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Cheapest tracking device for distance?

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Cheapest tracking device for distance?

Old 10-17-20, 01:15 PM
Tomm Willians
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Cheapest tracking device for distance?

My old Garmin seems to be dying as the information itís been giving me is wildly inaccurate. Iím really only concerned with tracking distance, what would be the least expensive device that would do that ?
And I would be using it on multiple bikes so prefer satellite tracking over any sort of cables attached to the front wheel.

Cheers !

Last edited by Tomm Willians; 10-17-20 at 01:29 PM.
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Old 10-17-20, 10:53 PM
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A smartphone and app. I prefer Wahoo Fitness over Strava and most others. It's low resource demand so it won't drain the battery when in my pocket with the display off. The app display is very simple but it records a lot more data than the app reveals, so upload it to Strava or other site or software. It's compatible with most or all sensors, Bluetooth and ANT+. It has a few user customizable features.

I've used two or more devices simultaneously -- phone with apps, wired computer, wireless non-GPS computer, wireless GPS computer with magnet and earth induction sensors, ANT+ and Bluetooth. The results are all acceptably close.

Any minor differences are due to sampling rates, occasional loss of GPS sync (phones handle this better by using cell tower data), etc.

I haven't noticed any significant differences between speed estimated by GPS only, by phones using GPS and cell data, magnet type wheel sensors, earth induction type wheel sensors. They're all within a tenth of a MPH or so. Same with distance estimates.

I do use an inexpensive GPS computer to record most rides (XOSS G+, which is compatible with Strava) but I mostly refer to it for heart rate during rides. It's small and light on the handlebar or stem, and runs up to 24-36 hours between charges (depending on whether the backlighting is enabled). However I still mostly refer to my phone and Wahoo Fitness for most rides.
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Old 10-17-20, 11:12 PM
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They work Great

Fred "The Real Fred"

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Old 10-18-20, 09:47 AM
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What wildly inaccurate data are you getting? The satellites are not geosynchronous and at various times of the year there might be fewer available to the device to come up with an accurate figure. Particularly if you are in a city with tall buildings or ride routes with high terrain to your south or very dense wet foliage.

I will agree that a simple app on a smart phone will provide an accurate enough total distance. Especially if you are in an area that GPS signals are weak. The AGPS that phones use has the potential to let them determine where you are quicker after loosing a signal.

edit... isn't this more a question for the gadget forum?

Last edited by Iride01; 10-18-20 at 09:52 AM.
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Old 10-18-20, 10:23 AM
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I have an iGPSPORT iGS10 that cost $40 as a backup / commuting device. It functions just fine as a basic computer with ANT+ heart rate and cadence sensors, and it also uses the same mount as Garmin. The software is pretty basic, with the usual concerns about privacy with Chinese data collection, but it does at least work (and syncs to Strava / Training Peaks).
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Old 10-22-20, 11:40 AM
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Assume your Garmin is still working, why don 't you get a speed sensor and enter the wheel diameter based on physical measurement? The Garmin should default to the sensor, mine does. Unless you have survey grade or military equipment, civilian GPS is just not that accurate.
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Old 10-23-20, 08:29 AM
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The cheapest, most accurate, least fussy and most reliable would be a basic wired Bell speedometer.

If you don't want it cluttering the handlebars, put the sensor on the back wheel and stow the display in your saddle bag. Completely discrete and out of the wind that way.
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