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Can a Garmin user answer this question?

Old 11-09-19, 09:00 AM
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Can a Garmin user answer this question?

Hi all. I am (still) trying to choose between a Wahoo Elemnt Roam and a Garmin Edge 530 or 830. A key feature, for me, is the ability to have ride data (speed and distance) on the same screen as the map. I know the Wahoo unit will do this because of this pic, but am wondering if the Garmins will allow that, too?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 11-09-19, 09:04 AM
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The Garmins can also display two data fields on the map screen.

I would take the Wahoo over the Garmin any day of the week, but that's just me.
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Old 11-09-19, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
The Garmins can also display two data fields on the map screen.

I would take the Wahoo over the Garmin any day of the week, but that's just me.
Dr, you've used both? Care to elaborate?

Thanks for the response!
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Old 11-09-19, 09:29 AM
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I felt the same way about garmin vs. Wahoo until they came out with the 830. I took a chance and bought the 830, and I have been happy with it. I should set mine up to display distance and time on the map.
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Old 11-09-19, 09:34 AM
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Two years with a 520, approaching two years with an Elemnt Bolt. Hardware-wise, they're both fully competent units. The differences in the software are almost incomparable. I've had the Garmin freeze on the launch screen so many times, I can remember the horrific, convoluted process that needs to be done to fix it-- which involves a series of "hold this button" while plugging it into a PC. The Wahoo has never even been in the house. It does everything via Bluetooth, and 95% of it's programming is done through the phone app. The buttons work better. The battery lasts longer. It never randomly eats rides, or has what I term "GPS strokes" in which the Garmin momentarily loses the satellite lock, and defaults to zero time, sometimes adding 30 hours to a ride time. The Garmin did this so often, I kept fitfiletools.com on my bookmarks bar.

Restart in the middle of a ride without warning? Yeah, a Garmin will do that. Work absolutely perfectly for 3 months, then quietly update its firmware and stop working entirely? Oh yeah. Fill up with .gpx files, never tell you, and start crashing randomly, needing to be put into Mass Storage Mode and cleaned manually, via a computer? Absolutely. Garmin software is pretty much terrible. The Wahoo does everything user-related better, faster, and more intuitively. From the very first ride that I clamped the Wahoo onto the bars, I said "this feels like a bike computer that was made by people who have actually ridden a bicycle." And I still feel the same way now, literally hundreds of rides later.
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Old 11-09-19, 10:36 AM
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If my 800 had done half of that it would have been gone. There was one time this year that it stopped navigating late at night when I really needed it, and I was questioning my sanity for thinking about getting another garmin. The people I know with 810 and 820 had more firmware problems, but I think an update this year actually fixed most of them.

But the 830 had yet to do anything I didn't like, and I ran it for 600km at a time on PBP. The bluetooth connection is really nice, at least it's nice once a connection has been established. I didn't have a computer in France, so all route uploads had to be done via bluetooth. I was a little concerned when there was a last minute course change, but the new course downloaded without issue. RWGPS has an app that I use.

Our fleche team got off to a late start because someone couldn't get the route to download onto his wahoo. I think it finally worked. i'm not sure what the problem was that time.
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Old 11-09-19, 10:40 AM
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DrIsotopes comments about the Wahoo having a reputation for greater reliability *can* be true, but it’s also dependent on which Garmin device. Some have reputations for being really flaky, others not so bad. My 810 sucked, my 1000 didn’t, neither does my 1030. The first 1030 was such a POS I returned it, got a 2nd and have had no issues. 820’s I read have issues, 830’s or Explore seem very rock solid.

The Wahoo Bolt I had worked really well. I think the concept of setting everything up on the phone is overrated, I’ve never had issues figuring out a Garmin. I returned the Bolt cause A) the maps basically suck. It’s a B&W image with very little detail and no street names. Completely road centric maps as well, so less useful if going into the woods and you cannot add different maps, Topo as example to a Wahoo and B) The Wahoo Turn-By-Turn display goes white text on black background, is very difficult to read with sunglasses on, and is something Wahoo doesn’t have any adjustment for. Thus I found it annoying to deal with and between that and crappy maps just gave up.

