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  1. #1
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    Noob to GPS - looking to buy

    I have NO knowledge of GPS and have been cruising this forum trying to learn a little bit. There's a lot of terminology I need to learn as most of what I read was confusing. Also didn't know you have to "load" maps or something.

    I'm not looking for anything fancy to measure HR, cadence and whatnot just want the following

    -be able to see a map of my ride on my computer
    -distance
    -climbing info
    -pacing
    -mph
    -maybe calories but I guess that needs a HRM
    -good battery life (I try using my phone and I had to stop because it killed my phones battery each try)

    If there is something out there that is a decent "fitness" gps within my budget, I may be up for that. I understand there may be accessory purchases to use the "fitness" features.
    I don't mind having the basic gps and then buying the add-ons at a later time.

    Would like to keep it under $200

    Any suggerstions?

  2. #2
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    under $200 limits you. None of the new models will fit that, but if your budget were $250, it might open things up more. As it is, you'd be looking at the older Edge 305 or 705. Or possibly the Edge 205 or 605, which are not compatible with additional sensors. You don't necessarily need any extra sensors to get a calorie readout, but you do need a model with fitness functions for that. And even though my Oregon 450 has some basic fitness features, it's not enough for a calorie readout. That needs a fitness-specific GPS (Forerunner or Edge). And FWIW, no calorie report on a GPS is going to be worth a damn. They're all inaccurate.

    Otherwise, your criteria really don't narrow things down much. Where do you want to mount it, if at all? What kind of batteries do you want? How small do you want it? Do you want a map display at all? Do you want to load basemaps onto it?

  3. #3
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    If you're on a budget, just get a battery pack for your phone. The powergen or mophie juice pack are both good options.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    under $200 limits you. None of the new models will fit that, but if your budget were $250, it might open things up more. As it is, you'd be looking at the older Edge 305 or 705. Or possibly the Edge 205 or 605, which are not compatible with additional sensors. You don't necessarily need any extra sensors to get a calorie readout, but you do need a model with fitness functions for that. And even though my Oregon 450 has some basic fitness features, it's not enough for a calorie readout. That needs a fitness-specific GPS (Forerunner or Edge). And FWIW, no calorie report on a GPS is going to be worth a damn. They're all inaccurate.

    Otherwise, your criteria really don't narrow things down much. Where do you want to mount it, if at all? What kind of batteries do you want? How small do you want it? Do you want a map display at all? Do you want to load basemaps onto it?
    -What do you mean by "load basemaps?"
    -Map display is not that big of a deal. I know where I am riding, I just want to be able to play with the maps on my computer after a ride.
    -Batteries also do not matter, weather a rechargeable or replaceable.
    -handlebar or stem mount would be preffered but I don't mind tossing it in my bag either.
    -size also isn't that big of a deal.
    Im new to the gps game

    I see theres brand new Garmin Edge 500's on ebay for $210 with free shipping. Is that like the edge 205 or 305 you mentioned but better?

    Also dirtdan - that's a good point but I feel like gps signal is **** in the woods using my android phone
    I also go places where my phone doesn't really have good service and the gps uses 3g.

  5. #5
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    Noob to GPS - looking to buy

    Basemaps are things like topos or satellite images.

    The basic map view is something that the edge 305 has. You cannot load basemaps but it gives a visual representation of your track. The edge 500 lacks this feature.

    The edge 500 falls between the 305 or 705. It works with a full range of extra sensors but has no map whatsoever.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    Basemaps are things like topos or satellite images.

    The basic map view is something that the edge 305 has. You cannot load basemaps but it gives a visual representation of your track. The edge 500 lacks this feature.

    The edge 500 falls between the 305 or 705. It works with a full range of extra sensors but has no map whatsoever.
    Is basic map view on the device itself?
    You can see a map on the 500 when hooked up to your pc right?

  7. #7
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    Sorry I'm so confused. I've never read into GPS until now. I doubt ill use the fitness features. I want a gps more for logs with speed/mph and to see maps and elevation. Seeing a map on the device itself is not important to me. I do want to be able to see it on my pc though. Not sure what other features there are.

