Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 50 of 76
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    809

    Garmin eTrex 30 a good choice?

    I have been doing some research on getting a GPS for my bike and initially wanted an Edge 500/800 but appears the new eTrex 30 might be a good choice.

    Here are some things I need to be able to do with whatever unit I get:

    1. Accurate mileage along with a trip odometer for races with cue sheets (trans iowa and the like). Would this be good for this type of thing or would I be better off with a normal cycle computer like a Cateye?

    2. Long battery life and easy to replace batteries in field. 25 hours of AA batteries looks awesome.

    3. Easy to switch between 3 bikes. What mounts should I use for one of these?

    4. Upload to Garmin Connect. This is compatible.

    5. MOST importantly, be able to upload a route like CTR or Trans North Georgia to follow for the race.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    18,539
    1. mileage should be fine
    2. that's about as good for battery life as you'll find
    3. give Garmin's mounts a try
    4. anything that provides a .gpx file is compatible. this is a non-issue
    5. that depends on the files provided for the race route. if those files were made to be viewed in Google Earth pre-race, they might not work without a good deal of massaging of the data. the answer here is "it depends".

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    809
    Thanks Nate, would you recommend the eTrek 30 for my use or should I be looking at something else?

  4. #4
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    18,539
    It'd probably work fine. Folks have been using eTrex models of various permutations on mountain bikes since there were eTrex GPS receivers. They're small and light, have great battery life, and do what needs doing.

    The 30 has wireless capability so you can even use a HRM or a GSC-10 sensor if you want to add one. It doesn't have as many fitness features in the software as the Edge or Forerunner models do, but it's a good option that brings the eTrex series back to life.

    That thing does most of the things my Oregon 450 can do in a smaller package with better battery life. Main difference is the screen/interface. The eTrex even is compatible with the Russian GLONASS satellite system which has the potential to speed signal lock and maybe even boost accuracy some in conjunction with GPS.

  5. #5
    Goats Rule!
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    311
    One thing (very important to me) is that the etrex 30 can display the total ascent/descent on different screens by customizing the fields. The Oregons, old etrex line, etc. can not. You have to switch to the elevation plot view to see that in the other units.

    I really like my 30. Just don't forget to reset your odometer and clear the track log at the beginning of a ride and save your track at the end.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    809
    Is there any way to do two running odometers during a ride I.E. total distance of ride and distance between checkpoints or aid stations for example? Thanks.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    809
    Ah, found it. Trip odometer is resettable but not the odometer. Similar to a car.

  8. #8
    Rednose/Greenback
    Reputation: apbtlvr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    295
    I just returned an Edge 500 for the eTrex 30 but forgot it didn't come with bike mount. Can't find the right Garmin mount local either. What are you current owners using? FWIW, the GPS does not look like it will stem mount (Thomson 100mm X4) like the 500 did, though maybe I'm wrong. The back of this unit is rounded which doesn't look promising.
    38° 54' -77° 15

  9. #9
    Goats Rule!
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    311
    It uses the same bar mount as the Oregon. A bit harder to fit on some stems than the Edge 500/800 mount. Sometimes you have to shim it a bit with some old inner tube for clearance. I had to do that on one bike.

    Really stable and solid once you get it on right. One thing - make sure when you attach the GPS unit to the mount you have the metal ring on the back of the unit flipped so it's facing towards the front of the bike. If it's facing towards the back when folded it's a really tight fit on the mount and hard to slide off.

    Quote Originally Posted by apbtlvr View Post
    I just returned an Edge 500 for the eTrex 30 but forgot it didn't come with bike mount. Can't find the right Garmin mount local either. What are you current owners using? FWIW, the GPS does not look like it will stem mount (Thomson 100mm X4) like the 500 did, though maybe I'm wrong. The back of this unit is rounded which doesn't look promising.

  10. #10
    Rednose/Greenback
    Reputation: apbtlvr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    295
    Quote Originally Posted by KingOfTheHill View Post
    It uses the same bar mount as the Oregon. A bit harder to fit on some stems than the Edge 500/800 mount. Sometimes you have to shim it a bit with some old inner tube for clearance. I had to do that on one bike.

    Really stable and solid once you get it on right. One thing - make sure when you attach the GPS unit to the mount you have the metal ring on the back of the unit flipped so it's facing towards the front of the bike. If it's facing towards the back when folded it's a really tight fit on the mount and hard to slide off.
    Thanks for that info, I'll put it to good use.
    38° 54' -77° 15

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    113
    This is a useful thread. I've been looking at the etrex models as well, and I've had a few questions that this thread has cleared up. I do not need a gps for heart rate and all the extra stuff for training; I mostly want one to record my tracks and to upload routes by other riders. I do have a couple additional questions, however.

    1. How does the etrex 30 work within the car (i.e., street navigation)? I do quite a bit of road tripping during the summer months, and I need something that will get me to the trailhead or the campground.

    2. I'm interested in the same features as the OP. Is there any reason why the etrex 30 is a better choice than the etrex 20? Is the basemap on the etrex 30 sufficient?

