Bike Computer Clueless
I am interested in purchasing a GPS computer for my bike. The features I am looking for are:
*stored routes (I can live w/o this feature if it bumps the price up considerably)
I want to keep it simple and I'd rather not spend much money on it BUT, it must be a reliable unit.
Please offer your suggestions/price ranges based on experience. Thanks! :)
GPSes by their nature are all wireless
Originally Posted by ambassadorhawg
What is compact size for you? Garmin Edge 500? Garmin Edge 800? Garmin eTrex?
Just about all are stem mountable nowadays but short AM stems pose fitment problems. Consider the Barfly type mount also.
All will show distance traveled.
All will show elevation gain but models with a barometric altimeter will give more accurate elevation readings. Bike models that lack an altimeter include Edge 200, Edge 205, Edge 605.
All will store rides. Read the sticky and get the difference between routes and tracks in Garmin-speak. They are very different and I doubt you will use routes at all actually. You will probably be using tracks.
You will probably need to spend a couple hundy on it. I do not like the Edge 200 for the mountain bike, but it is cheap. Some folks who use it on wide open western trails think it is fine but I ride on twisty forest trails and the sampling interval is insufficient. All other models let you choose the sampling interval to suit your situation which I think just makes sense.
Otherwise, you need to select criteria that differ between models (the sticky covers some of them) and answer some of the questions I have posed to narrow down the options. There are a few new models in the pipeline to be released this spring so it might be worth looking at them, too. There are some new features showing up that may or may not be interesting to you.
Buy a used edge 305 off ebay they go for 70-80 dollars. There are also refurbished ones for sale online.
The 305 does everything that you listed. It has a barometric altimiter to show elevation gain/loss. It has as good if not better GPS reception then the newer units, and can be set to 1 sec recording if you want the most accurate track possible. It can do basic navigation but uses a old .crs file type. This means you will have to convert any file you want to use to a .crs. For whatever reason sometimes I cannot get gpx files to convert successfully, and its a hassell to do even when it does work. The newer units support uploads of .gpx files directly. if you want to download files of where other people have ridden and folllow them on a regular basis I would avoid the 305. You would be better off with a unit that can handle maps, and gpx file uploads. The 305 does create a line map of where you have been during your ride, so its a great tool for getting back where you started, and you can enter waypoints which can get you on the right trail. I think the edge 305 is the best value Gps cyclecomputer on the market. Its more accurate the the edge200 and is useful for basic navigation where the 200 is useless.
I have not had the chance to play with one yet but it looks like the newer edge 510 might have similar basic navigation functionality to the egde 305. If it supports .GPX files, and will allow you to zoom in it might do everything a 305 does and more. Of course its also much more expensive. I am hoping I can find a friend that buys a 510 and will let me try it out for a day.
Edge 305 is a killer basic GPS for not a lot of cash. It's still well supported by just about every website, parts still available for it, still able to get repaired from a few different places.
Originally Posted by Pedalfaraway
I got one, I cracked the screen on it, found another one used off fleabay for $90. I'm going to send it in to get repaired soon.
You can find them used for under $100 all over the place. I picked up three cadence/speed sensors at a swap meet a few months back for $10 each.
It doesn't really have a map to speak of. Just a breadcrumb trail thing. They say it does this arrow following breadcrumb trail kinda thing of a previous course, but I've never been able to figure it out. I just use it like a fancy bike computer. Speed, distance, altimeter, elevation gain, HRM, that sorta thing.
I'm seriously considering a Garmin 705 since they regularly show up on fleabay for under $200. That adds real maps. But, I hear folks complain that it isn't really that useful. I dunno... what do 705 owners think of the map? I would love to be able to put an unknown-to-me trail system on it and be able to find my way around. I do a lot of traveling around the country for work, and sometimes rent a bike and go for a spin after the work day is done. I guess I always have my iPhone.
the map on the 705 can be fairly useful. it's not as useful as a bigger map, but it's better than nothing. you have to beware of having excessive detail because of the small screen. therefore, it's more useful when it's zoomed in somewhat tight. zoom out too much and there's just too much on the screen to make anything out.
I had one, and it got bricked by a bad firmware update. Garmin replaced it and I sold it because I found I didn't use the fitness functions at all. If I got a GPS specifically for the bike, it'd be small like an Edge 500/510, because I get all the mapping I need from my Oregon.
Edge 800 and 810.
In my opinion the 800 and 810 are overpriced. For the cost of an 800 or 810 you could buy.
Used Garmn edge 305 + Garmin Refurbishment if it fails, or new edge 200 = $150
Garmin Mapping GPS like and Oregon or dakota = $200-$250
I have an Edge 305 and an Oregon. I use the edge for like 95% of my rides where I already know where I am going and have been there many times before. When I am riding in a new area I upload maps to the Oregon and use it. You can get both units for $400 which is less then an 800. The only thing that sucks about the setup is the units use different mounts so I have to remove the mount and attach the other mount. Its a hassell but only costs 4 zip ties. The edge 800 is a great unit and it might go on sale now that the 810 is here. I could see paying around $300 for it. For 600 you could almost buy 2 GPS units + a cheap laptop.
What kind of phone do you have. If you have a smart phone you could just get a bar or stem mount and download one of the free cycling apps and get the Bluetooth or ant+ sensors you'r wanting!
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Bike Computer Clueless
will the 305 work with strava?
Originally Posted by Pedalfaraway
Yep. You can chase KOM's and PR's all you want with an edge 305
Edge 500 (without the heart rate strap) for ~$250 - wait until REI has their 20% member sale (assuming you are a member) and get it for $200; Performance runs good deals too. Does everything you need.