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

What GPS do you use?

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Old 04-14-18, 07:26 PM
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Obeast
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What GPS do you use?

I find iphone sucks too much battery. Looking for something more weather hardy, perhaps solar powered?
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Old 04-14-18, 08:21 PM
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Garmin Edge 800. Been using it since 2010. No problems. 10 hour battery life and can add a battery pack for long rides. The new Garmins are better.
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Old 04-15-18, 06:48 AM
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I have a garmin 800 as well. I really want a Wahoo Elemnt Bolt, but I can't justify it right now. The garmin flakes out a little too much for my taste at longer distances. Stopped giving me cues at the end of a recent 300km ride, for example, right when I needed them most. At least it didn't lock up. But watching the map was an unwelcome extra task after a difficult ride.

I prefer to charge mine using a battery pack. One 2600 mah battery pack keeps my 800 good for about 20 hours. So 4 or 5 should be good for a 1200km ride. Unless you are touring.
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Old 04-15-18, 07:01 AM
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I started off using a garmin edge 200 for rando rides, it was pretty great for 200 and quicker 300s with the battery lasting about 12 hours. Navigation worked all the time, no issues there. It charges and records at the same time. I wanted to use cadence/speed sensors for my rollers in the winter so I upgraded to an edge 500 and found it to be very buggy for displaying breadcrumb trails; the line would randomly disappear and cues would get skipped. It would happen randomly, riding along in open country on clear days. Since it's an old product there's little hope of garmin fixing the bug. The 500 also needs a charge-only cable since it can't be charged while running with a standard cable.

I've since given up on garmin and started using a wahoo bolt, it's very easy to read compared to my old edge units. I like the basic map that is has on there, it's enough information to discern the turns without being hard-to-read. It downloads routes of ridewithgps via wifi at home which provide turn cues, something I love for riding brevets. I haven't run the battery down yet but I it took 12 hours to use up 75% of my unit's capacity so it should last long enough for a quick 300. It also can charge during use and the port is on the side. The bolt also uses the same cable as an android phone which is more convenient than my old garmins that used the other small usb cables... seems most gas stations sell android chargers so in a pinch it'd be easy to buy a new one.

I've never seen anyone use a solar charger on a brevet, some people use them for touring but it seems like too much hassle for me. On a 200/300/400 a small usb battery pack can charge any GPS and should have enough juice to get one through to the end, unless maybe it's a full-value 400 then go with a bigger battery pack. For a 600 with a hotel overnight sleep stop you can probably charge it up for a few hours during the sleep break or have more battery packs in the drop bag. Same deal on a 1000 or 1200 with hotels. Some folks like to use the dynohub to charge the gps and/or phone during the day but I have no experience with that either. Seems the B&M light with the usb port built in would be the easiest way to go if you're starting from scratch on the dynohub/light front.

edit: the lezyne super GPS seems to be similar and it's cheaper, but the bolt's been around for a while and has a good rep so I chose it.

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Old 04-15-18, 08:48 AM
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Bryton Rider 530

I'm using a Bryton Rider 530.

Unknowns: I've never had a Garmin or other bike GPS, so I can't really compare. When I ride with Garmin users, sometimes they have inexplicable GPS problems, sometimes I do. The Garmin users seem to get useful audible signals from their units, telling them where to turn; I don't get these. Whether that's user error or the device's limitations, I dunno.

Pros: cheap, excellent battery life. No problem with charging while in use.

Cons: lots of oddities. Planning a route usually requires using the Bryton website, which is similar to Strava etc but different, and a bit clunky. I should be able to plug the Bryton into the computer via USB to load tracks directly, but the computer usually fails to recognise the device.

And get this... Device settings allow me to choose miles or kilometers. I have chosen miles. So when I record a ride, all readout is miles. But when I follow a track it gives me km to next turn, present speed in km/h, distance remaining in km, and distance covered so far, in miles.

When the device froze up a few weeks ago I used the Bryton website to find help; they asked me to send it back, and a week later a brand new one arrived by mail.

Bottom line, it's adequate, I can't say I'm thrilled with it, but am not suffering from buyer's remorse.
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Old 04-15-18, 10:33 AM
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Need a new GPS for randonneuring?
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Old 04-15-18, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
I'm using a Bryton Rider 530.
My opinion of my Bryton Rider 330 mirrors yours. The OP asked about weather hardy GPSs. The Bryton Rider does kick butt in the rain. I've been in downpours and it kept ticking with no problems.

Pros: Battery life is very good. Easy to sync via Bluetooth to my smartphone and the auto-upload to Strava. Accessories like HRM, cadence, and speed sensors work great. As stated, when in heavy rain, it performs perfectly.

