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Bike GPS

Old 11-09-19, 07:32 PM
  #1  
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Bike GPS

Looking around at finally pulling the trigger on a GPS. I've been doing alot of reading and seems like wahoo computers get great reviews. The wahoo element bolt gives a lot of bang for your buck. The wahoo roam seems like a lot of extra money it would be the upper end of my budget as well, but seems to have a few nicer fearures. The garmin's devices seem to have mixed reviews. Anyone thoughts and experiences would be great. Hoping for some sales for the holidays. I'm not a competitive cyclist by any stretch, I commute, want to be able to track or plan with turn by turn, speed, distance, tracking climbing etc, nothing crazy beyond that. Dont care about my heart rate, cadence or intervals.
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Old 11-09-19, 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Chris! View Post
Looking around at finally pulling the trigger on a GPS. I've been doing alot of reading and seems like wahoo computers get great reviews. The wahoo element bolt gives a lot of bang for your buck. The wahoo roam seems like a lot of extra money it would be the upper end of my budget as well, but seems to have a few nicer fearures. The garmin's devices seem to have mixed reviews. Anyone thoughts and experiences would be great. Hoping for some sales for the holidays. I'm not a competitive cyclist by any stretch, I commute, want to be able to track or plan with turn by turn, speed, distance, tracking climbing etc, nothing crazy beyond that. Dont care about my heart rate, cadence or intervals.
I donít think you can go wrong with the wahoo element bolt. I have a Garmin edge 520 plus and it works fine for me and Iím used to the garmin ecosystem.
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Old 11-09-19, 09:28 PM
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Bolt is a good choice for what you are doing, especially as it has seamless integration with RideWithGPS, which can track your rides as well as let you generate on-line routes that allow navigation with Turn-By-Tirn direction.

The Garmin Edge Explore also a good choice, rock solid unit, a big larger, better maps (if that’s important), can use the Garmin Connect on-line course/route generation software, also easy to get onto the device.

Both units are $249.
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Old 11-10-19, 03:47 AM
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All I use is RWGPS and my LG phone and it seems to be working pretty well. I'm sure something like a Bolt would add functionality and maybe fun, but my budget is somewhat limited these days and I'd prefer to put that bike computer cash into something like new wheels, or to help defray the cost of a new rain jacket.
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Old 11-10-19, 06:50 AM
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Originally Posted by bpcyclist View Post
All I use is RWGPS and my LG phone and it seems to be working pretty well. I'm sure something like a Bolt would add functionality and maybe fun, but my budget is somewhat limited these days and I'd prefer to put that bike computer cash into something like new wheels, or to help defray the cost of a new rain jacket.
I try to keep things simple on my bicycle. I use my iPhone apps and paper maps. I have been using a high end Garmin on my motorcycle for the last eight years and it has always been a love hate relationship.
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Old 11-10-19, 11:30 AM
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I have too many friends that complain about their Garmin in one aspect or another. Bought a Bolt. Extremely happy with it.
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Old 11-10-19, 01:38 PM
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Why not just use a free app on your phone?
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Old 11-10-19, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Hiro11 View Post
Why not just use a free app on your phone?
Many do that. Many others find a number of issues (phone dependent) when desiring a h-bar mounted unit, battery life, poor screen image in sunlight, most phones are not water or shock resistant, desire to keep the phone functional for emergencies, etc.... many, many posts on this subject and the advantages/disadvantages go both ways.
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Old 11-10-19, 05:44 PM
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The Wahoo will give you turn by turn directions, which the phone can't do without a paid subscription. And the Wahoo battery lasts 17 hours. Don't try that with your phone.

Any Wahoo user will tell you they're easier to use than Garmins. Everything is done using the companion app on your phone. Loading rides is as easy as pinning the ride on RWGPS, then sync'ing the device.
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Old 11-10-19, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Hokiedad4 View Post
The Wahoo will give you turn by turn directions, which the phone can't do without a paid subscription. And the Wahoo battery lasts 17 hours. Don't try that with your phone.

