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Ordered a Garmin. Questions about mounts and battery life. And Strava.

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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

Ordered a Garmin. Questions about mounts and battery life. And Strava.

Old 10-27-12, 12:08 PM
  #1  
Porkponey
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Ordered a Garmin. Questions about mounts and battery life. And Strava.

Can't stop staring at the K-edge. Love the way it looks. Is anyone using it or the bar fly and what do you think of them?

Battery life is listed at up to 18 hours. What kind of life are you guys getting realistically? Spent 5 or 6 hours out yesterday looking for hills to climb, ended up finding 1800 feet of elevation, or so I think, as iphone died at about hour 5. This is one of the main reasons I bought an edge. So tired of A: No remotely real or accurate elevation and B: No ride recording OR cellphone for emergencies on longer rides.

Lastly, I'm reading through as much literature as I can find (the unit won't be here til tuesday or wednesday) and I'm wondering what I need to do to upload rides to strava. It seems pretty straight forward, but there's a lot of .gpx and .fit words getting thrown around. Do I need (or want) garmin's proprietary software? Any other software? I want to get the most out of the device.

Ordered a gsc-10 to try and keep things accurate. Will order the HR strap when I can afford to. Between this and a new grannier cassette for my mountain trip in a few weeks, I'm tapped out.
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Old 10-27-12, 12:11 PM
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to upload to strava you just hook up your garmin to your computer using the supplied USB cable, and go over to strava where you can hit the upload button and it has an option for garmin devices, it will auto detect and you can simply select rides to upload to strava. very straightforward and easy.

battery life shouldn't be a problem at all if you charge it regularly.
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Old 10-27-12, 12:12 PM
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To upload a ride to Strava, you just need to make sure your Garmin is connected to your PC. Once the PC detects your Garmin, you can log onto Strava, use the "upload from another device" option, then just choose which rides you want to upload to Strava. That's it.
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Old 10-27-12, 12:40 PM
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The battery life will be fine, if you upload after every ride it will stay charged anyway. As for mounts, the K-edge ($65) is nice but it costs more than the barFly ($38) and if you are really trying to save try the FSA control center at ($24)

FSA https://www.ebay.com/itm/160878576868...84.m1423.l2649
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Old 10-27-12, 12:44 PM
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I think I'm just gonna wait a few weeks on a mount then. The HR strap is more important to me. Strava uploads sound like a piece of cake.
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Old 10-27-12, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Porkponey View Post
I think I'm just gonna wait a few weeks on a mount then. The HR strap is more important to me. Strava uploads sound like a piece of cake.
Good point, the mount that comes with the garmins are great. You can mount it on your stem and be just fine. If HRM and maybe a cadence sensor are better options to spend money then go that route.
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Old 10-27-12, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by seymour1910 View Post
The battery life will be fine, if you upload after every ride it will stay charged anyway. As for mounts, the K-edge ($65) is nice but it costs more than the barFly ($38) and if you are really trying to save try the FSA control center at ($24)

FSA https://www.ebay.com/itm/160878576868...84.m1423.l2649
I have this FSA mount and have been very pleased for about 6 months
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Old 10-27-12, 05:30 PM
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This much effort over a mount? Sheesh - just go ride your bike.
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Old 10-27-12, 06:04 PM
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Disclaimer: I haven't read the thread. I may repeat what others have said.

I have a K-edge mount for my GoPro. Wanted one for my Garmin, but they were not available yet. Instead I got a Bar Fly. I like it a lot. It puts the unit out in front of you so you don't have to look down so much to read it. What I don't like about it, as opposed to stem mounting, is that it uses a slight bit of real estate. I usually ride with a strobe front light and sometimes with the GoPro. WIth the Bar Fly, it's a tight fit. I usually mount the strobe "upside-down" so that the light is under the handlebar. Works well enough.

Eighteen hours is plenty long enough. Are you making rides that long? I just recharge my unit after every ride, so I don't really worry about battery life. Longest ride I took was about 12 hours. Still had plenty of juice in the unit.

Literature? You can download the manual from the Garmin web site. PDF formated file.

For uploading to Strava, hook the unit up with the supplied USB cable and you're set. Use the "Upload Data" orange icon on the upper right, next to your name. If using WIndows, it is a direct upload, (maybe you have to install a Firefox extension first). I run Firefox under Linux and have to use the "upload manually" method, which just opens up a file window where I just click the ride I want to upload. No idea how Macintosh upload their data. You need not worry about gpx or fit. Strava grabs what it needs automatically. Really, it is pretty painless and simple. You won't need the proprietary software. It really isn't needed. You can upload your rides to Garmin Connect too. That will give you a different way of looking at a ride.

Don't waste your money on the Garmin Deluxe HRM strap. It is know to not work as well as the less expensive Garmin strap. Myself? I use a Bontrager HRM strap. Purchased the Deluxe Garmin strap, and it never has worked correctly. Tried to use in several times, and it's junk.
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Old 10-27-12, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by volosong View Post
Disclaimer: I haven't read the thread. I may repeat what others have said.

I have a K-edge mount for my GoPro. Wanted one for my Garmin, but they were not available yet. Instead I got a Bar Fly. I like it a lot. It puts the unit out in front of you so you don't have to look down so much to read it. What I don't like about it, as opposed to stem mounting, is that it uses a slight bit of real estate. I usually ride with a strobe front light and sometimes with the GoPro. WIth the Bar Fly, it's a tight fit. I usually mount the strobe "upside-down" so that the light is under the handlebar. Works well enough.

Eighteen hours is plenty long enough. Are you making rides that long? I just recharge my unit after every ride, so I don't really worry about battery life. Longest ride I took was about 12 hours. Still had plenty of juice in the unit.

Literature? You can download the manual from the Garmin web site. PDF formated file.

For uploading to Strava, hook the unit up with the supplied USB cable and you're set. Use the "Upload Data" orange icon on the upper right, next to your name. If using WIndows, it is a direct upload, (maybe you have to install a Firefox extension first). I run Firefox under Linux and have to use the "upload manually" method, which just opens up a file window where I just click the ride I want to upload. No idea how Macintosh upload their data. You need not worry about gpx or fit. Strava grabs what it needs automatically. Really, it is pretty painless and simple. You won't need the proprietary software. It really isn't needed. You can upload your rides to Garmin Connect too. That will give you a different way of looking at a ride.

Don't waste your money on the Garmin Deluxe HRM strap. It is know to not work as well as the less expensive Garmin strap. Myself? I use a Bontrager HRM strap. Purchased the Deluxe Garmin strap, and it never has worked correctly. Tried to use in several times, and it's junk.
leave it to a good ole "black shoe" to get all technical about it


Hi Volo...just having fun
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Old 10-27-12, 06:22 PM
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Get the HR strap before a new mount. I have the barfly and it's great - you can actually glance at the screen when climbing out of the saddle, but you'll get way more bang for the buck by adding HR data.

I still use Garmin connect as well as Strava - it's good to have a couple of backups of your data. Don't leave it just on your Edge. Of course you could just drag the .fit activity files over to a folder on your PC or Mac too.
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Old 10-27-12, 06:30 PM
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Unless you're going across America and forget your charger, you should be fine. Just charge it while you upload your Garmin/Strava data.
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Old 10-27-12, 06:51 PM
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I like the design of this mount https://www.racewaredirect.co.uk/
better than the Barfly. It's solid and holds the Garmin tight. With it the Garmin 500 is even with the bars like an SRM computer, and close to the bars. Barfly has the computer up a little and a bit farther out since it's also sold for the larger Garmins.

18 hours is a bit optimistic for battery life. I download and charge up every couple of rides.

I keep copies of all my raw ride files. The Garmin mounts as a USB filesystem so I can just copy the rides. Delete them when you have made copies. You don't need to use Garmin Connect to manage the unit and download new firmware, which is good because it doesn't work if you're using Linux and doesn't work well for Macs. Garmin thinks that everyone uses Windows.
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Old 10-27-12, 08:53 PM
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Battery life is a function of the backlight setting, but you will have plenty of life at medium backlight settings for a century or so. The screen is very visible when it's in direct sunlight, but I often have the backlight on a bit to make the screen easier to read. The touchscreen interface is a big improvement over the 705 (I have an 800)

Last edited by rdtompki; 10-28-12 at 10:15 AM.
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Old 10-28-12, 12:15 AM
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Using the virtual partner function also cuts the battery life in half as I discovered on a 9.5hr 300K ride... The battery died at 8.5 hrs.
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Old 10-28-12, 03:11 AM
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See, that VP feature is one I was curious about. If it tears into batteries that hard, I'll use it for the shorter stuff. Not that I'll ever do an 8.5 hour ride, but I'll definitely have 8.5 hour days where I go trying new routes and stop for food and to take some pictures and see the sights.
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Old 10-28-12, 04:10 AM
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VP isn't a big drag on the battery. I've done 10hr plus rides with it on, didn't notice it was any different than normal use.
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Old 10-28-12, 06:32 AM
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Biggest drains on battery:

1. Automatic recalculation of routes
2. 1 second recording (Use 3sec smart recording for better battery life)
3. Setting detail to "High" on the map screen
4. Browsing through the map alot.


I have used my Edge 800 for touring. It was best to charge it every day but a few times it could go for 2 days before a charge and these were pretty long days in the saddle recording my ride. Battery life has never really been an issue. Every now and then (during regular riding) I will neglect to charge it for a few days. When the Low battery warning goes I normally get 2-3 more hours of life before it gives me the critical warning and at that point I will just charge it.

Personally I have the K-Edge and Barfly. Both are good, I prefer the way the K-Edge sets it level with the bars instead of above it like the barfly. One important note though is the fact that the KEdge has 3 bolts and on my first ride one of them got loose. Make sure they are all TIGHT otherwise you risk loosing some expensive equipment.

In all honesty about the Edge Units: Probably the best investment I have made in my biking equipment. Gives you room to upgrade, it is well designed, and it really does last a good long while on that battery.

One last word of caution: The usb port cover on the 800 is very prone to coming off by itself if not pressed in very, very well. This could leave it susceptible to rain and water so be very careful to press it back on securely after you remove the USB cable.
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Old 10-28-12, 06:54 AM
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Here's a couple more extension mounts to consider:

Garmin's own: https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?pID=114881

And a cheapie from eBay: https://www.ebay.com/itm/110953039564...84.m1497.l2649

And a pricier one: https://www.ebay.com/itm/FlipLoc-Aero...item3a78c8d24e

And a tip for using the Edge: Delete your rides from the unit every week or two. They can store a crapload of rides, but it really slows it down when downloading to Connect or Strava. Copy them to a file on your computer if you want to keep them long term.

Last edited by canam73; 10-28-12 at 07:19 AM.
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Old 10-28-12, 07:19 AM
  #20  
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Battery life... you don't say which model you bought? I've had a Edge 500 for almost 2 years. This summer I went to the beach for a week and rode every day. I forgot to take a USB-wall charger so thought it might be a problem. I rode for 226 miles (11 hrs. 11 mins.) and the battery was at 40% when I got home. The only change I made for the week was to turn off the backlighting. I'm sure that was the deepest I've ever taken it as I usually plug it and download between rides.
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Old 10-28-12, 11:37 AM
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There are a lot of nice mount options. The barfly was first so I got one. It is way easier to actually see the computer. Here's the thing: I recently crashed into some barriers at 30 mph. Destroyed my frame and basically my entire left side. I half expected my Garmin to be missing when I finally got my bike back. It did not budge at all even though the bars, hoods, and tape were all destroyed. It's definitely strong enough.
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Old 10-29-12, 06:45 PM
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I have a K-edge for my 500 and love it. Got it on sale with Universal Cycles a few months back. Battery life has never been a problem. Rode the MS150 here in Texas the past couple of years and 10-12hrs over 2 days with no charge and was fine.
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