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  1. #1
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    Garmin GPS Cyclocomputer?

    I saw that Garmin is coming out with a cyclocomputer that supposedly gives you speed, HRM, cadence etc. My wife just purchased a Polar CS200cad. which she loves. I was ready to get one until I heard about Garmin. I hear its going to be expensive. Has anyone some info on this unit?
    Keep on trying-perseverance pays off! Stan

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    Senior Member va_cyclist's Avatar
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    Saw it advertised in Bicycling mag this month. I drooled.

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    bac
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    I also saw that unit, but I do see a possible flaw. What about when one is cycling under trees, or other overhanging features? I think the GPS unit will flake in those instances. Anyone????

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    Quote Originally Posted by bac
    I also saw that unit, but I do see a possible flaw. What about when one is cycling under trees, or other overhanging features? I think the GPS unit will flake in those instances. Anyone????
    I have a Garmin eTrex Vista (standard handheld GPS unit) that I use while riding (reads out mileage, avg moving speed, etc.). It does occasionally lose signal with overhanging trees, but it snaps to your location when it reacquires the satellites, and just ignores the missed time for the moving avg and what not, and it appears to just draw a straight line between signal loss and reacquisition so far as the mileage goes.

    A friend of mine bought a Garmin forerunner 301, which is similar to the upcoming Edge 305, except that it isn't exclusively for cycling and doesn't have the cadence option. He uses it for both running and cycling, and it has some really nice tracking features via the included software-- it gives you your track and graphs of HR vs speed and the like. It looks like the Edge 305 has the same features. And BTW, if you don't need the cadence feature, the Forerunner 301 can be had for just over $200 street price.

    http://www.pricegrabber.com/p__Garmi...ype=bottomline
    Last edited by dan828; 10-07-05 at 03:57 PM.

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    Curmudgeon Wil Davis's Avatar
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    I have a Garmin Quest and have never had a problem with it working under trees. I think there's a Quest Mk II now available - it comes with all the s/w pre-loaded which is convenient, but is much more expensive than the older model. I paid about half what the Mk II costs, and can use all the same MapSource s/w that I use for my other GPS unit which I use in the car…

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    Quote Originally Posted by bac
    I also saw that unit, but I do see a possible flaw. What about when one is cycling under trees, or other overhanging features? I think the GPS unit will flake in those instances. Anyone????
    As I understand it the bike-specific GPS units also have a magnet on your wheel and (optionally) an internal compass. When the signal from the satellites is lost it uses the wheel magnet for speed and a guestimate of your position, a technology borrowed from high-end automotive GPS systems.

  8. #8
    Overacting because I can SpongeDad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruiser
    As I understand it the bike-specific GPS units also have a magnet on your wheel and (optionally) an internal compass. When the signal from the satellites is lost it uses the wheel magnet for speed and a guestimate of your position, a technology borrowed from high-end automotive GPS systems.
    Interesting. Car GPS have the same sort of vector based / dead reckoning mapping for when you go under a tunnel or lose signal.
    “Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm." (Churchill)

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    Quote Originally Posted by bac
    ... I think the GPS unit will flake in those instances...
    Quote Originally Posted by http://www.garmin.com/products/edge305/
    High-sensitivity GPS receiver—knows your position even in tree cover and canyons, making it extremely reliable for navigation
    Website says it (305) comes with either cadence or HRM option but is capable of both. To bad they don't offer a deluxe package that has both. You have to buy the other as an option.

    My Forerunner 301 loses signal occasionally but doesn't drop data. I've been in contact with Garmin about a tiny glitch in their Training Center software. I'm hoping the software gets fixed before the Edge is released in November.

    d.tipton

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    Quote Originally Posted by bac
    I also saw that unit, but I do see a possible flaw. What about when one is cycling under trees, or other overhanging features? I think the GPS unit will flake in those instances. Anyone????
    The Edge 305 has a different and more sensitive chip (the SiRFStarIII) than the one in the Forerunner 301; it also has a barometric sensor (like in their handheld GPS76CS) to provide additional data for better altitude estimates than in the 301.

    There is a fairly active Garmin discussion email list over on yahoo groups, if anybody is interested.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisesposito
    The Edge 305 has a different and more sensitive chip (the SiRFStarIII) than the one in the Forerunner 301; it also has a barometric sensor (like in their handheld GPS76CS) to provide additional data for better altitude estimates than in the 301.