Any Wahoo user will tell you they're easier to use than Garmins. Everything is done using the companion app on your phone. Loading rides is as easy as pinning the ride on RWGPS, then sync'ing the device.
I agree that setup via companion app is certainly easier. With that being said, itís not rocket science on the Garmin device. And Ridewithgps just added their app to connect iq and itís easy to send routes to your Garmin device.
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Old 11-10-19, 06:18 PM
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Old 11-10-19, 08:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Chris! View Post
Looking around at finally pulling the trigger on a GPS. I've been doing alot of reading and seems like wahoo computers get great reviews. The wahoo element bolt gives a lot of bang for your buck. The wahoo roam seems like a lot of extra money it would be the upper end of my budget as well, but seems to have a few nicer fearures. The garmin's devices seem to have mixed reviews. Anyone thoughts and experiences would be great. Hoping for some sales for the holidays. I'm not a competitive cyclist by any stretch, I commute, want to be able to track or plan with turn by turn, speed, distance, tracking climbing etc, nothing crazy beyond that. Dont care about my heart rate, cadence or intervals.
I have a Lezyne Mega XL that Iíve been using since spring. Looking at the above posts, I think I made a good choice. The Mega XL only cost $200, does turn-by-turn and has a battery life that is up to 48 hours (Iíve only gotten it up to about 30 hours). I used it on a 3 day bikepacking trip in August and never had to recharge it. Considering that I was camping without access to power, that was a plus. I could probably get 5 days or so out of it.
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Old 11-10-19, 09:03 PM
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As others have stated about the phones. 1 and most important I would like to save battery in case of emergency. I looked into and really liking the Lezyne Mega XL . Backcountry currently has them on sale for 159.99.
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Old 11-10-19, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Chris! View Post
As others have stated about the phones. 1 and most important I would like to save battery in case of emergency. I looked into and really liking the Lezyne Mega XL . Backcountry currently has them on sale for 159.99.
I think the Lezyne would work fine for you. I had one of their smaller models. It was fine. There was some data field related to normalized power that I was used to having on my Garmin that they didnít have. But overall it worked well.
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Old 11-10-19, 09:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Chris! View Post
Looking around at finally pulling the trigger on a GPS. I've been doing alot of reading and seems like wahoo computers get great reviews. The wahoo element bolt gives a lot of bang for your buck. The wahoo roam seems like a lot of extra money it would be the upper end of my budget as well, but seems to have a few nicer fearures. The garmin's devices seem to have mixed reviews. Anyone thoughts and experiences would be great. Hoping for some sales for the holidays. I'm not a competitive cyclist by any stretch, I commute, want to be able to track or plan with turn by turn, speed, distance, tracking climbing etc, nothing crazy beyond that. Dont care about my heart rate, cadence or intervals.
garmin is way over priced wahoo is the way to go....
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Old 11-10-19, 10:23 PM
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Originally Posted by biketampa View Post
I don’t think you can go wrong with the wahoo element bolt. I have a Garmin edge 520 plus and it works fine for me and I’m used to the garmin ecosystem.
The ELEMNT and Bolt assume you'll use your phone for navigation and don't work well for it.

They don't display street names, scroll while zoomed in so you can see where roads go (roads suitable for cycling disappear when you zoom out), or switch to the map screen showing which of several options you should turn on.

In an emergency they can't route you to the nearest water source or bike store.

I returned mine for a Gramin Edge 810, which I returned for a refurbished 800 because the 810 software crashed on roundabouts.

I installed the openfietsmap.nl maps, which start with the Open Street Map cycling maps and adjust road weights for better routing.

Last edited by Drew Eckhardt; 11-10-19 at 10:27 PM.
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Old 11-11-19, 03:45 AM
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I bought a Garmin Edge 705 in 2008 which, after some minor teething troubles, served me extremely well for many years. In fact it's still working but in comparison with modern GPS units is quite big and clunky and very slow to get a lock to I decided to upgrade it last Christmas. In order to benefit from some perks offered by my life insurance provider I had to go with Garmin again and so got a 520 Plus. I have to say, however, that I'm very happy with it. The only quirk I've come across was related to the old GSC10 speed and cadence sensor on my bike. The magnet fell off my back wheel so it was only getting the cadence data and, weirdly, it got really confused and locked up a couple of times. Once I'd worked out what the issue was and replaced the magnet everything was fine again.

