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Suggested GPS/Bicycle Computer for stat collection

Old 05-23-18, 09:46 AM
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Suggested GPS/Bicycle Computer for stat collection

Hello fellow tourers,

I'm going on a two month tour this summer, and I am also studying programming/data science. I think it'd be a fun project to do some analysis on whatever statistics I can collect over my trip, and I'm curious if you guys have any recommendations for a bicycle computer that would lend itself to that. I'm not looking to spend more than $150, and what I really want is the ability to export as many stats (speed, average speed, max speed, time, elevation, latitude/longitude, etc) as possible to a txt file for analysis. I've never spent more than $20 on a bicycle computer and the options are pretty overwhelming. A super high rez screen and map display aren't super important to me- I'd like to prioritize battery life and exported statistics.

Thanks for any and all recommendations!
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Old 05-23-18, 10:30 AM
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I use a phone dedicated to the bike running either Strava or Ride With GPS (or both simultaneously). You should be able to write custom phone apps if you wish.

Most tracking programs (Strava, RWGPS, etc) will allow you to export files in a couple of different formats which are basically text files that can be viewed and edited.

There are a couple of tricks to improve battery life. I found that I can run my bike phone on "airplane mode" which saves a lot on battery life. I also got an extended battery.

The third thing, I'm planning on building a generator/dynamo front wheel to recharge on the fly.

Any other app where you can upload to Strava/RWGPS, or export data GPX data files should also work with your analysis. Garmin?
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Old 05-23-18, 11:24 AM
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Most GPS devices will record lat/lon altitude.

The Garmin will but check on your model. Some (or all) have a limited track log and will start overwriting the log. You need to periodically save the current log to a different track log file on the gps.
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Old 05-23-18, 11:54 AM
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endless product opinions here.. https://www.bikeforums.net/electroni...hting-gadgets/
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Old 05-23-18, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by antmaster5000
Hello fellow tourers,

I'm going on a two month tour this summer, and I am also studying programming/data science. I think it'd be a fun project to do some analysis on whatever statistics I can collect over my trip, and I'm curious if you guys have any recommendations for a bicycle computer that would lend itself to that. I'm not looking to spend more than $150, and what I really want is the ability to export as many stats (speed, average speed, max speed, time, elevation, latitude/longitude, etc) as possible to a txt file for analysis. I've never spent more than $20 on a bicycle computer and the options are pretty overwhelming. A super high rez screen and map display aren't super important to me- I'd like to prioritize battery life and exported statistics.

Thanks for any and all recommendations!
This is actually a pretty elegant solution. I had discounted using Strava due to battery concerns, but I didn't know that it would still work in airplane mode (but it makes sense that it does). I'll be riding with a nifty solar powered battery pack, so I should be okay.
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Old 05-23-18, 01:26 PM
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I'd strongly recommend doing some long tests with strava or any other "always working" phone app. Back a bunch of years ago when I would track rides using the phone gps for fun sometimes, I had odd moments here and there, and I also never used it for 4, 5, 6, 7 hour days either, but only short rides.

as you said, there are a ton of gps type bike computers out there, and not easy to know which ones are more suited to what you want to do. Around here, it seems that the lowest priced ones are in the 150 cad range, so a bit over 100 u.s.
I'd still go to a bunch of bike stores and look at some, or just do a whole bunch of web searching and take notes.
As far as I understand, any stand alone unit will need recharging every day, but this info should be easy to find out and compare models etc etc etc.
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Old 05-23-18, 01:32 PM
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Assuming you have some time, you might just add an app to your phone and do some experimenting around town to see if you can get data you like.

There is a Soleus GPS Draft Cycling Computer that is relatively cheap. Simple, and you're supposed to be able to download GPS data from it. I think I bought one used, but it wasn't very intuitive, so I stopped using it but perhaps it is worth revisiting the device (no navigation on that one).
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Old 05-23-18, 06:39 PM
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Lezyne super gps. Hits your budget, has more than enough stats for you to geek over, and the battery last 20+ hours.

The less i have running on my phone, the better.
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Old 05-24-18, 07:23 AM
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Raspberry Pi W ($5)+cheap USB GPS (last one I bought was $25).

Plus you can go nuts and add even more sensors to log all kinds of data. Heart rate, cadence, weather....

