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Old 06-14-13, 12:21 PM   #1
CanadianBiker32
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questions about GPS cyclocomputers- heartrate monitors

I am curious about your GPS cyclocomputers. That ones that do speed and heart rate cadence etc.

Now if i get a GPS type for my road bike? Does it still come with a sensor to monitor speed ? or does the sateliite track you on the bike?
Do you find GPS is more accurate for measuring speed then using a sensor types?

If i use a GPS system type, would the cadence sensor be only other thing i put on my bike?

Also are the GPS system interchangeable easily to a different bike? eg, use same device for road bike then move to mountain bike with out changing much settings

Also I like to mountain bike as well. I am riding closed in single track trails with lots of trees around, would i get the satellite signal to stop? otherwise what would be good system that doesnt conk out when in the bushes?

Thanks as i am in shopping for a new one. I like to get good information before making such an investment
thanks
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Old 06-14-13, 01:22 PM   #2
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It would be helpful if you were more clear about what particular model you are interested in.

I'm assuming you are talking about Garmins. All of the Garmins use GPS but some of them can't use speed/cadence sensors. You can get speed from GPS but having a wheel sensor is going to be more accurate. A speed/cadence sensor is the only other thing that you'd attach to your bike (along with the two magnets the sensor requires).

It's easy to move the head unit between bikes but moving speed/cadence sensors isn't really practical. The Garmins allow different profiles for different bikes (eg, to deal with differences in wheel size). If you want to use the unit on another bike infrequently, you might not care about not having a speed/cadence sensor on the other bike (the GPS speed might be good enough).

By default (i.e., without a wheel sensor), the Garmins use GPS for speed, which can be inaccurate over short periods of time and distance. The 500 and up units allow you to use a wheel-rotation sensor that avoids the GPS inaccuracy.

GPS (basically) just determines location/position (and assigns a time to the location). Speed is determined from the position data by computing the distance between two points and dividing by the difference in time. Since GPS positioning has some error (+-30 feet or so), the speed between determined from points close together will be less accurate (more variable). GPS speed works better when traveling at higher speeds because the points being used are farther apart.

Speed from wheel rotation is very fast and works accurately at distances much less than the normal GPS position error.

Even if you get loss of GPS signal, it's unlikely that you'd get such loss that you couldn't use it for not getting lost.

Last edited by njkayaker; 06-14-13 at 01:32 PM.
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Old 06-14-13, 02:12 PM   #3
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Speed and distance from your GPS is less accurate than wheel mounted sensors, but how much accuracy do you really need? For most people, being off 10% or 20% is not really important. GPS speed accuracy is affected by interference (tree cover, etc) and curvy roads (to save battery, the GPS records intermittently, not continuously).

Some GPS bike computers do have optional wheel sensors for improved accuracy. Obviously, you would have to get additional sensors for additional bikes. Most (maybe all) of these GPS computers should have multiple profiles to support multiple bikes.
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Old 06-14-13, 02:52 PM   #4
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I was reading about the fact one can upload data to PC, I have Apple MAc computer, would i be able to upload the data to my Mac, are these type of computers compatiable to mac?
thanks
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Old 06-14-13, 03:05 PM   #5
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I was reading about the fact one can upload data to PC, I have Apple MAc computer, would i be able to upload the data to my Mac, are these type of computers compatiable to mac?
thanks
Yes (the garmins).
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Old 06-16-13, 06:30 PM   #6
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Hello all With the Garmin 510 Cyclecomputer. I dont have a smart phone or intend to buy one. If i got the Garmin 510. would i still be able to get temperature and weather without a smart phone?
Also does the 510 have a clock that displays regular time?
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Old 06-16-13, 06:47 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by CanadianBiker32 View Post
Hello all With the Garmin 510 Cyclecomputer. I dont have a smart phone or intend to buy one.
In this case, consider the Edge 500 at a lower cost. Most (if not all) of the new features in the 510 are dependent on connectivity to iPhone, such as Live Track & weather.

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would i still be able to get temperature and weather without a smart phone?
You will get the temperature measured by the device. You will not get the weather forecast—that information is obtained from the iPhone.

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Also does the 510 have a clock that displays regular time?
Yes. You can customize what fields to display, including "time of day". There are other fields such as sunrise, sunset, lap time, total exercise time, etc.
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