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GPS speedometer as few functions as possible and with USB-C

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GPS speedometer as few functions as possible and with USB-C

Old 04-20-22, 05:24 AM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest
​​​​​​

​​​​​​It actually costs more to get just the one feature you want. That's an economy of scale thing. I would suggest that a bike computer that meets 90% of your criteria can be more helpful than not having one and meeting 0%.
No, that Omata unit is priced the way it is because it's providing a unique feature unrelated to the OP's ask - namely the electromechanical analog interface instead of a basic digital display.

Basic GPS digital display bike computers with few frills are less than a tenth the price or a little more.
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Old 04-20-22, 06:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Ridinglurker
I really only want to see my speed while riding.

I also want USB-C port (as opposed to micro-USB) since I'm on a year long mission to get rid of micro-USB. So any new USB-device has to be USB-C.

10+ hours would be good (assuming that gives me 8 real hours)

It needs to be GPs since I also will use it for my paddle board.
Originally Posted by Ridinglurker
I don't want analog gages, especially if they look too busy. I also want km/h, so it has to be an LCD display.
Originally Posted by Ridinglurker
I realize this may not exist, but it would be nice if a computer just gets turned on and shows me the speed without me having to mess with "starting a ride", or deleting memory etc. it should basically almost work like a regular hub-sensor computer that starts when I start the ride without pushing too many buttons. just turning it on should be all that is needed to see my speed..
Well, the "may not exist" is on the money.
Spend $30 and get something like this: Velo 7 CC-VL520 Black (wired) - Cateye America, Inc It doesn't tick all your boxes - no USB-C (although the battery should last years), no GPS, not very useful on the water. But it's the closest you'll get to the Model T of bike computers you're looking for.
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Old 04-20-22, 07:39 AM
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The Cycplus M2 is USB C, has gps and will show speed. I haven't used one, but if doesn't seem too expensive
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Old 04-20-22, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by gpburdell
No, that Omata unit is priced the way it is because it's providing a unique feature unrelated to the OP's ask - namely the electromechanical analog interface instead of a basic digital display.

Basic GPS digital display bike computers with few frills are less than a tenth the price or a little more.
The computers you linked to support heart rate, so they're not a counter example because they don't support just one function (speed) and nothing else. That's what the OP is asking for because he thinks other features will raise the price. Bryton don't do that because almost no one would buy them if they did, so the entire cost of R&D would be spread over the three units they sold. The computers you linked to are more featured at a lower price, which supports what I'm telling the OP.

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Old 04-20-22, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest
The computers you linked to support heart rate, so they're not a counter example because they don't support just one function (speed) and nothing else. That's what the OP is asking for because he thinks other features will raise the price. Bryton don't do that because almost no one would buy them if they did, so the entire cost of R&D would be spread over the three units they sold. The computers you linked to are more featured at a lower price, which supports what I'm telling the OP.

About that "just one function (speed) and nothing else"...

From https://omata.com/pages/omata-one-cycling-computer

Data Displayed: Speed (0-65 MPH / 0-120 KPH); Total distance (1 revolution = 100mi / 100km); Vertical ascent (1 revolution =10,000ft / 4,000m); Total ride time (Hours)
The OMATA One is encased in an aluminum housing that is reassuringly robust. It has a rotating bezel used for switching modes, USB-C for charging and BLE/ANT+ for pairing to external sensors such as Power, Heart Rate and Cadence with our latest firmware update.

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Old 04-20-22, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by gpburdell
About that "just one function (speed) and nothing else"...

From https://omata.com/pages/omata-one-cycling-computer






I think the OP already discounted that one based on looks. It sounds like there is no commercialy available unit that meets the OP's requirements. In which case he will either have to design one himself and then have it made, at great expense. Or accept the presence of features he doesn't use and save a lot of money.
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Old 04-20-22, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest
I think the OP already discounted that one based on looks. It sounds like there is no commercialy available unit that meets the OP's requirements. In which case he will either have to design one himself and then have it made, at great expense. Or accept the presence of features he doesn't use and save a lot of money.
No there wouldn't be. As you and others observe, there's likely an extremely small market for such a device - particularly since by the time a manuf makes a GPS device with speed display it's kind of a given they'd add other stuff many/most folks would like to have (and that so few would reject the device for having additional data fields even if unused).

