Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 19 of 19

Thread: Choosing a GPS

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Finger Lakes, NY
    My Bikes
    Street Machine, Rans Force 5, Cannondale R500, Schwinn Circuit, Dawes Double Blue
    Posts
    31
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Choosing a GPS

    After seeing the value of GPS while riding a brevet at night, I am considering purchasing one. Garmin seems to have the greatest variety of handheld units, but I have Delorme mapping software and have been giving thought to the Delorme Earthmate; another possibility are the Magellan handhelds.

    For Randonneuring, it seems to me that the training type of GPS, such as the Garmin Edge, would be less useful than models that can show a map. Then battery life is a consideration. Replacing batteries on a long brevet seems more time efficient than trying to find an outlet and waiting for a recharge.

    What has been your experience with using a GPS as a navigation aid on brevets? Have any makes or models worked especially well for you?
    Fastest lawn chair in the county.

  2. #2
    Curmudgeon Wil Davis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Nausea, New Hamster
    My Bikes
    (see http://wildavis.smugmug.com/Bikes) Bianchi Veloce (2005), Nishiki Cascade (1992), Schwinn Super Sport (1983)
    Posts
    1,572
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I've been using a Garmin Quest for the past year and a half; I've found it to be excellent, useful, reliable, and one charge will last all weekend. The longest ride I've used it on is 111 miles at which point the battery was about half empty.

    - Wil
    "" - Marcel Marceau

  3. #3
    littlecircles bmike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Vermont
    Posts
    3,308
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by rafael
    After seeing the value of GPS while riding a brevet at night, I am considering purchasing one. Garmin seems to have the greatest variety of handheld units, but I have Delorme mapping software and have been giving thought to the Delorme Earthmate; another possibility are the Magellan handhelds.

    For Randonneuring, it seems to me that the training type of GPS, such as the Garmin Edge, would be less useful than models that can show a map. Then battery life is a consideration. Replacing batteries on a long brevet seems more time efficient than trying to find an outlet and waiting for a recharge.

    What has been your experience with using a GPS as a navigation aid on brevets? Have any makes or models worked especially well for you?
    Check out the Randon group.
    Do a search before you ask... this comes up quite often, and I'm sure there are lots of threads about it.

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Finger Lakes, NY
    My Bikes
    Street Machine, Rans Force 5, Cannondale R500, Schwinn Circuit, Dawes Double Blue
    Posts
    31
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by bmike
    search[/URL] before you ask... this comes up quite often, and I'm sure there are lots of threads about it.
    Always a good reminder, thank you. I had searched. "GPS" yielded no results. "Garmin", many, but mostly on Road Cycling with the Garmin 305 garnering the most discussion. These and other searches left me with some unanswered questions. As model turnover is high in consumer electronics, I felt comments more than a year old could give a general impression about a manufacturer, but would not be so valuable regarding current models. Also, I wanted to field Randonneuring specific comments.
    Fastest lawn chair in the county.

  5. #5
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Victoria, BC
    My Bikes
    Surly LHT, Surly Big Dummy, Surly 1x1, Surly Pugsley, Bike Friday Tikit x 3, Bike Friday NWT, Bow Cycle 24, Santa Cruz Nomad
    Posts
    5,170
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I just went through this process and ended up with a Garmin Vista Cx and MapSource City Navigator NT.

    I'll be using for the first time on a 200K tomorrow. Programing the route was a snap.
    Last edited by vik; 04-29-07 at 09:20 AM.
    safe riding - Vik
    VikApproved

  6. #6
    Mike
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Cayman Islands
    My Bikes
    Cignal Silverado MTB
    Posts
    54
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    [QUOTE=vik]I just went through this process and ended up with a Garmin Vista Cx and MapSource City Navigator NT.

    I also ended up with the Vista Cx. One sway point was the 32 hour advertised battery life. Ability to add topo maps another bonus.

  7. #7
    littlecircles bmike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Vermont
    Posts
    3,308
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by rafael
    Always a good reminder, thank you. I had searched. "GPS" yielded no results. "Garmin", many, but mostly on Road Cycling with the Garmin 305 garnering the most discussion. These and other searches left me with some unanswered questions. As model turnover is high in consumer electronics, I felt comments more than a year old could give a general impression about a manufacturer, but would not be so valuable regarding current models. Also, I wanted to field Randonneuring specific comments.
    Yes, that is why the search I linked to was on the Randon group...

  8. #8
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Victoria, BC
    My Bikes
    Surly LHT, Surly Big Dummy, Surly 1x1, Surly Pugsley, Bike Friday Tikit x 3, Bike Friday NWT, Bow Cycle 24, Santa Cruz Nomad
    Posts
    5,170
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    [QUOTE=mjww]
    Quote Originally Posted by vik
    I just went through this process and ended up with a Garmin Vista Cx and MapSource City Navigator NT.

    I also ended up with the Vista Cx. One sway point was the 32 hour advertised battery life. Ability to add topo maps another bonus.
    and a barometric altimeter so you can tell just how scenic the route you cycled was....
    safe riding - Vik
    VikApproved

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Finger Lakes, NY
    My Bikes
    Street Machine, Rans Force 5, Cannondale R500, Schwinn Circuit, Dawes Double Blue
    Posts
    31
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Please accept my apology, bmike - I misunderstood your post. Thank you for pointing the way to the Google Randon group.

    vik, thank you for the suggestion. 2000k???
    Fastest lawn chair in the county.

