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Garmin GPS and fancy computers needed?

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

Garmin GPS and fancy computers needed?

Old 03-28-07, 10:46 AM
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supertj
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Garmin GPS and fancy computers needed?

Does having these devices really improve one's training for someone at the recreational/amateur level?
Right now I just have a basic $20 computer and I sense from the ppl on here the Avg speed shown on it doesn't really mean much to tell me how effectively at the end of how my training session went. I'm looking to go from 170lbs to 140lbs by the end of this summer through cycling and I was wondering if buying a Garmin GPS 305 or something similar would vastly improve my progress. I'm starting to keep a log using a software call SportsTrack and it calculates how much calories I'm burning. I'm not even sure if that number it calculate is accurate.
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Old 03-28-07, 10:52 AM
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Here's what I'm doing: just bought a Sigma 1606L wireless w/wireless cadence on eBay for $50. In a couple of months I'm going to add a watch-based heart monitor. I should be all in for around $125 when I'm done...a Garmin would be awesome but there are other things I'd rather spend that money on and the list is LONG I'm sure there are one or two things the Garmin can do that my combo won't be able to but I'll have the heart rate and cadence taken care of, anyway.
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Old 03-28-07, 10:53 AM
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If you want to calculate calories burned, GPS ain't going to do it accurately. Heart rate would probably give more consistent results. If you really want to know, you could use a power meter, but that's ridiculous overkill.

If you want to know your weight, the best way to monitor it is with a scale.
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Old 03-28-07, 10:54 AM
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No they don't help to improve your training. Your training program and sticking to it will help you improve. A power meter is a better measure to show actual improvement.

I use a 305 'cause it's a fun toy and I got a good deal on it. I don't race. I'm not training for anything. I just like riding and collecting useless data to look at later. It keeps me entertained
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Old 03-28-07, 10:56 AM
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You wont lose weight any faster with gizmos, unless those gizmos drives you to go longer / faster / harder. Garmin Edge 305 is a very nifty device though.
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Old 03-28-07, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by grahny
No they don't help to improve your training. Your training program and sticking to it will help you improve. A power meter is a better measure to show actual improvement.

I use a 305 'cause it's a fun toy and I got a good deal on it. I don't race. I'm not training for anything. I just like riding and collecting useless data to look at later. It keeps me entertained

that and I HATE wires. so zero wires, GPS signal for tracking movement, HR because at some point knowing that and my cadence might become useful.
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Old 03-28-07, 11:01 AM
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Needed? No

Useful? Yes

I would classify the Garmin Edge as more than just a "nifty device"

For one, I don't have to enter data into sport Tracks. It is done for me. I am a busy guy and not having to try and remember to jot down my info from the bike and they re-key it is useful.

The workout capabilities I also find useful. I can create a workout so the edge helps me time intervals, makes sure I hit my HR target during them etc.

And then I can race a virtual rider with the edge as well.

these things aren't necessary. But they are fun and motivating. And some features help me to target my workouts better.

-D
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Old 03-28-07, 11:08 AM
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Don't mean to hi-jack, but..

Originally Posted by rha600
that and I HATE wires. so zero wires, GPS signal for tracking movement, HR because at some point knowing that and my cadence might become useful.
I honestly don't understand: Why do people hate wire so much as to pay more for something with a bulkier sensor which is not as reliable as the wired version? I found the wires can be ran in a pretty manner, almost making them invisible.

Just curious..
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Old 03-28-07, 11:11 AM
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My wife got me a GPS because she figured it'd get me on the bike more. She knows me really well, because it totally worked. Does it help me train? Definitely not at my level (somewhere between "slow lard-ass" and "returning to bicycling after 15 years beginner"). But I enjoy it.
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Old 03-28-07, 11:12 AM
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I looked into the 305 but am holding off.

To me, the fact that you can upload your ride data from some of those units could really help me keep better records.

but that's assuming that turning on my computer and uploading going to be less hassle than writing down my numbers in my log book which takes about 10 seconds and can be finished before I get my shoes off.

I decided that I could buy a Bic pen for a buck and use the money to fix up my house
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Old 03-28-07, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by iNewton
Don't mean to hi-jack, but..


I honestly don't understand: Why do people hate wire so much as to pay more for something with a bulkier sensor which is not as reliable as the wired version? I found the wires can be ran in a pretty manner, almost making them invisible.

