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Tandem Cycling A bicycle built for two. Want to find out more about this wonderful world of tandems? Check out this forum to talk with other tandem enthusiasts. Captains and stokers welcome!

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Old 03-11-11, 10:58 AM   #1
bikefor2
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Touring with Ipad?

Have any of you tried touring/riding with an IPAD (for the stoker) to use for maps and navigation? If so I'd like to hear how it worked and how you mounted the thing. It seems a bit big, but it sure would be nice to have that kind of map/navigation.
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Old 03-11-11, 11:25 AM   #2
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I don't think it would be very practical. For me the iPad is difficult to read in sunlight, and virtually impossible with polarized sunglasses on.
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Old 03-11-11, 12:59 PM   #3
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This doesn't seem very tenable. The only pic one can find of an iPad bicycle mount is an elaborate spoof. Access to an iPhone, though not necessarily mounted, would be quite useful to a touring tandem team.

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Old 03-11-11, 01:47 PM   #4
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When the iPad was introduced, my friends teased me that I'd be mounting one on the captain's back. This company, Maya, did introduce an intriguing design for a pocket.

http://www.maya.com/Sprocket/
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Old 03-11-11, 02:22 PM   #5
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When the iPad was introduced, my friends teased me that I'd be mounting one on the captain's back. This company, Maya, did introduce an intriguing design for a pocket.

http://www.maya.com/Sprocket/
My GF has asked if she could hang an iPad from my back to watch movies while riding the tandem.
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Old 03-11-11, 02:45 PM   #6
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So far, the answer to the original question appears to be two letters long.

I'm of the considered opinion that only a small minority of posters on this forum actually tour. We too are trying to decide whether to get an iPad to take on tour. The key advantages are size/weight. I don't think of it as a potential substitute for a Garmin ETrex Vista (as far as I can tell there is no mapping where there is no signal, and it only runs 10 hours on a charge when in use). But as a potential substitute for a netbook or laptop, perhaps.

I too will be interested in any responses from folks who have actually used one on tour.
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Old 03-11-11, 03:22 PM   #7
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So far, the answer to the original question appears to be two letters long.

I'm of the considered opinion that only a small minority of posters on this forum actually tour. We too are trying to decide whether to get an iPad to take on tour. The key advantages are size/weight. I don't think of it as a potential substitute for a Garmin ETrex Vista (as far as I can tell there is no mapping where there is no signal, and it only runs 10 hours on a charge when in use). But as a potential substitute for a netbook or laptop, perhaps.

I too will be interested in any responses from folks who have actually used one on tour.

If you want a device to search the web, do email, watch videos, light computing, IMHO, it's a nice alternative to a lap top, or netbook. The size and weight would be a significant advantage over any laptop and most net books. (Not only is the computer itself small and light, so is the charger, and given that it's a USB style charger, you only need one charger and multiple cords to charge other devices such as a phone.)

Additionally, the 10 hour battery would be a big advantage over a netbook or lap top if you don't have consistent access to electricity.

The solid state memory would also appear to offer a durability advantage, over a device with a hard drive.

So the question in my mind would be whether you really want a computer with you when you tour, and if so, whether you can get by with just a smart phone.

I haven't taken my iPad with me on a bike trip, but I use it a lot when I travel, and it works nicely for most of my purposes.
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Old 03-11-11, 04:56 PM   #8
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We too are trying to decide whether to get an iPad to take on tour. The key advantages are size/weight. I don't think of it as a potential substitute for a Garmin ETrex Vista (as far as I can tell there is no mapping where there is no signal, and it only runs 10 hours on a charge when in use). But as a potential substitute for a netbook or laptop, perhaps.
No bike touring experience to relate, but I have been gathering data on the iPad and iPod Touch for travel by air and car.

A friend who practically lives on airplanes travelling internationally luvs her iPad for movies, books, web, etc.

My wife has an iPod Touch and and prefers it to lugging her Macbook on trips. She'll be getting an iPad soon, the larger screen will be a plus for extended use.

When given the opportunity I'll probably give up my company issued laptop PC and migrate to a desktop with either an iPad or netbook for travel.
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Old 03-12-11, 06:31 AM   #9
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We do tour. Our tours are typically week long, self supported credit card tours (no camping or cooking, we stay in B&B's or hotels and eat in restaurants). We tour with a Garmin Edge 705, an iPhone, and a Mac laptop. We use the Garmin for navigation, but will use Google maps on the iPhone to confirm or search for alternatives. I would not rely solely on the iPad for navigation due to signal and battery life (we have a small extra external battery for the Garmin that uses AA batteries so have almost unlimited life).

I was interested in replacing the laptop with an iPad for the reduced weight. We keep a journal/blog of our tours and use Apple's iWeb to do so. Unfortunately there is not (yet) an iWeb app for the iPad. We could switch to another blogging platform but we haven't wanted to do so.

For US tours, the iPad would be great for email, internet access, blogging (if you don't use iWeb) etc. For international tours, the iPad would be costly. The international roaming charges are the same as for the iPhone - extremely expensive.
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Old 03-12-11, 09:17 AM   #10
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Have any of you tried touring/riding with an IPAD (for the stoker) to use for maps and navigation?
We tour with an iPad but not for on the road navigation. Too bulky to mount anywhere convenient and as as someone else mentioned hard to read in the sun.

