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iPhone vs Garmin/Wahoo

Old 08-12-22, 07:59 AM
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gif4445
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iPhone vs Garmin/Wahoo

Tell me what I'm missing, if anything. I use my iPhone and RWGPS for navigation on brevets. I download the route pre-ride, to conserve battery and possible poor cell reception. Coupled with the standard paper cue sheet as back-up, it has worked flawlessly. I have an old Garmin touring + that I basically use as a glorified bike computer now. I initially went with the touring plus for its bigger screen, but even then it wasn't big enough (even with readers in my cycling glasses). I know the Garmin/Wahoo can do other things like cadence, power etc, but as of now, I'm not interested in that. Again, what am I missing out on that could improve the experience?
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Old 08-12-22, 08:06 AM
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Only the potential to run down the battery on the phone, which makes it unavailable for other uses, like a phone call. I suspect a dedicated cycle computer will have at least 12+ run time, don't think you can get that with screen on all the time on an iPhone. Maybe think of bringing a battery stick along just in case. Using a smartphone can work, there are many who buy a cheap waterproof Android and run RWGPS or Strava or Kamoots or something and are perfectly fine with it. I'm watching a YT series of a couple touring across the US, currently in Ohio, the guy is using his cell phone with Kamoots, seems to work mostly OK. Using a cheap used phone means you don't worry about failure in a crash or battery life on your expensive and primary phone. Your call as well of the screen is bright enough in the sun, which can be an issue.
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Old 08-12-22, 08:33 AM
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Who knows what you have or your priorities.

On my main Garmin screen, I have configured what is important to me.
1. Speed
2. 3S Power
3. Distance to next turn
4. Time
5. Cadence
6. Gradient percentage

The right side of the screen shows traffic approaching from the rear. Do you have that?

On the Garmin you can configure reminders to drink or eat at defined intervals. Do you have that?

If I am interested in the upcoming lay of the land, I go to the course profile page to see the hills to be ridden.
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Old 08-12-22, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by gif4445 View Post
Tell me what I'm missing, if anything. I use my iPhone and RWGPS for navigation on brevets. I download the route pre-ride, to conserve battery and possible poor cell reception. Coupled with the standard paper cue sheet as back-up, it has worked flawlessly. I have an old Garmin touring + that I basically use as a glorified bike computer now. I initially went with the touring plus for its bigger screen, but even then it wasn't big enough (even with readers in my cycling glasses). I know the Garmin/Wahoo can do other things like cadence, power etc, but as of now, I'm not interested in that. Again, what am I missing out on that could improve the experience?
If it works for you, your approach is fine. Basically, the two approaches (using a phone or using a dedicated device) are the same (both are computers with maps and a GPS).

Having a dedicated device has a few advantages: better battery life, better default weather resistance, smaller, somewhat more convenient, better handling if you go off-course, possibly better screen readability.

With a dedicated device (the Garmins certainly), you can also keep multiple routes (that you can access without the internet). That is, one could have "bail-out" routes available for your brevet.

I'm not sure how well the RWGPS app deals with getting lost or going off course or detours.

There's also a monthly cost to RWGPS (there is not for other devices).

Whatever you use, it needs to work without cell-reception (you already know that).

Originally Posted by gif4445 View Post
...I initially went with the touring plus for its bigger screen,...
Bigger than what?

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Old 08-12-22, 11:34 AM
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If your phone is bright enough to see on a sunny day, great. My low budget Android phone is not.

Use what works, there are a lot of options.

I do not use a cycling GPS, I use a general recreation GPS that runs off of a pair of AA batteries, Garmin 64. It will run over 13 hours on fully charged 2450 mah NiMH rechargeable batteries with screen on full time, backlight off. With backlight on full, that is down to about 6 hours. I am not interesting in upgrading to something else. I am not trying to convince others to use it, just pointing out that there are lots of options including a low budget one, as long as you can buy a handlebar mount for it.

