Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 20 of 61 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
84 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm trying to find out info on GPS units, as I'd like to be able to make some trail maps. I'm intrested in programming and I think it would be really cool to be able to overlay trail data on google maps or maybe some topo ones.

Anyway, I don't know much about the technology (other than it's badass) and I'm curious if anybody else has units that they strap to their handlebars. Obviously as far as getting lost in the woods goes it's totally worth having a navigation device, but is it more of a novelty or are these things really useful? I know garmin makes some specifically designed for bike use, but I don't like the small screens and lack of map information.



One thing I'd also reallllly like to have in a reciever is bluetooth connectivity. I don't have any money for one of these now so it's all a pipedream. It's more fun shopping for stuff like this when you're not actually buying it anyway. Pshh... who needs money :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
40 Posts
Im using a Garmin Legend C, and I love the thing for navigation/speedometer/mapping capabilities. I have a handlebar mount on my bike and use the thing just about every time I go out. One thing to note, not all units are able to receive a signal in really heavy tree cover since they esentially need to "see" the sky for a signal. That being said, Ive never had a problem with mine receiving a signal in the woods, so I havent really had any concern for this problem. I also have a topo map set that I use and it shows just about everything offroad including ponds, rivers, elevation changes, and most roads. Ive had the unit about 1 year and am still realizing all of its abilities.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
337 Posts
Garmin Forrunner here.

The forerunner (actually, most GPS units) records an electronic trail of where you have been, so can be used to download the data you get home. You can use this to make your maps on GoogleEarth or using OziExplorer (or other software). The Foreunner has a wristwatch format, but I usually attach it to the handlebars when riding. I might upgrade to the foretrex 205 model soon.

As far a navigation goes, any GPS can be useful but most 'experts' I have read about suggest it will not replace a good topo map. I don't use mine for navigation, and personally don't have much value for the 'map' features on the GPS itself - if I needed to read a map I would want a good paper one!

You're right about the technology: it's badass.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,006 Posts
Check out the folks over at Crankfire. They do exactly what you're talking about. Its a pretty cool site and the admin has some pretty neat stuff going on with the maps and such. They've got a pretty good collection of trails in NE USA, and they seem to be adding to them frequently.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
84 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
SwissBuster said:
The forerunner (actually, most GPS units) records an electronic trail of where you have been, so can be used to download the data you get home.
I know garmin lists some of their handheld units as just for location (i.e. just provides lon. and lat., compass heading, etc) and they have a seperate section for the mapping stuff. I think you're correct, but I would hate to pony up for one of these things and find out I can't get any data out of it :mad2:

As far a navigation goes, any GPS can be useful but most 'experts' I have read about suggest it will not replace a good topo map.
Map and compass to the rescue! The eTrex Legend looks suited to what I want to do, the only thing that I'm not sure about is some people say the maps it comes with are crap. I saw on the garmin website they sell topo maps you can load onto the gps, but $100 dollars?! Are you f'in kidding me? I'd pay $20-30 bucks for ONE of the regions they include in the package. THAT'S HIGHWAY ROBBERY YOU BASTARDS!
 

·
Braunstein Frere
Joined
·
215 Posts
drgonzo said:
I'm trying to find out info on GPS units, as I'd like to be able to make some trail maps. I'm intrested in programming and I think it would be really cool to be able to overlay trail data on google maps or maybe some topo ones.

Anyway, I don't know much about the technology (other than it's badass) and I'm curious if anybody else has units that they strap to their handlebars. Obviously as far as getting lost in the woods goes it's totally worth having a navigation device, but is it more of a novelty or are these things really useful? I know garmin makes some specifically designed for bike use, but I don't like the small screens and lack of map information.



One thing I'd also reallllly like to have in a reciever is bluetooth connectivity. I don't have any money for one of these now so it's all a pipedream. It's more fun shopping for stuff like this when you're not actually buying it anyway. Pshh... who needs money :)
I have the Garmin map60cs and I love it. Rarely do I lose a satelite and it has more features than I know what to do with! I actually wrote a user's comparison a while back. It is a somewhat limted comparison, but maybe it'll help a bit.
https://www.mountainbiketales.com/articles/noreaster2.htm

Also, as these things are technology-based I'm sure it's out of date.
 

·
"Mr. Britannica"
Joined
·
1,818 Posts
For mapping I don't think you'd want that Edge... that's really just a supercharged cyclocomputer. Yeah it can do candence, HR, and other neato fitness things and has the more sensitive SIRF chip, but the dealkiller for me was its rechargeable battery. Also, a number of minor glitches with it have been reported on the roadie site. Just got a Vista Cx, and it seems to be pretty good for my needs although I haven't gotten any mapping software yet (still reading Redwood Biker's book). I would guess that Garmin might update the chip in the next year or two, so waiting might not be a bad thing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
GPS... I have a few my, old Stand by is a Garmin 12xl, I also have a Garmin V, 76cs+, Trimble GeoExplorer, and my newest one on order is the Garmin M5 PDA/GPS in one, and it runs on Windows CE...so far teh 76 is my fav, it can do it all but the old 12xl just will not die. The problem is finding good software that will let you do what you are wanting to do. I am still working to find one I like
 

·
Braunstein Frere
Joined
·
215 Posts
SwissBuster said:
The forerunner (actually, most GPS units) records an electronic trail of where you have been, so can be used to download the data you get home. You can use this to make your maps on GoogleEarth or using OziExplorer (or other software). The Foreunner has a wristwatch format, but I usually attach it to the handlebars when riding. I might upgrade to the foretrex 205 model soon.

As far a navigation goes, any GPS can be useful but most 'experts' I have read about suggest it will not replace a good topo map. I don't use mine for navigation, and personally don't have much value for the 'map' features on the GPS itself - if I needed to read a map I would want a good paper one!

