Recording your really really long efforts Wahoo Bolt, Garmin , batery life etc.- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Recording your really really long efforts Wahoo Bolt, Garmin , batery life etc.

    What kind of battery life, data capacity is everyone getting for their long rides. I'm talking in the range of 170-230 miles of constant data recording.

    It seems for most battery life is the forefront on what can be done, so we charge them up to 100 percent, turn the backlighting off, and clear out all of the previous ride data to make room for incoming data, to cure the battery life issue, its easily fixed with the charging usb cable and small 20.00 cheapy aux battery..

    This will be my first time trying to capture and entire 24 hour MTB race..

    Should be interesting to see what fails first, batteries, or data capacity.

    Anyone else attempt this yet? Advice?
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaleinTexas View Post
    What kind of battery life, data capacity is everyone getting for their long rides. I'm talking in the range of 170-230 miles of constant data recording.

    It seems for most battery life is the forefront on what can be done, so we charge them up to 100 percent, turn the backlighting off, and clear out all of the previous ride data to make room for incoming data, to cure the battery life issue, its easily fixed with the charging usb cable and small 20.00 cheapy aux battery..

    This will be my first time trying to capture and entire 24 hour MTB race..

    Should be interesting to see what fails first, batteries, or data capacity.

    Anyone else attempt this yet? Advice?
    Good question.

    I run a Wahoo ELEMNT on a K-Edge stem mount, and wear a Garmin Fenix 5x on my wrist, and track with both. I find that both will cover a 12-hour event, but in a 24, they will die at 13-14 hours, so hereís what I do:
    - Wahoo: As Iím getting on towards 10-12 hours, Iíll put an aux battery pack (with two USB charging ports) in a Topeak Fuel Tank top tube pack, and invert the Wahoo so that the charging port is accessible, and plug it in. Iíll run it all night inverted and charging. Canít see it anyway, other than the LEDís, which I use to gauge my HR. Then, come daylight, it should be charged, and I can reorient and unplug it. That said, last year at Enchanted Forest, on my last lap (#14), it just rebooted itself and I had to start a new track halfway through the last lap. Weird.
    - Garmin Fenix: Similar thing - Iíll bring the watch-specific charging cable in the Fuel Tank, and take the watch off, and put it in there, plugged into the aux battery, while still tracking.

    It all works in theory, but in practice, as I get tired, and it gets dark, I start to DGAF about everything and forget/donít bother to switch stuff around sometimes. You know the drill - youíre on the last part of a lap, and thinking about your pit stop, what you want to eat, any bike maintenance, clothes, mounting lights, changing glasses, etc, etc...and itís just ONE more thing to deal with, and it can get to be too much sometimes...LOL.

    But I really do try to keep everything plugged in and running.


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  3. #3
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    Garmin 520 with a GoalZero pocket charger. I usually plug it in about when the sun is setting and forget about it. Keep it plugged in until the race is over.

    At the 25 Hours of Frog Hollow, I did 230 miles, didn't stop (except for midnight pie). When I finished my Garmin had 100% battery after being plugged into the GoalZero, which had 2/4 charge left as well.

    In a different scenario, running the Garmin on a backcountry trip where I needed to have navigation on all the time, I would run low on original battery 3-5 hours in, plug in the GoalZero, and barely make it through the day. I was in a remote Asian country and the GPS was screwed up thinking I was off course so lots of battery suck with that scenario. Still it kept a charge through the rides.

  4. #4
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    I've always used 2 Garmin units and swap them out around 12 hours then combine the files after the race. That way I'm not hauling around an extra battery pack during the race and it reduces the possibility of loosing data if the file gets too large.

  5. #5
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    wahoo element, if it doesnt use the backlight goes on for approx 15-16 hrs. nightracing with backlight is a less. top up with usb cable to my batterylights, have a usb power pack in my half-way change drop off bag. friends that use a garmin which goes significantly less hours all ducktape some power packs (preferably the smaller tube shaped variety) to their toptube and connect a usb cable when needed. 2 powerpack = zero problems except for when its muddy and they shortcircuit..:

  6. #6
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    Garmin 945.
    48hr? battery life.