With the 520 Plus you can create a route on the PC and upload it to the unit. I've only done it the once as it's not something I have a lot of need for, but it worked pretty well.
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Old 11-11-19, 04:47 AM
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Put me down as Team Wahoo.

Running an app on a phone requires carrying an extra battery and some kind of waterproof mount for the phone. Adding those two things are still cheaper than a GPS bikecomputer, but just more weight and stuff to carry.

I was Team Garmin for many years, have found Wahoo more reliable and better battery life (in real use, not just claims.) Garmin used to have the advantage in on the fly re-routing, Wahoo has that now. The remaining advantage of Garmin is not something I don't need - the ability to run apps on the device to have a wide range of 3rd party devices integration.
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Old 11-11-19, 06:37 AM
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Originally Posted by robnol View Post
garmin is way over priced wahoo is the way to go....
This is becoming a needless Garmin vs.Wahoo war. Note that an Edge 520 Plus is down to $200 (thats a good deal), Wahoo Bolt is $249, Garmin Edge 520 is $249, Edge Explore is $249, Edge 530 is $270, Wahoo Elemnt is $300, Wahoo Roam is $380, Edge 830 is $400.

So comparable prices across the range of devices.
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Old 11-11-19, 06:40 AM
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..... lots of good info. Part of me is having a hard time pulling the trigger in anything. I'm super cheap. I have a basic speedometer tracks mph, distance etc. Thinking I'll either do Lezyne Mega XL, or a wahoo at this point. Gonna keep me eyes out as we get closer to the holidays.
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Old 11-11-19, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by jpescatore View Post
The remaining advantage of Garmin is not something I don't need - the ability to run apps on the device to have a wide range of 3rd party devices integration.
I'm curious about that, actually. I've looked through their apps and have rather been left scratching my head. I'd like to know if anyone on this forum found anything that's remotely useful?
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Old 11-11-19, 03:23 PM
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[QUOTE=jgwilliams;21204086]I'm curious about that, actually. I've looked through their apps and have rather been left scratching my head. I'd like to know if anyone on this forum found anything that's remotely useful?[/QUOTE

I use a better weather app that shows wind direction, plus the RideWithGPS app that allows me to access recent and pinned routes I've created for a very easy download to the device. Others who use a lot of power, HR or cadence functions have access to some really nice apps that do a better job of displaying those metrics than what Garmin has to offer. TrailForks is another one that gains access to the best of the mt. bike single track trail routes. I only tried it once had issues but didn't attempt to troubleshoot.
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Old 11-11-19, 11:45 PM
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Buy the 530 over the 520 or 520+.
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Old 11-12-19, 05:11 AM
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Originally Posted by jgwilliams View Post
I'm curious about that, actually. I've looked through their apps and have rather been left scratching my head. I'd like to know if anyone on this forum found anything that's remotely useful?
The one I am tempted by is actually supported on my Wahoo Roam as well: the Garmin Varia radar taillight is now supported by Wahoo as a device. Seems like fun to play with, if I can figure out a way to have a stable mounting point since the simple blinky light I use just hangs on the rear loop of my saddle bag and I don't have any seat post room.

Every year I try to find a biking toy to suggest to wife to buy for me for Christmas, since she says she can never figure out what to get me - that will probably be this year's toy.

But, just demonstrates don't really need a Garmin head unit to run an app.
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Old 11-12-19, 06:12 AM
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You might also want to consider other activities you do.
I wanted something that covers a bit of everything (golf, hiking, cycling, racing) and I got a fenix5+ as it was phased out and loaded with maps.
Since then, I added free cycle maps and a cheap cadence sensor.
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