    Thanks!
    The bicycle, the bicycle surely, should always be the vehicle of novelists and poets. ~Christopher Morley

  12. #12
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    18,539
    If you load street maps, you can have it get you to an address. With the joystick, entering that data will suck. And don't expect the GPS to do anything more than just beep at you when you need to turn. You will have to read the small screen to see what you need to actually do. It will work, but not terribly well.

    The included basemap sucks (standard crap Garmin basemap) if you want a basemap for anything. Download a new one at GPSFileDepot - Free Custom Garmin Maps, Ximage hosting, tutorials, articles and more for your GPSr.

  13. #13
    Rednose/Greenback
    Reputation: apbtlvr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    295
    "Is there any reason why the etrex 30 is a better choice than the etrex 20? Is the basemap on the etrex 30 sufficient?"

    If the barometric altimeter & electronic compass features are important to you, then yes. Ditto with sharing data (tracks, routes etc.) wirelessly with other compatible Garmin units.

    As for automotive use, I'm pretty sure you need to pay for Garmin maps to get the turn by turn functions most useful for automobile use. Not something I'm willing to do as I've already got some older versions of City Nav & Topo maps I could reload. The base-map in both the 20 & 30 are the same. FWIW, don't know that I would be all that keen on hand holding this while driving around to ant real length...unless someone else was holding it.

    One total drag on both these units is lack of USB 2.0. Whereas it shouldn't be too hateful once you've loaded it up, bring tent pegs to get through the first session. I'm astonished Garmin didn't add the faster bus version.

    Oh, and the color's not so lame as the 20...for whatever that's worth.

    +1 on what Nate-Hawk stated, especially with GPSFileDepot- lots of useful material there.
    38° 54' -77° 15

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    113

    Smile

    Thanks for the responses.

    Since it seems that the etrex would not be the best choice for car navigation, is there an alternative? The Oregon 450, perhaps? Do I need to purchase Garmin maps for auto use regardless of what model I eventually get? Or, would that only apply to the etrex models? I have checked out the GPSFilesDepot site, and it does appear that I can get road navigation maps there, no? I don't need an elaborate road navigation system, just something that will get me from point A to point B. I usually just print off directions from Google Maps to get me within proximity to where I need to go. It's usually the last 5-10 miles before I reach the trailhead, which are typically on unmarked forest roads, that the car navigation will come in handy.

    My girlfriend, who loves mountain biking as much as myself, accompanies me on all my road trips, so she'll basically be the "co-pilot" who will tell me when to turn, etc.

    I'm all ears for additional suggestions. I will most likely get my GPS on ebay or on sale from REI or the like. I don't want to exceed the $300-$325 mark, and I would prefer not to spend any extra on maps from Garmin, if that's possible. I plan on racing the Wilderness 101 in PA, and I want to check out the Kingdom Trails in Vermont. Having the ability to follow someone else's route after uploading it from Garmin Connect would be nice.

    Thanks
    The bicycle, the bicycle surely, should always be the vehicle of novelists and poets. ~Christopher Morley

  15. #15
    Rednose/Greenback
    Reputation: apbtlvr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    295
    "I will most likely get my GPS on ebay or on sale from REI or the like. I don't want to exceed the $300-$325 mark, and I would prefer not to spend any extra on maps from Garmin, if that's possible."

    Having just swapped out an Edge 500 for the eTrex 30 at REI, I'm with you on all those points. Not buying any more Garmin software either as I can use older maps just as well or add content from free sources.
    38° 54' -77° 15

  16. #16
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    18,539
    Free worldwide routable Garmin maps from OpenStreetMap

    Check out that link for routable maps - free.

    If you want car nav AND trail-worthiness, the Montana is the way to go.

    Things important for auto navigation (for me):
    big screen that's easily visible for prompts
    fast, easy-to-use interface (I haven't found anything with buttons to meet those needs - so far touch screens only here)

    The Oregon has a better interface for auto navigation with its touchscreen, but I don't think the screen size, or more importantly the orientation, is all that good for auto navigation. The Montana will rotate to a widescreen format for auto nav.

    my advice is to get the outdoor receiver that will meet your needs best and get a cheap auto nav unit. I have a base model widescreen auto gps that I use. it was cheap - around $100 - a few years ago.

    I had no idea that the eTrex line lacks USB 2.0. that's supremely idiotic considering USB 3.0 is showing up on the scene. with the new eTrexes supporting raster custom maps, you're actually pretty likely to want that extra oomph in data transfers.

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    113
    Thanks for the link for the routable maps.

    Unfortunately, the Montana model is a bit out of my price range. The road navigation is a nice feature, and one that I definitely want, but I'd rather have a gps that excels on the trail. I guess it's a toss up between the etrex 20 and the Oregon 450. The etrex is cheaper by about $100 and appears to offer all the basic requirements that I'm looking for, while the Oregon has a nicer interface (touch screen) and probably has more memory. Both allow me to upload user tracks/routes, and both seem to have pretty good visibility in direct sunlight and in the shade. Both can be mounted to the handebars with a Garmin mount, but the Garmin mount appears to come with zip ties. Does this mean I need to buy two mounts if I want to switch the gps between different bikes? I don't want to reattach the mount every time I switch between bikes.

