Info Overload Need Recommendations
I have read the sticky and here is what I'm after in a GPS:
- Don't care about Strava
- Don't care about HRM and fitness functions
- Don't need a map while I'm riding
- Won't be using the GPS in the car
- Would rather not burn cell phone battery while riding for GPS functions
I get that GPS and software options are quite powerful but that leads to the challenge as there are a bunch of options.
Basically I want something to capture waypoints and elevation while I ride so I can take that data after the ride and say 'I rode X miles with Y ft/meters of elevation change/climbing'.
Sort of like bread crumbs of the ride without fiddling around with a GPS while I ride.
What would be some recommended products to look at as far as narrowing down the options for something like this?
It may be that what I'm after is rolled into products X, Y, and Z so there isn't really a limited or stripped down option as far as GPS goes.
Thank you in advance for any input and I apologize if this is covering ground that has been covered over and over again.
It's the other way around. There are a LOT of products that do what you want. At the most basic end of things, you could get something like a super basic fitness watch that only offers GPS functionality and a small screen with a couple data fields visible at a time. No external sensor capability. It will be small. Wrist worn out of the box, could be fairly easily mounted to the bike in a couple different ways depending on the model.
What I would recommend would be to get something with a few extra features just in case your needs change later. That could be something with a map screen and the ability to load maps (you can get free ones later, so it's easily something that you could only use occasionally when you need it), it could be something with the ability to pair extra sensors later, or it could possibly be something that could handle both items in some fashion.
What will matter most here will be how you expect it to function.
Do you want to turn it on and have buttons for Start/Stop and Lap/Reset? If so, you should look at a fitness model. Either a watch or an Edge. Saving waypoints with these is possible, but not easy. You have to dig for that functionality.
Do you want it to function like a handheld where you just turn it on and it records? Keep in mind that these types require you to go through the menus to reset the trip meter and clear out old tracks. Saving waypoints tends to be easier on these, because the "save waypoint" function takes a more prominent location. On models with actual buttons, it often has its own button. On touchscreens, it's one of the items in the main menu.
I suggest getting your hands on a few and talking to people who use similar models. I use one of two different ones depending on what I'm doing. For trailbuilding and exploring new trails where I need mapping, I use a handheld (Garmin Oregon). For just collecting data about my rides in places where I'm more familiar, I use a Garmin Forerunner 310XT. Both have capability that I don't use (or have any intention of using) but they also both have enough additional capability that they will still work for me if my needs change a little.
Almost any GPS that is designed for hiking or running will do what you need. If it will record your track, and export it as a GPX file, you can upload it into software to view the results.
I was using a Garmin Forerunner for a year, before I got a Garmin 510 this past spring. The Forerunner worked fine for recording rides. I could upload the track to the Garmin Connect website and see how far I went, much climbing I did, and average speed, etc.
The main benefit of the 510 is that I can see all of that while I'm riding. Some of those numbers aren't displayed on the Forerunner models. But, I could use the Forerunner on hikes and running, and other non-biking activities. If you don't need a heart rate monitor, maybe check out the Forerunner 10.
Also, give Strava a try. You don't have to compare yourself against anybody else, but it does help to see how you're progressing against yourself.
Salt Lake City
2012 Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Comp 29
2006 Specialized Allez Expert Double
Thank you for the feedback
How about an Etrex10 (and a bicycle mount ziptied to your stem) ?
Belgian beer and Scotch whisky.
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