Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

Need a new GPS for randonneuring?

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Old 10-24-17, 02:12 PM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by europa View Post
I've never used a GPS or seen one used so I'm trying to imagine the things you're talking about - my old Polar bike computer is showing signs of coming to the end of its life and I might have to buy something else.
Is a 'breadcrumb trail' just a route with warnings of turns but without a map to show you where you are in the world? If so, can switch backwards and forwards between the map and the breadcrumb?
Wahoo Bolt Map screen with breadcrumb trail and directions. Not mine, random internet pic.
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Old 10-24-17, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by europa View Post
I've never used a GPS or seen one used so I'm trying to imagine the things you're talking about - my old Polar bike computer is showing signs of coming to the end of its life and I might have to buy something else.
Is a 'breadcrumb trail' just a route with warnings of turns but without a map to show you where you are in the world?
Usually.



If so, can switch backwards and forwards between the map and the breadcrumb?
GPSes with breadcrumb trails usually don't do maps, which is a problem when there's some ambiguity (there's another road connecting at a 45 degree angle 100 feet away) or you've detoured around things like overpasses and lost sight of where you were riding.

That's a problem because their turn directions are just a replay from the course creation software which is often incorrect. Ridewithgps deletes course points and sometimes makes misleading turn directions. Below, it incorrectly generated a "slight right" turn. That leads to getting lost when combined with poor signage and GPS display space limitations which cause them to omit the descriptive text field with adjectives like "slight." The Edge 500 here can't even display the whole name of "Calle Alfredo."



GPSes with navigation instead of breadcrumbs (mostly the Garmin Edge 700, 800, and 1000 series) use the underlying map information, will tell you about turns regardless of whether the route creation software was correct, and illustrate how you should turn



The Mio also does maps, but doesn't do user defined course points where you can add entries for things like food, water, and control points.

Information like next turn and distance to coursepoint are usually (but not always) selectable as fields on data screens.

and you can usually get an electronic cue sheet counting down important distances

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Old 10-24-17, 05:13 PM
  #28  
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is course point distance just a distance to the next waypoint? Or is it to the next turn. I have never bothered to set up the custom screen on my garmin, I probably should
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Old 10-24-17, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
is course point distance just a distance to the next waypoint? Or is it to the next turn. I have never bothered to set up the custom screen on my garmin, I probably should
Course point distance ("Crs. Pt. Dist.") is to the next waypoint (<CoursePoint> in the .tcx XML) emitted by the course creation software, whether automatic (most turns) or manual (food which shows a banana icon, water with a drop, etc.). Everything on the ridewithgps and Garmin cue sheets is a <CoursePoint>. That can be noisy if you don't delete the ones added automatically where roads change names or wiggle slightly.

"Next Point" is the next turn as calculated by the GPS "turn guidance."

Astute readers will note those are different points. On the 800 you can also have distance to next GPS calculated point, but can't display next course point text as a field which matches the distance you're most interested in.

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Old 10-24-17, 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
is course point distance just a distance to the next waypoint? Or is it to the next turn.
It's the distance to the next course point (exactly what the words say).

There are two "distances to something".

Course -> Course Pt. Dist. --> Distance to the next course point (only for tcx files that have course points).
Navigation -> Dist. to Next --> Distance to the next calculated turn (turn guidance/big white arrows).

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Old 10-24-17, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by downtube42 View Post
I always carry a cue sheet for backup, or even for double-checking during the ride. Which begs the question, why bother with the electronics crap?
It displays the next turn, has a countdown distance that's correct even if detours mean your lap mileage doesn't map match the cue sheet, shows the correct turn when you have multiple options without noticeable street signs, and is backlit so you don't get Shermer's neck from a helmet mounted headlamp.