    So, I guess that between the etrex 20 and the Oregon 450, which one would offer me the best of the following?

    1. Intuitive interface and ease of use (I'm a total newb regarding gps technology)

    2. Ability to upload user tracks from Garmin Connect so I can follow someone else's route when I'm in an unfamiliar area.

    3. Accurate recording of my own tracks.

    4. The ability to get me from point A to point B while in the car (not hugely important, but would be nice).

    5. Durability (I don't want it to break if I happen to crash my bike)

    Thanks so much everyone!
    The bicycle, the bicycle surely, should always be the vehicle of novelists and poets. ~Christopher Morley

  18. #18
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    18,539
    Quote Originally Posted by Bodie6 View Post
    Thanks for the link for the routable maps.

    Unfortunately, the Montana model is a bit out of my price range. The road navigation is a nice feature, and one that I definitely want, but I'd rather have a gps that excels on the trail. I guess it's a toss up between the etrex 20 and the Oregon 450. The etrex is cheaper by about $100 and appears to offer all the basic requirements that I'm looking for, while the Oregon has a nicer interface (touch screen) and probably has more memory. Both allow me to upload user tracks/routes, and both seem to have pretty good visibility in direct sunlight and in the shade. Both can be mounted to the handebars with a Garmin mount, but the Garmin mount appears to come with zip ties. Does this mean I need to buy two mounts if I want to switch the gps between different bikes? I don't want to reattach the mount every time I switch between bikes.

    So, I guess that between the etrex 20 and the Oregon 450, which one would offer me the best of the following?

    1. Intuitive interface and ease of use (I'm a total newb regarding gps technology)

    2. Ability to upload user tracks from Garmin Connect so I can follow someone else's route when I'm in an unfamiliar area.

    3. Accurate recording of my own tracks.

    4. The ability to get me from point A to point B while in the car (not hugely important, but would be nice).

    5. Durability (I don't want it to break if I happen to crash my bike)

    Thanks so much everyone!
    They would both offer what you want. The OS on both will look similar, but the etrex will simply take more button pushes to do certain things like entering text. Keep an eye out for sales on the Oregon 450. I bought mine on sale for $250. I believe I saw them on sale at EMS for $279 right now. But EMS is running a sale on most GPS receivers right now. Pretty sure the new etrex is an even better deal.

  19. #19
    Rednose/Greenback
    Reputation: apbtlvr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    295
    Finally located the right mount kit, though it was a PITA. If you buy the eTrex 30, be sure to get the GPS and mount at the same time. Wish I'd been able to do that. While the mount it similar to that of the Edge 500, there are differences worth noting. make sure you get the right kit too.

    @ KingOfTheHill- "One thing - make sure when you attach the GPS unit to the mount you have the metal ring on the back of the unit flipped so it's facing towards the front of the bike. If it's facing towards the back when folded it's a really tight fit on the mount and hard to slide off." Great observation.

    This is not a twist on/off mount like one might expect with the Edge family of GPS. Too bad, as it's a nice design for attaching on stems. This mount on the other hand, has a release tab which must be pressed downward before allowing the GPS to slide forward and off. Because of this design, I found it difficult to separate at first. Worried about placing too much torque and breaking something, I clipped and unclipped the GPS from mount a couple dozen times and it became easier to detach. I would suggest this type of break-in before actually attaching the unit to your bike.

    A bummer for me was that this particular mount would not play nice on my stem (Thomson X4/ 100mm). You can see from the 3rd photo, a longer stem (or major shim at the very least) is needed. Cutting the steering column is another solution, though not one I'm willing to do at this time. If you use bar lights the problem gets worse. Ultimately I decided to just place the mount on one side of the stem so as to allow room for my light.

    Alt bars would be one way to get around this but at $$. Something like a Dashboard Genie or similar product would enable more options at less cost. A shim or cradle made of foam is something I plan to experiment with in the future. The eTrex 30 itself should be fine for bike use. Just don't expect the same stem friendly mount design as what comes with Edge products.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Garmin eTrex 30 a good choice?-etex30-mount-1.jpg  

    Garmin eTrex 30 a good choice?-etex30-mount-3.jpg  

    Garmin eTrex 30 a good choice?-etex30-mount-4.jpg  

    Garmin eTrex 30 a good choice?-etex30-mount-5.jpg  

    38° 54' -77° 15

  20. #20
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    18,539
    Holy spacers on top of the stem. That is not a stem problem, that's a spacer problem.

  21. #21
    Rednose/Greenback
    Reputation: apbtlvr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    295
    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    Holy spacers on top of the stem. That is not a stem problem, that's a spacer problem.
    I'd tend to agree, but the spacers are there because the fork is uncut. Originally placed under the stem, I needed to lower the bar hight to better match that of my seat. Swap 2 spacers or cut the fork after only 100 miles on the bike? I chose moving the spacers for now. For comparison, here's a picture taken with the Edge 500 on top. No issues with fit, despite the spacers. Wish that were so with eTrex.

