

viewtopic.php?f=25&t=73794
"People have a right to their own opinions, but not their own facts. Evidence must be located, not created, and opinions not backed by evidence cannot be given much weight." -- James W Loewen

http://www.facebook.com/Drive2WorkDay
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