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Which GPS for bikepacking/ touring?

Old 10-16-20, 01:28 PM
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doubravsky 
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Which GPS for bikepacking/ touring?

I'm a long time Garmin guy... I have the Forerunner 935, Edge 1000, and Edge 130. I'm just getting ready to begin some bikepacking, and I'm not sure any of mine are the "right" gps for a multi day trip. I think my biggest requirements are long battery life/ quick recharge, and in particular long battery life while in route/ map mode. I know my 1000 only lasts 5-6 hours when navigating a route.

What seems to be the two best options are the Edge 1030 and the Wahoo Elemnt Roam. I'm hesitant to switch to a Wahoo because it's been Garmin for me for lots of years, but the Edge 1030 is a lot more $$ than the ROAM.

Advice? All thoughts appreciated.
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Old 10-16-20, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by doubravsky View Post
I'm a long time Garmin guy... I have the Forerunner 935, Edge 1000, and Edge 130. I'm just getting ready to begin some bikepacking, and I'm not sure any of mine are the "right" gps for a multi day trip. I think my biggest requirements are long battery life/ quick recharge, and in particular long battery life while in route/ map mode. I know my 1000 only lasts 5-6 hours when navigating a route.

What seems to be the two best options are the Edge 1030 and the Wahoo Elemnt Roam. I'm hesitant to switch to a Wahoo because it's been Garmin for me for lots of years, but the Edge 1030 is a lot more $$ than the ROAM.

Advice? All thoughts appreciated.
Neither of those really have that much battery life. the Garmin is 20 hours and the Wahoo has 17. To put it another way, thatís about 2 days of riding without recharge. And the price on both is a bit high.

I have a Lezyne Mega XL. It may not have the bells and whistles of the other two but it has a 48 hour battery life. I did about 11 hours of riding in a remote location this weekend without recharge and Iíve done more than that in the past. The claimed 48 hour battery life is close to the actual battery life. And at nearly $200 less than the Wahoo and $400 less than the Garmin, itís a bargain.
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Old 10-16-20, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Neither of those really have that much battery life. the Garmin is 20 hours and the Wahoo has 17. To put it another way, thatís about 2 days of riding without recharge. And the price on both is a bit high.

I have a Lezyne Mega XL. It may not have the bells and whistles of the other two but it has a 48 hour battery life. I did about 11 hours of riding in a remote location this weekend without recharge and Iíve done more than that in the past. The claimed 48 hour battery life is close to the actual battery life. And at nearly $200 less than the Wahoo and $400 less than the Garmin, itís a bargain.
Thanks! I'll check it out.... not familiar with the Lezyne yet....
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Old 10-16-20, 05:30 PM
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Try an experiment. Get the correct angled USB adapter for the 1000 (look at the compartment while the unit is on an out-front mount), charge the 1000 fully, do a ride while navigating with the stick battery plugged in and calculate battery drain. Might be cheaper than a new unit and figure that at some point during the trip you will be charging electronics, a few stick batteries are easy.
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Old 10-16-20, 09:40 PM
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The Garmin Edge is really a fitness/sport device. You should consider a Garmin “outdoor” device like an eTrex or Oregon model for bike packing or touring, they get 16hours or so, but they use regular AA batteries, so you change batteries and keep going. You can get a bike mount for the eTrex.
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Old 10-16-20, 10:42 PM
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We are now relying on a smartwatch (F5 -- but your FR935 would certainly do) for TBT navigation + essential metrics (e.g. distance to destination). In extended mode, the F5 works reasonably well and offers an autonomy of close to 40hrs. We typically plan next day's route on our phone, push the course and run it from the watch -- the phone being turned off. The watch is mounted on an out-front bracket. Had an Edge Touring. Phone + watch is infinitely better. I see no reason to purchase another device.
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Old 10-17-20, 07:46 AM
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There are lots of Garmin GPS units that run on AA batteries. I have gone on kayak trips that lasted two weeks where I brought enough AA batteries to last the whole trip.

At this time I am touring with a Garmin 64. If you check out the Garmins that use AA batteries, a priority would be one that has a good handlebar mount. I am running NiMH rechargeable AA batteries. Eneloops are a favorite of many for AA rechargeables, at this time I prefer Ikea Ladda AA rechargeables, I only get the white ones (the brown AA batteries do not work as well).