Cons: Any trees along the route, the reported speed jumps all over the place. And when following a route and if you have several miles of a straight road ahead of you, the GPS directions will show zig-zags coming up. Gets confusing in cities where there are plenty of places to turn. This caused me to get off-course several times during my last populaire.

As you have stated, not exactly displeased with it, and no buyers remorse either. It does what I need it to. And not much else.
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Old 04-15-18, 08:44 PM
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Edge 800, replaced the battery myself last year to bring it back to close to its original runtime. I do a lot of cold riding so I like that it doesn't have a capacitive touch screen. The map screen can be very difficult to read depending on the angle of the sun.

I tried a 1000 last year but returned it after 1 ride because I couldn't live with having to take my winter gloves off to do anything on it. When I eventually replace my 800 it will likely be with something that doesn't have a touch screen.
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Old 04-16-18, 07:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Garmin Edge 800. Been using it since 2010. No problems. 10 hour battery life and can add a battery pack for long rides. The new Garmins are better.
10 hours? really. Is this in "power save" mode?
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Old 04-16-18, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by vintagerando View Post
10 hours? really. Is this in "power save" mode?
If there is a power save mode, I don't know about it or use it. Garmin's quoted life is 12 hours, but I don't get that much. I think the 1030 has ~17 hour life.
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Old 04-16-18, 11:30 AM
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I use a Garmin Edge 200. Actually use 2 since they were only $60, I haven't exceeded the battery life yet as it seems to be around 15-16 hours but I plan to use one until the battery is close to dead and then switch to the other while the first charges from a battery pack in my frame bag; for the 400k and 600k rides I have planned.

Previously I did this with my iphone and it worked great. Practice runs with the garmins have also worked pretty well. I've been using them in rain and mud for almost a year and they just seem to work.
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Old 04-16-18, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by vintagerando View Post
10 hours? really. Is this in "power save" mode?
Doubt the 800 has power save, thatís on the newer units, mostly as they can be power hogs while navigating, using BlueTooth, etc..,

My Garmin 1000 has run 14 hrs with no navigation, about 10 with navigation on, but thatís at the extreme of capability, Iíd say typically 10-12 hrs or 6-8 with navigation. And again, using BT to talk to a Di2 system, or do Live Track uses power as well. I think the Wahoo unitís do slightly better at 10-15 hrs., maybe the Garmin 520 up near that as well.

Many really long distance folks use the Garmin hiking units, they use AA in some of the units, though with a dedicated cycling GPS you can also add a battery stick and get a few days out of it.
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Old 04-16-18, 09:54 PM
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the 800 uses noticeably less power when not showing maps, probably 25 percent or more. If mine is properly showing nav cues, I often turn off the maps. Really depends on if I want to save the battery or not. Those circumstances are rare nowadays though, I have an external battery that lasts a long time.
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Old 04-17-18, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
the 800 uses noticeably less power when not showing maps, probably 25 percent or more. If mine is properly showing nav cues, I often turn off the maps. Really depends on if I want to save the battery or not. Those circumstances are rare nowadays though, I have an external battery that lasts a long time.
The 800 won't process* maps if the map screen isn't displayed.

That is, you can save power by just going to a data page.

That leaves the map available if you need it.

Edit: "process" isn't clear.

The units don't keep updating the map image/picture unless the map page is visible. They still keep tack of turns and being on course.

Note that it's possible for​​​​​​ computers to update images in memory even if the images are not being displayed.

On the Edges, the image you first see briefly after switching to the map screen is clearly stale (it wouldn't be if the unit was updating the image in the background).

​​​​

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Old 04-17-18, 08:54 PM
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how do you think I do it, some sort of firmware hack? Just scroll to a page that doesn't show a map.
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Old 04-18-18, 01:22 AM
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For the last few years I've been using an o_sync Navi2coach and am pretty happy with it. It's quite solid, never lost a recording. It's button operated, can be recharged with a standard micro USB cable (i.e. like most Android phones) and the battery can be user replaced if it gets too old. Navigation by bread crumb trail works well. Absolutely no issues with rain, even when charging.

Drawbacks:
- About once a year I had to factory reset because the file system got corrupted after I completely emptied the folder holding recorded activities.
- Only one of my set of ANT+ speed/cadence sensors works well with it, two different models I tried never worked well. Currently I use GPS reckoning for distance and speed only. YMMV.
- good distributor support.

Before that I used to have a Garmin Edge 500.

The 500 had a barometric altimeter, which the more basic 200 didn't have (I think). I prefer buttons over touch screen for a GPS (e.g. when using winter gloves or a rain cover). The new 5xx / 8xx / 1xxx models use touch screens. They have a lot of functionality that I don't need and many if not most models have serious firmware issues (e.g. random reboots on long rides) from what I hear.

