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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: zgxtreme's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007

    Hotspot in lieu of Cell Phone on ride?

    Has anyone transitioned to using one of the 4G hotspot devices while on rides instead of taking your phone with you? Curious with respect to linking it to the Garmin, Strava, etc.

    I ask as Iíve recently ditched my pack in favor of a bottle and at the same time have really began to like simpler shorts rather than full featured cargo baggies.

    The idea was to find the smallest Hotspot I could find and shove it under the saddle or elsewhere for ride tracking and the like without a device bouncing in my upper pockets.

    Curious if anyone else has done the same...

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    I can't imagine that for a few reasons. First tier phones offer the hotspot and more. They typically have best antennas, software updates and resistance to the elements. It's easy to give them more battery life. They have apps where a wristwatch or other device can share the overall computing power.

    I have some and get some hotspots for events and have stood next to them and other phones with an iPhone 7 plus seeing the iPhone 7 Plus have superior reception. We (I'm an IT director) have outdoor events where adding a battery case to a top tier phone is compact, tremendous battery life and does the most.

    Then I think of the other utility I have with a phone - communication, weather, mapping.

    My thoughts don't mean this can't be done but my work experience for the outdoor events and the delivery division of our enterprise over and over explain why given the choice we buy buy iPhones and on occasions battery cases. In addition to quality product we find the most accessories and things for unusual use. We have them in food service, delivery, outdoor use, shipping/receiving etc.... Brand fan boys (and girls) don't always like it but so far that has worked out best.

    A mountain bike can complicate things because travel might not always be within the network or latest generation towers. Hotspots aren't so quick or easy to manage vs just handling your smart phone.
    ƃuoɹʍ llɐ ʇno əɯɐɔ ʇɐɥʇ

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Phone on bar if you must. I put it in my pack, where do you put the sammiches and bacon?

  4. #4
    fRIDEday makes me happy!
    Reputation: FullBladdy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    In a jersey pocket/

    I like having my phone on me for a number of reasons. It has a camera, If someone I am riding with gets a flat and I am ahead of them they just ring me to tell me what happened. On occasion I do listen to music through one ear bud. If needed I will have a better chance of either calling or texting for help if an injury occurs. Mapping can be handy if you are riding a new place.

    I don't use my phone anymore for ride tracking purposes like Strava as I now have a Garmin unit for my bikes. I have not tried hotspots so I cannot comment on them specifically but for me the phone is just something that comes along. When out on the MTB it is in my camelbak but when road riding it is always in a jersey pocket.

  5. #5
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    why are you thinking about linking a hotspot to a Garmin? What is that going to get you? The connected features of the Garmin require a couple things. Number one is Bluetooth connectivity. Garmin doesn't offer connected functions via wifi. The second one, and it's key in this case, is the Garmin Connect app. Your hotspot won't be running the app, so the Garmin isn't going to do anything with the hotspot, even if there's a bluetooth connection.

    And as mentioned before, hotspots have kinda crappy reception, anyway.

    Considering how far out mtb rides can take you, you're really risking a lot by going too minimalist. Hell...and here I was at REI earlier today considering buying a Sawyer mini water filter so I can rig a gravity filter to refill my bladder when I'm deep into a long ride and I run out. Having a real cell phone to make an emergency call is kinda relevant in today's world, especially if you sacrifice other items to "simplify".

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