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  1. #1
    MTB Mamba
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    GPS Recommendations (for biking, etc)

    Ok, so I've had just a basic Cateye Enduro 8 bike computer for quite a while now with no complaints. It does what I need it to do.

    After riding (mountain biking) this last weekend with a friend I am now looking into a GPS system that I can mount on my bike to use on new trails etc to make sure I know where I'm going. It was great for him to have one with us since it was a new trail we were going on and he had the trail map downloaded onto his GPS so we knew which branches of the trail to take or not to take to get where we wanted to go. Without a GPS I usually take at least one wrong turn just to find out a mile or so later and have to turn around and backtrack.

    I moved to this area recently (St. George Utah) so I'm getting to know all new trails, it would be nice to have a GPS for the process.

    So what are your recommendations, and what are the key features that you think I should be sure to get with whatever I buy.

    I'm just starting to look into them so I know very little about them in general.

    I'm not looking to blow a ton of money on it and was hoping to find something that will work for a decent price. Just not sure if a decent price is $100, 200, 300, or what.

    Thanks in advance for your help.

    Some things off the top of my head that I'd like...

    ability to load trail maps before the ride (to follow)
    Speed
    Distance traveled (trip and total over time)
    elevation
    Color screen (not a must, but would be nice)
    avg. speed (trip)

  2. #2
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    Get one with mapping capalility - that is the ability to display maps. Makes the display much more readable. Look for the availibility of loading topo maps into the GPS. GPS's and bicycling is a marrige made in heaven. I don't go out without my Garmin 400t but it's not in the price range you're talking abour. There are many others however. I also have a GPSmap 76s which is bigger, not color, and not as much memory which I started on and it may now be in your $ ball park. Look for reviews (see http://www.maps-gps-info.com/gp-rvws.html). I also like ones using AA cells as they're readily available in Alkaline, and NiMH rechargable. Compass is nice but not mandatory, Altimeter is nice but not mandatory. External antenna plugin is nice but not mandatory. Both of mine have those features and I like them.
    Also see http://gpsinformation.us/main/gpshiking.htm though it refers to hiking I think those specifics are about same for biking.
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  3. #3
    MTB Mamba
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    Thanks for the detailed response, give me some more direction for my research.

  4. #4
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    I'm not an expert by any means, but I would look into the Garmin eTrex Vista HCx or the Garmin Edge 705.

    I used the Vista this summer in Colorado and it worked just fine. The handlebar mount from Garmin is pretty solid. I ride a rigid singlespeed and the GPS never moved. If you just want a map this GPS will be just fine.

    This week I upgraded to the 705. I did this so I just have to care one device for everyting. I ride on the road for training, so I had a heart rate monitor, my bike computer for cadence, and a GPS if I needed a map. That makes for a cockpit that almost dwarfs the one on Starship Enterprise. The 705 combines everything in one slick looking device.

    As for price... you can get the Vista HCx for under $200 if you look around and the 705 for under $400.
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  5. #5
    Nightriding rules SuperModerator
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    the Vista HCx is a great device, has the great reception of the newer chips (like my current 60Csx), it's small and takes memory cards to load maps...

  6. #6
    MTB Mamba
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    Looks like the Vista is similar to the Venture but with some improvements/extra features.

  7. #7
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    I have a Venture HC; not sure if you can "load trails", but I know you can load tracks. It also lays breadcrumbs so you can backtrack. I havent played with it enough to get its full potential of features. I use it on my commute as a trip computer, but havent been able to take it to the trails yet. Doesnt hurt that my favorite color is yellow, so it looks bad arse. I'm using a RAM handlebar mount, which is very solid; as I read bad reviews on the Garmin mount.
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  8. #8
    MTB Mamba
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    Quote Originally Posted by 08HardRock
    I have a Venture HC; not sure if you can "load trails", but I know you can load tracks.
    I'm not sure on my terminology to begin with, so what do you mean when you say you can load tracks?

  9. #9
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    Your tracks are where you have been. You have the option to save these tracks. Lets say you go for a ride. You can place a waypoint at the trail head and can save the path you took. When you want to re-create your ride, you can start at your waypoint and the GPS will route you along your path. I dont know if there is an option of using the software to electronically load "X" trail that has already been laid out on the web, and download it eventhough you've never rode that track with you GPS.
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  10. #10
    MTB Mamba
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    Quote Originally Posted by 08HardRock
    Your tracks are where you have been. You have the option to save these tracks. Lets say you go for a ride. You can place a waypoint at the trail head and can save the path you took. When you want to re-create your ride, you can start at your waypoint and the GPS will route you along your path. I dont know if there is an option of using the software to electronically load "X" trail that has already been laid out on the web, and download it eventhough you've never rode that track with you GPS.
    I hope it is possible...that would be a major plus for me. I moved to a new area and would like to upload other people's tracks to my GPS so I make sure and take the right trail and not get off on a sidetrack that takes me nowhere, or worse yet, somewhere way far off from my destination

  11. #11
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    Maybe someone else will be able to confirm it, it seems like it should be feasible given some other software, like a google earth or something. Maybe, if I get some time; I'll mess with it a bit and see if I can figure something out. I only briefly read the manual, which was pretty sparse, and I dont remember anything like that.
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  12. #12
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    Maybe you'd be able to use something like motionbased, which I havent really looked into; so I'm not sure what its all about. Hopefully, I'll be able to test it for you; so I can give a more definite answer.
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  13. #13
    MTB Mamba
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    Awesome, thanks!

    From what I've heard it seems like it should be possible

  14. #14
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    I can only recommend what i'm using. and that is the Garmin EDGE 705.

    It does everything you need and much more.

