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Best Garmin for touring?

Old 01-18-19, 11:31 AM
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Best Garmin for touring?

Can anyone suggest a Garmin computer model that I can use for touring?

Thanks in advance,
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Old 01-18-19, 11:53 AM
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I purchased the new Garmin Edge Explore to replace an Etrex 20. Pleased so far. The only weakness is elevation is shown as gain or loss. Still working out how to put European maps on but there is advice on this from DCRAINMAKER. (youtube and google.)
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Old 01-18-19, 05:05 PM
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Sailing or biking I'd still bring a map
(or navigational chart Essential in a sailboat so you don'r run hard aground )

I now have a very nice map collection from my several tours in Europe

before the internet got rolling.. cell phones ,, and all that...




Happy shopping .. then you will have more batteries to keep charged.....


...

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Old 01-18-19, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Spearmin
Can anyone suggest a Garmin computer model that I can use for touring?

Thanks in advance,
Have you thought about how you will be using it?
Specifically, things like
When, where and how will you plot routes? Do you expect to be able to create routes on the road? If so, on the unit or on phone/tablet/laptop?
Do you want to track & save your ride? Share it with, for example, Strava or share location with family/friends?
Do you need detailed maps and POIs on the unit?
Do you need turn by turn navigation or is a breadcrumb trail sufficient?
How will you charge it, or do you want to use batteries?
Do you want cadence/heart rate and other monitoring data?

When you say Garmin do you mean specifically Garmin or do you mean it generically? There are other brands.

Have you searched here and in the electronics forum? Lots of good info to be found.

Remember with GPS units there are two parts to using one successfully - The first part is the route planning, the second the following of that route. It makes little difference how good or bad the unit is if the route planning is bad.

As for your question?
The best Garmin for touring is the heaviest one - it will hold your map down in the wind!

I tried a Garmin touring unit. It was totally unsuited to Touring. And customer service was poor.

I use a Wahoo Elemnt. Very happy with it because it does what I want it to do.
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Old 01-18-19, 10:53 PM
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Originally Posted by hobbesontour
as for your question?
The best garmin for touring is the heaviest one - it will hold your map down in the wind!
lol
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Old 01-19-19, 06:48 AM
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I have the GPSMap 76. Had it for years. What I like about it is a nice large display and it uses AA batteries. IMHO, the edge is way too small to be useful. Even the GPSMap is a bit on the smalll side and it is huge by comparison.

You might be better off with a cell phone or tablet. But then you need to worry about charging.

Believe it or not, I just got a smart phone. On the next tour I might try using it as a hotspot for the tablet. and use Google maps on the tablet.
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Old 01-19-19, 10:16 AM
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I have/had multiple units of Garmin. My very favorite is no longer made. It was the original Etrex 20 as was simple to use and the batteries (2 AA) lasted about 35-37 hours before dying. My next favorite is the 64s. It has pretty good battery life (~21 to 25 hours for 2 AA) and has lots of features but is a tad complicated to use with the little buttons. Biggest complaint is the "warning beep" volume is low and not adjustable. I had a new generation Etrex 20 but is was OK but I only used it a couple of times before preferring the 64s. My least favorite is the Montana 300. It is a battery hog, i.e. uses 3 AAA batteries every 8-10 hours. However, it has a big touch screen and tons of features. Due to the battery use, I rarely use it for bike touring.

A couple of related topics. If you are going on longer tour, buy rechargeable batteries, specifically Panasonic PRO Eneloop batteries. They hold a large capacity and more importantly charge to its listed capacity. Alkaline batteries are relatively cheap but you need to buy 16+ to bring the per battery price down. But batteries are heavy. Also, probably not great for the environment to trash them beside the road0Always carry at least 3-4 days of batteries or at minimum enough to get you to the next "bigger" town (has a Walmart). The reason is the batteries that are frequently in a small town convenience store or dollar store may have been there quite awhile and they no longer hold much of a charge. Bring a light duty (light weight) 4'-6' extension cord for you battery charger and a 3-outlet adapter (1 adapter has 3 AC outlets but only plugs into 1 outlet) as sometimes you need to charge multiple things (phone, batteries, etc,) so you need more than one outlet. You could use lithium batteries but they are still a bit pricey but pretty light weight.

Also, I only use RAM Mounts for mounting the devices to the bike. They are absolutely fantastic. They are totally interchangeable, i.e. you can take the cradle for your phone and then switch out for your GPS. Different arm lengths, mounts, cradles, etc. All interchangeable with ease. You can be assured the GPS will not come out or fall off. Try to use the composite parts instead of the aluminum or steel due to weight.

