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Old 03-26-12, 04:32 PM   #1
eugenek
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Garmin hiking GPS question

I can't seem to get a straight answer out of the Garmin web site.

Which (if any) Garmin hiking GPS units can be configured to display heart rate and cadence on screen? I'm interested specifically in Dakota 20 and eTrex Legend/Vista/30.
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Old 03-26-12, 06:08 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by eugenek View Post
eTrex Legend/Vista/30.
Looks like yes ...
http://www.takeadventure.com/index.p...article&id=372
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Old 03-26-12, 06:54 PM   #3
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OK, that's cool.

I see that the heart monitor strap is listed as compatible with eTrex 30 and Dakota 20, but not with Legend or Vista.
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Old 03-28-12, 02:34 PM   #4
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So, I'm thinking seriously about getting eTrex 30, for the bike, as well as for an occasional hiking trip. But I'm looking at Strava and I can't find _anyone_ uploading eTrex 30 tracks. Almost everyone uses Garmin Edge 500/705/800.

I'm sure that 500 and 800 are nice pieces of equipment, but Edge 500 ($250) does not have the mapping capabilities, and Edge 800 ($450) costs $200 more than eTrex 30. Why is it no one uses eTrex? Is it just the weight (5 oz vs. 3.5 oz)? Am I missing something?
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Old 03-29-12, 10:47 PM   #5
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Got the eTrex 30 today. Some quick observations:

* Compared to Edge 305, it's thicker but only slightly wider & longer. It weighs 144 g including batteries.
* Easy to match with the sensors and to set up heart rate and cadence display.
* Not compatible with the Edge handlebar mount. Needs a different mount ($10).
* Unlike the Edge, it does not calculate calories.
* When it's connected to the computer, it presents itself as a USB drive, and recorded tracks appear as GPX files on the drive. GPX files do include heart rate and cadence fields. Unfortunately, Strava uploader does not recognize those. So, if you try a direct upload (device -> Strava), heart rate & cadence are lost. I've managed to upload a track without losing data by going through Garmin Connect: upload the GPX to Garmin Connect, download back as TCX, upload to Strava. Some kind of GPX to TCX converter software might work too. It's annoying, but it works.

I think I'll make a longer write-up after a few hundred miles. Looks like a neat device and a viable alternative to Edge.
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Old 03-30-12, 07:02 AM   #6
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I opted for the Dakota 20 over the Edge, but it was a toss up as either would have done nicely. As the other posters have noted, it is a little thicker than the 800 or 500. Mounting the units is another consideration and I finally settled on a FSA Control Center mount forward of the handlebar which puts it in better eye position. You'll want to use the Garmin mounts in conjuction with the control center. Free street and topo maps can be downloaded from http://gpsfiledepot.com/index.php.

Tracks can then be uploaded to your computer using the free Garmin BaseCamp program. There's a little learning curve but it isn't too steep.
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