Frankly the OP would likely be best served with a basic GPS running watch and the activity display customized to show only speed.
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Old 04-20-22, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by gpburdell
No there wouldn't be. As you and others observe, there's likely an extremely small market for such a device - particularly since by the time a manuf makes a GPS device with speed display it's kind of a given they'd add other stuff many/most folks would like to have (and that so few would reject the device for having additional data fields even if unused).

Frankly the OP would likely be best served with a basic GPS running watch and the activity display customized to show only speed.
The point I'm trying to make for the OP is that in general, these gadgets aren't priced per feature. That's not a useful way to think about it and come to a decision. Better to figure out what you're willing to spend and then find the most useful thing to you within that budget.

I've been using a Garmin GPS watch for years. I would definitely go that route again. Especially for multi sport use including SUP. I swim and bike with mine. The only situations I prefer a bike specific computer are ones that won't apply to the OP because they involve features he doesn't want.
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Old 04-20-22, 03:24 PM
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Apple Watch

The latest Apple watches have a cycling mode. Displays your speed and distance. Also RWGPS will display only your speed on the watch app. No ports on the Apple Watch.
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Old 04-20-22, 10:15 PM
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I would prefer induction charging with any cable over USB C.
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Old 04-21-22, 01:07 PM
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Just to clarify, I understand that manufacturers make a product for many people and market it with as many features as possible. I also know, once a software is developed, it is cheaper for them to sell the models with many features.

I don't mind having (to me) unnecessary features. My objection to too many is, they often cost money (I was more looking at $50), and make the use more complex (e..g at start of ride have to go through menus to start a ride etc.).

I don't think my requirement for USB-C is odd. What is odd, that the bike industry is a laggard and still uses outdated standards. There is no modern electronics that still uses older USB. USB-C is THE standard. But I only can choose from what is offered... I don't think having a chargeable unit that uses USB-C AND is simple to "just see the current speed" is totally unreasonable wish for a bike rider.

I come to the realization to get what I want, it requires more than a cheaper unit. But if it is expensive, a wearable may be more useful for more activities. So let's forget about all the bike-computers that cost a lot.

Someone mentioned Garmin Instinct. Some refurbished units cost $150 and they look like they do what I would want. Their manuals don't specifically say, but some pics look like it, they seem to use USB-C. Is that correct? What other wearables use USB-C and can be had for say under $200?

I saw some watches use some proprietary clamping cable. That seems to be a big step way backward since cables can and WILL fail and I really want to avoid having to bring different types of cables (I always have USB-C with me for the phone).

I'm really surprised manufacturers are not specific with the the type of charging cable. I looked through many manuals and none really say what cable they use, or just say "USB". And the pictures never show the type of plug the cables have.

Someone mentioned induction charging. I suppose that works for making them water-tight. That may work for a wearable if it works with the same wireless charger my phone uses and if the battery lasts many days. But the watches I saw say they last 24 days, but with GPS use only a few hours. So that makes them less suitable for ME since the GPS is main function for me for speed.
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Old 04-21-22, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Ridinglurker
Someone mentioned Garmin Instinct. Some refurbished units cost $150 and they look like they do what I would want. Their manuals don't specifically say, but some pics look like it, they seem to use USB-C. Is that correct?
All modern Garmin watches use the same Garmin charging cable. The watches are waterproof and people use them for swimming, diving, and boating. This works very well as an end user.
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Old 04-21-22, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest
All modern Garmin watches use the same Garmin charging cable. The watches are waterproof and people use them for swimming, diving, and boating. This works very well as an end user.
so a proprietary cable then? I'm sorry, it isn't really clear to me when you say they use all the same cable. Could be the same USB-C. But I fear not.

Last edited by Ridinglurker; 04-21-22 at 02:15 PM.
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Old 04-21-22, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Ridinglurker
Just to clarify, I understand that manufacturers make a product for many people and market it with as many features as possible. I also know, once a software is developed, it is cheaper for them to sell the models with many features.
No one markets things with "as many features as possible". Some of the features you think are adding to the cost really aren't OR are required to make the device competitive.

Originally Posted by Ridinglurker
I don't mind having (to me) unnecessary features. My objection to too many is, they often cost money (I was more looking at $50), ...
There are many GPS units that cost $50 and they have features you don't want (but they don't have USB-C). They don't come with USB-C because they were designed a while ago and it isn't worth reengineering them,

Originally Posted by Ridinglurker
...make the use more complex (e..g at start of ride have to go through menus to start a ride etc.).
??? You don't have to "go through menu to start a ride" with the Garmins (It's a button press). It's not likely any other unit makes it anywhere as complicated as you are saying.

