Hoosier Mountain Bike Association

The Den => Tech Bench => Topic started by: crewan on November 08, 2010, 08:17:38 PM

Title: Garmin GPS
Post by: crewan on November 08, 2010, 08:17:38 PM
I'm looking into getting a GPS unit.  Anyone have any experience with the Oregon 450 or the new Garmin 800?  I've read most of the reviews on MTBR.com but I'm looking for some local hands on reviews.  Thanks
Title: Re: Garmin GPS
Post by: faster on a 29er on November 08, 2010, 10:08:33 PM
I don't own or have any direct experience with either.  My opinion is the price is too high and the accuracy is too far off for Mt Biking.  Recently I saw a blog/post from the Breakdown.  Some how the 60 miles came out as 53 miles on Garmin 500. Maybe it dropped a few switch backs?

Since I already bring my iphone on all of my rides and I do not want to shell out another $250 or $450 for the 800, I bought:

1) the tigra handlebar bike mount case,
2) the ant+ adapter for my iphone from Wahoo,
3) the Wahoo bike speed & cadence sensor
4) then downloaded the Fisica app and until the battery issues are resolved - turned off the gps tracker.  

Now I can have one device for all of my bikes plus I can text like a teenage girl!

So one year from now will I be risking my iphone in a pisgah full immersion creek crossing or back with the disposable $40 bike computers?

My advice is to look at this new ant+ standard
Title: Re: Garmin GPS
Post by: gottabeoutdoors on November 08, 2010, 10:38:09 PM
My 4 year old Edge 305 said that the Breakdown was 59.07 for me - I was excited at how close it was, but I have some age-related issues that have me considering the 500 or the 800.

My hopes are that the GPS receiver part would be even better than my trusty 305, not a step backwards!

My Dad has the 500 but only does road riding.   In that arena, though, it is VERY close to his old wheel-sensor cyclometer.   And I *love* the mount for the 500.   SO much better than what I've been dealing with!

Anyway, hope these ramblings help in some fashion!   :D
Title: Re: Garmin GPS
Post by: crewan on November 09, 2010, 09:03:09 AM
The ramblings help. ;D I don't have an iPhone so that option isn't open.  I guess I'm deciding between training functions or waypoint/mapping ability.  I've considered the Edge 500 but I read in some earlier posts that  people were interested in the 800.  I was just seeing if anyone has had hands on yet.  Perhaps it would be the best if both worlds.
Title: Re: Garmin GPS
Post by: john7722 on November 09, 2010, 10:19:17 AM
I use a Garmin GPS 60 CSx.. This unit has the high sensativity reciever that works under the most dense cannopy. Water Proof. completely customizable. acurate to within 12 feet. Direct importing of your tracks to Google Earth. Also you can Download GPX files  of Mtn Bike trails all over the world for FREE.. Rite from your computer to your GPS 60 CSx
Title: Re: Garmin GPS
Post by: crewan on November 09, 2010, 08:08:29 PM
I use a Garmin GPS 60 CSx.. This unit has the high sensativity reciever that works under the most dense cannopy. Water Proof. completely customizable. acurate to within 12 feet. Direct importing of your tracks to Google Earth. Also you can Download GPX files  of Mtn Bike trails all over the world for FREE.. Rite from your computer to your GPS 60 CSx

Thanks for the heads I up John.  I haven't looked into the GPSmap series.  I'll do a little digging.
Title: Re: Garmin GPS
Post by: ELduder on November 09, 2010, 09:24:57 PM
I have the Garmin 305 and it works great but mileage is always short. I think it is because it does it point to point so it cuts off corners a bit. The mapping and stuff is very cool though and can be used for running too if you are into that stuff.
Title: Re: Garmin GPS
Post by: Shark on November 10, 2010, 08:43:17 AM
My wife bought me a garmin edge 605 a few months back. Love the thing!
I think there's a way to load other maps onto it, but it's a bit involved, I haven't figured it out yet. Not as easy as the Oregon series I think.