This isn't as user friendly, even when you cut into two inch strips, waterproof with plastic, tape them together like a TripTik, attach to your top tube, and use a velcro strap as a cursor

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Old 10-24-17, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Drew Eckhardt View Post
GPSes with navigation instead of breadcrumbs (mostly the Garmin Edge 700, 800, and 1000 series) use the underlying map information, will tell you about turns regardless of whether the route creation software was correct, and illustrate how you should turn
The Garmins with maps can also do "breadcrumb" navigation. They add "turn guidance" (big white arrows).

While "turn guidance" is preferable, basic track following works when the map doesn't include the roads/paths you are using.

Track following also serves as a backup to the "turn guidance".

Turn guidance (big white arrows) requires that the map used to plan the route matches the map installed on the device fairly-closely.

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Old 10-24-17, 06:56 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by Drew Eckhardt View Post
Below, it incorrectly generated a "slight right" turn.


RWGPS uses a different "layer" for routing. That error occurred because the routing layer is out of date.

The map you see isn't actually used for routing.

Sometimes, you can "fix" this by using another map (for example, using OSM instead of Google).

Originally Posted by Drew Eckhardt View Post
This isn't as user friendly, even when you cut into two inch strips, waterproof with plastic, tape them together like a TripTik, attach to your top tube, and use a velcro strap as a cursor.
That's a particularly bad cuesheet.

Creating and using a GPS route is much easier than creating and using a cuesheet. It takes a fair amount of work to create a good cuesheet.

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Old 10-24-17, 08:22 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
I browsed across the randon mailing list this weekend, and the Electronics forum here. Lots of griping about Garmin 800/1000 software stability got me remembering and thinking.


I bought my 800 shortly after the 810 came out, largely because it was cheaper and I didn't see the need for smartphone integration in the 810. The "Buy a Wahoo" contingent places a great deal of emphasis on how you don't need a computer to download a RWGPS route, you can do it from your phone.


My (retrogrouch) response to that is, "So what?" I have yet to drive a couple of hours, and possibly stay overnight in a motel, only to decide suddenly, "I'm going to ride this brevet" at 4:00-7:00 in the morning.


I can foresee a need to upgrade if an LBA decides to use group tracking from Strava or the like to monitor progress of the randonneurs, but I haven't heard of that happening yet. So far I've dealt successfully with the foibles of "Goofy, the Garmin." Is there something I'm missing just because I'm not sufficiently addicted to my smartphone? Or is somebody trying to sell new Wahoos or buy used Garmins cheap?
Yes, the Wahoo devices allow easy download of RWGPS routes to the device. But you are either going to use a pre-existing route that somebody else created in RWGPS, or create one yourself and will likely use a computer to do that. Then itís a simple download to a Wahoo and is done via WiFi to the Wahoo smartphone app, then BT to the device. Convenient.

Getting RWGPS to a Garmin means USB connecting the device to a computer to download. Or create a route on Garmin Connect and use the Connect mobile app and the BT connection to get the course to the device.

Having used a Garmin 810 with Connect Courses, as well a Wahoo Bolt and RWGPS, either works well for course creation. RWGPS is better then Connect at finding routes others have created and saving as a ride you want to do.

And FWIW, I have found that while the Bolt is an excellent and reliable tracking device, I prefer the navigation and color screen on a Garmin. Specifically I find that the TBT info on the B&W screen of the Bolt impossible to read while wearing sunglasses. The data screen info is white text on black background and just unreadable without taking of my glasses. As well, a Garmin will automatically switch from the data screen to the map page for the TBT info, something a Wahoo wonít do and is a feature Wahoo should add.
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Old 10-25-17, 01:53 AM
  #35  
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Thanks for the explanations.
I'm tempted to think that none of them do it properly as yet... and will that change? Maybe it's just a case of making your choice and living with the consequences.
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Old 10-25-17, 02:23 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
The Garmins with maps can also do "breadcrumb" navigation. They add "turn guidance" (big white arrows).

While "turn guidance" is preferable, basic track following works when the map doesn't include the roads/paths you are using.