Originally Posted by Ridinglurker
I don't think my requirement for USB-C is odd. What is odd, that the bike industry is a laggard and still uses outdated standards. There is no modern electronics that still uses older USB. USB-C is THE standard. But I only can choose from what is offered... I don't think having a chargeable unit that uses USB-C AND ...
By itself, wanting USB-C isn't odd. The problem is that you also want something cheap and there's little motivation to spend more reengineering something that already works. You might see USB-C if the device is being redesigned for other reasons.

Originally Posted by Ridinglurker
... "just see the current speed" is totally unreasonable wish for a bike rider.
GPS is overkill for this (for cycling). You are asking for a more expensive feature that is unnecessary for what you want.

Originally Posted by Ridinglurker
What other wearables use USB-C and can be had for say under $200?
I don't think any do.

Last edited by njkayaker; 04-21-22 at 02:14 PM.
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Old 04-21-22, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Ridinglurker
so a proprietary cable then? I'm sorry, it isn't really clear to me when you say they use all the same cable. Could be the same USB-C. But I fear not.
USB C isn't a proprietary Garmin cable. And having that kind of port on the watch would be inconvenient as an owner and probably significantly less waterproof.

​​​​

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Old 04-21-22, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by njkayaker
??? You don't have to "go through menu to start a ride" with the Garmins (It's a button press). It's not likely any other unit makes it anywhere as complicated as you are saying.
​​​​​​To start a ride on a Garmin instinct, the OP will
  1. Press the start button
  2. Go through the menu and select bike (vs SUP, run, hike, etc)
  3. Press start again to actually start the activity
That's how it will know he wants to ride.
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Old 04-21-22, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest
​​​​​​To start a ride on a Garmin instinct, the OP will
  1. Press the start button
  2. Go through the menu and select bike (vs SUP, run, hike, etc)
  3. Press start again to actually start the activity
That's how it will know he wants to ride.
This is the problem I see. In my world where I only need to know my speed (via GPS) I wouldn't have to select if it is a bike or SUP, or hiking. GPS will just work the same way regardless of mode of transportation.
In an ideal world the GPS would automatically turn on when the accelerometer senses movement. It would turn GPS (and display) off, when no movement is detected (GPS is battery-intensive). Any fancy features (tracking etc. would require manual pushing buttons). If it doesn't turn on/off automatically, just turning it on should just show me instant speed by default.
Basically should be as simple as the old-school computers.

Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest
USB C isn't a proprietary Garmin cable. And having that kind of port on the watch would be inconvenient as an owner and probably significantly less waterproof.
I fear most will use a proprietary cable. I don't think that is inherently more water-proof than USB-C.

If there is nothing I like, I just don't have one. A speedometer isn't like a good saddle or brakes that really impact my riding. I rode this morning and didn't think of the speedometer before I rolled back into my garage :-)

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Old 04-21-22, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest
​​​​​​To start a ride on a Garmin instinct, the OP will
  1. Press the start button
  2. Go through the menu and select bike (vs SUP, run, hike, etc)
  3. Press start again to actually start the activity
That's how it will know he wants to ride.
Given what he wants, he'd use one profile for everything.

With one profile (or no need to change it) it's turning the device on and clicking another button.

It's not as complicated as he is making it out to be.
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Old 04-21-22, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Ridinglurker
GPS will just work the same way regardless of mode of transportation.​​​​
​​​​​​You would think so, but it's a lot more nuanced than this.

The main reason is all Garmin cycling, running, and multi sport devices record your activity details and automatically creates a database for you. There are reports of you desire showing how many miles you've gone each year, month, whatever, how much time, etc.

Also, the GPS works differently depending on your mode of transportation. Since water blocks the signal, swimming mode works differently (I don't know if the Instinct has OWS though). To deal with inaccuracies inherent in satellite based navigation, Garmin watches make more use of the compass and maybe the accelerometer for walking than cycling because your speed (really inertia) rule out side to side jitter on the bike that's more plausible walking. Basically dead reckoning to augment GPS quality.

There's an auto detect mode for activity, but no one uses it. You can probably find out how well that works from the google.
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Old 04-21-22, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Ridinglurker
In an ideal world the GPS would automatically turn on when the accelerometer senses movement.​​​​
The cheaper GPS units probably don't have an accelerometer. That's a feature that would make the device more expensive.

