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  1. #1
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    Garmin vs. iPhone?

    I had a Garmin that I used for a long time. Somewhere between moving and a divorce it's been relocated somewhere that I am not aware of. None-the-less I really enjoyed having it. However I was considering using my iPhone and one of the GPS apps you can download for it. I was wondering if anyone has any experience with the iPhone apps and what the pros & cons are compared to using the Garmin. If you have used the iPhone and a GPS app please let me know what app you were using and your likes/dislikes.

  2. #2
    trail rat
    Reputation: slocaus's Avatar
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    There are hundreds of posts in this forum already that will answer this and much more that you have not thought to ask. Don't be afraid to browse or search.
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  3. #3
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    I've used Mytracks on an android phone. worked pretty good to see where you've been. I have a Garmin 800 that I think is easier to use. accuracy between the 2 seems pretty close but I'd have to give the edge to the Garmin there.

  4. #4
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    Why would you *ever* rely on an iPhone? They're absolutely useless out in the boonies.
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  5. #5
    mtb enthusiast
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    I use an iPhone 3GS and the MapMyTracks app which works pretty well. I've tried multiple cycling apps and found this one to be the most reliable (doesn't crash). The app also backs up to a website where you can view additional details about your training. I think it also allows for live tracking via the website so a family member or friend knows where you are.

    The problem with using an iPhone is the battery drain. Even with wifi turned off the battery goes kaput after about an hour of riding. Could be my phone though as it's pretty old and the battery has been charged thousands of times.

    I think I'll 'hang up' the phone and get one of the new Garmin Edge 200 units. Looks to be affordable, lightweight, and gives the necessary info I want to track my rides.

  6. #6
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    Personally, I would not use my phone as a GPS on my mountain bike and subject it to harm. If my GPS falls off or is destroyed in a crash, that's one thing. If it's also my phone, it's a much bigger deal.

    Plus, is your phone waterproof if it rains?

  7. #7
    psycho cyclo addict
    Reputation: edubfromktown's Avatar
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    I use CycleMeter on my iPhone 4 (1700 miles logged on it so far this year). The best $5 I ever spent. I carry a small heavy plastic bag with me to put the phone in for heavy rains. More commonly, I stow it in a small stem bag that I mount on my seat post, otherwise in Camelback phone pocket). The phone has never sustained damage on the trails and it is a good thing to have if you need HELP maybe sorta too...

  8. #8
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    How's the CycleMeter and your battery life? I think for the most part I would use the app to keep track of my commute times/pace more than mt. biking. However if it works well for mt. biking too, then that would be awesome. I carry my phone on the trail anyways...yes, I'm one of those guys listening to music on the trail.

  9. #9
    psycho cyclo addict
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    Battery life while running Cyclemeter was fine on both iPhone 3gs and 4. Just make sure you hit the top button on the phone to blank the screen when you first start off.
    【ツ】 eDub 【ツ】

  10. #10
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    So when youare out of cell range the GPS still tracks the trail well?

  11. #11
    Masher
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    GPS accuracy has nothing whatsoever to do with having a cellular phone signal.

  12. #12
    psycho cyclo addict
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    As long as you have average reception (1-2 bars) when you start, it records consistently (if not, you will see inaccurate speed from the start until there is adequate signal reception. Here is an example of a ride where cellular service blows. Cyclemeter-MountainCycle-20110911-0918.kml - Google Maps

    Most places where I live have decent reception...

  13. #13
    NMBP
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    My iPhone will record just fine without cell service. You can bookmark your location on Maps, and even though the screen is blank, it knows accurately where you are. I ride all the time in the "boonies" with it. However, it does drain the battery. If I were out for a long length of time I would take my GPS unit. Data from a dedicated GPS is easier to do more things with.

    I carry my phone with me when I ride, so I tend to forgo the dedicated GPS, unless I really feel a need for it.

  14. #14
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    Endomondo is what I and several friends of mine use. And it's great!!! i got the GPS mount and it fits my 3gs and my friends Galaxy. But it comes indifferent sizes so make sure you get the right one. I got the same one my buddy got for his Galaxy (which is bigger) which lets me use my OtterBox... So if i hit something hard enuff and my phone gets f***ked up..;.. i'll have something to worry about other than a d*mn phone!