Just curious..
I work in the telecom industry. it's sort of like if you were a car mechanic and worked on cars all day long, 5 or 6 days a week. the last thing you want to do when you get home from a long day at the salt mine is work on a car. I have a wireless mouse on my computer. I have wireless internet. I have wireless headphones. and you can bet your butt I will pay extra to get a wireless bike computer.

ok, so thats my reason. not sure about everyone else.
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Old 03-28-07, 11:28 AM
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I'm using a 205. It's great in conjunction with Google Maps - all I need is for it to shout "Checkpoint!" like in Out Run.
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Old 03-28-07, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by rha600
I work in the telecom industry. it's sort of like if you were a car mechanic and worked on cars all day long, 5 or 6 days a week. the last thing you want to do when you get home from a long day at the salt mine is work on a car. I have a wireless mouse on my computer. I have wireless internet. I have wireless headphones. and you can bet your butt I will pay extra to get a wireless bike computer.

ok, so thats my reason. not sure about everyone else.
I had wireless peripherals, worked like crap.
I have wireless headphones, sound like crap.
I had a Polar wireless, it NEVER worked.
The only thing that I'm happy on wireless is my blackberry.

I can't wait to try Bluetooth.
 
Old 03-28-07, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by iNewton
Don't mean to hi-jack, but..


I honestly don't understand: Why do people hate wire so much as to pay more for something with a bulkier sensor which is not as reliable as the wired version? I found the wires can be ran in a pretty manner, almost making them invisible.

Just curious..
the Garmins don't come with wires.

it really depends on how many devices you have that have wires. one's is alright. more than that is annoying to me.
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Old 03-28-07, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by mr_tom
I'm using a 205. It's great in conjunction with Google Maps - all I need is for it to shout "Checkpoint!" like in Out Run.

yeah, we should be able to program in power-ups at certain points.
 
Old 03-28-07, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by mr_tom
I'm using a 205. It's great in conjunction with Google Maps - all I need is for it to shout "Checkpoint!" like in Out Run.
I heard that the Garamin units ate up batteries. Do any of you folks using the 205 or 305 find that you go through batteries?

I saw a buyer feedback (I think on Performance bikes) that said that and that also made me shy away from plunking down hard currency for one of those units. Is there anything to that, or was that bad information?
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Old 03-28-07, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by supertj
Does having these devices really improve one's training for someone at the recreational/amateur level?
sure does. but it starts with a training "program". that should dictate your gear whether its none, a heart rate monitor or even a power meter ...
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Old 03-28-07, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by veloGeezer
I heard that the Garamin units ate up batteries. Do any of you folks using the 205 or 305 find that you go through batteries?

I saw a buyer feedback (I think on Performance bikes) that said that and that also made me shy away from plunking down hard currency for one of those units. Is there anything to that, or was that bad information?
how long to you plan on riding? my battery lasts ten hours between charges.
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Old 03-28-07, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by bigskymacadam
the Garmins don't come with wires.

it really depends on how many devices you have that have wires. one's is alright. more than that is annoying to me.
Didn't know that, but I was thinking about the Cateye wireless device specifically. The wireless sensor is HUGE.
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Old 03-28-07, 11:47 AM
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I was just wondering if anyone had tried using TomTom or the Suunto X9i ? For loggin routes etc....
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Old 03-28-07, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by obelix67
I was just wondering if anyone had tried using TomTom or the Suunto X9i ? For loggin routes etc....
on of the ride leaders for cascade cycling use one. looked like a garmin gps60 or something. worked well.
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Old 03-28-07, 11:51 AM
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I'm not really into electronic gadgets. Except for my primary road bike with a cheap wireless computer, the rest of my bikes are computerless.
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Old 03-28-07, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by bigskymacadam
on of the ride leaders for cascade cycling use one. looked like a garmin gps60 or something. worked well.
I have the TomTom for cell phone but it is more about routes, I was thinking of doing the route and adding the waypoints and then making an itinery....

The suunto x9i looks good too and most of the reviews that have trashed it have been explained away by other reviewers, dont think the wife would buy into me getting a second GPS......
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Old 03-28-07, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by DocRay
I had wireless peripherals, worked like crap.
I have wireless headphones, sound like crap.
I had a Polar wireless, it NEVER worked.
The only thing that I'm happy on wireless is my blackberry.

I can't wait to try Bluetooth.
buy a Logitech G7
I use them for gaming so as long as I can hear in 5.1 I'm fine. and mine seem to sound fine.
My Garmin is working so far. I know I shouldn't say that but...
I don't have blue tooth. I use my speaker on my cell phone. don't have a home landline.
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Old 03-28-07, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by bigskymacadam
how long to you plan on riding? my battery lasts ten hours between charges.

so since you have to recharge them every ten hours, I'll assume that they do eat batteries.

thanks. You could have just said that, but thanks anyway
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