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  1. #1
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    looking for measuring distance and time

    haven't been able to scour the threads since not sure what way to ask this more adequately so apologies if this is too simple. basically i'm looking for what is recommended to use to measure distance travelled while mountain biking and some ability to time my rides too. any suggestions greatly appreciated. please include likely price points too since i have no idea at this point what is good or bad and whether it's a big cost or not to get a good quality device.

  2. #2
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    Devices

    You can get a basic cyclecomputer that uses a wheel magnet to determine distance and time starting at about 20 dollars. If thats all you want to do you don't need a big budget. For a little more money you can step up to a wireless unit which is easier to install and more reliable.

    For a big jump in price and a big jump in function and ease of use you can get a garmin edge 200 for about 150 dollars. GPS based units are much more reliable in my experience because they have no wires to get caught in spokes, and no pickup to be too far away from the magnet, and no magnet to be too far away from the pickup. You can also upload you rides to websites, populate your google earth with all the cool places you have ridden and basically waste endless amounts of time.
    Visiting St george/Hurricane? Stay at my vacation rental. Discounts for MTB's

    http://www.vrbo.com/392904

    PM me

  3. #3
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    price range: $20-$600 or more (if you add a power meter).

    you really need to spend some time reading because your question is very broad and has many different possible answers that will have a big effect on price.

  4. #4
    gran jefe
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    nate, can you say something about the accuracy of GPS under tree cover?

  5. #5
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    narrowing it down (hopefully) with some desired traits

    am looking for the following attributes:
    wireless
    well functioning in poor weather (cold)
    waterproof (have been caught in rain while mountain biking enough times to need this)
    durable (mountain biking ... with bumps and bruises, not road biking)
    GPS with accuracy under tree cover
    long battery life (rechargeable)
    visibile/easy to use when night riding (this is an absolute must)
    compact size

    so far, i'm only looking at Garmin Edge 200 and Edge 500, but have no idea which is better bang for the buck (and needs) or if there are better alternatives. any suggestions/feedback appreciated.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill in Houston View Post
    nate, can you say something about the accuracy of GPS under tree cover?
    accuracy will vary under tree cover. I remember a time when GPS use under canopy was sketchy at best. I have had to climb trees just to get a single point on a GPS many years ago. nowadays, it's much less of an issue. settings on the GPS tend to have more of a bearing on accuracy these days moreso than the presence/absence of canopy cover.

    am looking for the following attributes:
    wireless
    well functioning in poor weather (cold)
    waterproof (have been caught in rain while mountain biking enough times to need this)
    durable (mountain biking ... with bumps and bruises, not road biking)
    GPS with accuracy under tree cover
    long battery life (rechargeable)
    visibile/easy to use when night riding (this is an absolute must)
    compact size

    so far, i'm only looking at Garmin Edge 200 and Edge 500, but have no idea which is better bang for the buck (and needs) or if there are better alternatives. any suggestions/feedback appreciated.
    A lot of those criteria are very subjective so you're going to have to get your hands on a bunch and decide what you like best.

    * wireless - this one's not difficult
    *cold weather functionality - this depends. lithium batteries are pretty cold-resistant, while other chemistries can be pretty awful. plus, many LCD screens act up in the cold. the ability to stuff the computer in a jacket pocket can be a big deal, depending on how cold you're talking about.
    *waterproof - nothing will be "truly" waterproof, but everything on the market should be fine in rain.
    *durable - most options should be fine. I even had cheap wired computers last plenty long on mountain bikes. the pickup tends to go out on them, but that's not because of the bike they're installed on.
    *GPS accuracy under canopy - depends on your expectations. a lot of people ask too much and get upset when it's really their fault for not understanding the limitations. it wasn't very many years ago that riding with a GPS meant you'd lose the signal completely at least once on a ride under forest canopy. modern receivers don't have this problem. even most cell phones don't have this problem. but, accuracy still drops under dense canopy. it's the nature of the technology.
    *long battery life - what's long battery life to you?
    *visibility at night - this one is in direct competition with battery life. back lights EAT batteries. it's the way things are. do you want the backlight on the whole time you're riding, or are you fine with it turning off when you aren't using it?
    *compact size - what's compact size to you?

  7. #7
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    power and HR

    If you want power and heart rate you need a 500.
    Visiting St george/Hurricane? Stay at my vacation rental. Discounts for MTB's

    http://www.vrbo.com/392904

    PM me

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