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  1. #1
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    What GPS for a Mac using mountainbiker

    I'm interested in a GPS. Don't want to be dealing with any Windows stuff. Mostly want the GPS for "where have I been" functions and creating maps more than "where am I going" type route directions. Don't want to be putting wheel sensors or anuy of that type stuff on the bike. More like something I'll stick in my camelback and pull out if I want to see it. Also, need strong antennas that will work in dense foliage and mountains.

    What should I be looking at?

  2. #2
    Waypointer
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    I have been very pleased with my Garmin Vista HCx. It has the high-sensitivity circuitry which means it has very good signal reception, and works well in a camelback. It also has a color screen, and a slot for a micro-SD card for maps. I run mine with a 1GB card loaded with topos, and I have plenty of space for recording tracks.

    When/if you get into recording your rides with the GPS, you'll hear about the .GPX file format. What is very nice about this unit is that when you enable track recording to the SD card, it writes out GPX files automatically. You just plug the GPS in (appears as a USB drive), and drag the gpx files to your mac.

    Unfortunately, I haven't found much in the way of track mapping on the Mac. I primarily use TopoFusion on either a real PC or on a vmware PC running on the mac. That said, the Google Earth program runs natively on the mac and will import gpx files. GE just won't show track elevation profiles like topofusion does. Another option is to use a website like MotionBased (I haven't tried it, just mentioning it).

    Oh yeah, I run the Vista HCx with NiMH batteries. The 2500mAH will run this unit continuously for 25, maybe 30 hours. I also ride in very hilly areas with moderate tree cover, and this unit just works well. Other units, like an older Legend that doesn't have the high-sensitivity receiver, have more noise in the tracks whereas the HCx gives more consistent tracks. That said, no unit is 100% consistent as the GPS satellite constellation is constantly moving, and the signal itself is perturbed for less precision.

    Anyway, that's how I roll.

  3. #3
    3D guy
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    I use the Edge 305 with Ascent. Absolutely rocks. That said, no real mapping for the 305 and I do not really load courses. For tracking where I have been and exporting routes it is awesome (stem mount BTW).
    Geoff Stahl
    San Jose

    BLTc, Chameleon Single Speed, Speedvagen Road

  4. #4
    GeoMan
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    Quote Originally Posted by epic
    I'm interested in a GPS. Don't want to be dealing with any Windows stuff. Mostly want the GPS for "where have I been" functions and creating maps more than "where am I going" type route directions. Don't want to be putting wheel sensors or anuy of that type stuff on the bike. More like something I'll stick in my camelback and pull out if I want to see it. Also, need strong antennas that will work in dense foliage and mountains.

    What should I be looking at?
    The Garmin 60CSx has a quad helix antenna and the latest sensitive GPS chipset. This is a great unit. Be sure and check it out.

    Go Mac!!!
    GeoMan
    We Ride!
    www.geomangear.com

  5. #5
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    Hi -

    I'd like to piggy-back on epic's post. I'm looking to buy a really nice GPS system for my boyfriend for his upcoming birthday. I've been trying to do some research on various other sites, but I've not found one definitive recommendation for mountain bikers. He's been a serious mtn biker for the past 15+ years. I'm thinking it needs to be one he can either put in or clip on his camelbak. (no mounting to handlebars or anything like that). Also, one with rich mapping features where he can upload maps, record rides, etc. He frequently travels for work and he's always shipping his bike and staying for the weekend to check out trails all over the country. He also makes trips to Colorado every year to meet up with friends for lots of epic rides. He's never mentioned having one, but I think it would be a nice surprise for him. He's forever researching the trails, printing out trail maps, etc. before he leaves on trips. I appreciate any and all recommendations.

    I don't want to deviate from epic's original request about GPS for Mac Users, but in my case, it would be Windows.

    Thanks!

  6. #6
    Waypointer
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    Quote Originally Posted by gstahl
    I use the Edge 305 with Ascent. Absolutely rocks. That said, no real mapping for the 305 and I do not really load courses. For tracking where I have been and exporting routes it is awesome (stem mount BTW).
    I totally missed Ascent, thanks for mentioning it. I'll try the demo out on some rides this weekend.

  7. #7
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    60 Csx sounds good. What softawre will I use with the Mac if I get one?

  8. #8
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    good question.... i think Geoman is going to be the expert on that one. I have been playing with Garmin's Bobcat (specific for Mac) and while it is getting better and better I'm still having problems. Thats why I'm here this morning

  9. #9
    Mark
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    I completely gave up on all the Garmin upload crap when I found Ascent.
    It is Mac native, reliable and cheap.

