Time for a Bike GPS. A little help needed.

Forums Mountain Bike Forum Time for a Bike GPS. A little help needed.

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    • #73636

      OK, With this weekends ride, I think it’s time to get a bike GPS. I ended up using the "Call a Friend" who with his computer guided me the right direction.

      I’m looking at the Garmin 705 for me it might be overkill. Sometimes I throw my Nuvi in my bike bag, but unless you are near a street, It does not help me at all.

      Here is what I want. I want the breadcrumbs or a way to keep the data so I can view my trail on the computer. Also the ability to get home or retrace my steps or head in a general direction. I also like the idea of downloading someones previous trail data and do the ride that they once did. I’m assuming it would give me the directions which way to turn when I get to a fork in the trail.

      My rides tend to be after work 2 hr rides and weekend 4 hr rides, most of my rides tend to be 10 miles or less so battery life would not be an issue.

      Also If I get one of the Garmins edge 205, 305, 605 or 705’s I’m really not sure if the base maps would be all I would need. Also I was wondering about the media cards vs the DVD’s I’ve seen in some cases the same information being available on both. If you buy the DVD do you download the data to your own memory card or to internal memory of the GPS?

      Curently I have a computer on my bike that gives me the basic info speed, time, distance etc. What I don’t have is directions and the ability to see my trail on the computer. That’s basically what I’m looking for. I ride in the woods on bike trails some singletrack and some paved or gravel trails. I’m not sure I would use the heart rate stuff or even use the cadence.

      As for cost, well that’s not my main concern, but I don’t want to pay for what I don’t need. That’s why I’m thinking the 705 may be overkill and I can get everthing I need with a 305 for 1/2 the price.

      Any suggestions or answers to some of my confusion would be appreciated.

    • #73637

      This forum seems a little slow. Anybody know another place that has good help with Bike GPS’s?

      Someone at work told me about motionbased.com. Perhaps I’ll ask over there for a recommendation.

      Meanwhile, Anyone here have anything good about the Edge 705?

      Thanks,

      Mike

    • #73638

      Mike, Motionbased is owned by Garmin so you won’t get much there other than a sales pitch ;)

      We’ve actually posted a number of extensive reviews of the Edge GPS units on our blog – you can get to most of these posts by looking at the GPS page.

      The main thing you need to know is that the Edge 205 and 305 units do not accept (or include) basemaps of any kind. If you want basemaps you’ll need a 605 or 705. As far as I know these don’t have removable media so you’ll need a DVD to load the maps via USB.

      If you really want basemaps but don’t want to pay for a 605 or 705, I’d recommend looking at the GPSMap 60C series. These are all color units and they accept mini SD cards for the basemaps (you can also load via DVD). These units are a bit bulkier and really aren’t made for cycling but they do sell handlebar mounts for the series.

      I have a few GPS’s: a Forerunner 205, Edge 305, GPSMap 60Cx, Magellan eXplorist 400, and eTrex Vista (and have owned others, including the Edge 205). Anyway, bottom line is I ALWAYS take the Edge 305 with me on the mountain (and road) bike. That should tell you something. And I don’t plan on buying a 605 or 705 until the prices come waaaay down.

      I’m on the list at Garmin to get a 705 test unit so hopefully I’ll get a chance to at least try one in the near future.

      Forgot to add: all our blog posts on GPS mountain biking are here.

    • #73639

      Jeff,

      Thanks for the response.

      "trek7k" wrote

      Mike, Motionbased is owned by Garmin so you won’t get much there other than a sales pitch ;)

      As long as the questions get answered, I’ll listen to the pitch 😀

      "trek7k" wrote

      We’ve actually posted a number of extensive reviews of the Edge GPS units on our blog – you can get to most of these posts by looking at the GPS page.

      Actually I read the reviews before I posted this and I guess now that I am getting more educated on the subject, I should go back and re-read them.

      "trek7k" wrote

      The main thing you need to know is that the Edge 205 and 305 units do not accept (or include) basemaps of any kind. If you want basemaps you’ll need a 605 or 705. As far as I know these don’t have removable media so you’ll need a DVD to load the maps via USB.

      I think I want basemaps. or at least the TOPO maps. I need the reference points to help me. sometimes, especially in the fall when all the leaves are down, there really is no trail as it is covered.

      "trek7k" wrote

      If you really want basemaps but don’t want to pay for a 605 or 705, I’d recommend looking at the GPSMap 60C series. These are all color units and they accept mini SD cards for the basemaps (you can also load via DVD). These units are a bit bulkier and really aren’t made for cycling but they do sell handlebar mounts for the series.