As the OP indicated he wanted some form of maps on screen, I’d recommend Garmin. Color does make a difference else Wahoo never would have bothered with the Roam. I would note to the OP though, that keeping the map displayed all the time EATS battery life. Thus do some thinking as to what you want displayed and why.
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Old 11-09-19, 10:56 AM
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I routinely displayed the map on the 800 and the 1030 and have no trouble doing a century on one charge.

The Wahoos provide the same level/method of navigation that the 520 does. This method uses turn instructions embedded in the file. The Wahoo might display these in a better way.

The Garmins starting "numerically" with the 520+ can calculate routes on the device. The can also use the embedded instructions (Garmin calls them "course points") but they also can calculate turn instructions to follow the loaded track. They can also calculate a route to a place (like car units and phones do). This can create less than optimal routes but it can be a useful feature anyway.

===================================

By default, the Garmins can display two data fields on the map screen. There are IQ apps that let you display more (the 530/830 screens might be kind of small for that).

The newer Garmins let you install apps to them (kind of like a smartphone).

The Garmins let you load maps to them.

I had a 800 that I very rarely had problems with. I have a 1030 that seems to be as reliable (I haven't done any really-long rides with it).

Garmin seems to need some time to shake-out the software in new units. It seems, maybe, that Garmin is getting better at fixing issues.

People like the Wahoo units. One reason they might be more reliable is because they don't do as much.
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Old 11-09-19, 01:08 PM
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Navigation is, for whatever reasons, apparently very difficult to implement in a cycling computer. As soon as nav functions get added on, things start to go awry. I lived for a year with a Hammerhead Karoo, which arguably does navigation better than any other bike-specific device, and inarguably displays it better than any other. But the other failings of the software put it on par with a typical Garmin offering-- it ate rides, it randomly rebooted, it made every ride an adventure. So I was wholly willing to take less features in exchange for stability and battery life. The Bolt's "no names just lines" map is enough for me, and the barebones TBT actually works well enough to be at the very least serviceable. The Bolt has been utterly hassle-free since day one... but I might use actual nav features once a month. I think I might use TBT 2-3 times a year. If navigation features are at the top of your list, I would look at a computer geared more directly towards that. Or more likely slap a smartphone + external battery on the stem and run RWGPS on a nice enormous screen.
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Old 11-09-19, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
Navigation is, for whatever reasons, apparently very difficult to implement in a cycling computer. As soon as nav functions get added on, things start to go awry. I lived for a year with a Hammerhead Karoo, which arguably does navigation better than any other bike-specific device, and inarguably displays it better than any other. But the other failings of the software put it on par with a typical Garmin offering-- it ate rides, it randomly rebooted, it made every ride an adventure. So I was wholly willing to take less features in exchange for stability and battery life. The Bolt's "no names just lines" map is enough for me, and the barebones TBT actually works well enough to be at the very least serviceable. The Bolt has been utterly hassle-free since day one... but I might use actual nav features once a month. I think I might use TBT 2-3 times a year. If navigation features are at the top of your list, I would look at a computer geared more directly towards that. Or more likely slap a smartphone + external battery on the stem and run RWGPS on a nice enormous screen.
Well, my Lezyne Super GPS is very bare-bones, but it does work reasonably well with few occasional glitches. But it's map is even more spartan than the Bolt's, and when you are looking at the map you can see no other data. For long gravel races, I would like to be able to navigate with a map and keep an eye on my speed and distance.

One thing that the Lezyne does have going for it is enormous battery life...But it's other shortcomings (in relation to fancier computers) keep me always on the lookout.

