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  1. #1
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    Garmin Vs Bike Computer (computer more accuratte)?

    I am suffering from buyer’s remorse and this is why... This weekend I rode a mtn bike trail with several of my friends and all three of their bike computers all had the same distances (14.1 miles) and my Garmin Edge 200 read 11.8 miles.

    I was told by one of the guys in my group that a GPS can not measure the distances in some of the repeating switchbacks correctly therefore I have incorrect mileage. Is this true? I hate that my new GPS is giving me the wrong measurements.

    Please advise.

  2. #2
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    My bike (wired) computer is definitely more accurate compared to the GPS on my phone. Can't speak to a Garmin, as I don't own one. When I look at the route overlay on a satellite map, my track lines are sometimes way off from the actual route.
    Please donate to IMBA or your local chapter. It's trail karma.

  3. #3
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    Yes I fear that you are correct and I may need to go to a bike computer. CCMTB~ I guess you use your phone on your mtb to record your rides?

  4. #4
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    AFAIK, the Edge 200 lacks the ability to record at 1 sec intervals, which is absolutely necessary to use the GPS on mountain bike trails that are twisty.

    More expensive and complicated models than the Edge 200 offer this functionality, and it makes the ride stats much much closer to actual, to the point that you might say the difference is statistically insignificant and will really come down to whether or not the cyclocomputer is well-calibrated.

    Many other models also have the ability to use a wheel sensor to provide accurate speed/distance measurements when GPS reception is poor. The Edge 200 cannot use extra sensors.

    I think it just comes down to you buying the wrong GPS for your needs. The Edge 200 would be fine for city riding where your routes are generally straight with definite turns, rather than organic, flowing trails that are always turning.

  5. #5
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    Nate Hawk what do you reccomend Garmin 500? Or other?

  6. #6
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    The Garmin 500 with the GSC10 wheel sensor will be much more accurate than the 200.

  7. #7
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    Garmin 500. Is not very good either when compared to the edge 305. Sigh.
    Garmin 500 with 1 sec recording will be pretty close though

  8. #8
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    With the wheel sensor the 500 is pretty accurate.
    I haven't owned a 305 so I can't say for sure how they compare though.

  9. #9
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    With the Edge 500 and wheel sensor set to 1-second recording, I can turn 6-foot circles under trees and have them all picked up. I can't imagine losing any significant percentage of total ride distance.

  10. #10
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    Ok. It looks like the 500 and a cadence sensor will work. Is the GSC 10 my only option?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ilikejeeps2 View Post
    Ok. It looks like the 500 and a cadence sensor will work. Is the GSC 10 my only option?
    no. any ANT+ speed sensor will work. some have cadence, some don't. if you just want accurate speed/distance, you don't need cadence.

  12. #12
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    Just returned my Edge 200 and replaced it with an Edge 500 with a GSC 10.

    Setup was easy now I hope that I don't break/loose a magnet or the GSC 10.


    Thanks to everyone for the help and to REI for the excellent service

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ilikejeeps2 View Post
    Yes I fear that you are correct and I may need to go to a bike computer. CCMTB~ I guess you use your phone on your mtb to record your rides?
    I used to until I got so frustrated with the inaccuracies of the data. I've used numerous apps that for some reason or another never worked very well. Ironically, I was going to go the Garmin Edge route but now I'm rethinking that too.
    Please donate to IMBA or your local chapter. It's trail karma.

  14. #14
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    This is my local trail with the Edge 500 and speed/cadence sensor = 6.2 miles.



    And this is the same trail with the Edge 200 only= 5.27 miles





    So far it has been worth the upgrade to the 500. I an not a GPS expert and I bought the 200 just wanting the basic time, distance and the ability to log my rides on Stiva and Garmin connect. It wasn't until a recient 14 mile ride that I realized the edge 200 was not a good GPS for mountian biking.

    I am not a fan of using my Iphone for various reasons that include battery life, breakage/lost but most of all inaccuracy. I see the edge as an investment in my health by spending $300 on the GPS it wukk get nme motiovated to go out and ride.

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