  7. #7
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    24 hour race - Lezyne Super GPS.
    Longer - Garmin eTrex 30, replace batteries as needed.

  8. #8
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    Lezyne Mega GPS has a claimed 48 hour battery life. I have used it for over 30 without recharging it, so I think it is probably pretty accurate. No need for auxillary batteries and such.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatso View Post
    Lezyne Mega GPS has a claimed 48 hour battery life. I have used it for over 30 without recharging it, so I think it is probably pretty accurate. No need for auxillary batteries and such.
    How do you like the Mega? Itís pretty intriguing to me. I am somewhat disappointed in the ELEMNT because the feet climbed and calories are never remotely accurate, and am considering going back to Garmin and the new 530. But the battery life of the Mega is compelling.


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  10. #10
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    My Lezyne Super was pretty poor overall. I find the wahoo better in every way.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by notso View Post
    My Lezyne Super was pretty poor overall. I find the wahoo better in every way.
    Except battery life.

  12. #12
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    I use a garmin edge 1030 for this type of riding. Exceptional battery life even with the back lit display. Longest race I have had with it was the Butte 100 which had over 11hours recording time including warm up and the event. Still had just under 60% left.

    I frequently use it for multiple training rides without charging it. I mount mine on my stem instead of using their out front mount (I have that on my road bike) so I do not have experience with the garmin external battery.

  13. #13
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    I just did dirty Kanza on a Wahoo Bolt paired to 5 sensors (2 tire pressure, HR, Power and one other) and my phone set up with a no background lighting (15sec delay) and the led's on. I got about 11 hours on it when it was getting low (down to 15%) and i just plugged one of those cheap "lipstick" chargers in (bound it to the bottom of the stem with a hair tie..while riding, on the fly) still recording..juiced it up to 82 % an hour later and i was good
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  14. #14
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    I recently lost my old Garmin Edge 800 dumpster fire and picked up an Edge 530 today. In the DC Rainmaker review he lists this:

    Increased battery life from 15 to 20 hours, and to 48 hours in battery saver mode
    I'll be testing the battery saver mode this weekend at Enchanted Forest to see if it works. We'll see...

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by economatic View Post
    I recently lost my old Garmin Edge 800 dumpster fire and picked up an Edge 530 today. In the DC Rainmaker review he lists this:



    I'll be testing the battery saver mode this weekend at Enchanted Forest to see if it works. We'll see...
    Very cool...I'll be interested to hear the results!
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  16. #16
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    Don't the new Garmin's support charging through the mount now?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by solo-x View Post
    Don't the new Garmin's support charging through the mount now?
    Yeah but you need to use the out front mount. And the power pack costs how much? Like $130 IIRC, which is excessive.

    Admittedly it's a nice idea in theory and might be a good solution for some people. I could maybe justify it for a multi day bikepacking adventure where having a water resistant design to charge on the bike is important. I'd still probably be OK with recharging at night with the external battery pack that I use for my phone and other electronics.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by economatic View Post
    Yeah but you need to use the out front mount. And the power pack costs how much? Like $130 IIRC, which is excessive.

    Admittedly it's a nice idea in theory and might be a good solution for some people. I could maybe justify it for a multi day bikepacking adventure where having a water resistant design to charge on the bike is important. I'd still probably be OK with recharging at night with the external battery pack that I use for my phone and other electronics.
    Yeah, but it's going to catch on I'm sure.

  19. #19
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    This will work just fine, with only the $19 expense of the out-front stem mount.



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  20. #20
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    24 hour race success with the Edge 530. I put it in the battery saver mode and after running for a total of about 22 hours it had 63% battery left. That was with a HR monitor and Stages power meter connected.