The thing I like about it is when you upload all your saved rides onto the garmin website (or software you put on your computer), it will overlay your route onto google maps, keep track of your distances, climbing, speed, put it all into a calendar, & show you reports of how much you've been riding. Pretty cool.
Title: Re: Garmin GPS
Post by: gottabeoutdoors on November 10, 2010, 09:17:30 AM
Oh, and for those who worry about mileage being exact, my Edge 305 has a wheel sensor that can be used as well (for when cover is dense or when using the bike in a stationary trainer).   This wheel sensor also has the pedal cadence sensor in it as well.

I'd assume it's available as an option on all of the Edge models?

Mick
Title: Re: Garmin GPS
Post by: Dave Tozer on March 16, 2011, 02:56:09 PM
I had a 305 and loved it. The battery got to the point where it wouldn't stay powered through a long ride.  I decided to swap the battery myself and managed to kill the thing. 

There is a guy on eBay who refurbs 205's and 305's for $30.  Shoulda done that! The battery he uses has more capacity than the original. Many people experience shutdown of the unit when they hit a hard bump. He fixes that too. He makes them better than new. Really kickin myself on that.   :'(

Been researching the new Garmin Edge 500's and 800's.  The Garmin forums are filled with problem reports on both.  It's a huge turn-off.  People posting all the things going wrong and bug fixes they are looking for in new firmware, etc.  Sounds like you can forget about using the "Courses" feature on the 500.  Turns it into a brick. Or so they say.

Seriously considering a refurb 305.  Still have my cadence sensor, speed sensor and HR sensor. Extra bar mounts too.

I know the 305 inside and out and love the features. Power hub not in my near future either.

Anyone have any time using a 500 or 800 from Garmin? Problems?

A refurb 305 would be $200.  A new Edge 500 would be $250.  Tough call.

Thoughts?
Title: Re: Garmin GPS
Post by: Dan71 on March 16, 2011, 03:40:18 PM
Are you talking about the Garmin Forerunner 305?  If so you can get a new one for about $120, sometimes less.  I found mine at Wal Mart on line for $99.
Title: Re: Garmin GPS
Post by: Dave Tozer on March 16, 2011, 03:43:48 PM
Are you talking about the Garmin Forerunner 305?  If so you can get a new one for about $120, sometimes less.  I found mine at Wal Mart on line for $99.

Sorry, Edge 305.   :)
Title: Re: Garmin GPS
Post by: ztbishop on March 16, 2011, 05:50:44 PM
Just thought I'd share my new method for mounting my Garmin eTrex.  Garmin makes handlebar mounts, but they don't do what I want. (Easy on and off the bike in a few seconds; mount on stem to save room for lights / cyclometer).
What I used:

-RAM mount. $10.
http://www.ram-mount.com/ramgps.htm

-Hurricane mini pump strap. $4  (Padded velcro strap from performance bike)  They sell them in the store as well.
http://www.performancebike.com/bikes/Product_10052_10551_1031066_-1___

-2 strips of velcro ties to wrap the hurricane strap to the GPS mount.  stick a little rubber or something soft between if you'd like.

-A little rubber from a bike tube  to prevent the  hurricane strap from slipping around your bike stem.

Here are a couple pictures...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/60698474@N06/5532600369
http://www.flickr.com/photos/60698474@N06/5533181720

Just thought I'd share this too...this guy's setup is similar to mine, only much cleaner and more sturdy.  But I wouldn't want to re-do zip ties if I switch it from bike to bike...
http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=655849

I'd like to add the following comment:
I don't seem to have good luck with the accuracy on GPS trip info.  I trust my cyclometer.  The only time I go through the hassle of mounting a GPS unit to my bike is if I'm going somewhere unfamiliar and would otherwise get lost!
Title: Re: Garmin GPS
Post by: Dave Tozer on March 16, 2011, 08:19:06 PM
I also have an eTrex.  I used it ton when I was in the Boston area for 9 months and frequently did solo rides in unfamiliar areas.  I would plan ahead and add waypoints.  When I could find them I would download tracks that other riders posted.  Pretty cool the way it all works. Of course I always had a printed map and a compass as backup.

I never was crazy about the Garmin handlebar mount, but to my surprise I never snapped it off.

