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Help me pick a bike computer - priority is mapping without having to use my glasses

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Help me pick a bike computer - priority is mapping without having to use my glasses

Old 01-04-21, 04:41 PM
  #1  
howardv
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Help me pick a bike computer - priority is mapping without having to use my glasses

I live in Los Angeles. I ride road, gravel, and mountain. For years, Strava running on my cell phone had sufficed. I have to put my cell phone on airplane mode to conserve batteries (some rides are 10+ hours). Directions don't work in offline mode. As I'm in my 50's, my eyes have difficulty seeing the screen on my phone, so I have to take out my glasses when I need to look at the map. Also, there is no reception at times, and offline Google maps doesn't store trails.

Looking to get my first bike computer. I'd like to create routes at home and have it give me turn-by-turn directions as I ride. BIG letters and maps would help. It also has to be good at single track trails in the middle of nowhere. Battery life must easily extend beyond 12 hours with it always on with speed and elevation info (is that possible?). And could it tell me which trails ban bicycles (wishful thinking?). Not sure whether Wahoo or Garmin is better for my needs (or some other brand). Thanks for the help!
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Old 01-04-21, 05:23 PM
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If you just need reading glasses to see close up, you can buy wrap around sunglasses that have inserts with reading glass lenses like bifocals. I use these, gray tint for sunny days, brown tint on overcast days.
https://www.readers.com/bridgewater-...l?showid=41954

I got 2.5 strength because my GPS is pretty close to my eyes when I have my hands on my handlebars.

Some construction supply stores have similar safety glasses, for example Home Depot.

I also got some yellow ones for rain or fog or nighttime use, different brand and model. My yellow tint ones are 3.0 strength.
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Old 01-05-21, 08:47 AM
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I would suggest going to a bike shop or big box store that carries both the Garmin and Wahoo bike computers and see which one is easier for you to see. I'm 74 and use a Wahoo Bolt. I find it extremely easy to see the screen using standard sunglasses. I prefer grey scale screens because of the better contrast between the numbers and the background. Another computer you may want to consider is the Bryton Rider 530. My riding buddy has one and it's really easy to see and has a really nice sized screen.

As far as navigation, both the Wahoo and Garmin computers will do what you are wanting to do. The difference between the two is the mapping detail. If you need to know the street names surrounding the route you are following, go with a Garmin. otherwise, I think the maps on a Bolt are much easier to follow. Both have turn by turn directions and both notify you ahead of time of where the next turn will be. Again, if your main concern is being able to see the maps without your glasses, the best way to decided which one is right for you is to actually look at both of them and go from there. The Bryton also has nice navigation but it doesn't have street names on the map. Not sure on how well it does on turn by turn navigation or how easy it is to download a route to it. Downloading a route to a Wahoo product is extremely easy when using RideWithGPS as the route creator.
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Old 01-05-21, 09:37 AM
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It's hard to beat the screen size of the Garmin 1030 (with or without +).
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Old 01-05-21, 10:38 AM
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I was gifted a Wahoo Roam. I requested it because of the screen size. I already had sensors and was using Ride with GPS on my phone. The two still work together so nothing is lost. My phone mount sucked and with the Roam, it is solid and easy to read.
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Old 01-09-21, 08:34 AM
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I would agree with the previous poster suggesting bifocals or readers. I had a smallish Garmin (520 I think) and didn't like the screen size. So sold that and bought a Garmin Touring Plus. Larger screen. But still too small. Finally bought a pair of Dual Sunglasses. Interchangeable lenses for day and night, each with bifocals. Works great. You need to wear eye protection anyway due to sun, bugs etc.
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Old 01-09-21, 10:26 AM
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Garmin 1030 is the largest, outside of a smartphone, I’m 65, need reading glasses, have no issues with the 1030.

I personally prefer the maps on a Garmin over a Wahoo, greater detail. As well the touch screen allows zooming and panning, something I use a lot when looking at the map. You can zoom on a Wahoo, just cannot pan.
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Old 01-09-21, 12:08 PM
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Consider using Ride with GPS on your phone. It gives spoken directions and leaves the screen dark, although it will light up to show upcoming-turn notifications (which won't help if you can't read them). I've read experiences of people using Garmins for turn-by-turn and going way off course because they miss the beep that is the only audible notification. Sometimes when there's a lot of ambient noise I'll have trouble making out the spoken directions, but I never miss the fact that there was a cue, so I can stop and review if need be.

I've never tried using it in airplane mode (I should try), but I have found it to be very efficient with the battery: after a 6-hour ride, I've still got ~75% capacity. This is with an iPhone 11. Also, another battery-saving trick with iPhones is to put them in "low power mode," which throttles the CPU, and can considerably extend battery life.