    The (potential) bad: In battery saver mode it goes to "sleep" and shuts off the screen. If you push buttons it comes on for a few seconds then quickly goes back to sleep. That wouldn't be good if you had to use the navigation or want to constantly know your stats but it was great for my 24 hour race. I find it demoralizing later in the race when lap times and speed crash to pathetic levels...but with the screen off I was able to stay focus on just pedaling and choosing good lines on the trail.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by economatic View Post
    24 hour race success with the Edge 530. I put it in the battery saver mode and after running for a total of about 22 hours it had 63% battery left. That was with a HR monitor and Stages power meter connected.

    The (potential) bad: In battery saver mode it goes to "sleep" and shuts off the screen. If you push buttons it comes on for a few seconds then quickly goes back to sleep. That wouldn't be good if you had to use the navigation or want to constantly know your stats but it was great for my 24 hour race. I find it demoralizing later in the race when lap times and speed crash to pathetic levels...but with the screen off I was able to stay focus on just pedaling and choosing good lines on the trail.
    Thanks, Brad...great feedback! I'm about to pick one up. My Wahoo bricked 3x on the last lap (was fully charged), but it recovered the already-logged ride. I'm done with it.


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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by waltaz View Post
    Thanks, Brad...great feedback! I'm about to pick one up. My Wahoo bricked 3x on the last lap (was fully charged), but it recovered the already-logged ride. I'm done with it.


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    Not so fast. If you can, you might want to wait a few weeks or months to buy an Edge 530. Read the reviews about the buttons. What many people describe about the buttons sticking is true. It seems when dirt and dust gets around the buttons and they do in fact stick. Its not unmanageable at the moment but pretty annoying and I've only done 5 or 6 rides with the unit. Not sure if it'll get worse as time goes on or in different conditions but I bet they'll revise the button design.

    I actually knew about this going into the purchase so I decided to buy from REI where they are great about doing returns for defective equipment. I'm going to pester Garmin about the problem. If they won't do anything I'm pretty sure it'll go back for a refund or trade it in for a different model. From my limited use, it seems like a much different button design from other models and inherently flawed.

  23. #23
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    I think those buttons might be a challenge. My ancient Edge 500 just started doing this. Very annoying, but I've more than gotten my money's worth. Still going to ping Garmin about it.
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  24. #24
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    The buttons are a lot different from the Edge 500. They're larger and all plastic with no rubber covering. What happens is if you don't press them directly in the middle they get wedged in their housing and it gets worse when it's exposed to dust. It isn't a big problem until you're trying to quickly press a button while riding and wearing a pair of gloves because you can't easily feel for the center of the button. It's almost a comical flaw with how they were so focused on MTB features with this unit.

    Kosmo...totally unrelated but will you be at Butte 100 this year?

  25. #25
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    Was about to buy a 530 from REI but read all the bad reviews about the buttons issue. Checking the Garmin site, availability is 2 weeks out, so Iím hoping thatís due to them fixing the issue, as I doubt theyíve sold out.
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by economatic View Post
    The buttons are a lot different from the Edge 500. They're larger and all plastic with no rubber covering. What happens is if you don't press them directly in the middle they get wedged in their housing and it gets worse when it's exposed to dust. It isn't a big problem until you're trying to quickly press a button while riding and wearing a pair of gloves because you can't easily feel for the center of the button. It's almost a comical flaw with how they were so focused on MTB features with this unit.

    Kosmo...totally unrelated but will you be at Butte 100 this year?
    Thanks for the button info. Maybe Garmin will give me a reasonable deal on a swap for another 500, though at this point, they owe me nothing.

    Probably a no on the Butte 100 this year due to family travel schedule. Almost certainly yes for next year.