On the down side, I lost too many recordings on the 500 after hours of riding. Needing a special cable to charge while recording is a pain and if the cable comes loose while charging and recording, it may actually end the recording! I know several people who were very unhappy with its water resistance (i.e. the 500 died on them). In the end I got totally fed up with the firmware bugs and sold it.

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Old 04-18-18, 12:37 PM
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Two on the bike:

Garmin 510 to record for Strava and to display heart rate, speed cadence, time etc

Etrex 20x to show bread crumb route ( .gpx file)

Very happy. Both can be run off AA batteries forever (garmin would require external
Battery pack for that)
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Old 04-18-18, 03:26 PM
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I own an eTrex 20 and an eTrex 30. Both work perfectly fine for day rides - up to 18 hours on single use AA batteries, ~15 hours on rechargeable alkalines in my experience. I bought both used of eBay for well under half MSRP. With my 30, I can and do use HRM and cadence connections. I would recommend either/both to anyone who doesn't need all of the "features"(problems?) of the newest Garmins.
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Old 04-19-18, 12:28 AM
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Garmin Edge 1030
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Old 04-20-18, 11:46 AM
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I use non-cycling specific GPS units because I use them for canoeing, kayaking, hiking, backpacking, driving long distances in my truck, etc. For these various purposes I use Garmin 64, Garmin 62S and some vintage Garmins that have been out of production for over a decade. For canoeing and kayaking I use the vintage ones that have a black and white screen that stays on without burning up the batteries, thus do not need to take a hand off of the paddle to wake them up.
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Old 08-02-18, 10:06 AM
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I'd like to revive this thread rather than create a new one since it's only a few months old. Can someone recommend the best (or least worst) GPS for the following usage scenario?

Currently, the way I like to do my road bicycling is to map out a route using Ride With GPS and then print out a paper cue sheet and follow it. I have the Ride With GPS app running on my smartphone in my pocket to record the ride. I generally do not do a whole lot of improvisational exploring while on the bike, preferring to work out an interesting route (lots of back roads and hills, avoiding busy suburban highways) beforehand. Basically, I like to ride "brevet style", even just on my own solo rides.

I would like to get a GPS device that acts as an "electronic cue sheet". In other words, I would like it to:
  • Import a file of my planned route from Ride With GPS
  • Show me the route track on a map with street names to help with the occasional confusing intersection
  • Preferably, tell me when turns are coming up, maybe with an audible beep but at least with a message or arrow
  • Preferably, tell me if I've gone off course
  • Show me the remaining distance until the next turn
  • Show me total distance, current speed, time of day, etc.
  • Record the ride and upload to Ride With GPS afterwards (just like I currently use my cell phone for)
  • Rain proof would be a big plus
I do NOT care about these features:
  • Recalculating the route if I go off the course (this could theoretically be disqualifying on a brevet)
  • Calculating a route to an arbitrary place (I have Google Maps on my smartphone for that, so I don't if the GPS can tell me how to get to the nearest McDonald's)
  • Heart rate, cadence, power meters, etc.
  • Bluetooth or any kind of phone or social media integration
So like I said, I really just want something to help me follow the cue sheet better. Right now, I have no computer on my bike to tell the remaining distance to the next turn, so occasionally I get convinced I must have missed the turn and I have to stop and pull out my phone to check Maps. Sometimes I actually did miss the turn, but usually I just got impatient and it is still coming up. So something that would tell me "4 miles to next cue point" and give me a beep when I'm getting close would be really helpful. Other than that I don't need much else.

I'm a little unclear as to what the differences between the Etrex 20(x) and the Edge 800/etc are, in terms of following a premade course. Is it that the Etrex can't give you beeps and arrows for upcoming turns? It just shows you the breadcrumb trail? Someone wrote that the Etrex 20 attempts to recalculate the route if you go off course and that this can't be disabled? Seems like that would be a problem.

Of the 800, 810, and 820, are they all about the same as far as the above goes? The 810 is about $150 used on eBay, and the 800 is around the same or even closer to $100 or lower. I'm a little concerned about how old the 800 now is though, in terms of battery life, etc.
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Old 08-02-18, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Chesterton View Post
I'd like to revive this thread rather than create a new one since it's only a few months old. Can someone recommend the best (or least worst) GPS for the following usage scenario?

Currently, the way I like to do my road bicycling is to map out a route using Ride With GPS and then print out a paper cue sheet and follow it. I have the Ride With GPS app running on my smartphone in my pocket to record the ride. I generally do not do a whole lot of improvisational exploring while on the bike, preferring to work out an interesting route (lots of back roads and hills, avoiding busy suburban highways) beforehand. Basically, I like to ride "brevet style", even just on my own solo rides.