    Both the wife & I have a copy on our computers.


    It does everything I seem to need.
    ===============

    Mark

  10. #10
    Graphic Designer
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    Mac huh? You can do GPS on the Iphone if you want to stay brand loyal

  11. #11
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    I run a Garmin Edge 205 as I don't need the HRM function. Don't bother with Motionbased myself but love using GPSies (http://www.gpsies.com) for creating and loading tracks. Has a Safari plug in that allows the site to download tracks and courses to the 205. Also can import KML and KMZ files you've created into it and then download to the Edge, plus you can upload your routes that you've recorded.

    Basically it allows you to create routes in Google Maps and store them. You can then retrieve at any point in time.

    Best of all, it's free......

  12. #12
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    I too have a mac and am looking for exactly what you are looking for.
    You can pick up at Garmin Garmin Vista HCx on ebay for about $210. I picked up National Geographic TOPO awhile back for California. I just found out the only GPS that you can create routes on with NG TOPO is Magellan, which doesn't work on Mac. You can check out places you've been on NG TOPO with the Garmin though.
    I like to ride bikes.

  13. #13
    Grizzly
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    Quote Originally Posted by otis24
    I just found out the only GPS that you can create routes on with NG TOPO is Magellan, which doesn't work on Mac. You can check out places you've been on NG TOPO with the Garmin though.
    This is not exactly right. You can only upload NG maps to a Magellan. However you can create routes with TOPO! and load the route onto a Vista easily. Just not the actual NG TOPO! map. The route will lay over the top of whatever map you have loaded into your Garmin GPS (Topo 2008, basemap or whatever).


    Just draw a route with the route tool, or import gpx files into TOPO! and then send them to your Garmin device. I have been doing this on my Mac for the last year and it works great.
    GrizzlyAdam.net
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  14. #14
    GeoMan
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    Quote Originally Posted by alizbee
    This is not exactly right. You can only upload NG maps to a Magellan. However you can create routes with TOPO! and load the route onto a Vista easily. Just not the actual NG TOPO! map. The route will lay over the top of whatever map you have loaded into your Garmin GPS (Topo 2008, basemap or whatever).


    Just draw a route with the route tool, or import gpx files into TOPO! and then send them to your Garmin device. I have been doing this on my Mac for the last year and it works great.
    Good answer!!!
    GeoMan
    We Ride!
    www.geomangear.com

  15. #15
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    Hey Alizbee,
    Thank you so much. I went to REI the other day and couldn't get any good information out of them. Thanks for debunking the myths they're spreading. I really like REI but sometimes I feel like they might be giving me not so great information.
    I like to ride bikes.

  16. #16
    Lets have some Kool-aid!
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    I'm looking to purchase the Garmin 405 here soon but it seems the driver for the Mac is still not out yet. They say its suppose to be out in the 3rd quarter which is anytime. We'll see what happens.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by gstahl
    I use the Edge 305 with Ascent. Absolutely rocks. That said, no real mapping for the 305 and I do not really load courses. For tracking where I have been and exporting routes it is awesome (stem mount BTW).
    What, exactly, is Ascent? I'm in the same boat as the OP. Looking for a GPS device that works well with Macs. The Edge 205 and 305 look promising but I can't find any info on the 'Ascent' function. Thanks!

  18. #18
    Waypointer
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2dougyfresh9
    What, exactly, is Ascent? ...
    It is activity logging / GPS mapping software for the Mac. http://www.montebellosoftware.com/

  19. #19
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    I got a GPSMAP 60Cx. I just downloaded Ascent, but I'm not so sure it's going to do what I want. What other options do I have? I have 3 saved tracks, but I can't seem to download them. If I sync GPS, it loads the first track only and it thinks the track was made in Dec 1969. It uploads it to a Google map, but won't really let me do much else, and it still won't let me see the other tracks.

  20. #20
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    Well, my GPS has been gathering dust for almost a year as I haven't been able to get it to work with Ascent. Can anyone give some advice as to what software I should try. It seems that there are a few more potions now. I don't want to download/pay for them if they aren't going to be the right solution though.

  21. #21
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    I'd like to be able to create maps such as this - http://www.allezy.net/rep_sentiers/c...7d34a3cdb4.jpg

  22. #22
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    bump


    Anyone?

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