Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Road Cycling
Reload this Page >

Bike Computer 101 advice sought

Notices
Road Cycling It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle. -- Ernest Hemingway

Bike Computer 101 advice sought

Old 04-19-22, 10:14 AM
  #26  
mstateglfr 
Sunshine
 
mstateglfr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Des Moines, IA
Posts: 14,423

Bikes: '18 class built steel roadbike, '19 Fairlight Secan, '88 Schwinn Premis , Black Mountain Cycles Monstercross V4, '89 Novara Trionfo

Mentioned: 115 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8033 Post(s)
Liked 4,955 Times in 2,875 Posts
Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
Garmins can do all the above using the Connect mobile app and the online Connect website, or you can load an app to the more recent Garmins using iQ that lets you easily grab routes created in RWGPS.
What is the name of the app?
mstateglfr is offline  
Old 04-19-22, 02:14 PM
  #27  
Steve B.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: South shore, L.I., NY
Posts: 5,580

Bikes: Flyxii FR322, Cannondale Topstone, Miyata City Liner, Specialized Chisel, Specialized Epic Evo

Mentioned: 17 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2301 Post(s)
Liked 1,071 Times in 624 Posts
Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
What is the name of the app?
Sorry. Ride With GPS
Steve B. is offline  
Old 04-19-22, 02:23 PM
  #28  
njkayaker
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 13,111
Mentioned: 27 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3413 Post(s)
Liked 871 Times in 603 Posts
Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
Sorry. Ride With GPS
The RWGPS app isn't available for all the devices (it's not available for the 1030+, for one).

There's also GRouteLoader, which does more stuff and runs on many more devices. It's also available as a widget as well as an app (you can use widgets while recording an activity).

Both need a RWGPS account, which lets you pin the routes you are interested in. GRouteLoader lets you download a route using a route number, which is tedious but you don't need an account for downloading public routes).
njkayaker is offline  
Old 04-20-22, 01:56 AM
  #29  
AlgarveCycling
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2020
Location: The Algarve, Portugal
Posts: 371

Bikes: Wilier Zero.6 (2019), Trek Madone SLR 6 (2020), KTM Scarp Sonic (2019)

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 121 Post(s)
Liked 254 Times in 143 Posts
Originally Posted by maartendc View Post
I am in the market for a bike computer as well, and debating between the Karoo 2 and the Wahoo Bolt V2.

I have been using an iPhone SE (for small size) with a stem mount and paired with RidewithGPS as my solution for a few years now. But it is quite far from ideal:
- battery life is bad, even though the battery is new. Need to turn the screen off and back on occasionally to save battery. With screen on, I get only about 2.5 hrs of runtime.
- Screen visibility in direct sunlight is horrible, even on full brightness.
- Touch screens are not easy to use while riding. The button size on a smartphone is designed to be used while standing still. While moving, it is outright dangerous to take your eyes off the road and try and navigate the smartphone. (and no, I am not an old person with poor eyesight or hand/eye coordination).
- Even though iPhone SE is a small phone, it still looks big and clunky on the handlebars or stem.

Seems like a bike computer would solve all these issues. But I am still hesitant, as the reasons for not getting one several years ago still exist:
- Even though very readable in sunlight, the screens of bike computers are generally poor quality (with the exception of the Karoo 2 apparently).
- Sometimes the systems seem antiquated and more of a hassle, if I hear about the loading routes, changing destinations, syncing rides, etc. on a bike computer vs a smartphone.
- every bike computer out there seems to have some major dealbreaker for me:
- Garmin: generally the screens seem too reflective, and people seem to hate their software and apps.
- Bolt V2: Biggest contender for me, but seems to be very buggy since launch. Unit seems to struggle with navigation in densely populated areas.
- Karoo 2: Seems to require a SIM card with data plan to change routing on the go? No phone app exists to add/load routes on the fly while out on the road, or to route to a new destination, if I understand correctly?
It seems like all these computers have some sort of glaring flaw that makes it not worth spending 400 bucks on. Am I wrong? Am I missing something here?