There are a lot of places west of my community (Madison WI) that have no cell coverage, so if you are using a phone mapping or navigation app anywhere near my community, it should be configured for off-line use. I have not tried to use Maps.Me (an Android app) on my bike, but it is an app where you can download maps ahead of time and use off-line. I have occasionally used that app for car navigation with my data plan turned off. I do not know if that app is available for Apple phones, I assume it is.
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Old 08-12-22, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
I have not tried to use Maps.Me (an Android app) on my bike, but it is an app where you can download maps ahead of time and use off-line. I have occasionally used that app for car navigation with my data plan turned off. I do not know if that app is available for Apple phones, I assume it is.
(Easy enough to check.) Maps.me has been available for iPhones for a very long time.

The developer of maps.me sold it to a commercial concern and has a new app: "Organic maps".
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Old 08-12-22, 05:36 PM
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What's the longest you have used a cellphone for guidance? I think I did it for a 100k. I didn't really like it. My phone screen is horrible in daylight though, I'm going to work on that with the next one. I found that it wasn't loud enough. I'm pretty sure in battery saver mode my garmin 830 would have lasted for all of PBP. I used a route that split the ride in 600k segments though, just to be safe since it's out and back.

Someone I have ridden with once used rwgps as a backup on a fleche, so 24 hours. He had his phone hooked up to a giant backup battery. I was trying to figure out if there was a woman talking to us before I realized he had his phone giving voice guidance in his back pocket.
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Old 08-12-22, 07:26 PM
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WRT battery life, I barely get a day out of my iPhone using it for guidance when hiking. Based on that, I suspect it would just make a 200k. Battery life on a nav device is important to me, the new 1040 with solar giving 40+ hours is tempting.

The best field on the Garmin is "Distance to Next"......I almost never miss a turn with that function. I doubt a phone based bike nav would have that functionality.
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Old 08-12-22, 08:32 PM
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I am a long time user and lover of RWGPS. I have a Quad-lock phone mount and used my phone for most everything. RWGPS can link up and display your HR, power outage and everything else. The mapping and on the fly directions make the Garmin stuff look childish.

But I also use a Garmin. The issue, as people have pointed out, is battery life. On rides lasting 6+hours, I can go low on my phone battery. On that Garmin, this is never an issue.
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Old 08-13-22, 04:10 AM
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I hear you all on the battery issue with cell phones. The second time I used RWGPS on my cell, I wasn't smart enough to download the route. Poor cell area on a cold morning sucked the juice out of my phone in about an hour! Afterwards I downloaded the route pre-ride and I can do a 200k or better before it needs charged. That's not an issue, as I carry an external battery (10,000 mAh). The Garmin I use will last for a 300k until it needs a charge, so on Brevets of that length or better, I'll need the external battery for that also. Although the external battery carries some weight, it is not a big deal, as I basically tend to look at my brevets as training for longer, multi-week races, and it is part of the standard pack.
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Old 08-13-22, 10:27 AM
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Downloading maps with a phone really helps the battery life. I need to download the google maps for places I might travel again, they delete them when they are a couple of years old. That's well worth doing even if you have a separate gps. On a 600k, I figured out I couldn't finish the ride because I was sicker than I had thought at the start. I didn't have cellphone connection for over 20 miles, so I couldn't navigate to the overnight. I ended up spending $50 on an uber once I finally did get connected. I was actually a lot closer to the overnight when I first decided I couldn't finish than I was when I got the uber.
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Old 08-15-22, 01:53 AM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
What's the longest you have used a cellphone for guidance? I think I did it for a 100k. I didn't really like it. My phone screen is horrible in daylight though, I'm going to work on that with the next one. I found that it wasn't loud enough. I'm pretty sure in battery saver mode my garmin 830 would have lasted for all of PBP. I used a route that split the ride in 600k segments though, just to be safe since it's out and back.

Someone I have ridden with once used rwgps as a backup on a fleche, so 24 hours. He had his phone hooked up to a giant backup battery. I was trying to figure out if there was a woman talking to us before I realized he had his phone giving voice guidance in his back pocket.
I use RWGPS on my iPhone 13 Pro Max combined with my Apple Watch 6. I have RWGPS configured so the screen is off but sends voice alerts to my phone. Tapping the screen wakes my phone up if I want to view stats on my screen or see what lays ahead. Setting my phone to airplane mode I can get about 14 hours of battery life this way.

