Author Topic: Which GPS bike unit?  (Read 8004 times)

Re: Which GPS bike unit?
« Reply #50 on: March 01, 2013, 11:20:36 am »
I’m sorry again, but that’s not good enough. Have the Garmin on ‘Car/motorcycle’ and allow highways, and it will try to put you on a motorway if the motorway is its version of a sensible route. Get to the motorway junction and there isn’t an alternative road except retrace the road you’ve just ridden down or the continuation of that road ahead as it winds off in the wrong direction to the Garmin route on the motorway. End up riding over five miles ( sometimes further ) while Garmin recalculates to get you to your destination.

I once tried riding to Shrewsbury from Cov. It took me to the M6. It recalculated and took me to the M6 junction at Coleshill. It recalculated and took me to the M6 junction at Spaghetti. It recalculated and took me to the M6 junction at IKEA Wednesbury. It recalculated and took me to the M54 junction north of Wolverhampton. It recalculated and took me to the M54 at Telford. From there it took me along the A5 trunk road with 70 mph trucks.

The route my car’s satnav suggested was Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Ironbridge and lanes to Shrewsbury.

In the end, I’d ridden twenty five miles ‘round the Wrekin’.  ;D ::-) 

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Re: Which GPS bike unit?
« Reply #51 on: March 01, 2013, 11:25:28 am »
Basically, you shouldn't allow the Garmin total freedom on routing.

You should prepare the route in advance, on the PC, setting intermediate route-points to force the routing where you want to go.

Re: Which GPS bike unit?
« Reply #52 on: March 01, 2013, 11:30:14 am »
I was out with my club one Sunday going to the cafe at Broadway. I had a route installed. Half way, a decision was made we should not go to Broadway, but go to Jinny Ring instead.
"Wait here lads. I'll just pop home and sort out a route on my PC."  ;D

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Re: Which GPS bike unit?
« Reply #53 on: March 01, 2013, 11:55:30 am »
I’m sorry again, but that’s not good enough.

You've already got the hardware.  So what are you going to do?  Enjoy it as best you can, or replace it with something that does more thinking for you?

Personally, I chose the 605 for a decent compromise between compactness, price and function.  I didn't expect it to have the best routing.  If you did, then you bought the wrong product.
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Re: Which GPS bike unit?
« Reply #54 on: March 01, 2013, 12:05:58 pm »
Get to the motorway junction and there isn’t an alternative road except [...........]

Or use the map on the screen well before you get to the motorway junction and find an alternative road for yourself, then let the GPS auto-recalculate.  I have mine set to display the map and the route instructions at the same time, so I can see in advance if the route is not to my liking.

I was out with my club one Sunday going to the cafe at Broadway. I had a route installed. Half way, a decision was made we should not go to Broadway, but go to Jinny Ring instead.
"Wait here lads. I'll just pop home and sort out a route on my PC."  ;D

Or just ride to Jenny's ring, using the map on the GPS as required - unless you need auto routes for every bit of every ride, in which case you need a new unit.
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Re: Which GPS bike unit?
« Reply #55 on: March 01, 2013, 01:43:34 pm »
I met a bloke in the pub who said he'd been using metroguide v8 with the routing patch for years. He said MetroWizzz is incredibly long winded with special utilities and what not, and that there's a much better patch available which just flicks a couple of flags in the Metroguide mapset definition file so Mapsource can download routable maps to the GPS, business as usual. Apparently.

I mentioned Metrowizz because it's free.
The downside is you have to invoke it each time you upload a mapset to the Garmin.
Metrogold is the better patch (it's a once-only registry change) and costs a few pennies.  Same web link.  Both patches effectively convert Metroguide into an unlocked City Select - very useful for households with multiple GPSs.
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Re: Which GPS bike unit?
« Reply #56 on: March 01, 2013, 01:55:02 pm »
First I set the route finder thingy to bicycle, and it routed me along the A90 off the Forth Road Bridge,

Bicycle is simply not the best option.  I know we'd all like it to be, but it isn't.

I have a an Edge 605 and Garmin City Navigator and free OSM and contour maps (combined one file). ...
The routing seems to be the same regardless of which map I've got turned on.

A rather fun thing I noticed recently - I had a map in which was basically Garmin Metroguide (routable, as above), but with a 'hole' punched in it around Heathrow - and OSM (routable) filling that hole** and overlapping a bit on all sides.  Both maps displayed.  I then tried routing to Heathrow T1 (off-motorway route) which of course involved crossing the join somewhere round Hayes way - it took fractionally longer than usual for the GPS to calculate, but the route it offered was fine, including across the join and where the maps overlapped.  I was impressed.

** because OSM is far better around Heathrow, than the elderly middle-aged Metroguide which is missing T4 and T5 altogether.



