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  1. #1
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    Garmin Nuvi 205 work ok for MTB?

    Anyone know if this is a decent unit for use with mountain biking? I just remembered that it has a rechargeable battery and it portable. I'd love to use it to track my progress, but I am sure it doesn't have bike trails saved in its software.

    I searched google and the info for this unit in conjunction with mtb is pretty scarce, but there were some hits for its use while backpacking.

  2. #2
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    No

    No. It will not have any trail maps on it, nor will you be able to load any on it.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wherewolf View Post
    No. It will not have any trail maps on it, nor will you be able to load any on it.
    You actually can load maps onto it. I have put gpsfiledepot topos on my 205w.

    loading .gpx tracks is a different story, though, if that's what you were referring to.

    but still, it's no good for mtb use. the rechargeable battery is "supposedly" rated at 2 hours, but that's overly optimistic, IMO. it's also not even remotely water resistant. you will trash it in short order if you get water into the speaker holes, the memory card slot, or the usb port.

    if you want a GPS for the car and the trail, the Montana is the one to get. with the car dock. but it's awful big for the handlebars, even still. it's best to keep the car GPS in the car, though.

  4. #4
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    Thanks guys!

    I'm not necessarily wanting a unit that can be used in both car and bike. I just figured since I already had something in hand, and if it would work for mtb, I might as well use it.

    I've tried using my phone gps but it doesn't seem to pick up a strong enough signal throughout most of the trails I ride. I think I'm going to have to buy a dedicated gps to maybe toss in my pack or strap to the top of my helmet or bag or something.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zachua View Post
    Thanks guys!

    I'm not necessarily wanting a unit that can be used in both car and bike. I just figured since I already had something in hand, and if it would work for mtb, I might as well use it.

    I've tried using my phone gps but it doesn't seem to pick up a strong enough signal throughout most of the trails I ride. I think I'm going to have to buy a dedicated gps to maybe toss in my pack or strap to the top of my helmet or bag or something.
    if you toss a GPS in the pack, it won't get as good of a signal. It needs to be out in the open. handlebars/stem is the best location. with the antenna facing toward the sky. most receivers these days use a flat patch antenna, which work best when the screen of the device faces the sky. some (like Garmin's 60, 62, 76, and 78 series) use a quad helix which works a little better with the antenna pointing up to the sky.

  6. #6
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    Technically it will work, you would likely need a mount like this:

    Me 04B WPCS Bicycle Motorcycle Mount Case for 4 3" Garmin Nuvi TomTom GPS | eBay

    or this:

    Motorcycle Bike Bicycle Handlebar Mount for Garmin Nuvi StreetPilot GPS | eBay

    Then from the map screen you can activate 1 second recording. I believe with mine I click on the vehicle to open up the where am I page and then hit the top square than the bottom square twice and the top square again to get to the start recording screen. Hit start recording and you will return to the map page with a stop button on it. Once you are done you can plug it into your computer and upload it to garmin connect.

    The unit is very heavy on the bars and is not a good permanent solution for a mountain bike gps, but it is a good way to decide if you really would use the gps data every time that you ride or if you just want to use it once on a new trail and then know how far you are going. I have a mesh pocket on the back my pack that I have tossed one in before to see how it works and it does an acceptable job.

    I will get blasted by this but I think it is a good "try before you buy" technique. (I used my 205w for 3 rides and then went out and got myself an edge 500)

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