    Remember, one of the OPs concerns was "Easy to switch between 3 bikes. What mounts should I use for one of these?" Being mindful of that, it should be useful to see he will likely need 3 mount kits at $10/each to switch easily. There's only one Garmin mount option available too. So differences with the bars and stems will factor in how this GPS rides from one bike to another, being as it's not so bike centric as the Edge units. It would still be a good choice once you determine how it fits your bike.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Garmin eTrex 30 a good choice?-grfb-9.jpg  

    Last edited by apbtlvr; 12-16-2011 at 09:38 AM. Reason: Typo
    38° 54' -77° 15

  22. #22
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    18,539
    If you're still working out the fit of the bike, then don't blame that on the GPS or the stem. It's worth noting that it has certain space requirements to use it on a stem, but that's all.

  23. #23
    Rednose/Greenback
    Reputation: apbtlvr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    295
    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    If you're still working out the fit of the bike, then don't blame that on the GPS or the stem. It's worth noting that it has certain space requirements to use it on a stem, but that's all.
    Hmmm, based on having just bought the GPS and mount, I thought to share personal observations in a constructive way - not assign blame. Not sure how you got that idea. Hopefully, the OP got the answers to his questions.
    38° 54' -77° 15

  24. #24
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    113
    Thanks for the update and the pics, apbtlvr. I've narrowed my choice to the etrex 20. It appears to have all the basic requirements that I'm looking for, and it's quite a bit cheaper than the Oregon 450. I won't be mounting it on my bike until April, but I will take it out when I go xc skiing (living in the snowbelt kinda sucks).
    The bicycle, the bicycle surely, should always be the vehicle of novelists and poets. ~Christopher Morley

  25. #25
    MattSavage
    Reputation: mattsavage's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    2,461
    Does anyone know if the Etrex 30 has auto pause/start when paired with the speed/cadence sensor?
    "I wrote a hit play! What have you ever done?!"

    Have Ashtray, Will Travel....

  26. #26
    mtbr member
    Reputation: griffter18's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    506
    One thing just to be aware of with most of the Garmin units especially the Etrex models
    I had an Etrex Summit which cost a pretty penny when it first came out but as a keen climber and mountineer it was ideal as it showed all the data I needed.
    After 18 months the unit wouldnt lock onto satalite.
    Despite hard & soft resets, software updates and being left in a clear open space owered for 3 days it still wouldnt lock on.
    It turned out they use a soldered lithium battery inside to store the satalite & date info. The batteries are prone to stopping working and when this happens you have to return the unit. Cost to replace the battery was quoted as £150 at the time and there is only one place this could be done in the uk.
    The battery retails for about £3 but cabt be done without fine soldering skills.
    I havent figured if the newer Edge units have the same issues yet!

  27. #27
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    18,539
    Quote Originally Posted by griffter18 View Post
    One thing just to be aware of with most of the Garmin units especially the Etrex models
    I had an Etrex Summit which cost a pretty penny when it first came out but as a keen climber and mountineer it was ideal as it showed all the data I needed.
    After 18 months the unit wouldnt lock onto satalite.
    Despite hard & soft resets, software updates and being left in a clear open space owered for 3 days it still wouldnt lock on.
    It turned out they use a soldered lithium battery inside to store the satalite & date info. The batteries are prone to stopping working and when this happens you have to return the unit. Cost to replace the battery was quoted as £150 at the time and there is only one place this could be done in the uk.
    The battery retails for about £3 but cabt be done without fine soldering skills.
    I havent figured if the newer Edge units have the same issues yet!
    I can't say that I've seen that enough me to call them "prone" to failing. I am on my 3rd Garmin handheld (not counting the Edge I've owned) and haven't run into that once. I've also used many etrexes over the years, some of them quite old and never run into that problem.

  28. #28
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    809
    To the fella with the stem mounting issue:

    It looks like it is positive rise currently. Raise it 10mm and flip it negative, that will buy you some real estate. Mount does seem annoying compared to the Edge models...oh well. Can't have it all.

  29. #29
    Rednose/Greenback
    Reputation: apbtlvr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    295
    @Johnny K "It looks like it is positive rise currently. Raise it 10mm and flip it negative, that will buy you some real estate."
    Thanks for that suggestion, though I'm going a different route. The current bars (Truvtiv T30 risers) are getting replaced with a Salsa Bend 2 bar, something I had wanted originally. With less rise, I will install them with the spacers back underneath. Improving GPS mounting was not my intended purpose for swapping bars, though I expect options to improve as a result.

    @mattsavage "Does anyone know if the Etrex 30 has auto pause/start when paired with the speed/cadence sensor?"
    I don't think so though because the feature would be in the GPS unit - not the sensor, although I could be wrong. While test driving an Edge500, that start/stop was easily accessible via a dedicated button on the right hand side. While I'm still learning the eTrex30 in depth, I have yet to see that feature. It is a different OS interface that the Edge 500 as well, which might explain things.
    The speed/cadence sensor (GSC-10) was not going to install on my Fat Back without major issues and risk of damage while riding. So I returned it and the Edge 500. Details are on this thread but that is part of why I moved to the eTrex 30.