    So the 305 may be a better bet for me then?
    Any other ones out there I could research?
    I read your sticky and appreciate your help. Now im just trying to get some names to read into.

  8. #8
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    I picked up one of these on Craigslist for $85 and got the HRM for another $25. It has full mapping capabilities is ANT+ Capable for TEMP, HRM and CADENCE. It has a Trip Screen that will give you just about any data you want. Not quite as small as the dedicated bike ones but still waterproof and very programmable, It will allow you to track your rides and view them on your PC. Best of all it uses 2 AA batteries that will last min. 20 hours. I use Ni-Mh and only recharge them about once a week.

    Noob to GPS - looking to buy-garmin62s_1.jpg
    Noob to GPS - looking to buy-garmin_gpsmap_62s_photo_005_big.jpg

    Todd

  9. #9
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    This is what a free smart phone map will give you. If you have a phone you will not need to spend anywhere near $200. You can even mount you phone and look at the map real time or check it out when you are done.

    Mark
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  10. #10
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    My only concern about using a smart phone is it is Delicate and very expensive if it gets broken. I have had a Garmin GPS fly off my motorcycle and hit the pavement at 80 MPH, and never miss a beat. These things are incredibly durable and not susceptible to water. Most of the time after Dirt bike riding I come home and wash it off under the faucet. Not sure if this is true anymore but in the past when using GPS on a Smartphone it drained the battery at a very fast rate. Not sure if it would hold up without recharging for a 3-5 hour ride.

    Todd

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by kikoraa View Post
    -What do you mean by "load basemaps?"
    -Map display is not that big of a deal. I know where I am riding, I just want to be able to play with the maps on my computer after a ride.
    -Batteries also do not matter, weather a rechargeable or replaceable.
    -handlebar or stem mount would be preffered but I don't mind tossing it in my bag either.
    -size also isn't that big of a deal.
    Im new to the gps game

    I see theres brand new Garmin Edge 500's on ebay for $210 with free shipping. Is that like the edge 205 or 305 you mentioned but better?

    Also dirtdan - that's a good point but I feel like gps signal is **** in the woods using my android phone
    I also go places where my phone doesn't really have good service and the gps uses 3g.
    You'll be happy with the 500 and that's really the best unit you can get for $210 in my opinion. You'll easily be able to load tracks to maps on the internet (really easy with Strava) and look at and share your routes. Garmin connect, also a free service, will aid you in doing this as well.
    I say go for it.
    If your GPS phone reception is spotty, I see ditching the phone as a good choice. My phone happens to be quite accurate, but if yours is not, the 500 is great device. It's a little annoying to learn, my fiance uses it, but it's powerful and even can load up a very rudimentary route map that will allow you to follow a preloaded route that is displayed in random space (it doesn't show roads or trails, but you can see basic left and right directions as you're riding).
    I say end the research, and get the 500.

  12. #12
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    Thanks everyone for your replies! Ive been reasearching a lot.

    right now its down to the 310xt and the edge 500

    mainly because I can get the 310xt with hrm for the same price as the 500 without hrm

    only difference I see is the barometric altimeter.

    would like to know elevation on rides

    is the barometric altimeter really that much more advanced than gps signal?

  13. #13
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    Noob to GPS - looking to buy

    Quote Originally Posted by kikoraa View Post
    Thanks everyone for your replies! Ive been reasearching a lot.

    right now its down to the 310xt and the edge 500

    mainly because I can get the 310xt with hrm for the same price as the 500 without hrm

    only difference I see is the barometric altimeter.

    would like to know elevation on rides

    is the barometric altimeter really that much more advanced than gps signal?
    Yes, if you care about elevation you want the barometer. Gps elevation is sketchy. You can have a signal and a position but no elevation reading if the gps signal is marginal. With a barometer you can have an elevation even without a gps signal.

  14. #14
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    Natwhawk - Thanks for all your help. I spent all last night reading just about every one of your posts in this gps forum learning what I need to know. I guess I started this thread guns blazing and blind but I have a little more schooling on gps now.

  15. #15
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    Re: Noob to GPS - looking to buy

    Oh yea after reading more I realize I want a more fitness oriented gps so the 500 may be my best bet as far as hrm. Cadence and climbing accuracy goes.
    There's something about those long grueling climbs that gets my front end all stiff... And I'm not talking about lockout...

