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Techy gadget nerds - GPS device

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Techy gadget nerds - GPS device

Old 07-28-14, 01:33 PM
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Techy gadget nerds - GPS device

So I wanted to ask my fellow Clydes and Athenas what they like. I am looking at getting a GPS tracking device for my rides and want something I can dial in on my road bike (cadence, speed, etc) and then swap to my commuter/MTB and just record a ride and not have to worry about the super specifics. I also would love to upload past rides as well as GPS mapping files to follow on a pre-built ride (something I might do or for an organized event).

I am not too worried about power meters or any of that jazz, I'd like to know and record cadence, speed, map the ride, and heart rate (although not necessary).

I am looking at the Garmin devices because of their reputation, and eyeballing the 200, 500, and 510. I read DCrainmakers reviews on them all, I think I know the differences, but wanted people's personal experiences with them.

If I understand the big difference is the 200 will not allow for uploaded rides? The 510 allows to have someone track me online if I have it connected to my phone, but the 500 seems like the best bang for the buck.

Anyone ever used one for fitness but not necessarily racing? I don't need something that I am training on just something that is practical and works well, I see the 700 series are no longer supported or made so don't want to be left out in the rain per say.
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Old 07-28-14, 02:24 PM
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The edge 500 is definitely a capable little bike computer, and they're fairly inexpensive now. the 800 is a nice step up with some extremely irritating navigation quirks. the "10" models (510, 810) are newer and apparently less bug free than the average user would like. I have a 500 and a 800 fwiw and prefer the 800 despite the aforementioned irritating navigation quirks. you can get a speed and cadence sensor (optional) for each bike and then before your ride, just identify which bike you'll be on and off you go. Garmin can usually store at least 5 bikes.

I have seen some positive things lately about magellan's bike computers. The cyclo 500 series is apparently pretty good, and speculation (by me) is that Garmin rushed out their edge 1000 because of it.

Whever you do, NEVER buy Garmin's latest and greatest. They never seem to work correctly out of the box until at least a few firmware updates. And they're priced sky high as well.
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Old 07-28-14, 02:36 PM
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I love what my 500 does. The cadence/speed sensor is being a bit finicky right now, but I think it's my fault. It moved on me and I ended up moving it more because the speed sensor was double registering the magnet, and when I tweaked it to make it work the cadence magnet started double registering. Need to slide it farther back along the chain stay a bit.

Don't bother getting a package with the HRM. I like the cadence/speed sensor (when I haven't messed it up), but the HRM straps have been nothing but a problem, and that included a warrantee replacement to the new style. The monitor itself is great, but the strap doesn't last that long. If you want heart rate monitor functionality get a competitor's ANT+ transmitter.

Battery life on the 500 is really good, and they're decently priced at the moment.
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Old 07-28-14, 03:18 PM
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Thanks for the thoughts. I am leaning more towards the 500 with the cadence/speed sensor. I have a HRM that works with my phone but that is bluetooth...but it works well and I can record only my HR and go back and match it if I really cared.
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Old 07-28-14, 05:51 PM
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If you're not needing the schmancy aspects of the 510 with its colour touchscreen, then the 500 is a great device.
You can set up 3 different bikes on it and then just select from them before you go out and ride. If you have an HRM or Speed/Cadence sensor it can auto sense them, and it will pick up the difference between the speed/cadence sensor for different bikes when you select them from your list.
There's the option to select how many different screens of information the device will scroll through, and you can choose what information will appear on each of those screens. So you can avoid showing things like Power/Wattage, or Heart Rate if you don't use a power meter or HRM, and have it show things like Total Ascent or Maximum Speed or whatever you want. I think there are something like 70 different options to select from.

It's not a colour screen or a touch screen, just a 4 button interface from the corners/sides. It's easy to read, but not overly huge. There can be some glare in the sun, but the mount is easy enough to re-angle it if you need to.
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Old 07-28-14, 06:08 PM
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You probably know this but the 200 does not have heart rate or cadence. It also only can be set up for 1 bicycle. It really just does speed, distance. It will track you and you can upload the ride to Garmin Connect, Map My Ride and Strava etc. You get altitude from the GPS files. Garmin Connect says they use data from very detailed maps to get altitude when you upload the ride. The 500 and higher use barometric altimeters.

