I am tired of changing batteries in multiple cycling computers and having different computers on different bikes, etc. I am thinking about a Garmin or similar GPS system (I don't want to rely on my phone, although the ability to integrate with a phone would be a plus), either something that mounts on the bike, like a Garmin Edge 510 or similar, or a wearable one.
Anyone have any thoughts or recommendations on particular devices or brands?
If all you want to do is track distance and speed, even the Garmin 200 will work. I have mounts on the two bikes that I ride regularly and can quickly switch the computer. It is USB rechargeable.
If I wanted to put it on one of the other bikes, I could either carry it in my pocket or move one of the mounts for the ride.
I bought the "Garmin Edge Touring Navigator" last year and have basically been disappointed by it. Sometimes it's ok, but it's not up to date on bike trails, bike friendly routes. I've found google maps in bike mode to be much much better. It lasts all day on a single charge (iphone 6) set to send banner alerts (screen is off most of the time). Google is also infinitely better for finding place to eat or hotel etc. Garmin is very clunky for that. I like to have garmin just in case, but at this point I only use it to track distance.
Not to hijack the thread, but Ive found that my wired Sigma computers run 3+ years per battery. Recent ones also autoswitch between two bikes, too.
Back on topic...I recently acquired a Garmin eTrex. Its a general purpose GPS (GPGPS?), slightly taller than the bike-specific models but has the same water resistance spec and has a bike mount. Run time is ~25 hours on two AA batteries which means you can bring spares for long rides / tours / bike camping trips or buy replacements most any place. Ive been using rechargeable NiMH batteries; you can set the battery type in the options so the power gauge displays correctly. Navigation and data entry is via joystick so its not the best device if you want to interact with it extensively while on the bike.
I second Lisa's suggestion for Garmin Edge 200. It comes with mounts for two bikes and are easy enough to transfer between bikes. Although it doesn't have any option for communicating with external devices (speed/cadence/heart rate sensors/phones).
The next one up are the Garmin Edge 500 and 510 which lets you do speed/cadence/and heart rate sensors using ANT+ on both models and phone via Bluetooth on the 510 only.
As for the GPS signal, it takes a while to lock on to the satellites if you're between buildings in downtown. Your best bet would be to go in the middle of an intersection where you have north/south/east/west opened up. It's also problematic under trees in my neighborhood.
Once you're locked on to the satellites, though, you'll keep the signal, unless you go underground for a long period of time.
I would suggest not buying the combo with the sensors and save $100.
You can and should buy the new Garmin Speed and Cadence sensor separately if you want speed/cadence monitoring. Garmin came out with a new design that doesn't use magnets. The cadence sensor attaches to your crank like the old magnet and the speed sensor attaches to your wheel hub. Simple! It is using Ant+ communication protocol, so it will work with any of their Garmin computers that support Ant+ - maybe even other Ant+ computers (I haven't verified). The best part: You can take them on to different bikes with little hassle!
Unless, you're getting the Garmin Edge 1000 combo, which comes with this new speed and cadence sensor.
I just went from a tri-watch Garmin to a Garmin Edge 1000 and I love it.
Smart phone GPS app, with external battery (~$20) and USB cable works quite well too for those who don't want to spend the extra $ on another device. Waterproofing the phone can be an issue, but there are solutions for that. I put the battery in a pannier pouch.
I've got a set of Helios Bars...I am really hoping they open the data up for better tracking, light timing, etc.
This one (The Bike Hawk) looks interesting. Another one, Bike spike was on Kickstarter. I contact them about getting a refund after their lack of activity and productivity. I really wanted them to be a good Chicago tech company for bikes.
...you say that now.... ;-)
peter moormann said:
Spend your hard earned money on tires, chains and brake pads.
Bikes don't need batteries.
Where's the site to get the refurbished items? $95 is a good price for it!
Louie Louie said:
I had been happily cycling without tracking miles and speed for about two years and now this thread has me looking at the Garmin 200. $99 if you buy it refurbished from garmin. Thanks...
I have a Garmin Forerunner 205 that my mother was willing to part with, and I really like it. Slightly bulky for a wrist mounted unit, but you can get a bike unit. So far it has been very accurate and I record my commute as well as my runs. Simply but has a lot of features and really can't beat it.