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Garmin Edge Explore or Explore 2.0

Old 01-15-24, 03:45 PM
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Garmin Edge Explore or Explore 2.0

Hey Tourers

Here is my dilemma. I'm planning months long tour through western Europe starting this spring. Here is the context:
  • riding around 50-70 km per day, around 20 km/hour
  • interested in touring: lots of stops, sightseeing, mainly flat areas, camping at times
  • will be visiting cites and villages and rural areas - following mainly Eurovelo or established routes
  • mostly on roads, some simple off road trails/gravel roads when doable
  • not interested in cadence, heart rate, or other bio specs
  • will have RidewithGPS premium account (I plan to upload these maps onto my bike computer with my phone)
  • will have a smart phone with me, no other devices.

So. When I'm only interested in having this bike computer as a navigation tool, do I need to spend 400+ Canadian dollars on a Garmin Edge Explore 2.0 , or can I spend 1/2 of that on a refurbished Garmin Edge Explore.

Any insight is appreciated.

R
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Old 01-15-24, 04:12 PM
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Version 2.0 addresses many of the perceived shortcomings in the original. Unless you are really short of cash, go for the 2.0. Deals can often be found. It is worth checking biketiresdirect.com frequently.
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Old 01-15-24, 05:18 PM
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I bought a 2 on sale last year, but I can't really give much of an opinion because it was my first gps.
I did however figure that it was more worth getting a newer model, just because these things have a finite life to them, and like all doohickies, the processors get faster, more storage space, better (hopefully) interfaces, better battery life (this especially) etc etc, so this all lead me to getting a newer one.
I kind of figured it was better use of my money.

You'll need to install the european map, but even my 2 didnt have enough space for that and the N american stuff that it came with, so I had to delete the original stuff and put in the western europe map, so I would have Scotland in there for my trip.

I'm a reasonably good techie person, but i found even the 2 to have methods and details that weren't overly intuitive, with a certain amount of frustrations with stuff. Once I got the routes I wanted onto it, it worked well. I bought it specifically for doing bikepacking stuff where I would be off road, and it did work great for this, and it worked fine enough for general use, but I'll be honest, I still havent used it a ton, and can happily rely on paper maps and the occasional phone use using google maps or whatever.

A bunch of years ago, we did one of the eurovelo routes, and it would have been nice a few times to have the route on a gps, especially in urban settings, so I'm sure you'll be happy with one of these.
I still stick with my decision to go with a newer model, from the obsolescence angle, cuz lets face it, in a bunch of years, there will be cheaper, much much better models.

I also highly highly recommend mucking about with the bloody thing a lot before you go, because there were some really dumb settings on mine that I had to dig around for because of some annoying rerouting things that happened to me--caveat - I noticed after having it for a while that it had been used by someone else and returned to the store (it had previous rides on it) so I admit that perhaps my issues were because of settings that were changed by that person and not default.

no matter what brand, model, whatever you get, you really have to experiement with it, getting comfortable with downloading premade courses, the whole gps/computer/cell phone interface for saving someone elses gpx file (like a eurovelo one) onto your device, and then of course the day to day usage to learn all the specifics and remember them, and avoiding goofy hiccups that be annoying when on a trip.

when I was following a gpx route in Scotland bikepacking, running the unit all the time when riding, but keeping certain things turned off to save power (so not bluetoothed, connected to my phone) and keeping the screen brightness down, I was quite impressed by riding all day used about 25% of battery life. I carried a battery bank for easy recharging in my tent, or my phone, and not having to always worry about leaving it somewhere like a bathroom or whatever at a campground (which I wouldnt do generally anyway) so that worked out great.
Like all electronice devices, there are a ton of sub menus etc, so it really is worth just sitting in bed everynight and going through all the menus to acquaint yourself with stuff--or not, up to you.

what is the price difference btw? I got mine for $330 with a spring sale last march, reg price as you say, 400.
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Old 01-15-24, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by djb
I bought a 2 on sale last year, but I can't really give much of an opinion because it was my first gps.
I did however figure that it was more worth getting a newer model, just because these things have a finite life to them, and like all doohickies, the processors get faster, more storage space, better (hopefully) interfaces, better battery life (this especially) etc etc, so this all lead me to getting a newer one.
I kind of figured it was better use of my money.