Originally Posted by Ridinglurker
Basically should be as simple as the old-school computers.​​​​
This is really what you should get for your bike. GPS would be a feature that would make the device more expensive.

Originally Posted by Ridinglurker
If there is nothing I like, I just don't have one.​​​​
Nothing exists that matches your requirements (apparently).

Given that nothing exists now, it’s very unlikely you’ll see anything in the future.

So, you have to either change your requirements to something realistic or do without.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/223964900370?chn=ps&mkevt=1&mkcid=28

https://www.velocitek.com/products/speedpuck

Last edited by njkayaker; 04-21-22 at 05:22 PM.
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Old 04-21-22, 04:50 PM
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A free solution! Just tape this number: (gear-inches x 6)/209 to your handle bars for each of your gears. Next bring a watch to measure your cadence by counting the number of times your left knee rises for 10 secs. Multiple this number by the number on the handlebars and you'll then be able to know your km/h speed at any time!
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Old 04-21-22, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by njkayaker
Given what he wants, he'd use one profile for everything.

With one profile (or no need to change it) it's turning the device on and clicking another button.

It's not as complicated as he is making it out to be.
Even with only one activity profile, assuming the Instinct allows you to remove ones you won't use, you still go into the menu and select the one you want. The last item in the menu is always "Add" at least on other Garmin watches.

You might find this acceptable. I do. The OP clearly doesn't. I'm trying to provide him true information so that he can make a choice that works for his needs.

Garmin watches have an auto detect mode, but it detects driving a small motor boat on a choppy lake as cycling. I don't think it turns the GPS on, but I don't know because I've turned that feature off.
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Old 04-21-22, 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest
Even with only one activity profile, assuming the Instinct allows you to remove ones you won't use, you still go into the menu and select the one you want. The last item in the menu is always "Add" at least on other Garmin watches.

You might find this acceptable. I do. The OP clearly doesn't. I'm trying to provide him true information so that he can make a choice that works for his needs.

Garmin watches have an auto detect mode, but it detects driving a small motor boat on a choppy lake as cycling. I don't think it turns the GPS on, but I don't know because I've turned that feature off.
I would be OK manually turning on and off. And the auto on/off only would work on a bike computer, not on a watch since it always would be in movement. Maybe the auto on/off only works on a bike computer that uses a hub or spoke sensor.

I do have the Samsung Health app that i use to track hiking, boating etc. so I'm aware of what options there are. But that I sue to track where I go and how I get back or when i want to know the distance and time and I'm OK with going into a menu to start the activity.

I think many people here gave good information for me to think about. I'll just spend the rest of the summer to see how much I really miss seeing my instant speed. there are many things i hadn't thought of. So thanks to all.

Last edited by Ridinglurker; 04-21-22 at 09:34 PM.
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Old 04-21-22, 07:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Ridinglurker
I would be OK manually turning on and off. And the auto on/off only would work on a bike computer, not on a watch since it always would be in movement. Maybe the auto on/off only works on a bike computer that uses a hub or spoke sensor.
​​​​​​I'd like to clarify this point a little.

With a bike computer, you typically only use it on the bike. So you keep it turned off when you aren't using, then you power it up when you're going out to ride. Because it's a bike computer, it knows/assumes what you're going to do. So once it turns on, it's basically ready to go.

A watch not only does lots of sports, it also just tells the time. They're made to be worn 24 hours a day. You don't have to, some people wear a fancy mechanical watch, or none at all, most of the time and only use a GPS watch during exercise. But they're meant to be left on all the time, so turning it on doesn't mean the same thing.

If I'm confused and you mean having it automatically turn on the bike mode, I can only add a little here. It's often in motion just from daily life, but it's programmed to look for certain kinds of movements that mean running, cycling, etc. Again I turned this feature off and can't say much, but I can attest that my watch (Garmin Fenix) is pretty good about knowing whether I'm doing bench presses or squats, and fairly good about counting reps. So they're making use of the accelerometers in clever ways. With that said, please don't take my word on this and verify for yourself that the way it works is acceptable to you.
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Old 04-21-22, 08:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Ridinglurker
I do have the Samsung Health app that i use to track hiking, boating etc. so I'm aware of what options there are. But that I sue to track where I go and how I get back or when i want to know the distance and time and I'm OK with going into a menu to start the activity.
​​​​​​As a hiker and backcountry skier, I really like being able to know how many miles etc I've done without having to get my phone out. Especially when I have gloves on. ❤️
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