If you also want navigation the 200 is also a bit limited. You can download courses but you don't get a real map. It will show you turns coming up but just bread crumb maps. I'm not sure of the navigational capabilities of the 500.

I have a 200. I wish that I had gotten the 500.

Bill

Last edited by LongT; 07-28-14 at 08:14 PM. Reason: clarification
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Old 07-28-14, 07:53 PM
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I love my Edge 500. No complaints.
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Old 07-28-14, 08:14 PM
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I would not waste my money on any of the dedicated GPS devices. In my experience and based on the specifications, the receivers on these devices are slow in nature and react slowly to changes in the route. The added benefit of cadence, etc is null. If you have a smart phone it would be a better option. There are plenty of apps available for them and sensors you can purchase. With the advent of Bluetooth Low Energy, many phones are compatible with these sensors. Another plus, is that they combine with the maps app on the phone to provide you with clear directions, etc. You can look this up before you go and spend over $400.00 on a device that you can only use on the bike and is marginal in performance at best.
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Old 07-28-14, 08:45 PM
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Originally Posted by jdevarie
I would not waste my money on any of the dedicated GPS devices. In my experience and based on the specifications, the receivers on these devices are slow in nature and react slowly to changes in the route. The added benefit of cadence, etc is null. If you have a smart phone it would be a better option. There are plenty of apps available for them and sensors you can purchase. With the advent of Bluetooth Low Energy, many phones are compatible with these sensors. Another plus, is that they combine with the maps app on the phone to provide you with clear directions, etc. You can look this up before you go and spend over $400.00 on a device that you can only use on the bike and is marginal in performance at best.
rregards,
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With all due respect it may be 'null' for you however it may not be for the OP who stated...

...something I can dial in on my road bike (cadence, speed, etc) and then swap to my commuter/MTB...

Sure, one can go out and get all kinds of other sensors that may work with other apps but for simplicity sake... get a Garmin 500 and be done with it.
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Old 07-28-14, 08:48 PM
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I hope that this isn't a thread hijack but.. I was looking at a Garmin 500. Garmin had a factory refurbished one for $163.95 USD. Complete with 1 year warranty. Any one have experience with factory refurbished? I didn't think they would repair them.

A long time ago, when CBs were popular, my father knew a distributor of CBs. He said that, at least back then, the refurished ones were better because a technician actually worked on and repaired them. The same with these?

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Old 07-28-14, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by IBOHUNT
With all due respect it may be 'null' for you however it may not be for the OP who stated...

...something I can dial in on my road bike (cadence, speed, etc) and then swap to my commuter/MTB...

Sure, one can go out and get all kinds of other sensors that may work with other apps but for simplicity sake... get a Garmin 500 and be done with it.
No offense taken. Opinions are like belly buttons, everyone has one. Anyways, I realize I may not have been as sensitive to those that swear by the garmin. I personally, having used gamins before, think that they are kind of over rated.
In my case, using a phone app and spending less than $50.00 for a sensor that will give me cadence, is a better option. Updated maps all the time with the smart phone is a big plus given the fact that one is likely seeking a gps device for the mapping features although speed also plays a role.

Anyways, it is my opinion and given to the OP, no one is obligated to take it at face value.

jd
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Old 07-28-14, 09:32 PM
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Originally Posted by LongT
I hope that this isn't a thread hijack but.. I was looking at a Garmin 500. Garmin had a factory refurbished one for $163.95 USD. Complete with 1 year warranty. Any one have experience with factory refurbished? I didn't think they would repair them.

