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Bike computer recommendations?

Old 10-11-22, 10:06 AM
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alexk_il
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Bike computer recommendations?

Need an ANT+ capable computer that has a plug and play capability to continuously sync up with Komoot or Google maps.

I found a few models that require preloading a cycling path from Komoot to the bike computer, but I suspect they can't reroute if I choose a different path due to weather or road conditions.

​​​​​Basically, looking for a car-like GPS experience, where the path is constantly monitored, recorded and rerouted.

So, what are my options?
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Old 10-11-22, 10:21 AM
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I believe the Hammerhead Karoo 2 does Komoot with rerouting. Never had one so I can't say for sure but I remember seeing a thread on it somewhere..
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Old 10-11-22, 11:01 AM
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I don't know of any device that has continual sync with third party apps. No point really. The usual process using such apps - Strava, RWGPS or Kamoots, is you are developing a navigable route on those websites, then downloading that route to the device. You then use the device to do 2 things, 1) Follow the navigable route created on the website and using turn-by-turn as well as map cues. 2) Tracking where you ride. When you compete a ride, you then save the ride, it typically then uploads the completed route to the website for the particular device you are using (Garmin, Wahoo or Hammerhead), which then ports that completed activity onward to the activity tracker you have chosen - Strava, RWGPS or Kamoots.

Most of these devices allow re-routing should you encounter a detour, go off course, etc... some better then others. Garmin can suck at it. Karoo 2 is a bit better, I've no idea what Wahoo does. One major issue you run into with re-routing is you are now relying on the device to calculate a useful route to get back on the course. How they do this is an issue as they just are not that smart and sometimes the recommended re-route just is useless. Often times you are better not following the device re-route, just look at the map and follow your own. This is one reason touchscreen devices that have large screens can be more useful as it allows you to zoom and pan, plus there's more info on a small screen.
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Old 10-11-22, 11:21 AM
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Sounds like you're describing a smartphone running google maps (or similar) with Ant+ to sync to... what? Is there a reason you don't just get a quadlock and mount your phone on the bars?
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Old 10-11-22, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
I don't know of any device that has continual sync with third party apps. No point really. The usual process using such apps - Strava, RWGPS or Kamoots, is you are developing a navigable route on those websites, then downloading that route to the device...
This is not how Android Auto or the equivalent iPhone app works. The phone reroutes as it is needed, a car screen is used to display the navigation stats and instructions, but everything is continuously controlled by your phone.

I don't really see why a bike GPS approach would be different, perhaps the bike industry lags behind the car's by a decade.

Anyway, you are right, the standalone rerouting on Komoot is not the best. I commute in a rural area that is frequently getting flooded or they close roads for roadworks. Google maps work way better that Komoot, but even Google tends to reroute me to that 60mph narrow and twisted road that has a non-stop display of fresh flowers and police tapes on both sides of that road.
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Old 10-11-22, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
Sounds like you're describing a smartphone running google maps (or similar) with Ant+ to sync to... what? Is there a reason you don't just get a quadlock and mount your phone on the bars?
Ant+ for HR, speed and velocity.
I am currently using my phone mounted on my bars, hate it. It shakes, randomly closes and opens by raindrops or by the friction against the plastic transparent window of the bike phone case.
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Old 10-11-22, 11:36 AM
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You're not going to get a smart phone or auto GPS experience out of a bike computer. They function very differently. You will have have to choose whether the software features or form factor is more important to you.
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Old 10-11-22, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by alexk_il View Post
This is not how Android Auto or the equivalent iPhone app works. The phone reroutes as it is needed, a car screen is used to display the navigation stats and instructions, but everything is continuously controlled by your phone.

...

