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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 05-13-12, 11:46 AM   #1
Carbonfiberboy 
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Well that was a major success!

I upgraded our electronics for Saturday's ride. Removed Stoker's Cateye Astrale and my Polar HRM. Added a Garmin 800 with the performance package for Captain and a Bontrager Node 2.1 for Stoker (thanks, Ritterview). Stoker retained her Polar HRM. With this system, Stoker sees my HR on her Node, as well as her HR on her HRM. I don't need to see her HR. The effect of this is much faster acceleration and much greater ease in a paceline.

If I'm going harder than she is in a paceline, she immediately picks her HR up, which causes me to ease off, then she eases off, and soon we're in equilibrium and staying a foot off our wheel. Coming into a climb or bridging up, there is a slight lag as my HR comes up and then she comes up to match it, but I'm sure not complaining! If we each had a powermeter, it would be instantaneous, but it doesn't need to be. What a difference, anyway! Highly recommended for the motivated team.

We had a great ride. It was fairly easy at only 2500' of climbing in 73 miles, but we made up for that by going harder, averaging over 16 which is very good for us. Maybe a record for that distance. My knee is OK again. We were both in the hardly-able-to-walk-to-the-beer state at the end.

Once we figure out how to navigate with the Garmin, we'll trade electronics. She'll have the 800 and I'll have the Node. I'm the electronics pioneer for the team.
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Old 05-13-12, 02:00 PM   #2
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I upgraded our electronics for Saturday's ride. Removed Stoker's Cateye Astrale and my Polar HRM. Added a Garmin 800 with the performance package for Captain and a Bontrager Node 2.1 for Stoker...
How avidly and tenaciously does the new Node 2.1 pick up the Garmin Cadence/Speed sensor? The Node 2 we have doesn't pick it up as readily as our Garmin.

Node 2.................................................................................................... .............Node 2.1



Since you have a Garmin Edge 800 now, the next move is to get Above Category's computer mount, the Bar Fly. It is much nicer to have the computer mounted ahead on the handlebar.

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Old 05-13-12, 02:24 PM   #3
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Too bad the ANT+ Bontrager DuoTrap Digital Speed/Cadence Sensor is proprietary for Trek bicycles. It must be an improvement on the ungainly, unreliable much-maligned Garmin Cadence/Speed sensor.



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Say goodbye to zip ties! The DuoTrap sensor is an ANT+ compatible 2.4GHz wireless sensor that fits directly into the chainstay of certain Trek bicycles for a clean look that preserves aerodynamics and installs in seconds providing both speed and cadence signals.
What is needed is a chainstay mount, that would allow the use of the DuoTrap on non-Trek bicycles.
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Old 05-13-12, 03:12 PM   #4
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How avidly and tenaciously does the new Node 2.1 pick up the Garmin Cadence/Speed sensor? The Node 2 we have doesn't pick it up as readily as our Garmin.
<snip>
Since you have a Garmin Edge 800 now, the next move is to get Above Category's computer mount, the Bar Fly. It is much nicer to have the computer mounted ahead on the handlebar.
I don't know. I'll try swapping them on our next ride. The Node on Stoker's bars had no trouble at all picking up the speed and cadence sensors. My HR got dropped fairly frequently, though. An annoyance, but cycling the secondary display brought it right back. I was using the Garmin strap, not the one that came with the Node.

That Bar Fly looks great. Will solve mounting issues for both Captain and Stoker. Mount ahead of the bar for Captain, behind the bar for Stoker.
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Old 05-13-12, 03:45 PM   #5
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A helpful site for learning to use and creating routes for the Garmin 800 is ridewithgps.com.
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Old 05-13-12, 04:31 PM   #6
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A helpful site for learning to use and creating routes for the Garmin 800 is ridewithgps.com.
What I need is instruction on how to navigate with the thing without running over 2' square chunks of automobile, like I did while pulling on Saturday. Seemed like I just looked at it for an instant, and bam!

