Author Topic: What GPS device is best for me .. well it depends  (Read 4711 times)

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: What GPS device is best for me .. well it depends
« Reply #25 on: 04 June, 2021, 05:37:44 pm »
Device: Garmin Edge Explore
Bought October 2020 to replace long-serving Edge 510 (destroyed by dog using it as a chew toy). £129 (Amazon Black Friday deal) - price was the main reason I opted for this over a Wahoo or Edge 530

Pros:
• Large, full colour screen - not as big as the 1030, but usefully bigger than the 510.
• Full mapping, turn warnings - the 510 had a colour screen but no maps, so navigation was by following a breadcrumb trail. I generally got on fine with this, but it could occasionally cause confusion at complicated junctions. It also meant that you had to have the map screen on display at all times, because there were no turn warnings.
• Power saver mode - the screen stays off until you're approaching a turn when it flashes up the map and beeps at you. This significantly prolongs battery life. I also like the fact that it means I can spend more time enjoying the scenery and less time checking the screen in case of missed turns. It also means I'm less inclined to just look at the screen when I don't need to, as there's nothing to see - although I can manually wake it if I really want to.
• Phone alerts - notifications of messages received. Mostly I ignore this but I keep the feature activated in case I receive any important messages that I might miss otherwise.
• Drink alerts - a user-programmable feature that I find quite useful. I do have a habit of forgetting to drink on long rides, so I've set it to give me a nudge to take a sip every 12km.
• Re-routing - gets you back on track if you go off route. Seems to be reasonably reliable but I've only used it for experimentation purposes, not through actual need.
• Bluetooth connectivity - I plan routes on my desktop and upload them to Garmin Connect. Then I can send them wirelessly to the Explore using the Garmin Connect app on my phone. At the end of the ride, the Explore immediately uploads the track to Garmin Connect (phone signal allowing), which then syncs automatically to Strava.
• Internal battery - YMMV on this one.

Cons
• No barometric altimeter - this is one feature the 510 had that I miss on the Explore.
• Screen glitch - sometimes the screen doesn't wake up. This usually rectifies itself with a bit of coaxing, but I did once lose part of a ride because it completely froze and I had to turn it off and on again to get the screen to wake up. Although it was able to resume recording from the point it left off, all the GPS trackpoints up to that point were wiped. Annoying. This is my main gripe with the device.
• Battery life could be an issue for audaxes. I could get round a 200 with plenty to spare on the 510, but I think it would be touch and go with the Explore. That said, I am in the habit of carrying a power bank for audaxes so should be able to top up if necessary.
• Course creator is a bit shit - purely for testing purposes, I asked it to plan a 40km round trip route starting from home, and it tried to send me along the main dual carriageway... Not sure I would trust this feature in an area I'm not familiar with, and I have no need to use it round local roads.

My usual usage mode
Mostly simple ride tracking, for the purposes of logging on Strava.
Also for following routes, mainly for the purposes of Veloviewer tilebagging, or audaxes, though I've not done any of those for a while.

Learning curve
Since I've not done a huge amount of cycling in the 8 months I've had it, there are features I've not really got to grips with yet - IQ apps being the main one. I have fairly basic needs, so have configured the data screens to suit my usage and that's pretty much it. Being a long-term Garmin user, I worked out how to do this without referring to the manual, but I don't know if it would be so intuitive for someone new to Garmins. But the menu system is fairly easy to navigate.

Can't think of anything else for now, but no doubt there's something I've forgotten to mention.
"The future's all yours, you lousy bicycles."

Re: What GPS device is best for me .. well it depends
« Reply #26 on: 12 June, 2021, 08:13:23 pm »
Device: Etrex 32x Owned for one year. Previously had the 30x for ~4 yrs but lost it.
Learning curve :

Still learning. My experience with Garmin hasn't been a happy one. I've invested a lot of time learning to use their stuff and if someone told me there was a reliable, easy to use system out there I'd switch in a heartbeat.

Quick update on this post. I recently did a map update as prompted by Garmin Express. Result is I now have error messages whenever I turn on the device as follows, " Can't authentcate maps. Please contact your seller for support" and the following message when I connect to a computer, "Drive D is broken. Please scan to fix drive D" (or something close to that).

I've raised a ticket with Garmin, received an automated reply and three days later received an invitation to review my resolution experience. Nothing else, that's it from Garmin.

I contacted the supplier who said (and I quote), "I make a very good living from Garmin's unreliability". He advised me to never accept a map update from Garmin (where the hell am I supposed to get them from?).

Anyway, don't buy anything from Garmin.
Hear all, see all, say nowt

Pingu

  • Put away those fiery biscuits!
  • Mrs Pingu's domestique
    • the Igloo
Re: What GPS device is best for me .. well it depends
« Reply #27 on: 12 June, 2021, 11:12:31 pm »
I don't really grok the obsession with turn by turn.

Well I’d just like the etrex 30x to have the ability to navigate somewhere if I need to abandon a pre planned ride.  It might be as simple as “take me to nearest railway station” This is the major missing bit. Etrex are great for pre planned. On the fly decisions out and about? Forget it.

You can look at the map?

Re: What GPS device is best for me .. well it depends
« Reply #28 on: 13 June, 2021, 02:54:47 pm »
I don't really grok the obsession with turn by turn.

Well I’d just like the etrex 30x to have the ability to navigate somewhere if I need to abandon a pre planned ride.  It might be as simple as “take me to nearest railway station” This is the major missing bit. Etrex are great for pre planned. On the fly decisions out and about? Forget it.

You can look at the map?

Not zoomed out to be of use on such a small screen you can’t.  GPS and their maps aren’t designed to work quite so well for overview.