Anyway, you are right, the standalone rerouting on Komoot is not the best. I commute in a rural area that is frequently getting flooded or they close roads for roadworks. Google maps work way better that Komoot, but even Google tends to reroute me to that 60mph narrow and twisted road that has a non-stop display of fresh flowers and police tapes on both sides of that road.
Maybe I'm starting to get the big picture (or maybe I'm still barking up the wrong tree!). IME, though, if I encounter a flooded road using google maps, I'll have to turn around and backtrack until there's another road connected to an alternative route, with the app beeping and telling me to make a U-turn until I'm halfway to the next road parallel to the first. Garmin is like that, although you have to deal with the "Reroute?" prompts as well as the "Make a U-turn" prompts. You probably don't want to hear it, but my best advice would be to keep the cell phone in a baggie until you need it, figure out which way you want to go, ride halfway there, and then and only then the device will reroute you.
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Old 10-11-22, 12:18 PM
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I cannot think of any cycling computer that functions as well as a Garmin or other car specific GPS nav. unit in terms or re-routing. Garmin used to buy their maps from a third party company that used to constantly field check road conditions. They do not do that with the cycling products, relying on the OpenStreetMaps instead, which is somewhat crowd sourced. Certainly not as well as Google, which is constantly seeing the location of every smartphone on the road that has Google Maps enabled and can determine where there is congestion for whatever reason and can be smart at routing suggestions. For whatever reason, Garmin/Hammerhead, etc.... just cannot get the processing and data base onto a cycling unit that makes it useful for "CYCLING" in a re-route situation. Recall that when a car unit re-routes, its free to suggest any and all roads that allows cars. A bike unit really does not want to recommend an Interstate or high speed multi-lane hwy. with no shoulder. And thats the rub, getting that smart processing to have the device re-route you onto a bike friendly 2 laner with a great shoulder road, or bike path, seems to be beyond the ability of the devices currently. Some Garmins can access what is known as "popularity routing", which is essentially the massive data base Garmin keeps of EVERY uploaded bike ride their devices track. Thus Garmin can in theory, query local roads that have been ridden a lot by others and can put those roads in a higher priority for routing. Ive no idea how well Garmin uses PR, my experience with re-routing on a Garmin is it makes mediocre choices.
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Old 10-11-22, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by alexk_il View Post
This is not how Android Auto or the equivalent iPhone app works. The phone reroutes as it is needed, a car screen is used to display the navigation stats and instructions, but everything is continuously controlled by your phone.

I don't really see why a bike GPS approach would be different, perhaps the bike industry lags behind the car's by a decade.
No, it's not how Android Auto or Apple Carplay works.

There really wouldn't be a market for it.

Not that many people would want pay a few hundred dollars to have a phone-size device attached to their handlebar to display output from their phone.

A "decade ago", Apple Carplay used a cable between the phone and the display. No one would want that on a bicycle.

It also would not be a "bicycle GPS" (which is a self-contained unit).

Another reason it wouldn't work that well for bicycles is that it would use the phone battery at a high-rate and require a bigger battery on the display (the head unit).

Originally Posted by alexk_il View Post
I am currently using my phone mounted on my bars, hate it. It shakes, randomly closes and opens by raindrops or by the friction against the plastic transparent window of the bike phone case.
OK.

Last edited by njkayaker; 10-11-22 at 12:58 PM.
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Old 10-14-22, 04:37 PM
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Found one that is doing exactly what I described. It's Meilan M1.

It has turn by turn navigation by Komoot running on a mobile phone. Based on reviews that I found, it would have been a decent device, unfortunately there are reports of side buttons being to hard to press and being prone to water getting into the screen.

With the cost of £95 in the UK ​​​​​ I will pass.


​​
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Old 10-14-22, 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by alexk_il View Post
Found one that is doing exactly what I described. It's Meilan M1.

It has turn by turn navigation by Komoot running on a mobile phone. Based on reviews that I found, it would have been a decent device, unfortunately there are reports of side buttons being to hard to press and being prone to water getting into the screen.

With the cost of £95 in the UK ​​​​​ I will pass.


​​
How much were you expecting to pay?

You don't really need GPS in the unit.

https://www.amazon.com/Navigation-Co.../dp/B07QFLHMNX

I don't find the turn instructions sufficient. There are situations where seeing the map helps.
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Old 10-15-22, 12:32 AM
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Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
How much were you expecting to pay?
For a bike computer that might not survive a heavy rain? Not sure, but there are plenty of cheap bike computers of a good quality that can reliably work in all weather. The roughly cost half of what M1 costs.
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Old 10-24-22, 03:29 PM
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I swam 31.6 miles this summer with my bike computer. Works as well as the day I bought it. If you regularly ride in the rain, get a water proof one and don't worry about it.
​​​​​
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Old 10-27-22, 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by alexk_il View Post
For a bike computer that might not survive a heavy rain? Not sure, but there are plenty of cheap bike computers of a good quality that can reliably work in all weather. The roughly cost half of what M1 costs.
But they don't have the feature you are looking for that the M1 has.
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Old 10-28-22, 12:50 AM
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Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
You don't really need GPS in the unit.
...
I don't find the turn instructions sufficient. There are situations where seeing the map helps.
This. 👆

OP here.

No products to tick all the boxes, so I will have to use the phone in addition for a cycling computer. Just bought Cycplus M1, first impressions are good.

Last edited by alexk_il; 10-29-22 at 03:02 PM.
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Old 10-28-22, 07:57 AM
  #17  
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Wahoo Bolt and Roam— current models— actively reroute like a car GPS, and even show the reroute path in a different color to the original route (blue vs black) so you know where you’re going relative to where expected.

At roughly $300 and $400, though, well outside what the OP is willing to pay.
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