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Old 02-22-17, 05:44 PM   #1
Talkinghalls
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Phone GPS vs Garmin GPS

I have a pretty big trip I am planning on doing in October 275-300 miles.
What are the benefits of buying a Garmin GPS over using my Iphone?
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Old 02-22-17, 06:33 PM   #2
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I have a pretty big trip I am planning on doing in October 275-300 miles.
What are the benefits of buying a Garmin GPS over using my Iphone?
What do you want to get out of using a Garmin or the iPhone? How many hours will your ride last? Which iPhone do you have, and do you already have an iPhone bike mount and Bluetooth sensors? Do you already use the iPhone for ride tracking, and if so, what do you like and not like about it? Will your ride be in an area where you have reliable cell service?
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Old 02-22-17, 07:14 PM   #3
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What do you want to get out of using a Garmin or the iPhone? How many hours will your ride last? Which iPhone do you have, and do you already have an iPhone bike mount and Bluetooth sensors? Do you already use the iPhone for ride tracking, and if so, what do you like and not like about it? Will your ride be in an area where you have reliable cell service?


I want it to give verbal push messages when I am coming up to a turn
Hours: 6-9 hours
Iphone 6
No mounts no sensors
Not sure how to use Iphone for tracking
Might be in bad cell areas, are Garmin's more reliable?
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Old 02-22-17, 07:25 PM   #4
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There are methods to download maps to an iPhone to deal with spotty cell service, not sure how that works with apps that get you turn-by-turn. Dedicated GPS units like a Garmin don't rely on data service., but as with a phone, you need to charge electronics at the end of the day, so solar is a thought.

Battery life is generally better on a dedicated GPS, but you can tweak phones to get good battery life. You can also run a backup battery, or a foldable solar panel on the back of the bike.

I think apps like RideWithGPS, as well as others can do TBT, but they might need running cell service to function. Garmin units like the 800/810/820/1000 do it well out of the box.

I prefer my Garmin 810 as its waterproof. I don't desire to leave my $600 iPhone 6S on the h-bar and I'd need a $100 Lifeproof or Otterbox waterproof case for it, which I hate using otherwise. Plus a $20 phone mount. Garmins and others come with mounts for h-bars or stems.
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Old 02-23-17, 09:08 AM   #5
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I want it to give verbal push messages when I am coming up to a turn
Hours: 6-9 hours
Iphone 6
No mounts no sensors
Not sure how to use Iphone for tracking
Might be in bad cell areas, are Garmin's more reliable?
iPhone should be using same/similar GPS as a GPS device; therefore, cell coverage isn't an issue.

A dedicated GPS devise like Garmin will be more accurate and reliable. Additionally, you can count on a correctly configured Garmin lasting all day. My Garmin 510 (obsolete model) has had enough battery life for 12+ hour days without any concern.

If you want to use the iPhone, I recommend using Strava as your tracking app. Also, I would recommend having a back-up battery to get enough life out of the iPhone.

I am assuming that you are strictly looking to see the data after the ride. However, if you want real-time data while riding, get a Garmin.
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Old 02-23-17, 10:00 AM   #6
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iPhone should be using same/similar GPS as a GPS device; therefore, cell coverage isn't an issue.

.
If the app uses a map that is not a resident file on the phone, then cell service is required to visualize and display the map and route. You see this often with Google maps if you are in an area of no cell service and neglected to cache a map set local to the device.
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Old 02-23-17, 11:07 AM   #7
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If the app uses a map that is not a resident file on the phone, then cell service is required to visualize and display the map and route. You see this often with Google maps if you are in an area of no cell service and neglected to cache a map set local to the device.
For a "long trip", if you are using "a map that is not a resident file on the phone", then "you are doing it wrong".

People using phones for navigation should have resident maps on the phone (as a backup if they prefer using something that isn't resident).
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Old 02-23-17, 11:47 AM   #8
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If the app uses a map that is not a resident file on the phone, then cell service is required to visualize and display the map and route. You see this often with Google maps if you are in an area of no cell service and neglected to cache a map set local to the device.
The point of my post was tracking the ride without referring to the iPhone while riding (ie it's in the bag tracking GPS), not using it for directions. The phone will capture GPS data, and once you finish the ride, it will overlay GPS data with a map. That's why I said:

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I am assuming that you are strictly looking to see the data after the ride. However, if you want real-time data while riding, get a Garmin.
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Old 02-23-17, 11:51 AM   #9
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I want it to give verbal push messages when I am coming up to a turn
I don't think any Garmin will do this. They can alert you in different ways when a turn is coming up, but they can't speak to you. Except maybe the car ones?
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Old 02-23-17, 12:19 PM   #10
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Thank you for the information everyone, I have a more than a few months to pick one or the other.


Are there any apps or Garmin GPS that is solely designed for bicycling. Example instead of the fastest route (highway, toll road, state road) it would direct towards low traffic routes?
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Old 02-23-17, 01:13 PM   #11
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Thank you for the information everyone, I have a more than a few months to pick one or the other.


Are there any apps or Garmin GPS that is solely designed for bicycling. Example instead of the fastest route (highway, toll road, state road) it would direct towards low traffic routes?
I would recommend a Garmin 810 or higher for turn-by-turn directions while bike.

I use Strava to build routes and you can use the 'heat map' to see popular bike routes. You are able to download the GPX file from Strava and upload it to a Garmin device. This is part of the basic (free) membership. Here's an example from one of my routes:



I don't know of real-time app for bike route planning ... Like my car's GPS or Waze

With my old Garmin 510, I will use routes for gravel century rides. The 510 has a very basic route, referred to as a 'bread crumb trail', it's just a line on a blank background. However, if I get off course, it will display an "off route" message.

