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GPS on a bike?

Old 04-02-05, 07:21 AM
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DougG
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GPS on a bike?

I have a Garmin GPS-V that I used to use all the time on my touring motorcycle. Now that I've "retired" from that activity and am ramping up my "pedal cycling", I'm wondering how practical it would be to occasionally use this unit on my bike. The V is a medium-size GPS, and I do have some RAM mounting parts to put it on the handlebars. This is a "comfort bike" used mainly on rail-trails and such, so a bit of added weight is not a big deal to me. But it might be a bit clunky-looking or geeky maybe.

Anyone have any experience doing something like this? I am thinking of doing an organized multi-day cross-state ride in Michigan this summer. The GPS might come in handy, although I'd have to pack a couple sets of extra batteries since I no longer have a 12V electrical system to connect it to .

-- Doug
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Old 04-02-05, 08:07 AM
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HaagenDas
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This has been brought up in this post GPS thread

I have put my GPS on several times to check the calibration of my cycling computer. I wouldn't put it on unless I was doing some mapping or using trails to get somewhere. All the same, it is a nifty toy.
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Old 04-02-05, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by DougG
Anyone have any experience doing something like this?
-- Doug
I ride with my GPS V all the time. I tried using Garmins Forerunner 201 because it was smaller but found that it is not compatible with Garmin's MapSource software and the tiny little program that comes with the Forerunner is glitchy. So I went back to the GPS-V. The GPS-V does have more mass to it but have never had any problems with it. The GPS-III versions had an accessory battery spacer that went between the pairs of batteries. Apparently, Garmin found that if a big enough jolt was given to the receiver the batteries could separate from their contacts and momentarily glitch the power. I haven't had this problem with the GPS-V. The only real problem I've had with the GPS-V is with the Garmin mounts for this style of receiver. The clip that goes onto the receiver body is OK and the clamp that goes onto the handle bars is OK, but where these two (Garmin) pieces slide/connect together is really weak. After ejecting my receiver from the slide/clip one time, I started wrapping that joint with velcro strap to keep it from sliding apart.
The data I like to monitor from the receiver is Speed, Avg Speed, Distance (odometer), Time Total, and Time Moving. The track function is also used to show a map of where I rode.

BTW, did you see the new Garmin Forerunner 301 with the heart monitor feature?
http://www.garmin.com/products/forerunner301/

d.tipton

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Old 04-02-05, 08:52 PM
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Yes, I use a Forerunner 201 for my running and like it a lot. I used it on the bike a couple of times, but of course it has a lot less capability than the GPS V. The F201 is good for tracking time, distance, and pace, but I am looking for the mapping features of my V.
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Old 04-02-05, 09:42 PM
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I have no use for a GPS. I've been riding road bikes for over 35 years and rode mostly in remote mountain areas and never wish I had a GPS. Don't know where your going? Look at a map! Or take a map with you, it's not like your going to be navagating the freeway system in St Louis!!!
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Old 04-02-05, 11:17 PM
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I could have used one today. I was riding on old hiway 101 on the coast here and took an off road. Went several miles but had to turn around because while I knew the road hooked back with 101 somewhere I had no idea how far....
D
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Old 04-03-05, 08:14 AM
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While my Garmin V is used primarily in the car, I've brought it along when hiking or mountain biking on occasion. Garmin makes a handlebar mounting bracket, so it's easy to attach/detach.

Do I need it....no. Do I refer to it when hiking/biking...only when coming to a major fork in the trail and don't have a map (which isn't too often). But I do mark the location of every "summit", so I can save it for posterity.
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Old 04-03-05, 10:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Dougmt
I could have used one today. I was riding on old hiway 101 on the coast here and took an off road. Went several miles but had to turn around because while I knew the road hooked back with 101 somewhere I had no idea how far....
D
I won't leave the house without my GPS and consider it one of the best purchase I've made since I started cycling. I've been able to avoid highways and ride on slower roads thanks to my GPS. People think GPS's are expensive but have you purchased maps lately? I'm holding a street map of Monmouth County, New Jersey and it cost me $3.95. If I wanted to buy the entire state of New Jersey, we're talking about 20-30 dollars! Then I have to carry these maps every time I'm out because I never know when I'm going to need them. OH.. If I decide to head to New York City, I would need to buy MORE maps! Can you imagine how many street maps I would have to buy if I wanted to tour other states? Sure I can buy a regular highway map but then I'd be limited to riding fast freeways were the cars are traveling 55mph and more!

When you do get lost, you can spend a load of time just trying to find your exact location on the map. The GPS liberated me from having to carry paper with me forever. I don't even know all the features of the device and I've had it for nearly two years! It's not necessary. The fact that I can no longer get lost has made the device invaluable.
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Old 04-03-05, 11:28 PM
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I have a Magellan that I was using a lot. On a tour in Thailand once it came in handy three times. Here in California it doesn't come in too handy but I use it in place of a cycle computer and it can be a fun toy. I'm not using it now as I don't want to buy batteries for it, but will take it back to Thailand next month.
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Old 04-03-05, 11:35 PM
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My uncle has a GPS on his bike. it's pretty cool, tell you altitude, climbing speed, speed you are moving forward, Longitude/Latitude, temp, etc.

Only problem is, if he hits a bump or the road gets rough the batteries sometimes disconnect and the signal is lost.
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Old 04-04-05, 07:41 AM
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I use a Garmin SP III on my motorcycle and in the car, but have not used one on a bicycle. If I did, I expect the V one of the models on my list to look at closely.

There is a forum specifically for GPS users at http://forums.gpscity.com/index.php

You might find some useful information there.

Regards,
Rick
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