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A Tale of Two GPS

Old 05-05-22, 11:33 AM
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This thread took a very bizarre and hostile turn.
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Old 05-05-22, 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest
This thread took a very bizarre and hostile turn.
All because someone didn't like you giving your opinion when they had just given their opinion..... it was strange to me too!
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Old 05-05-22, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest
This thread took a very bizarre and hostile turn.
Originally Posted by Iride01
All because someone didn't like you giving your opinion when they had just given their opinion..... it was strange to me too!
That sort of thing NEVER happens in this place!
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Old 05-05-22, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by surak
Datlas- since my original reply to your thread has been interpreted by the Garmin Defense Force as a call to action, distracting from solving your dilemma, I figure I'll just have to explicitly suggest a Wahoo Elemnt Bolt for your consideration. There may be other computers out there which do a good job, but I only have direct experience with Wahoo and Garmin.

The Bolt has a very easy UI on the computer and in the Elemnt companion app that you use to change settings such as downloading maps (no region-specific nonsense), auto-lap is turned off by default, customized alerts are plain and easy to see (and you can also mute for the duration of a ride with one button if it comes up, although there are no preprogrammed custom alerts to annoy you anyway), and solid Varia support that also includes the option of flashing the front LEDS in addition to audible alerting. There isn't a volume setting for the alerts, although they're loud enough for me that I can hear others' on group rides and during descents.

There's the original Bolt and the v2. Honestly the original Bolt would be my recommendation because it doesn't seem like you need anything from the new one, but even if you find NOS perhaps you risk some battery degradation.
Thanks for the suggestion. I will consider it.
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Old 05-05-22, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by datlas
Thanks for the suggestion. I will consider it.
The Bolt is a fine choice. So is the Karoo. I'd still suggest sticking with the 530 (since you already have it).
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Old 05-05-22, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by datlas
TL; DR - I want a simple/basic GPS that will give me turn-by-turn directions, work with my Garmin Varia, and have enough battery life for a long ride (say 6-8 hours).

Full story:

I am a 57 year old MAMIL and although I used to think I was tech-savvy, I now know I am old because I feel like technology has become an enemy instead of a friend.

I purchased my first GPS about 4 years ago. I got a Garmin 130 right when they came out. I really love that little unit. Small and gives me turn-by-turn directions, integrates ok with my laptop and iPhone. I was even MORE happy after I got a Varia 510 which works GREAT with the 130. Over the next few years, I noticed that the battery life was becoming a problem. Short rides of 3 hours were ok, but after about 3 hours the battery would crap out. I tried all the tricks, factory reset, etc., and even complained to Garmin. The problem persisted. Note I do NOT use a speed sensor or cadence sensor, the only "connections" to the unit I want and need are iPhone (it's helpful to know who is texting or calling me) and the Varia radar. I don't really care about segments and hills and other distractions. I actually don't even care about current speed or average speed or anything else. I want to keep it simple, tell me when turns are coming up and when cars are sneaking up behind me. So in essence, I want a 130 with a longer battery life.

After much frustration, I decided to bite the bullet and get a GPS unit with a longer battery life. I ended up choosing a Garmin 530, and bought a new one off of ScamBay.

I know the next part will be self-incriminating and has caused several of my gripes. It turns out the Garmin 530 I bought was designed for the Asian Market, so it was preloaded with maps from Asia. The thing wound not route me at all. I "solved" this problem by futzing around and downloading some maps from openmap sources, but the unit would not let me download a full USA map. No biggie, I downloaded the detailed map for my area. However, as above my tech skills are not good, so when I travel I try to re-download maps for the destination, and it oftentimes does NOT work.

One good thing about the 530, its battery life is fine. But otherwise I HATE the thing. The buttons and user interface are not intuitive (very different from the 130). It frequently gives me "pop up" alerts/messages about hills/cannot navigate/Laps/warnings, and these stay on the screen and obscure the route schematic which is all I really want. The alert for the Varia is QUIET and cannot be heard in windy conditions. This cannot be made louder. So my experience with the 530 is that I don't like it, I keep getting lost/missing turns because the maps are messed up or the screen to navigate is covered by pop-ups. I am especially frustrated today because we are traveling and somehow the maps I downloaded are not working.