I would like to get a GPS device that acts as an "electronic cue sheet". In other words, I would like it to:
  • Import a file of my planned route from Ride With GPS
  • Show me the route track on a map with street names to help with the occasional confusing intersection
  • Preferably, tell me when turns are coming up, maybe with an audible beep but at least with a message or arrow
  • Preferably, tell me if I've gone off course
  • Show me the remaining distance until the next turn
  • Show me total distance, current speed, time of day, etc.
  • Record the ride and upload to Ride With GPS afterwards (just like I currently use my cell phone for)
  • Rain proof would be a big plus
I do NOT care about these features:
  • Recalculating the route if I go off the course (this could theoretically be disqualifying on a brevet)
  • Calculating a route to an arbitrary place (I have Google Maps on my smartphone for that, so I don't if the GPS can tell me how to get to the nearest McDonald's)
  • Heart rate, cadence, power meters, etc.
  • Bluetooth or any kind of phone or social media integration
So like I said, I really just want something to help me follow the cue sheet better. Right now, I have no computer on my bike to tell the remaining distance to the next turn, so occasionally I get convinced I must have missed the turn and I have to stop and pull out my phone to check Maps. Sometimes I actually did miss the turn, but usually I just got impatient and it is still coming up. So something that would tell me "4 miles to next cue point" and give me a beep when I'm getting close would be really helpful. Other than that I don't need much else.

I'm a little unclear as to what the differences between the Etrex 20(x) and the Edge 800/etc are, in terms of following a premade course. Is it that the Etrex can't give you beeps and arrows for upcoming turns? It just shows you the breadcrumb trail? Someone wrote that the Etrex 20 attempts to recalculate the route if you go off course and that this can't be disabled? Seems like that would be a problem.

Of the 800, 810, and 820, are they all about the same as far as the above goes? The 810 is about $150 used on eBay, and the 800 is around the same or even closer to $100 or lower. I'm a little concerned about how old the 800 now is though, in terms of battery life, etc.
Wahoo Elemnt or Elemnt Bolt will do exactly what you want to do. It's very easy to set up and customize pages and integrates flawlessly with your cell phone. Although some of the features you don't care about are included in both units, you don't have to use them if you don't want to. The nice thing about the Bolt is that the cue sheets that are created with the route in RWGPS are displayed on the computer by selecting the left button when on the map page. Unfortunately, RWGPS just made a change to their subscriptions and cue sheets and POIs are now only available with they premium subscription. The only thing that the Elemnt and Bolt don't do is show the street names on the map itself. It does show them in the turn notifications, which are displayed on any of the pages you happen to be viewing. When a turn is approaching, you will get an audible alarm along with flashing LEDs and the pop up notification telling you what street to turn on, the direction of the turn and how far to the turn. Pretty much all GPS units do this. When you approach the turn, the Elemnt and Bolt flash the LEDs again, in the direction of the turn. I use the turn by turn feature quite a bit and have not really needed the street names on the map. In fact, I would rather not have them as they tend to clutter up the small viewing area and you will need to zoom in to see the street names. Both units will automatically send your ride data to RWGPS after you complete your ride; either by BTLE (through your phone; uses WiFi or cellular) or WiFi (phone not needed).
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Old 08-02-18, 06:03 PM
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Garmin 810

I like my Garmin 810. I have used it in monsoon-intensity downpours without any issues. Since they updated the software, it can digest 300K+ rides. The glitches are less frequent, probably due to software updates.

A lipstick USB battery will get you through 200K. It can do a 100K on its internal battery.

I particularly like the data screens which can be customized and the color map. The map is small but can be resized. I have used this to find detours when needed.

I don't like the automatic shutoff that occurs when connected or disconnected to a power source. Usually I can cancel it before it initiates as it gives you an audible cue, but sometimes the unit just shuts off when the external USB batteries is depleted, and this sucks. This feature also prevents one from hooking it into a dynohub-powered USB plug as they all shut off when you stop or turn on the headlight. I don't know if this feature can be turned off on the 820. The 830 should be coming out within a year or so. I will probably check the features on that to determine whether I should upgrade.
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Old 08-02-18, 06:41 PM
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clasher
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I am still liking my wahoo bolt after this year’s rando adventures. There is also a mini version that works with a phone but I don’t know much about it. If you just used the wahoo bolt without an HR monitor or cadence sensor those fields can be disabled. I love that it automatically uploads rides to rwgps, very handy on a tour or when out of town. The navigation in the app is basic but can be handy if you have mobile data.
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Old 08-02-18, 07:34 PM
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In addition to the Bolt, the new Garmin Edge Explore looks promising. Also the Lezyne Mega XL and Mega C have outrageous claimed battery life. The shortcomings of my garmin edge 800 have me interested in a new gps.
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