Mileage tracker/GPS for commuter- Mtbr.com
Results 1 to 29 of 29
  1. #1
    I'd rather be on my bike
    Reputation: TenSpeed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    2,749

    Mileage tracker/GPS for commuter

    I am looking to start 2015 with something that will track my mileage and speed. My needs/wants are pretty specific, so I am hoping to find some help here from my fellow riders. Cellphone apps are not viable for me since I have an extremely low monthly data allowance to keep my plan price down. They are not an option unfortunately. 250mb a month limits me away from WiFi.

    Want/need:

    USB charging
    Belt clip/case that offers a clip
    Mileage tracking that is GPS based
    Quick GPS connection
    Max speed would be nice, but not necessary
    Turn by turn directions would be nice for visiting other cities but not a deal breaker

    Don't want/need

    Battery operated
    Heart monitor/ANT+/Bluetooth/Power Meter compatibility
    Does not need to be bike specific
    Not bike mounted
    Does not need to be social media compliant/shareable - don't subscribe to that stuff
    Geocaching

    Ideally I would like something that will clip to my bag or whatever, turn it on, do my ride, finish, and look at it and it says you went 8.6 miles and your top speed was 19 mph. Turn by turn directions if needed would be ideal but not a deal breaker. I know that most wireless bike computers will do this, but I really do not want to add something else to the bike. I have a Cateye Stealth 10 right now and am just not impressed with it. Would definitely be willing to trade it along with a Barfly 31.8 mount for it for something if you have the GPS that I want.

    So far I have found the Garmin Edge 510. Looks kind of like what I would like, but has a lot of extra stuff that might bulk down the simplicity that I am looking for.
    The pedals turn, not just the left one, but the right one too.

  2. #2
    z1r
    z1r is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    479
    I use Strava and it uses very little data. I mostly upload at home or work using wifi so that eliminates data usage.

    I'm wanting a dedicated cycling GPS so am anxious to hear what people are using.

  3. #3
    I'd rather be on my bike
    Reputation: TenSpeed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    2,749
    ^ what about when you are tracking on the app? That should use data correct? That is what I am trying to avoid. 250mb for a month can be a struggle if I am not careful. I like the price of my bill though, so I suffer through it though.
    The pedals turn, not just the left one, but the right one too.

  4. #4
    jrm
    jrm is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jrm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    11,642
    I use my phone or a garmin 200. Older garmin gps units are also a option. If you go this route though make sure that the unit is still being supported.

  5. #5
    I'd rather be on my bike
    Reputation: TenSpeed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    2,749
    It looks like I got this figured out. Based on the cost of a stand alone GPS units that I was looking at, I went ahead and made the switch. For about the cost of one of those, and the fact that Sprint was paying the ETF on your contract, I ditched Verizon and moved to Sprint. $60 unlimited everything plan, including data. I picked up the LG G3, already installed the MapMyRide app and made an account. I will test it out tomorrow on my commute to see how it is. From the looks of the app/online account, it is everything that I wanted. All social media sharing already turned off as I don't do that stuff. If it does not work how I want, there is always Strava I guess.

    That might seem like a lot of money a month to some of you to hand out monthly, but I was paying $50 a month on Verizon for unlimited minutes/texts and 250mb of data. That is a rip off in comparison. I do not have a home phone (haven't for over 10 years now) and do need a means of communication for work/family so it is a necessity.
    The pedals turn, not just the left one, but the right one too.

  6. #6
    Fat-tired Roadie
    Reputation: AndrwSwitch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    18,453
    I think a lot of us are paying that for our cell service.

    Hard to go back after having email on my phone. Of course, being able to indulge the rest of my internet addiction too is nice.

    I like Strava. You can turn off all the extraneous stuff if you don't want to get into it. I find it pretty well laid out and easy to navigate, and it does some statistical tracking you might like.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    51
    I use strava every single day with a 250mb/mo cap and never go near the limit. It only uses data to upload once you get home, which can be done with wifi

  8. #8
    I'd rather be on my bike
    Reputation: TenSpeed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    2,749
    How does it track your speed/location without using GPS? GPS uses data.
    The pedals turn, not just the left one, but the right one too.

  9. #9
    Rogue Exterminator
    Reputation: kjlued's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    4,951
    Quote Originally Posted by TenSpeed View Post
    ^ what about when you are tracking on the app? That should use data correct? That is what I am trying to avoid. 250mb for a month can be a struggle if I am not careful. I like the price of my bill though, so I suffer through it though.
    Garmin uses GPS and just do your uploads at home using WiFi and I don't believe it will use any Data. On my old phone, I could actually run it with the phone in airplane mode since the GPS would still run. I have an iPhone now so it is a no go in AP mode.

