I don't know what I want, but I am sure you will tell me.- Mtbr.com
Results 1 to 17 of 17
  1. #1
    Proudly Plus-Sized
    Reputation: blaklabl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    1,621

    I don't know what I want, but I am sure you will tell me.

    Sorry for the cheeky title, but I gather this forum is a little opinionated.

    So here's the deal; I have been a long time Garmin user and my last unit has finally lost the ability to keep a charge, and before I run out and just buy another head unit I thought I would ask for some feedback.

    I am not a racer, and am not "training" for anything per se; I just enjoy knowing my stats over time, am I riding more or less, faster or slower, where have I been, and how long much time have I put on my equipment. I rarely need navigation; and if I do I can whip out the good old iPhone for a Trailforks assessment.

    Since my Garmin has crapped out, I began to use Strava (again), which I really don't care for. I am not competitive, don't care about segments (other than how I am doing against myself), and just overall it seems to take some of the fun out of riding for me. I don't like leader boards I suppose. But, it's free for the most part and somewhat accurate and trouble free - but I detest exporting my rides and then uploading them into Garmin Connect, and then having to edit every single one to put in my details.

    So I have an iPhone X and just got one of the new Apple Watch 5's (replacing my AW3), which does the job admirably, including heart rate. Strava is linked to the Health App and it auto uploads, but I find that many times it duplicates my activities for no reason and I have to manually delete them. I know that is a bug that Strava has yet to figure out, and seems to have been going on for years. But otherwise it does OK.

    While the watch is cool, I find myself wishing I could look down at my stem/bars and see everything at a glance. I also have an Eagle AXS drivetrain (sorry, I like toys) and would really like to have a unit that displays my current gear, as opposed to looking down/back and having to count cogs.

    So, in my research, I really like the looks and function of the Wahoo Element Mini ($99) but am not thrilled about the dependence on the phone for recording my route, nor does it do the electronic drivetrain or capture my HR from the AW5, and I don't want to get a proprietary strap. The Garmin Edge 130 ($199) is pretty much the same except for needing the have the phone with me and connected at all times to work. I saw the new Lezyne Super GPS ($149) and it checks pretty much all the boxes except for the HR, but the unit seems pretty big and needs a separate app to run everything and upload to Strava, and then that to Apple Health, etc.

    It just seems at some point I am making this way more complicated than it needs to be, and hope someone here can tell me what I am missing or offer some advice. The easiest answer is probably just use my AW5 and deal with not having the info on my bars, and do without the gear info? Or strap my phone to the top tube so I can access Trailforks easily, and is there an app that will read my current drivetrain settings? I have pretty much come to the conclusion that without buying a fancier Garmin, I will have to abandon Garmin Connect and store my data elsewhere, in fact I copied all of my activities over to Strava for this year so far just so I could stay on my mileage/Ride count goal.

    Sorry for that being so long winded, but just wanted to try and not forget something - but I am sure I did anyways and will edit this as I remember. Thanks for any help and advice you can give.
    MTBR: Your dad's online mountain bike forum.



  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: richardjohnson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Posts
    166
    My wife has a lezyne. It is a pain in the ass but it does have a nice tracking app I appreciate so I can tell where she is so I can clean up the kitchen before she gets home. Otherwise it is annoying and their map making program is really hard to convince make actual maps that can guide you.
    I like your bike

  3. #3
    Bikesexual
    Reputation: jcd46's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    7,568
    I like my 520, and I don't need my phone, yes I have to update my Strava ride a bit, but it's no big deal on the app.

    I use mine pretty much for your exact purposes.

    If I ride road, I carry my phone for music or pictures.
    Surly Krampus
    All City MMD
    Kona Unit

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: pulser's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    1,935
    Check out the Garmin Edge Explore. I got one this summer and itís been the perfect computer for me. Nice size screen and can show all the data in nice big numbers that I can see real easy on the move. I got the trail forks map for my state and uploaded it on to the unit and now I have all the trails I need on my bars so navigating is really easy. I have also added the remote to the end of my bars. I can now change pages without even taking my hand off the bars. It lets me run with the screen locked and prevents some of the problems with Garmin touchscreens. I still have an old edge 500 that works. But I donít know if I could go back to a computer that small.
    The only issues I have with the Explore is that there is no barometer. So my guess is that the elevation readings arenít accurate. The lack of Trailforks maps built in to the base map. And you canít run Garminís extended battery.
    What I really like about it is that when I get home it will auto upload to Garmin Connect and I have my account linked to Strava so it then auto uploads to that. And I often have my phone connected to the computer I can still run the computer without the connection. Most of the places I ride have really spotty cell reception anyway.

