Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
395 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK...I have done a search of the GPS posts here, and although I found lots of great information, I did not quite find what I was looking for (maybe overlooked it).
I am looking to get a GPS unit to use on rides and am curious about a couple of things.

The first has to do with memory. I was looking at the Garmin ETREX Legend and saw that it comes with 8mb and is loaded with a streets basemap. Being that I don't care for using this in the city, could I delete this basemap and load one of their TOPO maps from a CDROM to save memory?

The next question deals with tracking/waypoints. If you track a ride (not sure if this is the correct terminology) can you dump it to your home pc, then reload it to the GPS unit at a later date if you want to ride it again? It would seem to me that if this is possible, you would be able to easily get by with 8mb.

Thanks for any help you may be able to offer.

Ron
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
395 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Ruffian

Ruffian949 said:
I haven't messed with my GPS in a while, but I believe you could download the track to your pc then upload it later. I have a meridian and am not sure about deleting you base map. If you need some specific answers on GPS units you could try this forum that is for geocachers. I have found a lot of information (in the past) there. http://forums.groundspeak.com/GC/
I am going to check it out right now. Thanks again.
 

·
Slowest Rider
Joined
·
5,113 Posts
No base map replace, Yes track download

The base maps only have the major highways and major roads. There's no detail on the side roads or whatnot. The base maps are like a USA atlas. But they seem to be in ROM memory, not RAM, and not erasable. I'm sure someone on the web has a way to replace the chip or something if you look hard enough. But it's not a standard. I don't think you'd gain much memory anyway.

Yes, the record of where you've been is a "Track". A "Route" is the planed route between "waypoints". And yes you can download tracks to the GPS and follow along a previous route. In fact, I use my Garmin eTrex Vista as a vehicleto transfer tracks from Garmin's MapSource to National Geographics TOPO! via download and re-upload. But on trails, I instead use the Route feature so I can see how far I and in what direction the next turn will be. I see the distance counting down as I slowly get closer.

The Garmin Topo software costs extra but gives you the whole US for the ~$80 price. The topo maps take much less room for a given area than the street maps. On my Garmin eTrex memory, I get the SF and San Jose Bay Area street maps in about 16-18 MB of memory, but even a greater area (down to Monterey and up to Santa Rosa) of Topo maps in the remaining 8 MB.

Don't discount the use of extra memory, I'd never buy one without the 24 MB I have and maybe just a little more. Having the street maps is super for finding your way to new trail heads. In new areas, the Points of Interest with the street maps help you find exact distance to all sorts of things like most all ATMs, gas stations, bike stores, mexican restaurant, Walmart and so on, all with address and phone numbers to call to see if they're open first.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
I use an Etrex Vista, and YES you can DL/UL tracks, wp's, etc.., to and from the GPS and PC with the TOPO software(which I also use).

The "stock" street maps are as mentioned before , very basic, only the major highways and such shown, and cannot be deleted. But the stock software is useful, especially while learning to use the wp, and tracking features. I figured it all out during a 6 hour drive from Sacramento to Los Angeles.
 

·
Riding dirt since 1970
Joined
·
584 Posts
I've used my garmin 60CS

On a couple of trips offroad, and have so far only lost reception in the Hahns peak region north of Steamboat, CO. This may be of little use, but I was on a YZ250F on the Nipple Peak Loop. Turns out a late season windstorm put down a lot of trees for a solo rider (won't try that loop solo again). The unit is great when it has open sky. It's a really cool tool on the road :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
395 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Vista vs. Meridian Gold?

Thanks for the info everyone. I think I have narrowed my decision down to either the Garmin eTrex Vista or the Magellan Meridian Gold. I like the idea of having expandable memory on the Meridian. The problem is, everyehere I go I get a salesperson that has no clue about GPS (even my local REI). Have any of you compared these models? I know a lot of you have the Vista, but have not seen too much about the Meridian.

Thanks again for the advice so far.

Ron
 

·
mtbr member
Joined
·
23 Posts
This site has tons of information for you:
http://www.gpsinformation.net/

I have had great luck with a Garmin GPSMAP 76S, which I upgraded this year to the color version 76CS. I usually carry it in the upper mesh pocket of my camelbak, so it gets good reception. The route gets traced on the map, and then when I get home I can download the track into my topo software.

I use the same unit mounted to the handlebars on my roadbike, and I load it with street maps of the area I'll be riding, usually even plotting out a route ahead of time, and then I never have to fumble with paper maps or stop to see if I've missed a turn.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
395 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks nebam

nebam said:
This site has tons of information for you:
http://www.gpsinformation.net/

I have had great luck with a Garmin GPSMAP 76S, which I upgraded this year to the color version 76CS. I usually carry it in the upper mesh pocket of my camelbak, so it gets good reception. The route gets traced on the map, and then when I get home I can download the track into my topo software.