Someone mentioned the Garmin 1040 Solar. It looks like a nice piece of kit. I just wish for the price Garmin would include the InReach technology into the device instead of making it pair with the InReach. One thing I like about my Apple Watch is the fall detection… if I go down on my bike it dials 911… but only when there is cell service.. it would be nice to have this feature on a bike computer.
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Old 08-15-22, 05:20 AM
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Imagine how big the 1040 would be with Inreach electronics inside and the sat antenna.....would be nice but won't happen IMO.

The weight of electronics really adds up. Phone, 1030 Garmin, Inreach, Powerbank, charger, cables, etc. Could well be 2 pounds.

Thinking out loud.....why do I need a phone and a Garmin on something like PBP? Each pound costs me 6 minutes in climbing on PBP, so, if I can dump 5 pounds, I have 30 minutes more putzing and faffing time. Seems to me I should ditch the phone
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Old 08-15-22, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by M Rose View Post
. One thing I like about my Apple Watch is the fall detection… if I go down on my bike it dials 911… but only when there is cell service.. it would be nice to have this feature on a bike computer.
Garmins have had "Incident Detection" for many years. Senses a sudden deacceleration, assumes a crash, you have X amount of time to stop it before it sends an e-mail to a person designated that there's been a crash and the location. Works thru the Garmin Connect Mobile app on a smartphone that has cell data service. On occasion I hear complaints that is is too sensitive and that folks are suddenly needing to not send an alert.
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Old 08-15-22, 08:48 AM
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I like my bolt v2 but a phone with a quality case and a powerbank is pretty close these days, rwgps works with sensors too, dunno if that's a paid feature or not, but our club has a paid account so I get all the premium features on brevets.

My phone weighs 195g, I like taking pictures so I'd never ditch it. I don't use a spot or anything like that.
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Old 08-15-22, 09:46 AM
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overheating?

I switched from phone to Wahoo several years ago after my phone kept overheating and shutting down on a particularly hot and sunny 200k. I had a paper map and queue sheet to fall back on but it was frustrating enough that I figured replacing my phone with a dedicated device made sense.
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Old 08-15-22, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
Imagine how big the 1040 would be with Inreach electronics inside and the sat antenna.....would be nice but won't happen IMO.

The weight of electronics really adds up. Phone, 1030 Garmin, Inreach, Powerbank, charger, cables, etc. Could well be 2 pounds.

Thinking out loud.....why do I need a phone and a Garmin on something like PBP? Each pound costs me 6 minutes in climbing on PBP, so, if I can dump 5 pounds, I have 30 minutes more putzing and faffing time. Seems to me I should ditch the phone
The InReach hardware minus the antenna is already inside the 1040. And even the antenna should be inside the 1040… I play around with GPS relievers in a couple of my other hobbies. I had an old Garmin 79 that the screen quit working on. I salvaged the GPS receiver which was a Ubitx chip that is used in a wide range of GPS devices (the same chip is even in my iPhone 13 Pro Max and my DJI Mini drone) and used it for an APRS Pico Ballon Launch. The whole system was smaller than a Tic-Tac box and weighed less than a gram (to include battery, solar panel, and charge control).

So like I said… the hardware is already there… just needs the software.
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Old 08-15-22, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
Garmins have had "Incident Detection" for many years. Senses a sudden deacceleration, assumes a crash, you have X amount of time to stop it before it sends an e-mail to a person designated that there's been a crash and the location. Works thru the Garmin Connect Mobile app on a smartphone that has cell data service. On occasion I hear complaints that is is too sensitive and that folks are suddenly needing to not send an alert.
Yes im aware… but it requires a third party to contact 911. What if someone (like my wife) only checks their email once a day. I could be laying in a ditch for 48 hours before help is even notified… the Garmin InReach Mini 2 is supposed to have the “Incident Detection” as well and can be paired with some
of the Garmin Bike Computers like the 1030+ and the 1040.
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Old 08-18-22, 07:41 PM
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I have a spot, the idea of an inreach in the gps appeals to me a little. I'm not sure how much extra it would weigh, I don't think it would be much. The spot has a very heavy case and the batteries take up a lot of room and it still doesn't weigh much.