A long time ago, when CBs were popular, my father knew a distributor of CBs. He said that, at least back then, the refurished ones were better because a technician actually worked on and repaired them. The same with these?
No. Devices like the Garmin 500 aren't generally repairable. Sure, you might be able to swap in a new logic board or screen, but it's not like somebody with a soldering iron is going to remove a single chip or component and replace it with a new one. Refurbished in this case probably means that somebody bought the item, opened the box, and then returned it for some reason (ex: they didn't like the way it worked, couldn't live with early software bugs, etc). As long as you know exactly what you're getting, refurbished components can be a good deal.
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Old 07-28-14, 11:50 PM
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Garmin 500 here and using with 3 bikes. Have power meter, cadence and speed sensor on my main road bike, cadence and speed sensor on my alternate road bike as well as my hybrid fitness bike/commuter/errand bike. I use the HR strap that came with my Forerunner (? Think that was the cpname) 305 wrist style in 2011.

No issues. I won't be upgrading until the 500 dies.
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Old 07-29-14, 02:37 AM
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A word in favor of the eTrex 20/30 over the more training oriented Edge series here. For me, I found the eTrexes I've owned (both a 20 and a 30) to be less expensive than the Edge series GPS's. Both of mine were bought as refurbished units and both have worked fine. I like the visible/scrolling maps and find the more general versatility than the Edge series works for me - ie., I can use the eTrexes for hiking and geocaching, for instance, while the Edge series wouldn't work as well. Also, the eTrexes seem easier to "expand" via microSd cards (I could be wrong there). YMMV.
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Old 07-29-14, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by dual650c
A word in favor of the eTrex 20/30 over the more training oriented Edge series here. For me, I found the eTrexes I've owned (both a 20 and a 30) to be less expensive than the Edge series GPS's. Both of mine were bought as refurbished units and both have worked fine. I like the visible/scrolling maps and find the more general versatility than the Edge series works for me - ie., I can use the eTrexes for hiking and geocaching, for instance, while the Edge series wouldn't work as well. Also, the eTrexes seem easier to "expand" via microSd cards (I could be wrong there). YMMV.
+1. I use a hiking GPS, a Garmin Oregon 550 which is similar to the Etrex 20 and 30 except that it has a touch screen instead of buttons. I've had good luck with it. It's compatible with heart rate and cadence sensors and excellent free or non-free maps are available. I can download routes from MapMyRide and ridewithgps and upload to those or Strava or Garmin Connect.
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Old 07-29-14, 09:42 AM
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My issue is I can seem to get a phone with the battery life I want and I refuse to get a iFail....sorry I cannot stand apple products. I did run a Polar bluetooth HRM the last couple of seasons and really liked that, but I was limited in the phones capabilities to handle a 6 hour ride (for instance). If I were to get a phone I'd be spending what it would plus some than just getting a Garmin, and I have no real reason to get a new phone (I have a Galaxy SII thats been rooted and tweaked). I figure I'd be in $500 for a new phone plus sensors, so $300 on a Garmin makes more financial sense to me. I appreciate the thoughts but I don't think I could sell my wife in a new phone and sensors when there is nothing wrong with the phone I have!

I think I'd be leaning towards a Garmin more, especially since I have an Amazon Prime account and can get a deal on the unit with sensors.

Oh and side note: Amazon Warehouse is da-bomb. I have gotten some slick deals from them so far.


Originally Posted by jdevarie
I would not waste my money on any of the dedicated GPS devices. In my experience and based on the specifications, the receivers on these devices are slow in nature and react slowly to changes in the route. The added benefit of cadence, etc is null. If you have a smart phone it would be a better option. There are plenty of apps available for them and sensors you can purchase. With the advent of Bluetooth Low Energy, many phones are compatible with these sensors. Another plus, is that they combine with the maps app on the phone to provide you with clear directions, etc. You can look this up before you go and spend over $400.00 on a device that you can only use on the bike and is marginal in performance at best.
rregards,
Jim
Originally Posted by IBOHUNT
With all due respect it may be 'null' for you however it may not be for the OP who stated...

...something I can dial in on my road bike (cadence, speed, etc) and then swap to my commuter/MTB...