Also lots of options for powering it too. Could probably run it off a dyno hub.
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Old 05-24-18, 07:33 AM
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$20 wired computer on the bike for me for instant stats, phone with your choice of logging app for the metrics.

If battery life is a concern, get a power bank and keep it in your handlebar bag. DO realize any battery charging issues you may encounter will also be realized with a dedicated GPS bike computer.
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Old 05-24-18, 08:17 AM
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Urban Biker app works for me.

I've been very happy with the "Urban Biker" app. Lots of exportable data, very customizable, with the option of a GPS map in the background, or the foreground. It will run on your smartphone, but I run it on an $89 tablet because it's easier for my aged eyes to see the digits at a glance. I've even used it on my smartphone to track my kayaking trips. Urban Biker
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Old 05-24-18, 08:29 AM
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My Garmin exports a .tcx file. It's XML, with some ride headers, a few ride statistics, then "Tracks" composed of "Trackpoints", one trackpoint per second.

Here's a sample, two seconds long. I have a cadence sensor, a heart rate strap, and a power meter.
This raw data needs some smoothing. Smoothing is a whole other subject -- too little, and you get spiky results, too much, and it cuts off highs and lows.

<Trackpoint>
<Time>2018-05-23T19: 50: 39Z </Time>
<Position>
<LatitudeDegrees>39.338342</LatitudeDegrees>
<LongitudeDegrees>-85.184311</LongitudeDegrees>
</Position>
<AltitudeMeters>288.261</AltitudeMeters>
<DistanceMeters>77357.875</DistanceMeters>
<HeartRateBpm>
<Value>119</Value>
</HeartRateBpm>
<Cadence>88</Cadence>
<SensorState>Present</SensorState>
<Extensions>
<TPX xmlns="https://www.garmin.com/xmlschemas/ActivityExtension/v2">
<Watts>103</Watts>
</TPX>
</Extensions>
</Trackpoint>

<Trackpoint>
<Time>2018-05-23T19: 50: 40Z </Time>
<Position>
<LatitudeDegrees>39.338327</LatitudeDegrees>
<LongitudeDegrees>-85.184235</LongitudeDegrees>
</Position>
<AltitudeMeters>288.340</AltitudeMeters>
<DistanceMeters>77364.539</DistanceMeters>
<HeartRateBpm>
<Value>119</Value>
</HeartRateBpm>
<Cadence>89</Cadence>
<SensorState>Present</SensorState>
<Extensions>
<TPX xmlns="https://www.garmin.com/xmlschemas/ActivityExtension/v2">
<Watts>113</Watts>
</TPX>
</Extensions>
</Trackpoint>

Last edited by rm -rf; 05-24-18 at 08:33 AM.
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Old 05-24-18, 08:40 AM
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For riding stats:
I use a combination of these:

ridewithgps.com -- you can drag a section of the ride to get Metrics for that portion.

My Tourbook -- for day/month/year history, and I add comments to the ride. free software.

Golden Cheetah -- more stats, charts, and graphs than you'll ever need. Lots of interesting analysis. Free open source software. It's easy to get started, just let it use the defaults, then modify the page settings later. It's more oriented to power meter analysis, but can do non-power rides.

strava.com -- more for sharing with biking friends. The pay version has more stats, but it's aimed more at riders doing training and competition.

~~~~~~~~~~~
recording:

osmand+ is Open Street Maps stored on your phone or tablet. So the maps still work when there's no connectivity. This launches quickly, if you want to check your local area and there's no signal. A one-time inexpensive fee to download maps, and it's free to try. I'd always bring this on a tour.

osmand+ can also record a trip. I haven't tried this.

Last edited by rm -rf; 05-24-18 at 08:49 AM.
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Old 05-24-18, 09:42 AM
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While I do appreciate the challenge and fun of having a lot of data to massage, let me suggest an alternative:

A notebook or weekly planner calendar and a pen.

Take 5-10 minutes every day to jot down a few notes about where you were, what you saw, how far you rode, what the weather was like, whatever seemed important that day. When you get home, you can cross-correlate those notes with the pictures you have. You'll get a lot more pleasure out of remembering the old guy in the bar, or the sunset, or the day you finally had a tailwind, than just about any number-crunching result will give you.
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