My inclination is to just sell the 530 on ScamBay and get a new 130X. Supposedly the 130X has a better battery life. I still have the 130 and would even consider trying to put a new battery in, but the youtube videos make that process too intimidating and I expect I would mess it up. I am also concerned that "better" battery life means 5-6 hours, not enough for a long epic ride.

I am sure the Garmin 530 fans will tell me this is all my fault for getting a unit that did not have USA maps preloaded, and maybe that is true. But there is no denying the pop-ups (which maybe I can turn off but a brief google search has not helped), and certainly the quiet aspect of the Varia alerts are well known. I know the unit CAN make louder beeps (does it all the time when it thinks I am off course), but that is not user adjustable.

Again, TL;DR.....I have an old 130 that has crap battery life. I want something that does what it does but has a better battery. I am open to suggestions. I am willing to consider a non-garmin product.

p.s. maybe I should cross-post to 50+ but I know the forum frowns on cross-posting so no.
57, middle aged? Hmm, not unless you're going to make 114. Sorry, dude.
Also, you're not tech savy because nobody is tech savy. Tech is constantly changing, and ******, because they are too busy making new stuff to make anything that isn't crap.
Unless you're unemployed and 15 you have no frickin' clue about anything, and if you're 15 you also have no frickin' clue about anything.

The market does not serve you. Simple functionality with long battery life is not what the cycling masses buy. The cycling masses (to the extent there are masses) buy on features. Even if a brand new startup begins by serving a niche market with what you want, if they're going to survive they'll start focusing on features features features.
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Old 05-05-22, 04:22 PM
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Anybody know if the 520+ can use a BT chest strap?
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Old 05-05-22, 04:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest
Anybody know if the 520+ can use a BT chest strap?
https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2018/04/...h-mapping.html

– Edge 1030 connects to Bluetooth Smart sensors, Edge 520/520 Plus/820 lack that hardware
https://www8.garmin.com/manuals/webh...FB776472C.html

No, the *20 devices can't use BT sensors.

The 530 (all of the *30 Edges) can.

https://www8.garmin.com/manuals/webh...32270BEC4.html

Last edited by njkayaker; 05-05-22 at 04:51 PM.
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Old 05-05-22, 04:55 PM
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Bummer, but thanks for clarifying. A friend is waiting to take delivery of a 520+ and has a BT only chest strap. I have an old Garmin ANT+ strap somewhere, sounds like I should be a food friend and find it.
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Old 05-05-22, 04:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest
Bummer, but thanks for clarifying. A friend is waiting to take delivery of a 520+ and has a BT only chest strap. I have an old Garmin ANT+ strap somewhere, sounds like I should be a food friend and find it.
The 520/520+ and 820 were (in hindsight) "not great" devices: kinda slow and with not great battery life. The 520+ seems like it might have been rushed-out to counter Wahoo's offering. The *30 devices seem to be "very good".
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Old 05-05-22, 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by njkayaker
The 520/520+ and 820 were (in hindsight) "not great" devices: kinda slow and with not great battery life. The 520+ seems like it might have been rushed-out to counter Wahoo's offering. The *30 devices seem to be "very good".
That's probably why its further owner upgraded (from 520+ to 830) and made this one available. This came up after my friend rode a century with no credit for it because the Strava app crashed.
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Old 05-05-22, 09:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest
That's probably why its further owner upgraded (from 520+ to 830) and made this one available. This came up after my friend rode a century with no credit for it because the Strava app crashed.
Hard to say.

It wasn't that they were "terrible". It was that they weren't "great". I know people who (still) do OK with them.

​​​​​​The *30 models are more "coherent": it seems they are more in-sync with software and features (the change logs for each are very similar).

