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  1. #1
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    lowest entry cost GPS for Strava

    I'm interested in picking up a GPS for the sole purpose of playing around on Strava - local competition. I've never shopped around for a GPS before and it appears that the options are ridiculously numerous. I don't need any fancy features. Basically i want to be able to strap something to my arm or stem or throw it in my camelback then ride. When i get home i'd plug the device into my pc and see how i did vs others.

    What do you suggest?

    Thanks,
    head

  2. #2
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    Costco member? They have a Garmin 405 w/premium HR monitor for $159. ::link::

    You can use a handlebar mount ($15) or wear it on your wrist.

  3. #3
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    I've read that Strava is catering to the cell phone market & no longer uses the barometric elevation readings from GPS's. This makes your ride climbed & descents (usually) shorter. If this doesn't bother you then any cheap GPS or phone with GPS will work.

    You can get a Garmin Edge 200 for around $150.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by head View Post
    I'm interested in picking up a GPS for the sole purpose of playing around on Strava - local competition.
    What do you suggest?

    Thanks,
    head
    blackberry curve and GPSLogger. Don't even need a SIM card in the device. GPSLogger is Free. (Free as in freedom, no activity harvesting) GPS Precision is good. I pass the files from the phone to the laptop via bluetooth and upload to strava.

    *Every* smartphone platform has a number of GPS apps. If you already have a mobile phone capable of running third-party applications you have to find one that writes to a file type supported by strava.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Call_me_Tom View Post
    I've read that Strava is catering to the cell phone market & no longer uses the barometric elevation readings from GPS's.
    ?

    Not as of 9AM this morning.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruiser View Post
    ?

    Not as of 9AM this morning.
    I don't use Starva but I read that on these boards. You are more then welcome to conduct your own search.

    I run an iPhone 4 using MotionX-GPS & upload to Geoladders or Garmin Connect.

  7. #7
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    There was a discussion last week about a change in the method of speed/distance calculation to work better with mobile phones (which Strava later decided not to do) but I saw nothing about elevation.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by asphalt_jesus View Post
    blackberry curve and GPSLogger. Don't even need a SIM card in the device. GPSLogger is Free. (Free as in freedom, no activity harvesting) GPS Precision is good. I pass the files from the phone to the laptop via bluetooth and upload to strava.

    *Every* smartphone platform has a number of GPS apps. If you already have a mobile phone capable of running third-party applications you have to find one that writes to a file type supported by strava.
    Wow... this is cool. I have my wifes old blackberry bold no longer has sim card. I use it for streaming pandora off our house wi-fi and now it looks like I can re-purpose to track my rides on GPS.

    Does the phone need light of sight to get a signal or if it is in camelbak will it still get a signal?

  9. #9
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    It worked.. I took my old blackberry bold 9700 and despite not having sim card any longer I downloaded GPS Logger II via home wi-fi. I then turned it on and did a ride this weekend. I put it in my camelbak and did a ride. It recored the entire trip. I did not get any maps while on the trail as the phone had not data connection, but it did track GPS data like position speed and elevation.

    Just what I needed for the right price $0. So left over blackberry with wi-fi =FREE, GPS Logger II app = FREE. Being able to track your ride for FREE = COOL. I love to know where I have been.

  10. #10
    cmh
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    Has anyone had any experience with simple dataloggers?

    Amazon.com: i-gotU GT-120 Travel Blog Master (USB GPS, Data Logger, SiRF III Chipset) (Bumper Case, Data Cable and Software Included) (GT-120): GPS & Navigation
    http://www.amazon.com/Holux-M-1000C-.../dp/B001QRCZ7C
    http://www.amazon.com/M-241-Bluetoot.../dp/B0011XV19O

    There are several others which look interesting as well.

    $60 for a GPS - no bike computer functions but if you want the cheapest entry to GPS use, it's hard to beat $60.

    Well, obviously if you have an old phone with GPS, that beats that, but the phone cost well more than that when it was new.

  11. #11
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    I picked up a Canmore 730 GT-FL(S) off ebay for $40 to experiment with (I also own a705) and I have to say it does the trick. Low cost, compact, and fairly simple to operate and integrate. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a low cost gps device.