If you want to create maps on the fly, check out the app EasyRoute.

I'm not using a bike computer at all. I do recognize that they have their benefits, but for my own purposes, RwGPS has been pretty good. I often use it in conjunction with the Cyclemeter app, which gives spoken notifications for stats at regular intervals. Cyclemeter is a bit more of a battery hog, but I can still get through a long ride with 50% battery left. And for data nerds, it seems to produce more compliant GPX files.
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Old 01-09-21, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by adamrice View Post
Consider using Ride with GPS on your phone. It gives spoken directions and leaves the screen dark, although it will light up to show upcoming-turn notifications (which won't help if you can't read them). I've read experiences of people using Garmins for turn-by-turn and going way off course because they miss the beep that is the only audible notification. Sometimes when there's a lot of ambient noise I'll have trouble making out the spoken directions, but I never miss the fact that there was a cue, so I can stop and review if need be.
If you keep an eye on the map, you should never "go way off course". Anybody going "way off course" isn't really using the tool properly.

Once you get some experience, that's not hard to keep an eye on the map.

In any case, people who use the RWGPS app seem to like it. So, yes, people should consider it. It does require a subscription. You can also download the map so you don't need cell network access. That's a bit of an extra step that isn't needed for the Garmins.

Originally Posted by adamrice View Post
If you want to create maps on the fly, check out the app EasyRoute.
You are creating "routes" or "courses" with this. Not "maps".

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Old 01-10-21, 05:15 AM
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Check out Bryton and Lezyne. Both have offered larger computers with graphic maps for easier navigation, usually priced a bit lower than Garmin and Wahoo.
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Old 01-11-21, 04:34 AM
  #11  
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Best screen , hands down, is the Hammerhead Karoo 1.
close second is the Karoo2, both Android phone computer fusions. Good mapping .
Breathtaking brightness and clarity. see DCR reviews.

Consider hydropic stick on reading lens eg. Hydrotac Stick-on Bifocal Lenses (OPTX 20/20)
These also are used by pilots who need bifocal segments above rather than below them. Damn useful.

TBH best screen and experience will be a phone withe better mapping.

In my humble experience, bike computers are much oversold and just have their shortcomings in different places than a phone
and promise more than they deliver $$ , often, with bugs galore, with limited, focused, utility.
RidewithGPS rocks

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Old 01-11-21, 08:05 AM
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Originally Posted by adamrice View Post
I've read experiences of people using Garmins for turn-by-turn and going way off course because they miss the beep that is the only audible notification. Sometimes when there's a lot of ambient noise I'll have trouble making out the spoken directions, but I never miss the fact that there was a cue, so I can stop and review if need be..
I'm not sure how you could miss the upcoming turn alarm on either of my Garmins (820 and 1030) and still be able to hear a cell phone talking. The Garmin turn alarm isn't a single beep, it's a second or more of very loud warbling. (It'll scare the s*** out of you on a quiet road in the middle of the night!)
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Old 01-11-21, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
I'm not sure how you could miss the upcoming turn alarm on either of my Garmins (820 and 1030) and still be able to hear a cell phone talking. The Garmin turn alarm isn't a single beep, it's a second or more of very loud warbling. (It'll scare the s*** out of you on a quiet road in the middle of the night!)
I've missed them once in a while. In some cases, you don't get an announcement when you might expect one. But the map serves as a backup (I often know about upcoming turns before the announcement).

I find the 1030 kind of quiet (the 1030+ is louder).

One can miss announcements from cell phones too and there's often no backup because people aren't able to see the map.

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Old 01-13-21, 07:17 AM
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I have the same issue. I don't think you are going to be happy with any of them. The best would be your phone map and even that can be hard if you need readers and don't have them. I have sunglasses with bifocals and these.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 01-20-21, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by SJX426 View Post
I was gifted a Wahoo Roam. I requested it because of the screen size. I already had sensors and was using Ride with GPS on my phone. The two still work together so nothing is lost. My phone mount sucked and with the Roam, it is solid and easy to read.
What are you using as a shim?
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Old 01-20-21, 12:15 PM
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No matter how big a screen you get to put your maps on, there will be something that you won't see well without readers once you get past a 1.25x or so.

I started having to use readers in my 40's. Especially for the tiny bottom soundings they put on the screen of my chart plotter when sailing. I found that safety glasses with a bifocal on them work great. I used clear for night time and tinted for daytime. I use them for cycling too.