The 520/520+ feel "transitional" and had odd compromises with navigation. The 530 has some compromises but not as odd (they seem to be mostly related to not having a touch screen).

Again, this is an impression that is a result of hindsight.

(The 1000 was a big improvement over the 800/810. The 800 was a big improvement over the 705.)

Navigation is important to me (so I have a bias for that working well).

Last edited by njkayaker; 05-05-22 at 09:35 PM.
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Old 05-12-22, 04:43 PM
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Any update to the OP's situation?
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Old 05-13-22, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by seypat
Any update to the OP's situation?
The OP is alive and apparently well.

Posting in other threads even today. Probably got tired of the BS we throw around -- myself included in the throwing BS, and unsubscribed from their own thread.
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Old 05-13-22, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01
The OP is alive and apparently well.

Posting in other threads even today. Probably got tired of the BS we throw around -- myself included in the throwing BS, and unsubscribed from their own thread.
I know he's posting in other threads. I just want to know if the 530 ending up working for him or if he went in another direction.
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Old 06-02-22, 02:57 PM
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Elemnt Bolt v1 on sale on Amazon for $170 right now.
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Old 06-02-22, 03:40 PM
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Originally Posted by vespasianus
Yeah, I am returning it. Must be defective.

So, I ended up calling Garmin and they sent me a speed sensor for free. Unit works great with the speed sensor.
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Old 06-04-22, 09:18 PM
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Hmmm, back to the question, I got a Lezyne Mega XL, which used to drive me nuts with bugs but the software has improved. Once you figure it out (there’s a website and app you need to use with it to create and load routes), it’s pretty simple. No weird pop ups or anything, kind of bare bones. Battery lasts 48 hours. Navigation isn’t always 100% but it’s manageable.
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Old 06-04-22, 10:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest
I love my Garmin watch! I'm probably going to buy the new one tomorrow. Why would I want to give something so awesome up?
Over the years I’ve owned multiple Garmin's, boats cars and bikes and a few other brands. IMHO, Garmin makes a great product, has excellent customer service and builds a quality product. Not perfect but good equipment.
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Old 07-15-22, 07:36 PM
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Question for all of you that use Strava and Garmin:

I just got both paired with each other on my phone. When you start a ride, do you start tracking the ride on Strava (from your phone) or on your Garmin gps device? Or both?


Thanks!
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Old 07-15-22, 07:43 PM
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Originally Posted by 1sp33d
Question for all of you that use Strava and Garmin:

I just got both paired with each other on my phone. When you start a ride, do you start tracking the ride on Strava (from your phone) or on your Garmin gps device? Or both?


Thanks!
I do it on the Garmin and have it sync with strava after.
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Old 07-15-22, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by vespasianus
I do it on the Garmin and have it sync with strava after.
Thanks!
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Old 07-15-22, 09:52 PM
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Originally Posted by 1sp33d
Question for all of you that use Strava and Garmin:

I just got both paired with each other on my phone. When you start a ride, do you start tracking the ride on Strava (from your phone) or on your Garmin gps device? Or both?


Thanks!
You don't need the Strava app anymore. I mean it's not hurting anything to be there, but you can record everything with your Garmin which has its own battery, and use your phone how you like it. (Personality I just use Strava in my browser.)

You have to find it somewhere in the menu but Garmin can just give Strava a copy of your rides.
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Old 07-16-22, 03:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest
You don't need the Strava app anymore. I mean it's not hurting anything to be there, but you can record everything with your Garmin which has its own battery, and use your phone how you like it. (Personality I just use Strava in my browser.)

You have to find it somewhere in the menu but Garmin can just give Strava a copy of your rides.
Thanks! I'll try it.
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Old 07-16-22, 05:47 AM
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In addition to not having to run Strava on your phone, there are other advantages to connecting your Strava and Garmin accounts. I find route creation better on Strava and you can send the routes to the Garmin easier IMHO. And if you are into Strava segments, which I'm not, you can get a notification that you are approaching one and the display will change to show your time ahead or behind your previous attempts depending on what Garmin you are using.
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