Look for a GPS that you can load a lot of maps into. Some Garmins can take a micro SD card for more map capacity.

I configure my Garmin 64 for longer battery life, I turn off the WAAS satellites, Glonass satellites, avoid using the backlight, etc. I do not find that routing consumes more battery, but I have not tried a battery test where I was watching battery life, so maybe that does reduce battery life span. When touring, I use a dynohub to keep things charged, thus I never run my GPS batteries all the way down.

I have on occasion not gotten my GPS into the handlebar mount correctly (user error), I always loop a lanyard to the GPS and handlebar so that the GPS can't fall too far when it happens.

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Old 10-17-20, 09:00 AM
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I am just curios why people don't use their cell phones GPS. I always carry a battery pack for backup. I think I get 3 charges on it. I tend to use Ridewithgps. For a long tour I download the maps, and I put it on airplane mode, and off I go. I figure most folks carry their phone anyway
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Old 10-17-20, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by balto charlie View Post
I am just curios why people don't use their cell phones GPS. I always carry a battery pack for backup. I think I get 3 charges on it. I tend to use Ridewithgps. For a long tour I download the maps, and I put it on airplane mode, and off I go. I figure most folks carry their phone anyway
I can't speak for everyone else, but I can't see my phone screen on a bright sunny day. If I carefully hold it in the shade, maybe can see some of it, but not good enough. My Garmin screen in bright sun is very readable with backlight off.
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Old 10-17-20, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
the Garmin is 20 hours and the Wahoo has 17. .
I guess I never rode more than 8-10h touring.
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Old 10-17-20, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
I can't speak for everyone else, but I can't see my phone screen on a bright sunny day. If I carefully hold it in the shade, maybe can see some of it, but not good enough. My Garmin screen in bright sun is very readable with backlight off.

I always ""see"" my phone, sunny or rainy. ;() I even know where it is.
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Old 10-17-20, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by balto charlie View Post
I am just curios why people don't use their cell phones GPS. I always carry a battery pack for backup. I think I get 3 charges on it. I tend to use Ridewithgps. For a long tour I download the maps, and I put it on airplane mode, and off I go. I figure most folks carry their phone anyway
I can tell you why I wouldn't do it, and why I don't even use my phone for nav on even one-day rides. I rely on my phone for all sorts of rather important stuff (communications, Internet access, even shooting the occasional photo or video). I also prefer not to put it in airplane mode unless there is no signal and it is justified. I'd rather save my phone battery for those other uses and leave the nav to a device that is dedicated to it. And even though I have a handlebar mount for it and my phone is in a case for mounting (Morpheus), I also almost never ride with my phone on my handlebars and tuck it into my handlebar bag. Call me paranoid, but in a crash or accident, I want my phone well-protected and on the network.
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Old 10-17-20, 03:45 PM
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Considering that the OP already owns a 1000, I’d say why buy a new $200-$250 GPS that runs on AA ?, when the only issue with the 1000 is battery life. That’s an easy fix with a bunch of battery sticks in a handlebar bag, he could run the unit for days. The only reason I can see for a unit like an e-Trex 25/35 or similar (which are very nice unit’s and I’d recommend one) is in the event there’s no easy way to recharge any electronics or he’s going to be out for a long duration.
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Old 10-17-20, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
I can't speak for everyone else, but I can't see my phone screen on a bright sunny day. If I carefully hold it in the shade, maybe can see some of it, but not good enough. My Garmin screen in bright sun is very readable with backlight off.
I have trouble seeing mine at times but I have Ridewithgps app and the little woman inside tells me when to turn
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Old 10-17-20, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by jfoobar View Post
I can tell you why I wouldn't do it, and why I don't even use my phone for nav on even one-day rides. I rely on my phone for all sorts of rather important stuff (communications, Internet access, even shooting the occasional photo or video). I also prefer not to put it in airplane mode unless there is no signal and it is justified. I'd rather save my phone battery for those other uses and leave the nav to a device that is dedicated to it. And even though I have a handlebar mount for it and my phone is in a case for mounting (Morpheus), I also almost never ride with my phone on my handlebars and tuck it into my handlebar bag. Call me paranoid, but in a crash or accident, I want my phone well-protected and on the network.
I hear ya, some phones are pricey. I use older, behind the curve phones so this is not as much of an issue for me. Currently using an Iphone 7.
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Old 10-17-20, 09:37 PM
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Originally Posted by balto charlie View Post
I hear ya, some phones are pricey. I use older, behind the curve phones so this is not as much of an issue for me. Currently using an Iphone 7.
Honestly, I don't care too much about the value of the phone. I care about not having the phone when I need it.
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Old 10-18-20, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by str View Post
I guess I never rode more than 8-10h touring.
Ten hours is also about the most I do in a day but how many days have you gone without access to power? Iíve gone days without any other power source than what I can carry. Having a battery on my GPS that can go for 40 hours, or up to 4 days of riding, is very helpful. My phone wonít last that long, even in airplane mode. I carry an external battery for the phone but with the longer run time on the GPS, I donít have to use the battery on that.
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Old 10-18-20, 10:34 AM
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I have an old Edge Touring, which I sorta still like for some purposes.
I do have an external battery and even a (good) solar panel. I don't think I'll ditch the edge touring as it still works and still receives map updates. It is, however, really ugly now after a few hard crashes. It also takes more than 3 hours to update the maps through Garmin Express (slow-as-molasses Garmin USB connection).