It's fairly easy to read in direct sunlight, but not so good in the shade even with the backlight turned all the way up.
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Old 05-13-12, 05:40 PM   #7
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What I need is instruction on how to navigate with the thing without running over 2' square chunks of automobile, like I did while pulling on Saturday. Seemed like I just looked at it for an instant, and bam!

It's fairly easy to read in direct sunlight, but not so good in the shade even with the backlight turned all the way up.
I had to change the angle of mine so I could see it better, I put a piece of rubber under the front of the mount and it made it easier to see. I also wear a pair of Smith sunglasses that have a light colored lense that makes it easier to see the screen in the shade.
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Old 05-13-12, 05:53 PM   #8
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I have used a Garmin Edge 305 since 2006 and have no trouble reading its monochrome display in sun or shade but some have told me that different brands of sunglasses can have a negative effect. Does it help to not use shades or to use a different brand with the 800?
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Old 05-13-12, 06:01 PM   #9
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I have used a Garmin Edge 305 since 2006 and have no trouble reading its monochrome display in sun or shade but some have told me that different brands of sunglasses can have a negative effect. Does it help to not use shades or to use a different brand with the 800?
Good thought. I'll try that.
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Old 05-13-12, 09:19 PM   #10
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Polarized glasses will often struggle with the LCD screens on today's electronics. "Blind" folks like me who buy polarized prescription sunglasses might have more likelihood of trouble with the alignment of the polarization, because they might want to rotate the lens to handle the astigmatism correction/alignment. I had a set of Oakleys that were a pain; I fell and scratched up the lenses, so I had bought new lenses. The new ones had much better alignment. My current prescription/polarized/bifocal sunglasses aren't so good - the Garmin is visible but my Joule appears to have streaks (the numbers are still OK). My car radio is partially dim; if I lean my head left it gets better, but if I lean my head right the screen "goes blank".
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Old 05-18-12, 01:48 PM   #11
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We've now tried the 800 on captain's and stoker's bars and the Bontrager Node 2.1 in the opposite postions. We found that the Garmin chest strap really needs Buh Bump cream under it even for a short ride, unlike the Polar straps which mostly work well with spit. Otherwise, both instruments received good signals from all sensors, no matter which position they are in. We also will try putting the HRM electrodes on the captain's back, as suggested by the Garmin manual.

We much prefer the 800 on Stoker's bars! And so far the 800 has been pretty much useless for guiding us on a course. Apparently there are a lot of tricks for creating courses and getting the Garmin to follow them. So far we've tried gpx and tcx courses, both with poor results, but like I say, we probably just don't know the tricks yet. No way would this thing have guided us anywhere. The only way we got to where we were going is because I'd ridden the routes many times. More study necessary. If anyone has favorite online sources for these tricks, would love to get links. Most noted problems are the thing wanting to turn us around and reverse course, often using streets which don't exist. It should just follow the bread crumbs on tcx courses, but so far does not.

Ah - apparently the trick to use tcx courses and turn off all navigation aids, all of them.

Last edited by Carbonfiberboy; 05-18-12 at 06:47 PM. Reason: Turning off aids
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Old 05-19-12, 07:05 PM   #12
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We've now tried the 800 on captain's and stoker's bars and the Bontrager Node 2.1 in the opposite postions. We found that the Garmin chest strap really needs Buh Bump cream under it even for a short ride, unlike the Polar straps which mostly work well with spit. ... We also will try putting the HRM electrodes on the captain's back, as suggested by the Garmin manual.
Am I the only person in the world who doesn't need any kind of electrode cream? I'd like to think that I'm not that sweaty?!
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Old 05-19-12, 07:25 PM   #13
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We've now tried the 800 on captain's and stoker's bars and the Bontrager Node 2.1 in the opposite postions. We found that the Garmin chest strap really needs Buh Bump cream under it even for a short ride, unlike the Polar straps which mostly work well with spit. Otherwise, both instruments received good signals from all sensors, no matter which position they are in. We also will try putting the HRM electrodes on the captain's back, as suggested by the Garmin manual.