  15. #15
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    it has different settings that will accept battery drain on an iphone. I don't know what these other guys have running on theirs. But I ride 10m. daily, and 20-30m 3x a week. i make sure my Batt is full charged before I take off and my settings are as LESS intensive as possible. AKA (TURN EVERYTHING OF BUT ENDO) And my battery lasts HOURS!!!!

  16. #16
    Slow But Still Pedaling
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    Sony has a new one coming out this month, the Xperia Active, which has ANT+ connectivity, so you can get cadence, HRM, etc. with no need for a separate bike computer, and it's water and dustproof. I've been waiting for this for a while! (Note: You can get connectors for the iPhone for this as well though they're bigger and don't start with a ruggedized phone.)

  17. #17
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    What about an Android or Symbian phone? You can run software like Sports-Tracker on most phones and sharing your track is much easier since these devices are connected to the internet.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by edubfromktown View Post
    As long as you have average reception (1-2 bars) when you start, it records consistently (if not, you will see inaccurate speed from the start until there is adequate signal reception. Here is an example of a ride where cellular service blows. Cyclemeter-MountainCycle-20110911-0918.kml - Google Maps

    Most places where I live have decent reception...
    I think I'm going to try this one. Thanks for the recommendation! I looked at your ride. You must live close to where I'm from originally. I'm from York, Pa. Actually going to be back there next week. Just thought that was cool...

  19. #19
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    I use the BikeBrain App on my iPhone 4 and the BioLogic iPhone mount. The mount is water proof and I've already crashed a few times with the mount and it was solid. So much so that I bought another mount for my GF's bike; it should arrive today.

    BioLogic is releasing a battery powered iPhone mount for those that are worried about losing their charge.

    BikeBrain
    http://www.thinkbiologic.com/products/bikebrain

    iPhone mount
    http://www.thinkbiologic.com/product...mount-iphone-4

  20. #20
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    The nice thing about my Edge 800 is the water resistance. I love not having to worry about it in the pouring rain. Would be VERY nice to have an iPhone-size screen though.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Call_me_Tom View Post
    I use the BikeBrain App on my iPhone 4 and the BioLogic iPhone mount. The mount is water proof and I've already crashed a few times with the mount and it was solid. So much so that I bought another mount for my GF's bike; it should arrive today.

    BioLogic is releasing a battery powered iPhone mount for those that are worried about losing their charge.

    BikeBrain
    BikeBrain

    iPhone mount
    Bike Mount
    Cool case for rec riders. Allows other options to come in play like Strava which I tried today and liked.
    2012 Niner Jet 9 RDO (Tang, XTR groupo)
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  22. #22
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    I love cyclemeter. I use a Biologic handlebar mount which is water/shock resistant.
    I wish I had gone with the wahoo sports ant+ mount though and may be switching. That would add cadence and wheel speedometer as well as the ability to add a heart rate monitor. So far the recordings have been very close to those uploaded from dedicated gps units. You can also import gpx files so you can have a map to follow for new trails. Just used this today for the first time and it was very handy.
    I also set it to email my wife every 30 min so she can see that I'm not dead on the trail somewhere.
    It also is set to announce various things (current speed, avg speed, cal burned, etc) every mile.
    It is a very well designed and well supported app.

    Highly recommend.

    Oh yeah today I did an hour and a half ride and had 40% battery left on my 4s.

  23. #23
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    Google "iphone vs garmin barometer" and click on the first link from MTBGuru Blog;

    the page does a great analysis of the performance of both the iphone and the Garmin Edge 705; It breaks down the pros and cons (if any) of having a barometer for the purpose of accurately determining your elevation throughout your ride.

    Hope this helps!

    (First post so it wont let me post a link yet)

  24. #24
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    I use MotionX for my rides. Live updates and I get at least 6 hours on a fully charged battery if I'm using to just record my ride. If I'm turning the screen on often to look at a map or take pictures, it might take an hour of life off the battery but still can get four hours out of it.
    Just waiting for a case with an iphone battery built into it to extend the life a bit...

  25. #25
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    Wahoo fitness makes a bike mount case that they sell an external battery for.
    I just bought a 5000 mAh external battery for iphones that I'll rig onto my bike somehow.

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