  5. #5
    Something goes here...
    Reputation: Crash_FLMB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,987
    You sir are long winded. How about Google glass and a 5th of whiskey?

    Sorry, I have no input as I can't get out enough to justify anything fancier than Strava. Three kids (jazz band, club soccer and being 5) will do that to ya.

    Hope all is well way over yonder.

    Sent from my LM-G710VM using Tapatalk
    Why would I need more than one gear?
    @A_SingleSpeeder

    I find myself enjoying gravel more and more lately...

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Posts
    2,251
    It sort of sounds like you are trying to talk yourself into a newer Garmin.
    I do not know if the 520 will control the drivetrain. The new models do though. I like the 830's operation and function, but it's perhaps more spendy than you want.

    If you sync your Garmin acct. to Strava you won't have to manually upload your Garmin activity to Strava.

    It seems to check the boxes as some of what you have listed don't check all the boxes that are important to you.

    I have worn a Garmin watch for the past few years and it's taken a beating from branches and weeds. Are you okay with beating your Apple Watch? Are you good with wearing it to places that a scratched up watch is maybe less than ideal (don't know where you go or if you work in an office, etc).

    I stuck with Garmin as all my data is on Garmin Connect from 2011 for various activity I have recorded, although I do use Strava on each ride as well as Garmin.

    I am not here to say that I don't like either but I also won't say that both are best (said those things plenty in other threads).

    You are a self-admittedly non fan of Strava. I suggest stopping use as soon as you can or you'll adapt to the convenience of it can continuing using it. Not liking the features (leaderbaords, etc) is neither here nor there as it's up to you not to use it. Just set your activities and your profile to private and nobody will send friend requests and your times won't show on leader boards.

    So yeah, sounds like you're ready to replace an older Garmin with a new Garmin that checks the boxes of what you are after.
    I was going to get the 530 just cause it was cheaper than the 830. I'm absolutely happy I chose the 830 though. I sold stuff and put the money towards the device, and ended up having enough for the 830 so it was basically free to me which was quite lucky on my part to be honest.

  7. #7
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    29,316
    You don't want much that's too specific, in all honesty. Sounds like you mostly just want a self-contained device that works, and there are a lot that check those boxes. Connecting to your wireless drivetrain and displaying your gearing is the one more advanced feature that it seems like you want, and it's going to be the one that cuts the number of devices down significantly. Wanting to pair your Apple Watch with the device to use its HRM functionality limits you some, too.

    On a quick search, it looks like you've gotta go to the Edge 520 or higher to be able to pair with wireless shifting. I'm not sure about other brands. I'm perfectly happy with mine. I think you've gotta go to the Edge 530 or higher to get BT sensor compatibility. BT sensor compatibility is an area where Garmin has lagged, since they actually BOUGHT ANT+ and were invested in it as the SOLE sensor protocol for awhile.

    But it's worth noting...I stopped looking at my cassette and counting cogs years ago. That would certainly set you up for a cheaper bike computer. But it seems to me that cost isn't exactly a huge concern for you (if you ride AXS).

  8. #8
    Proudly Plus-Sized
    Reputation: blaklabl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    1,621
    Quote Originally Posted by Crash_FLMB View Post
    You sir are long winded. How about Google glass and a 5th of whiskey?

    Sorry, I have no input as I can't get out enough to justify anything fancier than Strava. Three kids (jazz band, club soccer and being 5) will do that to ya.

    Hope all is well way over yonder.

    Sent from my LM-G710VM using Tapatalk
    Thanks Rodney, yes all is well and Iíve been sober for 7 years....yeah itís been that long since weíve gotten together and live in the same city. Haha.
    MTBR: Your dad's online mountain bike forum.



  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation: J.B. Weld's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    14,041
    Quote Originally Posted by blaklabl View Post
    I am not a racer, and am not "training" for anything per se; I just enjoy knowing my stats over time, am I riding more or less, faster or slower, where have I been, and how long much time have I put on my equipment. I rarely need navigation; and if I do I can whip out the good old iPhone for a Trailforks assessment.