    @Bodie6 "I won't be mounting it on my bike until April, but I will take it out when I go xc skiing (living in the snowbelt kinda sucks)."
    Glad to be of help and hope the eTrex 20 serves you well. But living in the snow-belt might actually be a good thing. Check out the Fat Bike forum- seriously. You'll be surprised with how many folks are having a blast snow biking. Of course being in Northern Va, I'm not one of them...at least not yet.
    But I'm ready
    38° 54' -77° 15

  30. #30
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    18,539
    Quote Originally Posted by mattsavage View Post
    Does anyone know if the Etrex 30 has auto pause/start when paired with the speed/cadence sensor?
    Being that this will be similar to other handhelds, I highly doubt it. My Oregon 450 does not have that feature.

  31. #31
    mtbr member
    Reputation: roogie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    41
    GPSCity.com has that mount in stock usually, I got one for my eTrex 20 and it works great. Sorry I'mi under 10 posts so I can't post a link, gpscity.com is usually very reasonable on mount and carry lots of heavy duty RAM mounts as well.

    roog

  32. #32
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    25
    Hi there. I have read some posts about the eTrex 30, about if it is compatible with the speed/cadence sensor, and I do not know if the eTrex 30 reads the speed sensor. I read that is compatible with the cadence sensor... not the speed sensor? Or am I missing something.?
    Thanks
    jairo eduardo suarez gallardo
    mickmutante

  33. #33
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    18,539
    Quote Originally Posted by mickmutante View Post
    Hi there. I have read some posts about the eTrex 30, about if it is compatible with the speed/cadence sensor, and I do not know if the eTrex 30 reads the speed sensor. I read that is compatible with the cadence sensor... not the speed sensor? Or am I missing something.?
    Thanks
    The GSC 10 has both.

  34. #34
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    25
    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    The GSC 10 has both.
    Ok, so if buy the eTrex 30 and the GSC 10, it will take speed and cadence data as the Edge 500 and 800.?
    Does the GSC 10 improve the distance and speed with the eTrex 30 as it does with the Edge series?
    Thanks.

    p.d. This is the first time that i am going to buy and have a GPS, sorry about the newb questions.
    jairo eduardo suarez gallardo
    mickmutante

  35. #35
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    18,539
    Quote Originally Posted by mickmutante View Post
    Ok, so if buy the eTrex 30 and the GSC 10, it will take speed and cadence data as the Edge 500 and 800.?
    Does the GSC 10 improve the distance and speed with the eTrex 30 as it does with the Edge series?
    Thanks.

    p.d. This is the first time that i am going to buy and have a GPS, sorry about the newb questions.
    probably not exactly like the Edge series. search this forum for using the Oregon 450 with that sensor. there was some discussion here quite some time back with folks who had experience using the two together and some of the differences between them and the Edge. it mostly had to do with data downloads and whatnot.

  36. #36
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    25
    Thanks for the info.!
    jairo eduardo suarez gallardo
    mickmutante

  37. #37
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    976
    reviving this thread with a question...

    anyone know whether the etrex 30 will display/record Ant+ power data? I have quarq and would like to use the etrex 30 (instead of my edge 500) for longer races requiring navigation. Going off course sucks!

    What power related data fields are available for display?

    Thanks all!

  38. #38
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    18,539
    Quote Originally Posted by rfxc View Post
    reviving this thread with a question...

    anyone know whether the etrex 30 will display/record Ant+ power data? I have quarq and would like to use the etrex 30 (instead of my edge 500) for longer races requiring navigation. Going off course sucks!

    What power related data fields are available for display?

    Thanks all!
    Negative on power

  39. #39
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    5

    Garmin Edge 800 vs. eTrex 30 for Alpine trail riding?

    Hello Everyone,

    This is my first post.

    I am planning a transalp mountain bike crossing next year and I want to buy a GPS unit to assist in guiding me across the Alps. I’ve narrowed my search down to either a Garmin Edge 800 or an eTrex 30 and I can’t make up my mind. The thing that I care the most about is being able to load a route onto the device and later being able to follow that route.

    For some issues it is clear which device is better for my intended use. Please see below. However, for some things, it is not clear. It seems like it would be easier to read maps and routes on the Edge 800 because it has a bigger screen. Is that correct? Also, the idea of a touch screen is initially appealing – like an iPhone, right? But in some postings it seems that people don’t favor it over the traditional buttons. One other thing is that I have no information about the ability to mount either device on my handlebars. Price is not a determining factor.

    Screen Size: Winner, Edge 800
    Weight: Winner, Edge 800
    Overall size: Winner, Edge 800 because smaller is better
    Battery life: Winner, eTrex 30 (25 hrs. vs. 15 hrs. for Edge 800)
    Batteries: Edge 800 has rechargeable vs. single use for eTrex 30
    Built in memory: Winner, eTrex 30 (1.7 GB vs. Edge 800 with zero)
    Durability: Winner, probably eTrex 30 based on looks alone
    GPS reception quality: A draw based on the listing of “High-sensitivity receiver” on Garmin’s website. Maybe there is something I’m missing?

    So, if anyone would care to offer up their opinion it would be much appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Eric

  40. #40
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    18,539
    Quote Originally Posted by ereber View Post
    Hello Everyone,

    This is my first post.