      I have a few GPS’s: a Forerunner 205, Edge 305, GPSMap 60Cx, Magellan eXplorist 400, and eTrex Vista (and have owned others, including the Edge 205). Anyway, bottom line is I ALWAYS take the Edge 305 with me on the mountain (and road) bike. That should tell you something. And I don’t plan on buying a 605 or 705 until the prices come waaaay down.

      Since the Edge 305 does not have basemaps or the ability to add them, I think that answers the question on that model. A friend of mine says the GPSMap 60c is slow. Do you find this? Since you always bring your Edge, I guess you don’t use it for directions, do you onlly use it to record where you rode? ( via trackpoints?)

      "trek7k" wrote

      I’m on the list at Garmin to get a 705 test unit so hopefully I’ll get a chance to at least try one in the near future.

      Do you know when you might be getting it to review?

      I guess in a perfect world I’d love to be able to download the google world map of the area I’m going to ride and the GPS unit would show me an overview of a downloaded trail with the map in the background.

      or better yet the satellite map ;)

      Image

      Then be able to zoom into the detail
      Image

      I guess I’ll have to wait for the internet enabled view for those features…

      Thanks again for the response.

      Mike

    • #73640
      "me_rubin" wrote

      A friend of mine says the GPSMap 60c is slow. Do you find this? Since you always bring your Edge, I guess you don’t use it for directions, do you onlly use it to record where you rode? ( via trackpoints?)

      Slow? Not sure what your friend could be referring to: slow to load maps, slow to acquire satellite signal, slow to track speed/location? I haven’t noticed any problems in the speed department…

      I do not generally use the Edge 305 for directions, though I do use it to follow tracks downloaded from singletracks. It isn’t pretty on screen (only one color) but the Edge will allow you to ‘trackback.’ It’s also kept me from getting lost on more than a few occasions.

      "me_rubin" wrote

      Do you know when you might be getting it to review?

      Based on my experience with Garmin, I’d say it could be a while. The 705 was announced back in September and it just started shipping last week. Plus Garmin still hasn’t bought into the whole internet thing so us bloggers are at the bottom of their list ;)

      "me_rubin" wrote

      I guess in a perfect world I’d love to be able to download the google world map of the area I’m going to ride and the GPS unit would show me an overview of a downloaded trail with the map in the background.

      or better yet the satellite map ;)

      That would be sweet – just don’t hold your breath. Supposedly DeLorme has some products that allow you to use satellite images (the PN-20 I think) but you have to buy the images ala carte. The Google Earth stuff is bound by extensive licensing agreements – in fact you aren’t even allowed to post the static images anywhere online (like the ones in your post ;) ) The Garmin Colorado series does allow you to view maps in 3D but these aren’t satellite – they’re built up from regular topos.

    • #73641

      Just talked to Garmin – they don’t have any 705 demos at the moment so they’re sending a 605 this week. The 605 still has the color screen mapping capabilities but no wireless link for heart rate / power / track sharing / etc. Most MTBers don’t have a use for the accessories anyway, though the wireless track sharing does sound kinda cool…

    • #73642

      You didn’t mention what other uses you had in mind for your GPS. The Edge series is designed for bicycles, but for overall versatility, I <b><i>LOVE</i></b> my 60CSx.

      It won’t give you heart rate, cadence or other bicycle specific info, but it will tell you how far, how fast, how high / low, as well as max and min of all the above, total ascent / descent, moving average and how much time you spent catching your breath. Since it is designed for hiking / geocaching type activities, it does give you breadcrumbs, the ability to save and share tracks in addition to marking points along the way (dropped sunglasses here, deep part of stream for quick cool off! kinda stuff) and add notations to those points.

      The downside is you have to buy the maps for it or it is useless for off road use or street routing. The basemap burned into the chipset has major highways and that’s about it. Topo, street and waterways are all separate map add-ons. I’m not sure what maps come preloaded on the Edge series.

      Just a note about wireless file sharing . . . IIRC this is a Blue Tooth connection. That means you are limited to relatively short range of transmission. Typically that’s 10 – 15 meters. It still beats having to wire up to a computer to exchange information, but it also means your buddy must be nearby to receive your tracks. If it is Blue Tooth, if you run into trouble out in the boonies, you can’t send your location to your buddies at home and have them come get you.

      You won’t go wrong with the Edge series if you do just bicycling, but the 60CSx is adaptable to lots of other sports. Just my 2 cents on the topic.

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