    There is a fairly active Garmin discussion email list over on yahoo groups, if anybody is interested.
    My eTrex Vista has the barometric altimeter and an electronic compass-- so far is that goes if you actually want to keep track of altitude, it's the only way to go. My experience with other GPS devices is that GPS is really poor at altitude info. And even though the 301 records altitude data, from what I saw with my friend's, the data is so noisey as to render it almost useless. I'm happy with my Vista right now for trip data, but the Edge 305 is certainly in the "I want" category right now, though to pick one up when the are realeased with both options, it's going to be $400+.

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    Senior Member va_cyclist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan828
    I have a Garmin eTrex Vista (standard handheld GPS unit) that I use while riding (reads out mileage, avg moving speed, etc.). It does occasionally lose signal with overhanging trees, but it snaps to your location when it reacquires the satellites, and just ignores the missed time for the moving avg and what not, and it appears to just draw a straight line between signal loss and reacquisition so far as the mileage goes.
    Pretty much right on. I use an eTrex in the car and on the bike, and download the tracks to the computer when I get home. What you can see at higher car speeds is that the GPS doesn't continuously monitor position, but takes samples of position at defined intervals, and calculates distance & speed between the samples. The faster you go, the farther distance apart those intervals become. Track a long sweeping curve at high speed with a GPS and it shows up as a series of short straight lines connected by sample points. So slight dropouts from branches, etc. aren't usually any problem, especially at the lower speeds of a bicycle. The sat. signals are pretty robust, and can usually filter through all but the densest foliage. Tall buildings can be a problem, but as long as you're moving, the GPS should reacquire signals as you move past obstructions.

  13. #13
    Overacting because I can SpongeDad's Avatar
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    What about nav functions. I don't have much need for a $400 cycling computer, but one that gave me cue sheet directions would be pretty need. I ride alone a lot and it would be nice to be able to upload coordinates for rides and have the GPS guide me on the way.
    “Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm." (Churchill)

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    Quote Originally Posted by dan828
    My experience with other GPS devices is that GPS is really poor at altitude info. And even though the 301 records altitude data, from what I saw with my friend's, the data is so noisey as to render it almost useless.
    Uncorrected GPS gives false altitude. Problem is with delays in the signal caused by the ionosphere. Lateral error is not as bad since satellite geometry tends to surround the user, causing such errors to cancel each other.

    GPS receivers with WAAS enabled will give corrected altitude. Neither the 305 nor the 205 have WAAS enabled. The 305 has barometric altitude capability though.

    Bao?

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    Walmart bike rider gpsblake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by baozebub
    Uncorrected GPS gives false altitude.
    It can at times do that. The Garmin's use the 3 strongest satelitte for your lat/long and then uses the next strongest one to figure out your altitude. While it can track up to 12 satelittes, it only uses 4 max at any second. Most of the time on my rides, the altimeter is accurate within 20 feet (I've checked vs established USGS benchmarks). However, if your reception is poor due to trees, buildings, the most inaccurate part of the GPS will be the altitude. WAAS helps greatly but the WAAS signal is easily lost and WAAS is only most effective on the east and west coast of the US.

    Overall, I found the altimeter to be very useful on the GPS. But if want the best accuracy a barometric barometer calibrated with GPS corrections is what is needed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gpsblake
    WAAS helps greatly but the WAAS signal is easily lost and WAAS is only most effective on the east and west coast of the US.
    WAAS is currently broadcasting corrections through two GEO sats on both coasts. It'll get better when the 3rd GEO is operational.

    Bao?

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    Does anyone know if this Garmin unit will synch with Macs?
    Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SpongeDad
    What about nav functions. I don't have much need for a $400 cycling computer, but one that gave me cue sheet directions would be pretty need. I ride alone a lot and it would be nice to be able to upload coordinates for rides and have the GPS guide me on the way.
    I wonder if people on this forum really use the nav functions or is it just me?? Seriously. I only here people using the Garmin GPS because they don't want to install a computer and can save money by using the GPS.

    Anyway. The GPS freed me of maps forever. I've written constantly on this subject over the past two years and consider it the best piece of electronics I've owned in years. Two weeks ago, I went on a 35 mile trip that required 31 turns and the Gamin performed perfectly guiding me all the way home. I didn't get lost for a minute. The route I created didn't even come close to using all the memory because I could have gone up to 125 turns!

    The Garmin is tough as nails and got soaked during a rain storm and still kept working because it's waterproof. Try that with a map. Are there problems. Sure. But the benefits far outweight the problems. The future really looks good as the new units have more memory, better battery life and map software. I don't intend on buying a new GPS until my Gamin breaks which might take years!