    I am planning a transalp mountain bike crossing next year and I want to buy a GPS unit to assist in guiding me across the Alps. I’ve narrowed my search down to either a Garmin Edge 800 or an eTrex 30 and I can’t make up my mind. The thing that I care the most about is being able to load a route onto the device and later being able to follow that route.

    For some issues it is clear which device is better for my intended use. Please see below. However, for some things, it is not clear. It seems like it would be easier to read maps and routes on the Edge 800 because it has a bigger screen. Is that correct? Also, the idea of a touch screen is initially appealing – like an iPhone, right? But in some postings it seems that people don’t favor it over the traditional buttons. One other thing is that I have no information about the ability to mount either device on my handlebars. Price is not a determining factor.

    Screen Size: Winner, Edge 800
    Weight: Winner, Edge 800
    Overall size: Winner, Edge 800 because smaller is better
    Battery life: Winner, eTrex 30 (25 hrs. vs. 15 hrs. for Edge 800)
    Batteries: Edge 800 has rechargeable vs. single use for eTrex 30
    Built in memory: Winner, eTrex 30 (1.7 GB vs. Edge 800 with zero)
    Durability: Winner, probably eTrex 30 based on looks alone
    GPS reception quality: A draw based on the listing of “High-sensitivity receiver” on Garmin’s website. Maybe there is something I’m missing?

    So, if anyone would care to offer up their opinion it would be much appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Eric
    You're missing some details. The eTrex line is compatible with the Russian GLONASS satellite system while the Edge 800 is not. The Russian system is a hair less accurate than GPS from what I understand, but signal acquisition is quicker. The eTrexes can lock onto GPS and GLONASS satellites at the same time for advantages of both systems.

    The touch screen of the Edge 800 is not like the iphone. All of Garmin's touchscreens are resistive touchscreens whereas most cell phones nowadays use capacitive ones. With thin gloves, you can still operate the GPS touchscreen. Bulky gloves starts making things difficult because there's no tactile feedback. I do tend to prefer the touch interface on the GPS over the joystick interface of the etrex. the touch interface requires fewer inputs to do just about any task.

    A bigger screen is not always the advantage it appears to be. While a larger screen does show you more of the map (especially if the screen has a higher pixel density and it can show that map in better quality), more screen real estate means a shorter battery life. The two go hand in hand. If your desire for longer battery life conflicts with your desire for a bigger screen, you have to decide which to sacrifice for the other.

    Both devices will mount on your stem or handlebars. The mounts are different. The Edge line uses a quarter turn lock method while all of the handhelds use a rail system where you slide the handheld in the mount to lock it down. I am a huge fan of the rail system on the handhelds. I've been using it for a couple years on my Oregon. The mount itself is long and takes up a bit of space, but it's super secure. On the Oregon, the rail on the back of the GPS is metal. So if there's an impact, the plastic mount will be the most likely failure point. On the Edges, they're both plastic.

    If you go with a rechargeable battery on your long trip you have to figure out a way to charge it. If you use replaceable batteries, you are a little more flexible. I prefer rechargeables (Sanyo eneloops or other low self discharge types), but I can carry a couple of spare sets for the weight of some charging system for an Edge. If you already have a dynohub, you could use it, but I wouldn't build up a wheel with a dynohub just for a GPS charger.

    also consider some of the other differences. You'll be using this thing to navigate on a long trip. do you think a HRM or speed/cad sensor is more useful to that end, or the ability to load more waypoints? The Edge 800 can only hold 200, IIRC. More memory means more maps. you'd have to get an additional memory card in order to put any maps on the Edge 800. While the addition of a memory card will give you plenty of space, 1.7GB (on the etrex) is plenty of space. I make use of an Oregon 450 with nothing but the onboard memory and I load topos from many states as well as satellite imagery on a regular basis. Not once have I had insufficient space and I have only 850MB to work with. If I ever ran out of space, I'd likely pony up and buy the card. But I've been fine so I've had no need.

  41. #41
    banned
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    2,416
    Quote Originally Posted by ereber View Post
    Hello Everyone,

    This is my first post.

    I am planning a transalp mountain bike crossing next year and I want to buy a GPS unit to assist in guiding me across the Alps. I’ve narrowed my search down to either a Garmin Edge 800 or an eTrex 30 and I can’t make up my mind. The thing that I care the most about is being able to load a route onto the device and later being able to follow that route.

    For some issues it is clear which device is better for my intended use. Please see below. However, for some things, it is not clear. It seems like it would be easier to read maps and routes on the Edge 800 because it has a bigger screen. Is that correct? Also, the idea of a touch screen is initially appealing – like an iPhone, right? But in some postings it seems that people don’t favor it over the traditional buttons. One other thing is that I have no information about the ability to mount either device on my handlebars. Price is not a determining factor.

    Screen Size: Winner, Edge 800
    Weight: Winner, Edge 800
    Overall size: Winner, Edge 800 because smaller is better
    Battery life: Winner, eTrex 30 (25 hrs. vs. 15 hrs. for Edge 800)
    Batteries: Edge 800 has rechargeable vs. single use for eTrex 30
    Built in memory: Winner, eTrex 30 (1.7 GB vs. Edge 800 with zero)
    Durability: Winner, probably eTrex 30 based on looks alone
    GPS reception quality: A draw based on the listing of “High-sensitivity receiver” on Garmin’s website. Maybe there is something I’m missing?