You'll need to install the european map, but even my 2 didnt have enough space for that and the N american stuff that it came with, so I had to delete the original stuff and put in the western europe map, so I would have Scotland in there for my trip.

I'm a reasonably good techie person, but i found even the 2 to have methods and details that weren't overly intuitive, with a certain amount of frustrations with stuff. Once I got the routes I wanted onto it, it worked well. I bought it specifically for doing bikepacking stuff where I would be off road, and it did work great for this, and it worked fine enough for general use, but I'll be honest, I still havent used it a ton, and can happily rely on paper maps and the occasional phone use using google maps or whatever.

A bunch of years ago, we did one of the eurovelo routes, and it would have been nice a few times to have the route on a gps, especially in urban settings, so I'm sure you'll be happy with one of these.
I still stick with my decision to go with a newer model, from the obsolescence angle, cuz lets face it, in a bunch of years, there will be cheaper, much much better models.

I also highly highly recommend mucking about with the bloody thing a lot before you go, because there were some really dumb settings on mine that I had to dig around for because of some annoying rerouting things that happened to me--caveat - I noticed after having it for a while that it had been used by someone else and returned to the store (it had previous rides on it) so I admit that perhaps my issues were because of settings that were changed by that person and not default.

no matter what brand, model, whatever you get, you really have to experiement with it, getting comfortable with downloading premade courses, the whole gps/computer/cell phone interface for saving someone elses gpx file (like a eurovelo one) onto your device, and then of course the day to day usage to learn all the specifics and remember them, and avoiding goofy hiccups that be annoying when on a trip.

when I was following a gpx route in Scotland bikepacking, running the unit all the time when riding, but keeping certain things turned off to save power (so not bluetoothed, connected to my phone) and keeping the screen brightness down, I was quite impressed by riding all day used about 25% of battery life. I carried a battery bank for easy recharging in my tent, or my phone, and not having to always worry about leaving it somewhere like a bathroom or whatever at a campground (which I wouldnt do generally anyway) so that worked out great.
Like all electronice devices, there are a ton of sub menus etc, so it really is worth just sitting in bed everynight and going through all the menus to acquaint yourself with stuff--or not, up to you.

what is the price difference btw? I got mine for $330 with a spring sale last march, reg price as you say, 400.
Lots of sound advice.
I think like most techy things, we are left with few choices lest our stuff becomes obsolete. Uugghh!
Did you have to pay extra to upload the European maps?
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Old 01-15-24, 07:57 PM
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Long term battery life would be better on a new unit. To Garmins shame, the batteries on these units are not easily replaceable. You will get a few extra years use out of a new unit.
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Old 01-15-24, 07:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Rob63
Lots of sound advice.
I think like most techy things, we are left with few choices lest our stuff becomes obsolete. Uugghh!
Did you have to pay extra to upload the European maps?
thanks, no did not have to pay for the european maps, mucked around on the garmin sites and finally found the one I needed, Ive already taken it off and put back north america, so dont recall the specific map, but I must have it on my computer somewhere.

I imagine part of my frustrations come from just not dealing with gps units before, although I do think garmin has some inherent dorkiness going on with making things not so evident. I was quite surprised by how difficult it was sometimes, but it could have also been me, or the computer I was using, or the mac version, or just me being old.... --but live and learn, but very much touches on using it a lot before the trip just to get used to things.

All that said, it was very very cool to follow the bikepacking route I put on it , if I had been using only a paper map , various times at little footpath junctions it would have taken more time to realize I had taken teh wrong one, but also a map would have been soaked by then anyway unless I had borrowed a good map case thing. When really pissing down, it was super nice just to follow the purple line and stay on it.

if you do buy one of these, you should be able to do some practice runs with gpx files around where you live, and get used to getting them onto the device, and making sure you get used to using it and see how things work riding near your place--rather than doing this only in europe and wasting time and energy on potential frustrations.