    You can also get several Garmins with Strava if you are willing to pay the bucks.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  10. #10
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    29,311
    Quote Originally Posted by TenSpeed View Post
    How does it track your speed/location without using GPS? GPS uses data.
    GPS does not use data. Why would it? GPS is a satellite-based network and phones for the past several years have had their own GPS chips/receivers that are functionally separate from the cellular network. You can run your phone in airplane mode (if it's android) while you're running most GPS apps to save on battery. The only thing that might use data on your phone associated with a GPS app would be data uploads and downloading maps (and many apps will let you cache maps beforehand over wifi so you don't have to download them in the field, simply because cellular data connections can be flaky to nonexistent in the woods).

    Now, to be fair, if a data connection is available, many phones will use cell tower triangulation to augment the GPS location (typically to speed location reporting, but also to boost the accuracy on phones with crappy GPS chips/small antennas). But if you can turn data off, the GPS should still function on most phones.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    173
    I will also recommend the Garmin edge 200. Its GPS based. It has all the common bike computer features as well as elevation change and shows where you've been on google maps when you sync on your computer.

    Came with 2 mounts, easy twist and lock mounting, usb charge/sync.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    826
    I just decided to try a Magellan Cyclo 315, not as many reviews floating around as the Garmin stuff but the feature set seems cool. Should be getting it on Monday, want to track the same kind of info as you.

  13. #13
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    29,311
    Quote Originally Posted by snailspace View Post
    I will also recommend the Garmin edge 200. Its GPS based. It has all the common bike computer features as well as elevation change and shows where you've been on google maps when you sync on your computer.

    Came with 2 mounts, easy twist and lock mounting, usb charge/sync.
    The only thing the Edge 200 is good for is smashing with a hammer. Recorded data loses so much resolution to the "Smart" recording algorithm it's not worth the expense. Skip the 200 and go straight to 500/510. I would rather use a $25 cheapie than the Edge 200.

  14. #14
    Bedwards Of The West
    Reputation: CommuterBoy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    5,451
    ^^ My Edge 200 is more accurate than my iPhone, for sure. I have no complaints about the 200. For basic recording/strava uploading, it can't be beat in my opinion (in terms of bang for buck).

    I'm certainly no GPS geek though... I just wanted a relatively inexpensive unit for Strava duties, with really long battery life. The 200 nails it, and when I zoom in on the Strava map, especially on trails, it catches every little turn that the iPhone doesn't.

    Ignorance is bliss?
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  15. #15
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    29,311
    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterBoy View Post
    Ignorance is bliss?
    Probably. Garmin's "Smart" recording is about as opposite from the truth as can be. Sharp turns, twisty trails, recorded output is garbage. The metrics reported on screen as you ride are fine, and just as accurate as any other model they sell (without use of supplemental sensors). But those numbers don't transfer to the recorded data. Anyone who says that the recorded data is better than their phone is certainly living in ignorant bliss. It doesn't take much to be better than a phone.

    IMO, the only value of the Edge 200 is for basic computer functions without the data recording/upload function. But at that point, it's way more expensive than a cheap $25 computer that does the same stuff.

    The recorded data is sub-par. 1Hz recording is essential as a basic minimum. I want better (say, 10Hz), though, because even 1Hz starts to suck on fast downhills.

  16. #16
    I'd rather be on my bike
    Reputation: TenSpeed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    2,749
    I gave Sprint a huge FU, paid to get out, just sold the phone, and am back on Verizon using my trusty Moto X. Sprint has terrible coverage here, with dropped signal at work, spotty LTE, etc. I have been using Strava daily since switching and have been happy with it. Increased my plan to 2GB/month for not much more a month. Did a speed test, twice as fast as Sprint. Lesson learned. Strava on my phone has no issues and I hate to admit that I like using it.
    The pedals turn, not just the left one, but the right one too.

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Posts
    13
    Since I came from the ultramarathon sport, I just use my Timex GPS watch (Run Trainer 2) whenever I ride. Works both mounted (on bike) and unmounted (on your wrist). Then I upload my commutes/workout rides on different online GPS tracking services (Runkeeper, Endomondo & Strava). Cheap and it works.

  18. #18
    jrm
    jrm is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jrm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    11,642
    Im using a 32g 2nd gen moto x on t-mobile (2gb) using the mapmyride app. I try to skip between wifi and network as much as i can but the signal seems to suffer if i have both on @ the same time. So i have toggle between the 2 which is a PITA after a while and draws down the battery

  19. #19
    I'd rather be on my bike
    Reputation: TenSpeed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    2,749
    Quote Originally Posted by jrm View Post
    Im using a 32g 2nd gen moto x on t-mobile (2gb) using the mapmyride app. I try to skip between wifi and network as much as i can but the signal seems to suffer if i have both on @ the same time. So i have toggle between the 2 which is a PITA after a while and draws down the battery
    I tried MapMyRide, and in comparison, Strava blows it out of the water. I had connectivity issues with MMR, and it was not that accurate, and wrecked my battery. Strava is the exact opposite, with almost no affect on my battery for my commute.
    The pedals turn, not just the left one, but the right one too.

  20. #20
    jrm
    jrm is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jrm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    11,642
    I never really took the time to immerse myself in strava b/c mmp seemed more intuitive since to me it works like google maps which i use a lot.