    So, if anyone would care to offer up their opinion it would be much appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Eric
    Hi and welcome.. I am new here as well. I can't really comment on the Edge but I do have the etrex 30 and love it so far. I actually got it for hiking/climbing but just got a new bike and plan on mounting it after seeing this thread. For now I just carry it in my pack. FWIW I personally like the size and durability of the etrex which is why I got it to begin with. If the Edge is smaller and lighter that's a plus; I'm just saying I've been happy so far. I was recently deep in the sierras hiking and per-loaded routes on my etrex and it worked flawlessly (I splurged for the garmin maps and like them). I don't mind the button over touchscreen and kind of think touchscreen with dirt etc could get scratched. Plus don't you have to get special gloves to use touchscreen devices if you don't want to have to take a glove off to use it? You can definitely mount the etrex as seen earlier in this thread. Sorry and can't give a this versus that opinion but thought I'd share my experience so far with the etrex 30. Oh, and as far as reading the screen... No issues for me on that front either. It's super easy to change the brightness and the battery life is insane!

    Can others on here post up to date good/bad experiences with their etrex mounted on their bars? I want to know if it's worth it or if I should just continue keeping it in my pack.. It would also help Eric on his decision. Thanks!

  42. #42
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    5
    Thanks a ton, NateHawk!

    I feel like I have a clearer picture of the decision, now, thanks to your input.

    Cheers,
    Eric

  43. #43
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    5
    Thanks, OCtrailMonkey, with your feedback and that from NateHawk I'm now leaning toward the eTrex30.
    Cheers,
    Eric

  44. #44
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    18,539
    Quote Originally Posted by OCtrailMonkey View Post
    Hi and welcome.. I am new here as well. I can't really comment on the Edge but I do have the etrex 30 and love it so far. I actually got it for hiking/climbing but just got a new bike and plan on mounting it after seeing this thread. For now I just carry it in my pack. FWIW I personally like the size and durability of the etrex which is why I got it to begin with. If the Edge is smaller and lighter that's a plus; I'm just saying I've been happy so far. I was recently deep in the sierras hiking and per-loaded routes on my etrex and it worked flawlessly (I splurged for the garmin maps and like them). I don't mind the button over touchscreen and kind of think touchscreen with dirt etc could get scratched. Plus don't you have to get special gloves to use touchscreen devices if you don't want to have to take a glove off to use it? You can definitely mount the etrex as seen earlier in this thread. Sorry and can't give a this versus that opinion but thought I'd share my experience so far with the etrex 30. Oh, and as far as reading the screen... No issues for me on that front either. It's super easy to change the brightness and the battery life is insane!

    Can others on here post up to date good/bad experiences with their etrex mounted on their bars? I want to know if it's worth it or if I should just continue keeping it in my pack.. It would also help Eric on his decision. Thanks!
    as I said before, the Garmin touchscreens use a resistive touchscreen, not a capacitive one like most smartphones. the "special" gloves make no difference. pressure is what makes the screen work.

    I have not had any problems with my screen getting scratched from dust/dirt. and I don't even use a screen protector. On my Oregon 450, the screen is slightly recessed into the face of the device, rather than flush with the top. that has prevented impacts from scratching the screen.

    mounting concerns: try the stem mount for the etrex. but IME, if your stem is shorter than about 90mm or has a steeper angle than about 6 degrees, the mount will not fit on the stem. You will be limited to the handlebars (or the top tube). I mount my Oregon on the stem on my mtb and it fits well there. It has been ejected once or twice in crashes, but has otherwise been fine.

  45. #45
    banned
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    2,416
    Thanks Hawk! I was writing my response when you sent in yours so didn't see that about not needing special gloves.. Makes sense, only seen that for iPhone users who mount those on their bike. I'm going to mount my etrex soon but will see how it fits best with my setup. Good feedback.

  46. #46
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    18,539
    Quote Originally Posted by OCtrailMonkey View Post
    Thanks Hawk! I was writing my response when you sent in yours so didn't see that about not needing special gloves.. Makes sense, only seen that for iPhone users who mount those on their bike. I'm going to mount my etrex soon but will see how it fits best with my setup. Good feedback.
    resistive touchscreens have other issues with gloves. the bulkier the gloves, the harder it can be to touch in exactly the spot you want. so ski gloves don't work so well on them. liner and most bike gloves tend to be okay unless your fingers are super fat. the sizes of the buttons on Garmin's touchscreens are bigger to take this into account. but my fingers are long and skinny, not fat, so I can't say how well it'd work for folks with big fingers + gloves.

  47. #47
    mtbr member
    Reputation: griffter18's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    506
    Eric,
    Any GPS is good, but it doesn't replace the plastic coated map & compass nor the skill that go with them, and this is where many go wrong. They think they are the same as a road sat-nave which will guide you turn by turn. They don't, and even if you're plotting your own routes they can be out by quite a bit on accuracy.
    Ive had several from Garmin and others and they all work if you know how to use them however they tend to eat batteries and not work just when you could really do with it.