Or it will be all easy for you, I hope it is. I'm hoping the next time I use it with gpx's, it will go smoothly.

Oh--always use the little lanyard to loop any gps unit to your bars, in case it falls off the mount or whatever. My mount vibrated loose and the gpx fell off, luckily I had the lanyard so it didnt hit the ground. I also learned to notice teh mount had two little hex key bolts holding it together, lost one but was able to tighten the other so it was fine for the rest of the trip.
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Old 01-16-24, 05:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve B.
Long term battery life would be better on a new unit. To Garmins shame, the batteries on these units are not easily replaceable. You will get a few extra years use out of a new unit.
Good to know. I always assume a battery is good until it's not.
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Old 01-16-24, 06:05 AM
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Is Ridewithgps fully compatible with either of these Garmins?
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Old 01-16-24, 07:18 AM
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The Edge Explore 2 was selling for as low as $259 USD back in spring 2023. No idea what pricing is like now but try checking some US sellers.

Last edited by Yan; 01-17-24 at 10:35 AM.
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Old 01-16-24, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Rob63
Good to know. I always assume a battery is good until it's not.
These units start out getting what Garmin states is the typical battery life. For the Edge 2 thatís 16 hours. In my experience with a bunch of these units, Iíve always gotten the specified life. As the years roll by, with multiple charging cycles, that life span declines till you barely get thru a ride. You can run these units on external battery USB sticks, so there are work arounds.
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Old 01-16-24, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Rob63
Good to know. I always assume a battery is good until it's not.
as others have noted, batteries in all of our devices have a finite lifespan, and we all know that life is affected by numerous factors--, the age of the battery, teh quality of battery (Ive seen this clearly in the photography world, brand stuff is better than knock off no name Li-on battery packs for dslr) the number of charging cycles, how you treat the battery (heat the crap out of it regularly, that sort of thing) or even following more the good battery mantra of keeping the battery between 20-80 ish percent.....

My wifes cell phones have always lasted less than mine because her phone tends to get overheated, while charging usually, because of being in a full folding leather case, or left charging under a pillow or whatever, left on a radiator at home etc.

all this to say, this is why I returned my "new" unit for a real unused one, partly because the first one had already had use for X time by someone else. A lot of Li-on info says to keep a device midish charged if you are not going to use it for a while, ie don't let them die down to 0, its not good for a battery. This goes for a phone, or an electric car or whatever. Its because , partly if I recall, that charging from 0-20, and 80-100, puts a lot more energy into a battery, and heat, which long term isnt great for a battery--but I aint a battery expert, so cant elaborate more than that.

how much longer will a battery last with better performance with more careful care, I dont know, and with cell phones, a lot of people change phones after x years, and partly because the battery life starts deteriorating. I think most people also dont think or care about battery long term life.

lots of battery blah blah .......sorry.
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Old 01-16-24, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Rob63
Is Ridewithgps fully compatible with either of these Garmins?
I believe so, but I plead ignorance as I don't use it. It has to be though, rwgps is such a common thing. Last year I put a gpx file from Rwgps onto my 2, but thats the extent of my personal knowledge.
You should be able to easily find tons of answers online to all your questions about using these things.
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Old 01-16-24, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Rob63
Is Ridewithgps fully compatible with either of these Garmins?
Yes. RWGPS is compatible with all of the Garmin GPS devices.
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Old 01-16-24, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by djb
I believe so, but I plead ignorance as I don't use it. It has to be though, rwgps is such a common thing. Last year I put a gpx file from Rwgps onto my 2, but thats the extent of my personal knowledge.
You should be able to easily find tons of answers online to all your questions about using these things.
Yes, rwgps can download routes in either .tcs (preferred by Garmins) or .gpx (common with the rest of the world) formats. Both work quite well. If you spring for the paid version of rwgps, you can usually set the notice distance -- 30 m before the next turn is better unless you're coming up to one of those "turn right, then turn left" intersections. For those cases, look at the map.