The higher Garmin devices will give you a much better turn-by-turn notification. I'm sure there are BF members that can give better details about using routes on these devices.
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Old 02-23-17, 01:14 PM   #12
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I am assuming that you are strictly looking to see the data after the ride. However, if you want real-time data while riding, get a Garmin.
Given that it's "a long trip", it's likely that he wants some sort of navigation (also).

Last edited by njkayaker; 02-23-17 at 01:21 PM.
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Old 02-23-17, 01:20 PM   #13
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Are there any apps or Garmin GPS that is solely designed for bicycling. Example instead of the fastest route (highway, toll road, state road) it would direct towards low traffic routes?
The cycling Garmin have options to generate "cycle friendly" routes but the routes they generate might still have problems. Sometimes, that's the result of bad map data. Also, not everybody has the same opinions about what "cycle friendly" means.

There are other ways of getting "cycle friendly" routes (from Google or designing around in something like ridewithgps).

You might be better-off calculating routes every 50 miles or so (it's less likely that a single 300 mile route would not have problems).

Last edited by njkayaker; 02-23-17 at 01:34 PM.
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Old 02-23-17, 01:22 PM   #14
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Give that it's "a long trip", it's likely that he wants some sort of navigation (also).
That has become more apparent as the thread has progressed. However, I know many riders that do not want electronic directions during a ride, they use a GPS to track the ride, but it is in a bag or pocket.

As an example, the Trans Iowa ride does not give you routes in advance, only cue cards on route:



edit - appear was meant to be apparent

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Old 02-23-17, 01:23 PM   #15
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I don't think any Garmin will do this. They can alert you in different ways when a turn is coming up, but they can't speak to you. Except maybe the car ones?
None of the cycling Garmin's speak words. I don't think any of the handheld/wearable units do. The car ones all do (sometimes, with odd, pronunciation).

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Old 02-23-17, 01:26 PM   #16
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Are there any apps or Garmin GPS that is solely designed for bicycling. Example instead of the fastest route (highway, toll road, state road) it would direct towards low traffic routes?
Yes. Here's a photo of an Edge 800 which has exactly this feature.

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Old 02-23-17, 01:27 PM   #17
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None of the cycling Garmin's speak words. I don't think any of the handheld units do. The car ones all do (sometimes, with odd, pronunciation).
Their running and multi-sport watches don't, either.
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Old 02-23-17, 01:28 PM   #18
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That has become more appear as the thread has progressed. However, I know many riders that do not want electronic directions during a ride, they use a GPS to track the ride, but it is in a bag or pocket.
I know a few such riders too. It's not likely any of them would have asked the OP's question.

Regardless, it's a bad assumption.

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As an example, the Trans Iowa ride does not give you routes in advance, only cue cards on route:
No, that's not an example of what any rider wants. That ride is providing cue cards regardless of what riders want.

The OP doesn't appear to be going on a ride where cue sheets are provided.
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Old 02-23-17, 01:31 PM   #19
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Their running and multi-sport watches don't, either.
It might be a power consumption choice (less memory, less CPU power, smaller speakers).
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Old 02-23-17, 01:34 PM   #20
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I know a few such riders too. It's not likely any of them would have asked the OP's question.

Regardless, it's a bad assumption.


No, that's not an example of what any rider wants. That ride is providing cue cards regardless of what riders want.

The OP doesn't appear to be going on a ride where cue sheets are provided.
Again, the OP did not make it clear, and I made no assumptions, I gave info based on questions asked and added more clarification questions back to the OP to better understand their needs. I don't know why you're trying to call me out on this... moreover, I just don't care.
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Old 02-23-17, 01:39 PM   #21
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again, the op did not make it clear, and i made no assumptions,.
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i am assuming that you are strictly looking to see the data after the ride. However, if you want real-time data while riding, get a garmin.
ok.
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Old 02-23-17, 01:45 PM   #22
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well I guess you got me
*slow clap*
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Old 02-23-17, 01:54 PM   #23
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No mounts no sensors
Not sure how to use Iphone for tracking
There are all sorts of apps for smartphones that record your track (position and time).

You don't need sensors to use a Garmin or a smartphone.

I have no idea of your budget.

You might consider buying an inexpensive mount and seeing how well your smartphone would work.

Maps.me is a free app that uses downloaded maps and can generate routes (without needing cell access). You can load tracks (courses) to it but it can't use them to announce turns. Maps.me doesn't record tracks in a way you can export them to other apps/programs).

The big advantage of the cycling Garmins is that they can provide turn guidance for a track you copy/load onto the unit.

Even if you have a Garmin, maps on a smartphone is likely going to be useful (the screens on the Garmin's are rather small).

No reason a phone can't work. You just need a good mount, some sort of water resistance, and an external battery.

Last edited by njkayaker; 02-23-17 at 02:03 PM.
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Old 02-23-17, 01:56 PM   #24
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well I guess you got me
*slow clap*
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Old 02-23-17, 02:11 PM   #25
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That has become more appear as the thread has progressed. However, I know many riders that do not want electronic directions during a ride, they use a GPS to track the ride, but it is in a bag or pocket.

As an example, the Trans Iowa ride does not give you routes in advance, only cue cards on route:

I went on a ride in an unfamiliar city with a cue sheet like that. A gust of wind took it away from me, and then I had to try to finish the ride and find my way back to the car without it. Paper isn't the way to go.
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