I use the same unit mounted to the handlebars on my roadbike, and I load it with street maps of the area I'll be riding, usually even plotting out a route ahead of time, and then I never have to fumble with paper maps or stop to see if I've missed a turn.
Thanks for the link Nebam. You weren't kidding about the info on that site! I am going to spend some time on their this evening.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,927 Posts
I find 8MB is enough, for SoCal streets and yellow pages from SB to East LA. I occasionally use the street maps but I never look at a topo map on my GPS! :) I may load up waypoints and navigate to waypoints but the best way to know the terrain to look around. I don't need a GPS to tell me which way is uphill, downhill, or a contour. I do want to know the direction/distance to my next planned stop. Uh yes, plan your ride.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,795 Posts
The garmin Etrex is not enough. I saw the new Garmin model call the 60CS colour. It holds 48MB of data. It can store 500waypoints and store street maps or user ploted maps. I want to get that one. Has anyone used it before? It is very sophisticated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
395 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Uh, I do plan my rides...

pacman said:
I find 8MB is enough, for SoCal streets and yellow pages from SB to East LA. I occasionally use the street maps but I never look at a topo map on my GPS! :) I may load up waypoints and navigate to waypoints but the best way to know the terrain to look around. I don't need a GPS to tell me which way is uphill, downhill, or a contour. I do want to know the direction/distance to my next planned stop. Uh yes, plan your ride.
I do not want a GPS for streets and yellow pages. I live in Colorado and want to record rides and maybe find trailheads in the back country. Being that I do not need the street/hwy/interstate base map, I want to know if it can be deleted in order to save memory for what I do want. My reference to TOPO was not so that I will know if I am going up or down a hill. It refers to the National Geographic TOPO! map set that I have for the state of Colorado that greatly details the mountain areas where I ride.
:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
395 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Picard said:
The garmin Etrex is not enough. I saw the new Garmin model call the 60CS colour. It holds 48MB of data. It can store 500waypoints and store street maps or user ploted maps. I want to get that one. Has anyone used it before? It is very sophisticated.
Thanks for the heads up on the 60CS, Picard and lifer. That is one that I have not looked into at all. I'll check it out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,927 Posts
rfields4013 said:
I do not want a GPS for streets and yellow pages. I live in Colorado and want to record rides and maybe find trailheads in the back country. Being that I do not need the street/hwy/interstate base map, I want to know if it can be deleted in order to save memory for what I do want. My reference to TOPO was not so that I will know if I am going up or down a hill. It refers to the National Geographic TOPO! map set that I have for the state of Colorado that greatly details the mountain areas where I ride.
:)
Garmin does not allow download of any maps but their own. Even with the streets I can record/load more tracks and waypoints than I ever need. So to save time I keep the streets loaded.

You find trailheads by marking it (waypoint) on your Topo map and downloading to the GPS. You can always see the direction and distance on the GPS. If you need more guidance download a complete track that follows a targeted trail.. With that capability it follows that topo maps in a GPS are basically useless. Orienteering with a map and compass is dead - fini.

The yellow pages are for after ride activities (or repairs), search by category and you get items listed, sorted by distance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
395 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
pacman said:
Garmin does not allow download of any maps but their own. Even with the streets I can record/load more tracks and waypoints than I ever need. So to save time I keep the streets loaded.

You find trailheads by marking it (waypoint) on your Topo map and downloading to the GPS. You can always see the direction and distance on the GPS. If you need more guidance download a complete track that follows a targeted trail.. With that capability it follows that topo maps in a GPS are basically useless. Orienteering with a map and compass is dead - fini.

The yellow pages are for after ride activities (or repairs), search by category and you get items listed, sorted by distance.
Thanks for the info pacman. That is exactly the kind of help that I am NOT getting here locally at stores. I have read about units being compatible with these other programs, but is that only at the pc level? By that I mean, can you just put your track into those map programs after you get home? Also, how much memory does a typical track/trail use?

BTW, do you know anything about the Magellan Meridain Gold?

Thanks again
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,927 Posts
rfields4013 said:
Thanks for the info pacman. That is exactly the kind of help that I am NOT getting here locally at stores. I have read about units being compatible with these other programs, but is that only at the pc level? By that I mean, can you just put your track into those map programs after you get home? Also, how much memory does a typical track/trail use?

BTW, do you know anything about the Magellan Meridain Gold?

Thanks again
The compatibility extends only to transferring tracks and waypoints (in both directions). I upload my track when I get home and get distance and an altitude profile - so I can see total feet climbed in a day. Nat Geo Topo is best IMHO, you can go to their web site and download tracks that other users have contributed. I used a XC skiers track to find summer-time trails that were ignored. It's been a long time since I worried about track size in my 8MB Rino even though I record in highest resolution mode. (where are my spces?) What you do want to worry about is battery life, carry extra rechargeables for a long day, or turn the GPS off when its no needed.

Ignorant of Magellan...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
395 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
pacman said:
The compatibility extends only to transferring tracks and waypoints (in both directions). I upload my track when I get home and get distance and an altitude profile - so I can see total feet climbed in a day. Nat Geo Topo is best IMHO, you can go to their web site and download tracks that other users have contributed. I used a XC skiers track to find summer-time trails that were ignored. It's been a long time since I worried about track size in my 8MB Rino even though I record in highest resolution mode. (where are my spces?) What you do want to worry about is battery life, carry extra rechargeables for a long day, or turn the GPS off when its no needed.

Ignorant of Magellan...
Cool...Thanks a lot for the help. That is exactly the stuff I was looking for.
 
1 - 19 of 19 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