I also have an old Xperia XZ1 Compact phone which has also seen a couple of hard crashes (the same two hard ones), breaking the mount. And at some point, I got sand (don't ask) in the headphone jack rendering the plug useless.
That said, my next phone will also be a rugged one (much more rugged), and I want a bigger, more useful size screen. I'm pretty sure it will be the Xcover Pro. And I do think I'll use the phone more for actually making routes and adjust underway. I've bought a tiltable stem mount from SP Connect as I think it's stronger/better than the "Out front" mount from quadlock (which I had reversed so the phone was next to the stem).
But even though I consider the new mount "safer" I can keep the phone in a bag elsewhere if I feel like I need to protect it even further.

But since you already have a gps, use that if you like it. And if worried about run-time, get a battery pack. If not, get a good mount for your phone and use that. But if running your phone, you will need a battery pack anyway if running it for days on end.

Edit to add:
Actually, the Xcover Pro is more than "just" rugged. It also has a swappable battery - so you could in theory just bring one or two extra phone batteries.

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Old 10-18-20, 11:42 AM
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I's looking at the Garmin Touring really hard myself. A Garmin made for touring, so it has the size of the fancy ones but without some of the workout/racing features.

Battery life really is not much of an issue to me anymorennalisa as battery banks are so small and powerful nowadays. My Anker PowerCore 10000 PD Redux is the size of a used bar of soap, and can take a full charge in about 3 1/2 hours.
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Old 10-18-20, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Twang -O- Doom View Post
I's looking at the Garmin Touring really hard myself. A Garmin made for touring, so it has the size of the fancy ones but without some of the workout/racing features.
That's the EXACT one I have. Only minehad the outer shell (there are two outer shells with paint on the inner outer shell) crack so the paint was visible and peeling. So I scraped it to be all black.

That particular model (Edge Touring) is discontinued now (as it should be, as I've had mine for years). Its successor is the Edge Explore:

https://buy.garmin.com/en-GB/GB/p/611996
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Old 10-18-20, 12:47 PM
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OH thanks... I got the name wrong 😃
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Old 10-18-20, 01:06 PM
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Hehe, no problem
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Old 10-19-20, 10:03 AM
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Lots of great info- thanks! My Edge 1000 will handle about 6 hours or so in turn by turn mode. The last time I used it that way for a road century, I ran out of juice at mile 90. I'll have to try the FR 935 and see how it does- I've never used the watch for navigation. I don't use the phone- I found that although I really like the graphics with RidewithGPS on the phone, it only lasts about 3 hours being used that way. I did pick up an Anker 20,000 mah batter to charge with. I'll give the 1000 a chance - I have a 3 day trip coming up next month and the stick should do the job for that long....
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Old 10-19-20, 10:50 AM
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Did you use offline maps with your phone with rwgps? And put it in flight mode? I ask because I can easily get a full day with rwgps on my (very old) Xperia XZ1 Compact if I do that. If it has to pull mapping via 3-4-5g it will use a lot of battery.

https://ridewithgps.com/help/offline-maps-android

My Garmin (Edge Touring) I have set so I can "click away" the turn-by-turn, and I try to not use the mapping page too much as that also uses up a lot of juice.
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Old 10-19-20, 02:24 PM
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I didn't do either of those things..... I will try that!
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