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Re: Which GPS bike unit?
« Reply #57 on: March 01, 2013, 02:08:50 pm »
Different maps route in different ways. The settings in the Etrex may not have the effect expected. As an example, Velomap gives the best cycling route if Automotive mode is used. I use my Etrex 20 to autoroute and find that this setup works very well. More here http://www.velomap.org/velomaporg/autorouting/

An experiment with different modes in Basecamp here http://medialoft.co.uk/basecamp.html

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Re: Which GPS bike unit?
« Reply #58 on: March 01, 2013, 04:04:17 pm »
Different maps route in different ways.

Is this true on the Edge 605/705?  (I haven't noticed it, but I haven't thoroughly tested).  If so, yes, Ningishzidda should try Velomap, as you say.

I've got Velomap but haven't had much of a go with it yet.  The colours are very different from standard OSM and City Navigator - which is confusing or nice, depending on your preference.
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Re: Which GPS bike unit?
« Reply #59 on: March 01, 2013, 05:22:36 pm »
Sorry, I am not prepared to lash out £200 until I've witnessed a Garmin construct a sensible route.

My idea of 'sensible' is 'By Bicycle' using any road that is usable by a cyclist. ie all roads except M ways.

Garmin routing seemed to err on safety. Nothing I could do could get it to generate the same routes as the satnav in my car configured to 'Bicycle'.

You are asking too much of a piece of hardware.

I rarely ask my Garmin to find anything for me, and if I'm on a ride I usually have a paper map with me. I plot a track in Bikehike and then download it to the garmin and follow the breadcrumb trail. It saves getting a map out at every junction to remind yourself which way to go.

OK, if you want a machine to take all your navigation decisions for you, then you aren't going to get full stop. Surely, you decide where you want to ride your bike?

If I do want the garmin to navigate for me, I look at a reasonably direct route using the sort of road I want to ride on and then break it down into small sections, if necessary setting waymarks every two or three miles and navigating piecemeal.
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Re: Which GPS bike unit?
« Reply #60 on: March 01, 2013, 08:05:35 pm »
Good thread.  Are there any older eTrex to avoid* because they can't handle current mapping software e.g. Openfietsmaplite, due to screen/memory/processing power deficits..?   I'm looking perhaps for a s/h one that will do the basics OK, e.g. allow routes on decent mapping software to be downloaded etc.  Not so bothered at this stage about HR monitoring etc (though perhaps a bonus if it's there)...

* or recommendations  :)  eg. Legend/Vista Hcx?
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Re: Which GPS bike unit?
« Reply #61 on: March 01, 2013, 08:34:44 pm »

You are asking too much of a piece of hardware.

To be fair, it's not asking much to want motorways excluded without all highways excluded.  It's only expecting Garmin to understand cycling that is too much, sadly.

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Re: Which GPS bike unit?
« Reply #62 on: March 01, 2013, 08:36:49 pm »
The maps will work on just about any Garmin that can take a memory card. So any of the Etrex Cx or HCx models would work.
The older models do have slower processors, which can mean that scrolling around the map can be a bit slow, especially in areas with lots of detail. Plus maybe slower to calculate routes. Apparently the processor on the HCx models is a bit faster than the Cx, though I'm not sure how much difference it makes.

Also the older models can only read a single map gmapsupp.img file. Which means its a bit more complicated use a combination of maps from different sources. You have to use software to combine all of your different maps into the one file. Whereas with newer models, you can just copy maps on separately.

Also the newer models support raster mapping, which means you can use things like OS Landranger maps, or your own scanned maps or aerial imagery. Maybe not very useful for road cycling, but sometimes nice to have as an option.

Feanor

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Re: Which GPS bike unit?
« Reply #63 on: March 01, 2013, 08:46:40 pm »

You are asking too much of a piece of hardware.

To be fair, it's not asking much to want motorways excluded without all highways excluded.  It's only expecting Garmin to understand cycling that is too much, sadly.

Yes, that's basicslly correct.

But this is an issue with the maps, not the hardware.
The City Navigator maps are basically road maps aimed at motorists.
Where the roads co-incide with the cycle routes, they work well.
Where the cycle routes deviate from the car-roads, then generally fail.

Examples:
Forth Road Bridge.
The maps don't know about the cycle-way, and route you onto the main road, the A90.

The Barmouth Bridge ( onthe BCM600 ).
The maps don't know there's a cyclway, and try to route you via a massive diversion.

You need to pre-plan the route on the PC, and inspect where the route is going to take you.   You need to be prepared to deviate from the route at certain points.   Having a track displayed underneath the route will help you see where these deviations are.

Re: Which GPS bike unit?
« Reply #64 on: March 01, 2013, 09:57:12 pm »
The maps will work on just about any Garmin that can take a memory card. So any of the Etrex Cx or HCx models would work.
The older models do have slower processors, which can mean that scrolling around the map can be a bit slow, especially in areas with lots of detail. Plus maybe slower to calculate routes. Apparently the processor on the HCx models is a bit faster than the Cx, though I'm not sure how much difference it makes.