  12. #12
    cmh
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    Quote Originally Posted by bennymack View Post
    I picked up a Canmore 730 GT-FL(S) off ebay for $40 to experiment with (I also own a705) and I have to say it does the trick. Low cost, compact, and fairly simple to operate and integrate. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a low cost gps device.
    Nice, I missed that one completely, thanks! $5 cheaper than the Holux M-1000C I picked up. Looking forward to comparing it to my android phone and the wife's Edge 500.


    cmh

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmh View Post
    Nice, I missed that one completely, thanks! $5 cheaper than the Holux M-1000C I picked up. Looking forward to comparing it to my android phone and the wife's Edge 500.
    cmh
    I guess if I were to compare the two it looks like the Canmore is quite a bit smaller. It's about the size of a fat USB flash drive and weighs practically nothing. It has a built in battery, the holux seems to also require batteries? I'm guessing the holux wins in features as the canmore has practically none. Just turn it on and it records, press the button to store a waypoint, turn it off.

  14. #14
    cmh
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    Quote Originally Posted by bennymack View Post
    I guess if I were to compare the two it looks like the Canmore is quite a bit smaller. It's about the size of a fat USB flash drive and weighs practically nothing. It has a built in battery, the holux seems to also require batteries? I'm guessing the holux wins in features as the canmore has practically none. Just turn it on and it records, press the button to store a waypoint, turn it off.
    The Holux is very similar in features, or lack thereof. It's very simple. It does have a battery from a Nokia cell phone, which would probably give it more recording time before it needs to be charged just simply because it's bigger. The chipset in the Holux is supposed to be really good, as well. Don't know how long the Canmore lasts, but if it's at least a couple hours, I'd say it's a better choice. Can you set the logging interval down to 1 second on the Canmore? I would think -- especially for MTB -- that the smaller logging interval is kinda necessary, especially on really twisty trails. If you only sample every 5 seconds, a really twisty trail might wind up looking basically straight.

  15. #15
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    According to the docs the battery is supposed to last 18 hours. I did update the config to log every 1 second. It stores 256k points whatever that works out to a 1PPS.

  16. #16
    cmh
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    Quote Originally Posted by bennymack View Post
    According to the docs the battery is supposed to last 18 hours. I did update the config to log every 1 second. It stores 256k points whatever that works out to a 1PPS.
    Wow, if that thing turns out to be comparable in accuracy to the Holux, it's a way better buy. Smaller, simpler, 1 second intervals, and good battery life. I may have to get one (WTH, it's cheap) and compare the two. Thanks!

    edit -- Bought! Picked up one for $38 with free shipping from ebay. I'll soon be able to compare the Canmore, the Holux, a Garmin Edge 500 (maybe an 800 if I can con one of my buddies into lending it) and Android phones. (Motorola Cliq and Galaxy Nexus)

    Should be interesting, if nothing else!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmh View Post
    Wow, if that thing turns out to be comparable in accuracy to the Holux, it's a way better buy. Smaller, simpler, 1 second intervals, and good battery life. I may have to get one (WTH, it's cheap) and compare the two. Thanks!

    edit -- Bought! Picked up one for $38 with free shipping from ebay. I'll soon be able to compare the Canmore, the Holux, a Garmin Edge 500 (maybe an 800 if I can con one of my buddies into lending it) and Android phones. (Motorola Cliq and Galaxy Nexus)

    Should be interesting, if nothing else!
    Any chance of adding any handhelds to the mix? That could be an interesting test.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    Any chance of adding any handhelds to the mix? That could be an interesting test.
    Sure thing, send me what you've got!

    I haven't had a handheld since my first GPS, a Garmin GPS III. I know a guy with a handheld he uses for Geocaching, but I don't see him very often.

    Otherwise, I'd love to incorporate those.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmh View Post
    Sure thing, send me what you've got!

    I haven't had a handheld since my first GPS, a Garmin GPS III. I know a guy with a handheld he uses for Geocaching, but I don't see him very often.

    Otherwise, I'd love to incorporate those.
    I have Strava segments to compete for...I don't plan on sending my Oregon.

    The Oregon will probably be similar to the Edge 800 if you can get that one into the test.

    I was thinking more about one of the new eTrexes, maybe a Delorme. But still, if you did such a test in a pretty systematic way with calibrated distances under different circumstances, that could be good stuff. I'd even offer to let you write it up as a guest post on my site if it was good.

  20. #20
    cmh
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    I went out for a ride tonight with three units:

    1) Garmin Edge 500 on the stem in the normal configuration
    2) Holux M-1000C attached to the top of my helmet with velcro - light enough to not notice it and best view of the sky. Plus, once it's on, nothing else to do with it, so don't need it accessible.
    3) Motorola Cliq running MyTracks in a ziploc in my center rear jersey pocket.

    This was a road ride, so I rode through a small office area to get a better idea of the GPS accuracy.