    You don't have to spend loads of money on a new unit. In fact, you can get a used on on Ebay for less than 100 bucks and buy a used copy of MS Streets and trips for 10 bucks and your set. You don't need a color map and I hardly if ever use mine. The software has an arrow that points you to the turns so no map is needed. I would buy the Garmin software becuase it helps you load the routes into the device from your PC saving time.

  19. #19
    Senior Member duckliondog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angus
    Does anyone know if this Garmin unit will synch with Macs?
    Thanks.
    I read that it won't, which means somebody is going to get hurt. Here I am, ready to pay a ridiculous amount for a cyclocomputer that is supposed to be the be all and end all, but it won't work for my computer. How hard can it be?

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    Quote Originally Posted by duckliondog
    I read that it won't, which means somebody is going to get hurt. Here I am, ready to pay a ridiculous amount for a cyclocomputer that is supposed to be the be all and end all, but it won't work for my computer. How hard can it be?
    Surely you know someone with an old PIII they want to get rid of... Otherwise, you could spend less money than the GPS unit is going to cost you and get a new Dell just to run the software.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve
    I wonder if people on this forum really use the nav functions or is it just me?? Seriously. I only here people using the Garmin GPS because they don't want to install a computer and can save money by using the GPS.

    Anyway. The GPS freed me of maps forever. I've written constantly on this subject over the past two years and consider it the best piece of electronics I've owned in years. Two weeks ago, I went on a 35 mile trip that required 31 turns and the Gamin performed perfectly guiding me all the way home. I didn't get lost for a minute. The route I created didn't even come close to using all the memory because I could have gone up to 125 turns!

    The Garmin is tough as nails and got soaked during a rain storm and still kept working because it's waterproof. Try that with a map. Are there problems. Sure. But the benefits far outweight the problems. The future really looks good as the new units have more memory, better battery life and map software. I don't intend on buying a new GPS until my Gamin breaks which might take years!

    You don't have to spend loads of money on a new unit. In fact, you can get a used on on Ebay for less than 100 bucks and buy a used copy of MS Streets and trips for 10 bucks and your set. You don't need a color map and I hardly if ever use mine. The software has an arrow that points you to the turns so no map is needed. I would buy the Garmin software becuase it helps you load the routes into the device from your PC saving time.
    Which model are you using? I think with the eTrex models, only the ones with the color screens will do automatic routing. I use my (non-color) Vista with a bluetooth adapter and a PDA for in car navigation, but haven't really needed it for riding.

  22. #22
    Curmudgeon Wil Davis's Avatar
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    I have many of "Stone's Short Rides in Massachusetts" programmed into Mapsource on my PC (it's just a matter of finding time to transcribe them) - I then download the routes I'm going to use into my Garmin Quest, then I don't have to carry paper maps with me - also I don't have to keep stopping to read the paper map… Also, I can use the tracking feature to find out where I've been, and profile the climbs & descents etc.

    It's not often that the general public get to benefit from something which was invented primarily for use by the military - I think GPS is a great invention - next only to the Derailleur, hot on the heels of the Wheel, closely following the Brooks Saddle, second only to Padded Cycling Shorts!!!



    - Wil

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  23. #23
    Newbie erhan's Avatar
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    I think this new Garmin is great. I now use a ForeTrex 101 to see the routes I ride, to study the data on a PC, and of course not to get lost in the middle of nowhere. Also I use a CS200 for HR, and more accurate speed information, etc. But unfortunately none of my computers is perfect. Foretrex loses signal in the woods, the elevation data is not accurate, and CS200 does not work if you pass under high voltage power lines, and needs to be reset.

    As far as I understand the new Garmin is going to be much better with a more sensitive receiver. I think cadence kit includes the magnetic speed sensor. It says that it is self calibrating so I guess it calculates the tire circumference by itself using GPS speed data. I think it is a great feature.

    The manual is not there, but it will be on the Garmin site soon I guess. Can't wait to read it...

    Also I think it has a reasonable price. The 305 model is $313 CAD for preorder at GPScity.ca

  24. #24
    demon speeder soda's Avatar
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    It looks promising. Does anyone know if it will be able to communicate with Delorme Topo 5.0?
    *insert some super cool statement here to make me as cool as the rest of the super cool signature gang*

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by erhan
    I think cadence kit includes the magnetic speed sensor. It says that it is self calibrating so I guess it calculates the tire circumference by itself using GPS speed data. I think it is a great feature.
    I think the cadence sensor provides just cadence (RPM) data not speed. You don't need circumference info to calculate cadence (RPM). I think the cadence sensor is for your crank arms anyway ... that way you'll know the cadence you are doing to produce the the speed. The GPS receiver will give you your speed info.

    d.tipton

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