The Karoo 2 has a SIM card option for those who want to keep it separate from their mobile phones, for whatever reason, or simply not to have a mobile with them and rely totally on the Karoo alone.

So long a you are tethered to a mobile phone, it doesn't need a SIM card.


AlgarveCycling is offline  
Old 04-20-22, 04:59 AM
  #30  
maartendc
Senior Member
 
maartendc's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 880

Bikes: BMC SLC01, Trek Checkpoint ALR5

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 529 Post(s)
Liked 23 Times in 19 Posts
Originally Posted by AlgarveCycling View Post
The Karoo 2 has a SIM card option for those who want to keep it separate from their mobile phones, for whatever reason, or simply not to have a mobile with them and rely totally on the Karoo alone.

So long a you are tethered to a mobile phone, it doesn't need a SIM card.


Ok thanks for the explanation.

So let's say I have my phone with me, and I have the Karoo2 tethered to the mobile hotspot of my phone. Can I load new maps from RidewithGPS or Strava on the fly directly from the device? Or do I need to go to their "dashboard" website that I have been hearing about? I guess you can load up the dashboard website on your phone as well, but it is one extra step.

As far as I understand it, with the Wahoo Bolt V2, you can open the mobile app, and as long as you are logged into RWGPS, the routes will automatically appear on both the app and the Bolt when you press "sync".

It seems like the Karoo2 requires one extra step (going to the dashboard and syncing), or am I misunderstanding things?
maartendc is offline  
Old 04-20-22, 06:13 AM
  #31  
AlgarveCycling
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2020
Location: The Algarve, Portugal
Posts: 371

Bikes: Wilier Zero.6 (2019), Trek Madone SLR 6 (2020), KTM Scarp Sonic (2019)

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 121 Post(s)
Liked 254 Times in 143 Posts
Originally Posted by maartendc View Post
Ok thanks for the explanation.

So let's say I have my phone with me, and I have the Karoo2 tethered to the mobile hotspot of my phone. Can I load new maps from RidewithGPS or Strava on the fly directly from the device? Or do I need to go to their "dashboard" website that I have been hearing about? I guess you can load up the dashboard website on your phone as well, but it is one extra step.

As far as I understand it, with the Wahoo Bolt V2, you can open the mobile app, and as long as you are logged into RWGPS, the routes will automatically appear on both the app and the Bolt when you press "sync".

It seems like the Karoo2 requires one extra step (going to the dashboard and syncing), or am I misunderstanding things?
Short answer from me is: I've not tried anything like that. I've never used the Nav functions on any of my bike computers and I've not tried to upload apps to them.

I do get all my message notifications though my Karoo 2 via it being tethered to my iPhone and when my ride is done, it uploads directly to Strava and Training Peaks using the phone's connection to the internet.

Read DC Rainmaker's review. https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2020/12/...th-review.html

https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2021/02/...1-karoo-2.html

It is the most comprehensive out there and will likely answer your questions.



Last edited by AlgarveCycling; 04-20-22 at 06:28 AM.
AlgarveCycling is offline  
Old 04-20-22, 06:28 AM
  #32  
maartendc
Senior Member
 
maartendc's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 880

Bikes: BMC SLC01, Trek Checkpoint ALR5

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 529 Post(s)
Liked 23 Times in 19 Posts
Originally Posted by AlgarveCycling View Post
Short answer from me is: I've not tried anything like that. I've never used the Nav functions on any of my bike computers and I've not tried to upload apps to them.

I do get all my message notifications though my Karoo 2 via it being tethered to my iPhone and when my ride is done, it uploads directly to Strava and Training Peaks using the phone's connection to the internet.

Read DC Rainmaker's review. https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2020/12/...th-review.html

It is the most comprehensive out there and will likely answer your questions.