You're right about the technology: it's badass.
Googlearth looks cool-thanks for the enlightenment! I also have little use for the naviagtion features of my GPS. The first time I went out with it I relied on it completely and that's as lost as I've ever been. USGS maps are the way to go and relatively cheap.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
300 Posts
bvibert said:
Check out the folks over at Crankfire. They do exactly what you're talking about. Its a pretty cool site and the admin has some pretty neat stuff going on with the maps and such. They've got a pretty good collection of trails in NE USA, and they seem to be adding to them frequently.
Thanks :blush2:

And any and all out there with a GPS is welcome (urged? begged?) to join up and contribute to the community :p

Otherwise, personally, I don't own any gps units that have anything more then road basemaps (have not dropped the coin for one with topo maps support) - but using them to navigate unfamiliar places and posted loops is a great thing (in my opinion). And never being lost is kinda nice as well. Something about hitting a good loop at a new place the first time out seems to beat the potential for exploring lots of bad trails and leaving disappointed?

Otherwise, I would not really recommend mounting the gps to your handlebars - its distracting, not necesarily secure, and puts your gps in a prime place for damage. Not to mention all the vibration could do some damage to the unit (but thats more or less hear-say). I tuck mine so it sticks out of the mesh of my camelbak - while it is not exactly accessible while riding, its out of the way and somewhat "safe". Of course this is all preference, but most people i know that went the handlebar route, have since abandoned it.

As far as units go, I hear decent things about the Edges, but there are lots of other (cheaper) options out there. Check out the Magellan explorist 210 - you can pick one up (after rebate) at amazon right now for $115ish. Its a nice unit. Otherwise, just make sure it has pc connectivity :)

Then download Topofusion and life will be good. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,152 Posts
I've got the forerunner 201, had it for a couple of years now (got it for xmas one year, '03 or '04, don't remember), and I like it. I strap it to my downtube for now, but I've finally ordered the handbar bracket, should be here next week. Right after I bought it the 301 came out with HR functions so I was ticked off a bit, but it was still really expensive, twice what I got the 201 for at Target ($125, on sale from $150). I occasionaly lose the satelite signal but only for a few seconds at a time, and I think it's due to eihter me or my top tube momentarily being in the way of the satelite. I'm also upgrading my google earth this week to start doing some mapping. I tried out a couple of those shareware programs but they are a bit slow and cumbersome. Google rocks!

All that said, I'm going to get one of the edge models next, at least with the HR, maybe both HR and Cad. but Cad. isn't that important to me.

BM
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
271 Posts
Garmin 205/305

I e-mailed Garmin about this and got no response, maybe someone here knows. Is it possible to map out a route on your computer with waypoints then upload it to the 205 or 305? I do this all the time right now with my E-Trex Vista. It's great to sit and home, look at a Topo on the computer and just put a route together!
Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,152 Posts
As I understand, the edge and forerunner models do not let yuo upload map information to them, and imo, the screens are too small and too low resolution to make any sense of map data. At last wtihe the forerunner, and probabluy the edge models, you can't pan the map view around anyway (of where you've been).

BM
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,152 Posts
You can manually enter waypoints though, and on the "map" screen you would see them coming up +/- some degree of error. That would be handy, to mark locaitons of junctions or forks in the trail that might otherwise be easy to miss. I know on a lot of th trails I ride, the singltrack sections branch off the main roads and are hard to find, sometimes.

BM
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
84 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
After some looking around, I keep coming back to the Garmin eTrex Legend.



The price seems to hover around a little over a hundred bucks, very in my price range. It also has mapping capabilities which is what I'm really after. Has anybody bought/used this one?

EDIT:

Also, a lot of people I talk to about this complain about how these devices don't work good in the woods under a canopy, pretty much where I do most of my riding. I would like to be able to just drop it in my camelbak so I can look at it when I stop cause I realize I'm lost, but I also hear that you can't put these in bags? How about if there's only one layer of fabric between the gps and the sky (i.e. an outside pocket)?
 

·
Vaginatarian
Joined
·
5,686 Posts
rcharrette said:
I e-mailed Garmin about this and got no response, maybe someone here knows. Is it possible to map out a route on your computer with waypoints then upload it to the 205 or 305? I do this all the time right now with my E-Trex Vista. It's great to sit and home, look at a Topo on the computer and just put a route together!
Thanks!
no, the 205/305 dont display maps, they display a trail so you can upload a trail (garmin maps only) I sent mine back and got a gpsmap 60gsx instead because I wanted the sirf antenae. The gsx will display maps etc. I picked up a camelback phone pocket to hold the unit up front so I can hit mark anytime. this gps is the best. You can mount it on the handlebars if you dare. I also got the car kit and it came with city streets ( north america complete) with the car kit it will guide you on the road and I also loaded the topo maps so it will guide you off road too. it uses the trans flash memory chip (I got the 1 gig) which holds more maps tah I will ever need.
 

·
Vaginatarian
Joined
·
5,686 Posts
drgonzo said:
After some looking around, I keep coming back to the Garmin eTrex Legend.



The price seems to hover around a little over a hundred bucks, very in my price range. It also has mapping capabilities which is what I'm really after. Has anybody bought/used this one?

EDIT:

Also, a lot of people I talk to about this complain about how these devices don't work good in the woods under a canopy, pretty much where I do most of my riding. I would like to be able to just drop it in my camelbak so I can look at it when I stop cause I realize I'm lost, but I also hear that you can't put these in bags? How about if there's only one layer of fabric between the gps and the sky (i.e. an outside pocket)?
again, the NEW gps map 60 series has the sirf antenae that will work under cloudy, forest, fabric etc. the 205/305 also have that antenae but the mapping view is non existant
 
1 - 20 of 61 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top