Track following also serves as a backup to the "turn guidance".

Turn guidance (big white arrows) requires that the map used to plan the route matches the map installed on the device fairly-closely.
Breadcrumb navigation works well enough if you're familiar with the route, and it doesn't eat the battery like turn by turn does.

Plenty of people turn up for my rides without looking at the route though.
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Old 10-25-17, 02:53 AM
  #37  
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Question on the Wahoo Bolt: Can you charge it while it's recording? Is the USB port accessible while it's seated in the mount?

EDIT: To answer my own question, with the ahead mount it looks like one would need to use an L-shaped cable to avoid clearance issues with the stem, as there's very little space between the USB port at the 6 o'clock position of the device and the stem.

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Old 10-25-17, 07:29 AM
  #38  
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every report I have seen says that you can charge the bolt while riding. Assuming you can get a cable to work

Originally Posted by europa View Post
Thanks for the explanations.
I'm tempted to think that none of them do it properly as yet... and will that change? Maybe it's just a case of making your choice and living with the consequences.
I think what they do is really difficult, and it's amazing how well they do it. The fact that I can look down at my stem and a device will tell me if I'm on course, and show if there is a turn coming up is very liberating. The less expensive devices that use breadcrumbs just don't appeal to me much. Although it depends on how well the breadcrumbs overlay a map, if at all. Some very simple changes would make me pretty happy with my Garmin, I'm pretty sure if you could turn off data collection it would work great.
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Old 10-25-17, 09:15 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
Yes, the Wahoo devices allow easy download of RWGPS routes to the device. But you are either going to use a pre-existing route that somebody else created in RWGPS, or create one yourself and will likely use a computer to do that. Then itís a simple download to a Wahoo and is done via WiFi to the Wahoo smartphone app, then BT to the device. Convenient.

Getting RWGPS to a Garmin means USB connecting the device to a computer to download. Or create a route on Garmin Connect and use the Connect mobile app and the BT connection to get the course to the device.

I guess this gets to the question I was trying to ask. Why not just download the route while you charge the GPS from the computer? For a randonneur, what's the benefit to the smart phone interface of the Garmin 810/820/1000/1030 or the Wahoos?
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Old 10-25-17, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
I guess this gets to the question I was trying to ask. Why not just download the route while you charge the GPS from the computer? For a randonneur, what's the benefit to the smart phone interface of the Garmin 810/820/1000/1030 or the Wahoos?
Silly reason. My laptop is upstairs in my house, my bikes in the basement. I charge the devices near the bikes and would prefer to not have to carry the unit upstairs, charge, carry down, forget to grab it, etc.... When all updates, map/course/route downloads, data uploads, can be down via BT to a smartphone, or via WiFi to my house connection, right out of the device, is a convenience, but not a game changer.

As well, and on a remote start/finish, a Garmin as well as the Wahoo will and can download a course from the web (RWGPS or Connect) via the smartphone app, then via BT to the device, as well as send data from a completed ride to the smartphone and then use the cell data (if present) to send to the web. You can also just keep the completed ride data in the unit history and then and when you have cell data or WiFi, dump up to the web application. Again, it's a convenience and not a game changer.
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Old 10-25-17, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by europa View Post
Thanks for the explanations.
I'm tempted to think that none of them do it properly as yet... and will that change?
If some cycling software and hardware engineers do an open source solution, because the market of people riding long unfamiliar routes with minimal support is too small to pay for a commercial project. That also means Garmin needn't care either.

With SoCs, open source, and 3d printing + CNC for prototypes leading to CNC molds with outsourced manufacture that's entirely viable.
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Old 10-25-17, 05:20 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
every report I have seen says that you can charge the bolt while riding. Assuming you can get a cable to work

.
Yes, itíll track and run while charging.