    How about you?
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  27. #27
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    Nice feedback!!
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  28. #28
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    I did the entire 24 hr race on my e-Trex 30. Kind of bulky unit, but lasted the entire 24 hrs using 2 lithium-Ion double A batteries. When it was cold in the early AM battery level dropped to 25%, but once it warmed up I was back to 75%. I have run the AZT300 which covered 4 days on 1 full set of batteries and 25% of another. Works great for what it is which is really best to follow courses. The only issue when I tried to down load my race file it was broken up in to 4 different files. This was a result of the autosave. Last 12 hrs in one file and first 12hrs in 3 files. I used topofusion to merge the tracks and then up loaded the combined track to strava with no issues.
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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by economatic View Post
    Not so fast. If you can, you might want to wait a few weeks or months to buy an Edge 530. Read the reviews about the buttons. What many people describe about the buttons sticking is true. It seems when dirt and dust gets around the buttons and they do in fact stick. Its not unmanageable at the moment but pretty annoying and I've only done 5 or 6 rides with the unit. Not sure if it'll get worse as time goes on or in different conditions but I bet they'll revise the button design.

    I actually knew about this going into the purchase so I decided to buy from REI where they are great about doing returns for defective equipment. I'm going to pester Garmin about the problem. If they won't do anything I'm pretty sure it'll go back for a refund or trade it in for a different model. From my limited use, it seems like a much different button design from other models and inherently flawed.
    I actually just ordered an 830 today off Amazon; a vendor had a couple in stock. I'm kind of geeked for the touchscreen.
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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by kosmo View Post
    Thanks for the button info. Maybe Garmin will give me a reasonable deal on a swap for another 500, though at this point, they owe me nothing.

    Probably a no on the Butte 100 this year due to family travel schedule. Almost certainly yes for next year.

    How about you?
    Bummer! I'm almost certain Butte 100 is happening for me this year. I didn't really plan on it but my race schedule got all messed up due to an illness in May and then my job is preventing some other races I had on my radar. It's been a couple years so we were hoping to catch up with you at Butte. Hopefully next year but send me a PM if your plans change.

    Quote Originally Posted by waltaz View Post
    I actually just ordered an 830 today off Amazon; a vendor had a couple in stock. I'm kind of geeked for the touchscreen.
    Let me know how you like the 830. I almost went that route but I was concerned about what people had said about the 820(?) and sweat affecting the touch screen. I bought my 530 from REI since they have such a good return/exchange policy so if Garmin won't do anything about the buttons I might upgrade to the 830. Luckily I have 2 months to figure it out.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by economatic View Post
    Let me know how you like the 830. I almost went that route but I was concerned about what people had said about the 820(?) and sweat affecting the touch screen. I bought my 530 from REI since they have such a good return/exchange policy so if Garmin won't do anything about the buttons I might upgrade to the 830. Luckily I have 2 months to figure it out.
    I've had the 830 for a few weeks and so far no issues with the touchscreen. I'm new to Garmin though, coming from Polar, and the 830 is not without bugs and flaws. I've had some sporadic connection issues (with both phone and sensors), some map zoom issues, and I find a few things are poorly designed (like the stupidly mandatory Virtual Partner, Auto Pause not restarting until I've reached 3.5 mph, Auto pause not working at all when following a workout, etc.). I've become quite active on the Garmin support forum trying to sort it all out. But the touchscreen has been working solidly.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burning Matches View Post
    I've had the 830 for a few weeks and so far no issues with the touchscreen. I'm new to Garmin though, coming from Polar, and the 830 is not without bugs and flaws. I've had some sporadic connection issues (with both phone and sensors), some map zoom issues, and I find a few things are poorly designed (like the stupidly mandatory Virtual Partner, Auto Pause not restarting until I've reached 3.5 mph, Auto pause not working at all when following a workout, etc.). I've become quite active on the Garmin support forum trying to sort it all out. But the touchscreen has been working solidly.
    I agree with the touchscreen; no issues at all thus far, and really handy, IMO. I have also had some connection issues, where it doesn't upload immediately to the app on my phone, and thus, Strava, but turning it off and on resolves it each time. Hoping that goes away. All in all, I really like it, and the screen is way crisper and brighter than the Wahoo. Not looking back one bit.
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