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation: BrianMc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    4,437
    I am possibly looking for a bike computer so thought I would piggyback this recent thread. I need the pulsimeter, I would like it to have a wheel sensor (the phone's GPS seems to suck a bit at mileage, and I have to remember to turn it on), cadence is nice but not needed. I don't care about Strava KOM or otherwise (at my age I am King by riding at all) or Mapping my Ride. I have a free Ap that can map my route if I want to. While I might like to log my rides, I don't have a need to share them with anyone.

    I had an iBike but the iPhone4 is history. I can trade that in for an iBike Newton which would no doubt improve (even out) my pedal strokes, but costs $500 with the trade in (full power meter and kind of wasted on me, though since it does not need the strain gauge cranks and hubs it saves $1000's for those who want power measurements) and I would still need a pulsimeter.

    My phone can take my pulse with my finger over the camera lens. Whoppee. Can you say "riding distracted"? Apparently it does not have the firmware activation of ANT+ though the hardware and OS support it. Nice feature!

    I found this: Wahoo Tickr (cheap model): $60, Wahoo Speed & Cadence: $60, Wahoo App: Free. Plus a handle bar mount for the phone, say $20. How well does this compare to a dedicated bike computer that can do pulse and speed for those of you using one? I haul the phone anyway. I can supply a micro USB battery support for longer rides.

    Appreciate the input.

  22. #22
    Fat-tired Roadie
    Reputation: AndrwSwitch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    18,453
    If you don't care about GPS, I think a Polar bike computer might be the way to go. Their heart rate monitoring is great, I think the devices themselves are well designed and manufactured, and a wheel magnet covers you for speed and mileage. Add a crank magnet if you want cadence.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  23. #23
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    2,531
    The polar HRMs work pretty well, but if you need a HRM, I might assume that you need it for medical reasons? Don't grab the cheapest one you can find, and try to get one that has a chest strap, as they tend to be most accurate--if a bit uncomfortable. Polar hits all of those marks with their various models.

  24. #24
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    29,311
    If the HRM is for medical reasons, you might want to look up slocaus. He uses one for medical reasons, and has some tricks/techniques that helped to improve data quality to make his doctor happier.

  25. #25
    mtbr member
    Reputation: BrianMc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    4,437
    I should have mentioned I have a history of high blood pressure and heart issues. I just want to keep myself out of trouble. Have had some exercise angina lately. I used a Sigma HRM-only watch style with strap from 2008 until it died in 2011. Then, since I had the iPhone, I got an iBike, with speed sensor and heart rate strap. I liked the more accurate speed and distance and being able to see current speed. The iPhone is no more.

    I found a review of good reasons not to use a smart phone as a bike computer mounted on the bars, anyway. Running other mapping/tracking software on the phone in the pocket is fine.

    So this is the consensus?

    Amazon.com : Polar CS500+ cad Cycling Computer Heart Rate Moniter : Heart Rate Monitors : Sports & Outdoors

    It seems to use a proprietary wireless format called W.I.N.D.

  26. #26
    Fat-tired Roadie
    Reputation: AndrwSwitch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    18,453
    You keep saying you liked iBike. Would it work with an iPod Touch?
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  27. #27
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    29,311
    Polar makes good stuff, and yeah, a lot of it uses a proprietary wireless protocol. I think I've heard that their really high end stuff is starting to get away from it, but it is what it is. It only seems to matter when replacing sensors, or if you hate the stock ones and want to try another manufacturer's (which you can do with BT4.0 and ANT+ since many manufacturers use it).

  28. #28
    mtbr member
    Reputation: BrianMc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    4,437
    I liked knowing my speed and having accurate mileage and a more readable output than the Sigma. The article on the downsides of using a smart phone reminded me of all that I dis not like. And no, the iBike uses the iPhone 4's proprietary socket, so nothing else fits.

    I picked up that Polar had a good rep on the other forum (which I had never looked for or into before). Thanks for that tip, Harold.

  29. #29
    mtbr member
    Reputation: BrianMc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    4,437


    I just discovered that the battery in the W.I.N.D, sensors is not user replaceable without violating the warranty and doing surgery on them and since they are proprietary, there is no option but to either buy new sensors from Polar every year or so at $50, or cut them open. That kind of stupid product design is a deal breaker for me.

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 29
    Last Post: 11-18-2014, 02:31 PM
  2. Garmin Edge 800 mileage tracker
    By ZTallboy in forum GPS, HRM and Bike Computer
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 05-31-2012, 07:39 PM
  3. Spot Tracker
    By OSKIN100 in forum XC Racing and Training
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 02-22-2012, 10:02 AM
  4. Sports tracker
    By Specialed906 in forum GPS, HRM and Bike Computer
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 11-09-2011, 02:12 PM
  5. Commuter Mileage Milestones
    By phillidw in forum Commuting
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 04-06-2011, 09:29 PM

Members who have read this thread: 0

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2020 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.