Sure, one can go out and get all kinds of other sensors that may work with other apps but for simplicity sake... get a Garmin 500 and be done with it.
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Old 07-29-14, 09:44 AM
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Interesting, I am looking at those now as well. Thanks for throwing those on my radar, never thought a hiking one would have the ability to use a cadence sensor. Plus some gravel trails and such are in my future riding plans. Possibly doing the C&O trail and maybe combine that with the GAP trail as well.....350+ miles off road!


Originally Posted by dual650c
A word in favor of the eTrex 20/30 over the more training oriented Edge series here. For me, I found the eTrexes I've owned (both a 20 and a 30) to be less expensive than the Edge series GPS's. Both of mine were bought as refurbished units and both have worked fine. I like the visible/scrolling maps and find the more general versatility than the Edge series works for me - ie., I can use the eTrexes for hiking and geocaching, for instance, while the Edge series wouldn't work as well. Also, the eTrexes seem easier to "expand" via microSd cards (I could be wrong there). YMMV.
Originally Posted by unabowler
+1. I use a hiking GPS, a Garmin Oregon 550 which is similar to the Etrex 20 and 30 except that it has a touch screen instead of buttons. I've had good luck with it. It's compatible with heart rate and cadence sensors and excellent free or non-free maps are available. I can download routes from MapMyRide and ridewithgps and upload to those or Strava or Garmin Connect.
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Old 07-29-14, 01:07 PM
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Una, I noticed the 550 has been discontinued and the 550T seems to be a replacement. Was your unit glitchy? I like the more versatility to something like the Oregon or eTrex units. Plus the ruggedness of them is also appealing, since I am really hard on things.




Originally Posted by unabowler
+1. I use a hiking GPS, a Garmin Oregon 550 which is similar to the Etrex 20 and 30 except that it has a touch screen instead of buttons. I've had good luck with it. It's compatible with heart rate and cadence sensors and excellent free or non-free maps are available. I can download routes from MapMyRide and ridewithgps and upload to those or Strava or Garmin Connect.
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Old 07-29-14, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Chitown_Mike
Una, I noticed the 550 has been discontinued and the 550T seems to be a replacement. Was your unit glitchy? I like the more versatility to something like the Oregon or eTrex units. Plus the ruggedness of them is also appealing, since I am really hard on things.
The 550 is discontinued but the 600 series is really the replacement, I think. The difference between the 450 and the 550 is that the 550 has a built-in camera and a charger, and the difference between the 550 and the 550T is the 550T has preloaded topographical maps. Not sure if the 450 is discontinued but they are still available some places. Was my 550 glitchy? Never noticed any glitches at all, and yes they are extremely rugged.
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Old 07-29-14, 01:26 PM
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The Sigma Rox 10.0 might be an option to consider as well, meeting all of the requirements you mentioned and at a cheaper price than Garmin. I believe it's most comparable to the 500. I'm very happy with mine.
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Old 07-29-14, 03:19 PM
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I really like the look of the 10, plus chatted with a tech over at their US location and great info.


Originally Posted by ckFoxTrot
The Sigma Rox 10.0 might be an option to consider as well, meeting all of the requirements you mentioned and at a cheaper price than Garmin. I believe it's most comparable to the 500. I'm very happy with mine.
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Old 07-29-14, 03:32 PM
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Phone Apps = dead phone battery on longish rides.

Other than weight loss, upping my cadence has been the biggest improvement I've made in my ability to up my average speeds. I bought a $200 Garmin 800 a couple of years ago when they went on sale. I've enjoyed it thoroughly, however I don't use the navigation features. It seems with Garmin you are better off with their 1-2 year old Tech.
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Old 07-30-14, 07:26 AM
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I loved my Edge 500, but i took it off and sold it. Replaced with cyclemeter and my I-phone.
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Old 07-30-14, 08:21 AM
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My wife who rides everyday, has been using the Polar CS600x CS600X GPS-Enabled Cycling Computer with Heart Rate | Polar Global
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Old 07-30-14, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by bbeasley
Phone Apps = dead phone battery on longish rides.
Agreed. My iPhone stays in my seat bag unless I need to call for help. My Garmin Edge 800 (and the Edge 705 before it) is the device attached to my handlebars on every ride. Love it!
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