Thanks so much for your detailed responses, DrIsotope.
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Old 11-10-19, 09:53 AM
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Since this came up, I'll chime in that the maps page on my watch (Garmin Fenix) drains the battery noticably faster than the other pages too. That's ok though, it gets 52 hours of every-second GPS from a charge. 🙂
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Old 11-10-19, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
Dr, you've used both? Care to elaborate?

Thanks for the response!
Garmin's IDGAF attitude towards software development and QA in their cycling division products. It has been a thing since the Edge series first came out. Many a Wahoo user is a veteran Garmin user who refuses to give that company a single dime more of their hard earned money. Garmin used to have a monopoly....now that other people are building competitive products and consumers have a choice--they're leaving. The reason Ride with GPS and FIT File Repair Tool exist, among lots of others (Bike Route Toaster etc.)...is because Garmin didn't developed their own consumer bike routing and corrupt-file repair tools in house...and left other people to pick up the pieces to implement desparately wanted features....whike they were too busy with Garmin Connect and making it not suck. It has truly been a Microsoft-level of abysmally minimal effort half-finishing products for a decade.

That is the shortest answer to a decade long soap opera of love/hate with Garmin's cycling products. I used most all the Edges from Edge205 to 1000, and then Wahoo got my love and $$$. I had enough.

The Roam itself is a tough value proposition, given how good the competition is and the price.
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Old 11-10-19, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Marcus_Ti View Post
The Roam itself is a tough value proposition, given how good the competition is and the price.
And the competition is...?

I know the Roam is competing with Wahoo's own Bolt, but it seems like the other direct competitors are the Garmin Edge 530 and 830. Are there others I should be considering?
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Old 11-10-19, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
And the competition is...?

I know the Roam is competing with Wahoo's own Bolt, but it seems like the other direct competitors are the Garmin Edge 530 and 830. Are there others I should be considering?
Edge Explore. It’s a simpler 1000/1030, @less than half the price of the 1030 ($249). Does fewer of the fitness functions of the 530, 830, 1030, only allows one set of data screens - so no activity profiles, cannot connect to Di2, yet has the same maps and you can add maps. It’s about the same size as the 1000/1030 so has a usable map screen. Good for navigation.

My one and only beef with the Explore is it’s currently not able to use the RWGPS iQ app to BT download a route for navigation. You can do it the older way and USB cable connect to a computer where you downloaded the .fit file, or can use Garmin Connect, which has a decent online course generator and whose files are BT ported to the device.
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Old 11-10-19, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
My one and only beef with the Explore is itís currently not able to use the RWGPS iQ app to BT download a route for navigation. You can do it the older way and USB cable connect to a computer where you downloaded the .fit file, or can use Garmin Connect, which has a decent online course generator and whose files are BT ported to the device.
The RWGPS app is supposed to work. I wonder what the problem is.

There are other IQ apps that let you download RWGPS routes.

They all do the downloads the same way.
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Old 11-10-19, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
The RWGPS app is supposed to work. I wonder what the problem is.

There are other IQ apps that let you download RWGPS routes.

They all do the downloads the same way.
I was puzzled as to the Explore status, e-mailed RWGPS tech. support, commenting to them that they support the Explore 820 and 1000 models, which are discontinued and need to support the newer Explore, they responded promptly with this:

"Happy to help. We have seen good results from the models we do support and I'm sure we will see the Explore supported soon. We currently only have a single engineer who works on the CIQ app and Garmin just released a series of firmware updates that we've been working to smooth out with the current models. Once he has time for new development, we'll move towards it. In the meantime, you can export a route from the Ride with GPS website to your Garmin unit with a wired connection using the steps listed here "

I have tried RouteCourse and found it unreliable and was not able to get RWGPS rides to my 1000. Curious as to other apps in the iQ format that allow a RWGPS route be BT downloaded ?. This is mostly for a friend who uses this unit. I use a 1030 and find the RWGPS iQ app works very well. Note that dor all I know the RWGPS *might* work on an Explore, never tried it as I don't own that unit.
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Old 11-10-19, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
The RWGPS app is supposed to work. I wonder what the problem is.