  10. #10
    littlecircles bmike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Vermont
    Posts
    3,308
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by rafael
    Please accept my apology, bmike - I misunderstood your post. Thank you for pointing the way to the Google Randon group.
    no worries. i try not to be a smart *** on this forum. plenty of that elsewhere on the forums.

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    209
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    i just use the old fashion compase

  12. #12
    Banned.
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Fort Wayne, Indiana
    My Bikes
    84 Trek 660 Suntour Superbe; 87 Giant Rincon Shimano XT; 07 Mercian Vincitore Campy Veloce
    Posts
    4,766
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by PIZZ
    i just use the old fashion compase
    I don't even use a compass...I just use the old fashion paper maps! Way cheaper then a GPS. I put the area of the map that I'm using in the clear plastic holder made for maps on my handlebar bag. Never gotten lost yet, and I've been doing this way for over 30 years including while driving in a car. Only time I get lost is in large city streets where some minor streets are not mentioned, but at least on a bike you can always find someone you can ask directions; thus I've never been lost in a major way. Besides getting lost is just part of the adventure!

    But if your riding off road on remote unfamilar unmapped trails a GPS might be a good idea.

  13. #13
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Victoria, BC
    My Bikes
    Surly LHT, Surly Big Dummy, Surly 1x1, Surly Pugsley, Bike Friday Tikit x 3, Bike Friday NWT, Bow Cycle 24, Santa Cruz Nomad
    Posts
    5,170
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by rafael
    Please accept my apology, bmike - I misunderstood your post. Thank you for pointing the way to the Google Randon group.

    vik, thank you for the suggestion. 2000k???

    Sorry that should have been 200K - I'm only a newbie rando so I am working up my way up the foodchain. 2000K rides will have to wait a while....

    I had social commitments and I am recovering from some surgery so I ended up only riding 145K of the brevet route, but the GPS worked flawlessly and when I decided to cut off two smaller loops so I could get home on time the GPS figured out what I was doing and routed me to the correct waypoint without any need for input.

    I think the longer the ride and the worse the weather the GPS will be a very nice tool to have. You can also shut it off and just ride for long sections with easy navigation.
    safe riding - Vik
    VikApproved

  14. #14
    Senior Member sweetnsourbkr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    San Leandro, CA
    My Bikes
    Look 585, Co-Motion Periscope 700
    Posts
    949
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    FWIW, I also have the Garmin Vista Cx. I chose it because of its practicality; being able to do geocaching as well as navigation on the bike or car. My only complaint is that you can't download the profile information of a route in detail. You can download the route (or "track") but the Garmin software offers no way to analize your elevation information.

    Is there another tool out there that can interface with the Vista and do profile analysis?

  15. #15
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    5,434
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by sweetnsourbkr
    FWIW, I also have the Garmin Vista Cx. I chose it because of its practicality; being able to do geocaching as well as navigation on the bike or car. My only complaint is that you can't download the profile information of a route in detail. You can download the route (or "track") but the Garmin software offers no way to analize your elevation information.

    Is there another tool out there that can interface with the Vista and do profile analysis?
    You can upload your tracks to motionbased.com and get plenty of statistics, including an elevation plot and total climb. motionbased.com is a free service (with restrictions).

    You could also purchase a copy of TopoUSA and download your tracks to it to see the elevation data.

  16. #16
    Senior Member sweetnsourbkr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    San Leandro, CA
    My Bikes
    Look 585, Co-Motion Periscope 700
    Posts
    949
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks supcom. I will try the motionbased.com suggestion. I thought they only support the FRs and the Edges.

  17. #17
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Finger Lakes, NY
    My Bikes
    Street Machine, Rans Force 5, Cannondale R500, Schwinn Circuit, Dawes Double Blue
    Posts
    31
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thank you all for your suggestions.

    To PIZZ and froze: I like maps, too, but it is hard to get maps that show the roads favored by RBA's. For example, I went to Kentucky for a 300k and tried to find a map: the choices were a map that showed the main routes, but not the smaller roads, and a topographic style map that showed but did not name those roads. Fortunately, I had downloaded maps from TopoUSA onto my PDA, so I had detail avaliable.

    On the recent brevets, except for one turn, the cue sheet and painted arrows on the road were adequate - in daylight. At night, I find it slows me a lot to follow a cue sheet bouncing in the glare of my headlamp, and to see faded arrows on the road. Hence the GPS inquiry.
    Fastest lawn chair in the county.

  18. #18
    Banned.
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Fort Wayne, Indiana
    My Bikes
    84 Trek 660 Suntour Superbe; 87 Giant Rincon Shimano XT; 07 Mercian Vincitore Campy Veloce
    Posts
    4,766
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    While true most paper maps do not show smaller streets, maps like Streets and Trips do allow for that kind of detail, as do Thompson Guides which are paper base. But RBA's as you noted provide you with a cue sheet that will show any smaller roads you might have to take. But I don't think a GPS will show you the route of a RBA either; unless somehow that route can be programed. But I knew a 64 year old woman touring across the US used nothing but paper maps.

  19. #19
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    5,434
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by froze
    While true most paper maps do not show smaller streets, maps like Streets and Trips do allow for that kind of detail, as do Thompson Guides which are paper base. But RBA's as you noted provide you with a cue sheet that will show any smaller roads you might have to take. But I don't think a GPS will show you the route of a RBA either; unless somehow that route can be programed. But I knew a 64 year old woman touring across the US used nothing but paper maps.
    There are GPS models that can be downloaded with routable street maps and programmed for a specific route. I use a GPS all the time for brevet routes.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •