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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I really want to get the new Edge touring plus for riding in areas I don't know. Has anyone loaded one with topo maps with trail systems so you can use it to figure out where you are in the system?
 

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I don't own a Touring Plus but I've been looking at them, so I'll offer some thoughts even if they may not directly answer your questions.

The Touring models from Garmin are new/unique in an important way: they come preloaded with OpenStreetMap (OSM) map databases, not the "traditional" Garmin maps. That much is clear. What is unclear, and is unforgivably ambiguous in any Garmin info I can find, is whether the Touring models can still support Garmin format maps on micro SD card, or if they can support Garmin custom maps format.

My fear, although not confirmed, is that the Touring models can ONLY use the OSM maps. If so, that eliminates some useful alternatives for your use case. You would not be able to load true topographic maps, such as those Garmin has available for large portions of the US in both 100k and 25k scale. You would also not be able to load Garmin-compliant custom maps for a specific trail/riding area.

So for your use case (locating yourself in a trail network on the base map) the Touring models may only be as good (or bad) as the OpenStreetMap happens to be for a given riding area. OSM does show some trails. I can see some of the Phil's network in Bend, for example, although none of the trails are named. But in general I don't think OSM is going to be a useful base map for this application.

Websites like Skidmap provide great MTB basemaps but for Garmin it is the custom map format and won't, as far as I know, support the Touring Plus model. Only the 800/810.

My Edge 705 is getting a bit long in the tooth, and was happy to see the introduction of the Touring models, but after looking closely at them, I feel more inclined to get an Edge 800 since they can be had for $280 new and they seem to be more flexible in use than the Touring models.
 

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Update . . .

I called Garmin again to pose this question, patiently waited in their 40 minute queue to talk to a person, and asked if the Touring/TouringPlus models could load City Navigator format maps and custom maps. The support person initially kept saying "they support the same courses and tracks that the 800/810 support" but after persisting for 5 minutes he finally understood I was asking about base maps, not courses/tracks. So then he says "yes, I think they do." He doesn't sound confident. So I ask him to confirm definitively since this will influence my purchase. He puts me on hold, presumably asks someone more knowledgeable, and returns to confirm, yes, for certain, the Touring models can run City Navigator on a micro SD, but not the City Navigator maps from CD/DVD. And they can run custom maps.

I'd still like to hear from someone who actually did this, but assuming its accurate, and assuming you don't care about power sensors or cadence sensors, the Touring models are a decent value.

BTW, westernbikeworks.com has the Touring Plus on sale for $240 this weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Update . . .

I called Garmin again to pose this question, patiently waited in their 40 minute queue to talk to a person, and asked if the Touring/TouringPlus models could load City Navigator format maps and custom maps. The support person initially kept saying "they support the same courses and tracks that the 800/810 support" but after persisting for 5 minutes he finally understood I was asking about base maps, not courses/tracks. So then he says "yes, I think they do." He doesn't sound confident. So I ask him to confirm definitively since this will influence my purchase. He puts me on hold, presumably asks someone more knowledgeable, and returns to confirm, yes, for certain, the Touring models can run City Navigator on a micro SD, but not the City Navigator maps from CD/DVD. And they can run custom maps.

I'd still like to hear from someone who actually did this, but assuming its accurate, and assuming you don't care about power sensors or cadence sensors, the Touring models are a decent value.

BTW, westernbikeworks.com has the Touring Plus on sale for $240 this weekend.
If you look at the base maps City and Topo on the Garmin website they list the Edge Touring+ as comparable. So I was kind of figuring it would work. I haven't gotten one yet. I am still waiting to see how people are using them before I do.
 

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One more anecdote to add to the confusion . . .

I'm a beta tester for some on-road touring maps that are in .kmz format. The folks generating these maps told me they have physically tried to load kmz (aka Garmin Custom Maps) into the Touring and Touring Plus models, and failed. These are folks with lots of experience on many Garmin models, so its not a user error.

So there is a direct conflict between what Garmin is telling me on the phone, even after very specific questioning, and the reality with a Touring model in the hand. Will a subsequent firmware update add the KMZ support? Who knows . . . consistent firmware and communication to the market has never been Garmin's strong suit.

It seems ridiculous that a sub-$200 eTrex 20 supports KMZ files and a $300 Touring Plus does not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
That is disappointing. I wish they would just make a mountain bike centric navigation unit. I have no interest in power I just want detailed maps mostly for off road use. I could just get an E-Trax but having it mounted to the bars with an edge is perfect.
 

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Worth noting that REI has the Edge 800 *bundle* for $325 this weekend, online only, as part of their Memorial Day sale. That includes North America City Navigator, HR strap and speed/cadence sensor. Sell the strap and sensor on eBay if you don't use them, and you've got an Edge 800 loaded w/ detailed maps for $250-ish. Or sell the map SD card, too, and load the 800 with OSM maps if you really want to save money.

Given the limitations/unknowns on the Touring models, and the fact I do use power on my road bike, I decided to go w/ the 800 since the price of entry was ultimately lower than a Touring model. I lose the "create a loop ride for me" features, but I'm skeptical of how well that will work in the real world anyway.
 
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