That Ram mount is nice.  May get one. I have some trips up my sleeve for this year.  :)
Title: Re: Garmin GPS
Post by: nilsmuller on March 17, 2011, 09:08:49 AM
Something to also check for in GPS devices is the "refresh rate" (it might go by a different technical name) but basically as long as the GPS communicates your position frequently, about 1 time per second for good units, the unit will be fairly accurate, even on mountain bike trails.  When I was looking into buying a GPS for my mountain bike, some of the newer ones only had settings of every 3 or 5 seconds.  That's obviously fine if you're riding road or hiking, but traveling quickly on mt bike trails with all the curves and the like will tend to "straighten out" your ride if it only reports every 3 or 5 seconds, thus leaving the distance on the short side.  In the end, I've passed on buying one until I know for sure that what I buy is going to be really accurate.
Title: Re: Garmin GPS
Post by: Dave Tozer on March 17, 2011, 09:33:01 AM
Something to also check for in GPS devices is the "refresh rate"...

Too true!  Town Run pretty much dictates a 1 second data interval.  Especially if you use the "Courses" feature, where you can ride against a stored lap.  I  love that feature.  Even Brown County is fast and flowy enough to warrant fast data capture.  Memory capacity is no issue.  Even long rides at a 1 second data rate are a non-issue.  The GPS effects the battery more than anything.

I just pulled the trigger today on a refurb Edge 305.  I was just thinking how odd it is that Garmin has had 4 new Edge models come out since the 305 (605, 705, 500 and 800), and yet I find the 305 to be the best option.  To me it speaks poorly of Garmin's product development. Granted, if I had a power hub, it would take the 305 off the table.  But if I was going to use a power hub, I wouldn't try to sync it to a Garmin anyway.  I'm a Garmin fan, but they haven't wowed me in quite a while.
Title: Re: Garmin GPS
Post by: fst aslp on March 17, 2011, 10:30:01 AM
Which units have the fast refresh rate?
Title: Re: Garmin GPS
Post by: Dave Tozer on March 17, 2011, 12:43:56 PM
Which units have the fast refresh rate?

I didn't like what I was reading about the Edge 500 on the Garmin message forums.  It lead me to believe the choices were limited.  

Here is what an Edge 500 owner posted on the Garmin forums, "When using the 500 without a powermeter, the device uses the 'smart' recording rate (with no current option to select 1-second recording rate otherwise) and therefore a degree of precision is lost. While road riding, this margin of error is typically small (some might say insignificant), but when riding mtb trails the 'smart' recorded data can be very imprecise, especially when the trails are twisty or include a lot of cornering. Not only does the accuracy of the recorded distance suffer (and speed data along with it), but the mapping function becomes significantly less accurate too. I understand that it is possible to add a speed sensor to the bike to remedy the distance/speed issues, but this should not need be the case."

I also the following in the user manual, "DATA RECORDING: The Edge uses smart recording. It records key points where you change direction, speed, or heart rate.  When a third-part power meter is paired, the Edge records points every second. Recording points every second uses more of the available memory on the Edge, but creates a very accurate record of your ride".

My fear in buying the 500 was that settings, like data recording rate, have taken a step backwards as far as user adjustment.

On a road bike training ride last year I got to play with a 500.  I asked a fellow rider if he had a average MPH reading for the ride we had just completed. He handed me his 500 and told me to play with it since he hadn't spent much time with it.  The thing was practically locked-up.  I had to wait quite a while for it to change screens or scroll through any data.  It may have just needed a hard reset performed on it, but it was essentially brand new and was so slow I gave up trying to find any info on it and handed it back to the guy.  No such issue with my 305, even when I first put my hands on it.

I went with the 305 again because I know it will do what I want.  There are some new features on the 500 and 800, but none that make me want to roll the dice and try one. Especially not for what an 800 goes for.  (~$440)

My 305 wasn't perfect. I'll admit that.  At Town Run the elapsed time for a lap seemed low every now and then. When my "new" 305 comes I am going to try two things to correct that. (1) Install a speed sensor for wheel-based speed info. (2) Turn off the auto-pause feature.  I'll probably also spend more time on the 305 forum and get other ideas.

I did get some corrupt data files at times, but nothing that ever caused me to lose data.


---EDIT---  Just found that the Edge 800 also uses "Smart Recording" for data rate unless a power meter is used with it.    ::)