They are very inexpensive compared to other options and come in different styles and tints. They are hard to find locally, but there are many resellers online. I use this site:

https://www.safetyglassesusa.com/bif...hoCR1oQAvD_BwE
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Old 01-20-21, 03:46 PM
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Most phones have high contrast screen mode which makes the screen mo5e readable. I recently discovered a cycling app called "Jepster", it has built in feature for low power consumption, which basically makes the screen black with white letters, which in turn consumes less battery juice and makes the screen more readable. You can carry a USB power bank on your bike (top tube bag?) and keep your phone hooked up during your rides.

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Old 01-20-21, 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by slowpacer View Post
I recently discovered a cycling app called "Jepster", it has built in feature for low power consumption, which basically makes the screen black with white letters, which in turn consumes less battery juice and makes the screen more readable. You can carry a USB power bank on your bike (top tube bag?) and keep your phone hooked up during your rides.
This may not have the intended effect.

Most phone screens today use LCDs. LCDs act as shutters in front of a backlight. The backlight will be on at the same intensity whether the screen is mostly dark or mostly light, and you can't realize any power savings from the LCD panel itself. Some LCD TVs have a feature called "local dimming" where the backlight is divided into multiple segments, which can be (you guessed it) individually dimmed. This is to improve contrast between lit-up and dark areas of the picture.. AFAICT, this is not used on phones, but in theory, if it were present, it might offer some power-saving benefit.

There are (or will be) some phone screens that use OLED or micro-LED screens. With these, because the light is emitted directly from the individual pixels rather than transmitted through them, there can be some power savings if you can turn most of them off.
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Old 01-20-21, 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by slowpacer View Post
Most phones have high contrast screen mode which makes the screen mo5e readable. I recently discovered a cycling app called "Jepster", it has built in feature for low power consumption, which basically makes the screen black with white letters, which in turn consumes less battery juice and makes the screen more readable. You can carry a USB power bank on your bike (top tube bag?) and keep your phone hooked up during your rides.
It would only do this for phones with OLED (not the more-common LCD) screens. LCD screens use a back light, which is on if the screen is on (even if the screen is black).
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Old 01-20-21, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by adamrice View Post
...micro-LED screens. With these, because the light is emitted directly from the individual pixels rather than transmitted through them, there can be some power savings if you can turn most of them off.
There are no phones with microLED. With current technology, microLED is only used for really-large screens. There are no phones that use local dimming.
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Old 01-20-21, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by adamrice View Post
This may not have the intended effect.

Most phone screens today use LCDs. LCDs act as shutters in front of a backlight. The backlight will be on at the same intensity whether the screen is mostly dark or mostly light, and you can't realize any power savings from the LCD panel itself. Some LCD TVs have a feature called "local dimming" where the backlight is divided into multiple segments, which can be (you guessed it) individually dimmed. This is to improve contrast between lit-up and dark areas of the picture.. AFAICT, this is not used on phones, but in theory, if it were present, it might offer some power-saving benefit.

There are (or will be) some phone screens that use OLED or micro-LED screens. With these, because the light is emitted directly from the individual pixels rather than transmitted through them, there can be some power savings if you can turn most of them off.
Maybe not but the op's main concern was visibility and a dark background would make it easier to read the screen and a power bank would take care of battery problem. I also doubt a smaller screen bike computer would be easier to read than a bigger phone.
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Old 01-20-21, 06:03 PM
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Maybe wait and see if the Apple augmented reality glasses become available this year? I hear they’ll have a prescription option. Would be nice to have all bike computer metrics and map and street info displayed in your forward field of vision like a HUD.
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Old 01-20-21, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by billridesbikes View Post
Maybe wait and see if the Apple augmented reality glasses become available this year? I hear they’ll have a prescription option. Would be nice to have all bike computer metrics and map and street info displayed in your forward field of vision like a HUD.
I hate to agree, but that would be kind of cool.

@ The OP. I’m 65, need a 1.75 reading prescription. I use an Edge 1030 and do not have issues reading the map and do not bring reading glasses on a ride.
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Old 01-20-21, 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by slowpacer View Post
Maybe not but the op's main concern was visibility and a dark background would make it easier to read the screen and a power bank would take care of battery problem. I also doubt a smaller screen bike computer would be easier to read than a bigger phone.
Right. I was responding to the point that an app like Jepster, that uses a "night mode" display, would save energy.
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Old 01-20-21, 09:30 PM
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Originally Posted by jadocs View Post
What are you using as a shim?
It is a standard spacer for 26 to 31.5 on Amazon. It works on a 26.4 too, very well as shown.
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