  16. #16
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    GPS are dead, Smart phones will last up to 8 hours and have bluetooth HR monitors which I use. Get a hands free bluetooth headset too and your golden. No reason to drop big bucks for a GPS. Nevertheless, if you go GPS only you will miss out on all the online options that come with Endomondo or Strava. You will still need to buy a $70 plus HR monitor for the GPS on top of the GPS which might put you above your buget,

    Mark
    2012 XXL Carve Expert

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by millertm View Post
    GPS are dead, Smart phones will last up to 8 hours and have bluetooth HR monitors which I use. Get a hands free bluetooth headset too and your golden. No reason to drop big bucks for a GPS. Nevertheless, if you go GPS only you will miss out on all the online options that come with Endomondo or Strava. You will still need to buy a $70 plus HR monitor for the GPS on top of the GPS which might put you above your buget,

    Mark

    lol, please explain?
    Its inconvenient trying to keep my HTC charged enough to not die for a 5+ hour ride. If I lose coverage at all, the GPS becomes inaccurate as hell.

    Garmin HRM are $40 and the speed/cadence sensors are $30 so I can have both for your $70+ HRM!

    The garmin edge 500 is at $210 right now and with the hrm and s/c it comes to $270. Yea a little over my budget but I can buy them piece by piece as I familiarize myself with the GPS unit

    I also found the forerunner 300xt w/hrm for $209 w/ free shipping. Not bad either but as I stated earlier I'm really into knowing accurate elevation. The edge 500 has the barometric altimeter which I found the majority (relatively in my pricepoint) do not. I doubt my android smartphone is very accurate.

  18. #18
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    I bought the Garmin 200 and I am pleased with it. I am one of those weirdos that doesn't want a phone with a data plan, so the phone thing is out for me. I could care less about HRM, cadence, etc. so it is a good fit. The only thing I would change is; I would like the clock visible while logging and the ability the adjust the sample rate.

  19. #19
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    EDIT: The Garmin Watch I posted doesn't do GPS.
    Last edited by BoomerBrian; 02-10-2013 at 08:36 PM.

  20. #20
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    Just pulled the trigger on a new Magellan Switch-up With HRM chest strap for a sweet deal. $209!! the Mag switchup+hrm retails at the Magellan site for $349.

    Heres info on the device if any of you are interested. From what I understand it's relatively new to the market. Maybe less than 1 yr old.

    Magellan Switch Up

    Its actually a watch but includes a bike mount in the bundle AND has barometer. Pretty solid for the price I found (Promotive deals from IMBA)

    The only con I can see compared to the garmin edge500/ forerunner 310xt is the battery life is half of those at 8hours.

    Excited to start using it and I will definitely post my review for you guys after I get some time with it.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by millertm View Post
    GPS are dead, Smart phones will last up to 8 hours and have bluetooth HR monitors which I use. Get a hands free bluetooth headset too and your golden. No reason to drop big bucks for a GPS. Nevertheless, if you go GPS only you will miss out on all the online options that come with Endomondo or Strava. You will still need to buy a $70 plus HR monitor for the GPS on top of the GPS which might put you above your buget,

    Mark
    moron

    Quote Originally Posted by kikoraa
    lol, please explain?
    Its inconvenient trying to keep my HTC charged enough to not die for a 5+ hour ride. If I lose coverage at all, the GPS becomes inaccurate as hell.

    Garmin HRM are $40 and the speed/cadence sensors are $30 so I can have both for your $70+ HRM!

    The garmin edge 500 is at $210 right now and with the hrm and s/c it comes to $270. Yea a little over my budget but I can buy them piece by piece as I familiarize myself with the GPS unit

    I also found the forerunner 300xt w/hrm for $209 w/ free shipping. Not bad either but as I stated earlier I'm really into knowing accurate elevation. The edge 500 has the barometric altimeter which I found the majority (relatively in my pricepoint) do not. I doubt my android smartphone is very accurate.
    the previous poster is what we (not so) affectionately refer to as a smartphone fanboi. Many of them think that smartphones will be the death of everything from gps, to digital cameras to laptops and desktops and everything else electronic. They're full of ****. They refuse to recognize that none of those devices are going to die because of smartphones. Some people will find their needs better suited to smartphones, but not all.