What we do use it for is a) to back up the memory cards from the cameras rather than carrying a specialized digital photo backup device and b) for research on the next day's destination, weather and various normal things like email. Many of the smaller hotels in the towns and villages of southern France have free wifi so I suppose, we could even make Skype/SiP/Facetime calls.

Another useful function I really want for the iPad is travel guide in eBook format. Much lighter than carrying the paper versions. In particular if we want to bring more than one guide, the electronic version is way lighter. http://www.bikeforums.net/images/smilies/smile.gif
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Old 03-12-11, 11:05 PM   #11
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For international tours, the iPad would be costly. The international roaming charges are the same as for the iPhone - extremely expensive.
Why rely on the cell network?

Cheap wi-fi is easy to find in Europe, from my experience - though most of that has been in larger towns/cities.
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Old 03-13-11, 09:04 AM   #12
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I can't imagine using the iPad for mapping purpose. I've always preferred paper maps; I can see the advantages of a GPS, but a massive iPad seems like total overkill.

However, an iPad would make a decent travel computer. The one thing it seems to be lacking for me is as a photo management center. I guess there are devices that allow you to connect an SD card to it, although it would be better if it had an integrated SD reader, but since it doesn't run full-blooded software, I assume it doesn't have any proper image organizing and editing software; I'd be happy if someone was to correct me on this, though (iPhoto doesn't count, I've used it on my wife's Mac and hate the thing). A 1 kg Netbook running Windows with an SD card reader with Photoshop Elements installed is therefore my preferred solution for this purpose.

Also, if the iPad had only half the battery life but was 200 grams lighter then I would be far more interested in it, especially as a travel computer. That thing is just too heavy for what it is, and I assume the extra weight must all be in that oversized battery.

Last edited by Chris_W; 03-14-11 at 02:57 AM.
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Old 03-13-11, 08:52 PM   #13
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I guess I have to admit that I too have secretly been trying to figure out a way to mount a stoker iPad for my son (10 years old) to give him a more delux nav center and provide occasional entertainment back there on our annual 10-day tour this year. Just thinking about the possibilities...

Maybe a bungee to my back?
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Old 03-15-11, 08:03 AM   #14
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For US tours, the iPad would be great for email, internet access, blogging (if you don't use iWeb) etc. For international tours, the iPad would be costly. The international roaming charges are the same as for the iPhone - extremely expensive.
If by "international" you mean Canada, Rogers has a similar plan to AT&T, which means you can get it for just a month. You do need to get a SIM card from Rogers, but you don't need to get the iPad from them. IF we get a iPad for a trim that includes both countries, that's likely the approach we'll use. As for why rely on the cellular network? In North America, the population density is low enough in some parts that cellular coverage is poor, but wireless is practically non-existant.
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Old 03-15-11, 11:29 AM   #15
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Also, if the iPad had only half the battery life but was 200 grams lighter then I would be far more interested in it, especially as a travel computer. That thing is just too heavy for what it is, and I assume the extra weight must all be in that oversized battery.
The iPad2 weighs 1.3lbs or about 600grams, IIRC. Also, the weight of the charger is perhaps 50 grams, and you can charge any device with it that has a cord that will plug into a USB port.

So the charger is likely 200 grams lighter than most laptop/netbook chargers, and it eliminates the need for other chargers for most phones and cameras.

Thus you'd likely be well over a pound lighter in total than most netbooks.

Haven't tried editing photos on it, but I'd be willing to bet that it would be cumbersome to do any serious post production work on it, so that would be a downside.
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Old 03-15-11, 04:30 PM   #16
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BTW, you don't need any sort of connectivity (neither cell nor wifi) to use maps on the iPad because there are apps available that give you access to offline maps. I've got oMaps installed on my iPod Touch and have downloaded loads of maps that I can view anywhere I want. The maps are based on open-source info, so don't cost anything to download. However, downloads are slow, and you can only download a reasonably small area at a time. With a bit of patience, it all eventually comes through, though, and then you can look at them whenever you want, regardless of whether you are connected.

It does frustrate me how many apps rely on online content, many of which could work almost as well using data stored on the device. If more offline apps were available, I would use my iPod Touch even more.

As for weight, you're correct that the iPad weighs about 600 grams. The first iPad weighed almost 700 grams. It's not much, but I'm sure the majority of the weight is in the battery. If they offered a 400 or 450 gram version with only 4 hours battery life instead of 10, then that's the version that I would go for. Of course Apple don't like to give consumers too many options, and instead insist on deciding what people want, and so only offer a couple of different versions of only half a dozen main products.
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Old 04-23-15, 08:22 PM   #17
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Well, four years have passed. There must be a good solution for this by now. Has anyone seen it yet? I am just looking for a mounting solution that is not on my back. We want it just for entertainment so do not need continuous connectivity...
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Old 04-23-15, 10:23 PM   #18
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Well, four years have passed. There must be a good solution for this by now. Has anyone seen it yet? I am just looking for a mounting solution that is not on my back. We want it just for entertainment so do not need continuous connectivity...
Not for an iPad, but in the same vein:

Samsung Dates Gear VR Innovator Edition For Galaxy S 6, S 6 edge

Could be particularly handy when riding through less-than-scenic terrain.
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