There are other IQ apps that let you download RWGPS routes.

They all do the downloads the same way.
I talked to RideWithGPS. They told me that the IQ app will be made to work with the Edge Explore at some point. He said the more people that email them about it the higher it will be on the list. He said "nothing is easy with Garmin ever" and that that they need write a different add for each Garmin divice. He told me that they are trying to write the apps for the devices they think has the most demand for it.

For now I'm using the GRouteLoader app. It works but I'll upgrade to the RideWithGPS IQ app when itís out. I load my Courses from RideWithGPS over USB I need to plug it in to charge anyway. But if I'm away from home and need to load a different Course or if I use the RideWithGPS phone app to edit a Course the GRouteLoader IQ app works.
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Old 11-10-19, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by mibike View Post
I

For now I'm using the GRouteLoader app.s.
Good to know, Iíll mention it to the buddy using the Explore
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Old 11-10-19, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
I was puzzled as to the Explore status, e-mailed RWGPS tech. support, commenting to them that they support the Explore 820 and 1000 models, which are discontinued and need to support the newer Explore, they responded promptly with this:
that allow a RWGPS route be BT downloaded ?
Err. The Explore isn't listed. It's the Explore 1000.

As it happens, there's no reason they don't support the Explore. There isn't anything their IQ app needs to do differently than the 1000.
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Old 11-10-19, 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by mibike View Post
He said "nothing is easy with Garmin ever" and that that they need write a different add for each Garmin divice. He told me that they are trying to write the apps for the devices they think has the most demand for it.
This isn't exactly true.

The Explore works like the 1000 as far as developing IQ apps go.

There can be differences related to screen dimensions and IQ version but those aren't issues with the Explore.

I suspect they just want to verify that their app works on a real unit.

Most IQ developers don't have the actual devices they have apps for.

The RWGPS app isn't that complicated.
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Old 11-10-19, 08:50 PM
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Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
Err. The Explore isn't listed. It's the Explore 1000.

As it happens, there's no reason they don't support the Explore. There isn't anything their IQ app needs to do differently than the 1000.
Yes, thatís what I meant when I wrote ďExplore 820 and 1000, as in Explore 1000. That would maybe not be clear, apologies,
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Old 11-10-19, 09:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
Yes, thatís what I meant when I wrote ďExplore 820 and 1000, as in Explore 1000. That would maybe not be clear, apologies,
Nah, the names are just confusing.
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Old 11-11-19, 08:08 AM
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I use my 520 on every ride (3 times a week). In the 2 years that I've been using it I think it has frozen twice and I've lost maybe a ride or two, but that's about it. All in all I would say it's been trouble free and I have even recommended them to friends.

I can understand the frustration with them. The 2 times mine froze I got really upset and probably spent 3 times as much time as was probably necessary in order to get it back up and running just because I was so upset and didn't want to RTFM.
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Old 11-11-19, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by mibike View Post
For now I'm using the GRouteLoader app. It works but I'll upgrade to the RideWithGPS IQ app when itís out. I load my Courses from RideWithGPS over USB I need to plug it in to charge anyway. But if I'm away from home and need to load a different Course or if I use the RideWithGPS phone app to edit a Course the GRouteLoader IQ app works.
The RWGPS app limits downloads to recent or pinned routes. GRouteLoader lets you use the course number to download any public route (so it still might be useful).
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Old 11-11-19, 01:48 PM
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[QUOTE=njkayaker;21204083]The RWGPS app limits downloads to recent or pinned routes. GRouteLoader lets you use the course number to download any public route (so it still might be useful).[/QUOTE

Does it list all the routes youíve saved ?. Iíve learned to open an assortment of routes in RWGPS to have them as the recents.
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