    In terms of ease of uploading, the phone wins, hands down, going away. As soon as I get home, it picks up my wifi (no data service, it's an old phone which was upgraded) and I can upload the GPX to dropbox (dropsync app handles that automatically) or email it directly to Strava. (The Strava app is sketchy on the older hardware, MyTracks is dead relliable.) No need to plug it in for anything beyond charging. The Garmin comes in next with the browser plugin and removable media functionality, but you still have to bring it in and hook it up to the computer. The Holux comes in DFL because it has to be connected, like the Garmin, but then you have to use their software to get the data off, THEN export it to a GPX. Their software is pretty ugly, and requires you to enter a product key. Since the software is useless without the datalogger itself, I think having to enter a product key that's longer than the one on a Windows installation is pretty stupid. Nobody's going to pirate this turd.

    In terms of accuracy, however, the Holux wins it going away. First thing I did before I went on the ride was to change the logging interval from the default of 5 seconds to the minimum of 1 second. This was really, really apparent in the resulting tracks. Riding through the office complex, the Holux track had nice, smooth, curves. Really quite impressive. The Garmin was in the right general area, but I think it's got a default of 5 second intervals, and you can tell as the same corners are sequences of large straight lines. The old phone, I've tweaked MyTracks to the shortest recording duration, but I guess due to the lower quality GPS unit in that, it looks like I was chugging coffee with energy shot chasers. The tracks are accurate-ish, but jagged.

    I didn't bother using my Galaxy Nexus because that has some known GPS issues (so I've heard) and it's a bit of a battery killer.

    (I can upload screen shots comparing the tracks, but wanted to get this out)

    I've been uploading to Strava from the old phone, so did that after the ride. I didn't upload the other two so I didn't confuse things. Might upload them and make them private (or flag them) so they don't show up as multiple rides. It'll be interesting to see how the coverage differences affect segment times.

    So if you don't need to ride with a display, and don't need to follow the directions, and can deal with a little annoyance with the uploads, the Holux wins, especially considering it's $60 vs. $250 for the Garmin. *especially* considering the finer 1sec sample time for MTB use. In terms of ease of use of the unit, there's an on-off switch. Once it gets a GPS signal (indicated with LEDs) it starts recording. Nothing else to do. Done with the ride? Shut it off. That's it.

    I know there is some third party software which should work with the Holux, I'll be curious to see if I can do something a bit more automated.

    Really, really interested to get the Canmore unit now. If it's as accurate as the Holux and the battery life is as good as they advertise, it's simply unbeatable at sub-$40 shipped.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmh View Post
    First thing I did before I went on the ride was to change the logging interval from the default of 5 seconds to the minimum of 1 second. This was really, really apparent in the resulting tracks. Riding through the office complex, the Holux track had nice, smooth, curves. Really quite impressive. The Garmin was in the right general area, but I think it's got a default of 5 second intervals, and you can tell as the same corners are sequences of large straight lines.
    Not doubting the value for the $$$ reasoning, but... why set the Holux to 1-second recording and not do the same with the Edge 500?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruiser View Post
    Not doubting the value for the $$$ reasoning, but... why set the Holux to 1-second recording and not do the same with the Edge 500?
    my thoughts exactly.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmh View Post
    I didn't bother using my Galaxy Nexus because that has some known GPS issues (so I've heard) and it's a bit of a battery killer.

    I know there is some third party software which should work with the Holux, I'll be curious to see if I can do something a bit more automated.
    I thought one of the neatest features of the Holux was the Bluetooth connectivity - I believe you should be able to use a Bluetooth GPS app on your Galaxy Nexus to acquire the data from your Holux instead of its internal GPS. That should make the post-processing easier, too, no? I just started reading about this, so I'd be interested if you can try that combo.

    Ted

  24. #24
    cmh
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruiser View Post
    Not doubting the value for the $$$ reasoning, but... why set the Holux to 1-second recording and not do the same with the Edge 500?
    Is it possible? I've looked and haven't found where that can be set. I thought that was the big selling point of the 800 over the 500. Tell me how and I'll give it a go.

  25. #25
    cmh
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    Quote Originally Posted by TedS123 View Post
    I thought one of the neatest features of the Holux was the Bluetooth connectivity - I believe you should be able to use a Bluetooth GPS app on your Galaxy Nexus to acquire the data from your Holux instead of its internal GPS. That should make the post-processing easier, too, no? I just started reading about this, so I'd be interested if you can try that combo.
    Yeah, in theory it can be done. I've seen some things about it, you basically have to disable the internal GPS and then pair it and then enable mock locations under debugging. Something like that, I don't remember the exact steps. Can try that, time permitting.

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