Tailwinds, John
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Old 01-23-19, 01:16 PM
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Garmin Edge 1030
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Old 01-24-19, 10:26 AM
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Thread on the same topic over @ Adventure Cycling:

https://forums.adventurecycling.org/index.php?topic=15026.0
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Old 01-24-19, 11:22 AM
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I got myself Garmin Edge Explore for Christmas. Didn't do any touring on it but did a few dozen rides with it and it seems to behave very well for navigation. AFAIK as far as navigation features go it is on par with 1030 but it is less than half of its price. Beeps could have been louder but so far this is the only complaint.
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Old 01-27-19, 11:28 PM
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Garmin

I say forget Garmin use your I-phone or Android device to navigate and tour. Possibly take backup power source. Garmin is good for ride history.
That's my humble opinion.
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Old 03-27-19, 03:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Graffik
I say forget Garmin use your I-phone or Android device to navigate and tour. Possibly take backup power source. Garmin is good for ride history.
That's my humble opinion.
Been using the Edge 500 for more than 5 years. Data doesnít require color so battery lasts, a map is better for touring. New 1030 costs $5-600. Doesnít make sense to me. Not enough improvements to merit the $. Just my .02$.
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Old 03-27-19, 10:28 AM
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I use an etrex 30. I've used the etrex products for years, so I am used to them and with a micro SD card you can store lots of maps and routes and tracks. I have a Garmin handlebar mount for cycling. Lithium batteries last about six days for me.
I'm not sure I would get one today, smart phones have a bigger more easily readable screen, and you are probably carrying one anyway. If you can keep your phone dry and keep it charged it will work just as well.
I haven't used any of the bicycle specific gps units to compare.
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Old 03-27-19, 12:22 PM
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I own a 510, 520plus, and a Fenix5x wearable.

The 510 was fine till I broke it against some rocks riding MTB. That one was good for 20 hours of riding time, but the maps were of questionable utility. I'd still use it but the screen is compromised and it gets weird in high humidity conditions.

The maps in the 5x and the 520 are FANTASTIC, but I never use them for turn by turn. Occasionally I will when I get lost, which usually means I'm bonked, which is how I got lost in the first place. I've had (new to me device) user problems with the 520 and know I can pop on the 5x as a stand in with two button clicks.

For doing training rides or whatever, I love to see the display on the 520, but if I'm touring, I don't want the distraction, and I'm inclined to take the Fenix and nothing more. Assuming I don't need the visibility of the display while I am riding. It also charges in about 20 minutes.

All my bikes have a power meter on them (except the touring bike), and I started using the "kilojoules used" screen to remind myself to eat (it seems stupid, but I don't have a good physical sense of exertion or hunger, so it helps me) . I'd add a power meter to the touring bike for that reason, but even at a bargain of $500 it would be double what I have into the rest of the bike combined and that defeats the purpose.
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Old 03-27-19, 01:31 PM
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Garmin's answer to your question is the Edge Touring. Now, it probably depends on what kind of touring you have in mind. My personal take is that the one (and only?) thing that the Edge has going is its ruggedness. I've tried it and now use it as a dust gathering device in the bin I reserve for that purpose in a corner of my home office. (explanations on request).

As others have indicated, a smartphone has its merits. Downside would be that it will not work well (if at all) in downpours. Energy consumption is on par with an Edge. After being sold to smartphone navigation, I am now more likely to use a smartphone only when navigating cities (many turns, breadcrumbs navigation isn't sufficient) and a smartwatch (a repurposed Garmin Forerunner 910) on open roads. Major benefit of a smartwatch is that it requires very little energy. Recent models (ex: Forerunner 935) could go on for a week (50hrs) between recharges -- Suunto 9 claims 120 hrs. Side benefit it that it is meant to pair with ANT+ sensors. (speed, cadence, power, temperature, hear rate and what not). AND a smartwatch has a smaller footprint than a smartphone and will therefore reduce air drag (kidding )

Last edited by gauvins; 03-27-19 at 01:37 PM.
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Old 03-27-19, 06:05 PM
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I tried using the Garmin navigation today (in an area where I knew where I was). I won't do it again.

The maps, OTOH, are fantastic.
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Old 03-27-19, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by CraigMBA
I tried using the Garmin navigation today (in an area where I knew where I was). I won't do it again.

The maps, OTOH, are fantastic.
Help us here with some details as to why and what didnít work.

