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  1. #1
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    eTrex 30, Oregon 450 or Dakota 20 for MTB.

    Hi there,
    I am looking for my first GPS unit and I want it to use on MTB.
    A have read a a lots of post about the Edge 500, 800, and eTrex, Oregon and Dakota.
    About the Edge series, i know i won't use a lot of features... I would use a speed/cadence sensor and maybe a heart rate monitor.
    So my 3 finalists are the eTrex 30, Oregon 450 and Dakota 20.
    Which one could be the best for MTB?
    BTW, I live in Colombia, I'm not going to buy it with preloaded maps or bundles. So I think I can download maps and topo maps from a lot of free maps sites that are available for my country.
    We have a lot of trails, and mountains to ride... the weather changes a lot, tropical weather... That means a need a robust unit...
    Thanks for your help.
    jairo eduardo suarez gallardo
    mickmutante

  2. #2
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    WHY do you want the GPS? What core functionality are you looking for?

    Your answer to this question will push you towards one product family or another (fitness vs. handheld). From there, it's relatively simple as you can just compare product features on Garmin's website and look at some of the other brands that might be available to you.

  3. #3
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    So far my 1 month long experience with the Oregon 450 have been really good. I will not expand on the feature as you will find all the details through Garmin website and make comparisons. I was in the same position as you comparing Edge series, and trail map handheld models. I had my mind set on the eTrex 30 but when I saw the touchscreen and bigger screen of the 450 I was sold. Got it at REI for $250otd not bad for the features you get.
    Likes:
    - Satellite Acquirement almost instantly for me. Even indoors.
    - Durable design
    - Interchangeable batteries, I currently use alkaline and yet I am able to get satisfactory result. The set of batteries lasted the entire weekend(used it on a 6hr ride with 2 bars left at the end)
    - Upload\download gpx files. Help me a lot this weekend as I ventured to a new trail. I created the course through Garmin Connect, uploaded to the device and voila I'm riding the course with great accuracy.
    - Screen brightness, bright enough at the time between 7am - 1pm. And that is with the backlight brightness set halfway.
    - Screen size, size does matter :0)
    - So far connectivity to my computer is a cinch, connected to 3 different computers Win XP, 7 and MAC without any problems.
    - Bike mount if its on the stem. I have one mounted on a 100mm stem and handlebar on another bike. I thought I will have problems with the handlebar setup but during this weekend ride it didn't move an inch.
    Still playing around with it (or breaking it)

    Cons:
    - mount on short stem really tight, handlebar mount is stable but personal preference would be stem.
    - base map (I downloaded the Calif topo, it was free and quality good)

    Hope this helps.

  4. #4
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    I want the GPS unit to record my rides on the mtb. Create courses, see the statistics (speed, distance, time, cadence, HRM, etc). I like the idea of having a touch screen unit, water resistant (under rain), having map access, and occasional hiking...
    So if I want touch screen that put the eTrex 30 out of the equation, leaving the Dakota 20 and the Oregon 450 as finalists.?
    Which are the differences between those units (for MTB)? Beside size and price.?
    jairo eduardo suarez gallardo
    mickmutante

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by mickmutante View Post
    I want the GPS unit to record my rides on the mtb. Create courses, see the statistics (speed, distance, time, cadence, HRM, etc). I like the idea of having a touch screen unit, water resistant (under rain), having map access, and occasional hiking...
    So if I want touch screen that put the eTrex 30 out of the equation, leaving the Dakota 20 and the Oregon 450 as finalists.?
    Which are the differences between those units (for MTB)? Beside size and price.?
    none of the handhelds offer Course functionality. that is exclusive to fitness models. You can follow a previously recorded .gpx file on a handheld, but it will not compare to previous performance a la Virtual Partner.

    Look at Garmin's compare products feature on its website to compare the Oregon 450 and the Dakota 20. I'm not going to look at it for you and tell you, because I don't have the differences memorized.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    none of the handhelds offer Course functionality. that is exclusive to fitness models. You can follow a previously recorded .gpx file on a handheld, but it will not compare to previous performance a la Virtual Partner.
    Ok, I can live without that. It is not a big deal, I do MTB for reacreation and having fun, not for competing or professional purposes.

    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    Look at Garmin's compare products feature on its website to compare the Oregon 450 and the Dakota 20. I'm not going to look at it for you and tell you, because I don't have the differences memorized.
    Yeah i have done that.
    Oregon 450 has high-speed USB and NMEA 0183 compatible, 2000 waypoints/favorites/locationOutdoors (1000 mores than Dakota 20), 200 routes (150 mores than Dakota), and GPS games (Wherigo).
    But what about recording data time? I read in some post that the Oregon can record data each second (better detail on trails and non "linear" routes), I think, but does the Oregon record the data as the Dakota?

    BTW, NateHawk and Dirthugger, thanks for your comments, they are helping me a lot for choosing my gps unit.
    jairo eduardo suarez gallardo
    mickmutante

  7. #7
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    high speed USB is a pretty significant difference, IMO, if you're using the device's capability to load satellite imagery. but, the only real affect that will have is that you'll sit at the computer a few minutes longer transferring. for downloading your data, it won't be a huge deal.

    AFAIK, the two models record data the same. they essentially have the same OS. only a few of the OS features are missing in the Dakota.

    the screens are different resolutions and sizes, which will affect how much of the map you can see at once, and likely how many data fields you can see at once, also. but the bigger higher res screen translates to slightly lower battery life.

    the two models are so close in functionality (there even used to be a Dakota 30 which was even more similar to the Oregon 450) that I'd look at the prices you can find for the devices. I was going to get a Dakota (30) until I saw the Oregon 450 on sale for less. no brainer, IMO.

  8. #8
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    I think i am going to buy the Dakota 20 or Oregon 450, depending on their prices...
    I just saw a Dakota 20 refurbished for $205 and free shipping on ebay... Is it a good deal to buy a refurbished unit.. or should I go with a new one.?
    Oregon 20 refurbished > from $205 (@ ebay)
    Oregon 20 new > from $233 (@ ebay)
    Dakota 450 new > from $279 (@ ebay)
    Thanks.
    jairo eduardo suarez gallardo
    mickmutante

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mickmutante View Post
    I think i am going to buy the Dakota 20 or Oregon 450, depending on their prices...
    I just saw a Dakota 20 refurbished for $205 and free shipping on ebay... Is it a good deal to buy a refurbished unit.. or should I go with a new one.?
    Oregon 20 refurbished > from $205 (@ ebay)
    Oregon 20 new > from $233 (@ ebay)
    Dakota 450 new > from $279 (@ ebay)
    Thanks.
    warranties on these things are important to have. on these ebay items, are they being sold by authorized sellers? many companies won't warrant items purchased on ebay because they're considered "grey market" goods at best. warranties in those cases can be offered by the seller, and a reputable company will do that. Adorama provides its own warranty for grey market photography gear, for example, because the manufacturers won't warrant the items.

    many folks here have needed to cash in on Garmin's warranty in the past. I had an Edge 705 that was bricked by a firmware update. Garmin took care of me, but if you buy on ebay, that very well may not happen for you if you have a problem.

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