    Quote Originally Posted by kikoraa
    kikoraa
    Just pulled the trigger on a new Magellan Switch-up With HRM chest strap for a sweet deal. $209!! the Mag switchup+hrm retails at the Magellan site for $349.

    Heres info on the device if any of you are interested. From what I understand it's relatively new to the market. Maybe less than 1 yr old.

    Magellan Switch Up

    Its actually a watch but includes a bike mount in the bundle AND has barometer. Pretty solid for the price I found (Promotive deals from IMBA)

    The only con I can see compared to the garmin edge500/ forerunner 310xt is the battery life is half of those at 8hours.

    Excited to start using it and I will definitely post my review for you guys after I get some time with it.
    Good luck on the Magellan. I can honestly say I haven't read much about those models. They are probably not selling well, hence the price drop. I do know that Magellan does not have a stellar reputation in recent years. They were absolutely abysmal a few years back, but the company changed hands and things have mostly been quiet about them. Please post up about your new GPS after you get it, and as you use it. Your experiences may help other people make decisions, too.

  22. #22
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    Unfortunately natehawk, I literally just cancelled my order with promotive/Magellan and went with the garmin edge 500. so we wont be seeing MY opinions on it

    I may have jumped the gun on that purchase without reading further into it. Its exactly as you state. Barely any info on it and seems to not be that great of a device from the few things I have read.

    I went with a new in box garmin edge 500 bundle with s/c sensor and hrm for $275 from an ebay seller. I posted in another recent thread about it and someone made a good point about malfunctioning devices and the hassle of ebay sellers.
    Im hoping if anything does happen to my 500, I would be able to contact garmin and get it warrantied.

    Regardless I feel a little more relief/confidence in the purchase of the Garmin over the Magellan. A good bit out of my budget but it has everything I want.

    I plan on using the s/c sensor on my mtb for more accurate readings and the HRM for road training. I originally just wanted this for basic gps functions and elevation but reading more into training with hrm I was intrigued.

    again, cant thank ya'll enough for the help!

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by millertm View Post
    GPS are dead, Smart phones will last up to 8 hours and have bluetooth HR monitors which I use. Get a hands free bluetooth headset too and your golden. No reason to drop big bucks for a GPS. Nevertheless, if you go GPS only you will miss out on all the online options that come with Endomondo or Strava. You will still need to buy a $70 plus HR monitor for the GPS on top of the GPS which might put you above your buget,

    Mark
    Going to have to respectfully disagree with you here.
    I can't tell you how many times I've heard, "Let's just go, my phone isn't locked on yet" or "Humm, I guess I lost reception in the trees. I have x miles and you have x + 4 miles."

    And up to 8 hr means just that.............UP TO. It could be 5 hrs. Going on some of our epic type rides with breaks and regroups, 5 hrs is too short.
    Lead by my Lefty............... right down the trail, no brakes.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by ziscwg View Post
    Going to have to respectfully disagree with you here.
    I can't tell you how many times I've heard, "Let's just go, my phone isn't locked on yet" or "Humm, I guess I lost reception in the trees. I have x miles and you have x + 4 miles."

    And up to 8 hr means just that.............UP TO. It could be 5 hrs. Going on some of our epic type rides with breaks and regroups, 5 hrs is too short.
    This is essentially why I disagreed with him as well. Smartphones are great but they will not be replacing dedicated devices anytime soon. There is no real "do-all" for anything out there. There are compromises though. A smart phone is definitely a decent compromise but since I use mine for gps and want more out of gps readings, I have decided to buy a dedicated device. The smartphone just don't cut it (at least for what I want) battery life being the main reason. The other reason being accuracy.

  25. #25
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    Not to mention that this might happen to your phone if/when you crash.
    Noob to GPS - looking to buy-photo-10-.jpg
    Yup, that's my iphone 5 that was in a lifeproof case. Luckily the screen didn't crack and the phone seems to still work ok.
    But guess who is also looking for a gps now.

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