Curious as Iíve used the Course created on Garmin Connect for a lot of routes and had have been very happy with the results. As good as RWGPS as far as Iím concerned.
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Old 03-27-19, 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve B.


Help us here with some details as to why and what didnít work.

Curious as Iíve used the Course created on Garmin Connect for a lot of routes and had have been very happy with the results. As good as RWGPS as far as Iím concerned.
I asked it to route me home. It tried to put me on a section of State Route 166 that has been abandoned for about 40 years (shortest route) that no longer exists.

I've not tried the course tool you are speaking of, and I will. Thanks for the tip.
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Old 03-27-19, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by CraigMBA
I asked it to route me home. It tried to put me on a section of State Route 166 that has been abandoned for about 40 years (shortest route) that no longer exists.

I've not tried the course tool you are speaking of, and I will. Thanks for the tip.
Not sure any GPS device or software is yet up to the job of routing using the internal database. Not even Google can do a good job when cloud connected, of choosing which particular roads are appropriate to cycling. Possibly Strava is moving in the right direction by using the ride reports in its database to determine if others have ridden particular roads, how often (which might show suitability), etc.. I think Garmin Connect can do this as well as I believe that every tracked ride by every Garmin user who sends ride data up to Connect gets that data analyzed by Garmin.

With no cell data for the device to use the database, the devices are just not up to the need to choose suitable and bike friendly roads. Someday maybe.
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Old 03-28-19, 12:37 AM
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Vaguely OT:

Santa Barbara county (and SLO county, for that matter) have done a fantastic job abandoning public easements in a fashion that I'm not convinced was legal. Which is, IMO, why they are still on the map.

A great example is https://lpfw.org/national-forest-acc...n-huasna-road/, which incidentally is about five miles from where I am complaining about getting rerouted.
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Old 03-31-19, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by gauvins
... As others have indicated, a smartphone has its merits. Downside would be that it will not work well (if at all) in downpours....
​​​​​This is not quite true. I use a ruggedized "IPX" rated phone (Kyocera Duraforce Pro to be exact) for offline navigation on both my bicycle and motorcycle. No cell data needed. Much cheaper than a Garmin and I can get map updates for free.
I'll never go back to using a dedicated navigation unit only.

Cheers
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Old 03-31-19, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by spinnaker
IMHO, the edge is way too small to be useful.
The Garmin Edgeís biggest limitation is the battery. It lasts exactly 8 hours (well, 7:59:59). There are days when you are out for longer than 8 hours and Iím not all that enthusiastic about turning on and off all the time to conserve batteries. Thereís nothing worse than having the stupid Edge die and you have no idea how far it is to where you are going to stop.I donít, by the way, use the mapping features of the Edge. Itís not worth it.

I actually like the size.

You might be better off with a cell phone or tablet. But then you need to worry about charging.
Iíve used a GPS tracking app but it does eat a lot of power. I carry external batteries as back up but thatís just one more battery that needs charging. I do use the smart phone for routing information but that takes less power.

Iím currently looking at the Lezyne Mega XL because it has a 40 hour + battery life. Not thrilled about the size however.
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Old 03-31-19, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by GasPowered
​​​​​This is not quite true. I use a ruggedized "IPX" rated phone (Kyocera Duraforce Pro to be exact) for offline navigation on both my bicycle and motorcycle.

Cheers
Good point. Protective shells and silicone cases are another option.
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Old 04-02-19, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute


The Garmin Edge’s biggest limitation is the battery. It lasts exactly 8 hours (well, 7:59:59). There are days when you are out for longer than 8 hours and I’m not all that enthusiastic about turning on and off all the time to conserve batteries. There’s nothing worse than having the stupid Edge die and you have no idea how far it is to where you are going to stop.I don’t, by the way, use the mapping features of the Edge. It’s not worth it.
There is a setting inside the Garmin that slightly reduces the GPS resolution and radically increases the battery life. I used to ride double centuries with my 510 and it would last 18 hours plus if I had the backlighting off.

I'll try and figure out how we did it and post back.
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Old 04-02-19, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute

The Garmin Edgeís biggest limitation is the battery. It lasts exactly 8 hours (well, 7:59:59).
The new Edge Touring is rated by Garmin to 17 hrs. You wouldn't get that while navigating and using other functions like BT to a smartphone and maybe a speed sensor, but 8 hrs. sounds like the unit has an issue.

My 3 year old Edge 1000 goes 12 hrs, without navigating and it's only rated to 15. I'm using Live Track and a speed sensor typically.
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