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  1. #1
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    Good "Basic" GPS? Help for a newbie.

    I'm new to bike GPS's. I'm only used to them portables for the cars.

    I want a GPS for:
    Maps
    Finding my way back if lost
    Trail finding new trails
    Screen can operate with gloves on
    Water/weather proof
    Useful for hiking too

    Don't need:
    calorie count
    altitude
    cadence
    HR
    Pretty face
    Strava
    Virtual training partner
    blah blah blah

    Any experience appreciated
    We Ride In God's Country!

  2. #2
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    GPS's

    Garmin Dakota or etrex. The cheapest etrex is less then 100 dollars and will do everything you listed.
    Visiting St george/Hurricane? Stay at my vacation rental. Discounts for MTB's

    http://www.vrbo.com/392904

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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pedalfaraway View Post
    Garmin Dakota or etrex. The cheapest etrex is less then 100 dollars and will do everything you listed.
    It won't do maps. Also gps receivers are pretty useless for finding trails. Do that at home, library, bookstore, etc.

  4. #4
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    Etrex 10

    The Etrex 10 looks like it can handle an upload of a gpx file. it will then display that file as a line. Its not a topo map but it does serve as a basic map. It will also track where you have been making it useful for returning to your starting point.

    I disagree the GPS is useless for trail finding. The unit itself cannot find a trail but you can serach websites like strava and G connect and upload gpx files to it of where others have ridden. I do this all the time and it works great when riding in unknown areas. I don't always follow the uploaded course exacly but it gives you an idea of where you are in relation to a trail that you know takes you bacl to the car. makes learning a new trail system much easier and more fun. With the units that I have used you can tell within 15 feet or so if you are off the intended course.
    Visiting St george/Hurricane? Stay at my vacation rental. Discounts for MTB's

    http://www.vrbo.com/392904

    PM me

  5. #5
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    When someone says they want maps, I take that to mean basemaps. The etrex10 cannot do that. Topos, streets, nope.

    Is your usage scenario, the gps is useless for finding new trails. You found the trail on your computer. Once you do that, you really don't need the gps if you have a decent topo.

  6. #6
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    Useless???

    Will a Topo map let you know with near certainity that you are on the correct trail and have not made a wrong turn?
    Visiting St george/Hurricane? Stay at my vacation rental. Discounts for MTB's

    http://www.vrbo.com/392904

    PM me

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pedalfaraway View Post
    Will a Topo map let you know with near certainity that you are on the correct trail and have not made a wrong turn?
    If you know how to use it.

  8. #8
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    Great discussions fellas. I didn't even think about the necessity of topo maps. I'm guessing that's necessary to tell me if I should be going down or up on a trail. I know it sounds silly to be saying but I'm just a horrible map reader and navigator. But if im lost and the map doesnt tell me up or down a hill i might get even more lost.

    This is also why I think a basic GPS is better for me. Too many features on a device and I'm lost in tech world.

    As long asI can get around on a trail that's all that matters.
    We Ride In God's Country!

  9. #9
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    Get this straight first. Handhelds and fitness gps receivers do not work like car gps receivers and do not work exactly like each other, either. They are even less idiot-proof, too. If you want one to help you navigate, you need to learn basic navigation or you will be just as clueless with the gps in your hand.

    The map doesn't help you find trails directly. It just gives you a reference for the position you gps reports and the breadcrumb trail your gps leaves behind as you travel.

    At its most basic, loading a .gpx of someone else's breadcrumb, you will also see where you are along that path. It will not tell you where to turn but it will show you if you deviate from the path. With a topo map you get an indication of slope, how many hills ahead, water sources, road crossings, etc. toad maps will only give you road and some water info and let you type an address.

    You need to be able to read the map to be able to interpret that information.

  10. #10
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    So.... Etrex 20 would be fine. The screen is pretty small, and the basemap I have doesn't let you see the trails once you zoom out, so it isn't great for finding a new route, but it is good for everything else. Because it is small, it doesn't take up much room on the handlebar.

    Is there a basemap provider that shows the trails at all zoom levels? I am using a free topo map off gpsfile depot. I didn't like the US topo maps because the screen resolution didn't seem good enough to be able to read them.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gilarider View Post
    So.... Etrex 20 would be fine. The screen is pretty small, and the basemap I have doesn't let you see the trails once you zoom out, so it isn't great for finding a new route, but it is good for everything else. Because it is small, it doesn't take up much room on the handlebar.

    Is there a basemap provider that shows the trails at all zoom levels? I am using a free topo map off gpsfile depot. I didn't like the US topo maps because the screen resolution didn't seem good enough to be able to read them.
    no.

    while the trail maps available on gpsfiledepot don't display the trails at all unless you are within a certain zoom range, they wouldn't even be much use if they did display the trails at a larger zoom level. the screen size and resolution limitations limit what can be on the screen at one time.

    this is why the gps itself is useless for finding new trails. do your planning on the computer/book/maps at home so that when you're in the field, the gps is simply a reference tool.

    just like how satellite imagery has an optimal zoom. viewing it at anything but that optimal zoom results in crappy maps that are difficult to read.

  12. #12
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    I have a Garmin 62st. Although it came with topos I wish I had bought the unit without them and got a nice free one. I use this a ton for hiking and geocaching, Now that I have got back into riding I use it for that as well. I does have most trails in it but I use google earth image overlays to create custom maps and I just love it! I have had it for almost 2 years now. The unit is not cheap. I bought it at REI so if I ever have a problem I can just return it. My 47500 cents

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