    Since my Garmin has crapped out, I began to use Strava (again), which I really don't care for. I am not competitive, don't care about segments (other than how I am doing against myself), and just overall it seems to take some of the fun out of riding for me. I don't like leader boards I suppose. But, it's free for the most part and somewhat accurate and trouble free - but I detest exporting my rides and then uploading them into Garmin Connect, and then having to edit every single one to put in my details.


    I don't understand, other than the leaderboards it seems like strava checks all the boxes in your first sentence. Personally I kind of like the leaderboards but mostly ignore them except to compare my own times now and then, which seems to fall in line with your criteria of knowing whether you're going faster or slower.

    Also I don't understand what you mean about the hassle of exporting and editing your rides, I don't do anything and rides are exported to strava as soon as I get near my phone with no required editing. I use a Garmin 520.
    I brake for stinkbugs

  10. #10
    Proudly Plus-Sized
    Reputation: blaklabl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    1,621
    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    I don't understand, other than the leaderboards it seems like strava checks all the boxes in your first sentence. Personally I kind of like the leaderboards but mostly ignore them except to compare my own times now and then, which seems to fall in line with your criteria of knowing whether you're going faster or slower.
    Pretty much, except I was looking for a bar-mounted unit that was minimal trouble. I have yet to find one that will use my heart rate data from the AW, most require an additional strap.

    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    Also I don't understand what you mean about the hassle of exporting and editing your rides, I don't do anything and rides are exported to strava as soon as I get near my phone with no required editing. I use a Garmin 520.
    Sorry if I wasn't clear; I was referring to the past couple of months of NOT recording with a Garmin device and using Strava exclusively on my Apple Watch. When you export from Strava as a GPX file and upload it into Garmin Connect, you lose all descriptions, details (exercise type, name of activity, etc) and have to re-enter it manually. As I stated I have many many years of data in Garmin and was trying to keep my records intact. I do realize that a Garmin unit will upload to both Connect and Strava, but doesn't work the other way without a Garmin unit.
    MTBR: Your dad's online mountain bike forum.



  11. #11
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    29,316
    Quote Originally Posted by blaklabl View Post
    Pretty much, except I was looking for a bar-mounted unit that was minimal trouble. I have yet to find one that will use my heart rate data from the AW, most require an additional strap.
    Like I mentioned earlier, the Edge 530 (and 830) will accept sensor data from BTLE sensors (which is what the Apple Watch is). This is something that Garmin has lagged behind other brands like Lezyne and Wahoo on. So that one feature you'll find from those other brands at a lower price.

    Connectivity to the drivetrain pushes you to a higher price point if you want that. But Garmin's been offering THAT feature longer than other brands.

    If you want to keep using Garmin Connect as your primary upload site, then that's a push towards Garmin. I'm not a particular fan of the way their redesign works (liked the old version of Connect better), so the only reason I use it anymore is as an intermediary, and I have it send my data to a couple different places.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation: J.B. Weld's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    14,041
    Quote Originally Posted by blaklabl View Post
    Pretty much, except I was looking for a bar-mounted unit that was minimal trouble. I have yet to find one that will use my heart rate data from the AW, most require an additional strap.



    Sorry if I wasn't clear; I was referring to the past couple of months of NOT recording with a Garmin device and using Strava exclusively on my Apple Watch. When you export from Strava as a GPX file and upload it into Garmin Connect, you lose all descriptions, details (exercise type, name of activity, etc) and have to re-enter it manually. As I stated I have many many years of data in Garmin and was trying to keep my records intact. I do realize that a Garmin unit will upload to both Connect and Strava, but doesn't work the other way without a Garmin unit.

    I'm not tech savvy in the least so please forgive me. Other than the HR deal it seems like any bar mount gps unit would work pretty good, are you opposed to a chest strap for comfort reasons? You mentioned simple a few times and I can't help thinking how simple it is for me using a garmin head unit and a HR strap.