    Ive been to the Alps a few times and now I leave the GPS wrapped up warm at the bottom of the back out of the cold and away from damage. I also carry 2 sets of spare batteries just in case. I rely on the map and my eyes as they are more reliable and accurate.

    I do use the Garmin 500 on road trips and some MTB routes to record the route not direct it.
    MTB: Stumpy, Enduro, Hotrock, Commencal Supreme
    ROAD: Jamis Zenith, Pinarello Dogma

  48. #48
    More Torque
    Reputation: Diesel~'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    1,901
    I've been using the eTrex 30 on the bike for a couple of months, along with two different forerunner models. I've been pleased with it so far.

    Pros:
    Seems well constructed
    Battery life is very, very good on NiMH rechargeables
    Quick satellite lock
    Lots of features
    Ability to load on screen maps
    Stem mount has been rock solid and does not protrude as much as a bar mounted setup

    Cons:
    A bit bulky and heavy (when using NiMH), compared to cycling specific options
    Menus are not the most intuitive
    Difficult to operate the joystick while riding. Specifically, the "straight down" push that is equivalent to the left click on a mouse button.

    To me, the cons are pretty minor quibbles. Overall, I've been very satisfied with the unit and would highly recommend it, especially if you are looking for a GPS for hiking as well.

    -D

  49. #49
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    130
    Just got my eTrex 30 last week. Forgot to get a bike mount at the same time (just came in this afternoon) so I have been using it primarily as a ride tracker, clipped to the top of my pack.

    Very cool little piece of hardware. Already loaded it with some custom maps I converted from .pdf files, although I'll have to see how effective they are, out on the trail.(GIMP was a washout, not having upgraded to MountainLion. GraphicConverter worked well enough. I'll have to throw them a little $$.)

    Mostly having fun learning the features by playing around with it. I do have two questions for those w/ more experience:

    1) I reset the trip odometer before I start a ride. If I reset it at the end of the ride will I lose all my downloadable data such as waypoints, speed, altitude etc? I have just been shutting it off at the
    end of the ride. I just don't like getting extraneous tracks such as cruising around the parking lot and the car ride home. Maybe it's just the way it is with this unit, and I have to edit it out in BaseCamp.
    Get a lot of little nothing tracks from my home just turning it on.

    2) I bought the GSG-10 speed/cadence sensor. I don't think it's paired with the GPS (kinda difficult until I get the mount set-up). Will it pair automatically? Or is there a submenu for that. Also, What about tire size calibration? Have not found any info on how it's done or if it's necessary.

    I'm amazed with the technology and features packed into this little GPS. I think the bicycle specific Edge series are probably more turnkey when it comes to accessing/handling riding data as compared to the eTrex series. But for me, the flexibility and potential of the 30 was hard to resist!

  50. #50
    banned
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    2,416
    Quote Originally Posted by Hpirx View Post
    Mostly having fun learning the features by playing around with it. I do have two questions for those w/ more experience:

    1) I reset the trip odometer before I start a ride. If I reset it at the end of the ride will I lose all my downloadable data such as waypoints, speed, altitude etc? I have just been shutting it off at the
    end of the ride. I just don't like getting extraneous tracks such as cruising around the parking lot and the car ride home. Maybe it's just the way it is with this unit, and I have to edit it out in BaseCamp.
    Get a lot of little nothing tracks from my home just turning it on.
    I can only speak to your first question.. When you finish your ride go to 'Track Manager' then click on 'Current Track' and then hit 'Save Track.' You can now rename it or just leave it as the default which is the date and time I think. I just do a quick rename here so when I link it to BaseCamp I know to chose that one. Your longer track will have way more info as well (than the little tracks from turning it on and off) so its not hard to figure out which track you want to keep. I always delete the erroneous tracks right away in BaseCamp so they don't build up on my device. When you are in BaseCamp you can just drag your track/route you just did to 'My Collection' and delete it from your device if you want since it is now saved in BaseCamp. When I start a new ride/hike I go to 'Track Manager' then 'Current Track' and then 'View Map' and just leave it there until I am done and ready to do what I explained above. This is of course when I don't have a route planned. Hope that helps..

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Is the Garmin Edge 800 a good choice for mountain bikers?
    By clj2289 in forum GPS, HRM and Bike Computer
    Replies: 40
    Last Post: 02-09-2011, 11:16 PM
  2. Garmin Etrex h gps HELP
    By jcg894 in forum Beginner's Corner
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 05-05-2010, 07:18 PM
  3. Exporting .GPX/.KML to Garmin Etrex
    By PaintPeelinPbody in forum GPS, HRM and Bike Computer
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 03-11-2010, 11:28 AM
  4. Garmin eTrex Vista
    By turnerreturn in forum GPS, HRM and Bike Computer
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 11-19-2008, 08:03 PM
  5. whats the garmin eTrex good for?
    By bikeperson in forum GPS, HRM and Bike Computer
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: 02-06-2008, 05:49 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •