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Pardon my Garmin ignorance

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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

Pardon my Garmin ignorance

Old 02-14-15, 05:17 PM
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Pardon my Garmin ignorance

Shortly I will be traveling to places where my grasp of the native language is not optimal. Currently, I only have use of the clock feature on a bike computer so I don't know much about Garmin. Their website isn't clear about exactly what I want. My LBS was no help.

This is what I would like,
1. Create a route on ridewithgps.com
2. Download route onto the Garmin
3. The Garmin gives me turn by turn directions as I travel through unfamiliar lands with unfamiliar road signs

What's the cheapest Garmin that will give me the turn by turn feature? Will I need to buy their map of the area? For those interested, I will be riding in Germany and Italy.
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Old 02-14-15, 05:32 PM
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Garmin 800/810 will do this for you.

But you need to buy country specific maps or learn to download them from openstreetmaps
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Old 02-14-15, 05:50 PM
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Depends on what you mean by "turn-by-turn".

If you want "turn left" without street names or map, then 500/510.

If you want a map in the background with street names, then 800 or greater.
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Old 02-14-15, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by iab
This is what I would like,
1. Create a route on ridewithgps.com
2. Download route onto the Garmin
3. The Garmin gives me turn by turn directions as I travel through unfamiliar lands with unfamiliar road signs

What's the cheapest Garmin that will give me the turn by turn feature? Will I need to buy their map of the area? For those interested, I will be riding in Germany and Italy.
The Garmin 500 will do turn by turn directions and/or snail trail of your route if you export your route using ridewithgps in a tcx file. I use this when in unfamiliar territory and it works quite well. I don't know how well it works out of country. No need to buy any maps with this method.
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Old 02-14-15, 06:24 PM
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the 500 breadcrumb trails are useless if you leave the designated route.

705/800/810/1000 will do what you want, and you'll have to buy or download maps.
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Old 02-14-15, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by valygrl
the 500 breadcrumb trails are useless if you leave the designated route.

705/800/810/1000 will do what you want, and you'll have to buy or download maps.
Shenanigans. I've used the 510 breadcrumb for 100+mile rides with zero issue.
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Old 02-15-15, 07:31 AM
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Yeah. Breadcrumb is fine, but it shows no roads. Any turn directions are simple text embedded in the TCX file by whatever created it and are cued based on proximity to their coordinates. If you find yourself off the track, you need to find your way back. This works for many.

Garmin 705, 800, 810, 1000 and Etrex models have maps and provide navigation similar to what car GPS units provide.
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Old 02-15-15, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by FLvector
The Garmin 500 will do turn by turn directions and/or snail trail of your route if you export your route using ridewithgps in a tcx file. I use this when in unfamiliar territory and it works quite well. I don't know how well it works out of country. No need to buy any maps with this method.
Why would anyone expect it to work any differently?

Originally Posted by thewilson
Shenanigans. I've used the 510 breadcrumb for 100+mile rides with zero issue.
It works. Having a map is likely better.

Last edited by njkayaker; 02-15-15 at 08:57 AM.
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Old 02-15-15, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by thewilson
Shenanigans. I've used the 510 breadcrumb for 100+mile rides with zero issue.
The 510 breadcrumb trail is fine provided you don't get off-route accidentally. The 510 has zero dynamic routing capability so if you are forced off route by a road closure or something you would need a real map to recover. The 800/810/1000 have dynamic routing similar to a car GPS unit.

I've used the 510 for 100+ mile rides with zero issues, and I've also had it be nearly useless on rides when the group leader decided to change the route on the fly. Until you re-find the route, it can't provide any guidance.
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Old 02-15-15, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by gsa103
The 510 has zero dynamic routing capability so if you are forced off route by a road closure or something you would need a real map to recover.
Actually, it still shows your position relative to the breadcrumb trail, so you can go in the correct general direction towards the breadcrumb trail, and once you get back to it, the directions resume.
But if you need to map an alternate route on the fly, then you need a map. I use my smart phone in that situation (may not work out of country).
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Old 02-15-15, 11:16 AM
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It was my 1st time in Europe last summer and had planned a 85km ride. I'm so glad I got the 800. Picked it up on eBay 2 years ago for $200 refurb and still going strong.
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Old 02-15-15, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by f4rrest
Actually, it still shows your position relative to the breadcrumb trail, so you can go in the correct general direction towards the breadcrumb trail, and once you get back to it, the directions resume.
But if you need to map an alternate route on the fly, then you need a map. I use my smart phone in that situation (may not work out of country).
+1
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Old 02-15-15, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by njkayaker
Why would anyone expect it to work any differently?
My biggest concern would be to make sure that your destination is compatible with mapmyride.com, ridewithgps or another app that can export tcx files. Since I've never tried mapmyride in another county I wouldn't just assume that it works.

Originally Posted by njkayaker
It works. Having a map is likely better.
Or a smartphone to display current position if you get lost.

Last edited by FLvector; 02-16-15 at 11:06 AM. Reason: correction
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Old 02-15-15, 11:48 AM
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The Garmin 500 is great, the only times I have had problems was in a ride where the route crossed itself a few times, which confused the Garmin, but otherwise it has been perfect.
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Old 02-15-15, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by fstshrk
But you need to buy country specific maps or learn to download them from openstreetmaps
In my experience, OpenStreetMap maps are free and tend to be more up-to-date than Garmin's maps, but they lack many of the businesses found on the Garmin maps.

