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Old 01-25-13, 10:09 PM   #1
leeinmemphis
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Which Garmin GPS is the best value for the $$$????

Hey everyone,

I'm looking to get a GPS to use on multiple bikes(90% road/greenlines 10% mtb). I've been doing some reading on all of the GPS options and it looks like there is a couple of new models getting ready to be released. If you were in my situation and needed a GPS what would you choose and why? I would like mapping I would think but I don't know that I really need a turn by turn directions. I have two bikes that mounting a conventional computer will be difficult(one with a lefty fork and one a recumbent) so I think I would prefer to just get one GPS and have multiple mounts.....plus it will allow me to track my overall mileage a little easier as well.

So given the above info which one would you choose? I'm not saying price isn't an issue but I don't really want to spend any more than I have to.
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Old 01-26-13, 06:54 AM   #2
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I bought a certified refurbished Garmin Edge 305 last year for $160 (including heart rate and speed/cadence sensor). It does not have maps, but you can load turn-by turn directions and it works ok-ish (no rerouting and it may not be obvious what to do at complicated corners). It came with a year warranty.

I'd keep your eye out for deals like that...
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Old 01-26-13, 10:46 AM   #3
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I have a 500 which I have had for years and love. I don't think that the new 510 is an improvement. I would watch for a cheap or refurb 500. If you haven't already, read dcrainmaker reviews of them
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Old 01-26-13, 07:55 PM   #4
leeinmemphis
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I've been looking online since I posted last night and really after thinking about it I don't think I really need the detailed maps. Most of my riding will be local and for when I have a hard time I'll usually have my phone. I don't know that I really want/need a cadence but do think a heart monitor would be nice. I am thinking the 500 is the one I'm going to end up with. I'm going to do a little more reading on it tonight.
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Old 01-27-13, 08:34 AM   #5
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Do you need GPS at all? Wouldn't a decent cyclometer meet your needs? And of course there are phone apps that do the same things as a bike gps...more or less...
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Old 01-27-13, 08:54 AM   #6
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Do you need GPS at all? Wouldn't a decent cyclometer meet your needs? And of course there are phone apps that do the same things as a bike gps...more or less...
For people who don't want a GPS, I'm not going to work to convince you to get one. You like what you like and that's good.

I very much like having a bike GPS. I like to be able to see exactly where I was and see how well (or poorly) I'm doing on the same hill I climb. It's also useful for getting back home (as I can look at the bread crumb trail).

I have used my smartphone to record tracks too. It works pretty well, except (1) battery life (and i really want to make sure my phone has juice so I can call for help when I do something stupid) and (2) I don't have a good way to mount it, so I can't watch the numbers while I ride. I also very much like having both cadence and heart rate (particularly for looking at how well I'm climbing hills).

Cheers,
Charles
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Old 01-27-13, 02:49 PM   #7
leeinmemphis
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Do I "need one"......probably not.....I don't need alot of things(including my bikes) but I like having them. ........I've decided to go with the 500. For me I really like the idea of using one platform on different bikes. I also like the idea of tracking my overall miles so I can keep up with miles per week/month etc.
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Old 01-27-13, 03:06 PM   #8
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The best value for the money is a used one, purchased from somebody who upgraded to the latest and greatest. Craigslist is often a good place, or from a friend.

If all you need to do is track your riding, Edge 205 or 305 are the best deals, you can often get one under $100 used. $50 is not unheard of, but rare.

If you need maps, Edge 605 or 705 are the models to get. If you wait for a good deal, I'm guessing you can get one for $200.

The newer ones show up too, but at higher prices, and they generally don't have much in the way of new functionality (though they're smaller and more convenient to use.)
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Old 01-27-13, 03:42 PM   #9
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I got my Forerunner 305 used for $100 with heart rate strap. It'd take speed and cadence sensor if I have it, but I haven't found the need for it. I think the claimed battery life is just a couple of hours shorter than the Edge models, but still plenty long (and can be boosted with a portable battery pack, which you may need to charge other things on those long rides anyway).

It's not compatible with a power meter, but I'm never going to need those anyway.

http://www.dcrainmaker.com/2007/11/r...unner-305.html
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Old 01-28-13, 01:42 PM   #10
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I paid $300 for a refurbed 705. Im happy with the purchase.
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Old 01-28-13, 02:09 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Looigi View Post
Do you need GPS at all? Wouldn't a decent cyclometer meet your needs? And of course there are phone apps that do the same things as a bike gps...more or less...
Can't speak for everyone, but many people like me who have a GPS like the fact that if we leave with enough food and water and our bike is in good shape, we can just wander any place we desire and never worry about getting back to the start. I do use pre-written courses downloaded on sites like MapMyRide, etc. occasionally, but most often when I use my GPS, I start out knowing where I'm going, decide to extend the ride to unfamiliar locales and then work my way back. Personally, I think that's total freedom on a bike.
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Old 01-28-13, 03:51 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leeinmemphis View Post
Do I "need one"......probably not.....I don't need alot of things(including my bikes) but I like having them. ........I've decided to go with the 500. For me I really like the idea of using one platform on different bikes. I also like the idea of tracking my overall miles so I can keep up with miles per week/month etc.
I have a Garmin, like it, and use it all the time to navigate routes I lay out on my computer and download to the device. I also use it to record and save all my rides. However, the functionality you want can be provided by a non-GPS device. Distance, speed, totals, miles/wk etc, can all be done without GPS.
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Old 02-01-13, 05:09 AM   #13
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If you're like me, I like being able to see all of my riding info on one screen. The edge 500 does this and more plus a great size to boot! They still go for $150-$250 all day though.
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Old 02-01-13, 07:51 AM   #14
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I've got the Edge 500 - love it and if something ever happened to it, I would buy another for sure. It's survived three years of road and mountain biking and still works fine. Although it doesn't give you turn by turn directions, you do have the ability to upload a route to it and it will show you where you are on that route and you can see where the turns are. Not great but it works well enough if you want to plot out a new road ride.
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Old 02-01-13, 11:42 AM   #15
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If you want a more than decent bike computer and recording of rides, I'd get a Garmin 500 now that the 510 is out. Carry a smart phone if you want to stop to check a map (assuming in cell range or you downloaded the necessary maps ahead of time). Easy to move between bikes, weather-resistant (mine has gone through multiple *TORRENTIAL* downpours) easy to read, and no battery life worries vs a phone. The 500 lets you upload and follow a breadcrumbs map (download data points from an earlier ride, garmin, ridewithgps, etc.), which I have used on century rides when I wanted a quick "turn coming up" or "did I just miss a turn?" display without messing with the cue sheet (or totally depend on the ride's road markings and other riders). If you want a real-time map display in a bike-friendly package, you need one of the larger units that supports that.

My old (ancient) Polar HRM was fine for recording distance, speed, HR, cadence, but lacked GPS so correlating events on a ride (monster climbs) required remembering to hit "lap" at the start and end of the segment and figure out afterwards what was what.
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