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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
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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.
    "The physician heals, Nature makes well" - real fortune cookie

    CCCMB trail work for trail access - SLO, CA

  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.
    You in Oklahoma City? If yes, come ride with us.

  5. #5
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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
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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
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    GPS accuracy has nothing whatsoever to do with having a cellular phone signal.

  12. #12
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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
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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...
    </g33k> ::: allg33k.com

  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.

  26. #26
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    I have both an Garmin Edge 800 and the Wahoo Fitness Fisca and the Fisca Case. I like them both for different reasons, but ultimately the Garmin works smoother. It is a lot more compact with very easy to customize displays. I like the birdseye imagery for the backcounty to overlay the maps. Overall it is just easy to use and slick. The Wahoo system is also quite good, but the mounting is huge and their is the problem of needing an extra battery, so it gets bigger with more wires. The Wahoo is cool as you can upload the ride to a web based training tracker like Training Peaks. With the Garmin, you have to export the file and upload it. Not a big deal, just an extra step.

    Overall you can put it this way, the Garmin Edge is made to fit on a bike, and work with a bike. Your iPhone or Android is a phone and made to do that best. They will almost always be a compromise in function.

    Now I always carry my iPhone with me, to provide music and give a bit of safety backup. My wife can actually locate my body with 'Find My iPhone' or I can call her and say, "honey, can you come get me I have really (insert appropriate injury here)." Or, lets say it is on your bike that just descended, on its own, deeper into Walnut Canyon than your body, where would your phone be in relation to your painfully still alive body? Then you must consider, what is now cheaper to replace, a Garmin or your whatever phone on a two year contract?

  27. #27
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    I use MotionX for my iphone4. Very happy with it. Just did a 3 hr road ride and had 65% battery remaining. Unfortunately I haven't gotten around to find a mount for it yet, any recommendations??

  28. #28
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    Don't laugh. If you are handy you can make one. I use my Garmin twist lock mounts and the corresponding mount for one of their sports watches. You can attach that to one of the regular iPhone rigid cases(with some small screws) and twist lock the iPhone to the handlebars. I don't do it very often, but it is nice for beach cruising. Otherwise the Wahoo case is totally bulletproof:

    iPhone Biking ANT+ Cycling Sensor from Wahoo Fitness! Bluetooth 4.0

  29. #29
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    Re: Wahoo case. Sorry if this is obvious -- I get that it will be compatible with my current HR monitor (at least I think that's correct), but will it pick up the current Sigma wireless speed sensor that I have already installed on my front wheel?

    I'm also a big fan of Cyclemeter. I've been using it since February and it works pretty flawlessly with the exception of rather inacurate mileage. I think cyclemeter now works with ANT+ devices, so it would be nice if the above were true and it now used speed sensor for tracking both speed and mileage.

  30. #30
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    You need to go to the Wahoo web site and check on your sensors. The Wahoo will work with ANT+ sensors. ANT+ is an open source standard promoted by Garmin which relies on a Texas Instrument chipset. Polar compatible sensors will not work. So if your sensors have the ANT+ logo or they say compatible with Garmin, then your in luck, otherwise no go.

    On an aside note about the heart rate monitors. Garmin makes a premium heart rate monitor with a soft strap. They want an unreasonable amount for a replacement elastic strap. I found that Polar made a much better quality strap that works with the Garmin sensor at half the cost. The Polar sensor, again, will not work, but the strap itself works super with the Garmin sensor:
    Amazon.com: Polar Wearlink Strap: Sports & Outdoors

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by danhasdrums View Post
    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...
    Will the motion x app work when the phone is in a pack or pocket?

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by JGguns View Post
    Will the motion x app work when the phone is in a pack or pocket?
    I carry my phone like this and I get reception all of the time. Motion X is only 2 bucks, give it a try.

  33. #33
    psycho cyclo addict
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    I carry my iPhone in a small stem bag or in my Camelback. I recommend spending a whopping 5 bucks and getting Cyclemeter. It integrates well with FB (and other social media sites) and more importantly dailymile.com so you can talk smack with all your friends who think they pedal more than you do

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by crashtestdummy View Post
    I carry my phone like this and I get reception all of the time. Motion X is only 2 bucks, give it a try.
    I just did a quick scan of the Motion X website and the app looks good and the maps looks better than Strava.com.