    It took me a while to decide which device to buy, but i'm glad with the choice i made.

    it's a bit out of your price range, so maybe you can go with a lesser model.

    anyway, best of luck and happy riding & trailing
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  15. #15
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    I bot a Garmin Etrex Vista about six weeks ago and love it. It does everything you asked for and is around $200. Combined with Motion based, its a fun tool. From there you can search for the exact trail you want to ride, and download it to your unit. After the ride, you can upload your ride to start tracking em. No more wondering which turn to make on the trail.

  16. #16
    GeoMan
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbaker
    I can only recommend what i'm using. and that is the Garmin EDGE 705.

    It does everything you need and much more.

    It took me a while to decide which device to buy, but i'm glad with the choice i made.

    it's a bit out of your price range, so maybe you can go with a lesser model.

    anyway, best of luck and happy riding & trailing
    _______________________________________________

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    I agree wholeheartedly!

    I've been using the Edge 705 for awhile now. It is the best of the Vista HCx/60CSx and the Edge 305 melded into a single unit.

    It solved all the issues I had with carrying two GPS units. The Edge 705 is a great GPS/cycling computer.
    GeoMan
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  17. #17
    MTB Mamba
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    Thanks.

    So if I can't scrape up some extra funds for the Edge 705 then I'll be getting the Vista HCx

    Thank you everyone for the great input.

  18. #18
    GeoMan
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    Excellent option. You will be pleased either way.
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  19. #19
    My other ride is your mom
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    Quote Originally Posted by 08HardRock
    Maybe someone else will be able to confirm it, it seems like it should be feasible given some other software, like a google earth or something. Maybe, if I get some time; I'll mess with it a bit and see if I can figure something out. I only briefly read the manual, which was pretty sparse, and I dont remember anything like that.
    No worries here....I have the 705 and you can easily upload other folks history/tracks as .gpx files or .tcx files which the Garmin will read...so you don't have to ride it first to generate a track...you can upload someone elses. I would also suggest you look up a free software GPS track converter out there...I use GPS Babel. This is helpful for converting files....although I'm more prone to use TopoFusion which you can download an eval copy for free as well. This gives you the option of importing and exporting to just about any format you can imagine to include .kml's (google earth format).

  20. #20
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    Why bump to 705?

    For you folks using the 705, what was the feature(s) that pushed you up from the 305 or the 605 to the 705?

    tia.
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  21. #21
    GeoMan
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    In a word, mapping.

    The 705 is a great unit.
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  22. #22
    GPS_dr
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    So GeoMan,
    Does the 705 now support displaying more than one track at a time?
    2,000+ miles free Colorado FrontRange GPS enabled bike trails w/map overlays.
    View network via GoogleEarth @ GeoBiking.org

  23. #23
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    You can also use the vista hcx for skydiving:

    http://www8.garmin.com/manuals/eTrex...Jumpmaster.pdf
    I like to ride bikes.

  24. #24
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    Unless you need/want heart rate and/or cadence I would recommend the EDGE 605.

  25. #25
    GeoMan
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    Quote Originally Posted by onefinger
    Unless you need/want heart rate and/or cadence I would recommend the EDGE 605.
    Yep, another very good option.
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  26. #26
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    After talking with GEOMAN, i went with the 705 over the 605 because of the barometric altimeter. Much more accurate, and I ride at upwards of 7500/8000 feet. I don't plan on using the HR monitor, probably just sell it

  27. #27
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    GeoMan,
    Sorry to hijack the thread, but two questions:
    1) Could I get maps and City Navigator for Japan for the 605 or the 705?
    2) Do you ship to APO/FPO?
    Thanks, and I'm really enjoying this particular forum.
    MiG-19

  28. #28
    Nightriding rules SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by MiG-19
    GeoMan,
    Sorry to hijack the thread, but two questions:
    1) Could I get maps and City Navigator for Japan for the 605 or the 705?
    2) Do you ship to APO/FPO?
    Thanks, and I'm really enjoying this particular forum.
    MiG-19
    MiG-19, please take this to PM, that way both you and GeoMan can discuss at length, and prevent the thread from being flagged as spam.

  29. #29
    GeoMan
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    Quote Originally Posted by crisillo
    MiG-19, please take this to PM, that way both you and GeoMan can discuss at length, and prevent the thread from being flagged as spam.
    Thank you, agreed.
    GeoMan
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  30. #30
    GPS_dr
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    GeoMan,
    Thought you might reply on question about edge 605/705 displaying more than one tracklog at a time. It is my understanding that the 605 & 705 share the same crippling inability to display more than one track at a time on the screen as do the Oregon & Colorado units.
    2,000+ miles free Colorado FrontRange GPS enabled bike trails w/map overlays.
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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by gps_dr
    GeoMan,
    Thought you might reply on question about edge 605/705 displaying more than one tracklog at a time. It is my understanding that the 605 & 705 share the same crippling inability to display more than one track at a time on the screen as do the Oregon & Colorado units.
    The single track limit is frustrating but I've found that you can use copy and paste to merge two or more together in mapsource, then copy it back to the device as a course file.

  32. #32
    trail rat
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    Quote Originally Posted by pathogen
    The single track limit is frustrating but I've found that you can use copy and paste to merge two or more together in mapsource, then copy it back to the device as a course file.
    Check out TopoFusion from www.topofusion.com or www.geomangear.com. There is a free trail version.

    It has a trail network feature that lets you combine rides. You selct what you want included and then it produces a single gpx file. You should be able to upload it to the gps, and it appears as a single track.

    Here is an example; this is compiled from about 15 different rides. Note the waypoints. This uploads as a course to my 305, and a route to my 60CSx.
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