If using an out front mount, youíll need a right angle USB Mini ? (Whatever version it uses), connector, but not if using the stem/h-bar Wahoo mount.
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Old 10-25-17, 05:54 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by europa View Post
Thanks for the explanations.
I'm tempted to think that none of them do it properly as yet... and will that change? Maybe it's just a case of making your choice and living with the consequences.
Well, you can plunk down $350 for a Garmin 1000 or Wahoo Elemnt and get a device thatíll give you good bike computer functions as well as good navigation and TBT. So they do ďdo it properlyĒ, at least in my opinion. Iíve successfully created courses/routes and had the device give me accurate turn info., thus alleviating the need for a paper cue sheet. The GPS is certainly easier to use and read then paper, if you don't want to be stopping at every potential turn point.

Note that as this the the rando forum, one quirk crops up, that Drew and NJ have experienced of some units will not allow routes longer then say 60 miles or some such. The Garmins seem to have this issue, maybe not the Wahooís, or at least I havenít read of this issue with this units. The ability to break the route down to shorter courses is an option, thus itís not an insurmountable problem and the usefulness of the device otherwise might make up for that shortcoming.
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Old 10-25-17, 06:42 PM
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If it was only 60 miles, garmin would have fixed it by now. The lockups come at somewhere between 180 and 225 miles in my experience, at least on the 800. 820 has other issues. I know one person that has lockups, another that has really finicky guidance.
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Old 10-25-17, 08:06 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
Note that as this the the rando forum, one quirk crops up, that Drew and NJ have experienced of some units will not allow routes longer then say 60 miles or some such. The Garmins seem to have this issue, maybe not the Wahoo’s, or at least I haven’t read of this issue with this units. The ability to break the route down to shorter courses is an option, thus it’s not an insurmountable problem and the usefulness of the device otherwise might make up for that shortcoming.
Err. No.

The ancient 800 has an issue recording rides that are longer than around 180 miles. I haven't seen reports of newer units having that issue. It's easy enough to avoid that problem (restart ride recording at a control).

Recording rides is not the same as navigating.

Using "turn guidance" for longer rides can be a issue (for various reasons). But I routinely navigate routes (and record rides) as long as 100 miles using an ancient without any problems.

The Wahoo units use a simpler form of navigation. What it does is like what the ancient 500 does (Wahoo implementation might be nicer). This form of navigation is easy to do. It would be surprising if there were problems with it.

Wahoo basically does what the 500 did 8 years ago. It adds basic maps and a better display of turn information but it's basically an old approach.

The Wahoo appears to be a nice unit (no reason not to consider it) but it's not magic.

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Old 10-25-17, 08:33 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
Err. No.

The ancient 800 has an issue recording rides that are longer than around 180 miles. I haven't seen reports of newer units having that issue. It's easy enough to avoid that problem (restart ride recording at a control).

Recording rides is not the same as navigating.

Using "turn guidance" for longer rides can be a issue (for various reasons). But I routinely navigate routes (and record rides) as long as 100 miles using an ancient without any problems.

The Wahoo units use a simpler form of navigation. What it does is like what the ancient 500 does (Wahoo implementation might be nicer). This form of navigation is easy to do. It would be surprising if there were problems with it.

Wahoo basically does what the 500 did 8 years ago. It adds basic maps and a better display of turn information but it's basically an old approach.

The Wahoo appears to be a nice unit (no reason not to consider it) but it's not magic.
Thanks NJ, I couldnít recall what you had posted prior about distance limits in navigation. Didnít want to blindly recommend a unit that might have that bug.
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Old 10-26-17, 04:30 AM
  #47  
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Thanks for the replies to my questions and comments.
Any thoughts on which is the preferred unit to buy? There are a lot of comments regarding one or the other, but is anyone game enough to express a preference? Indeed, does it matter?
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Old 10-26-17, 06:16 AM
  #48  
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I just un-boxed a Garmin 1000. It was a good deal at $369 at Amazon and can be gotten cheaper. It's been the flagship GPS for Garmin and has some great features,so thought I'd give it a try. Initial impressions were a snappier unit then my Garmin 810, on par with Wahoo. As easy to get setup as a Wahoo as well (which requires a smartphone). Took it outside and I can see the map data and TBT info better then on the Bolt while wearing non-polarized sunglasses, and that was a problem with the Bolt as I had to remove the glasses to view data. The 1000 battery life is a question as well as touch screen sensitivity. A few rides will give me some feedback.