And let me second the "use it before the big trip" advice. Garmins are kind of like Apple computers -- they're intuitive after you've used them a lot. :/ You'll want to download (and probably print out) the user's manual. Most of the information you'll need is in there, but I doubt the authors/editors have used the Edge 2 like you'll want to (whatever that way is!).
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Old 01-16-24, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb
Yes, rwgps can download routes in either .tcs (preferred by Garmins) or .gpx (common with the rest of the world) formats. Both work quite well. If you spring for the paid version of rwgps, you can usually set the notice distance -- 30 m before the next turn is better unless you're coming up to one of those "turn right, then turn left" intersections. For those cases, look at the map.

And let me second the "use it before the big trip" advice. Garmins are kind of like Apple computers -- they're intuitive after you've used them a lot. :/ You'll want to download (and probably print out) the user's manual. Most of the information you'll need is in there, but I doubt the authors/editors have used the Edge 2 like you'll want to (whatever that way is!).
rob63 specifically is interested in putting a Eurovelo route onto a device (and me too one day also) -- has anyone here put a really long route onto a garmin?

I have read that there can be issues with big big files, or perhaps more specifically with a route that someone has made that has lots of points of interest, POI, on them (ie, grocery store here, campground here, start of hard climb etc etc)
I read that last year when looking into doing the Log Drivers Waltz, made by the makers of the route, and they clearly said that the poi version might be problematic on a device.
Does anyone have personal experience with this?
I also realize that as doohickies get faster, processors, memory, often something that was a problem in the past is no longer a problem.

Oh, I also put a pre-made course also on my phone, to hopefully use if the garmin got broken or whatever, at least to have another method of seeing where one is vis-a-vis a premade route that one is following---this also would be really good to practice trying doing this---- mind you, the one Eurovelo route we did, #6, was fairly well signed and quite doable. It was the urban settings that were sometimes tricky, and the few times we missed signs even in the country, but if even using a phones gps can help with figuring out where you've missed a turn.
Guess all this depends on how orientating challenged one is, some people are just hopeless with directions and can't visualize where they are, and totally rely on a doohicky to tell them where to go--and thats okay, this is why personal, easy to use gps units or cell phones with google maps are so so common and handy to use.
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Old 01-16-24, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by djb
rob63 specifically is interested in putting a Eurovelo route onto a device (and me too one day also) -- has anyone here put a really long route onto a garmin?

I have read that there can be issues with big big files, or perhaps more specifically with a route that someone has made that has lots of points of interest, POI, on them (ie, grocery store here, campground here, start of hard climb etc etc)

Does anyone have personal experience with this?
I've done a single route up to 400 km (250 miles) without any problems, though on an earlier device (Garmin 800).

I'd suggest breaking a longer route up into smaller segments, perhaps 1-2 days' ride per segment. You can name the files "Eurovelo 9 day 3" or something similar to make it easy to find and load the day's route. On a longer route, it takes a while for the device to figure out where you are on the course if you start in the middle. That's annoying if you powered down for a long lunch, for instance, and then when you're ready to go the GPS is still calculating.

The problems I've had with a Garmin locking up have been recording longer rides. Perhaps it's gotten better over the years, but I doubt the developers planned to ride more than 100 miles in a day.
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Old 01-16-24, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb
I've done a single route up to 400 km (250 miles) without any problems, though on an earlier device (Garmin 800).

I'd suggest breaking a longer route up into smaller segments, perhaps 1-2 days' ride per segment. You can name the files "Eurovelo 9 day 3" or something similar to make it easy to find and load the day's route. On a longer route, it takes a while for the device to figure out where you are on the course if you start in the middle. That's annoying if you powered down for a long lunch, for instance, and then when you're ready to go the GPS is still calculating.

