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  1. #1
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    Question Speedo (possibly GPS, potentially HRM) Advice

    I've been using the same wired Cateye Enduro speedo for the last 8 years or so, so this isn't an area I've at all looked into in that length of time. Of course, then, the tech has moved on enormously since then.

    But it's time for a change. I was always a casual and sort of on-off cyclist with my mtb that I...hardly ever took off-road. And so mid last year I got myself a road bike (Specialized Secteur) and I'm trying to get more and more dedicated.

    So anyway, the Enduro is on its way out and I'm having a look at computers now and ooft, so much.

    I've seen a lot of chat about the Garmin Edge 500. My Enduro worked by having a little magnet attached to a spoke, a sensor on the fork, and then obviously inputting the wheelsize. And so the speed/odometer was fairly accurate.
    How does the Edge500 work? Is it similar, or purely GPS? The reason I ask is that I live in a fairly remote area and it's often cloudy, so GPS isn't always the best thing here. If my routes were being recorded purely by GPS I'd be a touch concerned about its accuracy.

    If it's more accurate than that, however, I think I'm leaning towards it because the HRM that comes with is enticing and would only encourage me, I suppose.


    Any general advice as well as specific to what I've asked would be much appreciated, thanking you!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    GPS is not affected by remoteness as long as you're on planet Earth, and not materially by clouds. The Garmin 500 can work with only GPS, but also can use a wheel sensor, which helps overcome GPS's impression and position drift.

  3. #3
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    Oh, really? Maybe I'm just assuming that because it can take longer for satellite acquisition on a cloudy day (minutes, sometimes) compared to a clear sky (instant), that the accuracy during a journey at higher speeds wouldn't be as accurate.

    For example, I use Endomondo and use the Android app. There have been route logs where instead of it detailing me as a blue curved line round a long right bend, it has me as a straight line cutting across it.

    Would that not be the case?

  4. #4
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    Bumpety bump

  5. #5
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    I am looking for my first cycling computer. Seems like Garmin 500 is the way to go. Add in the optional HR monitor strap and sensors. and your good to go. The sensor work via magnet on spoke, magnet on crank and sensor on chainstay. Spoke allows for speed and the crank mount allows for cadance.

    If you check out Ebay its lots cheaper than LBS or other sites.

    Just what i have learned over last day or so.

    Total Garmin bundle your looking at about 300 -325.

  6. #6
    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spivey44 View Post
    I am looking for my first cycling computer. Seems like Garmin 500 is the way to go. Add in the optional HR monitor strap and sensors. and your good to go. The sensor work via magnet on spoke, magnet on crank and sensor on chainstay. Spoke allows for speed and the crank mount allows for cadance.

    If you check out Ebay its lots cheaper than LBS or other sites.

    Just what i have learned over last day or so.

    Total Garmin bundle your looking at about 300 -325.
    Brand New Garmin 800 Bundle http://www.ebay.com/itm/Brand-New-Ga...d7f8fbca#payId
    $430

    Brand New Garmin 500 Bundle http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_trks...at=0&_from=R40
    $230-$338

  7. #7
    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cragcrag View Post
    Oh, really? Maybe I'm just assuming that because it can take longer for satellite acquisition on a cloudy day (minutes, sometimes) compared to a clear sky (instant), that the accuracy during a journey at higher speeds wouldn't be as accurate.

    For example, I use Endomondo and use the Android app. There have been route logs where instead of it detailing me as a blue curved line round a long right bend, it has me as a straight line cutting across it.

    Would that not be the case?
    The GPS receivers I've used have reasonably sensitive receivers and acquire pretty quickly and independent of whether it's cloudy. Precipitation can attenuate the signal more, but I haven't experienced any issues with Edge units in rain. They even acquire lock from inside my house, though it may take a minute or two.

    GPS wander and recording granularity can affect accuracy at low speeds, over short distances, and over tortuous paths. Garmin includes the capability for wheel sensors to ameliorate these issues. With a wheel sensor, the Garmin will record time, speed, and distance without any satellite reception. Also, some Edge units have what is called Smart Recording, which minimizes the file size for the recorded rides with an algorithm that selectively saves trackpoints. Turning this off can improve accuracy and detail on recorded tracks, especially if they are over tortuous paths, at the expense of larger file sizes. If these are uploaded and deleted from the unit before filling memory, it's not generally and issue.

  8. #8
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    I'm in the UK and I got a voucher for Christmas for a UK based bike website, so I'll probably get it from there.

    Thanks for the advice. Relieved to hear there's the wheel sensor option for uninterfered accuracy with the Edge. I suppose any inaccuracy with the GPS won't, at the end of the day, be an enormous difference and will pretty much be negligible.

    So as long as I sit for a moment before setting off and letting it lock on, and then off I go, all will be well? I'll do a bit more reading of reviews and such but as far as I can tell the Edge 500 seems to get almost universal praise, so I'm probably swayed towards that

    Thanks folks

  9. #9
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    Oh, and I right in thinking that the 500 is suited for road biking/racing/training, whereas the 800 is more for MTBs/trails/offroad biking etc?

  10. #10
    Because I thought I could ks1g's Avatar
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    +1 on Looigi's comments on the 500 and GPS in general. Clouds don't significantly affect GPS reception, precipitation may, tree foliage & tall buildings can (signal absorption, multipath, blocking satellites low on horizon). Biggest practical issue for me are slightly longer time to GPS-sync if my 500 is sitting in some parts of my home before a ride, and errors in GPS position at the entries & exits of Strava segments - Strava may decide you didn't ride the segment you just rode. Other than momentary frustration comparing how I did on a few climbs for a particular century ride, this has not been a big problem, is generic to any GPS-based system, and not a problem if you don't care about Strava.

    Garmin markets the 500 at roadies and the 800 for people wanting decent on-bike mapping (randos, touring, mtb, everyone else).

    The 500 works well stand-alone (GPS for speed & distance) and with *any* ANT+ speed/cadence sensor (Garmin, others). Also any ANT+ power & HRM sensors. No Bluetooth support. If using the speed/cadence sensor, you can use GPS to calibrate, enter a pre-calculated tire circumfrance, or enter a measured roll-out distance. GPS can be disabled for indoor trainer use with the speed sensor. Rudimentry mapping (follow trail of "bread crumbs", warn when turn coming, when off track (subject to GPS meandering) and direction back to track works well enough. The 800 series has a larger display and real mapping (what you'd expect from GPS navigation). I am quite happy with my 500. Data transfer is via USB cable, and most cycling software and internet cycling sites either support direct data transfer from the 500, or manual upload & convert the raw .fit files. In particular, Garmin's own site (of course), Strava, TrainingPeaks, Ridewithgps, the mapmy<ride|fitness|run> folks (lamest interface, however), GoldenCheetah, etc.

    Garmin has announced the replacement 510 and 810. 510 is larger, some on screen menus, better interface for social media/on line use. At this point not worth the $ to me to upgrade, although this should reduce price of 500 & 800 models on close-out. Garmin has a marketing video showing off the networking/social media aspects. dcrainmaker has a detailed review of the 510 & 810 on his blog. Since you're in the UK, watch probikekit.com for deals on Edge 500, 800.

  11. #11
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    Great info, thanks. I use Endomondo but I've seen a lot of chit chat about Strava. I'll have a little look.

    If I were going for one it'd likely be the 510 at this point I think. Read that dcrainmaker review this morning (he wasn't lying when he said "in-depth"...) and he covers it well. Having not used the 500 I wouldn't mind the larger size, and the connectivity options sound great. The fact I've a gift voucher helps

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