    But I didn't see any member website where you can look at your rides on a PC, nor any social sharing like Strava.com (across PC and mobile).

    Did I miss something?
    2012 Niner Jet 9 RDO (Tang, XTR groupo)
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  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by duffin View Post
    I just did a quick scan of the Motion X website and the app looks good and the maps looks better than Strava.com.

    But I didn't see any member website where you can look at your rides on a PC, nor any social sharing like Strava.com (across PC and mobile).

    Did I miss something?
    It appears that I can share my Motion X tracks on Twitter or Facebook. There also appears to be a way to post to the web. I don't do any of these things, so I'm not sure how well they work.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by crashtestdummy View Post
    It appears that I can share my Motion X tracks on Twitter or Facebook. There also appears to be a way to post to the web. I don't do any of these things, so I'm not sure how well they work.
    Sharing your ride via Facebook is really quite easy from an iPhone using Motion X Just got back from a short ride and posted my results in FB. My cousin in Washington saw the post a wanted to know what Motion X was. Pretty cool to be able to share data about your rides with others.

  37. #37
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    Strava has way more interesting ride and route data to share amongst fellow riders than other social media. Try a free account and app. Better yet, PM me so I can send you a link to sign up.
    2012 Niner Jet 9 RDO (Tang, XTR groupo)
    2011 Giant Reign 2 (XT groupo)

  38. #38
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    Why I prefer riding with Garmin over iPhone?
    Because of following features:
    • Reflective display - you can use it without backlight
    • Longer battery lifetime
    • Having it loaded maps, you don't need to have Internet connection
    • Can be controlled with gloves
    • Has better mount on handlebars
    • Better signal reception


    I'm currently using GPSMAP 62s, but my previous one was eTrex Vista Cx.

  39. #39
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    Cyclemeter also does the social network uploads.
    You can set it to auto upload your progress live during your ride as well
    It well even read you the responses from twitter, not sure about with facebook.

  40. #40
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    I love my garmin forerunner watch. I would never ever use an Iphone to track where I went just for the fear of breaking it. plus it seems weird using a phone to track how fast you are going. I'd rather leave it to garmin. Have had no troubles with mine, and had it for 3 years now.
    "Want to ride some more miles...?"

  41. #41
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    Digifit makes a great overall app for the iPhone. I use it for all my biking, running, and cardio/weight workouts to track cal burn with the heart monitor accessory. Uploads and saves all your workouts and tracks all your stats.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Powsinoga View Post
    Why I prefer riding with Garmin over iPhone?
    Because of following features:
    • Reflective display - you can use it without backlight
    • Longer battery lifetime
    • Having it loaded maps, you don't need to have Internet connection
    • Can be controlled with gloves
    • Has better mount on handlebars
    • Better signal reception
    I can add more:

    • Sturdiness for surviving drops/crashes
    • Immunity to mud spatter, dust, dirt
    • (For most models) Water resistance, for creek crossings gone awry and for those who do riding in the rain
    • (For most models) Replacable batteries, allowing spares to be carried or store-bought ones to be used in emergencies
    Looking for local rides? You'll find plenty on my website: Bay Area Mountain Bike Rides.

  43. #43
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    is there anyway to mount the iphone to the bras so it cant get soaked and die?!!

  44. #44
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    that should have been bars......

  45. #45
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    There are several options for iphone bar/stem mounts. I even saw one at Target the other day.
    I'm using the Biologic. There is also the Wahoo fitness model that incorporates Ant+ (probably switching to this for the Ant+). I saw another at Performance Bicycle that looked a lot like my Biologic but was about $20 cheaper on sale.

  46. #46
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    Home page :: LifeProof Cases

    waterproof case and they also make a bar mount

  47. #47
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    iphone app is the way to go

    I use the GPS cycle app on my iphone and I love it. Has all the functionality that an expensive Garmin GPS for 5 bucks.

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