The problems I've had with a Garmin locking up have been recording longer rides. Perhaps it's gotten better over the years, but I doubt the developers planned to ride more than 100 miles in a day.
thanks for that, although again I freely admit that I have no idea how to break up a longer route. I have only just downloaded a route and stuck it into the garmin, nothing more. What would you use to break up a route, made by someone else? RWGPS?
I'll have to check for examples like eurovelo routes, but perhaps they are in segments (kind of makes sense if this is a common gps issue, but need to find and check this)

like everything in life, having to learn new skills can be frustrating at first, but we do get better.
No different than with bike mechanical stuff, when I first got a disc brake bike, I wanted to know how to deal with pad replacements etc etc on my own, just cuz thats how I am with bike mechanical stuff, want to know how to do it and have physically done it before, so I remember how to deal with it on the road if need be. I had some real frustrating times with caliper alignment and stuff before getting better at it, and now it isnt stressful anymore.
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Old 01-16-24, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by djb
thanks for that, although again I freely admit that I have no idea how to break up a longer route. I have only just downloaded a route and stuck it into the garmin, nothing more. What would you use to break up a route, made by someone else? RWGPS?
Using rwgps, you open up the big route. Select the part(s) you don't want in your smaller route, then delete the selection. Hit "Save" and then "Save as new route," pick a name, and hit Save again. Go back to the original big route, lather, rinse, repeat as necessary.

It looks like EuroVelo offers short/day trip legs in addition to the longer legs. I might rename some of them for ease of navigating in the small screen of the GPS to avoid the "what town are we in?" problems.
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Old 01-16-24, 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by djb
thanks for that, although again I freely admit that I have no idea how to break up a longer route. I have only just downloaded a route and stuck it into the garmin, nothing more. What would you use to break up a route, made by someone else? RWGPS?
I'll have to check for examples like eurovelo routes, but perhaps they are in segments (kind of makes sense if this is a common gps issue, but need to find and check this)

like everything in life, having to learn new skills can be frustrating at first, but we do get better.
No different than with bike mechanical stuff, when I first got a disc brake bike, I wanted to know how to deal with pad replacements etc etc on my own, just cuz thats how I am with bike mechanical stuff, want to know how to do it and have physically done it before, so I remember how to deal with it on the road if need be. I had some real frustrating times with caliper alignment and stuff before getting better at it, and now it isnt stressful anymore.
I have not tried the option that PDLamb suggests, that sounds very simple.

Mapsource is a vintage mapping site from Garmin, they stopped supporting it years ago but I was proficient with it so I still use it. But because it is not supported anymore, I would suggest using something else.

I do not know if Basecamp from Garmin can cut or join tracks or routes, perhaps it can?

I use Mapsource to cut Tracks into pieces or join them. For example when I download a brevet track from Ride w GPS that I need to follow (download as a GPX file), in Mapsource I cut the track into pieces at the controls and number them in order, 1, 2, 3, etc. When I get to a control, I have to tell my GPS to start following the next track. That way I can't overshoot a segment past the control. And when I want to know how far it is to the next control, the number is right in front of me.

But Routes, if I want to cut one I make an extra copy of it, go into route properties and start removing points from the end that I want to remove. And save it under a different name. But, I usually use the Track option instead of Route option.

Note on Routes, some GPS units limit the number of points you can have in a Route. My canoe trip last fall, I put a Route into my GPS for where I wanted to go, I manually created the route in Mapsource. Then weeks later I loaded up my canoe and started paddling and I then learn that my route had too many points in it and my GPS was not happy about that. At that point, back to the era of map and compass for my navigation. But, I always bring a paper map, so not problem.
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Old 01-16-24, 04:14 PM
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thanks pd for that explanation, one day I will take a course I have and try to put it into rwgps and do some test runs in splitting it up.

tourist, this must be what Ive read of, too many "points of interest" on a long route can bog stuff down. I will have to make an effort to see if this is still an issue with my unit, as I mentioned, you would think that as processors get faster, with more ram and memory, just like computers, they might be able to handle these better--but I imagine it depends on the specifics.
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Old 01-17-24, 08:39 AM
  #21  
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Rob, I kind of chuckle because I haven't touched my 2 since sometime in the fall, and even then it was used only on certain local rides not for navigation, but just recording a ride. Most of my riding is on bikes that don't have a mount, my commuter, my winter commuting bike, a fatbike--and I really have no need to use the gps--plus I don't want to crash with it or risk theft or whatever.

