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Thread: GPS device

  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Nov 2019

    GPS device


    since i am new in biking i am asking this. Is it somehow possible to have files that u download in .gpx type to use it with directions or phone or do i have to buy GPS device like garmin to have actually directions where to go and everything?

    Thank you

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: SoDakSooner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    I use an app called routecourse on my Fenix5x. You can use gpx files on the free version but for a small fee, it will give you turn by turn if available. I haven't used it for mountain biking much, but on the road it was great. I am not an expert by any means but for the limited use I have with that app it works pretty well.

    You can also use MTB project or trailforks phone apps. They both work pretty well.

  3. #3
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    there are some phone apps that will do ride navigation. results will vary depending on the app and exactly how this functionality is intended to work.

    GPS devices will do this, and some will work in tandem with your phone in different ways (that depend on the specific computer, app, and phone you're using).

    Personally, I avoid situations that require the computer to do all the navigating and then spit out instructions to me on the mtb. When I need trail navigation when I'm doing a mtb ride, all I want is to see a map. If there are high quality paper maps available, I will prefer those. If not, I'll use whatever maps tend to be best. MTBProject, Trailforks, 3rd party maps for my Garmin, etc. That way, I handle the navigation myself and all the software does for me is show me where I am.

    There are too many quirks with digital routing/mapping for me to trust their routing completely. Further, when using a route based on known good information, there are often quirks in the software that are annoyances I'd rather not have. In those cases, I want a visual of the route ONLY and I don't want the computer trying to keep me "on" it.

    The biggest reason I have and use a dedicated computer like a Garmin is so that I can have a small device on my handlebars that does a few things for me specific to my ride.

    1. It records where I've been pretty accurately (moreso than most phones).

    2. It shows me the current time and how long I've been riding. This functionality is basically what a watch can do, but I don't wear watches, esp when riding. I don't like the restriction of my wrist when they're snug, and I don't like that they flop around when I ride when they're loose enough not to restrict my wrist.

    3. It records and displays other fitness data for me. I always have wheel sensors running on my mtb because it really does boost the accuracy of the total distance of my rides compared to GPS-only distances. If you're doing a ride based on a cue sheet (still common for long road rides and sometimes bikepacking), an accurate distance is critical to know that a turn is coming up. I am not using cue sheets, but I do appreciate having an accurate distance total for my ride.

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