OK thanks for your reply.

Navigation is one of my primary functions I would use, so I will look further into it.

From what I have read so far, you need to use the Karoo "dashboard" website for everything related to routing. And you cannot even sync all your routes from RWGPS or Strava, you need to input them one by one with a link or .GPX file. That would be a major dealbreaker for me. It surprises me that most reviews say "navigation is one of the strong points" of the Karoo. Getting the route planned is a major part of the navigation experience.

On the Wahoo Bolt, AFAIK it just always pulls the latest list of routes from RWGPS or Strava automatically, when paired with your phone.

Thanks
maartendc is offline  
Old 04-20-22, 06:57 AM
  #33  
Bald Paul
Senior Member
 
Bald Paul's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Upstate SC
Posts: 856
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 395 Post(s)
Liked 747 Times in 353 Posts
I have used Garmin head units and Garmin Connect for years. I agree that Garmin isn't the most intuitive to set up, but thankfully, there are a lot of online videos that will help walk you through setting up multiple data screens.

As far as routing goes, I've found Connect to be very easy to use, and have planned many rides and routes with it. Add in Garmin Express, and uploading your created route to your computer is simple.

I have a 1030+ with Varia radar (don't leave home without it!) with multiple data screens set up that I can scroll through with a press of my Di2 hood buttons. My 1030+ is also paired to my cellphone, and has Incident Detection and Live Track activated - something my wife insists on since she got a call from the hospital a few years ago after I had been hit by a car while out riding.
Bald Paul is offline  
Old 04-26-22, 06:31 AM
  #34  
bblair
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Posts: 330

Bikes: Lynskey R230, Trek 5200, 1975 Raleigh Pro, 1973 Falcon ,Trek T50 Tandem and a 1968 Paramount in progress.

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 148 Post(s)
Liked 143 Times in 95 Posts
I have had both. Garmin has more features, but the learning curve is steep. Think about when you got your first smart phone. Like that. Wahoo is much easier, but not as many features. Both work well with ridewithgps and once you learn how to upload routes, it is almost automatic. Just understand that you'll have to spend some time learning.
bblair is offline  
Old 04-26-22, 08:06 AM
  #35  
Steve B.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: South shore, L.I., NY
Posts: 5,580

Bikes: Flyxii FR322, Cannondale Topstone, Miyata City Liner, Specialized Chisel, Specialized Epic Evo

Mentioned: 17 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2301 Post(s)
Liked 1,071 Times in 624 Posts
Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
What is the name of the app?
You have an option of using the RideWithGPS iQ app, or RouteLoader. Either will show you a list of the routes you've created in RWGPS, you then select and download. These are on the Garmin iQ store, note that with some of the Garmin devices, the Edge Explore comes to mind, there is no tested iQ app for that device. Pretty sure for the more recent Edge device, so the 530, 830, 1030 and 1030 Plus, these apps can be installed.
Steve B. is offline  
Old 04-26-22, 08:11 AM
  #36  
njkayaker
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 13,111
Mentioned: 27 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3413 Post(s)
Liked 871 Times in 603 Posts
Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
You have an option of using the RideWithGPS iQ app, or RouteLoader. Either will show you a list of the routes you've created in RWGPS, you then select and download. These are on the Garmin iQ store, note that with some of the Garmin devices, the Edge Explore comes to mind, there is no tested iQ app for that device. Pretty sure for the more recent Edge device, so the 530, 830, 1030 and 1030 Plus, these apps can be installed.
GRouteLoader works on the Explore (its available for most everything).
njkayaker is offline  
Likes For njkayaker:
Old 04-26-22, 08:36 AM
  #37  
seypat
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,048
Mentioned: 65 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2373 Post(s)
Liked 1,404 Times in 920 Posts
You can also get a watch that will do what you want. The screen will be smaller and on your wrist, though.
seypat is offline  
Likes For seypat:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.