Also the older models can only read a single map gmapsupp.img file. Which means its a bit more complicated use a combination of maps from different sources. You have to use software to combine all of your different maps into the one file. Whereas with newer models, you can just copy maps on separately.

Also the newer models support raster mapping, which means you can use things like OS Landranger maps, or your own scanned maps or aerial imagery. Maybe not very useful for road cycling, but sometimes nice to have as an option.

Thanks.

re. maps from different sources - what would be the main reason/purpose for wanting to combine different maps..?
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Re: Which GPS bike unit?
« Reply #65 on: March 01, 2013, 10:20:00 pm »
re. maps from different sources - what would be the main reason/purpose for wanting to combine different maps..?

Each map has better detail than the other maps in different areas or types of places, so you select the best map for the place.  "Combining" here means combining maps into single files; they're still selectable as individuals on the device.  Also you can lay a contour map over another map.
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Re: Which GPS bike unit?
« Reply #66 on: March 01, 2013, 11:28:29 pm »
I’m sorry again, but that’s not good enough. Have the Garmin on ‘Car/motorcycle’ and allow highways, and it will try to put you on a motorway if the motorway is its version of a sensible route. Get to the motorway junction and there isn’t an alternative road except retrace the road you’ve just ridden down or the continuation of that road ahead as it winds off in the wrong direction to the Garmin route on the motorway. End up riding over five miles ( sometimes further ) while Garmin recalculates to get you to your destination.

I once tried riding to Shrewsbury from Cov. It took me to the M6. It recalculated and took me to the M6 junction at Coleshill. It recalculated and took me to the M6 junction at Spaghetti. It recalculated and took me to the M6 junction at IKEA Wednesbury. It recalculated and took me to the M54 junction north of Wolverhampton. It recalculated and took me to the M54 at Telford. From there it took me along the A5 trunk road with 70 mph trucks.

The route my car’s satnav suggested was Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Ironbridge and lanes to Shrewsbury.

In the end, I’d ridden twenty five miles ‘round the Wrekin’.  ;D ::-)

You are Ayesha AICMFP

Same old same old...

Re: Which GPS bike unit?
« Reply #67 on: March 02, 2013, 08:33:07 am »

Thanks.

re. maps from different sources - what would be the main reason/purpose for wanting to combine different maps..?

On the newer models such as Etrex 20/30, several maps can be installed and used individually or as an overlay. For example, on my E20 I have OSM, Velomap, OFM and Birdseye installed. For cycling, I disable all maps except Velomap and Birdseye (which has no routing functions). This ensures that the device routes suitably for my cycling. If walking, I use OSM and get suitable routes.

The key is that it is the map which effects the routing. If more than one 'routing' map is enabled, results may be less than desirable.

Re: Which GPS bike unit?
« Reply #68 on: March 02, 2013, 08:36:17 am »

You are asking too much of a piece of hardware.


But asking for what the product is designed for is reasonable. My Etrex 20 does exactly what I require including autorouting for bicycle BUT it has been a learning curve. I am now convinced that it is the installed map which is the key to this. Velomap works for me, others prefer OFM.

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Re: Which GPS bike unit?
« Reply #69 on: March 02, 2013, 09:43:45 am »
I've just downloaded and installed Velomap for Great Britain. I launched it and zoomed into my local area but only A roads are shown??? I thought it was as detailed as OSM or Openfeits??
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Re: Which GPS bike unit?
« Reply #70 on: March 02, 2013, 09:54:52 am »
I've just downloaded and installed Velomap for Great Britain. I launched it and zoomed into my local area but only A roads are shown??? I thought it was as detailed as OSM or Openfeits??

It may just be your area, or your detail settings, or your device playing up.  Velomap has more detail than OSM at some bits I've looked at (post boxes, for example).  Turn it off and on again, detail level up one, and scroll about.
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Re: Which GPS bike unit?
« Reply #71 on: March 02, 2013, 10:19:12 am »
Sorry I haven't been able to find the download for the GPS yet. I installed some executable which appears to be a simple form of planning on my PC...

I'm looking through the website for a link to the image file.
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Re: Which GPS bike unit?
« Reply #72 on: March 02, 2013, 10:25:39 am »
Ah I have two Garmin directories, one for my Garmin device (which I was looking at 'Training Centre') and one for Velomap. Velomap directory appears to have loads of image files??? I'm new to this eTrex 20 device and have Openfeits and OSM maps on my microSD card. I assumed Velomap would be another single map file?

Readme file!! Great...
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Re: Which GPS bike unit?
« Reply #73 on: March 02, 2013, 10:41:53 am »
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Re: Which GPS bike unit?
« Reply #74 on: March 03, 2013, 09:17:45 am »
An easy way of managing maps for your Etrex (and other Garmins) is to use Basecamp. It is not the quickest way to install maps onto your device, but it a more understandable process. Instructions here http://forum.ctc.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=70581&hilit=maps&start=30#p608771