All this to say is that I will have to reacquaint myself with using it again as its been ages since I used it like you will be using it, so it will be a whole learning process again all over for me!

my priority is figuring out RWGPS and seeing if I need a premium account to do this splitting up a long course thing.

Where are you in Ontario? ie when do you think you'll be able to actually get riding outside?
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Old 01-17-24, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb
Using rwgps, you open up the big route. Select the part(s) you don't want in your smaller route, then delete the selection. Hit "Save" and then "Save as new route," pick a name, and hit Save again. Go back to the original big route, lather, rinse, repeat as necessary.

It looks like EuroVelo offers short/day trip legs in addition to the longer legs. I might rename some of them for ease of navigating in the small screen of the GPS to avoid the "what town are we in?" problems.
hi PD, I very quickly looked at rwgps, and it appears that one needs the premium account to split a route into parts.
Is this the case?
If so, I'll look into if one can activate and deactivate an account on a monthly basis, and get it only to become more proficient using it, and then stop it--and then again if my wife and I were to do a longer trip where it would be necessary again.

thanks again
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Old 01-17-24, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Rob63
I think like most techy things, we are left with few choices lest our stuff becomes obsolete. Uugghh!
Either Explore will be useful for a long while. Neither will become "obsolete".

Originally Posted by Rob63
Did you have to pay extra to upload the European maps?
You can get free maps. https://extract.bbbike.org/ Don't buy maps. You probably don't need all of Europe anyway. (You "download" maps anyway.)
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Old 01-17-24, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by djb
What would you use to break up a route, made by someone else? RWGPS?
To this easily, you need to pay for a subscription. Without a subscription, it's a chore to split long routes: Note that you can get a subscription for a month.

Originally Posted by djb
I'll have to check for examples like eurovelo routes, but perhaps they are in segments (kind of makes sense if this is a common gps issue, but need to find and check this)
The splits (if they exist) might not be where you want them. Note that you might be able to find split-up routes on RWGPS.
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Old 01-17-24, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb
I've done a single route up to 400 km (250 miles) without any problems, though on an earlier device (Garmin 800).

I'd suggest breaking a longer route up into smaller segments, perhaps 1-2 days' ride per segment. You can name the files "Eurovelo 9 day 3" or something similar to make it easy to find and load the day's route. On a longer route, it takes a while for the device to figure out where you are on the course if you start in the middle. That's annoying if you powered down for a long lunch, for instance, and then when you're ready to go the GPS is still calculating.
The devices have a fuzzy limit to the complexity of the course (if you are using "turn guidance"). So, with really long routes. the device might through an error. One reason to split up the route is to avoid waiting for earlier parts of the route to calculate.

Originally Posted by pdlamb
The problems I've had with a Garmin locking up have been recording longer rides. Perhaps it's gotten better over the years, but I doubt the developers planned to ride more than 100 miles in a day.
Limits recording are different from limits calculating a route. The 800 (810 probably) had a rough limit of about 180 miles. I think this depended on how much extra sensor data was being captured. People mostly found out through experience (unfortunately). I haven't heard of this issue with newer units (so, it's likely they are much better).

Originally Posted by pdlamb
Using rwgps, you open up the big route. Select the part(s) you don't want in your smaller route, then delete the selection. Hit "Save" and then "Save as new route," pick a name, and hit Save again. Go back to the original big route, lather, rinse, repeat as necessary.
This is a feature of a paid subscription.

Originally Posted by pdlamb
It looks like EuroVelo offers short/day trip legs in addition to the longer legs. I might rename some of them for ease of navigating in the small screen of the GPS to avoid the "what town are we in?" problems.
You can also load the routes to an app on the phone. This is a way of dealing with the "small screen" problem. You want to be sure to use an app that uses downloaded files since you might not have internet access. (Download the files and routes before you go.)

Last edited by njkayaker; 01-17-24 at 10:58 AM.
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