We much prefer the 800 on Stoker's bars! And so far the 800 has been pretty much useless for guiding us on a course. Apparently there are a lot of tricks for creating courses and getting the Garmin to follow them. So far we've tried gpx and tcx courses, both with poor results, but like I say, we probably just don't know the tricks yet. No way would this thing have guided us anywhere. The only way we got to where we were going is because I'd ridden the routes many times. More study necessary. If anyone has favorite online sources for these tricks, would love to get links. Most noted problems are the thing wanting to turn us around and reverse course, often using streets which don't exist. It should just follow the bread crumbs on tcx courses, but so far does not.

Ah - apparently the trick to use tcx courses and turn off all navigation aids, all of them.
Check out this site: http://ridewithgps.com/edge_800. It offers some great tips for using the 800.
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Old 05-20-12, 01:11 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
We much prefer the 800 on Stoker's bars! And so far the 800 has been pretty much useless for guiding us on a course. Apparently there are a lot of tricks for creating courses and getting the Garmin to follow them. So far we've tried gpx and tcx courses, both with poor results, but like I say, we probably just don't know the tricks yet. No way would this thing have guided us anywhere. The only way we got to where we were going is because I'd ridden the routes many times. More study necessary. If anyone has favorite online sources for these tricks, would love to get links. Most noted problems are the thing wanting to turn us around and reverse course, often using streets which don't exist. It should just follow the bread crumbs on tcx courses, but so far does not.

Ah - apparently the trick to use tcx courses and turn off all navigation aids, all of them.
I've had great success with following routes on my Garmin 800 by simply having the Garmin draw the line to follow on the map. I don't know how to get the thing to give me warnings about when to turn, how far to the next location, etc, because I don't want them. I just turn on the function to "always display" the route that I want to follow, then ride as normally and try to stay on the black line. Occasionally I decide to deviate off the line a little when I find a better way to go, but then merge back on eventually. I would hate having a computer tell me that I'm going the wrong way when I make these improvements to the route, so the lack of guidance/direction info is ideal for me.
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Old 05-20-12, 06:43 PM   #15
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The advanced TCX file from ridewithgps seems to work great. Used it on today's 100K; I had to stop and restart the course just once when the organizer's tcx didn't quite agree with the course. I have the Bar Fly on really like it as with its secure mount the touchscreen and buttons are much easier to use.

I've had 705 and 800 for at least four years and have had no issue with the Cadence sensor. granted, it's not elegant, but our tandem has rack, trunk, Garmins, headsets, ClickStand, pump, three chains, three freewheels; the cadence sensor just blends in.
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Old 05-20-12, 11:56 PM   #16
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Using a Garmin to follow a course is very different from most folk's experience with using them in a car. In a car, you're mostly interested in going point to point. Users allow the Garmin to determine the route. In fact, this is what they bought it to do. I suppose one could use it this way when bike touring, depending on how one could jigger the "avoids." However, our usage is to follow a very particular track on a route which we have designed. We want to go on certain roads and no others, and to go to no place in particular, just follow a course.

After a few discussions with a randonneuring buddy of mine, who's been randoing with a GPS for a couple of years, I discovered that this works like a charm:
Create a route at bikely.com
Export to GPX because unfortunately bikely won't export to TCX
Import the GPX into bikeroutetoaster.com
Give the track a name and save it
Export to TCX. Rename the exported file.
Copy the TCX file to the Garmin in Garmin/Newfiles
Go "Safely Remove Hardware", unplug the Garmin and turn it on. It will create a course in a .fit file and the TCX you uploaded with disappear from the Newfiles directory.
Go Menu/Wrench (Spanner)/Routing
Calculate Routes for Bicycle
Guidance Method On Road for Distance
Lock on Road: No
Turn off all Avoids
Recalculate: Off
Go back to Menu
Go Courses, pick your course
Go Wrench again
Turn Guidance: On
Virtual Partner: Off
Off Course Warnings: On
Go Map Display
I set Always Display: Off
Color: green
Course Points: On

Set up like this, an 800 will follow a course very reliably, give you turn warnings, show you where you are, etc. I also set up the Map screen with data fields of HR and Distance, which helps me.
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