I had a medical emergency a year ago in a place with no cellphone service. I really didn't want to hit the emergency button that eventually ends up with a call to 911. There are 3 buttons. One is for check in to say you're okay, then there is one that is the satellite version of the call of shame, and then the emergency button. I realized afterwards that I could set up the call of shame button so spot texts my wife, which is a pretty reliable form of communication. I had it set up to send her emails, which is going to result in a long delay.

Fortunately, I texted my wife and I got to a place where there was cellphone service and she got the text.
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Old 08-20-22, 02:48 AM
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
WRT battery life, I barely get a day out of my iPhone using it for guidance when hiking. Based on that, I suspect it would just make a 200k. Battery life on a nav device is important to me, the new 1040 with solar giving 40+ hours is tempting.

The best field on the Garmin is "Distance to Next"......I almost never miss a turn with that function. I doubt a phone based bike nav would have that functionality.
My RWGPS on the iPhone shows distance to next turn.
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Old 08-20-22, 02:53 AM
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
Who knows what you have or your priorities.

On my main Garmin screen, I have configured what is important to me.
1. Speed
2. 3S Power
3. Distance to next turn
4. Time
5. Cadence
6. Gradient percentage

The right side of the screen shows traffic approaching from the rear. Do you have that?

On the Garmin you can configure reminders to drink or eat at defined intervals. Do you have that?

If I am interested in the upcoming lay of the land, I go to the course profile page to see the hills to be ridden.
Like I said, I also have a Garmin Touring plus that I use for speed, time, grade, temp and distance. The ability to see rear approaching traffic is appealing.
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Old 08-20-22, 02:56 AM
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[QUOTE
Bigger than what?[/QUOTE]

Compared to my old Garmin. The trip pages are good, but the map pages are still too small.
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Old 08-20-22, 03:00 AM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
What's the longest you have used a cellphone for guidance? I think I did it for a 100k. I didn't really like it. My phone screen is horrible in daylight though, I'm going to work on that with the next one. I found that it wasn't loud enough. I'm pretty sure in battery saver mode my garmin 830 would have lasted for all of PBP. I used a route that split the ride in 600k segments though, just to be safe since it's out and back.

Someone I have ridden with once used rwgps as a backup on a fleche, so 24 hours. He had his phone hooked up to a giant backup battery. I was trying to figure out if there was a woman talking to us before I realized he had his phone giving voice guidance in his back pocket.
My cell phone will last about a 200k and then it needs charged. The GoPuck external battery I carry has sufficient power to charge the phone 2-3 times if need be.
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Old 08-20-22, 03:08 AM
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Originally Posted by MotorAway View Post
I switched from phone to Wahoo several years ago after my phone kept overheating and shutting down on a particularly hot and sunny 200k. I had a paper map and queue sheet to fall back on but it was frustrating enough that I figured replacing my phone with a dedicated device made sense.
Good point. I've never had that happen on a ride, but several years ago my iPhone shut off on a hot day working outside.
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Old 08-20-22, 11:58 AM
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I also use an iPhone running RwGPS (or Cyclemeter, depending on what kind of ride I'm doing). I rely mostly on audio cues over a bone-conduction headset, so the screen is off most of the time. This works for me.

Garmins, especially the Edge series, do have some nice features. There's a special climb screen that appears when you're on a long climb, showing the grade of each pitch. You can add plugins to show metrics that aren't available out of the box. AFAICT, no smartphone app can connect to Garmin's rear-facing radar, which some people love. You can control a smart trainer with a head unit but not with any of the apps that are head-unit equivalents. In theory, a smartphone app could do all these things, and I'm kind of surprised none do, especially custom metrics, which are like adding a column with a new formula to a spreadsheet. But here we are.

Battery life has been a non-issue for me. Partly this is because I've got a dyno hub and USB converter (one could also carry a power bank), but even on a rainy ride when I could not use the phone's charging port, I've ridden 12 hours and still been at 20% on the phone battery. I have a bigger problem keeping my headset charged.
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