For routing, you can use google maps to plot your route, then export it to your Garmin via the Garmin plug-in available on the Garmin web site.
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Old 02-15-15, 01:41 PM
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800/810, no question. Then no need for paper maps. Openstreetmap is the best IME. Try to find one that is bike specific. Some countries have excellent online maps for planning. I've used RWGPS and bikely for routing and then downloaded the TCX files to the Garmin. I put my maps and routes on micro SD cards. One problem I have not run into yet is touring in countries which do not use our alphabet.
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Old 02-15-15, 02:22 PM
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For what it's worth I'm not sure the TBT has all the bugs worked out of it yet by Garmin. I mean the 810 has only been out for 2 years. It usually takes Garmin longer to fix their software. My 810 works fine as long as I'm not paying attention to it.
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Old 02-15-15, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by FLvector
My biggest concern would be to make the your destination is compatible with mapmyride.com or another app that can export tcx files. Since I've never tried mapmyride in another county I would just assume that it works.
Creating tcx/gpx files for other countries is easy. I've done it in ridewithgps. Most (if not all) of the ride planning sites have world wide maps.

Originally Posted by FLvector
Or a smartphone to display current position if you get lost.
I've done that for cue sheet navigated rides. There are many mapping apps that let you load gpx files. I have a 800 and still load the routes to my phone. That works but having the map in front of you is easier. I can fairly-easily navigate detours without the phone. I much prefer having maps but the "breadcrumb" approach on the 500 works.

Last edited by njkayaker; 02-15-15 at 07:41 PM.
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Old 02-15-15, 07:40 PM
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Originally Posted by f4rrest
I use my smart phone in that situation (may not work out of country).
This is very easy to deal with. All you need is an app that uses locally-stored maps. You can be out of range of the cell network in the US too.

I use mapping apps that use locally-stored maps and that you can load gpx files to too.

Note that GPS on smart phones don't need cell network access (you can turn off the cell network access).

Last edited by njkayaker; 02-15-15 at 07:55 PM.
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Old 02-15-15, 08:36 PM
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Or, if your phone is GSM compatible (All LTE phones are also GSM compatible) *and* it's carrier-unlocked, you can just buy a sim in the country of your choice and use your phone there. I plan on doing that for my family's cycling vacation through Italy this year.

You can map routes in many places using ridewithgps.com but there may not be any indication of bike-friendly roads like google provides here.

I had some issues with openstreetmaps (taking me ways that don't exist in my neighborhood) but you can't beat the price. Has anybody ever submitted updates for OSM? Is it possible? I suppose that's what the open means.
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Old 02-15-15, 11:46 PM
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Originally Posted by TrojanHorse
I had some issues with openstreetmaps (taking me ways that don't exist in my neighborhood) but you can't beat the price. Has anybody ever submitted updates for OSM? Is it possible? I suppose that's what the open means.
Yes, it's possible. It's not that hard to do. You might want to start-out with small/limited changes.
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Old 02-16-15, 06:28 AM
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I can't think of any good reason to choose the 500 breadcrumb over real maps and TbyT nav on 810. Well worth the upgrade cost, especially for travel abroad and urban environments.
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Old 02-16-15, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by chaadster
I can't think of any good reason to choose the 500 breadcrumb over real maps and TbyT nav on 810. Well worth the upgrade cost, especially for travel abroad and urban environments.
The 810 will obviously provide better navigation/mapping features than the 500 for a higher cost, but the OP didn't ask which one is better or best. The OP asked "What's the cheapest Garmin that will give me the turn by turn feature?"
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Old 02-16-15, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by FLvector
The 810 will obviously provide better navigation/mapping features than the 500 for a higher cost, but the OP didn't ask which one is better or best. The OP asked "What's the cheapest Garmin that will give me the turn by turn feature?"
Yes, but the 500 does not do "turn-by-turn navigation" as I know it. Yes, a cue sheet can be loaded-- with some hassle, as well-- and my work ok, but when most people say "turn-by-turn navigation," they're looking as much for the navigation aspect as much as turn prompts; if 500 is taken off breadcrumb route, there is no navigation to return to route. One can see where they are relative to the route, but how to get there is up to the user.

That may indeed be what the OP was talking about, but I think that's unlikely given the general understanding of turn-by-turn navigation, which the 800 provides.
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Old 02-16-15, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by FLvector
The OP asked "What's the cheapest Garmin that will give me the turn by turn feature?"
The OP asked another question right after that one, which you ignored. So, it appears that he's assuming that the units use/display maps.

Originally Posted by iab
What's the cheapest Garmin that will give me the turn by turn feature? Will I need to buy their map of the area?
Originally Posted by FLvector
The 810 will obviously provide better navigation/mapping features than the 500 for a higher cost, but the OP didn't ask which one is better or best. The OP asked "What's the cheapest Garmin that will give me the turn by turn feature?"
The 800 (if he can still get one) or 810 isn't that expensive. If it provides "better navigation/mapping features than the 500" than it might be silly to buy the 500.

Originally Posted by iab
Pardon my Garmin ignorance.
Given this, it isn't unreasonable to provide an idea of what options are available to him.

Last edited by njkayaker; 02-16-15 at 11:50 AM.
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