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Old 10-26-17, 08:27 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
Thanks NJ, I couldn’t recall what you had posted prior about distance limits in navigation. Didn’t want to blindly recommend a unit that might have that bug.
In terms of how navigation works, the Wahoo ELMNT Bolt and the regular ELMNT (pretty-much the same computer) match the Edge 520.

The Wahoo units have better maps. Both the ELMNT and 520 don't do anything with the map other than displaying it. The ELMNT and 520 do "track following with course points" navigation. It's possible that one or both do "angle detection" (determining turns based on angles in the track) but I don't know.

All of the Garmins "track following with course points" (the Touring, oddly, doesn't really). The Garmins that use maps (the 520 only displays maps) provide an additional form of navigation called "turn guidance" (this is what Garmin calls it).

One issue with "course point" turn information on the Garmins that, by default, they occur at the turns. These are placed using a digital map, which might not match the real world. RWGPS (and bikeroutetoaster) have an option to move the course points earlier in the track (so they display before arriving at the turn) but that's still sensitive to mismatches of the digital map used to plan the route with the real worlds (this mismatch can cause the course point not to display if you pass too far away). The 1030 itself provides the option to move the course points earlier.

The Wahoo might do the "track following with course point" better than the 520. The course-point labels on the Wahoo are much (the length of labels on the Garmins is oddly very-short).

The "turn guidance" that the Garmins that use maps provide applies the on-device "calculate a route" feature to produce a calculated route that follows the loaded track.

Outside of the sensitive-to-position issue on the Garmins with displaying "course points", "track following with course points" navigation is very reliable. It should be because it's simple to implement. The Wahoo units should be reliable do it too. There isn't much indication that the 500/510/520 are really less reliable than the Wahoo EMNT computers.

For the "turn guidance" stuff (which the Wahoo units don't do), the different Garmin units are variable in how well they do this (unfortunately). It appears it can take Garmin some months to iron-out bugs in new units. The ancient 800 is probably the most reliable at doing this (it's not perfect but, in my experience, problems are rare and are easy enough to work around). I suspect the problems with newer Garmin units is the result of updating an old/legacy code base. Wahoo is (presumably) using a more-modern code base and what they are doing is much less complicated (so, it wouldn't be surprising if the Wahoo software was more reliable).

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It's easy enough to miss turn announcements on any unit.

Whatever unit you choose, navigating with them is going to be much more reliable if you look at the map frequently.

If people are getting "bonus miles" using a basically-working GPS, they aren't really using it properly.

With cuesheets, you have to keep track your position on the sheet, keep track of miles, look for street signs. And they provide no assistance at recovering from missed turns. And, cuesheets are not all the same anyway.

A GPS does away with all that work.

I suspect some people here try to use the GPS like a cuesheet. If so, it's not really the best approach.

Last edited by njkayaker; 10-26-17 at 08:53 AM.
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Old 10-26-17, 08:47 AM
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Steve B.
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"For the "turn guidance" stuff (which the Wahoo units don't do), the different Garmin units are variable in how well they do this."

Could you better explain this ?. Reason I'm puzzled is my Wahoo Bolt does do "turn guidance" in the sense that it will display in the data and map screens, in a text format, the upcoming turn, the distance to the turn and the street name. Seems that this would be defined as turn guidance, just no viewing it on a map. The Garmin units do a much better job (IMO) then Wahoo with on-map visualization of the turn, the distance, white direction arrow, etc..
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