    My friend uses an apple watch and it seems like his rides load right away with all the correct info, I don't think he does anything manually but maybe he's stealth about it.
    I brake for stinkbugs

  13. #13
    Proudly Plus-Sized
    Reputation: blaklabl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    1,621
    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    I'm not tech savvy in the least so please forgive me. Other than the HR deal it seems like any bar mount gps unit would work pretty good, are you opposed to a chest strap for comfort reasons? You mentioned simple a few times and I can't help thinking how simple it is for me using a garmin head unit and a HR strap.

    My friend uses an apple watch and it seems like his rides load right away with all the correct info, I don't think he does anything manually but maybe he's stealth about it.
    I don't want to HAVE to use a chest strap, if I'm already wearing the watch with a HR sensor. I wasn't aware the Garmin units would pick up the AW heart rate, if that's true then it solves my issue. I already have a Garmin strap from the old days I could use if push came to shove.

    Your friend must be using Strava only, and correct it does upload immediately to Strava when the ride is done, with minimal input needed (like changing the ride description). But I promise you he's not tracking the ride on a non-Garmin unit and having it upload to Garmin Connect automatically, it just doesn't work that way. If it did I would just soldier on with my AW and all would be good in the world!
    MTBR: Your dad's online mountain bike forum.



  14. #14
    Proudly Plus-Sized
    Reputation: blaklabl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    1,621
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    Like I mentioned earlier, the Edge 530 (and 830) will accept sensor data from BTLE sensors (which is what the Apple Watch is). This is something that Garmin has lagged behind other brands like Lezyne and Wahoo on. So that one feature you'll find from those other brands at a lower price.

    Connectivity to the drivetrain pushes you to a higher price point if you want that. But Garmin's been offering THAT feature longer than other brands.

    If you want to keep using Garmin Connect as your primary upload site, then that's a push towards Garmin. I'm not a particular fan of the way their redesign works (liked the old version of Connect better), so the only reason I use it anymore is as an intermediary, and I have it send my data to a couple different places.
    Thanks Harold, I wasn't aware that the Garmin unit would pick up my AW heart rate, at least all of my research hadn't led me to that certainty. If that's the case that pretty much answers my question, then I just need to decide if the drive train thing is that important to me and go with either a Edge 130 or an Edge 530.
    MTBR: Your dad's online mountain bike forum.



  15. #15
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    29,316
    Quote Originally Posted by blaklabl View Post
    Thanks Harold, I wasn't aware that the Garmin unit would pick up my AW heart rate, at least all of my research hadn't led me to that certainty. If that's the case that pretty much answers my question, then I just need to decide if the drive train thing is that important to me and go with either a Edge 130 or an Edge 530.
    To be clear, not all Garmins can handle bluetooth sensors! Look very closely at the specs. They have lots of devices with Bluetooth, but they ONLY use bluetooth for phone connectivity features UNTIL the release of the Edge 530/830 (and possibly a couple of watches). Those two devices are the only two Edges where the specs explicitly state that they can use ANT+ OR BTLE for sensors.

  16. #16
    Proudly Plus-Sized
    Reputation: blaklabl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    1,621
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    To be clear, not all Garmins can handle bluetooth sensors! Look very closely at the specs. They have lots of devices with Bluetooth, but they ONLY use bluetooth for phone connectivity features UNTIL the release of the Edge 530/830 (and possibly a couple of watches). Those two devices are the only two Edges where the specs explicitly state that they can use ANT+ OR BTLE for sensors.
    Got it, thanks for the clarification. I would probably grab a 530 over a 130 anyways, the price difference isn't much.
    MTBR: Your dad's online mountain bike forum.



  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Posts
    368
    Of the more recent Garmins, I really liked the Explore and would have suggested it, except it has no Di2 functionality. Too bad, really nice unit at a nice price.

    As note about Garmin Connect. I only use it as the Connect Mobile app requires it to send data to RideWithGPS, which is what I use to track ride data as well as plan road rides. The Garmin iQ RWGPS app is terrific at grabbing planned rides and I use it all the time. In theory the TrailForks app does the same for trail,rides, havenít tried it yet.

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 04-27-2014, 11:55 AM
  2. All you need to know, but don't know yet...
    By Mr.Magura in forum Off Camber (off topic)
    Replies: 29
    Last Post: 12-05-2012, 02:34 AM
  3. I don't want, I dont want, I don't want
    By Johnclimber in forum Fat bikes
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 04-21-2012, 08:22 PM

Members who have read this thread: 4

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.